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  1. #1
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    How much wealth is produced in a province every turn? Most of it is
    unavailable to regents, because it gets distributed around in small
    interpersonal transactions, and regents only skim off a chunk of it- some
    goes to taxes, some in tithes to whatever church, some in kickbacks to the
    guilders.

    Does 1 GB/thousand people sound low? 2 gp per person per season, that`s
    about 2 coppers a day of production per person. A common laborer earns a
    sp a day- so would that mean he would produce 12 cp in valuable stuff
    every day? Hmm, now I`m hitting the limits of my slim economic theory
    knowledge, I have to go read.

    OK, done, so gross domestic product is all transactions, and isn`t that
    useful for me. I want just the increase, I guess, in wealth over a period
    of time. Does that even have a name? Because it`s that amount that I
    imagine regents are pulling out of, otherwise the people would be slowly
    whittled away down to no money at all, and revert to subsistance farming.
    --
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    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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  2. #2
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "daniel mcsorley" <mcsorley@CIS.OHIO-STATE.EDU>
    Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2003 4:06 PM


    > OK, done, so gross domestic product is all transactions, and isn`t that
    > useful for me. I want just the increase, I guess, in wealth over a period
    > of time. Does that even have a name? Because it`s that amount that I
    > imagine regents are pulling out of, otherwise the people would be slowly
    > whittled away down to no money at all, and revert to subsistance farming.

    The word you are looking for is "surplus". A hundred farmers plant crops.
    They produce sufficient crops to feed 125 families. The temple demands 10%,
    the lord demands 8%. The hundred families have 102 families worth of food
    and seed. The temples and lords use their portion to feed specialists,
    including craftsmen and clerks.

    We say that the surplus is extracted by non-producers who offer some service
    (justice, protection, salvation, healing, distribution, &c) in exchange for
    the products surrendered.

    Subsistance farming means that nearly all the food produced is consumed, and
    that`s true for most farming until the 19th century when farm tools become
    mechanized. The surplus is typically pretty small. The subsistance portion
    is pretty large. In the example above, 80% of the produce is subsistance.
    In less advanced societies, the elite may demand less, but get first choice
    of land, or reserve certain resources to themselves (deer, forests, boar,
    &c).

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  3. #3
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    On Fri, 3 Jan 2003, Kenneth Gauck wrote:
    > > OK, done, so gross domestic product is all transactions, and isn`t that
    > > useful for me. I want just the increase, I guess, in wealth over a period
    > > of time. Does that even have a name? Because it`s that amount that I
    > > imagine regents are pulling out of, otherwise the people would be slowly
    > > whittled away down to no money at all, and revert to subsistance farming.
    >
    > The word you are looking for is "surplus". A hundred farmers plant crops.
    > They produce sufficient crops to feed 125 families. The temple demands 10%,
    > the lord demands 8%. The hundred families have 102 families worth of food
    > and seed. The temples and lords use their portion to feed specialists,
    > including craftsmen and clerks.
    >
    > Subsistance farming means that nearly all the food produced is consumed, and
    > that`s true for most farming until the 19th century when farm tools become
    > mechanized. The surplus is typically pretty small.

    OK, so where does all the money come from then? A level 10 province can
    generate:
    province: 2d10+2
    guild 6: 2d4+2
    guild 4: d6+1
    temple 6: 2d4+2
    temple 4: d6+1
    4 trade routes to another province (10): 5 GB apiece (if half is generated
    at the other end).

    76 GB in income every turn.

    A province (9) generates 61.5 GB by the same formula.

    That`s a lot of income. I could buy that it`s not all surplus, since it`s
    high taxes and those start to make the people less loyal, but there`s
    still a lot of income there turn after turn. Where does it all come from?

    Interesting.
    --
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    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Lawgiver's Avatar
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    76 GB = 152,000 gp
    152,000 gp = 1,520,000 sp
    1,520,000 sp per season/3 = 506,667 sp per month
    506,667 sp/100,000 citizens = 5.06667 or sp per month that are collected through taxes, guilds, temples, etc.

    Assuming each citizen produces 30 sp in a month you get to keep 83.3333 % as a common citizen (assume 5 sp collected by outside sources).

