I remember seeing a somewhat recent post about whether or not you all use the rules for steadings, but now I can’t find it. Can someone link the OP here? I personally don’t use them, but wanted to see how others handle them.
I’m reading the D&D 4e Eberron Campaign Guide and like how they list “steadings” (it’s the only 4e book I own, so I’m unsure if it’s a 4e thing, or an Eberron Guide thing, but I assume the former). Here’s basically how they handle it:
Type (which is very much like a Fate character’s High Concept); Population
Point of Interest: Fluff about that POI. A POI could be a person, place or thing withing the “steading”.
I don’t have the book in front of me, so I can’t give an example from the text, but here’s one I made up (italicizing certain aspects is my own contribution, which are all things you and your players can customize):
Beleaguered Border Town; Population 600
Nestled in the pass between two mountains, Eastpoint is the first line of defense against the savage goblin lands to the east and civilization to the west. With thick stone walls, mercenaries and a small garrison of soldiers from the capitol, Eastpoint has fended off weekly and sometimes daily attacks for decades. Soldiers hate a rotation at Eastpoint because of the near-constant fighting.
The Trench: Several years ago a long, deep trench filled with sharp stakes was cut to the east of town and helped stave off more than a dozen attacks. Unfortunately the trench filled with goblin and orc corpses quickly and with no way to remove them the constant stench of decay fills the air and is doubly bad on days with a westerly wind.
The Blade Market: After most battles teams of men with carts scour the blood-soaked field of all of the weapons and usable armor to be brought inside the gates and sold in The Blade Market. Occasionally a goblin-made sword or dagger is of good enough quality that a mercenary or soldier will purchase it, but the vast majority of them are sold in lots to the highest bidder, with all proceeds going to maintain the garrison and walls. Unbeknownst to the Mayor, Garrison Commander and citizens of Eastpoint, these lots are all being sold to various agents of a single organization, and many of them make their way back to the goblin hordes in the east.
I prefer this “pure fictional” approach rather using the tags of the steading rules.