D&D General Need wheat. Too dangerous. (worldbuilding)

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
In my last campaign, I leaned hard into the "last bastions of civilization" concept. The world was overrun by monsters, excepting 10 powerful city-states. Each city-state had a magical shield that protected the city AND ALL ENVIRONS WITHIN TWO DAYS' WALK. (Each city's shield was powered by something different; Godshome was powered by faith, Magisteria was powered by a siphon from the students and faculty at The Academy, Forgekeep tapped the local volcano, etc.) That provided each city with plenty of safe arable land for food. (The shields were "weakness-permeable", meaning the stronger the attacker, the stronger the shield; kobolds and goblins could get in, but giants and demons could not. Perfect fodder for militia or trainee adventurers.)

Out in the "wilderness", hidden villages still existed, but they were dependent on camouflage - or ongoing bribery - to survive. Some had a ranger or druid supporting them, providing spike growth or martial deterrents to the occasional foe; some of those villages had ties to The Verdant Order, a benevolent (?) druidic organization that felt civilization and nature had finally found an achievable balance, and thus supported both the cities and the hidden villages. (But opposed the creation of new cities, vehemently!)
Stealing (borrowing?) this idea.
 

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jasper

Rotten DM
Having seen just how much you can do with Move Earth, I can totally see that. Imagine being able to shift about 5 tons of earth (a 5 foot cube) every 6 seconds. :wow:
You load 15 tons and what you get? another 18 seconds deeper in debt. Loose dirt would be 5.5 American tons.
If you target an area of loose earth, you can instantaneously excavate it, move it along the ground, and deposit it up to 5 feet away. If the dirt or stone you target is on the ground, you cause it to become difficult terrain. Alternatively, you can cause the ground to become normal terrain if it is already difficult terrain.
If you would use the spell for mining coal, stone, etc I would say you need two castings of it. One to move stone to loose stone, one to move it like the spell says. This will change mining a lot. Since it is a cantrip, if my calculation is correct one person could move a 5 ft cube a mile in about 3 hours. 5280/ 5 ft = 1056 castings. / 360 rounds in hour.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
But it could still be very useful for household vegetable and herb gardens. Also mold earth could still be useful for large-scale farming not to entirely plow a field, but to help just to remove obstacles, or to aerate packed sections of ground. The majority of the work could still be done the nonmagical way, but the parts that are extra time-consuming could be quickly accomplished by magic.
Stump removal was a very difficult task for example - but a hedge mage with move earth - and a good axe - could make quick work of it.
 

Hussar

Legend
You load 15 tons and what you get? another 18 seconds deeper in debt. Loose dirt would be 5.5 American tons.
If you target an area of loose earth, you can instantaneously excavate it, move it along the ground, and deposit it up to 5 feet away. If the dirt or stone you target is on the ground, you cause it to become difficult terrain. Alternatively, you can cause the ground to become normal terrain if it is already difficult terrain.
If you would use the spell for mining coal, stone, etc I would say you need two castings of it. One to move stone to loose stone, one to move it like the spell says. This will change mining a lot. Since it is a cantrip, if my calculation is correct one person could move a 5 ft cube a mile in about 3 hours. 5280/ 5 ft = 1056 castings. / 360 rounds in hour.
I wasn't thinking so much about mining.

I was looking at those hill fort settlements. Think of how fast you could dig moats or other defensive works.

Heck, a single person moving 5 tons of earth a mile in 3 hours is huge.
 

cbwjm

Legend
I was just reading the 3e FR campaign book to see what it says about waterdeep, granted the numbers might be different, however it lists as its imports: grain, livestock, leather, ore, timber, and exotic goods from all lands. Seems to me that the city, at the time of writing listed as 1.35 million relies a lot on imports. As a major trade hub, this could come from overseas or from farming communities around Waterdeep, in this case, I'd say the comparison with Rome importing grain from Egypt is a good one.
Just correcting my statement, the 1.35 million takes into account the surround area which is within Waterdeep's area of control, the city itself (in the time of 3rd edition) had a population of just under 133 thousand. No idea where the other 1.2 million come from, since I don't know how far the city's reach extends.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Just correcting my statement, the 1.35 million takes into account the surround area which is within Waterdeep's area of control, the city itself (in the time of 3rd edition) had a population of just under 133 thousand. No idea where the other 1.2 million come from, since I don't know how far the city's reach extends.
Yeah, that doesn't make any sense. Even New York City, one of the most dense Metropolitan regions in the world, has a city pop of ~8.5M and a metro pop of ~18M, a mere twice the size. And that's with cities like Newark, New Haven, and Poughkeepsie in there as well. (info taken from Wikipedia)

