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  1. #1
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    Province level, taxation and population

    There seem to be at least 2 incompatible views of province populations. I hope that this concise formulation of both views is correct:

    -The first view is that province level represents the population under taxation of and loyal to the province ruler in this view the actual number of people is greater.

    -The second view is that the province level is the actual number of people, and the loyalty to the ruler is represented by the part of the law the regent controls.

    Some problems I could think of, do you see others?

    First view:
    Why do source levels lower when the ruler increases control of the population?
    Why does rule get harder with increased control?
    What is the actual population in the province?

    Second view:
    Why do law holdings have little effect on taxation?
    Why are the population levels so small in certain Provinces?

    To me both are legitimate views, but either view has a major effect on tax collection and the rule province domain action. Currently, the use of both incompatible views interchangeably obfuscates the provincial rule, growth, tax collection and loyalty. This should be addressed by selecting one view and make all other things compatible with this view.

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    I gathered some earlier views on this subject from the economics thread to illustrate some of the inconsistencies I perceive:

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    As I read the books BR populations are of taxpayers (or possibly hearths, thanks Ken) not of actual people - so you could easily have 3-5 times as many people as the numbers indicate without changing the setting otherwise.

    Ideally I would want the system to reflect L1-2 provinces as mostly empty - possibly with only one part actually inhabited. L3-4 should be reasonably populated with a number of villages and a few towns, L5-6 should have quite chunky populations with a proper city, L7+should be a major urban centre...
    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    I think the Sorelies case might be more common than not. If Cerilia is in more or less a constant state of war, then perhaps plenty of provinces have been pillaged and the controls of central authority both in terms of infrastructure (the courthouse burned along with all the tax rolls) but the personell too (and they killed the county assessor). So gradually and with effort, these must be rebuilt.

    Medoere strikes me as oddly low in population (along with some of Roesone) and I think the reason is the recent wars of independence. The new powers are having to establish their governance, being unable to just take over for Diemed.
    Quote Originally Posted by dalor View Post
    I had the same problems with the towns and cities in
    small population provinces having so many people.
    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    Success in this area is not to focus on details, but broad principles. Forays into details are like experiments to confirm that you've settled on the right broad principles. What most simulationists are looking for is elegance. What we really want is a beautiful system that takes us from pages 136-142 in the DMG through individuals using the Profession check to determine income to towns, manors, holdings, provinces, and up to BR realms and domains without many problems.
    Quote Originally Posted by ryancaveney View Post
    My perspective is related to demesne land, subinfeudiation and efficiency of exercise of feudal rights. That is, every town is paying taxes to somebody, but the share of that which actually makes it all the way up the chain to the province ruler, and the amount which he has to pay out again in order to maintain smooth functioning of the system, varies greatly. I have come to believe that province level is primarily a measure of that variation in administrative effectiveness, rather than a direct relation to population density.

    I view it as being very high in population, as it must have been in order to have had sufficient resources to successfully break away from Diemed. In my model, the very low province ratings represent that the leaders of the rebellion had to promise all sorts of concessions to the local landowners below the BR scale, thus greatly weakening the powers of the central government to get anything else done now -- issuing Magna Carta, giving the power of the purse to the parliament, etc. In my view, the war reduced the province levels not by *depopulating* those lands, but rather by *decentralizing* them. IMO, the many Rule actions which Suris Enlien should now undertake do not represent attracting vast numbers of new settlers, but rather extending the degree of administrative control she has over the people who are already there
    Quote Originally Posted by book of Regency
    The law regent is not necessarily a mere law enforcement agent or a lackey. Likewise, law holdings do not necessarily constitute police forces or codes of conduct. Law holdings appear in diverse forms, and can be wielded in a variety of ways.
    In many cases, the most powerful law regent in an area also rules the province. Law is often to be a tool by which the province regent enforces his will. However, political situations and the division of power don’t always work out that way. For whatever reason, sometimes the law of a realm becomes divided between the province ruler and the law regent. The question of who is more powerful in the area becomes an important, and not easily answered one.
    The Power of Law
    Think of the law regent as the head of the civil authority (or, in the case of many law regents, a civil authority). The law regent has local power. He polices the province in which his holdings lie, and makes law and policy for those people who respect his holding. He might be a local sheriff, a knight of the realm, even the lord of the land, but his power derives from local authority.
    Because of this local authority, the law regent can make very specific laws and decrees that affect the internal workings of a realm. He can contest others’ holdings, declare activities legal or required, and file claims against other regents. He has the power of interference on a local and powerful level.
    The Provincial Power
    When a character rules a province, he assumes control over the entire province and treats it as one entity comprising many parts. He can tax the province and can even make his own laws and regulations within the province, but without the local power of law, he has nothing to directly back him up, except the threat of real force, since military units can be law holdings when a province is occupied.
    In a way, that’s about as subtle as the province ruler can get. He can threaten to occupy his own provinces and close down any holdings within them or trade routes going out, but he can’t perform smaller, more direct operations on his own. His decrees should not have nearly the effect of a law regent’s, unless he is willing to risk a shift in loyalty by calling in troops.
    However, the province ruler often can deal with the world on a macro scale more effectively than a regent who controls only law holdings. In a way, the local law regent fits the “big fish, small pond” analogy. Within his domain, he is very powerful; without, he cannot affect much on his own.
    For this reason, law regents who lack an alternate power base generally at least try to work with their realm regents. They know that their authority is local and that, without the province ruler’s good will, they could be shut down in a few months. Likewise, the province ruler knows that, if he did shut down all the law holdings in his domain, he would just have to rebuild them again or do without any local authority

