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  1. #1

    Fellow BRers: I need your brain

    Another possible solution to this problem, a problem which I've
    noticed before now, is to keep the usual set up rules and whatnot,
    keeping everything in the hands of the guilder. However, the crown
    always has to give permission for a route to be set up, and can shut
    it down at any time (by having guards stop and seize all goods
    relating to that particular trade, for example). The crown is then in
    a position to negotiate for a hefty chunk of the profits from the
    route, as there is little the guilder can do to stop it. On the other
    hand, the ruler can't afford to get too carried away, as less profit
    is better than no profit if the guilder decides that the route would
    not be economical.

    My 2 spice caravans' worth.

    John.

    "Once I was a lamb, playing in a green field. Then
    the wolves came. Now I am an eagle and I fly in a
    different universe."
    "And now you kill the lambs," whispered Dardalion.
    "No, priest. No one pays for lambs."
    - David Gemmel, Waylander

  2. #2
    Trizt
    Guest

    Fellow BRers: I need your brain

    Jim Cooper (Jim_Cooper@bc.sympatico.ca) wrote:

    - -> Hey y'all:
    - ->
    - -> I would like to know everyone's opinion on the following; look at this
    - -> with a critical eye towards playability and game balance please.
    - -> advantage of the exploratory trade action in the book (again). Fine,
    - -> DM's call, yadda, yadda, yadda. The problem goes much deeper than this,
    - -> I argue, right down to the Trade Route rules in the main rulebook.
    - ->
    - -> Okay, the problem:
    - ->
    - -> Its always bugged me that merchant princes make at least 3x the money
    - -> that a province ruler does.
    - -> Thoughts? Suggestions? Additions?

    The Fighter King may have law in the domain he rules, and in that way he can
    always demand tribute from the traders, so in my opinion there is no need to
    change anything, it's just your friends who has to become a bit samter and
    use the power which the law gives them.

    //Trizt of Ward^RITE

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  3. #3
    Tim Nutting
    Guest

    Fellow BRers: I need your brain

    | I've got more; take a prov. 4 - ~10,000 pop right? Well, if the
    | nobility = ~10% of a feudal society, that's about 1000 people right?
    | Say that pop figure only represents the 'labour force' (ie the 'taxable'
    | workforce, which is to say the adult population that contributes to the
    | public coffers), then that means approx. 5 units of knights ought to be
    | able to be supported in that province (or thereabouts). But as things
    | stand know, at best a prov 4 will only make about 5 GBs per turn. This
    | means only ~2.5 knight units can be supported, and that's it! No other
    | military units can be supported!

    Try more like 1% of the people being nobles. Assuming a population of 10,000
    people, and taxable at that, you must ask what the taxes are. Now, let us
    dispose of the D&D myth that every peasant has a few dozen gold coins,
    completely ignore all the stuff ever written in D&D modules as well, because it
    all assumes everyone is fricking rich. I don't know how, considering the
    "average wages" in the DMG, but what the hell, right? Now, taxes are the only
    revunue a feudal structure of government has. Further, the citizens are not
    represented. The leaders can do whatever the hell they want with the taxes.
    These citizens are probably expected to give away the following: 10% to
    god(s), 60% to live, and the other 30% to the government. Probably that
    taxation is not too excessive. Their taxes will not be paid in gold coin, but
    in goods and services. In fact, a single gold coin should be a treasure.
    Therefore, the average taxation of 6,000 gold coins every three months is not
    that far off base. Now you history buffs out there can probably find some fact
    some where to knock this whole thing off kilter, but I really don't know that
    it matters. We're playing games, not studying Medieval Ethics and Economics
    301.

