Region planning: "Farmlands"

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worsas
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Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by worsas » Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:18 pm

Here are my initial proposals for the farmland region:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/223 ... claims.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Revised Asset usage:
- Remove blank rocks and add grassrocks and grassy rocks instead.
- Establish layered terrain edges as seen here as main feature of the region.
- Treat the Farmlands as a transition zone towards Haafinheim. For that reaon adding the 01 and 02 pines alongside the classical reach trees.

Container plants: Honey Lily, Taragetis, Red Poppy, Wrothgarian Grape and Apple Tree. Mushrooms only in shady, humid places.
Overall keep it the grassy, fertile area it already is but with far fewer bushes than in the Druadach Highlands.

Landscape changes:
- Change the low, hilly area southwest of Markarth to match the parts southeast and northwest of it. Erect some cliffs along the river bank, equal to those on the Markarth peninsula.
- Remove the eastern cliffsides from the easternmost mesa with the winery on it and make the terrain transition seamlessly towards the southern Haafinheim hills. the same should happen with the eastern cliffsides of the Sundered Hills.

Settlement:
Settled by nords, as it already is. Decrease the amount of farms and fields by roughly 50%. Add defensive palisades to the westernmost farmsteads.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by roerich » Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:42 pm

Agreed. Sounds good to me.

We should have a ropebridge between the two cliffs, across the river.

I can see about making the southern bank southwest of Markarth much more rocky, I'm already progressing there.
Remove the eastern cliffsides from the easternmost mesa with the winery on it and make the terrain transition seamlessly towards the southern Haafinheim hills. the same should happen with the eastern cliffsides of the Sundered Hills.
God yes. This will look great.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by berry » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:04 pm

Sounds like a solid plan to me as well. :)

How about making a small docking site on the vinery's side, before the cliffs? I'm thinking about something along the lines of those small docks operating Ascadian Isles plantations. When we add the ropebridge, it could be used by left side farms as well.

I wouldn't mind seeing a Direnni ruin in the hills of claim 9 as well. I imagine something created from walls and terrace meshes here, possibly even without the interior or just with sole standing tower interiorized.

What about the tavern in the south? Do we still want to make it a TG hideout?

Can we please come up with a name for this region, too? :P Midkarth suits me.

edit: also, let's not forget about downsizing the trees
Last edited by berry on Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by roerich » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:12 pm

berry wrote: I wouldn't mind seeing a Direnni ruin in the hills of claim 9 as well. I imagine something created from walls and terrace meshes here, possibly even without the interior or just with sole standing tower interiorized.
As cool as that would look, I still maintain my point that the eastern Reach has the appropriate amount of Direnni ruins. We can put another first empire tower here though, a really old and primitive one.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by griff » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:34 pm

roerich wrote: We should have a ropebridge between the two cliffs, across the river.

please no bridge of any kind it would look awful and ruin the whole area. let people swim or fly across.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by roerich » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:43 pm

I haven't checked out the area ingame recently, so you're probably right. But it would make a lot of sense to have a bridge right here, connecting the farmlands settlements, and giving the eastern farms quicker access to roads towards Markarth.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by Luxray » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:37 pm

I'm not keen on the bridge either. Let us have some areas where the canyons created by the mesas actually pose a difficulty and make our lands seem bigger, that should be the case.

I'd vote against a Direnni ruin in #9 as there's one just to the northwest alongside the road. A nord tower would make much more sense considering the proximity of Markarth. Also -- wasn't Markarth going to house a Legion-fort? Did we decide where this was to go? I don't think it's planned for the current Markarth-design.
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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by roerich » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:45 pm

I'm not that sold on a bridge either. There should be a road going this way anyway, through the plains area where the rivers will be removed.
Luxray wrote:I'd vote against a Direnni ruin in #9 as there's one just to the northwest alongside the road. A nord tower would make much more sense considering the proximity of Markarth. Also -- wasn't Markarth going to house a Legion-fort? Did we decide where this was to go? I don't think it's planned for the current Markarth-design.
Yeah but we opted against it, as the concept of having Legion forts next to cities is much more suitable to an "occupied" place like Vvardenfell or Morrowind in general. Skyrim isn't occupied, it's a willing contributor and ally to the Empire.

