Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

[kjd-imc] On Cities, Wards, and Features

Last response: in Video Games
Share
Anonymous
August 1, 2005 1:54:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Hi All,

Some time ago (May 22, 2004[1]) I started a thread on using 'levels' to
describe settlements. I wasn't entirely happy with how it worked, but I
think I've got a better approach.

[1] http://groups.google.ca/group/rec.games.frp.dnd/browse_...
(blame google for the fugly link)

In short, each settlement could be written up something like a party
encounter -- each ward of the settlement would be considered a
'character', complete with stats, feats, etc. This was based on rules
from SSS' _Advanced Player's Guide_, in turn based on Gamma World's
community rules. Those rules look like they'd work fine in Gamma World,
where communities tend to be more tightly focused. The suggestion for
larger communities (model with multiple communities) doesn't really work
very well.


My basic assumptions here is that a settlement may consist of a number
of wards, each ward may contain a number of features such as churches,
guilds, and the like.

I'm also grossly simplifying economics; trying to apply something
realistic on top of D&D economics is a recipe for pain. The ward and
settlement wealth determinations made by this system will probably
replace the community wealth rules from the DMG.

I assume basic needs (food, clothing, shelter, etc.) are met by the
general population and only track surpluses. I may allow deficits as
'disadvantages' (you have to import food because you've got everyone
either mining the gold or guarding the miners) but haven't decided how I
want to handle this.

This system does not handle exceptional settlements. You might have a
powerful wizard living in a small farming village or two unusually
large guilds struggling for control of a town, but these things are
probably better placed by the DM explicitly -- either they are special
situations (the wizard) or presumably transitory (the guild war).

So, in point form:

.. Settlements have a level (loosely) based on population. 'level 0' is
any settlement with a population < 50, 'level 1' is at 50 population,
and each level is sqrt(2) more than the previous (population doubles
every two level, IOW). This is so 'EL math' will work.

.. A settlement may have multiple wards. The total of the ward sizes, in
EL math, must be the level of the settlement. That is, a level 6
community could be:

. one level 6 ward
. two level 4 wards
. one level 5 ward and one level 3 ward
. one level 4 ward, one level 3 ward, and one level 1 ward
. etc.

.. When a community level increases, the wards inside it are adjusted to
account for the change, a new ward may be created, and so on. If the
community level decreases, wards are similarly decreased or removed.

.. At each level, a ward receives a number of 'improvement points',
probably two or three times the new level. These points are used to
improve features of the ward.

. Adding a new feature at rank 0 costs one point.

. Improving a feature costs a number of points equal to the new rank
of the feature. A feature's rank cannot exceed the level of the
ward.

. Features add properties to the ward. These include:

. wealth: a large trade guild means there's presumably a lot of
money moving around, wealthy traders, etc. Wards will have
varying wealth available.

. magic: a magic academy or large temple probably indicates a
reasonable amount of magic available... at least theoretically

. troops: various 'martial features' -- representing different
armies, or at least units -- indicate military presence and
possibly fortifications. I may make fortifications a separate
feature.

. equipment and services: various organizations will make certain
gear more readily available. This ranges from mundane (weapons
and armor -- you can find better/cheaper/exotic where there's a
Weaponers Guild) to magical (if there's a large temple in the
ward, potions of healing may be easier to come by). Many of these
things may be purchased without such features, but might be more
expensive or harder to find.

. characters: if you've got a large temple, you've probably got a
fairly powerful cleric[2] (and supporting clerics). A magic
academy more or less requires high level wizards.

. power centers: if a feature/organization has a significant
fraction of the population of a ward, it's probably pretty
influential. Looking at a feature can reveal the power centers
of a ward -- and possibly the city itself.

[2] most priest-types IMC *aren't* clerics -- commoners and experts,
actually -- but to keep it simple....


