Feedback On My Town


Advice


Hey folks, I'm looking for some feedback on a town I designed for a game I plan to run once things are back to normal. Anything you like, dislike, additional adventure hooks. Its done in the style of Towns of the Inner Sea. Thanks In advance.

Grimmsburrow


Seems kind of generic, and by my count there's an average of 17 inhabitants per building; given the forest extending right up to the town I'd have thought people likely to build more homes.


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Congrats on the town. The page looks very well put together. I did find myself with some questions though.

Grimmsburrow is a Small Town and its qualities are Abundant and Prosperous. Despite it's remote locale with snow nearly year round the place has three major industries. Because of its LG alignment and economy, I can't understand why adventurers would be there.

You did give 2 plot hooks, sure, but what about the town or its hinterlands would draw a group of PCs there in the first place? Adventurers aren't known for being lawful types unless they're very specific classes. They also make their living exploring, defeating foes and building resources found on their journeys, not logging, mining and fishing.

I wonder if maybe there are monsters in the woods, or a sinister history upriver, or some ruins off the map that we're not seeing. If there is corruption in any of the NPCs or groups of the town it's not suggested in your writeup. There are no conflicts or threats that would warrant PCs visiting Grimmsburrow.

Also, why Grimms "Burrow?" I would think Borough or Boro, as a subset of a larger town, but Burrow is an underground den or the verb meaning digging your way underground. Is this an allusion to the mine? When I read the name I thought parts of the town would be underground.

As to the size of the town as AVR suggested, I'm guessing that like with a lot of Inner Sea settlements that have been graphically depicted many folks live outside the town proper. Even a town this small needs farms and since none are shown in the image here I just figured they were off the map's borders. Still if this is not the case, where are folks getting their food from besides meat and why are they all crammed into such a small area?

This town is an Autocracy and the title of the autocrat is Lord. This would lead me to believe that Lord Grimm III has a lot of influence in the town, even if he does abdicate much of his power to majority rule as stated in the blurb about Grimm's Mansion. Yet Lord Grimm III and his man, Orohul are both variations of Neutral. In fact, most of the NPCs you have here are a version of Neutral.

The town is LG in alignment. This led me to believe that either most people living here are as well or there's a major influence in the town that follows that alignment. The only LG person I found was Nordar Steelfist, the town's smithy. Does this old dwarf actually wield some significant political power of righteous influence that compels people to abide by the laws and cater to the general welfare of the common good?

Also... what's with the naked animal combat for prisoners? Like, if you're convicted of a capital crime in Grimmsburrow, Captain Samar strips you and throws you in a pit with a wild beast in a duel to the death! Does that seem, I don't know... LG to you? That sounds brutal, cruel and borderline criminal itself. If this is honestly how criminals are prosecuted, what happens if, hypothetically, one survived?

I mean, this IS a fantasy RPG and one of the more prominent citizens is a half-orc. What if a PC half-orc with a natural Bite attack and several levels in Unchained Monk showed up and straight-up murdered someone in Grimmsburrow. This monk is somehow subdued, put on trial, and convicted by Lord Grimm III. Following the law, he's stripped of all his possessions and thrown into a pit with a wild boar, but thanks to his training and HP the monk beats the beast and kills it with his hands and teeth.

What then? Does the monk get his stuff back and go free? Would they just throw MORE animals at him until he died? Would the priestess of light heal the creature or raise it as an undead enemy for the monk to keep fighting?

Grimmsburrow seems to contradict itself. Its a boomtown with a thriving mine, yet the blacksmith has to hire adventurers to go find him raw materials to make items with; the town is a LG autocracy but the Lord shirks his lawful authority and frontier justice prevails under the direction of the jailor. There is a church of "light," which is the only deity or faith actually represented here, but the town itself is fueled by industry, hard work, and three very terrestrial professions: mining, forestry and fishing.

Perhaps give some thought as to WHY there are these contradictions and try to explain them. Perhaps the founding Lord Grimm II was a LG proponent of the virtues of Weirell, but his son was a disappointment who now bungles the power he's been given. In abdicating his authority to the mob rule and focusing on hunts with his barbarian/ranger friend, the noble has shifted power and the alignment in the settlement is in fugue.

