Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

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Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby AllanP » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:06 pm

This subject may well have been discussed before, so apologies if I'm raking over old ground.

Do we think the quoted size of Specularum's population (50,000 in AC985, c70,000 in AC1010) should be revised to fit the size of the city as depicted on the maps in GAZ1 and K:KoS?
(And if we revise Specularum's population, what does that say about the quoted populations of the rest of Mystara?) :o

I've been digging around reference material on the Karameikan capital and also looking at RPG city creation systems. I found an online population generator at the WelshPiper website - http://welshpiper.com/. :)

Plugging Specularum's quoted 50,000 population into the generator gave some interesting results, including the following:
the population consists of
  • 776 Nobles (residents of The Hill ? government ministers, etc)
  • 336 Cityy Officers (Townmaster, Constable, government officials)
  • 431 Clergy - 14 fully-vested Priests + 417 deacons and support staff)
  • 3159 Freeholders - those with a trade/skill, running a business
  • 45141 Citizens, i.e. unskilled, "normal" humans, etc
  • 167 Hirelings (waiting for bands of Adventurers to request their service!)

a table detailing the number of Freeholder businesses is also generated - I won't replicate that here, but will note it includes 112 Taverns, 26 Inns and 55 Vintners... ;)

the program also determines the number of buildings in the city:
  • 112 "mansions" for the 776 nobles
  • 28 churches
  • 3958 business premises
  • 34 Municipal buildings
  • 6876 Homes
giving a total of 11008 buildings (a figure of 4.75 is used as the average population per building)

OK - now looking at the large city map from GAZ1, and the larger scale map of the Mirror Bay area oinside the GAZ1 cover, some problems start to emerge. :(

The main map shows 509 "blocks" across the various city districts. If we take the count of 11008 buildings, that means the average number of buildings per block should be approx 20. However, the blocks shown in detail on the Mirror Bay map only appear to average about 5 buildings per block. so the 509 city blocks on the main map would only equal 2545 buildings - less than a quarter of the 110008 generated above; and it would mean an average of about 20 people per building.
With only 2554 buildings and 4.75 people per building, the city population would be around 12,000.
Conversely, if we distribute the 11008 buildings across the 509 city blocks, that turns out an average of about 21 buildings per block - about 4 times as many as the detailed map indicates.

So, what is the "real" population of Specularum? Is it 50,000 (as per GAZ1) or is it about 12,000 ?
Does the city population figure of 50,000 actually cover a greater area than just walled city (inc Traders' Corridor? Although this external population would be 3 timesthe size of that within the wallss...

I'd be interested in hearing others' comments. :?
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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby night_druid » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:21 pm

From what I've read, 5 people per building is actually fairly low for the middle ages. The norm is closer to 8 to 10 per building, and "crowded" is anything more than 12 per building.
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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby AllanP » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:34 pm

night_druid wrote:From what I've read, 5 people per building is actually fairly low for the middle ages. The norm is closer to 8 to 10 per building, and "crowded" is anything more than 12 per building.


Thanks for that feedback, night_druid.

The average of 4.75 people per building is the factor used by the WelshPiper city generator, which I gather was derived from research into medieval populations.

If we used an average of 9 people per building and the 509 city blocks with an average 5 buildings per block, that gives us a Specularum population of about 23,000...

I do feel that the average building population should be greater than 4.75, but I think we needto consider the constraint of 509 city blocks as shown on the map.
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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby Plaag » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:40 pm

Also I would imagine more warehouse type buildings as well as ship building services around the bay, thus would account for the larger buildings. If you look at the Duke's Stronghold map in Gaz1 you'll see the buildings in the blocks around it are smaller. So taking a small sampling for an average isn't the way to go. Factor in the various regions and how compact say the Nest would be compared to the more open Hills district.

Course I'm working with population problems for Threshold so trying to find how to make things work with it.

