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annadobritt
04-24-2006, 04:12 PM
Yes, demographics. How many buildings are needed for a total community population. :) A subject I find very fascinating. And not just the number of buildings, but types of buildings and services.

Been working on some numbers for figuring this out and will be making maps according to those numbers. Hope to have these percentages finished up this evening.

The most complex one I'll be doing is of Carnd a city-state. Has 135,000 adults living there and is a port city as well. Several occupied islands are also part of the city. There's even a sea elf colony living near the harbor. I'll be mapping that as well.

Robbie
04-24-2006, 04:19 PM
Wow, sounds like quite an endeavor. Especially the sea elf colony addition.

I'd be very interested in those numbers by the way. Or if there's some automated tool for calculating stuff like that...I'd like to see it.

I usually build my cities first then count buildings and base my demographics somewhat on that. I try to be smart about building counts and work backwards...but knowing ahead of time would be awesome

esmale
04-24-2006, 06:20 PM
I suspect you've already seen this, but for the benefit of newcomers, I highly recommend checking out S. John Ross' Medieval Demographics (http://www.io.com/~sjohn/demog.htm) article. A couple of weeks ago, he mentioned making some revisions based on Crusades-era research he conducted.

A great tool to consolidate Ross' material is available online. Brandon Blackmoor's Domesday Book (http://www.rpglibrary.org/utils/meddemog/) takes a lot of the effort out of the population-creation process.

I swear by these resources and am using them to populate an upcoming low-fantasy setting.

Don't know if these necessarily help with your specific tasks, but I think you might find them useful to extrapolate values. BTW, you'll find that 135,000 is an extremely dense population for medieval cities, but that's based on real-world values, not fantasy setting demographics. :)

Cheers,
-Erin

CSeal
04-24-2006, 07:59 PM
I'd also recommend that you look at A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe by Expeditious Retreat Press. It has an excellent coverage of the medieval city.

There is a free demo available which covers city design IIRC. This is available from Here (http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=1678&)

annadobritt
04-24-2006, 08:18 PM
Checked out those a long time ago. :)

Over the past three years I've been working on these numbers off and on. As for a generator, I know someone who is working on something like that. I'll see if he minds if I post about it here.

Since my setting is fantasy, I can allow for the higher population, since there are more than just humans living there. (Usual elves, dwarves, gnomes, a few gnolls and kobolds, plus a new race called wulfin.)

esmale
04-24-2006, 09:32 PM
I've searched about the Internet for other resources, and my conclusion is that these remain the most reliable and workable tools. Using the values these generate as a baseline, and justifying any "tweaks" as the result of reflecting a fantasy environment, I'd suggest sticking with these and moving ahead, rather than re-invent the wheel.

That said, I've spent some time adapting Ross' material to reflect certain conditions in my low-fantasy setting. However, my reliance on these resources is more to help me create within realistic boundaries than any dedication to historical accuracy. :)

Cheers,
-Erin

annadobritt
04-25-2006, 12:32 AM
All right. Here's what I've come up with. I've separated things into two sets of numbers -- one set covers thorps, hamlets and villages; the other covers towns, cities and metropolises.

57% of adult population = Number of total buildings found in community.

Thorp, Hamlet, Village
Residences -- 59%
Farms -- 32%
Shops -- 3%
Industrial -- 2%
Entertainment -- 2%
Administrative -- 1%
Nobility -- 1%

Town, City, Metropolis
Residences -- 27%
Residence/Business -- 13%
Shops -- 11%
Slums -- 10%
Industrial -- 9%
Services -- 9%
Entertainment -- 6%
Administrative -- 5%
Nobility -- 5%
Farms -- 2%

Support Values for Businesses and Services according to population numbers are still being worked on. Not liking how some of the figures are coming out for thorps and hamlets. Particularly thorps.

esmale
04-25-2006, 11:59 AM
Hi Anna,

Something seems amiss with this method, and I can't quite put my finger on it. It looks like you're building communities around a quota of buildings/services instead of creating buildings/services to suit the community's population.

