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. Each Gathering skill requires a place to perform that skill, and each area of the world has some such places that can be tapped for their resources.
Regions and Resources
Each province in the local region has a land type: Forest, Plains, Mountains, Hills, or Swamps. Each Province also has five locations that provide resources that may be Gathered. Three of these locations will correspond to the type of land that the Province is known for, while two of them will have the resource types of adjacent provinces. See Warfare for more information on land types in the local region.
Gathering Skills each have a way to extract the most common resource as well as uncommon and more valuable resources over the course of a Downtime action. The amount of raw commodities able to be extracted depends on the quality of the location. Resource Quality ranges from 1 to 5, with Gatherers able to draw 10 of the appropriate commodity for each level of Quality. Some actions can increase the level of Quality in an area, and although most resource locations in the world are Quality 1, some areas have naturally higher quality materials – richer mines, denser and larger forests, more numerous game animals, or healthier fields and pastures.
Before each resource can be used, it requires some basic structures to be set up. This requires a Labor Downtime be spent by anyone, and sets up the basic structures, sheds, fences, paths or clear ground that are required to process and store the resources that are gathered.
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 and 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.
Folkwise celebrations and ceremonies are part of the fabric of the local community, and are practiced in all of the local rural Villages. Peasant Villagers always come into the Forum to participate in the current ceremonies. Characters with the appropriate Folkwise who fulfill the celebrations successfully may earn the respect of these Villagers who go back to their Village and speak well of them. This grants the Village as an Ally.
There is one group of Villager Allies per Village in the Theater, and each one can be earned and used separately. Villager Allies can be used once per Chapter by each character that has them as an Ally. If the Village encounters a Crisis, usually caused by local Vice (such as crime, sickness, or heresy) they will call on their Allies to help. If the Crisis can’t be resolved, the Village becomes deserted, and everyone who had them as Allies loses them.
Only characters with the Folkwise knowledge can earn Village Allies, and usually only Peasants. Villagers are suspicious of outsiders, and don’t like their traditions exploited for commercial, criminal or political gain, so generally will not include even Folkwise characters of other Social Classes without extraordinary circumstances.
Each Gathering Skill also has ways to preserve and take care of the land to ensure sustainable life. Farms can be expanded, new mine shafts dug, or invasive and predatory species driven off. These actions also take a Downtime to perform, and considerably more expertise than simply taking the resource from the land. While they all work somewhat differently, each conservation ability increases the amount of output a resources area can produce before it is exhausted. In some cases good stewardship may be a luxury – the local nobility almost always own the forests, mines and pastures, and they may have other ideas about the expansion of their holdings or the outputs that they require. A balance must be struck between the expectations of one’s masters and the realities of the land.
Forests and mines may benefit from no more than one Conservation action per Chapter, and they do not complete until the end of the Chapter they are used. Farms may benefit as many times as actions available.
Each Gathering Skill has the ability to produce Supply units that represent great amounts of goods that are packaged and processed to be used in industry and construction. Buildings and other infrastructural needs found in Rulership require Supply units to build and maintain. When gatherers produce a Supply unit, they produce 1 from Common Resources and 2 from Uncommon Resources, for each level of Resource Quality.
Many peasants use working machines in order to help get more accomplished. Some kinds of Gathering Actions can take advantage of Draft Horses or Dogs to be more productive by building a Plowshed or a Hunting Run. Engineers can build Systems to take advantage of wind, water, or animal power in order to do work even more effectively. These systems generate additional output when a Downtime Action is used there by a Gatherer. Set ups that use animals require that they be fed when they are used – Draft Horses take 10 Vegetables each, and Dogs take 1 Meat. Systems that use Fuel have to have that mined from Coal veins.
Mining is the use of mines to dig through the earth and extract raw materials of many kinds. Mining must be done in a mine, and within that mine is the mine shaft. Each shaft contains a specific kind of resource. Stone, Coal, Soft Iron and Hard Iron are the most common materials encountered in a mine, but more rarely, some shafts may contain precious materials like Gold, Silver and Jewels. Mines that contain such precious materials tend to contain a lot of them, and so are quite exciting when discovered. When a shaft is exhausted, new shafts can be created indefinitely in the same mine, however, each time a new shaft is excavated, there is an ever increasing chance that the mine will collapse, possibly causing injuries to those working within. Once a mine has collapsed, it becomes unusable, and the space that the mine is built on cannot be easily reused.
