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terminal
12-12-2009, 11:07 AM
Why is it important to bring economics into your fantasy mapping? Well technically you don’t really need it, but without doing the groundwork, you risk anyone with an analytical mind destroying the credibility of the world you build.

You may think that your island nation of Pirates may be able to support some of the best military units on your planet, but how feasible is this within your world, this is where working out the economy behind your nations is important.
Of course, you may explain that in your world, there is magic and money falls from the sky, and this is all well in what is fantasy; perhaps this is not the right document for you. But if you want to be more analytical then read on and you may find a decent way to work out the economy behind your nation.

Below you will find both the Tutorial (doc) and an Excel Spreadsheet (zip containing xls) I made for reference of formulas when you are building your spreadsheet as it can get complicated without some form of reference.

Ascension
12-12-2009, 02:50 PM
I'm one of those "anal"yticals so economics is always at the top of my list when world-building. I'll give these a read for sure.

moutarde
12-12-2009, 05:07 PM
Very nice! I know I'll make good use of this info :)

su_liam
12-12-2009, 08:21 PM
The funny thing about fantasy(and, for this purpose, I include science fiction in this category) cartography, is that you have to know more about the world to pull it off. In the real world the economics and geomorphology kinda... work themselves out. You just map out what is there*. To make a really good map of an imaginary world you really have to build that world.

Fortunately worldbuilding is my major interest, with cartography just 'cause... you know... who else is going to map my world.

Thanks for this resource. I will be checking this out in some depth.

*In theory, anyway. In practice, it can be a real chore to figure out where things actually are sometimes.

FAHall
12-12-2009, 10:37 PM
I'm VERY excited to give this stuff a read.

I'm in the early stages of my worldbuilding, so this is a perfect time to start thinking about these things.


Right now I've got some basic countries and landmasses, but that's about it.


Sadly, my story is almost completely outlined (and in tons of detail), so now the worldbuilding is holding me back. I've got tons of work ahead of me.


I'm thinking you probably just saved me hours of research though.

LonewandererD
12-12-2009, 10:47 PM
I had a skim read through and i must say well done. Repped. *Tried to add rep but need to spread morea round first.

I love things that help you to create the world, in truth the prosess of creating a new world is the only real reason I'm into cartography. I don't think i'll ever get around to writing any stories in the near future.

-D-

Coyotemax
12-12-2009, 11:48 PM
Yknow, I don't know what happened to my post. i put in a comment right after ascension, rated and repped, and now the post is missing. this is not the first time I've seen this happen :(

Anyhow, nice stuff!

terminal
12-13-2009, 02:39 AM
Thanks for all the words of approval for my work.

su_liam - You should save time through using the same process I use. This is why I spent several hours trying to work out a way to use all the different elements to standardize the various economic and demographic elements of the world. I used to just work things out in my head and then once the map was finished I realised that, I had placed to many cities for some countries which was unrealistic for that portion of the world, worked out completely nonsensical statistics, which automatically disheartened me from continuing with that map.

Now I basically decide the size of that country based on my ideas and then everything else derives from that size and location on the planet and extrapolates to statistics which are consistent across the whole planet.

Also once you get the hang of using the excel spreadsheet and once you've done one Kingdom correctly you can quickly duplicate the results. I now can work out a whole kingdoms statistics in about 10 mins, something which used to take me several hours normally, and I still came up with inconsistent results.

FAHall - Its a good thing that you have a lot of the elements decided, I normally also like to have a mental picture of what I'm doing, but I use this system to test the feasibility of I'm doing. Especially since I tend to spurn magic in my world and thus have no other explanation for things.

The Kingdom Generator also ties up some of the loose ends that would take me a lot of effort to work out. Such as city populations etc that realistically would be very hard to work out by yourself and keep some consistency.

Anyway I really only documented the key information that is required for you to understand some of the more complex statistics of your nations and realms, and I took this on to understand military dynamics of countries. You could use this information to further understand other sectors of the economy. For example I have been working out how one would calculate the navy of a country, and costing patroling coastlines.

One could also use the government income and divide it up to understand different sectorial budgets which again you could use to work out whether certain infrastructural improvements and services are sustainable or affordable.

The importance of doing this kind of background understanding is that subconciously it will shape the story behind your world. For example I shaped three countries in one of my old maps which I used for this tutorial. These countries were the Kingdom of Harran an old Elven Kingdom, The Vasvar Empire, a very powerful human country with vast territories and the Republic of Cavains which I had split from Vasvar ages ago. Through my workings I realised that Cavains could not of survived Vasvar for the several years since independance unless they had military help from Harran. Thus it shaped my story, that Harran and Cavains had struck up an alliance together because of the menace of Vasvar. The astoundingly nice thing about it is that a war between Vasvar and Harran and Cavains would favour Vasvar in terms of numbers and military expenditure, but not by much. Thus the politics of the region have been shaped by understanding that the mere fact that Harran and Cavains exist, must of required them to ally togeher against a mutual enemy. This is a military example, but this is just one area that can be looked at.

You can literally work out the feasibility of everything. You could work out whether the cost of building 10 castles a year, a 500 meter bridge in the capital, and a golden statue to the gods is feasible. Its all about working out the budgets from income recieved, then looking at the cost elements required in building these things, in similar manner that I did in the military example at the end of my tutorial. I will no doubt cover this in a later tutorial, with an actual example.

Anyway once you start thinking like this, at least in my experience you wonder how you went without it as everything makes logical sense.

