Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 51

Thread: Community Demographics

  1. #1
    Guild Novice
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Livonia, MI USA
    Posts
    12

    Post Community Demographics

    Yes, demographics. How many buildings are needed for a total community population. A subject I find very fascinating. And not just the number of buildings, but types of buildings and services.

    Been working on some numbers for figuring this out and will be making maps according to those numbers. Hope to have these percentages finished up this evening.

    The most complex one I'll be doing is of Carnd a city-state. Has 135,000 adults living there and is a port city as well. Several occupied islands are also part of the city. There's even a sea elf colony living near the harbor. I'll be mapping that as well.
    Anna M. Dobritt
    Cartography Unlimited for RPGs
    http://www.rpgcartography.com

  2. #2
      Arcana is offline
    Administrator Facebook Connected Arcana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Fairborn, OH
    Posts
    2,775
    Blog Entries
    5

    Post

    Wow, sounds like quite an endeavor. Especially the sea elf colony addition.

    I'd be very interested in those numbers by the way. Or if there's some automated tool for calculating stuff like that...I'd like to see it.

    I usually build my cities first then count buildings and base my demographics somewhat on that. I try to be smart about building counts and work backwards...but knowing ahead of time would be awesome
    Robbie Powell - Site Admin

  3. #3
      esmale is offline
    Guild Apprentice esmale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    36

    Post

    I suspect you've already seen this, but for the benefit of newcomers, I highly recommend checking out S. John Ross' Medieval Demographics article. A couple of weeks ago, he mentioned making some revisions based on Crusades-era research he conducted.

    A great tool to consolidate Ross' material is available online. Brandon Blackmoor's Domesday Book takes a lot of the effort out of the population-creation process.

    I swear by these resources and am using them to populate an upcoming low-fantasy setting.

    Don't know if these necessarily help with your specific tasks, but I think you might find them useful to extrapolate values. BTW, you'll find that 135,000 is an extremely dense population for medieval cities, but that's based on real-world values, not fantasy setting demographics.

    Cheers,
    -Erin
    Chimera RPG:
    Guidelines for Multi-genre Roleplaying
    http://www.welshpiper.com/

  4. #4
      CSeal is offline
    Guild Applicant Facebook Connected
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    A, A
    Posts
    1

    Post

    I'd also recommend that you look at A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe by Expeditious Retreat Press. It has an excellent coverage of the medieval city.

    There is a free demo available which covers city design IIRC. This is available from Here

  5. #5
    Guild Novice
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Livonia, MI USA
    Posts
    12

    Post

    Checked out those a long time ago.

    Over the past three years I've been working on these numbers off and on. As for a generator, I know someone who is working on something like that. I'll see if he minds if I post about it here.

    Since my setting is fantasy, I can allow for the higher population, since there are more than just humans living there. (Usual elves, dwarves, gnomes, a few gnolls and kobolds, plus a new race called wulfin.)
    Anna M. Dobritt
    Cartography Unlimited for RPGs
    http://www.rpgcartography.com

  6. #6
      esmale is offline
    Guild Apprentice esmale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    36

    Post

    I've searched about the Internet for other resources, and my conclusion is that these remain the most reliable and workable tools. Using the values these generate as a baseline, and justifying any "tweaks" as the result of reflecting a fantasy environment, I'd suggest sticking with these and moving ahead, rather than re-invent the wheel.

    That said, I've spent some time adapting Ross' material to reflect certain conditions in my low-fantasy setting. However, my reliance on these resources is more to help me create within realistic boundaries than any dedication to historical accuracy.

    Cheers,
    -Erin
    Chimera RPG:
    Guidelines for Multi-genre Roleplaying
    http://www.welshpiper.com/

  7. #7
    Guild Novice
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Livonia, MI USA
    Posts
    12

    Post

    All right. Here's what I've come up with. I've separated things into two sets of numbers -- one set covers thorps, hamlets and villages; the other covers towns, cities and metropolises.

    57% of adult population = Number of total buildings found in community.

    Thorp, Hamlet, Village
    Residences -- 59%
    Farms -- 32%
    Shops -- 3%
    Industrial -- 2%
    Entertainment -- 2%
    Administrative -- 1%
    Nobility -- 1%

    Town, City, Metropolis
    Residences -- 27%
    Residence/Business -- 13%
    Shops -- 11%
    Slums -- 10%
    Industrial -- 9%
    Services -- 9%
    Entertainment -- 6%
    Administrative -- 5%
    Nobility -- 5%
    Farms -- 2%

    Support Values for Businesses and Services according to population numbers are still being worked on. Not liking how some of the figures are coming out for thorps and hamlets. Particularly thorps.
    Anna M. Dobritt
    Cartography Unlimited for RPGs
    http://www.rpgcartography.com

  8. #8
      esmale is offline
    Guild Apprentice esmale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    36

    Post

    Hi Anna,

    Something seems amiss with this method, and I can't quite put my finger on it. It looks like you're building communities around a quota of buildings/services instead of creating buildings/services to suit the community's population.

