View Full Version : Hovels WIP

07-07-2010, 01:49 AM
Well, not everyone can be rich, so it is time for me to whip up some poor people's houses just in case your party is chaotic evil and feels like beating up the disadvantaged. Everyone has been so helpful with my maps so far, so here are the hovels for critique and comments. For these, I am mostly wondering if there is anything 'missing' (objects, structural features, a particular 'look,' etc.)

07-07-2010, 01:53 AM
They aren't doing too bad, looks like they actually have beds instead of cots or just sleeping on the floor. Does look pretty small though which seems about right. You might want to make the walls look a bit crappier with some gaps stuffed with straw or something but that's just going beyond. They look really great.

07-07-2010, 03:19 AM
Just the kind of tip I am looking for! Thanks Jax.

07-07-2010, 05:15 AM
Any windows? Perhaps some sort of light/shadow on the floor to indicate them?

07-08-2010, 11:41 AM
Maybe lose the colors on the on beds. Dye is for rich people. Also maybe add some holes or patches in the blankets. Maybe a small garden or something for subsistance. Nice otherwise

07-08-2010, 04:30 PM
I usually imagine a hovel like this as having a single room, or maybe only a small pantry. The hearth is likely to be the only source of light and heat, so it is usually in the living area, and food prepared there rather than having a separate kitchen. The table would be used for food prep, eating, and evening tasks like mending. It's possible there might be a different room for sleeping, or possibly just a curtain to divide the room so Mom & Dad can have some privacy from the kids.

07-08-2010, 11:14 PM
Jax and Midgardsormr - I think you're right, these guys aren't really that bad-off, are they? Maybe I need to make another couple houses for the folks who are really, really poor.

Revells - took your advice and made the lighting a little more tangible.
Jax - I made the walls crappier, took the straw stuffing advice.
Xyll - added some mothholes.

Awesome advice, guys!

07-10-2010, 06:43 PM
Where do they poop? (Maybe a shared outhouse?) They've also got a lot of space between buildings. Someplace to keep coats/jackets in the summer. Even if they can't afford more than one set of clothing, they'll have good weather gear they won't wear all year. Maybe a rag doll or wooden toy in a corner.

07-11-2010, 11:12 PM
Where do they poop? (Maybe a shared outhouse?)
If it was good enough for the Romans, it's good enough for you.


07-21-2010, 04:07 PM
What time period / setting are you envisioning these houses?

Roman urban hovels would be vastly different from a medieval rural house. There's several things you'll want to ask yourself:
1: Rural / Urban (the former will probably mean the house is slightly larger, but also accommodates one or more farm animals).
2: Level of technology.
3: Availability of raw materials.
4: Cultural and environmental concerns.

For example, coastal countries in Western Europe would usually build all their buildings with a more-or-less east-west orientation. Why? The prevailing (and hardest) winds come from the west in those countries, so you don't want to have a broad side of your house facing that direction. Also, it could become cold, so you would want your animals in your house too... not only does it keep you from freezing, but it also keeps your animals from freezing. For this same winter-problem, you wouldn't see buildings with flat roofing much... snow tends to collapse those. You'll use trees and other plants as building materials, since they are plentiful. Of course, reality is a bit more complex, but just thinking in such a way.

Personal waste disposal could be dealt with on anything from a hole in the ground to an actual toilet, depending on how people consider hygiene.

For poor people, I think however, you'll want to limit the space inside a 'house' to just one room. Also, I fear rug-removal might be in order, especially rugs this intricate. Splatter a few buckets around (for getting water) some table-ware (probably a valuable asset for people of this economic class), and some sleeping places. Furniture is quite luxurious depending on the level of poverty you're trying to achieve.

I'm not entirely up to date on the situation some hundreds of years ago in South Korea, but I would guess natural materials are building materials. I might be slapping some preconceptions around here, but I'm going to dare and bet that rice might be quite an important food source. Remember, brickwork is for those filthy rich people... That's a rule almost anywhere...