Mines are found in Mountains and Hills, though mines carved out of Mountains tend to be of higher Quality. The Quality of the mine is variable on a shaft by shaft basis.
Steel is produces as a byproduct of smelting Hard Iron, though no one knows exactly how it is made. Miners gather it up as it slowly accumulates in the smelting, and by the end of their work, they usually have enough for 1 Steel Bar. This occurs when mining Hard Iron shafts, whether the Miner got Iron Beams or Hard Iron ingots.
Soft Iron shafts produce 10 Soft Iron per shaft Quality for each Downtime or 1 Iron Beam.
Hard Iron shafts products 10 Hard Iron per shaft Quality for each Downtime or 2 Iron Beams, and 1 Steel Bar.
Stone shafts are the easiest to mine, and even at Skill 1 always produce Stone Slabs, 1 per Quality.
Coal shafts produce 10 Coal per Shaft Quality for each Downtime or 1 Fuel.
Silver, Gold and Jewel shafts produce 10 bars of that precious material per Downtime. There are no Supply grade precious materials.
1: Mine for common materials, like Soft Iron, Stone and Coal.
2: Mine for uncommon metals, like Hard Iron or precious metals like Silver and Gold.
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.
4: Excavation: Once a shaft is exhausted, you know how to dig additional shafts.
5: Mine for Iron Beams, used as construction materials, or Fuel for industrial furnaces.
Hunting Skill allows for the driving, trapping, shooting and capturing of game animals. Hunters are able to gather both Meat and Leather to feed and clothe their community. Hunters work in forests, especially large forests with its 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.
Forests contain small game such as rabbits and voles that create common Scrap Leather, and the large game, the big animals like elk and bear that provide the uncommon Thick Leather hides. Each forest can contain as much as 1 Hunting action of large game and 2 actions of small game per Quality of the Forest. Hunting can benefit from the use of hunting Dogs if a Hunting Run is constructed. Dogs offer an extra Downtime action for gathering actions when used alongside their master. Hunters can choose whether they hunt large game or small game. For every hunting action taken, the Hunter gains 10 of the appropriate grade of Leather per forest Quality.
While great supplies of leather, furs and hides are the chief reward of Hunting, hunters also gather Meat from the animals they kill. When hunting small game for Scrap Leather, hunters get 1 meat for every 5 leather they earn. When hunting the large game animals that produce Heavy Leather hides, they gain 1 Meat for each 2 Leather they earn. Hunting cannot create Rations, but gains 5 Meat for every Hide Bundle gathered.
As the animals are hunted off, they slowly replenish over time, and the hunter can take steps to increase how quickly his prey multiplies. By default, a forest gains back one animal population each Chapter. For every Antagonize action taken in the year (though a given forest can only benefit from one per Chapter) the replenishment rate each Chapter will increase by 1, starting in Spring and refactored next Spring. Small game always returns first, and large game returns once small game has reached maximum.
The hunter’s forest is shared in careful balance with its use for forestry, as the felling of trees drives away the game. Untouched forests always begin at Quality 5, and then go down as the lumberjacks continue to fell more and more of the forest. Each time the foresters cut new paths. create more log ramps and start work on new sections of cutting, more and more animals flee the woods.
1: Hunt small game for common material, such as Scrap Leather and a small amount of Meat.
2: Hunt large game for uncommon material such as Heavy Leather hides and large amounts of Meat.
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 relicts 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.
4: Antagonize: You can drive off predators and invasive species and allow your quarry to multiply. For every action taken doing this in a year increases the rate that animals multiply by 1 once next Spring occurs, and until the next Spring.
5: Hunt for Leather Hide Bundles, used as construction materials.