    Basically 1/6 of your income goes to the crown, guilds, temples etc in your example of 1 sp = 1 days wages. Assuming my math is correct. :P

    Of course not all citizens in the 100,000 for a level 10 provinces are producers. You have the aged, children, ill, handicapped, slaves, prisons, etc. Unless of course you simply assume that the popluation level given for a province relates solely to the popluation that participates in the GDP of a country. For the time period it may not be unrealistic of an assumption.

    Of course on the opposite side you also have the wealthy mercantile that are producing significantly more than the 1 sp per day assumption.

    Additionally, some of it may be considered to be overlapping funds that simply change hands behind the scenes. The guilds pays taxes, the church may pay guilds, the crown may tax churches & guilds (depends on how you play with the Law Claim rules). This would result in a lower actual production, but a higher $ on paper simply due to the transfer of wealth.
    Servant of the Most High,
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    Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by Birthright-L

    OK, so where does all the money come from then? A level 10 province can
    generate:
    province: 2d10+2
    guild 6: 2d4+2
    guild 4: d6+1
    temple 6: 2d4+2
    temple 4: d6+1
    4 trade routes to another province (10): 5 GB apiece (if half is generated
    at the other end).

    76 GB in income every turn.

    A province (9) generates 61.5 GB by the same formula.

    That`s a lot of income. I could buy that it`s not all surplus, since it`s
    high taxes and those start to make the people less loyal, but there`s
    still a lot of income there turn after turn. Where does it all come from?

    Interesting.


    Ok, it seems that some of you have not read their Birthright material, fully. When you receive 76GB, that is not 152,000 gp.

    THAT'S RIGHT, not CASH.

    So, what exactly is it?

    Well, most of it is finished goods, livestock, ingots of iron and copper, wood, a building built, that can be rented by the lord, a wearhouse full of cloth or a granary brimming with grain. It says this in the main rulebook, it also says that you can exchange some of that into pure cash, but the more you do it, the more likely you are to face inflation and other domestic problems.(DM's choice) So, when you pay your soldiers, you are not actually spending 2,000gp for a unit of archers, you are spending 1GB, which means, food, lodgings, timber for fires during winter and a bunch of other stuff, like beer and meat. The actual gps you are spending are very minimal.
    Independence breeds chaos,
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  6. #6
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    On Fri, 3 Jan 2003, Eric Saxon wrote:
    > Ok, it seems that some of you have not read their Birthright material,
    > fully. When you receive 76GB, that is not 152,000 gp.

    Well, you`re pompous, aren`t you? But GB and gp both measure value, and
    the surplus, which I have many times in the past referred to as coming in
    in cabbage form, is measured somehow, and still needs to be produced.

    And you neatly missed the entire point, that this surplus, no matter what
    form it`s in, seems like quite a bit for regents to be pulling in, when
    most of the people are subsistance level farming.

    Thanks for answering though.
    --
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    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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  7. #7
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 11:50 PM 1/3/2003 +0100, Eric Saxon wrote:

    >Well, most of it is finished goods, livestock, ingots of iron and copper,
    >wood, a building built, that can be rented by the lord, a wearhouse full
    >of cloth or a granary brimming with grain. It says this in the main
    >rulebook, it also says that you can exchange some of that into pure cash,
    >but the more you do it, the more likely you are to face inflation and
    >other domestic problems.(DM`s choice)

    Actually, what it says is that if a regent tries to convert funds (from GB
    to gp) "too often, he devalues his currency and reduces the value of his
    treasury to zero." Rather a hefty price to pay for exchanging currency,
    especially since "too often" there would appear to mean more than once per
    domain turn.

    Where does it say in the Rulebook that a GB is actually the equivalent of
    goods? It seems to indicate in several places (the finance action and the
    Taxation, Collection, and Trade section on p41) that it really was meant to
    represent 2,000gp, not the equivalent value in chickens and beer. It`s
    fine to reinterpret GBs as a measurement of goods in storage rather than a
    great big gold coin the size of a wagon wheel, but that doesn`t seem to be
    what the original intent was.

    Gary

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  8. #8
    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    On Fri, 3 Jan 2003, Eric Saxon wrote:

    > When you receive 76GB, that is not 152,000 gp.

    Of course.

    > Well, most of it is finished goods, livestock, ingots of iron and
    > copper, wood, a building built, that can be rented by the lord, a
    > wearhouse full of cloth or a granary brimming with grain.

