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Old 08-07-2022, 04:32 AM   #21
maximara
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Default Re: what does a recently founded fantasy city look like?

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
How much Plymouth's changes depends on how well the Puritans accept them, but otherwise I agree, and for purposes of a fantasy settlement, 'how much magic, and of what type or types' is a question that needs to be answered.

'Plymouth Colony with magic' does sound like an interesting idea for another thread, though.
Also you can get very deep into the Food and Water colleges with just Magery 0 (or no magery if in high mana which most D&D worlds seem to be). Find water? Nah we just create it. Food? Nah we just create it.
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Old 08-07-2022, 10:26 AM   #22
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Default Re: what does a recently founded fantasy city look like?

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I wouldnīt build a city without a access to trade either a river and a seaport or near a trade route by land preferably all of it.
Nobody does, actually. One of my standard bits in such discussions is to ask people to name every city in the United States founded before the railroad era that was not sited on a navigable waterway. The answer is "Indianapolis," and the founders thought (erroneously) that the White River was navigable.

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Also you can get very deep into the Food and Water colleges with just Magery 0 (or no magery if in high mana which most D&D worlds seem to be). Find water? Nah we just create it. Food? Nah we just create it.
Yeah. Normally I'm down on this line of thinking, because GURPS magic rules just are not generous enough to provide. But with a thousand children there, you've got crazy scope for lending energy in ceremonial castings or to power items that aren't mage-only to operate.

That being said, a question I forgot to explicitly ask:

* What's the skill base of the colonists? These people are cityfolk, so stipulated. That means that they're not herders, farmers or hunters. In fact, if they're refugees, did the PC party scoop them from the middle/upper class parts of town, or from the po' part of town?

If the latter, then there's a much better chance that they have useful skills such as pottery, smithing, fishing, baking and the like, and at least are likely inured to hard physical labor. If what you have, by contrast, are scribes, notaries, jewelers, orators and the idle rich, that's a problem.
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Old 08-07-2022, 11:48 AM   #23
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Default Re: what does a recently founded fantasy city look like?

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* What's the skill base of the colonists? These people are cityfolk, so stipulated. That means that they're not herders, farmers or hunters. In fact, if they're refugees, did the PC party scoop them from the middle/upper class parts of town, or from the po' part of town?

If the latter, then there's a much better chance that they have useful skills such as pottery, smithing, fishing, baking and the like, and at least are likely inured to hard physical labor. If what you have, by contrast, are scribes, notaries, jewelers, orators and the idle rich, that's a problem.
There is at least one more option. When New Orleans was founded, the company that was setting it up sent over people "recruited" from the Paris jails. They had various practical skills, of sorts, but not the sort that were useful without a larger law-abiding population around them . . .
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Old 08-07-2022, 12:05 PM   #24
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Default Re: what does a recently founded fantasy city look like?

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Yeah. Normally I'm down on this line of thinking, because GURPS magic rules just are not generous enough to provide. But with a thousand children there, you've got crazy scope for lending energy in ceremonial castings or to power items that aren't mage-only to operate.
Assuming that you can keep a thousand poorly-supervised children focused on the task . . .

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If the latter, then there's a much better chance that they have useful skills such as pottery, smithing, fishing, baking and the like, and at least are likely inured to hard physical labor. If what you have, by contrast, are scribes, notaries, jewelers, orators and the idle rich, that's a problem.
Scribes, etc. wouldn't be that common in a typical city. More likely, the upper middle and upper classes will be merchants, wealthy craftsmen, and their hangers-on. Some will be clerks, but many servant will have practical skills from before they were hired on as servants. There will be real social tensions when the servants realize, a) they've got a lot more freedom than they had before, b) they're far more economically valuable than their masters.

What virtually any suburban or semi-urban low tech person would have is a greater familiarity with animal handling and gardening. They wouldn't necessarily be useful as farmers, but they can at least keep chickens, keep a pig alive until slaughtering time, and grow vegetables on a small scale.

If you want historical examples of new colonies at about the right TL, take a look at how any of the cities in North America were founded, and how they fared. Some were colossal failures, some had massive struggles to survive, and a few had their act together from the start and developed without too many problems.
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Old 08-07-2022, 01:47 PM   #25
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Default Re: what does a recently founded fantasy city look like?

