DCC #35: Gazetteer of the Known Realms

A forum for discussing the many DCC modules published under third edition rules, EXCEPT for Castle Whiterock, which has its own forum.

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Post by James Mishler » Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:04 pm

Harley, I've got to ask... does the name "Denoyer-Geppert" ring a bell? Specifically "Desk Activity Map 23001"?
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Post by Harley Stroh » Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:32 am

Just so everyone knows, James Mishler is about 15 times smarter than me. His knowledge base is scary. But back to the topic ...

... "Denoyer-Geppert" is a education company that focuses on human anatomy. I work for a small independent school, so we have probably ordered from them at some time. But "Desk Activity Map 23001" draws a total blank. I even tried searching for it on their website and came up with nothing.

But now I'm intrigued. What's the desk activity map?

//H
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Post by James Mishler » Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:54 pm

Er, I dunno about that Harley. After all, I made my career in this industry. Choosing a life of poverty isn't what one would exactly call smart... :)

Anyhoo, Denoyer-Geppert also makes maps. The specific map I was referencing was a map of the continental United States. You will see why shortly, when I post a link to the map I've made of the Northlands (I got Joe's permission, as it is a derived map, not stitched or anything like that).

Anyways, when I put together this map at 320 miles to the inch, when I compared it to the above mentioned map (which I use as a baseline for comparing weather and trade routes and such; there's also a European map at the same scale), several things popped out at me. First, the "occupied Northlands" more or less falls in the same area as the continental United States and a bit of Mexico. Second, the Saedre River is almost a dead twin of a major portion of the North Platte river while, at the same time, the north shore of White Tip Lake and Fartrader River between White Tip and Wyrm's Deep follows the route of the Ohio. The rivers in Thire also fit the routes of part of the Mississippi and the Tennessee. There are several other geographical matches, too, to a map of the United States.

I'm guessing you used a map of North America as a baseline, and built from there when constructing the geography of the Northlands, even shifting about now and again for new baselines. Heck, it's what I've done time and again workig on different settings.

I figured on the Denoyer-Geppert map as it was fairly commonly used back in the day, but really, I guess any map of the US would work at any scale as a baseline...
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Post by James Mishler » Sat Nov 25, 2006 11:36 am

Harley,

I've got a question about the population for the Freeholds. It is listed as being 42,601, which seems really low... and, it just so happens, is exactly the same population as Freeport, which is the next entry. They even have the exact same percentage mix of races.

It seems to me that the population figures for the Freeholds were accidentally copied from the population for Freeport. Can you post the population figures for the Freeholds here? Thanks!
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Post by James Mishler » Sat Nov 25, 2006 12:01 pm

Another population question...

The Elven Nations populations don't seem to make sense. If the listed nations are the major Elven nations, and looking at the map they seem to be, they are but a slight portion of the overall elven nation population figure at around 154,000. Where's the remaining 95% of the population of the elven nations (~2.5 million total)?

Does the elven nations overall population figure include all elves found in all countries everywhere in the Northlands? Or does it count only independent elven nations, not beholden to other human or dwarven nations?

In specific, the book does not indicate whether or not the Blackbriar elves hold the Emperor of Crieste as their liege. It seems they do but they don't (which is really rather elvish indeed, both yes and no). If they do, are their population figures counted in Crieste? If not, how are they counted? And how can they really have any major effect on the empire when their numbers are so few (1,209, less than 1/100th) as compared to the overall elven population of the empire at 160,450?
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Post by Harley Stroh » Sat Nov 25, 2006 4:21 pm

James Mishler wrote:Harley,

I've got a question about the population for the Freeholds. It is listed as being 42,601, which seems really low... and, it just so happens, is exactly the same population as Freeport, which is the next entry. They even have the exact same percentage mix of races.

It seems to me that the population figures for the Freeholds were accidentally copied from the population for Freeport. Can you post the population figures for the Freeholds here? Thanks!
:oops: :oops: :oops:

Let me check my notes and post the proper data. Good catch!

//H
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Post by Harley Stroh » Sat Nov 25, 2006 4:31 pm

James Mishler wrote:Er, I dunno about that Harley. After all, I made my career in this industry. Choosing a life of poverty isn't what one would exactly call smart... :)

Anyhoo, Denoyer-Geppert also makes maps. The specific map I was referencing was a map of the continental United States. You will see why shortly, when I post a link to the map I've made of the Northlands (I got Joe's permission, as it is a derived map, not stitched or anything like that).

