Economic System

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Glorelendil
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Re: Economic System

Post by Glorelendil » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:56 pm

Funny, I hadn't been following this thread but this is an excellent example of exactly the sort of thing I was referring to in the thread about Mordor.

I am also not an expert in medieval history and I have no idea how farms would be organized, or how many of them would be needed to support Dale and Erebor (for example) or how the grain gets stored and transported. Or which crops would be most likely to grown when. Etc. But I don't think any of that is needed. You just drop in whatever elements will help the story.

Now, I know that some players get really into these details, and if a GM/LM/DM gets a detail wrong this sort of player will call them out on it. "Actually*, threshing wouldn't be happening at this time at this particular latitude, and anyway barley is not threshed."

(*These sorts of objections tend to begin with the word 'Actually'.)

But I don't very often find myself at a table with that sort of player. If I drop a farmstead in the middle of a forest without figuring out transport logistics, how it fits into the economy, etc., the people I game with aren't going to complain. They just want to visualize a compelling scene that makes them feel like they are in Middle-earth.

I know Tolkien was deeply knowledgable about many historical topics, but I tend to think that people overestimate the extent to which he made sure he adhered to reality. For example, every time I read the Hobbit the idea of active trade routes between the Elven-king's Halls and Dorwinion strikes me as conflicting somewhat with the supposed wildness of the area (and a dragon living nearby). But I don't really care, either, because it makes for a great story.
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Rich H
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Re: Economic System

Post by Rich H » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:29 pm

Glor's played in the same groups that I have in the past. I'm glad I no longer do!

Yeah, this economic system feels a lot more suited to something like HARN, which is awesome, but I never want to play HARN. Not my thing at all.

However the examples that the OP illustrates using these rules are great... So, if someone went through the major locations in Wilderland (and beyond) using this system to come up with a flavourful descriptive paragraph of each area, then that'd be great! ;)
TOR resources thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=62
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Glorelendil
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Re: Economic System

Post by Glorelendil » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:50 pm

Rich H wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:29 pm
So, if someone went through the major locations in Wilderland (and beyond) using this system to come up with a flavourful descriptive paragraph of each area, then that'd be great! ;)
I mostly agree with this, except that if the modeling produced something that didn't feel right I wouldn't use it.

Here's an example that harks back to previous discussions: basically every culture that has developed currency and trade and urban centers has also developed organized prostitution. So it's 100% realistic and even likely to include brothels in Laketown and Dale*.

But I wouldn't.

(*I almost added Erebor but I just can't go there...)
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Otaku-sempai
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Re: Economic System

Post by Otaku-sempai » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:49 pm

Glorelendil wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:50 pm
Here's an example that harks back to previous discussions: basically every culture that has developed currency and trade and urban centers has also developed organized prostitution. So it's 100% realistic and even likely to include brothels in Laketown and Dale*.

But I wouldn't.

(*I almost added Erebor but I just can't go there...)
Not to harp on brothels, but I would at least make brothels in Dale a criminal activity, whereas in Esgaroth they might operate more openly. I wouldn't expect a particular stigma associated with gambling houses, unless they proved to be notably disruptive (this might also apply in Dale). I will also pass on the subject of Dwarven brothels.

Xanathar's Guide to Everything (pages 130 &131) has some rules and tables for Crime, Gambling and Pit Fighting for D&D 5e, though they would be far easier to adapt to AiMe than to TOR.
Last edited by Otaku-sempai on Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Glorelendil
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Re: Economic System

Post by Glorelendil » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:36 pm

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:49 pm
Not to harp on brothels, but I would at least make brothels in Dale a criminal activity, whereas in Esgaroth they might operate more openly.
See, there's a great example of how preferences, and interpretations of what JRRT "would have done", vary so greatly. I have no problem at all with brothels existing in most RPGs, regardless of whether they are open and legal or more of a seedy underworld thing. But in Middle-earth I would find their presence as incongruous, even jarring, as...I don't know, churches? Stock exchanges? It's not that I find it morally objectionable to include them in a roleplaying game, it's just that it doesn't feel (to me) Tolkien-esque.

Same with professional adventuring parties, when you get right down to it.
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feld
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Re: Economic System

Post by feld » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:39 pm

I was actually thinking about adding a "grey-ish" criminal underworld figure to my presentation of Laketown.
Glorelendil wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:56 pm
I know Tolkien was deeply knowledgable about many historical topics, but I tend to think that people overestimate the extent to which he made sure he adhered to reality. For example, every time I read the Hobbit the idea of active trade routes between the Elven-king's Halls and Dorwinion strikes me as conflicting somewhat with the supposed wildness of the area (and a dragon living nearby). But I don't really care, either, because it makes for a great story.
Funnily enough given our conversation in the Mordor thread I agree. Particularly I believe Tolkien as much as said so in one of this letters. IIRC he said he'd didn't doubt that a person so minded could work out the economics of Gondor but that he hadn't done so himself. What he said he *did* do was leave enough suggestions in the LotR description to suggest to a reader that a plausible explanation existed.

