Thursday, November 26, 2015


In answer to the problem discussed on this post, I think I may have a solution.

Let's start with the original map of Harnia:

The idea is to divide the region above into parts, recognizing that the population of gnomes in the entity is much higher than it would have had were it human.  This is to manage problems of tech levels for non-humans, all of which are relegated to empty parts of the real world where territory size is large precisely because those areas are empty.  Since those territories are not empty in my game world, it follows that some of them should include parts with smaller borders.

The first step is to determine where those smaller borders should be.  I believe this should be based upon what rivers exist.  Because my maps features rivers in the center of each hex, rather than each edge, the map can be drawn along hex boundaries/ridges that separate the valleys from each other politically.  Then we can make a few adjustments:
  • any valley without a town can be added to the next valley, preferably the one that causes the different territories to keep the most globular shape possible
  • ensuring roads cross as few borders as possible.
  • assigning towns on the ridges to empty valleys, when possible.
  • retaining previously created boundaries, even where those boundaries cross rivers.

Here's Harnia, so divided, below:

This gives us 7 sections.  1 to 5 are sections of Harn, while 6 & 7 are the two sections of Seraphina.  The small tail of the valley of the Garl river, in Seraphina, is given over to Section 6 because - while part of the river flows through Harn/Section 3, it then flows through Section 6 again.  And it makes the two regions more globular in shape, whereas awarding that one hex to Section 7 would give the section a straggly tail.

We have two examples where more than one center is in a given section: the city of Harn includes the town of Taladuin ('n' is cut off) in Section 4, while both Durrin and Bodumis of Section 6 are in the same hex.  All other five sections have only one town.

Well, right off, Bortrun is a market (as is Harn) and therefore deservedly should be seen as a separate province.  I already divided it economically in the Spring of 2015, so it makes sense now to divide it politically as well.

This leaves four sections in Harn.  We want to retain previously existing boundaries, so Seraphina is another issue.  We have two choices for what to do with Harn's four sections:

Option 1. We can roll a d4 to determine how many there are, then randomly join them together.  If we do this and we roll a '1', then all four sections become a single province, or thane.  On a '4', we get four separate thane.

On a '2', we can roll further dice to determine which thanes join with which.  Sections 1 & 4 or 3 & 2 are out, since we want to keep that globular necessity - but 4 could join with 2, leaving 3 & 1 together; or 4 could join with 3, leaving 2 & 1 together.

On a '3', we just have to roll odd man out.  That might even be 3, as 1, 2 & 4 are reasonably globular without it.

Option 2. Give preference to the most populous section and combine less populous sections together.  This contributes to offering the best possible tech level for preferred sections while relegating other areas to hinterland status.

This can be based on the comparative population of the different towns (which will be the deciding factor on how many people are in each section.  See this table below:

Sorry, this is a table I use so often, I forget that it lacks headings.  The first column next to Haraduin is the year the town was founded, 787.  Haraduin's population is 2,158.  It is at latitude 52.47 N and at longitude 44.22 E.  It is at an elevation of 620 feet.

The city of Harn is so much larger than the other centers in the Harn Zone that it dwarfs them.  Haraduin, Taladuin, Tarrum and Vallin are just big villages.  If one of them were much bigger, say Bortrun's size (13,788), then they might deserve their own section - but they aren't, so it makes some sense to put Harn's section by itself while putting the other three together.

It could look like this:

I've made a few adjustments, giving the south central ridge to the West March but keeping the north ridge to Harn, being nearest to the big city.  I've also taken the lowest hex from the Bortrun section, given that it is closer to Taladuin, on the same plain that Harn and Taladuin occupy.  Bortrun is 400 feet higher up the valley, inconvenient for cartage.  And it makes Bortrun much smaller.

Seraphina is a less interesting issue.  Using Option 2, the two regions both exist, as Seraphis is a large village of 2,185 whereas Bodumis and Durrin are, together, only 960.  This would give section 6 a total population of 20,133 and section 7 a population of  45,824.  Unfortunately, even if I give the whole ridge to the small villages, section 7 still covers 13.4 hexes (note the hex where it only controls the left bank of the river), giving it a density of 3,419.  This is only good enough for tech 10.  With the ridge being part of Seraphis, it's a density of 2,975, or tech 9. 

What about the other three new provinces?
  • The West March has 40,736 people and covers 24 hexes, for a density of 1,697 = tech 9
  • Bortrun has 71,230 people and covers 4 hexes, for a density of 17,807 = tech 12
  • Harn has 252,892 people and covers 14 hexes, for a density of 18,063 = tech 12

So, at the end of all this, frustration.

It occurs to me, as well, that if I give that ridge to Seraphis, then that would make section 7 the same tech as section 6.  I might just as well leave all of Seraphina as one thane.  Seems that should be a determining rule, too, in whether or not an entity is subdivided. 

I have made the tech level for part of the territory higher, but not sufficient to obtain that golden 15 intelligence necessary for the illusionist to exist in the territory.


When I think of it, that 15 intelligence requirement for the illusionist always did seem ridiculously high . . .

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