Vorhees
12-13-2009, 03:33 AM
this is great thanks Terminal, as im still developing my world this is very handy. (repped)

terminal
12-13-2009, 06:41 AM
I have just finished developing a method of working out navy support limits for countries. This should allow you to conclude how many warships your country is able to support, and it is based on considerably more factors than army size, largely because there are a lot of variables to consider in ship building. I say that it works out the naval limit, because it does not actually tell you how many ships your realm has, this figure will be a number between 0 and the naval limit. The reason for this is because ships unlike men are not so easily replaceable, thus we have to consider that after a naval defeat the actual number of ships remaining may be under this max number, and it requires significant capital and resources to replace that unit. At the start of your campaign one of your countries may have just had such an event thus the number will be below the support limit.

Anyway once I write it up I think you guys will understand better how I have come up with my conclusions. It will build upon what we have already done by setting up budgets derived from GDP etc.

terminal
12-14-2009, 03:49 AM
Okay this tutorial build upon the first tutorial that discussed demographics, GDP and government income. You should use the information which you attained in that part of the tutorial to now get your naval support limit.

Why is it important to know naval statistics? Naval statistics are important because ships in the middle ages were extremely expensive and are one of the most costly assets that a realm can possess. They are also a key element of strategic warfare, especially for nations that have large coastlines or have plans to invade foreign powers on islands or separate continents. Your navy will take up a decent sized proportion of your government income as it did for realms in the medieval era.

This tutorial may get complex, so it is relatively important that you follow this tutorial along with the Example Excel spreadsheet, this will give you a better idea of the progression of how we get to the meaningful data.

terminal
12-14-2009, 06:05 AM
Something I forgot to mention. Is that because you work out exactly the number of ships you have, it is a good idea to name the boats, much like how countries still name their ships, i.e. HMS Victory, Nossa Senhora da Conceicao, l'Ocean. To name but three famous ships. I like to do this because I can then embelish the ships and build into my stories.

Once you have named them you may want to list them in a Naval Unit List, from this you can vary the size proportionally. What do I mean by this proportionate variation? Well everything you worked out in the naval statistics, can be taken at face value or can be taken as an average of the actual ships, but I normally treat my figures used as the general mean average. An example of what I mean by this is the dimensions of the ships. The average wargalley measure 42 x 5 x 2, but some boats could be 50 x 7 x 3 and others 34 x 3 x 2. Now I generally don't vary my navies much, but I like to include some variation to account for flagships and smaller maneuvreable galleys, that would be used to get in and amongst the heavier ships.

This variation does not need to be accounted for in the calculations, it does not change the calculation. This is what I call "Created Variation". You take the mean values and go above and below the value to create some specific variation in the fleet.

This is specifically nice for roleplaying elements because then you can differentiate between the ships and everything you have worked out feasible and correct. Slowly these tutorials shape the parameters of your world,then you can fill in the details.

gn0rt0n
12-18-2009, 12:32 AM
Just a quick note to say thank you for your write-ups. I really enjoy having numbers based off of a standard. Besides, theory-crafting is quite addicting itself!

-Gary

Notsonoble
12-21-2009, 07:07 PM
Thanks much for this... I've been working mostly off this http://www.io.com/~sjohn/demog.htm and a few discussions... so hopefully your stuff will help...

I was also working on a spreadsheet based Medieval Demographics's info... I"ll have to see if I like yours better.

Notsonoble
12-21-2009, 07:12 PM
Quick note, you may want to resave your navy spreadsheet as a regular xls... not everybody's gone to MS Office 2007... so people on 2003, XP, or 2000 won't be able to open it, unless they download OOo, and then it does odd things.

LonewandererD
12-29-2009, 11:06 AM
Hey Terminal, really getting building my world now and your tuts have been great. I just have two questions.

1) Your tut works an army size for an all male fighting force but the nation I'm working has an uni-sex fighting force (there are several factors in the local culture that take priority over gender in terms of determining an individuals stauts). Do i just double the size of the fighting force? The answer seems simple I know but i can't help but feel it isn't that simple.

2) Working out realm size seems simple if your working on a scale of 1 pix = 1 mile or if you're scaling up. I'm having some troubles when scaling down though, for the my current map the scale is 15 pixs = 1 mile. I worked out the size it would be if the nation emcompassed the whole map (excluding things like coastline) but when i used the histogram to determine the nation size (histogram divided by scale) I'm coming up with a number that is far larger than the estimated value. Am I doing something wrong?

Sorry to bother you but if you (or anyone) can help point me in the right direction that would be great.

-D-

LonewandererD
12-30-2009, 05:59 AM
Please ignore the second question. I got what i wanted eventually. Maths, my achilles heel.

-D-

terminal
01-07-2010, 12:41 PM
Sorry guys had connection problems during the Xmas period.

Yeah you can double the fighting force, assuming that women fight at the same age range as the men. Thats basically what you are working out. In my tutorial I mention that in a male only fighting force you get rid of half of the population because half of the people should be female (probability of couple having female child is 50%). Obviously most countries have a slightly different distribution but this only serves to complicate matters. So half means you only have the males of the realm. Then we assume that in this realm that half the male population is below and above the age of military service. Therefore you get the number of people that are able to serve because they are of military service age. Then use the consciption rate to work the standing army.

For a unisex fighting force, the national pool of fighters is doubled because you now include women of fighting age as well, which through our methods we assumed at the outset was identical to the male one. So if you have a male fighting national pool of 2,000,000 men, the same country with unisex fighting for would have 4,000,000 people which can then be multiplied by the consciption rate.

So to answer your question very simply yes simply double the male figure. But I hope the above serves to explain why you can simply double it.

If you were working out a different distribution of people within you country, i.e. there are 1.5 men to every woman then you would have to account for these differences, but my tutorial was designed to maintain the simplicity and work out the figures in a simple manner.

