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Old 03-07-2023, 02:10 PM   #191
ericthered
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Default Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3

Ceremonial Magic.

Oh Boy. Time to see what we can break. The take-away is that this lets lots of people be mages.

I've outlined the basic things that a mage can do with their own FP. What happens when ceremonial magic gets involved?

The classic version of ceremonial magic is getting the entire village together and having each villager donate 1 FP to a massive communal spell. Using this method, you can cast 100 energy spells, which means you can do things like cast bless plants over the entirety of an awkwardly shaped three-square mile manor with five castings. The actual hardest part is getting everyone to agree to do it. Counting on a mage to provide leadership and the prestige for this is a loosing bet. And spectators could oppose the ritual. I don't think there is a huge motive for people to oppose the ritual, but I can certainly see a few grumpy folks opposing, even when the casting is a great deal, like counting as a full day of labor, being essential to not making them starve, and being associated with a local festival. (bah humbug!) This is useful for spells that get better with larger castings, like most area spells, or spells that can't be cast from one mage at all... which tend to have magery prereqs beyond magery 1. I haven't seen one I like yet.

More reliable is the "mage squad", a group of several assistants who assist with casting. These can be hand-picked and well-paid, and expected to work together as a team. While the "whole village" plan allows for massive spells to be cast, this method relies on consistent casting... which means that the x10 casting time makes some spells unavailable, like bless plants, which has a 5 minute base casting time, and thus a 50 minute casting time when done ceremonially. This method is also very sensative to numbers: each assistant can contribute 1 FP per casting, so when casting a 6 FP spell a bunch of times (like earth to stone) having five assitants lets you maximize FP. treating the mage as "Extra" provides a bit more robustness if someone is sick or something, and the mage can dump any excess FP into extra castings. The "Mage squad" is doing a dangerous job, and an exhausting one, so paying them extra is a good idea. The assistants regenerate FP as fast as the mages we've been talking about, so generally actually function as though we had an extra mage.

The last ceremonial magic worth mentioning is apprentices. They can generally add 3 points of energy, as long as the additional casting time is worth it. Apprentices are more often work it for spells with longer casting times, because they can dump 30 minutes of FP into the single expanded casting time.


Bless Plants doesn't make sense for mage squads or apprentices to help with, because the casting time goes up to fifty minutes. It makes a fantastic amount of sense for a village ceremony. The cost of a village ceremony is huge: the entire village takes it off. even paying an effective 250d for the spell, with serfs being paid for a full day of labor (its really a half), and gifts and generosity making the farmers excited to do it, The spell is well worth it: The output of the entire manor goes up by about 75% (the spell's failure rate). Crops take an additional two days of labor per acre to thresh and harvest so much grain, but the other base costs remain constant. Its an incredible investment. It also runs out of land quickly unless you're doing something like using bless plants.
EDIT: the ease of doing the entire manor was due to a math error: its a LOT harder than I thought.

Essential Earth doesn't scale with size, making it a good target for mage squads. the ceremonial casting time of five minutes slows it down a little ( a team of 8 workers cast 4 times in an hour, 8 mages cast 6 times), but it remains viable, especially in combination with bless earth. It also makes converting an entire manor to essential earth in timeframes under a millenium possible. An apprentice is similarly effective: they cast every 55 minutes, with the mage providing 5 energy and the apprentice providing 3.

Hair growth takes 50 seconds to cast ceremonially, making it a good target for mage squads. Hair growth is interestingly already fairly labor intensive to get the best bang for your buck, and a place I think the economy will bend fairly quickly.

Earth to Stone and Shape Earth don't scale with size, and have really quick casting times, so they're ideal for mage squads, who act as a strait multiplier on the mage's FP. village castings of this don't make much sense unless you're trying to build a fortress in a day or have some other huge need for power. 100 assistants supporting an earth mage with shape-earth 12 and architecture-12 building the 12 by 8 foot wall can build 1400 feet of wall (50 energy per mage-day, 100 participants, 3.5 energy per foot) if they provide energy all day. It will be a grueling day, so you better have them good and convinced they want that wall, but if they do, watch out for walls! The hard part is probably properly defending the walls!