Forestry Skill involves the harvesting of wood from forests for use in tools, weapons, and major construction. Forestry is the most obviously consumptive of all of the Gathering Skills, and growing cities require great amounts of lumber. Untouched forests always begin at Quality 5. For every Forestry action taken, the Forester gains 10 units of wood for each level of forest Quality. The forest has 10 Forestry actions available per Quality level of the Forest before all of the worthy trees are felled and processed, and new skid roads, ramps, and other clearing needs to happen before work can continue. Each time this action, called Forwarding, the forest loses 1 level of Quality and 10 more actions can be taken, at the new Quality level. If the forest ever reaches Quality 0, the Forest has been clear-cut and pushed over its ecological limit, and becomes a Plain instead, suitable to be used for Farming.
Foresters leave many trees untouched in their work; either too small, the wrong shape, or in a bad location, moving through the forest to mark and fell the best ones for woodworking, and the forest will slowly regrow over time. Every year in Spring, the forest will regain one level of Quality.
Forests contain two kinds of resources: Softwood and Hardwood. The majority of the forest is Softwood, and it occurs in the new growth around the edges of the woods. When the forest is Quality 3 through 5, Foresters gather Softwood from their efforts. Only the center of the forest, where the growth is oldest, have usable Hardwood trees. The work at Forest Quality 1 and 2 produce Hardwood. For every Forestry action taken, 10 wood resources are gathered per Quality of the Forest. Optionally, with enough skill, Softwood Forestry can produce 1 Lumber, and Hardwood can produce 2 Lumber. Foresters can benefit from the labor of Draft Horses, which offer an extra Downtime action for gathering actions when used by a Forester if a Plowshed is built.
Foresters also can forage for wild Vegetables in the woods, finding mushrooms, tubers and wild onions out in the wilderness. Foresters gather 1 Vegetables for every 10 Softwood or Hardwood. Forestry cannot create Rations, but gains 5 Vegetables for every Lumber harvested.
1: Fell and process common materials like Softwood trees and gain a small amount of wild Vegetables.
2: Fell and process uncommon materials like Hardwood trees and find small amounts of wild Vegetables.
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.
4: Forwarding: Cutting paths, digging trenches and canals, erecting skid roads and ramps in order to move forward deeper into the woods. This action reduces the Forest Quality by 1, but allows 10 more actions to be taken harvesting the forest.
5: Gather Lumber, used for construction materials.
Farmers produce great amounts of food through tilling, planting, managing and finally reaping a crop. While they are essential, especially in large communities, farming is subject to long delays and many risks. Farming is very tied to the passage of seasons. Farmers pour their time and effort into their fields, to finally reap the harvest before the winter takes it. The effects of the Farming Skill change during different seasons. In the Spring and the Summer time, Farming works to plant crops and fatten livestock.
On farms, those producing Vegetables or Hemp, farmers devote their attention to sewing and tending to the crops to produce the best yield for the majority of the year. For each level of Quality of the farm, one potential yield is produced to be reaped in the Autumn season, and for each level of Quality, each such reaping action yields 10 Vegetables or 1 Ration. With the construction of a Plowshed, Farmers can benefit from the labor of Draft Horses, which offer an extra Downtime action for gathering actions when used by a Farmer.
Ranches, those farms that manage herds of horses, sheep or pigs, are used to gather Wool, Meat, or rear new Horses for work and riding. Ranchers use Dogs the same way Farmers use Draft Horses.
1: Perform Seasonal actions for farming, working to produce the common resources Vegetables and Hemp.
2: Perform Seasonal actions for ranching, working to produce the uncommon resources, Meat, Wool, and other animals.
3: Hearthwise: You are Hearthwise. You know the lore of the fields and farm, able to know the best ways to keep a crop healthy, prevent blights, train beasts of burden, keep away sprites and mischievous folk, ward off unclean creatures and build effigies to scare away crows and bogies alike.
4: Improvement: You may invest labors into improving the farm. Building new fences, clearing out rocks and stumps from new fields, draining sinkholes, paving paths, and generally making better and more use of the land over time allows the farm to grow and thrive. The Quality of the farm improves by 1 when a number of Downtime actions equal to the new Quality are spent (for example, improving from 2 to 3 requires 3 such Downtimes).
