Saturday, March 2, 2013

Random Village Generation

Most faux-medieval fantasy worlds are littered with various settlements too small, and too numerous, to be worth detailing too much in advance.  Most fantasy maps won't bother showing anything smaller than the various towns and cities of a given country, unless the map scale is fairly small.  Usually this isn't an issue, and most overland travel by adventurers will gloss over passing through such smaller areas, but it can occasionally be useful to give a little detail to such areas.  If the GM/DM doesn't have anything prepared, a few random rolls can flesh out a few needed details, giving the name and size of the village, as well as notes on what businesses and areas of possible interest might be around (specifically, what would be of interest to the PC's, because 99.99% of the time they're not going to give a rat's ass about how many bootmakers or coppersmiths reside in the area).

(note: for these purposes, a village is any settlement of 1,000 or less)


1,1 Aber
1,2 Ach
1,3 Adder
1,4 Ald
1,5 Amber
1,6 Apple
1,7 Arrow
1,8 Ash
1,9 Auch
1,0 Bal

2,1 Barrow
2,2 Bear
2,3 Bell
2,4 Berry
2,5 Birch
2,6 Black
2,7 Bow
2,8 Brown
2,9 Brad
2,0 Buck

3,1 Bull
3,2 Bur
3,3 Caer
3,4 Carn
3,5 Corn
3,6 Crow
3,7 Cul
3,8 Darth
3,9 Deer
3,0 Drum

4,1 Duck
4,2 Dun
4,3 Elm
4,4 Ever
4,5 Fair
4,6 Fox
4,7 Free
4,8 Goat
4,9 Green
4,0 Grey

5,1 Hast
5,2 High
5,3 Hog
5,4 Hook
5,5 Horn
5,6 Key
5,7 Kings
5,8 Lang
5,9 Long
5,0 Maple

6,1 Marble
6,2 Mid
6,3 Mor
6,4 Nor
6,5 Oak
6,6 Ox
6,7 Pad
6,8 Pax
6,9 Pen
6,0 Pine

7,1 Queens
7,2 Ram
7,3 Red
7,4 Rest
7,5 Rose
7,6 Salt
7,7 Small
7,8 Smoke
7,9 Stock
7,0 Sun

8,1 Swan
8,2 Twin
8,3 Way
8,4 Well
8,5 White
8,6 Wolf
8,7 Wood
8,8 York
8,9 (directional prefix)
8,0 (geographic prefix)

Directional prefixes (north/south/east/west) are usually determined by the village's relationship to the center of the nation as it existed when the village was first founded (the borders may have since changed, of course).  Or you could just roll a d4 to randomly pick one.

Geographical prefixes are names such as Cliff, Glen, Hill, Lake, Mount, Sand, and Sea, dependent on the local terrain.


1,1 axe
1,2 bole
1,3 bury
1,4 combe
1,5 coor
1,6 court
1,7 cott
1,8 dale
1,9 dell
1,0 edge

2,1 firth
2,2 green
2,3 hall
2,4 ham
2,5 heath
2,6 hart
2,7 hold
2,8 holm
2,9 hook
2,0 hurst

3,1 ing
3,2 land
3,3 leaf
3,4 lund
3,5 ly
3,6 mead
3,7 mont
3,8 mouth
3,9 nock
3,0 pool

4,1 rach
4,2 rook
4,3 root
4,4 scar
4,5 shaw
4,6 shield
4,7 shire
4,8 side
4,9 stead
4,0 thorn

5,1 thorpe
5,2 ton
5,3 vale
5,4 view
5,5 ville
5,6 way
5,7 well
5,8 wich
5,9 wick
5,0 worth

6, x (geographic suffix)

Geographical suffixes can include the following - bank, bridge, brook, bush, creek, field, ford, glen, hill, knoll, lake, moor, pass, port, ridge, shore, tree, valley, wood

Not all prefix/suffix combinations will work, and those that obviously don't should be re-rolled.  Some can work with a little tweaking (Restcourt might sound better as Restencourt, for example), and a few might work better as two names instead of one (Bull's Green instead of Bullgreen).


2-    Tiny
3     Small
4     Medium
5-6  Large
7+   Very Large

-1 to the roll if the area has only been settled in the last century or so, +1 to the roll if the land has been settled for several centuries without any major calamities, such as plagues or apocalyptic wars.

Tiny villages will number a hundred or less in terms of populace (3d6x5 + 1d10 works fine for my purposes), and will have little of interest to them.  Most villages will have about one building per 6 people or so.

Small villages range from 101-300 people.  They will have a temple (or a sacred grove, if druidic/nature worship is more common in the area), and a 3-in-6 chance of having a tavern, as well.  There will be 1-2 low-level men-at-arms types who might be available for hire as mercenaries or henchmen.

Medium villages range from 301-600 people.  They will have both a temple and a tavern, as well as a 2-in-6 chance (each) for the sort of craftsman that a PC might want to hire to help fix their damaged non-magical gear (i.e. blacksmith, leathermaker, bowyer/fletcher, etc.). There will be 1-3 men-at-arms types available for potential hire.

Large villages will number around 601-800 people.  There will be 1-2 temples, and 1-2 taverns.  There is a 3-in-6 chance each of the aforementioned craftsmen, as well as a 1-in-6 chance of there being an inn.  There will be 1-4 men-at-arms types available for potential hire.

Very Large villages will top out at around 801-1000 people.  They will have 1-2 temples, 2 taverns, a 4-in-6 chance each of the aforementioned craftsmen, and a 3-in-6 chance of there being an inn.  There is also a 1-in-6 chance of there being a small brothel on the edge of the village, as well as a 1-in-6 chance of there being a low-level arcane spellcaster in the area who serves as the local hedge wizard/wise woman/village witch/etc. 1-6 men-at-arms types will be available for potential hire.

1-in-20 villages will be Eeeeeeevil, probably in service of some sinister cult.  If not, 1-in-12 villages will still have some sort of secret that they wish to keep from the outside world, such as worshiping some forbidden/outlawed deity, or engaging in some sort of social practices so far from the norm that even jaded adventurers might be shocked by them.

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