Most settlements in the Boston Commonwealth are between 500 and 1000 humans, with roughly half the population being children and one sixth being elders unfit for harsh physical service.
Of the 150-300 adults in a typical settlement, usually at least thirty and often fifty are in the town's permanent police and military force and a third or more of the remaining population has at least some militia training and responsibilities. Half of the non-guard adults are farmers, and the remainder works on the town's infrastructure (administration, teaching) or does some kind of manufacturing.
Layout and Defenses =Edit
Most settlements are built around a water source of some type: an old sewage treatment plant, a pure water well, a reservoir, or a stream or larger body of water. The residential, commercial, and industrial sections of a settlement are usually surrounded by a wall or fence of some sort. Population density inside the wall isn't particularly high, around 25-50 people per acre, which is around the population density of pre-Fall suburbia. As many settlements started as squatter camps in pre-Fall suburbia, this isn't surprising. Typical walls enclose 30-70 acres with a perimeter of less than two miles.
A settlement's wall usually has 2-5 gates, usually staffed during the day by one or two guards and often fortified. Wealthier settlements with muzzle loading black powder cannon will often put them near the settlement's gates.
A settlement's farms surround the town within a radius of a mile or so. There are often watchtowers in the fields, staffed by a lone guard. Most settlements also have graveled or hard pack roads that run through the fields toward the settlement, and sometimes have a ring road roughly 1/2 mile away from the town to allow quicker movement. Very few settlements maintain their roads past the edges of the field, as the threat of raiders is more worrisome than the benefit of traders is appealing.
Amenities and Services Edit
Most settlements do not have running water or widespread electricity. A few richer residences or administrative buildings might have constant flow toilets and a waterwheel or windmill powered generator for electric lights or a scavenged air conditioner, but the rest of the town relies on lanterns and candles.
Very few settlements have hotels or other places for visitors to stay. Taverns and restaurants are common, though, and most settlements have three to five of them. Food and beverage in these restaurants range from excellent to indifferent, though they are rarely so bad as to be hazardous.
Almost all settlements have one or more blacksmiths, machinists, or mechanics. The skill level and availability to do custom work varies greatly: some settlements have all their mechanics permanently tied up maintaining the settlement, while others have them available for hire. Very few settlements have electricians or computer programmers.
Medical service is another mixed bag. Most settlements have at least a few people who can perform first aid, though supplies are not often available for use by outsiders. Some settlements have physicians, surgeons, pharmacists, or chemists that will work for barter, though very few settlements have all four.
A settlement's market is usually open daily in the mornings, and sells any surplus items (usually food but it depends on the settlement) for whatever traders have to offer. Most settlements use scrip of some type internally, but almost no settlements honor another settlement's scrip. Outsiders must stick to barter.