This is a nice article MoonHunter. Many experiences gathered and put to text.
If there is one thing I feel missing in the article, it is about the inclusion of player activity in the world building process. You did touch the subject twice (character weave and no gm is an island) (yes, this article could easily be 60 pages long. )
This may be a basic truth but as such it may deserve mention in your article; always let the pc's actions (no matter how small) have some effect on the setting.
Include the PC's. Don't let death and retirement be the end of things. Much later the pc's could read about the loved wizard in a dusty fairy tale book, visit the restaurant of the retired half-orc chef or meet the grand children of that master thief played such a long time ago.
Then with the twists and turns of time details about their pc's could be distorted, roles reversed and facts made false. This could annoy the pc's as the names of their pc's with time get a rediculous pronounciation, etc...
If their characters were epic the entire setting would probably be affected. Nations and provinces, royal lines, etc... The players could leave their marks on every aspect of the setting. Go to Comment
Do you use this worksheet yourself? And if so, do you have any
examples of a filled-out worksheet you could spare? I think it
would make an excellent companion to the article (which I loved,
by the way -- I've started applying your ideas to my campaign
Thanks for the huge amount of effort that went into this
article! Go to Comment
This is probably the most useful world building thing I have ever seen. It is a bit long, but it is one of the most informative role-playing articles I have ever read. I'm using this for my campaign world, Definitely! Great post :-) Go to Comment
this would be much better, even useful if it was written for the task. This is essentially technical writing and thus should use concise prose to communicate points. The first two full paragraphs in the intro could have been two sentences. Go to Comment
I wanted to begin presenting a world, and browsed for articles to help present. I found this and I'm awed. This is an amazingly comprehensive tool which will help shape my works from this point forward. I'm bookmarking it and will be coming back to it often. Go to Comment
A nice City Image, I have a clear feeling and a mental image of the city. There is clearly a need for the soldiers to have an outlet for their military life, however. Don't tell me there are not a few ummm... caffeterias :) for the soldier tired of the drill, or place with a few nice girls that make the life nicer. They may be half-hidden, but they ought to be there; soldiers are known to revolt not only if they lack food.
Funny detail about the secret experiments to make a Hardtack spear, how about making it really hard, but soften upon becoming wet? They would be hardly a weapon of first choice (little beats metal/solid wood there), but a part of the food could be transported that way, to serve as a secondary weapon if needed, and to protect the food transport as well. Aside: while it would surely miss the sharp edge, entering a body and crumbling can be dangerous, too. Go to Comment
Actually, Bakalite (a plastic like substance, first invented by Leonardo DaVinci, but rediscovered/ redeveloped in the 1860s) is somewhat edible (too hard to chew.. but in small enough pieces digestable). While not as durrable as metal, it is tough enough. Perhaps as spear shafts and such.
Note: NASA developed knobs and buttons of a similar substance for the Apollo and LEM ships. However, they needed water to soften, which would of been in shorter supply than food on a Space Mission, before being eaten. Thus they were scrapped after Apollo 3 for the cheaper plastic units. Since this not be a problem for the troopers, maybe this wheat plastic would be possible. It did not take advance chemistry to make, just heat, pressure, and a couple of reactents. Go to Comment
you haven't addressed the cultural and social justifications for such sustained and organzines military activity. That would be another submission actually. For historical examples, in Japan, China, or even Inca, such a city could exist. In a more structured empire, such places would be possible. Again the location needs to be adapted to your world if appropriate.
Was Wheatsword the idea of a General or did it grow up economically first? The Military council.
How do they deal with all the rats? Actually hardtack is avoided by Rats, which could tell you a great deal about Hardtack. There will always be some loss to pests, no matter what the enforcement used. I am sure the military comes up with "the ultimate solution" every few years, from trained cats to magically trapped cheese to sterile rats, or just setting the troops out with slings, and so on.
What is the major water source for the area Well water and rain would be assumed since no rivers were mentioned.
and what of the women? Can you have a military camp without camp followers? Yes you can. It has been done in many times and places, with some just being done by discipline, others by encouraging male companionshisp.
I would assume there are a few around in the city, and in the local farms. Their existance would be up to your preferences. I have them as part of an extreme religious sect, so they would not be as ...um.. active as other women.
Who are the soldiers; are they young nobles, citizen soldiers, conscripts or mercenaries? Self answering question- Militia/ legion. Nobles would imply a feudal system that would not create such a place and mercenaries would be too expensive for a standing force. And Militia was said at the end of the post.
How does life at Wheatsword compare to the daily life of soldiers when they are some where else? Here would seem more boring. It is hard, but light duty here. Go to Comment
You could torch Wheatsword, but I doubt it would take long for the buildings to be rebuilt and while the year's crop may burn, there is no telling how much grain has been distributed to the lesser holding stations, or even into the civilian economy. The only problem I see is that soldiers have families, and where there are military bases, civilian cities grow. While security on the base is tight, the soldiers would need somewhere to go to drink and gamble and be normal guys, a place to put away the swords and the uniforms if only for a few hours. Nicely done. Go to Comment