A village of NPCs, and Average Joe Farmer is a professional.


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So I used the game mastery guide's list of NPCs. On that list we find something a bit odd -- the common farmer is listed as level 2 with a profession(farming) skill that has a +9 bonus on it.

So I sat down and did some math -- first I assumed that he would only be farming 3 out of the 4 seasons, winter being a hard time to grow anything. This gave me 13 weeks of the year he wasn't able to work leaving 39 weeks he could work. Taking an average roll of 10 for his profession check and not assuming masterwork tools we find that on the weeks he can work the farmer will make 351gp. Now assuming he's not just being lazy on the other 13 weeks instead working as unskilled labor he'll make an additional 9.1gp from those weeks making him a total of 360.1gp. He needs 120 to live an average lifestyle for the year which would leave him 240.1gp.

But lets look just a bit farther than just the farmer -- after all he probably has a wife and kids. If the wife also lives an 'average' lifestyle she's going to cost an additional 120gp. The kids probably won't live that well -- after all they have to share rooms, don't have as much spending money and such -- I would put their lifestyle at a cost of 'poor' which is 3gp a month. Assuming there are 3 kids at that price they are going to run the farmer 9gp a month or 108gp a year. Combined with the price of the wife that's going to take 228gp out of his left over each year leaving 12.1gp for anything he needs.

However his wife probably does some work on the side outside of simply keeping house. Lets treat this as unskilled labor since it's probably going to be fairly hit or miss for the most part (even though it's likely skillful work) assuming she does some of this each day she'll bring in 36.5gp a year, putting the bottom line at 38.6gp a year for the farmer as extra spending cash. This will pay for expensive tools, animals, and the like that will be needed throughout the year plus any savings he hopes to put back for a dowry or whatever.

We can plainly see that while the farmer isn't bad off he isn't extremely comfortable either -- he's about one bad accident from having a ruinous year... which probably sits well with most people's idea of where he should be economically.

Now lets look at his village. The village holds about 200 people which means it should have 2 full time guards and 20 militia.

I figured that at the following (in parenthesis will what NPC I used from the GMG for the character):
Mayor (mayor reduced to Aristocrat 3/ Expert 4) -- No family
Sheriff (Guard Officer) -- Wife and Son
Deputy Sheriff (Guard) -- Young man, no family currently
Innkeeper (Barkeep) -- 3 daughters are barmaids, and work as archers, no wife
Barmaids
Priest (cultist) -- no family
Acolytes -- no family
Shopkeeps (3) -- family of 4 each
Village Drunk (Drunkard)
Veteran Farmers (commoner 2/ warrior 1) -- family of 4 each
Butler for Noble's summer home (Noble Scion)
Butler's wife (variant of hedge wizard, Aristocrat 2/Wizard 3)
Guards for Noble's summer home (warrior 1 each) -- family of 3 each

That gives us 39 more people accounted for out of the village, leaving us 128 people -- assuming the families are more or less an average of 5 people gives us 25 more families for a total of 37, and 3 beggars in town (or village idiots, however you like it).

The biggest difference between the experts in town as barkeeps and shopkeeps (the general store, a blacksmith and maybe a form of banker) and the farmers is the fact they can work their jobs all year, higher level and masterwork tools -- this puts them at making about 2gp more a week and with 13 more weeks to work meaning 572gp a year in income for them.

It also means our average level is pretty low -- right around 2~3 with an average CR of about 1/2 per person in the village, highest level caster is the priest at level 4, with the butler's wife being second at level 3... which also means we have 2% of the population as casters, with about 80% of the population being farmers.

Since this is a village it gets two traits, I would suggest racially intolerant for orcs and half orcs (too many raids against the town makes them more alert for spies) and Strategic location (a reason for a noble to have a summer home there even if it isn't the primary trade route to a major city), and of course it's a Autocracy.


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I feel like you wrote a lot but had no conclusion.

Also how many folks out of 200 are over 2nd level just to see what %'s of the population breaks down by character levels.


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Yeah got called away by the kids.

1st conclusion -- allowing farmers to be professional and actually see a good chunk of change a year doesn't break verisimilitude and still allows for most people to be fairly close to poor, provided one accounts for the family members as separate expenses.

2nd conclusion -- in town people are likely to see more income without too many more levels due to better tools and working year round instead of just 3 seasons.

3rd conclusion -- there isn't a great way to relay what sort of wealth an aristocrat should be bringing in as taxes.

4th conclusion -- it makes since that spell casters are going to be making the big bucks and offering the quests: they got their regular profession rolls and selling their spell casting at a good rate to add together for nice money.

As for how many are over level 2:
13 people.
3 veteran farmers (sorry I neglected the number of them), Priest, Village Drunk, Mayor, Butler, Butler's Wife, Shopkeeps, Innkeeper, Sheriff and the Mayor.

Everyone else is level 2 (or lower for the kids).

Final Conclusion -- If one actually runs the numbers as presented and thinks about what's going on the economic system that supposedly "doesn't work" actually comes out working just fine. It takes a bit of thought and less predictions of doom, but all in all it's much more sophisticated than suggested by many.

I'll work on proving the highs and lows of the economy (namely the spending limit and buying limit) next but that might take me a bit.


Did you ever try to figure out How this can possibly amount to the RAW-mandated 5,000gp purchase limit for a small town? ( or, rather, I guess you're a Village, so... 2,500? )

it's not a bad idea, as an example for a little village. I wonder if you had any other goals with the math you've just summed up so extensively. ^_^

Perhaps it'd be useful to know how much Tax you'd get out of such a town, had it been taken over by a larger country or dictatorship?

EDIT: Sorry. Ya ninja'd me. XD

EDIT 2: Actually, I Am rather curious about the Import and Export factors...

Are these farmers making their entire profit based on the Town's needs? Are the Shopkeepers ever benefitting from outside merchants, thus adding to the town's circulation and wealth as a whole?

