Friday, November 20, 2015

Technology 7

This is the third in a series of posts intended to provide a technological framework for my world.  The purpose of this framework is to create unique, regional settings for player interaction.  A realistic simulation of the actual world is not a goal of this system and will not be given credence when approving comments.

Regions with a technology of 7 will have an average population density of 360 to 755 per 20-mile hex.  This includes the following regions, shown on this table:

This technology accounts for 6,282.6 hexes of my world, occupied by 3,246,333 humanoids.

Available Technologies

See tech 5 and tech 6.  This gets more complicated as I go forward.  To keep it straight at this time, I'd like to address the new technologies in greater detail, starting with advancements on previous technologies.

Agriculture now includes irrigation in areas where water must be managed for crops (the deserts in particular).

Animal Husbandry expands to include elephants, mules, trained dogs and the breeding of menagerie-forms, such as birds, leopards, fur-bearing animals, D&D forms (worgs) and so on.  More sophisticated forms of leatherwork and other animal textile making develops among artisans.

Mining - I meant to make a note that tech 6 mining is largely the accumulation of placer deposits, silver, copper and gold.  Tech 7 mining would expand to include the four other most commonly identified metals, tin, iron, lead and mercury.  This enables the expansion of:

Bronze & Iron working, through the development of the charcoal furnace.  Since the tech system is not based upon historical development of learning how to work metals, but upon availability of knowledge, we skip right past bronze being the primary metal into iron.

Masonry, with quarrying, promotes the construction of permanent buildings, with consequent temples, palaces and public buildings (few in number, occasionally large in size but this would not be common).

Polytheism & Meditation are discussed below, under Religion.

Pottery promotes the storage of food, easier transport of goods, keeping accounts and greater security against drought (with consequently far fewer nomadic entities in the region).  Pottery and Agriculture together promote a greater population not involved in the matter of food production.

Sailing becomes common in regions adjacent to seas or large bodies of water.  This consists mostly of ketches or skiffs employing a lateen sail for short distances, typically less than 40 miles - however, denizens of the region begin to take their goods elsewhere by boat, now being less dependent upon outside merchants.  Sailors from these regions will begin appearing in foreign ports (in very small numbers).


With larger and more permanent settlements and refined daily habits, the function of villages and towns orient more towards the artisan and administrator than towards herding and agriculture. While much of the village still moves outwards to fields during the day, the location of these fields is more stable from decade to decade as new soil and fertility is laid down by irrigation (silt) and natural fertilizers (cleaned manure by gong workers).  Hunting and gathering cease to be full-time occupations as the hinterland (and game) retreats from civilization, as timber is cut for kilns (pottery and smelting) or for building.

Clans and tribe associations have broken down in favor of status based on skills, occupation, talent/ability/chutzpah in the accumulation of friends or wealth (most often reflected in building larger homes or gathering larger flocks).  Resource acquisition/management defines much of what is important to the residents.  Even in the rural areas, there is a strong sense of developing one's life around gathering and trading in a village or town rather than living in perpetual isolation.

Money begins to appear (for even if currency is not part of the local technology, some leaks in), but by and large it is only accepted by persons who specifically deal with foreign matters (sailor/traders & administrators who must pay a tribute to more sophisticated entities).  Charity towards outsiders will disappear.

Theft will be minimum as there is very little to steal.  Most conflict will be violence-oriented, founded on feuds or possession of women.  Laws have been imposed to define ownership of property and personal rights, but taxes are unheard of.  When tribute is due, most of it is obtained through donation or social pressure against disliked persons.

Roads will be hard earth and beaten by wheels; traffic and foreigners along roads will be rare but familiar enough throughout the region to be ignored by locals.  Brigandage will exist but for the most part it exists to obtain food, animals or transport, all without the desire to murder.  Virtually no order or militia exists outside of towns, so brigands have very little to fear (they are starving for the most part, however, since traffic is minimal).

Children are everywhere.  A few are put to work as helpers or apprentices, depending on their age.  Street urchins are common, as there's enough charity towards youths to allow them to avoid the fields until age 8 to 10.  Beggars are rare unless there is a particularly genial individual who is well liked.  He or she is usually a drunk.  Villagers or townspeople will vigorously defend such a person or children if strangers are rude or abusive.


Dwellings gather closely together and there grow specific streets organized for bartering (done mostly through agreed upon contracts).  Village buildings will be made of broken stone, mortar and timber (called 'half-timbered') when in long use.  In desert areas these buildings will be made of mud adobe (brick, timber and dried mud used as plaster).  Doors will be everywhere, promoting privacy.  Streets will be wide, open and buildings towards the edges of town will be scattered along pathways rather than lanes.

Gardens, small plots for pasturing animals, green spaces, fruit trees or ornamental shrubbery is a common feature, for population density in centers is very low compared to more urbanized tech levels.

