Building ships takes time. Building boats doesn't take nearly as much. Rafts aren't sea worthy, but you can go just a few hundred yards out, and drop nets to haul up fish. And assuming that the Elves built ships to sail to their islands, we have the technology to build ships.
Stone is important not for building everything out of, but you'll probably want cartloads for paving, and foundations both for buildings and your outer defensive walls. Building docks also needs stone to anchor it into the mud.
And post #15 is the winner! Congrats to Iituem for the most detailed and well thought-out post I've yet seen in this entire board.
I must disagree with you all on one note, though. I don't think any one race is more likely to survive in this situation than any other based on natural life span. Races with longer life spans also physically mature at a later age, so the fact that the offspring will be dependents for a longer time balances out their extra working years, and unless the population kills off anyone who has grown beyond working age, there will be plenty of dependents who will stick around for a long time in their later life as well. There are plenty of other factors which would contribute to the success of each race, and Iituem went into detailed explanations of most of them, but I think life span isn't one.
We have to consider as well, that most of this is for the DMs benefity (me),
As long as the population has 'just' enough of a surplus to feed the population with a little bit left over, everything should be okay. My players arn't going to care (typically) unless I introduce the food issue as a plot line.
I should have the map I created digitized and uploaded sometime tommorow at which point I invite you all to continue discussion.
As an additional point, I imagine that hunting parties that manage to take down say, a large herbevor dinosaur would net a hefty amount of food, and if we assume that all the settlements regardless of size occasionally bag a big dino, that would be more then enough to supplement the food even further.
Let's not forget something here. Most wizards can create Golems, which can be used to supplement the work forces. Moving stone and felling timber is suddenly much less of a problem. Need to plow a field? Send the Golems out and you can plow it with just the Golems under direction of a single farmer.
On the other side, most farming is not a rapid operation. Crops require around three months to mature, so you'll end up eating a lot of supplemental foods, including the mushrooms mentioned, which can be grown in a city as easily as in a cave by planting them in warm, wet attics.
Also, if there's any supply of onyx, anywhere (dwarves), low to mid-level casters can animate undead, which can support more people than living farmers (although they're admittedly just brute labor; they need a farmer overseeing them), since they don't need to eat. A mule pulling a plow eats more food than a human, IIRC, but a skeleton mule (or dino) eats nothing; likewise, a human supervisor with three human/(more likely) goblinoid skeletons planting can plant three times as fast for the same amount of food (actually a bit less, since they're expending less energy as they aren't digging themselves). You do, though, need the resources to distribute Oil of Animate Dead, and a supply of skeletons to the masses.
That's not taking into account that this is distasteful, but if you need it to survive (or even think you need it to survive), people will do anything.
Undead are more likely than golems, since golems are ridiculously expensive and take a high-level mage. Really, they'd probably only have a handful of golems that were made on the new world, with most golems having been brought through by their creators.
As for the breeding issue, I've read that (first) cousin marriages were 1) actually not that uncommon, and 2) unless you've got a deletrious recessive, not dangerous, so you don't really need five generations diversity. Remember that cheetahs have been reduced to a single breeding pair several times over their history. That doesn't mean that more outbreeding isn't a good idea, though.
Also, I'd imagine that there would a high proportion of PC-classed characters, since this is a frontier, and therefore dangerous, so even people with no PC class before pick one up. Likewise, high-level characters will take over government, either by force or by trade (You do what I say, and I'll protect you), or even have it thrust upon them (they always protect this community from outside threats, so they come to them for advice on everything else and obey their every word). The Leadership feat would become quite common. Because of this, you'd have a lot of adventurers grabbing titles like "King," "Baron," "Shogun," and so on, or having titles like "Wizard-Protector" thrust upon them, enforcing their own personal fiefs as far as they can conquer, getting the allegiance of or driving off (or even killing) neighboring heroes. I'd reccomend reading the Dungeonomicon, especially the section of the second post titled "Temporal Authority in D&D;" that applies here even more than it does in the normal game, since there is no pre-existing social structure. Since these new "kings," though, will be marrying off their non-adventuring children to other adventurers as quickly as they can, though, the realms should all be united in a few generations.