Plant growth isn't worth it for the individual mage, so it isn't worth it for mage squads, at least not small ones. Full sized communal castings are worth their own discussion. Right now it looks like plant growth is viable, but complex, when run on the village plan... if you can get your village plan tight, which I have misgivings about.
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Old 03-13-2023, 11:29 AM   #192
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Default Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3

A quick analysis of existing costs for growing grain in Harn:
  • An Acre of grain takes 6 days of labor (generically. This also is the number for wheat)
  • An Acre of grain takes 12d worth of seed
  • An Acre of cleared land takes 3 days of labor for maintaince
  • An acre of cleared land takes 6d of materials
  • So in total an acre of grain takes 9 days of labor and 18d of investment.
Bless Plants as a communal casting takes 100 people 1 hour (50 minutes to cast, and 10 minutes to recover the lost FP). It covers an area 200 yards across, or 72% of 9 selions lying side by side... though some of those selions are going to be a lot better covered by the spell than others. The coverage of a single casting is 6.5 acres, so 65 acres can be covered by the whole team in a 10-hour day (a very long day), or 90 acres if you are casting circles on squares and not trying to tessellate properly. An 8 hour day produces 52 effective acres, and might take up 72 acres of space to cast on. It should be noted that this casting is NOT hard work compared to most casting, because the casting time is 50 minutes, and the recovery time is 10 minutes. Still, lets use 8, because of coordinatin and enthusiasm concerns. a 25% failure rates drops this to 39 acres per day.

This 39 acres of grain requires 100 man-days of casting, plus an additional 78 man days of winnowing and threshing. That's 178 days of additional labor for 38 acres worth of grain, and no additional investment. That's about half the amount of labor normally required for the crops, though most of this bonus comes from the maintenance: its within a day of the normal output. Importantly, a mage can cover 1440 acres in 20 days of sustained but not grueling casting, which is to say that covering the entire manor is doable, as long as you can fit all those people into your labor budget. So coming up with a tessellating scheme to cover the whole manor could be in the cards.

I suspect that besides a mage, you also need one or more "ceremonial leaders" whose job is to get everyone enthusiastic, contributing correctly, and so forth. They're likely to bring in as much money as the mage.

Plant growth isn't worth it for the individual mage, so it isn't worth it for mage squads, at least not small ones. Village wide ceremonies can cover an area 66 yards across without mage FP. The spell is maintained for four minutes, and takes two minutes to cast, so a casting takes about 45 minutes, including FP recovery. with 220 by 22 yard (standard) selions, three castings can cover 2/3rds of three selions. The 100-participant village can cast the spell 13 times in a grueling 10 hour day, or 10 times in an 8 hour day. This is mostly FP recovery, rather than casting time. The failure rate for Plant growth is much lower, because 75% of the FP is spent after the spell succeeds. A failure rate of 25% means the 8 hour casting day has 12 castings and 3 failures, with 9 successes, for 18 acres a day. It takes 7 days of labor to set up each acre, (plowing requires plowing up 50% more land than you will use, and by LTC3 plowing is about 2 days), and 12d of seed to plant the land. each acre taking about 5 man-days of casting (100/18), that's 12 days of labor and 12d investment per acre... a small improvement on just using existing land (9 days labor, 18d investment). Though you can do it again and again, removing the land bottleneck. Bless Plants combined with the plant growth area is also an option, but that doesn't change the required inputs... or the required outputs. Essential earth is a strong combination, because it lets you use your essential earth land again and again over one season.


And I think that's as much analysis as I'm going to do. I'm tempted to spend my coins on two or three "alternate history" manors, to see which one does best. But that's the next step -- spending the coin!
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Old 03-13-2023, 01:52 PM   #193
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Default Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3

Instead of concentrating on blessing ALL acres of land under cultivation, what would the effect be if only part of the land were blessed?

