what does a good medieval town need.

I’m trying to make a medieval village.
I’m no history buff, what are the necessary things for a medieval village to function?
Also any good ideas for WG-related stories for the different villagers that still feel somewhat related to their functions in the village?

I currently have
-village head

1 Like

-plague doctor
-maybe a regular doctor too?
-town drunk
-rancher/breeder of some kind
-brewer (this is absolutely necessary for realism, they’re responsible for 100% of yeast in the town. Also beer.)
-baker (another necessary staple)


what about:

  • an alchemist or something similar

  • a circus group

  • a priest

i don’t know more

Oh yeah, religious figures, and entertainers. I missed those.

I forgot to mention I’m in a low fantasy setting, so there is some magic just not accessible to everyone.

For healthcare I was thinking the general store owner could have basic first aid knowledge and sell potions

Later a priest with healing magics and more extensive healing prowess would join as well

I love the idea of a brewer and entertainers. I think it could mesh well with the inn.

The baker too, reading about medieval history bread is quite important it seems.

Thank you everyone for the feedback, Il post my game
synopsis once I feel it’s complete enough

well it depends somewhat on how grounded in real history you want your village/town to be and the size of it. for a very small one where everyone knows everyone I would say only priest is missing (maybe also baker). I’m not 100% sure about this but I think shopkeepers weren’t really a thing in small villages, it was more that merchants came to the village while traveling around to other towns and selling stuff since they need to stay a while anyways.
also as a little side note a lot of times the priests were the ones brewing alcohol. I want to say that it was mostly the priests that did that but the medieval times wasn’t standardized at all so it might only be true for some region of some country

if the village was bigger then something like a tavern and a bathhouse would probably be things

as for story scenarios
village head: since they would probably have some sort of responsibility around collecting rent/taxes for the lord they could do some “skimming of the top” and end up spending it on food (or take food as some sort of bribe)
innkeeper: from my understanding they would be one of the richer people in a village so they could just be fat because stuff is going well for them. most stuff would probably be centered around the inn since that is the place where all the traveling people would be
guard: could be that because the village is peaceful they don’t need to do much so they just sit around and eating the medieval equivalent to doughnuts

the idea of a bath house is nice hehe, my village is in the mountains I could make it work.

as for the village head : I had it planned where her weight is tied to the total weight of the villagers.
the bigger the village the fatter she gets. she a good antured girl so she would steal, but the idea that she gets influenced by others as the towns revenue increases in good.

for the guard: my plan is that the guard is a successful captain who suffers from ptsd and cannot handle being heralded as a war hero anymore since war is the thing she hates the most. She would become the guard captain of a peaceful village to escape her responsibilities.

thank you for the feedback, you’ve given me good ideas.

  • Gravedigger :dizzy_face:

Also, the region where the village is can determine a lot, like if It is located near a forest there would be lumberjacks and hunters. If there is a mine there would be miners or gold diggers. If the village is remote there could be couriers or travel guides. In Europe nowadays a beerhouse is a must have in villages, not a tavern where you can sleep but only a “pub”.
For the story i played with the thought of altering the old disney tales with fetish twists like little red riding hood, this one obviously with vore but snow white could be a feedee of that dwarfs for sure…

Weren’t doctors and surgeons technically the barber’s job? Thus why poles in front of the shops have red and white stripes.

1 Like

Fun fact about bathhouses, they were a holdover from the Roman Empire until the bubonic plague came along, after which they were closed down.
The reason mainly being that the disease spread rather easily there; since they had no concept of germs or microorganisms, the only thing they could understand was that being at the bathhouse spread the disease more easily.
If they knew about sanitation measures of today, the simple answer would’ve been to add some distance in the communal baths, as well as cleaning up after guests.

Someone on here brought up an herbalist, while I ended up thinking “what about an apothecary”?
I looked up the difference between the two, and there is technically a difference, in the same vein as an enthusiast vs a practitioner.
Herbalists are more associated with small towns and villages, due to being more or less self taught, while apothecaries do similar but have a more formal education, in which they’d be located in bigger cities and urban areas.

I made a thread in the project idea category to share more about my plans.
I’ll probably post updates there

Tinker (traveling repair person)

And if the reason for the village existing isn’t because it’s a good source of food or lumber, then:

Miner (mining village)
Outpost Soldier (fort village)

Howsoever, most folks making RPGs skip the villages and do towns instead, which is where you get your professions: wheelwrights, candlemakers, butchers, weaver, grooms, squires, and all the rest. Towns have a lot more variety, which makes them a lot more visually interesting, so a lot of RPGs have the PCs walk right past all the villages. Which I am disappointed by, but I am an unusual case.

As for WG, once you’ve decided the reason your village exists in the world, and the sorts of people who live there, then add something new. Something simple, from a bumper crop causing a series of feasts, to something complex with magic realism, such as the introduction of a wand of plenty that turns out to be both gift and curse.

So in summary, since you wanted realism, basically to ground a place in realism – is there a good river nearby, then it’s a fishing village. Is there a source of copper nearby, mining village. Etc. For a village, most of the people will be involved in that trade. Throw in some others who supply other needs, and that’s your villagers. Since you wanted a “good” village, then add in something memorable, such as a landmark or an interesting flavor (such as frontier town), to give it that extra little something something to make it special. Then to kick off your WG story, add whatever WG element you like that you think you can use to inflict a lot of fun drama on your characters. The means of the WG matters far less than you making fun drama that you like.


The vast majority will probably be farmers, there might be a tanner (leather), a miller (for making flour), hunters (these would more likely be poachers, since hunting was illegal for non-royals), 100% a baker, maybe a jeweler? Depending on how prosporus the town is

Was that a reference to the video game?

I am not sure what you meant. Is there a game with snow white in it? Or a disney character? :melting_face:

The Gravedigger comment; it brought to mind a game called Graveyard Keeper, which has a similar setting, just with more cannibalism (but only a little bit). I had forgotten the name, which is why I equated the two.

Wow, that was not intentional. I accidentally nailed the setting. But this game looks good…
I just thought that every slightly bigger settlement needs a graveyard and somebody to look after it…