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Squaredeal Sten

Improving Harvest Results

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In the context of "Between adventures and harvest results"  (pp,420-423 of Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha)

is it your opinion that the Determine Harvest Results outcomes can be modified by having more Ernalda initiates who use the bless Crops spell, or do those results already include the assumption that all such interventions have been made?

The reason that i ask is a discussion of economic development.  Will it be worth while for the player characters to essentially give a scholarship to an aspiring Ernalda cultist so that there are more initiates in and around the town who can and will cast Bless Crops?  Or are we spinning our wheels?

I note that Gloranthan agriculture seems to be much more productive than pre-industrial  terrestrial agriculture, since one farming household can support one non-farming household at the same level of income, or  roughly 4:1 for noble households.   I  deduce that the 90% peasants proportion among pre-industrial terrestrial economies does not apply to Glorantha. 

Note that Bless Crops covers one hide of land for a rune point.  An Ernalda  initiate worshipping on all minor and seasonal holy days, and able to augment by using ritual ceremonies so that the worship rolls are almost a sure thing, should be able to recover about 130-140 rune points per year, not counting high holy days and sacred time.  if she spends about half of these rune points on Bless Crops, and the other half on pregnancies and such, she will be able to perform five castings to single every hide of 12 hides of land.  One casting improves the modifier by 20% so five stacked produce a +100% modifier on that area (p.321).  This looks like excellent  insurance against famine in bad years and a 75% increase in production in good years.

So if we arrange that, will the landlord's and the farmers' average income of 60L per hide of land be increased to about 105 L?

I note that this may not work out if the initiates change book = market prices for their magic: At a price of 20L per rune point [see p. 406, Spell Casting]  that initiate would make about 2600 Lunars a year, gross.    That is impossible to pay out of the cash value of the crops.    (12 hides average cash value = 60 per hide x2 for farmer and landlord together, x12 hides= 1440 L; if the harvest is increased by 75% in a good year = 2520L.)  So we know the initiate can't be capturing that much value.

On the other hand the village has a largely non cash economy, and the initiate is doing this for the fields of her own household, sibliings, and cousins, and will presumably be rewarded in prestige and influence in addition to keeping the family fed.  And what is Bless Crops for anyway of it is not going to be used?  Why would you Initiate in the cult of Ernalda if you didn't intend to use the rune spells?  There has to be a reason you worship the Earth goddess.  Therefore it is reasonable to conclude that not all rune spell casing is done at a cash 20L rate.  Noting that a sharecropping farmer's annual household income is defined as about 60L.  

Either the initiate is one of a rural elite whose incomes are far far above average, or they aren't charging so much but are very important people in the community. 

In conclusion, which is it? 

A- the Determine Harvest Results outcomes can be modified by having more Ernalda initiates who use the Bless Crops spell,.

or

B- those results already include the assumption that all such interventions have been made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

In the context of "Between adventures and harvest results"  (pp,420-423 of Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha)

is it your opinion that the Determine Harvest Results outcomes can be modified by having more Ernalda initiates who use the bless Crops spell, or do those results already include the assumption that all such interventions have been made?

The reason that i ask is a discussion of economic development.  Will it be worth while for the player characters to essentially give a scholarship to an aspiring Ernalda cultist so that there are more initiates in and around the town who can and will cast Bless Crops?  Or are we spinning our wheels?

I note that Gloranthan agriculture seems to be much more productive than pre-industrial  terrestrial agriculture, since one farming household can support one non-farming household at the same level of income, or  roughly 4:1 for noble households.   I  deduce that the 90% peasants proportion among pre-industrial terrestrial economies does not apply to Glorantha. 

Note that Bless Crops covers one hide of land for a rune point.  An Ernalda  initiate worshipping on all minor and seasonal holy days, and able to augment by using ritual ceremonies so that the worship rolls are almost a sure thing, should be able to recover about 130-140 rune points per year, not counting high holy days and sacred time.  if she spends about half of these rune points on Bless Crops, and the other half on pregnancies and such, she will be able to perform five castings to single every hide of 12 hides of land.  One casting improves the modifier by 20% so five stacked produce a +100% modifier on that area (p.321).  This looks like excellent  insurance against famine in bad years and a 75% increase in production in good years.

