View Full Version : Developing a setting

2012-01-20, 08:24 AM
I ask playground to help me with certain turn of events in my setting and how would this affect it.

- We have a city of 50.000 souls led by a mighty creature (will not reveal its nature, because it is also unknown in the setting)
- Due to a mass war in some other part of the continent, 80.000 refugees appear just outside the City (via mass teleport)
- Clerics of the City provide food and water traps, all are fed
- Due to utter destruction of the most of other Cities, trade drops to 1/20 of normal trade
- Two months after all this, 40.000 angry orcs appear, bent on taking the city
- Mighty creature diplomances these orcs into not attacking, but rather integrates them into all this

Here are my main questions:
- how does a horrid drop in business affect the City?
- how does a mass influx of refugees affect the City?
- how does a mass influx of non-going-berserk-at-any-moment orcs affect the City?

As you can see, there are some stops on the way to utter disaster, but things are pretty bad.

tnx :)

2012-01-20, 10:04 AM
- how does a horrid drop in business affect the City?

Luxury goods(that is to say anything that isn't food) and the like are probably more expensive, and a few people might go bankrupt or lose a lot of money, but no one will starve thanks to the create food and water traps. Things like weapons, armour and magical items and ingredients might be more expensive.

- how does a mass influx of refugees affect the City?

Housing might become a problem, and the prices of nonfood items will be driven further up as the demand for a limited supply increases.

- how does a mass influx of non-going-berserk-at-any-moment orcs affect the City?

More housing and probably sanitation problems, though the clerics should be able to handle the sanitation. Tensions between different races and or classes and the like may arise, even through everyone has food some have more and or tastier food and better living spaces.

2012-01-20, 07:27 PM
Tnx Demonic_Spoon :smallsmile:

Since you tackled this question of mine ... I was wondering what would people actually want to do? I mean most would want to surive, but after that ... what next?

Also, this mighty creature would really like to put all these creatures to work (mostly, for them to better their own living conditions). Got any ideas?

Storm Bringer
2012-01-20, 11:13 PM
Since you tackled this question of mine ... I was wondering what would people actually want to do? I mean most would want to surive, but after that ... what next?

better themselves and thier living conditions. move form tents to proper houses, built streets, start thier own shops, and taverns etc.

anyone with an trade (i.e. smiths, tanners, clerks, farmers, coopers, etc) would want to try and continue in their trade.

Also, this mighty creature would really like to put all these creatures to work (mostly, for them to better their own living conditions). Got any ideas?

public works.

first, building a wall around the newcomers areas, so that they can be defended agianst outside attack (theirs a war on, and the next bunch of invading orcs may not be so reasonable). the staggered nature of the arrival of the newcomer groups would mean that the walls would seperate the three groups, which might cut down on inter-group conflicts (by controlling access to a degree)

then, have them put to work building proper roads and drainage systems, along with underground sewers (if the old city has them), these will help with satitation, as well as make the new quarters look nicer and be nicer to live in,

then, get the newcomesr working in the fields, to supplment the food traps, and add other foodstuffs to thier diet.

most cites have a "hinterland" that supplies food and raw materials like wood to them. it may be benefital to spread some of the newcomes out into this hinterland to increase raw materials production.

increasing the city watch will be a priority. the size of the citys population has more than tripled (form 50,000 to 170,000). thats going to strain pretty much everything. the shops won't have enough stock, and can't get more. the sewage systema are going to be overloaded. the refugees are going to turn up with minimal pocessions, so they will be a massice drag on the economy for a long time.

2012-01-21, 07:07 PM
Lots of new ways of doing things just came in, there is great demand, and material base needs are met. Set up loftier and more ambitious goals than ever before, make up a list of things to achieve with respect to infrastructure, production, communication, education and defense. Award prestige to those who meet them in the most efficient manner using new methods, old methods, or synergies between them. Unorthodox approaches is no problem if they work. Encourage going against old taboos as long as they won't harm anyone else. If success is what counts rather than prejudice, integration will likely win out as the best way from the bottom up.

