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Costs of buildings and defenses, also the price of nobility


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22 hours 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.

I have zero reference either but you could start from the Basic Income values to get an idea?

A carpenter has a 60L base income, and a mason has a 100L base income. That's respectively 12L and 20L per season. If you treat this as an average between your skilled and unskilled workers, and if have 4 carpenters and 2 masons, that's 88L for labour (assuming the project indeed lasts one season only... I don't know how to pick a time length for this).

A quick internet search seems to indicate that the cost of labour is usually around 25% of the total construction cost. I have no idea if that percentage would be any different in a Bronze Age society so let's go with that! That gives us 352L for materials.

Total base construction cost: 440L.

Now you can tweak this further... maybe add 20% for materials lost to raids and bandits during transport. Add some extra labour cost for when they need extra help with something. Add some healing cost for accidents.  And of course don't forget to modify various elements of the price based on whether the players negotiate successfully or not or at all, whether they get involved in it (maybe they want to escort the raw materials to make sure they make it?), and so on. So it could go as high as, I don't know, 550L, or as low as 380L if they go through the trouble of making it an adventure or two on their own.

On 10/14/2020 at 12:11 PM, Brootse said:

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.

Remember that this building used to belong to Gringle, and he wasn't the kind of guy to be messed with. There has to be a spirit or trap or two in there that Gringle had as anti-theft measures or stuff like that. There should definitely be a short one-session adventure where they have to go defuse something in the ruin.

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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

On 10/14/2020 at 5:06 PM, 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.. ...

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.

The pawnshop is just a big house, so the repairs should be affordable.  Note that there is a difference between working in stone, wood, and wattle-and-daub:  There is no indication that masons are available any closer than Clearwine, and as someone else pointed out earlier there is one known carpenter in Apple Lane.  What are most of the cottars' houses made of?  That's what the local labor will know how to do.

By the way where i live construction projects never seem to finish on time.  That's just a thought.

As far as a trip to Clearwine, there is a very recently published supplement 'The dregs of Clearwine"  that has a mason in it and might interest you.

But the wall around the town: That's a much bigger project, because the drawing in the GM material shows the buildings are very spaced out. Not a one year project at all in the circumstances.   That area looks as though it might actually enclose a real [small] city: if the density of inhabitants was greatly increased it might be about half as large as a small German walled city I have been to, that survives from medieval times.  Which, by the way, enclosed enough people to defend itself but they lived in multi story housing, close together. 

And you need to clarify with your players whether they are building a 4-foot garden wall or a real fortification.  Make them do drawings! Or import a specialist engineer from.. where?  Boldhome?  or a Mostali?  Who will be paid at a Noble rate.  Then tell them they can't buy truckloads of concrete blocks from Home Depot, this is the bronze age.   I don't recall an indication that anyone is running a brick kiln anywhere in Colymar territory. 

They might do adobe blocks, and dig a ditch.  Not your little roadside ditch or an irrigation ditch, but a ditch deep enough and steep enough to be a serious obstacle itself, use the dug out dirt to make a berm at least twelve feet tall.  Maybe put a palisade on top, or an adobe wall.  Figure one man can dig a cubic meter of dirt in a day (which I understand was a Stalinist norm for the Gulag.)  Transporting that dirt is extra.  And the local work force is basically farmers, and not many of them, who need to spend most of their time farming or they and the players starve together. 

IMHO unless your players bring in a lot of labor, a real walled fortification that size is a project for generations.  By the way  it needs annual maintenance.  Your specialist engineer might break that news to them after he charges them for the drawings.

Now if they just want to fortify the Thane's house that would be a different proposition. 

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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 player expectations.

 

removed old table to avoid confusion

           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
         
           
           
           
Edited by Blindhamster
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On 10/14/2020 at 9:01 PM, Brootse said:

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.

You provide the seeds, and you're golden. The main loss during the Windstop apart from people dying of cold was that many were forced to consume their seedstock, making the availability of farmland somewhat ironic. So if your apple tree orchards made it just about fine through the Windstop, those and some seed grain may be a good drawing point for prospective tenants.

