20 Pieces of Farming Village Dressing

Villages have many minor points of interest and flavour; they are not boring, sterile places. Each settlement has its own style and character which the GM can use to bring the place alive in the players’ minds.

 

Use the table below, to add minor points of interest to further bring the village to life. 

  1. Deep wheel ruts scar the road leading through the village. In autumn or winter rainwater fills the ruts while in summer the sun bakes them hard. Incautious travellers could trip and fall if they do not take care.
  2. A tall, wide-girthed tree throws its thick leafy boughs high out over the road. Graffiti, cut into the tree’s bark, decorates its trunk and a swing rope hangs from one stout branch. The tree is a popular meeting place for courting couples and the like. 
  3. A crumbling, dilapidated barn stands amid a stand of dense weeds and saplings. Birds perch atop the barn’s sagging roof, cawing loudly.
  4. Weeds, brambles and other bushes grow along the road, providing many places for wildlife—and perhaps mischievous children—to hide.
  5. Wide hedges of carefully tended bushes and trees separate the village fields. 
  6. A small, partially overgrown shrine dedicated to the god of travellers stands back from the main road leading into the village. The shrine looks little visited. Clearly the villagers do not maintain it. 
  7. Many small holes dot the ground in and around the village. Most are only a few feet deep and have clearly been hurriedly excavated. If the PCs ask around, they learn a party of adventurers passed through recently and were overheard discussing burying their treasure for safe keeping in the locality. The villagers are trying to find it!
  8. A small, weather-beaten sign partially hidden by weeds, directs visitors to the village inn. 
  9. A half-full stone water trough and hitching post stands next to the road. 
  10. A small spring bubbles up from the ground, creating a small pond in a shallow depression. Bull rushes and the like surround the pond; children come here to swim and play in warm weather. 
  11. Neatly placed stones bound the major roads passing through the village. In the spring, wild flowers grow between the stones and the villagers take great care over the display.
  12. A cart—one wheel broken—stands by the road; tools for repair lie nearby, but of the carter (or wheelwright) there is no sign. 
  13. Some sections of the village streets are cobbled, but in most places the cobbles—if they ever existed—have sunk deep into the mud. 
  14. Thick man-high hedges bound this section of the road from the villagers’ homes and kitchen gardens. The hedges effectively channel traffic; in the wet months, this section of road is a notorious quagmire; locals avoid it, if possible. 
  15. Over the years the passage of so many wagons, cattle and people has eroded the road which is now a sunken lane. Steps cut into its banks reinforced with wooden risers provide access to the nearby houses. 
  16. Three elm trees growing in an almost straight line stand a few feet back from the road; their boughs create an area of shadow and shelter. Weary travellers often rest here, before continuing their journey. Sometimes, children gather under the trees to sell knick knacks and refreshments, or to simply have fun.
  17. Wind chimes hang from various trees scattered throughout the village’s bounds and tinkle quietly in the breeze.
  18. A small pond stands where three fields converge. A weeping willow’s bough hangs low over the water; perceptive PCs can hear the faint quacking of ducks emanating from the pool.
  19. Stone menhirs flank the roads entering the village. The menhirs are ancient boundary posts and predate the village; no one knows who raised them or why, but several have unreadable weathered sigils carved into their surfaces. Strangely, the village has not grown beyond the markers. 
  20. A large tree recently fell onto a farmer’s home. Luckily, no one was inside at the time, but the house was wrecked. When the PCs arrive, the villagers are just organising themselves to remove the tree and start repairs. The farmer’s family are staying with friends; if the PCs offer any help, the villagers are delighted to accept.

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