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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby AllanP » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:49 pm

Plaag wrote:Also I would imagine more warehouse type buildings as well as ship building services around the bay, thus would account for the larger buildings. If you look at the Duke's Stronghold map in Gaz1 you'll see the buildings in the blocks around it are smaller.

Yep, you're right Plagg/ShaneG, buildings will be of different sizes deopending on their purpose; that's why I suggested an average of 5 buildings per city block - and obviously the blocks are different sizes as well! :?
And each city district will have its own influence on the building type as well as size and use...
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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby Plaag » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:56 pm

Oh I understood the average part..and I guess I should say I personally don't care for statistics/averages. So not trying to dismiss the work you've done. Only discuss somethings to make the whole scheme possibly work.

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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby night_druid » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:59 pm

Heh, look at the bright side: its not nearly as bad as Hillsfar in FR. Something like 80-100 buildings for a city of 60,000. 600+ per building. Must be filled with skyscrapers! ;)
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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby AllanP » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:17 pm

Plaag wrote:Oh I understood the average part..and I guess I should say I personally don't care for statistics/averages. So not trying to dismiss the work you've done. Only discuss somethings to make the whole scheme possibly work.


Shane - I think we're actually in agreement here. I was using the online generator tool (and other infotmation) as a means of investigating the population distribution, etc. The averages were being used as a guide and starting point. To do a more "accurate" analysis of the Specularum population it would be a case of mapping out each district and seeing what fits using some of the previous data.

You mentioned you're tussling with Threshold's layout/population - do you feel the quoted population figure for the town (5,000) is right?

regards,
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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby Plaag » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:27 pm

AllanP wrote:
Plaag wrote:Oh I understood the average part..and I guess I should say I personally don't care for statistics/averages. So not trying to dismiss the work you've done. Only discuss somethings to make the whole scheme possibly work.


Shane - I think we're actually in agreement here. I was using the online generator tool (and other infotmation) as a means of investigating the population distribution, etc. The averages were being used as a guide and starting point. To do a more "accurate" analysis of the Specularum population it would be a case of mapping out each district and seeing what fits using some of the previous data.

You mentioned you're tussling with Threshold's layout/population - do you feel the quoted population figure for the town (5,000) is right?

regards,


Well it has buildings mapped out..something to the tune of over 300 (think 343 but not sure if I counted the loggers/fishermen ones in that figure) so a bit more manageable. Though each of the loggers/fishermen sections are said to have 1000 populations each per Gaz1 - so that I'm working towards in my thought process. Another is the no house built closer then 50 feet to each other law (except on Fogor Isle). That I've figured out by using the word 'house' as written. Most buildings are either businesses wholly, or part residence/business, thus not a house.

Shall have to see how that link you posted works on generating population for Threshold. Will help define things a bit more realistically.

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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby night_druid » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:59 pm

Plaag wrote:Well it has buildings mapped out..something to the tune of over 300 (think 343 but not sure if I counted the loggers/fishermen ones in that figure) so a bit more manageable. Though each of the loggers/fishermen sections are said to have 1000 populations each per Gaz1 - so that I'm working towards in my thought process. Another is the no house built closer then 50 feet to each other law (except on Fogor Isle). That I've figured out by using the word 'house' as written. Most buildings are either businesses wholly, or part residence/business, thus not a house.


You can also assume the "overflow" population includes nearby farms; a square mile of farmland supports anywhere from 40 to 120 people, depending on climate (I think Specularum is fairly warm, so figure closer to the higher number). So the "extra" 25,000 could fit in the 500 square miles necessary to support the city (or an area 50 miles x 10 miles; not all that large of a space).
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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby JohnBiles » Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:58 am

I think 4 people per building is probably too low for a medieval city. Most buildings are either:

Noble homes with a large staff
Business/home in which you have a master, his wife, their kids, several apprentices, some journeymen, etc
Crowded buildings with rooms rented by people like dockworkers, etc, who don't actually live where they work.

I also think 5 buildings per block is WAY LOW for a medieval city.

