One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
Greyhawk is a world defined mainly by its gritty politics. Almost everyone knows of the Great Kingdom, and its expansionist tendancies, and of Keoland and its relative passivity.
However, as a setting, the world is fairly undefined. In an attempt to define a fairly small set of it, we want to quantify the architecture of this particular area.
From what I can find, on CF! and other sources, more has been written on the architecture of the ancient suel than for all the Nations of the Flaness.
This said, I think the current architecture in Gran March would be developing a new style. Until this time in GM history, they have been militant and focused on their duty. But as their success grows, they will be adding more ornate style and spending more money on monuments to the fallen. Every castle will have a parade ground and a ballroom. Every citizen has a dress uniform and a sash of medals.
For the average citizen, though, the home is a defensible place in a dangerous world. There is only 5 citizens per square mile, giving the average family 640 acres. Well, this is unreasonable, as the average family cannot support this much land.
However, those that do, i think live in a two story stone or brick home, with a manger downstairs, and the family living upstairs. The roof over the manger is used during summer months as extra space, and as defensive positions during attack.
PSmedger has mentioned assigning project space to us, where we can post maps, etc. I have some drawings of a town, of a home and of a castle, and will ahve those posted soom.
So, I think architecture is very utilitarian for the history of GM, but now, it is a changing. All feedback is appreicated.
I tend to agree with your assumptions about the architecture in GM. Especially around Hookhill, quarries for this type of construction would be plentiful and cheap.
However, areas in the west (Orlane, Hochoch, et. al.) would have more wood available than stone. While an argument for all-wood structures could be made, I think the style would reflect the trends set in the capital. Therefore, I think a mix of wood (readily available) and stone (like the "city folk" have) could be seen as one got closer to the Dim Forest.
Now I realize that this is not the greatest support for this concept, but the art in N1 (page 4) would suggest such construction. A stone base, maybe two feet high, supporting a wooden structure. With the proximity of the Rushmoors, and the difficulty in moving heavy loads through this terrain, limiting the amount of stone in construction would be most cost effective.
Stone as a base to build a wooden structure upon also makes good structural sense. Stone is less susceptible to insect infestation, water damage, and is typically more stable than an unsupported wooden frame. Since the Rushmoors are close, I would imagine that flooding is a danger, and insects of all kinds come from the swamps and the woods. The ground is probably softer than that in the eastern GM, so a firm base would be desirable.
Just my thoughts, from a non-construction non-engineer perspective. _________________ There is no problem that cannot be resolved with the application of more firepower.
Hello Firepower, and thanks. Your comments are greatly appreciated, and I hope you share more with us. I like your thoughts on the architecture, and we want to come up with a general description for each barony (the general public hasnt seen Yabusamas maps yet but they are fantastic!), as well as some art of "typical," homes. In the Orlane area (the Province there is Hethiye btw) there wouldnt be agreat deal of stone, but they would utilize every rock they found due to the dangerous nature of the area. Also, they would probably use bricks as the plentiful wood would allow for firing.
Hmm, hadn't thought about brick. With soft earth/clay plentiful, brick would probably make the little available stone "stretch" to sort of fill in the gaps.
Which brings about the class issue. Near the woods/swamp, I think wood would be "lower class", brick "middle", and stone "upper". The amount of brick or stone in a structure would be an immediate indicator of the builder's wealth or influence. Government buildings (in the slightly Lawful 'March) would be stone, or at least brick; defense is more important than appearance.
In the middle lands, probably only a hex or two wide, stone and wood would probably be equally mixed. Brick would not be very common, and may even be used as an accent. Class lines would blur, from a construction standpoint, though I imagine stone (and maybe brick) would still be an indicator of wealth for the most part, as stone is heavier and therefore more costly to transport.
In the higher lands, and the capital, stone would be the norm. Brick would be slightly more expensive, and therefore could be seen in the middle class structures more frequently. Wood would indicate wealth, though the pragmatic people of GM would probably still use brick or stone as a base with wood as accents; the more the richer. Wood could also be carved, painted, or otherwise worked as a display of wealth.
In all cases, I envision high-peaked roofs for the buildings. This probably originated with defense in mind, but I can see the entire populace adopting this style for other additional reasons. GM sees four seasons, so builders would want to ensure rain/snow did not collapse roofs. Roofing would probably be fired ceramic of some sort, again biased by defensive needs and climate. Just say "no" to thatch roofs!
Assuming a high-peak, the buildings would tend to be thin. The higher the peak, the thinner the building, though anything less than about a 60-degree angle at the peak begins to get ridiculous. I'd guess about a 90-degree peak would be the norm, making for a 45-degree incline; not much is going to cling to that.
Glass windows would be popular where brick is most common, as the fires that bake brick could also make glass. Windows would probably be tall and thin, reflecting both the roof and the defensive similarity of an arrow slit. Wood shutters would be a cheaper alternative to (or addition to) glass everywhere but the higher lands. Cloth awnings outside the window would be the cheap option in the hills, usually with a thick cloth curtain anchored above and below the window on the inside.
Streets everywhere would be dirt, but the major cities would probably have brick on the major thoroughfares and in the wealthiest neighborhoods. Less wear and tear on the horses and all...
Speaking of horses, anyone who could afford a horse would make certain that there was a bit of yard on their property for the horse to roam on. The way the GM people view their horses, keeping them in a stable most of the time would be... wrong. So there would be a bit of space around homes of the middle- and upper-class, even in cities. Apartment-style dwellings would be unthinkable to horse owners.
Whew, enough for tonight. Hopefully I'm not totally off-base here... _________________ There is no problem that cannot be resolved with the application of more firepower.
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