I am a bit curious about the exact land ownership in and around Apple Lane. I suspect the land is owned either by the tribal Orlanth Rex temple or by one of the two major Earth Temples nearby. The closer one would be Greenstone, which can bring all manner of diplomatic problems with it (which may be a good reason to go for this), the Clearwine temple is of course the tribal earth temple.

 

Erecting a farm building or a palisade only takes manpower and some lumbering, but you won't earn much status out of that in Sartar. At the very least, you're expected to hide your truss or wattle and daub understructure with a heavy layer of chalk plaster, which requires charcoal burning and chalk burning. What you really want is masonry by a recognized master mason.

I wonder whether the liberation of Sartar bring back a wave of Pavis/Flintnail-trained former exiles from Pavis, creating something like a building craze. At the very least, you cannot be a lay member of Pavis and not learn a bit about being an assistant to a mason.

Masonry starts with a quarry (although ruins can be quarried, too - f nobody is going to move into the ruined Lunar manors, I expect those to be pilfered for building material within the next few years). Much of the bedrock is limestone, which would provide chalk for burning and possibly pits or cliffs for breaking out decent-sized blocks of stone.

I wonder whether the Quivini use bricks. They certainly have the necessary technology, as they have pottery kilns beyond simple pit fired pottery sites. Sairdite architecture may use burned bricks on a regular basis, and lowland Esrolia probably does, too.

 

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On 10/13/2020 at 2:20 PM, Blindhamster said:

Any suggestions on costs to do these sort of things?

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 has been through a lot recently, famine, uprising, and a lot of people dying in many varied ways, not least being eaten.

Labour is in short supply, and is needed across the board.  But Sartar is preparing for massive invasion, so fortification sound justifiable.

Perhaps the first step is wining an argument for taking people out of the fields and onto fortification works.  This could be at clan level.  The characters in my campaign have links with a lot of Tribal bigwigs, so for me it would be more fun at the tribal level (and Asborn treat anything they suggest as lunacy, because he thinks them mad reckless idiots.  Its good to get on with the neighbours).

Then there’s the scale of what’s built.  Another argument that could be roleplayed out.

Small scale, which might end up a ditch and bank, possibly mounted by a palisade.  If round the village isn’t practical, then somewhere defensible (with water supply) very close, would mean that the good folk of the village have somewhere to shelter (with their cattle and valuables).

However, you don’t need many people to defend a wall – it’s about delaying things so that defenders can get to the critical points, so a small number of people can mount a credible defence.  If an overwhelming foe turns up, a wall won’t help much anyway, its to stop casual marauders.  So round the village or portions of it would work well enough.  Who’s home is inside/outside, that’s good to play out…

Also, there an adventure for resources.  Ditch and bank is fine, but where’s the wood coming from for a palisade?  Apple trees aren’t typically big, and you don’t want to cut down your lively hood.  Perhaps an embassy to Tarndisi, to beg big trees that might be available arguing for clearance and good forest management.  Not a orate/fast talk to fumble on!  If you critical, perhaps an instant-grow hawthorn hedge, how amazing would that be!

Or if a stone wall, how about collecting stone from ancient ruins?  That’s an excellent adventure.  Who’d have thought digging out the foundations would find caves with chaos nest below?

And Gringles.  He had a pawnshop of magic items, with a basement.  Did the Lunars find everything when they looted it?  There’s scenario for a game-formally-known-as-heroquest in the Sartar companion (return to apple lane) which suggests some of the items that could be hidden there.  Also in my campaign there a band of baboons in the Dragonnewt Wilds who are still smarting about their IronTooth matrix (somehow my characters have befriended them).

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4 hours ago, coffeemancer said:

greenstone temple is on malani land though. would be odd if they owned colymar lqnd

Some earth temple is likely to own parts of the Lismelder lands, but the Lismelder don't have a major earth temple of their own that I know of.

