Saturday, January 20, 2018

North Wowotu Production, Part I


Above, the reader will find that I have added all the various reader-chosen references to the map of what I'll start calling North Wowotu.  The location of the references was determined randomly, according to arbitrary designs I've created for designating where a particular type of reference might appear.  Some features of the map were done according to my whim.  Someone else might have drawn the roads in a different way, or the lake in a different way, but the important thing to remember is that it doesn't matter.  What matters is that we get a collection of details that form an interesting framework for running adventures.

First, landscape.

I made anything with a type-5 hex or better into lowland, though there are hills all around.  The hills are black, the type-7 hexes almost hills and the type-6 hexes lower still.  The desert areas beyond the hills in the upper right are gray.  There is a ridge that runs down the middle of the district, with two gaps on either side of the wilderness hex at 0805.  To clear up the map a little, I have reduced the "hex type" number to a "- x" after the hex location number.  As in, "0806-5" for a type-5 hex.

I'll go through the placement of things now.

Port Tethys is the only settlement hex of type 1, 2 or 3, so all the heavy manufacturing has to go there, the shipbuilding, the tools and the two market references.  Let me remind the reader that although "Rainus" has a little white circle, it is technically a "rural" type-2 hex.  The circle is a private manor village, not a public village like Avalon or a public city like Port Tethys.  Go to Rainus and you will get harassed by the local Reeve.

The farms for rice were placed in a random hex of type 5 or better.  As they came out next to each other, I added a lake, to account for the water that rice needs.  The lake then makes an obstacle for any good road to Avalon - it would need a bridge to cross the river to the sea, and why do that when sea travel between Port Tethys and Avalon is so easy?  So there is no easy foot access from one part of the district to another.

The gold and iron went into random type-7 or type-6 hexes.  The limestone and salt went into random type-6 or type-5 hexes.  The logic is that since stone is needed for building, a settlement will be built nearer to it; and conversely, randomly placed stone should be nearer to a settlement.  Here, we see that one limestone was very close to Port Tethys and one was nearer to Avalon.

I decided that since the gold in 1103 was closer to the "Manor" in 0804 than to Avalon, that the Manor actually controlled the gold and therefore the road should go in that direction, along with the close iron.  The other gold goes to Avalon.

Hosiery is a handicraft, so it can be made at a manor estate ... I rolled randomly and it ended up at the Manor rather than Rainus.  The salt in 0807,

Both salt references ended up on low land sea hexes, so I assume it is being made from the sea.  Salt is not a "heavy" production, like ore or stone.  It can be hauled on donkeys, mules or in carts - so it is better to haul it to Rainus than up and over the hill to Avalon.  It can be carried to the lake, boated across, then taken along the road towards the market.  The salt in 0406 can be hauled across the bay.

That just leaves the sheep.

Now, there are two kinds of roads.  A thicker line and a narrow line.  The thick line is a road made of ground stone and broken pottery laid over of clay.  This is a Dev7 region, so we shouldn't expect better than that.  The narrow line is a cart track, with two hardened ruts.

Throughout the map the reader can see round red dots.  These are carter posts, which work like medieval truck-stops.  Carter posts may be continuously occupied or not, or seasonally occupied (Wowotu might have a short, wet, unpleasant season, justified by the rice production).

Gold needs a heavy road because any shipment would be rigorously defended, and would want a good, wide passage to ensure a minimal likelihood of ambush.  Iron needs big wagons to haul ore.  There are no iron foundries anywhere in North Wowotu, so the best is a few smithys that would exist at Port Tethys.  Most of the ore is shipped out of the district in raw form.  Limestone must be treated the same way.

Sheep, however, can be driven, and the low-weight fleece can be transported on carts, so they only need cart tracks.  Pastures, where sheep are raised, occur in rural 4, 5 or 6 hexes.  There might be good forage where the rice is raised, but the land there is used for rice and the sheep are not welcome.

All told, there are four half-references that ship to the Manor, four that ship to Rainus and four that ship to Avalon.  Port Tethys accounts for 11 half-references (the markets, the shipbuilding and the tools are each a full reference).  And ultimately everything has to go through Port Tethys, to be sold or exported elsewhere.

So we have a demonstrable economy, which in turn describes the local politics clearly.  It tells us why the roads exist, what to expect to meet upon them and where the influences of local patrols and interests are placed.  It gives us a good social reference for what it is like to be a salt-digger in 0406 vs. one in 0807, and what it is like to be a sheep farmer in 0504 vs. one in 1102.  We have four wildernesses for players to investigate, ranging from a little hex near town to a big pile of nothing at the northern border.  That gives something for characters of widely different levels to cut their teeth on.

The next step is to calculate labor, wealth and food to the map ~ which I shall try to have up later today.

Continue to Part II.

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