This will let you recreate chapter 1 of Hoard of the Dragon Queen infinitely.
It also works as a standard village generator.
This is another roll-all-the-dice thingy. The value of each die means something, and where they land on paper means something.
I've got more posts coming up on how to actually run these scenarios and how to give detail to the inns, stores, manors, keeps, and temples, but this is enough to get you going.
I'll try to post some examples later.
d4 the charm of the place is (+temp hp = 1 HD roll when you spend time with the charming thing)
- entertainment (haunting musical tradition, hot springs, pro wrestling, kids trained in theater from the crib)
- the food (bizarre but yummy, normal but artisanal, comfort food, haute cuisine)
- beauty (lovely vistas, gorgeous architecture, adorable fauna, striking flora)
- culture (mind blowing festivals, disarming hospitality, martial tradition—will spar and drill, crafting—can make anything out of stone and must give you carving that represents your heart)
d6 population / raiders / structures / how many hours the village can hold out before basically everyone is dead or captured except those in the manor or keep
- 300 people / 20 mercs / mill
- 600 people / 15 cultists, 25 kobolds / temple, mill
- 900 people / 20 cultists with 30 mercs, 10 kobolds / smithy, temple, mill
- 1200 people / 20 cultists with 40 mercs and 10 kobolds, 10 drakes / inn, smithy, temple, mill
- 1500 people / Dragonborn with 30 cultists, 40 mercs, 10 drakes, and 20 kobolds / manor, inn, smithy, temple, mill
- 1800 people / Dragonborn with 20 cultists, 30 kobolds, 10 drakes, 60 mercs, and the blue dragon / keep, shop, inn, smithy, temple, mill
d8 how long the raid has lasted, in hours. Can last hours = d6 result, unless there is a manor or keep. In those cases, the village itself lasts a number of hours equal to the d6, after which those outside the manor/keep are all dead, prisoners, or well hidden. After 1 hour the gate closes to manor/keep.
d10 name and aesthetics
- Brechen (broken)
- Witch (magic)
- Basil (king's)
- Giga (giant)
- Bell (war)
- Smok (dragon)
- Lich (necropolitical)
- Numin (holy)
- Deep (cave)
- Here (a banned / shunned place)
d10 name and feature
- bryc (bridge)
- mere (lake)
- waithe (ford)
- cair (fort)
- fell (hill)
- wich (big old road)
- carrek (rock)
- foss (waterfall)
- gil (ravine)
- Rare wine / spirit / ale / food: +temp hp = rolled 1 HD when consumed, or some other fx
- Library: small ancient library preserved or generations, perhaps on stones or wall carvings, focused on particular area of interest. Make reaction roll, with more positive results indicating that area of interest is closer to that desired by party. After area of specialization is established, make reaction roll after enough time consulting it. Neutral result is what meets your expectations, given the exoticity of the desired info and the specialization of the library. Positive and negative rolls give results better or worse than expected.
- Sage: smart guy. Ask him a question, and when you check in after a reasonable amount of time, make reaction roll. Neutral: needs more time. Positive / negative: has info, and it's good / bad.
- Shrine: the shrine is magic. Go to it in faith, observing the proper rituals, and make your request. Deity will respond bizarrely with a roughly equivalent service that must be done in exchange: reaction roll for how equivalent, the more positive the easier he quest.
- Crafter: as sage, but for anything in the crafter's purview.
- Henchmen: as rite of passage / penance / restitution, some will accompany and fight with you for room and board and gear only
- Oracle. Like Delphi. GM: say something ambiguous and make it come to pass.
- Alchemist: as sage but with alchemy.
- Guides: knows rewarding locations nearby, can ensure you pass stealth checks when approaching enemy camps, prevents you from getting lost user normal circumstances, knows shortcuts or good paths to let you increase your speed by a third from A to B.
- Oral tradition: rumors of relevant treasure nearby: magic items, dragon slaying stuff, maybe even dragon masks, maybe answers to riddles (maybe 50/50 chance any riddle you use will be one the party has learned in this way)
- Collector: will pay way more for certain kinds of loot or info
- Components: rare or unusual components may be found here, or at least herbs that weigh effectively nothing and can be used as healing kits or 1hp healing potions or what have you.
d20 the people here
- smile broadly and chatter
- always go masked except inside
- are astoundingly stupid
- are shockingly deformed
- are incurably, contagiously ill
- are children
- are old
- are demihuman
- wear live foxes
- dress in plumage
- encase themselves in metal rings, "bracelets" around every part
- seem to take delight in rudeness
- speak slowly, politely, warmly
- are warlike, always armed for the teeth
- prep for doomsday
- constantly smoke
- never speak in public, only sing
- are ascetics
- are priests
- are descended from great hero Parsimon the Nevergiving, must tell you all about
You don't have to actually use the name. Its main function is to give you the feel and main feature (located at the d4) of the place.
So Lichbryc would have a large impressive bridge at the d4, likely festooned most gothily, maybe made out of coffins. The rest of the town is probably built on a necropolis, tombstones poking through the earth and basements leading to catacombs.
After you've done the above, roll a number of d6s equal to the value of the d6.
Where each falls on the map, draw a crossroads, 1 for each pip on the d6.
The four quadrants of each crossroad should comprise about 20 houses total.
- start with the d4
- Note whether it is odd or even
- Go to next closest die
- If its parity (whether it is odd or even) is the same, so is the elevation around it
- Otherwise, the elevation increases if the number is in the high half of the die's range or decreases if in the low half.
- Mark the elevation changes (e.g., lines with dashes on the declining side)
- The area covered by and the intensity of the change of elevation can be as large or small as you want; you might let the relative sizes of the dice determine the scope of the terrain change