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hal 05-10-2021 05:11 AM

Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3
Hello Folks,
Although this could be considered a topic better suited for the GURPS rules forum or even perhaps the Play by Post forum, I though I'd bring it up here to see if there were sufficient people interested in a world building exercise for a region containing 10 villages with an average of about 250 people (give or take) with a demographical breakdown (based on Southern England circa 1200 AD) as well as how many mageborn there are, how old the various mageborn will be (for this exercise) and include various factors such as:

Social Status of each family
Amount of land held by each family
General Ages of people within each family
Life Expectancy of various members (based on a table freely available)
And even things along the lines of crop types and/or animal herds

If this sounds like something worth the while, then I will start crafting the tools needed to detail all this and make the information available. Such information would take the form of a document (either .txt or .doc for Microsoft word).

All that would be necessary then, is to identify where mageborn get "Spent" and what spells those mageborn will require to do their jobs. We'll also discuss the education of mageborn through the various incarnations of GURPS MAGIC spells as identified via GURPS FANTASY 1st edition, or GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition (what is now called GURPS CLASSIC MAGIC), or GURPS MAGIC for 4e.

Tools that will be used are:
Actual demographic data on land ownership in Southern England
HARN MANOR (for setting up villagers and land holdings etc)
FAMILY TREES (a free PDF advailable from the Harn Forums downloads)

The Chuch will be presumed to be like that of the Catholic Church sans the "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" mentality and simply see what emerges from the blank canvas that will be painted.

This is not going to be a "This is what Hal believes MUST occur" so much as a "This is a thread for all to comment in and pro-offer views on how they see the world building exercise going. More importantly, it will give us all a chance to spot possibilities and point out minor issues here or there based on the rules as written in either of:

GURPS FANTASY 1st edition
GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition

If people want to discuss variations as are possible due to GURPS THAUMATOLOGY, I can see that working its way in as well.

ericthered 05-10-2021 09:14 AM

Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3
So the idea is to take 2,500 ish people from a segment of Harn, stick them in a near-medival setting, give some of them standard gurps magery and see what spells they want?

That sounds fairly interesting. I'd lean towards using existing data as much as possible. Is there a site that already has a few thousand inhabitants the way we want it?

hal 05-10-2021 09:46 AM

Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3

Originally Posted by ericthered (Post 2379145)
So the idea is to take 2,500 ish people from a segment of Harn, stick them in a near-medival setting, give some of them standard gurps magery and see what spells they want?

That sounds fairly interesting. I'd lean towards using existing data as much as possible. Is there a site that already has a few thousand inhabitants the way we want it?

I've written code that will generate manorial data one manor at a time. From there, it is a simple step forward to fill in the rest. See next post...

hal 05-10-2021 09:47 AM

Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3
What is missing in the code below are the headings:

First column is family number. Second Column is Family status/job Third Column is number of members in family. Fourth Column is household size, Fifth Column is agricultural skill (GURPS value), Sixth column is Serf held acres, Seventh Column is Free held acres, Eighth column is Labor Owed, ninth is Rent owed in kind (money or goods), 10th is Rent Fees, and last is Notes...


