Any community, irrespective of size, is going to require some kind of adminstrative offices. Whatever form of government it has, from full democracy to the whim of an individual who has inherited his position or gained it by conquest or appointment, the place has to be run. This work discusses those places that see to the smooth running of the community - be it space in said individual's palace or manor house to dedicated government buildings with set opening hours.
It begins with a general discussion about the need for such administrative centres, and the forms that they may take based on community size, style of government and perceived needs - a dictatorship, for example, may need more prisons and courts and an overwhelming law enforcement presence, while a participative democracy may be replete with places in which to hold public debate. It then moves on to more detailed analysis of a range of 'administrative places' that might be encountered, with details of the sort of people that might work there, what manner of business might take the characters - and, of course, ordinary citizens of the settlement - there, and what manner of reception they are likely to receive. The places covered range from an audience hall to courts of law, military barracks and harbour offices to the equivalent of a police precinct house, prisons to workhouses... and each comes with a handful of ideas for not just reasons that the characters might have occasion to be there, but ways in which you can turn it into adventure.
The whole idea of this book, indeed the entire series, is to start ideas forming in a way that will enable you to design a believable alternate reality, and this work certainly does that, with the reasoning you need clearly explained so that a coherent set of 'governmental places' can easily be chosen for your settlement and indeed your entire campaign world. It does not do the work for you, it equips you with the knowledge and ideas to do it for yourself.
Return to City Builder Series 10: Governmental Places page.
Reviewed: 29 March 2009