4d4 Farming Village
by Creighton Broadhurst
October 08, 2019
Farming villages are often the site of neophyte adventurers first adventures, quests and tests (or at least the party's base from which they sally forth into the wildernes. Such locales often stand on or near danger-filled borderlands rife with opportunities for adventure.
Use the lists below, to breath life and detail into the farming villages in your campaign.
Village Sights & Sounds: Daytime
Most rural farming villages are a hive of activity during the day. Villagers work in the fields or in their small kitchen gardens while children tear around and visiting traders go about their business.
- Children clad in dirty shifts run along the road laughing and joking among themselves. They quiet at the sight of the adventurers and give the party a wide berth.
- A villager pushes a handcart along the road piled high with wood freshly cut from a nearby copse. A woodsman’s axe balances precariously atop the wood pile. The villager nods in friendly greeting as he passes by.
- Thin streams of smoke drift upwards from several chimneys. From the nearby houses, the laughter of children and the everyday sounds of life softly fill the air.
- Villagers work in the fields, ploughing the earth, weeding and and so on. Here and there, children run up and down waving their arms and shouting to scare away the birds that land to peck at the soil and the seeds therein.
Village Sights & Sounds: Nighttime
The villagers work hard during the day and as dusk falls most return to their homes to eat and rest. Others visit the tavern or friends’ houses while courting couples sneak away from their families for some privacy. The feel of a rural farming village at night is much different to that of its daytime.
- A mangy cat emerges from the undergrowth into the soft moonlight holding something in its mouth. It darts across the road and into the shadow of a building.
- From somewhere off in the distance, an owl hoots loudly. A few minutes later, the owl hoots again, but this time from further away. A soft wind blows across the village, rustling the leaves and crops.
- Thick clouds scud across the sky. As they pass in front of the moon, the village is plunged into periods of near darkness.
- Soft laugher emerges from deep shadows clustering about a tree or building. Perceptive PCs—or those with the ability to see in the dark—spot two villagers locked in a passionate embrace. The two are blissfully unaware of the PCs.
Villages have many minor points of interest and flavour; they are not boring, sterile places. Each settlement has its own style and character which the GM can use to bring the place alive in the players’ minds.
- Deep wheel ruts scar the road leading through the village. In autumn or winter rainwater fills the ruts while in summer the sun bakes them hard. Incautious travellers could trip and fall if they do not take care.
- A tall, wide-girthed tree throws its thick leafy boughs high out over the road. Graffiti, cut into the tree’s bark, decorates its trunk and a swing rope hangs from one stout branch. The tree is a popular meeting place for courting couples and the like.
- A crumbling, dilapidated barn stands amid a stand of dense weeds and saplings. Birds perch atop the barn’s sagging roof, cawing loudly.
- Weeds, brambles and other bushes grow along the road, providing many places for wildlife—and perhaps mischievous children—to hide.
A village is nothing without its villagers. Many are merely ordinary folk trying to get by and to provide for their family. Others are traders or perhaps even retired adventurers and the like. Even ordinary folk can be interesting, however.
- Albin Kari (NG middle-aged male human) is a brawny fellow well used to long days spent working in the fields. His clothes are dirty and hands calloused. He is respectful, but wary, of any heavily armed strangers visiting the village.
- Leena Ilma (NG female human) carries a full basket of household supplies—a small bag of flour, a selection of vegetables and so on—on her hip. (She is off to barter with the village blacksmith for some urgent repairs).
- Eljas Kekko (CN young male human) is the terror of the village. Wild, precocious and utterly out of control he wanders the streets looking for mischief—and the adventurers as newcomers are his new target. His father is a drunk, and his mother is dead. Eljas is big and strong for his age and has distinctively short-cropped brown hair.
- Azakial Vonothvar (NE male half-elf thief 2) came to the village 20 years ago to escape a murder charge in the nearby city. He finds life in the village boring, but safe, and is looking for excitement. He has a wife he doesn’t really like and yearns for escape. The PCs’ arrival may tempt him to put his old skills to use once more. Azakial has jet black hair and violet eyes.
20 Things #34: Farming Village is available here at the Raging Swan Press store and is a System Neutral supplement