GWJ Collaborative Fantasy Town

pyxistyx wrote:

very rough map with 50 locations marked... probably take me a while to do a proper version, but this should hopefully tide over for now!


Is that 50 all the way at the bottom? Also, can I claim it and make it..something? I'm going to think on this for a bit.

Warning, I'm new to this (playing my first tabletop rpg campaign right now) so if I'm doing it wrong, feel free to tell me.

I don't think this can really be done wrong. Throw things out, and maybe a DM can use it. At least that's been my approach.

SpacePProtean wrote:

I don't think this can really be done wrong. Throw things out, and maybe a DM can use it. At least that's been my approach.


Yes, it is #50 - go for it!


Pirate Bob wrote:

A sketch of the region. So far only three named kingdoms:



- Sveck - Generally friendly kingdom to the north.
- Caelleth - The kingdom Freeport is considered part of, although it's more a loose conglomeration of city states. (The only folks they fight more than Hammerwall is themselves!)
- Hammerwall

A closer regional map would be useful, showing the surrounding country and interesting landmarks within a few days journey.

I couldn't sleep the other night so got up and messed with Wonderdraft to try to recreate your map in it. If I get some more done on it, I'l post it. Then, I will work on a more zoomed on map of the [our town name] area.


bepnewt wrote:
Pirate Bob wrote:

A sketch of the region. So far only three named kingdoms:



- Sveck - Generally friendly kingdom to the north.
- Caelleth - The kingdom Freeport is considered part of, although it's more a loose conglomeration of city states. (The only folks they fight more than Hammerwall is themselves!)
- Hammerwall

A closer regional map would be useful, showing the surrounding country and interesting landmarks within a few days journey.

I couldn't sleep the other night so got up and messed with Wondersraft to try to recreate your map in it. If I get some more done on it, I'l post it. Then, I will work on a more zoomed on map of the [our town name] area.


I haven't yet, weekend got busy. I did look around briefly at some of the other tools around - Inkarnate looked like fun and can start playing around for free. You mentioned it in your first post, but definitely something like World Anvil for broader collaborative work.

I'm also planning on starting to write up some info on the town council members - set them up as quest givers of sorts.

Just free assets on Inkarnate:


Very cool.

When I first saw your region map, the only thing that bothered me was the large rivers splitting the 3 kingdoms. It made me wonder how people would travel between them. On a map of that scale, if there were bridges, they would have to be incredibly large bridges. Then I thought "This is a fantasy world, maybe magic was used to create them.". Then I thought "Why would high level magic using types care to help the lesser folk travel?" Then I kept asking myself questions and answering then realized I was talking to myself.


bepnewt wrote:

Very cool.

When I first saw your region map, the only thing that bothered me was the large rivers splitting the 3 kingdoms. It made me wonder how people would travel between them. On a map of that scale, if there were bridges, they would have to be incredibly large bridges.


Hmm, true. I agree the bridges would be exceedingly large. Will remove for next version I think - instead consider them to be ferry landings. That would put a very small village just north of Freeport, a couple miles or so. Not large, a couple houses for the ferry workers and small inn. Most travelers would just push on to Freeport instead.

Here's the town council. Haven't written up the mayor quite yet. Goal was to sketch out a variety of characters that could provide jobs and quests for players, as well as potentially play off each other for some intrigue. And of course, anyone is welcome to help expand them out.

Town Mayor
Bravand Staln the Third, Esq.

The Town Council

Amos Von Glet

The Von Glets have been living and trading in Freeport for at least 8 generations, and probably more than that. This is a fact that Amos constantly brings up. They have always been wealthy from trade, but never truly risen in broader society. The Von Glet’s own the Von Glet Winds company of several ships, a trading house, outfitter, and several market stalls. Despite their reach over all tiers of trade, they have slowly been losing business to other traders bringing in a wider range of goods. The Von Glets have traditionally bought and sold only staple goods; grains and meats from the surrounding farm lands, timber and ores from up the river. As the general prosperity of the region has increased though, the populace has demanded more than that.

Amos would see his family have a monopoly on trade and is constantly seeking new sources of revenue to shore up business lost to competing merchants. He is still narrow-sighted and tends to only think of finding a new mining source or untapped timber.

