Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis: Home is where the Heart Is!

Fortune smiled on me! I managed to find a copy of Silver Pigs, the first book in the detective novels in Ancient Rome, for $1 off of the spinner rack at Half-Priced books.

This one is smaller than the second one I read, but the writing is still fantastic. Still reading it so this isn't a full on review of the book, but if you like a little humor and sarcasm in your first person mysteries, this is a solid novel.

No, rather, I wanted to quickly note that one of the things I enjoy about Lindsey's writing, is how Falco, the hero of the story, has a home and it's well, a slum. He frequently doesn't pay the rent and often makes an escape out of neighbors apartments of which he has an 'arrangement' with them.

The apartment itself though, does have a nice view of the neihborhood and can be advantageous when looking at the city as a whole.  Since it's in a bad part of town, this also lends some ambience to the character of Falco.

It's also where his family is and it allows him to mentor his nephew since his brother died in service to the Empire.

These touches provide more 'touches' if you will to the character of Falco.

In your own campaigns, where do the characters live when they're not in dungeons? Where do the characters go when they're not on the road? Do they have family and loved ones waiting for them in a prime city?

Things like this, these little touches of the bakers and sellers on the street, are reasons why I enjoy city sourcebooks like Waterdeep and the City State of the Invincible Overlord. When you can get the characters to invest in the city, to enjoy the city, to miss the view, to miss specific people, to wonder what's happening there right now, you've got them.

Make your cities interesting and the players will return to them. Make the players invest in them, and the players will fight to save them, even if they are saving the city from itself.