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  1. #1
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    One question, through my years of playing BR, has continually bothered me:

    What are guilds and temples supposed to spend their vast GB income on? RP
    is easily spent on back-and-forth contesting, but I don`t know what clerics
    and thieves are supposed to do with their vast piles of cash.

    I know in PBeMs, clerics and thieves usually raise their own armies.
    However, this isn`t realistic based on the information presented in the BR
    rulebooks, as the law regents are the only ones mentioned as having armies.

    In your long-running campaigns, what do your temples and guilds do with all
    their money?

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  2. #2
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    They "loan" it to the lawholders and realm regents for "favors" to be named later.
    Duane Eggert

  3. #3
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    irdeggman wrote:

    >This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.
    > You can view the entire thread at: http://www.birthright.net/read.php?TID=1381
    >
    > irdeggman wrote:
    > They "loan" it to the lawholders and realm regents for "favors" to be named later.
    >
    e. g. Fugger and Maximilian, right?
    bye
    Michael Romes

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  4. #4
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    Lord Shade wrote:

    >One question, through my years of playing BR, has continually bothered me:
    >
    >What are guilds and temples supposed to spend their vast GB income on? RP
    >is easily spent on back-and-forth contesting, but I don`t know what clerics
    >and thieves are supposed to do with their vast piles of cash.
    >
    >I know in PBeMs, clerics and thieves usually raise their own armies.
    >However, this isn`t realistic based on the information presented in the BR
    >rulebooks, as the law regents are the only ones mentioned as having armies.
    >
    >In your long-running campaigns, what do your temples and guilds do with all
    >their money?
    >
    Loans to mighty rulers, to get them into your debt and later call in a
    favour.
    Hiring mercenary units to supplement the army of the landed regent.
    Building Ships. Fortifying holdings, best done together with the landed
    regent and the cooperative fortification rule from the Book of Regency.
    Spend it on Espionage to ensure success (no thief would want to be
    revealed as responsible, and certainly not to fail some covert action).

    And of course: Pay Law Claims.
    Spend money for role-playing purposes: Giving to the poor, cherity, in
    case of Guilder Kalien: new hats, nobles outfits...
    Masterwork tools, weapons and armour as the best that money can buy
    without the need of some unreliable wizard.
    Buy the wizard a fine library and he will cast spells for you later...

    Pay TAXES - that is something I do not like. Not that I think there
    should be no taxes. No, taxes should be what Law Claims are - however
    issuing a decree as tax law is strange as the 2E Birthright rules say
    that a decree can´t affect another regents property.
    bye
    Michael Romes

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  5. #5
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    On Tue, 25 Feb 2003, Michael Romes wrote:
    > Pay TAXES - that is something I do not like. Not that I think there
    > should be no taxes. No, taxes should be what Law Claims are - however
    > issuing a decree as tax law is strange as the 2E Birthright rules say
    > that a decree can´t affect another regents property.

    I`ve always figured the tax decrees were voluntary on the part of the
    taxees. They`re generally low, 1 GB/holding or so, and the implication of
    the decree is "play ball with me on this, or I`ll use law claims, which
    are potentially much worse for you." In effect they just encourage the
    guilders to Grant the Duke some money each turn.
    --
    Communication is possible only between equals.
    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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  6. #6
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    On Tue, 25 Feb 2003, Michael Romes wrote:
    > Pay TAXES - that is something I do not like. Not that I think there
    > should be no taxes. No, taxes should be what Law Claims are - however
    > issuing a decree as tax law is strange as the 2E Birthright rules say
    > that a decree can´t affect another regents property.

    I`ve always figured the tax decrees were voluntary on the part of the
    taxees. They`re generally low, 1 GB/holding or so, and the implication of
    the decree is "play ball with me on this, or I`ll use law claims, which
    are potentially much worse for you." In effect they just encourage the
    guilders to Grant the Duke some money each turn.
    --
    Communication is possible only between equals.
    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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  7. #7
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "daniel mcsorley" <mcsorley@CIS.OHIO-STATE.EDU>
    Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 11:34 AM


    > I`ve always figured the tax decrees were voluntary on the part of
    > the taxees. They`re generally low, 1 GB/holding or so, and the
    > implication of the decree is "play ball with me on this, or I`ll use law
    > claims, which are potentially much worse for you." In effect they
    > just encourage the guilders to Grant the Duke some money each turn.

