Strongholds by any other name

Are you tired of the same old castles and wizard towers for random encounters? Roll 1d6 based on the biome to see what structures you generate! Note: I’m assuming you’ve already planned out the big cities/major locations of your game world, so these are just for random encounters, and naturally will be smaller in scope.


  1. Walled village (Village fortified with wooden barricades around it, usually surrounded by farmland or woods as a source of food)
  2. Earthen burrow (Homes dug into low hills, farms either underground or partially underground, may connect to older ruins or cave systems)
  3. Raised fort (An artificial earthen mound supporting a stone fort, surrounded by a walled village containing a farm inside)
  4. Nomadic camp (A series of yurts or tents arranged in a rough circle with a large tent for the chieftain’s family and meeting hall at the centre, owners possess horses or other herd animals)
  5. Military castra (Rectangular encampment with four gates, two roads cutting through the horizontal and vertical axes, containing quarters, temples, storehouses, hospitals etc.)
  6. Special structure (Roll on the Special table)


  1. Fastness (Fortress cut into mountain, surrounded by impenetrable hills, usually with only one or two marrow valleys or mountain paths granting access)
  2. Terraced village (layers of earth reinforced by stone buttresses cut into mountainside following natural elevation to allow for agriculture on uneven terrain, artificial irrigation canal systems)
  3. Crown structure (Pentagonal or star shaped castle topping a high plateau or mountain, easily defensible position but extremely obvious)
  4. Valley town (Town built within a small mountain valley, sandwiched on either side by sheer cliff faces that deny easy access, usually with small river running through centre)
  5. Ravine village (Town cut into ravine, bridges cris-crossing the gaps and paths built along the cliff face)
  6. Special structure (Roll on the Special table)


  1. Pyramid (Burial structure containing mazelike interior with false passages, hidden tunnels, and traps such as collapsing tunnels)
  2. Oasis village (Village with rectangular or domed buildings surrounding a natural pond with trees and plant life, possibly a trading centre)
  3. Riverside town (Town built near a river mouth or important branch, with a bridge to cross the river and a dock for trading boats to sail up and down)
  4. Trader camp (Tents, camels and domesticated beasts of burden, surrounding a central campfire or shrine)
  5. Temple complex/half-built city complex (Partially constructed desert city, product of hubris, lacking vital resources, low population)
  6. Special structure (Roll on the Special table)


  1. Wizard’s tower (Surrounded by one of the following [roll 1d4]: 1. tributary village, 2. graveyard, 3. wreckage of city or town, 4. magical circle that prevents scrying or other intrusive magics)
  2. Floating castle/fortress/temple (With one of the following features [roll 1d4]: 1. large fans that propell it around, chains that bind it to the ground and allow for difficult access, 3. built on a floating island group, 4. tributary village on the ground)
  3. Underground village or necropolis (Entrance located in [roll 1d4]: 1. well, 2. ominous gate set into the ground, 3. hut amongst a set of stone ruins, 4. natural cave)
  4. Cleric compound (Taking the form of [roll 1d4]: 1. isolated church/temple surrounded by small village, 2. inhabiting a former ruined temple or other structure, 3. domed pillar or other obelisk/monument surrounded by small village, 4. giant colossus statue)
  5. Ritual complex (Resembling [roll 1d4]: 1. circle of stones with camp set up nearby, 2. complex glowing sigils surrounding camp with central altar, 3. crevasse in earth protecting camp, 4. pillar of light shrouding camp)
  6. Mock-village or city (Roll again on biome table, rerolling 6s, except there is no population except [roll 1d4]: 1. ghosts, 2. statues, 3. automata, 4. piles of dust)

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