Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Campaign Setting: Population Control & The Frontier

"A few hundred I guess."
I don't know about other people, but I have a very hard time guesstimating the populations of cities and villages. It's like when someone asks you to guess their weight. I have no idea, I freeze. Ultimately it's probably not important at all. I'm willing to bet that players don't care that much. If they ask how many people live in a village, they're probably going to take your answer at face value and move on. An answer of "a few hundred" will be accepted and brushed over as they ask about the more interesting things like item shops and other typical adventure stops. I have small amounts of OCD though, so I want some method to my kingdom population. Luckily I stumbled across Medieval Demographics Made Easy and it answered just about every question I had. So for people with small or large amounts of OCD that want some sort of system or general idea of how to populate a kingdom.. there ya go. Pretty convenient, right?

The Frontier

The Frontier, for lack of a better or more original name, is the current setting for the campaign I'm running. The Frontier is based off of The Nentir Vale, a temperate wooded stretch set between two mountain ranges. The Frontier was settled around 300 years ago as The Empire expanded its holdings north. The Empire brought peace to the vale as it drove out hostile creatures and assimilated the native people. Now, 300 years later, The Empire is collapsing. Great fortresses are left abandoned and entire legions are dissolved as The Empire finally withdraws the last of its forces and people are left to defend themselves. Surrounded on three sides by untamed and unexplored wilderness, the vale quickly finds itself home to new and monstrous residents. Strongholds of civilization remain stubbornly entrenched along the Frontier, determined to make a life for themselves amid the deteriorating walls and crumbling keeps of their ancestors. Barbarians, usurpers, monsters, and worse constantly batter against the walls of humanity. The land is ripe for adventurers, legendary men and women anxious to make both name and wealth for themselves by selling their blades.

Yea that's nice, where are the characters?

"Okay so how many 0-Levels can  this village provide?".
Glad you asked! The party is currently adventuring out of the of the Delver's Dave Mining Camp located along the Eastern edge of the Dawnforge Mountains, a few days ride East of Hammerfast. Delver's Dale is a dwarven mining outpost with around 400 residents and a steady flow of trade. Most of the mined goods are sold directly to the dwarves while the rest go to trading caravans or river merchants. Delver's Dale is mostly residential and industrial with a few shops and a rotating population of merchants, businessman, and roughnecks. Two Temples, an Inn, and an apothecary dot the landscape of the village while the entire thing is looked over by a Stout dwarven fortress carved directly into the mountainside. Delver's Dale is home to several significant NPCs and host to several significant problems brewing outside the gates.

Other villages, trading hubs, ruins, and sites of interest surround Delver's Dale but are not detailed here. Basically I'll throw up the concept artwork, information, or maps to areas either at whim or if they become interesting enough to warrant the attention. It should be noted that none of the maps or artwork are mine, I mercilessly pillage and re purpose anything I can find online and press into service. That being said, kudos to the artists, whoever you are. You've used your skillsets and provided fuel for the imagination of one more game out there. Keep up the strong work.

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