    These were called "contributions" in the middle ages. The church was immune
    from taxation, so their transfers to the state had to be voluntary. On the
    other hand, rulers often had the right to collect the incomes of vacant
    bishoprics, so you could just hold up appointments and collect incomes (law
    claims) in the mean time. Likewise, towns often had charters exempting them
    from direct taxation. But, since a ruler could demand forced loans (law
    claims), cities often prefered to arrange a smaller gift.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  8. #8
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Lord Shade wrote:

    > One question, through my years of playing BR, has continually bothered me:
    >
    > What are guilds and temples supposed to spend their vast GB income on? RP
    > is easily spent on back-and-forth contesting, but I don`t know what
    clerics
    > and thieves are supposed to do with their vast piles of cash.

    Why do these organizations exist? Their money will be spent to achive their
    goals. We have (in the rules) a much clearer idea of what states do, and
    what they spend their money on. The big, expensive duty of a landed ruler
    is to protect the people, and that requires armies.

    The purpose of temples will vary somewhat, but in general they exist to
    serve their people. They maintain "armies" of people who provide religious
    services, teaching, charity, and other goodies. The rules don`t require
    this. I basically make templars spend half of their income in this kind of
    maintenance. With the other half, they can build lavish constructs,
    patronize the arts (think Cistine chapel), support military forces (more
    common in some temples than others), and make magic items. How many
    peasants tithing some coppers would it take to produce one potion of cure
    light wounds? Quite a lot. Flaming swords +2 (a favorite of Laerme) are
    obviously a huge investment.

    Guilds. They exist to make their owners and investors rich. Off the top, I
    take 10% as dividends, or other withdrawls of resorces by investors and
    owners. I take another 10% as graft and corruption by lower and mid-level
    operatives. Then I double court costs. Guilders need to build and maintain
    a trading network, and that means ships or caravans. I don`t allow a
    guilder to just fiat a trade route into existence, first they need to build
    the boats or wagons, and then staff them. Then they can start trading.
    Michael Romes has already mentioned investing in underhanded realm actions,
    and that is certainly true. Some may also maintain small numbers of troops,
    usually scouts or irregulars.

    Wizards have a much easier cash situation. They have an income, I assume,
    but its totally consumed by maintaining the wizard`s operations. So, no net
    realm income.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  9. #9
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    At 01:06 PM 2/25/2003 -0600, you wrote:
    >Lord Shade wrote:
    >
    >> One question, through my years of playing BR, has continually bothered me:
    >>
    >> What are guilds and temples supposed to spend their vast GB income on? RP
    >> is easily spent on back-and-forth contesting, but I don`t know what
    >clerics
    >> and thieves are supposed to do with their vast piles of cash.
    >
    >Why do these organizations exist? Their money will be spent to achive their
    >goals. We have (in the rules) a much clearer idea of what states do, and
    >what they spend their money on. The big, expensive duty of a landed ruler
    >is to protect the people, and that requires armies.
    >
    >The purpose of temples will vary somewhat, but in general they exist to
    >serve their people. They maintain "armies" of people who provide religious
    >services, teaching, charity, and other goodies. The rules don`t require
    >this. I basically make templars spend half of their income in this kind of
    >maintenance.

    Shouldn`t this be counted in domain maintenance?

    And a second question - what do temples get for spending half their income
    on services? At least armies have a use in domain play; you can use them to
    attack or defend, and if you have no enemies, you can disband all armies
    and save some cash. In your game what does a temple get for spending 50% of
    his income on "armies" of people as you put it? (or lose for not having it)

    With the other half, they can build lavish constructs,
    >patronize the arts (think Cistine chapel), support military forces (more
    >common in some temples than others), and make magic items. How many
    >peasants tithing some coppers would it take to produce one potion of cure
    >light wounds? Quite a lot. Flaming swords +2 (a favorite of Laerme) are
    >obviously a huge investment.

    True, but how often do these temples make magic items? I am not trying to
    rebut your points, I am just trying to get a clearer understanding of how
    this works over time. I`d think if you are sinking 10gb every season into
    making flaming swords, pretty soon they will be quite plentiful. btw, what
    benefit do you get from building lavish constructs? Or is it just gold
    thrown down the drain?

    >Guilds. They exist to make their owners and investors rich. Off the top, I
    >take 10% as dividends, or other withdrawls of resorces by investors and
    >owners. I take another 10% as graft and corruption by lower and mid-level
    >operatives. Then I double court costs. Guilders need to build and maintain
    >a trading network, and that means ships or caravans. I don`t allow a
    >guilder to just fiat a trade route into existence, first they need to build
    >the boats or wagons, and then staff them. Then they can start trading.
    >Michael Romes has already mentioned investing in underhanded realm actions,
    >and that is certainly true. Some may also maintain small numbers of troops,
    >usually scouts or irregulars.

