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Jon Hunter

A Magical Economy

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46 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Not really, Humakt and Babeester Gor are no more magical than Ernalda.

I disagree. Theism is what you are, and while I don't think that all Humakti are walking Death, surely there will be a significant number of Humakti embodying the magic of Death. Babs perhaps a little less, but still their being will be more magical than that of an ordinary farmer.

46 minutes ago, soltakss said:

In fact, a cult such as Humkt almost has the "1 in 100" built in, with a Century of worshippers having a Centurion, or the equivalent, as a Rune Level. Acolytes might be a halfway house for NCOs who support the Centurion.

I would guess that at least one in twenty Humakti will be Champions, i.e. rune level fighters. And those abilities will be manifesting the magic of Death, even if they don't use rune magic to achieve that.

46 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Most members of Humakt and Babeester Gor would be Initiates, or perhaps Lay Members. Only the devout and powerful would bother becoming Acolytes, Priests or Lords.

IMO you have to be devout (or have experienced Death) to become a Humakti. And it takes more than just devotion to join Babs.

 

 

46 minutes ago, soltakss said:

5000 in Orathorn might mean there are 50 full Mages, certainly. A lot of the others would have some magic and power over the dead/undead, but wouldn't be full mages. I would be surprised if everyone in Orathorn was a Mage.

So would I, but if you have a society of sorcerers with undead servants, I would expect a much higher basic level of sorcerous ability than in an average Malkioni town. Rather like in a Malkioni monastery/philosophical school town, where you still have non-sorcerers, but most of the people belonging to the Zzabur caste.

 

46 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Martial cults don't really have more intense worship. I can see worshippers of Uleria or Minlister worship through less having far more intense worship than martial cults. Farming cults worship their hero or the land, that kind of worship is just as intense.

Farmers have less use for immediately available magic and will be more inclined to do slow magic, through day-long rituals (plowing, for instance) rather than spell-slinging. Hence you will have more people at low acolyte ranks rather than at full priest ranks in Barntar.

 

46 minutes ago, soltakss said:

A Witch Cult, such as Subere, is very magical by nature, but its worshiipers are not all at the same level. Many are learning their trade, many take years to get to a certain level of ability, some never do.

That's part of the problem - these cults have few initiates, but broad lay support, so that statistics counting initiates don't reflect the actual support. Not counting lay worshipers (pantheon initiates, though) is one of the major problems I see with the cult numbers.

 

46 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Alchemists might seem more magical than other people, but they probably aren't. They might have some magic to help them manipulate/improve potions, but is that more magical than blessing a field to grow well, or making oxen plough all day?

I've since become convinced that alchemists make up a significant portion of Lhankor Mhy worshipers.

 

46 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Retired rune levels retain their magic but become semi-active. They probably retire to working normally. Gringle has retired to a pawnshop and is just a merchant, but is a retired priest.

Does this mean that the Issaries cult is an active priest short through his retirement?

 

Orlanthi spend an above-average amount of "active" time for their cultic identifications, IMO - way more than the average Pelorian, who might instead spend similar amounts of time supporting a state cult which doesn't take them as direct initiates. (Not even as Yelm the Youth....)

Malkioni have a very specialized caste doing their magic for them. The majority of the Malkioni has significantly less magic than other cultures, so there need to be more high level zzaburi to provide a somewhat equal amount of magic for the population.

Of course only the most devout Rokari will refrain from learning magic at all. The New Idealist Hrestoli will approach acceptable Hrestoli spells even when in the non-magical castes, without necessarily lowering the number of adepts. The major difference is that the rulers all are magical folk, and their zzaburi will be mostly adepts. The not-quite-yet adepts make up a special group within their horali caste/stage.

I think that as a result, the Loskalmi have more acceptable Malkioni magics than the Rokari, who might have more Hykimi warrior magics and hedge magicians instead.

Ralios with its Arkati and secret societies is hard to figure out, especially since a lot of the magical activities happen hidden from the public.

I don't really know how to judge the Teshnans or Kralori in this regard, especially when it comes to mysticism.

Paxians, Pentans and Hsunchen have the shamans who concentrate extraordinary amounts of magical activity on their person, possibly to the detriment of general magical distribution, but with innate magic like Hsunchen beast-form taken out of the rune-levels-only in sustainability that isn't as much of a problem as it was (at least to me) under RQ3.