Instead of concentrating on Grains per se for human consumption and market consumption, what would the effect be on having sufficient hay on hand to keep one's herds well fed during the winter months?

What would the effect be to concentrate bless plants on Flax, which only has a growth cycle of 100 days, and requires a fair amount of water to be successful - but in turn, can lead to more linen manufacture?

Those mageborn coins are itching in your pocket to burn aren't they?

;)
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Old 03-13-2023, 02:00 PM   #194
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Default Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3

Hi Ericthered...

One bit of data not in harn manor, but present elsewhere and I was able to confirm is accurate...

It takes 5 people all day to reap and bind 2 acres of land. The threshing and winnowing part comes later when there is time - but ALL people had to work during harvest, bar none. The custom of old and infirm, or cripples gleaning fields after they were harvested was reserved for those who were in dire need of it.

Some of the festival games included the time honored tradition of the greased pig contest where the winner gets to take home the beast for his own as food. But another was the contest of grabbing grains on your scythe blade with as big a bundle as you can carry across the finish line. What falls to the ground is not yours to keep. What stays on the blade is yours to keep - if you cross the finish line with it first.

There are other references that might prove of value if you want to go into that level of detail for any future game you may wish to run.

Also - Horses...

HARN MANOR original rules left out horses from the equation - something that was in the original playtest material. To add the concept of horses, simply use the same value for Cattle (ie 2 acres of foraging required) for horses. They also require some extra feed - and you can get that from the Pyramid article "Horse Sense" by S. E. Mortimer. That article is pretty well done as best as I can see.

One mare will produce one foal as her by product. The art of training horses into warhorses on the other hand, is something that is beyond the scope of Harn Manor simply because finding the right horse with the right temperament, right conformity, etc - and the training the horse has a fair number of "rejects" and other costs.
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Old 03-16-2023, 02:23 PM   #195
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Default Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by hal View Post
Hi Ericthered...

One bit of data not in harn manor, but present elsewhere and I was able to confirm is accurate...

It takes 5 people all day to reap and bind 2 acres of land. The threshing and winnowing part comes later when there is time - but ALL people had to work during harvest, bar none. The custom of old and infirm, or cripples gleaning fields after they were harvested was reserved for those who were in dire need of it.
That's a good piece of information. That means reaping is 2.5 man-days per acre, which is pretty close to the numbers we've been using: I think we get an extra half day per acre than Harn
  • 2 days to Plow and sow
  • 2.5 days to Reap
  • 1 day to Thresh
  • 1 day to Winnow
That's 6.5 days, just .5 day more than Harn's "generic crop" or wheat. Its a good confirmation I'm not terribly off on modifying time for threshing, winnowing, and plowing.


Quote:
Also - Horses...

HARN MANOR original rules left out horses from the equation ...
Horses are included in the harn manor I've got. Not as a crop, but as an expense.
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Old 03-16-2023, 02:59 PM   #196
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The population size is 279 people excluding your Noble's family. Let's say for the sake of argument, you have 5 in your family. That's about 284 people. At 2% of the population being mageborn, that leaves us with a total of 5.68 mageborn. Let's not split hairs (or people!) and call it 6 mageborn total.

