The feudal system operates under one great agreement: the nobility own the land, the peasants work the land for its riches in exchange for protection. This relationship to the land is at the bedrock of all society, from the great spires of Fenristadt quarried from stone slabs in a mine, to the meal on the plate of Emperor and peasant alike. Every person in the Throne owes their life to this process, and at its barest level, it is the entire job of the nobility to protect this process. The peasants themselves operate the land by an agreement with the local lord and his establishment, almost always having to pay an agreed upon tax for use of the mine, the forest, the plains the farms are built upon, or any other place within his realm. These taxes give the noble what they need to enlarge their holdings or support their armies, while leaving at least something for the peasants themselves to use or trade to get by on. It benefits the peasants then to do the best they can with the land, to meet the tax needs of the local lord, and then have more for themselves left over, but this also requires being careful with the land, and safeguarding it from harm; investing their time and energy into its production to ensure a bountiful return. In short, it demands good stewardship.
Gathering Skills are the expertise to harvest raw materials from the land. Gatherers must find Nodes of their chosen skill to gather from and the wilderness is filled with such places that can be tapped for their resources.
Knowing how to be a good steward of the land is important for Gatherers, and peasant wisdom about how to manage the land, prevent disasters, ensure good harvests and safe ventures have all been passed down through the generations as folk wisdom. Each Gathering Skill possesses some of this Folkwisdom. Every event those with the appropriate Skill will be given some information at Check-in about what sorts of events are currently plaguing the land, what opportunities might be available for quick rewards or better outcomes, and other stranger things. While the Church has a generally amiable disposition to peasants and their hard lives and work ethic, there are times when ancient Folkwise remedies are somewhat at odds with modern teachings and orthodoxy, trending more in the direction of the ancient old ways of the primordial religions that came before the Church of Mankind.
The land only has so much to give, and tending to the balance between using the land and preserving it for future generations is the careful line that gatherers and hunters tread. Each kind of Gathering has a certain Bounty that determines how much of that resource can be found in the region. Bounty has a hidden rating from one to ten, and is primarily increased by Stewardship of master gatherers as well as certain Folkwise rites, and primarily decreased by Exploitation. There are other effects that may influence the bounty, but they are not widely known. Bounty may have story effects, such as famines caused by extremely low bounty or extra rewards for exceptionally high bounty.
Gathering Nodes and Exploitation
Gathering nodes represent places where resources can be harvested. They are found in-game, usually in the Wilderness or in Trials, as labelled cards with several gathering tokens attached. Each node is labelled with each of its gathering tokens labelled to match it, and is either a Common, Uncommon, or Rare node of a specific resource type.
The number of guaranteed Nodes in the Wilderness is determined by that gathering type’s Bounty rating. There will always be a number of Common Nodes equal to that resource’s Bounty, and half that number in Uncommon Nodes. Trials may contain more nodes or Rare Nodes, but these nodes are unrelated to Bounty.
Each character with the appropriate Gathering skill rank may take one, and only one, token from each resource Node they encounter. These tokens are turned into the Basilica with a Refining Task which exchanges the token for resource item tags. Certain items such as better tools or higher skill ranks may allow the Gatherer to choose to more fully Exploit the resources that they get from each Gathering Token, taking more resources from the land. The land can take some Exploitation without consequences, but if more than half the gathering tokens in an Event are Exploited, then the Bounty of that resource will decrease, with greater consequences scaling with further exploitation.
When gathering tokens are Refined they become a single unit of their main resource as well as one unit of a secondary resource that may change from node to node. Each level of Exploitation increases the output by one of each kind of resource, but each level counts separately towards the limit of Exploitation that the land can take.
Mining tokens will always become one unit of metal, such as soft or hard iron, and may also contain a unit of salt or coal.
Hunting tokens will always become one unit of Leather, and may also have Meat or Wool.
Forestry tokens will always become one unit of Wood, and may also include Vegetables or Hemp.
Normal Common and Uncommon nodes always have 10 tokens each. Rare nodes and trial nodes may have a different number.
As part of a culture of accessibility, we ask players to consider physical limitations of themselves and others when harvesting nodes. Some nodes will be in more physically accessible locations while others will be more remote; we encourage people who are physically suited to remote exploration to prefer seeking those out first.