Hope this helps.

kurisari
02-14-2010, 04:54 PM
Excellent! Splendid! This really made my day! I've been slowly building onto this specific fantasy world in terms of cultures, races, and characters - specialties of mine - for many years... but finally getting down to the nitty-gritty of putting together these details really makes it spring to life. And you explain it so well!

Next step: finally putting together a sensible climate, haha...

terminal
02-15-2010, 01:37 PM
Cheers bud, I will be coming out with more guides when I have done more work on my mapping. There is still a lot of economic and cartographic guides to come.

Al. I. Cuza
02-23-2010, 03:24 AM
This all reminds me of Europa Universalis :D Nice work btw.

I would have to disagree with you about the navy though. The human component is very important as well. You cannot have more ships then people required to man them. Think of Ancient Athens: They had a navy of over 200 Triremes with some 200 people required for each of them. That makes 40.000 people, which at that time is a huge number.

terminal
02-25-2010, 07:11 PM
My guides tend to be aimed at country level economics and I guess would not adapt well to what was a city state. However you are correct that it would be more realistic to work out the naval workforce and some sort of replenishment rate. But my guides try and simplify complex processes to make them easier to calculate in a sensible logical manner.

If you worked out the net population growth, you could work out the limit for men that could be lost in a year and I think that is a welcome addition but does complicate matters and does not actually help to much in terms of economics. The reason for this is as follows.

The assumption at the start is that everything at the outset is paid for already, we are merely working out the maintenance of public goods within the realm/country, so we account for regular costs/depreciation/replacement costs averages etc.

You discuss the manpower aspect as important, and yes I to think it is important as mentioned in my guide, it represents the most costly aspect of our navies, in supplies, wages etc.

I believe you could work in some way of representing this within the equation as perhaps an average human replacement cost. This would be the cost to the state of replacing each man with a native or a mercenary. Demographically speaking you could also workout the the proportion of the population that is involved in naval duty much like I did in one of the episodes for the army if you want to work out the manpower size.

Needless to say, I certainly support adding this in, but believe it makes things unecessarily complex for my purposes and the purposes of my guides. I do encourage people to use my work and improce it where possible.

PS: Love Europa Universalis, it probably inspired in some way to making this guide.

PSS: I dont contest that Athens navy was that big however I would contest that a city state keeping a navy that size in running order is rational. Another point I should make is that when you talk abouyt Athens they did not having a standing navy as such, certainly I would contest that Athens would of had 200 standing triemes all the time. I believe at the time that during periods of wars and potential invasions i.e. Salamis that merchant ships were rented, commandeered etc and enlisted into the navy for that period. The guide generally deals with a standing navy because it is very hard to depict a navies cost without it being a standing navy, because costs are dependant on whether there is war or invasions etc. This is an important difference between the example you gave and my guides.

In the same way I would pressume that Athens did not have a standing naval manpower of 40,000 men, but that civilians were supplemented into navies as well as mercenaries and mercenary ships. I make this assertion because I believe the population of Athens would not of even been close to 40,000 at the time, considering Corinth in 4th Century BC population was about 15,000 people. Therefore I would suggest that Athens did not have a standing navy of 40,000 men but rather used this amount to fight specific battles.

My guide is for standing navies and thus manpower is less important, but still an important factor.

Anyway good post, got me thinking...

Al. I. Cuza
02-25-2010, 07:53 PM
I think the navy was actually standing, but Athens was an exception for that time, because they were the leaders of the Delian League and as such, they were financed by the members and had a huge population boost (I think my professor said something of about 160.000 people). But in terms of normal Greek city-states the navy was not standing (they simply didn't have the manpower to keep the economy going and have a standing navy). The navy was mobilized only in times of need.

I agree with you, that in terms of the economic view, it is unnecessary to include the manpower as a factor. But I would simply calculate the maximum support for ships as the minimum between your calculations and calculations including the manpower. Just a thought (May have even been a factor for middle ages trade nations - Novgorod, the Hanseatic League, Genoa, Pisa, Ragusa, some crusader-states in Greece etc... didn't have that much inhabitants).

PS: You might want to reconsider some of the calculations for armies that were not equipped by the ruler. In pre-renaissance times, there actually were no standing armies, the people who were called to arms had to bring whatever they had: sword, pitchfork, hunting bow, sling, etc... Sometimes not even supplies were needed (as the armies were usually small) because they would pillage everything in their path.

Ghostman
02-26-2010, 06:36 AM
I would contest that Athens would of had 200 standing triemes all the time.

AFAIK ships were stored in military shipyards when they weren't needed, so they definitely wouldn't be "standing", but were readily available when the need arose.


I believe at the time that during periods of wars and potential invasions i.e. Salamis that merchant ships were rented, commandeered etc and enlisted into the navy for that period.
They probably would be commandeered, but they would serve as supply and transport vessels. Merchant ships do not make efficient warships.


In the same way I would pressume that Athens did not have a standing naval manpower of 40,000 men, but that civilians were supplemented into navies
Ancient Greek military in general consisted of civilians. The Romans were pretty much the only ones* who created something approaching an actually professional military system; other peoples only employed professional soldiers as the elite units of their armies.

(* Of the time and place)

terminal
02-26-2010, 04:42 PM
I will certainly have a look at manpower aspect more closely and see if it can be implemented. As I said I think that my work can be improved upon as I merely try and use logical rules to define specifics about nations. Having said that, we know that in the real world throughout the ages that economies are not run in the same way and certainly there has been an economic evolution since medieval times, especially in matters such as trade (which I will be trying to model into the tutorial). Back in the middle ages mercantilist theory was dominant and therefore trade was not seen as a mutually beneficial process, there was a winner and a loser from trade. However since Adam Smith and David Ricardo we now know that trade is mutually beneficial process.