That being said, the real problem for me is how exactly Karameikos can support a city of 50,000 people with only about 300,000 peasants in scattered, monster-threatened settlements. The area around Specularum is probably reasonably safe and more productive, but not large enough to support that many people and Karameikos really doesn't have much in the way of valuable trade goods which would actually support importing the massive amounts of food the city needs.

It's my understanding that at the kind of level of agriculture that Karameikos has, it takes 9-10 farmers to support one city dweller. So where does Specularum get the resources to make up for the amount of food it can't get at home?
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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby Thorf » Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:10 am

JohnBiles wrote:I also think 5 buildings per block is WAY LOW for a medieval city.


I was thinking that exact same thing. Buildings would likely be small, cramped, and full of people to an extent that would shock most of us today. You can probably do a calculation by measuring the size of a block and finding out the average size of a medieval building.
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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby AllanP » Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:49 am

Thorf wrote:
JohnBiles wrote:I also think 5 buildings per block is WAY LOW for a medieval city.


I was thinking that exact same thing. Buildings would likely be small, cramped, and full of people to an extent that would shock most of us today. You can probably do a calculation by measuring the size of a block and finding out the average size of a medieval building.

Hi Thorf -

I was using the average 5 buildings per block as a guide based on the detail map showing buildings at block level that's on the inside cover of GAZ1. It shows most of the Stronghold (Radu) duistrict, about half of the Churtch district and the edges of the blocks around Mirror Bay. The average (not calculated, just a visual assessm,ent) seems to be about 5 buildings defined per block.

I think we have to remember that these @blocks@ are the ones defined on the Specularum map - they are not modern city blocks, they are not all the same size/shape, and their building density is going to vary depending on the city district. The Old Quarter and the Nest are going to be more densely built, the Hill districtis going to be more spacious...

I have to keep reminding myself that these factors (5 buildings/block, 4.75 people/building) are averages across the whole city, and that there will be variation; and I'm also trying to stay true to the source material (i.e. the maps in GAZ1).

Thanks for your feedback.
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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby AllanP » Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:03 am

JohnBiles wrote:I think 4 people per building is probably too low for a medieval city. Most buildings are either:

Noble homes with a large staff
Business/home in which you have a master, his wife, their kids, several apprentices, some journeymen, etc
Crowded buildings with rooms rented by people like dockworkers, etc, who don't actually live where they work.

Thanks for the feedback JohnBiles.
The 4.75 people/building factor is an average - some will just be husband, wife and 2.75 kids or other relatives, some will be less, some will be more. I will try and take a look at some of the references quoted at the WelshPiper website. I imagine these figures will be influenced by the type of building (how many stories, floor dimensions, etc) and family circumstances (noble, citizen, freeholder, etc).

I also think 5 buildings per block is WAY LOW for a medieval city.

Please see my response above to Thorf on this ooint

That being said, the real problem for me is how exactly Karameikos can support a city of 50,000 people with only about 300,000 peasants in scattered, monster-threatened settlements. The area around Specularum is probably reasonably safe and more productive, but not large enough to support that many people and Karameikos really doesn't have much in the way of valuable trade goods which would actually support importing the massive amounts of food the city needs.

It's my understanding that at the kind of level of agriculture that Karameikos has, it takes 9-10 farmers to support one city dweller. So where does Specularum get the resources to make up for the amount of food it can't get at home?

Those are very good points and I thank you for raising them. I think one of the questions may be do all the 50,000 Specularites(?) actually liv in the city - are the majority of them farm workers and the like living within Specularum's immediate dominion and supporting the city that way?

More things to ponder...
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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby AllanP » Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:27 am

night_druid wrote:You can also assume the "overflow" population includes nearby farms; a square mile of farmland supports anywhere from 40 to 120 people, depending on climate (I think Specularum is fairly warm, so figure closer to the higher number). So the "extra" 25,000 could fit in the 500 square miles necessary to support the city (or an area 50 miles x 10 miles; not all that large of a space).

