Empire Builder - Settlement Overview

This week’s highlight is “Empire Builder – Settlement Overview” (EB-SO for short). EB-SO was originally published in 2016, as part of the Empire Builder line of PDFs. This one is another in line for an expansion/update, as my way of doing things has changed over the years, plus more ideas are always popping into my head and the content can always be added/ expanded on. This is one that is 100% not in a rush for me to do, but is on my to-do list…at some point!

Since its original publication, EB-SO has gone on to receive a GOLD rating at DTRPG, putting it in the top 4710 products (3.86%) there.

Empire Builder – Settlement Overview

Having the settlement’s name and street details is all well and good, but what about the town itself? What sort of defences does it have? What is the law like? How many people live there? All these questions and more can make coming up with a settlement a daunting task.

The Settlement Overview is designed not to make a full layout for you, but to give you a framework to start with and give you room to grow and expand your cities and towns as you play in them. After all, what’s the point of making a detailed plan for your city if the party is only going there once?

This covers various aspects of the overview for your settlement

  • Size: How big is the city?
  • Attitude/Atmosphere: How would you describe the town in one word?
  • Architecture: What style are the buildings here?
  • Defenses: What physical defences does the location have?
  • Districts and Regions: How is the settlement divided up?
  • Law: What is the law like here? Do they favour one group over another?
  • Layout: Is the city in a grid-like formation or seemingly random?
  • Location: Where is this city located?
  • Population: What is the main race or species of this place?
  • Purpose: Why was the city built?
  • Resources: What is the primary import and export of this location?
  • Ruler: Who, or what rules this place?
  • Threat: What is the #1 problem this city has to deal with?

Also, features 3 appendixes

  • Appendix 1 – Buildings: A simple d100 list of some buildings you may find in a settlement
  • Appendix 2 – Groups : Used in conjunction with the law aspect to determine who or what the laws applies to.
  • Appendix 3 – Example Settlement Overview Creation: Takes you through an example creation of a settlement using this system.
Available now at…
Open Gaming Store



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