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Tips For Making Your Own Dungeons & Dragons Towncraft

Here are the steps you can follow to make your own town that works, is interesting, is made up, and has people living in it for any D&D campaign.

In Dungeons and Dragons, towns are everywhere. These are the places in the campaign that make it feel like the world is real and alive. In every hero’s journey, towns and cities are important stops.

The towns are often and essentially the places where players can interact with the world, the story, and the tone.

Up until now, players have gone to towns to get missions, do side quests, or go shopping. A lot of the NPCs and information that players will need as they move through the campaign world can be found in towns.

Because of this, towncrafting is a very important skill for the homebrew Dungeon Master.

Just Start With The Basics

  • Towns are often where adventures begin, so they should be made in a way that makes it easy to move through the game.
  • It’s best to build towns from the ground up. Plan the town around the story and campaign.
  • Tone, setting, worldbuilding, and story should all affect how you build your town.
  • What or who lives in the town? What unique features and sights does the town have to offer? What role does the town play in the game and the world?
  • There should also be differences between towns that make exploring fun.
  • Every town should have basic amenities that make the game go smoothly and be fun to play.
  • Incentivize players to check out different towns, but don’t make them travel all the time to reach their goals.

Towns are important places to start many campaigns, and they often do so in local taverns. Setting, themes, and tone help shape town building and make sure it fits with the campaign world.

Think about things in the world, like an oasis in the desert or a stone kept from the Middle Ages, to make towns fit in with the bigger picture. Fit the campaign’s worldbuilding to the towns you build.

For example, if the setting is based on a pantheon, build towns around graveyards. There should be some things that are the same in every town and some things that are unique to that town. This will help make the campaign world rich and believable.

Similar But Not The Same

Do you have to fight a bunch of zombies to get to the necromancer who is causing all of this? Or is it about working together with a good god to beat a powerful bad god?

There should be a big cemetery in most of the towns the players can visit if the undead are the main bad guys in the campaign.

Most towns will be built around churches if there is a battle of the gods. To keep the story going and make the world seem real, these threads are necessary.

There will also be different things to see and do in each town. There may be a big mausoleum in the graveyard of one town that hides dark, winding tunnels below.

This could be where a necromancer lives. One town might be built around a church, and the great priest who can talk to the gods directly might live there. There should be unique and interesting things in each town to get people to travel and move around.

There shouldn’t be information, quests, and certain types of interesting places in every town. If there are, there will be no reason to explore. Still, towns will need things that bring them together and show them how they fit into the bigger picture.

It will be necessary for most towns in the world to be built near forests or have lots of graveyards if bad guys hide in the woods or rise from the dead.

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How Does A Town Come Together?

Inns and taverns are important to every town because they bring people together and give them information. Towns should have a variety of interesting things to do that are related to the campaign.

This will keep players more interested. Set up unique places that fit with the story, like a hunting lodge for a monster-of-the-week campaign. Every town has a central point, like a town square, that makes it unique.

Not only are suburban areas realistic, but they can also be the setting for exciting adventures, like protecting people from a dragon or zombie attack. These parts give towns life and are necessary for any D&D campaign.

Buy Everything You Can

In homebrew campaigns, thoughtful placement of shops enhances the player experience. Avoid generic adventurer superstores and consider the town’s context—poor towns may have basic stands, while special cities offer unique shops.

Tailor shops to the environment; a desert town may lack a blacksmith but have cooling clothing stores. Special items should be found in hidden or hard-to-reach places, creating exciting quests.

When crafting towns, consider story, economy, population, layout, design, and artistry to make the world feel alive. Towns serve as more than rest stops; they propel the story, set the tone, and reward players.

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