View Full Version : DM Help Some ideas for fleshing out a small rural town?

2016-05-12, 09:57 AM
Hey guys, a bit more of your (imaginative) help is needed.

For about 6 sessions now, my PCs have been playing in Redneck Region (they are lvl 2). Villages, smaller villages, hamlets, groups of huts whrere men, women and children sleep with pigs and silver pieces are a rarity. (there is an abundance of ankhegs and bulettes, though)

And now they are approaching a "major" trading hub in the region - a small town with a bout 100 well built houses, a fort, a small temple to god of agriculture, a shrine to god of merchants, 3 shops (weaponsmith, trader with lowest tier magic items), regional sheriff, etc. Also, this place is on a minor caravan route - so there are 7 taverns/inns in this settlement.

I have this fleshed out, but I wonder what else should I include? Sights to see, events ... I was thinking of caravans resting utside of small town, full of people from far off lands, other adventurers, arrest warrants, whores on the streets ...


2016-05-12, 10:22 AM
When I build a town/city, I always make sure it has a "thing" it is known for. It could be a major temple to a deity, or perhaps the city is known for its vinyards, or something gimmicky the "largest rocking chair in Indiana" kind of thing. Maybe there is an awakened donkey or horse people come to see, or they have a mildly powerful arcane caster.

Since you want this towns "thing" to be a trade hub
Sights to see, events ... I was thinking of caravans resting utside of small town, full of people from far off lands, other adventurers, arrest warrants, whores on the streets ...this is exactly what you want.

I would have a minimum of 2 caravans, feel free to make at least one an exotic or shady race(Khajiit from the Elder Scrolls series comes to mind). Add a few adventuring parties in the tavern that may or may not start fights/attempt to burn the place to the ground. You might have an open air market or bazaar as well. Be sure to include some of the rural dirt farmers who have come here to sell their livestock and stuff.

Honest Tiefling
2016-05-12, 01:13 PM
Why is this town here, not over there? What geographic features make this place a good place to rest? (Rivers for travel, hills for defense, or plains for feed?)
Who's in charge? Is it an appointed group of elders? Temple priests? A noble appointed by the king from way over there?
What laws and customs are in place to keep people coming in, but not causing trouble? (Curfew, entry fees, laws about alcohol being served, etc.)
What does this town produce? Chances are, unless this is a major trading hub it also produces stuff. What works with the geography?
How does the common people treat travellers? (Wary, friendly, cool, polite, informarl, etc.)
Once you have what the town produces, what is the regional food like? What can they get a hold of in an inn? Is it a tavern, or just a bunkhouse?
How are religious spaces used? Are they gathering places? Places to put down offerings? Housing for priests? Or housing for the gods themselves? (I'd seriously consider having the characters watch interactions with the shrine to the merchant god, assuming that's in a place where travellers go. Maybe have a secret little buff if they place an offering there.)
What about the priests themselves? Does the merchant god and the agriculture god get along? Flesh them out so the symbols they see might interest them. The Agricultural god, for instance, might not be the friendly sort, so his symbol might be a drop of blood and a bunch of wheat, indicating sacrifice and protection. The merchant god might be an attractive woman because the god assumes travellers will pay more attention to that.
You mentioned whores, which can be a gendered task. What gender of NPC are they going to encounter? What gender runs the temples, inn and blacksmith? Do they have gender roles, or are they the practical sort of folk that just has people do what they do?
What races are present, and is there any impetus for them to go to certain jobs? (Laws, tradition, simple passing on the job to their descendents, etc.)

2016-05-12, 02:48 PM
...groups of huts whrere men, women and children sleep with pigs...


Have the village assaulted by a tribe of half-man, half-pigs. The PCS investigate and find out that the townsfolk have been discarding the vile spawn of their sin into a nearby ravine where a kindly hermit has been raising the abandoned whelps. Only they have grown up and grown angry and are back for revenge.

*whisper whisper*

what? Oh you mean SLEEP sleep not "SLEEP".... well that's much less revolting...