Saturday, January 20, 2018

North Wowotu Production, Part II

See Part I.

Close up visual available with this link.

Now the reader can see that I've reduced the sizes of the references, adding additional icons for labor, food and wealth.  There are only six hexes on the map that generate "wealth."  All the references on the map generate "income," but we can see that as money that must needs be poured back into the system, to maintain the roads and move the goods and buy outside products, etcetera.  "Wealth" is categorized here as "disposable income," or money that can be used for unusual purposes beyond an ordinary budget and expenses.  This money can be given to expanding education or development, used for war, or it can be used to line the pockets of the local lords.

I haven't calculated if there is enough food to feed the population.  However, I could calculate it, fairly easily, but I did that with another post once and got little response.  Truth is, food is a changeable element.  We can establish how much food is needed to feed how many people a diet of 2,200 calories a day, but people can live on less and be malnourished, with shorter lifespans, and people can certainly live on more.  Food won't be distributed evenly, whatever our calculations ... the more important thing here is to see how much food would be available if an army chose to plunder a location, or how much must be shipped out of a hex during that time of the year when it is harvested.

This is pretty much it, for the moment.  I think I am going to talk about other things for a while; I'm working myself into doing the podcasts, which at the moment is getting me to research about how people respond to people and what are good strategies for encouraging communication.  That's where the Simon Sinek video came from, for instance.

I am going to come back around to the infrastructure and development concept: but surely this experiment has proved something.  I took a group of perfectly random answers from 12 different people, and produced a completely workable landscape that is the equivalent of any fantasy map that is out there, doing nothing but tracing through the logical effects of terrain, vegetation, the placement of the settlement and the sort of products that might exist.  With any other group of products, with a different collection of terrains or vegetation, signifying a different climate, we could obtain a positively, identifiably different habitat, based mostly on what the inhabitants do, as opposed to where the inhabitants live.

I hope that many of you have learned some lessons, that you've had your eyes opened to why most game maps fail utterly to move your players and what can be done about it.

I hesitate to say this, but ... the reader knows I don't actually have to spend this extra time making a game map I'll never use, for the sole purpose of spending many hours presenting the case, and then painstakingly teaching it.  But I do it for my own self-aggrandizement, for the sake of causing others to view me with respect, and because I sincerely want your worlds to be BETTER worlds.  I want you to stop trailing after the miserable, established, old crappy way of doing things and realize that there is room to design better structures, better systems and elaborate upon better ideas.  Please understand me when I say, to hell with the OSR.  The Renaissance was nice and all, but it wasn't about doing things the old way, it was about taking the old ways and using them as a jumping off point to change the world in a million different ways.  We didn't get Rome from the Renaissance.  We got the Enlightenment, which brought the Industrial Revolution and all of this wonderful health and existing possibility that we have today.

So let's stop putting old D&D on a pedestal.  Let's make a better, greater D&D, let's do it ourselves and let's stop waiting for someone else to do it for us.

Oh, and if you could ... support my Patreon.  That would be nice.


  1. I loved this series greatly, and I really appreciate the drive to improve the game. It's a real inspiration.

  2. I like in this series, it helps zero in on the importance of defining the game, the parameters of the world and all those other things you drum on about endlessly. I notice that there's only so much detail as is actually needed for the game.
    The old simulationist approach would be to figure out how much food each person has, how it's distributed, the price of a single plow and how much acreage a single plow can work in each hex, all of those things. Seeing how much food is available to an army or how much is shipped out is the important part but you can't know the important part if the game parameters aren't defined.
    The reaction to simulationist excess seems to have been an abandonment of realism and details. That ends up at the same problems that simulationist excess seeks to solve. The only escape hatch is to figure out the parameters and what's important first.


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