Sunday, February 17, 2013

Floating a Wilderness Balloon

I had this idea last week for D&D, that locks into another process that I've been doing for some years now. Basically, its like this.

There are a lot of "services" that can exist in a D&D world that are not necessarily associated with trade (or specifically, the price of things): inns, warehouses, water wells, hospitals, naval & army posts, arsenals, bridges vs. ferries, stone roads vs. earthen ones, town halls, baths, money lenders, churches, cathedrals, guilds vs. free artisans, barns, schools, auction houses, the black market, almshouses, workhouses, fishing ponds, etc.

It seems to me that what's wanted is a scale that says, first, this exists or doesn't exists - followed by, if it exists, then this, and if it doesn't exist, then this. Introduce a series of grays in there and you have the skeleton of a more gritty wilderness crawl.

For example, there is a clean water supply, i.e. wells, which reduce the likelihood of disease. If there are no wells, then the likelihood of disease is higher.

That's just one consequence - potentially, there could be fifty or sixth, each of which would indicate this hex would make a better jumping off point than that - for solid, defineable reasons.


  1. Other features would have to include saw pits, quarries, mines, meadows, game reserves, carter or teamster posts, apothecaries, gong pits & farmers, falconers, courthouses, guard posts, granaries, mills, monasteries, faires & festivals, barracks, armories and stables.

  2. Interesting. A lot of these could work as something as simple as +/-%age modifiers to existing known qualities, such as the amount of cash or resources generated by a given area, or reduce travel time per hex, or lower the likelihood per year of fires, floods or similar wiping out an investment.

    Other assets (barns, wells, gong pits, hospitals, schools) might increase limits to growth, increase rate of development of new projects, and/or reduce the likelihood of diseases breaking out.

    Still others might involve juggling economic or population growth versus social advantage. Which benefits your character more: a new field and the revenues derived therefrom, or a new deer park?

    Of course, having a certain number of services in a given location may either have synergistic benefits (so the more trade, the more the inn/market/auction house brings in) or possibly tread on each other's toes ("Can't use the watercourse for fishponds, we need it for watermeadows/irrigation/milling/fulling").

    Greg Stafford's "Book of the Manor" for the K.A.Pendragon RPG touches on this at a manorial level already although I imagine you're going for something rather more intricate.


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