I am developing a small (semi fantasy) medieval town and sketched out the basic topography. I sketched layers free-hand on acetates to separate terrain, roads, etc. The areas in boxes are where I see farmland, town and fishing areas ... figures in approximate meters.

It is based on more or less a single valley entrance with sea access. I want to know whether I have anything wrong with the topography.

Any comments really appreciated.


enter image description here

EDIT - The brown shading is a forest

EDIT - Further to queries on what the question is:

Basically, all I am asking is whether or not the topography in the draft map actually makes sense or if I am making any fundamental errors. I intend to build the town(s) around the geography so I just want to get the basics right.

Thanks for the comments so far.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding Skutter! You might be interested in some of the questions already on the site such as Designing a map for a fictional city and in general the Creating a realistic world Series. Currently your post looks like an invitation for open-ended discussions and general feedback. On StackExchange we don't do this sort of forum threads. Is there a single aspect you specifically need an answer to? Please edit, take the tour and visit the help center for info. $\endgroup$ – Sec SE - clear Monica's name Sep 11 '17 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ Since you are creating this map from scratch why don't you give this town a natural port? That could come in very handy for economic development. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Sep 11 '17 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ I don't understand what would form the lake with hills to the sides. That would be an unusual feature geologically. General thought - establish the forces that form the geography first. Subduction/tectonics/volcanism/erosion/etc. Easier to consider whether something is realistic if you understand the forces that created the landscape. $\endgroup$ – DPT Sep 11 '17 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry Secespitus, I was just asking for general comments on plausibility rather than a general discussion - wasn't intending to do iterations. $\endgroup$ – Skutter Sep 11 '17 at 16:40
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    $\begingroup$ @Skutter while we can try our best to help you with map questions, if you only need feedback you might be better helped at the Cartographers Guild - the folks over there tend to do things that I can only explain with magic $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Sep 12 '17 at 16:20

This is kind of an unanswerable question but wth,

1) in a medieval town why would fishing be zoned? Usually people fish wherever they feel like. Commercial fishing would lead to ports which is where towns would crop up. In this map I like the placement of your town however fishing would be going on in the stream and coastline which would also make for a nice harbor.

In other words, towns dont make industry, industry makes towns.

2) You have what looks like a mountain followed by a quick transition into flatland for farming and then coastline. Normally, that terrain is to uneven for farming and better suited for animal husbandry. The area you zoned for fishing, being between 2 mountains would more reasonably be level enough for farming.


3) I'd like to add, instead of the fishing industrial zone, what you would more likely see is a logging industrial zone. As the town grows from the fishing and farming, the need for building material would increase. There would probably be a satellite wood harvesting community north of the lake and hills but on the stream so they could float supplies into town.

  • $\begingroup$ The first point is valid but I'm not sure about the second: I think that's just a hill, not a mountain. That land looks okay for farming to me. I don't think this is a downvote-able answer, though, curious why this was downvoted. $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Sep 11 '17 at 15:26
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the comments ... take the point re the fishing - think I had envisioned the town to be more industrial with the fishing part being more an area more suitable for boats which has had grown up a bit of fishing specific industry (repairs; curing) with a little bit of a small village type set up growing around it. $\endgroup$ – Skutter Sep 11 '17 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ Oops - apparently it doesn't like the return key in comments. It may make more sense to move the bigger harbour nearer the river mouth and leave the fishing area as is. BTW no idea about the downvote (wouldn't even let me upvote as I have less than 15) $\endgroup$ – Skutter Sep 11 '17 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ "..stream and coastline which would also make for a nice harbor." what i meant by this was harbors tend to form where rivers meet large bodies of water because erosion makes them deep enough. $\endgroup$ – anon Sep 11 '17 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ Medieval towns did have zoning laws especially for stinky industries such as processing fish. $\endgroup$ – Mazel Sep 11 '17 at 17:27

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