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Nexus... how big is it really?

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  • Nexus... how big is it really?

    I've been scouring my Exalted 1st and 2nd editions about Nexus... and I might have overlooked how big the city is...

    Do you have any ideas on that? How big are the districts and the Wyld Zone?

    I've also wondered how wide the rivers are... could we see the other shore or would it be wide enough not to see the shore?

    I'm asking so I can ground stuff more and because distances and scale always have been an issue for me.

    Thank you for your imput!


  • #2
    Hey! I'm actually currently running a game set in Nexus and I have asked myself this question MANY MANY times.

    I like to remind myself that the city districts straddle 3 different rivers. The Grey, the Yellow, and where they converge the Yanaze. So the map in 2nd edition Scavenger Lands is, I feel, a little misleading. It's got canals running through it both large and small and grand promenades sweeping down from east to west. Entire districts separated into marchland where the rivers flood southward. So I like to imagine it more like some kind of fusion between Venice and New York, with the main districts centralised on the best real estate and the other districts spread out wider across the waterways. The rivers themselves I don't imagine are so wide you can't see the other side, but wide enough that ferries and smaller rowboats are as common to cross them as the main bridges (which are, of course, heavily tolled). I like to treat each district as a distinct environment, so they need to be large enough to sustain that (kind of like mini-cities in an of themselves).

    I try not to lay down exact dimensions but estimate about an hour or two to get most places so when a player uses "Move Faster no Jutsu" I can divide times rather than recalculate distances constantly.

    A few million inhabitants.

    God, I hope any of that was helpful.


    (10chars)

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    • #3
      As far as physical size goes, I think it's both more realistic and fitting to the city's character if it's smaller than the population might imply to modern people.

      I think depictions of pre-modern cities have a tendency to underestimate building sizes, possibly from a general assumption that a less advanced past equals smaller buildings. But that's not really the case, for a few reasons.

      When defensibility is a priority in city planning, you don't want too much urban sprawl creating a larger area you need to build walls around. You also don't want to stretch out too much in personalized housing, because that's encroaching on hinterlands where your food and fuel is coming from. There's also a question of how far people can be practically moved from necessary places of work, or access to potable water supplies. And land is costly, most people can't afford it (especially if they don't mean to turn it into something productive).

      If space is at a premium (keeping in mind that some of it is needed for public spaces, storage and the homes of the wealthy and powerful) then people build upwards. Ancient Rome had common housing consist of buildings that could be up to nine storeys high. At some point city ordinances had to put a cap on that, to prevent unstable buildings to accommodate a growing population. These are also buildings in which whole families are living together on just one floor (or even one room within the floor). Medieval European town buildings never got quite that big, but at least four storeys was common, and could go up to six.

      Ancient Rome had a population of about one million, modern Rome has almost three times as many. Check out the size of the space within the Aurelian Walls and compare to the full extent of the city.


      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
      Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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      • #4
        There's also the concern that Exalted is a fantastical setting, so if you want buildings to be ten or fifteen stories tall that's totally workable. It doesn't make much sense with Roman era building materials and techniques, but this construction is of wood that's stronger than iron but as light as pine boards.

        I personally draw a pretty hard line somewhere before skyscrapers, I really wouldn't suggest that, but something like this is totally workable. Any city straddling a river I don't think should have the river be so wide you can't see the other side though, that feels more like twin cities separated by a lake to me.

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        • #5
          Here I was assuming the dams and canals and such narrowed the rivers somewhat before they got to the city, and yeah, I go with just around one million people.


          He/him

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          • #6
            Cool thanks for the info!

            I find Nexus is quite a bit of a challenge when trying to figure out the dimensions.

            As for the river distances... the Saint-Lawrence River near Quebec City... as you travel eastward you will see that the river is wide enough that you can see the horizon. My question is how wide those huge rivers are at places because Creation is so big.

            I'd love to see more Nexus images from the Devs... It would help me get a better grasp of all of it. Thank you for sharing the iamge in the link DrLoveMonkey I always enjoy those types of tangible examples.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
              There's also the concern that Exalted is a fantastical setting, so if you want buildings to be ten or fifteen stories tall that's totally workable. It doesn't make much sense with Roman era building materials and techniques, but this construction is of wood that's stronger than iron but as light as pine boards.

