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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Building A Skyrim Style ACK Setting – Part 5: Somerset: Villages, Town and Cities

Using the tables in the book, I have worked out the political structure, size, and population of the Kingdom of Somerset.

Villages, Town and Cities 



Like Skyrim it is seems to be at first glance like an agrarian, pastoral realm that due to the electoral nature of the Kingship has a centralized settlement pattern with the population concentrated around the Holds of each Earldom. If you have played Skyrim, then you would know that it is not that agrarian or pastoral. There is significant fishing, mining, lumber, metal working & ship building in the realm. Somerset is very much the same way. This has a significant impact on the size of the urban population, size and number of settlements in each earldom.

This is probable one of the more math intensive portion of the world building and having a working knowledge of excel is a huge help. Per the book we need to do the following

“The Villages, Towns, and Cities Placement table can be used in conjunction with the Political Divisions of the Realm table to develop the complete urban demographics of a realm. Starting with the largest vassal realm and working downward, find the largest settlement for each vassal realm on the Villages, Towns, and Cities of the Realm table and place this settlement on the map somewhere within its appropriate realm. (Macris, 2011)”

So for right now I am going to just focus on the earldom at the highest level to determine what the largest settlement is in the entire hold. This settlement is going to the capitol of each earldom. Using the table in the book (pg. 231) I get the following:

Table A - Original


Earldom
Population
Urban Pop.
Largest Settlement
Pop
Monthly Income
Market Class
Silverfeld
50,000
5,000
Large town (625–1,249)
1000
370–739gp
Class IV
Ostenstrand
48,000
4,800
Large town (625–1,249)
960
370–739gp
Class IV
Westbrerd
37,000
3,700
Large town (625–1,249)
740
265–369gp
Class V
Bretenanmere
25,400
2,540
Small town (450–624)
508
265–369gp
Class V
Eisenburg
24,600
2,460
Small town (450–624)
492
25–39gp
Class VI
Fýrdracaheald
23,500
2,350
Small town (450–624)
470
25–39gp
Class VI
Wulf Dúnland
22,000
2,200
Large village (250–449)
440
25–39gp
Class VI
Isenhelm
21,500
2,150
Large village (250–449)
430
25–39gp
Class VI
Stánhold
20,000
2,000
Large village (250–449)
400
25–39gp
Class VI

272,000
27,200
10%
5444
20.01%




The base line that the book uses is that “between 10% of the population lives in urban communities and that around 20% of the realm’s urban population lives in its largest settlement. (Macris, 2011)”

The Urban Demographic can be shifted higher or lower (more or less) depending on several factors. In the case of Somerset it is going to be the settlement pattern. I envisioned that each earldom has a very centralized settlement pattern. The vast majority of the populace lives in small hamlets known as steadings. The urban population is going to be strongly concentrated in the major settlement in each earldom, the seat of government. Looking at the demographic shift chart (pg.231) I can shift down on the table 1 to 2 rows for “Centralized settlement pattern”. I shifted two rows down and I got the following.

Table B -Modified



Earldom
Population
Urban Pop.
Largest Settlement
Pop
Monthly Income
Market Class
Silverfeld
50,000
5,000
Small city (1,250–2,499)
2,000
740–1,474gp
Class IV
Ostenstrand
48,000
4,800
Small city (1,250–2,499)
1,920
740–1,474gp
Class IV
Westbrerd
37,000
3,700
Small city (1,250–2,499)
1,480
740–1,474gp
Class IV
Bretenanmere
25,400
2,540
Large town (625–1,249)
706
370–739gp
Class IV
Eisenburg
24,600
2,460
Large town (625–1,249)
683
370–739gp
Class IV
Fýrdracaheald
23,500
2,350
Large town (625–1,249)
653
370–739gp
Class IV
Wulf Dúnland
22,000
2,200
Small town (450–624)
792
265–369gp
Class V
Isenhelm
21,500
2,150
Small town (450–624)
774
265–369gp
Class V
Stánhold
20,000
2,000
Small town (450–624)
720
265–369gp
Class V

272,000
27,200
10.00%
9,728
35.76%




As you can see I now have 3 small cities, 3 large towns, and 3 small towns scattered across the kingdom. They are the centers of trade, commerce, and government for the nine earldoms. 10% of the Realm Population (27,200 families) lives in a urban settlement, of that 36% live in the largest settlement in the hold. Those nine settlements contain 3.5% of the total population of the kingdom.