But I could be misinterpreting. So I'll disclaim both knowledge of your campaign setting and historical accuracy. My experience is with low-fantasy/quasi-historical settings, and while the values I use are based on real-world research, I'm not an archeologist or historian. That said, the numbers work well for my campaign; YMMV, so please just take this post as friendly advice. I hope it's helpful, but I won't be offended if you discard it. :)

Based on my research and taking a cue from S. John Ross' work, here's an alternative approach:

Classify the settlement as rural or urban
Determine population
Determine social roles (noble, freeman (artisans/composers/shopkeepers, etc.), peasant, serf)
Determine number of households
Allot buildings as appropriate

This takes into account the number and types of buildings you've broken out, but ensures that they exist only if the total population numbers can support them. For instance, instead of saying that 3% of all village buildings are shops, this method says the number of village shops is based on the number of village shopkeepers, the number of which is based on the total population.

It also avoids redundancy. For example, in a rural settlement, a majority of residents will live on their farm, so one farming household gets one building (which counts as a farm and residence). Many shopkeepers will live in the same building as their shop, so one shopkeeper household gets one building, which counts as a shop and a residence. Conversely, an industrial type probably has a residence separate from his industry, so one industrial household gets two buildings: a residence and a "factory" (could be a smithy, a tannery, etc.).

Determining social roles is the most important part of this process. To do so, I use a modified version of S. John Ross' Merchants and Services (http://www.io.com/~sjohn/demog.htm) chart. Without recreating it here, I'll say that it takes into account the number of:

Nobles - number of families and relatives, servants, and houseguards in each
Officials - Reeve, Messor, Woodward, Constable, and town watch
Clergy - Clerics and Priests
Freeholders - Adventurers, Apothecaries, Armourers, Artists, Butchers, Chandlers, Charcoalers, Cobblers, Entertainers, Foresters, Furriers, Glassworkers, Innkeepers, Jewelers/Moneylenders, Litigants, Locksmiths, Masons, Metalsmiths, Millers/Bakers, Ostlers, Outfitters, Physicians, Potters, Roofers, Ropemakers, Sages/Heralds, Salters, Scribes, Shipwrights, Tailors, Tanners, Taverns, Teamsters, Timberwrights, Tinkers, Vintners, Weaponcrafters, Weavers, Woodcrafters, and Yeomen
Citizens - everyone else (basically serfs engaged in some labour industry)

I'll make some additional assumptions (again, these are based on my own campaign world):

Mediaeval households numbered about 5 before the black plague and less than 4 after; cf. http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A6952188; I tend to low-ball the figure at an average of 3.75 people per household
Population dictates settlement classification: 10-100: thorp; 100-1,000: village; 1,000-6,000; town: 6,000-11,000; city: 11,000-20,000; metropolis: 20,000+
Settlements of less than 3,000 people are considered rural. Until a given area can attract more people, it isn't sufficiently developed to support urban subsistence
In rural areas, one acre can support 1.25 people; in urban areas, one acre supports 60 people

With all this in mind, consider:

Thorpton is a rural community with a population of 238 (village-sized) occupying an area of 190.4 acres (0.3 square miles). The population breaks down as follows:

15 Nobles - 1 ruling house (8 relatives and 1 servant) and 1 guildmaster house (6 relatives)
18 Officers - 1 reeve, 1 messor, 1 constable, 2 town watch (includes family)
2 Clergy - 2 clerics
63 Freeholders - 17 businesses/services (2 cobblers, 1 entertainer, 1 furrier, 1 innkeeper, 1 jeweler/moneylender, 1 metalsmith, 1 miller/baker, 1 ostler, 1 potter, 1 roofer, 1 salter, 1 tailor, 1 tavern, 1 timberwright, 1 woodcrafter, 1 yeoman)
140 Citizens - everyone else, in 37.3 households

Based on the above, then we break out buildings as follows:

2 noble households
5 officer households
1 shrine
22 businesses (17 businesses, plus 1 smithy, 1 mill, 1 stable and grazing commons, 1 food stores, 1 lumberyard)
37 residences/farms
67 total buildings

Again, YMMV, but I've found this method to be highly useful and it's provided very workable results. It takes a bit more work, but the math can easily be automated with an Excel spreadsheet or online tool.

Hope this is of value to the group. Cheers,
-Erin

annadobritt
04-25-2006, 03:48 PM
All input is welcome, Erin. :) Thanks for the numbers you've posted and how you went about it. Very much appreciated.

