Idea for an Open City

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Idea for an Open City

Postby Ghostdanser » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:26 pm

I’ve been pretty busy irl and I’ll be moving soon, so probably not the best time to float this idea, but one thing I’ve learned over the years is that life is seldom convenient, besides this idea doesn’t rely on me, it relies on the community here. If enough people like the idea we can explorer how to make it work.

I was reviewing the forums today and noted usual comments pertaining to the lack of material for the game. I was thinking on how this might be rectified…Green Ronin has to rely on Bioware approval, so official material can take time. Unofficial material is available, and lord knows there is no lack of talent in the forums, but many (specifically myself) have irl issues that prevent us from devoting too much time to generating large amounts of material, although I could probably manage some small contributions.

That’s when I had an idea, one which I don’t remember seeing floating around in the forums before, so if it was brought up by somebody else I apologize in advance. My suggestion is simply this. We create a new city in Thedas, an ‘open’ city that we can all contribute to, like the old RPGA city Raven’s Bluff. I’m not saying it would be easy, but with a few rules and guidelines (such as, stats should be reasonable for an npc's level...a tavern owner that's a retired 8th level Warrior shouldn't have stats that total out to 15th level) I think we could have a place that many contribute to, allowing it to grow.

So here’s what I recommend… go to this map:

http://images.wikia.com/dragonage/image ... dasMap.jpg

Then right above the “W” in the Waking Sea I suggest we put a fair sized blobish-shaped island. On the island we put an independent city-state with a name like Lindscrag (or whatever works). The city isn’t controlled by any of the surrounding countries, and is nominally under the protection of the Raiders of the Waking Sea. The raiders don’t own it, but they do have influence, it’s a kind of symbiotic relationship that allows the city and raiders to get along. If the raiders didn’t protect the city it would likely be under Orlesian or Nevarran control, and if the city was under Orlesian or Nevarran control life would be more difficult for the raiders…so the two coexist.

That’s the idea in a nutshell. So is it worth considering?
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby ColdSteel1 » Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:09 pm

,
Last edited by ColdSteel1 on Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby shonuff » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:39 pm

ColdSteel1 wrote:One problem i see about this is the attitude of the templars and the chantry about such a place. Other than that, GO FOR IT!


I would think that they wouldn't be overly concerned if it were also relatively unimportant. A token chantry, small templar force, etc. It could be a great idea for an adventure hub, as the city you are describing would be a hub for mercenaries and the like.

One suggestion that I would make is that if someone posts an NPC, they should also post a disclaimer about any houserules that they use. I know there are 100 or so HP/MP houserules, and I know I played with talent progression.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Bardwulf » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:33 am

At the very North Western coast is a section of somewhat lower hard stone land, visible through the water. In places you'd be up to your shins in it, in other places, up to your waist, in others still you might encounter water up to your neck!
This rock sheet (seemingly connected to the coastline from a strong point below) stretches out some way, enough that locals have populated the area with houses on stilts.
Only the lower classes tend to live in this section and there are great difficulties encountered when the waterline freezes over!
However, the denizens of the district make the most of it by either wading to and fro the main city, using boats of varying kinds or some industrious talented ones can be oft seen walking with stilts. Indeed travel to this common area is accessible to and fro with the rental of stilts, boats or a large man to carry you across, for the right price.
This district is referred to as Auld Shore Town.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Bardwulf » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:47 am

The Gold Den. A favourite haunt by the sea raiders. A policy exists of no bloodshed inside, therefore weapons are surrendered at the door. All who come here can count on peace as one of the few places you can find it.
Those who break the law in any way, smuggling weapons or the like are dragged into the cellars below and used as sport in the fighting cages versus whatever the establishment can dream of on that day. The policy of bloodshed below doesn't apply inside the cages. He who steps in there relinquishes all rights to protection under The Gold Den by-laws. As such, those who have already committed crimes and dragged there have already relinquished their rights.

While there are several naval themed drinking areas inside The Gold Den, it is not only a tavern. It also serves as an aspiring bank, with vaults guarded by the most menacing of men one could ever hope to find (or hope not to!) Plunder from the seas is often deposited securely here with investments incurring interest on longstanding accounts.

Furthermore, there is the "smoking room", an aside place upstairs where men can come to smoke great pipes and narcotics. Narcotics and smoking weeds too are for sale at the bar.
Often, the smoke seen coming from the chimney is not that of a hearth as one might know it!

This is however a friendly place, as long as you are one of them or can carry yourself strongly enough.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Ghostdanser » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:27 am

shonuff wrote:I would think that they wouldn't be overly concerned if it were also relatively unimportant. A token chantry, small templar force, etc. It could be a great idea for an adventure hub, as the city you are describing would be a hub for mercenaries and the like.


An adventure hub is what I was thinking of, someplace centrally located, with port access to allow for people that want seafaring adventures, but not too far away from land (specifically close to Fereldan, Orlais, Nevarra and the Free Marches) but not beholden to any country, although closest in mindset to the Free Marches. There is a strategic advantage to their location, hence the reason for the raiders to take an interest in the city-states well being. Over the years it may have been occupied at one time or another by any of the countries listed and almost certainly by the Tevinter Empire at their height. Currently though, it is independent.

This allows for a melting pot of cultures, so it wouldn't be unexpected to see an Orlesian tailor, a Fereldan kennel master and a Nevarran armorer having shops coexisting side by side. It would be the kind of place where privacy is very much valued, so if you ask someone a personal question and they decline to answer prying would be considered bad form.

There is no Circle of Mages on the island, though circle mages may be encountered either passing through or performing research. There would be a small Chantry with Templers, but with less influence than they have in other similiar sized cities. Apostates are present, but cannot operate openly without risking exposure, one thing that seems fairly universal in most countries is the fear of abominations...I don't see that being too different. Apostates can get around a bit more easily, but still must be fairly low key.

ColdSteel1 wrote:The Sound of Silence: A tavern that only caters to Tranquil mages. This quiet and creepy place is avoided by most locals.


A good idea, but without a Circle of Mages I doubt there would be enough Tranquil to support a bar.

ColdSteel1 wrote:The Great Stone and Understone Keep


The Great Stone is a bit more problematic, since there's nothing in Dragon Age to compare it to for scope. A 500' tall gem encrusted spire seems a bit much...but I like the idea of a dwarven presence, since I had given it no thought until you brought it up. Not sure what would be a bit more lore friendly, for a hook, maybe a solid statue of mineral some 10 feet wide by 25 feet tall of a Dwarven paragon that is of a completely unknown material that cannot be worked with any known tools or magic. Just how the statue was created, who made it and what it is made of are a complete mystery. I admit that's a pretty weak idea, but again I hadn't given dwarves any consideration.

