Brittany the wizard's city
The Brown line is natural bluff line
The Blue is river. Light blue natural course of the tributary.
The Grey is a dam.
The White is the "old" city and "lower" city.
The Wheel is the new border of the city, Also know as "refugee" city.
The Spokes represent the placement of "boundary stones", a critic element to the shield being built.
This is meant to be a prospers fantasy city. My question is what scale should I use.
I'm not sure exactly what to say.
You clearly have your basic layout for the city, so there's an overall impression of what it looks like. I assume the idea is you will eventually have a prettier more refined version of the city map. Like I suspect your coastline isn't supposed to be real straight, it'll look more natural eventually.
As for scale, well it depends on how "close" you wanna get. At the scale of the current image (and a little bigger too), it's going to be city blocks rather than individual buildings. That will make things easier and it'll be less work. You can go even closer but it'll be much more work and it can be a little tedious too!
Have you checked over some of the tutorials in the tutorials section of the forum? Or do you have any ideas for the kind of map style you want to go for? It may help people give you better feedback/suggestions on what direction to go in and how to achieve it.
Let me rephrase the question since I think I ask the wrong one.
How big should a prospers fantasy city be? 1 mile or 10 miles or somewhere in between? How big should the public square be in this planned city?
Those are question I need to answer before I can think about map scale.
That depends on what methods of transport are available in the city. Historically, cities only generally saw sudden surges in size when new kinds of transport became available (ie: coach, tram, subway, car). If 99% of the population are walking to and from places in the city, it's going to be small regardless of how wealthy it is. A city a mile wide would be considered big. For example, remember that people need to eat so will have to buy food to prepare, or travel to somewhere that serves it (not everyone had kitchens). Having to walk ten or even five miles to the market and back just for food is not ideal.
But if it's a wizardy city, there could be easily available magical transport whether that be magical vehicles or fixed magic gates providing instant movement from one spot to the next. In that case, it could get really huge.
With regards to your public square, again, it depends what it's purpose is. But it'll generally be pretty large if it's used for markets or public announcements.
The Wizards Association of Magics was looking for a home. They also though it would be good to unite the sometimes fractious, farming region of FARM, the Mining region of MINE and the port town of PORT. As such they select the confluence of MINOR RIVER and MAJOR RIVER. As MINOR RIVER was the largest river heading to the mineral rich MINE. MAJOR RIVER connect the FARM to the PORT. At this location there is a natural bluff over looking the prospers trading town of OLD TOWN. The wizards determined to make their city into a grand capital used their magic to enhance the top of the bluff into a beautiful hexagonal hill. The hexagon being the symbol of balance in the six magics. They them proceed to build their new capital in the form of the hex.
At some later date it was decided to dam the MINOR RIVER in order to regulate the flow of water and provide a better year round navigation of MINOR RIVER. It was also decide to bridge the MAJOR RIVER, a feat only possible through magic.
And behold the wizard city, (not) Still not sure I like the scale. The central hex is meant to be 500ft across, about the same size as Piazza San Pietro in Vatican city, The streets are meant to be 200 ft apart. And the whole city hex is meant to be 1 square mile. Don't look to closely or you will figure out one or more of those three cannot be true. MINOR RIVER is meant to be 200ft across and the Major river is meant to be 1/2 mile across.
The black hex are only guides and should be ignore by the viewer. Any comments on the layout? While magic is all around most people will still be walking through the city. Oh and all capitalized names in the above paragraph are yet to be named.
I kind of like the style of this. It's very Nintendo 64ish... I'm not sure that's what you were going for but it's still pretty interesting. I kind of like the names Port, mine and farm too It's all got a very video game feel to it.
Kingdom Of Shendenflar Campaign Setting (WIP)
Everything I post is free for use and redistribution under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 licence, except where noted otherwise in the thread
Even if I am correct, I would still advise you to follow your heart. This whole Cartographers Guild thing, it seems to me, is more about passion and skill and learning new techniques than it is about definitions and rules.
The hexy bit (wizard city core) looks clearly planned and built in a single phase or two. So that seems legitimate. I think the scale seems about right. Also the hexagon is an efficient shape within nature btw so I guess you could play on that too if needed.
I'm guessing the port bit is a more natural settlement given the layout built over a much longer period. I imagine there is an "us and them" attitude between the two "districts".
You could have many of the poorer people living in the PORT district. Many of them might run rickshaw and similar services for those in the core wizard city. Something like that.
And yes, I guessed the capitalized names were placeholders until you picked proper names.
Don't forget sanitation and water. Is there an aqueduct and sewer system or the like? That will affect the character of the city.
Sketchup is an awesome tool for quick conceptualization of a project. Adding that third dimension can really help you get a handle on scale and such when you're trying to turn a 2-D idea on paper into a real, "what would this building look like when built" version.
Keep up the good work - Can't wait to see what you do with it.
Btw: Love the Gate and Ramp picture.