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Old 12-06-2017, 08:45 PM   #1
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Default Food & other stuff production in a farm

Hello,

I have been wondering, is there an advantage or a set of rules which define the "production of things and their CP costs"? For example:

The milk of a cow
The eggs of a hen
Fruits from a tree

A deer's antlers
The fur of an animal
The pearls in a oyster

Are they using FP, HP or what? Imagine I want to run a game in which you need to manage a farm, and watch your animals for "mass production" of goods. Obviously, your animals won't have skills for milk production, laying eggs, growing antlers or fruits. Do note that here I am talking about the being producing the stuff, not a person's skills to help them do better.

I think this has to do with some advantages and HT, but how do I put this on a character sheet?

Thank you!
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Last edited by Hide; 12-06-2017 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Food & other stuff production in a farm

To the extent GURPS has rules for this, you want to start with Low Tech Companion 3 for basic rules for agriculture. You may also want Pyramid 3/33 and Pyramid 3/52, which expand those rules in various ways.

That said, these rules take a somewhat different approach than what you're talking about. Basically, being a farmer or herdsman is a job, following the job rules. You roll against your primary job skill (Farming for the former, Animal Handling for the latter) every month and go from there. The agriculture rules allow the player or GM to figure out what underlies that. For example, if you're a peasant growing rice in the terribly sophisticated far east, you can figure out how many acres of rice you've got under cultivation. If you're a half-barbaric villager in the far north, you can work out what your farmer's income translates into in terms of acres of oats and barley or sheep and cattle. You can get into the levels of productivity of individual animals, the rules don't expect you to get into that kind of micromanagement.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Food & other stuff production in a farm

On a slightly related note I discovered yesterday that the difference between TL7 and TL8 meat production in sheep is about a 220% improvement.

But yeah the Low tech companion 3 provides a good source of information. Just ignore the people like me who wonk out on the minutiae.

Edit
You might be able to construct something by using the wealth rules. An animal produces X dollars of product every month type thing.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: Food & other stuff production in a farm

Just to annoy everyone, we need to remember that very few forms of agricultural production are linear across the year - most crops require varying degrees of input, but only generate one large burst of output, animals only generate meat on slaughter and what have you.

In reality, a farmer doesn't get a monthly income but one or more lump sums that then have to be made to last over the year...
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:29 AM   #5
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Default Re: Food & other stuff production in a farm

Sounds to me like the OP is asking for rules for individual animals producing things, as though their biochemistry were statted as an ability. Sort of like "takes Immediate Preparation for two years, during which time the oyster is effectively at -1 FP if interrupted; at the end of the Prep, the smallest size of pearl appears. The pearl can be grown further by taking a Ready Pearl Maneuver during subsequent years to increase the size by one step on the Pearl Size/Cost Chart per year..."

I'm pretty sure GURPS doesn't have rules for that kind of thing. There are a few published sources, as well as references for other games (Harn, Ars Magica) which would work. Or information on the web, like Medieval Demographics Made Easy.

For externally observable production schedules, I think people usually just use real-world stats for yields, seasons, etc (much as with vehicle performance). The biggest pitfall there was already noted -- if you're looking for output from your TL3 pseudo-medieval fantasy world farm, it's realistically a lot less than you get from the modern TL8 version of a chicken or an acre of wheat. So if that's important, remember to put a little more effort into finding historical data rather than current stats. And of course if you get to throw magic or alien biochemistry on interstellar worlds into the picture, there are enough variables that you can start making things up.

Last edited by Anaraxes; 12-07-2017 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:42 AM   #6
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Default Re: Food & other stuff production in a farm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hide View Post
Imagine I want to run a game in which you need to manage a farm, and watch your animals for "mass production" of goods. ...

I think this has to do with some advantages and HT, but how do I put this on a character sheet?
My advice: if you're planning to run a game about farm management, I definitely wouldn't begin by making character sheets for the animals, and then trying somehow to work out rates of production from that. That's just not what the character point meta-game is designed to do. Much better to take the Low Tech 3 approach, and just use character points for the characters who are managing the animals.

