From the genesis of the D&D game, random lists have been used to create, inspire, and complicate games everywhere. A GM is essentially keeping all the knowledge of a fabricated world inside his or her head, along with all the relevant laws of physics and mechanics, which are transformed into a living story around the table. With that in mind, sometimes it is difficult to come up with appropriate names, descriptions, NPCs, castles, or environmental features on the fly. Luckily, there are certain tools that simplify a GM’s life no matter what game he or she is running.
These random generation tables can be used for just about any topic. The trouble is that though they are great to have, they take time to generate yourself. The good news is I have taken the liberty and done the hard work up front, leaving you free to copy, paste, and print right into your notes.
Castles are one of the most iconic and traditional staples of D&D, ranging in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. In some campaigns, castles are more commonplace, mimicking Europe in their established presence across the land. The tall stone walls of a keep make for an interesting place for a side quest during a long-form adventure. Perhaps the king or queen is looking for a suitor or maybe the prince or princess terrorizes the townsfolk as a secret werewolf cult leader? Whatever it may be, that castle will need a name—an identity as a starting point for adventure.
When creating castles on the fly, it is useful to simply extrapolate from a name, taking the words or sound and running with an idea. Many castles were named for either their owner, location, or for their primary trade. For instance, Castle Wolfenstone could be a place that relies on the breeding, training, and trading of wolves and the rare dire wolf. Their culture and garb is focused on the use of animal pelt—reminiscent of barbarians. If that were the case, this castle might be part of the spoils of war, plundered from their enemy and transformed into a stronghold of wolf brotherhood.
Here are twenty castle names to get you started. Simply roll a d4 to add Castle, Tower, Hall, or Palace to the name.
d20. Castle Names*
- Raven Rook
- Shepard’s Pike
- Southern Oaks
- Hendrick’s Folly
- Herring’s Bluff
- Halo’s Bend
- Storm Spire
- Westmount by the Lake
- The Quarry
- Baldrick’s Basin
* Roll a d4 to add castle, tower, hall, or palace to the name.