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Costs of buildings and defenses, also the price of nobility


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Hello fellow RuneQuesters.

I've a player who became Thane of Apple lane after I ran that particular adventure (i've been running a campaign that mixes in my own things coupled with some of the existing adventures).

He wants to invest the majority of the spoils from the Tusk Riders treasure (which he found because Durag switched sides when it was clear she'd die otherwise and as Durag didn't have hate for everyone and everything, and he rolled a critical success on Orate, she's now under guard but in theory a part of the town).

He wants to do:

  • Rebuild the pawnshop and hire someone to work there
  • Invest to provide initial stock for the shop
  • Look at building a proper wall around the town, with entrances at each road
  • probably look to add a watch tower in the north and south

Any suggestions on costs to do these sort of things? The economy of the setting is quite varied... (weapons and armour seem very cheap, magic stuff insanely expensive considering how easy such stuff in theory is to make, yearly earnings feel very small considering the cost of trading etc.)

In addition, one of the PCs was very rich due to very lucky starting rolls and as of yet, hasn't spent the money. I'm sure I read about a way to become a noble would be to purchase a certain sized herd and property then petition the queen to be made one.

It so happens they'll be heading to clearwine for the thane to be recognised as such, i'd like to be able to offer the rich PC the option to effectively also invest into the town by purchasing a herd whilst in clearwine along with employing herders and having him formally recognised as a noble via that too.

Any thoughts? Anyone able to help with required size of herd? or was I imagining that?

 

Thanks!

 

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no, because being a thane requires you're at least a lay member of orlanth rex.

So, I went through RQ3 stuff, and have made myself a little table after doing some conversion and general tweaks. It may not be perfect but it's enough to give a reasonable starting point for setting

I can’t help thinking there’s all kinds of roleplaying potential here, beyond just spending some ready cash and a stockade appears… As many have mentioned, the problem here is labour. Sartar

RuneQuest 3 had some prices for buildings etc, but the prices probably need adjusting for RQG economics.

If you use a Time and Materials approach, you take the cost of the raw materials plus the cost of the labour, but that means that you need to work that kind of thing out.

Using magical experts helps, so a member of a builder cult might be useful, so a Flintnail cultist might speed things up.

21 minutes ago, Blindhamster said:

It so happens they'll be heading to clearwine for the thane to be recognised as such, i'd like to be able to offer the rich PC the option to effectively also invest into the town by purchasing a herd whilst in clearwine along with employing herders and having him formally recognised as a noble via that too.

Buying your way in is a time-honoured way of becoming a noble. It also raises the possibility of being thought as being new money and looked down on my current or hereditary nobility. Sure, I know that Orlanthi don't really have hereditary nobility, but they do have nobles whose parents were nobles and children would be expected to become nobles.

 

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Great questions! My thane also wants to repair the pawn shop. Like most of the original buildings, it was built by Boldhome stone masons so if it is going to be restored to that level of construction it will not be cheap!

Defenses are an interesting direction. My feeling is that Apple Lane is recognized as neutral ground by all but the least civilized, such as Tusk Riders and Chaos, and have very little history of attacks. Civilized cultures understand that an attack on the village would be dealt with very harshly by most everyone else. I even see the tusk rider attack as a rogue operation and, should the leader survive, he would be dealt with severely by his superior (see In a Merry Vale).

Also in my game, the Ulerian Temple gives off an air of Fertility/Life/Anti-Death that contributes to defenses in a way. That doesn't mean there are never bar room brawls at the Tin Inn, but they are a lot fewer than your average alcohol-serving establishment! Also, death cultists tend to feel uncomfortable there, especially if they are trying to live there! Also, in another vein, it results in higher levels of reproduction in both the villagers and the herds. And a more both hedonistic and loving environment. Aileena might not be on board with turning Apple Lane into a fort.

20 cattle to a hide, though that could be less if the hide was primarily orchards and not annually planted farms. Most nobles have 5+ hides, but anyone can live like a noble as long as they are willing to put up the 200L annual cost of living.

Lastly, again in my game, the main priority is to bring more people into town. The Tusk Riders practically shut down trade through Birne's Squeeze for years. Getting people to come through there again is going to take time and trust. Until that happens, Apple Lane is on a dead end and there will be little economic activity. Another factor that is critical to growth, in my mind, is water supply. It is the unusual village that would be built where there is not even a stream! I'm sure there is a reason Sartar built it right there, but it is a natural limit to growth.

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In my humble opinion Apple lane doesn't currently have enough population in town to defend walls if they were built.  The strategic challenge for the town is to add population and economic base.  Yes, clearing Birne's Squeeze and restoring trade would be important to that. 