Understone Keep might work with a different function. What if the surface dwarves found access to a lost Thaig from the entrance on the island. It's abandoned, so the surface dwarves decide to establish their own clans in the Thaig. These clans do not draw a distinction between a surface dwarf and caste dwarves, and there is no stigma with dwarves coming and going as they please to the surface world. Orzammar has little control over surface dwarves to begin with, so they can't stop the practice outright (having no access to the Thaig via the Deep Roads..yet), but they are curious to see what develops from this new dwarven settlement (since they have increasing pressure to address the surface dwarf "problem")...they may even dispatch some warriors and such to "assist" in its protection and Shaperate to document it's development. How does that sound for a compromise?

Bardwulf wrote:This district is referred to as Auld Shore Town.


That idea seems doable and relatively lore friendly.

Bardwulf wrote:The Gold Den


That idea also seems doable and relatively lore friendly.

So before the development really takes off I think we should try to establish some ground rules.

1) We should try to keep the setting fairly lore friendly. Example...no Circle of Mages to start, that doesn't mean one couldn't be established...maybe as a replacement for one that was anulled...but it avoids a direct conflict with canon for the moment. There are other reasons for Circle Mages to be there, the island is a crossroads of sorts for shipping, and the Tevinter controlled it at some point, so there could be many lost secrets on or near the island.

2) We should establish the type of government. I am thinking a Viscount (or similiar) selected by a council, the council consists of the heads of each noble family (say 6 to 10 noble families) with a representative from the Raiders, and maybe a few representatives of the more influential guilds. The Viscount may or may not wield real power depending on how strong they are influentially, they may be a puppet or they may have iron clad control through force and intimidation...we will need to determine the current level of control the Viscount possesses.

3) Level of graft in the government...or how much corruption is there in the system. I would recommend a nice middle of the road, not too corrupt, but not too puritan...about as moral as Denerim.

4) Slavery is outlawed...but that doesn't mean that people don't go missing. Elves may wind up in Tevinter and humans may find themselves shanghai'd onto a pirate vessel...but in the city proper slavery is outlawed.

And my mind is turning to mush...how does this sound so far...I need more input on society in general...what works and what doesn't so far?
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby shonuff » Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:32 pm

Ghostdanser wrote:
ColdSteel1 wrote:The Sound of Silence: A tavern that only caters to Tranquil mages. This quiet and creepy place is avoided by most locals.


A good idea, but without a Circle of Mages I doubt there would be enough Tranquil to support a bar.


Right. No Circle, no tranquil (or very few at least). Also, I don't really think that the Tranquil would frequent a tavern -- alcohol, prostitutes, opiates, etc. would have little draw IMO, or at least too little to support a business. Some alcohol might be a necessity due to (possible) poor water quality.

Ghostdanser wrote:
ColdSteel1 wrote:The Great Stone and Understone Keep


The Great Stone is a bit more problematic, since there's nothing in Dragon Age to compare it to for scope. A 500' tall gem encrusted spire seems a bit much...but I like the idea of a dwarven presence, since I had given it no thought until you brought it up. Not sure what would be a bit more lore friendly, for a hook, maybe a solid statue of mineral some 10 feet wide by 25 feet tall of a Dwarven paragon that is of a completely unknown material that cannot be worked with any known tools or magic. Just how the statue was created, who made it and what it is made of are a complete mystery. I admit that's a pretty weak idea, but again I hadn't given dwarves any consideration.

Understone Keep might work with a different function. What if the surface dwarves found access to a lost Thaig from the entrance on the island. It's abandoned, so the surface dwarves decide to establish their own clans in the Thaig. These clans do not draw a distinction between a surface dwarf and caste dwarves, and there is no stigma with dwarves coming and going as they please to the surface world. Orzammar has little control over surface dwarves to begin with, so they can't stop the practice outright (having no access to the Thaig via the Deep Roads..yet), but they are curious to see what develops from this new dwarven settlement (since they have increasing pressure to address the surface dwarf "problem")...they may even dispatch some warriors and such to "assist" in its protection and Shaperate to document it's development. How does that sound for a compromise?


An organized dwarven presence is problematic, IMO, and a Great Stone would be a target for theft/dismantling. Also, AFAIK, the dwarves themselves would have mined it. A Legion of the Dead presence is unlikely, as they pretty much just go out to die. A well-travelled entrance into the Deep Roads would have also made the city a likely target for Darkspawn in one of the Blights.

I would say that any entrance to the Deep Roads would (at best) be a hole or shaft leading down to them, a way to get access to and from, but also one that could easily be defended.

Ghostdanser wrote:
Bardwulf wrote:This district is referred to as Auld Shore Town.


That idea seems doable and relatively lore friendly.


The only issue that I would see with this is that it is not on a calm body of water. I imagine the Waking Sea would have tides and stronger storms than say Lake Calenhad, causing permament structures to be difficult. Depending on the topogrophy of the island, the homes on dry land might have to be built on stilts.

Ghostdanser wrote:
Bardwulf wrote:The Gold Den


That idea also seems doable and relatively lore friendly.


I would think that this bank would function more as a safety deposit box than a modern lending institution. If there were several across Thedas, then it could function as a way to transfer coin wealth without having to transport the coin.

Ghostdanser wrote: 1) We should try to keep the setting fairly lore friendly. Example...no Circle of Mages to start, that doesn't mean one couldn't be established...maybe as a replacement for one that was anulled...but it avoids a direct conflict with canon for the moment. There are other reasons for Circle Mages to be there, the island is a crossroads of sorts for shipping, and the Tevinter controlled it at some point, so there could be many lost secrets on or near the island.


I was going to suggest that the city was founded around an old Tevinter keep. An island where you described it would be a strategic resource in controlling the area. Furthermore, I was going to say that the city would have a natural port, but too shallow and small to support a large scale naval operation, thus keeping it relatively safe from Nevarra and Orlais. Sure they could take it, but why? The Tevinter at the height of the Imperium would have had the mages and resources necessary to expand the port into a fully functional military base, but the 1st Blight would have caused them to withdraw.