The fort in question has been relocated to north-west of Falkirstad, near the old High Rock border.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by worsas » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:22 pm

How about making a small docking site on the vinery's side, before the cliffs? I'm thinking about something along the lines of those small docks operating Ascadian Isles plantations. When we add the ropebridge, it could be used by left side farms as well.
I would rather not add additional docks in this area. The karthgad- and markarth-docks are not very far. But the river bank could be made nicer and maybe you could have some boats lying around, used by the farmers to travel the river.
What about the tavern in the south? Do we still want to make it a TG hideout?
Maybe use a "farmhouse" for this tavern to stay consistent with the local housing style? The Thieves Guild would make more sense in towns and cities.
The fort in question has been relocated to north-west of Falkirstad, near the old High Rock border.
According to that proposal, it would be very close to Fort Northwatch. I have come to think that it could be sufficient to use the occupied redguard fortress next to Dragonstar as Taurus Hall (only interior needs to be named) and adding Fort Tiber in the south of The Reach, as has been the plan all along. This would give some more unoccupied wilderness space in the area around Falkirstad.
Edit: I changed my mind about the legion fort location proposal. See the location map workshop.

Another small thing I'd like to see addressed: There is currently an awkward rock clumping going on top of the cliffs between the eastern hovels and Karthgad. It is a leftover of a huge amount of rocks added to the ascending clifftop that used to be in this place. It needs to get fixed.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by Yeti » Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:30 am

I agree that the farms should be cut down a bit in number, and made more fortified with palisades. Also, no more Direnni ruins this far east.
berry wrote:What about the tavern in the south? Do we still want to make it a TG hideout?
The tavern can stay - I like having solitary inns in the wilderness. No Thieves Guild, though. Only major towns get guildhalls.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by worsas » Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:27 am

We should definitely keep the flat area north and south of the ferry towards Markarth as it is.

[hsimg=]https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/223 ... 200096.jpg[/hsimg]

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by roerich » Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:50 am

I'd still like to see a single farm in the empty grasslands south of Markarth, on the other side of the river.

It would be visually connecting with the farms on the Markarth peninsula, and giving the impression of a fertile river valley between Markarth and Vorngad. It could have one building burned down, after raids from Vorngad bandits (and an associated "clear the dungeon" quest tasked with finding the bandits).

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by berry » Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:30 pm

I think if we want to add any more farms to this area, that's the only spot suitable for that. I can see a lone farmhouse working very well here, agreed.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by worsas » Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:23 pm

Sure, I have no objections against adding another farm south of the river. I was only referring to the landscape shape, since we were planning to add some height between the farmland mesa and the western end of the region. I just want to suggest keeping this particular area flat as it currently is.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by roerich » Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:46 pm

Sounds good, I agree on that. There will probably be a small elevation in the northwestern end, in order to join with the cliff range west of Markarth, across the river. Obviously without altering the general idea of the landscape.

Also, how about a tiny logger camp on the edge of the Vorngad?

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by worsas » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:06 pm

I would rather not see additional settlements added beyond those farmsteads discussed here. But some treestumps could be added to show logging activity and logpiles around the farmsteads.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by Yeti » Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:15 pm

A logger camp could be portrayed with tents and campfires. No need for interiors or anything that would make it a settlement.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by roerich » Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:23 pm

Just what I was picturing.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by berry » Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:00 pm

Since we are about to start working on this region, I put together a planning document with some thoughts how I visualize it.

I haven't mentioned it in the document, but these signs spineinside was working on would come in really handy here - for meaderies and wineries. Ideally, I'd love at least the major wineries to have a wine item on their own - the picture from a sign would then be used on the label of it.

Enjoy the read and let me know what you think about it. :)

edit: one smaller thing. I'd get rid of the inn on a way from Karthgad to Scamp's winery, and put there another small farm instead, with a little private dock. It doesn't really make sense to have an inn here, given how desolate this area and road is.
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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by roerich » Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:54 pm

Those signs would indeed be appropriate here, and I agree about the tavern. One of the settlements could have a tradehouse where a bed is rentable.

Good document. I'll give more insightful comments later.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by worsas » Tue Jul 26, 2016 6:22 pm

Overall, creating an atmospheric document like this one is a great approach on a region. Thinking about it, if the project had worked like this from the very beginning with documents like this one or the one for the hjaalmarch by Roerich, we would have had more depth and quality earlier on. In the past of the project we used to think in very vague terms, planning and adding ruins from the war of bendr mahk that would never have lasted until today, just to show remnants of a war. Much of that is my fault. A slightly more novel-like approach would have helped to mentally explore the areas beforehand and what could be seen in them.

