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D&D General What do you expect in a starter village?


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Yaarel

Mind Mage
So you wouldn't expect the village to be populated by Small Anthropomorphic bears for your starting village for example?
More like a predominantly Human hamlet of nearby farms, maybe with one with an Elf or Orc family as neighbors.

While an ancient tree of pixies is not so far away.

Even a cool adventure area happens to be nearby, where the kids are not allowed to go.
 

MattW

Explorer
1. At least one Tavern/alewife
2. The Village Green (common land for grazing, also used as a marketplace or festival area)
3. a few cottages for the farmworkers who work on the local lords land (These buildings would be 1 or 2 room dwellings, with their own vegetable gardens)
4. A church/temple
5. Blacksmith
6. a few "material specialists" (hunters, woodcutters, charcoal makers, maybe miners or quarry workers?).
7. A source of water (well? stream? river?)
8. The local manor house with associated buildings: stables, tithe barn and storehouse
9. An inn and an alms house (if the local lord and/or temple is generous)
10. A mill

How realistic do you want to be? For example, most Fantasy RPGs tend to ignore the absence of indoor toilets. Most of the cottagers have to defecate into a wooden bucket and can be seen "slopping out" each morning at the river/stream. A great time to catch up on the local gossip and develop a wide range of diseases!

Personally, I find it helps to think of WHY the village is located in this particular place. This gives an idea of the important buildings.

For example...

Is it on a good road and about 1 day's travel from a town? Then think of it like a Motorway Service Station. It could be built up around the inn and stables. Your local specialists might include a wheelwright, suppliers of "fast food" and a few entertainers. If the area is dangerous, there should be a defensive wall around the place.

Is the village built where the river narrows or becomes too shallow? Then you have a riverport. You need a place where people and/or cargo can be transferred from road to river. The place is built around a fortified storehouse and (possibly) a barracks and custom house. Craftsmen will include coopers (barrel makers)

Is it purely a farming village? Then you need a place for grain to be stored and/or dried. A baker and a brewery are likely. The local lord will have control over the mill and expect taxes to be paid in grain and service.
 

The Gold Standard: Hommlet.

It wasn't just that you had a tavern and a mill. It's that every place you step into, every NPC you encounter, might have a story attached, or a secret, or something unique about them. And, there is a mystery waiting, a place to explore. Perhaps in your starting town the PCs are needed to solve a murder mystery, and getting to know the places and people becomes crucial.

Otherwise, you'll spend hours fantastically detailing a wondrous village with prices for the Inn's food and a menu, detailing the unique woodwork on the carpenter's latest gazebo project, and no one is going to care. The PCs, absent an adventure, aren't going to visit, much less care, about the carpenter, the mill, the cobbler, and so on, unless there's a reason to. Absent that reason, you don't need a detailed village and can simply get to the good stuff. There's a place to stay, a place to buy supplies up to X gold piece value, and go.
 

aco175

Legend
4e DMG has Fallcreast which is a good basic town. Phandalin from the 5e box set is good as well. The Essential box has the town, but it is not as good as LMoP.

You just need something small enough to control the PCs in the amount of places they can go and what to do. It also needs to be large enough to have some stuff going on. You can have a tiny hamlet with 6 buildings centered around a pair of farms. They may be 30 people total and nothing going on or buildings and NPC to visit. Waterdeep is huge and anything is available which leaves things open to everyone to do everything.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
I expect:

A decent amount of farming in the area, a river or other stable freshwater source like a lake or an aqueduct, a series of different craftsfolk (Blacksmith, Leatherworker, Etc), a church or other central spiritual structure, a town hall, a tavern (could also function as the town hall and the inn), and at least one but probably several seedier spots in town like a gambling hall or a brothel (Could also be the town hall, inn, and tavern). I also expect some sort of General Store or General Market opened at least once a week for people from the countryside to bring in various foodstuffs, game, or woodworking they've done with the intent to sell it at market.

Things like that.
 




Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
A tavern,
a stables,
a general store/market,
a mayor/chieftain,
a sheriff/constable/warden,
a wise-one/priest/shaman/druid,
an eager kid/fan,
a stream/river
often a well,
a graveyard,
fields with scarecrow,
a forest area,
bandits
goblins
pixies
wolves
problems
 

Zardnaar

Legend
4e DMG has Fallcreast which is a good basic town. Phandalin from the 5e box set is good as well. The Essential box has the town, but it is not as good as LMoP.

You just need something small enough to control the PCs in the amount of places they can go and what to do. It also needs to be large enough to have some stuff going on. You can have a tiny hamlet with 6 buildings centered around a pair of farms. They may be 30 people total and nothing going on or buildings and NPC to visit. Waterdeep is huge and anything is available which leaves things open to everyone to do everything.

Hommlet
Threshold
Shadowdale
Fallcrest
Phandelver

Same concept.
 



Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
In a town.

Tavern/Inn
General store
Farrier
Blacksmith
Sheriff
Mayor
A few guards/Militia
Possibly a shrine to a god
Stables
A tanner
 


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