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Coming Soon

GM-Controlled Settlements

The primary objective of a GM-controlled settlement is to provide a 'home base' for the players to come back to, between adventures. A GM-controlled settlement is a place where NPCs can reach out to the players with new quests or information on existing quests, in addition to a place for the players to spend their hard-earned gold.

Secondarily, a GM-controlled settlement can sometimes be the target for Large-Scale Battles, if the GM wishes to include those rules in their campaign.

GM-controlled settlements are necessarily simple, compared to player-run settlements. GMs need to focus on keeping their story moving forward, so getting bogged down in the details of how many units of wheat are needed to ensure the population can survive the winter probably isn't something they should care about. Instead, the GM should come up with 5 or 6 interesting NPCs to interact with, in locations the players are likely to frequent, and strive to build a setting (in broad brush-strokes only) that implies a deeper, richer culture and sophistication. There's no need to build intricate maps and know the exact entrances to every sewer grate, unless you really, REALLY want to do that.

Player-Run Settlements

A player-run settlement is one where the players manage the growth of the settlement, guiding it from a meager thorpe with only a few villagers, to a sprawling megalopolis with millions of citizens and portals to all the planes of the multiverse.

The primary purpose of a player-run settlement is to empower the players to discover the hooks of new adventures, by spying on (or negotiating with) neighboring settlements, dealing with local monster populations, and settling disputes and issues between their own citizens. A player-run settlement is also a place the players can raise their own armies and engage in Large-Scale Battles, if that is a system the GM wishes to include in their campaign.

Player-run settlements can be considerably more complex and detailed than a GM-controlled settlement, since the players are managing it, and players, quite frankly, have more time on their hands than the GM does. Furthermore, those annoying details that are too specific for a GM to bother with are now fodder for small quests (or skill challenges) for the players. If the town doesn't have enough food for the winter, send the players to a neighboring town (through the dark forest, of course) to get enough supplies to help the town survive. Of course, if they get to the neighboring town to discover it's been conquered by an army of Orcs, and that army is gearing up to come to the player's own town next, well... suddenly, you have a story!