Of course, in D&D, we don't just consider the area horizontally, we also have to include the volume vertically as well. I mean, we can't froget the population of Undermountain!
 

cbwjm

Legend
Yeah, that doesn't make any sense. Even New York City, one of the most dense Metropolitan regions in the world, has a city pop of ~8.5M and a metro pop of ~18M, a mere twice the size. And that's with cities like Newark, New Haven, and Poughkeepsie in there as well. (info taken from Wikipedia)

Of course, in D&D, we don't just consider the area horizontally, we also have to include the volume vertically as well. I mean, we can't froget the population of Undermountain!
I did actually check for undermountain, it had the population of skullport as only a couple thousand, but who knows how many more there are down there.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
I agree, but cathedrals seem to be more specific to some cultures and not others. Maybe. Not really an expert on the relation of temples and religion. I tend to think of temples and cathedrals being associated to cities because the only time we hear about religious structures and their function in society is when they are grand and enduring structures.
The idea I have is that the house walls, the roads, the walls, and the cathedrals all serve a magical function. While not all cultures would build a cathedral, not all cultures would use the same magics to defend their settlements either, nor have the same settlement pattrrns.

As an example:

Society 1 has hamlets, villages (hedge row ward), towns (wall ward), cities (cathedral spire).

Society 2 has underground settlements, with bastions on the surface and the occassional fortified valley.

Society 3 has built a huge ring wall with an internal web of wards around an eternally growing city settlement.

Society 4 surrounds their settlements with pyramids.

Society 5 has lifted their settlements into the sky.

Society 6 has one central city in a crater, nomadic cities carried by dinosaurs, and mad mages whose "protection" is almost as dangerous as the wildreness.

Society 7 lives on a penninsula and engages in an eternal war with monsters coming from the southern swamps.

Each has very differerent adaptations to a monster filled world. The hamlet/village/town/city pattern is specific to one.


The real question is, what is a hamlet? A group of buildings where they let ham ... umm ... pigs roam free? Inquiring minds want to know!
Apparently old french. Ham means home, so Hamlet is where your home(s) is(are).
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
This is a huge thing that gets ignored. Ideas around magic are less superstitious than IRL, because people know that clerics, druids, Paladins, and Rangers, all exist. Even if they’re all rare, people would know about them. The life changing utility of cure wounds, good berry, accurate weather prediction via druidcraft, and others would ensure that.

Even just three rituals spells makes a huge difference. Unseen Servant and Alarm would be very high demand.

Absolutely. And find ways to think well of it.
I've been thinking a lot about this and necromancy.

Imagine the local necromancer raises some ancestors to help with the harvest (as many skeletons as they can manage). Once the harvest is over, the ancestors are put back to rest, along with so me kind of ceremony to thank them. Depending on how it's done, it might be seen as a very normal and beneficial activity.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I've been thinking a lot about this and necromancy.

Imagine the local necromancer raises some ancestors to help with the harvest (as many skeletons as they can manage). Once the harvest is over, the ancestors are put back to rest, along with so me kind of ceremony to thank them. Depending on how it's done, it might be seen as a very normal and beneficial activity.
Exactly. I could even see a whole craft around preserving the bones respectfully, with decorative enamel, runes, even “jewelry”.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
I've been thinking a lot about this and necromancy.

Imagine the local necromancer raises some ancestors to help with the harvest (as many skeletons as they can manage). Once the harvest is over, the ancestors are put back to rest, along with so me kind of ceremony to thank them. Depending on how it's done, it might be seen as a very normal and beneficial activity.
I may steal with for my modern Akrosia.
 

Hussar

Legend
This thread has really inspired me to do some image diving for plausible settlements in a D&D world. Happened across this one:

o8qv1xt0xk271.jpg


Could totally see a D&D village that looks like this. Oh, sorry, not a village, it's got a wall. Town. Just for the ultra pedantic among us. 😉
 

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