During their careers, wandering adventurers pass through many villages. Most are boring and unremarkable places. Some may be in need of adventurers, while yet more are just simply odd.
A big part of a village’s character is its local practises and customs—practises that have grown up over time for one reason or another. Two villages could be virtually identical in layout, industry and demographics and still have a wildly different feel because of one or more local customs.
Use the table below, to generate a custom for such a village the PCs pass through:
- Men are not permitted to wear red clothes, while women must wear something blue.
- Children are not permitted to speak inside buildings unless given permission by an adult.
- For two hours starting at midday everyone stops work to rest, eat or sleep.
- By local decree it is forbidden to ride animals within the village’s precincts.
- Each family is responsible for keeping the road directly outside their house clear of obstruction or hinderance. Thus stretches of road are clear of all obstructions—including dung—while others are not.
- Births are a time of great joy in the village. When one occurs, a festival-like atmosphere reigns; there is much drinking and carousing (which inevitably leads to more celebrations roughly nine months later).
- Each family maintains a small, private burial ground on their land—normally in a corner of a field of garden. There is no communal cemetery and strangers cannot be buried within the village’s bounds.
- During the night, every family must keep a candle burning in a window overlooking the nearest road. Thus, those out late can always find their way home.
- Dung is highly prized by the local farmers, because the surrounding land is hard to farm. Thus, several thriving local businesses have sprung up. These both “harvest” local “deposits” and import dung from nearby settlements. Even individuals sometimes sell their “excess.”
- The locals believe a nature spirit dwells in the nearby river. Although it teams with fish, no one dares fish there in case they anger the river’s protector. Those caught fishing are severely punished.
- No matter the weather, it is customary for adults to wear a hat outside. This has inevitably led to subtle one-upmanship and competitions for the greatest, most elaborate designs.
- The villagers are obsessed with self-defence. Almost all go about their daily business heavily armed. Even the children all carry daggers.
- GM’s Miscellany: Urban Dressing: For GMs running an urban campaign, GM’s Miscellany: Urban Dressing is an essential resource. Now available in both Pathfinder and System Neutral Edition versions.
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