    I don't see where the bullshit is coming from, except the cows in the field. A
    knight is a member of the nobility. We have no printed reference that I am
    aware of in BR that indicates that members of the common classes can attain
    that status. So your availability is pretty low to begin with anyhow. Now, I
    want you to look at the cost of armor and weapons as noted in the PHB. These,
    while not precisely historically accurate, serve as a good reference. Go
    through and build the "kit" for a knight. His armor, shield, weapons, mount,
    etc. When you run up the tab it's pretty big. No ruler could pay all that, so
    the knight must "come equipped". That means he MUST be a noble or of the
    middle merchant class, no one else can afford the gear and mount.

    | To top it off, taking a guild regent in the same province, he can make
    | around ~15 GBs with holdings & trade routes (~20GBs if its coastal).
    | FOUR times as much money as the leader of the land?!? In a feudal
    | culture?!?

    Doesn't the leader tax his merchants? The money is certainly excessive, but
    the biggest problem here, and I see it in every BR game I play, is that the
    various player rulers and the DM running the NPC is too much of a lame wuss to
    demand his due taxes from the merchants. Look at our own "enlightened
    democracy" (yah, right). Go ask your local game shop owner how much he/she
    pays in quarterly taxes to the US government. It is really, really excessive.

    Typical example:
    Maximus Rulisterius the Thief runs the trading operations in Roesone like it's
    nobody else's business, cause it ain't. He has three trade routes out of
    Proudglaive that go to Imperial City, Avanil, and Diemed. Because Diem and
    Avan are good guys, they aren't chargin Maximus a bloody red cent for making
    scounds of money in their domains of their people, and the ruler of Roesone
    just doesn't feel like possibly angering Maximus, so she lets him get away with
    his business practices. As a result, Maximus makes lots of money.

    The way it should be:
    Max has a thing for governments, the damn bat rastards charge so much money
    that you can't be expected to make a bloody cent anymore.... First off, Darien
    Avan killed his contract last month because someone else made a better offer,
    or so the missive said, then that jerk in Diemed increased his import taxes for
    some reasone or another, probably more like he doesn't like Marlae or
    something. It really sucks doing business between old enemies. Maybe he could
    trade with Aerenwe, but... well, he doesn't want to give away that much and the
    scoundrels over there are really expensive. On top of all of this, Marlae's
    tariffs just aren't fair! 20% is so bloody much! Doesn't she understand that
    Max is trying to run a business!? Who cares about "troop levies" and such, why
    can't she get those bloody roads fixed between here and Ilien...


    I've snipped the ideas for the reorganization of trade. I guess it's good
    stuff, but I personally see that the existing trade rules work just fine, that
    is if the landed regents tax everyone, not just their citizens.

    Considering my story example above, Marlae Roseone should have a standard
    import tariff of at least 15%, therefore, any trade route that has an end in
    her territory is taxed by that much. Further, any guilder seeking to use her
    roads between, say, Ilien and Aerenwe, she should tax as well, perhaps a "road
    use tax", perhaps 10%. Therefore, the trade route between Ilien and
    Proudglaive, which earns 6 GB, winds up giving her 1 GB, every month. Rogr
    Aglondier is probably doing the same thing, and that route nets him a further
    1GB every month. That leaves either Orthien Tane or El-Hadid with 4GB. Over
    all, that is a whopping 30% loss. Acceptable cost of doing business.

    Now, Assuming the master or the route is Orthien Tane, whoe doesn't get on well
    with Marlae anyhow, he is probably paying a few cents to simply have the right
    of doing business there. Yes, the right. Remember that in a feudal society,
    no individual has rights. Rights and privileges are given from god to the
    ruler to the populace, similar to the arrangement in the UK. For residents of
    non-parlimentry democracies (like the US) this seems quite odd. Marlae, if
    she's smart, charges Orthien a flat tax of 1GB per quarter per province in
    which he has trade interests, whether or not he make money that domain turn.
    Finally, lets not forget Marlae's export tariffs. She will probably charge
    about 10% to 20% depending on the goods. If the goods are reported as weapons,
    weell, then, that tax should probably increase, because she doens't want
    potential enemies to have weapons from Ghaelen Forge now, does she?