As an example, a church is a feature. A ward presumably has a fair
number of simple and/or personal shrines to various gods/religions.
They aren't even 'rank 0', since they aren't particularly accessible or
'useful'. Rank 0 indicates a 'public presence' (if hidden -- you could
have a rank 8 'dark temple' hidden in a town).

The population of the church is based on the rank. The highest-level
priest is about the same level as the church's rank. The number of
priests doubles ever two levels lower than this, adjusted using EL math
(two nominal 8th-level priests might be replaced with a 9th-level priest
and a 7th-level priest).

The influence here is equal to the sum of all priest levels in the
church. If you keep the church maxed (which requires 1/2 or 1/3 of the
total improvement points of the ward, so it's an *important* church!)
it'll eventually control about 10-20% of the total influence of the
ward. If there are two or three maxed out churches they'll probably
consume about 25-50% of the total influence in the ward. (This is an
approximate adjustment for the number of higher level priests in the
other churches.)

This is direct influence (priest hierarchy) only. A church may in fact
have more influence once you count lay members.


.... I'd post more on this, but I think I'm about to lose coherency.
Time to sleep.


Thoughts, questions, comments?


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
August 1, 2005 1:54:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Keith Davies wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> Some time ago (May 22, 2004[1]) I started a thread on using 'levels' to
> describe settlements. I wasn't entirely happy with how it worked, but I
> think I've got a better approach.
> In short, each settlement could be written up something like a party
> encounter -- each ward of the settlement would be considered a
> 'character', complete with stats, feats, etc. This was based on rules
> from SSS' _Advanced Player's Guide_, in turn based on Gamma World's
> community rules. Those rules look like they'd work fine in Gamma World,
> where communities tend to be more tightly focused. The suggestion for
> larger communities (model with multiple communities) doesn't really work
> very well.
>

Do you use this system in your games or are you brainstorming it out in
this post? It looks a bit cumbersome, but has redeeming qualities. I
like the idea of designing settlements by neighborhoods. Would it
emulate European civilization of some particular era, or is it for
presenting a model not based on the historical?

Try increasing and decreasing the population sizes from nuclear family
units to metropolis and see if it is scalable. Likely this system would
only work for bands and tribes, as you say of Gamma World, and would
breakdown in terms of scale. If you kept the concept modular, it might
work for large settlements where sections of a town are distict.
Anonymous
August 1, 2005 10:40:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Shawn Roske <shawn_roske@sympatico.ca> wrote:
> Keith Davies wrote:
>> Hi All,
>>
>> Some time ago (May 22, 2004[1]) I started a thread on using 'levels'
>> to describe settlements. I wasn't entirely happy with how it worked,
>> but I think I've got a better approach.
>>
>> In short, each settlement could be written up something like a party
>> encounter -- each ward of the settlement would be considered a
>> 'character', complete with stats, feats, etc. This was based on
>> rules from SSS' _Advanced Player's Guide_, in turn based on Gamma
>> World's community rules. Those rules look like they'd work fine in
>> Gamma World, where communities tend to be more tightly focused. The
>> suggestion for larger communities (model with multiple communities)
>> doesn't really work very well.
>
> Do you use this system in your games or are you brainstorming it out in
> this post? It looks a bit cumbersome, but has redeeming qualities. I
> like the idea of designing settlements by neighborhoods. Would it
> emulate European civilization of some particular era, or is it for
> presenting a model not based on the historical?

I haven't actually *used* it yet, I'm thinking about how to make it
workable.

It'll handle simple settlements (a small number of wards) without too
much trouble. A 'holy city', for example, might have only a single ward
with a bigass church in it, a few supporting features, and you're done.
They don't have much here *but* religious stuff, but that's okay because
that's what it's *for*. A level 15 settlement has a population of
around 6400. If the church is maxed, there are about 250 priests and a
total of about 750 influence... this is about 20% of the total influence
of the settlement (I misremembered -- commoners are half the influence
of PC classes). There may be a level 11 martial order present (this is
their base as well) -- 63 members, 177 influence.