THIS is what brings adventurers to Grimmsburrow. Agents of the Indigo Trading Company have been commenting for years on the decline of the rule of good in the town. The disinterested noble, the brutal law enforcement, the church willing to look the other way so long as their "donations" keep pouring in. The one holdout, old Nordar Steelfist, stokes the embers of a time when Grimmsburrow was a beacon of good in a lonely frontier, but the Company has done all they can to shut him down: they've cut off Nordar's usual supply of iron and silver from the mines, they gouge him on prices for wood and leather, and they've tarnished his reputation throughout Weirell.

You see... this is all the machinations of the Indigo coming home to roost. The Company followed in the wake of Lord Grimm II thinking they could exploit Grimmsburrow for all it was worth. The first noble opposed their schemes at every turn though, and under his rule the town experienced modest but steady growth.

When Hrolden took the reins he was ill-prepared to rule; the boy was more interested in hunting and sport than in actual governance. The Indigo Trading Company seized the opportunity and increased their duties to the noble so that they could expand their operations. Over the years they've wormed their way into all three industries, bought off the Sheriff and replaced the LG priest of Tiamore with a far more lax one. Where needed they've starved citizens for resources in order to control the tenor of the culture.

However all of these plots are very recent, not deeply rooted enough to actually change the town permanently. At least, not yet.

So the REASON why PCs would want to come to Grimmsburrow is summed up in 4 words: the Indigo Trading Company. Evil or Neutral characters might be agents of the Company either directly or indirectly. Good characters might on the other hand be answering the call of the church, or Steelfist, or even perhaps Lord Grimm III to help them turn the tide.

Now if all of the above is too political, there's another direction you could go with all of this. The mine's primary output is silver, and there's expansive northern forests throughout the hinterlands. What if Lord Grimm and his trusty cavalier/blacksmith, Steelfist, came to this place with a genuine mission back in the day: to subdue (insert creature with "DR X/Silver" here).

So the first noble and his crew were actually on a private crusade against this supernatural enemy. After driving this type of creature back into the forest they established a frontier settlement to keep an eye out for their foe. Over time the place boomed into Grimmsburrow, but now after all of this time the original enemy has begun to reemerge.

What do you think?


avr wrote:
Seems kind of generic, and by my count there's an average of 17 inhabitants per building; given the forest extending right up to the town I'd have thought people likely to build more homes.

That is my fault, I should have explained further that yes there are more farm lands to the north of the town, I will add that in the second version of the town. Also, I should have added that because this is a boom town, most of the people tend to work and live together in small quarters within each building. From my own experiences working in the oil fields in Northern Canada, you get basically a bed and a bathroom. There were several thousand of us crammed into a very small space. Thanks for the feed back

Mark Hoover 330 wrote:

Congrats on the town. The page looks very well put together. I did find myself with some questions though.

Grimmsburrow is a Small Town and its qualities are Abundant and Prosperous. Despite it's remote locale with snow nearly year round the place has three major industries. Because of its LG alignment and economy, I can't understand why adventurers would be there.

Now, were to begin with this. This was amazing to see and thank you so much for the feedback. Many of these contraindications I did not think of, though you did give some excellent ideas on how to fix them, I do especially like the idea of the Indigo Trading Company being a more corrupt organization. I plan to integrate many of your ideas into the second version of the town aswell, and maybe just remove some of the other contradictions. I also had an adventure site near the town during the drafting process, but scrapped it; so there are some left over material relating to that I found in some of the descriptions that I plan to fix.


Is there an easy way to blend the 2 ideas together? Like...

1. Lord Grimm II came here with Master Steelfist as his second in command to thwart a great evil

2. When things weren't going as planned, the noble reached out to the Indigo Trading Company to fund his campaign

3. Indigo sent them aid but in return learned of whatever creature/evil they were fighting; said force offered more for the company to exploit

4. After the campaign ended Indigo remained to help bring newly found resources to market in greater Weirell, but secretly a wing of the company, a secret cabal within the organization, intended to exploit the evil force defeated in the campaign

I'm basing a lot of this off some of the plot of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Essentially the East India group legitimized some pirates as "privateers" in order to take down the "bad" pirates, but secretly some in the organization wanted to exploit the Pirate Council to gain control of Davy Jones and thus control all travel on the 7 seas.

Indigo could be no different. A quick search on the D20PFSRD tells me that Vampires have DR 5/Silver. Silver is one of the main ores being mined near Grimmsburrow. Perhaps there's a very notable vampire that Indigo wants to control.

