So how big is.....
When you go to cut up a region into cities, thorps, shopping malls etc.... do you have any guidelines you use?
How big is a country that has to feed itself? I know population and land quality change everything but do you use any guidelines to say...
There's room for 2 countries there or 3 or .....
IMHO England has been a hugely influential country with very little space but a lot of security.
The Sahara is a huge tract of land but won't support a dense population. With no dense population its borders are not really watched.
Anyone have anything they use as a rule of thumb?
This site is very useful for estimating realistic populations, city sizes, etc.
What do you need in the information for? In fantasy settings I tend to just let the story dictate the size. If I want a huge city in the middle of the desert, I'll just put it there and post rationalise food imports on merchant's caravans (even though if you look at it closely it would probably require an endless stream of caravans to keep the city fed).
It is fantasy after all and usually the audience only require a fig leaf of an explanation, not a spreadsheet justifying resources down to the last bushel of wheat. A good example of this is the '1001 Nights' in which all sorts of fantastic places are spoken about which could not possibly exist in real life. But for me that just emphasises the magical nature of the tale.
I'm not sure that there is so much value in taking a detailed numerical / rational approach to fantasy worldbuilding.
If you need the information for a purpose other than fantasy worldbuilding, then the hard numbers may be more relevant.
We had quite an interesting discussion about it here.
Last edited by ravells; 03-27-2008 at 09:23 AM.