Having said that, I can imagine some other situations in which I'd want to know how to stat up, say, a cow's ability to produce milk. For example, in a fantasy game I might want to create a "race" of cow-people. In that case, I suspect I'd just make the ability to produce milk a racial perk, and leave it at that.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: Food & other stuff production in a farm

I'm going to take a different track here, mainly because it's something that I've personally wondered for some time and Hide's post implies it's more what he's thinking about - how to represent creatures/characters who are able to produce a commodity naturally. I think I have a solution, because such commodities require work from the character - Tenure. Tenure means you have a job you can essentially pick up at any time to make money from, and cannot be fired from. Now, Tenure more-or-less assumes that you have a job appropriate for your Wealth level, but theoretical maximum silk production from a drider may well outstrip her Wealth. Conversely, the milk production of a minotaur queen (assuming a setting where people consider drinking minotaur milk as acceptable) may be well below her Wealth. One could argue that Only for Determining Job would make sense as a -80% Limitation on Wealth, and Wealth is roughly [10] per +2 SSR, so every +1 SSR to your job's wages is thus worth [1]. So, I'd say every +1 SSR, compared to your current Wealth's typical job, that your Tenured job is is worth a +20% Enhancement, every -1 SSR is a -20% Limitation, for a change of [1] and [-1], respectively. You could give the same trait to a cow to represent its milk production, although running the numbers cows produce somewhere between $13 and $25 per month in milk, which means their ability to produce milk is at best a Perk.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: Food & other stuff production in a farm

Hey there, thanks for your comments!

First, I understand the approach in Low Tech Companion #3. However, this is more or less the idea:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
(...) how to represent creatures/characters who are able to produce a commodity naturally (...)
Very roughly, a cow's milk production also depends of the frequency you milk the cow and its racial features. The more you empty the animal, the more production capacity it will have over time (within its natural limits). If you want the best production ratio, you will need better milking, better grazing and good timing. In other words, better grazing and milking frequency only give bonuses to milk production. Ultimately, milk production depends of the creature's capacity.

For example, certain scientists harvest silk from spiders, which they use for medical purposes. If the spider’s silk is emptied (beyond its reserve), there are drawbacks for the spider. So I want to define these capacities in such a way you could roll dice and get the production level/status. On the other hand, the scientists will have to diagnose whether the spider is ready or not, rolling “diagnosis – spider”.

The idea of tenure sounds interesting when it comes to sentient beings or creatures domesticated for commodity production. Following your example, tenure justifies that a being or a creature is "professionally capable at producing something", and that you need to fulfill certain requisites to keep the trait. For example, a wet nurse (the Minotaur Queen in the example); if she stops “nursing”, she will stop producing milk and will have to start over to acquire such a “trait”.

So, you could roll against HT to tell whether the “ability” worked or not. And, maybe a racial knack could give a bonus to HT for the sole purpose of production capacity, plus other bonus stuff such as timing, grazing, etc.

But does racial knack improves a PC stats?

Finally, I suppose that wealth limitation is for the purpose of neglecting the "employment and salary guaranteed for life" part stated in tenure. Is this right?

And what is SSR?

Thank you!
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Food & other stuff production in a farm

What if production costs long term fatigue, this may be a way of reflecting the effects of negative stresses on the animal. This won't work in every case though, wool from sheep being one example.

Also a steer would have "a job for life"
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Food & other stuff production in a farm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
. I think I have a solution, because such commodities require work from the character - Tenure.
I love this idea - and would never have thought of it. Cows with Tenure - nice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
You could give the same trait to a cow to represent its milk production, although running the numbers cows produce somewhere between $13 and $25 per month in milk, which means their ability to produce milk is at best a Perk.
I'm pleased to learn that, even by this more serious measure, my instinct to call a cow-person's ability to produce milk a perk kind of holds up.
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