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Thread: The Blacksmith WIP

  1. #11
      rwg is offline
    Guild Applicant
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Info More realism please

    I looked at the product on DriveThruRPG but unfortunately decided not to buy (although, I have bought some of your other products).
    No real kitchen. Most people don't go to a tavern every night. Is the blacksmith unmarried (unlikely, but does have two chairs)?
    Benches would be more common for the family.
    Where are plates and mugs stored?
    No broom in house or in workshop.
    Missing the chamber (pis_s/thunder) pot in bedroom, although this could be under the bed.
    Not sure why he would have a hammer and wood round block inside house so far from workshop.
    Some dried herbs hanging on walls (or ceiling).
    Food preparation table is very small, although no doubt the other table would be used.
    Probably has a garden out back as did many medieval folks back then, possibly chickens and pigs.
    You do have some kind of victorian looking stove and a frying pan next to it but how would one use the fry pan with that stove?
    A stone fireplace would be more realistic and allow for cooking and heating soup pot as well as the home, and for illumination etc.
    Wood stack somewhere to feed that fireplace. Some wood inside to add to fire.
    No candle or holder by the bed or other places.
    No vise in workshop!
    The workshop area seems small, but that is possible I suppose.
    The bellows you have shown is tiny, hardly even useful for the home fireplace to help start a fire.
    Read this: Most important blacksmiths tool
    and see this (and it's a smallish one): Larger bellows#1
    another example: larger bellows#2
    Anyway here is a google images link for medieval bellows: link
    No doors to close on the house(your general store at least had a door), how he discourages thieves each night I don't know. He certainly could make the hinges and a latch, perhaps even a lock and key if skilled in that.
    Main door to workshop was not a requirement as others have mentioned. If open the work area might be open on two or three sides as smithing was hot work and reduces fire risk further and cheaper. Example open-walled medieval blacksmith
    The smith would probably bring all tools in the house for the night.
    The apprentice(s) might sleep in the workshop area to keep a watchful eye.
    I suggest you look on Google image using "medieval blacksmith" as a search key.
    An outside trough or several filled with water and pails in case of fire (often blacksmith was situated away from other houses due to persistent fire risk and had a tile or slate roof).
    Although the blacksmith might be the more prosperous manorstead resident he still might not have wooden floors (probably packed dirt, perhaps with reeds on that). Even if wooden floors they would be rougher/cruder that what's shown. As most folks brought their livestock within the house on winter nights (every night if no barn) a nice wooden floor wouldn’t stay pretty for long.
    Might have several anvils (esp if has apprentices). Probably hangs his leather apron on a peg/hook before heading inside for the night or lunch. A box filled with raw ingots, probably several grades thereof. Definitely needs more charcoal than what's shown.
    The anvil would probably be on a wooden stump or block to make it a proper working height.
    Not sure what the walls are made of, looks like modern dressed stone over plastic looking wood (but no upright stout pillars shown)? Does not look realistically medieval (wattle & dab).
    Would be nice to provide images of a blacksmith, wife, children and perhaps a dog and their livestock.
    Pegs/hooks(which he could make of course) on wall where tools are hung.
    Coal shovel looks too small.
    Wheelbarrow or cart or for bringing in coal
    Looks like there is no two handed hammer/maul.
    Table near the forge is inconveniently placed. With such a small work area the forge would be in corner.
    I can't tell what that white and black puffy thing is back of the table by the forge.
    Does he only sit in workroom on that uncomfortable looking box, seems like a stool would be nice.
    Anvil too far from forge, the blacksmith works between them frequently.
    The forge itself is pretty fancy for such a seemingly poor (small house) smith, who probably would not know how to make a good sword.
    I suggest a two story, more interesting for thieves and some of your town buildings need to be more than 1 story anyway. The blacksmith usually would be able to afford it more than most.
    No root cellar, although not required, but might be interesting for adventures.
    Loft or attic
    Front door has small dirt area then grass, why the grass, dirt path should lead out all the way. House is so small would it really have two exits?
    No flowers or vegetation, no 'womens' touch outside.
    The floor of workshop almost looks like strewn hay?? Should definitely be dirt or stone.
    No pegs/hooks for clothing in the house.
    Perhaps an attached tilt roof shed for storage of coal or gardening tools.
    Floor mat into house looks too clean.
    Last edited by rwg; 06-30-2011 at 03:50 AM.

  2. #12
    Professional Artist RecklessEnthusiasm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    Wow, thanks for the in-depth look! That was quite an undertaking for your first post--it is a shame it came a little too late. As you can see, this, the stables, and the general store are all well over a year old (I only just put these up in RPGNow on a whim).

    Anyway, there are a few of your points I considered, a few that make good sense, a few that are speculative/impossible-to-implement, and a few that are actually already addressed. I appreciate them all though. I feel for your thirst for realism and I try to be as realistic as possible but, as you know, pen-and-paper maps often have to be (or benefit from being) somewhat 'representative' rather than strictly realistic.

    Anyway, folks like you are good to have around the Cartographer's Guild--attention to detail is great when you're looking for criticisms!

    Oh, and thanks for picking up some of my other stuff--which ones did you buy, if you don't mind me asking?
    Last edited by RecklessEnthusiasm; 06-30-2011 at 02:42 PM.

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