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Old 06-20-2021, 04:30 PM   #81
StevenH
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3

I have been trying to think of the kinds of things that would make a village prosperous, and how the mages might be able to help.

So I've started a list of "things that are important and that need to get done" in a village.

The first is feeding everyone.


Flora:
A) Soil prep for crops
B) Sowing crops
C) Watering crops/draining fields (flood control, drought mitigation)
D) Pest control
E) Harvest
F) Food Storage
G) Distribution of food within the village
H) Transportation of surplus to markets

Fauna:
A) Breeding livestock
B) Care of livestock
C) Feeding of livestock
D) Slaughter of livestock for food
E) Harvesting wool/furs/etc
F) Transporting surplus livestock to markets

Transportation
A) Road building
B) Road maintenance
C) Wagon construction/maintenance
D) Warehousing facilities
E) Traffic control (likely minimal, in a small village)

Construction/Repair
A) Constructing buildings
B) Repairs to structures
C) Fire control
D) Disaster mitigation (earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions)

Communication
A) Communication with other villages for coordination, market info, etc
B) Military advantage (if we need to worry about this, that is)
C) Revenue stream from messages from the private sector

Crowd Control
A) Keeping the populace docile
B) Mob control (if necessary)

Medical Services
A) Disease control
B) Healing (likely for only the most necessary of personnel; everyone else is expendable or otherwise not worth the cost)

I'm sure I have forgotten some categories. I've never had to get into this much detail about running a village. I mostly just handwaved it away and narrated past it. But we can't do that this time.

If anyone has any other ideas that might concern a village Reeve, add it to the list! And once we have the list of "potential problems a mage could solve" we can figure out how they might actually solve these problems, and then see how feasible it actually is.
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Old 06-22-2021, 08:44 AM   #82
ericthered
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Default Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3

Of course, beyond the normal tasks, there are things like doubling all of the crops that are nice. Also, can magic let you beat the need to rotate your fields?

The creation of clothing was a huge industry that took a lot of work. Some of this is part of flora and fauna, but spinning, weaving, sowing, and occasionally dyeing should also be considered.

The manufacture of goods on a small scale was something every village did. The most common things are likely pottery and simple wooden tools, though some metal tools do get involved.
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Old 06-24-2021, 12:24 AM   #83
StevenH
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3

I can't believe I left out manufacturing!

Clothing (fibers)

A) Growing flax, raising wool (cotton likely would not grow in the area where we have the villages, if it's basically southern England in climate; cotton requires a warm climate with a long frost free period). Silkworms also require a warm climate, and likely wouldn't do well.
B) Harvesting fibers
C) Spinning fibers into threads
D) Weaving threads into cloth
E) Sewing cloth into clothes and other items
F) Transporting the finished goods to markets

Clothing (leather, fur)
A) Raising animals, trapping animals
B) Skinning animals
C) Preparing hides/fur
D) Sewing leather/fur into clothing and other items
E) Transporting finished goods to markets

Ceramics
A) Mining clays
B) Transporting clays to workshops
C) Forming clays into pottery
D) Firing the pottery
E) Glazing the pottery
F) Transporting the pottery to markets

Glass
A) Mining quality sand
B) Melting the sand and other ingredients
C) Forming the glass
D) Cooling the glass properly
E) Transporting finished goods to market

Iron Smithing
A) Mining the ore
B) Transporting ore to smelter
C) Smelting the ore
D) Forming iron stock (rods, sheets, ingots, whatever)
E) Transporting stock to blacksmiths
F) Making finished goods

Brownsmithing (copper, bronze, brass), Whitesmithing (tin, lead, pewter), and Brightsmithing (silver, gold)

As for Iron smithing

Similar steps can be enumerated for dyes/colorants, charcoal, logging, wagon/boat building, barrel making, milling, cheesemaking, ropemaking*.

*Hair Growth is great for this. It's also good for wool production. Human hair makes pretty damn fine rope that is strong and light weight. Prereq is 5 Body Control Spells.

Cadence would be a useful spell for manufacturing items, doubling productivity using a combination of speeding up actions and making them more sure. Prereqs are Itch, Spasm, Clumsiness, Grace, and Haste.

Mature would be a good spell for cheesemaking.
Purify Food and Preserve Food would reduce food losses.
Prepare Game is useful for both food and hide preparation.

Create Food and Essential Food would reduce famine.

Water to Wine's utility is obvious (although I change "coolers" to "ciders"). Distill would also be useful, not only for fortifying wines and such, but creating pure alcohol, which could be used as an antiseptic (if being able to create pure alcohol is fairly easy, it's antiseptic functions would likely be discovered fairly quickly).