Thanks for that thought night_druid

I'm thinking this may provide the solution to Specularum's apparent high population figure.
Is the quoted 50,000 (AC985) to 70,000 (AC1010) made up of the city inhabitants - anywhere between 12,000 and 23,000 as discussed above, PLUS those people inhabiting the farmland, etc around the city?

I can't remember offhand how the local dominion (estate/barony/whatever) in which Specularum is situated is mafe up. I think I'm confused about the original Marilenev settlement and how it was @replaced@ by Specularum. The GAZ1 map shows the Estate of Marilenev as 4 8-mile hexes west of the Volaga River and 11 8-mile hexes on the eastern side of the river.The area on the west includes Marilenev Village (which IIRC has a population less than 1,000).

The Rules Cyclopedia section on Dominions has this to sayon population levels:
Peasant families are needed in every dominion to work and settle the land. As an average, each peasant family has 5 productive members. The normal starting number of peasant families present varies by the type opf map hex:
Civilized: 500 - 5,000 families per hex
Borderland: 200 - 1,200 families per map hex
Wilderness: 10 - 100 families per map hex


So, what and how big is Specularum's local dominion?
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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby Zendrolion » Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:07 am

Some thoughts on the issues you've been talking about. :ugeek:

1) Middle Age Urban Density: This is a theme still currently debated among historians; moreover it's difficult to set an "average" pattern for the whole Medieval Europe, considering the differences between one region and another, and mostly the differences between one period and another. If we take into account middle Middle Age (say, right before the 14th century crisis), we see that cities generally had anywhere from 75 (Cologne, Germany) to 83 (Gand, Low Countries) to 330 (Paris, France) to 910 (Genoa, Italy) inhabitants per hectare. It seems some Polish cities of high Middle Age could host even 1,000 or 2,000 inhabitants per hectare. Very crowded indeed.

Generally, Middle Age cities were rather small, rarely going over 600 hectares, even for the largest ones. Italian cities were among the most populated ones, but were generally smaller (around 100-150 hectares) than other European cities of the same size, becouse buildings were built with multiple floors (two or three, or even more) - where most often European cities had rarely more than one additional floor above the ground level.

Moreover, we should consider that family sizes of urban families tend to be rather smaller than those of rural ones (not to talk about aristocratic families, which were the best example of enlarged families). So, urban families could certainly have an additional member (an apprentice, in case of an artisan family, for example; or a servant); often, additional childrens of the family head were usually sent to work as servants or apprentices in other families or shops, so they didn't lived anymore with their family for a long period of time.

2) City "blocks" and Specularum map: I think the size of Specularum from GAZ1 (about 250 hectares, not including "green" areas) is rather realistic for a city of that size. Considering a population of about 60,000 at AC 1000, we end up with an urban density of 240 people per hectare, which is also credible.

Regarding the "zoomed" map of the Mirror Bay in GAZ1's inside cover, I think we could solve the problem AllanP poses in his first post having as a "block" (say, with the 5 buildings) each of the ones he indicates as "buildings". After all, if you look at the abovementioned Mirror Bay map, you'll see that most "buildings" end up having a way too large size (50'-80' by side each... ). I suggest to have these "buildings" be instead the "blocks" of 5 buildings each which AllanP indicated.

This way you will have 509 "clusters" of average 5 "blocks" each, with each "block" including an average of 5 "buildings" (here meaning houses, that is places where ONE family lives - so, even a single floor). This calculation gives an average of 63.624 inhabitants (509 x 5 blocks x 5 buildings x 5 inhabitants), which I think is what we're searching for. ;)

Side note: Just looking at Mirror Bay map of GAZ1; did you noticed the position of the Church of Karameikos' Cathedral? The entrance of the church is put in front of a series of clustered buildings! Not even a square before it! :o I wonder just HOW much time it's needed to get to Jowett's cerimonies in time... :?

