Take the following:
- Micro-Megadungeons (at Evan's Swords of Minaria Blog, which takes the idea of leveling a party to forth level all in a small setting)
- The One Page Dungeon / The One Page Wilderness and to a lesser extent the 5 Room Dungeon (Sorry no link)
- The Master Plan (by 3llense'g, over at Goblinoid Games) that suggests a Nemesis can advance as the party does, that I think of as a Mini-Game for the DM.
- And something else I can't remember at the moment...
((Pulling this out of the Draft list so topic may wonder))
So, while looking for the mysterious fourth inspirational item referred to above, I stumbled across S. John Ross' Medieval Demographics Made Easy. I had seen it before and scanned over it, but was not interested in developing a setting at the time. Now, unlike then, I am. Well to begin with I couldn't decide whether to start big and zoom in, or start small and grow the setting. I decided to take a middle route. I wouldn't develop a whole world, nor would I begin with a village. Inspired by the early works of Grubman with his The Phoenix Barony setting (Sorry can't currently find a link), I decided to start with a barony. I had to decide how big the barony would be, so I consulted my copy of Test of the Warlords module and Rules Cyclopedia. Both sources suggested starting with a 24mile hex for the basic dominion. This held me up for a brief moment, as I had decided to go with a 6mile hex scale, based on Steamtunnel's The Hydra's Grotto blog. I converted the 24mile hex to square miles and did the same for the 6mile hex. I found that their were 16 6mile hexes worth of land in a 24mile hex. So my starting barony would be 16, 6mile hexes. That soothed my OCD, temporarily...
I set about using the guidelines presented on S. John Ross' site and tried some of the linked random generators, but none of the results fit my idea of the demographics of a fantasy role-play setting. Needless to say, I went to bed frustrated. While trying to go to sleep, I had an epiphany! I was trying to once again develop from a top-down viewpoint. The question was, what if I went bottom-up? Could I draw the map how I wanted it and then based on that determine how big the population was? How many Cities, Towns, Villages, etc. would be present? Sure I could. If I made a map with sub-hexes and put in farmland I could figure out the population and what size neighborhood to place based on the figure provided of 180 people could be supported with each 1mile squared. Off to fire-up Hexmapper!
More to come, hopefully tonight!