Hmm. Think I need to go back over my numbers again. I know in my mind what I'm trying to achieve, its explaining it that causes me problems.

Wonder if there's a print-friendly function for the forum?

RPMiller
04-25-2006, 03:55 PM
Wonder if there's a print-friendly function for the forum?
Change your Board Style to subSilver in your profile, and it will drop all the graphics and give you a more printer friendly page.

annadobritt
04-25-2006, 04:03 PM
Wonder if there's a print-friendly function for the forum?
Change your Board Style to subSilver in your profile, and it will drop all the graphics and give you a more printer friendly page.

Thank you much for that tip. :)

Robbie
04-25-2006, 04:08 PM
I'll make a printer specific theme and see if i can add a print link to the board similar to postnuke. That way each page will have a printer friendly link.

annadobritt
04-25-2006, 04:53 PM
It would make things easier, particularly for tutorials and other instructions anyone posts.

esmale
04-25-2006, 05:16 PM
All input is welcome, Erin. :) Thanks for the numbers you've posted and how you went about it. Very much appreciated.

No problem. :D

To generate these values for my World of Ammonkis setting, I use a heavily modified version of Brandon Blackmoor's Domesday Book (http://www.rpglibrary.org/utils/meddemog/), but he's not (yet) given me his blessing to share it, so I'm afraid I can't post all the details here in good conscience.

If that changes, however, I'll be sure to post a link to the resource. Cheers,
-Erin

UPDATE: 25 Apr 2006
Brandon just emailed me and explalined that his Domesday Book is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/).

As a result, I will post a link to this material when it's published on my site.

Cheers again,

-Erin

esmale
04-27-2006, 12:49 PM
As a result, I will post a link to this material when it's published on my site.

As promised, here is the link:
http://www.welshpiper.com/node/66

As noted, this is based on Ross' Medieval Demographics Made Easy and the code base is from Brandon Blackmoor's Domesday Book (links to both are included previously in this thread).

If there's a desire from the end-user community, I will expand the material to include some information about how the numbers are generated, and perhaps some definitions of population segments.

Note also that there's a link at the bottom to download a ZIP archive of the tool; this is specifically designed for offline use, so just unzip into its own directory and open the HTML file in your web browser.

Feel free to email me with questions or suggestions for improvement.

Cheers,
-Erin

RPMiller
04-27-2006, 01:25 PM
Awesome! Thanks! I played around a little with it and I'm curious, does it take children into account? I didn't notice anywhere that figured them into or out of the equations.

annadobritt
04-27-2006, 03:28 PM
Excellent! And thank you for getting rid of the hexes and kilometers. :)

Having a doc available containing explanations of the various boxes and the results they give would be nice to have.

esmale
04-27-2006, 04:07 PM
Awesome! Thanks! I played around a little with it and I'm curious, does it take children into account? I didn't notice anywhere that figured them into or out of the equations.

Children are counted generically as citizens and not specifically broken out.

Basically, each freeholder family numbers 4.5 members (rounded up) and each citizen family (officers and citizens) numbers 4.25 members (also rounded up). These figures were used more to determine the number of buildings (businesses and homes) than give a specific breakdown of ages and familial roles.

It's up to the GM to figure out how this breaks out for a given family. For example, a family of 5 could be Mom, Dad, and 3 kids, or it could be just Mom and 4 kids, or (especially in the case of nobles) Mom, Dad, 1 servant, and 2 kids.

Alternately, if you had two families of 4.5 each, it could be a pair of Moms, Dads, and a total of 5 kids, or it could be a Husband and Wife in one family and Mom, Dad, and 5 kids in the other.

Mix-and-match, as suits your campaign. :D

Cheers,
-Erin

RPMiller
04-27-2006, 04:23 PM
I see, but those "extras" are not counted into the work force per se right? I mean they are dropped out when it comes to determining the "workers". Of course some are probably of working age... Yea, that would be a difficult figure to put in.

esmale
04-27-2006, 04:48 PM
Excellent! And thank you for getting rid of the hexes and kilometers. :)

Well, I'm the Champion of Imperial Measurement! 8)

I waffled over the hex calculations, but figured that the only really important figure was square mileage. The hex calculations were convenient if you needed to figure out hex area, but I've (lazily) left that for GMs to figure on their own (though there are lots of good resources for hexagon geometry (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=hexagon+geometry&btnG=Google+Search)).