3) Karameikos' population: This is another troublesome issue - and, unfortunately, it doesn't regards Karameikos only, but most countries given a set population in canon sources.
I mean, Middle Age urban vs rural ratio was usually 5-10% vs 95-90% in most of Europe. Only in late Middle Ages (late 15th century) the ratio would decrease to 40% vs 60%, but ONLY in highly urbanized countries, like Low Countries and Italy.

Strictly taken, this would mean that a mostly-wilderness (thereby rural) Karameikos with an urban population of about 127.000 inhabitants (sum up all town- or city-size settlements, counting Specularum at 60,000), and with a urban/rural ratio as favorable as 15%/85%, the overall population of the country should be about 850,000 inhabitants.
With a population of 350,000 (average, as per PWAs, and taking into account the elves which shouldn't be considered rural at all), the largest urban population conceivable by a country like Karameikos would be about 50,000... Even if we considered that a part of the urban population is in truth made up of workers in the fields around the city, the figure doesn't improve that much.

Of course we should take into account grain and wheat trade that could support a larger urban population, BUT Middle Age cities couldn't rely on a regular long-distance trade for their immediate food requirements, becouse sudden troubles (storms at sea, small surplus in the exporting country, wars, blocked roads) could have plunged the city into a famine. Grains were thus usually traded only on very short distances (from rural areas surrounding the city to the city itself).

[Of course, the situation was different in the Roman world, when the support of the imperial navy could ensure the timely supplying of grain from Sicily and Egypt to the capital. Note, in fact, that during the last century of the republic that supplies were often blocked before getting to Rome by pirate ships, which had to be paid with tributes before they released the grain and lifted the capital from the danger of a famine.]

That said, I think one of the following should be considered: (a) lowering the Karameikan cities' population; or (b) rising the country overall population.
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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby AllanP » Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:23 pm

Zendrolion wrote:Some thoughts on the issues you've been talking about. :ugeek:

WOW! :D Such great stuff Zendrolion
I think I said it in another topic, but I'm gonna say it again - I remain amazed at the knowledge, enthusuasm and willingness to discuss exhibited by the Mystarans on this board! Thanks all for taking the time to comment.

1) Middle Age Urban Density: This is a theme still currently debated among historians; moreover it's difficult to set an "average" pattern for the whole Medieval Europe, considering the differences between one region and another, and mostly the differences between one period and another....

Guess we may have to take another look at how we validate the size of Specularum's population - tryinmg to maintain a balance between the source material and a quasi-realistic situation.

2) City "blocks" and Specularum map: I think the size of Specularum from GAZ1 (about 250 hectares, not including "green" areas) is rather realistic for a city of that size. Considering a population of about 60,000 at AC 1000, we end up with an urban density of 240 people per hectare, which is also credible.

Regarding the "zoomed" map of the Mirror Bay in GAZ1's inside cover, I think we could solve the problem AllanP poses in his first post having as a "block" (say, with the 5 buildings) each of the ones he indicates as "buildings". After all, if you look at the abovementioned Mirror Bay map, you'll see that most "buildings" end up having a way too large size (50'-80' by side each... ). I suggest to have these "buildings" be instead the "blocks" of 5 buildings each which AllanP indicated.

This way you will have 509 "clusters" of average 5 "blocks" each, with each "block" including an average of 5 "buildings" (here meaning houses, that is places where ONE family lives - so, even a single floor). This calculation gives an average of 63.624 inhabitants (509 x 5 blocks x 5 buildings x 5 inhabitants), which I think is what we're searching for. ;)

Side note: Just looking at Mirror Bay map of GAZ1; did you noticed the position of the Church of Karameikos' Cathedral? The entrance of the church is put in front of a series of clustered buildings! Not even a square before it! :o I wonder just HOW much time it's needed to get to Jowett's cerimonies in time... :?

