Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Wilds - Some Meta

Since the party is dealing with logistics, levels and such...

When this game started, it was going to be a dungeon-crawl game, and because I run it via email, the pace is slooow. I didn't do a lot of prep for the game before I started it up because I wasn't sure how long it was going to last. I needed a map, because I always need a map. I threw together the current overland map of Hembard Wilds as the area west with minimal thought.

That was 2 1/2 years ago.

Recently, in part because the party has become more interested in town/civilization things, I've been doing some research/work on figuring out exactly how big the place is and how many people live there. Guided by some material gleaned from ACKS discussions and an excellent article on medieval demographics as they relate to gaming...

Behold! The Wilds, realm of Thambar the Prudent, Lord of Hembard Wilds, Defender of Highcliff Keep, Recognized Lord of the Peerage of the Kingdom of Jal, Meisterburger of Auslaug, Hustwood, and Brekkevale.

  • Total area: 6000 square miles, about 3.8 million acres (Connecticut-sized).
  • Farmed acreage: 238,000
  • Rural population: 81,000
  • Urban population: 7500
  • Total population: 88,500 (Connecticut: about 3.5 million)
  • Average population per square mile: 19
  • Overall size of economy: 2.36 million GP annually


  • Tenant Farmers: 11,000
  • Freeholds: 1400
  • Manors: 59 (essentially super-sized freeholds)
  • Wilders: 1000 (trappers, hunters, woodcutters, etc.)
Map-wise, the area claimed by Thambar is the exposed portion from just west of New Town to Highcliff Keep and Auslaug in the east. Now I have a hex by hex breakdown of population to work with and some grasp of the local economy. Doing actual land-area calculations is a bit of an eye-opener. I can see that:

  • Thambar has a huge amount of land available, probably too much to be held effectively. I need more second tier nobles around.
  • The area is very thinly populated. Overall, about 6% of the land is in use. That makes some sense based on the map and local history. Quite a bit of it is forested/semi-wild land and the inhabitants are doing frontier clear-cut farming. Auslaug, the oldest town, and Highcliff, the main castle, were both founded about 100 years ago. Hustwood and Brekkevale are 80-90 years old. All in all, it's a recently settled area.
One upshot of all this is that the main towns probably have more businesses than I'd thought, and I'll be adding some stuff to the main towns during the course of play going forward. Next time I set up a sandbox I'll definitely be paying more attention to the local economy and demographics before I start.

1 comment:

  1. Yes we'll let it slide this time.... but NEXT time you had better set up a proper sandbox or no dessert for you!


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