    All things considered, after this incredibly long spiel, any regent that
    doesn't come up with creative ways to tax their business partners should be
    overthrown, he deserves it. Compared to the Columbus statement and the
    exploratory trade venue there, well, he went to her because he didn't have
    enough money to do that trade venue, kind of like a guilder regent with a
    single holding in one province. Considering that Cerilia is about as big as
    Australia, Spain could easily house at least 30 provinces (probably alot more),
    with no single massive trade organization in the early 1500s.

    Happy Tax Time!
    Tim Nutting
    zero@wiredweb.com

  4. #4
    Sindre Berg
    Guest

    Fellow BRers: I need your brain

    Jim Cooper wrote:

    > Hey y'all:
    >
    > I would like to know everyone's opinion on the following; look at this
    >
    > with a critical eye towards playability and game balance please.
    >
    > The setup: One of my players in my campaign decided to start up his
    > own
    > BR campaign in Brechtur (I'm a player in his camp. too). Everything
    > is
    > going great - that is, until one of the players decided to take
    > advantage of the exploratory trade action in the book (again). Fine,
    > DM's call, yadda, yadda, yadda. The problem goes much deeper than
    > this,
    > I argue, right down to the Trade Route rules in the main rulebook.
    >
    > Okay, the problem:
    >
    > Its always bugged me that merchant princes make at least 3x the money
    > that a province ruler does. Take, for an example, the idea that the
    > exploratory trade action is based on: Venice merchants/ Marco Polo /
    > Drake/ Columbus, etc. Who funded those expeditions? The *rulers* of
    > course, Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain for Columbus (or whatever
    > their
    > names were). Drake? The English crown. The list goes on.
    >
    > I've got more; take a prov. 4 - ~10,000 pop right? Well, if the
    > nobility = ~10% of a feudal society, that's about 1000 people right?
    > Say that pop figure only represents the 'labour force' (ie the
    > 'taxable'
    > workforce, which is to say the adult population that contributes to
    > the
    > public coffers), then that means approx. 5 units of knights ought to
    > be
    > able to be supported in that province (or thereabouts). But as things
    >
    > stand know, at best a prov 4 will only make about 5 GBs per turn. This
    >
    > means only ~2.5 knight units can be supported, and that's it! No
    > other
    > military units can be supported!
    >
    > I call b*#lsh*#t!
    >
    > To top it off, taking a guild regent in the same province, he can make
    >
    > around ~15 GBs with holdings & trade routes (~20GBs if its coastal).
    > FOUR times as much money as the leader of the land?!? In a feudal
    > culture?!?
    >
    > As a result of the above, every game that I've DMed or played in, most
    >
    > regents scramble to see who can accumulated the most money the fastest
    >
    > (or at least try to - I'm a fairly strict DM). This really frustrates
    >
    > me, especially when I see time and again the fighter types act like
    > expert econonmists (usually better than the rogue players, I might
    > add)
    > - I play with a fairly educated group .. :)
    >
    > I can't blame them, since its the province rulers who need money the
    > most (heck, why do the guilder regents need all that dough, except to
    > make more and more of it!). This quickly degenerates into the fighter
    >
    > types acting as tyrants as they squeeze every available cash cow (read
    >
    > guilder), with the guild regents amassing treasuries of +200GBs and
    > turning around and buying off a regent to let them build armies and
    > then
    > marching off with legions to overthrow the 'tyrant' regents (which the
    >
    > fighter types can't hope to stand against with their measly armies).
    >
    > So I proposed the following solution in my campaigns, and this is how
    > I've run things so far; can people give me their thoughts on the
    > below?
    >
    > The solution - a reorganization of the rules:
    >
    > Provinical rulers now control a larger portion of their economies. To
    >
    > simulate this, I say that only provincial rulers hold 'trade routes',
    > since trade is, by and large, a factor of the population of the
    > province
    > (you gotta have marketplaces in order to trade, and that is taken care
    >
    > of by the level of the province and is maintained by the prov. ruler.