It is not like the Malani dominate Greenstone temple, either. The Orlevings do control access to the temple, and before them the Varmandi did - they were the ones who opened (or revived) it in the Resettlement period.

The temple itself is not a Malani institution. In Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, the influence of the Greenstone temple reached the Orlmarth and the Greydogs alike. Unless there is a similar temple somewhere in Killard Vale, I would suspect even the Red Cow to pay some homage to Greenstone Temple. The temple may have some land with tenants from the Red Cow clan somewhere in or bordering on the Red Cow tula.

The Clearwine temple is pretty much a Colymar-controlled institution from its inception. Its authority may have assigned some of the temporary land claims on the Stream to the Malani (in areas now claimed by the Locaem, who came about 25 to 50 years later than Mad Blood Malan and his followers).

Most of the Colymar clans on potential Greenstone Temple lands did not start out as Colymar tribe clans. Their original land claims (and later additional acquisitions as a consequence of the disappearance of clans like the Karandoli and Jenstali) may very well have been supported by earth priestesses from the (Varmandi-refounded) Greenstone Temple.

With that history in mind, I wouldn't finde it odd to find limited areas held in lease from Greenstone Temple in northern Colymar or Lismelder lands. Possibly alongside claims from the Clearwine Temple. There is no indication that the Taral or Zarran Wars were in any way resolving Earth temple claims.

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So far the characters have been planning, working out what is priority and getting buy in from the town, some of those plans were brought up as part of the meeting with Queen Leika. It'll be slow burn and is something I've made clear to my players, in keeping with the setting. I like the idea that when gringles gets cleared out there may be some interesting trinkets found, i also like the idea that some of the workers think to take said trinkets themselves, creating a situation for the new thane to deal with when they are inevitably caught.

Walls seem to have dropped down the list as they've realised its a pretty rare think, I suspect they'll settle for simpler defenses honestly.

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38 minutes ago, Blindhamster said:

Walls seem to have dropped down the list as they've realised its a pretty rare think, I suspect they'll settle for simpler defenses honestly.

Earthworks are probably more useful than walls. Stick a fence on top, or a palisade, that's as good as a wall and a lot easier to do.

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and more setting appropriate, something I've only learned through further reading (although it does make sense) and as a result the PCs have only learned through passing through places like Blackspear village is that wooden walls or earthworks or simple low stone farm walls are the norm. Proper big stone walls are rare and only really seen in major cities (clearwine seems to have them based on the map, so I described them as being very impressive because they're so unusual.

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49 minutes ago, Blindhamster said:

and more setting appropriate, something I've only learned through further reading (although it does make sense) and as a result the PCs have only learned through passing through places like Blackspear village is that wooden walls or earthworks or simple low stone farm walls are the norm. Proper big stone walls are rare and only really seen in major cities (clearwine seems to have them based on the map, so I described them as being very impressive because they're so unusual.

Raised by a goddess no less.

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1 hour ago, Blindhamster said:

land belonging to orlanth rex makes sense considering its Queen Leika that has to recognise the thane, not anyone else, and she is high priest of orlanth rex.

Aren't the tribal kings priests of Orlanth Rex, and the Prince of Sartar is the high priest of Orlanth Rex?

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32 minutes ago, Blindhamster said:

Queen Leikas writeup specifically says high priest of orlanth rex

For the Colymar only.

The only ruler over all the tribes is the Prince of Sartar, who is ultimately then the high priest of Orlanth Rex in Sartar.  

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10 hours ago, jajagappa said:

For the Colymar only.

The only ruler over all the tribes is the Prince of Sartar, who is ultimately then the high priest of Orlanth Rex in Sartar.  

Wouldn't she be like the only one in all of the Colymar tribe to worship Orlanth Rex, though?