So if we arrange that, will the landlord's and the farmers' average income of 60L per hide of land be increased to about 105 L?

I note that this may not work out if the initiates change book = market prices for their magic: At a price of 20L per rune point [see p. 406, Spell Casting]  that initiate would make about 2600 Lunars a year, gross.    That is impossible to pay out of the cash value of the crops.    (12 hides average cash value = 60 per hide x2 for farmer and landlord together, x12 hides= 1440 L; if the harvest is increased by 75% in a good year = 2520L.)  So we know the initiate can't be capturing that much value.

On the other hand the village has a largely non cash economy, and the initiate is doing this for the fields of her own household, sibliings, and cousins, and will presumably be rewarded in prestige and influence in addition to keeping the family fed.  And what is Bless Crops for anyway of it is not going to be used?  Why would you Initiate in the cult of Ernalda if you didn't intend to use the rune spells?  There has to be a reason you worship the Earth goddess.  Therefore it is reasonable to conclude that not all rune spell casing is done at a cash 20L rate.  Noting that a sharecropping farmer's annual household income is defined as about 60L.  

Either the initiate is one of a rural elite whose incomes are far far above average, or they aren't charging so much but are very important people in the community. 

In conclusion, which is it? 

A- the Determine Harvest Results outcomes can be modified by having more Ernalda initiates who use the Bless Crops spell,.

or

B- those results already include the assumption that all such interventions have been made.

That table isn't a game engine for all Gloranthan farming, it's used only for PC's. The same goes for child survivals etc. Someone did the math, and only like 1% of poor children would survive to adulthood or something like that.

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I would lean towards A, since it would make the most sense from a designer point of view to use estimated averages for such things, and these can be obviously altered.

When your players want to fight trolls, they fight trolls. When they want to not be assholes for once, you should let them, and reward them for such rarity.

And money is for the poor, what really matters is favors. You just bought yourself an ally that will grow in power, improved your community and gained yourselves around 20 votes in clan council.

Edited by Borygon
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9 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

is it your opinion that the Determine Harvest Results outcomes can be modified by having more Ernalda initiates who use the bless Crops spell, or do those results already include the assumption that all such interventions have been made?

Some people say that is routine, but I would say it is extra.

That way, those areas with a higher number of cultists with Bless Crops get more benefits.

So, the first point adds +20 to the occupation skill rating for Sacred Time calculations, then any extra points used in addition to expanding the number of hides give +20 to the Income roll. 

Interestingly, this applies to the Income Roll, not the Harvest Roll. To me, it would make sense for this to affect the Harvest Roll (Actually, working through the example, it doesn't).

9 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

Note that Bless Crops covers one hide of land for a rune point.  An Ernalda  initiate worshipping on all minor and seasonal holy days, and able to augment by using ritual ceremonies so that the worship rolls are almost a sure thing, should be able to recover about 130-140 rune points per year, not counting high holy days and sacred time.  if she spends about half of these rune points on Bless Crops, and the other half on pregnancies and such, she will be able to perform five castings to single every hide of 12 hides of land.  One casting improves the modifier by 20% so five stacked produce a +100% modifier on that area (p.321).  This looks like excellent  insurance against famine in bad years and a 75% increase in production in good years.

As a GM, I would say this needs to be cast on the High Holy Day of the cult, or on a Holy Day, with the land only benefiting from one casting.

So, if your stead has 5 hides of land, casting Bless Crops 5 gives a +20 to your skill at sacred Time. Casting Bless Crops 10 gives you +20 to your skill and +100 to the income.

For a single Initiate, having 10 Rune Points is quite an investment. 

 

Edited by soltakss
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So, looking at a couple of scenarios and apologies for a long and detailed post. Please correct me if my figures are way out.

Really Bad Year:

Previous Years Omens: Cursed -25 to Harvest Roll. Invasion: -40 Harvest. Previous Harvest: Famine -10 Harvest. This gives a -75 Harvest, so the possible results are: 01-85 Famine, 86-95 Bad, 96-100 Good. There is a bug in the table, where it has 95 twice.