Currently several of the cottars are refugees from recent bad events - seems reasonable -  and there is no large scale map of the immediate area, so you are free to assume whatever your GM will allow. Seems to me Apple Lane had more population a few years ago and so has the land to absorb more now. 

The town needs an export to bring in cash.  Of course the Uleria temple does that too,  Right now the economic strength may be the eponymous apple orchards.  So think about what you can do with that.  If you go into the hard cider business you will have a lower class of customer than Clearwine -  but the gods must love the poor because they made so many of them.  Figure what is needed to support such business and where your markets might be.   Infrastructure might include a potter, someone has to make amphorae for you to fill them.

As for defense -  a ditch and / or palisade would slow down charging tusk riders, but fortifications need to be defended.  That takes you back to building up a town militia which takes you back to enough people.

You might also consider what your relations with the local clan are -  bringing in more refugees would have to be OK with them. 

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It does have a well, so in theory has good water from that, and there is also a river in Birne's Squeeze from what I could tell.

I had the Tusk Riders be a recent development as a result of the end of the war, rather than a long term issue, although the first issue the party had in my game was witnessing a broo larvae burst from a farmer on the trail along Birne's Squeeze then when they spent time helping him they were attacked by a small band of Broo and discovered a Broo Shaman - suggesting other issues along the trade route there.

In terms of what Aileena is for or against, once a Thane has been appointed, they do have final say on such matters, part of being a member of Orlanth Rex.

That being said, Aileena and Brightflower put the heroes in charge during the defense, and specifically chose Rastalor to be Thane due to his handling of the attack, preparations he arranged and calm manner in which he got everyone into position once they knew the attack was coming (not to mention the fact he rode out and drew a few to him, which he fought alone). So in my glorantha, Aileena and Brightflower are willing to follow this new Thane until he proves himself untrustworthy. I also have the idea of stray lunar soldiers potentially attacking, knowing that Apple Lane lacks a garrison and any real defenses, the only part of Apple Lane that has historically never been attacked as I understood it, is the temple to All the Deities.

But yeah, getting more people into town (there are a lot of unused buildings, including what amounts to a fighters guild) is a priority, he is actually not from Sartar but is a devout follower of Orlanth, so he already has plans to bring some of his family and extended family to Apple Lane and is willing to swear fealty to Queen Leika whome he actually fought with during the wars.

Back to the topic at hand though, I can see that skilled labourers cost 3-7 coppers per day, I imagine you'd need 3-5 to rebuild a building and build anything new in any kind of reasonable time, but exactly how long that time would be, I'm not sure. Likewise, cost of materials could either be actual cost of materials, or I guess unskilled unskilled labour for a bunch of time too. So I suppose I can work something out based on how timely he wants the work done, vs how much coin he is willing to spend.

20 cows would be 400L so 2000L for 5 hides worth plus extra for building and hiring herders. Cool, I can work with that.

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8 minutes ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

In my humble opinion Apple lane doesn't currently have enough population in town to defend walls if they were built.  The strategic challenge for the town is to add population and economic base.  Yes, clearing Birne's Squeeze and restoring trade would be important to that. 

Currently several of the cottars are refugees from recent bad events - seems reasonable -  and there is no large scale map of the immediate area, so you are free to assume whatever your GM will allow. Seems to me Apple Lane had more population a few years ago and so has the land to absorb more now. 

The town needs an export to bring in cash.  Of course the Uleria temple does that too,  Right now the economic strength may be the eponymous apple orchards.  So think about what you can do with that.  If you go into the hard cider business you will have a lower class of customer than Clearwine -  but the gods must love the poor because they made so many of them.  Figure what is needed to support such business and where your markets might be.   Infrastructure might include a potter, someone has to make amphorae for you to fill them.

As for defense -  a ditch and / or palisade would slow down charging tusk riders, but fortifications need to be defended.  That takes you back to building up a town militia which takes you back to enough people.

You might also consider what your relations with the local clan are -  bringing in more refugees would have to be OK with them. 

Reminder, I'm the GM, not the player :) Totally agree on needing more people to justify the walls etc, I'd been thinking to allow the chance for negotiating to have some warriors provided - which would potentially give one of the other players a chance to do the negotiating (he's a merchant lol).

Logically, the export of Apple Lane is indeed it's Apples, and likely Cider and Apple Wine too.

Generally, he seems to have the right idea in that he wants to get the people already living there better trained and equipped where possible (he's aware the majority of them are either very old, or very young), and to bring in people to strengthen the numbers. In theory, some of the other PCs may decide to bring their families too, clans allowing it of course.

