Sunday, April 3, 2011

C is For Castle

When I was a younger man, I enjoyed some of the Eyewitness books, like Castle, that DK Publishing put out. Another one of my favorites was Castle by David Macaulay, along with Pyramid and Cathedral.

Such books wouldn't provide immense depth or detail, but they did have some nice illustrations along with a look at how long it took to raise a castle, and the types of people that were involved not only in the building of the castle, but in its maintenance long after the castle was build.

I throw C for Castle into my mix of urban adventure ideas, not because a castle is a city, although a large one may have enough staff and people visiting it to make it a suburb of its own, but because castles, designed for defense in and of themselves, would often have people start creating their own dwellings next to and around the castle. Walls could be then put up around their 'old town' sections and leave some of the newer construction outside the protection until eventually walls would either be build to encompass those sections, or there would be no need for the walls as the land itself was tame.

Many fantasy cities also have their castles named right after them, the most  famous of these probably being Castle Greyhawk, Castle Blackmoor, Castle Wasterdeep and I seem to remember the Castle in the City State of the Invicible Overlord as well.

When looking at a fantasy city, the age and original location of the city may provide you with the details you need to design the castles that might have started the whole thing off as well as a host of people that are needed to run the castle ranging from the kitchen staff and armory, but to the jesters and court nobels as well.