So, in all likelihood, we are going to get Famine (-60 Income), but have a chance of Bad (-30 Income) or good (No change to Income). As we have a +100 Income, that really equates to Famine +40, Bad +70 or Good +100.

The Bless Crops gives +100 to Income. So, let's assume the Adventurer has the Farm skill, they get Farm + 40 for Famine, Farm +60 for Bad and Farm +100 for Good. For the other Hides, they get Manage Household + 40 for Famine, Manage Household +60 for Bad and Manage Household +100 for Good. Assuming a middling skill, this equates to a chance of 90/110/150, which gives a good chance of succeeding.

Really Good Year:

Previous Years Omens: Blessed +20 to Harvest Roll. No Raids no effect on Harvest. Previous Harvest: Superlative +15 Harvest. This gives a +35 Harvest, so the possible results are: 01-25 Good, 26-60 Excellent (+30), 61-100 Superlative (+75). 

So, for a Good Harvest we are on +100 Income, for Excellent +130 and for Superlative + 175, which for our 50% skill gives us Good 150%, Excellent 180% and Superlative 225%.

Again, this gives a good chance of succeeding and an improved chance of getting a special or critical.

 

In practice, what it means is that an Adventurer is likely to get a full income for hides, rather than a half income. Bear in mind that every extra hide has income shared between Adventurer and Tenant. Assuming a farmer with Farm (80L for the first Hide and 40L for other Hides).

On a Really Bad Year without Bless Crops, you are likely to have a -60/-30/0 Income, equating to 5%/20%/50%, with an income of perhaps 80L/100L/160L,  but with Bless Crops it becomes 90%/120%/150% and an income of approximately 240+L/240+L/240+L.

On a Really Good Year with Bless Crops, you are likely to have a 0/+30/+75 Income, equating to 50%/80%/125% and an income of 160L/220L/240+L, but with Bless Crops it becomes 150%/180%/225% and an income of approximately 240+L/240+L/240+L.

So, on a Really Bad Year, the difference is between an income of 80L-160L or over 240L, representing an increase of 80L-160L. On a Really Good Year, the difference is an income of 160L-240+L or 240+L.

Specials and Criticals make a bit of difference, obviously, but they particularly affect the higher skills, so further increase the benefits of Bless Crops.

 

So, what does this mean? 

Casting Bless Crops 10 on a 5 hide estate effective triples income on a Really Bad Year but just moves it up slightly on a Really Good Year. It effectively makes a Really Bad Year the equivalent of a Really Good Year.

 

Assuming a Free farmer for the original hide and a Poor farmer for the others, the Cost of Living deductions are 60L + 4x15L or 120L in total. so, with Tithes taken into account, an unsupported Really Bad Year means you cannot pay your people enough to maintain their standard of Living, so they presumably drop one level. Using Bless Crops means that even a Really Bad Year means that their is a surplus.

Edited by soltakss
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9 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

In the context of "Between adventures and harvest results"  (pp,420-423 of Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha)

is it your opinion that the Determine Harvest Results outcomes can be modified by having more Ernalda initiates who use the bless Crops spell, or do those results already include the assumption that all such interventions have been made?

I think they absolutely can, and that the table does assumes no direct effects of magic. Return on Magical Investment rapidly drops off once you reach 95%, though, as now it just improves your chances of specials and crits.

Quote

The reason that i ask is a discussion of economic development.  Will it be worth while for the player characters to essentially give a scholarship to an aspiring Ernalda cultist so that there are more initiates in and around the town who can and will cast Bless Crops?  Or are we spinning our wheels?

With weekly Holy Days, a single Ernaldan can spam her full Bless Crops many times per year. Getting included in one should be very doable, and for less than the really high prices for rune magic. Also, it would be a rare farmer household that doesn't already include an Ernalda initiate.  

Quote

I note that Gloranthan agriculture seems to be much more productive than pre-industrial  terrestrial agriculture, since one farming household can support one non-farming household at the same level of income, or  roughly 4:1 for noble households.   I  deduce that the 90% peasants proportion among pre-industrial terrestrial economies does not apply to Glorantha. 

This is a bit on the generous side, agree. A cottar has a whopping 68% of produce extracted, while I don't know of any historical society that had even 50%. This strikes me as a failure in economic world-building. 