Having a doc available containing explanations of the various boxes and the results they give would be nice to have.

I agree, though I'll need some time to get that together, and I can't commit to a date just now. For now, here's a the best I can do:

Sections 1 and 2 ("Regional Area & Population" and "Fortifications") are based on Ross' figures, so check the Medieval Demographics Made Easy article for details.

Section 3, "Settlements," is founded on the population figures I gave earlier in this thread. Basically, population defines settlement type and dictates how many (and what type of) business exist.

The javascript that runs the tool is fully commented with the method behind my madness. If you download the offline version (linked at the bottom of the page) and open the file "pop_functions.js" in a text editor, you can read the rationale behind the rest.

What I would like to do is define the freeholder types, since each has some specific details that are important. Note also that my freeholder list doesn't exactly match Ross' --I tried to tailor these for RPG use more than historic accuracy (because, really, how many games do players seek out the town's buckle-makers?). On the other hand, I included some that Ross doesn't mention (like Woodward, Teamsters, Ostlers, et al.).

In a related vein, if you download the offline version, you can tweak the frequency of the freeholders (e.g., maybe your logging community has more metalsmiths than normal, or your alpine town is unlikely to have (m)any shipwrights).

Finally, where Adventurers are indicated, the GM has to determine class and level. Keep in mind that this is patterned for low-fantasy, so I suggest something like:


(d%):
01-70 - Fighter type
71-90 - Rogue type
91-99 - Wizard type
00 - Other (e.g., monk, druid, hybrid class, prestige drunken lizardfolk arcane myrmidon, etc.)
* Priest types would be drawn from clergy

Hope this helps until I can expand the article. Thanks for checking it out.

Cheers,
-Erin

esmale
04-27-2006, 05:08 PM
I see, but those "extras" are not counted into the work force per se right? I mean they are dropped out when it comes to determining the "workers". Of course some are probably of working age... Yea, that would be a difficult figure to put in.

No, they're not specifically accounted for in the workforce, and the GM needs to do some interpretation.

If you need to figure actual "workers," here are some guidelines off the top of my head:

Freeholders would in most cases be guildsmen (depending on how industry is set up in the setting); they may have one or two younger apprentices
The less skilled the work, the younger the worker can be. As a result, a smith's apprentice might start at 12-15 years, but a farmer's 4-year-old can help herd sheep
Young children will almost always be tasked with domestic chores, as early as they can be trusted to do them: laundering clothes, gathering firewood (an endless task), running errands, tending animals, farming/herding, etc.)

As a result, a freeholder family of 4.5 might consist of a father, his apprentice son, and a mother who raises 1.5 younger kids :wink:

A citizen/farmer family of 4.25 might consist of a father who works the land, with the help of his wife and 2.25 kids.

Or consider a city officer--these were drawn from the citizenry, and historically were tenants just like other farmers. An officer's family of 4.25 might consist of a father who does his bit as reeve, messor, or woodward, but he won't have an apprentice, leaving his wife and children to run the farm, or perhaps his oldest son to apprentice out to a freeholder.

So, basically, you can carve out your workforce from the total population however you see fit. The only "rule" would be that workforce cannot consist of nobles, clergy, or officers (though, as noted, officers' families can be in the workforce).

Hope that doesn't muddy things up too much!

Cheers,
-Erin

RPMiller
04-27-2006, 06:25 PM
Oh it muddied it up just fine. ;) :lol:

Thanks I'll certainly try to keep all that straight.

annadobritt
04-27-2006, 07:28 PM
Excellent! And thank you for getting rid of the hexes and kilometers. :)

Well, I'm the Champion of Imperial Measurement! 8)


Having a doc available containing explanations of the various boxes and the results they give would be nice to have.

I agree, though I'll need some time to get that together, and I can't commit to a date just now. For now, here's a the best I can do:

Cheers,
-Erin

Heh. I flunked learning metrics in school many, many, many moons ago. (Add a couple more many for good measure. :) )

What you posted so far explaining things helps a great deal. Thanks much, Erin.

