Gazetteer 11, The Republic of Darokin, may be the most maligned of the “Known World” series of Gazetteers published for the Basic D&D game. However, for some unfathomable reason, it has always held a special place in my heart and now, as a side campaign from our regular D&D 4E campaign, Cyran Skies, I am running the Dungeon magazine Adventure Path, Scales of War, set in the Republic of Darokin.
My version of Darokin is substantially darker than the version presented in Gazetteer 11, with the competition between the merchant houses more akin to the deadly feuds of Renaissance Italy than the friendly competition between rivals presented in the gazetteer. However, the merchant houses know that overt bloodshed is bad for business, so the Darokin merchants keep their intrigues “in the family,” having an unspoken “hands off the foreigners” rule for assassination, extortion and other dirty tricks used by the merchant houses on each other.
In terms of the Scales of War adventure path, the first adventure is set in the town of Reedle, rather than Brindol. I’ve always liked Reedle as a starting point for campaigns because it has that good “frontier” feel to it, but without losing the cosmopolitan quality of the Darokin setting (you can quite easily incorporate characters from a variety of different nearby nations and there’s enough depth to the local politics that you can run intrigue campaigns from the get-go).
The adventures that follow will replace Overlook with the city of Selenica and I’ll comment more on that as the campaign progresses.