Satellite homes, crude in construction, will appear outside of the village but nearby, owned by cotters and villeins, poor people who will find themselves pushed out of a developing social/status structure.  In desert areas these will still be tents.

In town, a watch has been imposed.  This is not ordered by authority but by artisans who are interested in protecting their shop stores and tools.  The watch has very little interest in defending the homes or property of farmers, who at any rate are safe for they have nothing to steal.

The range of activities increases.  A tavern appears that allows gathering for drink.  Common events associated with religion (weddings, burials) are complimented by monthly gatherings organized by occupations or authorities (for decision-making, announcements, spreading of news from outside, harvests, celebrating a new king, royal birth, etcetera), so that picnics and organized drinking fests gather large numbers upon green spaces or among the fields.


Decision-making manifests largely as a service industry to ensure good will between agriculturalists, herders, artisans, religionists and everyone else, promoting smooth interaction and protecting everyone against outsiders.  As this tech level suggests a region that is likely to receive steady attention from a distant emperor or king, some reporting is necessary (usually delivered by word of mouth) while word from above is passed down,  Opportunities are offered for young who want to go and become soldiers, as weapon use at this tech level is sophisticated enough (see below) to be of use to someone.

Usually, the leader is appointed by outsiders from among the most popular clan heads in the area (there are still clans, they are just less important), imposed upon the area or elected locally by agreement.  Rarely is this position hereditary.  Usurpation or public lynching is common when things don't work out. The leader protects himself with a private guard that receives lodging, good food, privileges throughout the region or territory and generally the freedom to seize or act as they will so long as this is not perpetrated against anyone important.  Outsiders are, by and large, fair game.


With the development of buildings and a population not dependent upon personal food production for survival, a religious class emerges.  These possess many of the sage abilities (up to and including authority level) which, I'm afraid, I haven't completed as a list.   The amateur level should give an idea of the wide range of abilities by such religious persons, denoting their importance to the community even though they are unable to use even 1st level cleric spells.

Gods and philosophy emerges as the locals embrace either Polytheism or Meditation as a belief-system.  Since these gods/practices are real, true enlightenment is developed about the will of the Gods, their desires, the general value of expanding the God's purpose, how the body and mind can find relevance in things like chi, atman and tantrism, etcetera.  The monk class appears (check it out, no mandatory minimum to intelligence in the original Player's Handbook).


With the introduction of the battle axe and hand axe, along with the spear head (making the spear less likely to break in combat), there's a development in weapons that promotes a bilateral use of melee and archery when attacking the enemy.  Count on a half & half mix of either when meeting with a local enemy.  With this comes combat training and morale, so that the defenders will stand and fight rather than retreat . . . along with a host of fighter sage abilities that I also haven't written yet.  Just writing this here as a place holder.

Farmers will tend to use weapons based on tools - scythes, bo & jo sticks, quarterstaves and various clubs, rather than metal-based weapons.  Slings will continue to be traditional among the lower classes who do not have the time/wherewithal to train as archers. 

Leather armor appears but shields are considered impractical given weapon preferences.  While horsemanship (and other mounted combat) isn't part of the region's tech ability, a great emphasis will be placed on the importance of animals in the military - their treatment, the importance of using them for supplies, communication and so on.

Overall, a force can be gathered by the region of volunteers that will seriously challenge an enemy's potential for conquering the region - though not, obviously, an enemy of vastly superior technology.


My decision to advance through these particular technologies for this level (and every level) has been with a focus to how much is necessary to truly change the perspective environment the player would encounter upon entering the region.

I don't know what more I can say to emphasize that this system is designed to service players, not historical accuracy.


Tim said...

Holy smokes these posts are awesome. I am eagerly consuming the ideas you are putting forward, and this will make a huge difference in how I develop my world.

Arduin said...

Can only echo Tim here. I am head over heels for these posts. Of special interest here is the classes as they tie into the tech levels: Monk being the first to make an appearance is most interesting to me. I'm presuming Thief won't make it until Currency is a tech, and we've established that Fighter is likely to be soon, since it's Sage abilities are showing up now. But things like Rangers, Bards, Assassins, and the difference between Paladin and Cleric are already drumming through my head.

Every time I feel like I can settle down and digest what's been here before, sit back and watch the maps/sage abilities/encounter tables roll in, you introduce a new concept and my brain explodes all over again.


Alexis Smolensk said...

Actually, the minimum intelligence for a thief is 7 and for a fighter it's 3, so fighters are there beginning with tech five and this one introduces the thief as well as the monk (I did mention thieving, though I said there wasn't much).

I'm basing the cleric on the wisdom of 9, the druid and bard on the wisdom of 12, the paladin and mage on an intelligence of 9, the ranger on an intelligence of 13, the illusionist on an intelligence of 15 and the assassin on an intelligence of 11.