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

So, cultists of Ernalda/Orlanth, Ernadla/Yelmalio, Dendara/Yelm and so on have 1 rune level for every 20 or 30 people, is that 1 for every married couple?

ha ha bloody ha ....  :)

Edited by Jon Hunter

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2 hours ago, soltakss said:

Members of cults can get some magic for free and some cheaper than normal. Prior experience can teahc magic as part of life experience. People can be taught magic as a reward for performing tasks or for long service.

Not everyone who has spells has paid for them with hard cash.

Of course they haven't, but when the costs of there earned/free magic is 500 years earning somethings not right.  Even if they haven't paid cash it still has a value.

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

Not really, Humakt and Babeester Gor are no more magical than Ernalda.

In fact, a cult such as Humkt almost has the "1 in 100" built in, with a Century of worshippers having a Centurion, or the equivalent, as a Rune Level. Acolytes might be a halfway house for NCOs who support the Centurion.

The point I think me Joerg agreed on was not that the cults were more magical but the commitment of its members to the cult will probably higher. 

If you chose obscure and difficult religions you religious enthusiasm is probably higher. For the more sociably normal, vanilla and acceptable religions that's where you are likely to get ratio's closer to 1 in 100.

I never encountered a Humakti century stated up or encountered. I see them as a cult or warriors as proposed to soldiers. With a large warband being 30.

1 hour ago, soltakss said:

I don't really agree.

Martial cults don't really have more intense worship. I can see worshippers of Uleria or Minlister having far more intense worship than martial cults. Farming cults worship their hero or the land, that kind of worship is just as intense.

Well we are allowed to differ in opinion without calling each other outside to duel ....

I'd agree about Uleria i could see a better ratio in worshippers there, Minlister id see devoted worshippers as rare and would expect to see him worshipped as a secondary God by most worshippers, in pantheon worship, or in rites associated to other gods. I'd also be very suprised to ever meet a worshipper beyond  probably with the rank pf acolyte/devotee due to the nature of the cult.

1 hour ago, soltakss said:

A Witch Cult, such as Subere, is very magical by nature, but its worshiipers are not all at the same level. Many are learning their trade, many take years to get to a certain level of ability, some never do.

Alchemists might seem more magical than other people, bnut they probably aren't. They might have some magic to help them manipulate/improve potions, but is that more magical than blessing a field to grow well, or making oxen plough all day?

No one was saying they all worshippers would be of the same (high) level, just that the 1 to 100 ratio works across the population as a whole, and for vanilla cults, but as cults get more specialised the ratios will change, and lets not get too inflexible with it.

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I think the rate at which units are eliminated in WB&RM is not as significant as implied. For one thing it was the first gam the company designed and not every detail taken too literally.

But more importantly, the elimination of a unit from battle doesn't mean everyone was killed, except quite rarely. It means some are dead, some are wounded with major injuries that take time to recover, some are wounded with minor injuries but that mean they might not catch up with the unit for weeks, some are injured (physically or mentally) enough that they retire, some have deserted, some are AWOL for other reasons, some must deal with other duties, some are fine but without a mount, some need new equipment, some units are without supplies they need to campaign, some are suffering from loss of leadership or terrible morale. The percentage of actual deaths is pretty low. 

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The percentage of people that are 'magic', and just how magic they are, will vary by cult and community somewhat. Orathorn, which seems to be a community of powerful sorcerers, will be higher than normal. Communities that have to spend a lot of time just on physical survival, or that are very focused on wealth, or have a high percentage of truly oppressed, might be lower. 

This is one reason why, in HeroQuest community terms, some communities have a high Magic attribute and some do not. 

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On 10/16/2017 at 8:44 PM, Jon Hunter said:

These should have the following effects;

  • Increase productivity - Meaning the following things are possible - goods would be relatively cheap, more free time for individuals, abundance of food, better education for most, more inventive and creative societies 
  • Decrease in child mortality - the following are possible - massive population booms, smaller family sizes
  • Increased life expectancy - increased knowledge and wisdom within communities, greater generational conflict, 
  • Increased capabilities - Ability to achieve things that only much later societies would have developed on earth
 