    > Thus, I think its only fair that, since the prov. ruler pays for the
    > maintanence of the prov., they should benefit from owning the
    > marketplaces). Prov rulers can also shut down trade routes by decrees
    >
    > and such, so I would assume that this implies a *great* deal of
    > control
    > over a prov.'s economy.
    >
    > In game terms this means the following: Provinces now generate taxes
    > according to the number of 'trade routes' sustainable by the prov. (as
    >
    > dictated by the level, of course) in GBs. Lets call this the
    > province's
    > "economic factor". Prov.'s now generate taxes as follows: Divide the
    >
    > province level by 2 (round down), multiply the 'economic factor' of
    > the
    > prov. (=the # of TRs sustainable by said prov.), added to the random
    > tax
    > roll. Prov. rulers don't need to create this economic factor; it
    > comes
    > as a natural result of economic activity that a certain level of prov.
    >
    > generates. Obviously, 0 level provinces are still in a bit of a bind.
    >
    > :) I think this makes sense. Note also that two provinces aren't
    > linked; a province is a self-contained econominc unit, and doesn't
    > need
    > to be linked to another by roads or whatever. Also, a province always
    >
    > has its max number of TRs generating money for the ruler, unless some
    > random event or regent action dictates otherwise.
    >
    > For example: King Dirk owns a level 4 prov. This means, come tax
    > time,
    > he collects 4GBs+d4+1GBs (assuming mod. taxation) from this province.
    > If its a coastal prov. with a port: 8GBs+d4+1GBs.
    >
    > Basically, TRs are now built into the economy (level) of a province.
    > Note that TRs cannot be made now, since the province is always
    > sustaining its maximum number of TRs. DMs can modify the amount a
    > prov.
    > ruler collects with Corruption/Crime, Trade Matter random events. I
    > can
    > also envision other variables, such as: the above assumes no roads
    > (the
    > only roads are local dirt tracks). If two or more provinces are
    > linked
    > with (proper) roads (as dictated by the build action), then double the
    >
    > *land portion* of the economic factor in the provinces with roads.
    > Etc., etc., etc.
    >
    > Now I say that the current Trade Route rules take the place of the
    > exploratory trade action proposed in the HotGB supp, so that the TR
    > action creates a one time 'caravan' of goods, equaling the average of
    > the two provinces that are involved. This still gives thief regents a
    >
    > raison d'etre. Note that if the prov. ruler is a rogue, they would
    > still collect those extra RPs for the economic factor (equaling the
    > amount of GBs collected in tax from the economic factor that turn).
    >
    > Of course, prov. rulers could bestow rights to a portion of his
    > economy
    > to a trusted merchant prince (and thus give a portion of his tax
    > collection in lieu of trade routes). In addition, prov. rulers can
    > still impose tariffs on those caravans mentioned above, to get even
    > more
    > cash. So now, hopefully all of you can see, the onus is on the sly
    > merchant princes to see how they can cheat regents out of their 'hard
    > earned' feudal dues (as I think it should be, not the other way around
    >
    > as it currently stands).
    >
    > Note too, that ruling a province should also become more difficult for
    >
    > the prov. rulers, since they must also build up the economy of their
    > provinces in addition to attracting settlers; which, of course, is
    > left
    > up to the individual DM to decide how to do this.
    >
    > A rough guideline. Can anyone see any holes?
    >

    I liked the idea a bit and I definately recognize the problem of trade
    routes. Take a look at the rules page of my PBMG at how we did it....
    Anyway if this is supposed to be historically correct, I think you
    missed one thing. Trade didn't mean anything in a medieaval culture
    (well almost anything). All the money was in farming actually. There
    were several reasons for this:

    1 Communication was bad, risky and expensive. The rivers in Europe was
    taxed every 5 miles or so, and the seas was plagued with bad weather
    (seamanship ?) or pirates, not to mention land travel which was hopeless
    for almost anything. The only thing that really was good business was
    expensive, exotic items like spices, some furs, cloths etc. because of
    the extremely high freight prices.