Ghostdanser wrote:2) We should establish the type of government. I am thinking a Viscount (or similiar) selected by a council, the council consists of the heads of each noble family (say 6 to 10 noble families) with a representative from the Raiders, and maybe a few representatives of the more influential guilds. The Viscount may or may not wield real power depending on how strong they are influentially, they may be a puppet or they may have iron clad control through force and intimidation...we will need to determine the current level of control the Viscount possesses.


I would have suggested a council, as well. Maybe not with nobility, as see the flux in dominance to end poorly for nobles. But that just also might be calling the same thing different names.

Ghostdanser wrote:3) Level of graft in the government...or how much corruption is there in the system. I would recommend a nice middle of the road, not too corrupt, but not too puritan...about as moral as Denerim.


I would think it would be a fairly corrupt place. You would have Orlais, Ferelden, Nevarra, and the Free Marches all vying for superiority, and the Raiders and various guilds wanting to keep as much government out as possible.

Ghostdanser wrote:4) Slavery is outlawed...but that doesn't mean that people don't go missing. Elves may wind up in Tevinter and humans may find themselves shanghai'd onto a pirate vessel...but in the city proper slavery is outlawed.


Agreed. I would think that there would be (legally) no slavery, but it could still be a slaver hub, and I would imagine that the sailors could be taken quite easily from seedy taverns.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Tiger's Heart » Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:53 pm

Just for info, there are 2 largish islands at the entrance to the Waking Sea.

http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Alamar is the reference to them on the wiki, Alamar and it's island belong to Ferelden, but there is no mention of Brandel's Reach except to say that raiders have control of it and proximity to it is not nice.

Perhaps here is a perfect location for some of these ideas, without creating a new island. it might also mean that ideas that don't sit well together could be split between 2 locations.

Food for thought.

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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Loswaith » Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:38 pm

On the south south-west side of the island is a smity. Established in the remains of a stone fort it has since been rebuilt and extended to serve purpose as that of a smity, showing a stark contrast between the old and new.
Adjoining the stone smithy are some three storage houses located conveiently near the end of a private dock.

Slightly further inland sits a manor while to one side of the manor front sits an adjoining store where the day to day running of the business is conducted.
In a hub such as this, the business has thrived and now offers more than one expects from a smithy. Some say you can get just about anything if your willing to wait a little for it.

The proprietor, one Ryella Alaxil is a comely woman almost always dressed in the best finery, while moving with fluid grace, appears unsuited to a smithy. Her ellequent accent is hard to place, moving between Antivan, Fereldan, Orleasin and even some hints of Dalish and Qunlat.
While her finery speaks of a more sheltered lifestyle, she is anything but. A ruthless business woman competent in working the forge, as well as quite skilled with a blade. Traits that have taken more than a few by supprise.

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Feel free to change Ryella's name (or even build on whats there), it wasn't the original name I thought of but cant for the life of me recall what that was.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Bardwulf » Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:55 am

The issue with the stilt houses, could have a network of boards set up perhaps, walkways that connect together to strengthen the whole thing. Also, we could pick a piece of coastline that has a natural bay type formation and comes around to form a docks area. If need be for water currents, we could place it on the southern side of the isle as well, like South East. Perhaps this helps?
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Ghostdanser » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:34 am

Tiger's Heart wrote:Just for info, there are 2 largish islands at the entrance to the Waking Sea.


I looked at those islands, but figured they were a bit far out to serve the purpose I was looking for, something adjacent to the four countries on the Waking Sea, that are not under the control of any one government. Now I could put another city-state in the Free Marches between Kirkwall and Ostwick, but felt we didn't need another coastal city in that area, and the Planascene Forest is out because the place may be used by Bioware in an upcoming game which would directly conflict with an open city located there. The place that suited my location best so far is that little spec of an island at the end of the word "Sea" in Waking Sea, but it is a tad too small, and while it could be enlarged, it might restrict shipping through that area a bit too much. Plopping an island in the middle of that large area where the "W" is located seemed to be the best location for a centralized city-state that is close to the four countries of the region, which allows for a varied mix of peoples, traditions, etc.

Is it perfect? Nope, not even close, but it's what I came up with that doesn't impact on canon.

shonuff wrote:I would say that any entrance to the Deep Roads would (at best) be a hole or shaft leading down to them, a way to get access to and from, but also one that could easily be defended.


Pretty much what I was aiming for to start. A hole that leads to an abandoned Thaig which surface dwarves decide to claim as their own. Currently all of the Deep Road access from the Thaig is blocked by collapsed tunnels, so for the moment no darkspawn worries...however if the dwarves decided they wanted to plum the depths by reopening the tunnels it could lead to tensions with the city over whether or not it's a wise idea. A plot hook for GM's to exploit.

shonuff wrote:The only issue that I would see with this is that it is not on a calm body of water. I imagine the Waking Sea would have tides and stronger storms than say Lake Calenhad, causing permament structures to be difficult. Depending on the topogrophy of the island, the homes on dry land might have to be built on stilts.


Bardwulf wrote:The issue with the stilt houses, could have a network of boards set up perhaps, walkways that connect together to strengthen the whole thing. Also, we could pick a piece of coastline that has a natural bay type formation and comes around to form a docks area. If need be for water currents, we could place it on the southern side of the isle as well, like South East. Perhaps this helps?


I think we can make this work, you need a relatively shallow bay surrounded by some rocky cliffs, they don't need to be too tall, just high enough to protect the area from the worst of high winds. At the mouth of the bay would be a submerged reef, on which the waves break, preventing the worst of the waves from ever reaching the stilt houses. Small shallow draft boats (like canoes, rowboats, small barges) could enter and exit, but any thing with a draft greater than say 3 feet won't pass over the reef. A cave system in the cliffs could allow access to the city above...making for a way to get fish up the cliffs for sale, supplies down for the people in the stilt houses...and any other goods that may or may not be smuggled through the area.

shonuff wrote: Bardwulf wrote:The Gold Den

That idea also seems doable and relatively lore friendly.

I would think that this bank would function more as a safety deposit box than a modern lending institution. If there were several across Thedas, then it could function as a way to transfer coin wealth without having to transport the coin.


I got the impression that this was more of a bar/drug den that was considered neutral territory by all of the Raiders. Not that a bank of sorts would be a bad idea, but a bank with alcohol and narcotics is probably a bad mix. You know though...a bank sounds like something the Carta might want to create...money lending and storage for a fee off the top...easy money and they already have branches most everywhere. 8)

shonuff wrote: Ghostdanser wrote: 1) We should try to keep the setting fairly lore friendly. Example...no Circle of Mages to start, that doesn't mean one couldn't be established...maybe as a replacement for one that was anulled...but it avoids a direct conflict with canon for the moment. There are other reasons for Circle Mages to be there, the island is a crossroads of sorts for shipping, and the Tevinter controlled it at some point, so there could be many lost secrets on or near the island.