Lots of good points here. I'm coming round to the thought that that *?!*?!* "zoomed" map on the inside cover of GAZ1 is not too wonderful on the detail. I think the 509 "blocks" (on the city map) remain an indication of the city streets, within the blocks there will be minor strrets/alleyways/cul-de-sacs, etc; but the number of buildings on each block needs reassessment. I agree that there are probably more than shown on the GAz1 map.
I guess my next question is: what would be typical ground floor sizes for building types - houses, businesses, tacerns etc - and of course there would be variations depending on factors like clientele, location, etc, etc. Are there any references somewhere on the web which might give us an indication of how large these buildings might be? We could then re-draw the "zoomed" map with a more realistic building distribution/layout...

On your side not re the Great Church of Karameikos, the main (only) gates to the Church district are just off the bottom of the "zoomed" map and there isn't an indicatio of where the cathedral's main doors are...
Also, while looking at the city map from GAZ1, there isn't a location marked for number 14, the Great Church of Traladara, "...a massive low building" (GAZ1 page 38). It's in the K:KoA boxset where the spiritual centre of the Church of Traladara gets located - it's in the Old Quarter (K:KoA page 44), although the K:KoA map places it in the Nest (as opposed to the Old Quarter), and the equivalent "block" on the GAZ1 "zoomed" map doesn't show "a massive low building". Another reason for not taking that map to be accurate about building size/placement? :?

3) Karameikos' population: This is another troublesome issue ...
That said, I think one of the following should be considered: (a) lowering the Karameikan cities' population; or (b) rising the country overall population.

I feel in favour of (a)
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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby Andaire » Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:56 pm

There are two factors that should also be taken into consideration regarding the population levels and repartition:
1. The KW setting is, for the most part, not middle Middle Ages, but late Middle Age / Renaissance. This is especially true of Thyatis and Darokin and Minrothad, but also, yes, (parts of) Karameikos, Ylaruam (but with all the deserts...), Ierendi, the Five Shires, Wendar, Sind, Heldann. Rockhome and Alfheim / Aengmor are special cases, but, mostly, should be included as well. Atruaghin, Ethengar, and the Northern Reaches are arguably closer to medieval times. Thus, a ratio of around 80/20 seems more suitable.
2. We are not talking about RW, but about Mystara, where magic exists, not just technology. So, while the society and technology might be (late) medieval, the clergy, and to a lesser extent the wizards, would be able to help the peasants. In every village / hamlet, there is probably a local priest of Zirchev [adapt according to country] who can bless crops, despoil soils, divine when to seed and harvest, remove insect plagues and diseases, and more. Higher-level priests may alter climate, or at least try to keep at bay the worst natural disasters (floods, hurricanes...). In a society where the clergy can perform miracles every day, even if most of them are low-level, and assuming they don't use it their Immortal-given power to help the people and not only their clerical studies or for personal gains, both food production and life expectancy would be higher than in their RW equivalents.
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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby Zendrolion » Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:23 pm

Andaire wrote:1. The KW setting is, for the most part, not middle Middle Ages, but late Middle Age / Renaissance.

Well, what defines a Reinassance setting? Printing, early firearms, advancement of letters and sciences? Do we have any of these in AC 1000 KW (I'm sincerely asking - becouse canon-wise we don't really know)? Centralized governments seems not to be so widespread neither. Only the rise of the merchant class seems in touch with a "Reinassance" idea of KW.

I think that we shouldn't use the overly-too-simple tags used in the "Armies" section of the PWAs, becouse they're not tightly attached to precise characteristics. Anyway, 20% vs 80% urban vs rural ratio doesn't change the abovementioned reasoning too much; population figures seems always TOO low (or cities' populations TOO high).

2. We are not talking about RW, but about Mystara, where magic exists, not just technology. So, while the society and technology might be (late) medieval, the clergy, and to a lesser extent the wizards, would be able to help the peasants.

Beware using this argument, becouse if we bring it to the extreme consequences we would end up with a campaign setting that will not resembe the GAZs' KW anymore. If magic could be using unchecked, if divine powers were available to anyone asking for them, I think no one would work the land anymore. For example, if a cleric was always ready to cast create food and water to supply urban population, there would be scores of state-financed clerics assigned to that duty.

