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Chapter 2: Tools / Settlements

Settlement Stat Block

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 134
A settlement’s stat block consolidates the basic information about a settlement into a centralized format.

Settlement Name Settlement (Level)

Alignment Type Other Traits
The first elements of a settlement stat block are its name and level. A settlement’s level represents its relative size and economic capacity, as well as roughly corresponding to the maximum level of NPC that can be found there, not counting significant NPCs listed below. In general, any common items with a level no higher than the settlement’s level are available for purchase (though a character of a higher level can usually ferret out or custom order higher-level items). In addition, the settlement’s level is used to help determine the maximum possible task level that could become available there to Earn Income (Core Rulebook 504). Both these are simply guidelines, however, and a GM should make exceptions at their discretion.

Following the settlement’s heading are its traits. The first of these is the trait representing the settlement’s alignment. This trait represents the alignment of the settlement’s government and overall society, and while it may indicate a trend, it doesn’t dictate the alignment of every individual citizen. After the alignment trait is the trait for the type of settlement: village, town, city, or metropolis. This trait generally reflects the size of the settlement, but it also tends to correlate to a settlement’s level. A village is usually level 0–1, a town level 2–4, a city level 5–7, and a metropolis 8 or above, though the presence of many higher-level or wealthy residents could easily skew the level of a village, town, or city upwards.

A settlement might have other traits in addition to its alignment and type traits. For example, the dwarven sky citadel of Kraggodan has the dwarf trait, since it was built and is predominantly occupied by dwarves. The city of Lepidstadt in Ustalav has the academic trait, due to its focus around the prestigious University of Lepidstadt.

Following the settlement’s traits is a simple sentence that provides a short description of the settlement and its role in the story or region.

Government This entry describes the settlement’s governing entity, such as a mayor, the town elder, an elected council, and so on.

Population The settlement’s total population is listed here, followed by a breakdown of the population by ancestry in parentheses.

Languages The languages commonly spoken in the settlement are listed here, ordered alphabetically.

Religions This entry lists the religions and philosophies commonly practiced in the settlement. If the settlement has an official religion, that is indicated in parenthesis. If the settlement has prohibited any religions or philosophies, those are listed in a Prohibited entry following the Religions entry.

Threats This entry lists the major threats facing the settlement, such as ongoing drought or famine, political uprisings, criminal activity, and the like.

Other Characteristics A settlement might have distinctive features that affect its residents or visitors entering the city, such as a particular trade that makes certain items more available.

Significant NPCs The final section of the settlement stat block presents the most significant NPCs of that settlement. This usually includes the settlement’s official leader, if it’s a single person. It also includes other movers and shakers, local celebrities, and persons of particular interest to adventurers.

Sample Settlement Abilities

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 134
Here are some common settlement abilities you can use to customize a settlement of your own creation.

Artists’ Haven: Residents of this city have a deep appreciation for fine art. It’s easier to find higher-level tasks involving Performance or art, as well as buyers willing to pay more for art objects.

City of Artisans: Items of up to 4 levels higher are available from a particular category the settlement is famous for, such as armor and weapons.

Magical Academy: The settlement prides itself on teaching magic, and its residents are skilled at teaching others. Choose a magical tradition or traditions suitable to your settlement. When a PC pays an NPC to teach them a new spell of that tradition in the settlement, the NPC assists the process and provides an additional +2 circumstance bonus to the check to Learn the Spell.

Religious Bias: This settlement has a strong affiliation with a particular religion. Anyone who is visibly a worshipper of that deity gains a +1 circumstance bonus to Diplomacy checks to Make an Impression, Request, and Gather Information. Characters who visibly worship one of that deity’s foes take a –1 circumstance penalty to the same actions.

Scholarly: An abundance of public libraries or other accessible places of learning within this settlement means that with 1d4 hours, a character can access a scholarly journal on a relevant common subject (Core Rulebook 291) before attempting to Recall Knowledge.

Changing a Settlement

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 135
Sometimes the characters spend a long period of time in a single settlement. Perhaps it’s their home base, where they spend their downtime between adventures, or perhaps the entire adventure takes place there. In these cases, you might find you need to update your settlement stat block as it changes over time.

Several elements of the settlement stat block are simple to update; you change the population as it grows or shrinks, and you change the leaders on your stat block as different people move between those positions. But you also might make changes that reflect the results of the PCs’ adventures. If the heroes eliminated a major threat facing the settlement, you should remove that threat from the stat block—but if they drew the wrath of a new foe in doing so, you might add that new threat! You can also update the stat block’s abilities, should the PCs’ actions have that large an influence on the city. For example, if the party (using the leadership subsystem on page 168) built up a wizard school focused on crafting magical items, you might add an ability to the settlement stat block that increased the availability of magic items in the settlement’s markets.

Settlements of Lost Omens

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 135

Port Peril Settlement 11

CN Metropolis
Pirate city and black-market capital of the Shackles.
Government Hurricane Queen (overlord)
Population 43,270 (65% humans, 10% half-elves, 8% half-orcs, 5% gnomes, 5% halflings, 7% other)
Languages Common, Kelish, Osiriani

Religions Besmara, Cayden Cailean, Gozreh
Threats anti-pirate policing from the Inner Sea region, opposing pirate forces, supernatural storms from the Eye of Abendego
Pirate Town Port Peril thrives on black-market and stolen goods. Items that might be difficult to acquire or dispose of in other settlements due to legality can be purchased and sold more easily in Port Peril. NPCs begin with an attitude one step worse than usual toward characters openly displaying insignia of law-enforcement agencies, religious iconography of lawful deities, or affiliation with a lawful nation.

Pherias Jakar (CN female elf troubadour) merchant master and joint overseer of Port Peril
Sabas Odabio (LN male human administrator) accountant and joint overseer of Port Peril
Tessa Fairwind (CN female half-elf pirate lord) Hurricane Queen of the Shackles
Tsojmin Kreidoros (LE male dwarf wizard) harbormaster and joint overseer of Port Peril

Otari Settlement 4

N Town
Diverse lumber town and trade port with a storied past and a fair share of sinister secrets.
Government Mayor (elected leader)
Population 1,240 (60% humans, 8% halflings, 7% half-elves, 6% elves, 5% dwarves, 5% gnomes, 3% half-orcs, 2% goblins, 4% other)
Languages Common, Dwarven, Elven, Gnomish, Halfling

Religions Cayden Cailean, Erastil, Gozreh, Nethys, Sarenrae
Threats aberrant horrors, eerie hauntings, kobolds, smugglers
Trinket Trade Otari has a long tradition of catering to adventurers, and consumable items of up to level 10 can be purchased in its markets and shops.

Lardus Longsaddle (CN male human soldier) foul-mouthed and short-tempered captain of the town guard
Oseph Menhemes (N male human mayor) current mayor of Otari, patriarch of one of three local lumber companies
Vandy Banderdash (NG female halfling cleric) chatty priestess of Sarenrae and unusually knowledgeable town historian
Wrin Sivinxi (CG female tiefling merchant) eccentric occult items dealer, artisan, and collector of stories and rumors