Increased Productivity:  Even with magic this is only true to a point.  Bless Crops doesn't generate more crops, it stops crops from failing.  Much the same is true of Sunripen.  Magic is really more about "not failing" than overproduction when it comes to that all-important food surplus.  Also, it is worth noting a general dearth of spells that help artisans produce finished goods.  Issaries, for example is all about storing and selling, but not so much about making.  Pavis provides spells that help you put up a wall, but you need to finish that before the spell runs out.  Gustbran at best gives you a spell that helps you ignore fatigue while working the forge.  Sorcerers of course, have their useful form/set spells, but they are unlikely to produce high quality finished items unless the sorcerer also has the crafting skill involved.  In essence, magic will make a good specialist better, but there is no getting away from the need for skills.  As for education, RQ is a skill driven system where nobody is proud of their own ignorance unlike IRL.  For all that, any advantage that magic provides is pretty static.  Gods don't change, and innovation isn't encouraged by any society except the Lunars.  Innovation is something those Godlearners and EWF mutants abused back in the Second Age, and we won't stand for it (jk).  In many ways Glorantha is annoyingly conservative, socially, magically and technically.  Magic actually acts as a brake on change.  Even gods who have a Mobility/Change rune don't really change.

Decrease in Child Mortality:  The main beneficiaries of more children are agricultural societies where extra hands are needed to perform the 101 daily chores and plant/bring in the harvest.  Every child is also a brake on prosperity because they are an extra 1/2 bushel of food lost to feeding them.  IRL food surpluses were hard won.  For example, in China the careful selection of rice that had more grains was specially chosen and cultivated to yield better crops from the same land.  Really, having more children for most societies means that at a certain point they have a surplus population that they will plough into warfare.  Traditional social values that promote female values will promote motherhood, not fertility control, plus the social drive to overproduce babies will mean they are harder to feed and will also drive warfare.  Societies paid dearly for having ritual specialists and a ruling class soaking up their food surplus.  Even artisans were only as useful as the resources they brought to market.  Accounts of ancient battles in our world which seemed to exaggerate the numbers of casualties may in fact not have done so.  Warfare can be the Malthusian dynamic that corrects human population, but not by the combat so much as the famine and disease that follows such as in modern wars in the Horn of Africa.  Back in ancient times however, wholesale slaughter may have served to destroy entire populations, such as the Roman annihilation of the Dacians.

Increased Life Expectancy:  This will only be true in peacetime, of which there will be little, as most societies seem to measure their success by the seizure of territory.  Also, obtaining the services of a medical specialist will be expensive.  Essentially the rich will live longer, but they already do. Also, archaeology is suggesting that much of our assumptions about average life expectancy may be statistically abberant due to the effects of infant mortality on biasing the stats.

Increased Capabilities: Magic means that individual people will become immense overachievers.  These magical specialists are called Heroes.  If society is lucky, the heroes might be able to pass on some of their powers through sub-cults.  Heroes are a mixed blessing too.  They do tend to have some very fixed ideas about the world and their place in it, and they tend to expect to be obeyed or they make your life miserable i.e. they can be massive bullies and may not have the best ideas.  As heroes will wind up with a disproportionate amount of social influence and resources, anything that doesn't push their agenda may well be ignored, including (perhaps especially) innovation.  Also, again, the Gods put the brakes on innovation and change thanks to their static and unchanging nature.

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15 hours ago, Darius West said:

Increased Productivity:  Even with magic this is only true to a point.  Bless Crops doesn't generate more crops, it stops crops from failing.  Much the same is true of Sunripen.  Magic is really more about "not failing" than overproduction when it comes to that all-important food surplus. 

Surely crops "not failing" = more crops produced? So Bless Crops does end up producing more crops?

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On 10/26/2017 at 8:27 AM, davecake said:

I think the rate at which units are eliminated in WB&RM is not as significant as implied. For one thing it was the first gam the company designed and not every detail taken too literally.

But more importantly, the elimination of a unit from battle doesn't mean everyone was killed, except quite rarely. It means some are dead, some are wounded with major injuries that take time to recover, some are wounded with minor injuries but that mean they might not catch up with the unit for weeks, some are injured (physically or mentally) enough that they retire, some have deserted, some are AWOL for other reasons, some must deal with other duties, some are fine but without a mount, some need new equipment, some units are without supplies they need to campaign, some are suffering from loss of leadership or terrible morale. The percentage of actual deaths is pretty low. 

The military miniatures campaigns I've played in generally assume 25% killed or deserted (i.e. never available again), 25% too badly wounded to fight again that season, 25% to badly wounded to fight that week, and 25% scattered and demoralized, but available for the next battle.

Historically speaking, 25% casualties is considered pretty horrendous. 

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On 12/7/2017 at 10:11 PM, Steve said:

Surely crops "not failing" = more crops produced? So Bless Crops does end up producing more crops?

