Friday, December 16, 2011

It's All About The "Quarters"

So, while perusing blogs, I stumbled on Talysman's latest post: Mapping Towns and Cities During Play.

There, I saw a link to: The Quarter System. I thought, 'Cool... That would be neat!' So off I went, Mozilla buzzing, to find it was not what I had thought. It was 'Cool', just not what I anticipated.

This, is what I had in mind:
Coinage! Quarters!

That lead to this:
Where I started with a Quarter to represent the Castle/Keep. Inspired again by Talysman, here, I quickly decided that dimes would be crafts, nickles would be multi-entity establishments, quarters the controlling interest, and half-dollars would be homes.

I placed the Quarter, then a dime, figuring that the controlling entity would want them near. To support that, I needed homes. Each additional coin had to touch at least two others and homes had to touch the establishment it supported. Each craft/merchantile had to be as close to the 'hub' as I could get it, then its supporting homes. When at all possible I shared the edge of the homes with another half-dollar to represent how homes tended to cling together...

And bingo a rough Large Village was created, again based on this.

I will assume that there are three entrances into the Castle/Keep at each of the dimes, and for the most part that each coin that touches another has a major thoroughfare connecting it.

Now that I know what each can represent, I should be able to pick up some coins (the amount based on the size of the settlement) and have a ready made establishment.

What to do with the penny?... Ruins or Slums! Done.

Hope you like it, it is rather 'outside-the-box' for me, and it is all because Talysman blogged about quarters!


*The only thing I had a problem with was the Church/Shrine. It probably should have gone NE or SW of the Controller, but I didn't want it near a Stable or a Blacksmith.*


  1. Interesting idea for creating a rough map of a settlement. But I hardly ever see half-dollars any more...

    How about this: pennies as peasants, quarters as nobles/merchants, dimes and nickles as rich/poor trades. Get a sheet of paper, draw intersecting lines to divide it into quarters. Label two of the quadrants "Land" and "Beast/Fish". Divide the other two quadrants in half, and label the resulting sections "military", "crime", "church", and "knowledge".

    Reach into a bucket of coins, grab as big a handful as you feel appropriate, and drop 'em on the sheet. Where they land tells you how the settlement handles its resources: a penny in "land" means farmers, a nickel might be a laborer in a mine or quarry, a dime might be a prospector for gems and precious metals, and a quarter represents a lord of a manor. Other sectors are interpreted in a similar manner. As you figure out what each coin means, you can place it on another sheet to create a map.

  2. I really like the idea! I may have to spin some of the coins around for what they represent as I like the larger footprint coins to be the larger populace type, ie. quarters for peasants, etc. I think the 'scale' is okay based on my quick and 'dirty' map in today's post.

    I did make a drop-chart as you suggested. Dropping coins doesn't work as well as dice I am afraid. But I really like the idea of resources...

    Going to have to ruminate on it a bit more. This isn't my typical train of thought.