It's not really intended to represent any particular era. In fact, I
don't know that it would look historically accurate for *any* era... but
I'm not looking for historical accuracy, rather an abstract mechanism.

> Try increasing and decreasing the population sizes from nuclear family
> units to metropolis and see if it is scalable. Likely this system would
> only work for bands and tribes, as you say of Gamma World, and would
> breakdown in terms of scale. If you kept the concept modular, it might
> work for large settlements where sections of a town are distict.

The idea is modular this way -- larger settlements are expected to be
broken down into several wards. I don't have a way to enforce this, but
I'm thinking of making some things more or less linear with feature
rank. For instance, the wealth 'generated' by a church may be directly
proportional to the rank (not the population); having two church 10
might put the same amount of wealth into the community as a single
church 20 (I haven't decided whether this is true).

I considered having 'prerequisites' to ensure certain features are
present. If you've got a big military unit in the city you have to have
a good Weaponer guild somewhere in the city -- they don't have to be in
the same ward, so you could have a ward that's basically the military
compound (lots of troops), while another primarily supports it (has the
weaponers, etc.). Similarly, 'food production' is required by the city,
a noble district requires certain high-end features, etc.... but in the
end I decided it was way more than I wanted to figure out.

I concluded that since this system generally accounts for only a small
percentage of the population, the rest support the 'important parts' and
each other (if the church is 10% of the population, probably 20-30
percent more support the church directly and the rest support those
supporting the church). A little simplistic, but I can live with it.


Unlike the SSS/GW version, the wards don't actually have 'classes' or
'ability scores'. If you want a place that's good at trading you don't
buy up 'profession(merchant)', you buy up a marketplace. If you want a
temple district you don't buy up 'knowledge(religion)', you buy up lots
of temples. You can also mix and match; a particular ward might have
two biggish churches, a militant order, and a marketplace (which
probably focuses on religious goods and perhaps some military stuff)...
a marketplace in a Craft Ward (craft guilds) probably focuses on goods
either produced by the guilds or used by them.

As I said in the OP, features present influence the goods present, and
probably affect (or identify) the settlement's exports. Almost any city
in an appropriate region will produce wine, but if there's a large
Vintner's Guild there's a very good chance wine is an export. I haven't
figured out how it would identify imports.


Hmm... I may even increase the population sizes of the organizations
(sqrt(2) of the level above, rather than double two levels above)... in
a level 30 ward (1,160,000) a maxed church would have 79,000 members and
about 33% of the direct influence.

Okay, quick numbers run -- if a feature is assumed to have a leader of a
level equal to the rank of the feature, and the number increases by
sqrt(2) at each lower level, you end up with a maxed feature grabbing
about 30-35% of the total influence in the ward. So, if I make
improvement points equal to twice the new level, we (can) end up with
two maxed features accounting for about 60-70% of the total influence
(polarized). If you have a number of smaller features there is much
less cohesion; this seems right to me -- smaller power centers. If this
is a large ward for the city, it probably has significant influence
elsewhere as well.

Hmm, interesting. If I treat military forces the same it takes a level
11 ward to support a couple of level 11 forces, or about 200 soldiers of
various levels (higher levels than I actually wanted, but almost 70% are
still third level or lower so it's probably okay). That's 'all' that's
there, apart from the various suppliers needed to support them. OTOH, I
can still adjust numbers using EL math -- trade a bunch of the higher-
level charactesr for more lower level. After a bit of manipulation, I
determined I can about double the number of troops, but they're almost
*all* 1st or 2nd level (and I'm willing to trade 2nd-level characters
for "sqrt(2) 1st-level", so I can get close to 300 troops... if I'm
willing to take low-level troops). This is between 1/4 and 1/5 of the
total population of the ward, and a significant amount of the total
influence, but that's okay, they *are* a huge part of the population.

This also means that you can have about 100 troops in a level 8 ward,
rather than a level 11... this suits well enough.


