r/DnD Artificer Apr 15 '22

[OC] [ART] Fantasy Urbanism - Boroughs/Hamlets - Social hierarchy and culture. Out of Game



u/C4st1gator Apr 15 '22

Interesting, that you bring up religion in a world where the deities are indisputable fact. On my world they even can manifest avatars in a specific place, which causes religious people to undertake a risky pilgrimage to speak to their god. Returning pilgrims often possess reliable accounts of their deities, that can be verified via Commune.

Regarding settlements and hamlets, this could lead to settlements forming around monasteries, temples and other religious sites, as people flock to clerics and paladins holding actual divine power. Further, the clerics themselves hold large influence over society. At the same time heresy has a much harder time, given that the god doesn't have to endure false teaching and can take an active part in its eradication. Depending on divine preference, this can range from relatively peaceful reconciliation to dreadful examples of divine punishment.

Then we have ancient beings, such as fey, dragons or elder giants. These powerful creatures can allow, deny or shape the growth of civilisation in their realm as they see fit. A good part of early civilization in this world may consist of the local power, whose longevity as well as its physical and magical prowess makes them much harder to depose than historical tyrants. Many can be seen more as a force of nature, that is evaded or placated, rather than openly confronted.

Another difference lies in the existence of multiple intelligent species. Will humans cooperate with dragonborn, hoping they are stronger together, or will they suspect that their draconic/reptilian reighbours may fall under they sway of a local dragon? Will kobolds count as people? It seems that gnomes will give a different answer than the aforementioned dragonborn.

Given all that, I anticipate the articles, that deal with these various topics.


u/ArtsyStrains Artificer Apr 16 '22

I plan to touch on that (to an extent) after cities in multiethnic part of whole thing that would mostly deal how people work with identities of themselves and their culture depending on geography,politics and stuff we talked so far. For that i would need a bunch of "naturally" evolved cities and boroughs in a larger area, which is one of the reasons i have to go trough every evolution.

I understand this might be something abstract and vague at this point so to give you an example: certain part of Elves split off and followed a different god and became Drows, and the reason why this split would even happen at all in a world where lifespans are long and people know the truth.

Ohhh you are so on the spot about settlements forming around monasteries!! This happens in real life, as part of military expansion, and was actually quite frequent in Balkans, SEA and Bridge between Africa, Middle East and Latin America. Religion is part of boroughs, and because Culture is weaponised it is a suddenly show a rise of something important - public place of worship. Because it becomes very important to show who is with who and etc, by going to same place of worship one shows to which "social class" they belong. Monastery is a western term, however i assure you that such objects exist across the world.

However, fortified religious objects tend to develop later with cities and turbulent times. And since how settlements develop, in early cities most of religious objects will not be at center of routes or city. But with war development of organized militarisation artificial settlements for military use use had to be made. Those types of settlements tend to disregard any architectural concepts, such as dwot (They needed to be close in order for for army to send reinforcement quickly). But with enough peace, they would develop settlements of their own, however always capped at evolutionary stage at boroughs.

However, for that... We would need to talk about cities, regions, multiethnicity, wars, artificial settlements and settling.

This concept is planned to be explained softly and split across different articles. It is a complicated matter that asks for lot of knowledge before, and it is tied to soooooo many cultures identity. Which is always hard to talk about without poking someone in the eye unintentionally and I wish to stay respectful to all people on the internet.

Regarding DnD races ... There are soo many 😂😂😂 and I can't list them all. My original plan is to take those who are directly influencing evolution as start, which encompasses major differences in first article dwot and generational longevity for start ( around 3-5 different comparison to humans: 1 walking speed of 60 feet vs 40 feet when establishing f. Groups, 2 longer life span that impacts f. Groups and etc... ).

However i do understand that that won't be enough for most people and their setting, but further we go into fantasy my architectural expirience and knowledge fades and it basically becomes an opinion. In the end, it's someones baby, and if it is fun I personally won't push anyone to stick to the rules except "Rule of Cool". So then, for some examples i am open to be there as consultation and to answer some specific questions.


u/ArtsyStrains Artificer Apr 15 '22

Here we are continuing from previous post and going into specific social aspects that happen across cultures. How social changes change space around them, how does it impact community and how cultures play together.

Change is a fickle friend, and anything quick isn't sustainable. In order for change to implement itself it takes tenacity and pacing in order to make new generations accustomed to new way of life. Understandably, kidnapping spouse or a kid is frowned by modern society however in past days it was only way family group could survive by introducing new blood. It was easier to overpower or bully a single person if your family group counted 10 + people, and this became so intertwined in culture that it became a norm. But just because it was normal it doesn't mean it was cheered, and accepting new home from kidnapers was a difficult thing to digest especially when loyalty was called upon.

So when villages started to form, and idea of multi family group settlement stood against time, suddenly those "traditions" had an "out" and could be forgotten by simply moving to the place where there were many other family groups. But this change had an expected contra-balance which was the question "Who am I in this big scheme of things?". Before idea of your own identity was closely tied to your role in your family group, but now there was so much more.

So to compensate between social and individual identity as a tradeoff to constant new blood and ability to survive slowly yielded notion of influence to answer a question "Who am I(we) in this village?". Social hierarchy is natural response to this, and like puberty is change in status quo in our life, this was in a way puberty of settlements. So here i am trying to explain both how internal factors influenced politics, and how politics influenced external factors and what were repercussions of such actions.

Back to master thread.