View Full Version : Thus-Far Unnamed Village

05-06-2009, 04:13 AM
So, those posts I've made of buildings, regions, etc. etc. all relate to me trying to create this village. And this post is only a draft - my first thought on the village.

In terms of a name, I intend the name to begin with "Troll" or "Trol," because the village is next to a river crossing that I want the village's founder - a cleric - to have crossed by defeating a troll that guarded the passage (I mean, that's what trolls DO, you know?).

The idea is, the cleric was an adventurer, and when he retired he came back to this place (which had never been settled because of the troll) with his followers and started a small village.

Map is hand-drawn (during Intermediate Russian & finished in Contemporary Fiction), so forgive me my handwriting and the sketchiness of it. Two things I'm not sure about:

1) How much farmland is needed. Between livestock + crops, to support a 60-person village...?

2) What buildings there would be. I've a watermill, lumberjack, cartwright/carpenter, hunter/butcher, smith (not specialized in weapons, but can make them if needed), baker, storehouse, stables (for non-farm animals), tavern?, barracks, common theatre?, church (sun-god), brick kiln, and clay quarry; also a small dock and a relatively unknown nobleman's estate. Oh, and off the page, a small shrine to a different god (of nature).

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. This is my current major project, so I'll probably actually update it from time to time.

05-06-2009, 04:47 AM
Looking good so far Novarri. Are you going to make the final version of the map handdrawn as well or digital? It would be awesome if you did the village entirely in Sketchup btw :) I have seen some great Sketchup towns and cities.

Anyway, I can't really help you with your question how much farmland would be needed to support the village. Just remember there could also be some trade going on, hunting and gathering.

Some other places of interest you might add:

- Cemetery
- Inn/tavern (depending if the town sees any traffic, maybe because of the church or the shrine? The church could be a place of worship for surrounding communities. Also, watermills were relatively rare in medieval times, so the mill could also attract a lot of farmers from surrounding communities)
- Maybe a small shop
- A place where festivals can take place or where a peddler can set up shop.
- A well (maybe not necessary because of the river)

Not sure if a small town like this would have a barracks. Do they have fulltime soldiers? Who pays them?
I wouldn't expect to see a theatre in such a small town either.
The baker would probably live in the watermill, right?

Oh, a town of 60 souls is really small. Families tended to be large in medieval times. I wouldn't expect more than 10 to 15 houses!

05-06-2009, 12:20 PM
So not only do you like fortifications (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=5404), but similarly historical towns are among your interests too! We have something in common :!:

I went to check out what the world knew about trolls (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll) and see if I could find a suitable suggestion for the town's name. It appears that these creatures originated from Norse mythology and further on examples are given of actual places that refer to them in their name. A plausible story could be that the cleric named his church Trollkyrka (or -kirke, meaning church in resp. Swedish and Norwegian) when he founded it and as the town grew around it, it became known as this.

The farmland question is something I have recently looked into myself as well and I found some helpful information on this page (http://www.hyw.com/books/history/Agricult.htm). There's a lot of interesting stuff written there that could give you some insight. As for structures that you could add, perhaps a type of barrier that is either already finished or one that is visibly under construction?

Am very curious as to how you will develop your story and the map!

05-06-2009, 12:25 PM
As it happens, I've imported this map into Google SketchUp as a flat image and am building buildings directly onto it.

I imagine a lot of the buildings are work-related only, and 60 people is only (I just remembered) the adult population (I used the D&D 3.5 DM guide to randomly generate the population, hahaha).

Lemme see...there's a cemetery next to the church, although what with it being such a new town there're only fifteen or so graves, mostly from the attack that prompted the construction of the barracks. They only have one full-time soldier (but six other "levies" live there as well, although they work on farms). I've got a possible tavern, it's the "market" building on the north edge of the circle. Peddlers and such should be able to set up in the market circle - although, now that I think about it, it needs to be a bit larger. Oh, and the theatre is intended to be a common area, so that any legal issues, entertainment, whatever can be discussed in a public arena.

My concept for the city is that it should seem...almost lazy, very peaceful, and yet extremely well taken care of; at the same time, there should be some amount of tension from the barracks and the nobleman's estate.

05-06-2009, 01:49 PM
Well, I am very curious to what you are cooking up in Sketchup!

About the work-related buildings: they tended to be a luxury in medieval times. Most peasants and craftsmen worked from their own home. I would expect the common room to be in the tavern. Any legal issues would be addressed in the manor.

But this is a fantasy world of course, so do what you want (I tend to look at the Middle Ages for inspiration and guidance, though).

Out of curiosity: the way you are describing it now, the village sounds really rich. Where did they find the time and money to create such a beautiful place?

05-06-2009, 05:43 PM
Mostly I try for realism, or if I'm defying it intentionally, it'll be dead obvious. About the work related buildings, I'm having issues conceptually with them - I've been tossing them around as being home & workplace or not and I can't decide which to go on. I think I'll rework them to be h&w, for realism...I just can't fathom that. Living where you work...

