One-Hour RPG: The City Watch

The City Watch is a collection of scenarios each playable within an hour, written for 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons. It was successfully funded in August 2022 and published as a zine.

The purpose of this page is to provide backers with information about the adventures, as well as to provide updates, handouts, artwork, FAQs and pre-generated characters. It is for Dungeon Masters only, as it contains details which would spoil the enjoyment for players.

Videos

One of the stretch goal rewards in the Kickstarter campaign was that I would put all the original playtest sessions that I did (played over Zoom during the pandemic lockdown) on YouTube. I do intend to fulfil that commitment, and the first session is below. I’ll be uploading the other nine sessions over the coming weeks and months once I have edited them and made them look pretty. If you would like to see these, please subscribe to the Ticket To Carcassonne YouTube channel.

Game Notes

The City Watch was published using The Open Gaming Licence, which means that legally I was allowed to use almost all the rules from 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons. However, I was not allowed to imply that it is an official D&D product, or even use the words Dungeons & Dragons, or Dungeon Master, anywhere in the publication. Also, for some reason, there are a very small number of D&D monsters that I was not allowed to use, and this list includes two monsters that I badly did want to use because they fitted so well with the story that I had created (and also because one of my aims was to give the players the opportunity to meet as many as possible of the most iconic monsters in D&D). In the published version of the zone therefore, I substituted different monsters for the ones I was not allowed to use; when you run the game as DM, I suggest you make the following substitutions.

  1. Kifka in Session Seven was supposed to be a Jackalwere. This works better than Wererat, because Jackalweres are instinctive liars and hate having to tell the truth.
  2. The Floating Eye Guardian was (as you might have guessed) supposed to be a Spectator. When I discovered that wasn’t allowed I decided to put a fountain in the room and change the monster to a Water Weird, but apparently that’s not allowed either!

I’ve deliberately made the description of Port Perro and its surroundings quite vague so that DMs can fit the city into their own campaign. However, I do hope to write more zines in the next few years which will be set in the same world as The City Watch. I am currently working on The One-Hour RPG : Wizard School (or something like that) which focuses on a group of wizard apprentices living in Marcus the Mage’s tower. After that I have some other ideas for series based on the thieves guild, the Temple of Esteem, and the monastery in the hills.

Handouts

Firstly, here are the characters (slightly modified) that were used in the playtest. Of course, you don’t have to use these – you and/or your players might prefer to create your own characters from scratch. However, because these characters were designed with The City Watch adventure in mind, they do fit it well. They all have prior relationships with some of the NPCs in Port Perro, so it would be helpful if the DM could make themselves aware of their backstories before beginning.

There are several other handouts you might need, as well as some maps you might want to use. These are included below.

Finally, here is the fantastic artwork by Carlos Castilho that you might want to share with the players to help bring the game to life.

Pictures of the standard D&D monsters can, of course, be found in the Monster Manual, or online.