If the town were nearly Completely and utterly self reliant, how would it work out?

If the town was a frequent witness of travelling merchants, how would it work out?

EDIT 3: I'm with Dragonsong on the Interest. If I want to uplift the world, might as well get to know what the World starts out as first! ^_^


Fair enough on the your kids distracting you thing. Totally legit. The conclusions appear solid and the only thing it doesn't really get at is the whole magic items availablility.

pfsrd wrote:


Community Size Base Value Minor Medium Major
Thorp 50 gp 1d4 items — —
Hamlet 200 gp 1d6 items — —
Village 500 gp 2d4 items 1d4 items —

Small town 1,000 gp 3d4 items 1d6 items —
Large town 2,000 gp 3d4 items 2d4 items 1d4 items
Small city 4,000 gp 4d4 items 3d4 items 1d6 items
Large city 8,000 gp 4d4 items 3d4 items 2d4 items
Metropolis 16,000 gp * 4d4 items 3d4 items

As 200 is right at the threshold between these 2 hamlet probably "works" better. And fits with the max spell level they recommend for a settlement that size 2nd. Also keeps the purchase limit to 1000 which I guess means the mayor or the noble can scrape up enough to buy an unwanted minor magic weapon off the party to give to a guard or hang over their mantle to look impressive.

I am just not sure if a town that tends towards the lean side of things can afford to have 1-6 low magic items sitting on shelves collecting dust but maybe so.

Edit: to be clear I am interested in this in the same way I was MDT's population break down for an entire planet he did a couple of months ago and want to see where this goes.


Look a little farther into what that and the base value mean:

Quote:
Base Value and Purchase Limit: This section lists the community's base value for available magic items in gp. There is a 75% chance that any item of this value or lower can be found for sale in the community with little effort. If an item is not available, a new check to determine if the item has become available can be made in 1 week. A settlement's purchase limit is the most money a shop in the settlement can spend to purchase any single item from the PCs. If the PCs wish to sell an item worth more than a settlement's purchase limit, they'll either need to settle for a lower price, travel to A larger city, or (with the GM's permission) search for a specific buyer in the city with deeper pockets. A settlement's type sets its purchase limit.

So this means that the most than anyone in town will have to buy from the PC's is going to be 2,500gp. They might buy a ring of protection +1 but they aren't going to buy a +2 armor for any more than 2,500gp.

The base value actually makes sense for this village too -- the most they are likely to have is some scrolls from the Butler's wife and potions from the priest.

I'm going to try bringing the NPC wealth by level into this to help show how the maximum value would be reached.

In fact doing so might prove that I was in error reducing the Mayor's level. At level 7 he's still the 'richest' (in equipment) person in town, with 4,650gp worth of personal equipment. If he was level 10 he would have 10,000gp worth of stuff.


Abraham spalding wrote:

Look a little farther into what that and the base value mean:

Quote:
Base Value and Purchase Limit: This section lists the community's base value for available magic items in gp. There is a 75% chance that any item of this value or lower can be found for sale in the community with little effort. If an item is not available, a new check to determine if the item has become available can be made in 1 week. A settlement's purchase limit is the most money a shop in the settlement can spend to purchase any single item from the PCs. If the PCs wish to sell an item worth more than a settlement's purchase limit, they'll either need to settle for a lower price, travel to A larger city, or (with the GM's permission) search for a specific buyer in the city with deeper pockets. A settlement's type sets its purchase limit.

So this means that the most than anyone in town will have to buy from the PC's is going to be 2,500gp. They might buy a ring of protection +1 but they aren't going to buy a +2 armor for any more than 2,500gp.

The base value actually makes sense for this village too -- the most they are likely to have is some scrolls from the Butler's wife and potions from the priest.

I'm going to try bringing the NPC wealth by level into this to help show how the maximum value would be reached.

In fact doing so might prove that I was in error reducing the Mayor's level. At level 7 he's still the 'richest' (in equipment) person in town, with 4,650gp worth of personal equipment. If he was level 10 he would have 10,000gp worth of stuff.

In the thread you linked me from, the General argument that any and all spells and magic items would be in somewhat Short demand ( for a town 10 times larger than the one you have here, no less ) Simply because nearly every commoner made Very little in comparison; If a farmer needs to spend Years saving up for a shovel that can till the land on its own, he's, of course, instead going to opt for a Horse and forse drawn tiller... And a Noble's probably not going to be interested, with only a select few exceptions.

...How does the Entire town's net annual income look? How about the effects of exporting and importing on that? Compare this to the Purchase Limit?


Dragonsong wrote:
good stuff

I'm sorry I don't think I was as clear as I meant to be -- this is a village not a town... it's about as big as a village gets before it starts growing into a town, but I felt that such a size would be perfect for a 'starting' or 'regular' place in a campaign. It's small enough the GM can actually 'build' it out without being so small as to have next to nothing for the PCs, and not so big as to be impossible to really get a full feel for as a GM.

I look at the 2d4 minor and 1d4 major as being the items the NPC's use as equipment that they could be interested in selling off. Perhaps the priest has an old +2 mace he had from his travels back in the day, or the butler's wife has a wand of magic missile she wouldn't mind selling (doing so would give her the rest of money she needs to make her new hat of disguise she wants).


Abraham spalding wrote:
I look at the 2d4 minor and 1d4 major as being the items the NPC's use as equipment that they could be interested in selling off. Perhaps the priest has an old +2 mace he had from his travels back in the day, or the butler's wife has a wand of magic missile she wouldn't mind selling (doing so would give her the rest of money she needs to make her new hat of disguise she wants).

..Alright... I guess that a lot of the town's standing value, can be in the form of bartered goods and/or trade goods... Wouldn't the town itself still need to have a pretty enriched savings, if it's going to even remotely compete with the RAW-assigned purchase limit?