Since there has been a lot of good discussion on this subject and certainly very good dialogue on navies I invite any people who want to help out to come and theorize with me of how we model all matters economic and demographic into our worlds.

PS (Ghostman): This is something I do know, standing armies and navies were not prevalent generally until the age of exploration, however as mentioned the problems lies in deriving actual figures from non standing armies whose cost will fluctiiuate wildly. Standing armies provide a more stable platform for costing. However I am beginning to work out a good working out armies composition and costs more effectively and even beggining to work on a system to identify the winner of a battle if two armies were to fight a battle, based on force size, quality, luck factors (die rolls), terrain advantages etc.

Anyway once I get a working map again I will continue to theorize again.

Al. I. Cuza
02-26-2010, 05:29 PM
This will be fun :D I would be glad to help.

terminal
02-27-2010, 09:02 PM
Thats cool, that you want to help, lets just flesh out some ideas in here or PM. Anyway I have been looking at how to incorporate demographics and manpower better into my current model and by playing Crusader Kings I think the way they model provinces with specific manpower and army sizes by province could be a way to go. It's still very basic in my mind but I will be seeing how can incorporate that into my guide because I think that would sort out some of the manpower descrepancies and also perhaps begin providing adding a little bit of political insight into what dukes and counts would be powerful etc. Anyway, yeah keep the ideas and dialogue flowing I'm glad to see people like to discuss the mechanics of realm buidling from maps.

Al. I. Cuza
02-28-2010, 06:40 PM
The problem in CK and EU is, that the population in the provinces does not influence manpower. That is why in most games France becomes this invincible monster. I would like to create a system, where the actual population of a province influences the basic manpower, not only as applied modifiers.

terminal
03-01-2010, 04:44 PM
The problem in CK and EU is, that the population in the provinces does not influence manpower. That is why in most games France becomes this invincible monster. I would like to create a system, where the actual population of a province influences the basic manpower, not only as applied modifiers.

I agree. One way you could do that is to have a variable (population growth), thus you can work out the manpower increase per year, based on the population pyramids of the percentage of the population that is eligible for military service. The idea I like about a CK system is that specific priovinces could provide different tyoes of troops based on the dominance of specific classes in that priovince. You could also permeate differences in recruitment rates in different provinces. This could also be incorporated into the economic picture as well, in that one could say in the provinces where the king has direct control he can perhaps recruit more troops, whereas in provinces which are less centralised and adminstered by a count or duke, recruitment and central government income is reduced because one would assume they would take a proportion of profits and has influence on reducing troops going to service for the realm. The count/duke would also likely maiintain his own small army for protection of the province, meaning the province has a smaller pool of manpower.

If one also assumes that the King province is the capital and is a heavily populated, then other provinces will have smaller manpower bases to start with.

You could even make it more complex by attributing different population growths to different provinces, i.e. provinces with smaller population will likely have smaller population increases whereas smaller provinces will have smaller population increases.

We also need to try and model domestic and international trade which I'm sure will not be easy.

Al. I. Cuza
03-02-2010, 04:13 PM
Trade will indeed be hardest.

Ad population growth: Like in EU (and most grand strategy games) population growth should be calculated relatively, not in absolute numbers. There should be a base population growth modified by different aspects: religion, health, immigration, emigration, war, food supplies, etc... And there should be a base maximum for the population in provinces, again modified by production technology, land-fertility, maybe even magic, etc...

The population groups seem like nice ideas, but they don't only influence army composition and manpower, but also income, productivity and miscellaneous economical behavior. And here we should think of general traits which can then be applied randomly (frog-like fire breathing bards who eat brains wouldn't necessarily fit with the CK-specific groups ;))

terminal
03-02-2010, 09:39 PM
Yes I agree with you that class differences would also be felt in the economy of each region, hence its good because then each province is divided between being an economically important area or an area that provides better troops, as well as other factors.

I would suggest that we assume that whatever we come up with applies to a human world, because it is impossible to make something for all the potential permutations that may come out of other people worlds. Hence the importance is coming up with a system and then people can adapt them for their game world as required. I may do a test map of one province so we can start working out the variables within a specific map and hence can use that as a guide for our theories.

I like the thought of working out population growth out of variables like you mentioned in religion, health etc. Problematic ones are emmigration/immigration (because it requires a marriages of information from several kingdoms. Food production we can do by working out the percentage of land that is arable and hence work out a figure. However it becomes more complex than just regional food production figures, as food often is grown in one province and is sold in others through domestic trade, thus arable land must be taken on a national level and permeated through each specific region. Hence population growth then becomes whether nationally there is enough food.

1 sq mile of land in medieval times has been estimated to be able to support 180 people. Hence if a country had a population density of 180 people per mile then every single inch of it would be farm land, which is impossible.

Therefore because food would likely be treated nationally because of trade, we can assume again that there is no regional limit on population. However that is only in theory as I assume there would always be a limit of the flow of trade into specific regions, also food prices would be extremely high for those living in areas that are food poor. Anyway I'm liking the way your thinking its getting me thinking more. I would suggest we leave magic out of it, and when we come up with something that works, we can state that through magic, land could perhaps 1 sq mile of land could support more than 180 people per sq. mile.

Al. I. Cuza
03-03-2010, 08:04 PM
Magic should be treated as just another variable (as an example: magic would modify the agricultural output by 20% through any means someone can think of, like making it rain, or fertilizing the land). Nothing fancy really. But I agree that it would be much easier to focus on a human-only world.

