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Akhôrahil

Conclusions from RuneQuest math on social circumstances

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

The aftermath of the Apple Lane scenario in the RQG Adventure Book gives something like game data for managing a bunch of tenants. Has anybody taken these through a Sacred Season economy yet?

These follow the standard rules of the rulebook for tenants, and I can't see why it wouldn't work.

(Although I somewhat question that 10 acres of apple orchards would constitute a hide, when a hide for cereals is several times larger - supposedly the tenants have some farmlands as well.)

Edited by Akhôrahil

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2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:
  • For the average Vingan, Henna makes up for 10% of living costs.

Part of this might be covered as her tithing?

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In my other hobby (genealogy) i have researched a small town in silesia from 1648 to 1945 (in between 350 and 1350 people living there, depending on the time period), with about 22.000 recorded people (not all living there, some only relatives of people living there). 

The mortality rate of the 0 to 15 year olds was 47% in that village. 
So i assume that this will be correct for most other villages in that time period and region. 


I tried to figure out if children born out of wedlock had a higher child mortality, and oh boy, yes: born out of wedlock raised the chance that a child dies before its 13th birthday by 15% (i am sorry, but the statistic i made made the cut from 0-12, 13-24, 24+). 
 

Edited by AndreJarosch
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On 9/2/2019 at 10:34 PM, Brootse said:

I did the math on this, and got 73%.

x=skill/100
income after taxes=80%=0.8
chance for a critical success=x/20
income multiplier for a critical success=2
chance for a special success=x/5-x/20
income multiplier for a special success=1.5
chance for a normal success=x-x/5
income multiplier for a normal success=1
chance for a failure=(1-x)-((1-x)/20)
income multiplier for failure=0.5
chance for a fumble=(1-x)/20
income multiplier for fumble=-0.5
base income=80L
free standard of living=60L

(0.8( (x/20) * 2  +  (x/5 - x/20) * 1.5  +  (x - x/5) * 1  +  ((1 - x) - (1 - x)/20) * 0.5)  +  (1-x)/20 * (-0.5)) * 80L ≥  60L

(you can copy paste that on https://www.wolframalpha.com)

But since RQ rounds up criticals and specials and rounds down fumbles, the needed skill is slightly lower. And you are as likely to get good and bad omens, so they cancel each other. The harvest results give you on average a -0.75% to your skill, but since on average the previous year's harvest results give some small bonus, they likely cancel each other.

So to get the expected living you need to be an upper level Professional:

Professional (51–75%): At this rating, the adventurer can make a living using the skill.

If you want to houserule that lower level professionals should also on average earn their expected living standard, you could make eg. the normal success have 1.2 income multiplier, and the failure have 0.6 income multiplier. Then you'd earn free living standard with a skill of 54%.

You don't add any Blessings, which I would presume to.be standard for all initiates clan/tribe... After all, there's a reason they worship. 

 

Also why being cast out has it's negatives (other than being at the mercy of the world)

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There is Ernalda, Chana Arroy and any other goddess of healing with life or fertility runes. You can chanel Runes to boost childhood survivability.  Also ancient societies often ,especially agricultural, had lots of kids to have maintain populations.  Also reading through the the core rules. Even a free farmer might not live much above poverty.  After tithe a single Hide only generates 64 L a year. With a Free lifestyle thats 60L a year. That only leaves 4 L a year in profit. Vs a cotter making 32L a year after tithe for a 17L in excess.  So a free farmer to maintain a middle class life style with room has to own atleast 2 hides and have it either worked by a cotter or more preferentially by Thralls/bondsmen/slaves. Then use your local cult to maintain survivability of children.  So more likely a tentant farmer will also engage in some light cattle raids to boost income. Or pocket high productive years to eventually either purchase his land, or gain slaves to act as an overseer to improve lands he is renting.

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3 hours ago, Videopete said:

There is Ernalda, Chana Arroy and any other goddess of healing with life or fertility runes. You can chanel Runes to boost childhood survivability.  Also ancient societies often ,especially agricultural, had lots of kids to have maintain populations.  Also reading through the the core rules. Even a free farmer might not live much above poverty.  After tithe a single Hide only generates 64 L a year. With a Free lifestyle thats 60L a year. That only leaves 4 L a year in profit. Vs a cotter making 32L a year after tithe for a 17L in excess.  So a free farmer to maintain a middle class life style with room has to own atleast 2 hides and have it either worked by a cotter or more preferentially by Thralls/bondsmen/slaves. Then use your local cult to maintain survivability of children.  So more likely a tentant farmer will also engage in some light cattle raids to boost income. Or pocket high productive years to eventually either purchase his land, or gain slaves to act as an overseer to improve lands he is renting.