Grand Lodge

Taxes were pretty stupid heavy back in the bad old days... why would Golarion be any different?


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Bane Wraith wrote:
How does the Entire town's net income? How about the effects of exporting and importing on that? Compare this to the Purchase Limit?

Good question I'll hit the farmer's net income first:

I've got 25 regular farmers and 3 veteran farmers -- the regular farmers have a total income of 396.6gp a year with a net income of 38.6gp per year giving 9,915gp gross and 965gp net a year. The veterans will have another level and possibly masterwork tools which will add another 2gp total for the 39 weeks they can work meaning 78gp extra a year for them both as gross and net income so that puts us up to 9,993gp gross and 1,043gp net.

The experts in town (the shopkeeps) are looking at 52 weeks at a +12 (+10 +2 for masterwork tools) so an average of a 22 profession check and 11gp a week so 572gp a year with the same 348gp coming out for family meaning a net of 224gp net. Together the three shopkeeps add 1,716gp gross and 672gp net putting the city at 11,709gp gross and 1,715gp net.

The Innkeep (assuming the inn is also a tavern) is looking at a +15 bonus (13+2 for masterwork) at 52 weeks for a total of 624, while his daughters being barmaids have a bonus of +6(+4 and +2 masterwork tools) so an income of 8gp a week... daddy must be supplementing their pay some! Together the three earn 1,248gp a year gross combining with their Dad's income puts the family at 1,872gp. I'm going to assume the daughters are spoiled though and get an average income each so the family costs are 480gp total a year putting the net at 1,392gp. So accounting for the inn we are seeing a gross of 13,581gp and a net of 3,107gp yearly for the town total.

That leaves us the priest and his acolytes, the butler/wife and guards, the sheriff, his deputy, the mayor to figure out incomes for.

Again the town comes to 13,581gp gross income a year and a net of 3,107gp (the beggars make 36.5gp a year and spend 36 of that living a poor life).

Another point -- I've screwed up the math slightly -- I didn't account for the .5 gold pieces that are made for odd number profession checks. This affects the 25 normal farmers and the Innkeep giving them another 26gp each per year or 676gp gross and net income for the town:

New figures: Gross 14,257gp Net 3,783gp

New conclusion: The innkeeper is stupid rich. I mean look at his take home at the end of the year his Net alone almost doubles everyone else, and in doing so he's probably very protective of his daughters (a primary source of income for him!) and with only saving 30% of his income each year could easily account for the maximum purchase limit by himself.


Helaman wrote:
Taxes were pretty stupid heavy back in the bad old days... why would Golarion be any different?

That is covered in the 'living costs' as discussed in the CRB. For an average life style the living costs per month is 10gp and 3 gp for a poor life style.

Grand Lodge

Abraham spalding wrote:
Helaman wrote:
Taxes were pretty stupid heavy back in the bad old days... why would Golarion be any different?
That is covered in the 'living costs' as discussed in the CRB. For an average life style the living costs per month is 10gp and 3 gp for a poor life style.

Fair nuff


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Interesting Abraham,
But I feel I must point out a flaw in your logic.

Your approach assumes that children are a drain on resources. However, historically, children are actually a major force multiplier in agrarian societies. That farmer and his wife are not going to have 2 children who drain resources. They're going to have 10 or 12, and every single one of them will be working around the farm from age 5 to age 15, at which point they are married off to someone. Now, granted, about 3 or 4 of them will die (accidents, disease, orc raids, etc). But, the children will actually be, from age 5 on, contributing a larger and larger bit toward the yearly intake as they do farm chores, etc.

I would suggest assuming each farmer has 3 kids working as unskilled labor, 3 working as marginally skilled (1 rank in profession), and 2 kids not working at any given time (too young, injured, etc).

This cuts down on how many farms/farmers you have (which is better for a village) but keeps the population about right. It will keep the money close, as the 6 working kids contribute to the family income.


mdt wrote:

Interesting Abraham,

Your approach assumes that children are a drain on resources. However, historically, children are actually a major force multiplier in agrarian societies.

Bingo. Mechanically, until those kids gain a rank in Profession, they earn 1sp/day. Once they have a rank, they earn their own income.

The Exchange

Helaman wrote:
Taxes were pretty stupid heavy back in the bad old days... why would Golarion be any different?

Actually no - taxes took about 1/3 of someones time/income, much like they do now. Sometimes as much as 1/2. That would be for most Dark Age societies. (Like the Saxons under the Normans).


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I read in one of the books from 3.5 (for the life of me I can't figure out which), that there is no real reason for the nobles to be in power. The average person can read, which means information will be passed in a way that means they can't keep their peasants under their thumb. Additionally, the spell casters are dealing with INCREADIBLY powerful magic that could potentially overthrow the masses ant any point. The only setting that has ever addressed the fact that spell casting characters should really be in control of everyone was Dragon Age, where they had to be beaten down at every turn so society wouldn't be overthrown at a moment's notice.


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jonnythm wrote:
I read in one of the books from 3.5 (for the life of me I can't figure out which), that there is no real reason for the nobles to be in power.

Sure there is. D&D worlds are dangerous. You don't worry so much about the kingdom next door, you worry about the roving monsters and dragons and orcs and undead. In a situation like that, the populace will GLADLY follow a powerful leader type, and ta-da, nobility.

Also, noble power structures are usually intertwined with the spellcasting community anyways. They buy the most magical services. They can often afford the training to become spellcasters. The spellcasters have a vested interest in the nobility, even if they seldom want to be nobles themselves (clerics have another job to do, and wizards usually want more free time to study magic).


Helic wrote:
jonnythm wrote:
I read in one of the books from 3.5 (for the life of me I can't figure out which), that there is no real reason for the nobles to be in power.

