The first thing I’m going to do is name this town, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from writing these posts it’s that it gets really tiring talking about a place with no name. So here’s Oakshade, a little village that sprang up on the intersection where three trade roads meet under the shade of an old Oak tree.
The first step was to plot out those main roads. I’ve also added a couple of extra ones around them to give the town some shape.
Using those roads as a guide I added some terrain. A river to the south and a hill on the north side. In the centre of the town I also drew in the town’s namesake Oak.
Next I blocked in some space for the main buildings around town, keeping in mind that Oakshade lies at what is probably a rather busy trading intersection. A square for travelling traders to set up shop, with a field across the road for their wagons seems like a good fit. I’ll also add in a bunch of local craftspeople: a blacksmith, a jeweller, a leatherworker; and some gathering centres: a hunter, a mine, an orchard, a dock, and a communal well. They also need someone to keep the peace, so in goes a sheriff’s office and barracks for the militia.
The last step in planning out the town is to block in a bunch of unnamed buildings. Most of these will end up being resident’s houses but I’ll pick out one of the larger ones to become the local church. I also added a series of watchtowers on the roads out of town. I decided to leave the area around the oak mostly empty as a sort of village green, for gatherings and festivals.
With all the basics blocked in I can now go back and draw in the detail a bit cleaner, but that’s a step for another day.