What are your plans with the western hill in claim 9? Do you want to add it to one of the other regions then?

I don't particularly like the idea of spreading the influence of the bear clan that far. I'd rather keep it as a regional town clan like any other clan. Just how I personally think about them. But I should not be the judging instance about that.

Almost all of the signs from that overview are already contained in data. I have only left out some tavern variants to limit it to 50 signs in total. We already have really many by now and please don't ask me to add in even more.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by berry » Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:23 pm

I'm glad you like it! It's amazing how well conceptualized our Reach is finally. I looked at that region on a map, thought what we know about surrounding areas, and ideas just started to spring up.
worsas wrote:What are your plans with the western hill in claim 9? Do you want to add it to one of the other regions then?
Well, according to Roerich's map, this village used to belong to Hammerfell already. I like it that way, actually - let's say that was one of the settlements burnt down by Jona's troops in her rage, alongside these both villages of my second claim. The region it belongs to, geographically speaking, would be Falkar Foothills, then.
worsas wrote:I don't particularly like the idea of spreading the influence of the bear clan that far. I'd rather keep it as a regional town clan like any other clan. Just how I personally think about them. But I should not be the judging instance about that.
I agree they are but a regional clan, but if there's anybody so arrogant to wear on the boots too big by that much, then it'd be the Bear Clan. Most likely they'd fail, sure, but even if that's not a reasonable thing to do, objectively, then I think it makes sense the Bears would try it. Think how gladly nobles of Isabella's & Ferdinand's kingdom turned towards conquering the New World, after reconquista was over. Maintaining all proportions of course (and not calling dons of Iberia petty criminals), it's similar with the Bears of Karthgad. Suddenly loosing their enemy, and their source of income, and not really being a type that could start making ends meet in a honest way, they had to come up with something new. Some are smuggling, some are slaughtering Reachmen in a forest, and some are trying to bring this plan to life. The risk may be huge, but possible profit - enormous.

At any rate, unless I'm mistaken, we have a Bear Clan outpost here already? There is a cave in northernmost #12 (included in Vorndgad file) with an exterior thug on a lookout, and I'd swear I read somewhere these are the Bears. :) That's where my idea originated from, anyway. Either way, Roerich and Yeti had their plans for the clan too, so I don't know how it'd work with those.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by roerich » Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:19 pm

I agree with worsas on the Bear Clan. Even if it could make sense for them to try to spread their influence, I just feel like they thematically belong within the borders of the forest. Besides one or two clansmen in Karthwasten, and the trapper trading fur wares in Markarth, I think their activity outside of the forest should be very limited. They live in Karthgad, they roam and hunt the forest, but they aren't plotting on grabbing and settling land outside. They are nowhere near being a major player in Reach politics. These people lived on the border, and were almost forgotten by the other Nord clans, and now they're in the middle of Nordic lands, and they are still forgotten but now with the added benefit of being useless as border protectors.

The most important thing for this region IMO is giving the farms and farmers a distinct Nordic character. Something I feel you've already taken some good steps towards with the lore inputs. The farm exteriors and exteriors very quickly end up giving the expression of "generic medieval-fantasy peasant" (and no offense, because I really love the farms). Populating them would of course change a lot, but we should make sure that they give the player the impression of being in Skyrim proper. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do this? Meaderies, painted cow festivals and Mara veneration are all good steps.

Edit: I think we're at the point now where we need to ask ourselves if we need another placename with Karth in it. Karthwasten, Karthgad, Aldkarth, Markarth, Midkarth. It gets boring and repetitive, even if it's not unthinkable that a lot of places are named after the river. Even then, we should think up other names that could relate to the Karth without naming it directy. To be honest, I like the name Midkarth better than Aldkarth, if we're looking to replace one. But I think coming up with a new name for the farmlands would be easier.

On another note, we could do with some names that are purely English, like Grazelands, Bitter Coast, West Gash and so on. IIRC we currently only have the Sundered Hills.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by berry » Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:02 pm

Hmm, I think you both are right about the Bears. I guess I was demonizing them. They're not mafia, after all. :) Still, that quest idea can be reutilized with some random mobs hired by one of farmers to drive out his neighbour. We can flow further with that concept and make it that under the guise of friendship, families of Farmlands stand at the edge of bloody vendetta war, if someone just steps on somebody's toes too hard.
roerich wrote:Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do this? Meaderies, painted cow festivals and Mara veneration are all good steps.
I was thinking about having small family shrines to Mara in each housing, but I imagined that as another aspect of their "Imperialised" approach to the cult matters. However, maybe if these altars are made of some small barrow stones etc...? Another idea: just before player's arrival (he'd learn about it from "latest rumors") one of this seemingly calm and kind farmers, cultural capitalists one might say, challenged another one for a duel to the death in Tsunholm. That'd be yet another possible ignition points between the farms, too.

