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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7426 Posts

Posted - 22 Jul 2013 :  19:11:22  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Bear this in mind, essentially the Mulhorandi war is for another Pantheon and principally being driven by that Pantheon's god of war. Many followers of the Red Knight might just see aiding the expansion of that pantheon's power (especially that of a war god that is not Tempus) as a wrong strategic move. As a result, while they may not like the Tiamatans... and may use them as fodder in their strategies... they may find aiding the side of Unther and Threskel as the better strategic move for their god's gaining of a foothold in the region.

This is Tempus' view, in my campaign. The more politically sophisticated Red Knight, on the other hand, takes a longer view that sees the Mulhorandi conquest of Unther as accelerating the emergence of the Mulhorandi onto a larger world stage and the integration of Faerunian and Mulhorandi worlds.

It is the view of the more far-sighted of her priests that once Mulhorand controls Unther, the isolationism that has kept the Mulhorandi pantheon seperate from the Faerunian one will eventually end. And when it does, the pantheons must inevitable merge. Not this generation, perhaps, but within the next century.

And the Red Knight believes that once that happens, Tempus will be triumphant over the foreign god in any clash over the portfolio of war, as his worshipper base dwarfs the Mulhorandi nation, let alone merely the Anhur worshippers there. And in that great battle of war gods, she will be Tempus' general.

Who knows, after the war, perhaps Anhur will accept a position under Tempus as a god of heroic champions, to complement her own status as the god of strategists and generals? And perhaps having fought on opposite sides in such a grand war might be just the sort of courtship gods of war ought to have...

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Note, they may also seek to undermine the power of the Banites in the region as well... for instance, sending intelligence that maneuvers them into situations that they can resolve, but at great expense... seizing Banite supplies right after a major victory and using them for their own troops while making it politically inopportune for the Banites to complain (or framing the loss on the enemy by routing the enemy into the caravan's path and then coming in at the end to rescue what's left of the wagon drivers).


If and when Free Unther forces start to have success against the Mulhorandi, this sort of maneuevering for post-war position will hobble their war effort, naturally.

I imagine that Tiamatans, Banites and Dragon Cultists will be rather more serious offenders than Tempurans, if only because they have more experience of vicious political in-fighting. Not to mention all the former priests and nobles of Gilgeam's regime, the survivors of which are mostly past masters of self-preservation and advancement through treacherous acts hidden behind fulsome public support.



Please bear in mind, I'm kind of playing devil's advocate here. So, the idea you have that Tempus' worshippers will react one way and the red knight's followers will react a different way... its an interesting and believable viewpoint. However, while I see Tempus' clergy reacting the way you described, I don't see the Red Knight's followers reacting ONLY in the way you describe. Yes, they are an inherently lawful church, BUT they are strategists, and that sometimes implies not betting everything on one horse. So, they may have a directive that one group of the red knight's followers are to interject themselves amongst the Mulhorandi, to learn about their forces, how they work, where their supply trains are, etc.... Then, they stick another contingent of red knights working with the Untherites, ostensibly promoting the Faerunian pantheon against foreign pantheon encroachment.... but really their purpose is to weed out those Untherite supporters who will be a problem. They don't care if the Untherites are winning or losing, so long as they're seen to be putting up "a good fight".

Now, granted, size wise, this faction of red knight followers would be small. They wouldn't drive the war far in any given direction, but perhaps they want to put on a good front of comradery and then let their allies skewer themselves. Perhaps they even do this by maintaining contact with those red knights who serve the Mulhorandi in secret, and thus setup both sides on occasion.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Lord Bane
Senior Scribe

Germany
479 Posts

Posted - 22 Jul 2013 :  20:30:44  Show Profile Send Lord Bane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Actually Red Knight followers on Mulhorands side is not so far off. The Red Knight is stated as a faith in Mulhorand and they mostlikely have had a hand in the success of Mulhorand conquering Unther.

