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Author Topic: Xaramon Master Plan Discussion  (Read 15180 times)
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Mina
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« on: 28 December 2007, 18:28:38 »

Here's the thread for discussing the Xaramon Master Plan. 
« Last Edit: 28 December 2007, 18:46:11 by Mina » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: 29 July 2008, 15:42:16 »

The main core is ready as I see. Now all these information should be developed and elaborated. The topography is the easiest part while the political and social evolution is the hardest. My proposal is to start from the easy and move to the more difficult parts
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« Reply #2 on: 19 December 2008, 04:13:20 »

Hi Mina,

I am loving what you have done.  I like the flavours and style, attention to detail, the breath of life if you will.

I am just going to comment briefly here on population, and that only in a rough way (a more exact study is needed to do this right).

First, I think there is an inconsistency in legends on the map.  Based on the accuracy of the Manthria map (this is the arbiter of all legends), the distance between Cioso and Marcogg is the same as that between Ximax and Horth, about 600 strals.  If I did my calculations right on your map, it is 450 strals.  Anyhow, these sorts of numbers need to be made accurate, because the difference becomes pretty significant working out populations.

The total area of the entire province is about 1,000,000 square strals (based on the standards noted above).

Assuming most of this land is not agrarian, in fact, it is not even rich hunting lands (e.g., the steps) it would at best qualify as what I called Very Low Yield land supporting about 1 person (or dwarf or orc or whatever) per square stral.  In addition, we can ask how much land where is of a higher status, the Low Yield kind.  Looking at your map, I am throwing darts in the dark, but I would guess 1/4, and most of it on the peninsula, south coast and lake region (in roughly equal propoprtions).  At 6 persons / stral square, we get another 1.25 million in habitants (noting that we already counted the same land as Very Low Yield, so we are adding 5 persons /sq.s.).
To this we can add some proper mixed agrarian land, including around Ximex, the lake region again and parts of the southern coast.  How much of its is really developed is an important part of the equation, but let us suppose 10% of the Low Yield land is developed, or in other words 10% of 1/4 = 2.5%.  To this, we might find another .5% of land in the Very Low Yield regions for a subtotal of 3% of 1000000sq.s. = 30,000sq.s. which supports 30 persons per sq.s., but which we count as 24 since we already counted 6, so upwards 7.2 millions.  Actually, this probably is about right given the likely HIGHLY fertile regions of the south coast (making the city of Cael a good candidate for mega city).  If you want to push it higher, there is room - this is a province between 7 and 8 times the size of England or more than 50% larger than France.  Anyhow, this quick and dirty calculation finds about 1+1.25+7.2 millions or call it 9.5 millions, better, let's call it 10 million!  France may have had as many as 20 million in the 14th century prior to the plagues, so this would be low, but then France was much richer than Xaramon, which reminds one a little on eastern Russia with those huge steps.  Still, there is room to increase the population a few more million at the top end if you want it big.  You could also half the agrarian land and force it to have a population of 5,000,000, and this might work a little better given your cities listed.  In any case, see the calcualtions below assuming 10,000,000 pop.

If we go with roughtly 10,000,000, and we work with somewhat ahistoric 67% are agrarian and able to support the other 33%, this leaves you with a whopping 3,3 million urbanites in the towns and cities.  Half will populate the large village/small town category between 500 and 2500 or so persons. A quarter will take care of the rest of the towns to 8000 pop or so.  The last quarter then fills the cities.  So, in this (again quick and dirty on a napkin kind of calculation), we have:

50% x 3.3mil./1500 = 11,000 market village/towns with average 1500 persons (yep! A lot to fit on the map!!)

25% x 3.3mil./5000 = 167 towns avg. pop. 5000 (yep, still a really large number to fit on the map!!)

25% x 3.3mil. = 833,000 for the cities greater than 8000.  With the first 130,000 for Cael, that leaves 700,000.  If the cities average 35,000, this means there should be another 20 full fledged cities.  Yes! Even this is a lot to fit on the map, but this can probably be done.  Anyhow, it is more than you have at the moment, but here is a rough guide to get the numbers about right:

Not counting Cael, assume 2/3 of the 20 (=14) are less than 35,000 but of course greater than 8,000.  Then the other 6 large cities, if they increase gradually at a bit more than 35,000 towards a biggest one that is less than 65,000, the numbers should work out.