One question: how easy is it to add additional information for businesses and services? I figure you have to add stuff in more than one spot in the code, right?

Now to print out everything from this topic.

annadobritt
04-27-2006, 07:35 PM
Oh it muddied it up just fine. ;) :lol:

Thanks I'll certainly try to keep all that straight.

Muddling is good for the brain, makes it work more. :)

esmale
04-27-2006, 10:24 PM
One question: how easy is it to add additional information for businesses and services? I figure you have to add stuff in more than one spot in the code, right?

It's not too hard, but you're right--you have to add it in the javascript, then make a spot for it on the web page (HTML file). You're talking about adding new businesses or other population segments, right?

Not difficult, and (frankly) not time-consuming if you just copy and paste some of the existing code to handle the new material.

Go for it!

Cheers,
-Erin

esmale
04-27-2006, 10:25 PM
Oh it muddied it up just fine. ;) :lol:

Thanks I'll certainly try to keep all that straight.

Well, I'll try to post some explanation in a formal article--hope I wasn't too confusing :oops:

I'll post a note when it's online, but I don't expect to get to it before June.

Cheers,
-Erin

Zurik
04-28-2006, 12:40 AM
Interesting topic! :D

Depending on what's happening in your world (plague, growth control, whatever) I would also expect a small percentage of vacant structures.

Also, I'm curious how people deal with fantasy races in exercises like this.

RPMiller
04-28-2006, 02:01 AM
Oh it muddied it up just fine. ;) :lol:

Thanks I'll certainly try to keep all that straight.

Well, I'll try to post some explanation in a formal article--hope I wasn't too confusing :oops:

I'll post a note when it's online, but I don't expect to get to it before June.

Cheers,
-Erin
No it wasn't too confusing, it just took some rereading a couple times. :wink:

esmale
04-28-2006, 10:21 AM
No it wasn't too confusing, it just took some rereading a couple times. :wink:

That, and the fact that I wrote the response at work, which probably isn't helping me write with a clear head. :oops:

That said, a quick-and-dirty way to find a settlement's workforce is, given an average freeholder family size of 4.5 and an average citizen family of 4.25:

Take the number of businesses and multiply by 3.0; this reflects artisan/guild workers, journeymen, apprentices, etc.
Take the number of homes and multiply by 3.25; this reflects the number of "normal" workers (farmers, loggers, shepherds, miners, fishermen, etc.)

One could certainly adjust the multipliers above. My logic leaves about 1.5 children of non-working age per freeholder family and 1.0 children of non-working age per citizen household. YMMV

I should note, though, that these aren't necessarily documented; I'm making an educated guess based on my own research into life on a manor/fief.

Does this do a better job of answering your original question?

Cheers,
-Erin

esmale
04-28-2006, 11:18 AM
Depending on what's happening in your world (plague, growth control, whatever) I would also expect a small percentage of vacant structures.
I hadn't thought of that, but you're right. I think the age of the community (i.e., how long the settlement has existed, not how old people are) would influence this, too.

However, a lot of material I've read on medieval fiefs suggest that most buildings were cheap. Peasant/serf homes were not made to last, and often rebuilt every two years. A new house would be built close to the old one, which might be used for storage, animal shelter, or just cleared for croft space/acreage.

Another factor is that farm- or pastureland is more valuable than an empty structure, meaning that abandoned buildings will either be razed for growing or grazing land, re-occupied, or re-purposed. Which option probably depends on the structure:

Assuming no heirs (very rare), a peasant's home would probably be razed, and the land transferred back to the local liege, who would turn around and rent it to a a tennant for a percentage of produce or scutage; if the land in question were big enough, the liege might subinfeudate, but this was not always desirable, since the new vassal owed no fealty to the liege's liege (if that makes sense).

Other structures would probably meet a different fate: industrial buildings would probably be re-used, or, at worst, cannibalised for building materials. Stone structures, especially fortifications, would probably be re-occupied, unless their locations grew too remote as a result of seasonal, climate, geographic, or migratory changes.

Given all that, I suppose a good rule of thumb is that vacant structures exist only when the land they're on is of no use, they lack reusable building materials, or there's no benefit to re-populating.


