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Maple Syrup in Golarion


Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Greetings All,

So I have a player who would like to purchase a couple of bottles of Maple Syrup as a gift. It occurs to me:

a) Maple Syrup is pretty much a product of the Sugar Maple, which AFAIK is/was found only in North (eastern) America. If anyone can show me european production of it, please let me know.

b) This would translate to Arcadia in Golarion, I'd presume. Since there IS limited trade between the two continents it's possible Maple Syrup could be found in the markets of Avistan. If anyone knows of any cannon references to Maple Trees in Avistan, please let me know.

c) It would undoubtedly be a 'trade good' of durable value and also undoubtedly horribly expensive. My question is, How expensive? (It's worth about $60/gallon today.)

The PC in question is currently in Varisia, in the Riddleport area, if that helps.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Don't get hung up on the idea that the Inner Sea region is an European analog and stick sugar maples anywhere that makes sense for your game. The forests of Varisia are as good a place as any.

But if that's to close, since Andoran is supposed to be a loose analog for Colonial America I'd suggest having the bulk of your syrup come from the Verduran Forest.

Contributor

Andoran as colonial era New England seems about the right place for it. Kyonin could work too. They'd call it something more elfy than maple and then translate it as "sugarwood" for the non-elves, and have some more in-tune with nature way of harvesting it than just sticking a bung into a tree and hanging a bucket on it, but it would still be maple sugar for all intents and purposes.


Kyonin and Andoran are good choices for Maple Syrup.


Well, being from that part of the world, here's my two cents.

Assuming that there is a maple tree species in Golarion and it grows/acts just like the maple tree here on Earth, then most of your concerns are correct. However, the maple tree is capable of growing in any cold temperate climate with good soil and a source of fresh water. If there has been trade between Arcadia and Golarions, seeds, nuts and saplings would certainly be on that list.

It takes a good ten years after planting for a maple tree to be close to ready for tapping and it's usually done in the late winter / early EARLY spring as the sap is stil very fluid (maple sap in warmer months is almost tar-like & tacky). The watery sap is boiled down to remove impurities and then let to condense into the syrup we know and love.

The price today is greatly influenced by the cost of the post-production, the over supply vs demand and shipping. So that $60 figure can be as low as $10 if you live in an area where it is made.

Back when it was first discovered, maple syrup and maple sugar were on the same par as cotton, sugar beats and tobacco for being a cash crop, so I would place the price for it around the same, assuming it is being shipped. However, cotton, sugar beats and tobacco grow in much warmer climes, being the plant life spreads faster, providing bigger yields, which is why maple products didn't keep up after 100 years.

Assuming that no one has transplanted the Arcadian maple tree to Golarion, I would price it the same. If someone did, however, I would drop the price by as much as 80% (although that would have it's own problems of a non-native species surviving with Golarion pests and so on).

Interesting idea of a druid vs. druid plot line... one druid wants to bring it over for his grove, citing that it's a way to harvest from the tree without killing it. Another cites that the introduction of the maple will spread, killing off local trees, and uses vermin and plants to destroy the grove.


If you want a compromise, birch sap used to be made into syrup and sugar too. Birches grow commonly in a European climate, but they aren't as good as maples at sugar production, so when maples were discovered, birch syrup and sugar went into decline.


there are maples in nortern europe aswell, just no one bothers to make maplesyrup


ikki3520 wrote:


there are maples in nortern europe aswell, just no one bothers to make maplesyrup

IIRC, the Sugar Maple is North American. There are numerous (100+ ?) species elswhere, but they aren't that good for maple syrup. It takes a lot of sap to make a little maple syrup. I don't recall the exact amount / ratio.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
R_Chance wrote:


...I don't recall the exact amount / ratio.

Roughly it's about a forty-to-one ratio of sap to syrup. But that ratio can vary wildly based on the quality of the sap and final syrup.


Mmmmmmm.... Surple

The Exchange

ALL maple trees can be tapped for sap to make syrup. I tap silver maples in my yard every February. Sugar maples have the most sugar, hence the name, but old silvers can have almost as much.
In Europe, they had other sources of sugar, so maple syrup wasn't cultivated.

Hickory bark and birch trees are also are sources for sugar via the same methods.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So anyone think a price of 5gp/gallon is out of whack?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I feel like you went through a lot of work, just so you can say "Ok, you buy some syrup, that will be 5 gps." Next time why not just ask him how much he wants to spend, then describe something equivalent. A really nice artistic hand blown crystal bottle with filled with a rather rare Elven Syrup for 100 gp, some exotic syrup from the First World for 500 gps, or just some standard bottle of syrup for 5 gps. Just wing it.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I merged the threads on this topic.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Timothy Hanson wrote:
I feel like you went through a lot of work, just so you can say "Ok, you buy some syrup, that will be 5 gps." Next time why not just ask him how much he wants to spend, then describe something equivalent. A really nice artistic hand blown crystal bottle with filled with a rather rare Elven Syrup for 100 gp, some exotic syrup from the First World for 500 gps, or just some standard bottle of syrup for 5 gps. Just wing it.