Ah, the legal issues + manor thing is fun. See, it's ruled by this cleric, who retreated into a relatively spartan existence after earning no small amount of fame as an adventurer. He lives in a small room behind the church, so there is no manor - except the new nobleman's, and while he's tolerated nobody's very fond of him. So my scheme is that in bad weather they would have legal proceedings in the church, and that every once in a while if the weather's good, they'd have church out on the theatre-thing.

As far as it being rich...the...cleric was about a 9th level adventurer (out of 20; he's a pretty powerful guy). I'm not so sure about time, though; when they'd have had the time to build it all escapes me. There are some useful spells for that...but here's an example of what I've got going on in SketchUp along with another map scheme, for when the buildings were built. Green buildings were first, then yellow ones, red are the newest:

05-06-2009, 05:45 PM
I'm pretty much with Gandwarf on the theatre...the tavern would provide all of the necessary entertainment for such a small, hard-working population. There would be little free time in such a small subsistence village. The tavern itself might have a few rooms on the second floor to serve as the inn. How is the justice carried out, is there a magistrate, justiciar, court or something? I wouldn't expect to see a full-blown market either, these people grow their own food and other things would require a trek to the next town over (if it's bigger). I would expect a small community to basically work like serfs and think going over to the big village to be a grand vacation. Just from the sheer amount of different professions in the village I would think that the population would be at least double of what it is, just to support the day to day needs like roof-thatching and fence-mending and shoe-maker. But, as was said, it's your village, if you want it this way then that's cool too. As to the actual drawing, I think it looks sweet.

05-06-2009, 06:04 PM
Seeing that map, I know I will have to create some of my cities in Sketchup once :D
Very interested to see this develop.

One thing I noticed though: the map of the village at the moment contains only work related buildings or special places. There are no houses? :)

Steel General
05-06-2009, 06:20 PM
Can't wait to see the finished SU version - great work so far.

Note to self: Must remember to look into Sketch-Up more thouroughly

05-06-2009, 06:27 PM
@Ascension: I'm really just making stuff up as I go and pretending like I know what I'm doing. I think it would be good enough to trick the PCs (who probably wouldn't delve deep enough to realize anything's off. I mean, how many of them actually worry about, say, who thatches the roofs?), but it's definitely not historically accurate (and I'm too lazy to go there :D). Oh, the theatre isn't...really entertainment, but I'm not sure what else to call it. Like, there aren't plays. It's mostly a community building. Or, that's my concept of it. But I'm glad you like the art!

@Gandwarf: Well...most of the people live where they work (contrary to my earlier statements - have I warned you I'm fickle?). I was debating that for a long time, but it seems most accurate. There are hovels in the farmlands, but other than that, there aren't really houses.

I'm looking forward to finishing it in SU just to see what it looks like, but I'll probably stay away from village design for a while after this. I think I'll mostly stick with buildings, they're so much less complex...

05-06-2009, 06:33 PM
In that case, make the amphitheatre round...you could have it be multi-functional then. Put the animals in there for the local fair to judge who's got the biggest pig, put some wrestlers in there for the local olympics-style games. A traveling troupe could set up there for a week or two. Stuff like that. I think too much about the reality of things so don't mind me...I'm more of a thinker than a doer. :) Cheers, mate.

05-06-2009, 08:09 PM
I believe I have heard others in the Guild say 1 mile sqaure cultivated land for 180 people (Neonknight most recently, I believe). Even for 60, I don't know that you'll get it all in one map. As for buildings, services, etc, you might refer to Domesday here;
Just checked above resource, it seems the only thing that Domesday Book is certain about being present are 3 Clergymen (even 1 armed agent of the governing power has only a 67% chance of being present). It has its limitations, but it's a fun resource to look at.

Nice start, btw, :)

05-06-2009, 08:19 PM
@Ascension: That's a pretty awesome idea, I'll set that up. And hey, it's good to have you pointing this stuff out. I mean, the whole point of this sort of forum is to have a lot of different points-of-view, backgrounds, knowledge-bases, etc. to help everyone improve what they do, no? You're helping to put reality into my towns. The peasants will thank you (and then they'll get right back to work). :D

@Feralspirit: That is officially an amazing link. Thanks, I'll probably end up using that a lot!

05-07-2009, 04:30 AM
@Gandwarf: Well...most of the people live where they work (contrary to my earlier statements - have I warned you I'm fickle?). I was debating that for a long time, but it seems most accurate. There are hovels in the farmlands, but other than that, there aren't really houses.

Well, if you changed your mind about this... let me just say it's a bit unrealistic your village has so many dedicated professions available. A smith I can imagine, but a baker, butcher, thatcher, carpenter, etc? If necessary the peasants would gather clay or wood themselves, they would bake their own bread and slaughter their own animals (if even available to them). Dedicated craftsmen would be mostly found in cities.

I'm looking forward to finishing it in SU just to see what it looks like, but I'll probably stay away from village design for a while after this. I think I'll mostly stick with buildings, they're so much less complex...

Well, if you create enough buildings you can easily create more towns. It's a matter of just plopping them down in Sketchup. There are a lot of fantasy models already available on the 3D Warehouse by the way.