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the-golem
01-21-2010, 02:59 AM
Ahoy!

I'm wanting to work on some cities, to go along with the regional area (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?8754-Large-map-of-the-Principality-of-Ulek) I'm mapping in that forum. While the tutorials are easy enough, they don't really tackle things like .. how BIG the city should be.

For example, the first city I want to map is a port town, and the capital of the region. Checking the sources, I'm getting population reports of 17,200; 21,000; and 27,300. Knowing the size of the city is half the battle. Unfortunately, I'm really at a loss as how big I should make the city, in terms of square mileage, concentration, or even the layout.

I've been google-mapping small-ish towns at roughly that size, between 15k and 30k people, and I haven't found anything particularly inspiring. Most of those are part of a larger metropolis, and the rest seem to be a small center, with a large quantity of farming.

Anyone have any pointers, tips, ideas? I would love to hear/read them.

Thanks!

Gamerprinter
01-21-2010, 04:07 AM
I'm no expert at population density, but theres a discussion on the Paizo boards regarding this issue. Remember more people lived in tighter quarters in previous times. So an apartment today that holds a family of three, might hold a dozen or more people in a different age. Thus a city like the one I live which has a population of 17,500+, in square mileage might hold 75,000 or more. Depends on your setting of course. There were more people in less space in previous eras.

GP

the-golem
01-21-2010, 05:44 AM
I did some reading on Paizo myself, after I read your post. For the most part, I'll agree. More people, with less space, in town. Generally speaking, back then, a large number of people still lived rurally.

Obviously I'm not going to go block by block, counting each house as 5 people, or whatnot. Some parts would definately be more crowded, like the poor quarter >.<

I noticed alot of city maps that don't include any sort of warehouse district. Being an area of high trade, I would expect some largish buildings near the docks, where trade could be stored while its awaiting transfer or pickup or whatever. Is that unreasonable?

Apologies if I'm rambling. When I'm stuck on something I tend to ramble. ;-)

Ascension
01-21-2010, 11:14 AM
Warehouses are always important parts for trading towns, people who overlook those are losing all sorts of fun places for encounters to take place in. That said, I actually do count 5 people per house (single floor) 10 per house (2 floors) etc. Once I know how many are in one block then I just count blocks for that section. Then I move up and count sections and then quarters. The nobles section doubles the population density because of servants and because they have more land and are not so crowded. In terms of the physical size of the city, that's a gray area for you to play with.

Ronson2k10
01-21-2010, 11:26 AM
Try picking a geographic area that you would want to settle your town in. Hopefully one that already has some towns in it. Then dig into their history. You could use the Library of Congress database of maps. It's a great resource. You will always have rural areas around your center as people will come from great distance to settle but also there will be those that were already there. Those are less likely to move in closer if they can get to the city/town readily. When you are going through the histories of the towns make note of important events. They can lead you to your city. For instance if there was a fire or flood that forced the relocation of people to a new area that could also effect your city.

Most people will want to move to a newish town for opportunity (jobs/commerce) so think of what major industries/trade are happening in your city and supply the proper amount of workers for that. You will also need transportation in and about as well is to and from your city. That often decides a location as well.

You can write a history for your city it's major events and growth. It's much like a character. Give it a beginning and move forward...

the-golem
01-21-2010, 01:35 PM
Warehouses are always important parts for trading towns, people who overlook those are losing all sorts of fun places for encounters to take place in. That said, I actually do count 5 people per house (single floor) 10 per house (2 floors) etc. Once I know how many are in one block then I just count blocks for that section. Then I move up and count sections and then quarters. The nobles section doubles the population density because of servants and because they have more land and are not so crowded. In terms of the physical size of the city, that's a gray area for you to play with.

Thanks for the feedback. When I was looking at maps here on the forums, I did notice a few that were ports, and actually did have a warehouse district. Oddly enough, the warehouses were on the opposite side of town from the docks, which seemed a bit off to me. I'll try mocking up a rough city blob, and throw it up here for comments. By blob, I mean ... well, you'll see.


Try picking a geographic area that you would want to settle your town in. Hopefully one that already has some towns in it. Then dig into their history. You could use the Library of Congress database of maps. It's a great resource. You will always have rural areas around your center as people will come from great distance to settle but also there will be those that were already there. Those are less likely to move in closer if they can get to the city/town readily. When you are going through the histories of the towns make note of important events. They can lead you to your city. For instance if there was a fire or flood that forced the relocation of people to a new area that could also effect your city.

Most people will want to move to a newish town for opportunity (jobs/commerce) so think of what major industries/trade are happening in your city and supply the proper amount of workers for that. You will also need transportation in and about as well is to and from your city. That often decides a location as well.

You can write a history for your city it's major events and growth. It's much like a character. Give it a beginning and move forward...