Between them, they took the bait that the place has a lot of untapped potential and clearly was more in the past, so hopefully it'll give them a base of operations and a project as well as a reason to adventure and gather wealth through various means.

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51 minutes ago, Blindhamster said:

20 cows would be 400L so 2000L for 5 hides worth plus extra for building and hiring herders. Cool, I can work with that.

Recruiting tenant farmers shouldn't be too hard, one family per herd. Their pay is half the haul, though you might want to let them keep more in bad harvest years. You'll need to build a cabin for each, which wouldn't cost much.

The economy has traditionally been diversified between apples and trade/tourism and with the latter gone something besides apples would be good. There wouldn't be a good market for apples to the East with "The Apple Clan" with their historic relationship with their neighbors right there. Though you have a great buyer of food and drink to the north! I recommend boar meat! :)

Edited by Scorus
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35 minutes ago, Blindhamster said:

Reminder, I'm the GM, not the player :) Totally agree on needing more people to justify the walls etc, ...

Between them, they took the bait that the place has a lot of untapped potential and clearly was more in the past, so hopefully it'll give them a base of operations and a project as well as a reason to adventure and gather wealth through various means.

So, to GM the interactions with the Hiording and Lysang clans and a Birne's Squeeze trip... .  People have already written something involving the Hiording, and an earlier Lysang adventure set was recently published.  I never was able to find much written on Birne's Squeeze, drafted a couple of ideas.   Interestingly the clan boundary more or less bisects the squeeze.   Past history of Lysang will have them estranged from the Colymar tribe, maybe that's why there seems to be no cooperation vs. the bandits.  If your Thane attempts to clear the whole Squeeze will the Lysang consider that an unwelcome intrusion?  There is room for politics here, not just chasing bandits.

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1 hour ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

So, to GM the interactions with the Hiording and Lysang clans and a Birne's Squeeze trip... .  People have already written something involving the Hiording, and an earlier Lysang adventure set was recently published.  I never was able to find much written on Birne's Squeeze, drafted a couple of ideas.   Interestingly the clan boundary more or less bisects the squeeze.   Past history of Lysang will have them estranged from the Colymar tribe, maybe that's why there seems to be no cooperation vs. the bandits.  If your Thane attempts to clear the whole Squeeze will the Lysang consider that an unwelcome intrusion?  There is room for politics here, not just chasing bandits.

Ooh I love the idea of them doing that and accidentally causing political unrest in what has otherwise been relatively stable. Works particularly well as he is essentially an outsider that had enough of an "in" to become thane. Though it's something Aileena and Brightflower would probably be aware enough of to attempt to advise him against... but, give him enough of an incentive and he might go for it anyway.

 

Yeah there doesn't seem to be much about the Squeeze, but it's supposed to be a popular spot for bandits and ambushes due to its relatively narrow path and steep drops.

Edited by Blindhamster
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8 hours ago, Blindhamster said:

Any thoughts? Anyone able to help with required size of herd?

The building stuff is poorly supported and will have to be a GM call. Herds, however, are well-defined - one herder requires 300L worth of sheep or 400L worth of cattle for the job, and If you provide the herds, you earn half. You need 5 herders each handing you half the earnings to make a Noble income, so you require 1500 - 2000 L for the herds, plus you need to have grazing lands for them. And this being Sartar, you had better have security for them as well, or they’re free pickings for raiders.

I don’t buy the idea of Apple Lane being neutral ground where you don’t get raided - the way you could achieve that would be having a powerful protector, perhaps even the Prince of Sartar.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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I've not portrayed it to the players as safe ground so far, with potential broo issues in the mountains, rumours of lunar remnants and tusk riders so far. Not to mention the fact it's technically contested ground that has just traditionally fallen under colymar rule. So tend to agree with you. It's also why the new Thane from my players is inclined to train the locals and also to try and build a proper militia. But people above are correct that there are simply too few people to make a realistic defense of the town as a whole against anything but small raiding groups like the tusk riders from the scenario (and even they were only relatively simple because the PCs had a bit of notice and did an excellent job building defenses in the time they had and I rolled terribly and they rolled very well lol)

 

2000L of herds is more or less what I was expecting yeah, and as you say, lands as well, seems to me the region around Apple Lane can easily support more farmers, its just that there are only five tenants when the character becomes Thane.

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3 hours ago, Blindhamster said:

2000L of herds is more or less what I was expecting yeah, and as you say, lands as well, seems to me the region around Apple Lane can easily support more farmers, its just that there are only five tenants when the character becomes Thane.

