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D&D Ideas — Farming

D&D Ideas Dusk
D&D Ideas - Famine

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is farming, Which we discussed in our weekly live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST on the Nerdarchy YouTube Channel to talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. Speaking of farming our fully funded Mage Forge project is still taking late pledges and it can still benefit from the nutrients provided by your support. And you’ll get a huge collection of magic items in return!

In our recent update we shared the Spirit of the Mage Forge encounter to pull together community inspired ideas and build on them while adding some fresh takes and more dynamic elements for better player engagement and story potential. Learn more about Spirit of the Forge and how to get your FREE copy here!

Delving Dave‘s Dungeon

This week’s topic is farming. One of the first things I think of is video games and characters grinding on weak creatures and monsters for XP to level their characters. That really got me thinking about it though. Even though it’s a video game concept I really think it originated in Dungeons & Dragons. When we used to track XP back in the day, inevitably someone would be short a couple of XP at some point or another and would want to know if they could kill a goblin so they could level up.

We also covered creating a farmer background on the live chat, but Nerdarchist Ted covered that below.

One of the things we also covered was farming and farms as plot hooks and quest givers in D&D. A farmer having a problem on their farm is the perfect low-level, quest giver.

10 Plot Hooks for a Farm

  1. The farmer’s child has gone missing in the forest near the farmhouse.
  2. Farmer’s daughter has been “kidnapped” by bandits. Or maybe she ran off with her sweetheart. Instead, wanting a different life she has run off to join the bandits.
  3. Sheep, pigs, and cows are going missing more than coyotes or wolves would account for. The farmer wants higher adventurers to stop the disappearances.
  4. A strange rock has fallen from the sky and glows with an eerie hue. Animals that go near it go mad and become violent. The farmer needs someone to haul it away or destroy it. Perhaps the rock also garnered the interest of others that might not have good intentions.
  5. Same rock as above but instead it begins mutating farm animals into monsters.
  6. A farmer needs his farm exorcised. They say it’s haunted. Turns out the farmer has offended local fey and they are tormenting them for it. The fey needs to be discovered and dealt with. This could be through appeasing them with negotiations or driving them off.
  7. Same as above but instead of fey it’s really haunted. It could be undead that needs to be destroyed or it could be discovering what has unquieted the spirits and how to put them to rest.
  8. There is a large pond or lake on the farmer’s land. Animals and farm hands have gone missing near it. Something that has been slumbering at the bottom has awakened after a long hibernation. Could be a giant snapping turtle, froghemoth, giant crayfish, or an aboleth. Regardless, the farmer wants this problem solved.
  9. The farmer’s workers are being attacked by trees and shrubs near the forest where they’ve begun clearing. This forest is inhabited by treants and they are trying to subtly dissuade the farmer from cutting into their woods. The attacks are getting more violent. They want someone to protect the workers while they work. Will the adventurers be able to figure out what’s going on and come to terms with the treants before they declare all-out war upon the farm?
  10. Pick any of the above plot hooks. It’s a ruse. The farmer is a monster impersonating a farmer. They lure adventurers to the farm to steal their stuff and eat them.


Mage Forge Mastery

Charm of Dimming

We keep our ear to the ground for fresh ways to help players create better RPG experiences and one of the awesome Mage Forge backers shared a great idea. They’re excited to introduce new magic items into their campaign through the free Spirit of the Forge encounter and suggested we include plot hooks along with formulae and recipes for crafting magic items to a deeper degree than the system in the free encounter.

While this is beyond the scope of the Mage Forge project itself we’ve got all of Nerdarchy.com to explore this great idea starting right here in this new Mage Forge Mastery series.

Since this is the first post in the Mage Forge Mastery series let us know if this sort of stuff is useful for you, what else you’d like to see in these posts and whatever other feedback or takeaways you’ve got to share.

Check out Mage Forge Mastery — Charm of Dimming here

From Ted’s Head

Farming means several things when we talk about gaming, but with a typical tabletop RPG it is a lot harder to go looking for repeatable tasks unless you are playing that particular style of gaming. I have done it for hours on end in video games, but not a lot in regards to at the table.

So I am going to talk more about farming. I feel it is a major part of the game and deserves more respect than it gets. After all farmers have a tough life and help get food to a lot of people. And if you look at the number of scenarios that involve a farmer, their crop, or their livestock they might have the hardest life in a fantasy world of any of the common folk.

But with them having a hard life, we actually do not have a simple farmer as a background. How is that possible with the game being around in 5th edition for so long? So here goes, you want to play a farmer here it is.

I am not going to go into detail about what a farmer is, if you don’t know, look it up. 🙂

skills: (pick any two from: Animal Handling, Nature, Medicine, or Survival)

Tools: (Pick any two from: Carpenter’s Tools, Cook’s Utensils, Leatherworker’s Tools, Potter’s Tools, Weaver’s Tools, Woodcarver’s Tools, Vehicles Land)

Equipment: A set of common clothing, 5 days of rations, A set of tools you are proficient with, 50 feet of hemp rope, 5 torches, and a pouch with 5 gold pieces.

Feature – Help for Help

A farmer knows one who has toiled the land and knows their way around the livestock. Once you have done it, it is a skill that never leaves you. And farmers will recognize that in adventurers who come from that life. Farmers know of farms within their land and can always find a place to get a roof over their heads for the night or a meal in their bellies. But nothing comes for free on the farm. No not in coin but with time and sweat. If you are willing to put in a good few hours of work you will cover the cost of the meal and the place to stay. It might be in a small room, it might be in the barn, but it will be out of the rain and weather.

A farmer’s work is never done and there are always problems, but knowing a farmer can get you away from the hustle and bustle of the city and get you a clearer head.

If that is not enough for you, I am really intrigued by the idea we talked about during the live chat of the Hag’s Farm. So not only am I giving you the background, but I am going to give you the bare bones of the Hag’s Farm. If you like this idea and want it fleshed out in a blog post or a video, reach out and let us know.

Hags are either fey or fiends so I would think that they would have some affinity for such creature types. The farm can either host a full coven, a single hag, or more than a coven of three, depending on how you want to use the encounter and what level your party is. But offering a large number of powerful creatures, you can use the farm aspect of the game with some strange creatures that you might expect. Like oh no, Old Bessie got out of her pasture, can you help bring her back? Not a problem if it were a cow. But how do you bring back a catoblepas?

Creatures on the farm: Catoblepas, nightmares, abyssal chickens and/or cockatrices, shadow mastiffs, or yeth hounds that protect the herd. Animated shovels, brooms, pitchforks, and or buckets that walk around fantasia style. Scarecrows could be your basic farm hands – Thanks to Jake from Mini Terrain Domain for some of these ideas. Any number of plants or plant monsters could lurk around the grounds. Assassin vines or shambling mounds could lie in wait to attack on command or kill off intruders. The sheep could even be permanently polymorphed people from the town.

I feel like I need fey goats in here somewhere as there is just not enough fey going on, considering how most hags are fey. If you want me to make a fey goat let me know. So use all the standard plot hooks with farms but the nature of the farm is not like anything you have seen before.

Nerdarchy staff

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