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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    May 2015
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    Default Worldbuilding: adding flavor to neighboring kingdoms

    I'm trying to get an idea of what several kingdoms on my map are all about. It's a typical setup- once great empire fell long ago. Now the various provinces are rebuilding as separate kingdoms. These are the civilized "known" kingdoms, all sharing the same memory of a glorious past, similar religions and ideals, etc... These are the heartlands of fantasy with Kings, Knights, and castles.

    Now. I can set a few apart...basing one on medieval England, another on France, another on Spain, etc... But looking at old maps and reading up on my history, these large countries were actually each made of many smaller kingdoms- warring regimes and factions.

    If I'm going to put several small kingdoms in close quarters in an area say, the size of France or England, how do I go about giving each of them character without repeating the same themes over an ENTIRE CONTINENT?

    I am...overwhelmed...and most grateful for the sage wisdom of the playground.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    TheYell's Avatar

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    Feb 2013
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    Default Re: Worldbuilding: adding flavor to neighboring kingdoms

    Assume the kingdoms are broken into counties being about what a man can cover on horseback in a day in diameter. This will give you a nice mix of subunits based on something playable.

    then lets have some limited variables at work:

    Race: this can be human dwarf elf halfling or human language groups.

    Economy:
    Feudal: This county is formed of rural estates of small nobles. Social order is fragmented but hierarchical. Farming is important.
    Fortification: this county is mainly wilderness with a major military outpost. Social order is a strict hierarchy. Foraging is important. Two or more adjacent fortification counties mark a classical Wall.
    Colony: This county is centered around a former colony city. Social order is wide open as wealth has its priveleges here. Trade and industry are important.
    Resource: this county is organized around the exploitation of some key resource such as timber, mining, horses. Social order is strict hierarchy as the bosses of the main industry run things.
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    TheYell's Avatar

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    Phoenix, AZ
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    Default Re: Worldbuilding: adding flavor to neighboring kingdoms

    a Fort does the least pproduction, a Feudal does twice as much as a fort, a resource is worth three forts and a colony is worth four Forts.

    Ethos
    Strict Church: A church hierarchy interprets an ancient text.
    Consular: A traditional council meets locally and independently to judge issues.
    Pantheon: A priest class promotes ritual worship of gods with little concept of spiritual development.
    Philosophy: Each adherent is called to interpret a classical text on virtue and integrate it into their lives without obeying a priest class.

    Martial:
    Poor: The traditions of the empire are dead in this county.
    Fair: This county has martial forces twice as good as a poor county.
    Good: the traditions of the empire still have meaning here. This county has a military in some way three times as good as a poor county.
    Excellent: This county is as good as the Empire ever was. Units here are four times as good as a poor county.
    How you rate the military is up to you. It could just mean the availability of supplies and gear to a party is four times as good in an Excellent county.
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    TheYell's Avatar

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    Default Re: Worldbuilding: adding flavor to neighboring kingdoms

    So now you have 4 ethnic options; 4 economic options; 4 ethical options and 4 military options. You have a base unit, the county. You can now use a d4 to flesh out each county and confidently expect to have adjacent counties vary from each other. You can add variety further by joining counties into groups under a Duke or Prince who controls more than one county, not necessarily adjacent. Your map is ready for a game of kriegspiel, let alone providing backgrounds for adventures.
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

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