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Sigurd
04-05-2008, 01:05 AM
I'm finally seeing some results on my bare earth mapping. Now I have to get a handle on everything above the water land area.

Here are two recent maps for a swamp adventure I'm writing.

My biggest problem is putting a believable village in the 'village space' on map 2. The village is rebuilding after being driven out of another location\eradicated. They are very conscious of defense, hence the placement, but they need the river for supplies and trade.

The village in the pic isn't mine and has to go. It gives an idea of scale and place. I'd probably go along a straighter design. I want the village in the bigger picture to be obviously the same village in later closeups and town descriptions.

Can anyone point to their favourite _SMALL_ villages or offer advice? It would be appreciated.

Sigurd

http://wm23.inbox.com/thumbs/2a_9fa9c_f23c94_oP.png.thumb


And the Village Site....

http://wm23.inbox.com/thumbs/2b_9fa9b_fe8c7c96_oP.png.thumb

GlennZilla
04-07-2008, 11:48 AM
Since you have those nice contours, use them. Just make a small list of the locations in the village and start dropping them onto your contours. Add the wall to defend it all and see where that gets you.

I like to drop in simple rectangles and allow them to intersect and create more complex buildings.

Valarian
04-08-2008, 07:58 AM
As it's in a swamp, how about making the village a Crannog (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crannog) style construction. These were lake villages built on stilts that were around in Ireland and Scotland.

mathuwm
04-08-2008, 06:50 PM
a village needs dirt and mud worn paths

add some brown

Publius
04-26-2008, 12:27 PM
I'm finally seeing some results on my bare earth mapping. Now I have to get a handle on everything above the water land area.

Here are two recent maps for a swamp adventure I'm writing.

My biggest problem is putting a believable village in the 'village space' on map 2. The village is rebuilding after being driven out of another location\eradicated. They are very conscious of defense, hence the placement, but they need the river for supplies and trade.

The village in the pic isn't mine and has to go. It gives an idea of scale and place. I'd probably go along a straighter design. I want the village in the bigger picture to be obviously the same village in later closeups and town descriptions.

Can anyone point to their favourite _SMALL_ villages or offer advice? It would be appreciated.



Well, I would start by figuring out who lives there. One place you can go that really helps in this sort of thing is The Domesday Book

http://www.rpglibrary.org/utils/meddemog/

Whilch has been posted here many times already. This gives some great figures for the population, spread and whatnot for Kingdoms, Castles and (most directly for you) Towns/villages. Plug in some of the data for a rough estimate.

Now you mention that the town is a place where refugees have started over. Not only does this give you some flavor, it allows you to do some things that you would normally find far-fetched. For instance, there might be elements of a much larger population that have managed to escape. So you might have someone who owned an Inn in a larger town that got sacked and they relocated to this village. They could take on a new job, and that is certainly what they would have to do normally, but if there is enough trade to warrant (you mention it is a trade nexus), that individual might build an inn (even if it is a crude one in the interrim) and continue to ply their old profession. This would be a good reason to have an inn in a town/village that would normally never support it. The Innkeeper might be constantly complaining about his own place and comparing it (unfavorably) to his old beloved Inn.

"Three generations the Boarshead was in my family, rich oak, velevet hangings on every bed! Now I'm reduced to this. Dirt floors! Mark my word good sirs, your stay would have been a sight better if that Warlord hadn't sacked Burroughton..."

Again, flavor. Flavor is what keeps this from being JAV (Just Another Village). Be careful about adding too much.

As far as positioning. Well, I'm probably going to be less help there. I use Illustrator, which is a vector graphic program. The way I would do something that is to lay out the physical area, then add people. Now that sounds silly, but "adding people" would be something I did incrementally.

These are refugees right? How far away from the original settlement? How long have they been there? How many stable population did you have then and do you have now? What is the social organization? These seem like fluff questions but they are not. A place where 5 families gather in the aftermath of the sack of their home town is going to look a lot different from a place where people trickle in over time froma number of settlements that were sacked by an invading army (and thus more or less at the same time give or take a few days/weeks).

The 5 families will cluster for example. It will be more planned because it can be. They will want to work off of one another's strengths. Note that these "families" might themsleves consist of an extended clan group of 6, 8 or more, so even with a population of say 63 you might only have 5 'families' plus a few stragglers (especially if your world has slaves and or bonservants which will bloat the population but not really the number of dwellings etc). These individuals might then produce a viable small village. Of course they might not be that widespread, 3-5 per household, half of which are younsters. That will lead to a collection of five buildings.

The number of people and their security consciousness will affect the walls (if you have them). Now if this is a village, recently constructed by refugees and they have a slave culture or a 'community work" oriented culture (American frontier towns and the barn-raising for instance) these might be wood or even some (easily transportable) stones pilled on top of one another, but they will probably not build with brick and mortar and the "walls" might well be made from brush stacked up around their villages and later burnt as kindling with the winter. Local conditions, labor force issues, degree of security consciousness etc. will all be factors.

A place where diverse scattered poeple filter in will look very different. People will plop down and settle at random. Well not really at random. They will choose based on what is there when they arrive. You walk into town, see that there are a number of lean-tos and sodhouses or simple quick built homes. You will place yourself as close as you can to viable resources (water, wood, fieldstone, yadayada) so as to "stake your claim" there are no roads, just paths that go from one well-trod place to the next. Fields (more likely gardens in this setup) will be halphazardly strewn about, with quickly erected fences. Rousseau weeps as you ruin the state of nature...

One of the most beautiful examples of incremental town growth I have ever seen was Deadwood. You watch in the show as the place builds up from a camp to a town, and the sort of politics that dominate.

Elsewhere in the Guild forum here I have posted my map of Lao Ma, which was an effort to show how a boom-bust cycle in a technological frontier (it was for my Serenity game) would play out with a new boom. The players eventually started coming up with adventures of their own because they had an investment in the community, well ladi out NPCs and that sort of thing. I would just scatter seeds and tell them what developments were going on and watched how they reacted.

Publius
04-26-2008, 05:56 PM
Here is a sample. I'm not sure about your scale, I made this close but it probably isn't right. The arrangement is simple by design, it would be a very small village, really a settlement, and probably only 1-2 years old. The dwellings are still semi-temporary, nothing from made in stone, just thatched roofs and minimal construction. The irrigation ditch was dug out by the locals, following the line of least resistance already there and was designed to take advantage of the bend in the river to give the community some free-flowing water. The Big House is... heck I dunno, I stuck it in there in the hopes I would think of something as I went along. Never did.

ravells
04-26-2008, 07:38 PM
<sigh> Publius....I wish I could draw like you.

Sigurd
04-27-2008, 08:12 PM
I'll give it a gander. Thanks for the map too!

delgondahntelius
05-01-2008, 04:41 AM
Well, I would start by figuring out who lives there...--edited for length

Great advice on how to go about mapping a village or a town for that matter... have some rep

Malakor
05-09-2008, 03:32 PM
I like your map, and all the above suggestions are very helpful, I'll have to try them myself, but you still need the one thing you requested in the title. . .

A "Pointer to a good village", so here ya go!

(sorry, it's Friday afternoon and I'm ready to leave the office, couldn't help myself :P)

meleeguy
05-14-2008, 01:13 AM
Try http://www.profantasy.com/library/default.asp and search for "harn".

I've thought these to be nice looking and believable.

-meleeguy