Production Values

Russell Wallace (
Wed, 22 Jul 1992 08:41 GMT

Production commands for money fall into two categories:

DIRECT commands, e.g. WORK, ENTERTAIN, MINE for gold, that generate gold

INDIRECT commands, e.g. capturing wild horses, harvesting timber, that generate
commodities which can then be sold in a market.

Here's an idea for skill productivity values: how about each man has a
productivity directly proportional to his skill level? Thus, suppose a city has
300 ENTERTAIN jobs. This would give employment to 300 people with level 1
ENTERTAIN skill, 150 with level 2, 100 with level 3 and so on (but the total
amount of money handed out to entertainers in each case would be the same). I
don't think we need bother with productivity values per region, just have a max
production for each region type, e.g. cities have 300 ENTERTAIN jobs, towns
have 100 and everywhere else has none; plains have 100 horse-catching jobs,
everywhere else has none, etc.

This means that it will definitely be worth training your men up to level 2 or
3 in ENTERTAIN, but not up to level 10. (Though I do feel that use of a skill
should count something to your skill level, but that's another matter.)

People are going to fill easy economic niches before they go on to the hard
ones. This is a fact of life, and there's nothing at all wrong with it, bearing
in mind that the size of each economic niche is limited. Thus, so what if
ENTERTAIN is more lucrative than catching horses? After the ENTERTAIN jobs are
filled, people will have to find something else to do.

Some possibilities for productivity values:

Direct commands such as ENTERTAIN should probably allow a skill 1 man to earn 2
to 3 times his maintenance costs per turn. With the exception of WORK, which
doesn't have a skill, and should probably return around 1.5 times maintenance
costs. (1.1 times is far too low; at this level, someone who finds himself low
on money and with WORK as his only means of getting any more is going to find
that his best bet is to commit suicide and restart, rather than dig himself out
of the hole, even if he has a good position non-economically.)

Indirect commands should probably be similar in returns. HOWEVER, for this you
have to count the cost of transport to the nearest market, and of the time your
men are going to spend going back to the production site afterwards, and maybe
the investment in horses for transport, and the final return will be the
market price for the commodity. I haven't the available data to make this
calculation for most of the commodities, so someone else will have to do it.

In this case, it will be important to create a market for all commodities in
every city, and in every town there should be a market for at least all the
major commodities (obviously you can't make money producing timber when there's
nobody around to buy it). You may decide to have a limit on the amount of a
commodity a city will buy in a month, but this is not really necessary, as
there is already a limit on how much of that commodity could be produced in the
first place.

The nice thing about this system is, you can keep adding new ways of making
money without disrupting the system; for example, you could make it possible to
earn money by using the TEACH skill in towns or cities. Also, once you have
markets for all commodities in all cities, it will be possible to earn money by
making, say, swords or small boats, and selling them.


Consider the question of the value of possession of a region.

It seems reasonable that if you conquer a region, you should be able to obtain
money from it each turn, without having to have trading skills (you have used
combat and military leadership as money-making skills instead).

Right now WORK is effectively the mechanism for this. It works because WORK is
at the moment quite lucrative.

If you downgrade WORK to 1.5 times maintenance costs, however, this will no
longer be the case. This implies that a taxation system is necessary - perhaps
the returns should be something like 40,000 gold for a city, 15,000 for a town
and 10,000 for other regions?

Therefore, PLEASE do not implement these ideas about downgrading WORK as a
money-making method until you are also implementing taxation and defense of
territory (i.e. attack on sight), as this would totally screw up a lot of
people who are currently depending on possession of territory, rather than
trading skills, for their living.

On a totally unrelated note: why in the world do we need faction building
points or a sanctuary for newbies? Just start them somewhere like Drassa or
Chardia where there are laws being enforced against killing people, or if you
really feel paranoid on their behalf, make them also invisible for the first
turn or two.

- Russell

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