venerdì 3 marzo 2017

How to create a fantasy village

D&D's official settings, and any other fantasy world, is filled by iconic villages where PCs can find shelter or new quests.

We have Solace from Dragonlance, Shadowdale or Daggerford from Forgotten Realms, Threshold from Mystara, Barovia and many others.

In fantasy literature one can find Hobbiton, Brea or Rivendell just in the Middle Earth.

A village is a wonderful starting point for your campaign or for creating your homebrew world.

Let's see some important things your village should have

It must have a special feature

A village must have something special, easy to be noticed and to be remembered by your players.

They should say "ah..we're at Ironfield? Then we're gonna find that.." or vice et versa.

It can be a natural feature (such as a river, a lake, a hill or a wood), a special building (a tower, an inn..), a ruin (catacombs, stone circles...), a powerful dweller (a wizard, a King's official, a retired adventurer..) or anything else you want.

Many houses in Solace are on top of Vallenwood trees and there's the famous Last Home Inn, while Shadowdale hosts the Twisted Tower and Elminster.

It must be near to places of adventures

The village should be near to places where PCs can find adventures such as dungeons, caves, ruins, forests or anything else.

Barovia is near Castle Ravenloft, Solace to Darken Woods, Shadowdale to Cormanthor and Myth Drannor ruins.

It must be a place for interaction

Create some NPCs the party can talk with. They should share news, ideas or get new quests.

For example in Solace Otik or Flint provide numberless ideas or quests, in Treshold Aleena of the Church of Karameikos can hire the party for many quests for the Church or her uncle Sherlane, Baron of the town.

Some secrets must be there

For your village follow a good DM rule:

For each thing you create, prepare also at least a secret related to it

It should be a hidden evil cult, a buried magical item, an ancient battlefield or whatever you like. Just use your fancy.

You must create a map

There are some very good mapmaking softwares and on the web you can find some pregenerated maps for free, but the truth is you just need pen and paper.

An handful of buildings in the central area, some ranches and farms around, a tavern/inn, a general store and a smith is enough for your first village.

Create only what you really need

It's another rule of the good DM.

Create just a few NPCs and give details only to few buildings.

You'll have plenty of time in the future to further develop your village.

Bye.

The DM.