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Thread: Resources

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    Resources

    This is a continuance of another thread on “Seasonal Adjustments,” where we started talking about limitations on troop numbers and other demographic issues. I would like to present some additional variant rules, useful for more simulationist games that are scaled at a level that won’t be adversely impacted by the additional rules overlay.

    I've mentioned that I like "Manor" holdings as an additional holding type. These slots represent major landholders (usually nobles) and raw productivity, usually primarily agricultural. The rise of Guilds reflects more organized industry that can compete for the same resources, but tends to be less agriculturally based. I also like Trade holdings instead of trade routes, as has also been recently discussed on this board.

    With that as a preface, I've been fiddling with a Resource system. This would be of use if the players and DM want to scale down into a deeper simulationist approach that entails more strategy. It was inspired by a recognition of the differing availability of natural resources in different countries, and how that typically has impacted those countries, particularly during resource-intensive warfare. Default BR assumes all countries have equal access to all resources; Alamie's predominant plains leaves it with no fewer resources to outfit heavy (metal-intensive) armies or build castles than Avanil's hills and mountains, and Avanil's lack of major forests apparently have no impact on its naval power as compared to Boeruine's vast forests. Of course, trade can redistribute resources, but even trade does not equally distribute them, and in times of war, supply routes would be attacked to deny resource-poor realms access to that which they are importing.

    Agricultural produce in excess of that required to sustain everyday life is necessary to keep unproductive troops fed. Ghoere and Alamie, for instance, have such vast plains that they should be able to feed larger armies than Avanil. In fact, one explanation for Avanil's vassals is that it relies on them, and on extensive trade, to gather the resources it lacks to maintain its power--but its natural advantages from access to extensive quarries and mines means that it can support more heavy troops and more castles, making it militarily mighty if it can just feed its legions.

    Here is what I have drawn up (works better in Excel, but I've reformatted for here):
    Resources affect the maximum build rates of those things that require that resources; they also limit the total number of assets that require steady maintenance. Resources are based on province terrain. Each level of Manor and Guild holding exploits one unit of resources, listed next to the holdings. Each level of Trade holding can transfer one unit of resources from one area to another (claiming resources but adding the designation of "I" or "E" for Import or Export). Resources are tracked in the aggregate for a realm--they are totaled up and included beneath Domain Power with notations for Maximum Available and Exploited (currently). This requires a fair bit of setup, then, but the maintenance bookkeeping becomes fairly easy.

    Types and Uses of Resources
    Stone (S)--1GB of any construction can be built each month per unit of Timber resources exploited.

    Timber (T)--1GB of Ships or any construction other than Castles and Roads can be built each month per unit of Timber resources exploited. Naval units consume one unit of Timber resources for every 2GB in maintenance to cover repair and rehabilitation of ships (these units are unavailable for other purposes).

    Ore (O)--Subtract 1GB from the Muster cost of each unit (this first GB reflects non-material muster costs). One unit of Ore resource exploited is required for each remaining Muster GB cost each month. Each heavy army unit (any heavily armored) consumes one unit of Ore resource for every 2 units to cover repair and replacement of equipment (these units are unavailable for other purposes).

    Food (F)—(includes crops, livestock, hunting, and fishing) Each active army unit requires 1 unit of Food resource exploited to sustain it. Cavalry units consume 2 units of Food resources each.

    Terrains and Resource Availability
    Mixed terrains average the resources available from the terrain types within.
    Plains—1 Timber, 9 Food
    Hills—1 Timber, 2 Stone, 2 Ore, 5 Food
    Mountains—1 Timber, 4 Stone, 5 Ore
    Forests—6 Timber, 4 Food
    Swamps—3 Timber, 7 Food
    Deserts—3 Stone, 1 Ore, 3 Food
    Tundra and similar—4 timber, 2 Stone, 1 Food
    River Bonus—1 Timber, 2 Food
    Coastal Bonus—3 Food


    Some basic assumptions underlying the above. I fall in that school of demographics that assumes full settlement of human lands to basically their carrying capacity. Some areas would have modifiers reducing their population totals because they are sparsely settled or because climate is inhospitable, etc. Anuire has the fewest of these burdens, though obviously Dhoesone is meant to be less settled. I like nice round numbers to work with; I assume 1000 square mile provinces on average (a little over 30 miles across for a squarish province), and population density on average in plains provinces of 100 per square mile. That places around 100,000 people in each plains province. Max human province level is 8 in a plains province. Linear or near-linear relationships are easiest to work with in game systems; to derive populations for different terrains, figure 12,500 people for each max province level per terrain type. This places 87,500 people in Hills provinces, 75,000 people in Forests, 37,500 in Mountains, and 125,000 in Coastal Plains.

    This has profound implications. Province levels are explained mostly as the apparatus of state—the ability to collect taxes from the large populace, efficiency of the administration, effectiveness of its influence, and ability to organize and leverage the productivity of the populace.

