2012-04-13

Generate Your Chinese City

All Chinese walled cities are built according to the grid diagram below. The white lines are avenues. The three horizontal and vertical central avenues connect the city gates. The yámen is always in square 5.


Standard map of an Imperial Chinese walled city


Roll 1D10 and 1D8 to place the other important city elements. If any one of the dice yields a result that has already appeared, re-roll. This means that 8 out of the 10 elements from the first table must end up shared between the eight outer city squares.

die - Element
1 - Audience hall
2 - Barracks
3 - Temple of agriculture
4 - Flowery business quarter (brothels)
5 - Temple of the City God
6 - Temple of Confucius
7 - Temple of ancestors
8 - Emperor Guān Temple (temple of the war god)
9 - City market
0 - Execution ground

die - Square
1 - 1
2 - 2
3 - 3
4 - 4
5 - 6
6 - 7
7 - 8
8 - 9

Example
The GM needs to create a city. He uses the table in this post; he rolls 2D10 (0, 5): the city is called Wángchuān.
The city has a square grid as per the picture above.
The GM now rolls 1D10+1D8; results: 5, 3: The temple of the city god is located in square 3.
The GM rolls 1D10+1D8 again; results: 8, 7: The temple of the war god is located in square 8.
etc.…

Now here is a fictional Chinese city map drawn by Robert van Gulik for his Judge Dee mystery stories. This one has the nice addition of having a river run through the city.



1. Tribunal
2. Temple of the City God
3. Temple of Confucius
4. Temple of the War God
5. Bell Tower
6. Drum Tower
7. Pagoda
8. Northern Row
9. Southern Row
10. Chien Mow's Mansion
11. General Ding's Mansion
12. Eternal Spring Wineshop
13. Hermitage of the Three Treasures
14. Mrs. Lee's House
15. Former Yoo Mansion
16. Yoo Kee's Mansion
17. Watergate
18. Execution Ground

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