This is the twelth in a series detailing the 34 steps I recommended for making a Fantasy Sandbox Campaign. Today's post will cover part of the following step.
Pick the 4 or 6 most important Population locales and draw a quarter page sketch map of the settlement.
From Step VIII
0105 Hawth (village) Dwarf
Located just outside of the Southpoint mine this is home to 200 dwarves. Their homes are carved out of the rocky walls of the canyon leading to the minehead. Lord Dair Darkiron (Ftr5, L) directs the mining operations. Original motherlodes are beginning to play out. Lord Dair opened a new section of mine that promises renewed riches but a rash of disappearances has caused it to be closed up. Lord Dair’s brother, Gamli is challenging Dair’s leadership of the clan. Lord Dair will pay handsomely to anybody who can find out what has happened in mine.
- The Mine Head currently guarded by a half dozen huscarls of Lord Dair.
- Lord Dair's Clan Home. His brother Gamli lives in the hall to the north.
- The Rusty Battleaxe, local inn and tavern run by Kenar of the Rusty Battleaxe clan. Kenar is noted for organizing charity relief for the miners that have been struck hard by the troubles within Southpoint Mountain.
- The Ironmaster Camp, the best ore taken where where the Ironmasters use ancient magics to forges the best dwarven weapons and armors.
- Upside, where most of the miners live. Currently the site of much discontent against Lord Dair's rule. Gamli has several agents among the miners to keep tensions high.
The maps is draw in a quick style with a few notes. By adopting this style you can quickly generate material for five or six of the most important locales outside of the character's home base. If one of these locales become more important you have a base from which to flesh out the final details.
As for the design of the village I was inspired by several villages in Greece and Turkey that had to adapt to the rocky terrain of the region. Often built against steep slopes much of the building lies inside the hill or mountain.
That it for Part XII next is Part XIII and the halflings of Sandpoint