5 tenants of hides that benefit the Thane. But each of the Ulerian Temple, Temple to all Dieties, Horsemasters' Guild, and Weaponmasters' Guild have 5 also, for a total of 25 tenants. It is great land north of the road so plenty of room for expansion. South of the road and orchards would be the logging needed for the walls, though it is getting into dangerous territory.

'In a Merry Vale' has an exhaustive write up of Lysang and a lot on Antorling and Namolding (though it is ca. 1615). My Hiording notes are in the Glorantha section, if you want to use any of it.

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4 hours ago, Blindhamster said:

 Not to mention the fact it's technically contested ground that has just traditionally fallen under colymar rule.

Given that the three neighboring clans are the Hiordings, the Varmandi and the Namoldings, any Malani influence only used to start in the Rainbow Mounds. Prior to 1613, the Namolding had bieen a Colymar clan, ever since the Zarrran War (at which time the Karandoli and Jenstali clans also were active in the region).

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5 hours ago, Scorus said:

5 tenants of hides that benefit the Thane. But each of the Ulerian Temple, Temple to all Dieties, Horsemasters' Guild, and Weaponmasters' Guild have 5 also, for a total of 25 tenants. It is great land north of the road so plenty of room for expansion. South of the road and orchards would be the logging needed for the walls, though it is getting into dangerous territory.

'In a Merry Vale' has an exhaustive write up of Lysang and a lot on Antorling and Namolding (though it is ca. 1615). My Hiording notes are in the Glorantha section, if you want to use any of it.

I guess our gloranthas vary, the weaponmasters guild is abandoned and wont have any hides associated, the Horsemasters Guild isn't a guild, its him, his wife and his step son and his focus is on horses not farming or herding, neither Aileena or Kareena have manage household, so I didn't seem them managing any lands, instead I'd expect them to be claiming tithes from the thane and the various commercial buildings.

That's not to say that none of those locations ever had their own tenant farmers, purely that they dont at the moment and havent for some time in my glorantha.

But again, YGMV.

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the people are too few to protect full apple lane but, that does'nt mean walls (wood, stone, ...) are not usefull :

- you can organize the ground to fire them with great advantage : defenders are higher, more protected, and some attackers have to manage to move (up or to the doors) and not attack you

- they slow the attackers (and block mounts) : ok they will take the wall, but you have time to flee (opposite way) or to take values and organize the defense of a dedicated building (kind of dungeon / tower / ...)

so it will depends what players want to do with wall (if they built them) :

- keep the wall -> they will fail (except if the attack leader does a battle fumble)

- slow the attackers -> they should get some advantage

 

I think this kind of building in a small village, should be managed not by money but by time.

the dorastor campaign show some villager (the chief included) building themselve the wall.

that means the thane may required people (free by orate, semi free by orate or bargain or intimidate depending if he prefers "fear" or "loyalty" for his people).

You could imagine 5-10% time of all people (more in fire season, less in storm, 0 in darkness) to build the defense

 

 

 

 

Edited by French Desperate WindChild
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was going to be my next follow up honestly.

How long would it take to rebuild the pawnshop? Its a two story, fairly large and clearly well made building originally.

I don't think its something you'd get done with unskilled labour, and only one person in town has any skill at carpentry, so outsourcing would be a thing, but thankfully costs of outsourcing are provided. So i can be management of both time and money.

 

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On 10/13/2020 at 4:44 PM, soltakss said:

RuneQuest 3 had some prices for buildings etc, but the prices probably need adjusting for RQG economics.

If you use a Time and Materials approach, you take the cost of the raw materials plus the cost of the labour, but that means that you need to work that kind of thing out.

Using magical experts helps, so a member of a builder cult might be useful, so a Flintnail cultist might speed things up.

Buying your way in is a time-honoured way of becoming a noble. It also raises the possibility of being thought as being new money and looked down on my current or hereditary nobility. Sure, I know that Orlanthi don't really have hereditary nobility, but they do have nobles whose parents were nobles and children would be expected to become nobles.

 

I've used the RQ3 prices divided by ten.

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22 hours ago, Scorus said:

Recruiting tenant farmers shouldn't be too hard, one family per herd. Their pay is half the haul, though you might want to let them keep more in bad harvest years. You'll need to build a cabin for each, which wouldn't cost much.

The economy has traditionally been diversified between apples and trade/tourism and with the latter gone something besides apples would be good. There wouldn't be a good market for apples to the East with "The Apple Clan" with their historic relationship with their neighbors right there. Though you have a great buyer of food and drink to the north! I recommend boar meat! :)

The situation in Sartar after the Great Winter is a bit like the situation in Western Europe after the Black Death. Ie. much of the workforce has died, but the amount of farmland has stayed the same, which means that recruiting tenants is harder than it was before, because they have more opportunities. So the characters should perhaps have to pay a bonus to get tenants. Maybe a cow or something.

