Hamlets are secondary settlements that can only be built after a hex has been cleared and settled. They are found in the hinterlands of villages, towns and cities. They can be about making more sophisticated use of the local resources or specialist knowledge, of just a way of adding further developments to a hex. Anyone can build a hamlet, so long as they get permission from the landowner before you start building.
SIZE: Hamlets MUST be smaller than the Primary Settlement in the Hex. Single Site cannot be developed further, while other Hamlets are restricted to three plots and size 4.
There are five types of hamlet:-
They may not be developed and stay as Single Sites because their residents do not, generally, want to be near other people. They have the advantage that you can build them in Urban, Rural and some wilderness hexes - but you cannot develop them further. These secondary Developments are for loners, people who want to be alone and don't really want to be a part of the local community. Hermits, mad alchemists, lonely witches and the like ….
The advantage is that Single Site Hamlets can be built in a Managed Wilderness area that is patrolled from an adjacent hex. They cannot be developed further - a wilderness hex can only have one development in it. If a second development is built in the same hex, the hex becomes a rural hex and adds one point of consumption.
In rural and urban hexes these developments maybe home to a Community Druid, an oracle, a Hermit or someone similar - and they are treated the same as any other Hamlet - EXCEPT that they cannot be developed any further.
They are all well-balanced, cheap to build and are an easy way of expanding the settlement in a hex. They can be built in Rural or Urban Hex that meet the specific requirements stated in the descriptions. Because they are so well-balanced, these are probably the best secondary developments for Rural hexes. You will find smaller versions of these all over the hinterlands where smallholders are trying to improve their lot. Hamlets are restricted to three development plots and size 4 - so plan carefully.
There are many other possibilities as well. These examples concentrate on RP and defensive elements of the game, but there could be others. Like most other hamlets, these can be developed according to the 3 'Plots, Size 4' rule. As I keep saying - ask your GM.
NOTE: The economic and community developments recommended earlier may not be suitable for these developments.
Sometimes a hamlet comes into being without really being owned by anyone or having any great effect on the overall economy. You find them in areas where there are a lot of smallholdings, thorps or dwellings – and the people club together to make something for overall community benefits. No one owns enough of the building to be classed as the owner, nor does anyone make enough money for it to be classed as an economic benefit, it just makes the lives of the local people a bit easier.
Some RL examples include a Community Hall, a Community Shop or Community Pub , a Communal Barn and Communal Brewery . In all cases the developments themselves are owner jointly by locals, there is minimal profit which is used to maintain the building or is shared out between the local ‘owners’ . However, each of these Communal Developments takes up as much space as their commercial equivalent, and the same rules apply – no more than three developments and no more than size 4.
Example: The Hamlet of Bogside had a communal hall and a Public Jetty - almost all the locals were fisherfolk or swamp rats - when the party found them. Unfortunately, Bogside was in a location that was attractive to bandits and pirates and was prone to being taken over by them.
These are examples, if you can come up with something similar, that produces the same sort of benefits - ask your DM :)