Common Magic

Jay Gischer (
Wed, 24 Aug 94 10:26:01 -0700

Scott Turner writes:
> I feel that "Perform Common Magic" is *very* unbalanced. It is far
> and away the easiest way to make significant amounts of money in the
> game. Until the game becomes crowded with nobles, it is an automatic
> 100 gold per turn for any noble. What's more, it is completely
> portable and only takes 1 week to perform. It's also something of an
> offence against realism. Apparently out in the utter wilderness there
> are people will to spend 100 gold in a week for magic.
I grant the offense against realism. But I don't think it's all that
unbalanced. The first reason is that it costs a noble point, the single
most valuable resource in the game. The second is that it takes a
noble's time, the second most valuable resource in the game.
Sitting in an inn, or a temple for that matter, does not require any
time. Therefore, you can occupy your month with other matters, such
as study, basket-making, weaponcraft, horse-training (what a vision
that is!). In addition, Inns allegedly help you heal better, so you
can concievably charge money for entrance. In a populous area that is.
In a temple, you can also do research, and train blessed
soldiers. Very soon now, castles will be finished, and I think we
will find that castle income will quickly eclipse common tasks.

There are several ways a noble can earn about 100g a
month. Perform Common Tasks for gold happens to be one of them.
Bashing monsters probably will get you a lot more than that.
If you haven't noticed, fishing can easily get you 200g a month, but
you will probably spend 20 days doing it.

> The imbalance of this skill is particularly evident when compared with
> inns and temples. To get money from an inn you need to (1) have a
> noble who can harvest wood, (2) have him harvest 75 wood, (3) have a
> noble with construction, (4) spend 300 days effort building the inn,
> and then (5) occupy the inn at the end of the month. For all that,
> you only get ~65 gold, and the inn is not portable! I also find it
> ludicrous that the common peasants have a lot more money to spend on
> magic than on food and drink.
Common peasants can get their own food and drink. They can't do their
own magic. Inns don't service just common peasants, but more the merchant
class, and nobles. You are right in the sense that it doesn't seem
like building an inn as a primary strategy produces as much, but they
can be used in combination with many more things, because they don't
cost time, and they don't require a noble point. So you could stick,
say, an Orc in the inn and collect the money.

Noble points have a real cost in monetary terms. It's somewhere
around 50g/turn. This is because you can use one to avoid having to
HONOR one of your nobles. So by using one to learn Magic instead, so
as to Perform, and nothing else, is about 50g/turn. If you take that
same noble point and oath a noble, who goes and sits in an inn, you
would net more money, not less.

By the way, let me reiterate that I dislike proposals that dilute the
importance of Noble points, such as garrisoning of structures. Such
proposals will make noble points far less valuable.

> My suggestion has been to limit the skill only to provinces with a
> high civ level, for example, at least civ 1 (or maybe even civ 2).
> That would probably mean that you could eliminate the arbitrary "each
> noble can only perform this once per month" limit. I also think that
> having this skill take 1 month would be a reasonable limit (with no
> money gained if it is interrupted before done).

I would be unhappy with this because I have made plans based on the
premise that I can Perform Common tasks in the wilderness.

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