Not really.  If a 1 acre plot that returns 1 bushels of wheat has bless crops it will only produce its maximum yield.  What bless crops does is ensure that it is likely to make that 100% yield available even when frosts and other trouble occurs that would reduce the harvest.  You probably won't get less than the maximum yield, but you will never get more than the intrinsic fertility of the land can support.  What you get is a reliable harvest.  Does that mean "more" crops?  No, it isn't superphosphate fertilizer, and it won't allow you to produce 1 harvest per season either.  It produces reliability and predictability not surplus.  Frankly, a reliable and predictable harvest is a big deal given that subsistence farming is fraught with the threat of famine IRL.

Edited by Darius West

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3 hours ago, Darius West said:

Not really.  If a 1 acre plot that returns 1 bushels of wheat has bless crops it will only produce its maximum yield.  What bless crops does is ensure that it is likely to make that 100% yield available even when frosts and other trouble occurs that would reduce the harvest.  You probably won't get less than the maximum yield, but you will never get more than the intrinsic fertility of the land can support.  What you get is a reliable harvest.  Does that mean "more" crops?  No, it isn't superphosphate fertilizer, and it won't allow you to produce 1 harvest per season either.  It produces reliability and predictability not surplus.  Frankly, a reliable and predictable harvest is a big deal given that subsistence farming is fraught with the threat of famine IRL.

So you seem to agree that over time  magic will yield a higher average result,  but not a higher theoretical maximum yield.

If we agree on that. we agree that bless crop does have a significant effect upon effectiveness of farming.

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I'd be very reluctant to extrapolate mass society effects from the description of a Rune spell. These descriptions are intended to given a game effect for player characters. The existence of the Bless Crops spell allows player characters and their communities to survive things like the Great Winter, wars, magical phenomena, angry spirits, ill combinations of planets and stars, etc.  When I've run community games with harvest rolls, everyone runs to the Earth priestesses to hedge their bets. With Bless Crops you've got a chance. Without it, you tend to be screwed.

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45 minutes ago, Jeff said:

I'd be very reluctant to extrapolate mass society effects from the description of a Rune spell. These descriptions are intended to given a game effect for player characters. The existence of the Bless Crops spell allows player characters and their communities to survive things like the Great Winter, wars, magical phenomena, angry spirits, ill combinations of planets and stars, etc.  When I've run community games with harvest rolls, everyone runs to the Earth priestesses to hedge their bets. With Bless Crops you've got a chance. Without it, you tend to be screwed.

Hi Jeff,

I think you hit on an interesting point here which is the mechanics which different people use to define Glorantha.

For some people Glorantha is defined by specific game mechanics, rules table or a piece of background which they latch onto, whether that be  certain RB & WH rules, specific spell descriptions and formulations, or a cult percentage table from the back of cults of prax almost 40 (OMG!!) years ago.

Its just the way some peoples minds work and they are detail thinkers.

I prefer an approach that sees Glorantha as an entity that exists outside specific rules , and rules are systems and approximations that give us working models that allow us a consistent defined approach in how to work with Glorantha, but they do not and should not define it.

However when you talking with someone with a differeng mindset, there is no harm in jumping inside their idiom for a while :) 

cheers

Jon

Edited by Jon Hunter
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Sort of related, I remember reading that MAR Barker had different versions of Tekumel, the game, the books and pure. Each supported that setting version, if that makes sense 

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1 hour ago, Jeff said:

I'd be very reluctant to extrapolate mass society effects from the description of a Rune spell. These descriptions are intended to given a game effect for player characters. The existence of the Bless Crops spell allows player characters and their communities to survive things like the Great Winter, wars, magical phenomena, angry spirits, ill combinations of planets and stars, etc.  When I've run community games with harvest rolls, everyone runs to the Earth priestesses to hedge their bets. With Bless Crops you've got a chance. Without it, you tend to be screwed.

Whereas I would be very reluctant not to extrapolate such effects! As Jon indicates and the demi-god septagenarian Greg stated, YGWV.

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1 minute ago, Ali the Helering said:

Whereas I would be very reluctant not to extrapolate such effects! As Jon indicates and the demi-god septagenarian Greg stated, YGWV.