I was going to suggest that the city was founded around an old Tevinter keep. An island where you described it would be a strategic resource in controlling the area. Furthermore, I was going to say that the city would have a natural port, but too shallow and small to support a large scale naval operation, thus keeping it relatively safe from Nevarra and Orlais. Sure they could take it, but why? The Tevinter at the height of the Imperium would have had the mages and resources necessary to expand the port into a fully functional military base, but the 1st Blight would have caused them to withdraw.


Pretty close to what I was considering, we can work on the details.

shonuff wrote: Ghostdanser wrote:2) We should establish the type of government. I am thinking a Viscount (or similar) selected by a council, the council consists of the heads of each noble family (say 6 to 10 noble families) with a representative from the Raiders, and maybe a few representatives of the more influential guilds. The Viscount may or may not wield real power depending on how strong they are influentially, they may be a puppet or they may have iron clad control through force and intimidation...we will need to determine the current level of control the Viscount possesses.

I would have suggested a council, as well. Maybe not with nobility, as see the flux in dominance to end poorly for nobles. But that just also might be calling the same thing different names.


Nobility was probably too strong a word, "influential families with pretensions of being as important nobles in other lands" would probably be more accurate...and an influential family today is one "night of long knives" away from extinction and replacement. More like nobility wanna-bees...but influential none the less.

As for corruption, we can ratchet it up a bit, but we need to keep it from being just a den for the worst of the worst. If nothing else violent "disorganized" crime is severely frowned upon...violent organized crime is another story...and it sounds like slavery is pretty well agreed on...trafficking is not unheard of, but owning is verbotten.

Loswaith wrote: Smithy, manor and Ryella Alaxil


Sounds doable and lore friendly enough.

We still need to work on the basics...

Size and population of the island: I lived in Key West for a few years and that island is roughly 2x4 miles with a 20,000 population BUT that is modern times and high density. Given that Denerim is supposedly around 70,000 I would say a 20,000 wouldn't be unreasonable...and referring to the box set 2 Thedas map (which has a scale on it) an island of say roughly 15x30 miles is not too large for that spot on the map. That leaves plenty of space for existing population and expansion.

Seems like seafaring and related businesses would be the primary industries. Shipbuilding not so much, ship repair definitely. Sailmaking, Blacksmiths, Warehousing would all do brisk trade, along with Fishing, Smuggling, Bars, Brothels, Breweries...etc. Maybe a small to moderate Pearl Diving industry allowing for Jewelry and decorative smithing trade. That said farming wouldn't be unheard of, just mostly small plots for family consumption with a bit of overflow for sale. A Lighthouse is a required feature for this place or every ship would wreck. Like the Tevinter Keep idea...not wanting to make it as depressing as Kirkwall but a Tevinter Keep would make sense.

Time for more pondering...
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Bardwulf » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:43 am

You could have the bank be at the front with bouncers at the door making sure nobody with weapons or under the influence enters. The reason of someone sober or still needing a fix further guarantees success of merchandise being sold further inside.
Once finished with the bank section, there could be a turnstile type thing dividing the two buildings. Going through could lead you to the bar area and such. the turnstile would be one way only.
Yes, I see this as a neutral area and the Raiders perhaps having an honour all of their own where it suits them. Self policing any who would get out of hand and screw it up for everyone when they have a nice thing going on.

Any withdrawls made from the bank are obviously also pointed to be reclaimed by the establishment by way of trade through the turnstile. It's a bit like your bank letting you withdraw from your account then offering to sell you what you were about to buy at the supermarket and the shoe shop.

Yes, Carta influence could be a fun direction to play, especially given the suggested Dwarf presence already mentioned. One could say that Dwarfs perhaps run it.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Loswaith » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:25 pm

Ghostdanser wrote:...
We still need to work on the basics...

Size and population of the island: I lived in Key West for a few years and that island is roughly 2x4 miles with a 20,000 population BUT that is modern times and high density. Given that Denerim is supposedly around 70,000 I would say a 20,000 wouldn't be unreasonable...and referring to the box set 2 Thedas map (which has a scale on it) an island of say roughly 15x30 miles is not too large for that spot on the map. That leaves plenty of space for existing population and expansion. ...


The population I would thing would be significantly smaller than 20,000, given a medieval setting. This gives a reasonable rundown (though the data is missing in places you, can likely extroplate it for a rough idea) of the population of english cities for various historiacal time frames, so can give a good basis of comparason.

15x30 miles is actually quite large area for the island and as such allot of it would still likely be undeveloped (though if thats the idea its all good), as a town would seldom be more than even about 3 miles across (more commonly not much more than even 1 mile across), given people will typically walk around it, and rarely use horses or carts for transport within the city/town itself.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Ghostdanser » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:22 am

So here's the only information I found for population in Dragon Age, I copied it from another post in the forums.

IzualTheMighty wrote:[i]The population of Denerim is 70,000. For future reference Highever is 20,000, Gwaren is 10,000, Lothering 500, and Redcliffe 200.

Estimated population of Fereldan is 1,000,000.

This comes from page 349 from the Dragon Age: Origins Collectors Edition Hardcover Guide. There is a lot of extra Lore info in the back of that one[/i].


So if we want it to be more realistic then we can knock the population down to about 5,000 on an island that is about 3x10 miles. That works out to about 1,000 to 2.000 adults, the rest being mostly teens and children since the mortality rate in children during medival times was pretty hefty families tended to have more children, and most adults had a shorter lifespan, so not very many elderly.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby shonuff » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:27 pm

Ghostdanser wrote:So here's the only information I found for population in Dragon Age, I copied it from another post in the forums.

IzualTheMighty wrote:[i]The population of Denerim is 70,000. For future reference Highever is 20,000, Gwaren is 10,000, Lothering 500, and Redcliffe 200.

Estimated population of Fereldan is 1,000,000.

This comes from page 349 from the Dragon Age: Origins Collectors Edition Hardcover Guide. There is a lot of extra Lore info in the back of that one[/i].