The leap between Poor and Free costs of living might be too high, but poor people will very likely just spend any surplus to be a bit less poor. The rules may not care whether you live on 15 or 30L per annum, but the people involved sure will!

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12 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

You don't add any Blessings, which I would presume to.be standard for all initiates clan/tribe... After all, there's a reason they worship. 

 

Also why being cast out has it's negatives (other than being at the mercy of the world)

Yes, I agree that there are many reasons to worship gods as an initiate, but for some reason very few NPCs do it, even when it doesn't increase their taxes or decrease their survival rate. And very few people can afford to pay to get Runespells cast on their fields or family, since they cost 20L per point. Of course the tables aren't meant to be a game engine (or the World Engine if you will) that simulates how the world works, but instead their purpose is to be a tool for the GM to spice up the PCs non-murder-hobo life.

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13 hours ago, Brootse said:

... And very few people can afford to pay to get Runespells cast on their fields or family, since they cost 20L per point...

I presume that pretty steep discounts are offered to community-members in good standing, who tithe and sacrifice regularly, who are always available when someone needs something, whose crops are helping support the clan, etc...

Much moreso than "cast on my fields so I can go adventuring but my lands will still be uber-productive, Kthx!" sorts.

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19 minutes ago, g33k said:

I presume that pretty steep discounts are offered to community-members in good standing, who tithe and sacrifice regularly, who are always available when someone needs something, whose crops are helping support the clan, etc...

Much moreso than "cast on my fields so I can go adventuring but my lands will still be uber-productive, Kthx!" sorts.

Yes, I was thinking ”what are the actual costs for the provider of the rune points, here?” Any Orlanthi clan would want a lot of magic among its members, so surely the priests aren’t looking to make big bucks from it?

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2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Yes, I was thinking ”what are the actual costs for the provider of the rune points, here?” Any Orlanthi clan would want a lot of magic among its members, so surely the priests aren’t looking to make big bucks from it?

Absoultuely, expecially in clans and tribes where the community ties are strong. Cities tend to be less cohesive comunities and more corrupt, so urban priests might appear to have a more mercenary attitude, but in practice it's also just harder to keep track of who is who when you have a dense population.

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Also, casting to the benefit of an adventurer who is going out of the community on some personal mission is really the exact model of "pay full price, it's how I make enough cash."

Casting to the benefit of some "pillar of the community" type, who gave you a cow last year, and gives a bushel of wheat most seasns, and looks to have an even bigger herd & better crops this year... that looks like someone whose good-will and well-being is worth.FAR more than mere coin...

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On 9/9/2019 at 2:22 AM, Videopete said:

There is Ernalda, Chana Arroy and any other goddess of healing with life or fertility runes. You can chanel Runes to boost childhood survivability.  Also ancient societies often ,especially agricultural, had lots of kids to have maintain populations.

I've always assumed that with the existence of the White Ladies, Eiritha, shamans, and all the other various incarnations of magic, we should assume that women are having children who survive childhood at a rate more comparable to the modern era as well as parents having easy access to contraceptive magic. You're more likely to have four than a dozen, and having them won't ruin your body utterly like in the Middle Ages because basically you have the in-world equivalent of science.

Your children may very well die in combat at 16 or 18 with Lunars or broos, but half of them won't die before the age of 15 of polio, whooping cough, measles, or a cut they got on their finger that got infected. The Horned One taught your sister how to strangle Mallia's brood in dreamtime when they attack a settlement.

Oh, also mothers. Mothers are also surviving childbirth. Important addendum.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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4 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

I've always assumed that with the existence of the White Ladies, Eiritha, shamans, and all the other various incarnations of magic, we should assume that women are having children who survive childhood at a rate more comparable to the modern era as well as parents having easy access to contraceptive magic. 

Contraceptives only help if you have strongly reduced child mortality (otherwise you need to have those kids anyway!) and I believe the child mortality table was deliberately designed to result in about 50% child mortality. Also, while magic is available, it’s not equally available to everyone, and we must assume that the poor people most in need of it have the worst access to it. Beyond this, you have magical and monster-related deaths, and the ever-prevalent risk of starvation (recheck the living standards descriptions - poor people are living on the edge in average times).

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I guess I wasn't clear that my view was outside of the maths. The maths don't make sense because it doesn't make sense with how Glorantha works. That mortality rate seems way too high before 15.

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56 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

I guess I wasn't clear that my view was outside of the maths. The maths don't make sense because it doesn't make sense with how Glorantha works. That mortality rate seems way too high before 15.

Agreed.

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1 hour ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

The maths don't make sense because it doesn't make sense with how Glorantha works.

I would also agree but we tend to focus on the positives of the existence of magic (all the blessing and healing and stuff). What about the economic aspects of magic spending? And what about the negative aspects?

