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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Leicontis's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Central MA

    Default Town building - questions

    I need to build a couple of small towns/villages/hamlets/thorps/whatever the proper term is for the size I'm thinking of. Is there any good resource for this? I'm especially interested in figures for common level/class distributions for settlements of various sizes, as well as descriptions of what such places typically look like.

    In a more general sense, how do my fellow DMs go about design of settlements? Design them from scratch, build them up by imagining how the town would grow, use a random generator, etc?

    Since it's rather relevant, I'm running 3.5E Forgotten Realms. One of the towns, the party is going to be stealthing and/or fighting their way around, while the other will be a deserted ghost town the PCs will be exploring.

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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
    LoopyZebra's Avatar

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    Dec 2005
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    Default Re: Town building - questions

    This is a popular reference: Medieval Demographics Made Easy. While it's for more use for building a world from scratch, it does have some info on the size of towns and what shops they should have, etc. You should not though that while the numbers are for fantasy games, they are derived from medieval numbers and largely ignore the effect of magic on the way the world works.

    I believe the DMG also has a table for how many of each class are in a settlement, there's also some town-building info there too.

    Personally, I like to determine the important things about the city, such as notable figures, institutions, guilds, particularly those who have importance to the plot, a rough size of the town, and an economic reason for it's existence (for example, it's near an ore vein or at a crossroads between two major networks). I then build the town around that. I tend to not mapout the town beforehand, but simply make a list of whats in it.

    The towns you're designing sound like they're to be an area to adventure in, so you should probably design them with encounters in mind. For example, make a section of town with lots of back alleys for a flight from the guards, etc.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
    The Valiant Turtle's Avatar

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    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Town building - questions

    There used to be a lot of random village generators online, but most of the links appear to be dead now.

    Here's some decent stuff I get searching for "village generator" and "tavern generator" on google.

    This one creates a class breakdown for any city, but nothing more, but the site also has a npc generator and a random dungeon generator:

    Here's a nice tavern maker:

    A variety of tools here, but most of them aren't free:

    The two that I remember using in the past are dead links now:
    Appears to work, but dies when you try to generate anything:

    Totally gone:

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