    2 The ability to actually raise tax was very low... The system was
    extremely ineffecient, and in some way it was intended to be that way,
    the farmers paid to nobles that could help raise armies.

    3 Large amounts of good money could be found in the ransom system. If
    you captured an enemy noble he was held ransom until his relatives paid
    (Robin Hood and Richard Lionheart f. inst.). The english king (which had
    40 000 pounds in national income per year) demanded 500 000 pounds for
    the french king in the hundred years war. Note the big difference
    between the numbers, and also note that France tried to pay, they did
    not pay all but they really tried (hey I would have written the king of
    as a casualty and continued with the heir :) . This system was based on
    money extracted from farming.

    Anyway just my way of trying to show of my (supposedly) great knowledge
    of history :-)


    > Thoughts? Suggestions? Additions?
    >
    > Cheers,
    > Darren
    >
    > ******
    > ************************************************** ******************
    > To unsubscribe from this list send mail to majordomo@mpgn.com with the
    > line
    > Sindre

    Take a look at my homepage and Birthright PBMG at:

    www.uio.no/~sindrejb

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Fellow BRers: I need your brain

    I think it would be easier just to allow province or law rulers to shut
    down a TR, until proper 'squeeze' had been paid. Based on my (very) brief
    experience as a guild regent, it is really easy to set up a TR and rake in big
    bucks. I think I planned for 60+ GB by Turn 4!
    Perhaps we need a re-interpretation, saying that a TR owner needs a guild
    holding at both ends (or a lease arrangement with another guilder?) That
    would make them harder to set up, and probably require Diplomacy with the
    guilds and rulers at both ends.
    Another thing to cut into the power of guilders: If their TR passes
    through, or a guild is in, a province with uncontrolled (or hostile) Law
    holdings, have those attempt to sieze profits, just like other Law holdings.
    This would represent banditry and other losses. Sea TRs would have to roll on
    some similar table, to represent piracy? Of course, fortified holdings and
    ships might reduce this?

    Lee.

  6. #6
    Jim Cooper
    Guest

    Fellow BRers: I need your brain

    Tim Nutting wrote:
    > Doesn't the leader tax his merchants? The money is certainly excessive, but the biggest problem here, and I see it in every BR game I play, is that the various player rulers and the DM running the NPC is too much of a lame wuss to demand his due taxes from the merchants.

  7. #7
    Jim Cooper
    Guest

    Fellow BRers: I need your brain

    John wrote:
    >>However, the crown always has to give permission for a route to be set up, and can shut it down at any time (by having guards stop and seize all goods relating to that particular trade, for example). The crown is then in a position to negotiate for a hefty chunk of the profits from the route, as there is little the guilder can do to stop it. On the other hand, the ruler can't afford to get too carried away, as less profit is better than no profit if the guilder decides that the route would not be economical.

  8. #8
    Mark A Vandermeulen
    Guest

    Fellow BRers: I need your brain

    On Mon, 5 Oct 1998, Jim Cooper wrote:

    > John wrote:
    > >>However, the crown always has to give permission for a route to be set up, and can shut it down at any time (by having guards stop and seize all goods relating to that particular trade, for example). The crown is then in a position to negotiate for a hefty chunk of the profits from the route, as there is little the guilder can do to stop it. On the other hand, the ruler can't afford to get too carried away, as less profit is better than no profit if the guilder decides that the route would not be economical.
    > This is the problem. This puts the prov. ruler at a disadvantage, when
    > I think they should be holding most of the cards - which is only fair,
    > since they have responsibility over more things (like the loyalty of
    > their subjects, maintanence of armies and castles, courts to maintain,
    > etc). Give rulers the upper hand by eliminating the potential for
    > guilders to feel cheated or shafted from money that is 'theirs' - and
    > let them put their crafty merchant minds on how to best gouge the
    > rulers! Perhaps what I'm saying is that guild holdings should be able
    > to function just as law holdings do when claiming the goods collected
    > from a province. Perhaps this can be explained by merchant houses
    > cornering the market, refusing to work unless for higher pay, etc.

