Common Magic

Scott Turner (
Wed, 24 Aug 1994 08:39:37 -0700

I raised this concern earlier with Rich, but since we now have a
design mailing list, I thought I'd throw it out for general

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.

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.

This is so imbalanced that I think it is the single most dominant
tactic in the game. I would certainly advise every starting player to
have at least one noble in each stack with this skill. Yes, it costs
a NP to learn magic, but that's hardly a balance for 100 gold income a
turn. 100 gold per turn means that you can pick up a new skill every
turn! Certainly that's worth a lot more than 1 NP.

I know that Rich is loathe to make major changes during the game run,
but I think that this is a real problem that needs to be addressed.
Or if it is definitely *not* going to be addressed, then I'd like to
know that too, because out of self-defense I'm going to have to start
taking advantage of this "bug", and make sure that everyone in the
game is aware of it. I have a feeling that this is primarily being
used by people who were in the alpha test.

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).

-- Scott T.

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