The driving force in the multiverse is evil, for it forces good to act.
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 23 Jul 2013 :  00:55:29  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Bane

Actually Red Knight followers on Mulhorands side is not so far off. The Red Knight is stated as a faith in Mulhorand and they mostlikely have had a hand in the success of Mulhorand conquering Unther.


Kendera Steeldice and her Gold Swords are canon, not my invention. Clearly, the Red Knight has some interest in the Mulhorandi side of the struggle, even if that is on the behalf of foreign gods.

My explanation above is the most plausible, in my view, reason for the Red Knight to aid Anhur in a war will certainly see that deity expand his worshipper base considerably.

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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2013 :  07:15:03  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Please bear in mind, I'm kind of playing devil's advocate here. So, the idea you have that Tempus' worshippers will react one way and the red knight's followers will react a different way... its an interesting and believable viewpoint. However, while I see Tempus' clergy reacting the way you described, I don't see the Red Knight's followers reacting ONLY in the way you describe. Yes, they are an inherently lawful church, BUT they are strategists, and that sometimes implies not betting everything on one horse. So, they may have a directive that one group of the red knight's followers are to interject themselves amongst the Mulhorandi, to learn about their forces, how they work, where their supply trains are, etc.... Then, they stick another contingent of red knights working with the Untherites, ostensibly promoting the Faerunian pantheon against foreign pantheon encroachment.... but really their purpose is to weed out those Untherite supporters who will be a problem. They don't care if the Untherites are winning or losing, so long as they're seen to be putting up "a good fight".

Now, granted, size wise, this faction of red knight followers would be small.

I don't want to sound like I think it's impossible. Indeed, I noted that my PCs are explicitly trying to entice knights, champions, priests and lay worshippers of the Red Knight to come to Unther and aid their war effort. They'll have some success with that, of course.

But the Red Fellowship just isn't very numerous or powerful, compared to the churches of Greater Gods with wide popular support. And the Citadel of Strategic Militancy on the Sword Coast and Tethyr, for that matter, both centers of the new faith, are pretty far away.

Added to which, most of worshippers the Red Knight has in eastern Faerun are already seeking their fortune in Kourmira, where Hubadai Khahan has been encouring them to set up temples, military academies and training facilities for almost ten years now.

How many other assets than the Gold Swords of Mulhorand is the Red Knight likely to have in the area? Considering that most of the 'church' is simply shrines inside temples to Tempus?

I'd think it would make more sense to have some of the Red Fellowship serve in the mercenary companies which come to Unther under Tempus' banners. That way, most of the military force can come from the far-richer and far-larger church of Tempus and the Red Fellowship can provide strategic assistance, which is how the two clergies usually cooperate.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

They wouldn't drive the war far in any given direction, but perhaps they want to put on a good front of comradery and then let their allies skewer themselves. Perhaps they even do this by maintaining contact with those red knights who serve the Mulhorandi in secret, and thus setup both sides on occasion.


I view this as being very far from the personalities and codes of honour of typical Red Knight worshippers. After all, most people who gravitate toward the service of a god to so because they find a philosophical correspendance with the doctrine and mythology of the deity. And the Red Knight definitely attracts people with strong ideas about military conduct, chain of command, honour, allegiances and the value of one's given word.

Besides, any potential benefit from such treachery would probably be outweighed by the negative repercussions Realmswide if it became known than the Red Fellowship was prone to betraying the secrets and stratagems of their supposed allies, for purposes of their own. They would never be trusted as advisors again, which would go against their very raison d' etre.

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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 25 Jul 2013 :  10:32:18  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The discussion in this scroll has been most helpful and interesting.

Has anyone been struck by inspiration for NPCs?

People who can bring enough power to Shudu-Ab's* army that she'd need to consult them in councils of war.

'Enough power' would be around 400-1,000 light to medium infantry troops with a modicum of discipline and fighting experience; which would translate into maybe 200 organised heavy infantry or elite scouts, 100 heavy cavalry, three to four pirate rakers, one true warship, several mages and apprentices or one mage of sufficient power.