I would first treat regions individually, as a closed economy, no exterior trade. After we work things out like this, we can think of "opening" the region to the outside world, with trade, population movement, etc... Because these relations can also simply be simulated through static modifiers in the first stage. Then the modifiers themselves can be subjected to mathematical modelling including the whole nation/world.

As an example for emigration: If the population number of a province surpasses 90% (or any other number) of its human support factor (as in how many people can the province support if all potential resources are optimally used) people will start to consider leaving their homes. You could call it overcrowding effect.

Regarding trade: Trade should be simulated by modeling supply and demand through simple factors, much like everything else. Every bigger settlement should have a base supply (anything produced in a small enough radius will be included). Every 1000 persons of each class should have a base demand, the percentage of classes in each settlement will determine the settlements' base demand. The amount of trade between 2 settlements could then be calculated as a function of profit and travel (anything from distance to travel method: the longer the distance, the higher the travel expenses, longer time wasted on the road, is there a road, is it paved, is there a means to use the ship or even train, etc...). It shouldn't be too problematic this way.

Just some thoughts :D

Gus
03-10-2010, 01:43 PM
Hello everybody. I hate to sound "nooby", but I have a real question to make.

You see, I am using the tips given by this guide (rep already given) to write an article for the RPG community I play. The community is great, but it follows the "freedom for the people" philosophy. That is, there are very few rules to play there (and the ones that do exist don't not go too far from "use common sense" kind of rule). This is great because it allows people to focus more on the history, but leaves us with little standards. We do have a map, though.

22742

Just for entertainment, I started writing an article which speculates several things of this world by comparing it with several earth references, such as continent areas, distances between X and Y, how many Trips to Mordor fit in a given country, etc. etc.. And that's when everything goes downhill (or, as the poet says, "off a damn cliff"). I will go step-by-step so you guys can help me figure out what I am doing wrong.

You see, I am using the "Scaling the map" trick taught here, by creating a 2500x2500 px area (and thus setting the scale as 1px=10mi˛ scale). I planned to scale and distribute the countries under different scenarios (based on if the world map is so or just a piece of much more, if land is scaled or not, etc...). I started with the easiest theory: that the world map is 100% so. I scaled this map until either width or height reaches 2500px (width in this case). Then, I scaled a Mercator World Map in the same way (both cases without any distortions).

22743

You can perceive that the fantasy world has clearly much more land area than Earth, right? Well, when I measure the total area by the "histogram -> correct calculation -> multiply by 10" way, I find out that this world is a bit more than 16 million mi˛ large. That may sound impressive... Until you find out that Earth has over 57 million mi˛ of land area. By measuring each country individually (there are not many), the results are the same.

I know I am missing something critical, but I'm failling at figuring what. Please, anyone. Help me out.

waldronate
03-10-2010, 03:57 PM
Please be careful with that Earth map overlay when making comparisons, especially land area. The projection you used for the Earth map isn't equal area so the same-sized piece of land occupies more and more pixels as it moves northward (to be precise, the distortion is proportional to 1/cos(lat); the 0-area poles occupy a whole line of pixels). I would recommend an equal-area projection for comparison if possible, to make the comparisons more meaningful. If your world is flat then it's already in an equal-area projection and this discussion may not apply.

http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/CartIndex/cartIndex.html has some good discussions on the subject of map projections. As an aside, the Earth map projection above is called "Plate Carree" or "Equirectangular"; a Mercator projection is something else entirely and is infinite in vertical extent.

Gus
03-10-2010, 05:16 PM
I forgot to mention that I am not using the Mercator projection for anything but visual impact.

I still have to find out why my world is so tiny, but seems this site has some insight. Thank you. I will check it as soon as I reach home.

terminal
03-11-2010, 04:17 PM
I think your problem lies in that your scaling your map down to 2500 px, but taking the value as 100% percent of your world. When in actuality if your world is 2,500 px across in a scale of 1 px = 1 mi then your world would be 10 tens smaller than the earths rough size. Multiplying your figures by 10, I guess would give you dimensions comparable to world that is the same size as the earth.

arsheesh
05-20-2010, 08:40 PM
Hey Terminal, just wanted to thank you for taking the time to write up these guides. They are really informative. Consider yourself repped, and this thread rated.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Grelf
08-19-2010, 12:06 PM
First and foremost, thanks for this great guide! I'm so sorry for resurrecting this thread, but does anyone know of a calculator/generator that I can use along with this tutorial? It seems that the calculator given by the tutorial itself is no longer online, and I can't find one that aids with the calculation of GDP and economics variables. Any help would be very appreciated! :)

terminal
08-28-2010, 10:55 AM
I do believe the kingdom generator that was given in the guide is now back up and running again. Although there is another one that could be used, search google and you should see that there a few more that you can use.

I may as well also announce that I am looking at this once again and will hopefully sometime in the future be releasing a better version of this guide that will have incorporation of taxation systems, trade both internal and international as well as political systems and possibly even a system for working out battle outcomes based on variable calculations.

Anyway that guide will only be ready far into the future although I have already started it, so for those who enjoyed the first guide, you should enjoy this one as well.

Redrobes
08-28-2010, 11:18 AM
Ohh glad your still around and checking in. I have been doing a little work in this general area which I think you will enjoy looking at but I am still a week or two away from starting a new thread about it. Sorry to be vague at this point tho as I haven't quite got it all together yet to post but wanted you to know that were all still very much interested in your work.

