The last couple campaigns I’ve been involved with would be what I categorize as ‘home base’ games. That is, the party has a strong home element in the town that they hail from, and while they may
venture out to protect it they never travel too far from where they live. The benefits to this style of game, at least in the short term, are varied and desirable: increased party cohesion, plentiful community support, instant character investment, and intense dramatic tension. For instance, I chose an insular home town for my original fantasy/horror-inspired campaign setting to heighten the threat to the PCs as their homes and families were attacked, and to increase the feelings of claustrophobia and paranoia as the outside world slowly bore down all around them.
As we’ve discussed in the past, however, there’s a certain sense of bonding that a party can experience from arriving together in a strange new land. Likewise, the broad horizon of role playing opportunities and story hooks that might be uncovered in an unfamiliar setting. This goes double for towns that may have a unique or curious way of looking at outsiders. That’s why you should head over to Dungeons Master, and check out ‘What is the Town’s Attitude?’ by Ameron. His suggestions and examples can help any GM create a town with some *gasp* real character, that may just become an ally to your adventurers or just a real thorn in their sides.
Ambitious GMs may want to add one or three or five more choices to the five examples he gives, and make the town’s storyful attitude a randomly generated occurrence. How much fun would it be to let the PCs play out their first conversation, negotiation, or interaction with a local NPC, then make them roll to see how the citizens of that town may respond? Such an encounter could change a casual pit stop for fresh horses and trail rations into a whole new chapter in your campaign. Who knows? It may even provide the PCs a new adopted home to build and protect!
‘What’s the Town’s Attitude?’ by Ameron (Dungeon’s Master)
The Explorer’s Sovereign Cityscape Spawner (Intwischa)
The Explorer’s Metropolitan Mayhem Machine (Intwischa)