Oblidisideryptch of discord fame has requested tools to generate a common Mesomergos town. When I write generators for my games, I don't just want details. I want something that will be useful for creating story at the table. This was the focus of my writing on inherent conflict in Mesomergos, a setting in which social forces exist in constant conflict, on a scale small enough that the representatives of those social forces can create problems and opportunities for players.
An average village in Mesomergos should have some of the same inherent conflict from the city it orbits, but it also exists on the periphery. A village is usually led by a chieftain, who has to deal with trouble from the local partisan group. It has obligations and industry facing the city, and some kind of danger encroaching from the wilderness. It has a god that people can petition or be smote by. It probably also has other things, but if they do not create tension or opportunity I don't need to generate them until they come up.
Something, or ideally several somethings, should be going wrong everywhere. The right way to use these tables is to first decided if they are necessary, or if the current situation (or random encounter) suggests other tensions. If they are useful, roll on these and ask "why might this be a problem the PCs come into contact with?"
What does the Chieftain want?
- to cheat strangers out of their wealth
- to marry off their offspring to a good match
- to punish their offspring with a bad marriage
- to use reputable strangers as an alibi for some wrongdoing
- to take the neighboring village down a peg
- to demonstrate hospitality and honor (for once)
- to destroy the village's connection to the wilderness
- to make a lasting peace with the village's connection to the wilderness
- to reform the local partisan group
- to destroy the local partisan group
What does the partisan group want?
- to burn scrolls and literate folk
- to militarize everything
- to bureaucratize everything
- to profane the gods and the godly
- to only do things the Mesomergan way
- to gather donations to reinstate the emperor
- whatever the chieftain doesn't want
- to be clannish and boorish to strangers
- to win the favor of a god other than the one with the biggest shrine
- to do like the city folk do
What is the village's tie to civilization?
- The village mines reefstone, slowing bleaching and dying.
- The village chops lumber, with tough lumberjacks clogging the river.
- The village supports a monastery, hermitage, or leper colony.
- The village is home to a retired figure of renown.
- The village is home to an uncommon clade of mortal folk or monstrous humanoid.
- The village is the center of local festivals.
- The village maintains a memorial to a historical tragedy.
- The village is a trading post.
- The village maintains a rare orchard.
- The village is responsible for an aging dam or lock.
What is the village's connection to the wilderness?
- The village visits the local goblin market.
- The village has a tenuous relationship with a local chimera.
- The village is a favorite hunting ground for a murderous suitor.
- The village is visited during solstices by strange and fey creatures.
- Skeletons hatch from all who die here, and carry themselves away.
- The village performs strange and animal bacchanals.
- The village does the work of talking animals.
- The village shares familial ties with talking animals.
- The village prevents all logistical developments from changing the landscape.
- The village serves as bait for some monstrous humanoids.
What god has the biggest shrine?
- The god Noryawes, whose mechanisms, flames, and plows signify vengeance, law, and cunning.
- The god Rektrine, whose obelisks, orange shades, and terns signify valor, tradition, and magic.
- The god Sedyf, whose roosters signify tranquility, order, and society.
- The god Mithras, whose mithraeums, chains, and birds signify virtue, the greater good, and history.
- The god Fisochol, whose foxes, bands, and gells signify law, mercy, and straightforwardness.
- The god Iron, whose wavy daggers, falling stars, and dowsing rods signify cruelty, sacrifice, and excess.
- The god Pigudix, whose braids, aurochs skulls, and horseflies signify heroes, vainglory, and pestilence.
- The goddess Tilunel, whose vines, water wheels, and crossed staves signify growth, chaos, and conservation.
- The goddess Xapt, whose boxes, bells and tea signify utopianism, universalism, and harmony.
- The stars themselves, their shrines worn and devoid of power.