Sure there is. D&D worlds are dangerous. You don't worry so much about the kingdom next door, you worry about the roving monsters and dragons and orcs and undead. In a situation like that, the populace will GLADLY follow a powerful leader type, and ta-da, nobility.

Also, noble power structures are usually intertwined with the spellcasting community anyways. They buy the most magical services. They can often afford the training to become spellcasters. The spellcasters have a vested interest in the nobility, even if they seldom want to be nobles themselves (clerics have another job to do, and wizards usually want more free time to study magic).

And sorcerers? They seem like the political types if you ask me. Anyway this doesn't really matter, stuff like this can be hand waved as part of the campaign setting and as long as it's fun we're golden.


Helic wrote:
mdt wrote:

Interesting Abraham,

Your approach assumes that children are a drain on resources. However, historically, children are actually a major force multiplier in agrarian societies.
Bingo. Mechanically, until those kids gain a rank in Profession, they earn 1sp/day. Once they have a rank, they earn their own income.

I honestly don't disagree with this idea -- however my thought was to error more on the side of costs against the 'commoners' than to supply them with more income. Just to provide for as much chance for the 'commoners' to be dirty poor as possible without being dishonest in the approach (such as trying to make them live above their means).


jonnythm wrote:
Helic wrote:
jonnythm wrote:
I read in one of the books from 3.5 (for the life of me I can't figure out which), that there is no real reason for the nobles to be in power.

Sure there is. D&D worlds are dangerous. You don't worry so much about the kingdom next door, you worry about the roving monsters and dragons and orcs and undead. In a situation like that, the populace will GLADLY follow a powerful leader type, and ta-da, nobility.

Also, noble power structures are usually intertwined with the spellcasting community anyways. They buy the most magical services. They can often afford the training to become spellcasters. The spellcasters have a vested interest in the nobility, even if they seldom want to be nobles themselves (clerics have another job to do, and wizards usually want more free time to study magic).

And sorcerers? They seem like the political types if you ask me. Anyway this doesn't really matter, stuff like this can be hand waved as part of the campaign setting and as long as it's fun we're golden.

Actually I provided a nice counter for my party for this tonight -- they are providing escort to some war goods for the world wound. However for over two nights they were under constant fire from enemies they couldn't quite reach (drow in the dark, and mounted skirmishers during the day) -- they never got rest and the spell casters realized their biggest weakness -- spells are short duration and don't have long enough effect to make up for days on end without rest.


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jonnythm wrote:
And sorcerers? They seem like the political types if you ask me. Anyway this doesn't really matter, stuff like this can be hand waved as part of the campaign setting and as long as it's fun we're golden.

Bards. It takes more than charisma to succeed in politics. It takes diplomacy and sense motive and bluff and intimidate and knowledge(nobility) and knowledge(local) and knowledge(religion)and knowledge(history). And that's just for feudal politics. If you've progressed to the point of having a parliament like the English did by the end of the middle ages performance(oratory) is going to be invaluable. Knowledge(freakin' everything) comes in handy when the noble is also the magistrate.

And, of course, if I'm a level 2-3 warrior I'd far rather follow a bard than a sorceror. Unless the sorceror is high enough level to solo the invading orcs a bard is going to keep his army alive a lot better. Sorceror may do better against the marauding dragon though. As long as he's not the marauding dragon's grand nephew. That's the sort of conflict on interest that would get me pledging my fealty elsewhere.


One thing to note is that while farmers may not be working in the fields during some parts of the year, that doesn't mean they aren't working at all -- there's a fair amount of mending, carpentry, tool-making, and animal-tending to be done year-round. (They'll probably have ranks in a second Profession skill, or a Craft skill, to recognize this. And some farmers will have a +2/+2 feat that boosts Profession, or maybe even a trait that gives them another bonus on that. So the modifier for some of them will be +11 or +12 rather than +9)

And the wives are _not_ going to be unskilled labor; between ranks in Craft (cook) and ranks in Craft (weaver) -- who do you think makes clothes in a pre-power-loom society? -- they'll be doing their own income rolls and/or creating items that won't need to be purchased. Some of them will have ranks in Profession skills as well (quite a few possibilities.) So the farm families will be somewhat better off than the initial post expected.


Unfortunately craft skills do not translate into earned income in pathfinder and this is quite frankly correct. I did take into account that farmers are still doing stuff during the winter time which is accounted by the unskilled labor rate -- unfortunately they didn't spend their skill points on a second profession, quite likely because they couldn't find a teacher for that profession.

Realize that it could just as easily be the woman out in the fields and the man taking care of the house -- it really doesn't matter which is which. It's highly unlikely that both are going to be available for full time professional work, especially if they are crafting things (eats up a lot of time by the crafting rules even as it saves a lot of money). Crafting could easily be doubling some parts of the family income however that is likely to be seen in ways that would directly appear in the income stream of the family (hidden revenue and good will from the neighbors, perhaps a few cure disease from the priest for donations and what have you).

Again it's not impossible that a 'mature' family will be earning much more than suggested -- if you check out the innkeeper you'll notice that he and his daughters are readily raking it in...

The difference isn't the level of skill or quality of work, it's much more time, place, and circumstances -- things that afflict many people the world over even to this day.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Another thing to note is that typically, farms had much larger families than townsfolk. A farm might have 10 kids, the typical household in the city had 2 or 3 at most. And, typically, those kids were much more of a drain (in absolute terms) than their urban cousins. This is true today, of course. A farm in Iowa probably has 4 to 6 kids (since we don't need the 3-4 spares to replace the ones that die), while the typical household in the Cincinnati suburbs probably has 2 to 3 kids (half as much). And just like today, those suburban kids don't contribute as much to the family income as the farm kids do, since they are doing chores when not in school.