    Ok, I've been gone this weekend, but I've just caught up on this thread.
    One thing I think has gone completely overlooked is the fact that any
    province ruler is perfectly with in his rights to decide who may or may
    not have trade routes in his domain. In fact a province ruler can
    INSTANTLY and PAINLESSLY shut down ANY TRADE ROUTE IN OR PASSING THROUGH
    HIS DOMAIN. It's called the Decree Action and ITS A FREE ACTION!
    "In the interests of Duchy Security it is decreed that any trade
    passing through or across the borders of Duchy X must be owned and
    operated by a fully liscenced and recognized operative, registered with
    the Court of the Duchy at Castle X or be subject to immediate arrest and
    seisure of all goods. Offenders will be treated as traiters to the realm
    and dealt with accordingly."
    If the province ruler doesn't like the guilder, he can quickly and
    easily shut down all his trade routes, and GRANT the RIGHTS to those trade
    routes to the guilder's cheif rival. Or, heck, to the guilder's younger
    brother, for that matter (and such things have a way of settling
    themselves in the long run...you've seen the Godfather movies).

    I think the system is perfectly capable of having its own checks and
    balances, but not all PC's are savvy enough to think of them. If you as
    the DM don't want Guilders taking over Anuire, you just need to suggest
    such tricks to the PC's ("Uh, your castellan comes to you and reminds you
    that your father used to station a company of guards at the fords, and
    make certain that any caravans are carrying the correct liscences").

    Mark VanderMeulen
    vander+@pitt.edu

  9. #9
    Mark A Vandermeulen
    Guest

    Fellow BRers: I need your brain

    On Mon, 5 Oct 1998, Jim Cooper wrote:

    > Basically, I really only put the trade routes in the hands of the
    > provincial rulers, who need them the most, and redefined what they are.
    > You see, guilder's don't need to maintain armies, but rulers do. So why
    > do guild holders need all that money? But when said rulers try and gain
    > that money from the guilders to protect the trade routes, the guilders
    > just raise an army to enforce their will on the beleaguered prov.
    > rulers. They invariably find some disgruntled ruler who wants to see
    > the downfall of XXX 'tyrant' regent.

    Strange, perhaps I'm just a unique case, but I've NEVER had these
    problems. First, as soon as Marlae realizes that the guilder is conspiring
    against her to raise troops next door (which will eventually happen, no
    matter HOW many Intrigue proficiencies you have), what is she going to do?
    Occupy her own provinces, completely wiping out the ability of the guilder
    to gain RP's or GB's from them. Then she calls in a friendly priest, finds
    some other guilder who will be more friendly, does a bunch of Investitures
    (actually under some rules interpretations, only ONE investiture) and
    Poof, she has a new guilder under her, who owes her BIG favors, is
    probably pretty loyal, and the previous guilder is SOL. Sure she looses
    some province loyalty, but she spends some RP's on a few Agitate actions
    and she can basically ignore them.

    In most of my games, the guilder do exactly what makes sense to me in the
    historical context: they buddy up to the province ruler, slide him some
    extra cash now and then, promise him that he can always ask for a loan if
    he needs it, and hey, wouldn't it be a great idea to grab those two
    provinces over there the next time you're out on maneuvers? Just give it
    some thought, and hey, if you need any money, just ask. I would be happy
    to help support the Safety and Glory of Duchy X, and all I ask in return
    is for you to remember me when you stamp out the evil influence of the
    guilder in those two provinces. I, of course, would be a far superior
    influence there.

