Dungeon Tables: Instant Town

A GM’s work is never done, so to make things easier on you, we’re providing a series of tables to help you flesh out your encounters, adventures—your world. In this round of Dungeon Tables, we present to you Instant Town! Simply roll on the charts below to create a settlement from the ground up. Then after the town is set, add flavor (and maybe even quest hooks) with points of interest, make things interesting with some random encounters (many are combat but not all have to be!), and populate your civilization with NPCs, each with their own unique quirks. Let the dice guide you or use the charts as inspiration and then get back to what’s most important—playing!

1d6 Settlement Type (Population) 1d6 Feature 1d10 Prominent Geographic Feature
1 Settlement (20–100) 1 High Walls 1 River
2 Hamlet (100–500) 2 Sprawling Development 2 Lake
3 Village (500–2,000) 3 Tiered Rings 3 Mountains
4 Town (2,001–5,000) 4 Densely Packed Buildings 4 Desert
5 City (5,001–25,000) 5 Decaying Fortifications 5 Fields
6 Metropolis (>25,000) 6 Subterranean Tunnels 6 Foothills
        7 Swamp
        8 Tundra
        9 Ocean
        10 Fjord

  

City Center

1d8 Descriptor 1d8 Element
1 Imposing 1 Tower
2 Ornate 2 Palace
3 Modest 3 Longhouse
4 Crowded 4 Marketplace
5 Crumbling 5 Temple
6 Ominous 6 Gallows
7 Fortified 7 Keep
8 Abandoned 8 Jail

 

1d10 Unique Point of Interest
1 An ancient cemetery that no one in town seems to notice or remember.
2 A deep well that screams when you draw water from it.
3 A T-shaped alleyway that supposedly reveals the object of your greatest desire at noon on the solstice.
4 A staircase up to a door that leads to nowhere. If you knock and say the right phrase, the door opens to wherever you wish to go.
5 A grove of thirteen perfectly identical fruit trees.
6 Crossroads with a dark silhouette of a humanoid imbedded in the cobblestones. The silhouette moves when no one is watching.
7 Birds avoid the area completely. They will not fly over it or land within its borders.
8 There’s a flower that blooms by moonlight. Its scent is so sweet, it makes even the most battle-hardened soldier weep from pure joy.
9 If you step on the cobblestones on a particular street in the right pattern, they glow briefly. The kids know how.
10 The bell towers all chime in unison at twelve minutes to midnight. On their own.

 

Encounters: Tier 1 (Levels 14)

1d6 Encounter
1 1d6 swarms of rats + 1 giant rat that rise up from the sewers or a midden heap.
2 3 thugs on the prowl for easy victims.
3 1 kenku thief, proficient at pickpocketing and subterfuge.
4 3d4 kobolds who are bolder than they are smart.
5 1 bar brawl (see Creature Codex) because who doesn’t love a good fight.
6 1 dhampir (see Creature Codex), simply looking for a civilized bite to eat.

 

Encounters: Tier 2 (Levels 510)

1d6 Encounter
1 Cats of Ulthar (see Creature Codex), slinking from the darkness.
2 4d6 ox, stampeding through the streets.
3 1 vampire spawn, newly created, confused, and hungry.
4 1 night hag, disguised as a kindly old woman selling strange trinkets.
5 2d4 ratfolk mercenaries (see Creature Codex), sent to cause trouble.
6 1 raven that follows the party, attempting to take their shinies.

 

NPC Generator

1d100 Race 1d100 Midgard Race
01–07 Sprite 01–07 Minotaur
08–14 Elf 08–14 Centaur
15–21 Half-Elf 15–21 Elfmarked Human
22–28 Dragonborn 22–28 Bearfolk
29–35 Dwarf 29–35 Dwarf
36–42 Tiefling 36–42 Shadow Fey
43–49 Gnome 43–49 Gnome
50–56 Halfling 50–56 Halfling
57–63 Half-Orc 57–63 Gnoll
64–70 Kenku 64–70 Ravenfolk
71–77 Lizardfolk 71–77 Kobold
78–84 Aasimar 78–84 Gearforged
85–91 Goblin 85–91 Ratfolk
92–100 Human 92–100 Human

 

1d20 Profession
1 Blacksmith
2 Shopkeeper
3 Housekeeper
4 Farmer
5 Clothier
6 Weaver
7 Guard
8 Engraver
9 Bookbinder
10 Scribe
11 Street Sweeper
12 Grocer
13 Florist
14 Cartographer
15 Thief
16 Forger
17 Carpenter
18 Jeweler
19 Tavern Keeper
20 Unemployed

 

1d20 Quirk
1 Thinks money will solve all their problems. Causes most of their problems themselves.
2 Has a limp in their left leg from a work-related incident.
3 Is painfully shy and self-conscious, and they overcompensate with obnoxious braggadocio.
4 Loves animals but is allergic to everything with fur.
5 Is a teetotaler.
6 Wears only one sock. Claims it’s more comfortable that way.
7 Carries an unusually large number of handkerchiefs on their person at all times.
8 Desperately wants to be an adventurer but is too afraid of failure (and potential dismemberment) to take the chance.
9 Was once transformed into a snake for three days. They still hiss when they speak.
10 Has an enthusiastic and slightly unsettling obsession with fruit.
11 Writes surprisingly good poetry.
12 Speaks with a completely flat affect. It’s impossible to get them to express any emotion at all.
13 Is convinced the birds are out to get them.
14 Compulsively taps every coin they receive twice before putting it away.
15 Is blind but can see auras around every living creature.
16 Enjoys playing practical jokes on others but hates it when someone does the same to them.
17 Has a bit of fabric they keep in their pocket that they rub for luck.
18 Studies horology and astronomy as a hobby.
19 Enjoys nothing more than a hot bath and a bowl of sweets.
20 Is afraid of fireflies.

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