Bandit leaders or pirate leaders who support the Cult of the Dragon, Bane or Tiamat, for example. Foreign mercenaries hired by one of those. Foreign allies of one of those.

Does anyone have ideas for names, personality, history, goals, rivalries, allies?

*Or, you know, to the Northern Wizards, the former Gilgeamites, the Gray Ghosts or other factions. While I need to introduce the sub-leaders of the army of Shudu-Ab earlier in my game than I need to detail every smaller leader of the other factions, I'll eventually need to do them all.

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Edited by - Icelander on 25 Jul 2013 10:34:16
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Lord Bane
Senior Scribe

Germany
479 Posts

Posted - 25 Jul 2013 :  12:15:37  Show Profile Send Lord Bane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some ideas for "leaders".

Chorm and Dilos Hephon, oprhan twins hailing from Ormath in the Shining Plains. Oprhaned during one of Ormaths many violent disputes with neighbours they were taken in by an elderly mercenary who decided to spent his final days in Ormath and taught them the ways of the sword. Upon reaching adulthood they set out and encountered a cleric of Beshaba who hired them as bodyguards. During their time serving the priest of the Lady of Doom they were slowly turned against each other which resulted in a fallout that left the cleric dead and Dilos with one ear missing while his brother got away unharmed.
From this incident Dilos holds a deep hatred for his twin and converted to the faith of Hoar, seeking revenge for what his brother did to him yet recent encounters with banite clergy in Mourktar has him pondering if the Black Hand may not be a better choice to see his twin meet his end. Due to his lost ear he shies away from crowds and mostly keeps to himself. Nonetheless he managed to gather a small band of mercenaries, named The Grinning Lions,numbering roughly 50 swords, displaying a Lion baring it´s teeth. They are employed by Mourktar to guard supply lines and do small raids into the rear of the enemy.
Chorm, after the fallout with his brother went into Mulhorand where he rose to the position of a mercenary captain in a thriving company of 200 men and women hailing from Skuld, naming themselves the Rays of Skuld, carrying their symbol, the emblem of Mulhorand surrounded by golden rays. He converted to the faith of Anhur and immersed himself in the culture of Mulhorand. His dispute with his brother, which has left the beshaban priest dead, caused the ire of it´s church which now seeks to bring them Doom of their Lady upon Chorm. Having survived an assassination attempt already, Chorm got paranoid and questions each and everyons motivations, often letting men of his company spy on each other. Despite this slowly increasing climate of mistrust within the Rays of Skuld, they were hired to protect the supply route leading from Shussel to the front up north.

The driving force in the multiverse is evil, for it forces good to act.
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 25 Jul 2013 :  13:53:00  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good, good. I had already detailed the mercenaries in the service of Mulhorand, but there's no reason such a small group can't be added to it. After all, they are rich and they are suffering reverses. Why not hire more mercenaries?

To make this useful to my campaign, though, is there any particular reason why the Grinning Lions would be important enough to Shudu-Ab to include Dilos Hephon in her councils of war as she hurries down the River of Metals to the relief of Sadamzar? She's commanding roughly 7,000 troops, including contingents from her own Tiamatans, from the retinues of nobles of fallen Unther, from the Cult of the Dragon*, from bandits and mercenaries in the service of Mourktar (but not official Mourktari troops) and anyone else who might rally to her banners.

I do want to reflect the locality and demographics in the make-up of leaders and their troops. That means that 50-80% of the people fighting for Untheri factions will be from greather Unther, i.e. Unther proper, Chessenta and Threskel; with most of the rest being from other neighbouring lands, such as Thay, the Wizard Reach, the Shaar and Chondath; with other possibilities being the Endless Wastes (particularly the mountainous region between Khazari, Semphar and Ulgarth), the Shining South, the Vilhon Reach, the Lake of Steam and suchlike.

While mercenaries do travel extreme distances sometimes, such a situation does leave us with the task of explaining why they spent several years travelling and bypassed a few promising wars on the way to report for this duty. And an exotic foreigner is not exotic unless there are two or three locals for every foreigner. So while I'm not averse to including mercenaries from far off, note that I have to include a few local NPCs for every one who comes from abroad.