So.... does that help?  Please do not hesitate to ask if I you would like to do something more exact.  Also, getting this system to work in Manthria has proven very difficult, not least because there is such a paucity of the first category of large village/small towns to accomdate the relatively small cities there.  Also, I have not checked my work super carefully here...
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« Reply #3 on: 19 December 2008, 13:47:30 »

'more exact'?  What are you, channeling Mr. Spock here?   Honestly, down to one decimal place is quite an acceptable level of accuracy, considering Santharia has yet to invent the decimal... :D 

  Generally we round things off (try not to faint) and say things like "He's about two and a half fores tall" (fores being the length of one's forearm) or "I'll take a half-heb of that fresh butter, please..." and hope the shopkeeper will give good measure.   

As regards population, I think what most of us have preci'ed from your scholarly calculations (and for which kudos, in all sincerity) is that we don't have enough villages.  Need more people!  Need more places!   This will make Artimidor happy, as his bete-blanche is Place entries, and I must say I'm rather fond of them myself.    The issue here is that the Compendium is an ever-growing, changing thing, and what makes it in are mostly things of note - places and beasts and foodstuffs that are worthy of recording.   

BRAINSTORM/SUGGESTION:   Mini-entry proposal! 

In order to accommodate this new concept, we would have to change our requirements for entries, or at the very least be happy with one-line or one-paragraph descriptions of towns - as you see happening on the largescale Manthrian map.   Something like this?  :

"Fourstrals is a small village of about twenty-five families, in the middle of the main sheep district.  Its primary products are washed, unspun wool, cured mutton, and undyed yarn.  It trades mostly with Whutt, Hittlesford,  Deaf Yow, and the other small towns around it, though markets are held seasonally for the travelling merchants with whom they have struck bargains for so many bales.  They are, like most of their ilk, self-sufficient for basic foodstuffs, tending their own community gardens, but are happy to purchase the luxuries of life from peddlars or merchant caravans every three or four months.  Nothing of note has ever happened historically in Fourstrals.  The only remotely well-known figure to ever have been born in Fourstrals was the Yeoman Quartermaster of Duke XXX's household, a skilled fighting man who effectively put down the street rebellion in Marcogg in 1539.   Fourstrals is believed to have been in existence since about three centuries before Santhros."


Such mini-entries would serve two purposes: they would fill in the map and give us population figures that are more to scale, but they would also help set up and fill in the networks of trade and finance that are still sorely under-developed.  Without a great deal of effort, people could enjoy creating these small communities, making them interesting but not necessarily hugely significant historically or politically.


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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #4 on: 19 December 2008, 18:37:27 »

HMM, yes, no, I mean, it is the same as with the Manthrian little places and descriptions. The one who wants to develop the villages has to create then a sheep producing community, when he would like to do something different. The location of the place appeals to him, the name as well, but wool-production? It will be referred to already in other entries. Why not just set names and villages on any new map Art creates like on the Manthrian map? With only  important ones "defined"

Well, but maybe that is just my always latent wish to have still all options open.
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« Reply #5 on: 19 December 2008, 19:18:47 »

No!  No, NOT the same as the small descriptions on the Manthrian map, which are seen as 'placeholders' to be developed at a later time.   That's exactly what I don't want to have happen. :(

My point here, Talia, is that there will be no such person as someone who 'wants to develop the villages' but 'has to create' in a certain way.    Anyone who's interested is, as always, free to create a village from scratch, as whatever he or she wants it to be, within reason  - but such villages are not being created, partly because of the complexity and importance placed upon 'place entries', and because small villages aren't important enough to have that much information created about them.

My proposal is to create a second template for place development: a 'brief' or 'mini-template' for small communities. 

This would mean that developers can create a village any way they want, but in brief, because that's all that is necessary. Anything larger than a village can meet the regular template, because there will be enough importance and information to fill in the template. Anything using the 'brief template' is not up for further development - it is adequate: this is what I am proposing.  AND it becomes easy to create a place to meet the needs of another type of entry without having to either put it on the 'Unfinished Entries list' to linger for years, or spend a great deal of time and effort creating a full-fledged (regular) Places Entry which may be done out of duty, not love or ability.

  To take my example above, that IS all there is to say about "Fourstrals".  It's a sheep-farming community - good!  Done!  No more NEEDS to be said, or developed.  In fact, why would anyone be interested in developing it further, when there are plenty of options to create a new village, with its own focus, from nothing?  So there is no 'has to create' situation - this proposal actually frees people to make more place entries. 