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    Example Applicatons of Resource Rules

    Example Applications: (Exploited/Maximum Available) note that this is without any additional resources brought in through trade

    Diemed (has 23 province levels by default, 46 guild and manor)
    Stone: 4/5
    Timber: 4/9
    Ore: 6/6
    Food: 32/59

    Build Capacity: 8GB/month, or 4GB in castles, 4GB in ships
    Muster Capacity: (example) 1 Cavalry, 2 Infantry, 1 Archer each month
    Max Fielded Army (32F,3O): (25-unit example) 3 Knight, 4 Cavalry, 3 Elite Infantry, 5 Infantry, 2 Pike, 4 Archers, 2 Scouts, 2 Engineers
    Max Active Navy (4T): (example) 3 Galleons, 8 Caravels, 2 Coasters

    Roesone (has 21 province levels by default, 42 guild and manor)
    Stone: 2/2
    Timber: 2/17
    Ore: 2/2
    Food: 36/69

    Build Capacity: 4GB/month, or 2GB in castles, 2GB in ships
    Muster Capacity: (example) 1 Infantry, 1 Archer each month
    Max Fielded Army (36F,1O): (30-unit example) 1 Knight, 5 Cavalry, 1 Elite Infantry, 8 Infantry, 5 Pike, 6 Archers, 4 Scouts
    Max Active Navy (2T): (example) 1 Galleon, 5 Caravels, 1 Coaster

    Ghoere (has 40 province levels by default, 80 guild and manor)
    Stone: 5/8
    Timber: 1/16
    Ore: 8/8
    Food: 66/83

    Build Capacity: 6GB/month, or 5GB in castles, 1GB in ships
    Muster Capacity: (example) 1 Cavalry, 1 Elite Infantry, 2 Infantry each month
    Max Fielded Army (66F,4O): (51-unit example) 5 Knights, 10 Cavalry, 3 Elite Infantry, 15 Infantry, 5 Pike, 7 Archers, 3 Scouts, 3 Engineers
    Max Active Navy (1T): (example) 4 Caravels

    Avanil (has 37 province levels by default 74 guild and manor)
    Stone: 4/12
    Timber: 8/8
    Ore: 14/14
    Food: 48/63

    Build Capacity: 12GB/month, or 4GB in castles, 8GB in ships
    Muster Capacity: (example) 1 Knight, 1 Elite Infantry, 1 Cavalry, 2 Infantry, 1 Archer each month
    Max Fielded Army (48F,8O): (32-unit example) 8 Knight, 4 Cavalry, 8 Elite Infantry, 4 Infantry, 4 Pike, 4 Archers, 2 Scouts, 2 Engineers
    Max Active Navy (8T): (example) 7 Galleons, 14 Caravels, 3 Coasters

    Assets (essentially holding fortification levels) can increase the amount of resources beyond the base levels for a province, to a maximum of double the province's resources (more efficient extraction and utilization, better techniques to exploit more difficult-to-use or access.

    Of course, trade would influence the balance of available resources for all realms. Many would try to secure ore, and most ore resources would be expanded with mine assets. As provinces exceed level 5, assets are effectively necessary to allow the manors and guilds to keep exploiting more resources. I should also note that urban provinces should require dedicated Food resources from surrounding provinces, or brought in from farther away by trade. Thus Diemed, Endier, and Avanil support the Imperial city most directly, dedicating food resources to it, and more grain likely comes in by ship or down the Maesil from the rest of the Southern Coast and the Heartlands. I suggest 5 Food resources are needed for each urban province level (the Imperial City, then, requires 50 food resources to sustain it), and urban provinces don't exploit any new resources. Instead, they store and tend to further refine resources, providing a lot of raw GB income. Urban provinces besides the Imperial City would become possible, but the steep Food resource cost tends to discourage them from getting large. Ilien and Endier are always the most likely, with Bhalaene, Bevaldruor, and Seaharrow the next most likely, each with extensive supporting provinces around them. Of course, this limits the amount of units the realms can field; Avanil, Diemed, Alamie, Tuornen, and Ghoere would probably already be supporting the Imperial City, reducing their overall Food resources.

    I have also considered allowing adjacent Sea provinces to be harvested for fish, providing up to 5 additional Food resources each, but anything farther than these would not be possible due to the lack of refrigeration. Any ship so dedicated could harvest 1 unit (making Coasters the most cost-efficient fishing vessels). This would create some interesting competition on the seas, since 21 coastal areas would be opened up along Anuire (not counting Mieres). The Imperial City could account for 1 of its levels through fishing, and Ilien might find valuable increase this way as well. Boeruine's forests leave it at a distinct agricultural disadvantage to Avanil; potential access to 5 adjacent sea areas would augment its supply.
    Last edited by Rowan; 12-02-2008 at 06:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    I have also considered allowing adjacent Sea provinces to be harvested for fish, providing up to 5 additional Food resources each, but anything farther than these would not be possible due to the lack of refrigeration.
    The reason you can find a salt and pepper shaker on nearly every table in the west is because meat, especially fish, was salted as a preservative. The Breton fisherman very likely were fishing the Newfoundland fisheries in North America, across the Atlantic Ocean for a century before the discovery of America. Salt their fish, continue the catch, repeat until fully loaded, then return home.

