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How to Truly Build Medieval Towns, Forts, Castles and Cities

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NamedCow750's Avatar NamedCow750
Level 27 : Expert Unicorn
If you want to title a build "medieval" then make sure it is medieval. When someone wants to see medieval structures, they don't want to see what you imagined the era was like. They want to see medieval builds. If you don't know what medieval things are, stop saying what you're building is medieval, unless you have proof it is, research "medieval" or stop building them. The most common mistake with these builds is the difference between fantasy and medieval.

The Difference between Medieval and Fantasy
You may say that there is no difference between these two things. If you say that then you're wrong. There is a massive difference between these two things. Let's start with the time era.
The medieval era starts in the 5th century and ends in the 15th century. That's from 401 AD to 1499 AD. 
Fantasy does not have an "era" since fantasy is anything mythological. You could create fantasy in any era you wanted, but if you did that in the medieval era, it doesn't make it medieval. There is no proof of dragons, elves and other fantasy creatures even existing apart from what someone in that era wrote. Want to know a fancy some fancy words? This is called a primary source. A source is a piece of evidence and a primary source is a piece of evidence made during that time era. You're welcome. A piece of writing, however, isn't very reliable because someone has wrote that down from their mind. They could have writed anything. It's like me writing "A creature known as Bob Marley terrorizes the land of England with his eye that can shoot beams of light which if a human is hit by, they evaporate into sound waves of his voice and drums." It isn't true. And because I wrote it, the people of the future won't know if it is true or not. So it would be an unreliable primary source. That's why we can't confirm dragons roamed about in the medieval era. Sure, a monk might have wrote "King Bob Marley of York cut the fire-breathing, scaly and huge beast in two" but it doesn't mean it is true.
If you build a massive medieval kingdom then add a wizard tower in, I'm sorry, but it isn't medieval anymore. It is a fantasy build set in the medieval ages. You could add a wizard tower in a modern town, and it would be a fantasy build set in the modern era. There is a big difference between these two things.

The Purpose of Structures
This is something that many people ignore. When people think about building a medieval thing, most people would think "Well a castle with lots of towers and catapults and stuff everywhere would be cool" then they build that. No. Just no. Think about this. Would the King of France say "I want a big tower in the middle of that big empty field 57 hundred miles away from the closest settlement!" The answer is no. If you knew why forts and castles were build, you would build it incredibly near a settlement. Why? Because a settlement has food for the garrison of the place. The settlement might be getting raided by nearby bandits, making the economy terrible. Or it might be to keep guard of the people of that settlement to stop rebellions. Don't put a fort of castle in the middle of the sea. What's the point? And if you put it there, sure, it looks nice. But one day, the everyone will starve to death and half of the place will collapse into the sea. If it was being attacked, ships carrying artillery would fire at the castle until it collapsed and most of the garrison was dead. Fort's and castles might also be made to expand their territory in enemy territory and hold that place.
Like forts and castles, villages, cities and towns don't get built somewhere because "Why not?". If there were nearby deers then it would attract hunters to hunt them. The hunters need houses and a place to sell the furs and meat they collect. More people move in that area to buy the hunters' things and sell the hunters other things. A tavern might be built to give the people who live there a drink. People are attracted to the tavern and more houses are built. The people need a place to worship their God(s) so a religious building is made. More people move in to get jobs in that area. A farmer who owns nearby land begins to sell wool from his flock of sheep. New jobs are appearing and more people move in to get those jobs. That is pretty much how settlements are made. A fisherman might be getting alot of fish so people move in to buy his fish and sell them where demand is high. In that place where demand is high, they hear about a new place where fish supplies are high and jobs need workers so they move over to that place to take advantage of the shortage of workers. Imagine you're playing Civ 5. Where in this world should I make my settlement? Look at the resources around that area and decide if it's the best place you can build your settlement.
But it's not the location the structure(s) that people get wrong. Sometimes people just put random buildings everywhere for no reason. "Hey, this is a castle so I better have a blacksmith and a stable and a harbour because that's medieval!" If you have a stable on a fairly small island, it's pointless. If you have a massive harbour in a lake, it's pointless. If you decide to build a massive religious building where barely anyone lives, it's pointless. "I built 6 houses and a massive temple that could hold about 6,000 people in my town!" In real life, that would be classed as a waste of space and material. It would be fine if it was a fantasy build but I'm not talking about that, am I?

So I talked about this slightly in the other two points. People do not realise how important people are. People are the ones who get jobs and do all the hard work. Without people, there couldn't be that massive temple right in the middle of that huge city. If you are going to make a blacksmith, you need to make houses for the workers. If you're going to make a stable, you're going to need somewhere for the workers to sleep. If you're going to create a place of worship, the religious people need a place to rest their heads. And someone who cleans and repairs the buildings will need a place to rest. The people who first built these things need a place to snooze. The people who do anything need something to eat and drink. If you created a massive army, you're going to need homes for the massive army and places where the massive army came from. Alot of armies are trained peasants. Think about that... And most importantly, everyone needs a place to do a doo doo and a pee pee. Maybe it will be a river, lake, pond or the sea, or maybe you could be nice and create a public toilet. (In the middle ages, no one had a toilet of their own, so don't make your medieval build unaccurate.)

The medieval era is very long, so make sure you don't get things from the late medieval era (like cannons) and put them with things in the middle ages (like Vikings). Also, Vikings did not have horns on their helmets.

Well there you are. Now build medieval things and don't build medieval titled fantasy builds. You know every thing you need to know to build medieval. Now I shall embrace the hate...

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06/06/2016 7:13 pm
Level 39 : Artisan Dragon
cyber_dragon_123's Avatar
When I build a fort, I have the village/town as the fort itself. The effectiveness depends on the layout though.
06/06/2016 7:19 pm
Level 27 : Expert Unicorn
NamedCow750's Avatar
That is true. It also depends on who is living in that town/village. If someone invaded a country and built a fort, it would most likely have the town/village outside.
01/03/2016 11:11 pm
Level 9 : Apprentice Mage
IiArcticFoxii's Avatar
There are reasons when I build I don't say what style it is, and this is mainly it...
11/03/2015 5:09 pm
Level 30 : Artisan Toast
redfox_pw's Avatar
11/04/2015 10:02 am
Level 27 : Expert Unicorn
NamedCow750's Avatar
11/03/2015 11:48 am
Level 1 : New Miner
Ricochet_'s Avatar
Wow that's really helpfull... Gonna go delete half of my builds now :D also, "Embrace the hate..." what hate? This blog is amazing! Why would anyone hate it??
11/04/2015 10:02 am
Level 27 : Expert Unicorn
NamedCow750's Avatar
Normally I get a million hate comments. Don't delete your builds!
11/02/2015 7:51 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
Warmetal's Avatar
Check out mc.messymedieval.co.uk 
It covers almost all these points and is a server where those who actually want to build realistic medieval structures go. Anyways, good work, I was begining to think everyone who played MC had little regard for  proper medieval buildings.
11/03/2015 10:00 am
Level 27 : Expert Unicorn
NamedCow750's Avatar
Thank you. I may go on that server soon.
11/02/2015 2:55 pm
Level 33 : Artisan Explorer
NitroStarman's Avatar
You should also call this blog "History 101." :P
Good job! You sure did your research.
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