   BUT we all benefit from knowing that Fourstrals exists:  the next time someone makes a receipt about how to cook mutton, she can find the names of a few mutton-making areas to cross-reference to.  "The famous Fourstrals mutton is recommended, as it has the tenderest texture of any young lamb available..."    Or in describing a weavers' centre, to know that the workers obtain their wool from Deaf Yow and Whutt, sending back bolts of finished cloth.    Or stating that New Santhala is fed, among many other streams of imports and commerce, from the green fields around Hittlesford and Fourstrals.  Slowly, the map fills in, with the maximum of detail necessary to do so, and the trade and commerce thrive with it.


Hope that makes my proposal clearer: it actually OPENS options, not closes them!  :)

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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #6 on: 19 December 2008, 20:24:23 »

Again, hmm, yes, no ;)

I see what you mean and I had thought earlier already, that we could need some short beast/plant descriptions , that not all has to be developed as much as we have it now. However,

- Where would you place these villages? Would they show on the (Manthrian) map at all? Or don't they need a fixed location? Say, your Fourstral (why this name ;) ) is situated on the southern slope of the Rimmerin Ring near the Silverrock Warden? But no more precise location is given?

I think your idea is cool and I'm kind of (positive) excited, but  I'm concerned about any not yet discovered disadvantages as well. I'm feeling somehow unwell with the idea without being able to pin down why.

Maybe we should split this discussion up and do a new thread?
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #7 on: 19 December 2008, 21:52:16 »

Ah, thanks for clearing that up Judith! Personally, I am %100 for the idea. It would make life much easier and clear up time to do more fun/important stuff.

For instance I've been carrying several dozen Krean villages/towns in my head for years, which need to be pinned down (as "production" settlements they are necessary to work out trade networks) but are the sort of places on which I have nothing more to say. A full-scale place entry would be like using a hammer to crack a nut and a regional overview incorporating them all at once is too much of an effort... So nothing gets done.

Though I think I know what is troubling you Talia: I would not want this new format to be abused or regarded by newcomers as the easy way out for getting more entries under their belt etc. I don't want to wake up one morning and find that a hundred senseless villages have mushroomed all over the Twin Kingdom like fungi after rainfall.

I will not suggest restricting these new mini-entries to members+. However, we can state that: (1) they are not meant to be an excuse for laziness and an unwillingness to learn about Santharia + (2) as a rule of thumb (rather than an absolute, unbending rule) mini-entries should be used as supplements to a normal place-entry. A bit like appendices to dissertations- the information needs to be mentioned for the sake of completeness but you don't want it in the main body of your argument. Suppose I'm writing an entry on a major/interesting Krean town which specializes in textiles, and using Ringan's calculations I realize that I need about 2-3 more villages to import food from and say a few smallish towns from which to import dyes, cloth etc. Being able to deal with these through such mini-entries would be a godsend for development. Have you ever found that you have said everything you want to say but there still remains three more sections like "flora/fauna/myths" that need to "filled in"? How much like a chore development then becomes!

Re locations: Hmm... I fear I don't really understand your concern here. Can you please elaborate? Presumably one would describe the territory/location as usual; if there is a detailed map - like Mantharia - one can mark it there and then Arti can make the necessary changes upon integration. Those of us who are not lucky enough to have access to such a well laid-out map have to make do with a rough verbal description and hope we are more or less in the right ball-park anyway. F.e. we all know - ought to know... - that Sihitara was the largest Ancient Krean metropolis, yet I dare say no reader actually knows where it is on the map...


PS: If a new thread is started, please feel free to move this post there. Sorry for hi-jacking your thread Mina!
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« Reply #8 on: 19 December 2008, 23:52:59 »

Yes, Coren, you pinned it down!

It is a good idea to link them to major entries, could well apply for beasts and plants as well. These could even be developed later, if there is somebody who wants to do it.
My question about these little villages and hamlets is following:
Will be there more villages and hamlets than on the Manthria map already and will they show up there or not?
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« Reply #9 on: 20 December 2008, 04:02:58 »

Thanks for the comments, Ringan.  I'll look over them again when I'm less sleepy.   :)

Unfortunately, I don't think discussions and comments are supposed to be posted in masterplan threads themselves.  Could someone with mod powers here move them to the discussion thread instead? 
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« Reply #10 on: 20 December 2008, 07:34:27 »

I know, Mina - very sorry!  We simply hijacked your thread and ran off with it... (blushes).

