Re: Plug-ins

From: Peter Larsen <plarsen_at_dHqnbaF44saM20GHDsEEebdlqXG9YbW_PU3A-uNa1Swdsl1LK9JAtt7hNCYxqlT9EW0U>
Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2002 08:52:51 -0600

John Hughes says:
>Or we could do 'honey' up as an example of a stand-alone 'plug-in' module
>that narrators could add to any stead if it interests them. I'm sure most
>steads will have some hives (honey is a treasured food, and sugarbeet is the
>only alternative source of sweetness), but it obviously is also a possible
>stead speciality.

        John, you are a "pixel-driving man!" Look at all those posts!


        OK, I really like the modular idea -- we might make some descision on stead sizes and how many "modules" each size grants. Something like:

        By the way, I'm assuming that "people" is the entire population of the stead -- I'm guessing that 20% are children and young adults, 60% are "productive adults," and 20% are elders and "non-workers" (a priest or godi or devotee to a non-productive god could fall in this group). Obviously, the children and elders work, but they do so in a "less productive" or "more specialized" way. "Granddad doesn't cut down trees or carve main posts anymore, and it takes him a whole season to carve a dragon's head, but all the steads want his work (I saw a dragon change direction when it flew toward our stead once! It was Grampa's carving, I know it!)" Anyway, do these numbers look correct? Oh, I am also thinking these are permanent population. I imagine (from the Sagas) that any stead might have 10-20% extra young people who are hired hands (not too likely) or vistors from other bloodlines (or clans) sent to a) provide extra workers, b) cement relationships between the groups (hostages, too), and c) provide wooing opportunities/courtship tests ("If you really love me, you'll show the family what a fine herdsman you are").

        Additionally, I'm guessing that about 10% of the population is "magically significant." This includes people to act as godi for Orlanth and Ernalda, plus devotees. I think that any real stead will have the equivalent of a shrine to the Storm Tribe, where regular worship is done.

Not a stead at all -- less than 20 people -- An outlying farm. Odd to the Heortlings. It may be run by outcasts, outlaws, or some other weird group. Abnormal. Why are you bothering the stead list with this?

Too Small -- 20 people -- Just getting started. The population balance is probably skewed toward adults. No economic specialty, wyter, or magical resources outside of personal abilities of the members (if the matriarch is a gyrda of Ernalda Redalda, for example, there is probably a shrine and the stead probably raises horses). There may be some exploitable resource, however, which the stead may have been founded to use. They are probably heavily skewed toward one or two of the 4 providers from lack of people to cover them all. They may have less than average magical resources.

Small -- 40 people -- Established. They may be growing, or they may be reduced from having given up members to a new stead. They probably have one economic specialty and/or some special resource. They should have some representation of each of the 4 Providers, allowing for location

Medium -- 60 people -- Established. A standard stead in Sartar. One economic specialty plus another or a special resource. They could have more than one economic specialty or one that was especially valuable (magical plants, a magical cow or bull, etc). All 4 providers should be accounted for, although not necessarily balanced. There's a fair likelihood of a shrine or other magical resource.

Large -- 80 people -- Established. A standard stead in Sartar. At least one economic specialty plus a couple of special resources. They could have more than one economic specialty or one that was especially valuable. All 4 providers should be accounted for, although not necessarily balanced. A shrine is likely.

        The difference between medium and large steads is likely in how recently they split off people to form a new stead. Even 60 people will be difficult for the Patriarch and Matriarch to effectively control and direct (+30-40 to magics cast on the stead members, if nothing else). Three 60-80 person steads will account for a 200 person bloodline.

Too large -- 100+ people -- Long established. This stead is getting way too big, and really ought to split off people to form a new stead. It may have some sort of labor-intensive economic specialty (a really rich mine?) Otherwise, it ought to have some valuable resources or specialties. Feeding this many people is tricky, and the 4 Providers could be heavily skewed (lots of farmers, for example). A shrine is likely, a small temple is not impossible.

        What do you think?

Peter Larsen            

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