07-22-2010, 12:33 PM

Thanks again for some awesome comments. They are really helpful! I will also be coming back to these, and most people seem to think a single room would be best, so I'll probably be switching to that. These will be 'generic fantasy setting' but I really appreciate you giving me more to think about--making maps more intentionally designed is something I need to work on (rather than just throwing shapes in and saying 'well, that looks good enough.' More buckets is absolutely a good idea. And removing the rugs, yeah, I even thought that as I was making them. These will be placeable and rotatable (to slap into a town with the other buildings I've made) so I'll leave alignment to whoever puts them together. I will have to add toilets/holes in the ground. Everyone seems to get excited about those! :)

These aren't meant to be Asian in any way. I actually just happen to be working in South Korea as an English teacher at the moment--I am a Chicagoan in origin, which hopefully explains my unfamiliarity with older structures--America ain't got too many of those...

07-22-2010, 07:05 PM
Lol, I tried to base something of your current location. But while you're at it, grab the chance and try and locate some older structures in Korea, there's bound to be some there! It's almost a sin not to take inspirational/reference pictures ;)

I'm an Archaeology student, and it makes me look at fantasy-mapping a little bit different.

By the way, looking at 17th century homes or buildings (of which there SHOULD be some in the US) would be pretty close to your average medieval home. Different perhaps, but still close. And even the US without it's medieval history is bound to have some museums on the topic.

I don't know if I said this before, but while not entirely logically arranged, your hovels still look GREAT!

Aval Penworth
07-22-2010, 09:17 PM
Another low cost building material that was used in some parts of the world was straw bales, sealed and covered in a render inside and out. The straw acted as insulation too. The walls were 2-3 feet thick, which might make an interesting visual effect on your maps.

07-23-2010, 08:31 AM
Meridius - I have been doing a lot of travelling through Asia for the past couple years and am indeed visiting as many ancient structures as I can, though they are primarily temples palaces and Wats... not too many residential areas, though I just visited the Korean National Museum which did have a huge section on ancient homes--stilted, straw structures (say that five times fast) which will probably pop up in one of my maps at some point!

Sounds to me like you're going to be a valuable member to the guild! It's always nice to have people who actually know what they're talking about. Feel free to tear into my maps any chance you get!

Aval - that sounds super cool but I don't think I trust my artistic abilities to be able to successfully communicate something that neat/complex! I'll have to practice more... :)

07-23-2010, 08:57 AM
I remember seeing a documentary about when shops first went 'self service' (that is the wares being put in front of the counter rather than behind it). I think it was in the 1950's. Shopkeepers were very reluctant because they thought that the customers would just pinch stuff.

07-23-2010, 08:56 PM
@Aval Penworth
Straw has indeed been used as a building material since prehistoric times... straw bales are a much more recent invention though. Wikipedia says it's a 20th century invention, though I've seen a 19th century machine making them... :P I think bales are something from the 18th / 19th century.

I'm a bit envious about your travels through Asia. It sounds like an impressive experience.

And I'm glad I can be of help. If you (anyone) ever have an archaeology-related question (especially about North-western Europe) please do ask! We're here to help each other. And I'll be glad to share some knowledge, if any is available. I won't pretend I know everything, or even a lot about archaeology, but probably more than most people due to it probably going to end up as my job ;) And I'll be glad to help better the general understanding of how people lived in the past.

I believe a grocer invented the first supermarket, which if memory serves where the first ever self-service shops.

One thing should be remembered though, while actual archaeology is fun to incorporate, and might lend some extra believability, we shouldn't forget that we create fantasy worlds/continents/regions/cities/buildings... There might ALWAYS be some fantastical reason stuff works differently in fantasy. That's a part of what makes map-making so much fun.

08-07-2010, 10:34 AM
Hi there! Thanks a bunch, my friend. I am still learning, myself. I use Genetica for textures and do the rest of the work in PS. Once I refine my technique a bit, maybe I can make a tutorial, but unless you have any specific questions about technique, I am not sure where to start...

10-30-2010, 07:57 PM
When I think of a hovel ..... I think of some of the places I have seen in Bangkok or other places in SE Asian. The Slums of Kong Toi the hovels are about 15' x 15' most do not have windows, some only have 3 walls and its open too the front. I even seen a huge slum the was placed over the water ......... 1000's of hovels built on posts sunk into the water and cat walks and things linking everyone together. Now that I think about it , it would be a very interesting map too make.