Gloaming Lands 2: Settlements

tokyo rain
<a href=''>Hasui Kawase</a>

The Gloaming Lands are a place deeply etched with disaster. It is (like many OSR settings) a post apocalyptic setting. The cycle of civilisation and destruction creates room for mystery and adventure that can be easily understood (and exploited) by players.

It is, however, not a bleak, picked-over post-apocalypse. The last true disaster is now but a distant story kept alive by the lorespeakers. Lush forests grow between massive shards nuclear-frozen glass. Herds of deer drink from clear crater lakes. Peoples dot the land, working away in the safety of their settlements.

These tables provide a set of tools for creating those settlements. The settlements themselves are lightly detailed, hopefully providing the GM and players with just enough to describe a location and hint at a hook or two.

A future post will detail a quick procedure for generating a pointcrawl between settlements.

Settlement tables

Settlement size

Roll 2d6 and take the lowest value.

Very few settlements are larger than a few hundred people. Smaller settlements pay dues to—and are protected by—a baron or nearby city. Cities are often large enough to support their own standing milita, and some even buy full independence from the system of baronial rent.

1Farm/manor – 1-3 families
2Crossroads – 3-5 families
3Hamlet – 50-150 people
4Village – 150-300 people
5Town – 300-1000 people
6City – 1000+ people

Settlement details

For all settlements, Roll 1d20 for each column.

  • Towns: Roll an additional time on either the Building, Industry or Event column.
  • Cities: Roll an additional time on each of the Building, Industry and Event columns.
1In the ruins of an ancient templeExtremely suspicious of outsidersImposing defensive wallsFields of maize, yellow in the sunA grand wedding
2In the ruins of an ancient castleOften intoxicated by strange mushroomsUnmaintained wooden palisadesRows of cabbageFestival for the local god
3Amongst the bones of a great beastFervent followers of their strange godAncient castleShallow ponds of green riceMeeting of elders from afar
4Atop a hillKnown for their strange delicaciesWood and stone manor house with a high peaked roofsWindmill for grinding maizeA building is on fire
5At the banks of burbling streamHave laws or customs confusing to outsidersComfortable, well-appointed innWood millA god walks amongst the people
6In a protected valleyRefuse to do business with outsidersShrine, of ornately carved and polished black oakBustling marketChildren have been going missing
7A pond, covered in lilies and the persistent croaking of frogsPractice strange rituals under the cover of darknessShrine, newly constructed of stoneStaging area for cave-scavengersAn illness has struck
8A gnarled tree, older than anything aroundCover themselves in odd tattoosShrine, recently burned to the groundRenowned schoolUnder attack from bandits
9Cleared for industry or agricultureBrew delicious, potent maize wineShrine constructed of scavenged shards of metalQuarry for marble or quartzA plague of insects has ruined the harvest
10Animals wander the streets, searching for foodWear long hoods that cover their facesShine carved into the stone of a caveMine for copper, tin or ironStrange creatures have raided the storehouse
11A long-forgotten tunnel system links the basementsWear large, wide-brimmed hatsA mess of closely-packed shantiesDeep mine for gold or silver, maybe abandonedThe folk are in the midst of a cutthroat factional struggle
12Amongst tall, wind-eroded towers of stoneWear brightly-dyed woollen garmentsMeditative garden, carefully maintainedAlchemical lab, spewing strange-coloured smokeA funeral procession, the streets thick with ceremonial smoke
13Built into caves or the walls of a cliffAre very curious about news from afarHuge abandoned machine, it's interior stripped of partsTraps for eels in a nearby creekMarket day, farmers from throughout the area flock to town
14Overgrown with rare flowersAll descended from a single matriarchOrnate wooden bridge, guarded by statuesGlassblower's workshopLocal baron holding a recruitment drive for their milita
15Amongst giant, moss-covered bouldersBelieve cutting their hair is bad luckAncient bridge of concrete and steel, reinforced with woodWorkshop for fine wooden craftsA public execution is taking place
16Nearby animals are strangely intelligentKeep regimented hours of work and prayerShell or skull of a massive beastWool mill, draped in brightly-dyed cutoffsA public trial is taking place
17A field of enormous glass shards, blindingly bright at sunset and dawnWear finely-embroidered clothesGrand hall built on stilts over a lakeSilk mill and tailor of fine clothesA flying machine slowly drifts far above the clouds
18Between high white karst hills, bursting out of the forestMake pungent cheese, cured for yearsUnnervingly tall and twisted wooden towerTannery, stinking of blood and pissA wizard's walking tower has planted itself nearby
19On the banks of a wide, slow riverAre mostly childrenStrong, squat tower of stoneKiln for lacquered porcelainSeasonal festival, shirtless revelers and drunkenness
20Atop the ruins of an ancient factoryAre mostly eldersRepurposed tower of glass and steel, built by the ancientsWizard's tower, travelers coming to seek helpBaronial levy is called, tax collectors stalk the streets

Settlement names

Roll d10 for the structure of the name, then a d20 for each column indicated by the structure. Names will probably need a bit of massaging for mouthfeel.

d20Structure (d10)History AHistory BThing AThing BPlace
1{Thing A} {Place}NewNorthTreeOxRiver
2{Thing B} {Place}OldEastOakEaglePond
3{History A} {Place}BrokenSouthJasmineCrabLake
4{History B} {Place}GallowsWestJadeEelManor
5{History A} {Thing A}ShieldUpperRiceCarpSpring
6{History B} {Thing B}BloodyLowerRoseApeMountain
7{Thing A} {Thing B} {Place}HiddenDragonArrowMonkeyHill
8{Thing B} {Thing A} {Place}WhiteOgrePetalSkullCreek
9{History A} {Thing A} {Place}BlueLord'sPineForgeSwamp
10{History B} {Thing B} {Place}YellowGhostlyMapleSwordGate