In that instance, maybe the adventure site near the town are the ruins of the vampire's castle. The woods between town and ruin are riddled with the remnants of the vampire's old forces: werewolves, dire rats and wolves, bat swarms, etc. The Indigo Company has it in for ancestral gypsy clans that roam the wilds here. These travelers were native to this land before Lord Grimm and the Weirellen landed. While the LG noble made alliances with them and gained their aid as spies against the undead, their peddling ways compete with the Indigo for control of trade in the region.

Indigo is working with the town and Lord Grimm III to vilify the gypsies. Smaller, older villages in the area are quickly becoming targets of Weirell agressions. The travelers appeal to the young noble to honor the commitments of his father but their pleas fall on uncaring ears. Orohul is in fact a plant by the Company to keep young Lord Grimm III distracted with sport. Meanwhile the Twilight Consortium, the shadow-group within the Indigo Company trying to raise the vampire once more, are getting closer to harnessing the power of silver into a charm to control the most powerful undead these lands have ever seen.

Just spitballing, don't know if that works for you.


The Lawful Good alignment is careful ploy. The deeper you look at the townspeople, the more convincing the deception becomes. The people you meet worship LG deities, and are usually some form of Lawful or Good in their alignments.

However, Lawful Good is only skin-deep. It's what goes on behind closed doors and in the shadows that really counts. Deep in the mines, well hidden, and even better protected is the entrance to an ancient Elven ruin... which just happens to be the lair of a Vampire Mesmerist, and her diabolical clan rogues, led by a fierce Ratfolk Alchemist.

They have infiltrated the ranks of the Indigo Trading Company, and use the steady supply of expendable laborers, I mean miners, to feed their Queen's insatiable appetite. The mortality rate of the mines is carefully fudged in all of the books/reports and this particular outpost is especially bad at keeping personal records of its mining employees.


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So I took much of the feedback and began to incorporate this into the second edition of the town, including changing the name to Grimmsborough, adding a few more houses on the map, adding much more history to give a clearer picture on what happened.

So here is version 2.

Grimmsborough

Again, feedback always welcome


I like the changes. Here are some trivial grammar corrections...

In the Abundant section, it should say "exceptional hunting". Right now it says, "exception hunting".

In the second paragraph of the History section, it says "a large veins", you should remove the "a" to just say, "large veins".

In the third paragraph of the History section, it says "looking to made money". This should be changed to say, "looking to make money".

In the fifth paragraph of the History section, it says "expansion into the norther". I assume that this was meant to be "expansion into the north".

In the sixth paragraph of the History section, it says "managed to his its sway and power"... I believe that this needs changed, unless there is a use for "his" I am unaware of.

Also, the sixth paragraph of the History section is quite long, running into the next column. I feel that it could be separated into two different paragraphs pretty easily, and might make it easier to read.

I do have one question...

Are there vampires?


Quote:

I do have one question...

Are there vampires?

When aren't there vampires? I do have an idea for a vampire enemy, but it does not have to do with the town.

Also, I made those edits you found :)


One last question, kind of nit-picky but here goes: why is the government listed as "Overlord?" Under Settlements on the SRD this is listed as an individual that has seized power. Alternatively there is a Secret Syndicate that represents a shadow organization that is the real power behind a puppet on the throne of the settlement.

I wonder if maybe you just picked the Overlord for the adjustments to Corruption, Crime, Law and Society. If that's the case then disregard.

The reason I asked about the distinction is because the recent history seems to suggest that the Indigo Trading Co as a group is slowly seizing control of Grimmsborough, not a single person within the organization.


Mark Hoover 330 wrote:

One last question, kind of nit-picky but here goes: why is the government listed as "Overlord?" Under Settlements on the SRD this is listed as an individual that has seized power. Alternatively there is a Secret Syndicate that represents a shadow organization that is the real power behind a puppet on the throne of the settlement.

I wonder if maybe you just picked the Overlord for the adjustments to Corruption, Crime, Law and Society. If that's the case then disregard.

The reason I asked about the distinction is because the recent history seems to suggest that the Indigo Trading Co as a group is slowly seizing control of Grimmsborough, not a single person within the organization.

Without creating my own variant, i wanted Law to be a few ticks up, and while yes the indigo trading company maybe seizing power and paying off Lord Grimm the Third; Grimm is still the one "in charge" as far as the Kingdom of Weirell is concerned, having inheirited his title when his father vanished.

I went back and forth on it, so in the end, Overlord won out, though a storng case can be made for secret syndicate

Liberty's Edge

reads pretty well to me looks like a good foothold there :3

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