Okay, I'm reasonably satisfied with how those numbers work. I'll see if
I can come up with some 'sample cities' after I get back from my ride...
if I'm going to do this, I'd best do it before it gets too much hotter.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
August 3, 2005 8:06:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Keith Davies wrote:
> Some time ago (May 22, 2004[1]) I started a thread on using 'levels' to
> describe settlements. I wasn't entirely happy with how it worked, but I
> think I've got a better approach.

> In short, each settlement could be written up something like a party
> encounter -- each ward of the settlement would be considered a
> 'character', complete with stats, feats, etc. This was based on rules
> from SSS' _Advanced Player's Guide_, in turn based on Gamma World's
> community rules. Those rules look like they'd work fine in Gamma World,
> where communities tend to be more tightly focused. The suggestion for
> larger communities (model with multiple communities) doesn't really work
> very well.
>
>
> My basic assumptions here is that a settlement may consist of a number
> of wards, each ward may contain a number of features such as churches,
> guilds, and the like.

> Thoughts, questions, comments?

Yes. The Greeks and Romans of the ancient world chose the highest
spot of land available in any area to build fortifications or an
acropolis to coordinate an extended duration defense of that area.

The Aztec and Maya built tall ceremonial pyramids, and the Incas
followed the pattern of the old world and built their cities in
high nearly inaccessible locations. The Missippi Mound builders
built mounds where the chiefs resided, for pretty much the same
purposes, and later on the Calusa built shell mounds. The Iroquois
confederacy, the Hidatsas and the Mandans all built circular or
round lodges, and were well known to climb up on the lodge to
lookout for danger and/or coordinate the defense of the community.

What property would be designated to confer the obvious
spot/combat advantage such a feature would confer on the community?

Re,
Dirk
Anonymous
August 3, 2005 8:21:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Keith Davies wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> Some time ago (May 22, 2004[1]) I started a thread on using 'levels' to
> describe settlements. I wasn't entirely happy with how it worked, but I
> think I've got a better approach.
>
<snip>
> (blame google for the fugly link)

You can trim it to...

http://groups.google.co.nz/group/rec.games.frp.dnd/msg/...

and it's easy enough to get to the thread from there if required.

<snips>
> I'm also grossly simplifying economics; trying to apply something
> realistic on top of D&D economics is a recipe for pain. The ward and
> settlement wealth determinations made by this system will probably
> replace the community wealth rules from the DMG.

You could also try and fold in stuff like highest level NPCs, or at
least the basic levels that can be easily found.

> I assume basic needs (food, clothing, shelter, etc.) are met by the
> general population and only track surpluses. I may allow deficits as
> 'disadvantages' (you have to import food because you've got everyone
> either mining the gold or guarding the miners) but haven't decided how I
> want to handle this.

Cities all import food, smaller places all export it, it's a big
part of what makes the world go 'round, and an excellent plot hook IME.
Remember, even core DnD runs on no more than a 15% food surplus.

> This system does not handle exceptional settlements.

That's probably unavoidable. I like to detail the highest level
NPCs in a settlement anyway, so keeping them /all/ as DMs perogative
might work.
As for wars and power-struggles, I've no idea. Case-by-case I guess.


> So, in point form:
>
> .. Settlements have a level (loosely) based on population. 'level 0' is
> any settlement with a population < 50, 'level 1' is at 50 population,
> and each level is sqrt(2) more than the previous (population doubles
> every two level, IOW). This is so 'EL math' will work.

I'd set it /slightly/ higher. 400 at L4 to hold all the Hamlets,
and work from there. Puts a Large City at L15-16, Metropolis 17+, and
keeps the giant Forgotten Realms cities at about L25.
NB: I'm using DMG nomenclature here.

> .. A settlement may have multiple wards. The total of the ward sizes, in
> EL math, must be the level of the settlement. That is, a level 6
> community could be:
>
> . one level 6 ward
> . two level 4 wards
> . one level 5 ward and one level 3 ward
> . one level 4 ward, one level 3 ward, and one level 1 ward
> . etc.