A valid point mdt and something I did consider when running the initial numbers. Part of the reason I averaged the families on 5 is because there is magic to help keep people alive better (meaning not as many spares are needed) and to account for some having higher numbers of kids while other people have fewer -- the problem with averages is that if I say an average of 5 kids, I am still covering some having 10 and others having none -- it's just not as easily noted. Finally I wanted to assume the modern illusion of 'living within one's means' was in effect and shown in the numbers (something that if ignored would have had people quite possibly screaming at me over the discrepancies).

My thought on the children's 'invisible' income is that it helps to fuel their initial costs of becoming an adult in their community: housing, furniture, initial equipment, animals, dowry and the like would be paid for with what they earned while working under their parents -- much like the starting equipment a level 1 pc begins the game with.

Assuming that such farm children start as unskilled labor and become skilled labor about a year or two before adult status this would mean they are earning 36.5gp each year for about 5 years (from 9~14) and probably about 8.5gp for per week for 2 years (15~16ish) meaning 1,066.5gp saved up total in that time.

Another problem we run into is how to account for unexpected expenditures -- broken arms, deaths, disease and what have you (both of the people and the animals involved). I fully agree that this example village does not cover all the cases, however for a 'average nothing going wrong this year' example it certainly shows the numbers working.

Sczarni

Wait...you say 13 are over level 2, but then only list 12 and the Mayor is listed twice. I'm confused...


How would it go if the farmer's children we're to make Aid Another rolls rather than earn their own income?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:

Unfortunately craft skills do not translate into earned income in pathfinder and this is quite frankly correct. I did take into account that farmers are still doing stuff during the winter time which is accounted by the unskilled labor rate -- unfortunately they didn't spend their skill points on a second profession, quite likely because they couldn't find a teacher for that profession.

Realize that it could just as easily be the woman out in the fields and the man taking care of the house -- it really doesn't matter which is which. It's highly unlikely that both are going to be available for full time professional work, especially if they are crafting things (eats up a lot of time by the crafting rules even as it saves a lot of money). Crafting could easily be doubling some parts of the family income however that is likely to be seen in ways that would directly appear in the income stream of the family (hidden revenue and good will from the neighbors, perhaps a few cure disease from the priest for donations and what have you).

Again it's not impossible that a 'mature' family will be earning much more than suggested -- if you check out the innkeeper you'll notice that he and his daughters are readily raking it in...

The difference isn't the level of skill or quality of work, it's much more time, place, and circumstances -- things that afflict many people the world over even to this day.

Having been around farmers for the first 18 years of my life, I can assure you that they have stuff to do even during winter and that they will have the skills to do it.

Animal husbandry to rise cows, pigs and hens is a must.
Wine making (at least in my area) is a skill all farmers have.
The don't need to go to a school to learn those skills. They would have learned them while working at a farm as childes.

I would not give farmers the earning for unskilled labour during winter.
Skilled labourer income with a circumstance modifier of -2 or, at most, -4 will be reasonable.
In reality for them the worst months are at the start of spring. Plenty of work to do, very little is ready to harvest.

Similarly then people tending the household (women or not) should be getting a skilled labourer income with a reduction (50% of skilled income seem right).

A important thing is that most of that "money" actually will be items. From the dowry being readied for the daughters wedding in the form of embroidered linens and countless other stuff, to the animal raised in the farm to the food reserves to live through a bad year.

A farmer that own his farm don't live badly at all in an agricultural society. He is not particularly rich but he is one of the person best protected against famine.
The serfs that don't own the farm are those living a hard life.

What maybe you are missing are a few "dependant" incapable to work: the elders of the family.
Most non single guy family will probably have at least 1 elder person depending on them. The elder can be still somewhat "useful", looking after the small childes and teaching them to read or doing some cooking core, but little more, so he would not be earning an income.

We speak a lot of the average life expectancy of the middle ages, but that is draw down by children mortality.
I have the actuarial tables for Italy in 1900 and 1950 and the difference in children death is staggering. If I recall well it changed from a 15% death rate before reaching the 6th year of age to a 1% death rate.
In the same period the survival at the upper age bracket has raised, but not by the same amount.
So survival till late age wasn't so rare as some literature make it.

Another half truth, at least for Italy and a good crunch of Europe, is the "wedded at 15 years of age" stuff.
Till the black plague the marriages were consumed at a later age, even if the there was a early betrothal. Bearing a children at 15 years of age is dangerous.
After the black plague the customs changed and early weddings were more commons, but the risk of bearing children for the young wives was a problem.
There were economical reason for later marriages too. Usually the women family was giving out a dowry and that was a cost that had to be amortized before the wedding.


ossian666 wrote:
Wait...you say 13 are over level 2, but then only list 12 and the Mayor is listed twice. I'm confused...

Let me check it over, I could have made a mistake such things do happen.

OberonViking wrote:


How would it go if the farmer's children we're to make Aid Another rolls rather than earn their own income?

Profession is trained only. I would suggest it wouldn't be a far stretch that their first level ranks go into perception and handle animal. Skill focus doesn't actually require ranks to take so the kid could have it before his 'growing up' to level in expert.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Some fine stuff

Hey I grew up on farms as well -- I'm not trying to knock farmers at all.

Animal Husbandry is (and would be) very important I agree -- however that's under handle animal and possibly survival and heal... not profession(farmer) I think. Fortunately animals have a habit growing provided you feed and water them regularly (providing a safe spot to live actually takes more direct work as does maintenance of their living conditions).

I'm not arguing that a farmer has a horrible life either -- please note he is 'happily average' -- he can go get a drink at the tavern if he wants and he's got a bit extra each year and a family he can be proud of.

I freely admit there is plenty of room for more expansion on each family with grandparents, invalids and the like -- we can continue and model them as well, however for the point of the exercise it wasn't really needed, as we would also have to account for the families without such things as well. Random sampling would give about what we see here and fit with a general village in our world as well (about 38 families, lots of close relations some doing better others worse, etc).