Obviously that depends on the type of ruleset you're using in your campaign, and in the way you administer it. While using OD&D, I prefer to think that magic doesn't always work, that Immortals give to their clerics divine spells only under some circumstances (not obly becouse they've prayed for them at the morning), and so on.

Moreover, even if one decided to go with the ruleset-dominated setting, for each good priest or druid of Zirchev blessing the land there would be another evil priest of Orcus or Thanatos doing the reverse.

Anyway, I agree with Andaire on one point: one must first clarify how magic affects the setting before going along with demographics. ;)

Sorry for the off-topic, AllanP. :oops:
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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby Andaire » Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:22 pm

Zendrolion wrote:Well, what defines a Reinassance setting? Printing, early firearms, advancement of letters and sciences? Do we have any of these in AC 1000 KW (I'm sincerely asking - becouse canon-wise we don't really know)? Centralized governments seems not to be so widespread neither. Only the rise of the merchant class seems in touch with a "Reinassance" idea of KW.


Well, the printing press seems to be in the offing. Firearms aren't, but that's because gunpowder can't be manufactured except on the SC - it does exist there. There is a large, growing merchant class, central government (at least strong, centralized monarchies, and some republics/plutocracies) with a developed sense of national borders (which is more like the era of nationalism), budding industrialization in Darokin and Thyatis (windmills and watermills, textile manufactures).

Zendrolion wrote:I think that we shouldn't use the overly-too-simple tags used in the "Armies" section of the PWAs, becouse they're not tightly attached to precise characteristics. Anyway, 20% vs 80% urban vs rural ratio doesn't change the abovementioned reasoning too much; population figures seems always TOO low (or cities' populations TOO high).


I haven't crunched the numbers, but that's probably true, albeit less so.

Zendrolion wrote:Beware using this argument, becouse if we bring it to the extreme consequences we would end up with a campaign setting that will not resembe the GAZs' KW anymore. If magic could be using unchecked, if divine powers were available to anyone asking for them, I think no one would work the land anymore. For example, if a cleric was always ready to cast create food and water to supply urban population, there would be scores of state-financed clerics assigned to that duty.


Like they do in Alphatia? (with wizards)
Anyway, I wouldn't go that far, but it should have an effect on the setting. And yes, the effect may already be there in canon: that's why we have such an abnormal rural/urban ratio, in an otherwise politically, socially and technologically medieval setting.

Zendrolion wrote:Obviously that depends on the type of ruleset you're using in your campaign, and in the way you administer it. While using OD&D, I prefer to think that magic doesn't always work, that Immortals give to their clerics divine spells only under some circumstances (not obly becouse they've prayed for them at the morning), and so on.


Yes, but even so magic would affect the setting.

Zendrolion wrote:Moreover, even if one decided to go with the ruleset-dominated setting, for each good priest or druid of Zirchev blessing the land there would be another evil priest of Orcus or Thanatos doing the reverse.


:twisted:
Although I don't think there is one for one.

Zendrolion wrote:Anyway, I agree with Andaire on one point: one must first clarify how magic affects the setting before going along with demographics. ;)


Which brings us to the level of magic, which is another can of worms :?

Zendrolion wrote:Sorry for the off-topic, AllanP. :oops:


Ah well, at least it makes for interesting discussions ;)
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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby Gawain_VIII » Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:53 pm

A few thoughts... in bullet format for ease of thought.
  • Population should be considered as "adult citizens", not children or indentures who don't pay taxes.
  • As per the RC, a "family" will be 5 adults (father, mother, working-age sons, hired laborers, etc).
  • A population of 50k divided among 509 (major) blocks makes up 98 adults per large block.
  • I agree that the zoomed map shows minor blocks as oposed to buildings.
  • 98 (rounded to 100 for simplicity) divided amongst 5-person families make up approx 20 "dwellings".
  • Many, if not most, of these dwellings will be multi-family units and/or businesses with apartments--drastically increasing the amount of available space.
  • I, personally, choose to divide the city populations (of the Gaz) by 10--making them match the Expert Rulebook... but at the same time keeping the national population the same (thus vastly increasing the urban:rural ratio).
  • I'm certain I had other thoughts along these lines... but I keep getting distracted, so I'll come back to this later.
    1. The KW setting is, for the most part, not middle Middle Ages, but late Middle Age / Renaissance.
  • 15th C is the baseline... I look for the 1650s to 1680s for R/W references & inspiration.