Note, though, that warfare will be limited; the common outside enemy (the goblinoids), the open frontier, and the fact that heroes are orders of magnitude more powerful than everyone else changes the internal war. If two heroes have a dispute, they'll duel it out, most likely, since they can slaughter eachothers' armies easily (and they need their people farming, anyhow). Additionally, because there's a common enemy, the heroes have something to unite against, and, as there is a frontier and nobody has lived here more than a generation, no hero has a homeland to be attached to, so a hero who loses their realm to another can move to the frontier and push outward.
If you want a strong social structure in this area, some powerful adventuring type from before the exodus should have forced the tribes into a degree of unity. Nonetheless, they'll need to keep all of the adventurers just under their level in check and loyal (so that they won't be surpassed by anyone who doesn't like them, or who wants to overthrow them, until they've been surpassed by someone loyal to them), and each "tier" of adventurers will have a smaller area where they have to manage the adventurers beneath them to defend their position.
For construction, a 9th-level wizard can cast Wall of Stone, and have a decent stone wall (or road) up in seconds, or a building up in a few days. A Fabricate spell would make that a lot more useful, too. There won't be many, sure, until the danger level of the area kicks in and everyone gains some levels, but once you have a few of them, anything important to the adventurers gets built quick.
Regardless, I'd solve the issue of getting to the first problem first, and that would be ensuring the food supply, and pushing the borders outward, or at least ensuring that they don't contract, before worrying about a few generations down the line.
Ergh... there's a reason magic isn't used by the masses. It's prohibitively expensive compared to mundane means. It generally is far cheaper to do something mundanely than by magic (although magic may well get it done a lot faster, and can do some things mundane equipment won't be able to). 50gp is the wages for seven labourers for seven weeks (or one labourer for most of a year). You generally do better to put that sort of money into just using labourers (even though they eat food) than trying to raise undead to do the work (undead which incidentally are more susceptible to accidental damage if nobody is paying attention and are quite costly to replace).
Golems, similarly, take ridiculous amounts of money and resources to produce. Now, if the wizards who led the expedition were smart enough to bring a couple -with- them, then they will have a fair bit of help when it comes to logging and such (cue vision of enormous stone golem dragging a huge cart full of lumber) but probably still be secondary to draught animals when it comes to ploughing fields.
As for the old outliving their usefulness... that won't be a problem. This is a high danger environment, with plenty of opportunity for accidents or capture by savages/wild beasts. If an old peasant falls and breaks a leg, that's him done in (magical healing is too expensive). Given the circumstances, there won't be as much of a willingness to support the elderly as in the modern day. Elderly in the cities may have a better standing if they are practitioners of a learned profession (scribes, tailors, wizards etc) who do not need a great deal of physical strength, because they can keep working for much longer. Nevertheless, most people will die off when they hit Venerable, or just before.
__________________ Various Homebrew: Why not check it out? You're unlikely to be disappointed.
Prices are set by the economy though. Since this is a new world, there isn't really much economy yet, so the costs of spell components either differ, or are completely non-existant, because no one is looking for them, except the wizards.
The components of certain spells, such as the mentioned Onyx Gem would be merely a matter of acquiring them, and with Dwarves mining stone, they could be on the lookout for suitable Golem materials. The prices could be adjusted to those suitable for the world's coinage. Being a low metal enviroment, hard coinage is not likely, but a barter of food worth the same for the material's is simple enough.
Keep in mind that the members of the exodus also brought everything including the kitchen sink. They knew that no additional supplies would be coming. Ever. So I picture a huge caravan packed to the gills with tools, seed stock, livestock, spell compenents, holy artifacts etc.
The time and man/wizardpower needed to construct them will still be an issue. If there are golems, there won't be many, and you can expect heavy resistance from the rural population at the use of undead to do ploughing. Simply put - where are we getting the corpses from? Even with bags over their heads, most farmers are going to have that quiet fear that it's their grandpa under that sack, reanimated by unholy forces. You're risking a peasant rebellion on grounds of sheer unease, particularly if the church gets involved.