Code:
Names            ST    DX    IQ    HT    Magery    Social    Gender    Age    Death    Skill Points
Cathaoir Rodway        10    10    12    10    0    Noble    Male    42.402    74.548    62
Garritt Hazell        9    11    8    10    1    Serf    Male    50.868    56.124    79
Ressie Till        10    12    12    10    0    Serf    Female    42.223    59.373    62
Llenlleawg Symon    9    10    11    9    1    Serf    Male    27.864    34.672    33
Giles Hoar        9    12    10    9    0    Serf    Male    34.821    52.287    47
Janette Rowley        12    9    10    9    0    Freeman    Female    45.095    65.689    68
Quoting this for convenience. These are my mages to spend. Observations about them:

  • Cathaoir is nobleman, aged 40, has IQ 12 and magery 0. He's very close to Sir Zeedrick in Age. Fitting him into the household is strange: he occupies the spot you'd expect sir zeedrick to have. We could rebuild Zeedrick with magery, give the magery slot to one of Zeedrick's children, or add a member of the houseful and say he's Zeedick's brother or brother-in-law or bonded mage... and figure out where Cathaoir's family is. As a noble, Cathaoir is likely to be built for combat, and with IQ 12 and 62 points getting a range of spells in usable range won't be too hard.
  • Garrit is a 50 year old serf with IQ 8 and Magery 1. His IQ is low, but with 79 points, he certainly knows one or two useful spells at a pretty good level. He's going to be VERY interesting to "spend".
  • Ressie is a 42 year old serf with IQ 12 and Magery 0. She'll be limited in her casting time by the need to care for her children, but she's got high IQ and 62 points to spend. I'm kind of curious about her family situation, because if her oldest is 10, she might be finally able to cast full-time.
  • Llenlleawg is a 27 year old serf with IQ 11, Magery 1, and HT 9. He's small, sickly, and the youngest of the group. He's as easy to teach magic as either Ressie or Cathaoir, and has magery 1, so can learn those spells. 33 points should be enough to make him useful. With HT 9, he can't cast 10 FP spells... which is mostly relevant for soloing area spells. He's really a stand-out mage... too bad he's going to die in 7 years (not that anyone actually knows that). Probably from his HT 9.
  • Giles is a 34 year old serf with IQ 10, Magery 0, and HT 9. He's the least remarkable of the lot, with only average intelligence, no magery 1, and reduced FP. He's probably worth training as a mage on most manors anyway, and I'm glad I have him, because he's a good "baseline" case rather than the wealth of IQ+Magery 12 mages Zeedrick has. his 47 skill points are pretty nice though.
  • Janette is a 45 year old freewoman with IQ 10, Magery 0, and HT 9. This is like Giles, except she's a farmer and a woman. And totally ripped (ST 12) It will be interesting to see how she works out. As with Ressie, checking out her family situation is a good idea to see how much she can actually do.

None of these mages are marginal: Gerrit has had time to overcome his slow nature and increase his talents, and Janette and Giles is what everyone else expects to have to work with.

Part of me wants to run the manor 15 years ago before these mages picked up all their experience, just to see what it looks like when you don't have six mages in their prime and make sure they can get to where I think they can.
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Old 03-17-2023, 05:33 AM   #197
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Default Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3

Hi ericthered - nothing keeps you from doing as you wish - so go back 15 years and chronicle what you discover for there as well as down the road year by year.

As for working in the noble born mage - you can always treat that individual as blood relative. Alternatively, the mageborn could be a bonded employee.
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Old 03-21-2023, 01:05 PM   #198
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Default Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3

A few notes about my efforts to spend the coin so far:


  • IQ+Magery = 12 is awesome, and yes, 12 is when it really becomes useful. being able to spend 4 points instead of 8 is huge. The next few levels (13, 14 and 15) are also huge, but I'm noticing that its a LOT easier to do things with the three I have at IQ+Magery 12. I hope we can sneak in some utility spells that really help the manor but can't make a living.
  • Being a Nobleman expected to fight in some way shapes the choices, but hair growth for sheep is unexpectedly a good choice there: all the prereqs are offensive spells you would need to explain away otherwise. The Best earth spells for battle sadly require high magery. that said, prereqs aren't looking too expensive, and it might be better to just go for fire spells.
  • Also, battle mages limited to magery 0 are tricky, because all of the best spells require some level of magery: I didn't think stone rain required magery 2: its a sick battlefield spell.
  • When leaning heavily on ceremonial magic, you don't need a lot of bless plants mages. In fact, when you have a lot of mages, you probably only want two for most spells, and you only want the second mage as a backup.
  • Figuring out how to split the skills is hard. For now, I'm thinking I'm going to just take half of the available skill points.
  • I'm going to go ahead and build these guys out at 15 years ago to start. Then we can see how mages get better as they age.


