Hidden City Mechanics
The Hidden City is divided geographically into two outer rings and an inner circle. Additionally, the Jade district extends from the center out to the edge, raised above the rest of the city on large stone arches (so the districts underneath connect).
To travel around in a given district or do things in that district requires either a key of that color, or a single-use pass issued by an appropriate keyholder. A keyholder may travel with retainers who do not have keys or passes, up to one retainer per point of status that the keyholder has. Passes are obtained when buying or paying upkeep on a key, for 1 li per pass, up to one per point of status the keyholder has.
Guards will tend to stop people and check their keys/passes once per trip, but are not perfectly efficient.
It is (usually) possible to leave a district for a lower district towards the exit of the city. Otherwise, people caught without a key or pass are subject to arrest.
There also exist iron keys (which cost 6 li), which are for guards and soldiers only - an iron key allows the holder to carry out their assigned duty. This includes soldiers stationed in the city, as well as mercenaries and bodyguards. For a bodyguard, such duty includes accompanying the person they are assigned to guard, or going to the person they are assigned to guard. Switching from guarding one person to another should only be done when both parties are present - a soldier with an iron key cannot wander all around the city by picking arbitrary people to guard.
To Fen-Xi's descriptions of the district follows, with successes needed to do something successfully in the district, and the price (in li) of a key or upkeep on a key.
|Pewter||Unsavory people and malingerers||6||6|
|Bronze||Workmen and guards||8||72|
|Copper||Artists and student housing||10||160|
|Obsidian||Regents and high nobles live here||13||637|
|Ivory||Regents and high nobles work here||14||896|
|Jade||Imperial palace and park||15||1215|
While most of the districts are difficult to do things in, there are also extra ways to add dice:
- You can spend a point of status to get +1 die to a roll
- You can spend a point of status of the person you are in the entourage of (that is, your keyholder) to get +1 die to a roll
You can throw in a bribe after a roll is made, to buy successes at N^2 li for N successes.
- The Garden of Benevolent Tranquility allows spent status to return with some meditation.
- The House of the Eastern Flower has gardeners and florists.
- The Pavilion of Literary Profundity has librarians who can answer questions about the palace (though not about weddings in particular).
- The Hall of Supreme Harmony is the Throne room - the Hall of Middle Harmony is where it is possible to make an appointment to see the Jade Throne. No, it is not possible to make an appointment to sit on the Jade Throne.
- The Palace of Concentrated Beauty can answer questions about hair, and also can fix the hair of appropriate people.
- The Palace of Rain and Flowers, where the Imperial Concubines live, has servants who can fix hair, but doesn't deal with questions.
- The Chamber of Immersing in Virtue is good for fortune-refreshing meditation.
- The Stronghold of Reserving Treasures has many valuable items, including bowls of great artistry.
- The Imperial Kitchens have bowls of no particular quality.
- The Glory Palace includes tailors who can customize grand clothes and imperial regalia.
- The Hall of the Grand Secretary has officials who can cancel orders made from other buildings.
- The Arrow Pavilion is where the spies hang out.
- The Shrine of Eternal Reverence has the Imperial Ancestor Shrines, and is good for seeking Ancestor Spirit guidance in general.
- The Garden of Heavenly Peace is good for meditations on the future.
- The Garden of Extended Spring contains numerous paths and is said to be more in tune with the body than the mind.
- The Hall of Mental Cultivation often has artistic masterworks on display.
- The Hall of Imperial Supremacy has artifacts and trophies from past wars.
- The Hall of Ultimate Supremacy is the Emperor's private Hall.
- The Palace of Obeying the Heavens is not a place of the Emperors, it is a place for those who serve the Emperors to bring themselves into proper alignment with their duties and their future.
- The Palace of Penultimate Preparation is an excellent place to center oneself for an upcoming trial, such as seeing the Emperor.
- The Chamber of Joyful Longevity is where life, and the youthful parts of life, are celebrated. It may also be where the Emperors gain their long lives.
In Party Loot
- 3 iron keys
- 0 silver key
- 13 brass keys
- 12 pewter keys
- 0 bronze key
- 1 gold key
- 0 copper key
- 25 pewter passes
- 25 brass passes
- 59 bronze passes
- 35 copper passes
- 62 silver passes
- 6 gold passes
- 16 jade passes
- 5 ivory passes
- 3 obsidian passes
- Shuyan: jade key
- Merit: silver, iron and pewter keys
- Xiao Fa: pewter key
- Takanata: jade, pewter and copper keys
- Hiro: pewter key
- Wei Han: iron key
- Lijuan: copper key, pewter key, 2 bronze passes
- Deng: brass, pewter, iron key
- Min Feng: ivory and obsidian keys (copper silver key under fake name Li Dan)
- Shen-Ji: silver key
- Kuan-Xi: pewter, brass, bronze silver keys
- Kasumi: pewter, iron, brass, bronze
- Cai Wen: silver, copper, brass, bronze, pewter keys