I recently mentioned that I've become interested in the Harn setting. This happens to me from time to time, probably because it tickles some part of my medievalist brain. Still, whenever the Harn bug bites I find myself wanting to create my own low fantasy world rather than use Harn wholesale. I think it's largely due to my distaste at the idea of Tolkien's Dwarves and Elves running around my twelfth-century England or France.
Enter The Welsh Piper's Medieval Demographics Online. Erin had pointed me to it when I asked about farmland in the Dark Country. At the time, I was working on a much more High/Dark Fantasy setting; however, it seems like the perfect thing to scratch my current itch.
As an experiment, I decided to make a small island based on the island of Sark. Mine was considerably larger, but it still serves as an acceptable test run. I guesstimated the area, assumed that it would be a rocky and inhospitable island, and punched in the numbers. Here is the result:
The Town contains a little more than 3000 people, and the surrounding farmland (the green hexes) contains some 69 villages. The Keep probably serves to keep some small humanoid tribe that lairs in the heath or the hills from carting off villagers.
I must say that I don't entirely like the look of it yet. I'm beginning to think the "Mystara Style," as Rob Conley termed it, is a poor match for a setting where one must map farmland. There just seems to be something off about the farms covering whole hexagons.
I'm also not entirely sure how a DM whose pressed for time, as I am, would detail 69 villages, but maybe that'll be the subject of another post.