One important note is how I got the population for the settlement, because this is not in the book per say. There is not a formula per say, the number is selected based on what the DM wants. I however used a ratio to help me determine the population.

Example:

Silverfeld originally had a Large Town with a population of 1,000. This 1,000 is 20% of the 5,000 Urban Families. I then look at the lowest number in the range of large towns, which is 625.
  • 1,000 – 625 divided by 1,000 = 60%
I then look at Silverfeld with a small city. The range for a small city is 1,250 to 2,499 families, 1,000 families is not going to cut it. How much more do we increase it?
Take the lowest range of a small city, multiply it by the percentage above and then add it to the lowest range
  • (1,250 x 60%) + 1,250 = 2,000
Neat Huh? If you set-up a table to do this in Excel, you can change the realm population, urban population and various percentages to discover the right mix for your campaign. What if the urban population was 8% of the realm population and not 10%?

Table C – Alternate Version


Earldom
Population
Urban Pop.
Largest Settlement
Pop
Monthly Income
Market Class
Silverfeld
50,000
4,000
Small city (1,250–2,499)
2,000
740–1,474gp
Class IV
Ostenstrand
48,000
3,840
Small city (1,250–2,499)
1,920
370–739gp
Class IV
Westbrerd
37,000
2,960
Small city (1,250–2,499)
1,480
265–369gp
Class V
Bretenanmere
25,400
2,032
Large town (625–1,249)
706
265–369gp
Class V
Eisenburg
24,600
1,968
Large town (625–1,249)
683
150–264gp
Class V
Fýrdracaheald
23,500
1,880
Large town (625–1,249)
653
40–60gp
Class VI
Wulf Dúnland
22,000
1,760
Small town (450–624)
792
40–60gp
Class VI
Isenhelm
21,500
1,720
Small town (450–624)
774
40–60gp
Class VI
Stánhold
20,000
1,600
Small town (450–624)
720
40–60gp
Class VI

272,000
21,760
8.00%
9,728
44.70%



The base game assumes a 10% /20% ratio. My campaign has a 10%/35% ratio, which I feel is a very Skyrim-ish feels to it.

Now that I know the largest settlement for the earldom as a whole, what about the sub-divisions?

I will use the Earldom of Silverfeld as an example.


Silverfeld
#
Domain Pop
Rural Pop
Urban Pop
Settlement
Avg Pop
Earldom
1
50,000
45,000
5,000


Ruler Doman
1,500

-1,500
-2,000
Small City
2,000



43,500
3,000


Shire
6
7,250
6,525
725
Small Village (75–99)

Ruler Doman
780
4,680
-4,680
-653
Village
109



38,820
3,073


March
30
1,294
1,398
129
Hamlets (74–)

Ruler Doman
320
9,600
-9,600
-780
Hamlets
26



30,618
2,422


Herred
180
170
153
17


Ruler Doman
170
30,600
-30,618
2,422
Steading



The table may seem a little confusing at first. The Earldom of Silverfeld is composed of the Earl’s Personal Domain (3,500 families, 1,500 rural and 2,000 urban) PLUS Six Shires who are controlled by Sheriffs who own fealty to the Earl.

Each Shire has a population of about 7,250 including one Small Village with a population of about 67 families. Each shire is composed of the Sheriff’s Personal Domain (780 Families) PLUS 5 Marches who are controlled by Reeves who own fealty to the Sheriff and the Earl.

Each March has a population of 1,294 families including a Small Hamlet of about 26 families. Each March is composed of the Reeves Personal Domain (320 Families) PLUS 6 Herred who are controlled by Thanes who own fealty to the Reeve, Sheriff and the Earl.

Each Herred has a population of about 170 families and no significant urban settlements at this level. The land is worked by the yeomanry who owe fealty to the Thane,

This means Silverfeld has 1 small city, 6 small villages, 30 small hamlets, and a large number of small steadings composed of 2 to 3 families.

WHOOOOO Now I need to the same for all the other holds,