Looks good. Like EL, I'd keep levels less than 2 being purely
divisive, just for consistancy. My 200 at L2 becomes 100 at L1 (which
should be homogeneous anyway) and 25 at 1/4 for a small Thorp.

That matches up with CR quite neatly to my mind. Thorp = Kobold,
biggest FR Metropolis = Great Wrym Gold Dragon. It should also work for
setting typical high level NPC equal to city level, or at least close to it.

<snip>
It's late for me too, I'll go over the rest tomorrow.

--
tussock

Aspie at work, sorry in advance.
Anonymous
August 3, 2005 8:21:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

tussock <scrub@clear.net.nz> wrote:
> Keith Davies wrote:
>> Hi All,
>>
>> Some time ago (May 22, 2004[1]) I started a thread on using 'levels' to
>> describe settlements. I wasn't entirely happy with how it worked, but I
>> think I've got a better approach.
>>
><snip>
>> (blame google for the fugly link)
>
> You can trim it to...
>
> http://groups.google.co.nz/group/rec.games.frp.dnd/msg/...
>
> and it's easy enough to get to the thread from there if required.

Hmm... hadn't considered that. I was trying to link to 'just' the
thread.

><snips>
>> I'm also grossly simplifying economics; trying to apply something
>> realistic on top of D&D economics is a recipe for pain. The ward and
>> settlement wealth determinations made by this system will probably
>> replace the community wealth rules from the DMG.
>
> You could also try and fold in stuff like highest level NPCs, or at
> least the basic levels that can be easily found.

That's included, more or less. If I assume that the highest-level NPC
associated with an organization is equal to the rank of the organization
(which is what the numbers are I was running did) I get pretty decent
looking results.

You can add higher-level (or unusual) NPCs if you want... but as a
simple guideline it looks like this'd work pretty well.

>> I assume basic needs (food, clothing, shelter, etc.) are met by the
>> general population and only track surpluses. I may allow deficits as
>> 'disadvantages' (you have to import food because you've got everyone
>> either mining the gold or guarding the miners) but haven't decided how I
>> want to handle this.
>
> Cities all import food, smaller places all export it, it's a big
> part of what makes the world go 'round, and an excellent plot hook IME.
> Remember, even core DnD runs on no more than a 15% food surplus.

This is true. Currently the system abstracts this... the city probably
imports food, and a certain portion of the population is busy dealing
with this. Many wards are expected to have markets (which raise the
wealth of the ward) and many will have merchants and traders (which both
raise the wealth and probably form an organization -- political clout).

IOW, the settlement either imports (if big) or exports (if small) food.
This helps form the basis of 'local wealth' and I otherwise ignore it
(the city has a deficit of food, but exports stuff that isn't otherwise
readily available in the countryside).

What I may do is allow a deficit that'll affect one or two trades (or
other features); I may have synergies between features as well. For
instance, if a town has a Weaponers Guild and an iron mine, the mine may
give a synergy bonus to the Guild. OTOH, if you've got a shipyard and
'no forest nearby' (deficit) the shipyard is less profitable because its
raw materials have to be imported. The basic assumption is that the
resources needed for a feature are reasonably available (the Weaponers
can get regular, reasonably-priced shipments of iron -- the local mine
makes it more readily available, so they see more profit; the shipyard
needs appropriate lumber and logs, so it's probably built where such
things are easy to come by -- if not, they suffer a bit).

>> This system does not handle exceptional settlements.
>
> That's probably unavoidable. I like to detail the highest level
> NPCs in a settlement anyway, so keeping them /all/ as DMs perogative
> might work.

As above, this framework does a decent job of indicating 'likely'
high-level NPCs. You can change them or add to them if desired, of
course.

What I want to model is something that looks reasonable. It doesn't
have to handle the weird cases (it's a plus if it does, but it's not
required), but I want to be able to spend an hour or two and come up
with a workable city.

