Character Home Bases – Part III: Example Village of Coldwater
Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0759
On Monday we covered how to get players to care about home bases. Wednesday I showed you a simple three step village creation recipe that you can world-build from. And today I’ll walk you through a quick example that you can also drop right into your campaign this weekend.
The Village of Coldwater
Basic Overview With Hooks
Starting with the 3 Line Village Generator in Campaign Logger, I got this:
Appearance: The village is surrounded by a wooden fence. It is ruled by a retired adventurer. The villagers rely on food crop farming to earn their living.
Adventure: The local legend describes The Feymaster. Rumours hint at a tower. Secretly following the characters is a mysterious mercenary.
Villager: A rebellious villager brandishing a book of prayers who wants to steal something is begging behind the lord’s manor.
Next, I generate d10 rumours using the Town Rumor Generator:
- The body of a male elf was recently found near the haberdasher’s shop.
- There has been a homeless hydromancer staying at the Spike & Hammer Tavern, drowning his sorrows in ale for days now.
- Prices with the smith have more than doubled since the King has gone to war with the Earldom of Galilvany.
- The resident forrester claims a dragonborn that recently arrived in town started a fight at the Blue Peacock Inn last night.
- A descendant of the Princess of Croistlan has been hiding in town as a chimney sweep for many years.
- Now and then a foreign gnome is seen wandering about town performing good deeds, but nobody seems know who she is.
- The clothier has been behaving differently since visiting a chamber nearby.
- People have gone missing near the Great Pit recently.
- A caravan of halflings has arrived in town selling goods from the Province of Ovangal.
- The mayor’s only child was lost in the flooded pit near the Village of Mansfarm several years back.
Next, I generate d6 NPCs using the 3 Line NPC Generator for the PCs to meet soon after they enter the village:
Appearance: I am a chummy weapon smith. I use a dismissive hand wave. I’m wearing impeccable dark green leather garb with doublet, a rope belt, knee-length leggings.
Portrayal: I constantly guide my allies away from the Dark Ways – I would hate to have to kill them. And I think meddling in the affairs of others only causes trouble. I have my own patch of land that I call home.
Hook: Right now, I want to get healing for my spouse.
Appearance: I am a spice sifter. I have trouble hearing. I’m wearing wool brown rural clothing, a knee-length cloak, knee-length leggings, bracers, high ankle boots, brimmed hat, and a chain.
Portrayal: I like to play games.
Hook: Something important was taken from me, and I aim to steal it back.
Appearance: I am a cheerful cabinetmaker. I have a nasal voice. I’m wearing torn green-brown noble’s garb with high-collared shirt, a sash, and an ankle-length jacket.
Portrayal: I pocket anything I see that might have some value. And I love to see others in pain.
Hook: Right now, I want a new job, but at a younger age my actions earned me the brand of a criminal, and those mistakes haunt me even today.
Appearance: I am a fearless buckle and scabbard maker. I’m young-looking. I’m wearing striped green-red craftsman’s garb with shirt, heavy leather belt, a waist-length jacket. I smoke a pipe.
Portrayal: I make frequent, bizarre prophecies and predictions. Fate calls to me, a dream of a power untold and unleashed.
Hook: Right now, I want to be drunk but I know that customers want their goods. They just don’t understand the difficulties with getting things done on time.
Appearance: I am a stout animal handler. I wear a ring on every toe. I’m wearing torn grey clergy style garb with tunic, a leather belt, and a calf-length waistcoat.
Portrayal: I’m colour blind. I love people and get energy being around them. My home town is my least favourite place in the world.
Hook: Right now, I want to run away but I care too much about my animals to abandon them.
Appearance: I am a flustered cook. I always have a mild sunburn.
Portrayal: It is less for the profit that I do this than it is for the thrill of making the perfect dish. I believe the natural world is more important than all the constructs of civilisation.
Hook: Right now, I want to be healthy again. I once made the perfect dish but I don’t know how to do it again.
I tweaked the NPCs a bit to suit my tastes. Now I’ve got a good set to begin roleplaying with. If I need more, I just tap the generator again.
Regardless of the tools you use, you’ve now got a great framework for rapid village creation that oozes with roleplaying and adventure opportunity.
- Create your basic stat block of defenses, governance, economy
- Add a legend, adventure sites, rumors
- Roll a few NPCs with hooks for roleplaying
Now you’ve got a bottom-up milieu brewing! You’ve got a location and some traits. You’ve got some adventure ideas. And you’ve got the mechanism (NPCs) for drawing the PCs into things and caring.
If this example has also cooked up interest in Campaign Logger, the special Charter Member bundle is still available. Learn more about that here. Have a great weekend campaign planning!