Anyone with enough supporters may form a Venture Group to take on these challenges. Fund worthy project plans for an initial period. Encourage investment from those who hold property as well, perhaps through a state bank. Sabotage against rivals is punished, espionage and plagiarism is not. Success is measured by results and awarded. The final products are available to all, but the more you contributed, the more your eventual access will be prioritized for some time, and the more you will be immortalized as one who helped build the future. Then see what 180000 souls, each individual, can come up with. They know things you don't, so just make sure that they are not hindered - by you or each other - to make use of those skills. Think evolution, Japanese Zaibatsus, competition for public works contracts and colonizing a new frontier.

Oh, and lots of guards. Drafted from all groups, perhaps in separate units, but all tied directly to the mighty creature and with powerful symbolism. Have applicants pass difficult tests to get the absolute elite in all respects. To those who passed some but not all tests, award a degree of some sort - these second-best may then use those to rise in ranks within the Venture Groups.

Also introduce some channel through which any grievances may be heard. The last you need is for those you think are unimportant to realize you think so.

Zeta Kai
2012-01-22, 03:19 AM
Alright, since nobody's mentioned it yet, I guess I should point out that there is an entire sub-forum on this site that is devoted to this very topic. Check out the World-Building forum (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=57), a subset of the Homebrew forum. Enjoy.

2012-01-22, 05:35 AM
Let me begin on a cheery note and say that if I was presented with this scenario I'd call it a powderkeg with a fuse several weeks long. This city is going to tear itself apart within months.

The first problem is plain scale. Your idea is to feed all these people with automated magical systems. Have you worked the numbers I wonder?
If each spell feeds 15 people it's going to take 11 333 castings per day to feed the entire population (and that's only 2 meals each). If each spells take 10 seconds to cast, then it takes 31,5 workhours per day to just churn out the food. And that's if each dispenser makes a perfect 360 spells an hour, with no hiccups whatsoever.
Setting up that kind of distribution system on the fly is a massive piece of logistics and administration. And then add plain chaos, delays, queues, bureaucracy and innate hostily between your three (or more) groups and in all likelyhood you'll find that the numbers above are probably cutting it awfully close.
Luckily you don't have to set it all up at once, but gradually. But the scale is simply massive. I suspect your clerics will be rather busy for the first few weeks just putting it all in place.

Second problem lie in economics. Not only are you adding 120 000 unemployed people to the system, you've also removed the foundation of the economy. Food production. By establishing these traps you're undercutting the entire food industry. Which is to say the peasantry and the fishermen. You just removed the incomesource of the majority of the population.
Unfortunantely it does not end there. For the barrelmakers, the ropers, the blacksmiths (note, different from weapon and armoursmiths), the tanners, the shipmakers, the bakers, the basketweavers, the potters, the millers, the netters, the sailmakers and the butchers all lost their primary suppliers and customers.
In addition to that all landowners lost their primary revenue (surplus food plus tax/rent from farmers). Which is to say that the armed minority are also losing their livelyhood.
In one fell swoop, you removed 99 % of your taxbase. The only things remaining is the producers of luxury goods, services and weapons and the prices on those products will balloon. Within a few weeks, not even the nobility will have money left to spend on it.

Moreover, all those living in their hinterlands will either start taking their products to a more profitable market or give up their farms and move into the city. So the population will increase with even more refugees.

Third problem is that you will have a lot of people with a lot of time to kill on your hands. People who at the same time will feel threatened by the new arrivals. These people will start learning how to use weapons. Especially after the influx of violent armed orcs. You're going to see gangs taking over districts, centered around the food dispensers. Controlling who gets access to this one. Tensions are going to sky rocket. Aforementioned peasants and artisans are probably going to go after what they percieve as a threat to their way of life and start sabotaging the food traps (and if they kept getting rebuilt... start murdering priests).

As soon as the first open murder happens, and it will, the city is going to explode in mass riots. Either against the state or in the form of mobs storming districts to drag everyone not part of their "group" out on the streets and kill them. There will be open warfare on the streets.

Basically... the city will be spiralling out of control for a few weeks, barely holding on to law and order with the treasury bleeding money, until it all explodes. And then everything will go wrong at once.

Even if the food traps aren't set up, the city will probably explode. Because even if the basic system is left in place, it will be overwhelmed when the city over a few weeks experiences a population boom of almost 250 %. All unemployed, frustrated and frightened people.