New World, Who’s this? Castles: Part 1

text reads new world, who's this? Castles Part 1

Hello Variants, and welcome to another entry in the exciting series New World, Who’s this? For the next several posts, I would like to discuss castles.

After all, what is a good fantasy setting without a giant castle? I consider myself to be castle connoisseur, and since the day my TTRPG group started their first gaming session, I have wanted our party to build a castle. But what exactly is a castle, and why is it so important?

Let’s focus part one of this mini series on providing some background information regarding castles. Castles as the large stone structures we know today can trace their origin to the Norman conquest of England. William the Conqueror found it difficult to pacify the English and Welsh countryside, and so built a series of large stone walled fortresses for his troops to operate out of. While fortifications were nothing new to Europe, or the rest of the world for that matter, these structures are what has inspired the classic fantasy TTRPG image of a castle.

What differentiates a castle from a walled city? First, castles are built specifically with a military purpose, usually as a means of control for an occupied area. Troops can be housed, trained, equipped, and led from a castle. Towns build walls as a deterrent, while castles are built to invite attack. Castles are usually also surrounded by a town that supports the noble for which the castle was built, as the peasants can retreat into the fortified walls at signs of danger. Castles also provide a way for nobles to advertise their wealth; The bigger the castle, the bigger the pocketbook.

While this has been an introduction to castles, my next post focus primarily on the anatomy of a castle. I’ll talk about buildings you would find inside or around one, along with defining characteristics of most castles. Once we know what we are dealing with, the follow up will be about attacking and defending a castle.

Be sure Keep an eye on the horizon for the rest of this mini series, and get ready to build up your castle game!

What would you like to learn about Castles? Let us know in the comments below.

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