    > If you like, 100% of the Trade Routes are taxed, and I was asking if
    > this was fair - as a player, would everyone accept someone asking for
    > 100% of their profit from your TRs? Hell, players complain when they
    > only lose 10%! But, even in Tim's example of Roesone, I think 30% loss
    > is still not enough. And players invariably dream of ways to somehow
    > recover their 'loss'; usually, this comes from coup attempts with help
    > from other regent enemies.

    I personally think it would be fascitiating story to make such a PC an
    object lesson. Have the province ruler clamp down. Have him completely
    loose all of his holdings through investitures, have him be outlawed in
    his home province, and flee for his life to somewhere else (the Giantdowns
    perhaps) to start over again. Certainly not what the PC's themselves want,
    but I think that most would be willing to put up with it if the story was
    interesting enough (perhaps a hint and a map to powerful magic or great
    treasure in the Giantdowns at the same time), and the PC would be HIGHLY
    motivated. I personally feel that it would give a great feeling of
    accomplishment to come back such a blow.

    > IMHO, as it stands now guild regents don't need all the money they are
    > potentially able to generate. So, I took out that potential completely.
    > Currently, the guilders feel indignation because its the rulers who are
    > placed at a 'moral disadvantage' because they must act as tyrants and
    > literally beg (or rule with an iron fist) for every scrap of money they
    > can get from those they rule. If, on the other hand, players never even
    > had something to begin with, its been my experience that they don't
    > complain about something they haven't lost!

    I do not see it this way at ALL. The rulers spend the time and the energy
    to create roads, to keep them free of bandits and brigands, literally own
    the land on which the guilder's make their products. The province rulers
    own the rights to trade across their land, but generally do not do the
    trading themselves. Instead they sell, or liscence, the Charter to a
    particular trade route, potentially to which ever guilder is willing to
    pay the highest for it. The Charter for trade between Caercas and Ilien,
    for example, will likely be highly sought after. This is Anuire, afterall,
    where all authority decends from the warrior god to those noble,
    courageous and honorable protectors of the people and guardians of the
    land, and not Brechtur, where if you can get away with it and make a
    profit, it's a sign of the Goddess' blessing.

    > I've relegated guilds to a much more reasonable level to that by which
    > the temple holdings now stand. Guild regents only collect from their
    > guild holdings, and its up to THEM how they can evade tax collection,
    > and collect what is 'rightfully' theirs from the trade produced in the
    > realm. Note that, for rulers wanting this trade, there still needs to
    > be guild holdings in said province, otherwise, no trade goes on. So
    > guild holders, like temple rulers, still have influence since in that
    > they can leave (eliminating their guild holdings in a province) and kill
    > the economy in a province! The population will understandably be upset
    > and rebel!
    >
    > Or does everyone think this is all hogwash? :)

    Well, it's not hogwash. I do think it is getting a little carried away. A
    medieval socio-economic system is fundamentally about centrifugal forces
    pulling away power from a centralized location, into the creation of
    groups: the church, the guilds, the political rulers (and the wizards in
    Cerilia). The trick for the DM's is to keep them all balanced, which I
    will certainly admit requires a certain amount of savvy. Just remember
    that in Anuire, authority, the power to do what you want and still be
    culturally acceptable, is derived from a god who favors warriors. In
    Brechtur, all this stuff would be perfectly reasonable, but in Anuire all
    rights to the land belong to the warrior that defends it, except those
    that he is too weak to grasp, or which he agrees to be delegated away to
    other parties. In Anuire, guilders should have to earn their right to that
    delegation with their loyalty (which can cause problems for guilders whose
    holdings cross political boundaries).

    I think that makes sense. Of course, the application is the hard part.

    Mark VanderMeulen
    vander+@pitt.edu

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