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So, what do you put on a character sheet for a town or village?

In addition to the “ability scores” of a settlement:

  • Industry (Strength)
  • Population (Constitution)
  • Resources (Dexterity)
  • Commerce (Intelligence)
  • Leadership (Wisdom)
  • Identity (Charisma)

  • I think we’ll find use for an equivalent “skill system” — which in this case are the Trades and their corresponding needs:

  • Academics (creation)
  • Athletics (leisure)
  • Cultures (identity)
  • Exploration (freedom)
  • Initiative (protection)
  • Intuition (understanding)
  • Persuasion (participation)
  • Survival (subsistence)
  • Theatrics (affection)

  • There are likely alternatives to the pairings above that I’ve established, but this is what I’m moving forward with for the time being because I have to make some assumptions or I’ll never get anywhere. They can always be changed later.

    When you choose a “race” for a settlement, there will be a Favored Trade that indicates a starting point for establishing the Needs of a community. In my sample races (not shown), dwarves favor Academics — which means when it comes to quests, you can expect advancement or competition in the area of Creation.

    Maybe. Maybe. This is still in a state of flux of course.

    The idea with Trades being suggested by race — and being chosen by the player and assigned to a PC — is to give them a surefire way of interacting with a community on a personal level. In the example above, a dwarven settlement favors Academics. Every dwarf will have something to say about Academics.

    This immediately raises questions about a dwarf who doesn’t go into an Academics Trade. Did they do it out of necessity for the community? Do they hate Academics? Did they feel passionate about another Trade? Were they raised in non-dwarf community? The player can decide on any of these.

    These are all questions that would be answered for the player in another system that established a background for a character, where here it’s left ambiguous. Are the answers to these questions important?

    Not really. They’re up to the player to answer for themselves.

    However a community will always have Needs that extend beyond what can be supported by the Favored Trade of a given Race — so we have to decide if the dominant race (which is the dominant culture) has branched out to fulfill those needs, or if they’ve taken in other Races and have a mixed population.

    There we have emergent conflict and a breeding ground for quests.