Ascension
08-28-2010, 02:01 PM
The theories behind such things are what interest me and I spend more time thinking about this kind of stuff than I do mapping so I'm very eager to see the next one.

terminal
01-16-2011, 05:16 PM
Hey guys, I know it has been quite a while since I actually posted here, but I have been doing quite a lot of work on these kind of things and have made quite a resounding amount of progress. One of the chief improvements I have made is a believable way to simulate the economy including trade of goods and commodities as well as several alternatives to do different things depending on the what the person wants. Anyway I think it will still be a few months before I am actually finished with the theorizing and testing, and then I'm sure it will take me at least a few weeks if not months to write it all down in a concise manner. All I can say at this point, is that there are a lot of changes to my first few theories and I am very happy with the changes I have come up with.

So I guess this is just a message to watch this space, more should be coming relatively soon!

EsotericForest
03-26-2011, 01:02 AM
Excellent post. It is pretty daunting to create a world from scratch. It's far more than scribbling some coastlines and mountains, plopping some cities down and calling it a world.

Sergei Zybin
03-28-2011, 07:01 AM
Nice article, thanks! By the way - about all this medieval-based-information... Im teacher of history in real-world, so, if someone not scared with my english and needs historical-based consultation in map-making logics, i'll be most ready to help. Just PM me wait day or two. Sorry for this little off-topic.

Ryan K
03-29-2011, 03:16 AM
Excel is the unsung hero for worldbuilding.

Do the tutorials take into account the hit an economy takes when a nation conscripts peasants to expand armies? For every man (and indeed women, for those radical unisex armies ;) ) that is taken out of a field (or other industry) and put into armour, that is a field that won't get plowed as quickly, or as often. Military boost through conscription must also equate to reduced productivity, which feeds back into how well you can feed said army. Raising an army isn't just a numbers problem as far as how many weapons, sheilds, whatevers you need to spend money on, but has the hidden penalty on not being able to feed, clothe, supply that same army as well, or produce profitable output, which is a nice thing to be able to do if you're paying for a larger army and what they need to get their job done.

And those conscripts, for a large proportion of them, may not come back. If the enemy doesn't fell them, then disease, starvation, the elements, or any other unlucky accident may make sure that they do not come back to those fields for the next harvest.

Is there a tutorial that can validate these knock-on effects to raising/supporting armies?

terminal
08-06-2011, 01:22 PM
Hey sorry it's been so long since I last posted. I have been doing a lot of mapping in that time as well as other things. I think I now have a pretty cohesive economic model for people to use and have been working on other things as well that can be used for mapping and as well the world that is created out of map building.

It will probably still be several months before I post my guide as it still needs to be written up and several years until my world that I am building is posted up.

However to answer your question concerning conscription, I will try and answer it. I have been thinking of ways to model it, part of the problem with conscription is that it is time dependent, where a lot of my economic models take a snapshot of a world at a specific moment in time. You can keep doing them and recalculating as your world changes of course, but for conscription a model would have to recalculate constantly depending on batttles fought and losses because of this or other causes such as disease, civil war (i.e. defection etc). You can calculate the replacement of conscipted people who are lost by net population growth rate. That is to say the following formula Births per 1000 people - deaths per 1000 people (this gives you a yearly figure). Assuming this figure stays constant you can work out how many people come to military age each year.

Consider the following example

Population : 1,000,000

Birth rate: 20 per 1000

Death rate: 10 per 1000

Net Growth Rate 10 per 1000

Then Net Growth Rate 10 x (1,000,000/1000) = 10,000 people reach military age each year. Then it depends on country factors. Lets say in this country only men fight and the military requirement for defense is only 5% of men of age.

That would mean the following 10,000 x 0.5 = 5,000 x 0.05 = 250

That means that 250 men a year replenish the retiring men in the army. However lets say that the country has just lost a battle and lost 2,000 men (BTW there army size is 1,000,000 x 0.5 = 500,000 x 0.05 = 25,000). Well they could replace this because they have 5,000 men reach serving age each year (but it would require an aggressive consciption policy for this). They could also potential get men who are already older than consciption age but are not in the army (95% men within the country in this example), but this would have an impact on the economy. How would you simulate this. Well consider this, lets assume that the economy is completely geared towards the current system of things (i.e. conscription rate of 5% and no more). Well whatever the product of the economy is 100% (with unavoidable costs already removed i.e corruption, tax collection costs etc). If the economy is 975,000 people contributing to the economy and 25,000 protecting it with a net growth of 10,000 people a year.

Hence next year the economy will be at 100% with 984,750 (9,750 that would normally be added to the economy) and the army will still be 25,000 as this is the support limit for the country at their technology level. So the 250 replacements would simply replace retiring soldiers. However with 2,000 loses in the battle as mentioned. The economy would be functioning at 99.8% efficiency (982,750/984,750). Hence all economic revenue shoudl be multiplied by 0.998 to account for this loss of personnel that is required for the army.

Anyway that is just a theory and consciption is not something I have looked at in huge amounts of details, but is a potentially good way of working it out.

Anyway more generally I should be publishing a detailed tutorial some time in the mid term future, which hopefully should be helpful for people who want a world that has a heart beat in its economy.

Terminal

gspRooster
09-14-2011, 05:48 PM
Absolutely excellent. I've been looking for something like this! Thank you.

Lachasso
09-20-2011, 12:18 PM
Great post.

However, there are a few things I would like to add

1/ The size does not determinate gravity. The mass of the planet does. So it's okay to have a planet a third the size of Earth, as long as it has about thrice Earth's density. (So for example a small planet with a very heavy core.)

