When one looks at many of the village maps published in RPG adventures, one well might ask how the settlement survives. The truth is, many such mapped villages couldn't survive at all. The first question of survival is defense, but after that one must ask where the people of the town, village or hamlet get those things that they need to survive. We've already looked at some types of mills, which are essential to survival. In addition, such settlements also need food and those things that are necessary to produce it. Farmers can't work for long without wagons and, in some cases, sleds. A wainwright is needed then to make them. Someone in the village has to make shoes and boots. Someone also has to make metal tools, make and repair defensive weapons and make and fix all of those many metal parts that are needed to keep farms and life going. That's the blacksmith. One might ask how a small settlement can support such a collection of artisans. The answer is that these craftsmen are farmers who also work at a trade when business is available. In modern terms, they'd be considered part-time artisans who are farmers. In all hamlets and small to middle sized villages, the local smithy usually was an extension of the part-time smith's farm. Contrary to rules or definitions in a number of RPGs, local blacksmiths made and repaired everything, including the blades of swords and other weapons. The sharp division between weaponsmiths and blacksmiths that RPGs like to describe existed mostly in cities, garrisons and fortresses. Even then, only the nobility and military usually could afford to maintain a talented weaponsmith. Most commoners relied upon a blacksmith for their weapons. Our example of a typical village smithy that's part of a farm comes from the village of Mailheim in Northern Bavarian Middle Franconia. The smithy and farmhouse, built in 1749, were restored in 1985 in the Franconian Open Air Museum in Bad Windsheim, not far from their original site. A quick look at the roof makes clear the dual farm nature of the complex. The vents were built in the roof so that harvested flax could be dried in the attic. The smithy remained in operation until 1920. The upper picture shows our scenario with our symbol object based upon the original. Many of the other symbols are from the CSUAC, www.rpgmapshare.com
and the user forums at www.dundjinni.com
. The second picture opens the roof onto the interior of the smithy, based upon the original. The third picture shows the original.
The link below offers the farm and smithy in three variations, with a slate roof and with dark and light clay tile roofs. To install these symbols, simply unzip the download file into your nbos\Mapper8 folder.
The Vintyri™ Project