Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hexes and Villages

The little brown book's Underworld and Wilderness adventures explains that a barony can clear hexes up to 20 miles away and that within that area there will be 2-8 villages of 100-400 inhabitants (Other editions dodge this bullet by not even addressing Baronies in the core rules).This has always seemed a bit skimpy to me. With my newly created hex overlay and H. C. Darby's Domesday England, Cambridge University Press 1977, I decided to check the village density of Norman England. To this purpose I have created the following 5 mile to the hex map. Please note that Wales and Scotland were not surveyed, so are blank:

As you can see the village density in most places far exceeds 8 villages in a 20 mile radius. Densities of 10 villages or more per  5 mile hex are not infrequent. She-Who-Must-be-Obeyed who did the shading of the hexes by density says I should use this information to make a new roll-up chart, but that must wait for another post.


  1. Thanks, this is good research.

    I imagine that there would be a relationship between the hostility of the territory (whether hostility of chaotic monsters or unfriendly men) and the density of settlement, though I'm not sure which would be cause and which effect. It would be interesting to see this visualization compared to settlement of the American west.

  2. Hey, I can see my house from here...

  3. You're right, I've seen estimates of historical medieval population densities rather higher than what would occur in eight 400-person villages in a 20-mile radius.

    Of course, it may be the LBBs undershot this on purpose to create a more dangerous environment overrun with monsters. But if you're going for historical accuracy, your estimate is better.


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