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Castles & Crowns: Look Inside

Castles & Crowns: Look Inside

Chapter 3 of Campaign Builder: Castles & Crowns includes details on how your castle is laid out and the various rooms and décor and whatnot you might find there—and there’s lots of maps and tables to make it easier. Now you can customize your own castles with audience chambers, libraries, secret passages, armories, chapels, kitchens, private chambers, wine cellars, dungeons, and more!

Here’s some preview text. . . .

Main Entrance

A castle’s main entrance is designed to make an impression while also providing defense. It should express the culture and values of its creator and current occupants. A typical main entrance is grandiose with high arches and heavy doors, signifying its importance, and is decorated with carvings, statues, or banners that should give PCs a clear idea of who lives in the castle. The display should reflect the lord’s stature, demeanor, and relative level of power. For example, a totalitarian lord might display the spiked heads of their enemies at the main entrance while a religious lord might display the symbols of their faith and demand offerings for the church upon the PCs’ arrival.

Arches. A castle’s doors are set within a facade or archway. The arch reflects the structural integrity of the castle and is decorated with elements that convey information about the lord, including lineage, heritage, political viewpoints, alignment, wealth, and power.

An ability check to study and decipher architecture and symbols to determine elements about the castle’s history or about the nature of its past or current lords might be appropriate (GM’s discretion).

Doors. A castle entrance’s doors are also a status symbol, and whether single or double, they are typically heavy, thick, and occasionally armored. There might also be an additional gate, portcullis, or alarms that can be triggered during an attack, outbreak, or siege.

Guards. The main entrance is typically guarded by members of a martial faction loyal to the castle’s lord. Guards may request paperwork, require weapon checks, or search characters attempting to enter the castle.

Determine the loyalty of castle guards prior to the arrival of the PCs. Not all guards are equally loyal to the castle’s lord, and some might be more easily swayed or bribed. Determine also the number of guards, their general disposition, plus the loyalty and disposition of the guard commander. Set DCs for ability checks for dealing with guards based on this disposition and loyalty: a typical guard has a base DC 12 (see Guard Conditions table for modifiers). There may also be extenuating circumstances involved in any interaction with guards, particularly if they are recurring NPCs with prior relations to one or more of the PCs (such as siblings or individuals that can be easily extorted).

Sample Main Entrance

Beneath a massive stone archway, heavy wooden doors carved with the crest of a snarling bear block the path. Hung with imposing iron hardware, they appear impenetrable, a reminder of Lord Muldrig’s mulish pragmatism. Three colorful and slender heraldic banners stream from the parapets above the entrance, each emblazoned with the sigils of Muldrig’s forebearers. Nearing the arch, heavily armored sentinels to either side of the massive doors step forward and block passage. A guard approaches, wearing heavy ring mail and a wooden pendant with the royal insignia. Next to the guard, a young page, wearing a tabard emblazoned with a stylized depiction of a snarling bear, drags a wagon loaded with a large chest. The guard pulls a leatherbound ledger from a satchel and requests all visitors provide their names and then check their weapons with the page…

Campaign Builder is a set of tabletop RPG tools designed to improve worldbuilding, expand your game options, and delight anyone who is homebrewing a campaign or riffing on published materials. Each Campaign Builder project also includes an extensive Map Folio with a dozen or more enormous wet/dry erase maps for tabletop play.
Campaign Builder: Castles & Crowns is the second in this series, on Kickstarter now!

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