Anyways, when I put together this map at 320 miles to the inch, when I compared it to the above mentioned map (which I use as a baseline for comparing weather and trade routes and such; there's also a European map at the same scale), several things popped out at me. First, the "occupied Northlands" more or less falls in the same area as the continental United States and a bit of Mexico. Second, the Saedre River is almost a dead twin of a major portion of the North Platte river while, at the same time, the north shore of White Tip Lake and Fartrader River between White Tip and Wyrm's Deep follows the route of the Ohio. The rivers in Thire also fit the routes of part of the Mississippi and the Tennessee. There are several other geographical matches, too, to a map of the United States.

I'm guessing you used a map of North America as a baseline, and built from there when constructing the geography of the Northlands, even shifting about now and again for new baselines. Heck, it's what I've done time and again workig on different settings.

I figured on the Denoyer-Geppert map as it was fairly commonly used back in the day, but really, I guess any map of the US would work at any scale as a baseline...
James,

This is REALLY cool to me, because I didn't use the maps as a baseline. Any conjunctions are strictly coincidence, but you'll have to take my word for that until I can post early iterations of the maps. (Hopefully tomorrow...scanner willing.) The original maps were on 11x7 inch paper and insultingly crude.

When I set out to detail the North I rolled out a sheet of paper the size of the maps you guys have in you hands and simply drew. After I had the rough coastlines and mountain chains established, I sat down with Jeff and we enlarged the map until we were certain it met real world (read: Earth) scale in terms of distance from equator to glaciers.

This was a crucial design impulse for me, especially after I did some math with the old Greyhawk maps, which, by my (likely faulty) calculations, are way too small to go from Ameido Jungle to the Land Black Ice in the space given.

This had some drawbacks as well, chief of which is making the world so large. But, for better or worse, to the best of my ability, it is accurate in terms of size, climate and longitude/latitude as per a planet with Earth scale density and gravity. (Greyhawk, by comparison, must have a super-dense core, or something.)

I'm hoping Jeff will read this post and put up one of the early scans. The site where I usually host images has been down for several weeks, hence my Superfan map woes.

Anyhow, more on this tomorrow when I can get some scans posted...

//H
Last edited by Harley Stroh on Sat Nov 25, 2006 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Harley Stroh » Sat Nov 25, 2006 4:32 pm

Harley Stroh wrote:Just so everyone knows, James Mishler is about 15 times smarter than me. His knowledge base is scary.
And I stand by my quote. :D

//H
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Post by Argamae » Sat Dec 02, 2006 2:02 am

Well, Mr. Mishler is really going into it! Isn't he? ;)
No, honestly - great work in pointing out your findings, James!!

James absolutely has a point in the "freehold population" question. Which brings me to another thing I noticed while reading the KNOWN REALMS GAZETTEER: size.
With well over 3000 Miles across, the Northlands alone are HUGE! Compared to this, there are really, really few towns or cities. One would reckon that you only described the largest of settlements but this is not the case - even hamlets with a few hundred souls get named. Even when giving a lot of space to undiscovered wildernis areas it just seems that there are way too few centers of civilisation - especially in old and established nations like the Crieste Empire.
Was this a deliberate act of design? How come there are so few cities?
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Post by Renshai » Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:32 am

I would venture to say that the smaller hamlets and villages that get mentioned are mentioned because they themselves are referenced in the Dungeon Crawl Classic line. There are most likely tons of villages and small hamlets in the more civilized areas, but Goodman, thankfully, left that up to the DM to develop and expand upon.

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Post by Jeff LaSala » Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:43 am

I would venture to say that the smaller hamlets and villages that get mentioned are mentioned because they themselves are referenced in the Dungeon Crawl Classic line. There are most likely tons of villages and small hamlets in the more civilized areas, but Goodman, thankfully, left that up to the DM to develop and expand upon.
Ding ding ding ding!

Yes, basically, a lot of the smaller towns and villages that are mentioned in the DCCs needed to listed. Beyond that, the readily obvious towns and cities were mentioned. Only a scattering of locales are listed and described for each nation to give the GM something to work with, a sampling of the towns and the nation's culture in question. In truth, considering the sheer population size of most of the nations, a comprehensive list of all villages, thorps, and hamlets would have had to be simply that: a list without detail, and that's not half as fun.

