12 September, 2015

Darkhive Worldbuilding (Part 21) - Master Pretender

The village of Nutbush Terminus is generally a mix of Nullans, with a few inhabitants bearing stronger blood from the Khar-Tui and Panaho races. The blend of cultures in this village range from the typical values you're find in a village, and the mixed values of Nullan, Khar-Tui and Panaho culture.

The village has 58 cells designated as "private areas" (Those inhabited by followers of Khar-Tui or Panaho cultural values would hold about 4-5 people, those inhabited by typical Nullans or those who follow typical village culture could house a dozen people).

There are 27 "family communal areas" (which could easily hold another 2 or 3 people, or add to the potential berths of neighbouring cells because the inhabitants are able to spread out).

There are also 33 workshop designated areas, and it might also be common practice for craftsmen to have a couple of beds or hammocks in their workshops to keep an eye on their crafts, or allow a rotating roster of constant work (along with their apprentice(s)).

So if I average out the values, we're looking at just under 700 people (58 cells x 9 people + 27 cells x 3 people + 33 cells x 2 people = 669). 

With three races common to the village (Nullans, Khar-Tui and Panaho), I'll put three common types of power into the village too (social, fungal and mental). The natural fit for factions are the social/mental (air/water) who focus on politics diplomacy and trade, and the mental/fungal (water/earth) who focus on improving people though farming and growth. the number of workshops in the area imply the creation of items for trade, and the presence of Khar-Tui imply a scholarly bent, so I'll add in the mental/mystical faction (water/void) to represent a magic item market.

With 6 noteworthy NPCS, the racial spread will be 3 Nullans, 2 Khar-Tui, and 1 Panaho, while the factional spread will be 2 each. 5 will be female, 1 male. 

1: Nullan Diplomat (social/mental) female - Karina Forge
2: Khar-Tui Trademistress (social/mental) female - Juinara Genko 
3: Nullan Farmer (fungal/mental) female - Dorothea Croft
4: Panaho Mycologist (fungal/mental) female - Adrasteia the Healer
5: Nullan Relic Crafter (mental/mystical) male - William Mason
6: Khar-Tui Hooded Mystic (mental/mystical) female - Saketoshi Aiko

(I'm noticing that I'm adding a few more generic occupational paths for characters in these descriptions)

Then we'll allocate them three specific parts of the village of Nutbush where they might be found, and a general motivation.

1: Karina Forge (The Garden, Jade Markets, The Tavern) - Wants more regular trade along the channel with the larger villages and towns on the network of waterways.
2: Juinara Genko (Jade Markets, The Tavern, Inner Nests) - Wants to control the trade of all mystical items in the region.
3: Dorothea Croft (The Channel, Inner Nests, The Garden) - Wants to discover the truth behind the fungal infection that affects men and women differently.
4: Adrasteia the Healer (The Garden, Jade Markets, Leftward Slums) - Wants to cultivate a specific rare breed of fungal bloom.
5: William Mason (Central Workshop, The Tavern, Outer Nests) - Wants to prove that men are able to make mystic items as competently as women.
6: Saketoshi Aiko (The Forges, The Stores, Central Workshop) - Wants to learn as much as possible about the relics of the hive in this region.

In a small community of less than 1000 people, there's a pretty good chance that an inhabitant will know at least half of the other community members, especially if they frequent the same places. This is especially true when it comes to the movers and shakers of the area. We can probably assume that most of these characters will be aware of each other at the very least, will probably know each other by appearance as long as they share a location they frequent, and will certainly know each other by name if they have two places in common (such as Karina and Juinara Genko, or Karina and Adrasteia). Generally, those characters with an air element will have a tension with those who have an affinity for earth, but we can also see that a few of these characters are in conflict by the nature of their general motivations (for example, things will be tense between Karina and Juinara Genko, and one wants more trade, while one wants a stranglehold on specific elements of trade). 

To flesh these characters out, we could choose a culture they identify with, then draw a few cards to show the ways they have different values to the community around them (one or two cards if they are basically a stereotype or paragon of their identified community, three or four normally, and five or six if they really don't fit the culture at all, but it's a better fit than other communities they might associate with).

We can similarly work up groups of influential figures for the other settlements in the area, and maybe develop a few nomadic groups and bandits for the protagonist characters to deal with when they aren't in town. The prominent characters in a settlement will probably also be aware of the prominent characters in other towns (and among these nomad groups), they most likely have family in nearby settlements (spreading the family tree and reducing the chance of inbreeding due to low population figures).

Working on the figures presented in Post 14, there would be 2% of the population in each village who have found a power source and are working to master it (Lvl 2.5), that's about 13 people, and 0.07% who have mastered a power source but haven't necessarily applied it to the world around them (about 3 people, Lvl 3), maybe 1 person has a power base and has used it to secure influence over the world around them (Lvl 3.5). This means that the least powerful of these "influential" characters should be slightly more powerful than starting characters, and would probably have enough influence among the local community that any moves against them would see instant repercussions. Player characters would only achieve this level after completing a story or two (but a group of them might be a match for a low ranking person of influence). After a couple of stories they might be able to supplant one of these people, perhaps retiring from active play. In the whole area, there might be a single character whose power transcends these levels (Lvl 4)...she'd probably be found near the border of Shellbrood territory, working to prevent incursions from those beasts.

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