For instance, can the local priestesses and shaman really take care of everyone all the time, or do they save their magic for privileged people (kids of the clan's inner circle), for special cases (they have some raids coming up and they might need to heal deep wounds), or special occasions (they have to bless several hectares of crops and several hundred cows, and there's a big celebration coming up for a holy day or sacred season)?

On the negative aspects, how often do curses get fired up at people and their kids? Or even at the crops and cows, which requires more magic point spending to counteract, leaving less for treating common sicknesses? How often do kids stumble upon evil spirits and cursed artifacts buried in the nearby forest? And it's not even that you've got magic to cure polio or whooping cough, because there's really no such thing in Glorantha AFAICT. Instead, you've got magic to try and cure diseases caused by spirits, Chaos, curses, divine anger, and Runic imbalance (whatever that is... see RQG p154). So it can very well be that, against magical diseases, magical remedies are just as (in)effective as plant medicine was against bacteria and viruses in the real world's Bronze Age.

I guess what I'm saying is that I think we have it backwards: it's not about "fixing" the math so that the child mortality rate improves to.... whatever number. It's the other way around: come up with a number that makes Glorantha "interesting", and then figure out how to justify it. That's what's fun about world-building! And I think, to keep the feel of a "Bronze Age world" (as in: keep overall population down to a low density), we actually need to kill babies. It's terrible but that's what it is. Child mortality is indeed high, and that's a feature, not a bug IMHO.

Edited by lordabdul
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I'm sorry, I don't mean to be disruptive. A similar discussion was happening in Pendragon about women and childbirth recently and it was revealed that nearly all gamers used a hack because nobody wanted all the women to die in childbirth so I thought I would weigh in because the issue is somewhat similar.

Consider what HQG says about why clans exist:

Quote

By working together, everyone can use their particular skills to help protect others. Thus, the clan is protected from the Seven Dangers: strangers, foreigners, enemies, hostile gods and spirits, disease, hunger, and chaos. [emphasis mine]

If literally half the children are dying of disease when women are largely initiates of Ernalda whose exact remit is motherhood, birth and children; White Women and shamans exist in non-zero quantities; and wyters literally exist to defend the community from threats like Mallia's spirit children, then what is going on?

The maths really don't work out. I accept childhood deaths aren't gonna be negligible, but half? Half? 

To keep low population, in the real world, people did it themselves with abortifacients and contraception. They didn't want that many children.

The people who are going to suffer this kind of population are Sun Country helots: no decent gods, field slavery. Orlanthi are herders and farmers in rough terrain with many clans and limited expansion. They don't want to grow explosively.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman

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18 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

If literally half the children are dying of disease when women are largely initiates of Ernalda whose exact remit is motherhood, birth and children; White Women and shamans exist in non-zero quantities; and wyters literally exist to defend the community from threats like Mallia's spirit children, then what is going on?

 

It is unlikely but possible that sans magical healing and aid, and because of entities such Mallia the mortality might be even higher. I believe that is what lordabdul is saying. Than again, I am speaking for him so...

Cheers

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15 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

I would also agree but we tend to focus on the positives of the existence of magic (all the blessing and healing and stuff). What about the economic aspects of magic spending? And what about the negative aspects?

For instance, can the local priestesses and shaman really take care of everyone all the time, or do they save their magic for privileged people (kids of the clan's inner circle), for special cases (they have some raids coming up and they might need to heal deep wounds), or special occasions (they have to bless several hectares of crops and several hundred cows, and there's a big celebration coming up for a holy day or sacred season)?

On the negative aspects, how often do curses get fired up at people and their kids? Or even at the crops and cows, which requires more magic point spending to counteract, leaving less for treating common sicknesses? How often do kids stumble upon evil spirits and cursed artifacts buried in the nearby forest? And it's not even that you've got magic to cure polio or whooping cough, because there's really no such thing in Glorantha AFAICT. Instead, you've got magic to try and cure diseases caused by spirits, Chaos, curses, divine anger, and Runic imbalance (whatever that is... see RQG p154). So it can very well be that, against magical diseases, magical remedies are just as (in)effective as plant medicine was against bacteria and viruses in the real world's Bronze Age.

I guess what I'm saying is that I think we have it backwards: it's not about "fixing" the math so that the child mortality rate improves to.... whatever number. It's the other way around: come up with a number that makes Glorantha "interesting", and then figure out how to justify it. That's what's fun about world-building! And I think, to keep the feel of a "Bronze Age world" (as in: keep overall population down to a low density), we actually need to kill babies. It's terrible but that's what it is. Child mortality is indeed high, and that's a feature, not a bug IMHO.

Glorantha doens't have viruses or bacteria, so no Terran polio or the like. All of the diseases are "magical".