The problem with doing that is that is not what the spell description is written for. For example, Bless Crops adds +20% to your Harvest roll to determine how well your farm did. However, the Harvest roll is not intended to be a perfectly average simulation of how well farming works across Glorantha - it is a mechanic that lets the GM figure out how well player character (or player character associated) farms and herds do in a given year and give them some reason to care about fields and livestock (since their income may depend upon it). The mechanic is weighed towards having interesting things happen (same thing with the Family Background generation - that is weighed heavily towards having the ancestors of player characters have a connection with the events leading up to now).

In short, RPG game mechanics, even in a game like RuneQuest or Call of Cthulhu (or even WBRM), are usually primarily intended to be used by GMs and players in adjudicating stuff that happens in a tabletop RPG game in a fun and interesting manner, and not as the basis for SimSetting (tm).

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5 minutes ago, Jeff said:

The problem with doing that is that is not what the spell description is written for. For example, Bless Crops adds +20% to your Harvest roll to determine how well your farm did. However, the Harvest roll is not intended to be a perfectly average simulation of how well farming works across Glorantha - it is a mechanic that lets the GM figure out how well player character (or player character associated) farms and herds do in a given year and give them some reason to care about fields and livestock (since their income may depend upon it). The mechanic is weighed towards having interesting things happen (same thing with the Family Background generation - that is weighed heavily towards having the ancestors of player characters have a connection with the events leading up to now).

In short, RPG game mechanics, even in a game like RuneQuest or Call of Cthulhu (or even WBRM), are usually primarily intended to be used by GMs and players in adjudicating stuff that happens in a tabletop RPG game in a fun and interesting manner, and not as the basis for SimSetting (tm).

The problem I perceive with that approach is that it seems quite mechanistic for a narrativist game.

Rather than Rune Magic stats, whilst useful, I would rather use the HQ affinity as a guide.

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2 hours ago, Aprewett said:

Sort of related, I remember reading that MAR Barker had different versions of Tekumel, the game, the books and pure. Each supported that setting version, if that makes sense 

Well Glorantha has 3 official RPG systems HQ, 13th  Age and RQ. It also has various homebrews, mash ups and misappropriations of which i'm responsible for one.

It also has various computer games and board games, and fantasy literature which all plug into the world.

I would argue that non of these define Glorantha, ( not even 2nd edition RQ), what the different rules systems and platforms give us are ways of interacting with Glorantha to give us the gaming experience we prefer.

I think there is a belief amongst some that RQ2 defines Glorantha, and they will attempt to create a hard definition of the game world by using those mechanics.  I would agree with Jeff that its probably unwise to do this and creates constraints upon Glorantha that the rules set was never designed to do. ( I hope i didn't put words into Jeffs mouth here )

Edited by Jon Hunter

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1 hour ago, Jon Hunter said:

I would argue that non of these define Glorantha, ( not even 2nd edition RQ), what the different rules systems and platforms give us are ways of interacting with Glorantha to give us the gaming experience we prefer.

I think it has been definitively stated that the Guide to Glorantha "defines" the world (for those parts of the world it defines, and mostly in a broad-brush / view-from-30000-feet kind of way).

Of course, being entirely mechanics-neutral it says very little about how things work in Glorantha, mostly just what those things are.  :)

And, of course, it has been definitively stated that YGMV.

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14 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

I would argue that non of these define Glorantha, ( not even 2nd edition RQ), what the different rules systems and platforms give us are ways of interacting with Glorantha to give us the gaming experience we prefer.

I think there is a belief amongst some that RQ2 defines Glorantha, and they will attempt to create a hard definition of the game world by using those mechanics.

Sure. I think the RQ rules hold a similar relationship to Glorantha that the Call of Cthulhu rules (minus the mythos), GURPS or any other 'realistic' set of RPG rules do to our world.

Guns in the real world dont have precise range bands expressed exactly in metres, any more than bows and slings do in Glorantha, any more than spells and magical effects do in Glorantha. Likewise the initiative system isnt definitive of the nature of time, you cant extrapolate Gloranthan physics from it, nor can you directly and strictly extrapolate how the agricultural economy works from what few hints we get in the game mechanics.

I'm also with David Scott on magic, in general, raising Gloranthan cultures up to the same level of viability as cultures on our world, not beyond them. There are exceptions of course, but for every Ernaldan priestess or Barntar hero bringing unimaginable plenty, there's a Broo despolier or Malian demon wreaking horrific destruction and despair. Working out how amazingly wonderful all these great magical advantages would be is only looking at one side of the equation.