He is always looking for adventurers to help scout and survey an area. Occasionally when inspiration and rumor strikes, he needs someone to explore and secure a magical grove or ruin that he can then harvest and sell. Also, any recent losses of Von Glet inventory he is likely to blame on other council members and be looking for discreet payback.

Lady Gertrude La Voix

Her ladyship Gertrude La Voix is the oldest child of one of the kingdom’s oldest families. She leaves the continuation of the family to her younger brothers, instead entering politics. Or at least as much politicking as a small town like Freeport can manage. While the other members of the council are more concerned with conniving against each other, apart from Shem, Gertrude enjoys playing the part of the crusader saving the village. But only playing at the role. She often speaks of grandiose plans more at home in the capitol city than small provincial town and is ultimately completely out of touch with the small folk.

Her beloved father is a collector of ancient artifacts and casual scholar. She indulges his interests as often as she can, seeking anyone that can investigate and acquire some artifact from a ruin or lost tribe or a rare specimen of creature.

Her family used to live in the capitol, departing shortly before the devastating war with Hammerwall. They departed in a hurry, under circumstances forbidden discussion in the household. Her mother is adamant that discussion of the king, the court jester, and fox hunting never be discussed.

Panvette Smallhand

Panvette is the head of the Silent Seas Trading Company, of about 10 ships (that openly fly her flag). She appears far too young to be in such a position, but it quickly becomes clear that her intelligence and ruthlessness has carried her far. She settled in Freeport only three years ago and now campaigns to enlarge the port and entice more foreign trade inland. She invests liberally in local inns and taverns, which has earned her some popularity.
Rumors are that her rise and fortune came from pirating in the far west isles and now she seeks to legitimize her business. Likewise, her favored foreign partners in trade fly no flags of nations or trading companies and have a wide range of cargo to unload. Lots of “small batch” items, hurriedly stowed with the occasional dent or crack.
Occasionally her company will want to acquire and export exotic animals from the region. Magical ones are best in foreign markets she claims. And at least once, she has tried importing such a creature, only to have it escape.

Shem Smith

Shem is a middle-aged human male, tall and as expected, build like a blacksmith. His dark beard brushes a barrel chest and his bushy eyebrows are constantly drawn in an expression of mild confusion. Shem is not the best blacksmith in Freeport, but a fair and competent one. That describes much of how he has lived his life, fair and competent. His one vice is the drink, and deep in his cups he gets angry. Never at those around him in the local tavern, but at the local government. He rages at the money spent lining merchant pockets instead of repairing roads and shoring up local defenses and properly outfitting the city guard (as well as properly directing them to patrol the roads instead of a merchant warehouse).

Seven years ago, a former council member passed (another of the few remaining aristocracy) and in a drunken haze Shem entered his name on the voting list. The local farmer and trade groups rallied and managed to vote him in.

Shem still works afternoons in his smithy, leaving the full day to three apprentices.
Shem is often looking for adventurers to help fill the role he feels the town guard show be doing – investigating
monster attacks in the area, Tracking down criminals, and generally helping alleviate the concerns of the small folk.

Horace Klemens

Horace stands a mere 4ft 11in and while it may be an exaggeration to say he is as wide, not an undue one. He is the essence of slovenly fashion. A cravat too loose, waistcoat unbuttoned. He is crass, but never pushes an offense to outright conflict. He is a coward in the end, and hides behind his constituency, “You wouldn’t dare cross me, I represent a very powerful group!” He refers to the local guild of longshoreman, headed by gang boss Reginal Root III. He holds his seat only by Reginald’s graces and some strong-armed ballot stuffing. His only mission on the council is to funnel as much money as possible back to the docks, as well as uphold any tariffs.

Horace is always seeking someone to help “acquire” some cargo or gather intel on what Amos or Panvette are doing. He is always in the know of someone (Reginald) looking to salvage (steal) some cargo from a wrecked ship (or outright piracy). Typically, the ship bears the emblem of Panvette’s Silent Seas or Amos’s Von Glet Winds companies.

Oh my goodness, Pyxistyx's map work is amazing. Beautiful. Worthy of framing and hanging. Way to bait her in.

Also, great idea BEP, and nice contributions everyone.

I would definitely love to contribute. I'm just working my way through previous posts so I'm caught up and will make useful contributions.

I have to get off my lazy butt and type up what I’ve written. And I have written entirely too much...

Thanks agentwred!

I still need to get back to working on a colour version of it that's partly finished (distracted by other stuff right now) .

Edited to reflect changes discussed below...and to fix typos.

Warrick Thornhill.

Warrick is a dwarf, though at first appearance one may hesitate to assume so. He is tall as far as dwarves go, and his beard surprisingly short for a dwarf. He keeps it as short as he is comfortable with to be less of a concern for his work. Both his facial hair and head hair is brown with greys mixed in.

He has no family in the town, though he does go on long trips every few years. He lives alone in a home that is large for one, with a substantial basement that he dug out himself. Much of his house makes use of unnecessarily complex contraptions and unique inventions.

He is the town's locksmith. And since the town isn't really large enough to support a locksmith, he is also a general handy man. Normally the locksmith role would probably be filled by the blacksmith, but the blacksmith seems happy to not have that occasional distraction, and Warrick doesn't have nor care to have a full blacksmith workshop. Warrick does, however, have a smaller workshop in has basement, where he makes locks and create his contraptions.

To the town's people, Warrick is most known for being great at fixing things and making solutions to random problems, but always wanting to make things more complicated than needed. When asked to add a simple lock to a door, he'll try and talk people into using a puzzle to unlock instead of a key, despite the fact that anyone smart enough or patient enough would then have access. He's eccentric in that way.

More than a locksmith


Although he is just Warrick the eccentric locksmith to the town's people, he is much more than that to a small subset of the larger world. He is renowned across the known world and beyond as an inventer, engineer, and masterful designer of dungeons. His expertise has been requested from half way around the world, and he is paid handsomely for obliging.

Warrick is not an evil dwarf, but neither is he a judgemental or nosey one. He just enjoys making very complex structures that keep unwanted guests out. Has he worked for evil warlocks? Probably? But more often just bored kings, or over confident pirate captains.
While new jobs are rare, they pay well enough to survive years in-between jobs.

This life is something he tries not to talk about. He is happy just being a simple soul in town, and he has no need for promoting himself anymore.

If anyone chooses to have a more intimate conversation with him, he is willing to talk about his early life when he lived amongst his clan. Most just don't try to get to know others so well anymore. Only the old timers in town know any of his past, as they were the ones who took the time to get to know him.

His past


Warrick's dwarven name is actually Voskar Holderhek, but does not use that name, as he is no longer allowed to use a dwarven name. He left his clan and is not welcomed back due to him "abandoning" them to pursue a career they do not approve of, and by tradition and dwarven law, he must also leave his name behind.

Value to adventures


While he has done quite a bit of traveling, he's not an adventurer, and while he's not necessarily against a good old fashion dungeon crawl, he does believe it would be unethical for him to participate in one. Nonetheless, his expertise would be invaluable to a party on such an adventure. After all, most traps and secret mechanisms are either his designs, based on his designs, or the basis for his designs.

So I originally envisioned my above character Yann, as a human, because I feel like the town should have a lot of uninteresting species, meaning humans. But in my second pass, I started thinking that someone with his experience and expertise in a fantasy world would probably make more sense as a species that lives longer.

Do others think Yann should be a dwarf instead? I might then change the name to something more dwarfy.

That's a good point... Lots of races live longer than humans. Dwarves fit the bill, but gnomes do too. Probably others I'm not thinking of.

Could be a half-dwarf.


Ok, finally starting to get these type up from my notebook. Using "Freeport" as a place holder for the town name, since I'm not sure that's final or not.

The Stray

a.k.a. Barky, Lil’ Captain, Sir Woof, Rascal, Peanuts, etc.

A stay dog that wanders around town, living off handouts from the residents. Frequently appears whenever troubles with animals arise.


The stay is a mutt, bearing traits of various work and war dogs, but his looks favor the wolf blood in him. From a distance he could be mistaken for a wolf if not for this distinctive tricolor fur and lack of lean stature. He is always well groomed and clean. His most distinctive feature is perhaps his bright blue eyes seem to project an unexpected intelligence.


In contrast to his wild dog ancestry, the Stray is one of the most docile animals in the town. Most of the time he is content to simply wander and laze around town, with little regard to the territories claimed by other animals, In fact, few of the animals in the city seem to care that he’s there and generally ignore him when he wanders through.

The Stray is likewise indifferent to others, including humanoids, but can be shy or aggressive around those that seem shady or dangerous or turn friendly and cooperative when less suspicious poeple offer a handout.

When cooperating, the Stray shows himself to be well trained and capable of obeying any common command. Some townsfolk even swear he can understand human speech. He has also proven to be clever and difficult to catch, seeming able to avoid or escape quickly and without a trace.


Hunters, trappers, pest control

While indifferent to the animals that reside in the city, he takes a different stance against intrusive animals, often showing up to chase away wild animals that wander too close to the city or intrude into storehouses or fields. This has lead to antagonistic relationships with the townsfolk who make a living off dealing with these situations. A couple trappers even claim that have seen the Stray purposely disable their traps.

Other Townsfolk

Most other townsfolk have a positive opinion of the Stray. The dog has often shown up to chase off rabbits, moles, and other nuances to farms and fields, and will help end rat and rodent infestations if let into the storehouse or warehouse. Many farmers and dock workers have tried to keep the Stray for his work, but the mutt will always slip away after a day of two or warm food and shelter.

Behind the Scenes


The Stray is actually a half-elf druid named Bica Thornspear, who has taken to helping keep peace between the townsfolk and the wild animals in the city in exchange for an easy, comfortable life of having the townsfolk feed and shelter him.


In his true form is a very average looking half-elf aside from being slightly overweight and possessing distinctive bright blue eyes. He wears a robe that seems to have been patched together from am myriad of different cloths, although close inspection reveals it has simply been mended and patched so frequently that little of the original fabric remains. His only other possession seems to be the rope he wears as a belt and a small pouch which contains spell components and a few small snacks.

He spends most of time in his dog form, however, and will only revert to his true form when forced to or in an emergency, and only after first trying to shift to different animals form to escape.


If forced back into human form, Bica is friendly, cooperative, and apologetic, if only to try to prevent his secret from being spread and his way of life destroyed. While lazy and reluctant to exert himself any more than necessary, Bica will happily share any information he can in exchange for the promise of keeping his identity hidden. And having lived as an inconspicuous mutt in the town for years has made him a great source of information to many of the town’s own secrets.


Bica doesn’t remember much from his youth. He knows he was raised in an orphanage, and was always hungry and cold. He has vague memories of sneaking out and hearing stories of grand adventures from street performers, bard, and of drunken travelers.

His first vivid memory is of the day he met “Master” Thronspear. He doesn’t remember why he was in the forest, nor how he had even made it so far into it. He does remember the fear as the wolves closed in. He remembers the exaltation when Thronspear rushed out to war off the wolves.

Young Bica had heard of Druids, men who live off the land, free from the oppressive rules and exceptions of the cities. Bica was awestruck to meet on in person and refused to leave Thronspear’s side. Even when the druid attempted to return to child back to civilization, Bica would attempt to follow him back to the wilds, until Bica was so hopelessly lost that Thronspear has to come to his rescue again. Bica was overjoyed the day the druid finally relented and took him in as a student.

But it was nothing like Bica expected. Druids had heavy responsibilities. Protecting nature, preserving balance. Food wasn’t as plentiful and free as the dreamed. It usually required work. He often found he was still hungry and cold. But the young half-elf kept at it. After all, the alternatives seemed even harder and offered less freedom.

After completing his training and leaving Master Thronspear’s side, Bica spent several years wandering the wolds, reluctantly doing his druid duties, when necessary, and doing his best to keep himself feed and comfortable. It wasn’t until he reached the woods outside of Freeport that had an epiphany.

There were animals in the city! And trees, and grass, and a while world of nature specifically adapted to the cites! But, more importantly, there was warm food, warm blankets, warm homes, and warm beds! Things people shared freely with animals they loved.

Bica wasted little time summoning his power to transform himself into an attractive dog and take to living in the city as a lovable and helpful stray, living off handouts and the generosity of the citizens, who also gave him more names than he could remember.