Garrit really only gets a single spell at minus-15, and it should be Earth to Stone-12. He's going to need help getting anything else done, but he's a huge force multiplier on smithing, and If we want a bronze wall, he's our ticket. I hope this will work out: he needs support to be useful.
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Old 03-22-2023, 02:52 PM   #199
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Default Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3

Ok, lets see what the family of the two women, Ressie and Jannette, look like:


Ressie's infertility roll is 158: she stops at 32 years old. Her first child roll is 2d6+14=19. She has children at 21, 24, 27, 29, and 31. They will live to 58, 48, 71, 59, 19, and 22. Gender is M, M, M, F, M, F. That's... a really successful batch of children. Astoundingly So. I checked my dice program. At Minus-15, she only has the first four children, or has three Boys under 10 and is pregnant. This is going to slow her down as a mage, which is sad (for me), because she's one of my three IQ+Magery=12 casters. At the "current date" (Plus-0), she will instead be 42 years old, and her oldest will be 11, which means she'll be a lot more useful... but what will she have learned?

Janette's infertility roll is 020. She will be "infertile at 17". Her first child is at.. 29. So she will never have any children.

These are two very different results. I think I know something more about these women now.
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Old 03-22-2023, 08:20 PM   #200
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Default Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Ok, lets see what the family of the two women, Ressie and Jannette, look like:


Ressie's infertility roll is 158: she stops at 32 years old. Her first child roll is 2d6+14=19. She has children at 21, 24, 27, 29, and 31. They will live to 58, 48, 71, 59, 19, and 22. Gender is M, M, M, F, M, F. That's... a really successful batch of children. Astoundingly So. I checked my dice program. At Minus-15, she only has the first four children, or has three Boys under 10 and is pregnant. This is going to slow her down as a mage, which is sad (for me), because she's one of my three IQ+Magery=12 casters. At the "current date" (Plus-0), she will instead be 42 years old, and her oldest will be 11, which means she'll be a lot more useful... but what will she have learned?

Janette's infertility roll is 020. She will be "infertile at 17". Her first child is at.. 29. So she will never have any children.

These are two very different results. I think I know something more about these women now.
Now imagine what kinds of skills both women will have as a consequence. Sadly, GURPS never went into much detail on how much spell books cost, but if they have magery 1, that's roughly 10% of the 2% population that have magery. In short, magery 1, while not uncommon, will definitely be relatively rare amongst the mageborn. In your case, there is an abundance of magery 1 (Yay!). You have the necessary teachers to be able to teach magery 1 spells. But if there had been no magery 1 teachers on hand for these "students" - how did they get the spells they have?

My guess at this point is that nearby villages may very well have the requisite teachers - implying that your village will be a nexus of sorts for other villages with young apprentices who need Magery 1 training.

Lacking that - then someone is going to have to have a repository of spells in the form of a spell library - or...

The spell casters will have to re-invent the wheel every time they can't find a book or teacher. (for purposes of this "simulation" I would suggest using GURPS CLASSIC MAGIC rules for spell invention).

In the meantime, one has to wonder what cultural pressures the one woman faces when she discovers that she can't have children? Would that have pressured her into chasing after solutions to her problem? At what point would she maybe have consulted a mageborn gifted with divinations to ask "will I ever bear children" only to perhaps get a "no" answer over and over.

I also wonder - the FAMILY TREE article presumes that the woman will bear children on a regular basis without thought to the other issue involved: In early medieval times, a certain plant went extinct due to excessive harvest as it was an abortificant. That raises the question of why each woman has such a high probability of super large families... **shrug**
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