Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Demography (part 1)

I will now try to figure out the demographics of Zabreba, our coastal town.

First, I've decided that Zabreba is actually composed of two distinct components - the walled Old Town and the ramshackle New Town.

The Old Town dates back several centuries, and is mostly medieval in construction, and also quite cramped; it has 2,000 residents, including most nobility, the old urban middle-class (i.e. craftsmen and merchants) and almost all fishermen. It follows the standard Medieval Demographics Made Easy distribution.

The New Town has sprung up in the last 25 years, following famine in the countryside and "enclosure" enacted by several rural nobles, which have, taken together, driven large numbers of peasants to the city. These disenfranchised peasants were the perfect (that is, cheap) work-force for the up-and-coming merchants who started developing manufactories around the new iron mine up-river from the Old Town and around the new shipyards. Most such incipient industrialists reside in the Old Town, in palaces sold to them by nobles who were too deep in debt, but the richest live in their own mansions a short distance from Zabreba itself. The New Town has a population of 7,000, but lacks many of the businesses expected in the "well-balanced" town according to Medieval Demographics Made Easy due to the fact that almost all residents are extremely poor.

So what do we have in the Old Town?
3 Noble Households (2 minor, 1 major)
7 Wealthy Merchants (5 minor, 2 major)
45 clergy and monks of the New Faith and one Priest
5 clergy of the Old Faith
12 City Watchmen (not including men-at-arms for the nobles)

5 Jewelers
5 Taverns
1 Inn
2 Bakers
2 Wine-Sellers
2 Hatters
2 Saddlers
1 Woodseller
1 Magic Shop (who is also the antiquarian and all-around weird guy)
1 Bookbinder/Seller/Illuminator/Printer (there are printing presses in this setting)
1 Butcher
3 Fishmongers
1 Beer-Seller
1 Spice Merchant
1 Blacksmith
1 Painter
1 Doctor (and 5 more unlicensed doctors - or midwives?)
1 Locksmith
1 Public Bath
1 Sculptor
1 Ragmaker
1 Cutler
3 Lawyers

So what do we have in the New Town?
3 Wealthy Merchant Households (major, in the countryside near the town)
150 clergymen of the New Faith and 5 priests of the New Faith
35 City Watchmen (not including factory guards and assorted thugs)

18 Taverns (mostly in horrid conditions)
8 Jewelers
7 Old Clothes
3 Weavers (and one big textile manufactory)
3 Carpenters (and two larger timber mills)
4 Bakers
2 Woodsellers (actually those are the timber mills)
1 Blacksmith (plus a very big steel mill)
1 Spice Merchant
2 Doctors (and 20 more unlicensed doctors - or midwives?)
3 Locksmiths
3 Inns (in bad condition)
4 Tanners

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Town on the Ice-Choked Sea

After some thinking, I got to the conclusion that a large city would be a bit overwhelming for my NPC-centric gaming style. I'd like to have something more personable on hand, maybe a port town, called Zabreba, with 2,500-5,000 residents. This will probably have a few nobles and merchants present, and about two inns, one small bookstore and one or two "magic" (i.e. ingredient) shops.

2,500-5,000 residents - still enough for very cool urban adventures IMHO, but much more personable than a large city.

It won't be a city-state per se. HOWEVER, the Kingdom of Zagadur would be quite weak and corrupt, so the King will rarely be able to intervene in local affairs, leaving the Mayor as the de-facto supreme authority in Zabreba.

It will still be an ice-age setting, with domesticated Mammoths used as draft and war animals, and huge beasts roaming the countryside, hardly held in check by the City watch in the lack of any real support by the King.