    The food was so salty, it was nearly inedible. Even rinsed, boiled, and so on, the salt taste was profound. So people who could afford it, purchased pepper from the spice trade to cover up the taste of the salt. One result is that western palates are so accustomed to this combination of flavors in their food, with the advent of refrigeration, we added salt and pepper for taste, since it was no longer a necessary food item. A pound to a pound and a half of salt per day was consumed by people in the early modern period.

    A second consequence was the demand for pepper was so high it was deemed profitable to seek other ways to reach the spice islands rather than conducting trade through Muslim control of the spice trade. The Portugese found a southern route to Spice Islands and dominated the Indian Ocean, and the Spanish bumped into the America's looking for a western route.

    All to find pepper more cheaply to cover the taste of salt which was used in abundance to preserve meat, including fish caught, ironically, on the American coast.

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    I didn't know that--learn something new every day! Thanks, Kgauck. Do you think any sea area should be fishable? If so, perhaps 5 food resources are too much...maybe 3, and 2 ships are needed to recover each one. Thus, 2 coasters fishing for 3 months provide 1 Food resource to the ports they serve. Your info on salting helps, as well, deal with the possibility of trade holdings from those coastal provinces trading the food resources from the fishing with much more inland provinces.

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    The Bretons were able to fish the North Bank because its shallow coastal water. So its not any sea zone, its coastal sea zones.

    The next question is, how do you fish someone else's sea zone? Permission of the Guild regent? Permission of the Landed regent? Show up and see if they drive you off?

    There are unoccupied islands. Who controls their sea zones?

    There are questionable fishing cultures. Do goblins fish? Does Stjordvik Traders dominate the fishing around Thurazor? Is that was those Northern Imports and Exports guilds are doing in Thurazor?

    And then what about fishing in a sea zone near another domain. The medieval law of the sea was really vague. Dating from the 17th century: national rights were limited to a specified belt of water extending from a nation's coastlines, usually three nautical miles, according to the 'cannon shot' rule developed by the Dutch jurist Cornelius Bynkershoek. All waters beyond national boundaries were considered international waters — free to all nations, but belonging to none of them (the mare liberum principle promulgated by Grotius, i.e. freedom of the seas).

    Are sea zones a free for all? Managed by priests of Nesirie? Do they call in Haelyn's lawyers for consultation on law of the sea issues?

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    Hmmm, interesting... I would tend to think that some conflict would be good. Some Haelynite temples might want to tighten up laws, but they likely would not be terribly clear since they'd most likely defer to Nesirie. Letting coastal realms compete would create some good game tension. Heck, Nesirie's temples might operate a fairly large fishing fleet.

    When did deep sea fishing become more common? Long fishing lines don't seem out of tech, nor do deeper fishing nets on reels and simple cranes.

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    The Vikings started fishing far off waters, which lead to their discovery of Iceland and Greenland, and probably provided the rumors which lead to exploration of Vinland as well.

    The Portugese and Breton fisherman were crossing the Atlantic directly c.1400 to reach new fishing waters.

    So the Rjurik can make middle level distance journeys (Norway to Iceland, to to Greenland, to Vinland) and the three renaissance cultures could in theory make long distance journeys.

    There were Anuirean colonies across to the west, the Khinasi have trade contacts to the east, the Brecht are liable to go anywhere opportunity lays.

    And what about Aduria?

    My reference to the Haelyn lawyers was that the temples of Nesirie, would consult lawyers to draft laws of the sea, not that the lawpriests themselves would have an interest in the sea.

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    So access to fishing resources can drive more exploration, competition, legal dispute, etc.


    Concerning the temples, should temple holdings be considered to develop resources, particularly Food resources?

    Temples have long held great wealth and lands, and in Christian Europe of the Middle Ages, monasteries were a great driver of the economy, though in later Renaissance times this diminished as a proportion of the whole as states continued to grow in power. I'm not sure that they would harvest much timber, quarry much stone, or mine much metal, but farmland might make sense for Temple holdings.

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    Churches have capital - all that tithe income. So they might bot fish, but they might own the village fishing boat, they might not dig, but they own the mine, pumps and canal - while much talk is made about piety, religion is about power - political and economic, given medieval economics only the nobility and churches have the spare capital to buy major capital assets so they will generally own trade assets - or at least shares of those assets. Why did the noble close the port? Because he wanted to get divorced...

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    I'd not be inclined to have temple holdings making too much money doing what guilds do. A temple domain can own guild holdings if its actually a business venture.

    As a minor source of income, sure any holding can own any kind of activity, but if its gets to be significant, it should be a holding of the appropriate type.

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