    Ok, what are your rules for building trade routes? I have found this to be
    a big problem in PBeM.

    So basically you just flat out deduct 20% from all guild income as your
    solution, but you do give a justification.

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  10. #10
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Lord Shade" <lordshade@SOFTHOME.NET>
    Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 7:51 PM

    > Shouldn`t this be counted in domain maintenance?

    I do put the cost on the maintenance section of my domain form.

    > And a second question - what do temples get for spending half their income
    > on services? At least armies have a use in domain play; you can use them
    to
    > attack or defend, and if you have no enemies, you can disband all armies
    > and save some cash. In your game what does a temple get for spending 50%
    of
    > his income on "armies" of people as you put it? (or lose for not having
    it)

    In England, where the best records of population survive, one person in
    seventy was a member of the clergy, and they lived better than the peasants
    who paid for their existance. The lowest ordained person is most probably
    compatable to a scribe in terms of income (3 sp/day) it would take 30
    laborers to support him through tithes. Temples have other costs besides
    simply manpower, and while some temple contributors tithe more than the
    laborer, some clerics are given food, materials, housing, and pay greater
    than the lowest ordained member of the temple. So if 70 people are served
    by one cleric, and roughly half of their tithes can be explained by the
    maintenance of clergy, where does the other half go? Well some to other
    costs of the temple, but also most of that to the temple headquarters to
    advance the temple as a whole from central direction on high.

    Consider:
    Avanil has 167,000 residents. It is defended by 25 units, or 25x200 hit
    dice of military power. That`s at most 5000 soldiers, though I would put
    the number closer to 4000. Of course Avanil could raise more defenders if
    needed (though not by much using historical limits). The temples in the
    realm must maintain 2386 clergy, who cost about as much as the soldiers do
    in basic maintenance. Of course the clergy dwell and perform their labors
    in less humble surroundings, and these temples themselves must be
    maintained.

    The local bishop was typlically less well off than the lord of the same
    region who had a similar amount of authority and regional significance.
    Much less of the wealth of the church worked its way up from the operations
    of the church than the local lords collected from taxation. In part this is
    because taxes were collected at various levels (local lords, higher lords,
    the soveriegn) while nearly all church income was local and a proportion
    sent up.

    The church gets a close and intimate connection with the people, provinding
    education, meaning, ritual, and preaching giving the tempels unmatched
    ideological power over the people. One of the benefits of this belief
    structure is the ability to cast realm spells, something no other social
    power can do. Such magic is located at the temple, not at the market,
    fortress, or courthouse. The temple also gets free agitate actions every
    season. As this mechanism demonstrates, the people will side with the
    temple in any conflict with another regent.

    > True, but how often do these temples make magic items? I am not trying to
    > rebut your points, I am just trying to get a clearer understanding of how
    > this works over time. I`d think if you are sinking 10gb every season into
    > making flaming swords, pretty soon they will be quite plentiful. btw, what
    > benefit do you get from building lavish constructs? Or is it just gold
    > thrown down the drain?

    Last point first, no lavish constructs, no one knows who you are. Without
    cathedrals, there is no ceremony, no ritual, and people cling to local
    religion. The same thing is true for all monumental building, whether its
    corporate or statist. This is the theory underlying court costs and
    diplomacy bonuses. Its also why as temple holdings grow, you don`t just
    increase the number of shrines you see in 0-level holdings. 30 such shrines
    are not as effective as the assortment of temples, grand temples, and great
    cathedrals.

    I think 90% of all magic items are created by temples. Wizards need to be
    blooded. Clerics don`t. Most magic created are spell storage devices, be
    they potions, runes, or tattoos. A smaller number may be wand-like.
    Temples of Haelyn might have a "wand of cure light wounds" which is in fact
    a sword wielded by a long dead paladin hero, known for his laying on of
    hands and healing of the common people. The revered healing powers of the
    champion are now said to be vested in his relic sword. The clerics touch
    you with the sword, speak the hero`s name and the healing takes place.
    Permenant magic items must be rare because characters of higher level are
    rare in BR.

    > Ok, what are your rules for building trade routes? I have found this to be
    > a big problem in PBeM.

    There are trade centers in each of the named regions (Heartlands, Taelshore,
    Western Basin, &c). Based on roads, rivers, and established routes, it
    costs a certain amount to link a holding to a trade center. The system is
    based on place theory, which explains how things like markets express
    themselves geographically.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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