I think a difference in our points of view is that I *do* game with folks who dig that exploring that sort of intricacy. They wouldn't stop a game as in your depiction or try to one-up the LM (which is I think what I hear you describing?) but I anticipate some pretty esoteric ideas in their narration: particularly fellowship phases. Most of these folks are a bit older than me and my knowledge of the setting is generally strongest in the group (hence the LM). Their knowledge of the mundane details of life in such societies is higher however. Hence I feel a need to work a little harder on my presentation of these more mundane aspects to help preserve the inner consistency of reality for my particular audience.

Break Break

(edited out my question as Glor already answered it one post above)

Break Break
Rich H wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:29 pm
However the examples that the OP illustrates using these rules are great... So, if someone went through the major locations in Wilderland (and beyond) using this system to come up with a flavourful descriptive paragraph of each area, then that'd be great! ;)
So I cannot make promises but this was sort of the task I'd set for myself to practice improvised scene description and get a bit more confidence with it. If I can come up with something that, on a scale of 1 to "suck", is closer to former than the latter I'll happily share it.

v/r
feld
Last edited by feld on Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Otaku-sempai
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Re: Economic System

Post by Otaku-sempai » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:02 pm

I understand Glorelendil's objections and can even sympathize with them to some extent. At the same time, there are certainly appropriate places to include some grittier elements in Middle-earth: Mordor, for one; seamier locations in Wilderland such as Tyrant's Hill and the Wolfswood.

Even if prostitutes seem too out of place for some LMs, it wouldn't seem too strange to have gambling halls in Lake-town, Dale, or Pelargir in Gondor; and even Minas Tirith would have had a criminal underground. Activities such as pit fighting, dog fighting or bear-baiting should not be unusual in parts of Dunland, in Hill-men communities, outlaw camps or among Orcs (for just a few examples).
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Rich H
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Re: Economic System

Post by Rich H » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:40 pm

Glorelendil wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:50 pm
Rich H wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:29 pm
So, if someone went through the major locations in Wilderland (and beyond) using this system to come up with a flavourful descriptive paragraph of each area, then that'd be great! ;)
I mostly agree with this, except that if the modeling produced something that didn't feel right I wouldn't use it.

Here's an example that harks back to previous discussions: basically every culture that has developed currency and trade and urban centers has also developed organized prostitution. So it's 100% realistic and even likely to include brothels in Laketown and Dale*.

But I wouldn't.
Yeah, I was thinking more about the agriculture, farms, number of hamlets to support a population etc; things to help LMs describe to the players the environment they're traversing. Brothels etc are fine with me; have referenced them when relevant to the story/adventure plot as a source of information gathering, shadowing NPCs, general flavour if encountering the more seedier aspects of life in such an age, etc. As with most things concerning realism, I'll put the needs of the story before other elements. So, if it improves the play experience and adds value to the adventures, then I'll use it.
Last edited by Rich H on Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
TOR resources thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=62
TOR miniatures thread: viewtopic.php?t=885

Fellowship of the Free Tale of Years: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8318

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Rich H
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Re: Economic System

Post by Rich H » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:42 pm

feld wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:39 pm
Rich H wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:29 pm
However the examples that the OP illustrates using these rules are great... So, if someone went through the major locations in Wilderland (and beyond) using this system to come up with a flavourful descriptive paragraph of each area, then that'd be great! ;)
So I cannot make promises but this was sort of the task I'd set for myself to practice improvised scene description and get a bit more confidence with it. If I can come up with something that, on a scale of 1 to "suck", is closer to former than the latter I'll happily share it.
That'd be nice to see. Like I said previously, the examples the OP produced to illustrate their system were nicely done and enjoyable to read I'm just not remotely interested in going on the journey to get to that destination but would be happy for someone else to do it and show me the 'holiday photographs' afterwards! :)
TOR resources thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=62
TOR miniatures thread: viewtopic.php?t=885

Fellowship of the Free Tale of Years: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8318

Bocephas
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Re: Economic System

Post by Bocephas » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:10 pm

Thanks for the replies and discussion. Kurt got it - the main purpose of this work was to explain what it takes to support a certain number/type of combatants in a dark age / early medieval setting. The level of detail may seem excessive, but I don’t know how else one would make realistic calculations on that subject without starting at the bottom (acres, livestock, farmers) and working your way up.

For example, it might be tempting to think that a town of 500 people could field 100 fully trained and equipped warriors. That is, until you realize demographics would say there are only 100 adult males of military age in the whole town. Of those, most would be food producers with little time to train for war. Thus, a more realistic number would be 20-25 fully trained and equipped warriors, not 100. Of course the other 75-80 men would defend their home in a time of emergency, but would not be nearly as effective as those who are able to devote their full attention to the profession of arms.

BTW, I noticed some errors in my examples on page 2 of this thread. Corrections made.

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