So if we want it to be more realistic then we can knock the population down to about 5,000 on an island that is about 3x10 miles. That works out to about 1,000 to 2.000 adults, the rest being mostly teens and children since the mortality rate in children during medival times was pretty hefty families tended to have more children, and most adults had a shorter lifespan, so not very many elderly.


The smaller population is more sustainable. The adult population would not be so low; currently, about 1/3 of thhe world population is under 18. While that is including countries with tremendous medical expertise, that is also inucluding areas that might as well be medieval. I woulld believe that in medieval times, that it would be equivalent -- the higher birth rate would be offset by the higher child mortality rate. Furthermore, I would say that the child-adult ratio would be lower because of the lack of farmable land. Many inhabitants would be temporary workers as well: sailors, mercenaries, etc. Out of the 5,000, there would be approximately 1,000 children.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Ghostdanser » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:21 am

Hard to find any medieval demographics that are meaningful. I found a modern set for Birmingham that place the current popultion at around:

24% Under 16
58% 16 to 60
18% Over 60

Now in medieval England the age for owning land seems to be 21, at that age they were considered mature and responsible enough, although working and marriage at younger ages was apparently okay. I suppose the rules might be different for nobles, but my guess would be an elder relative controlled the assets until an heir reached the age of 21. So for the sake of argument lets play with the numbers a tad. I'll keep the numbers round for simplicities sake.

25% under 21
60% 21-45
15% over 45

I chose 45 years of age because it seems at the start of the middle ages life expectancy at birth was about 30 years of age, however towards the end of the middle ages if a person survived until 21 then life expectancy was about 65. I'm not going to quote sources, because I suspect there are probably several different numbers available and no reason to assume any numbers are better than others when imported into a fantasy setting. For example, numbers taken during the Black Death would show a much more skewed set of mortality rate.

So applying the percentages above I come up with:

1,250 under 21
3,000 21-45
750 over 45

Now that still leaves a fair percentage of children that while not considered adults would be considered part of the viable working class, say roughly 33% or 413, which would leave a work force population of around 3,400 when rounded.

I can live with the numbers...do they make sense to anyone else?
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby shonuff » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:12 am

Seems about right, or close enough that discussion would be bogged down with splitting hairs.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby shonuff » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:03 pm

An NPC idea that I've been toying with, which I think would make a decent addition:

The Bone Woman

Along the docks and in the market district, an ancient, wizened crone is often seen peddling love philtres, wart-cures, and other potions hanging from her heavy walking stick. She is blind, missing both eyes, but she is able to navigate the streets with ease. However, when someone needs a fortune told, she can always be found waiting inside her hovel. She disdains the use of palm-reading and tarot cards, saying that they are the tools of swindlers and charlatans. While she will use crystals at a client’s request, her primary method is to use a set of ancient, unidentifiable bones that she keeps in a small bag around her neck.

The Templars have investigated her fortune-telling and potion making, thinking she is an apostate, but they have never had found a reason to identify her a magic user: apostate, Circle, or anything else. They have since let her be, and the residents of the city mostly let her be, having grown accustomed to her presence they just refer to her as The Bone Woman.

The truth is much more complicated. The Bone Woman is a shaman from a long forgotten Alamarri tribe. She sacrificed her eyes in order to gain sight in the Fade and into the future. Her body could not take the ritual, and she was left near death. A spirit of Fate, however, inhabited her body, and has existed for centuries in Thedas, sustaining itself off of people’s desire to see or alter their fate. The Bone Woman has grown quite proficient at masking its presence in Thedas, and is content to watch and aid as events unfold.

She is accomplished at Blood and Spirit magic, although she rarely practices either.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Ghostdanser » Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:04 pm

shonuff wrote:Seems about right, or close enough that discussion would be bogged down with splitting hairs.


Cool...

shonuff wrote:The Bone Woman


Sounds doable...

So for the moment the population is set at:

5,000 Total
1,250 under 21 with approx. 400 of working age
3,000 adults aged 21-45
750 adults over 45
Of course, so long as an adult is healthy and maintains their faculties age 45 doesn’t mean they are retired, just older than most people.

Dwarves are still a work in progress for figuring out how (if at all) they fit into the city. I don’t see a Dalish presence of any significance, however I see no reason why there couldn’t be an alienage holding a few hundred elves, not a large amount, but present. No Qunari population, although a few stray Tal-Vashoth could be present.

Chantry: a Reverend Mother, 3 or 4 Chanters, and 6 or 7 Templars sounds about right.

I would say at any given time there might be 3 to 6 Grey Wardens passing through the area. It would also make for a convenient location to hold a meeting when political boundaries make things difficult. I doubt the Grey Wardens own a property in the city, but then again they may have purchased a property and kept it quiet…of course on an island this size it would probably be a poorly kept secret. I imagine that any thieves’ guild has given a warning to its members to leave the Grey Wardens alone.

I imagine most prices will be higher than normal on the island with a few exceptions. There’s not a lot of arable land, so there may be some small gardens here and there, but no real farming to speak of. That means the majority of vegetables will need to be brought in by cargo ship. That means an added mark up in price, probably around +10 to 25%. There’s enough land for chickens, pigs, sheep and goats. Cows raised for milk might have enough space, cows raised for beef are probably out the door, so beef is probably imported and marked up. Seafood is less expensive and available in abundance.

Most apothecary supplies will have to be imported, and there may be a brisk black market if one knows where to look for certain hard to come by items (rare or illegal for a price). There would be several places that specialize in strictly legal apothecary needs (herbs, salves, potions) and many places that sell things that purport to be what you are looking for, be legal, illegal or just plain immoral (“If you suffer an erection lasting more than 4 hours please see a shaman!”) Everyone and their brother knows their mother’s, aunt’s, grandmother’s, sister’s, cousin’s… recipe for fixing anything…and are more than willing to sell you the recipe for what ails you, so going to an apothecary is the only real way to know what you’re getting.

Smithing prices are probably pretty comparable for iron and steel. Most smiths don’t mine their own ore and may live many miles from wherever it’s mined, ore and ingots aren’t perishable like food, so transportation is fairly cheap. Raw ore and processed ingots could actually be used as ships ballast and sold/traded at multiple ports of call. Rare and precious metals are another story, the price goes up with the security necessary to get it from point A to point B. Transporting gold and silver makes a ship the target for raiders, so it’s necessary to hire additional protection, so the cost goes up. Raiders may not care about a ship full of food, but they probably consider a ship carrying gold to be a prime target.