> As for wars and power-struggles, I've no idea. Case-by-case I guess.

Pretty much. I think they're generally best done deliberately. You
could use an event table or the like to determine them, or look for
'natural differences' ("hmm... rolled a CG church and a LE ruler").

>> So, in point form:
>>
>> .. Settlements have a level (loosely) based on population. 'level 0' is
>> any settlement with a population < 50, 'level 1' is at 50 population,
>> and each level is sqrt(2) more than the previous (population doubles
>> every two level, IOW). This is so 'EL math' will work.
>
> I'd set it /slightly/ higher. 400 at L4 to hold all the Hamlets,
> and work from there. Puts a Large City at L15-16, Metropolis 17+, and
> keeps the giant Forgotten Realms cities at about L25.
> NB: I'm using DMG nomenclature here.

I recognize.

I read your post before going out today and worked some numbers.

As I have it now, a thorp is up to about 2nd level, a hamlet is about
7th, a village about 9th, a small town 11th, a large town 14.some, a
small city 16.some, a large city just about 19 and a metropolis is
19.some and up.

A FR city (ISTR seeing that Waterdeep is about 600k population) would be
around 27th-28th level... pretty close to what you've suggested.

Looking at the DMG3, class levels nominally top out at
Thorp Hamlet Village SmTown LgTown SmCity LgCity Metropolis
Bbn 1 2 3 4 7 10 13 16
Brd 3 4 5 6 9 12 15 18
Clr 3 4 5 6 9 12 15 18
Drd 3* 4* 5 6 9 12 15 18
Ftr 5 6 7 8 11 14 17 20
Mnk 1 2 3 4 7 10 13 16
Pal 0 1 2 3 6 9 12 15
Rgr 0* 1* 2 3 6 9 12 15
Rog 5 6 7 8 11 14 17 20
Sor 1 2 3 4 7 10 13 16
Wiz 1 2 3 4 7 10 13 16

Adp 3 4 5 6 9 12 15 18
Ari 1 2 3 4 7 10 13 16
Com 13 14 15 16 19 22 25 28
Exp 9 10 11 12 15 18 21 24
War 5 6 7 8 11 14 17 20

MINE 2 7 9 11 14 16 19 19+

* 5% chance of +10 to ranger or druid in a thorp or hamlet
roll twice in a Small City, three times in a Large City, four in a
Metropolis

All in all, the numbers look about in line. If anything, my maxima run
a little *low* (but I give more characters higher than first level);
this suits me.

Having 9 levels just to reach the end of 'village' seems seems a little
much, but bear in mind that you can't do much with so few ranks. 7th
level is about the earliest I'd want to split something into wards
anyway (two 5th-level, or one 6th and one 4th). Before that, they're
just too small to be really useful.

>> .. A settlement may have multiple wards. The total of the ward sizes, in
>> EL math, must be the level of the settlement. That is, a level 6
>> community could be:
>>
>> . one level 6 ward
>> . two level 4 wards
>> . one level 5 ward and one level 3 ward
>> . one level 4 ward, one level 3 ward, and one level 1 ward
>> . etc.
>
> Looks good. Like EL, I'd keep levels less than 2 being purely
> divisive, just for consistancy. My 200 at L2 becomes 100 at L1 (which
> should be homogeneous anyway) and 25 at 1/4 for a small Thorp.

I think I'll keep it 'simpler', or at least more mathematically
consistent. MMV, of course, but this seems to fit well enough.

> That matches up with CR quite neatly to my mind. Thorp = Kobold,
> biggest FR Metropolis = Great Wrym Gold Dragon. It should also work for
> setting typical high level NPC equal to city level, or at least close to it.

I hadn't considered it that way. It's an interesting image.