Quote

So if we arrange that, will the landlord's and the farmers' average income of 60L per hide of land be increased to about 105 L?

Your math is off here - the productivity is 80L per hide. Cottars have to pay half. Then 20% is extracted to the temples of what remains. For a Free farmer, this means an income (on a regular success) of 64L net, and a household Standard of Living cost of 60L. This demonstrates how tenuous the Free standard of living is.

Quote

I note that this may not work out if the initiates change book = market prices for their magic: At a price of 20L per rune point [see p. 406, Spell Casting]  that initiate would make about 2600 Lunars a year, gross.    That is impossible to pay out of the cash value of the crops.    (12 hides average cash value = 60 per hide x2 for farmer and landlord together, x12 hides= 1440 L; if the harvest is increased by 75% in a good year = 2520L.)  So we know the initiate can't be capturing that much value.

I sure that "20L" must be read as the cost that an adventurer will have to pay for a Rune Point under the worst conditions. It's can't possibly be what you can expect to sell an RP worth of casting for - an Ernaldan can cast hundreds and hundreds of Rune Points worth of spell in a year with all the weekly holy days.  

Quote

On the other hand the village has a largely non cash economy, and the initiate is doing this for the fields of her own household, sibliings, and cousins, and will presumably be rewarded in prestige and influence in addition to keeping the family fed.  And what is Bless Crops for anyway of it is not going to be used?  Why would you Initiate in the cult of Ernalda if you didn't intend to use the rune spells?  There has to be a reason you worship the Earth goddess.  Therefore it is reasonable to conclude that not all rune spell casing is done at a cash 20L rate.  Noting that a sharecropping farmer's annual household income is defined as about 60L.  

Yes, and in some cases it might be provided by the temple.

In my campaign, due to aging rules and a little experience, the farmwife Ernaldan has 10 rune points. Due to how Bless Crops is written, this means that she can hand out, say, +60% to income rolls to 8 full farms, per season or more if required. The main return on this is really good graces with the other families, the certainty of support if a crisis arrives, and a generally elevated social standing. They have also been receiving cottar families, and she's well on her way to a God-Talker position. 

Quote

A- the Determine Harvest Results outcomes can be modified by having more Ernalda initiates who use the Bless Crops spell,.

or

B- those results already include the assumption that all such interventions have been made.

A, but you have to achieve this in actual play. (Note that Bless Crops doesn't stack, though, so you only need the one per farm, or less.)

Edited by Akhôrahil

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

So, if your stead has 5 hides of land, casting Bless Crops 5 gives a +20 to your skill at sacred Time. Casting Bless Crops 10 gives you +20 to your skill and +100 to the income.

This is correct, but at this point we're assuming that the PCs are nobles - otherwise, they have the one hide as per usual.

And 10 RP really isn't a huge deal - cast on the day before a Holy Day, and you barely notice it. If you roll poorly, fill up on the next week's weekly holy day. Ernaldan Rune Point economy is crazy - several hundreds of rune points per year, easily 

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9 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

An Ernalda  initiate ... should be able to recover about 130-140 rune points per year, not counting high holy days and sacred time.

...So if we arrange that, will the landlord's and the farmers' average income of 60L per hide of land be increased to about 105 L?

...At a price of 20L per rune point [see p. 406, Spell Casting]  that initiate would make about 2600 Lunars a year, gross.

This is making the mistake of extrapolating Gloranthan reality from the RuneQuest rules, rather than the other way around.

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8 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

This is correct, but at this point we're assuming that the PCs are nobles - otherwise, they have the one hide as per usual.

Ok, even better.

We cast Bless crops 10 on 1 Hide of land. This gives a +200 to our Income skill of 50%.

On a Really Bad Year without Bless Crops, you are likely to have a -60/-30/0 Income, equating to 5%/20%/50%, with an income of 41L/48L/63L,  but with Bless Crops it becomes 190%/220%/250% and an income of approximately 95L/98L/101L.

On a Really Good Year without Bless Crops, you are likely to have a 0/+30/+75 Income, equating to 50%/80%/125% and an income of 64L/80L/90L, but with Bless Crops it becomes 250%/280%/325% and an income of approximately 101L/104L/108L.