Lumber has to be imported, but they probably have a fully stocked lumber yard and only have to reorder stock when used or to fill the odd request for an exotic wood. Lumber prices would definitely be higher than normal, meaning any new houses will be more expensive than the mainland. Many of the oldest buildings are probably built from the wrecks of ships that hit the reef.
And…that is all I have for the moment…my mind is mush…
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby shonuff » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:35 am

Ghostdanser wrote: Dwarves are still a work in progress for figuring out how (if at all) they fit into the city. I don’t see a Dalish presence of any significance, however I see no reason why there couldn’t be an alienage holding a few hundred elves, not a large amount, but present. No Qunari population, although a few stray Tal-Vashoth could be present.


Dwarves -- with the aversion to the surface of most dwarves, I tend to agree, although if there were a lost thaig underneath (or mineral deposits), I could see some dwarves beginning a migration.

Elves -- the Dalish could use the city as a port in their migrations, but I imagine they'd be temporary. An alienage makes sense.

Ghostdanser wrote: I imagine most prices will be higher than normal on the island with a few exceptions. There’s not a lot of arable land, so there may be some small gardens here and there, but no real farming to speak of. That means the majority of vegetables will need to be brought in by cargo ship. That means an added mark up in price, probably around +10 to 25%. There’s enough land for chickens, pigs, sheep and goats. Cows raised for milk might have enough space, cows raised for beef are probably out the door, so beef is probably imported and marked up. Seafood is less expensive and available in abundance.


Out of 30 square miles, I would think some would have to be devoted to agriculture. The city proper itself would be only approximately 100 acres (about 1/6 of a square mile), out of 20,000 on the island. A square mile will support approximately 200 people (more if there is less pastureland, and even more if magic has been used as a farming aid). I would think that 5-10 square miles would be arable... enough to sustain maybe 2,500-3,000. This would still necessitate constant food shipments, but I would think there would have to be some food production in order for a city to grow.

I agree that most beef would have to be shipped, with the exception of a small amount of luxury beef for the upper class. I would think that the primary livestock would be pigs, as they don't eat nearly as much as cattle (and they eat everything). Chickens, ducks, geese, etc. would also be very common.

Seafood, obviously, would be a staple, as would kelp-harvesting.

Ghostdanser wrote:Lumber has to be imported, but they probably have a fully stocked lumber yard and only have to reorder stock when used or to fill the odd request for an exotic wood. Lumber prices would definitely be higher than normal, meaning any new houses will be more expensive than the mainland. Many of the oldest buildings are probably built from the wrecks of ships that hit the reef.


They would also probably build using sod/stone.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby shonuff » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:49 am

As for other businesses, I would imagine that they would be close to this (using a calculator based on medieval Paris found here: http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/blueroom/demog.htm -- I'm tinkering with it, though, as I think a port would have a phantom population to accomodate the constant traffic. I gave the city a phantom population of 7,500 and I upped the number of taverns, fishmongers, and inns.

Business
Shoemakers - 50
Furriers - 30
Maidservants - 30
Tailors - 30
Barbers - 22
Jewelers - 19
Taverns/Restaurants - 25
Old-Clothes - 19
Pastrycooks - 15
Masons - 15
Carpenters - 14
Weavers - 13
Chandlers - 11
Mercers - 11
Coopers - 11
Bakers - 10
Watercarriers - 9
Scabbardmakers - 9
Wine-Sellers - 9
Hatmakers - 8
Saddlers - 8
Chicken Butchers - 8
Pursemakers - 7
Woodsellers - 4
Magic-Shops - 3 (for ingredients, papyrus, etc. -- not magic swords)
Bookbinders - 2
Butchers - 7
Fishmongers - 10
Beer-Sellers - 6
Buckle Makers - 6
Plasterers - 6
Spice Merchants - 6
Blacksmiths - 5
Painters - 5
Doctors - 5
Roofers - 5
Locksmiths - 4
Bathers - 4
Ropemakers - 4
Inns - 6
Tanners - 4
Copyists - 4
Sculptors - 4
Rugmakers - 4
Harness-Makers - 4
Bleachers - 4
Hay Merchants - 3
Cutlers - 3
Glovemakers - 3
Woodcarvers - 3
Booksellers - 1
Illuminators - 1
Advocates/Lawyers - 12
Guards - 50
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Ghostdanser » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:19 am

shonuff wrote:Dwarves -- with the aversion to the surface of most dwarves, I tend to agree, although if there were a lost thaig underneath (or mineral deposits), I could see some dwarves beginning a migration.

Surface Dwarves are present as they are pretty much anywhere, and stereotypically there are merchants if nothing else, so at least a few families of dwarves. The Carta is everywhere they sense a profit to be made illegally…it’s just the nature of the beast. So the question is whether an isolated lost Thaig has been recently found starting a migration of surface dwarves to try and found a new home. Going with the Tevinter roots for the Keep, then it is entirely possible that the Deep Roads once touched the island, given the Dwarves and Tevinter had so many dealings together. I would even suggest we make the Keep a collaboration of Tevinter design and Dwarven building, meant to last a very long time. So an isolated lost Thaig sounds doable to me, with maybe 50 - 100 Surface Dwarves at the moment calling the place home. No mining or digging going on, pretty much merchant and crafts families. Still thunkin’ on it though.

shonuff wrote:Elves -- the Dalish could use the city as a port in their migrations, but I imagine they'd be temporary. An alienage makes sense.


Migrant Dalish Clans and isolated individuals yes, but no permanent Dalish Clans. We could work in a yearly migration pattern where they pass through the island twice a year and there is a carnival or faire when they head north and then another when they pass through heading south.

And I have no problem with the amount of farming proposed. It just depends on how much of the land is arable and how much is too rocky for farming. I am fairly easy with some additional farming. I figure it is easy enough to get food and supplies barring a major blockade. If Orlais wants to boycott selling to them, then Nevarra would be more than willing to accommodate their needs, since it will piss of the Orlesians, and vice versa if it were the other way around. Then there’s always Fereldan and the Free Marches to buy from. If anyone tries a full blockade on the island then the Raiders run goods for them…all in all a pretty stable situation for them.

Before deciding the exact size (square miles) for the city, we probably need to decide on the size of the Keep. I’ll throw out a number for the Keep to have a garrison of 150 and we can go from there. I figure with Tevinter being the atypical Roman Empire, 100 Soldiers (for a Century) and the remaining 50 would be War Mages, Officers, Slaves, etc. I imagine the central tower is crowned with a lighthouse.

shonuff wrote:As for other businesses, I would imagine that they would be close to this (using a calculator based on medieval Paris found here: http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/blueroom/demog.htm -- I'm tinkering with it, though, as I think a port would have a phantom population to accomodate the constant traffic. I gave the city a phantom population of 7,500 and I upped the number of taverns, fishmongers, and inns.


