Well, if you didn't already know about it(yeah, right! ), then here's a head's up. The article actually goes into the city of Hardby in some detail. The write-ups on the NPCs are good and the underbelly/political machinations of the city are also well laid out. Overall a very good article, and of exceptional length considering how much page space the Living Greyhawk campaign is usually given. We need more articles like this one!!! The second greatest free city of Rel Astra is screaming for a write-up!
My one criticism is the map of the city, which is minor and often seen with city maps- there simply are not enough buildings on the map to represent the businesses and homes present in a decent sized city. If each of the buildings is viewed as a city block, then the map would be more accurate. Other than this minor oddity, the map looks great!
That sounds REALLY good! Poster-sized maps would be VERY nice. I look forward to future issues.
As to the Hardby map, its roughly 500 buildings would set the population at an average of 10 people per structure, which is a bit high. It more realistically should be about half of that, even considering some people might be living just outside the city walls, but well within the city limits. Don't get me wrong, the map is nicely done. A full page spread would have been better, but sometimes the number of pages for a submission must be a certain length and you have to work with what you've got.
Whatever the reasons the article is very well done, from the atmospheric art of the opening pages to the write-up on the town's history and notable personages. I look forward to more of the same.
Think of the majority of those buildings as more like a townhouse than as a self contained family unit. Not that having ten members of a family living on a single level of a building and in a single room would be that unusual for above average living conditions. Also as you alluded to the homeless and peasants who live in shacks which wouldn't be permanent buildings probably are included in the total population. The buildings are realistically showing lower middle class and up where as a fisherman and the like would live in shacks by the bay.
At least that would be my take, you can't really put those kind of structures on a map without making it look kinda cluttered and ugly.
I also thought the Harby article was very well done and was also impressed by the length of the detail since usually those articles aren't given as much magazine space for whatever reason. I am sooooo glad Greyhawk subjects are at least getting some due.
I actually did like the map. Being a bit of a Medieval society buff of sorts, I know that many cities of this type would often have buildings with 3-4 floors on them. The first floor was usually a business and the remaining floors would house the families as well as some animals! There would be folk in the city whose sole job was to take your livestock outside the city gates for grazing and then return them in the evening if you can believe it.
I for one would love to see many more cities/towns written up with equal detail simply for curiosity sake more than anything else. _________________ Rhineglade the Dreamcaster
Member of the Indigo Order
Emissary of Hyerune
I wish I knew about his about 6 months ago, when my party was messing around in Hardby. Of course, I don't have this particular Dungeon Issue, but I'll put it on my GH list! I ended up going, primarily, from the Slavers supplement, which did give some good info on Hardby, a map, and even some pics. I also used the City of GH boxed set and From the Ashes for surrounding lands.
Anyway, if anyone has it, can you tell me how it compares to the info from those other sources?
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