  3. #3
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Tiamat View Post
    First view:
    Why do source levels lower when the ruler increases control of the population?
    Why does rule get harder with increased control?
    What is the actual population in the province?
    About Source levels, I'll defer to magiophiles, but my own sense is that they don't. They are reduced by the actual population in the province.

    The rule action gets harder because people resist increases in the control, taxation, and regulation of their lives. The commoners, burghers, and lessor nobility are getting the coin as it is now (probably with commoners weakest, but not neccesarily in aggregate). In Magical Medieval Society, pathetic kings get 6% of the total non-royal tax income. Weak kings get 18%, average kings get 30%, strong kings get 42%, and exceptional kings get 55%. In Birthright, we have a means to quantify how strong a king is by how many levels of province they possess in a province. So if I'm going from pathetic to weak, I'm tripling my share of the taxation, increasing my take by 12%. (All of the increments are 12%, except the 13% jump at exceptional). There are people who used to keep these taxes, or simply not pay them. They will resist the new controls, or evade them.

    Further, consider new taxes. There are some areas where your taxes are heavy already. You must find areas where there is untapped suplus to levy new taxes, and those in possession of same will not volunteer their existance. If the wine trade has grown up significantly, but wine production was taxed as if it were a normal crop, rather than a cash crop, and other parts of the production chain, presses, barrels, distribution, inns or vendors, are totally untaxed or regulated. Increasing the province levels means adding new inspectors and collectors to asses and collect the wealth. Is this a functional new organization you have established? Or did you just devise a bureau which will consume as expences 110% of the taxes they collect? The rule action would not always be a success.

    Finally, there should be a loss of loyalty when you rule a province up, as the traditional responce to increased regulation, taxation, and direction has been discontent and revolt. The Peasants' Revolt in 1381 is a classic example. John of Gaunt, as Richard II's regent, attempted to rule too many provinces up at once.

    The actual population of a province should be determine geographically. People, like any other population, will expand to the holding capacity of their ecosystem very quickly. We figure out how much habitation a province will support, and that's its population.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    The rule action gets harder because people resist increases in the control, taxation, and regulation of their lives. The commoners, burghers, and lessor nobility are getting the coin as it is now (probably with commoners weakest, but not neccesarily in aggregate). In Magical Medieval Society, pathetic kings get 6% of the total non-royal tax income. Weak kings get 18%, average kings get 30%, strong kings get 42%, and exceptional kings get 55%. In Birthright, we have a means to quantify how strong a king is by how many levels of province they possess in a province. So if I'm going from pathetic to weak, I'm tripling my share of the taxation, increasing my take by 12%. (All of the increments are 12%, except the 13% jump at exceptional). There are people who used to keep these taxes, or simply not pay them. They will resist the new controls, or evade them.
    .
    If we assume that province level is not the population level, would not the level of law holdings help control taxation instead of the other way round?

    Currently the Law, guild and temple holdings must be lower than the province level. If province level determines the power of the king and his taxation in stead of total population, is it not strange that guilds and temples (unaligned with the king) must be smaller? Furthermore, would one not first rule a law holding above the province level, in order to aid the king in ruling the province (taxation) level?

    I would assume that holding sizes are based on total population whereas taxation would be based on king’s strength, the level of authoritarian control over the total population.

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    Senior Member Elton Robb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    About Source levels, I'll defer to magiophiles, but my own sense is that they don't. They are reduced by the actual population in the province.
    Kenneth is correct. A province's sources are reduced by the actual population in the province. From the BIRTHRIGHT Rulebook:

    The vital characteristic of a Province is it's level; this is an overall measure and prosperity of a province.
    When a Regent allows settlement (i.e. uses the Rule action to increase the Province level), Sources can be disrupted by settlement. According to the Rulebook, if I were a Wizard Regent in control of a province that has the potential for a province level of (9). As Regent, I could establish an initial province level of (0), through the Create Holding action. So my province becomes a (0/9).