      1  Priest                  3  11        0        15        0        0        0    Owes Lord 1/2 Glebe Revenues
      2  1/2 Villien            3  14        13        0        52        60        19     
      3  1/4 Villien            3  14        8        0        32        60        14     
      4  Cottar                  4  13        5        0        20        60        11     
      5  Cottar                  2    9        1        0        4        60        7     
      6  Cottar                  2  12        1        0        4        60        7     
      7  Salter                  5  13        0        20        0        60        26    Business fee =  120d
      8  Cottar                  1  12        3        0        12        60        9     
      9  1/4 Villien            11  13        7        0        28        60        13     
      10  Charcoaler              4  12        0        25        0        60        31    Business fee =  180d
      11  Yeoman(LF)              3  11        0        13        0        60        19    Owes Military Service
      12  Miller                  7  14        0        30        0        60        36    Business fee =  240d
      13  Yeoman(LF)              3  14        0        17        0        60        23    Owes Military Service
      14  Cottar                  3  10        1        0        4        60        7     
      15  1/2 Villien            2  11        13        0        52        60        19     
      16  1/2 Villien            2    9        14        0        56        60        20     
      17  Cottar                  3  13        4        0        16        60        10     
      18  Villien                9    9        21        0        84        60        27     
      19  1/2 Villien            2  10        14        0        56        60        20     
      20  1/2 Villien            4  11        20        0        80        60        26     
      21  Cottar                  5  13        4        0        16        60        10     
      22  1/2 Virgate Farmer      4  13        0        17        0      162        23     
      23  Small Farmer            2  11        0        4        0        84        10     
      24  1/4 Villien            7  11        9        0        36        60        15     
      25  1/2 Villien            5  13        16        0        64        60        22     
      26  Yeoman(LH)              3  10        0        63        0        60        69    Owes Military Service
      27  1/2 Villien            5  11        17        0        68        60        23     
      28  Cottar                  2  13        1        0        4        60        7     
      29  1/2 Villien            5  11        20        0        80        60        26     
      30  1/2 Villien            6  11        18        0        72        60        24     
      31  1/2 Villien            2  13        12        0        48        60        18     
      32  1/2 Villien            6  13        14        0        56        60        20     
      33  Villien                7  12        24        0        96        60        30     
      34  Yeoman(MF)              4  13        0        23        0        60        29    Herder
      35  Villien                6  12        35        0      140        60        41     
      36  Cottar                  2  12        3        0        0        60        9    Reeve
      37  1/2 Villien            8  13        13        0        52        60        19     
      38  Cottar                  3  14        3        0        12        60        9     
      39  Metalsmith              9  11        0        15        0        60        21    Business fee =  144d
      40  1/2 Villien            3  11        14        0        56        60        20     
      41  1/4 Villien            3  12        6        0        24        60        12     
      42  Villien                5  13        26        0      104        60        32     
      43  Villien                13  10        31        0      124        60        37     
      44  1/2 Villien            5  12        14        0        0        60        20    Woodward
      45  Cottar                  3  10        3        0        12        60        9     
      46  Small Farmer            6  13        0        1        0        66        7     
      47  Woodcrafter            5  13        0        15        0        60        21    Business fee =  120d
      48  1/2 Villien            4  12        14        0        56        60        20     
      49  1/2 Villien            2  14        18        0        72        60        24     
      50  Hideworker              8  14        0        20        0        60        26    Business fee =  144d
      51  Cottar                  1  10        4        0        16        60        10     
      52  Cottar                  1  14        4        0        16        60        10     
      53  Yeoman(LB)              4  13        0        48        0        60        54    Owes Military Service
      54  1/2 Villien            6  11        15        0        60        60        21     
      55  1/2 Villien            2  10        16        0        64        60        22     
  TOTALS                        238            657      479      1848      1916      3372

ericthered 05-10-2021 09:52 AM

Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3
What are the column headings?

Also, is this for households or for individuals? What happens if a woman gets selected as a priest? And how will the aristocracy be filled in?

hal 05-10-2021 10:13 AM

Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3
As you might guess, generating the Family data is not a problem. The code I was working on was to get an operational Fief Management process such that it could generate an entire document for any given fief - be it for NPCs or for Player characters. My intent was to create a database so that a single player could run their Fief/Manor for years and have records for each successive year's worth of events and management decisions made. Right now, I've got it so that it can read the entirety of Kingdom of Kaldor data and fill it in for the user to fill in their budget and all that fun stuff - but got stalled and lost interest.

As for the FAMILY TREE PDF, I can easily get a birth date for these "NPC's" and set a Death Date for them based on the rules for determining such without any REAL problem. As GM, I'd tentatively rule this to be a "planned death date absent magical interference". Death dates can be a function of accidental death such as someone during harvest accidentally opening their main artery in their leg by means of a scythe, or perhaps a childbirth issue that kills a mother, or perhaps illness, or falling down a ravine, etc. One COULD simulate the births of children using Family Tree rules easily enough.

Statistically, 1 in 2 children born prior to 1900, died before the age of 15 - something this Family Tree PDF holds to pretty well. In the end? When we discuss various things such as say, the use of "Bless Plants", the players will be told "Plows handled by Oxen teams or horse teams go relatively straight and narrow rather than in circles. To cover an entire field - one needs a radius big enough to incribe a rectangle within a circle, or they need to use smaller circles in multiple castings". In short - the idea is to deal with this "scenario" in such a way as to determine how many mageborn there will be, vs how many practicing mages there will be, vs other issues that may arise.

For instance, prior to GURPS GRIMOIRE, the spell "Mage Light" did not exist. As a consequence, being able to determine if anyone had magery or not required the spell "Aura". Otherwise, one had to try and study a spell, if lacking the magery requisite required, the spell would not be successfully cast.