If any other supplements come out for the DCC world, you can bet even more villages will be listed. But don't expect the books to do all the work for the GM. They're just tools, plot hooks, and suggested locations.
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Post by James Mishler » Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:48 pm

Argamae wrote:Was this a deliberate act of design? How come there are so few cities?
As Renshai and Jeff LaSala have mentioned, space considerations were doubtless the reason that so few cities and towns were described. And too, hamlets and vilages mentioned were generally either notable or typical for the region.

With Known Realms, I'm going with a classic 1 in 10 rule of thumb for urban population, i.e., 1 in 10 people in a medieval state, on average, will be found in a town, city, or metropolis (1 in 20 for nomadic, barbaric, or similar peoples). Thus, we have the known cities of Crieste, with a population of 3,209,000, a potential urban population of 320,900 and a current total listed urban population of 189,937, broken down thusly in descending order of population:

Kassantia (Large Metropolis, 62,870)
Archbridge (Large Metropolis, 48,250)
Tarrasine (Large City, 24,021)
Blihai (Large City, 16,801)
Sirael Citadel (Small City, 11,901)
Vernaut (Small City, 11,680)
Vaquerea (Small City, 8,110)
Dhavosin (Large Town, 4,014)
Sparport Watch (Small Town, 1,380)
High Cross (Small Town, 910)

Total assigned urban population: 189,937. Total urban population yet to be assigned: 130,969.

A couple of notes on creating new cities and towns:

Generally, create new cities and towns at a distance from existing cities and towns. Don't drop another city just 20 miles away from Archbridge without a good reason. Cities exist for a good reason, and usually they use up that good reason for a good space around.

Unless you go against the design as presented (which of course, anyone is free to do), the largest city you can put in the Northlands would be around 60,000, as Punjar is described as the largest city in the Northlands at 75,100, and Kassantia the second-largest at 62,870. Kassantia is also the most "eldritch" (i.e., openly arcane) while Arvale is the most "divinely inspired." Morazuin is the most grossly evil and huge (illogically and impossibly so, due to its nature), and so forth. These will be benchmarks against which to measure your cities and towns.

Remember, too, that some states like Freeport, Porthmeor, and Wildsgate are no more than cities, and thus include a totally urban popultion in their description. As long as they have the trade ability to do that, such isolated cities can exist, but in general, a city needs a rural population about 10 times its own to support it.
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Post by Argamae » Sat Dec 02, 2006 6:55 pm

Okay, what you guys said does make sense. Of course there are always space constraints and I am not unhappy about a certain "lack of detail" as it allows the GM to use and develop some of his own ideas or drop in his favourite city from adventure modules or the like.
Nonetheless, I would have liked some more descriptions of other places, towns or cities - even if they were just one or two lines. They can be good starters to get an idea of where to place a self-designed city, or can even get your creative juices running. But overall, this really is a minor issue.
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Post by AstroCat » Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:51 pm

Argamae wrote:Okay, what you guys said does make sense. Of course there are always space constraints and I am not unhappy about a certain "lack of detail" as it allows the GM to use and develop some of his own ideas or drop in his favourite city from adventure modules or the like.
Nonetheless, I would have liked some more descriptions of other places, towns or cities - even if they were just one or two lines. They can be good starters to get an idea of where to place a self-designed city, or can even get your creative juices running. But overall, this really is a minor issue.
I totally 100% agree. Having the setting for a while now, I am finding I am having to do a lot more on my own than I wanted. What would be really helpful would be a supplement product that focuses on the Northlands or maybe even just Crieste.
The scope of the world is just too broad and spread thin to be as practically useful as I wanted.

Oh well for now. I hope there is some more information in the future.

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Post by James Mishler » Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:46 pm

AstroCat wrote:Having the setting for a while now, I am finding I am having to do a lot more on my own than I wanted. What would be really helpful would be a supplement product that focuses on the Northlands or maybe even just Crieste.
The scope of the world is just too broad and spread thin to be as practically useful as I wanted.

Oh well for now. I hope there is some more information in the future.
AstroCat,

::pimp mode on::

What you can do is pick up a copy of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy Boxed Set from Necromancer Games and Judges Guild. It has TONS of information the likes of which you require,s from cities and towns to villages and hamlets, ruins and castles, keeps and dungeons, and so forth. You can just pick and choose and drop any of the elements in from the Wilderlands into the Known Realms. You can find the Wilderlands boxed set at your friendly local game store or, lacking that, check online stores or eBay. It is the solution to your city/town/village/hamlet/castle/keep/ruin/dungeon needs...

