A Rich Mill
|Description:||The last time around, we took a look at Flederich's Mill, a genuinely poor mill that was in the bandit-and-brigand infested Spessart Forest of Northwestern Bavaria. The mill, built to press vegetable oil, had so little income that it had to cram a second grain mill into the already small building and add a second waterwheel outside. Today, we'll take a look at the exact opposite, a genuinely rich mill. Today's specimen is the large mill that stood in the village of Unterschlauersbach (Lower Schlauer's Creek) in Northern Bavarian Middle Franconia, somewhat west of the Imperial City of Nuremberg. Unterschlauersbach was in a region with fertile fields and relatively prosperous farms for Franconian conditions. In most areas, farmers would bring their grain to their local mill, the miller would grind it into flour and feed, and the farmer would return home with 90% of what he or she had brought in. The remaining 10% stayed with the miller, who could use or sell his or her commission as he or she chose. However, many farmers in the Unterschlauersbach area were able to produce much more grain than they needed. They sold the surplus to the mill, which in turn was able to sell flour to a much larger market than most mills had. As a result, Unterschlauersbach flour was sold not only locally but also to the city bakers of Nuremberg. Thus, the Unterschlauersbach complex also had two mills in it building, both for grain, and two waterwheels outside, to capitalize on its extended market possibilities. In a fantasy role-playing game, an adventure's success can depend in part upon the degree to which the game master can bring his or her players and their characters across the bridge from the world of make believe into a virtual reality where they really are at the moment. Dungeons, floor plans and scenarios made with FM8 can help greatly in this respect. Perhaps the map of the Unterschlauersbach mill complex can give you a few ideas in this direction. Unterschlauersbach was an ideal place to take advantage of the added milling power achieved with top-driven waterwheels. The Schlauersbach (Schlauer's Creek) came into the village from a higher area above the town, and it flowed downhill west of the mill site. That made it possible to dam the creek and make a diversion atop the hill and then to construct the mill building at the base of the hill, where the millstream's higher water could drop onto the waterwheels. However, this also forced some tricky design that one seldom sees on RPG maps. The mill's barn was at the base of the hill, and one continued to need access to it, so the rear of the mill building had to be designed with an unusual angle. To create that bridge from make believe to virtual reality, we also added several cords of firewood, a two-seater outhouse between the barn and shed and an apple and plum orchard atop the hill to the right. The latter is absolutely typical of such a setting. The Unterschlauersbach mill was built in 1576. It was dismantled in 1981 and reconstructed in the same year in the Franconian Open Air Museum (Fränkisches Freilandmusuem) in Northern Bavarian Bad Windsheim.
The link below will give you the raster symbols of the mill, barn, shed and outhouse used in this map. They are available for free private and commercial use under the Open Game License 1.0a. The map itself is too large for uploading to the NBOS site, but you can download it free at:
The Vintyri™ Project
NBOS on 03/16/2009
That is a terrific map, Mark!