              I personally draw a pretty hard line somewhere before skyscrapers, I really wouldn't suggest that, but something like this is totally workable. Any city straddling a river I don't think should have the river be so wide you can't see the other side though, that feels more like twin cities separated by a lake to me.
              Not a skyscraper exactly, but I had a player who used a modified Great Lighthouse of Alexandria as an office tower.

              Originally posted by Pram View Post
              Cool thanks for the info!

              I find Nexus is quite a bit of a challenge when trying to figure out the dimensions.

              As for the river distances... the Saint-Lawrence River near Quebec City... as you travel eastward you will see that the river is wide enough that you can see the horizon. My question is how wide those huge rivers are at places because Creation is so big.

              I'd love to see more Nexus images from the Devs... It would help me get a better grasp of all of it. Thank you for sharing the iamge in the link DrLoveMonkey I always enjoy those types of tangible examples.
              Some fans calculated that, if the 2E map was to scale for the major rivers, there are places in the Yanaze where it is so wide you can't see either side from the middle.

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              • #8
                Dunno if it helps. but in my Nexus game i decided the City was 15 miles long and 5 miles wide at its widest. The rivers are about 10 miles wide each at its widest point. I think i read a bit about Imperial Rome and used that as a basis.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Exthalion View Post

                  Some fans calculated that, if the 2E map was to scale for the major rivers, there are places in the Yanaze where it is so wide you can't see either side from the middle.
                  Cool! Kinda like parts of the Saint Lawrence River

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                  • #10
                    Can't say much on physical dimensions, but i do remember it being mentioned more than once it has more than one million people and is Creation's most populous city in the Age of Sorrows, surpassing even the Imperial City in sheer number of people concentrated in one place. With considerably less meticulous urban planning and architecture inspired by geomancy.

                    There's also the matter of the Council of Entities, that even in the one page of quick descriptions in 1e Scavenger Sons give off a vibe of possibly being a group of exalted or at least a number of individuals with a variety of special talents/capacities working together. I think some other source (though that might be 2e) even implies one of them is the remnant city god of Hollow, the pre-Contagion city that existed in the same place. At least one 2e adventure, Daughter of Nexus, starts from that conceit in fact.

                    Though there's a very peculiar absence of details on what kind of place "Old Hollow" actually was - and at least one book implies that might be due to people forgetting/covering up it was in fact a shogunate plague colony. How much any of those things are true or false depends on sources and in the end utterly up to an individual ST's preferences, as unreliable narrators and derogatory propaganda are always possibilities.
                    Last edited by Baaldam; 03-05-2021, 09:58 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
                      Can't say much on physical dimensions, but i do remember it being mentioned more than once it has more than one million people and is Creation's most populous city in the Age of Sorrows, surpassing even the Imperial City in sheer number of people concentrated in one place. With considerably less meticulous urban planning and architecture inspired by geomancy.

                      There's also the matter of the Council of Entities, that even in the one page of quick descriptions in 1e Scavenger Sons give off a vibe of possibly being a group of exalted or at least a number of individuals with a variety of special talents/capacities working together. I think some other source (though that might be 2e) even implies one of them is the remnant city god of Hollow, the pre-Contagion city that existed in the same place. At least one 2e adventure, Daughter of Nexus, starts from that conceit in fact.

                      Though there's a very peculiar absence of details on what kind of place "Old Hollow" actually was - and at least one book implies that might be due to people forgetting/covering up it was in fact a shogunate plague colony. How much any of those things are true or false depends on sources and in the end utterly up to an individual ST's preferences, as unreliable narrators and derogatory propaganda are always possibilities.

                      Which book is that about the Shogunate plague colony?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Pram View Post


                        Which book is that about the Shogunate plague colony?

                        Good question. Either a late 1e book or the 2nd ed core itself, i guess. I think the plot of a Day Dark As Night partly references that and the novel came out before CoTD1: Scavenger Lands. But beside that not really that sure, too many years since i last saw that probably.

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