Now THAT helps tremendously…the numbers need a bit of adjusting, but only a bit. Paris is landlocked for the most part, so there aren’t many nautical related businesses listed.

Saddlers – 8 might be a bit much for such a small island with little need for horses beyond pulling wagons and plows, so Saddlers – 4 might make more sense.

I would change Ropemaker – 4 to Rope/Netmakers – 8, because fishing (smuggling and piracy) industry needs a lot of nets and ropes.

Sailmakers -4 because sails need to be repaired fairly often and replaced when too damaged for repair.

Shipwrights – 3 for ship/boat repair sounds about right, making new vessels not so much, but repairs are always necessary.

Doctors -5 and Barbers -22, are these strictly hair cutter barbers or ar they the type with leeches? Just curious since with Doctor listed I suspect they are mostly haircutters, but blood letting is still possible. Leeches cure everything after all.

Magic Shop has bad connotation in Thedas, but I know what you mean…we’ll need a better name and Apothecary may do the job, I would say we should have more than 3 if Apothecary is used to replace the Magic Shop. If Magic Shop and Apothecary are two different things then we’ll need to work on some numbers, but that’s easy.

Inns – 6 may be a bit low given the transient population passing through, but that can be corrected easily if some of the taverns also rent rooms.

Sponge/Pearl Divers – 6 not a huge industry, but definitely a lucrative one which should go nicely with the Jewelers and Baths.

And time to think a bit…
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby shonuff » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:54 am

Ghostdanser wrote: Surface Dwarves are present as they are pretty much anywhere, and stereotypically there are merchants if nothing else, so at least a few families of dwarves. The Carta is everywhere they sense a profit to be made illegally…it’s just the nature of the beast. So the question is whether an isolated lost Thaig has been recently found starting a migration of surface dwarves to try and found a new home. Going with the Tevinter roots for the Keep, then it is entirely possible that the Deep Roads once touched the island, given the Dwarves and Tevinter had so many dealings together. I would even suggest we make the Keep a collaboration of Tevinter design and Dwarven building, meant to last a very long time. So an isolated lost Thaig sounds doable to me, with maybe 50 - 100 Surface Dwarves at the moment calling the place home. No mining or digging going on, pretty much merchant and crafts families. Still thunkin’ on it though.


Makes sense. As a catch-all adventure hub, IMO, it would need a little something for everyone. However, lore-wise, I don't think full, unrestricted access to the Deep Roads would work, as the island would have most likely been overrun by darkspawn in a Blight (and they would be a constant problem in a non-blight). But access to a long lost thaig (one either abandoned before a Blight or completely cut off) would work, or maybe access to the Deep Roads through a shaft or empty well (where the Darkspawn couldn't climb out).

Ghostdanser wrote:Migrant Dalish Clans and isolated individuals yes, but no permanent Dalish Clans. We could work in a yearly migration pattern where they pass through the island twice a year and there is a carnival or faire when they head north and then another when they pass through heading south.


Although I said migrant Dalish could pass through, I don't know if they actually would. Are all Dalish reliant on Hallas and the land-ships for travel? If so, they might not take to the sea. I wonder if any Dalish are strictly sea-faring people?

Ghostdanser wrote:And I have no problem with the amount of farming proposed. It just depends on how much of the land is arable and how much is too rocky for farming. I am fairly easy with some additional farming. I figure it is easy enough to get food and supplies barring a major blockade. If Orlais wants to boycott selling to them, then Nevarra would be more than willing to accommodate their needs, since it will piss of the Orlesians, and vice versa if it were the other way around. Then there’s always Fereldan and the Free Marches to buy from. If anyone tries a full blockade on the island then the Raiders run goods for them…all in all a pretty stable situation for them.


Right, I think from the original intent, the city would have grown past self-sustenance, but at least some self-sustainability would have been necessary for it to grow past a simple fort. Also, I don't think Orlais or any of the other powers would actually blockade (unless they intended to take it), as it makes a great buffer state and hub for mercenaries and privateers. That is, as long as the city isn't too much of a nuisance.

Ghostdanser wrote:Before deciding the exact size (square miles) for the city, we probably need to decide on the size of the Keep. I’ll throw out a number for the Keep to have a garrison of 150 and we can go from there. I figure with Tevinter being the atypical Roman Empire, 100 Soldiers (for a Century) and the remaining 50 would be War Mages, Officers, Slaves, etc. I imagine the central tower is crowned with a lighthouse.


I would think that it makes the most sense that the original Tevinter fortress would have been abandoned during the First Blight. The keep would have remained standing, much like the Tower of Ishael. However, many of the walls and outbuildings would have fallen into disrepair (and those that did would be cannibalized for building homes and businesses).

Ghostdanser wrote:Saddlers – 8 might be a bit much for such a small island with little need for horses beyond pulling wagons and plows, so Saddlers – 4 might make more sense.


Sounds good.

Ghostdanser wrote:I would change Ropemaker – 4 to Rope/Netmakers – 8, because fishing (smuggling and piracy) industry needs a lot of nets and ropes.


Sounds good.

Ghostdanser wrote:Sailmakers -4 because sails need to be repaired fairly often and replaced when too damaged for repair.


Sounds good.

Ghostdanser wrote:Shipwrights – 3 for ship/boat repair sounds about right, making new vessels not so much, but repairs are always necessary.


Right. I don't think there would be any need for building ships, as there wouldn't be the lumber to support it (IMO).

Ghostdanser wrote:Doctors -5 and Barbers -22, are these strictly hair cutter barbers or ar they the type with leeches? Just curious since with Doctor listed I suspect they are mostly haircutters, but blood letting is still possible. Leeches cure everything after all.


I would imagine that the barbers would be leechers and dentists. And I think the doctors would be little better, but they would have had more training.

Ghostdanser wrote:Magic Shop has bad connotation in Thedas, but I know what you mean…we’ll need a better name and Apothecary may do the job, I would say we should have more than 3 if Apothecary is used to replace the Magic Shop. If Magic Shop and Apothecary are two different things then we’ll need to work on some numbers, but that’s easy.