So, the difference between a Really Bad Year with no Bless Crops and a Really Bad Year with Bless Crops is just over 50L.

The difference between a Really Bad Year without Bless Crops and a Really Good Year with Bless Crops is between 45L and 60L.

 

So, really, just having 1 Hide means that using Bless Crops gives you a bit more, but not much.

I have attached the spreadsheet that I used to work out the average values.

SacredTimeIncome.xlsx

Edited by soltakss

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3 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

A, but you have to achieve this in actual play. (Note that Bless Crops doesn't stack, though, so you only need the one per farm, or less.)

Bless Crops is stackable.

However, I would say that any piece of land only benefits from one casting.

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53 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Bless Crops is stackable.

However, I would say that any piece of land only benefits from one casting.

It’s not stackable with other castings of itself, was my point.

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

Ok, even better.

We cast Bless crops 10 on 1 Hide of land. This gives a +180 to our Income skill of 50%.

There are two really big impacts of Bless Crops. The first is that, just as with Worship, it means you don’t really need what would seem like an important skill, because it’s so easy to push it to 95% anyway.

The second is that it trivializes penalties. Who cares if you received a -30% for being seriously raided - that’s small change in the equation!

Edited by Akhôrahil

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

Ok, even better.

We cast Bless crops 10 on 1 Hide of land. This gives a +180 to our Income skill of 50%.

+200%, surely?

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On 5/23/2020 at 1:14 PM, Akhôrahil said:

It’s not stackable with other castings of itself, was my point.

Good point, and that changes the numbers but not my general conclusion.

so let's take a less favorable but more probable case:  The new initiate comes home with 2 rune points and Bless Crops and some other cult rune spell.

Each week she can Bless one hide of land for =40%.  The odds are very good that she will recover her 2 RP on the next minor holy day, so basically she can do this every week; but let's say she does it every other week because she is also using her other rune spell to help childbirth or...

Anyway, over five seasons she does four Blessings per season and covers 20 hides.

The outcome in an average year is +40% both for the landlord and the tenant.   The expected net 60 L per hide after Temple payment is now an expected 84 L.

That's pretty good for economic development.

So  IF the GM grants case A and then IF we roleplay it out (which i have every intention of doing) then it increases the 5-hide noble's expected income by 120 Lunars.  It increases the tenants' expected per-household agricultural  income by 24L apiece, which is great prosperity when you start with a base of 60.  This is moving the standard of living to the point where there is disposable income.  And in a bad year it means ???

Worst possible year: 

Cursed omens (10% chance) = -25% to harvest roll.   Raiding: major invasion (not rolled for, i assume this means the GM will have made the players game it out) give -40% to harvest roll,  Previous harvest: Famine gives - 10%  Harvest results roll of 1 is famine (10% chance) , = -60%;  We get a cumulative  - 135%, the Bless Crops fives _40% but the total is  +5%, essentially wiping out everyone's income.  -

Anyway in the worst possible year the player-characters' Manage Household or Farming rolls don't matter, they will have next to no income whether the Adventurer's farming or manage household rolls succeed or fail.  (A critical gives double income, double 5% is 10%, that's still going to push a Free person with one hide of land below Poor and a Noble with 5 hides down to 30 which is high-Poor .) However ignoring GM-declared invasions, which are not a random event,  this should only happen 0.1% of the time.  

Expectable Bad year;

ill-favored omens, -10%.  Previous harvest bad or good = no modifier.  Rolled harvest result Bad= -30%, total modifiers = -40, is balanced by the Bless Crops +40%. 

The Noble Adventurer makes five  skill rolls for 5 hides,, gets their base income on three, failure on two  for half income (I told you it's a bad year) .  Total income on the equivalent of 4 hides after those bad rolls = 40 L occupational income for nobility x4x1.0 =  160 Lunars,  less 200 for Standard of Living means our noble is in the hole by 40L.

Withoout the Bless Crops strategy this Expectable Bad Year gives -40% so the Noble's income is 40L x4x0.6 = 96 lunars.  After standard of living our noble is in the hole 104 lunars.

So with the bless Crops strategy we are going to counteract most of the ordinary 'bad year' results, subject to the non-random GM effects.   Our Adventurer had better have some cash saved up, but the bless Crops strategy is still worth 64 Lunars in the Expectable Bad Year..