*Including some from the Great Bone Wyrm faction, some other Banites, the Undying Queen faction and some pirates and bandits who don't know much about the underlying religious factions.

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Edited by - Icelander on 25 Jul 2013 13:54:30
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Lord Bane
Senior Scribe

Germany
479 Posts

Posted - 25 Jul 2013 :  14:42:44  Show Profile Send Lord Bane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It wouldn´t be hard to have the Grinning Lions be important to her. Simply make it that the Rays of Skuld were ordered to engage the enemy near Sadamzar due to some needed manpower being missed in that area (i would assume the fight for Sadamzar or any settlement is a costly one for both sides) and they managed to capture an influential noble who has much sway in the area and could, granted the cards are played right be very favorable to the rescuers. She might have heard that the leader of the guarding force, Chorm is the twin brother of Dilos and she can assume that Dilos may know his brothers strategy and wants to use him as a key in gaining the nobles favor which in return could increase her own power in the struggles to come and in disputes with her allies. That way Dilos could be part of the war council temporarily and you can have him meet an end when and how ever you wish.

For "local" ones:

Garhipes Menos, an aging man with bald head and a graying black beard, born and raised in Messemprar was of the clergy of Gilgeam and only managed to avoid the riots upon his gods death due to the fact that he was overseas in Sembia to broker deals with some sembian merchants for the clergy of Gilgeam back home. Upon his return he was struck with shock on what had occured and quickly shed his colours and went north into hiding. Being a wellspoken charmer it wasn´t long until he caught the eyes and ears of a untheri nobleman at the border to Threskel who took a liking in men and made Garhipes his lover. The former priest of Gilgeam was quick to use this new situation to make the noble answer to his every whim and he secretly gathered other former priests of Gilgeam in higher places near him in the region. Before Mulhorand invaded he had hoped to secretly stage a coup and errect a small state between Threskel and Unther, seceeding from it´s crumbling remains. With Mulhorand making the moves before him though, he was quick to pledge the clergy groupes loyalty to the cause of defending Unther and rallying former faithfull still loyal to the old regime creating a small army, numbering roughly 1,000, calling them Heirs of Unther and threw his weight with the alliance against Mulhorand. That does not mean he is completely loyal to them though, he hopes once Mulhorand is defeated, the alliance is too weak to stop him from creating his own state.

The driving force in the multiverse is evil, for it forces good to act.
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 26 Jul 2013 :  21:33:29  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Garhipes Menos sounds fine, but why isn't his noble lover the official commander? Not a problem, of course, I'll just come up with a name and description of him and have them be co-commanders. Because clerics of Gilgeam were all of noble blood anyway, he's a social equal to any frontier noble, most likely.

One thing I've established in my campaign is that Untheri society uses educated slaves for many important jobs, since they are less likely to scheme against you, seeing as they can't qualify for your position should you fall. I've also adopted the real-world practice, common to many societies, of having many of these senior slaves be eunuchs. This prevents them being in a position to have inconvenient children which might cause them to think in terms of dynasties, rather than discharge their duties so as to be too useful for anyone to dispense with.

I'll aim to have several of my Untheri NPCs be former (or current pleasure slaves) as well as slave administrators and bureaucrats, with many of them being eunuchs.

But what I really need for Sunday's game are more bandit leaders and pirates in Shudu-Ab's army.

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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2018 :  17:35:46  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Examples of the kind of thing I'm asking about (though I could always use a little more detail):

Fell Admiral of the Alamber Sizuthros the Despoiler, Scourge of the Wizard Reach, Blade of the Nemesis and Tyrant of Alkoth. Sizuthros is a Tiamat-worshipping pirate admiral who has brought both ships and men to the army commanded by Wyrm Princess Shudu-Ab. Sizuthros is well-dressed, charming, handsome and erudite. The corsairs and ships he brought were well received, but his main contribution to Shudu-Ab's military endeavours so far have been diplomatic, in that he has successfully kept the peace in a highly complex and combustible high command, where everyone from the lords down to the meanest bandits acting as scouts may have blood feuds with one or more factions in Shudu-Ab's army.

