July 16, 2019

Resources XXI: Aurochs

The auroch was a breed of very large cattle which went extinct in the 1600s. Rather than a generic "cattle" reference, I want to use them for a bit more exotic feel.

Since we have no live aurochs, I'm going to use stats for the Indian gaur, another very large taurine, as my base.

An auroch calf weighs about 50 lbs at birth. Based on current calf prices relative to gold, a reference of gold can purchase 15,000 head of calves. They are found in A/B/C Koppen climates.

A calf is economically useful after it's been weaned, which for aurochs is approximately 8 months. During this time, there is already a material upkeep cost because the mother's milk is gradually being replaced by solid food. This is factored as an upkeep cost even if the animal is largely grazing, because any forage the auroch gets off my land is potential food I can't grow and sell; it is a sacrificial investment. Overall, this works out to 483 pounds of food, selected by the lowest price available in the region.

Once the calf is weaned (about 200 lb), its food uptake is significantly increased. The animal will eat about 2% of its body weight per day for the next 2 years and 4 months (more or less). This is 23,679 pounds of food up to its full weight (2,500 lb).

Each of these costs is mixed with the labor of local herdsmen, which increases the cost somewhat. However, herdsmen are usually in good supply and so the added labor cost is generally low.

This makes a full-grown auroch quite valuable (depending on the cost of feed). This cost will be used to determine the local costs for meat, leather, horn, and bone glue (and perhaps other things, but these are the most important for now).

Looking at the city of Kwazfulnis (population: 3896 dwarfs, 795humans, 237 halflings, 101 elves): you can get a calf for about a copper; but a weaned calf will cost you 28 sp, and a fully grown beast is 141 gp!

It's possible these prices don't make sense. I feel like every time I look at my base commodities table I see another mistake to correct. But I'm making slow progress, and I'm more concerned that the system work flawlessly (or good enough) so that updates/corrections can be made more easily.

July 15, 2019

Trade V: Money Makes the World Go Round

The fantasy economy runs on gold.

But gold is rare.

Yet trade still manages to happen. How?

My world is very disconnected. There are many separate networks which do not interact at all: the tech level is too low, the roads haven't been built, the markets aren't connected.

Many places do not have any gold at all.

But they have silver.

So what I've done is check each sub-network to see if gold is available. If it is, all is well. If not, we move to a silver standard. If (and this is more rare still), silver is not available either, I fix the price of chalcopyrite, since copper is a Stage 1 good (gold and silver are both Stage 0). If copper is not available, you're out of luck; for now anyway. If I add another precious metal it should be easy enough to go back and add it into this selector. So eventually, everyone should have something to base a coinage economy on.

I do think it might be worth it to adjust the rarity of gold. In the iteration I'm testing at the moment, I have 10 gold mines for 17,290 settled hexes. That's an occurrence of about 0.058%, whereas gold should be around 0.3%. Of course, there is more gold...it just hasn't been found yet. In reality, it's a little higher than the target, around 0.5%. I think I'll add a stronger effect on desirability since gold is so important.

July 10, 2019

History XVI: Loyalty

Based on a comment by Scott.

Each new settlement begins with a loyalty of 0. This score will increase or decrease over time, stochastically.

Positive effects include: being the capital and being surrounded with other cities of the same hegemony.

Negative effects include: being of a different race than the capital city, being in an enclave, and starvation.

A low loyalty will not immediately incite rebellion. A negative loyalty will, however, make it possible, and lower the bar to rebel. Because the score moves semi-randomly (nudged by the factors above), it's possible for a town to pull back from the brink, as it were.

Cities which are conquered have their loyalties reset to 0. Previously, towns would trade hands and rebel constantly, and a kingdom would put down a rebellion only to have it erupt again the next year. With the loyalty score, that behavior is still possible, but tempered. Depending on the random outcome, peace and order may be restored, or not.

This can also have effects during war. A disloyal city, faced with the threat of attack, will simply surrender.

Speaking of war, I fixed a "small bug" where nations would claim to be at war and then not do any actual fighting. This is odd because the normal way of doing things today is to do a lot of fighting and then claim to not be at war at all.