2/ Gold pieces... in my opinion (as a student in economy) most fantasy writers do this wrong. Gold is extremely heavy, almost three times heavier than iron (the same volume), and therefore, it is highly
unrealistic to compare gold coins to modern day dollar in equivalence. For example - the Royal Sun Cavalry and the price you have to pay to afford them. 58,625,000. I will use the american golden eagle as an example (which weights 30 grams)

58625000 * 0.03 = 1,758,750 kilograms. That 1,758 tons - a hefty mass to have (not to mention how do you intend to transfer and distribute this massive chunk in medieval time.) and that's only the sum to pay for 1000 men (they are elite, I know, but still). What about an entire army?

Here is what I found about the real world medieval economy.

Typical earnings in England in 15th century

Archer - 6 pences a day
Man-at-arms - 12 pences a day
Infantry - 4 or 5

The royal income of England during the late years of the Hundred Years Wars was about 55,000 pounds. (1 pound was 240 pences.)
The Agincourt campaign's price tag was about 10000-11000 pounds


So you see, unlike fantasy, real world economy uses gold coins quite sparely.
My point is, most fantasy writers and game developers make the crucial mistake by making 'gold coins' the default and ONLY currency. A loaf of bread for 1 gold. Shoes for 15. etc. If you have read Game of Thrones by G. R. R. Martin, you will see that the champion of the tournament receives 40,000 golden dragons (the major currency in the novel) as prize. Now we have no idea how much does a dragon weights, but it's a gold coin, so it must weight somewhere between 8 grams and 30 grams. Let's say that a golden dragon weights 15 grams. 40,000 * 0.015 = 600 kilograms. How the heck is the champion supposed to carry that weight back to his castle (which could very well be 1000 leagues away from the capital city.)

These are just my two cents. I don't intend to discredit your work, just wanted to point something out that's all.

Squirt
11-09-2011, 12:19 PM
I'd guess most people in the Middle Ages would never have seen a gold coin - the English gold Noble contained about 9g of gold, and was the equivalent to a months wages for a skilled worker. It would be like having $3000 notes or similar - you'd probably only ever get them in cities and centres of trade, and they'd probably never make it to rural towns or villages at all.

terminal
11-27-2011, 10:58 AM
Great post.

However, there are a few things I would like to add

1/ The size does not determinate gravity. The mass of the planet does. So it's okay to have a planet a third the size of Earth, as long as it has about thrice Earth's density. (So for example a small planet with a very heavy core.)

2/ Gold pieces... in my opinion (as a student in economy) most fantasy writers do this wrong. Gold is extremely heavy, almost three times heavier than iron (the same volume), and therefore, it is highly
unrealistic to compare gold coins to modern day dollar in equivalence. For example - the Royal Sun Cavalry and the price you have to pay to afford them. 58,625,000. I will use the american golden eagle as an example (which weights 30 grams)

58625000 * 0.03 = 1,758,750 kilograms. That 1,758 tons - a hefty mass to have (not to mention how do you intend to transfer and distribute this massive chunk in medieval time.) and that's only the sum to pay for 1000 men (they are elite, I know, but still). What about an entire army?

Here is what I found about the real world medieval economy.

Typical earnings in England in 15th century

Archer - 6 pences a day
Man-at-arms - 12 pences a day
Infantry - 4 or 5

The royal income of England during the late years of the Hundred Years Wars was about 55,000 pounds. (1 pound was 240 pences.)
The Agincourt campaign's price tag was about 10000-11000 pounds


So you see, unlike fantasy, real world economy uses gold coins quite sparely.
My point is, most fantasy writers and game developers make the crucial mistake by making 'gold coins' the default and ONLY currency. A loaf of bread for 1 gold. Shoes for 15. etc. If you have read Game of Thrones by G. R. R. Martin, you will see that the champion of the tournament receives 40,000 golden dragons (the major currency in the novel) as prize. Now we have no idea how much does a dragon weights, but it's a gold coin, so it must weight somewhere between 8 grams and 30 grams. Let's say that a golden dragon weights 15 grams. 40,000 * 0.015 = 600 kilograms. How the heck is the champion supposed to carry that weight back to his castle (which could very well be 1000 leagues away from the capital city.)

These are just my two cents. I don't intend to discredit your work, just wanted to point something out that's all.

Firstly let me start by saying I have not had a lot of time to continue this as much as I would have wanted.

I want to respond to Lachasso's points which I think have some very good merit.

1. This is true, the mass of the planet is what affects the amount of gravity. This is best seen in a black hole, which is actually a fraction of the size of normal star but has an unbelivable amount of gravity. The same can be said for neutron stars. The question is that a planet the is say 4x smaller than Earth but the same mass, would have as part of its make up a larger proportion of heavier elements, and as such this may change the abundance precious metals and other items.

2. Apologies for this, as I believe I have either misrepresented what I actually meant as just an example. When I was mentioning gold pieces I was mentioning it more for the fact that everyone can relate to it as a form of currency. As such I could of mentioned dollars, pounds, or euros. The actual form of currency is in consequential in and of itself, what is important is its relative barter value, as such this changes as time goes on. The point of using gold pieces was to have a "named" example of the currency. But thank you for your point which is worth noting that if each coin was made of gold it would be way in excess of the value of the majority of things that it would be bartered for in every day life. As such I would say most coins would be made of a variety of different metals.

So I think your point is really valid and something which I will look at in more detail but my theories now encapsulate currency rather than any specific metal or resource. That currency is only used so we can compare globally how rich a country is and how much of an army etc they can support.

Anyway on a more general note, I am trying to get some time to continue not only my theories but also my current map, which a lot of my theories are being tested upon and hopefully I should be able to write up a more detailed economic model for us all to work with.