::pimp mode off::
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Post by Harley Stroh » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:23 pm

Astro,

There is a product in the final stages of writing (as we speak) that will answer those questions, providing more detail on the non-dungeon areas of a region, as well as more dungeon crawling than you can shake a stick at.

Again, it just entered the editing phase, but you can expect some previews soon.

//H
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Post by CharlieRock » Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:43 pm

This may be asking for the stars after recieving the moon, but:
how about some kind of map-overlay type thingy with the DCCs published thus far exposed in the areas the start them?
Like, if the team is hanging around the Scourge (purely for professional reasons), and then I could see that DCC #XY is right next to them.
Or, even an ad hoc listing with DCC#XY in grid coordinate DC12345678, (I can do a halfway decent job of finding out which one is right next to us then).
Roll for initiative!!!

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Post by AstroCat » Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:01 pm

Harley Stroh wrote:Astro,

There is a product in the final stages of writing (as we speak) that will answer those questions, providing more detail on the non-dungeon areas of a region, as well as more dungeon crawling than you can shake a stick at.

Again, it just entered the editing phase, but you can expect some previews soon.

//H
I am very much looking forward to hearing about this product. :)

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Xulmec City-States

Post by LostInTartarus » Sun Jan 07, 2007 7:53 am

Hello all. I thought I'd pop in and let you know how much I've been enjoying the Gazetteer. It's a great setting, and it's nice to be given the bare-bones of the world, with the rest to flesh out for yourself.

I have a question regarding the Xulmec City-States. In the Gazetteer it is mentioned that at one time there were nine Xulmec tribes, and that each chief met and chased a couatl for the Feathered Hunt. Where each chief caught up with his quarry, they founded the current-day city-states.

Only eight city-states are mentioned (seven plus the one that was destroyed) and I was wondering what happened to the ninth. Did Huamec chase a couatl and not build a city? Was the ninth left out so that we could do whatver we wanted with it?

That's it. Thanks a lot.

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Post by Jeff LaSala » Sun Jan 07, 2007 9:44 am

Heya, Lost. I dig the boneclaw avatar. :)

I'm glad you're enjoying the boxed set, and I'm especially pleased you've taken interest in the Xulmecs.

You've hit both on an accurate guess and a probable typo on my part. Huamec (wah-mek) wasn't a chief in the standard sense; he's more of a folk hero. Hiawatha meets Heracles. :wink: But he was still considered a leader and pseudo-chief, based on his deeds alone. There were eight primary tribes, each of which founded a city-state, not nine. That discrepency is one I failed to catch in the end, since I did originally envision nine. One of them, Uatazan, was eradicated (as you noted). The tribe affiliated with Huamec himself did not establish its own city-state. Most likely they split up among the rest, but most would have gone on to join Teotcoatlan.

I hope this helps? Let me know if you have any other questions!

Note that Huamec was also the first Xulmec to ascend to demigodhood, and today his divine identity is Huamext.
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Thanks!

Post by LostInTartarus » Sun Jan 07, 2007 12:10 pm

Wow, thanks for the fast reply Jeff! It's nice to see how much pride you and Harley take in your work.

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Zero-Level advancement?

Post by Smokeless Joe » Sat Jan 13, 2007 12:08 pm

I really like the idea of zero-level characters as laid out in the GM's Guide of DCC #35. However, there's no real discussion on how they advance to first level.

Is there anything special about advancing from zero to first level? I'm guessing that's it's just like starting any other multi-class level, except that you start counting levels for feats and such.

So... no max hit points, no starting money, yes feats? That sorta thing?

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Post by Cardinal » Sun Jan 14, 2007 5:23 am

there was a discussion of this somewhere around here...
...how I did it:
Skills - normal (i.e. no x4 multiplier)
Feats - no 1st level feat since my players got those for their 0-level
HP - normal, not maxed

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Post by Hjorimir » Tue Jan 23, 2007 1:19 pm

Captain Sentri of Crieste; is it public knowledge that he leads the Order of the Sable March? The gazetteer entry for Crieste makes it seem that it is known, however, the organization entry for the Order of the Sable March seems to indicate that his leadership is strictly a secret one. Was it invisioned that the Order fills an official capacity ala the Musketeers? Or or do the present an organization that has no secular power whatsoever?

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Post by Harley Stroh » Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:05 pm

Was it invisioned that the Order fills an official capacity ala the Musketeers?
You hit it exactly. In policy they should be no more than exalted bodyguards to the emperor, but in practice they do that while also carrying out secret missions for the good of the empire.

//H
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