Probably replace Magic Shop with Apothecary -- I just took the original author's list. Given the amount of magic in Thedas, and the Wonders of Thedas I kind of view as a video game mechanic. But, also given the amount of magic, I don't know if there would be more than three... at least much more.

Ghostdanser wrote:Inns – 6 may be a bit low given the transient population passing through, but that can be corrected easily if some of the taverns also rent rooms.


I was thinking that, too. Given the original calculator, 5K population could support 2.5 inns, and my phantom population could support 3.75 inns. I could see more, especially if you factored in a quality inn and a ramshackle one. If you throw brothels into the inn category, it could go even higher. However, I see most people passing through would actually keep their berths on the ships, as they wouldn't be travelling to the city, but rather to someplace else.

Ghostdanser wrote:Sponge/Pearl Divers – 6 not a huge industry, but definitely a lucrative one which should go nicely with the Jewelers and Baths.


Sure. I don't know if I would necessarily call that a category, as it could just as easily be something that people do in their downtime, but I've got no qualms with it.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Ghostdanser » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:13 pm

shonuff wrote: But access to a long lost thaig (one either abandoned before a Blight or completely cut off) would work

If the lost Thaig idea is implemented, then it is definitely cut off from the Deep Roads and the Surface Dwarves probably aren’t too keen on trying to reopen the path, the threat of the Darkspawn is just too much for such a small number.


shonuff wrote:Although I said migrant Dalish could pass through, I don't know if they actually would. Are all Dalish reliant on Hallas and the land-ships for travel? If so, they might not take to the sea. I wonder if any Dalish are strictly sea-faring people?

Have to admit, I was thunkin’ of the Dalish taking a cargo ship from say Fereldan to the Free Marches during a migration, and in hindsight that’s not a very lore friendly idea. So the only Dalish would probably be solitary travellers.

shonuff wrote:I would think that it makes the most sense that the original Tevinter fortress would have been abandoned during the First Blight. The keep would have remained standing, much like the Tower of Ishael. However, many of the walls and outbuildings would have fallen into disrepair (and those that did would be cannibalized for building homes and businesses).

Cannibalized ruins makes sense. So the city would be near the Keep but not in it, although it would still make sense to use the central tower for their lighthouse, rather than building a new one. No real adventure prospects for the ruins, they would be well picked over. There’s always a chance of a well hidden cache, but the odds of finding anything are slim.

shonuff wrote:I was thinking that, too. Given the original calculator, 5K population could support 2.5 inns, and my phantom population could support 3.75 inns. I could see more, especially if you factored in a quality inn and a ramshackle one. If you throw brothels into the inn category, it could go even higher. However, I see most people passing through would actually keep their berths on the ships, as they wouldn't be travelling to the city, but rather to someplace else.

The thing about ships is that the sailors will most likely sleep on their ship (or in a gutter), but any passengers on a ship are just as likely to stay at an inn…you don’t see too many people getting sea sick in an inn. The more expensive the passenger the greater the likelihood of staying at an inn. Brothels may or may not be considered inns…but then again they rent by the hour and may have trouble with the math if you try to rent for an entire night. 8) So I think Inns - 6 will work, with the understanding that some bars (and other establishments) might rent rooms.

shonuff wrote:Sure. I don't know if I would necessarily call that a category

Yeah…probably not really an industry, but the divers that do it have incredible stamina.
From Wikipedia: “The crew went out into the Mediterranean Sea in a small boat, and used a cylindrical object with a glass bottom to search the ocean floor for sponges. When one was found, a diver went overboard to get it. Free diving, he was usually naked and carried a 15 kilograms (33 lb) skandalopetra, a rounded stone tied on a rope to the boat, to take him down to the bottom quickly. The diver then cut the sponge loose from the bottom and put a special net around it. Depth and bottom time depended on the diver's lung capacity. They often went down to about 30 metres (100 ft) for up to 5 minutes.”
I just think it’s nifty idea for a plot hook actually, they could also be used to salvage wrecks.

Speaking of which…in Key West there used to be Wreckers that would go out to the reef and salvage wrecked ships…now the legend states that they used to tie a lantern to a goat and have it walk along the beach. The ships would think it was a lighthouse and follow the light, sailing onto the reef, and the wreckers would have new business the next day. In reality the light from an oil lantern would be too dim to be mistaken for a lighthouse…interesting legend though. Of course a moving magic light…

Back on topic…the ruling families, let us say 8 major families that make up about 10% of the population, that’s pretty significant. We can work on details, but I am thinking that one of the families never has had a family member hold the Viscount position. This is by design, that family prefers to work behind the scenes, if their candidate is Viscount they manipulate their decisions without any direct ties to show they are the power behind the throne. If an unsuitable (to their mind) candidate becomes Viscount, they work to poison their reputation, ultimately getting them removed…and if poisoning their reputation doesn’t work, then there is always the other kind of poison…

Which brings me to...what should we call the council leader/members, Viscount or should we pick something else? Also, how willful should the current leader be…a puppet, a true leader or somewhere in between? Note that a true leader is not necessarily at odds with the family that likes to rule from behind the scenes, depending on which direction he is leading.

Also, I have to admit that I am not particularly bugs about Lindscrag as a name. I like the crag part, but I'm not sold on Linds. I basically just looked at the naming convention for the Free Marches, all of the cities had fairly short names all with different enidngs, Mark-ham, Ost-wick, Kirk-wall...so I figured something-crag would work. If anyone has a suggestion put it in...or if Lindscrag works then we'll just go with that.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Loswaith » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:14 pm

A number of the businesses may be pooled togeather too, rather than directly specailised. So while you have the numbers, you may actually have less establishments. For example Tailors may also be Coblers.

As to Inns, the number is likely to be ok, given that the majority of sailors returning to their births on the ships will be more likely visiting taverns. Some inns are likely to also have common rooms too, maybe even a few taverns do aswell.
There is also the high possibility of flophouses, for those sailors (or other transients) that cant or dont stumble back to a ship.

As to leadership; a council position is likely to be as much family based (as in merchant families) or guild based (as in crafting style merchant guilds).
Overall though I wouldnt think they would be inclined to have a single leader as there is likely that element of untrust (and possible power strugles) among the more powerful famlies/merchants/guilds, so a smallish council seems a bit more appropiate than any single figurehead type role.
Unless you are thinking a single family/organisation was heavily responsible for the build up of the area. In which case I cant see them sharing the full power that much so a figurehead role would be more appropiate.
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