There might also be a small meadhall next to each meadery/winery. Just how local alcohol makers in real world treat their customers with a sample of their products - that'd be a dire half-dragon, Skyrimified version of this custom. :P

Another thing: we should have a barrow for this community. How about placing it in a top rightmost cell of claim 16, by the cliffside?
Edit: I think we're at the point now where we need to ask ourselves if we need another placename with Karth in it. Karthwasten, Karthgad, Aldkarth, Markarth, Midkarth. It gets boring and repetitive, even if it's not unthinkable that a lot of places are named after the river. Even then, we should think up other names that could relate to the Karth without naming it directy. To be honest, I like the name Midkarth better than Aldkarth, if we're looking to replace one. But I think coming up with a new name for the farmlands would be easier.
On another note, we could do with some names that are purely English, like Grazelands, Bitter Coast, West Gash and so on. IIRC we currently only have the Sundered Hills.
I can sign under everything here. In essence, it should be about deciding between Aldkarth and Midkarth. Town names should remain as they are probably, especially Karhwasten and Markarth.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by worsas » Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:12 pm

I'm not sure I like the idea of houseshrines for Nords. What would work, in my imagination, would be something grandma-like, such as flower wreaths or braids suspended to the wall as a symbol of reverence to this hearth godess.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by roerich » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:01 pm

I'm not sure we really need a conflict or internal strife for this area. It should be relatively peaceful and rich, like you described it. Of course the outlying farms could suffer raids from bandits and sometimes Reachmen, but the forces of Markarth Side are eager to patrol these their heartlands.

House shrines I think of as a Dunmer or Imperial thing, I don't really see it for the Nords in that way. Perhaps like Worsas proposes with flower wreaths. Wooden figurines on the fireplace shelf would be nice to have, but not necessary.

I support a small barrow in this area.

Town names are definitely staying. The only one we made up is Karthgad, and that's a great name if you ask me.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by berry » Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:19 am

Korana made a Christmas wreath that can be of some use here, then. It has it's issues but maybe it can work as a starting point, to save our modellers some work? For example we could remove the Tri Torus02 part, that's badly stretching, cover an inside with a rope knot, add some of our flowers, maybe a dreamcatcher or some Nord amulets...

edit: another idea for adding some flavour to this area. Not much past Worsas' altar island on Karth, a little bit down the river, in cell -99, 12, there's a rocky shallow. How about placing there some lighted poles, like the ones used for fords, guiding boats through it? Nord living by the place where inn currently is in -99, 11 could be made a lamplighter; when asked, he'd explain a significance of his profession to a player. He'd be much respected among fellow Nords, too.
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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by worsas » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:34 pm

Here are some additional thoughts:

1. We should rename the Aldkarth Lowlands instead of Midkarth. For the Midkarth we weren't able to come up with a better name, after all. But maybe we can think up a better name for the lowlands.
2. It would be better to incorporate that last hill to the west with the Midkarth region. If it became part of the Falkar Foothills, we'd have to do a major rework of the area, so it would become a distinctive part of the Falkar Foothills... Not a good investment of time or resources.
3. In my mind the Aldkarth Lowlands and Sundered Hills are actually the dryest/sunniest areas of the Reach, not the Midkarth. Clear and cloudy weather should be prevalent in the Aldkarth and the Sundered Hills. Midkarth should have a similar amount of clear weather, but otherwise rather overcast and rainy. The Druadach Highlands nearby should be more overcast than anything else.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by roerich » Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:37 pm

Agreed on all points. Not including that hill in the border map was actually a mistake, I want the border to have been a fair bit more to the south than what is shown in the picture, and likewise to have it include all of Vorngad with the exception of the west bank of the lower eastern river branch.

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Re: Region planning: "Farmlands"

Post by worsas » Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:59 pm

I want the border to have been a fair bit more to the south than what is shown in the picture, and likewise to have it include all of Vorngad with the exception of the west bank of the lower eastern river branch.
Can you maybe visualize what you mean? Adding pieces of Vorndgad Forest to Midkarth doesn't sound like a great idea to me. :?

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