Simon Hibbs

Edited by simonh

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On 2/13/2018 at 11:37 PM, Jon Hunter said:

So you seem to agree that over time  magic will yield a higher average result,  but not a higher theoretical maximum yield.
If we agree on that. we agree that bless crop does have a significant effect upon effectiveness of farming.

2

Obviously the spell has a beneficial effect, otherwise who would bother to cast it?  The point I was making is based on how agronomy affected economic history.  IRL technical development hinged on the production of a food surplus that allowed urban environments to flourish.  IRL if you want to plant more crops, you need more people and to clear more land, which is a problem because each person requires an acre of land to produce a bushel (1 years food), and clearing land was time-consuming, difficult work.  More fertile land was desperately important.  Much hinged on soil fertility, as potentially if 1 acre could produce more than 1 bushel you were ahead.  Thus if you could get even a 1% increase in productivity by rotating your fields or using a new fertilizer it was worth it.  Hârnmaster is the best game system for this btw, they literally have each region's soil fertility listed.  My point was that Bless Crops doesn't get you ahead, it mitigates total failure, which means that as with the rest of the point about Glorantha being homeostatic, Bless Crops doesn't add anything, it maintains homeostasis.

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8 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Obviously the spell has a beneficial effect, otherwise who would bother to cast it?  The point I was making is based on how agronomy affected economic history.  IRL technical development hinged on the production of a food surplus that allowed urban environments to flourish.  IRL if you want to plant more crops, you need more people and to clear more land, which is a problem because each person requires an acre of land to produce a bushel (1 years food), and clearing land was time-consuming, difficult work.  More fertile land was desperately important.  Much hinged on soil fertility, as potentially if 1 acre could produce more than 1 bushel you were ahead.  Thus if you could get even a 1% increase in productivity by rotating your fields or using a new fertilizer it was worth it.  Hârnmaster is the best game system for this btw, they literally have each region's soil fertility listed.  My point was that Bless Crops doesn't get you ahead, it mitigates total failure, which means that as with the rest of the point about Glorantha being homeostatic, Bless Crops doesn't add anything, it maintains homeostasis.

No surprise you didn't actually agree :) .

My counter point is than in RL economics you never budget for close to 100 efficiency, because it never happens.  You budget for average efficiency, including the potential of catastrophic failure. (if you budget for it over a period you should have good chance to generate a surplus to survive it ).

Therefore if you do anything to significantly mitigate catastrophic risk you significantly increase actual average productivity over a period.

I do agree with Jeff  that actually trying to work our how magic  effects Gloratha by extrapolating effects of particular rune spells and battle magic spells is not a fruitful way of approaching the question, it has however been fun :).

 

 

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35 minutes ago, Jon Hunter said:

No surprise you didn't actually agree :) .

1

Re-read my answer, I mainly do agree.  Yes, not having a crop fail does mean you have more food because you don't have less, but for the purposes of a whole agricultural society this won't increase the size of your surplus, and it is the size of the surplus which is all-important for a society's growth.  This probably doesn't seem to be an important distinction, but in terms of Economic History (which is sort of what we are discussing), it really matters (unfortunately).  

44 minutes ago, Jon Hunter said:

My counter point is than in RL economics you never budget for close to 100 efficiency, because it never happens.  You budget for average efficiency, including the potential of catastrophic failure. (if you budget for it over a period you should have good chance to generate a surplus to survive it ).

6

Totally agree with the RL economic model.  The point is, that Bles Crops means that you CAN budget for 100% efficiency, but you only get your 1 bushel and acre.  So the Gloranthan magical model DOES budget for 100% efficiency, but that produces complacency in technological development.  Thus while a technically advanced society might yield 1.6 bushels per acre but have a higher chance of catastrophic failure, Gloranthans just produce their 1 bushel and are happy with that and don't push the technical envelope much.

51 minutes ago, Jon Hunter said:

Therefore if you do anything to significantly mitigate catastrophic risk you significantly increase actual average productivity over a period.

 

On the contrary, if you come to expect a reliable 100% magically enhanced crop and budget for it, you haven't increased average productivity, because your fundamental assumptions of yield are different to the non-magical farmer's.

53 minutes ago, Jon Hunter said:

I do agree with Jeff  that actually trying to work our how magic  effects Gloratha by extrapolating effects of particular rune spells and battle magic spells is not a fruitful way of approaching the question, it has however been fun :).

2

Agreed.  As there is no framework for testing the models we can't get the evidence to tell the story.  It is fun though.

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