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Old 04-15-2021, 02:49 PM   #31
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Create Food and it's effect on infrastructure

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Originally Posted by Michele View Post
I have the same problem with the elves, but not with the dwarves.
Yes, the cool place to be, for them, is underneath the mountains, extracting ores and working metals. But there will always be an open-air over-the-mountains place above their mines. And among the species that suffer less from altitude and cold you have mountain goats and barley.
Yes, the movies don't feature scenes of dwarves tending the goats and harvesting barley. But after all, dwarven VIPs don't go there, they are the kings, renowned swordsmiths, famous dragon-slayers who all stay in the well-known underground halls.
Maybe the goat herders are human slaves or the none-too-bright dwarves. We never see them. But then again, did the first series of Downton Abbey feature a lot of scenes in Yorkshire mines?
In The Hobbit, the dwarves tell Bilbo that back in the good old days at the Lonely Mountain they were so rich that they never bothered to grow their own food.
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Old 04-15-2021, 07:35 PM   #32
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Default Re: Create Food and it's effect on infrastructure

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In The Hobbit, the dwarves tell Bilbo that back in the good old days at the Lonely Mountain they were so rich that they never bothered to grow their own food.
In People's of Middle Earth it says that was because they bought their food.

In the Second Age there was a symbiotic relation with allied men in which food was exchanged for technology. As it happens those were the same men that provided cavalry when they went on campaign because Dwarves were primarily good as infantry.

There are also hints of that in LotR ("All such things they could obtain in traffic") although in that case it wasn't referring primarily to food if I recall.

Basically they had a favorable trade balance with agricultural peoples.
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Old 04-16-2021, 01:58 AM   #33
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The mention of wars and soldiers raises another question. Historically, wars were generally fought ultimately to gain resources. If resources are effectively unlimited, is there any impetus for the development of a warrior class? Of course, if, as mentioned, there are dangerous inhuman enemies, a warrior class might develop to fight them, and they might then fight their counterparts in other groups to avenge insults or just prove their strength. In such a case, I see warfare as being highly ritualized, with the goal being the demonstration of superiority rather than the inflicting of casualties.
As mentioned above, war may be about human resources. Women. Slaves. Human sacrifices to your divinity. Yes, these wars may be ritualized, but they may still be bloody (think flower wars).

Once that sets the war ball rolling, it remains to be seen if Create Food also starts a boom in further magical reasearch, which means an overall post-scarcity economy. If it does, there's no need to make war for gold, iron, timber, wool, coal and oil. Because you'll be producing those magically, or have magical heating, transportation etc.
But if you only have magical food, well... you'll still want those other resources, and if your population grows explosively because there's no food shortage ever, you will soon deplete your own forest of timber, or exhaust your gold mine. At that point, you'll look around, and maybe your neighbor still has some forests or mines...
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Old 04-16-2021, 02:03 AM   #34
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In People's of Middle Earth it says that was because they bought their food.

In the Second Age there was a symbiotic relation with allied men in which food was exchanged for technology. As it happens those were the same men that provided cavalry when they went on campaign because Dwarves were primarily good as infantry.

There are also hints of that in LotR ("All such things they could obtain in traffic") although in that case it wasn't referring primarily to food if I recall.

Basically they had a favorable trade balance with agricultural peoples.
So this goes into GURPS Realm Management territory...
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Old 04-16-2021, 02:52 AM   #35
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Default Re: Create Food and it's effect on infrastructure

The arrangements of the Elves (at least, the Elves of Mirkwood) in The Hobbit are even more puzzling.

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In ancient days they had had wars with some of the dwarves, whom they accused of stealing their treasure. It is only fair to say that the dwarves gave a different account, and said that they only took what was their due, for the elf-king had bargained with them to shape his raw gold and silver, and had afterwards refused to give them their pay. If the elf-king had a weakness it was for treasure, especially for silver and white gems; and though his hoard was rich, he was ever eager for more, since he had not yet as great a treasure as other elf-lords of old. His people neither mined nor worked metals or jewels, nor did they bother much with trade or with tilling the earth.
I can only assume they lived entirely off magic. The Mirkwood elves also hunted the animals in the forest (those that weren't too corrupted by Sauron's magic to be edible), but you can't run a civilisation entirely off that.
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Old 04-16-2021, 03:42 AM   #36
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The Mirkwood elves also hunted the animals in the forest (those that weren't too corrupted by Sauron's magic to be edible), but you can't run a civilisation entirely off that.
So are you saying the Aboriginal Australians' wasn't a civilization? Some people will probably disagree with that.
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Old 04-16-2021, 05:46 AM   #37
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So are you saying the Aboriginal Australians' wasn't a civilization? Some people will probably disagree with that.
Anthropologically a culture, not a civilization - apparently building cities is the defining factor for a civilization (or it used to be, I may be out of date).
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Old 04-16-2021, 06:19 AM   #38
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The arrangements of the Elves (at least, the Elves of Mirkwood) in The Hobbit are even more puzzling.
...
I can only assume they lived entirely off magic. The Mirkwood elves also hunted the animals in the forest (those that weren't too corrupted by Sauron's magic to be edible), but you can't run a civilisation entirely off that.
Despite the description, they clearly engaged in trade of some sort, what with their barrels full of provisions and sending them downriver to Lake-Town to be refilled. However, Tolkien may have been specifically referring to mercantile trade, while it could be that the Elves and Men have an arrangement where the Elves maintain the paths of Mirkwood and keep them clear of monsters (allowing trade to pass through) while the Men keep the Elves stocked with food and drink, in lieu of merchants and travelers needing to pay tolls to the Elves.
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Old 04-16-2021, 07:15 AM   #39
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Anthropologically a culture, not a civilization - apparently building cities is the defining factor for a civilization (or it used to be, I may be out of date).
Sure! As I said, some people will disagree.
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Old 04-16-2021, 07:22 AM   #40
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Sure! As I said, some people will disagree.
I think it's because "civilization" implies a claim of superiority and it is unfashionable (and probably not a good subject for further discussion here), to imply the potential superiority or inferiority of societies. Whatever.
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