Sizuthros has made several fortunes in slave-taking and settlement raiding, which leads his detractors to whisper that he is more unscrupulous merchant than real corsair lord, as no one can remember a time when Sizuthros fought hand to hand against Thayvian knights, the lords of the sahuagin, champions of the Mulhorandi or marines from Aglarondan, Chessentan or Untheri warships.

Other whispers, heard among the Banite, Zhentarim and the wilder bandit elements of Shudu-Ab's army, are that Sizuthros has seduced the Wyrm Princess and thereby ensured a spot as honoured advisor, as more deserving men are shut out of the command tent every night.

---

King of the Servants of Nememis, Rhesos Cerzula Bloodscalp. A gigantic (7’, 300 lbs.) Threskeli tribesman with ragged black hair and a nose broken on many occasions. Continually leers at the world. A violent bully, rapist and ravager whose fearlessness, ferocity, tenacity and mastery of the rhomphaia (cleaver-like polearm) are among this few virtues.

Cerzula claims descent from Rhesos ('King') Basomir, a hero of the rebellion against Unther. His grandfather, the old king’s namesake, was a respected chieftain whose word held say far outside his own tribe. Cerzula is the third son of Bagrúvas, who ruled as chief over one of four related tribes. Cerzula killed two of his brothers, Rhunzula and Khadzula, to claim rulership over their tribelets. The eldest brother, Angrúvas, left Threskel to adventure many years ago and eventually become a Serpent Guard in the service of Tiamat. Angrúvas is now a Knight of the Five-Thorned Rose and high in the councils of Shudu-Ab. Cerzula believed his older brother Angrúvas to be dead until this spring, when they saw each other at the camp of Shudu-Ab's army.

The Servants of Nemesis who follow Cerzula are a band of Threskeli outcasts, coming from at least four different tribes, whose devotion to Tiamat is less sincere than their love of looting, raping and burning. There is some one thousand of them, a hundred ‘nobles’ and their retinues, who fight as more-or-less disciplined medium infantry, three hundred skilled irregular light infantry and five hundred undisciplined rabble of dubious military value. Only the three hundred best have come to fight for Shudu-Ab, but if she can provide the logistics, Cerzula will be happy to call for more warriors.

---

Malek of the Lords of Chaos Arkha mar Sarduri (‘son of Sarduri’).
Short and stocky man with a thick black beard and hair, decorated most garishly with gold and copper trinkets. Has yellowish deep set eyes that gaze malevolently on the world. Scheming, silent man who nurses resentments instead of speaking out about them and takes his revenge in the night. Carries a wicked sickle-axe and is also a master of curved knives.

Arkha's Lords of Chaos are men from the Smoking Mountains and neighbouring communities, primarily Dalath, who have been bandits since before the fall of Gilgeam. He brings a hundred of them with him to meet Shudu-Ab at the Methmere, with the older men fighting as disciplined medium infantry and the younger being irregular light infantry.

---

Malkha of the Abzumu Obodas bar Aqhat.
A man who is in no way different from any ordinary peasant in appearance, being half-bald, rather short and slight and with badly groomed brownish-black beard that is hacked off at the chin. Only a careful observer notes that Obodas is stringy and tough in build, and that he walks with perfect balance and self-assurance. Obodas is a dangerous assassin, with knife, garrotte or poison.

The Abzumu (men of Tiamat’s freshwater consort, men who take) are a tribe of religious dissidents in northern Unther. A hundred of them answered Shudu-Ab’s call, under their most respected warleader, Obodas. They are divided about equally into successful and disciplined elites and more modestly equipped scouts.

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Edited by - Icelander on 31 Jul 2018 22:39:11
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cpthero2
Senior Scribe

USA
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Posted - 21 Sep 2018 :  02:04:05  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good afternoon Senior Scribe Aldrick,

I was elated to take note of your post regarding economics analysis in the Realms!

I am currently about 40% through my studies in a Doctorate of Applied Economics in Cluster Development. I'd absolutely love to collaborate with you if you are still interested in such material? Though there are clearly tools that are used and were developed in modern times, within the confines of systems of government and economies that are frankly anathema to what it takes to establish a cluster, I certainly know economics. I've done some research in my undergrad as well as in my MBA program regarding high Germanic, Manorial economics of the 15th century that I feel is quite relevant to what most people conveniently use in their campaigns.

Please do message me on the site if you'd like to discuss further.

I realize this is (5) years later, but in the off chance you've yet to work on this, I'm expressing interest!

Best regards,



quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

I actually planned to make a post about how trade and economics likely work in the Realms, so I want to eventually address everything in your response in future posts.

However, I want to first address one of the main points about population. I would point out that the population numbers that I've given are MUCH higher than stated in the 3E FRCS.

For example, Unther has a population of 4,265,840 according to the 3E FRCS. I've given Unther a population of 12,960,000.

Mulhorand has a population of 5,339,520 in canon, and I've given them a population of 11,664,000.

Chessenta has a population of 3,386,880 in canon, and I've given them a population of 6,912,000.

Thay has a population of 4,924,800 in canon, and I've given them a population of 20,160,000.

Imagine that - Thay, despite it's intense use of magical agriculture - has a population nearly equal to war torn and famine stricken Unther, and a smaller population than Chessenta!

Of course, as I pointed out - the population numbers shifted dramatically between editions without any explanation. It is all based on the D&D formulas being used.

I'm going to write more about magical agriculture later, but if we assume the nations are roughly the size I outlined based on the 3E Map, and we took the population numbers from the 3E FRCS into account - then there would be massive amounts of wilderness in those nations. Keep in mind that in my population estimates I'm assuming that only roughly 33% of the nations are settled. The other 67% is wilderness. If we go by 3E population estimates, and assume the measurements are correct - then we're looking at only roughly 10% to 15% of the entire nation as settled. This wouldn't make much sense - arguably, my population estimates are on the lower side of things, and for Unther and Mulhorand I should have gone even higher with population density.

The alternative to fix that is to shrink the size of the countries (meaning the scale of the 3E map is wrong). However, that would make the countries seem unnaturally small. Keep in mind that Unther is (as I measured it based on the 3E Map scale), roughly the size of modern day France. Mulhorand is roughly the size of modern day Spain.

...and arguably speaking, I think the scale of the 3E map is already probably too small. So shrinking it further is something I'd personally avoid. So, we basically have a situation where - if we go by canon numbers - there is an insane amount of wilderness, or alternatively, the population numbers I've given are more realistic.

Once again, I'd point out that the population numbers change arbitrarily with each edition, based on whatever formula they are using - in most cases they shrank even more when 4E came out. (In a few cases - cut by almost half!)

So, personally speaking, I wouldn't be afraid to fiddle around with the population numbers. Arguably speaking, I think the numbers I gave for Mulhorand and Unther are too low - not too high, considering how long those lands have been settled.

The real point of debate is over the size of the cities. In general, more cities are generated than metropolises. I don't think it would necessarily break things to shrink the number of people living in cities by giving some additional population to the metropolises. However, an issue with that is we wouldn't want a huge amount of distance between cities without a legitimate reason. So that involves doing things like measuring distance between the cities on the map, and that could get insanely tedious.

According to what I came up with, Unther has 2 Metropolises, 27 Cities, and 156 Towns. However, canonically speaking Unther only has 7 listed locations - two of which are indeed Metropolises, and some of which are explicitly stated as being small towns or even villages, and I inflated their populations. So there is a lot of settlements that need to be added to Unther to flesh it out properly.

As for the magical agriculture stuff and economics - I'm going to address that later in a separate post.


Robert McDonell
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