 

16 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

I'm sorry, I don't mean to be disruptive. A similar discussion was happening in Pendragon about women and childbirth recently and it was revealed that nearly all gamers used a hack because nobody wanted all the women to die in childbirth so I thought I would weigh in because the issue is somewhat similar.

Consider what HQG says about why clans exist:

If literally half the children are dying of disease when women are largely initiates of Ernalda whose exact remit is motherhood, birth and children; White Women and shamans exist in non-zero quantities; and wyters literally exist to defend the community from threats like Mallia's spirit children, then what is going on?

The maths really don't work out. I accept childhood deaths aren't gonna be negligible, but half? Half? 

To keep low population, in the real world, people did it themselves with abortifacients and contraception. They didn't want that many children.

The people who are going to suffer this kind of population are Sun Country helots: no decent gods, field slavery. Orlanthi are herders and farmers in rough terrain with many clans and limited expansion. They don't want to grow explosively.

It's unclear if most of the women in the Dragon Pass are initiates of Divine cults. The rulebooks and writers here on the forum say no, but in the Adventure book every NPC is an initiate, the militia, ie. most of the men, included.

 

Personally I think that I'll use the tables unmodified for PCs in my campaign. Not because I think that they portray Glorantha accurately, but because they make the game more dramatic for the players. With the tables their characters have to use runes, spells, wealth etc. if they want their children to survive.

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Even with dedicated healers, diseases will take a while before being recognized as more than a common cold or similar low threat threshold common spirit affliction - and these are bound to exist besides the bad Malian ones.

There are other causes for death among children, among these malnutrition due to calamities. Calamities like the Fimbulwinter, which will have produced a batch of children with severe malnutrition for about a year, hence prone to other defects, or attractive to malign spirits of other sorts than Malian diseases.

 

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51 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

The maths really don't work out. I accept childhood deaths aren't gonna be negligible, but half? Half? 

First, you're quoting from HQG, and we all know RQG is a lot more deadly 😂

Joking aside, it's not that the maths don't work out -- they do work out because the number you need to "reach" is actually made up, and if the authors really intended 54%, then the maths do indeed work out. There's not any number that's "truer" than any other one. Again, it's whatever number you think makes sense for Glorantha to make sense. If you'd rather have child mortality at 35%, that's OK, and you just need to change the table (I'm not sure what that means for population growth, but who cares). Your Glorantha is maybe less of a terrible place to live than Jeff's Glorantha 😋 (where, maybe, if not for the clan structure, child mortality would be 70+%!?)

Now there's a bit of an argument to be made about that table being about the child mortality rates for the dramatic lives of adventurers, and not necessarily for everybody in Glorantha (but yes, that's hair-splitting, I confess).

Edited by lordabdul

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Just now, lordabdul said:

(I'm not sure what that means for population growth, but who cares)

Hence why I suggested contraception was likely... people in the real world used various methods to avoid having too many children outside of specific kinds of environments because it really wasn't advantageous. Also, we've got magic, and there's no way contraception isn't a fast and easy thing.

2 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

First, you're quoting from HQG, and we all know RQG is a lot more deadly 😂

lmao ain't that the truth. roll for damage to your toe.

2 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Your Glorantha is maybe less of a terrible place to live than Jeff's Glorantha 😋

i mean... i guess so? there's still the Late Lunar Empire, massive worldwide slavery, and Chaos, so I mean, yeah, the significant reduction in Orlanthing child death is good?

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41 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Hence why I suggested contraception was likely... people in the real world used various methods to avoid having too many children outside of specific kinds of environments because it really wasn't advantageous. Also, we've got magic, and there's no way contraception isn't a fast and easy thing.

Which deity would you go to for contraception? Ernalda and the Dark Earth know about abortion, and they have curses of infertility, but those aren't easily lifted and probably cause lasting damage. Maran Gor carries boys all the way to birth...

Uleria has magic promoting conception.

Nursing and high-profile physical exertion (e.g. weapon-training) may reduce the chances of random, unplanned conception.

Then there are always sheeps' intestines. Or exhausting yourself on your male partner before getting serious with your female one.

Any drug-induced fertility suppression may permanently affect conception.

41 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

i mean... i guess so? there's still the Late Lunar Empire, massive worldwide slavery, and Chaos, so I mean, yeah, the significant reduction in Orlanthing child death is good?

There are going to be more and more calamity years in the course of the Hero Wars, and each calamity year will contribute to child death for years to come. Food shortages can seriously affect growth and immune system development (read: resistance to evil spirits) even if starvation is avoided if there is nutrition deficiency.

I regard the numbers generated by the economy rules to include the aftereffects of calamity years.

There still remains the question of the inevitable social downward spiral as the surplus noble children surviving their childhood don't find enough noble occupations to maintain their birth standards.

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