Mind you. Use of gleaners in the population might help. Since your average gleaner is also a working producer anyhow, you can easily slip them into the farming population to help sow seeds, take care of basic growth, childbirth, fertility and even count as an extra hand through use of the farmhand spell.
__________________ Various Homebrew: Why not check it out? You're unlikely to be disappointed.
For sources of undead labor, I was thinking Goblinoids would be more likely than humans; they're local and they're quite likely to be the enemy. Additionally, even if a farmer doesn't want skeleton goblinoids doing their planting, they can still benefit from skeletal draft animals. Yes, the onyx to animate them is expensive, but it's a different resource than food; it carries lighter, and it comes up in mining incidentally, wheras food is the purpose of hard farming.
Golems take a lot more resources than undead, and, I'll admit, undead are no slackers in resource requirements themselves; the only reason to use them is to change your draft animals' resource requirement from food to onyx, if you have a shortage of the former (and you do), and a surplus of the latter (and you might). They probably wouldn't be in use everywhere, but an occasional farmer might be plowing his fields with a deinonychus skeleton instead of a mule (although the Oil of Animate Dead needed for that takes a lot of money; the oil has a market price of 850 GP, and a materials cost of 475 GP and 30 EXP, so you'd be relying on the charity (or drive to condemn as many souls to the lower planes as possible) of an evil cleric), and this might drive off the Plant Growth druids, making it even more uncommon. Still, if the adventurers divide up their area, the necromancers would get some areas with skele-farmers, and the druids get others with Plant Growth.
Back on the point of golems, though, a stone golem would take just as much mining for the special stones and the ritual components to animate it, as it did on the other side, and, until the dwarves are settled in, there just won't be the resources for any.
I was thinking about that. It's sounding like we need some specialized Golems that don't last as long, but aren't as expensive to construct. I was thinking Plant Golems. Something the Druid can whip up out of the underbrush. Unfortunately, I'm not any good at making creatures.
Medium-Sized Construct Hit Dice: 4d10+20 (40) Initiative: +0 Speed: 20ft (can't run) AC: 10 (0 armour, 0 dex) BAB/Grapple: +3 Attack: slam +9 melee (1d10+6) Full Attack: 2 slams +9 melee (1d10+6) Space/Reach: 5ft Special Attacks: - Special Qualities: Construct Traits, Magic Vulnerability, Poor Construction, Berserk Saves: Fort +1, Ref +1, Will -4 Abilities: Str 22, Dex 10, Con -, Int -, Wis 1, Cha 1. Skills: - Feats: - Environment: Any Organisation: Solitary or group (1d4 loamsmithed + 1 loamsmithed leader) Challenge Rating: 1 Treasure: None Alignment: Always Neutral Advancement: -
This 6-foot being appears to be composed entirely of clay, soil and loam, cobbled together into a haphazardly humanoid shape. Someone has affixed a plough to it by means of a yoke on its shoulders and a bag of what appear to be seeds has been tied by a belt to its waist.
These constructs are usually created at short notice in times of need or made to order for rich, lazy farmers unwilling to plough their own fields. They work tirelessly at all hours of the day (though not during heavy rain) and can carry out basic tasks such as ploughing, planting, watering and reaping. In a pinch they can be called upon to defend the farm, but are generally inferior soldiers. Treated with care and given regular supplements of loam, these can provide more than three times the output of a farmhand and never eat any of the food.
Construct Traits: Loamsmithed are immune to all mind-affecting effecs, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects and necromancy effects. They cannot be healed damage on their own. Repairing costs 50gp per hit point in arcane components and loam. They are not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion and energy drain.
Magic Vulnerability: Unlike normal constructs, the loamsmithed are fully vulnerable to most forms of magic, with some important inclusions and exceptions: Properly Grounded: The loamsmithed are immune to electrical effects. Sonic Vulnerability: The loamsmithed are not well constructed, being particularly vulnerable to sonic attacks that shake apart their structure. They take double damage from sonic effects.