Essential Food, by the way, is the military logistics clerk's favorite spell. It basically makes Lembas.

Find Weakness could be used on buildings to prevent catastrophes. Find a problem, then repair it before the building falls down.

Clean is not only good for, well, cleaning, but also for preparing surfaces for adhesives. Could also work to improve smithing by cleaning the surfaces of impurities, enabling better welding.

Soilproof could be interesting; sure, it can keep clothes clean, but it can also be cast on a bucket or ladle, which will now not become dirty...so everything you put into it will fall out of it easily. Not quite frictionless, but close enough. Measuring honey? It slides right out into your mixing bowl. Working with pitch? The pitch won't stick to the bucket.

Dye lasts for 2d days, so there are likely some uses for this that aren't just selling "royal purple cloth to an easy mark".

Mapmaker would be useful for the assessor's/surveyor's office. Don't know how useful it is in our context, however.

Repair is really useful, but it has Magery 2 as a prereq.
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Old 07-12-2021, 11:40 AM   #84
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3

Hello All,
Just didn't want you to think that this was being ignored per se - but life got a wee bit busy (details of which will remain private). None the less, while doing some research on something else, came across this that I thought a few people might find interesting - and why agricultural process were so labor intensive...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l7ke2laTKQ


This video shows a single man scything a field for hay mowing, but the process remains largely the same whether it is hay or grains being mowed down. Note that the man's fruit of his labor is being deposited on the left side of him as he scythes down.


This video shows two people working side by side, in a staggered formation so as to keep out of each other's danger zone (these scythes are incredibly sharp). In some accounts that I've come across over the years, accidents involving scythes and legs were not uncommon, and as you might guess, the more fatigued someone is when using these blades, the more control becomes an issue. One acre is about 66 feet by 660 feet or 22 yds by 220 yds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBM8XkXlsdQ

(sorry, almost forgot this link)


These next two videos I think you may find interesting - one shows a scythe versus a motorized weedwhacker, and the one listed after that shows a modern farmer discussing scythe blades and what he does. He goes on to mention that it takes him about 4 hours to mow a quarter acre.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsfIHiBB6xE


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVn1kiZnldQ



In theory, 5 people were required to reap and bind 2 acres per day. So, where can magic help in this process? What is the process?

Steps involved:

1) a scythe is swing in sweeping motion using a very sharp cutting implement. This cutting implement needed to be kept sharpened at all times, and thus, required constant use of a whetstone in order to periodically sharpen the blade. As a whetstone requires water on a whetstone - the mower had to keep his whetstone handy on him as he worked.

2) the item being harvested would be gathered in rows to the left (as seen in the video. Far enough way from those wielding the scythe, there would be those (generally women and children) who would gather these fallen stalks into sheaves.

3) depending on whether we're talking about hay or grains, hay required about 5 days of turning over the stalks in an effort to dry them out before placing them on a wagon to be carted elsewhere for storage. This turning over would be done, generally speaking, once per day, possibly twice per day - after the dew had evaporated (and possibly just before nightfall).

Otherwise, as best as I can determine, the sheaves of grain would be taken elsewhere. When the grain was ready to be threshed, one person could thresh roughly 1 bushel of grain per hour (about 50 lbs give or take).

Well, enough on this. Will get back to this again before TOO awful long...

Last edited by hal; 07-12-2021 at 11:42 AM. Reason: forgot a link...
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Old 08-18-2021, 07:56 PM   #85
StevenH
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by hal View Post
Hello All,

In theory, 5 people were required to reap and bind 2 acres per day. So, where can magic help in this process? What is the process?

Steps involved:

1) a scythe is swing in sweeping motion using a very sharp cutting implement. This cutting implement needed to be kept sharpened at all times, and thus, required constant use of a whetstone in order to periodically sharpen the blade. As a whetstone requires water on a whetstone - the mower had to keep his whetstone handy on him as he worked.

2) the item being harvested would be gathered in rows to the left (as seen in the video. Far enough way from those wielding the scythe, there would be those (generally women and children) who would gather these fallen stalks into sheaves.

3) depending on whether we're talking about hay or grains, hay required about 5 days of turning over the stalks in an effort to dry them out before placing them on a wagon to be carted elsewhere for storage. This turning over would be done, generally speaking, once per day, possibly twice per day - after the dew had evaporated (and possibly just before nightfall).

Otherwise, as best as I can determine, the sheaves of grain would be taken elsewhere. When the grain was ready to be threshed, one person could thresh roughly 1 bushel of grain per hour (about 50 lbs give or take).