While I can agree with the spirit of just getting on with the adventure, and acknowledge the fact that almost all players aren't gonna care one way or the other and mostly want a loose 20th century analog of a worldwide economy, here's the problem:

I'm not one of them. (Hoo Boy am I not one of them!)

I would love an economic system that made sense based on distance from source and rarity of product, plus demand for said product.

I would also like a system that took into account the 4 food groups in your character's diet and how lacking one might affect him/her, how much wear and tear goes into your boots from walking 200 miles across the trackless desert, and what sort of shape your armor is in after you drag it through the salty mangrove swamps wherein the goblins lair.

I also know I'm one of a very, very ummm, SELECT group that enjoys this level of graininess in my game logistics. So to keep it in check I try to indulge these flights of fancy out of the actual ever-so-precious-and-limited game time, and just give the players, who don't care about the process behind the answer, the number they are looking for.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If you want to get into such fine detail of things then more power to you, but I see two major problems.

1) The system will break down super fast.

2) No one is smart enough to see/know everything and that will leave people on different pages.

On Golarion all the analogs are jumbled up. So while there are counter parts to the real world, they do not match up geographically with Earth. The colonies are a part of :Europe", "Antarctic" is in the Northern Hemisphere and connects "Europe" with "Asia". "Asia" is all sorts of messed up, "Europe" is attached to "India" where "Asia" should mostly be. The "Caribbean" is off the coast of "Africa". There is a giant Continent that does not exist on Earth between the old and new world. That does not even begin to take into account the actual fantasy stuff.


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I have nothing to say about the subject of maple syrup on Golarion, but I would like to say that questions of this sort are what I love most about the Campaign Setting forums. It's trivial and mundane to most, but it belies the real depth of both the setting and the fans, and I appreciate that.

Personally, I think the fancy Kyonin elves would tend to prefer berry syrups, looking down on anything like maple syrup as provincial. That said, I'm sure you could find a bottle in Katapesh, regardless of anything else.

Grand Lodge

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Andoran maple syrups are the best, gives you the energy for a long day in the lumber industry, or just hiking uphill to find some old cave.
5 gold a bottle (20 serves)

Shoanti maple syrups will turn your hair white from it's initial bitterness, but once you've taken two or three years to get used to the intense and undiluted taste, it's a pleasure that just grows and grows.
10 gold a bottle (less made) (20 serves)

Elven Kyonin maple syrup is banned in many nations as it is unsuited to human metabolism. It is allegedly delicious, but has such an enormous sugar content that hyperactivity disorders can result.
100 gold a bottle (5 serves)

I am pulling this nonsense out of my butt. That's half the fun of being a GM.


And then there is the Nidal syrup. Extracted from sentient beings thru torture, it is distilled hope. Few can guess how its made, but good organisations have made sure to ban it and possession of this immorally produced substance will result in confiscation, whippings and dungeontime. It is reported to be quite delicious and light, and adds a +4 luck bonus (as per stone of luck) for an hour.

Cost 500gp/serving. (where availabls) (2000gp where illegal)


I think the Kyonin syrup would just give you a seizure and/or diabetes.


Don't forget your Mithril waffle iron! If you are going to pay that much for syrup, you ought to cook in style!

Liberty's Edge

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ikki3520 wrote:

And then there is the Nidal syrup. Extracted from sentient beings thru torture, it is distilled hope. Few can guess how its made, but good organisations have made sure to ban it and possession of this immorally produced substance will result in confiscation, whippings and dungeontime. It is reported to be quite delicious and light, and adds a +4 luck bonus (as per stone of luck) for an hour.

Cost 500gp/serving. (where availabls) (2000gp where illegal)

It requires a gigantic black crystal hovoring over a volcanic vent and a tiny, cute species of humanoid or fey to extract it from. Gelfling was the best, but they're all but extinct.


Singer wrote:


Don't forget your Mithril waffle iron! If you are going to pay that much for syrup, you ought to cook in style!

Does it have the non stick property?

The Exchange

I'm picturing the Kyonin syrup houses being closely guarded, and probably magically protected. Otherwise they're going to be overrun by fey looking for a sugar buzz.


Excelent notion Singer

A Mithril waffle iron is THE must have item for the waffle mage in your life!


Shadowborn wrote:
I'm picturing the Kyonin syrup houses being closely guarded, and probably magically protected. Otherwise they're going to be overrun by fey looking for a sugar buzz.

As if a Quickling being its usual self wasn't bad enough, imagine one in a major sugar buzz.


Singer wrote:
Don't forget your Mithril waffle iron!

I have a player currently working on getting a blacksmith to forge a giant mithril pancake press.

It's a crafting requirement for the pancake golem army he wants to build.


Shadowborn wrote:
I'm picturing the Kyonin syrup houses being closely guarded, and probably magically protected. Otherwise they're going to be overrun by fey looking for a sugar buzz.
Icyshadow wrote:
As if a Quickling being its usual self wasn't bad enough, imagine one in a major sugar buzz.

Gah! :o That would make any sensible character run for cover! :D


And worse still, I imagined every Quickling ever talking like the Scout from Team Fortress 2.

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