Make Your Own Town/City from Dungeoncraft 1

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I'm new to D&D but an old hat at telling stories (been playing muds since 2002 and went on to become a staff member on one). Although despite that I found the guide in Dungeoncraft 1 helpful in creating the starting town of a Campaign I'm thinking up (which of course won't be played for a few years yet ;)). Following the steps, I went from a stereotypical big city that had absolutely no information (and worse yet, no way for halflings to start there!) and no neighbors to a vibrant and unique city.

I thought I'd post it here to compare cities that other people have made based on the guide. Here it is:



Ashoren was once a small town on the edge of the Nerath kingdom, although it was built on the ruins of a long buried city of Bael Turath. It was well known for its horses, however little else about it was noteworthy. When the Nerath kingdom was destroyed, Ashoren was little affected. However as refugees fled the cities, many of them came to Ashoren including tiefling. This resulted in Ashoren growing considerably larger which caused Ashoren to spread further into the forest that borders it to the west, east and south. This, along with the increased raiders resulted in the elven tribes that lived in the forests to become harder and angrier to intruders. However not all survived with the remnants of a variety of tribes instead choosing to live in Ashoren.

The eladrin have a long history of trading with Ashoren who are well praised for their horses with their interest only increasing with the size of Ashoren. Originating in the city-state Magor, located across the northern plains in Feywild, some of the eladrin have migrated to Ashoren on orders of their nobles so that they gain more access to Ashoren's horses, and in turn trade their own goods to the merchants and people of Ashoren.

When Nerath fell Tagen, a dwarven city-state, was severely affected as it had few resources and instead relied on protection and trade with Nerath. As such many dwarves spread throughout the Nerath kingdom searching for secure trade they could send back to their city. However with the wilderness much more dangerous and the human cities in disarray, the dwarves were unsuccessful. Instead of returning to Tagen they made their way in small towns as new settlers and called for their families to join them. Many such dwarves came to Ashoren in the same way.

Halflings have always plied the Tish River which flowed near Ashoren from the west to the east. However as the town grew it eventually enveloped both sides of the river. Halflings came to settle in Ashoren so that they may offer better support for the other nomadic people who come to trade. As such they always live in the docks at the center of the city, with two tribes typically living in Ashoren, one for each side of the docks. The halflings of Ashoren will typically only live here for a generation or two before they sell their lodgings to another tribe who seeks to gain the wealth and comfort presented by operating the docks.


The main gates of Ashoren are the southern and northern ones while people may enter by boat along the Tish river. The areas immediately surrounding Ashoren's main road which leads up to the docks are filled with stores, taverns and homes for traders. However a large road heading east off the main one leads to the estate of Ashoren's leader, called First Lord/Lady of Ashoren.

The only way to the northern section of Ashoren is by ferry with many attempts at building bridges impeded by the halflings through underworld connections. The northern end of Ashoren is where most of the horse breeders live. The rich ones live off the main road which leads south to the docks from the north gate. The further you get from the main road the poorer the residents with crime a significant problem on the outer-edges. This is also a problem for the south-western part of Ashoren, but nowhere near as much as it is in the northern part.

Temples of numerous sizes to numerous gods are spread throughout Ashoren's neighborhoods with most of them represented, even if only in an altar of a very small and obscure temple. Ashoren's main temple which is attended by the First Lord is near the southern gate on the east section of the city. There only the Horse God is represented, however the road leading to the temple has smaller temples for the main gods.

Finally with the expansion and building up of Ashoren, the ruins of the long forgotten Bael Turath city were discovered. They were mostly ignored with the sewers abandoned as a result. However the half-created sewers still exist and as such the ruins have become a haven for the underworld who seek to hide from the First Lord's soldiers. However with this haven comes the unfortunate attraction of demon-worshipers who are able to conduct their arcane rites away from anyone else.


North of Ashoren is the northern plains, called the Lortahn Plains. The main road heads south into the Orallan Forest with elven tribes on either side, although mostly a few days ride from the road. Raiders are a much more significant problem. The road will lead to another large city after a week or two, Jamen from which you can head east to reach Tagen. The Tish river heads west to an assortment of farms and villages which trade with merchants heading up the river to Ashoren. The first village is Samal. The river also heads east to the Farn Marsh although no-one ever goes there.
He Good job, you have your self a well rounded community, with plenty of potential for adventure. I particularly like the parts about the halflings established along the river banks, and their 'insistence' that ferry travel is the way to go!

I'll have to reread the article again, see if I can't come up with something of my own (right now I'm thinking islands...). I must say, Dungeoun Craft 1 was an excellent article; very few manage to get me as excited as that one did, and it certainly the most inspiring article on DDI I've seen to date (IMO).

Thanks for sharing.
He who should not speak...
He Good job, you have your self a well rounded community, with plenty of potential for adventure. I particularly like the parts about the halflings established along the river banks, and their 'insistence' that ferry travel is the way to go!

Thanks I was hoping for some more contributions from others, but I'm glad someone liked it regardless
I read this article ages ago! Or at least it seems as if it was ages ago. I actually used several aspects of it while creating one of the town's of my 4E campaign: Tuseilles. It's at the center of a small area with a handful of things to do. I plan on running two groups of PC's through it simultaneously (maybe three, 2 Pbp games and one IRL). One group would be from the bandit fort near the river, one would be made up of nobles from the surrounding provinces and the third is up in the air.

I have a thread called Building Villages over in the Design forum about the creation of a villages/towns.

All I can do is translate the tips given to me:

1) Keep a notepad handy when watching movies/televions/reading books. Use short descriptions of NPC's for members of the town.

2) *my own comment* use Medieval Demographics Made Easy article to establish realistic population/job allocation for the town.

3) Look up a real city/town with a simliar population preferably of the same terrain type and look at those cities/towns museums, histories and monuments. This one actually helped me alot. Tuseilles has 750 Pop so I ended up using information from Nakina, Ontario, Rusten, WA and Ashland, NY to create museums, special events and parks for the town.
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