Well, enough on this. Will get back to this again before TOO awful long...
1. At first, I thought that the Making and Breaking spell Sharpen might be useful for getting the blade back into shape. But no, it only lasts 1 minute, and it would be expensive power-wise to boot. Repair (if you stretch the definition a bit) might be useful to get sharpen the blade back to what it was, "repairing the sharpness of the blade". It would cost 4 points of mana in this case, assuming you could use Repair for this purpose, but at least it would last until the blade gets dull again. Another possibility is Shatterproof, if the spell can strengthen the edge such that it doesn't dull as easily. It lasts an hour, and would only cost 3 points to cast. At the very least, the scythe would be turned into a "fine" or "very fine" tool.

2. I can't think of any spell that will help with the gathering/tying of the sheaves.

But there is this (which could also work for 1, above):

Ritual of Reaping (A)
Regular

Subject can easily harvest food plants barehanded, passing stalks between fingers, effortlessly pulling roots, shaking trees, etc. without damaging the produce or gathering inedible parts. The GM determines game effects. Having collection take 20% less time – or permitting an extra foraging roll (p. B427) per hour – seems reasonable. Worthless if there’s nothing suitable or ready to harvest!
Also a Food spell.
Duration: 1 hour.
Cost: 2. Same cost to maintain.
Time to cast: 10 seconds.
(This is from GURPS Magic, The Least of Spells)

3. Drying out the hay: Shape Water would likely be the best solution here, as the caster moves a certain amount of water out of the stalks. There would need to be some practice involved, to know how much to actually remove. Destroy Water also specifically states it's good for drying things out. It's an area spell, with a base cost of 3.
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Old 09-08-2021, 09:57 AM   #86
bocephus
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Default Re: Mageborn are like Coins - Worldbuilding TL 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by hal View Post

In theory, 5 people were required to reap and bind 2 acres per day. So, where can magic help in this process? What is the process?

Steps involved:

1) a scythe is swing in sweeping motion using a very sharp cutting implement. This cutting implement needed to be kept sharpened at all times, and thus, required constant use of a whetstone in order to periodically sharpen the blade. As a whetstone requires water on a whetstone - the mower had to keep his whetstone handy on him as he worked.

2) the item being harvested would be gathered in rows to the left (as seen in the video. Far enough way from those wielding the scythe, there would be those (generally women and children) who would gather these fallen stalks into sheaves.

3) depending on whether we're talking about hay or grains, hay required about 5 days of turning over the stalks in an effort to dry them out before placing them on a wagon to be carted elsewhere for storage. This turning over would be done, generally speaking, once per day, possibly twice per day - after the dew had evaporated (and possibly just before nightfall).

Otherwise, as best as I can determine, the sheaves of grain would be taken elsewhere. When the grain was ready to be threshed, one person could thresh roughly 1 bushel of grain per hour (about 50 lbs give or take).

Well, enough on this. Will get back to this again before TOO awful long...
First too much focus on the tool, the time it takes to dress a scythe is about 30sec and good for far longer than 1 min. Anything short of creating an edge that just doesn't require sharpening is poor use of resources. The creation of that edge is probably also not a good return on investment. Normally you only really sharpen the edge a few times a day, the rest is just touch up.

I think you need to focus on the people more. Invest in making them stronger or more healthy. Effectively giving them more FP to allow them to work longer more effectively. Minor healing is a very over looked spell in terms of its value to the day to day farmer. The ease which someone could get a 3-4HP wound, especially working around beasts of burden and swinging blades, is more likely to return in both time invested in a trained serf and good will from healing.



------------------

Did you ever decide on a specific edition? I think the idea here has much merit, but until you set down some ground rules about which edition your working from this is going to just get weird. Is there a reason you didnt just go straight to 4e?
There's too many variables once you move into the "Ok you have a village" but one person is using 2e and one is using 3e and two are using 4e.

Also is "Advanced" Mage training available at a price from the crown? Alternatively it's just you losing that body for 5-10 years while you wait for them to come back to contribute (and likely have to pay their room and board while they train).

Do you get a say in their studies? I would question any Lord risking his female mages on something as dangerous as child birth unless healing is more developed. Again knowing which edition and magic system is in play would help answer this a lot more.

---------
Another subset you could stick in a couple places is insect control, especially granaries this could be a gigantic return on investment.

Lesser to general health and welfare but none the less valuable (if they are even aware of it). Real and repeatable Divination makes it much much easier to figure out why someone is sick.

As seen in a game I'm currently involved in, actual Divination per the spells in 4e would yield far more useful information and could lead to some very fast understanding of the world without the development of technologies required to prove it.
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