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Locus: Outbuildings - Part I

The outbuildings of any large farm or manor carry a sense of mystery. In addition to the main house and largest barn, these estates may have dozens of buildings of specialized purpose. Isolated from the common life, outbuildings gather strange tools, distinct smells, and their own lore. Many sit at the edge of the lands as the last gesture of civilization before the wilds.

Outbuildings are excellent places to hide or forget things. They (or their ruins) can give clues as to the region’s history - why does the old gatehouse face the woods? As estates grow or shrink they may absorb the buildings of their neighbors or re-purpose buildings, leading to seemingly incongruous or useless structures dotting the grounds.

Roll for or choose as many buildings as seem appropriate for the size of the estate. A single structure might incorporate the functions of multiple outbuildings, with each becoming its own room. The buildings might also be attached to the main house or barn, either directly or along corridors.

Just because an estate lacks a particular outbuilding does not necessarily mean they are incapable of fielding its function. They just don’t perform it at any kind of scale, likely within the main barn or house. Every farm keeps a few chickens - one with a coop keeps dozens or hundreds.

Next week, part II - Outbuilding Traits.

Roll Outbuilding Function Hooks
01-05 Bake Oven Bread is baked here when the heat of an enormous stone oven is not welcome in the main house. Many houses may make use of the same bake oven, making it a popular meeting place.
06-15 Barn Complements the main barn. Often have a fenced yard or run attached. Just as with the main barn, other outbuildings are commonly attached to this.
16 Boathouse Built on a river or lake, this structure stores and protects small boats and their equipment. This would be an excellent place to store supplies for an escape or elopement.
17-18 Butchery These are usually built far away from where animals are kept and given reinforced walls. Any number of unpleasant tools would not be suspect in a butchery. Nor would blood.
19-20 Cabin Far-flung from the main house, these austere shelters are for hunters or shepards out on long treks. A gamekeeper or trapper may live here year round. Isolated cabins make excellent hiding places.
21 Carriage House This wide-doored building holds carts or carriages, plus their tack and likely room to harness a mount. The mail flows through here. Anyone looking to make a getaway would probably head here.
22 Dovecote Pigeons, doves, or prisgeons are raised in the dovecote's stone niches as messengers, a hobby, or food. The niches provide many hiding places for small objects or notes. Messages might be sent from here.
23 Folly An architectural extravegance whose only purpose is to display the wealth and whims of its patron. Intentionally strange and out of place, these structures may have secret doors, mazes, or puzzles.
24-25 Forge A truly independent estate requires a place to work and repair metal. May have a smelter attached. There are numerous superstitions of forges and blacksmiths. Forging weapons might be criminal.
26-27 Fungus Middens Most often stone or clay, scraps and sawdust are used to grow a variety of mushrooms here. Things rot away quickly in the middens. A source of food through trying times.
28 Gatehouse This is either a defensive structure built into a wall or a decorative one to accentuate the main house. Some gatehouses are surprisingly well-fortified. All traffic must pass through them.
29 Gazebo Recreational, open-air buildings rimmed with benches, patios, and gardens. A party or celebration would be held in a gazebo if present. Rarely dread.
30-34 House A smaller residence than the main house for guests or extended family, often nicely appointed. There may be tension about who lives in the main house instead of the lesser one.
35-36 Hut A simple living space, often near another building whose purpose requires days of tending. A disfavored servant might be sent to live in a hut. Unused, it becomes attractive to vagrants.
37-38 Icehouse Built in shady places, these stone or clay buildings store ice packed in straw during the whole year. The slowly melting ice harbors something unpleasant. Things kept here do not decay.
39-40 Milk House Milk is processed here and its products stored away from polluting smells or dusts before market. A dairy employing milkmaids provides a place for others to send unwanted or illigitimate children.
41-42 Mill Powered by water, wind, or beasts, stones in this building grind grain to flour. Mills are famously prone to fire. Often the only stone building for miles.
43 Office Older outbuildings may be repurposed as a quiet place of business or study. The isolation provides tempting opportunities for illegal or immoral dealings.
44 Play House Often constructed to resemble a miniature version of the main house, lucky children dally here. Not generally built to accomodate adults. Mischievous creatures may be drawn to a playhouse.
45 Potting Shed Truly fancy herb or flower gardens need a place to do the dirt work and grow up delicate sprouts. Exotic herbs, flowers, or seeds might be found in such a shed, along with botanical texts.
46-47 Power Shed Usually well insultaed, this is a place to keep fuel and noisy generators or large skyhearths. Connected by wire or array to any building it serves - why does that shed need so much power?
48-52 Quarters Servants who don't live on the main house or their own property stay in these communal residences. This is an excellent place to get a sense of history and rumors surrounding the estate.
53-57 Root Cellar This partially submerged structure helps keep vegetables and fruit fresh all year. Much of a family's food reserves may be tied up in these cellars.
58-62 Shed An outbuilding of no distinct purpose beyond storage, but easily convertable to any other type. A shed accumulates forgotten items, building secrets like pearls.
63-67 Silo Designed to be packed full of and safely store grain, feed, or fuel away from moisture and pests. It's possible to drown in loose grain. May be the tallest building in the area.
68-72 Smokehouse A likely communal building where meat is prepared, smoked, and stored. It has strong walls, no windows, and a door that locks.
73-74 Springhouse This small, well-insulated building contains a natural spring which keeps it and its food cool. Cool and moist, this building is commonly overgrown and naturally camouflaged.
75-76 Still From a distance this may appear as a shed or smokehouse, but it is dedicated to the production of liquor. Independent distilling is not a legal undertaking in many places. The fire must be kept constant.
77 Storm Cellar In regions of wild weather, a family may dig a shelter into a hillside or mound. Well-stocked with supplies - someone could hide in a storm cellar for a long time.
78 Studio An old outbuilding may find new purpose as a creative and artistic space. Some aspect of the building's previous nature manifests in all works created here.
79-80 Sugar Shack Large, shallow basins over slow heat are used to reduce maple sap into syrup and sugar. A good place and good process to get profoundly drunk. Big sap-season feasts are held here.
81-85 Summer Kitchen Meals are cooked in the summer kitchen to spare the main house the heat and risk of fire. Fires usually start in the kitchen. They are also vulnerable to poisoners.
86-87 Tannery The hides of slaughtered animals are processed into leather goods here. All manner of strange, harsh chemicals are required by a tannery.
88 Temple Very large or isolated farms or manors may raise up their own house of worship. The temple may be dedicated to a faith no longer in favor. Old records may be held there.
89-90 Wash House The heavy labor of clothes washing is carried out here. Any clothing stained by misdeeds would be sent to the wash house.
91-92 Well House A protective structure built around a fresh water well, often with irrigation machienery. Contamination here threatens the entire estate. The Brotherhood of Saint Toad is drawn to well houses.
93-97 Wood Shed Logs and fuel are kept dry here out of the weather for use as firewood. Often built at the center of a cluster outbuildings which use fire, which lends tactical import.
98-99 Wood Shop Carpenters, coopers, boatsmiths, or other artisans of wood work here. It may have a sawmill attached. Since all construction depends on work done here, it is a prime target for sabotage.
00 Workshop Full of tools, machines, and projects in various states of completion or collapse. Esoteric equipment or spare parts might be salvaged from here.