Well since it is land owned by another Kingdom being given to this group to settle in, it stands to reason these couple of things: First, the land is likely not that great or otherwise it would already be well settled in. Second, unless it's a particularly large kingdom, there will probably be at least a few native communities within reaching distance that they can trade with and maybe even solicit help from. Look at early New World communities working with Native American populations for example.
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Old 08-07-2022, 01:47 PM   #26
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Default Re: what does a recently founded fantasy city look like?

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Originally Posted by Pursuivant View Post
If you want historical examples of new colonies at about the right TL, take a look at how any of the cities in North America were founded, and how they fared. Some were colossal failures, some had massive struggles to survive, and a few had their act together from the start and developed without too many problems.
It's harder to find sources for, but the cities of ancient Greece were famous for sending out colonies. Sicily, the southern Italian boot ("Magna Graecia"), the Black Sea Coast, and what is now Marseilles were all colonized by organized expeditions sent out from Greek cities. One of the key points there is that because the colony had a powerful sponsor (the mother city) they had some promise of security because any raiders would face retaliation, either military or diplomatic. A similar case might hold true for these refugees, if the king is strong enough; while they present a tempting target, they're under royal protection.
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Old 08-07-2022, 02:42 PM   #27
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Default Re: what does a recently founded fantasy city look like?

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First, the land is likely not that great or otherwise it would already be well settled in.
There are a couple of alternative possibilities:
  • The location is in a (formerly) contentious border region, which hindered the development of an otherwise adequate site. If the border has moved, it may actually be important for the kingdom to gain a foothold there. If it's not clear that the border won't move back again, however, it may not be worth risking a huge investment. Hence, the refugees.
  • In a dungeon fantasy setting, city-leveling catastrophes are not uncommon. Perhaps there was a city there once, but it was destroyed several hundred years ago. If it is not clear whether the cataclysm might repeat itself, developing the site with an expendable group as bait might make sense.
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Old 08-07-2022, 02:55 PM   #28
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Default Re: what does a recently founded fantasy city look like?

A previous settlement might well have been depopulated by the same war that made this place recently part of the kingdom, and/or one or both sides may have had a large military encampment there, it being a good place to out one for the same reason it's a good place to put a town. A stockade or some surviving community buildings (warehouses, temples, mills, docks, anything of that nature) would be a big leg up.
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Old 08-07-2022, 08:59 PM   #29
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Default Re: what does a recently founded fantasy city look like?

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Assuming that you can keep a thousand poorly-supervised children focused on the task . . .
If they want to eat, they'll get focused. If they don't get focused, then we're going to see some attrition. We're talking TL2 here, not 21st century suburban helicopter parents. Iron Age civilization neither had the luxury nor the inclination to coddle children, and with that ratio, they'd be no more poorly supervised than in their homeland.

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Scribes, etc. wouldn't be that common in a typical city.
... pardon? You're joking, surely? Scribes/clerks/recordkeepers have been a significant element in just about every city, in every culture, from the point from which writing was invented on forward.

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What virtually any suburban or semi-urban low tech person would have is a greater familiarity with animal handling and gardening.
I don't disagree. Would you mind quoting the bit from the OP that said "suburban or semi-urban" instead of "doomed TL2 city"?
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Old 08-08-2022, 01:09 AM   #30
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Default Re: what does a recently founded fantasy city look like?

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SNIP

I don't disagree. Would you mind quoting the bit from the OP that said "suburban or semi-urban" instead of "doomed TL2 city"?
No need for it, a typical iron age city HAD a lot of garden and farming lands nearby, and even most walled towns since roman times had land INSIDE the city used for gardening, only the most densest slums hadnīt.

So yes I see this folks having a lot of knowledge about gardening and farming or preservation of food. Remember they hadnīt fridges or a supermarket, and most folk couldnīt afford buying all their food in a tavern. Or do you dine daily in a restaurant?

But my question would rather be were theyīve gotten the livestock and seeds from? Not to mention supplies and tools until first harvest and a smithy is build? Refuges as they are tend to cramp their ships with people and the last valuables not with such stuff. A gift from the king?
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