Thursday, 14 May 2015

Shitty Peasant Village Generator


A shitty peasant village is economically unviable without the following four things:
  • Tavern
  • Blacksmith
  • Market
  • Granary
The tavern is not just there because RPG cliches. It's there because clean water is not always in ready supply and your shitty peasant villagers will need something fermented to drink. In an Asian setting you might substitute a teahouse. It's also an important social centre, of course, but honestly if clean water is in ready supply you might just leave this out altogether and fuck with your players. "We go to the inn!" "There... isn't one." I would include a random tavern name generator but honestly fuck you, do it yourself or hand over your DM badge forever.

The blacksmith mostly does horseshoes and ploughs. He will not forge you a magic sword. He might forge you a bad, boring sword that will break after two hits. His job is to make equipment for subsistence farming, not to subsidize the parasitic adventurer economy.

The market is the reason there even is a village and not just a collection of subsistence farms. A town is a hub. It exists because farmers need somewhere central to meet other farmers. If no farmer had ever thought, shit, pumpkins are tasty, O'Gillicutty has pumpkins but he doesn't have any milk, villages would not exist. There will be a regular day for the market and people will look forward to it. If they don't have a religiously-mandated rest day their whole concept of what a week is is likely to be based around it. The Igbo people of Nigeria have four-day weeks and markets that cycle around different towns, for example. If I'm remembering Things Fall Apart right, which I might not be. You are highly unlikely to find any magic jewelry at the market.

The granary ought to be self-explanatory. People like to not starve, even in times when they can't grow food. I don't know why this is such a big deal but there it is.

Most people don't live in the village, they live on their farms and come to town occasionally. They might own their own land like some communist utopia or they might lease it from a local lord whose qualifications for the job are that he is able to pay a bunch of men with swords from the money he gets from their leasing it. Or something even shittier. If you can come up with a shittier way to run a society than the feudal system I would love to hear it. Villages probably have 10-50 people living in them and 100-500 people depending on them, but I just made that up and didn't research it or any of this in the slightest.

now with more being a generator!

Villages have to be interesting somehow. That is where these tables come in.

Local Landmark
  1. Unusually good tavern. Serves spicy dragon stew, attracts storytellers, adventurers, bards
  2. Unusually talented blacksmith. Fought in old war. Owns magic sword, unwilling to part with it
  3. Unusually popular market. Attracts gypsies, tinkers, curiosities
  4. Secret dungeon beneath granary
  5. Library
  6. Church
  7. Castle w/ lord in it
  8. Castle w/out lord in it. Half-ruined
  9. Graveyard
  10. Town hall. Run by council of burghers
  11. Bridge over otherwise hard-to-cross river
  12. On edge of probably-evil forest
  13. Monster lairs in nearby cave
  14. Ancient standing stones
  15. Chalk man w/ huge penis carved from hillside
  16. On stilts, in swamp
  17. By the sea
  18. Sinkhole
  19. Wishing well
  20. Rock shaped like king's head. Not any particular king. Just has kind of a beard shaped thing and looks regal. Said to cure diseases
Important NPC
  1. Eccentric wizard, does experiments
  2. Retired mercenary captain
  3. Ascetic on pillar
  4. Highwayman in hiding
  5. Noble's spouse in last days of secret pregnancy
  6. Blind, prophetic beggar
  7. Feebleminded, pompous mayor
  8. Aggressive, pedantic town guard
  9. Company of actors passing through
  10. Clergyman exiled for too many venial sins
  11. Venerable old sea captain
  12. Ratcatcher w/ rat-commanding pipes
  13. Elf prince slumming it, thinks himself brilliantly disguised
  14. Ambitious second son of merchant family on unimportant secret mission
  15. Enormous prize pig. Twice size of normal pig
  16. Precocious child, follows party around, wants to know everything about them
  17. Vampire hunter
  18. Rival adventuring party
  19. Half-ogre tavern keeper
  20. Irritating, persistent bard
Terrible Secret
  1. Important NPC secretly werewolf
  2. Important NPC secretly vampire
  3. Worships old gods, sacrifices strangers
  4. Everyone is ghosts. PCs wake up in morning, village not there
  5. Tavern serves guests in pies
  6. Blacksmith is a war criminal
  7. Site of goblin market every full moon
  8. Town leaders hiding that granary is mostly empty
  9. Hiding place for Robin-Hood-esque populist thieves
  10. Old miser died recently, left cryptic clues to treasure
  11. Feud between two families threatens to tear village apart
  12. Harbours religious heresy, on guard against disguised inquisitors
  13. Livestock keep giving birth to deformed monsters
  14. One white crow you keep seeing everywhere
  15. Ale watered down
  16. Prices tripled for adventurers
  17. Have one big lie that they all tell to strangers, like dropbears
  18. Just burnt a witch, then figured out she wasn't a witch
  19. In initial stages of plague outbreak
  20. News of monster attacks being suppressed over concerns about tourism
There's no real reason you couldn't have e.g. two important NPCs or no local landmark, but just from testing it out I think these probably work best if you roll one of each. You could make the secret dungeon one of the Zelda ones! Kids love that shit. Also I love the idea that one in every twenty villages is secretly ghosts.

i'm so spoopered i can barely think straight


  1. My players have been tearing through way too many hamlets on their stolen coach and I ran out (of hamlets).

    This is great. Thanks!

    1. You should make every village they come to secretly ghosts and see how they deal with it.

    2. Done. It'll make a nice change from every village being secretly cultists.