5: During collection periods, you may farm for Rations, or Canvas as appropriate to the type of goods.
Farming and Ranching
Each farm has to be designated with one product. Starting a farm requires a special item, either appropriate Seeds for farm, or the appropriate Herd for a ranch. Once the farm or ranch if Quality 4 or higher, its owner can elect to sacrifice 1 by harvesting seeds or splitting the herd to create a batch large enough to start a new farm or ranch with. The seeds and herds can also be purchased from elsewhere through a trading contact, or brought in to the area with peasants, hoping to start a new life. Once a farm is started, it does not need additional seeds or herds unless a disaster befalls it and causes it to be destroyed completely. A herd can also be culled in an emergency for Meat. This produces 30 Meat or one Ration; the large herds in Quality 4 or 5 Farms reduce to Quality 3, while anything lower than that, the herd will not survive.
Farming a given product requires different actions all year long. Each Season requires a different kind of behavior from the Farmer, and this is selected and performed automatically just my taking the Farming Downtime action. Actions in the Spring and Summer tend to build up yield for harvesting in the Autumn, while in the Winter the fields lay fallow, and Farmers often invest time in improving their Farm. Ranching sometimes requires that herds be fed Vegetables to make it through lean Winter times where there is no grazing, or for pigs, all year long.
Sow and Tend: The farmer plows the field, sows the crop and then carefully maintains and waters it as it grows. Only one Downtime of this kind is necessary or useful per level of Quality, per Chapter. For each Downtime action spent this way, one Yield per level of Quality is created. For instance on a Quality 2 Farm, two Downtime Actions can be spent every Chapter for the four Chapters of Spring and Summer. This would create 16 Downtimes of yield for the Harvest time.
Reap and Harvest: The farmer reaps and brings in the crop that has been building all year. Each Downtime action spent on Reap and Harvest brings in 10 Vegetables or Hemp, or one Ration, per Quality of the Farm. Many farmers and work animals can participate in these action. Once Winter comes, half of the remaining crop freezes and dies during the first Chapter, but can still be gathered, and by the next Chapter any left is wasted.
Sheer: Sheep sheer in the Spring. For every action spent sheering the sheep, 10 Wool per Quality of the Farm are produced. This cannot benefit from animal labor.
Herding: Sheep graze most of the year, but the herd must be kept moving in order to use the land effectively. Herding keeps the sheep alive through the year and let’s them produce healthy wool for Sheering season. Herding must be done as many times per Chapter as the Farm Quality or the Farm will lose 1 Quality at the end of the Chapter. As the herd grows, some members are culled for mutton, and Herding produces 1 Meat per Farm Quality.
Fatten: Many animals can be fed through grazing the natural grasses, but not all animals can be adequately fed this way, and such grazing is not available in the Winter months. Fattening actions require 10 Vegetables or 1 Feed per Farm Quality. Fatten can be done as many times per Chapter as the Farm Quality, but if no Fattening actions are taken, the farm will lose a Quality at the end of the Chapter. Each such action taken increases the amount of Slaughter actions available during that Season by 1.
Slaughter: Slaughtering time produces a great deal of meat. For every level of Quality, Slaughtering produces 10 Meat or 2 Rations.
Grooming: Horses are very valuable and useful, but need a great deal of care and management, as well as training once they are old and strong enough. The herd needs one Grooming action for each level of Quality.
Foaling: Foaling Season is the most work of the entire year, but is also the time when older Horses finish their training and are ready to enter production. A horse herd requires two Foaling actions for each level of Quality every Chapter, or else loses 1 Quality at the end of the Chapter. For each Foaling action taken, 1 Horse per Farm Quality finishes its training and becomes available to sell or work. This cannot benefit from animal labor.
|Vegetables||Sow and Tend||Sow and Tend||Reap and Harvest||None||Vegetable Seeds|
|Hemp||Sow and Tend||Sow and Tend||Reap and Harvest||None||Hemp Seeds|
|Draft Horses||Foaling||Grooming||Grooming||Fatten||Draft Herd|
|Riding Horses||Foaling||Grooming||Grooming||Grooming and Fatten||Riding Herd|