Please forgive my messy thoughts...

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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby Cthulhudrew » Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:34 pm

IIRC, the sizes of the two population centers (Threshold and Specularum) were originally 500 and 5,000 (in the Expert set). They got increased tenfold with the release of Gaz1 presumably because of a different notion of how the nation was going to be viewed in the development of the Gaz line.
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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby Plaag » Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:25 pm

AllanP wrote:I guess my next question is: what would be typical ground floor sizes for building types - houses, businesses, taverns etc - and of course there would be variations depending on factors like clientele, location, etc, etc. Are there any references somewhere on the web which might give us an indication of how large these buildings might be? We could then re-draw the "zoomed" map with a more realistic building distribution/layout...


Gaz1 has floor plans for:
Small Tavern (pg 26) 45'x60'
Typical Manor House (pg 31) 60'x100'
Typical Large Tavern (pg 37) 90'x60'

So the breakdown of blocks are showing buildings at the scale represented.

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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby Thorf » Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:36 am

On the whole issue of magic, I have to say I agree with Andaire: it's not something that we can just ignore.

Zendrolion, you said that by opening up this issue we risk changing the Known World into something unrecognisable. I understand what you're saying, because I fully agree it can be a tricky issue - after all, every DM tends to deal with the whole magic level issue on an individual basis. But on the other hand I think working on the pretext of zero influence (or near-zero influence) from magic does not avoid this problem; rather, it means arbitrarily choosing a very low magic level and basing the statistics on that.

I don't think we will ever be able to decide on a magic level for the setting, because everyone seems to have their own views on this issue. But perhaps we can use "the magic factor" to explain some of the problems that come up in demographic analysis even without defining exactly what effect magic has on the setting.
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Re: Specularum - should we revise the poopulation size?

Postby Zendrolion » Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:48 am

Just a side comment on this:
Andaire wrote:There is a large, growing merchant class, central government (at least strong, centralized monarchies, and some republics/plutocracies) with a developed sense of national borders (which is more like the era of nationalism), budding industrialization in Darokin and Thyatis (windmills and watermills, textile manufactures).

Well, that wasn't so typical of Reinassance Europe - at least not more than 13th-14th century (just before the 14th century crisis). Windmills and watermills were known and used in various places in Europe since year AD 1000, and Firenze had one of the largest manufacturing industries (not in the "modern" sense of the word, of course) of textiles, which was already booming in the 13th century.

Regarding central governments, I don't think KW countries are different from 14th-15th century monarchies at best, with a very powerful feudal class. Think of Karameikos, Glantri: they're all dominated by aristocratic landowners; Darokin has a powerful merchant class in the cities, but in the countryside I guess noble landowners are prevalent (it's their alliance with the merchants that helped form the Republic back in AC 927, after all). That's not to talk about Northern Reaches, or Heldann - which are the best examples of Medieval realms.

And what about the "centralized" Empire of Thyatis, which according to DotE seems more like a bunch of dominions loosely allied under one Emperor which happens to control the kingdom's largest, richest, and most powerful city? If we consider that aristocratic families and dominion-rulers control de facto the Senate, and that the Senate can hold in check this "powerful" emperor, I think we're looking at a realm that resembles more or less one of the Medieval kingdoms in which the power was split between an assembly of powerful noblemen and the crown.

I'll move my comment to other arguments about magic in the other topic. See you there! ;)
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