If you would like we could expand this out to a full on experiment with 200 something named NPCs, however I didn't feel it was needed.

I'm not saying that 15 would *have* to be the age of marriage, but it did make for an easy number if we don't want to allow for extended education (which we certainly can do and would be fairly historical as well).


Abraham spalding wrote:
Another problem we run into is how to account for unexpected expenditures -- broken arms, deaths, disease and what have you (both of the people and the animals involved). I fully agree that this example village does not cover all the cases, however for a 'average nothing going wrong this year' example it certainly shows the numbers working.

Actually, this would probably be where the accumulated value of extra hands (children) ends up -- socking small amounts away to deal with those unexpected issues (which then also, as you mention, goes toward buying a dowry and/or an apprenticeship for the children as they age -- and why there are stories of the "You can't get married 'til next year." variety out there).


Most Farmers in the US today would probably be best approximated as 1st level experts. Farm hands are probably commoners, with a few (like, say, the guys that are expert in running combines and the like) being experts.

In a pre-modern society, where there are a ton more farmers as a percentage of the population, your yeoman farmers are probably experts, most others are commoners. Most of the commoners are going to be making their living on the 1sp/day rate for low-skilled labor, rather than profession/craft rates. The fraction of the population that is commoners might be anywhere from 90% down to arund 25-33%. These can be abstracted as your 'lower class'. Middle class typically makes around 1 gp/day (if you assume they take 10 with a +4 add, which is dead simple for an expert or a commoner who actually has a money-making skill, this gives exactly that income). I usually assume that the upper class makes most of its money rent-seeking, so the size of the economy in terms of real goods/services is around the middle class + lower class/10 per day in gold equivalents.


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EWHM wrote:

Most Farmers in the US today would probably be best approximated as 1st level experts. Farm hands are probably commoners, with a few (like, say, the guys that are expert in running combines and the like) being experts.

In a pre-modern society, where there are a ton more farmers as a percentage of the population, your yeoman farmers are probably experts, most others are commoners. Most of the commoners are going to be making their living on the 1sp/day rate for low-skilled labor, rather than profession/craft rates. The fraction of the population that is commoners might be anywhere from 90% down to arund 25-33%. These can be abstracted as your 'lower class'. Middle class typically makes around 1 gp/day (if you assume they take 10 with a +4 add, which is dead simple for an expert or a commoner who actually has a money-making skill, this gives exactly that income). I usually assume that the upper class makes most of its money rent-seeking, so the size of the economy in terms of real goods/services is around the middle class + lower class/10 per day in gold equivalents.

This fails at the level we have an 'average' living cost in the game and the average NPCs as presented and what actually works out in the system -- but it is almost close... if you ignore everything else I presented. If the majority of your people aren't at that point it isn't average. To be average you must have a profession -- to do so and support a family you'll need a decent income most the time.

Also we have actual presentations of your 'average' NPC farmer as is presented in the GMG.

This is where the NPCs from the GMG are listed for those that would like the information.

Also I fully believe that most people sell the modern man far shorter than he actually is.

Also while the feudal system was around it was not quite the major form of government or as bleak as older history books keep wanting to make it out to be.

As a side statement:

I would say over all people have many misconceptions they are trying to make the game fit but that doesn't actually matter -- the problem is they want what they think it 'should be' to be modeled when the system actually models something entirely different.


Tilnar wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
Another problem we run into is how to account for unexpected expenditures -- broken arms, deaths, disease and what have you (both of the people and the animals involved). I fully agree that this example village does not cover all the cases, however for a 'average nothing going wrong this year' example it certainly shows the numbers working.

Actually, this would probably be where the accumulated value of extra hands (children) ends up -- socking small amounts away to deal with those unexpected issues (which then also, as you mention, goes toward buying a dowry and/or an apprenticeship for the children as they age -- and why there are stories of the "You can't get married 'til next year." variety out there).

Quite possibly -- I touched on this earlier but didn't flesh it out as much as I would like too.


Abraham spalding wrote:
Tilnar wrote:
Actually, this would probably be where the accumulated value of extra hands (children) ends up -- socking small amounts away to deal with those unexpected issues (which then also, as you mention, goes toward buying a dowry and/or an apprenticeship for the children as they age -- and why there are stories of the "You can't get married 'til next year." variety out there).
Quite possibly -- I touched on this earlier but didn't flesh it out as much as I would like too.

Also, I suppose this could explain why people were so willing head out to frontiers where there were land grants -- there's probably no way under the system you're describing for someone to buy their own land - so they're either renting (at what cost?), inherited, or they're "extra hands" who hire themselves out.

Still, there are a few issues with the model (most notably the lack of connection between income and amount of land and pressures on upkeep), but as you said, it does show that the overall system at least kind of works in the abstract.


Completely off topic, but did anyone else initially read the word "Professional" but think the word "Hitman"?


Abraham spalding wrote:

Look a little farther into what that and the base value mean:

Quote:
Base Value and Purchase Limit: This section lists the community's base value for available magic items in gp. There is a 75% chance that any item of this value or lower can be found for sale in the community with little effort. If an item is not available, a new check to determine if the item has become available can be made in 1 week. A settlement's purchase limit is the most money a shop in the settlement can spend to purchase any single item from the PCs. If the PCs wish to sell an item worth more than a settlement's purchase limit, they'll either need to settle for a lower price, travel to A larger city, or (with the GM's permission) search for a specific buyer in the city with deeper pockets. A settlement's type sets its purchase limit.

So this means that the most than anyone in town will have to buy from the PC's is going to be 2,500gp. They might buy a ring of protection +1 but they aren't going to buy a +2 armor for any more than 2,500gp.

The base value actually makes sense for this village too -- the most they are likely to have is some scrolls from the Butler's wife and potions from the priest.