Thank you to all of you who are stilld debating this very important point of world building and I hope you all continue to share your knowledge and views.

atpollard
12-02-2011, 04:17 PM
So it's okay to have a planet a third the size of Earth, as long as it has about thrice Earth's density. (So for example a small planet with a very heavy core.)
Earth is already close to the density of iron (that large iron-nickel core), so a world with half the density of earth is far more likely than double the density of earth and you will quickly bump into a “depleted uranium core” upper limit on non-magical density.


2/ Gold pieces... in my opinion (as a student in economy) most fantasy writers do this wrong. Gold is extremely heavy, almost three times heavier than iron (the same volume), and therefore, it is highly
unrealistic to compare gold coins to modern day dollar in equivalence.
I agree … US$1 (or 1 Euro) should be closer to a traditional ‘copper piece’ with GP reserved for large transactions (like $100 bills).
(deflate the treasure hoards and costs)

medecinqui
06-21-2012, 01:51 AM
I chanced upon this while looking for help rendering the economy of my Dungeons and Dragons setting, and I'd just like to say Thank you.

rahta
08-23-2012, 07:58 AM
First, I want to say how awesome and useful these materials are and how thankful I am. I love details so in the future I will use them quite often. Before that I have just a question though, excuse me if it’s a silly one. What does “kingdom age” exactly stand for?
I mean, let’s take Kingdom A. The realm as we know it, exist already for, let’s say, something like 650-700 years. However, because no world is so flat in history aspect, the territory had been occupied by other, early civilizations much more years before that no matter if they were just tribal or more advanced. So in this case which age should I write down? The years after it was officially founded as a realm or the year when the territory itself was occupied by the first ancestors? I am asking because when I thought about it, all of them should have left some ruins after themselves as well. Should they be reflected in the chart?

Yin Shou
07-24-2013, 08:32 AM
Long ago, I saved all this to a flash drive and I used it incessantly for my fantasy works. Then one of my speakers fell on my flash drive and bent it, making it unusable. :| I tried and tried but I couldn't think of the name of this post and now, after all this time, I've finally rediscovered it. I feel so excited right now. :D This remains a magnificent worldbuilding tool and I'd like to thank you for helping my fantasy works along all this time by sharing it with all of us.

thecraftybee
07-25-2013, 08:23 PM
Great Tutorial.

Falconius
07-25-2013, 09:41 PM
It's interesting you guys brought up the gold stuff, I've never really thought too much about it before...

I think most people vastly underestimate the value of gold even in modern times. A 32 gram gold coin would still be above 1200 dollars today. While that is far more accessible for most people today you don't really have that many people tramping about with that kind of cash in their wallets. If you think of in terms of third world populations the likely hood that they have that kind of cash available to hand at any time is low. Silver would be common enough for medium to big purchases, and copper or brass or something like that used for everyday transactions.

Indeed taking Lachasso's moderate estimate of 600 kilo's for GRR Martin's tourney prize it would cost 25 million dollars to pay it out in todays modern economy. That is quite a pot. No modern sport has prize money that high that I can think of. Even ridiculously over payed sports stars don't get contracts (which cover years and multiple games) that high. Maybe Beckham? That golf guy built like half a billion dollar empire before he messed it up. But those are true exceptions. Now consider that and then consider how much all the various other economic factors affect things through time and the Gold pieces thrown around like candy in fantasy is absurd.

Of course it still makes a perfectly good baseline on which to set your understanding of a currency. Perhaps it's just too easy to conflate that baseline with common currency.

Anyways great thread.

Azelor
07-25-2013, 09:59 PM
Falconius: if I remember correctly teh price different between silver and gold is much bigger today than it was in the middle ages. Even with that said, gold was uncommon as most people where paid in silver pieces.

Btw this is a very good ressource.

Falconius
07-26-2013, 12:25 AM
Probably you are right, but silver was still available in sufficiency for there to be vessels like plates and cups made out of it with regularity even since basically the bronze age. You had to be wealthy surely, but you didn't have to be filthy rich like you would for gold jewelry or cups and whatnots.

rdanhenry
07-31-2013, 03:52 AM
The relative value of gold and silver have varied throughout history and gold has not always been the more valuable (though mostly).

To make gold suitably devalued for common use in a fantasy setting, you just need to make gold much more common. Reduce the rarity of the stuff and the price will drop. As long as you aren't using historical or pseudo-historical Earth as your setting, gold can be as common or rare as you want it to be and the value adjusted accordingly.

Gold is too heavy to make good serving platters, too soft for eating utensils, and even for a goblet, silver is preferable because certain poisons will discolor it, giving some protection. It wasn't just cost and rarity differences that put silver on the table in preference to gold.

Falconius
08-04-2013, 11:46 PM
If it's not rare then it's not gold though ;) It makes for lousy treasure if every two bit farmer is walking around with a bag of gold coins and two fat cows. Our relation to gold is formed by our association we have with it in the real world, if you just jenk it around so that in your own particular world it works this way you have to be extremely convincing to pass it off. I think it'd be much harder to do that than change the colour of the sky or the way grass is to be honest. It's not a big deal really because in truth it has no real effect in stories or games, but it can cause a slight disassociation with the audience.

For establishing the value of a worlds economy however keeping it familiar would seem to me to be pretty vital. It would make far more sense to just come up with a fantasy currency if you were going to alter the value of gold enough to make it common.

(PS: Being a heavy material has never stopped anyone from making serving platters (or jugs) from said material. Have you never experienced those awful half-inch thick glass serving platers that people make and sell? You lift the damn thing up and it feels like it's going to break bones. Extending it across the table you break into a sweat and you try and pretend it's as light as a feather of course, meanwhile your face is turning red. I hate those things. For the love of all that is good people please if you buy these things leave them on the shelf as show piece. Better not to buy 'em at all because then you'll never be tempted to torture poor innocent guests with these monstrosities.)