Setting information resources
Five crowns information resources for adventurers
Getting information from NPCs boils down to four things: (a) who is being asked the questions, which determines what information is known and also what perspective the information is delivered from, (b) who is asking the questions, © circumstances of the conversation (does the information source feel safe or threatened, for example), and (d) how the questions are posed.
There are several resources that can be found in a common city or town. Each description below includes how accessible the resource will be to adventurers or what would be required to gain information as well as the sort of information the resource/location is likely to provide. The list is from generally accessible to generally difficult to access:
Tavern/Pub/Inn: Resources in the local pub are easily accessible with a cross-section of several of the other members of this list. The bartender and barmaids will often require an economic exchange to reveal their information. Patrons can often be encouraged to share with a round of drinks. Often the information obtained amounts to rumors and incomplete knowledge, but a pub is an excellent source to understand the general state of the population. However, since experts enjoy an evening of carousing, sometimes the mixing pot of a pub can find the most in-depth information.
Temple, acolytes: Several temples have some of their resources open to the general public, monitored by the acolytes or other clergy at the lower end of the temple’s hierarchy. Acolytes can be knowledgable about the comings and goings of visitors to the temple and the surrounding area. They are often, also, a good resource for understanding the general state of the commoners of a town or city.
Shop Owners and tradesmen (such as blacksmiths): Street vendors and shop owners alike will want to be available to potential customers, however, they may consider precious information something to be sold just as they are used to selling their wares. Owners usually have information about their clientele as well the area where they sell.
City Guard, individual policing agents: Generally a city has it guard as its policing agents. Nobles often have their own guards as well. Sometimes, guilds employ private guards as well. The typical guard will be reluctant to give out information if it risks their position in any way.
Town Elder(s): Not customarily found in larger cities, but fairly common in smaller towns, a town elder may have no formal position in the governance of the town, but is often sought for their wisdom and guidance. Sometimes town members can be protective of their respected elders, making it difficult for an outsider to get their help. An elder will know a good deal of the town’s history and leadership. They often know a great deal about the surrounding area and politics with neighboring towns as well.
City Guard, leaders: todo
Temple, leaders: Often template leaders are more difficult to meet with, however, they tend to have a better understanding of a town or cities politics and would likely have direct access to lords and nobles.
Guild leaders: todo
Nobles: Access to the upper class is fairly difficult to achieve without an existing contact or if a character is a noble themselves. Nobles are not often found in local taverns or pubs, since they perform to entertain in their own homes.
Wizards: Wizards (and other magic users) notoriously difficult to meet with for different reasons; sometimes they are reclusive, sometimes hard working, and often just seen as potentially dangerous to interrupt. Wizards can supply a good deal of arcane knowledge, but may guard the information protectively. Wizards commonly have a private library, but would likely need to be convinced to share its contents with strangers.