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4 hours ago, Blindhamster said:

was going to be my next follow up honestly.

How long would it take to rebuild the pawnshop? Its a two story, fairly large and clearly well made building originally.

I don't think its something you'd get done with unskilled labour, and only one person in town has any skill at carpentry, so outsourcing would be a thing, but thankfully costs of outsourcing are provided. So i can be management of both time and money.

 

As long as the plot requires :)

Maybe you could make it a year, and have some event happen every season. Scaffolds break and pcs have to roll various checks, bandits raid and the pcs have to fight in the construction yard without their armors using only tools and building stones, and so on.

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53 minutes ago, Brootse said:

As long as the plot requires :)

Maybe you could make it a year, and have some event happen every season. Scaffolds break and pcs have to roll various checks, bandits raid and the pcs have to fight in the construction yard without their armors using only tools and building stones, and so on.

One nasty thing could be that if someone was already thinking of raiding you, they will make damn sure to do it before the wall comes up now.

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from what my player has told me, they plan to hire people to do it, hence the need for a rough timescale for tasks. I'd guessed maybe a season to repair the pawnshop, assuming 3 skilled workers and a couple of unskilled ones.. Obviously buying stock on top of that is another matter, as is hiring a shopkeeper. Is a season too short for repairing the pawnshop? I struggled much online about timescales for a bronze age stone buildings construction/repairs lol.

Building a stone wall around the town assuming just the town as shown on the Apple Lane map is, I guess a year of work for a fair number of workers.

A thing to note, is the loot from the Tusk Rider camp is worth over 7kL which means they can in theory afford to pay for work even if it takes years - which is fine as it allows them to arrange things and then deal with other stuff.

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11 minutes ago, Blindhamster said:

from what my player has told me, they plan to hire people to do it, hence the need for a rough timescale for tasks. I'd guessed maybe a season to repair the pawnshop, assuming 3 skilled workers and a couple of unskilled ones.. Obviously buying stock on top of that is another matter, as is hiring a shopkeeper. Is a season too short for repairing the pawnshop? I struggled much online about timescales for a bronze age stone buildings construction/repairs lol.

Building a stone wall around the town assuming just the town as shown on the Apple Lane map is, I guess a year of work for a fair number of workers.

A thing to note, is the loot from the Tusk Rider camp is worth over 7kL which means they can in theory afford to pay for work even if it takes years - which is fine as it allows them to arrange things and then deal with other stuff.

The actual size of the "pawnshop" hard to estimate. Old RQ had a scenario that was set in there, and in that scenario it was a huge stone mansion, but if you compare its size with other buildings in the Adventure Book's pictures, and use their furniture as a scale, it's much smaller in this edition. In RQ3 a mansion cost 24000L, so maybe the repairs could cost in the ballpark of 1000L in RQG money. If you don't intend to make the repairing into a bigger in-game thing, but keep it in the background, just make the players pay a reasonable sum and say it's ready after a season. Imo the repairs would need much more than just a few workers, and take a longer time, but it's your game, so if you want it to be ready sooner, and cost less, then make it so. Perhaps it wasn't as badly damaged as it looked, there is a suitable quarry near, the local are required by law to help their thane's building projects etc.

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15 hours ago, Blindhamster said:

I guess our gloranthas vary, the weaponmasters guild is abandoned and wont have any hides associated, the Horsemasters Guild isn't a guild, its him, his wife and his step son and his focus is on horses not farming or herding, neither Aileena or Kareena have manage household, so I didn't seem them managing any lands, instead I'd expect them to be claiming tithes from the thane and the various commercial buildings.

That's not to say that none of those locations ever had their own tenant farmers, purely that they dont at the moment and havent for some time in my glorantha.

But again, YGMV.

Got it. I was going from the set-up in the Gamesmaster Adventure book. Never mind! :)

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10 hours ago, Scorus said:

Got it. I was going from the set-up in the Gamesmaster Adventure book. Never mind! :)

yeah that bit in there never made much sense, It makes sense there are the orchards nearby, but most of the people that supposedly would need to manage things just dont have the ability to do so, beyond that, it doesn't make much sense that Hendroste would need 5 hides worth of apples for that matter. But even in there, it notes that the hides for weaponmasters guild are currently just being sold by squinch.

The temples having tithes based on farmers makes sense, I guess though, so perhaps I'll course correct a little and say that the farmers aren't tenants to the temples but instead are free owning their own hides or something, but tithing to the temples instead.

 

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