Settlement Types

These definitions help me to get a handle on the settlements that are around. Within the game mechanic a City district is a grid of nine blocks and each block is large enough to take four size 1 buildings.


A thorp is a very small settlement consisting of a few huts or cabins and little else, often set back from the main road or river and approached via a small path or track. If they are in the wilds, the thorp could well be built in a small valley or nestled into a a clearing so as not to draw attention. The thorp could have up to twenty residents who make a basic living off the surrounding land. They may have a vegetable patch, keep a few chickens or rabbits and may even have a goat or two, and then they fish, hunt or trap to supplement their income. They are aware of most of the fruit bearing bushes and trees in their neighbourhood, and make trips out to them at the appropriate time of the year, maybe in the form of an ‘Apple Picking Picnic’ or something similar.

These are pioneering folks, generally L2/3 commoners, independent, hard working and ready to defend what little they have. Between them they will have a few basic craft skills and can produce simple tools, basic furniture and crude clothing for themselves. A thorp generally has a population of 10-20 people - but there can be three or four of them in the same hex.

Religious needs are generally catered for by a travelling cleric of some sort.

If you finish up staying in a thorp expect to sleep on a floor somewhere, perhaps in a storage hut, or to rig your own tent just outside. Dinner is liable to be a thin stew, perhaps with some fruit (if it is in season) afterwards. Breakfast might be a hard boiled egg or a piece of fruit. Herbal teas, broth and water are the most common beverages.


A hamlet may develop from a thorp that is close to a road or a river where they have easy access to transport, and is a stage on from a thorp. It is about the size of a single city block and can hold four normal sized buildings, although the huts (or cabins) from the thorp take up one of those plots. A second plot is taken up by a house, and its appropriate outbuildings, for a specialist with enough skill to organise the local economy.

The specialist is, more than likely, a L3 Expert with knowledge appropriate to the area. A farmer may well organise cereal fields; fisherman might introduce net fishing and a preservation technique; a lumber specialist might introduce coppicing as a way of woodland management, while a skilled miner can identify the best ores and which seams to work.

Adding a skilled leader to a community benefits the whole hex as ideas and techniques spread out into neighbouring settlements, casual work is created and trade links established.

However there are two other building plots available in a hamlet that can be used to help develop the local community. It may be appropriate to add an Ale House, a Granary, Smithy , Shrine or even a Barracks to serve as a base for the local marshals. There is a list if building that could be put into a hamlet included within the Buildings Lists. These developments add to the Nation’s stats in the same way as a city development does.

People who live in hexes that contain a Hamlet tend to have a higher disposable income than people who live in undeveloped hexes – and generally the standards of food and clothing is slightly higher here and the ‘Specialist’ can have quite a reasonable standard of living.

Any additional buildings add to the general wealth of the place and it could have a resident cleric or a lay-preacher adept as well as warriors or more experts working within the region.

In population terms, an undeveloped hamlet swells the population of a hex to about 100 people, while each subsequent building adds another 25 people.

Village / Town

Anything larger than 4 building plots needs to be dealt with under “Step 5: Establish and Improve Cities rather than the countryside rules. If a hamlet already exists in a hex that you want to build in - all previous developments are subsumed into the new development immediately the rest of the land is cleared and you loose all countryside benefits associated with the hamlet.

A village or small town acts as a local centre and trade hub for the wider community – It provides a market were the local thorps and hamlets can sell their good, and acts as a collecting point for bulk goods sold onto larger towns or abroad. The effect is most noticeable in its own hex, as more and more thorps spring up as the town develops. However, it can also serve as a trade centre for smaller settlements in adjacent hexes as well.

The population starts out at about 200 people (in the hex) and increases by 50 for every plot that is developed.

Large Town / City

This is a regional hub for you nation, often on a major trade route that serves as the capital city for a region or country. Many small nations just have one city serving the area, although larger, or more sophisticated, nations often have one per region.

A city hex is chocked full of farms and fields – and these outlaying settlements make up a large part of the population. In Kingdom building terms Large Towns and Cities always have two or more districts and follow the same guidance for population levels as smaller towns or villages.

Populations start at 2000 people in the hex and just go up …

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