You have never seen me joke about anything? You must not pay close
attention to my every word.
I am, however, serious in this instance.
> Oh, do blather, David. I'd like to hear your reasoning as to how
> common magic is balanced with respect to  inns,  temples and 
> trade (which I see as the other major sources of income).
The ability to perform common magic costs a Noble Point. For a noble
point, you could do many many other things, including hiring an entire
extra noble, for example sit in an inn collecting revenue, and still
have the whole rest of the month to do things.
I would not object if USE 9103 cost 1 aura. Would this make anyone
Anyway, as I'm sure Rich knows, I and many other people would strongly
object if my nobles end up in the middle of nowhere, and then their
planned source of income suddenly gets cut off.
Perhaps we could have an olympia3 mailing list for proposals which are
only reasonable for future games, vice the design list for olympia2