Ringan's points actually apply to most of Santharia, if not necessarily the northern and southernmost parts of Sarvonia, so we should have split the thread/moved out then.   My apologies for distracting from Xaramon!  Let's ask Art to create a new thread for Population Discussions.....
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« Reply #11 on: 21 December 2008, 23:23:00 »

Hi Mina,

Yes, I see - sorry to post that stuff here.  Maybe a moderator can move those bits to the population thread.

I hope it was helpful for perspective! 

I have done some further work along these lines and more reading and will post some ideas later (but elsewhere).

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« Reply #12 on: 22 December 2008, 15:24:57 »

No problem.   :)  Since the posts haven't been moved yet, I'll post my reply here so it's less confusing.  

Quote
First, I think there is an inconsistency in legends on the map.  Based on the accuracy of the Manthria map (this is the arbiter of all legends), the distance between Cioso and Marcogg is the same as that between Ximax and Horth, about 600 strals.  If I did my calculations right on your map, it is 450 strals.  Anyhow, these sorts of numbers need to be made accurate, because the difference becomes pretty significant working out populations.
Um, well, I don't really know which is right either.  It should be the same scale as the Manthria map though, since it was cut out from a map of Santharia that Arti enlarged to the same scale as the Manthria map.  On the other hand, I've sometimes shifted things slightly from where they were on the kingdom map, taking the houses as just approximations of where the settlements are located, which might also explain the inconsistencies you've found.  (By the way, I don't have a ruler with me now to make accurate measurements, but it seems to me both distances should only be slightly over 300 strals).  

Well, let's see...
Yes, I also figured that most of the fertile areas are near the coasts and the lakes.  So I guess I was right to put most of the cities in those areas then?  What about along the river?  I figured that it could support some small cities, especially since it makes importing food easier, but I'm not entirely certain.  

I'm not too sure whether 10,000,000 or 5,000,000 is a better figure for the population.  10,000,000 would leave a lot of room for stuff, but I do not want the population to be too large compared to that of other provinces either; as you pointed out, much of its land isn't very good.  

As for Ximax itself, what do you think would be a good figure for its population, and that of the peninsula it's on?  Or, for that matter, each of the regions?

Or perhaps exact numbers can wait, since it seems it would depend on what's decided for other parts of the kingdom too.  If it turns out more cities are needed for it to be realistic, maybe we could convert some of the towns into cities.  

Anyway, this looks like a good start.   :)

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I had a dream I was a gnomish accountant, and then awoke a human philosopher; now I am not sure whether I am in fact a gnomish accountant dreaming I am a human philosopher!
Hmm, has someone been reading Zhuangzi?   lol
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« Reply #13 on: 23 December 2008, 02:51:02 »

Hi Mina,

Well, I will write here too since the thread is not yet moved (I hope these messages are not too heavy for the moderator to move...)

Population:  I will look, but somewhere one of the aged sages here made the strong claim and with some authority that Ciaso to Marcogg is 600 strals.  This is an important number since 2x distance --> 4x area --> 4x population.

Yes, I like the 5,000,000 number more too. 

The problem is not so much generally with sufficient cities as with enough mid-sized towns.  But I am inclined to agree that better would be to omit small villages from the map unless they are part of an adventure, and note anything bigger than 800 or so with a cottage, about 1 cottage per 1000.  If it is a walled town, use houses starting at 2000-8000 (avg. 5000 and represented by 1 house). Then another house is maybe the 8000 to 22000 range (avg 15000). A thirdhouse gets you into the large city range of 22000 to 34000 (avg 28000).  After than use an entirely image for the big cities.  Just an idea... but something like this, then set it as a universal convention for everyone accross continents and provinces.

I like the way you distributed population.  If maybe half the pop is in the south, a quarter is at the lakes, an eighth on the Ximax peninsula and an eighth spread through the other regions.  Something like that is my guess.  I imagine pop density on the peninsula to be an average between the south high and middle empty regions.  As for Ximax, I wouldnt think too big - Oxford and Cambridge are both much smaller than London and suits their atmosphere.  Also, it is not on a coast and not in an extremely agriculturally rich area:  how about 20000?

Yes, Zhuangzi, though of course it might be that I am neither... just a dream?  Maybe your dream? If so, I promise to try to be a nice dream! Oh and thank you for dreaming  :)

Bestest
Ringan
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« Reply #14 on: 23 December 2008, 02:57:45 »

Hmmm... perhaps a population chlorapleth would not be out of the question here... that may help with the heaviness of the messages ;)
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