This week we're going to look at the town message board. A place where adventurers can gather information about the town that they are in, perhaps find a job or two, and maybe even something to buy with all of their loot. The message board is a simple community communication tool. It should be in a central location and accessable to everyone. Perhaps near the town well or outside the farmers market. It is important when describing the messages to include a description of what the note looks like, how old does it appear to be, what was it written with, how good is the penmanship and spelling of the author, and whether or not there are any drawings or pictures that accompany the note. It should be noted that message boards are usually found in villages and small towns, but not larger towns and cities that support schools, colleges, and/or guilds. Larger towns and cities may have printing presses and newspapers or town criers for hire.
Below you will find 13 notices with descriptions of how they look and a bit of backstory to create an adventure seed for each. Use them to fill out the message board in the town your PC's are currently in or as idea fodder to create your own notice board. As always, thanks for your time and happy gaming!
In a bold, block print, written with black ink and accompanied by a simple drawing of two rats is the following message: RATS on the Docks ARE everyone's problem! 2 copper for each Dead Rat. Paid daily at Sundown. See the Harbormaster. What the harbormaster doesn't know is that a pair of wererat rogues are hiding amongst the regular rats scouting out ships with valuable cargo for a local gang of thugs.
In a large flowing script, written in black ink, is the following message: Young Warhorse For Sale • He comes from Fine Stock • Trained in Lance Charge and Hand-to-Hand Horse Melee • Talk to Sir Matthew at the Tower Stables. Sir Matthew breeds and trains excellent quality horses. He wants 500 gold for the horse and won't go lower than 450 gold. The price includes bit and bridle, a military saddle, saddle bags, and a feed bag.
In flashing, multi-color print, clearly infused with alchemical magic, is the following message: Mad Mertons Marvelous Merchantile Wants YOUR Copper • Come see our FANTASTICAL wares on Fish Street, 1 block from the Town Docks. Mad Merton is a tinker gnome who creates various simple novelties and tools that he sells for 1 to 20 copper pieces. He only takes copper because his top secret revivification machine project, housed in his basement laboratory, needs nearly 150,000 copper pieces worth of copper to be completed. After it is done, he'll be able to sell people eternal life, as long as there is a raging thunderstorm to harness the power from. What could go wrong?
Written in block print, in a large, unsteady hand, with a piece of charcoal is the following message: Tracker Needed to Hunt Down a Pack of Wolves that be Killing my Sheep. Ask for Farmer Patrick at the Fresh Market. Farmer Patrick is willing to pay 20 gold (literally ALL of his family's savings) to have the wolf pack killed because they are destroying his livlihood.
Written in a thin, flowing script, with a calligraphic flair in black ink is the following message: Are You Road-Weary or Sea-Worn? Have You Travelled Far and Seen Much or Do You Dream of Travel and Great Deeds? Come Share a Mug of Ale and Swap a Tale with Bedwynal the Bard at the Blow-Hole Tavern Most Days. Bedwynal is a highly charismatic bard of the College of Whispers. He can be an excellent source of information for the PC's because he knows nearly EVERYTHING going on, but he's gathering information on the adventurers as well, so he can sell them out when it's time.
Written in clearly printed letters that constantly change colors, via alchemical magic, on small piece of black parchment is the following message: Are You a Monster-Slaying Adventurer? Come See Me at Glymtock's Alchemical Wonders - I have Unique Needs and I Pay in Gold. Glymtock is a half-elf alchemist who will buy Carefully Harvested and Preserved monster parts (Hags eyes, Gryphon beaks, Wyvern tails, Ogre teeth, etc), but he is extremely picky in what he will accept. He pays 10x the CR of the creature in gold for each part that he accepts.
Written in a large, block print with a black wax pencil is the following message: Now Hiring Stableboys and Dung Sweepers. Room & Board plus 1 Silver per Week. Ask for Regnax at the Tower Stables. Regnax is a slave driver of a boss. The room is a bunkhouse shared with 6 other people and the board is a large pot of simple stew, soup, or gruel that changes about 3 times each tenday. But hey, sometimes you REALLY need a place to stay in town.
Written in large block letters with blue chalk on a stained piece of parchment is the following message: For Sale • Fruit/Vegetable Cart • Freshly Painted & New Wheel Grease • See Thomac at the Fresh Market. Thomac is an enterprising young man who has rebuilt a broken ox cart given to him by one of the farmers and is trying to sell the cart for 15 gold pieces. He won't take less than 10 gold. He is working and saving all of his money in hopes of being able to go to Bard College one day.
In a small, cramped script, written in thin, black ink is the following message: Special Herbs and Leaves needed from Grimlock Woods. See Goodewyfe Haggis at The Whistling Kettle. The Whistling Kettle is a tea shop that Stephadopolis Haggis and his wife, Belinda, own and run. The atmosphere of the shop is creepy and it never seems to have customers. Nevertheless, Belinda Haggis is willing to pay hansomely for various rare herbs and plant leaves growing within the haunted woods. She says she needs the ingrediants for a "special tea", but will not say more.
Written in a beautiful, flowing script in bold black ink is the following message: Wanted: Trustworthy Body Guards to travel with a Priest and his Acolytes to various Towns and Villages along the Sword Coast, ending at Waterdeep. Inquire at the Temple of Sune. The priest is a highly charismatic half-elf named Yarnax and his acolytes are three incredibly beautiful redheaded human females. While Yarnax and the Temple of Sune are unwilling to discuss the nature of his mission, they are willing to pay 10 gold a day for descreet protection of the group. Within a few stops it will be relatively easy for the party to figure out that they are basically the muscle for a high class pimp and his harem of ladies.
Written in a blocky, uneven script with a red wax pencil is the following message: WANTED 3 Brave Adventurers to Go with me into the Grimlock Woods to Rescue my Sister from Bandits. You will be Rewarded with Gold and Silver. Find me outside the Blow-Hole Tavern. The PC's will find that their patron is a 9 year-old, homeless waif, named Stephan, who begs for a living and has no money. His older sister, Valerina, age 14, was NOT taken by bandits in the night, as Stephan describes, but rather ran off to join the bandits, abandoning her brother to the Fates when she became overburdened trying to care for him after their parents died suddenly from disease. Stephan reasons that the bandits have a lot of silver and gold, which the PC's can have all of, because he only cares about getting his sister back.
Written in large block print with a thick, black wax pencil is the following message: Do Ye Think Yer a Real Man Able to do a Real Man's Job? Come by Crabby Bills on the Docks at Sunup and We'll See. Daily Work-Daily Pay. Crabby Bill has a small ship and he knows a spot not too far away from the town where Giant Crabs can be found. He hunts these crabs daily with whoever is brave enough to come with him. He pays 4 gold and 1 healing potion a day.
Written in a thin, careful script with a black ink so dark, it seems fresh, is the following message: Help Wanted • Light Work • Must Be Able to Read Well • 100 Silver Upon Completion • Speak to Yosefus at the Temple of Oghma. Poorly constructed scroll racks at the Temple of Oghma have collapsed spilling their contents into a messy heap upon the stone floor of the library. The temple needs help getting all of the scrolls cleaned up, re-indexed, and appropriately shelved upon the new shelving units. All told it is about 24 man hours of work, plus it gives the PC's access to that chunchy piece of information that they need.
I hope you enjoyed this collection of notices. Next week I hope to bring you more treasures from the sea. If you do enjoy these blog entries, please check out The Seas of Vodari Kickstarter, which I am a team member on. As of the writing of this blog, it was already 70% funded after less than 36 hours. I thank you for your time and support. Special thanks to those of you who have ALREADY backed the KS. It's gonna be a great book.