When ACKS came out I tried a couple of times to put a setting together (and Alexander and Tavis were gracious enough to put a lot of effort in to try to help me) but in the end I postponed the whole affair until I had more plain old basic style D&D experience. ACKS as my first D&D game was biting off a bit much for me (I had played one session of 4e and just a few sessions of Labyrinth Lord and that was it; never read Moldvay etc, back then). 5e/LMoP was more my speed and we then followed up with B4 The Lost City and a bunch of Red Tide stuff, both using 5e. But, now I want to give the ACKS method another go. So... lots of questions from me!
I want to use 5e but to complete it with domain and trade stuff from ACKS including the ideas of "In a duchy there is like three level 9 people typically" and stuff like that. We're gonna start low level with an early emphasis on discovery, getting lost etc but I want this stuff to be in place. For the first time ever I feel like I have time to prep.
To summarize the progress so far, whenever I open chapter 10 I usually get overwhelmed and it's hard to see the concrete next steps to do. But I looked at my own old notes and I found one that I liked, I had written as a note to self: "Don't overthink it. Draw the borders you like, then count the hexes to see what type of realm they are, and then work upwards and downwards from there, dividing into subrealms or joining into superrealms.
In my case it turned out that the three realms I had drawn up were duchy-sized. I then named them, and divided them into counties, and named them, and divided them into marches.
This is what I have so far: (Players in my game please don't click on this) (I'm using the Albatross press "Map Style IV")
I also have an s-expression with this same data: duchys with their name and the counties in them with their names and the marches in them with their names and hexcount (capped at 4 like the desert marches still only get 4 for their hexcount. I figure it's kinda barren in there). (I'm gonna use this sexp to do the math stuff!)
I then thought "OK, this part of the prep is pretty boring, I'll do the baronies stuff later and now it's time to do population calculation so I can place cities."
And then I stumbled upon this mystery:
One barony is 120-200 families; one hex of a march is 320 families so obv not every single hex in a march is one complete barony.
Oh, the following table says that a march (3-4 hexes) is 4-6 baronies. So 4-6 times 120-200 is 480-1200, still below the 960-1280 population count of a marsh. Folks, I don't understand this stuff :/
And I just found out that the same goes for the duchy/county division. 4-6 counties = 18400-51000, lower than the 20000-52000 that duchies have.
So I'm misunderstanding something. A march has at least 4 at most 6 baronies. So I'm going to need to create a lot of baronies (don't worry I can do this procedurally). But before I undertake that... I'm missing something. Where are the missing people? Maybe I'm misreading some table? Is there part of a duchy that don't belong to a particular county? And if so, how come the people there still counts as population for the duchy? These questions are not rhetorical, I'm serious about trying to set up this campaign.