Expectable Good year:

Good omens roll of 71 gives  +10%, Raids are only Tusk Riders -10%, previous harvest bad or good = no modifier,  harvest results roll is 61, Excellent, +30%.  Total = +40%, Bless Crops strategy +40$, gives +80%.   The Noble Adventrurer makes five  skill rolls for 5 hides,, gets their base income on three, failure on one and special success on ore equal out.  Total income on 5 hides = 40 L occupational income for nobility x5x1.8 =  360 Lunars,  less 200 for Standard of Living means +160L increase in personal wealth.

Without the Ernalda initiate strategy, these numbers would be +40% 40L x5 x 1.4 = 280, less 200 for Standard of Living means +80L in personal wealth.

Looks to me as if the expectable good years will more than balance the expectable bad years.

Looks to me as if spending, say,  360 Lunars, to support that girl in her year of Initiate study (Free standard of living plus professional level training cost per season of 60L x 5 seasons for the temple)  is worth while and will pay back 80L in Expectable Good Years or 64L in Expectable Bad Years. This is a 5-6 year payback period, much better than investing in  a merchant's stock which returns 10% per year.

Enlightened self interest says give the girl a scholarship if you have the cash to do so.  End of prospectus.  Oratory check?

 

Edited by Squaredeal Sten
took out blank space; spelling

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Another thing to keep in mind is that for a Free household, you need a very high skill level - around 80%, which is likely higher than the average - to ”break even” with regards to Free standard of living, and that’s before any penalties. Bless Crops is what makes the whole system work and produce any surplus. 

What’s annoying with it is how the bonus doesn’t really have any limits. Take any city-dweller or merchant who never touched a plow, with nothing but the base cultural skill, and slap a Bless Crops 3 on the farm, and they will do perfectly fine. It kinda depreciates the Farming skill when it’s that easy.

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21 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

What’s annoying with it is how the bonus doesn’t really have any limits. Take any city-dweller or merchant who never touched a plow, with nothing but the base cultural skill, and slap a Bless Crops 3 on the farm, and they will do perfectly fine. It kinda depreciates the Farming skill when it’s that easy.

Also, the difference between using Bless Crops and not using it isn't that much for a single Hide. It gets really useful when you have multiple Hides, as each one is increased to around 150% of the normal Income.

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3 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

There are two really big impacts of Bless Crops. The first is that, just as with Worship, it means you don’t really need what would seem like an important skill, because it’s so easy to push it to 95% anyway.

The second is that it trivializes penalties. Who cares if you received a -30% for being seriously raided - that’s small change in the equation!

Of course if separate castings are not cumulative than that takes caster with 10 rune points, which likely means a Priestess.  Certainly not you garden variety initiate. 

But it does imply that for a place big enough to support a temple of Ernalda and have such a priestess, a limited amount of land can be made to bloom, to such an extent that visitors will notice. 

 

.

 

 

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Picking up on that last thought -  it strikes me that a temple of Ernalda would have a garden.  And a temple with a powerful priestess will have a really really good garden.  Which should serve as sort of an advertisement for the temple.

Just a suggested atmosphere piece for GMs.

 

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14 minutes ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

Picking up on that last thought -  it strikes me that a temple of Ernalda would have a garden. 

Assuming they do any healing at all (which they normally would), likely including a herbal garden.

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6 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

What’s annoying with it is how the bonus doesn’t really have any limits. Take any city-dweller or merchant who never touched a plow, with nothing but the base cultural skill, and slap a Bless Crops 3 on the farm, and they will do perfectly fine. It kinda depreciates the Farming skill when it’s that easy.

True-ish.

Remember that agriculture is merely the domestication of naturally occurring processes. If you cast Bless Crops on a hide of land that hasn't specifically been ploughed and tended, then all the seeds are still going to sprout and grow, and all you need to do is harvest...

So, I'm just saying that the Farming skill is probably over-emphasised anyway.

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1 hour ago, Shiningbrow said:

True-ish.

Remember that agriculture is merely the domestication of naturally occurring processes. If you cast Bless Crops on a hide of land that hasn't specifically been ploughed and tended, then all the seeds are still going to sprout and grow, and all you need to do is harvest...

