Article - Basic Communities and Towns, A Concept

AuthorTopic: Article - Basic Communities and Towns, A Concept
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http://unix.csuchico.edu/~ps167/town.txt

Moved article to here.

[ Wednesday, March 09, 2005 20:44: Message edited by: Dahak ]

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I like it! I'd proofread it for some typoes and the like, but it's otherwise solid.

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Nice article, Dahak !

Guys, don't you think it will be nice and usefull if someone who have an internet site can host all this articles ? Cause in the forum, some of us will read it, but some will not...
And the articles about scenario making are always usefull. :)

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Spiderweb is supposed to do that, but you have to actually tell them about your article for them to do it.

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OK, first off, these types of articles belong in the Blades of Avernum editor section, not here. This folder is about playing the games, not making them. Don't worry there, most everyone screws that up royally, including the long-timers. (I'm not sure why the moderators don't move them though.)

Second, the numbers for town sizes are unrealistically large. It sounds like you took them from a modern source describing modern cities, or from some place doing the same (perhaps D&D, as I believe they had equally silly numbers).

"Harvesting" isn't the best name for a group that gets goods that can't be replaced, as that's an agricultural term. Also, lumber wwouldn't technically have to be this type, as it can be replaced like other crops, it's just that most people don't bother because it's future generations that end up losing out.

My main comment, though, is: OK, so why do we care? If this is all about designing towns for BoA scenarios, you are missing out on the practical end of things. How would you suggest people use this info to help create communities in the game? What potential plot points does it raise? How does this affect distance from each other, who lives where, who you can talk to, what quests you can do, how the buildings are set up, etc.?
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I think the articles do deserve to go here. It makes them more likely to get feedback from nondesigners.

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Well, thinking about how a town supports itself is a good way to add individual flavour to it.

The town sizes aren't too unreasonable; ancient Athens had a population of 250,000 at its peak. It's true that 1000 people isn't all that small a town, though. (Mind you, in a world where most people get around town by foot, the physical size of a city is at least as important a consideration as its population.)

As for the practical use of the article, I'm not sure that telling people how to use information is a great idea; after all, what we all want to see is something we haven't seen before. Sometimes it's just good to give people something to think about.

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DreamGuy, I think you're looking for something more along the lines of this article:

http://www.sitemouse.com/users/drakefyre/boa.html#art5

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At times, ancient Rome and Alexandria had over a million people. Those populations are fine.

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Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
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Hmm. Some thoughts.

Completely forgotten was the manufacturing centers. As far back as the bronze age, certain towns manufactured certain goods. Thus you could have all the furniture, ceramics, jewelry, tools, and other manufactured goods come from certain towns.

I think because most of the goods (graphics) for items are the same , they are probably mass produced. I can imagine all sorts of interesting ways this could be done.

A factory full of summoned spirits or imps who work on a specific product. A golem mass production center-- they make cabinetry, chests, beds, etc. programmed to specification. You see very few people actually making things in Avernum.

There are a number of interesting things which I've noticed about Avernum. There is a four part ruling class-- priest, bureacrat, military lord, and mage in each city. The priest is usually in a spiritual non-governmental role. A triumvarate of mage, bureaucrat, and soldier is the direct government.

The cities are further divided into two sections-- one for the craftsmen and traders, and a separate usually better part for the rulers. This was true in Dealing With the Dead and other places as well.

Mages towers, research centers, educational centers, and magical schools are usually separated from towns by a good distance and have garrisons not far from them
because they contain either toxic potion materials, dangerous summoned monsters, or worse.

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quote:
Originally written by DreamGuy:


Second, the numbers for town sizes are unrealistically large. It sounds like you took them from a modern source describing modern cities, or from some place doing the same (perhaps D&D, as I believe they had equally silly numbers).

Nope. They are actually close. Size is pretty dependent on the availability of food and that foods calorie yield. The easier it it is to get calories, the higher a population. Some medieval populations had numbers that fit this range. I based these numbers as a rough average of European and Asian populations during the peak of their medieval eras.


"Harvesting" isn't the best name for a group that gets goods that can't be replaced, as that's an agricultural term. Also, lumber wwouldn't technically have to be this type, as it can be replaced like other crops, it's just that most people don't bother because it's future generations that end up losing out.

People do harvest lumber. It is called harvesting. Also, once the trees are gone the trees are gone. If the tress are replanted then the time needed to get them to a servicable size limits the productions of the center. Once the lumber trade dries up, the town vanishes unless something replaces it (agriculture, mining, et cetera)


My main comment, though, is: OK, so why do we care? If this is all about designing towns for BoA scenarios, you are missing out on the practical end of things. How would you suggest people use this info to help create communities in the game? What potential plot points does it raise? How does this affect distance from each other, who lives where, who you can talk to, what quests you can do, how the buildings are set up, etc.?
It is not for that purpose. It is designed to give a solid framework to start from. Why should I tell you how to make a plot? I said this was a concept, not the practical. This is all about design and what you should pay attention to in your planning.

quote:
Originally written by Toasted Marshmallows:


Completely forgotten was the manufacturing centers. As far back as the bronze age, certain towns manufactured certain goods. Thus you could have all the furniture, ceramics, jewelry, tools, and other manufactured goods come from certain towns.

I know I left manufacturing out. I tried to list the basic three, and when I finish this other piece (damn class project) I will list things such as Religious Centers, Manufacturing Centers, Social Centers, and Military Centers. These four are outgrowths of the basic three. That is why I'm sticking them in another piece.


A factory full of summoned spirits or imps who work on a specific product. A golem mass production center-- they make cabinetry, chests, beds, etc. programmed to specification. You see very few people actually making things in Avernum.

There are a number of interesting things which I've noticed about Avernum. There is a four part ruling class-- priest, bureacrat, military lord, and mage in each city. The priest is usually in a spiritual non-governmental role. A triumvarate of mage, bureaucrat, and soldier is the direct government.

The cities are further divided into two sections-- one for the craftsmen and traders, and a separate usually better part for the rulers. This was true in Dealing With the Dead and other places as well.

Mages towers, research centers, educational centers, and magical schools are usually separated from towns by a good distance and have garrisons not far from them
because they contain either toxic potion materials, dangerous summoned monsters, or worse.
I was trying to stay away from "Avernum" style. I leave that to the designer. They may want to make an alternate world where the Avernum style does not exist.



[ Thursday, March 03, 2005 07:19: Message edited by: Dahak ]

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I updated, added, and revised the article. See it here.

http://unix.csuchico.edu/~ps167/town.txt

Please check, critique, and let me know.

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