By showing up to convince rabbits and rats to move elsewhere, to explain to a wild beast they needed to move away from the city, or to keep the surrounding area from being over hunted, Bica is able to fulfill his druidic duties (at least to his own standards) and earn trust and favors from the people, making his new laid back life perfect.

Okay, I edited my above post about the character Yann, now a dwarf named Warrick.

We need some townsfolk without secrets as well. Here's an old couple.

Gerald and Gladys Gloombottom. Human. In their 60s. Cliche old couple who get along well with everyone except each other. When they are together, they are constantly bickering. Gerald is always making jokes like having an "old bag" at home, or not being afraid of death because "I wake up next to her every morning." Gladys gets her own clever jabs in now and again, often attributing a bad smell to her husband.

The truth of the matter is that they have lived together for over 40 years and while they get on each other's nerves, they wouldn't know what to do without each other. Gerald would be especially lost without his wife who prepares his breakfast and dinner every day. His lunch is often taken at the pub where he can often be found.


agentwred wrote:

We need some townsfolk without secrets as well.

Yep, yep.

I had planned on just having the two households of mine have secrets, but they needed the third character to help make it all into place. All of the others I had planned were just interesting characters.

The Stray just happened to be added because it was a neat idea. (My coworker still insisted on the dock war between sentient rats and cats though )

I love the stray idea. A fun little character.

Elmo Florik, 74 year old Retired Fisherman. House 84. He's tall (6' 4") and wiry, but he's starting to get a pooch-belly. His skin is dark and leathery from being in the sun all the time. He has been bald since his mid-20s, but has a lot of white hair on his arms, legs, and back.

Elmo has spent his whole life as a fisherman. He sold his 2 boats and all of his equipment 2 years ago and is happy with his decision to do so. His older sister, Lathilda Florik, lived in the house east of his for her whole life until she passed away 5 years ago. She was 73 when she passed. She willed everything to Elmo, having never married and never having kids. Elmo wants to sell her house (furnished) some day, but can't get himself to do it right now.

Elmo loves to tell stories to the town kids and any time the town has a special gathering, he is part of it. He especially likes telling stories at night by a fire, slightly scaring the kids with stories of sea monsters, but the monsters never win in the stories.

Elmo does laps in the pond behind his house every day. He swims strongly for his age.


So this is a bit of shamless self promotion / bribery But i've been fundraising for a new laptop (because the piece of crap i'm currently using is seven years old and struggling to keep up with my needs as a digital artist, and no way in heck i'm earning enough right now to afford a new one myself).

Right now i'm at £800 thanks to super generous donators here and elsewhere but because i feel bad about getting this support without giving anything back i'm considering making up a few art rewards for peeps. (Which will probably be a slow process over next year so as not to overload myself with extra work).

HOWEVER (getting to the point). If i can hit at least £1000 before the end of the month (that's another £200 on top of what i already have) then I will guarantee a bonus reward for GWJ peeps by making a big full colour, detailed poster-sized map of the collaborative town sketch map i made originally (see above). This would be 300dpi and thus print quality, probably aiming for about A3 sized (hell, if/when i get a new laptop, it might just be able to handle A1 sized art finally(!) who knows!)

Again, might not be right away as I've got a bunch of stuff i need to work on (and some secret stanta stuff to prepare..shhh!) but at first available opportunity i'll start working on it.

Sounds pretty awesome.


I'm sure it will be able to handle A1. If you get your £1500, that will get a damned nice laptop.

Earlier, I added some more numbers to your original map. I think even more would be good, even if they never get populated by townsfolk, etc..

Other contributors may have some good ideas to toss in before the final map is done, too, so this not being at the top of your list is a good thing.


Let me just check how the campaign is go....f*cking hell :O uh...thanks! I guess that's pretty much confirmed I do the map then

it'll take me a while to get to it properly (though i might start doing a few cheeky preparatory sketches next spare minute i have, so plenty of time to make suggestions

it begins...

Might take a while because i'm just dipping in to it whenever i get a spare minute, but i'll keep you updated


map update! Mupdate!



another update. not quite done with it but here's the current progress...


Stan is dead. All hail business orc!