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Old 04-12-2021, 12:06 AM   #1
kirbwarrior
 
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Default Create Food and it's effect on infrastructure

Been working on a fantasy-medieval* setting and learning things about it from various campaigns. Two things that came up (initially unrelated) was trying to figure out population size (since it seems lower than I thought would normally make sense but is something I like) and the fact that there isn't farming because it would be too hard for various purposes. The second already had a solution; Creating food was a spell people would learn early on in history to make up for many places either being too barren for food OR too dangerous because scarier things eat the same food.

I started looking up worldbuilding advise online and apparently how available and how easy to get food is has a gigantic effect on things. But a lot of that advise was based around the assumption that farming more or less worked the same regardless of other parts of the setting.

And I'm not sure what I could base it on or how much of an effect it would have. For simplicity, lets say that making food is roughly as time consuming and hard as making a meal would be, but you never have to worry about actually getting food because you're creating meals into existence. Any thoughts on how to approach this? Thank you ahead of time.

*Maybe more accurately renaissance, or TL4 in GURPS (I posted here since the game mechanics seemed irrelevant)
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Old 04-12-2021, 01:28 AM   #2
Saint
 
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Default Re: Create Food and it's effect on infrastructure

If no farms, then no farmers. Also, no irrigation, so maybe urban planning is a bit backward - at least in the early days of the world. Maybe these people have no idea what large-scale land clearance is about. You just take the forest path from one village to the next. Fantasy games love spooky forests.

If no pastures, then not much use for animal husbandry. They might still figure out how to breed animals for desirable qualities - they just don't have millennia of experience. If no need to raise food animals, maybe they haven't tamed the wolf into a house pet or guard animal. Come to think of it, if no granaries then they probably don't have vermin like real-world civilizations, and no need to domesticate a cat to chase the vermin away.

Maybe they develop the watermill a little late, since there's no grain to grind.

There might not be any spice trade to speak of, at least not like in history.

But if I read the main point right, if the total effort that goes into planting, harvesting, preserving and preparing food is about the same as the effort that goes into conjuring it up as needed, then I don't see why you can't justify populations in your game world roughly equal to IRL examples.

You might have a whole class of conjurors who do nothing all day but support a much larger group of people by taking care of food needs. A restaurantocracy. Let's see Jack Vance top that.
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Old 04-12-2021, 01:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Create Food and it's effect on infrastructure

In that time period, 90% of people are farmers. The remaining ten percent account for all professionals, merchants, clergy, soldiers and rulers. If no one has to grow food, research and productivity explode.
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Old 04-12-2021, 02:25 AM   #4
kirbwarrior
 
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Default Re: Create Food and it's effect on infrastructure

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Originally Posted by Saint View Post
But if I read the main point right, if the total effort that goes into planting, harvesting, preserving and preparing food is about the same as the effort that goes into conjuring it up as needed, then I don't see why you can't justify populations in your game world roughly equal to IRL examples.
Oh, sorry, I was trying to say the opposite. The idea is that the time a, say, chef spend on making a meal (15 to 30 minutes) stays the same, but everything else is thrown out the window because the planting, harvesting, preserving, preparing, cooking, etc is all thrown into that time period of 'creating a meal'.

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Originally Posted by DaosusLeghki View Post
In that time period, 90% of people are farmers. The remaining ten percent account for all professionals, merchants, clergy, soldiers and rulers. If no one has to grow food, research and productivity explode.
Yeah, that was the big thing I was noticing brought up a lot as a part of our own history. That would happen right out the gates.
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Old 04-12-2021, 06:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Create Food and it's effect on infrastructure

With that premise, already by 6000 B.C. at the latest, the world would be a magical post-scarcity utopia, and by 1400 A.D. it would resemble nothing we know.
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Old 04-12-2021, 06:54 AM   #6
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Default Re: Create Food and it's effect on infrastructure

My question would be whether "civilization" develops at all without the cultural changes brought on by the need to organize agriculture. I'm picturing hunter-gatherer style societies, only the time that was spent hunting and gathering is now devoted to art or music or whatever.
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