I haven’t seen a method for creating communities that rivals the ease and simplicity of character generation in the d20 System. So why not making creating communities like character creation? I’ve written about giving dungeons their own “ability scores,” so why not give statistics to humanoid settlements as well?

How the PCs interact with a community is different from how they interact with a dungeon — both are “living” systems, and both have things that the PCs want — but how the players go about “extracting” these are fundamentally different.

The health and success of a community is largely dependent upon the people living there. This is not to say that having more people in a community will make it stronger — though there is a correlation between population and capability.

I think there should be a “population” score, but I don’t think it should translate directly to “more people.” The number of people in a settlement is largely irrelevant when you consider how much more productive a lone wizard in a tower is compared to an oppressed village within the borders of an Evil Empire.

Instead of referring to a number of people, the “population” score should refer to the relative health of a community, rather like a Constitution score — a derived attribute would be the community’s “hit points” — its actual population. Consider that a community is “dead” when all of its people are killed, run off, or exiled.

But if population is a community’s “Constitution” score, then what are its Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores?

Sim City popped into my head just now — like PCs, communities are dependent on each other in addition to what they can produce for themselves. “Commerce” seems a good candidate for a community score, as does “industry” — industry could be comparable to Strength, while commerce might be like Charisma.

But what about military? How does a community defend itself?

That’s a good question — and a conclusion I was about to jump to myself. See, I figure that if a character class provides a character with their fighting ability — so a community class might provide its military arm. Eh? Did you like that?

So, let’s say community classes work like character classes — and the majority of communities might “fight” with their population or industry. Wow, that sounds like a scary proposition there — did I just describe “Zerg Rush versus Arms Race?”

Anyway, there has to be more to this idea to consider.