    But I could be misinterpreting. So I'll disclaim both knowledge of your campaign setting and historical accuracy. My experience is with low-fantasy/quasi-historical settings, and while the values I use are based on real-world research, I'm not an archeologist or historian. That said, the numbers work well for my campaign; YMMV, so please just take this post as friendly advice. I hope it's helpful, but I won't be offended if you discard it.

    Based on my research and taking a cue from S. John Ross' work, here's an alternative approach:
    1. Classify the settlement as rural or urban
    2. Determine population
    3. Determine social roles (noble, freeman (artisans/composers/shopkeepers, etc.), peasant, serf)
    4. Determine number of households
    5. Allot buildings as appropriate

    This takes into account the number and types of buildings you've broken out, but ensures that they exist only if the total population numbers can support them. For instance, instead of saying that 3% of all village buildings are shops, this method says the number of village shops is based on the number of village shopkeepers, the number of which is based on the total population.

    It also avoids redundancy. For example, in a rural settlement, a majority of residents will live on their farm, so one farming household gets one building (which counts as a farm and residence). Many shopkeepers will live in the same building as their shop, so one shopkeeper household gets one building, which counts as a shop and a residence. Conversely, an industrial type probably has a residence separate from his industry, so one industrial household gets two buildings: a residence and a "factory" (could be a smithy, a tannery, etc.).

    Determining social roles is the most important part of this process. To do so, I use a modified version of S. John Ross' Merchants and Services chart. Without recreating it here, I'll say that it takes into account the number of:
    • Nobles - number of families and relatives, servants, and houseguards in each
    • Officials - Reeve, Messor, Woodward, Constable, and town watch
    • Clergy - Clerics and Priests
    • Freeholders - Adventurers, Apothecaries, Armourers, Artists, Butchers, Chandlers, Charcoalers, Cobblers, Entertainers, Foresters, Furriers, Glassworkers, Innkeepers, Jewelers/Moneylenders, Litigants, Locksmiths, Masons, Metalsmiths, Millers/Bakers, Ostlers, Outfitters, Physicians, Potters, Roofers, Ropemakers, Sages/Heralds, Salters, Scribes, Shipwrights, Tailors, Tanners, Taverns, Teamsters, Timberwrights, Tinkers, Vintners, Weaponcrafters, Weavers, Woodcrafters, and Yeomen
    • Citizens - everyone else (basically serfs engaged in some labour industry)

    I'll make some additional assumptions (again, these are based on my own campaign world):
    • Mediaeval households numbered about 5 before the black plague and less than 4 after; cf. http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A6952188; I tend to low-ball the figure at an average of 3.75 people per household
    • Population dictates settlement classification: 10-100: thorp; 100-1,000: village; 1,000-6,000; town: 6,000-11,000; city: 11,000-20,000; metropolis: 20,000+
    • Settlements of less than 3,000 people are considered rural. Until a given area can attract more people, it isn't sufficiently developed to support urban subsistence
    • In rural areas, one acre can support 1.25 people; in urban areas, one acre supports 60 people

    With all this in mind, consider:

    Thorpton is a rural community with a population of 238 (village-sized) occupying an area of 190.4 acres (0.3 square miles). The population breaks down as follows:
    • 15 Nobles - 1 ruling house (8 relatives and 1 servant) and 1 guildmaster house (6 relatives)
    • 18 Officers - 1 reeve, 1 messor, 1 constable, 2 town watch (includes family)
    • 2 Clergy - 2 clerics
    • 63 Freeholders - 17 businesses/services (2 cobblers, 1 entertainer, 1 furrier, 1 innkeeper, 1 jeweler/moneylender, 1 metalsmith, 1 miller/baker, 1 ostler, 1 potter, 1 roofer, 1 salter, 1 tailor, 1 tavern, 1 timberwright, 1 woodcrafter, 1 yeoman)
    • 140 Citizens - everyone else, in 37.3 households

    Based on the above, then we break out buildings as follows:
    • 2 noble households
    • 5 officer households
    • 1 shrine
    • 22 businesses (17 businesses, plus 1 smithy, 1 mill, 1 stable and grazing commons, 1 food stores, 1 lumberyard)
    • 37 residences/farms
    • 67 total buildings

    Again, YMMV, but I've found this method to be highly useful and it's provided very workable results. It takes a bit more work, but the math can easily be automated with an Excel spreadsheet or online tool.

    Hope this is of value to the group. Cheers,
    -Erin
    Chimera RPG:
    Guidelines for Multi-genre Roleplaying
    http://www.welshpiper.com/

  9. #9
    Guild Novice
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Livonia, MI USA
    Posts
    12

    Post

    All input is welcome, Erin. Thanks for the numbers you've posted and how you went about it. Very much appreciated.

    Hmm. Think I need to go back over my numbers again. I know in my mind what I'm trying to achieve, its explaining it that causes me problems.

    Wonder if there's a print-friendly function for the forum?
    Anna M. Dobritt
    Cartography Unlimited for RPGs
    http://www.rpgcartography.com

  10. #10
      RPMiller is offline
    Community Leader RPMiller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Watching you from in here
    Posts
    3,229

    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by annadobritt
    Wonder if there's a print-friendly function for the forum?
    Change your Board Style to subSilver in your profile, and it will drop all the graphics and give you a more printer friendly page.

Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •