Friday, July 27, 2012

Dominion Stats -- Arogansa

Arogansa, for all its uniqueness and prestige in Alphatia, fares no better than its neighbors as regards its general demographics.  It remains sparsely populated and mostly rural.  The highest density population clusters along the southern coast and the Thera River, with an island of Alphatian civilization clinging to Avrads in the far north.

Designer's Note: for those who wonder how population is distributed, I do apply an empirical method, described below.

Suburban Areas: First, the highest density population is marked on the map (referred to as "Suburban," shown in purple on the map below.)  Hexes with urban centers including large and small towns are considered suburban.  They get a purple square.  In other words, plenty of hamlets and farms dot the countryside in the immediate vicinity of towns.  Cities are different in that their suburban population spills over into most adjacent hexes, depending on terrain.  Furthermore, city suburbia spreads out one more hex along roads and rivers.

Bluenose Area -- Population Density Key
Settled Areas: Settled areas are keyed next on the map.  Hexes with villages get a red square (no pun intended.)  Second, most hexes adjacent to suburban areas are considered settled as well, depending on terrain--usually extending one more hex along roads and rivers.  So, for areas such as Bluenose, the settled/suburban area can extend as far as 32 miles from the city center.  One might wonder why then the village of Grimoire has a red square on the road to the west.  It's actually a settled area extending from the town of Perponaz, two hexes away, off the map's edge.

Borderland: This is "your basic" D&D game standard.  Some farms and hamlets lie here and there, but lots of space remains for random encounters and some convenient lawlessness.  Borderland spaces display blue squares.  Hexes adjacent to settled areas are considered borderland, extending one more space along roads and rivers, depending on terrain.  Some common sense is useful here in filling out small pockets of land within a patchwork of borderland hexes.  In Arogansa, armies of workers service the beaches--therefore, some population should be expected among the sand dunes.

Exceptions: For the sake of simplicity, hexes with forest, swamp, marsh, broken lands, desert (etc.) do not qualify as any of the above.  This varies with the predominant race. Naturally, orcs and such would have no problem with badlands and broken terrain.  Elves would do just fine with woodlands, while dwarves would be perfectly able to settle mountains--etc.  It's a matter of common sense.  In the case of Arogansa, private estates are ultra-select, gated communities.  For the most part, nobody lives there other than staff serving the guests, their families, and the visitors themselves.  So, in effect estates are considered wilderness from a demographic point of view.  The same can be said of the royal domain, just north of Bluenose.  This is another highly restricted area.  Castles by themselves may yield a settled hex.  Isolated forts and towers may yield borderland hexes.  The presence of towns and cities on a national border would inevitably result in higher population on the opposite side, as is the case for Errolyn in Theranderol.

Wilderness: All hexes not falling within the above categories are therefore "wilderness," keyed in yellow.  Population level there is lowest, if any.  Some areas bear no population at all, and this varies with each setting.  For example, Arogansa's tar pits and the Great Gouge have no population (besides possible monsters.)  Lake and sea hexes bear no population (unless aquatic communities that are relevant to and part of the realm exist below the surface.)  Again, it's  a matter of common sense.  Fractions of hexes along coastlines and national borders are counted "approximately."  Inner seas and lakes are included as part of the realm's surface (area in sq. miles) but not sea hexes.

Urban Areas:  their population figures, listed separately, come in addition to basic hex population.  In particular with towns, a suburban hex can bear as much population as the town itself, if not many times as much.  Surburban hexes are critical to a realm's demography and economy, so are large towns and cities.  Click HERE to access the complete population density map.

Back to Arogansa

Arogansa's economy is fairly straightforward.  Realm revenues are well spread out, without requiring heavy taxation of the population--a meager consolation for the working class.  As can be expected, a fair portion of revenues derive from trade, mining, port duties, and road tolls.  This makes for a fairly balanced economy.  Trade includes earnings from the "tourism" industry.  Bread isn't cheap, but nowhere near as expensive as in Vertiloch or Stonewall.  Farming in Arogansa is good enough to export a fair portion of grain and other produce.  Much of this would be shipped up the Thera River, via Theranderol.  Although Greenspur or Randel haven't been detailed yet, odds are their agriculture is sufficient not to require imports.

Naturally, this is a gross over-simplification of reality.  To be correct each of Arogansa's dominions ought to have their own economies calculated separately, each paying a 20% tribute to the crown.  Likewise, military forces would be divided according to each dominion's troop contribution (and therefore with separate chains of command.)  So, when dealing with a military garrison, one must always wonder who really commands it--an officer loyal to the king or one in the pay of another wizard aristocrat?  Is this aristocrat a supporter of the king or an unruly rival?  Are troops of mixed origins or from the same dominion?  The amount of "cash" the king actually enjoys would be much lower for the same reason.  King Matterdy "only" relies on royal tribute and what his own dominion generates, up north.

Land forces in general are located at critical points of Arogansa.  A little over 2,000 troops garrison Avrads in the north, and about as many hold Charmydon at the mouth of the Thera River.  A fair portion of Arogansian forces are spread out among two major castles (1,000 each) and six forts (500 each.)  Many of the latter guard the northern marches along the Great Gouge.  Much of what remains enforces law and local authorities in villages, towns, cities, the estates, and near the towers.  Mines have their own garrisons.  This infers that 500 Merlionese troops control the capital city, while 200 household Yalastriani guards defend the (heavily-fortified) royal palace, just outside Bluenose.  Conveniently (for the monarchy) the bulk of Arogansa's army is nowhere near Bluenose.  This is just another indication of what local politics would be like.

The military apparatus features a number of unusual troops.  Illusionists are on hand (AD&D-style) to cause phantasmal mischief on a battlefield.  Pegataurs concern themselves with aerial observation and rapid deployment.  Wooddrakes provide necessary recon and spying services, sometimes outside Arogansa's borders.  On a more somber level, a few velyas are available, essentially for naval commando-style missions.  

Arogansa's sea forces include a fair proportion of skyships and submarines.  Part of the navy is based in Avrads, while the remainder patrol the bay south of the Thera's estuary and the Bluenose Beach coastline.  Skyships are more likely to patrol the Arogansa Range, its mines, and some of the realm's potential trouble spots, including The Great Gouge, the Tar Pits, and the Blinkwoods.  As regards the latter, it is fortunate that its denizens conduct few forays out of the forest, which explains the lack of surrounding defensive works.  Aerial patrols in that area, either by Pegataur squads or skyships, are occasional and unpredictable.

Rather than detailing the forces posted in Bluenose, stats below depict the much larger and significant garrison in Avrads.  It is nearly identical to the one guarding Charmydon, on the opposite side of the country.  Both of these are "mixed," in that they include troops from different dominions for obvious political reasons. 

Figures below indicate that average Arogansian ships have 108 HP.  The proportion of skyships in naval forces is 6 out of 28 ships (or about 21%) and 5 subs out of 28 (or 18%.)  Ten ships operate from Avrads.  This implies two skyships and two slightly smaller subs are part of that fleet, leaving the remaining six as surface vessels. 



  1. Hi Bruce, can you please clarify taxation of the populace that live within dominions and those that don't. From the Companion Set and from what you have said in this article, I thought the the populace was only taxed once with the national treasury being paid salt tax by dominions and direct tax from non-dominion populace. But in Gaz3 you were talking about the Free Farmers not wanting to be part of a dominion because it would double their taxes, ie they would have to pay tax to the local lord and the council of princes. Which is correct?

    1. Hi Mike

      Normally, taxes are paid to the immediate lord (not his liege.) So peasants in Merlioness only pay taxes and services to the Duke of Merlioness. The duke is then obligated to pay his dues to the monarchy.

      Historically, things can get more complicated, especially when the clergy gets involved and collects directly from the population, bypassing both local nobility and royalty.

      Any population controlled directly by the crown (family lands, a royal domain if any, and other royal apanages) pay dues and services to the monarchy.

      Does this clarify the issue?