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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
Absolutely excellent. I've been looking for something like this! Thank you.
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.
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.
Firstly let me start by saying I have not had a lot of time to continue this as much as I would have wanted.
Originally Posted by Lachasso
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.