    Sure. But it`s still an immensely huge amount of goods, livestock and
    grain. The question is, how can a province have that much wealth (in
    whatever form it is measured or transported) skimmed off its production
    every season without being effectively pillaged?

    > The actual gps you are spending are very minimal.

    That is irrelevant to the question at hand.


    Ryan Caveney

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  9. #9
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "daniel mcsorley" <mcsorley@CIS.OHIO-STATE.EDU>
    Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 2:29 PM


    > OK, so where does all the money come from then? A level 10
    > province can generate: [...] 76 GB in income every turn.
    >
    > A province (9) generates 61.5 GB by the same formula.

    A methodological points strait off. Since province 10`s and 9`s are so
    rare, its hard to be on firm ground with those. Its much easier to
    generalize about level 6 provinces, and still easier with level 3`s. But,
    for argument`s sake, let`s suppose that a level 10 is just a bigger level 6,
    an assumption that may or may not bear out.

    Second, lets distinguish between extracting a surplus and redistributing a
    surplus. When a temple extracts a surplus, they convert what ever they take
    in into lavish temples, kryptographia, stained glass windows, magic items,
    and other consumables and non-productive goodies. When a temple
    redistributes a surplus, they pay workmen for labor, buy standard supplies,
    or otherwise put their income right back into the economy. Most things a
    ruler will do will involve some extraction and some redistribution.

    Lawgiver estimated the value of such taxation as 16 and 2/3`s percent of
    total production. Which is a pretty high figure, historically. That
    probably explains the loyalty loss.

    > That`s a lot of income. I could buy that it`s not all surplus, since it`s
    > high taxes and those start to make the people less loyal, but there`s
    > still a lot of income there turn after turn. Where does it all come from?

    This gets into your presumed economy. What do you imagine it looks like?
    You really have two choices, you can pick a real world model, and then
    manipulate it to fit your campaign, or you can invent an economy from whole
    cloth. Picking a real world ecnomy will tell you where the income comes
    from. Then you have to figure out what game mechanic represents what you
    see. For example, are customs a routine part of provincial taxation? Law
    claims on guilds? or tribute paid? That depends on how routine you imagine
    customs and such taxes are. IMO, law claims reflect using the courts to
    obtain extraordinary income. Obviously, YMMV.

    Here`s one for you. The state may claim 5 GB from a certain temple, but the
    actual performance of that 5GB is actually the fact that most of the
    bureaucrats of the state`s offices are templars. Just as we might imagine
    that some taxes reflect a pool of peasant labor who build the roads, haul
    the stone, and cut the lumber for the ruler, so too can the temple tax
    actually be paid in labor, rather than coin. Again, part of the standard
    revenue, a law claim, or a tribute? There is no right answer, a DM has to
    figure this out based on each realm`s relationships. Some could choose to
    be very standard, but others will describe every realm so different from the
    one`s before it, that each realm has its own unique character.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  10. #10
    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    On Fri, 3 Jan 2003, Lawgiver wrote:

    > Of course not all citizens in the 100,000 for a level 10 provinces are
    > producers. You have the aged, children, ill, handicapped, slaves,
    > prisons, etc. Unless of course you simply assume that the popluation
    > level given for a province relates solely to the popluation that
    > participates in the GDP of a country. For the time period it may not
    > be unrealistic of an assumption.

    This is interesting! It would help explain some of the missing people.
    I suppose one could take "participates in the GDP" to mean "creates an
    extractable surplus", which brings us fairly close to Starfox`s "level =
    urbanization".

    > Additionally, some of it may be considered to be overlapping funds
    > that simply change hands behind the scenes. The guilds pays taxes,
    > the church may pay guilds, the crown may tax churches & guilds
    > (depends on how you play with the Law Claim rules). This would result
    > in a lower actual production, but a higher $ on paper simply due to
    > the transfer of wealth.

    Economists` jargon for this is "velocity" -- the faster the same amount of
    money circulates through the system, the higher the total wealth appears
    to be (and effectively is), because you get to use the same money more
    often. Since GB are only collected one season at a time, that should be
    able to explain a significant fraction of it.

    Cows don`t live forever, grain rots and labor cannot be saved up in
    batteries, so even a regent with many GB in the treasury cannot really
    have withdrawn that wealth from circulation -- because if it were
    truly left static, it would cease to be wealth.


    Ryan Caveney

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