Also, I'm curious how people deal with fantasy races in exercises like this.
There is a conspicuous lack of detail about this in the mediaeval record :D

Unfortunately, this is a matter for individual GMs, as racial characteristics are likely to vary from campaign to campaign. Given racial stereotypes, though, one can extrapolate from the human-centric model:

Dwarf - prevalence of industry, especially those related to mining, smithing, gemcraft, masonry, armour- and weaponcraft, and possibly scribes. Lower the incidence of foresters, roofers, shipwrights, tinkers, and woodcrafters. Settlements will be built almost exclusively on mining or craftsman economy; some (disgusting, cave-grown) food will be produced, but most will be imported from surface communities; that said, there dwarf settlements are a niche market for salters...
Elf - lots of apothecaries, artists, chandlers (possibly overlapping the realm of the apothecary), foresters, furriers, glassworkers, jewelers, sages/heralds, vintners, and woodcrafters. In turn, there will be fewer locksmiths, masons, miners, and (perhaps) metalsmiths. Economies would probably be based on trade in goods, supplemented with light agriculture.
Halfling - certainly heavy on agriculture and food-related industries (innkeepers for beer, vintners for other beverages, salters, taverns, millers, and butchers). I'd also see a lot of "comfort" industries, like cobblers, furriers, weavers, tailors, tanners, and potters. There would be fewer armour- and weaponcrafters, locksmiths, foresters, shipwrights, and adventurers. Most of the local economy would be agrarian, but there would probably also be a lot of trade (make sure to add teamsters if this is the case).

Again, these are stereotypes, so they won't fit in every campaign.

In any case, though, all you'd have to do is adjust the frequency of each business in the Low-Fantasy Population tool. These values are found in the 'pop_functions.js' file; just make sure you save a copy of the original (perhaps you might make separate copies for each racial type).

Hope this helps!

Cheers,
-Erin

sid6.7
06-26-2006, 03:40 PM
Yes, demographics. How many buildings are needed for a total community population. :) A subject I find very fascinating. And not just the number of buildings, but types of buildings and services.

Been working on some numbers for figuring this out and will be making maps according to those numbers. Hope to have these percentages finished up this evening.

The most complex one I'll be doing is of Carnd a city-state. Has 135,000 adults living there and is a port city as well. Several occupied islands are also part of the city. There's even a sea elf colony living near the harbor. I'll be mapping that as well.


like esmale i really reccomend ROSS's works in Medevial Demo's
and the doomsday book...i even made my own little tool
loosely based on it with my own opinions....he provides a
very good starting point for any RPG setting..he also has a
cool page for space demographics too...


also that stat about 4.5 people per family is a good place to start
too...i do that alot to decide roughly how many buildings for
a village, town or city...then you can rationalize it with
some buildings being multi-family or multi business....

annadobritt
06-26-2006, 04:50 PM
Still working on the new data. :D

Had a major computer crash and had to get a new computer. Think I'm finally back to where I was before the crash. (Fingers crossed.)

esmale
11-12-2006, 02:10 AM
Hi all,

Just a quick note to say that I've fleshed out the Low-fantasy population generator to provide some background and explain the results of the online tool. Check it out here:

http://welshpiper.com/node/66

Comments, suggetions, and questions welcome.

Cheers,
-Erin

deanatglobe
11-12-2006, 02:52 AM
That is just fun, now my worlds can have even more ridiculous detail my players will never see. :)

esmale
11-12-2006, 10:54 AM
now my worlds can have even more ridiculous detail my players will never see. :)

Well, I do aim to please :)

Enjoy,
-Erin

annadobritt
11-12-2006, 06:47 PM
Love those generators. :)

Koor
01-25-2007, 07:27 AM
I recently stumbled onto a WoTC suplement that I really find useful for citybuilding. It's bonus material for the DMG 3.5

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20030719a

(not sure if that link works, as every morning at 6 am est the WoTC site does maintenence and is all messed up for a while, leading to browser time outs)

However, I also found it at someone's personal website:

http://www.jeremyll.com/incoming/books/PDF%20files/WTC17752.D&D.3.5.Dungeon.Master's.Guide.WE.Building.A.City.OC R.v6.0.ShareConnector.com.pdf

esmale
01-25-2007, 09:47 PM
It's bonus material for the DMG 3.5

Ineresting supplement, though I can't resist the thought that they missed the mark by not making it useful for smaller settlements. Perhaps that's a by-product of designing it for a high-fantasy milieu...