It is intended that this "simulation" if you will, give people the basic material, but let THEM spend their mage coins as they see fit. If most people are not capable of literacy - how does one go about training the next generation of mages? If a serf requires permission of his lord to leave the land for any sojourn out of the village for any length of time, how does an apprentice learn new skills not available to those known or possessed by the practicing Village mage? If the Lord's want to take a promising student with magical aptitude and train the mageborn in magic - what might they demand of their "Serf" child who has magery?

These are questions that are going to be necessary to ask. Most lords know that any serf they free from their contract will no longer be under obligation to their heirs, few will want to lessen their future labor pool without some corresponding benefit.

So - let's see what kind of intrest this thread drums up. Creating the background material for the Villages won't really be the problem. Getting people to read the GURPS MAGIC books and seeing how the spells interact with each other, and the fact that once you train a mage to learn specific spells and undertake specific jobs - you've "Spent" that mage, rendering him/her unable to handle any other potential magic activity.

In addition, when you have a mother who has magery, she will have family duties that involve raising her children (not to mention carrying her children to term!) that will definitely shape their capabilities to function.

So, this is an invitation, let's see how many more might join in on it and get it rolling. My hope is that if we get enough involved, it will be self-sustaining to where you will reach your own conclusions, engage in your own experimentation in what happens when you have a feudal style society and a precious commodity/talent such as magery.

hal 05-10-2021 10:17 AM

Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3

Originally Posted by ericthered (Post 2379154)
What are the column headings?

Also, is this for households or for individuals? What happens if a woman gets selected as a priest? And how will the aristocracy be filled in?

I will rewrite the VB.NET code to generate column headings going forward. :)

When the program generates the Data, the presumption is that these are the people as they are "NOW" - a snapshot if you will. As for the Priest? The Catholic Church at the time did not permit Women priests. If the priest's household has say, 4 people, it may well be a priest, an assistant, and perhaps two nuns.

So, if we have a household with 7 people, chances may be that it holds a Mother, a Father, 2 children, and two elderly parents, and a Sibling to the Father (or Mother) for example. It may very well be A widower, his four children, a sister, and a Grandmother. There is a fair bit of lattitude here, that I can fill out as necessary (and will).

hal 05-11-2021 08:39 AM

Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3
OK, next post and what will be required on my part.

What I need to do next is write code that will determine who the household head of family is (Male of Female), how old they are, and whether or not they have a surviving spouse or not. From there, the ages of any subsequent individual within that family can be reasonably determined.

My original intent in all of this was to work with one "Noble Family" at each Village as the Landed Knight, and then generally use about 50 families per village, assuming about 5 people per family. I think that I may go with slightly variable numbers of families per village, to where 50 will be the lower end, and 100 will be the upper end, with about perhaps 75 being more average. That will make village sizes closer to 375 people. My program will likely drop that average to closer to maybe 360 or so.

This is GOOD for the mageborn population howeovere, because this is what I will suggest as the "Currency" for the Mageborn:

Each level of Magery is 10x more common than the next higher.

2% of the population will have ANY mageborn talent at all. The numbers of actual professional mages will largely be up to YOU who partake in this discussion/experiment.

Things to remember: Education takes time. Time spent on education, unless it is a profesion (ie a professional teacher) will likely result in time taken away from the work of the actual professional. For instance, let's say you have a village healer. You decide that the healer will have mundane skills as well as magical skills. You also decide that the mage will be working in their full capacity as a healer and that any "apprentice training" has to occur OFF hours. So perhaps an apprentice might learn the spell "Lend energy" as part of their "Job" as an apprentice, but then also only get 1 hour per day of actual training in spells. That means that the apprentice will be learning at best, 1 spell per year (remember, medieval times had days where one could not work, religious holidays were more common etc).

On that note - I will keep people up to date with more information on the "sim villages" before too much longer.

Per GURPS 3e, starting characters may not have more than 2x age points in skill. A 40 year old mageborn could thus have at most, 80 points in skills.

whswhs 05-11-2021 08:52 AM

Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3
For Bless Plants, the optimal choice is to space castings at the centers of a grid of hexagons. There will be some overlap, and thus some wasted effort, but the amount of overlap will be minimal. Then you fit the furrows inside the hexagons, as much as possible.

whswhs 05-11-2021 09:04 AM

Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3
You say that 2% of the population are magically gifted. Does that mean Magery 1, as in GURPS 3/e, or are you adopting the 4/e concept of Magery 0? It doesn't make a lot of difference at the low end, but whether you have 5 people with Magery 3, or a 50% chance of having one, might be important.

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