Monday, April 10, 2017

[D&D] Activity Tables for The Village of Hommlet

The Village of Hommlet (as described in the AD&D module T1: The Village of Hommlet, later included as part of T1-4: The Temple of Elemental Evil) is probably the single most well-known location in all of AD&D-dom (with only The Keep of the Borderlands supplanting it if we include the non-Advanced versions). As everybody knows, it supposedly sees a significant volume of traffic passing through due to its location at a crossroads connecting Verbobonc, Dyvers, the Kron Hills, and the Wild Coast, which is how it supports a large inn, and why agents of the various Good and Evil organizations are able to pass unnoticed. Other than saying that, though, the module doesn't really give much detail about that traffic, leaving it to the individual DM to determine what types of traffic pass through, and how often. So, in order to aid in that effort and help me to visualize Hommlet as an active, "living" locale, I pulled together this table:

1 in 3 chance per day of a new arrival in town:

01-25 - Farmers from the local area (1-4 carts; 1-6 individuals per cart)
26-60 - Merchants (a)
61-75 - Patrol (b)
76-85 - Pilgrims (c)
86-90 - Rhennee/Attloi (d)
91-95 - Supplies & replacement workers for castle construction (1-3 wagons; 3-9 new workers)
96-00 - Other (e)

(a) Merchants:

Size of caravan:
1-2 - individual peddler (1 cart)
3-6 - small caravan (1-3 wagons)
7-9 - medium caravan (4-6 wagons)
0 - large caravan (7-10 wagons)

Origin and destination:
1-5 - arriving from north (Verbobonc); headed: east (1-5), south (6-9), or west (0)
6-7 - arriving from east (Dyvers); headed north (1-7), west (8-9), or south (0)
8-9 - arriving from south (Wild Coast); headed north (1-7); west (8-9), or east (0)
0 - arriving from west (Kron Hills)*; headed north (1-4); east (5-7), or south (8-0)
*30% of merchants arriving from the west are gnomes

(b) Patrols:

1-3 - light patrol (representing the Viscount of Verbobonc)
4-7 - levied patrol (representing the Waldgraf of Ostverk)
8 - woodsmen (from the Gnarley Forest)
9-0 - mercenary company (determine number and type per DMG)

(c) Pilgrims:

1-2 - followers of Obad-hai (druidical)
3-6 - followers of St. Cuthbert
7-8 - followers of Fharlanghn
9 - followers of Olidammara
0 - followers of Ulaa (30% chance clerics are gnomes (1-3) or dwarfs (4-6))

Each group consists of 1 cleric/druid of level 3-6, 0-2 clerics/druids of level 1-3, 1-6 guards (men-at-arms led by a fighter level 2-4) and 5-30 pilgrims

(d) Rhennee (Attloi):

1 chief (Fighter (20%), Thief (30%) or Mountebank (50%) of level 4-7)
1 wisewoman (Thief (20%), Mountebank (50%), or Mystic (30%) of level 2-5)
1-6 wagons, each containing 1-2 guards, 2-8 folk, and 0-3 children

(e) Other travelers:

1-2 - Adventurers
3 - Traveling noble & retinue
4 - Elves
5-7 - Outlaws
8-10 - Beggars (3-18)
11-12 - Refugees (5-30)

This table determines "legitimate" traffic - at the DM's option almost any of the above may actually be disguised agents or cultists of the Temple of Elemental Evil

In addition to new arrivals there might be other events or activities going on in town, which can be determined via a second table:

Roll (d%) daily:

01-80 - No event of note
81-83 - Good news: Someone is announcing a birth (1-2), wedding (3-5), or other similarly fortuitous event (6). Free round of drinks for everyone at the Inn!
84-86 - Celebration time: There's a party going on in honor of a birth, wedding, birthday, barn-raising, religious event, or just about anything else
87-89 - Unexpected arrival: either rolled on the Traffic Table (which may result in two arrivals on the same day) or some other miscellaneous visitor (e.g. relatives visiting someone in town, a messenger with news, a mysterious loner, etc.)
90-91 - Accident: A fire (1-2) or other significant injury (3-6) is suffered by someone in town (1-2) or on an outlying farm (3-6)
92-93 - Outbreak: contagious illness has affected 1-3 households in town (1-4) or among the outlying farms (5-6)
94 - Brawl at the Inn: self-explanatory
95-97 - Sudden change in the weather: sudden increase (1-2) or decrease (3-4) in temperature, or sudden heavy precipitation (5-6) 
98 - Creature on the loose: a pack of feral dogs (1-6), an escaped horse (7-9), something from the marshes (snake, lizard, etc.) (10-11), or a monster rolled from the Wilderness Encounters table (12) is loose in town
99 - Attack: an outlying farm (1-2) or group of travelers (3-6) has been attacked by bandits (1-3), humanoids (4-5), or a monster (6)
00 - Strange, portentous occurrence: meteor shower, blood moon, solar eclipse, birth of two-headed calf, swarm of locusts, earthquake, etc. (each such event should only occur a single time)

These are the probabilities as of the start of the adventure. If the PCs make slow progress and the Temple of Elemental Evil gains power, some events (95-00) will become more likely, and others (81-86) less likely, and the table will need to be modified to reflect the changed circumstances.

Between these two tables, this classic locale starts to feel more like an active, "living" place where things happen whether or not the players instigate them, and everybody isn't a Quantum Ogre sitting around waiting for some PC to come along to talk to (or rob, or attack) them.

3 comments:

  1. It looks good.

    I would emphasize that the "Rhennee" are "Attloi" because Gord made the association when he was an official Rhennee already and thought they were almost indistinguishable except for the land basis versus lake/river basis. However, in another story a Rhennee and an Attloi fight to the death over who are the true folk Attloi or Rhennee. So while its easy for record keeping in-game I was kind of confused whether or not "true" Rhennee would be in the vicinity almost forgetting they're related to the Attloi.

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    1. The "Rhennee" entry on the table is definitely supposed to be the Attloi/wagon-folk. I'd forgotten Gary gave them a separate name in Saga of Old City as was going off the write-up from the WOG set that doesn't differentiate between the two types (except to note that the land-based ones are rarer). Presumably "true" (barge-dwelling) Rhennee can be encountered in Nulb, since it's on a navigable stream.

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    2. These look great and capture the flavor of Hommlet really well. Besides the extra depth just a few verbal sentences of description can provide, the DM could use various events to bring in candidates for party NPCs and help without it being heavy or obvious. Makes it easier to put together temple activities in town, too.

      I can guess Nulb's tables would look very different...

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