Does anyone have an example of a settlement built with this tool?

Cheers,
-Erin

Koor
01-26-2007, 12:37 AM
Which tool, the dmg supplement I just posted?

If so, I'm working on making my first city with it.. hand drawing out a map for the time being. Of course, with it being me building the city, it might take a month or two as I constantly get distracted by other things.

esmale
01-26-2007, 09:17 AM
Which tool, the dmg supplement I just posted?

Hi Koor,

Yeah, that's the one. Just curious--I built my tool off of Ross' work with Medieval Demographics, and I use it for a low-fantasy setting. I'd like to see what the DMG supplement produces, as 3.5 games tend to be more "high-fantasy."

Cheers,
-Erin

Koor
01-26-2007, 10:45 AM
If I knew anything about programming, I'd be more than happy to oblige. Heh.

Im contemplating downloading Visual basic and teaching myself a bit. I've found many very useful supplements that I'd love to put into generator form. Just last night I found something called the "AEG Toolbox" that has an incredible number of things to roll on. For instance, it has tables that with a d20 roll will give you a random store type (actually a few different tables, actually 80 different stores) and then a d20 that gives descriptions of patrons, their motivations for being there, and so forth. It's crazy just how many things this book covers. It's a full 194 pages of just random roll tables covering everything a DM could think of.

Now if I knew a bit of coding, I code make myself a bunch of quick generators for all sorts of random encounters, populating city buildings, and so forth.

RPMiller
01-26-2007, 11:07 PM
You could actually do that with just Excel. At most you might need one or two modules, but I suspect it could be done with no programming.

If I were to do it, I would probably lean more toward doing in Access or some other relational database.

esmale
01-27-2007, 09:50 AM
If I were to do it, I would probably lean more toward doing in Access or some other relational database.

One might also consider TableSmith (http://www.mythosa.net/Utils.html). The new version provides better input options and easier dataset manipulation. In fact, watch this space--I'm going to port the Low-Fantasy Population Generator to TS in the next couple of months.

Cheers,
-Erin

esmale
01-27-2007, 10:18 AM
If so, I'm working on making my first city with it.. hand drawing out a map for the time being.

Hi Koor,

Looking over the material more closely, it wouldn't be hard to adapt this for smaller settlements (i.e., towns and villages). I'm "winging it" somewhat, but given their guidelines, one should be able to extrapolate the number of districts for non-cities. Frex:

Metropolis - 80 districts
Large city - 40 districts
Small city - 20 districts
Town - 6-10 districts
Village - 1-5 districts

Some of the district types might not fit into towns or villages (e.g., no theatre district in a village or no embassy district in a town), so the GM might have to be more selective in what's included.

For smaller settlements, I'd also suggest a new table to add to page 2: Sparse Population, with a Total Population of 250. To fill in the table, pick the District Types that make sense for smaller-than-city settlements in your campaign, and fill in the columns by extrapolating from existing tables:

Low Pop district - 0.71
Avg Pop district - 0.55
Hgh Pop district - 0.45

As RPMiller states, this would be very easy to put into Excel. Or, going back to my last post, possibly even easier to put into TableSmith. The advantage of either approach is that you can "weight" the values of each class or district type to suit your campaign.

Cheers,
-Erin

Koor
01-28-2007, 06:37 PM
Nice :)

I'll definitately look into doing that. I'll need to learn excel as well.. last time I tried tweaking a table on there, one wrong click and all of the columns and rows got jacked up and the information all went bad, hehe.

esmale
01-28-2007, 08:34 PM
I'll need to learn excel as well..

Hi Koor,

Excel can be a harsh mistress, but once you tame it, you can do a lot. I think Excel would be useful for keeping the data tables, but you'll need to do a little VB to get some interactivity from it.

With TableSmith, you'd still have to climb a bit of a learning curve, but I think you might have more flexibility with your output. The reason I mention this is because the DMG supplement also includes guidelines for number of buildings by type in each district. It would be relatively easy to include these data in TableSmith.