I'm going to try bringing the NPC wealth by level into this to help show how the maximum value would be reached.

In fact doing so might prove that I was in error reducing the Mayor's level. At level 7 he's still the 'richest' (in equipment) person in town, with 4,650gp worth of personal equipment. If he was level 10 he would have 10,000gp worth of stuff.

Since the mayor is not an adventurer, the Wealth and resource rules don't have to apply to him. It seems the wealth rules are more to balance combat gear than actually provide a wealth level for NPC's.


Mournblade94 wrote:


Since the mayor is not an adventurer, the Wealth and resource rules don't have to apply to him. It seems the wealth rules are more to balance combat gear than actually provide a wealth level for NPC's.

Well the NPC gear is supposed to be strictly adventuring gear and not total wealth I will fully agree with that.

But I hold the exact same is also true of PCs. I'm not about to hold the cost of a house against them or a title against them when the are some 300 miles away and without any access to it (in addition to the fact it provides no benefit to them during this time and by the guidelines shouldn't count against them).

However my over all point was to see if I can reconcile his wealth as an NPC with his earnings to see if it was possible that he bought the gear or if it is evidence of other activities going on.

Thank you for bringing this back to my attention however, I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to answer that question any time soon -- Thanksgiving is seeing me taking a rather long road trip and I have some other concerns I need to cover first before this luxury practice continues.

However IF someone else would like to step up and continue the exercise I wouldn't mind that at all.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:
Mournblade94 wrote:


Since the mayor is not an adventurer, the Wealth and resource rules don't have to apply to him. It seems the wealth rules are more to balance combat gear than actually provide a wealth level for NPC's.

Well the NPC gear is supposed to be strictly adventuring gear and not total wealth I will fully agree with that.

As a general rule I would assume that actually a NPC has the same WBL of a PC, but it is distributed in a different way.

The PC spend all or almost all of his WBL in his adventuring gear and what is not part of that is possessions with little impact on the game.
The NPC spend half or 3/4 of his WBL in not adventuring gear (house, land, shops and so on) so he get only the listed value in combat items, or stuff that can be looted by the players but actually he own much more.

So the Mayor can how a beautiful house, some land he is renting to farmers and maybe he can be a partners in a few shops in town, all very important stuff for him and the city, of no consequence for adventurers.

In reality the NPC can have any level of wealth the GM feel is useful, but that is not relevant in this discussion.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
Mournblade94 wrote:


Since the mayor is not an adventurer, the Wealth and resource rules don't have to apply to him. It seems the wealth rules are more to balance combat gear than actually provide a wealth level for NPC's.

Well the NPC gear is supposed to be strictly adventuring gear and not total wealth I will fully agree with that.

As a general rule I would assume that actually a NPC has the same WBL of a PC, but it is distributed in a different way.

The PC spend all or almost all of his WBL in his adventuring gear and what is not part of that is possessions with little impact on the game.
The NPC spend half or 3/4 of his WBL in not adventuring gear (house, land, shops and so on) so he get only the listed value in combat items, or stuff that can be looted by the players but actually he own much more.

So the Mayor can how a beautiful house, some land he is renting to farmers and maybe he can be a partners in a few shops in town, all very important stuff for him and the city, of no consequence for adventurers.

In reality the NPC can have any level of wealth the GM feel is useful, but that is not relevant in this discussion.

I feel the point is at least tangent to the thread as the NPC's wealth can't exist in a vacuum and it wouldn't make sense for a farmer to have a say +1 cloak of resistance and not consider selling it if it would been needed to make his family better such as in the case that he wasn't earning as much as was shown in this thread and wanted better conditions for his family.

It also wouldn't make too much sense for him to have a huge amount of personal gear and not have spent money on his house or other needs, so it needs to be seen that the npcs could afford what he does have or should have.

You position on total wealth is an interesting one but I think it might not hold up -- when and if I get back to this it is certainly something worth looking into however. Though part of why I stopped when I did was a lack of any real way to price a house and such currently.

I do agree that it is simply a tangent to the thread and certainly doesn't break it. For me it's just one more angle to explore and see how well it continues to hold up.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Nicely done Abe. Dotted and listed! :)

BTW, have you considered doing this same sort of experiment for dwarven and elvish settlements as well and seeing how populaces with higher-level adults work out? I'd be curious to see how having adult populaces with average levels of 3-4* (dwarven), and 5-6* (elven) would change things.

* These estimates based on an assumption that demi-humans mature and learn (gain XP) at about the same rate as humans while living much longer. Math & explanation here.


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I haven't but I don't think it will honestly change much -- I'm a bit of a subscriber to the law of conservation of ninjistu so while there might be more higher level people that means (to me) that there are probably less people over all.

For dwarves trade is actually going to be much more important since trees don't grow in mountains, while elves are likely to see more use of craft skills (than humans) to account for a much more self-sufficient stand.

If we wanted to expand our trial case here I would suggest that there is a mountain range not a full days round trip to the north and west of this particular village that hosts a dwarven outpost while the woods and river that runs from west/north west and runs east slightly south east to the coast would have an elven hamlet.

For the dwarves I would suggest a small village of about 75~125 members (basically a clan) that has set up shop fairly recently (the absolute oldest of the humans in the area knows they came in when his parents were just setting out before he was born so a maximum of about 100~125 years ago) who travel back in force (leaving about 10~20 dwarves at the settlement) every 10 years or so for family gatherings and marriage gatherings.

The elves are probably just a hamlet of about 50 elves that serves as an magical training ground for their kind. On rare occasion they might take in a human with exceptional promise but mostly they stick to their own with only occasional warnings to the humans of possible danger or trade needs (they could trade with the dwarves but the humans being in the middle simply makes this easier for them). The elves have been around for longer than anyone knows but simply tend to their own. Some of the 'rash and wild' villagers occasionally claim to have seen some old elven buildings out deep in the woods but no one else really knows if what they are saying is true or not. The river itself is used as a major trade route and as such is where that trait comes into play for the village.