Poor Construction: The loamsmithed have been put together on short notice and are not meant to serve for all eternity. If they do not receive periodic attention and have fresh loam placed on them at least once every seventy-two hours (Craft [sculpture] or Profession [digger] check, DC 5) they will begin to fall apart, losing 1 STR permanently for every 24 hours without fresh loam. This ability damage cannot be repaired by any means.
In addition, the loamsmithed are particularly vulnerable to running water. If caught in a thunderstorm or hurricane, the loamsmithed will lose a third of its hitpoints for each full minute it is trapped in the storm, being destroyed at the end of the third minute. If it is caught in heavy running water (such as a river, or during a flood) it will instead lose a third of its hitpoints each round, being destroyed at the end of the third round.
Berserk: The loamsmithed are not meant for combat, so the binding spells containing the spirit within are not as strong as in normal golems. Each round it takes part in combat, there is a 10% cumulative chance that it will go berserk and attack the nearest creature or object, continuing until it or everything it can see has been destroyed. There are no known means of bringing it out of this state.
Construction: The upside of all of this shoddy workmanship is that the golem is relatively cheap to construct. The body takes a Craft (sculpture) check (DC 20) to produce and costs 40gp, scrabbled together from loam, dirt and other soft materials. It takes one week to complete the golem's body and 2 days to complete the rituals.
Fantastic. Just the sort of I was envisioning. The Loamsmith leader would definitely be worth the extra GP if you had large numbers of meat animals. Assign it to feed them, so each gets the benefits of the aura. I like it.
Ah, figured the elves would be on the archipelago directly west of New Sanctuary.
Hmm. Given your distribution of villages (assuming each village has their own small zone of control of maybe 3 miles of farmland in all directions), the villages are remarkably spread out. However, this actually works because the river allows for very quick transportation of goods and people. Bear in mind that as rivers flow to the coast it will be quicker to get goods, people and messages to the capital than it will out of it (although probably as fast as a good road system would allow on the way up).
You've gone with 6 mile distant villages from the main towns (New Sanctuary and Fort Last) to act as suppliers, which works nicely. This is within trade times. Fort Last is 32 miles from New Sanctuary, making it effectively a separate state (though probably obligated to the sovereignty of New Sanctuary) and so will be nicely set up as a source of protection for the surrounding villages (go go gadget fortress, as it were). It should be possible to send non-magical messages to New Sanctuary from Fort Last within just over half a day (via keelboat downstream), but travelling upstream by messenger horse will take a full day, travelling upstream with goods (by wagon) will take 2 days and marching upstream with an armed force will also take 2 days.
Given the 2 day travel, why not put a small farm that doubles up as a tavern between Dalewood and Stonebridge (say at the 10 mile mark)? Travellers will need to stop somewhere for the night and even messengers will want to change horses. If the ruling bodies are smart, they will probably have left a small (and I mean small, maybe 4 men at most) guard post and some stables there so that messengers can change horses and to help trade. Besides all of that, it's a good place for some adventure hooks.
__________________ Various Homebrew: Why not check it out? You're unlikely to be disappointed.
Although I haven't had problems with density myself, I usually flip into the book Kingdoms of Kalamar for insight. It's very useful, and a lot of the time something about a city will trigger a whole big plot chain, which makes the PCs happy when they figure it out. Not to mention since it's just a twist in the plot, the PCs can enjoy accomplishing something, or creatively escaping something, without ruining your whole plot line since it's just a side quest.
Actually I have a tendency of starting out with a fairly straightforward idea, then I throw in a bunch of plot twists, bring back things from old adventured, and kindof tie everything together. So basically, all I know in any adventure I DM is what's going on in the present. The future is up to how the present plays out.
The downside is this can cause lapses (which I honestly have never had, but f I did), but it's just as easy to tell make the PCs think they were decieved, twisting the plot yet again.
Oh I think I went a bit off topic. Basically I mean to say that kingdoms of kalamar is a very helpful book for creating and introducing random cities really quickly. Also it includes the populations of the cities and what type of population, so you can find a skeleton for whatever city you have in mind.
I would tend to agree. A lot of the Kingdoms of Kalamar stuff is well put together and useful.
__________________ It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.
– Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)