Thursday, April 14, 2016

Villages, Families, and What Would They Look Like? A short entry.

  I have been playing in and creating faux Medieval European worlds for about 4 decades. I've aped more than just Europe, of course, but that is where I lean towards for reasons discussed at great length elsewhere in this blog.
  I also strive to make a world that makes sense, at least internally. My campaign map is small for a reason; Dwarves, Elves, and Gnomes have their racial abilities for reasons related to how they fight wars; Dwarves and Elves are allies despite tensions for reasons that explain the tensions, too. 
  So one of te things that has caught my eye for a long time is - village descriptions. As mentioned in the linked post on distances, above, I do tend to over-analyze sometimes, but it helps me keep everything straight in my head. I also mentioned how the Complete Book of Dwarves and Complete Book of Elves weirded me out with their statements 'elves average 2 kids' and 'dwarves average 3 kids with a 2:1 male:female ratio'. I explained in that post why those number flat-out make no sense. No modern society could survive birth numbers like that even without any form of war.

  In Real Life we can smooth out historical ups and downs to point out that women had, on average, 4-8 (call it 6)children and about 1 in 4 of them died before the age of 5. Of the rest about 10%-15% died before 16. Throwing a little bit of 'paladins and clerics can Cure Disease, etc.' in there and the average family is going to have 4 children survive until adulthood. Now, this does not lead to a lot of population growth because Real Life was lethal and a Fantasy RPG world is really lethal.

  In the modern Western world population is distributed like this;

  So if someone were to drive to a small subdivision of 200 people there would be about 50 households and roughly 25 of the people living there would be children under the age of 16.

  But the population of a faux medieval world should look something like this

  So when you ride into the typical village of about 200 people there would be about 30 households and roughly 65 of the people living there would be children under the age of 16. 

  So when you are designing and mapping villages, remember - fewer homes, a lot more kids!