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Novarri
05-03-2009, 03:36 AM
Here's a tiny keep I made in SketchUp, and the logical explanation behind it!

First, I had it in mind to make something tiny, so small it has no outer walls. In any event, the barracks area is large enough to comfortably sit about 6 soldiers and their gear, and then the sheriff has his own room. If the village is attacked, villagers would retreat to this keep's main entryway, and if the doors into it were attacked, they would retreat into the inside of the round tower...and...I dunno, wait around and hope they don't get killed.

The roof over the stairs from 1st to 2nd floors serves two purposes: first, it prevents rain from draining through the gap. Second, it prevents enemy archers from shooting anyone going up the stairs.

In theory, all of the windows could be shuttered and locked from the inside, but I didn't build any shutters into the design.

I might design a small dungeon for it - not a literal dungeon, but a way that any villagers could exit the keep and a) not take up room inside of it that the soldiers could probably use or b) get killed. Also, dungeons are great excuses for adventure! I'm thinking, a secret door in the sheriff's quarters that leads into the otherwise solid rock tower base?

It uses a lot of wood, so it'd be very susceptible to fire...maybe I'll build a small cistern into the "dungeon," so volunteer villagers can get buckets of water and pour them on the keep's standing areas.

Walls extend 3'-6" above the floor in the standing area, with the crenelations carved 1' back down. That way, defenders can hide reasonably well behind the stone, and get a very clear shot at any enemies they want to aim at. Floors are each 10' tall; the tower is 50' diameter, and the square building is a 50' x 50'.

Gandwarf
05-03-2009, 05:07 AM
Can't rep unfortunately...
I am a sucker for Sketchup stuff and this is a nice model. I have seen so many enormous castles, it's good to see some smaller stuff again.

I like the layout of the keep and the floor plans to the right.

One thing though: the windows are far too big for a defensive structure like this. I would put in only arrow slits (going all around the building) and maybe only on the second floor. At the moment it's far too easy for attackers to shoot or throw stuff in. Since there is a lot of wood used in the construction, I wouldn't want the enemy to just walk up to a window and throw in a torch :P

ravells
05-03-2009, 05:09 AM
Repped for Ganwarf and for me! Lovely work!

Gandwarf
05-03-2009, 05:15 AM
Repped for Ganwarf and for me! Lovely work!

Darn, now I need to write you an IOU :D

Redrobes
05-03-2009, 08:19 AM
Thats a really cool image and I tried to rep too but it seems I must do some more rep whoring again. I wonder what I repped you for recently then... Anyway - superb image there. Does it have a campaign home cos I'd totally steal that if I could ?

Ascension
05-03-2009, 10:03 AM
Good stuff, I've always liked barracks instead of huge keeps. Keep up the good work.

Novarri
05-03-2009, 01:44 PM
@Gandwarf: the windows...hm. Originally I was going to throw arrow slits into the tower, but now that I think about it, there are only seven soldiers in the entire village...but likely there'd be enough levied hunters to set up some archer posts. Yeah, I'm gonna throw in some arrow slits. The issue is one between allowing light to enter and security - so they'll likely be larger than necessary, but smaller than currently.

@Ravells: Thanks!

@Redrobes: Not a campaign, yet. I have plans to throw it into my tiny, tiny village I'm building (population: 60). I fully intend to throw the village up here when I'm done, but it'll probably be a while (final exams + month in Russia).

@Ascension: I'd probably have tried to make a larger one, but even when I try to make huge buildings I make them small, so I just decided to shoot for a small one. Glad you like it!

Sigurd
05-03-2009, 04:17 PM
I think the windows would probably be ok with that size if they had bars.

I'm repping your for Gandwarf - he's much more generous and upstanding than I am. As a matter of fact I'd probably demand you share your whole village (and include a pie stand and market) before I'd part with rep.....

Gandwarf is just much more generous...

Maybe not :).