The elven hamlet is has a magical leadership and the magically attuned trait.

The dwarven clan has a council of elders and is pious.
**************************************

Honestly this plays in to exactly why I like these exercises -- anyone else notice we now have a prime spot to begin an adventure in a village that makes sense with nearby communities that are easy to work with?


Glad to see this thread alive again!

Income from craft skills seems like a dead end. (Its a shame, I'm curious about the implications for Dwarves). However, I've seen a thread on this boards discussing the income in the magic trade (scribing spells and scrolls and the like).

I'll hunt for it on the morrow. I think it could change a lot for the Elves.

If our Elves/Dwarves are higher level, many of them could take the "Breadth of Experience" feat, (a personal favourite of mine.) However, for the life of me, I cant think of any effects it would have here. The ability to make any profession check is canceled out by the time constraints. If one can make any check, they may as well be making the one they're highly skilled in. Perhaps aid-another changes this picture somewhat...?

I'll give it some more thought in the morning, before this sinks back into the archives.


I love this thread. It has convinced me to work more on statting up commoners. Thanks guys!!


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phil salisbar wrote:
I love this thread. It has convinced me to work more on statting up commoners. Thanks guys!!

+1!

Alright, I'm ready to tackle this. Laithoron, if you're still around I'd love to see some numbers on the age/level spread for Dwarves and Elves.

Dwarves:
Now, if the Dwarves have an average level of 3-4 (lets say 4)... (Which honestly wouldn't be too far removed from the humans, who, in Abraham's article, average at about level 2-3. I wont bother to make the calculations, but with the prevalence of farmers and barmaids (assuming the wives use the same statblock), we have a LOT of second level characters.) I'll just ignore the level averages for now, and operate on a few key assumptions: There are a lot of adult dwarves, an abundance of masterwork tools, and most of their food is arriving from trade (bought with revenue from their smithies. This transaction would be totally invisible, but it makes the Dwarves very reliant on thier trade routes to the mountains/humans.)

However, there's one key thing that should be brought to light.

Essentially, as we gain in levels, or add bonuses to our friend the farmer... our expenses stay about the same (unless we have a town full of peopleliving like princes) while our income rises exponentially.

Keep in mind that the Dwarves gain a +2 to Craft or Profession checks for crafting metal or stone, so they can craft masterwork tools for the entire community from level 1.

:Edit: it seems this is no longer the case! This bonus is now an alternative racial feature in the APG. Still, with this feature, the Breadth of Experience feat and Skill focus, our 3rd level dwarf craftsman (we'll just edit a shopkeeper here, trading out Alertness and Decieftful for Breadth of Experience) have a +17 bonus to their profession checks. This means our Dwarf is earning 682 gp a year, minus the cost of an average lifestyle. If we want to work with higher levels, a 5th level smith with the master craftsman feat adds another 240gp to this total. As we all know Dwarves are grubby little misers, this is entirely fitting.

With a mostly adult population, each dwarf can be self sufficient, fitting with the work ethic of the Dwarves. (and after all, they're working 52 weeks a year!)

Now let's consider apprentices. Let's use the statblock for a shipmate, edited to be a blacksmith. This character has +9 to his profession checks. This means that, although you can't take 10 on aid another, it is impossible for this character to fail. He'll constantly be adding an extra GP a week to his master's creations. However, he could be earning 5gp on his own.

From this we can safely assume being an apprentice in PF isn't a whole lot of fun.

I don't know if this excersize gave you a feel of higher level communities, (or just trade based or exceptionally dwarfy ones)... but it sure as hell made me realise the hilarity of a system that lets you pull money from thin air. No supply and demand, no shortage of jobs, just a constant stream of money. We can only assume the aboleths are hoarding all of these baskets and horseshoes for their eventual takeover of Golarion.

That's the only logical conclusion.

Elves tommorow! I'll try to put a different spin on them.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Very cool analysis of the dwarves. This certainly seems to fit their flav– er... theme. I'd imagine that one of the balancing factors of their increased wealth is that while their homes and infrastructure are quite literally set in stone, expansion efforts require a sizable investment of time and effort. Tunneling and mining may expand their territory and riches, but even they don't eat rocks.

As for the elves, I'm guessing a lot of the excess wealth would get funneling into heirloom quality items, spells, and such.

Twigs wrote:
Alright, I'm ready to tackle this. Laithoron, if you're still around I'd love to see some numbers on the age/level spread for Dwarves and Elves.

BTW, I take it you're asking for the reverse of the spreadsheet I linked to earlier (i.e. showing the age at which people reach each level)? Not sure if I'll have time to work on that today, but I'll see what I can do. :)


Well as soon as you actually look at the economy you realize the entire system is making wealth from nothing and giving your opinion on what it is worth.

This is exactly what happened during every speculation bubble bust (in fact is the definition of what causes the bubbbles -- people assuming wealth in something that has nothing to back up that assumption).


Abraham spalding wrote:

Well as soon as you actually look at the economy you realize the entire system is making wealth from nothing and giving your opinion on what it is worth.

This is exactly what happened during every speculation bubble bust (in fact is the definition of what causes the bubbbles -- people assuming wealth in something that has nothing to back up that assumption).

Isn't there an underlying assumption that the mechanics of the Profession skill describe an easily-implementable method for determining the outcome of Profession-related activities taken as part of a complex, fully-functional international economy, complete with trade routes and serious mercantile concerns?

(I mean, yes, that is the definition of the cause of bubbles, but in this case, the mechanics are detailed in the individual frame so the fact that a larger perspective isn't explicit doesn't mean that the dwarves are magicking up money out of nowhere.)


Dotting. Thanks!

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