I was digging around on Dungeons and Possums again, and came across a post that references one from Jeff Rients back in 2011.
Now, whatever you think of Jeff Rients (I’m no real fan based on certain views), I think these questions will be useful to flesh out some details in my newer homebrew settings.
So, let’s take those questions and answer them below! I shall do so as a grumpy old dwarf.
What is the deal with my cleric’s religion?
I don’t know, your goddess was assassinated decades ago but you still have some kind of residual magic. That’s pretty weird, right? Mourn a dead goddess for long enough, it just works, I suppose.
Where can we go to buy standard equipment?
Any place you normally would – the smithy, the fletcher, some of the merchants’ guilds run cooperative stores supplied by their members.
Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?
A really, really understanding smithy might help you with that one. How are you getting said monster into a civilised area? What kind of monster makes friends with an idiot like you?
Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?
Depends who’s asking, and where they ask. Most settlements will say whatever powerful caster that lives locally is the strongest.
There’s plenty of idiots with a bit of the shine to them that think they’re mightier than most.
Who is the greatest warrior in the land?
Same as I said before, plenty of folk claiming it, not a lot going on behind their eyes – if you catch my meaning!
Some folk would say Folkvar the Bright, the maiden Ase, or simply Sten. Those folk are, of course, wrong.
Who is the richest person in the land?
The Seneschal or one of his lackeys. They make coin out of keeping people in their place, and stand to lose the most if someone stands up to them.
Where can we go to get some magical healing?
Have you tried a witch? If you know someone with temple training who’ll do it for coin, you might try them too.
Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?
Poison and disease, a witch. Curses of all kinds, a templar. Same for death. Undeath? Well, you find out that answer, you tell the draugr the Seneschal has working down the mines.
Is there a magic guild my magic user belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?
Sure, plenty of guilds, all run by the Seneschal’s lackeys. He surrounds himself with power, they all do. Friends close, and all that.
Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?
Try the markets, find a witch, or talk to one of the guilds. You already found me.
Where can I hire mercenaries?
They loiter around the post in the middle of the market, or you might try one of the alehouses near it. Plenty of idiots looking for coin.
You want good mercenaries, try somewhere quieter, nearer the gates to the Fastness.
Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?
Can’t carry a sword in the Fastness, fool. Didn’t see the sign at the entrance? Guards’ll haul you for that. No laws against a sharp knife though.
Not much they can do to stop a shiner from blasting a fool with magic, though the Seneschal will have your head for it.
Outside the Fastness, do as you please.
Which way to the nearest tavern?
Alehouses are all over the Fastness, take your pick. I like the Dwarven Maiden myself, because it’s the nearest and has a cask of Tar Ale set aside for me.
What monsters are terrorising the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?
What monsters aren’t? Frost wyrms, worgs and other beasts, wandering masterless draugr, roving bands of ice wights, grendelkin…
Nobody ever got famous for killing them though.
Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?
Shut up before you get us both in trouble! The Seneschal’s guards will haul you for that kind of talk.
How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?
There’s fighting pits near the old mines, don’t know about any cash prizes though.
Plenty of the fighters wake up there after getting hauled by the guards.
Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?
I said shut up. No one is going to be waiting for you by old tannery at the midnight bell – get it?
What is there to eat around here?
Pickled headcheese and grist. Delicacy.
Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for?
Aye, probably. Have you tried standing around the pole in the middle of the market? Someone will hire you to go looting old cities outside, I’m sure.
Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure?
You want a dragon with treasure? They roost in the mountains to the south, so I hear. No one ever told me about treasure though.
Plenty of folk gone to the grave going looking for fame and glory slaying one. They might have had some loot on them.
Why don’t you go off and see if they did? I fancy a mug of Tar.