Gandwarf
05-03-2009, 04:37 PM
@Gandwarf: the windows...hm. Originally I was going to throw arrow slits into the tower, but now that I think about it, there are only seven soldiers in the entire village...but likely there'd be enough levied hunters to set up some archer posts. Yeah, I'm gonna throw in some arrow slits. The issue is one between allowing light to enter and security - so they'll likely be larger than necessary, but smaller than currently.

It's your keep of course... but windows also used to be a lot smaller as these kind of buildings couldn't be properly heated. Keeps and castles were notoriously dark and drafty in the middle ages.

Novarri
05-03-2009, 05:37 PM
@Sigurd: There will be a market. Not so sure about a pie stand...I'll have to ask the villagers about that one. ;)

@Gandwarf: And therein lies my problem. I'm not sure where this village is going to be, just yet. I've been playing around with it being closer to the equator (say, like Corpus Christi, TX; the average temp. in Jan. is ~55 degrees). But I feel like the buildings look more temperate...maybe because of the gray coloring and European-style angled roofs? What d'you think?

Sigurd
05-03-2009, 06:34 PM
My first reaction - probably because of the crenelations and round tower - is Northern Spain or Southern France.


So - south of England but north of Italy.


If there are only 60 residents it has to be a relatively peaceful low land pressure area.

Gandwarf
05-03-2009, 06:38 PM
@Gandwarf: And therein lies my problem. I'm not sure where this village is going to be, just yet. I've been playing around with it being closer to the equator (say, like Corpus Christi, TX; the average temp. in Jan. is ~55 degrees). But I feel like the buildings look more temperate...maybe because of the gray coloring and European-style angled roofs? What d'you think?

I am thinking temperate, because of the architecture, texture and style.

A warmer climate would probably mean bigger windows. Still, if protection/defensive value comes first, I would expect the windows on the outside to be very small. The arab forts I have seen for example have a lot of arrow slits as well and not big windows to ventilate the place.

There could be an inner courtyard though and the windows on the inside walls could provide ventilation. But hey, now I am talking about a whole new building :D

So it all depends on why the building is there. The building has the look of a defensive structure however and not a comfortable home. This is my opinion and it is your creation, so please do whatever you want :)

Novarri
05-03-2009, 07:25 PM
Actually, a courtyard sounds interesting. Although breezes would be sparse inside the courtyard, so it'd be less effective for ventilation (but more effective for defense) than large outer windows...a good compromise, though.

Hm. Plus what Sigurd said, about it being a peaceful area with so few residents...I think I might need to completely remake this anyway - a keep is nice, but no good in a very small village unless it also serves a purpose in peacetime. Throwing in a courtyard would be a good way to consolidate a base of power, put the (secular) village ruler's office there, along with all the guards and a small prison, and it's tall enough to be a landmark for people trying to find the guy in charge.

I'm gonna go scurry off to SketchUp and see what I can do with this new idea...thanks, you two!

Sigurd
05-03-2009, 08:33 PM
The middle ages had manors as well as villages.

Why not design a single Manor. There's lots of manor maps for Harn but none of them that I know of are done in sketchup. The other advantage of a Manor is it gives you a different shopping list of buildings to do. Realistically I don't think you'll get away with 60 people but you might get away with 60 households.

A Manor would have

A lords Home - perhaps outbuildings for squires\knights etc...
A Mill
A Smithy
A Dovecote
A church
A reeve's home & perhaps a gaol
Likely a Tithe Barn
A number of houses either built by serfs or, as likely, built for the lord to house 'his' population.


Manor's are more economical in terms of buildings because they have centralized planning. Consequentially they're easier to map.




My guess about the logic of your building is that room #2 was actually built last, as an addition to the low tower. Probably in a time of haste or poverty or it would have been taller. I imagine that given a full budget room 2 would have been a 3 story keep built to reach or exceed the round tower which would have been much slower\expensive to build. If I have an issue with your building, for historic realism, it is that the walls are all the same width and very thin. That's not a great criticism in a fantasy map :).


