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In this universe, Society has structured itself so that, while they still have modern tech, Adventurers needn't look far to find a wild forest or cave of monsters. How would a village look to be self sustaining and only about four acres, not including the farmland needed to sustain it?

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    $\begingroup$ Modern tech in requires specialization, which requires large modern cities. Small villages can't create modern tech. $\endgroup$
    – Mormacil
    May 12, 2017 at 13:15
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    $\begingroup$ I'm going to have to do some ballparking but I don't think you can fit very many buildings on a soccer pitch. $\endgroup$
    – F1Krazy
    May 12, 2017 at 13:16
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    $\begingroup$ @JasonK Contrary to perhaps popular belief, I don't believe Wal-mart actually manufactures much, let alone does a whole lot of R&D. I don't know how much D&D they might do, however. $\endgroup$
    – user
    May 12, 2017 at 13:21
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling, We don't have Wal-mart round here but the quest to escape the labyrinth is standard for Ikea $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    May 12, 2017 at 13:24
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    $\begingroup$ I severely overestimated the size of a soccer field. $\endgroup$ May 12, 2017 at 14:25

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Can't be done with modern tech. To be completely self-sustaining you would need a power plant, manufacturing capability for machine parts (even current CNC and 3D printers can't replace all the machine shops), some way to produce textiles for clothing, and of course electronics/batteries, which is a HUGE undertaking that requires very specialized manufacturing systems with some rather toxic by-products you don't want right next to your living quarters.

Even medieval villages were not totally self-sufficient. Iron ore, pottery, clergy, etc were all things that usually came from elsewhere. A village might have a source of something nearby (a mine, for example) that was it's lifeblood for trade while producing at least some local food, wool, lumber, etc but trade was always a thing for agrarian societies.

You COULD have a self-sustaining temporary work site, something that had a big supply of spare parts, a generator, fuel depot, and perhaps a renewable energy source like wind or solar. Then all you would need is a food source and you could operate for a relatively short period of time independently. So a pop-up town around the entrance to a new found dungeon in a remote region, for example. But modern tech is far too interdependent on constant resupply to be self-sufficient. Maybe in a few generations we'll have 3D printing/nanite construction that can literally process raw matter into refined consumer items, but we are far from it now.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm suddenly struck by the concept of sending a group of young adventurers off on a quest to find new servos for the village CNC. $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    May 12, 2017 at 13:29
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    $\begingroup$ This answer made me realize that OP needs to narrow down his definition of "self-sustaining". $\endgroup$
    – F1Krazy
    May 12, 2017 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ The final paragraph doesn't make sense. Either you (for some definition of "you") are self-sustaining, in which case you can keep on going indefinitely, or you aren't self-sustaining, in which case you require something external to keep going after some time. It doesn't matter how much fuel, or how many spare parts, you stock; you will eventually run out. Solar panels are a little more likely to last, but those have to come from somewhere, so you aren't really independent of others but rather able to keep going from some given starting point. The two are not necessarily the same. $\endgroup$
    – user
    May 12, 2017 at 13:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Separatrix this is so Numenera! (I'm not affiliated, I just played new Torment recently, and loved it). $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    May 12, 2017 at 13:38
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling It is a perspective of time. Self-sustaining for X months/years. NOTHING is self-sustaining forever, so either the term applies to only set periods of time or it is meaningless. I could probably stock a small modern facility with enough manufactured parts that it could run for a decade or more without the need for external resupply, this would probably qualify as "self-sustaining" by almost anyone's definition (especially when you consider that most modern towns/cities need DAILY resupply of something in order to function). $\endgroup$
    – Jason K
    May 12, 2017 at 14:09
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It would be a giant office/housing tower building, that's your only option really if you want it to be that small. Vertical farming could be employed, with floors of the building being used entirely for growing crops / raising livestock. Underground floors could be used for manufacturing, etc.

The more things you require them to be self sufficient in, the taller the building would have to be, so there may be some limitations (I'm not sure how tall we can comfortably build towers), but I see no reason why something like this wouldn't be feasible with modern technology.

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 This was the only thing I could think of. It wouldn't look like a village, but it would fit the OP's size constraints (even after the edit, four acres seems kinda small). $\endgroup$
    – F1Krazy
    May 12, 2017 at 15:20

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