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and back on original topic, i spent more time working things out and the final table for building stuff looks like this:

  Weeks for 1 crew (assuming materials already available, double if not) Material costs (Lunars)
Small roundhouse 2 50
commoners home (wood + mudbricks/clay, tiled or thatch roof) 1 story, 2 rooms 12 320
superior home (stone, clay, little wood), courtyard with wall, 2 stories, 4-5 rooms 40 1080
noble manse (stone, clay, little wood, tiled roof) large courtyeard with high walls, 2-3 stories, 8-10 rooms 64 1730
simple stone tower (4 floors, 1 or 2 rooms per floor) 96 2590
small log fort 48 1300
small stone castle 288 7780
moderate stone castle or temple 576 15550
large stone castle or temple 864 23330
short wooden bridge 6 160
short stone bridge 16 430
long stone bridge 48 1300
stone drydock 96 2590
simple boatdock 1 30

 

the basic premise is, I've removed the actual cost of time and effort, because slaves could be used, or the workers may charge more or less. I've kept a cost for materials which couild be modified up or down based on barter roles.

If people want things to be built more quickly, they need more crews.

I've currently gone with the idea that a crew is usually 10 people, but could be 8 or a couple more depending on how skilled they are, usually two of them will be skilled craftsmen whilst the rest will be mostly unskilled labour.

 

Logic above is based on a few real world things and some leaps of logic, but is hopefully useful.

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13 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Wouldn't she be like the only one in all of the Colymar tribe to worship Orlanth Rex, though?

No, from the upcoming Cults book:

Quote

 

  • people that hold leadership positions in their clan must typically become lay members of Orlanth Rex.
  • An Orlanth initiate appointed to a tribal or city council becomes an [temporary] initiate of the Orlanth Rex subcult for the duration of his service

So her tribal ring would have initiates.

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I've understood that the ranks in Orlanth Rex go like this:

Thanes: laymembers

Clan chiefs: initiates

Tribal kings: priests

Prince of Sartar: high priest

But the Gamemaster Adventures book states a few times that Leika is the High Priest of Orlanth Rex. Perhaps the Prince is then just primus inter pares and can't command the tribal kings with magic?

Edited by Brootse
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6 minutes ago, Blindhamster said:

and back on original topic, i spent more time working things out and the final table for building stuff looks like this:

  Weeks for 1 crew (assuming materials already available, double if not) Material costs (Lunars)
Small roundhouse 2 50
commoners home (wood + mudbricks/clay, tiled or thatch roof) 1 story, 2 rooms 12 320
superior home (stone, clay, little wood), courtyard with wall, 2 stories, 4-5 rooms 40 1080
noble manse (stone, clay, little wood, tiled roof) large courtyeard with high walls, 2-3 stories, 8-10 rooms 64 1730
simple stone tower (4 floors, 1 or 2 rooms per floor) 96 2590
small log fort 48 1300
small stone castle 288 7780
moderate stone castle or temple 576 15550
large stone castle or temple 864 23330
short wooden bridge 6 160
short stone bridge 16 430
long stone bridge 48 1300
stone drydock 96 2590
simple boatdock 1 30

 

the basic premise is, I've removed the actual cost of time and effort, because slaves could be used, or the workers may charge more or less. I've kept a cost for materials which couild be modified up or down based on barter roles.

If people want things to be built more quickly, they need more crews.

I've currently gone with the idea that a crew is usually 10 people, but could be 8 or a couple more depending on how skilled they are, usually two of them will be skilled craftsmen whilst the rest will be mostly unskilled labour.

 

Logic above is based on a few real world things and some leaps of logic, but is hopefully useful.

That's about in the same ballpark as the RQ3 prices divided by 10. Good prices imo.

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21 minutes ago, Blindhamster said:

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

Ah, thanks, wasn't aware of that! Would that require picking up a Mastery rune (however you do that), or is that just for Initiates and up (actually, who would be an non-Priest Initiate of Orlanth Rex?)? 

Has Orlanth Rex changed a lot? It always used to be about the political leadership being able to dominate the religious leadership, but with those role having merged almost completely in RQG, does it even make sense to separate the hierarchies that way?

Edited by Akhôrahil
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