I appreciate your comments as well, although I don't hafta worry about the location much. As I mentioned, I'm pulling this from published materials (WoG 1983 Boxed Set, the LGG, and associated maps.) What I know is that this city is the a major trade port, and was declared a regional capital after the current prince took his thrown -- He moved the center of rule to his hometown. The reason for the doubling in size makes sense, once I think about it. Orcish armies invade, take half of the territory. Citizens flee, go to the big towns.

So, to sum it up, I know its a big important port city. I know that the town was fortified later, not first. (Althought that happened 250-300 years prior to now, so maybe not much of an impact). Oh, and the population, and the rough location ( which gives me like 30 miles quare to work with)

Anyway, I'll respond again shortly with my thoughts bubbled down of how the layout should look

the-golem
01-21-2010, 02:24 PM
Okay, I worked up a quick idea in Paint.NET.

I tried to keep things that are closely related close to each other. For example, The warehouses are next to the docks, and the industrial things (like boat-building and smelting) are right next to both of those. Connected to industrial and the warehouse district is the metalworkers district, and in the center of the city is the market/trade area. On the right side, I have the fort and military garissons, with the royalty/rich folk just above them.

Then I have a gigantic hole where I guess religous centers and middle class people could stay... not sure.

Ideas?

Talmariel
01-21-2010, 04:32 PM
Pyrandon's tutorial for Eneini (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?530-[Award-Winner]-Eneini-a-medieval-city-tutorial-(in-Photoshop)) got me started.

Basically, do your geography first (water, hills, other features), then sketch in the town's expansion. Start with the original settlement and major roads, and mark all the growth as it happened, bearing in mind the city's history. It gives a much more organic feel.

As far as town size, D&D's Dungeon Master's Guide suggests a building (of any kind) for every 10 people for an average medieval-fantasy city. Double it for a sparse population, and half for dense. That worked out well for me, using the growth-sketching method.

Ascension
01-21-2010, 04:57 PM
Indeed religion and parks and entertainment go into the hole. The layout looks logical if one were building a whole city from start but I'm with Tal in that it doesn't just start (except by imperial decree and imperial millions of dollars) but rather grows. So some things should overlap quite a bit and there would probably be many smaller sections instead of big sections.

the-golem
01-22-2010, 03:39 AM
I posted this in my Overland Ulek thread, in response to someone's comment; I thought it appropriate enough to also post here:
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Gryrax had a population of 17k before the war, and 10-15 years after, swelled up to almost 30k. I started a thread about city planning (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?8903-Getting-started-with-city-building) over in the Town/City Mapping forum. My campaign takes place right during the war .. sorta half-way through really, so I'm planning for a population between those two.

Gryrax itself is centuries old, and has been the seat of power for roughly 300 years, ever since the current Prince took the throne. The Principality is dwarven ruled, but this city itself has more humans than demi-humans, considering it's concentration on trade. Humans are more adept at sea-faring than dwarves, hence this saturation. Also, many of the villages closer to the right border (the river) have been transplanted as a result of war, and have migrated to the outskirts of the town, seeking refuge.

My vision consists of a semi-popular port town that grew organically around a protected cove. When the Prince moved the seat of power to his hometown, Gryrax, He built the castle, and worked with his best engineers and architects to develop the city. So, the innermost portion of the city is concentrated on the ports, with the middle-portion being more planned and structured, and less organic. There would be designated centers of commonality, such as an area of industry next to the warehouses next to the smiths. The market and merchant quarter would be centered in the city, and would serve as a crossroads for the major axes (as in plural of axis, not axe). There would probably be a pre-planned religios district rather close to the market area, but I would expect to find religious centers intersperses all throughout the town. The outskirts of the town will most likely be temporary structures, somewhat shanty like and quite organic; this would most likely be where the refugees live. There would also be an obvious area where the affluent/nobility live. If you look at the thread I linked earlier, you can see an *idea* of how the city might look. It's rather rough, and I'm not really sold on the layout.

As far as the technology level, *shrug*. Since it's basically a Dwarven city, I would expect the stonework and structures to be master-level quality, but it would still be high-medieval society. I sorta treat my dwarves as slightly more advanced than the human counterparts. Well-paved roads. Working aqueducts. Almost Roman Empire in terms of quality of work, I would guess.

the-golem
01-22-2010, 08:45 AM
I went delving into the thumbs collection, and I found a couple maps that have a similar design to my mockup.

Note: I was going to just link to the images, but the preview showed them at fullsize, instead of thumbed. Instead, I'm posting to their respective threads.

First there is this one, Port Saber (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?3523-Port-Saber). I like it, but I feel that the cove is a bit too round, doesn't seem quite that natural. The second one I found, which I favor more, is this: The Port of Marascar (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?7003-The-Port-of-Marascar).

I'd kinda like to use one of these as a base to build from, but I've no idea on the scale or what the population should be like, for those maps.