Actually, having the 'default' highest-level NPC equal to the settlement
level isn't entirely unreasonable... right now I've got it loosely tied
to the sizes of the features, which are capped by the wards they're in.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
August 3, 2005 8:59:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Dirk Collins <dirk.collins@Earthlink.Net> wrote:
> Keith Davies wrote:
>> Some time ago (May 22, 2004[1]) I started a thread on using 'levels' to
>> describe settlements. I wasn't entirely happy with how it worked, but I
>> think I've got a better approach.
>
>> In short, each settlement could be written up something like a party
>> encounter -- each ward of the settlement would be considered a
>> 'character', complete with stats, feats, etc. This was based on rules
>> from SSS' _Advanced Player's Guide_, in turn based on Gamma World's
>> community rules. Those rules look like they'd work fine in Gamma World,
>> where communities tend to be more tightly focused. The suggestion for
>> larger communities (model with multiple communities) doesn't really work
>> very well.
>>
>>
>> My basic assumptions here is that a settlement may consist of a number
>> of wards, each ward may contain a number of features such as churches,
>> guilds, and the like.
>
>> Thoughts, questions, comments?
>
> Yes. The Greeks and Romans of the ancient world chose the highest
> spot of land available in any area to build fortifications or an
> acropolis to coordinate an extended duration defense of that area.
>
> The Aztec and Maya built tall ceremonial pyramids, and the Incas
> followed the pattern of the old world and built their cities in
> high nearly inaccessible locations. The Missippi Mound builders
> built mounds where the chiefs resided, for pretty much the same
> purposes, and later on the Calusa built shell mounds. The Iroquois
> confederacy, the Hidatsas and the Mandans all built circular or
> round lodges, and were well known to climb up on the lodge to
> lookout for danger and/or coordinate the defense of the community.
>
> What property would be designated to confer the obvious
> spot/combat advantage such a feature would confer on the community?

'fortification' feature, probably. In many ways it's harder to build up
there (it's a pain in the ass to get materials in place, including after
construction). This takes away from resources you could be using for
other purposes.

If you put the entire city at the top I'd probably require that all
wards buy up fortification (possibly in varying amounts). You could
split it (the palace is at the top, much of the 'important stuff' is
part way down, the less important stuff (slums and nasty industry) are
at the bottom.


Now, how does this actually get applied in the event of warfare? I
don't know yet. I'd probably start with nice defensive bonuses for the
home team, with a decent chance (once a certain level had been reached)
of giving offensive bonuses if it makes sense for the units present.
("yes, there *are* catapults on the top of the walls", if you've got an
appropriate military group).


After brief consideration, the scale is about right. Putting a village
at the top of a bluff gives it *some* better defense, but it'll still
get overrun pretty quickly by a serious attack. A city covering the top
of the bluff, with walls and whatnot, is in a much better defensive
situation.


Hrm... that means that a city at the top of a bluff could rely 'partly
on location, with less walls' than a similarly-fortified city on the
plains. What if you build the bigass walls at the top of the bluff?

I *could* have location give a simple bonus (or a complex one!) based
on the fortifications present (+n, or +m%). I think what I might do
instead is have location either give bonus improvement points usable
*only* for a particular feature (fortification in this case), or have it
allow a feature to exceed the normal limit. A size 12 ward can normally
have only Fortification 12... but at the top of a bluff ('good defensive
position') it might be allowed to go to Fortification 15.

The latter choice I think actually works better in the general case.
If your city is near an improved resource, you can develop beyond what
you'd normally be allowed to, but still have to pay for the development.


Duh. Of course, I *could* just treat it like any other synergy --
develop the feature "defensive position" and have it add to the effects
of the fortifications. This does play consistently with what I'd posted
earlier today (having an iron mine makes things easier for the Weaponers
Guild).


Actually, I'm going to have to think about how things span more than
just the ward they're based in. The Weaponers Guild and 'Iron Mine'
don't need to be based in the same ward to gain the benefit. This
actually isn't a big deal, though -- I think wealth and a few other
things (including fortifications) are really the things that would have
to stay 'ward-based'.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
!