8
\$\begingroup\$

Assuming I'm aiming for "approximate realism" about how much space do my covenfolk take up with housing / kitchens / etc?

(They have an LCM of +1 but it would be good to know for a range of such things).

They are living in semi-urban England in the canonical C13.

What I'm mostly looking for is an idea of how much square footage is involved; the covenant has a main site on the edge of a town and some small secondary sites (individual houses). Increasing the size of the main site isn't going to be very easy; so I want to have a good idea of how much that's built up already and at what point I have to say that more covenfolk means finding/building more housing and/or buying more land.

At some point I'll probably want to draw at least a vague plan of the main site too.

We're using the rules from Covenants; for the purpose of the table on page 63 we're a "Summer or Autumn" covenant.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ How many covenfolk are there and what magic (or magic items) is being employed in the upkeep of the covenant? Are there any regios on site? \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Jun 11 '15 at 1:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ How is the covenant set up in terms of structures it is mimicing? As a manor house or what? \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Jun 11 '15 at 1:17
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ To some extent this will depend on the social standing and wealth of the covenfolk in question, and whether their families are included. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Jun 11 '15 at 1:30
7
\$\begingroup\$

In the core book, an important note (p221) on the extreme research saga:

Read several single-volume histories of the area in question, to get a more balanced view. Find, and read, histories of specific aspects, such as the history of a single city, or of the law, or of the Church, or even a single monastery. Track down books written in or about your area during the twelfth and thir- teenth centuries, and read them in translation. Learn Latin so that you can read the ones that haven’t been translated yet. Learn paleography so that you can read the ones still in manu- script. Go back to university and get a Ph.D. in medieval studies while actually just researching your saga.

... You may not want to get this detailed. But, talking to some colleagues down the hall in my department (of ancient history) led me to this answer. For an approximation, it's probably worth allocating a small house in the manor, say "servants live here" and only detail the precice floorplan if you must. On the other hand, if you feel like going on an archaeological dig, I do know who to ask for english excavations and what degrees you need.

But, to answer your question, ILL this book: Houses and Cottages of Britain By R. W. Brunskill, and starting on page 114 for typical floor plans of houses. And then check out the multi-volume work: Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales, by Anthony Emery. While it's a century too late, that certainly doesn't matter for this instance. Page 162 has important kitchen details, and suggests that the entire manor would share a single kitchen. Looking at the floor plan on page 161, the kitchen's size would be significant. Note that the "stanton harcourt manor" referenced is 14th century, and so has higher architectural development than would be the case for your magi.

When discussing this issue with my colleague, he mentioned that servants would have "not much space at all". Jugding from that and the description on page 159, the servants quarters (in their entire) would be one of the rooms near the kitchens next to the front hall. Apparently this closeness to the family was unusually high-status for the servants.

From my memory of prior research (without citation though) servants would generally sleep where they worked when the work-areas were not in use. Modern expectations of privacy would be an alien thing to them, and living conditions would be more about food quality, medical care, and a lack of beatings and angry men with pointy sticks than lebensraum.

For authentic locations and grey literature reports of archaeological sites in england, use the ADS. This reference (gained via ILL) will likely give you more details about farm servants which will provide for better extrapolation.

Compare to Covenants (p.103) the layout of the sanctum. This is the layout of the opulent-super rich magi in their well defended tower. They get a bedroom of about 25 square feet. Covenants does not otherwise go into too much detail about living quarters.

The answer you seek in context of the city townhouse is on page 22 of city and guild. The lack of dedicated servants' quarters suggests that my answer of "they sleep where they work" is appropriate. Use those buildings as templates for your skilled crafts people who may actually have a room to themselves, if they're particularly valuable.

Otherwise, to get a sense of relative proportion of floor space, look on page 63 of covenants and use relative proportion of living expenses modifier to provide for each individual persons' square footage.

|improve this answer|||||
\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.