Sigurd

Hafnium
05-03-2009, 09:27 PM
Awesome. I wish I had that much sketchup skill.

This looks like a high-quality render, more than just the standard png export. Is it?

Novarri
05-03-2009, 09:32 PM
A slightly reimagined keep. Still has thin walls, but arrow-slits instead of windows. Unfortunately because of the size I made it I couldn't fit any good-sized windows inside the courtyard, but I imagine people could leave their doors open to compensate.

The color scheme has been changed, to match the church (I've attached the picture, I'm waiting until after I've furnished it to cut the plan - it's all D&D based, the symbol is for Pelor, god of the sun. I'll probably change this by the time I'm done, so it's a WIP). All the walls are Google SketchUp's "Khaki" stone, and the brownstone visible on the outer edges is a facade added for security - except on the round tower, which has two feet of stone and then fill for the first ten feet, for solidity.

@Sigurd: right now the village idea is that it was started with a single building at a crossroads next to a river ford, and other buildings just sort of accreted on the path as they became necessary. What building it was that started all this I haven't decided, but I know that since then a powerful priest moved in and built (or had someone else build) a pretty impressive church, this defensive/secular center was built, and a small market was added. A lowly nobleman's moved in and is trying to gain control over the village (which is sort of run by the priest, along with a few secular officials that take care of taxes, etc.), so he'll have a small following and his own snazzy estate (which most of the villagers resent) offside. That's...sort of the plan.

Novarri
05-03-2009, 09:36 PM
This looks like a high-quality render, more than just the standard png export. Is it?

Yes, it's rendered in Kerkythea, which is free, but you have to download both the main program and a SketchUp to Kerkythea exporter to do it.

Kerkythea can be found here (http://www.kerkythea.net/joomla/), and the exporter: here (http://www.kerkythea.net/joomla/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=42&func=fileinfo&id=2).

Gandwarf
05-04-2009, 08:22 AM
Very nice Novarri.
How did you to the floorplans?

Novarri
05-04-2009, 09:09 AM
First, I built a staircase of lines - 5 ft. up, then 5 ft. horizontally, then 10 ft. up, 5 ft. horizontally, each step (after the first) going by 10 ft. until it was taller than the building. Then, in Google SketchUp, under the Tools bar, there's a tool called Section Plane; I'd use that, placed on the middle of the horizontal line, to cut and create a section view. Since my floors are 10ft. tall, having the sections cut at the 5, 15, 25 ft. marks cut all the walls, doors, windows etc. in half, making them visible. Then, I switch to Parallel Projection, turn the camera to Standard View > Top, and go into the Window > Styles menu to find something that looks good (I don't remember what I was using originally; I think this latest one is "Brush Strokes on Canvas" and I'm not so fond of it).

Gandwarf
05-04-2009, 09:44 AM
Darn... I feel myself getting drawn to Sketchup again. Must resist!

Ascension
05-04-2009, 05:21 PM
This looks great. I guess that I'll have to get kerkymerkythingy and the SU exporter cuz I like those renders far better. I'd probably rename the tower to "donjon" as that's what they're usually called (not a dungeon) but that's very very minor. Good stuff man.

Gandwarf
05-04-2009, 06:37 PM
Where did you learn how to make this stuff anyway?

I have been messing with Sketchup again and I am still struggling to make it work for me :)

Novarri
05-05-2009, 12:54 AM
Haha thanks, I dunno where I learned. I was an architecture major for a year before I switched to English, maybe that counts for something? I could try to make up a sketchup/kerkythea tutorial for how I do things, if you'd like one.

Gandwarf
05-05-2009, 02:52 AM
Yeah, I would love to have a tutorial, but I am not sure if all the tricks can be really described well with words. If you feel up to the task...