Tools are the primary way that Gatherers can best exploit their gathering tokens, gaining more resources from the same amount of work. For each Refining task submitted, the gatherer may submit Tools with their gathering tokens and note how many uses of the tools they would like to use to exploit their tokens for more resources. Each level of exploitation that the gatherer applies to a gathering token increases its output by one of each kind of resource.
Tools have a limited number of uses, and may only be used once on each gathering token turned in, but some more advanced or rare tools may allow for more than one level of exploitation to be applied. This exploitation may stack with other abilities that allow for Exploitation, but does not stack with other Tools.
Mining is the use of mines to dig through the earth and extract raw materials of many kinds.
In Luisant, miners also make use of the widespread natural caverns and tunnels, as well as gathering the plentiful bog iron and ores that come flowing from the mountains through the river.
Rank 1, Harvesting: Harvest Common nodes, which typically produce Soft Iron, Salt, and Coal.
Rank 2, Extraction: Harvest Uncommon and Rare nodes. Uncommon nodes typically produce Hard Iron. Rare nodes may have Silver, Gold, Gems, or more unusual minerals.
Rank 3, Stonewise: You are Stonewise. You know the ancient lores of the deep world and its tunnels; how to spot veins of precious metal, as well as how to drive off creatures of the deep, perform ceremonies of safety and thanksgiving, and other traditions of bygone ages. See folkwise for more information.
Rank 4, Yields: You may Exploit any gathering token that you Refine, stacking with any other source of Exploitation. Additionally, whenever you gather from an Uncommon or Rare Mining Node, you become Inspired.
Rank 5, Stewardship: Your constant tending to the land increases its mining bounty. You may use the stewardship task, increasing the mining bounty for the next event. You may also submit a task to learn how much mining Exploitation has happened during that Action Cycle, but not by who.
Forestry involves both the harvesting of wood and the gathering of other plant-based resources from forests for use in tools, weapons, clothes, and furniture. Every kind of industry relies on something that comes out of the forest.
Rank 1, Harvesting: Harvest Common nodes, which typically produce Softwood, Vegetables, or hemp.
Rank 2, Extraction: Harvest Uncommon and Rare nodes. Uncommon nodes typically produce Hardwood and greater quantities of Vegetables. Rare nodes may have various plant-based resources.
Rank 3, Woodswise: You are Woodswise. You know the hidden secrets of the forest, and know how to make peace with the woods, how to avoid its less friendly residents, and the legends surrounding the things that live in the old places of the world. See folkwise for more information.
Rank 4, Yields: You may Exploit any gathering token that you Refine, stacking with any other source of Exploitation. Additionally, whenever you gather from an Uncommon or Rare Forestry Node, you become Inspired.
Rank 5, Stewardship: Your constant tending to the land increases its forestry bounty. You may use the stewardship task, increasing the forestry bounty for the next event. You may also submit a task to learn how much forestry Exploitation has happened during that Action Cycle, but not by who.
Hunting allows for the driving, trapping, shooting and capturing of game animals, birds and fish. Hunters are able to gather both Meat and Leather to feed and clothe their community. Hunters work in forests, especially large forests with their secret nooks and dales. The wise hunter knows all of these secret places, and becomes the master of each of them, able to bring down many animals, take and butcher their meat, and tan their hides for use in Needlework.
Rank 1, Harvesting: Harvest Common nodes, which typically produce Scrap Leather and Meat.
Rank 2, Extraction: Harvest Uncommon and Rare nodes. Uncommon nodes typically produce Thick Leather, greater quantities of Meat, and Wool. Rare nodes may have various animal-based resources.
Rank 3, Beastwise: You are Beastwise. You know the lore of the wilds and the wilderness, able to trap and kill dangerous creatures of the deep woods such as monsters and nightmare relics of a bygone age. You also know how to reason with some of the baser creatures of the wild, and to lure rare creatures out into the open to kill and use, or simply to remove a threat to your other quarry. See folkwise for more information.
Rank 4, Yields: You may Exploit any gathering token that you Refine, stacking with any other source of Exploitation. Additionally, whenever you gather from an Uncommon or Rare Hunting Node, you become Inspired.
Rank 5, Stewardship: Your constant tending to the land increases its hunting bounty. You may use the stewardship task, increasing the hunting bounty for the next event. You may also submit a task to learn how much hunting Exploitation has happened during that Action Cycle, but not by who.