So, I'm just saying that the Farming skill is probably over-emphasised anyway.

It's not that I disagree, but you could argue that stabbing people is just the technological improvement of naturally occurring processes too, and yet we want our Sword skill to be worth something. (Of course you could reasonably argue that Sword Trance is basically the Bless Crops equivalent there, I guess ;) ).

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3 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

True-ish.

Remember that agriculture is merely the domestication of naturally occurring processes. If you cast Bless Crops on a hide of land that hasn't specifically been ploughed and tended, then all the seeds are still going to sprout and grow, and all you need to do is harvest...

So, I'm just saying that the Farming skill is probably over-emphasised anyway.

The harvesting and especially the plowing supposedly takes skill, i.e. farming. Bless Crops means that this is pretty irrelevant.

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17 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

The harvesting and especially the plowing supposedly takes skill, i.e. farming. Bless Crops means that this is pretty irrelevant.

Making sure that your seeds take and survive against all the competion (the Wild) is determining the amount you can harvest from any cereal, legume or other vegetable. 

With perennial crop plants like apple trees or vines the amount and timing of pruning may decide about the quality of your harvest, along with such factors as the amount of water available. My house comes with three (old, rather high and big) apple trees which manage to keep me and those of my family and any neighbors and colleagues who want some in apples throughout the cold half of the year in a normal year. In years of drought (like in 2018) the yield was a small fraction of the normal harvest, with individual fruit being a quarter or less of their normal size. I might have been able to secure a better harvest had I irrigated those trees, but that would have been a rather irresponsible and self-centered activity that summer (if you want a Greek word for that, the action of an idiot).

The end-of--the-year turnover is not a farming simulation. The applicability of the farming skill then is sort of limited in most adventuring situations, similar to skills like horse training or falconry, alchemy or cobbling.

So why do the designers or the players want that skill on their character sheet? What does it take to raise it, and to make it useful for the player and player character? How interested are you as a GM and your group as players in simulating this? Are there some players who keen on goin all in on this and others just bored to their bones with such stuff?

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10 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

Of course if separate castings are not cumulative than that takes caster with 10 rune points, which likely means a Priestess.  Certainly not you garden variety initiate. 

Sun County describes farms with a little white stone marking each farm, these are sacred to Ernalda. I would think that these allow the land to be included in one big casting of Bless Crops, so the Priestess can bless all marked hides of land in one go. Ideally, I would like a way for multiple Ernaldan cultists to pool their Bless Crops so they can cast them together, perhaps using some kind of Ritual. In RQ2/RQ3 you would just use Mindlink, but Mindlink no longer exists. That way, a Clan with a powerful Ernalda Temple could cover all the clan lands at once. In Sun County, the Ernalda temple covers the whole of Sun County in one big spell casting.

10 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

But it does imply that for a place big enough to support a temple of Ernalda and have such a priestess, a limited amount of land can be made to bloom, to such an extent that visitors will notice. 

 

10 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:
10 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

Picking up on that last thought -  it strikes me that a temple of Ernalda would have a garden. 

Assuming they do any healing at all (which they normally would), likely including a herbal garden.

They would definitely have some land to support the temple. A herb garden makes a lot of sense, especially one with healing herbs.

11 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

What’s annoying with it is how the bonus doesn’t really have any limits. Take any city-dweller or merchant who never touched a plow, with nothing but the base cultural skill, and slap a Bless Crops 3 on the farm, and they will do perfectly fine. It kinda depreciates the Farming skill when it’s that easy.

To a certain extent, it doesn't matter that much. a really good farmer without Bless crops will be as effective as a mediocre Farmer with Bless Crops, but a really good Farmer with Bless Crops might get better Income from a single Hide. The best you'll get is to double the Income, no matter what the Bless Crops used, so there is kind-of a limit there.

1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

The harvesting and especially the plowing supposedly takes skill, i.e. farming. Bless Crops means that this is pretty irrelevant.

No, the difference is that a good farmer with Bless Crops has, on average, a better yield so has a higher average Income, due to Specials and Criticals. But the major difference is between having a lower skill and failing fairly often or a higher skill and usually succeeding.

 

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