    Then I'd send settlers to my new province. This is the Rule action, increasing my domain by 1 or 2. So my hypothetical province becomes a (1/8) or (2/7). Then I would establish a source holding in my new province (Source [0]). As I take control of more sources, I Rule up my source holdings to (7). As I control all the sources in this capable province, I can govern my Domain as a Warrior Regent may. Of course, I can establish a Law holding of 2.

    But if my new province has it's population increased through the Rule action, my Source holdings can be reduced. If I increase the Province Level by 1, from (2/7) to (3/6), my source holdings are also reduced by 1. This makes it obvious that the Priests of Ruornil and the Druids of Erik are somewhat in alliance in protecting the wildlife of the world. Even if some druids don't understand Wizard regents in the first place.
    Regent of Medoere

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elton Robb View Post
    Kenneth is correct. A province's sources are reduced by the actual population in the province. From the BIRTHRIGHT Rulebook:



    When a Regent allows settlement (i.e. uses the Rule action to increase the Province level), Sources can be disrupted by settlement. According to the Rulebook, if I were a Wizard Regent in control of a province that has the potential for a province level of (9). As Regent, I could establish an initial province level of (0), through the Create Holding action. So my province becomes a (0/9).

    Then I'd send settlers to my new province. This is the Rule action, increasing my domain by 1 or 2. So my hypothetical province becomes a (1/8) or (2/7). Then I would establish a source holding in my new province (Source [0]). As I take control of more sources, I Rule up my source holdings to (7). As I control all the sources in this capable province, I can govern my Domain as a Warrior Regent may. Of course, I can establish a Law holding of 2.

    But if my new province has it's population increased through the Rule action, my Source holdings can be reduced. If I increase the Province Level by 1, from (2/7) to (3/6), my source holdings are also reduced by 1. This makes it obvious that the Priests of Ruornil and the Druids of Erik are somewhat in alliance in protecting the wildlife of the world. Even if some druids don't understand Wizard regents in the first place.
    I know what the book says, but still find the present rules contradictory. Am I the only one that feels that province level stands for different things on different occasions?

    Edit: the view of Kenneth implies that provinces are more settled than the province level suggests. So we cannot solve the problem by looking at settlement alone; the people that do not pay taxes in the heartland are hardly roaming nomads I pressume.
    Last edited by Sir Tiamat; 06-04-2007 at 04:26 PM.

  7. #7
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Limiting holdings sizes to the Province levels only makes sense when Province level = population. No such assumption should be made. In effect, you should imagine Population level to be the limiting factor of sources and other holdings, and consider Province level to be another kind of holding.

    Bevaldruor
    could be recorded as 6/3 where 6 is the Population, 3 is the Source, and then there are the holdings Province (6), Law (4), Temples (3) and (3), and so on.

    BR has placed taxation entirely within the province rating, so the levels of law holdings don't help taxation at all.

    I would assume that holding sizes are based on total population whereas taxation would be based on king’s strength, the level of authoritarian control over the total population.
    Certainly, and we measure the king's strength and control by his Province rating. At least as far as taxation is concerned.

    This would raise interesting possibilities of divided province holdings just as we have other holdings divided. What if the little break-away realms of Medoere and Roesone still have province holdings in their realm controlled by Diemed? Is Caerwil Province (2) Suris Enlien, Province (3) Heirl Diem, Law (4) Guilder Kalien, Law (1) Heirl Diem, and Temple (5) Ruornil's Celestial Spell?
    As the invested regent of Caerwil, Suris Enlien is the theoretical master of the province, but her secular power in the realm is weak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    Limiting holdings sizes to the Province levels only makes sense when Province level = population. No such assumption should be made. In effect, you should imagine Population level to be the limiting factor of sources and other holdings, and consider Province level to be another kind of holding.
    I agree we should get those entangled concepts dissentangled... We must seek an elegant solution to this, because in an attempt to correct this we run the risk of drifting further from the original setting than we would like.

    first let us for now not speak of ''province level but divide it into to two seperate levels, one for taxation and control and one for population, one of which will later be called province level.

    Is suggest two working-titels let us talk of '"control level" and "population level"

    One problem I see is with the current levels in the AD&D setting, displayed on the map:

    the levels pictured on the map of cerillia are in your view "control levels" rather than "population levels"; this has a huge effect on the levels of other holdings...

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    BR has placed taxation entirely within the province rating, so the levels of law holdings don't help taxation at all.
    Basing taxation/"control level" in part on law, might be an elegant way out, although basing it totally on law would make law holding too powerful...

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    The game map must contain only the at-start numbers, because of all of them are subject to change as play progresses.

    Basing taxation/"control level" in part on law, might be an elegant way out, although basing it totally on law would make law holding too powerful...
    Historically, half the income of royals and nobles (although the nobles have a much more varied situation) comes from law holdings. Another possible name for the "control level" would be administration holdings.
    Last edited by kgauck; 06-04-2007 at 04:58 PM.

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