As a final note, if you're feeling particularly industrious, you could even create a geomorph-style map "tile" for each district, then have TableSmith actually map out the city, based on the districts selected. Probably a larger scope than you intended, but certainly possible and not too difficult given sufficient time ('cause everyone has lots of that, right?).

I'm in the middle of a few Chimera RPG projects right now, but they should wrap up in the March/April timeframe. If there's any interest, I wouldn't mind trying my hand at converting the DMG supplement to TableSmith (though almost certainly depending on some additional help from other parties).

Now that I'm rambling, this brings up another item: there's been repeated (and sporadic) discussion on the CC List about a random city generator. Seeing that CC3 can output command line instructions and TableSmith can accept command line input, this might be a decent stop-gap solution. What we would need are:

Map tiles for each district
TableSmith table for each district
TableSmith table for each district's buildings
Some sort of "blessing" from Wizards of the Coast to make a derivative work out of the DMG supplement. Not for commercial use, of course, but it would be prudent to make them aware of the project before getting widespread buy-in

OK, I've gone on longer than I'm sure Koor (or anyone else) wanted me to. Toss this about and let me know if there's any interest.

Cheers,
-Erin

Koor
01-28-2007, 11:03 PM
Wow, that would be incredible! :shock:

With my current job, I have alot of spare time to just sit around. If I had a laptop I'd definitely dive into this while doing nothing at work. I might have to look into getting a cheap one and gear it up for just such an endeavor.

I'll have to look into tablesmith as well.

Koor
01-31-2007, 05:36 AM
Erin,

Ok, I've got tablesmith, and registered it.

All I can say is, WOW.

This program is great. It took me a bit to figure it out, their tutorial isn't very good, but I ended up just cutting and pasting their demo code and teaching myself from that. This really is a great program for making your own generators. Currently I'm creating a generator which creates Inns, I kept their code for the Inn names, but i added to that code so that it gives a random description of the interior including number and size of tables. Each table has a group of patrons based on it's size, and each group of patrons is randomly given a race/class breakdown. Im only about an hour into it, but an example creation is:


The Gladiator and Wizard.
One huge wagon wheel chandelier overlooks a central heart, 6 long tables and a performer's stool.
You see:
A vacant long table.
A wobbily long table with two rough looking humans commoners, and a human girl.
A vacant long table.
A long table with two humans getting drunk with a human.
A vacant long table that hasn't yet been cleared.
A long dirty table with a group of 5 humans.
Owned by Algith the Barkeep.

I need to change that [raceP] (race plural tag) and create a [raceADJ] to fix the problem up there with humans commoners. Also, currently I've only created that one room description, but i'll soon be making more.. your first description ends up taking the most work. I'll be adding [barstool]s and [performerstool] which will require me to create a :barstool patron list, and then a list of possible performers for the performers stool. Potentially I could create a list of possible songs for the performer to be singing/doing as well.

RPMiller
01-31-2007, 12:22 PM
Hmm... I may just have to give Tablesmith another look. Is it still a D&D only application as far as the system is concerned?

esmale
01-31-2007, 03:17 PM
I may just have to give Tablesmith another look. Is it still a D&D only application as far as the system is concerned?

Hi Rob,

TableSmith is system-independent, so you could use it for any game in any genre. All it does is provide a mechanism for generating random results. That's a bit of an understatement, though: there are a lot of internal functions that help you customise those results, TS supports variables, works with static or dynamic datasets, and lets you format output with HTML.

Most of the sample tables and user contributions to TableSmith are for fantasy RPGs, but this is because of user preference and not a limitation of the software (from my own research, fantasy is the most popular RPG genre (just over 75%), with sci-fi coming in at a distant second (~13%)).

TableSmith is just shy of actual programming, depending on what you want to do with it. On the simple side, it can easily help you manage encounter tables or treasure generation. On the complex side, it could build a full-on character/NPC generator.

Cheers,
-Erin

RPMiller
01-31-2007, 04:32 PM
Thank you for the additional information. I'm glad to hear that it is system independent. I think the last time I looked at it it appeared to be for D&D, but that may have just been the samples and such that they were presenting.

I will definitely check this out more in depth at a later date. My plate is very full right now, but I will have a need for something like this in the not too distant future.

My efforts will be to make some random encounters involving a modern day zombie campaign/adventure.