Top Ten Things to Put in Your Keep

Lately all my posts have been inspired by the intersection of two separate events in my life. Today’s post was brought on by my quest to become the land baron of small parcel of New England, and the re-discovery of the plans for one my old 3.5 party’s strongholds. (It was on a pad of graph paper I haven’t touched in years, but needed to plan out my game this past weekend).

In every hero’s life, there comes a time when he’s either looking to settle down for awhile, hide out until things cool down a bit, or at least store his earnings. I won’t go in to the types of adventurer housing available, so let’s assume you’ve got a small manor somewhere that your character owns. What does he deck it out with? Or in other terms, if your GM turned it into an encounter setting, what would be the dungeon dressing? To help you figure out what you’d fill your house up with, here are 10 ideas.

  1. A (insert race) Cave. No adventurer’s home is complete without a place to relax, have a mug of mead with old friends, and scry in peace. A place to escape the trials and tribulations of everyday life. It should also double as a defensive area and a good place to store one’s hoard.
  2. An arcane tower. Especially useful for wizards and other arcane casters, but any hero’s home could benefit from a tall tower from which to read the stars for signs and portents. A wizard’s tower can double as a guard tower and a place to house one’s griffon.
  3. 10′ wide corridors. D&D fire code requires all corridors to be an even 10′ wide, and rooms to be at least 8 squares x 8 squares. Even if you never expect to be in a fight, it’s good to be prepared.
  4. A throne room. You need a spot with a big a comfy chairs, tapestries, and pillars with which to greet guests an supplicants. If the power ever goes to your head, you’ll need a spot for your guards to bring captured (N)PC’s to you so you can deliver a monologue on the proper stage.
  5. A treasure room. You’re going to acquire a lot of expensive items. You’ll need a high-security vault for all that stuff, and if you want to impress your guest, they’ll need to be on display. One bonus of having a personal museum is that you can charge your guests a modest fee for the privilege of looking at your loot. I also suggest hiring the services of a mimic or two to mess with anybody that tries to rob you.
  6. Arms and armor. In 4e, treasure is now rarely found on the bodies of one’s enemies. That doesn’t mean they’re not wearing interesting and diverse armors or carrying cool weapons. You can bring these back to your keep and put them display and show off the number and variety of enemies you’ve conquered. A Nature or Heal check should be sufficient for a little taxidermy…. There’s nothing like a stuffed Ogre wearing his original plate, just the way you slew him.
  7. Traps. If your house is all decked out, it’s likely to attract attention of unsavory types. Plus you’ve probably managed to gather a few enemies by now that would just love to catch you in your sleep. It’d be a good idea to have false floors, fire traps, murder holes, portcullises, secret doors, and all sorts of other nasty surprises. A giant rolling boulder would go great with those 10′ wide halls. Of course you’d have to make sure your legitimate guests know how to spot and disable these.
  8. Guest quarters. For those people and creatures that are welcome to come visit you should have a place for them to stay in comfort. That means you’ll need quarters with beds that should fit all sorts of guests from gnomes to goliaths, to archons and fire elementals.
  9. Teleportation circles. Important heroes may be called upon to save a distant kingdom or they want to go visit old friends and allies. Having a handy circle saves weeks of overland travel. For security reasons, you could get a pet dragon instead, which doubles as both transportation and security.
  10. Wainscotting. Little decorative touches turns a castle into a home.

What does your characters’ homes look like?


One thought on “Top Ten Things to Put in Your Keep

  1. My druid’s place is a treehouse, like the one in Swiss Family Robinson. She just finished building it in the last game! 🙂 Getting a place was the first thing I did when we started our D&D game. I’ve been told that’s not a typical thing to do right off the bat, but finding a place to live seemed sensible to me.

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