Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Proposed and Incomplete Farming Mechanic

A proposed and incomplete farming mechanic cobbled together after a bit more research in medieval farming. I've gone down this road a bit before and realized a little need as the PC's in my weekly game have decided to claim a village as their own.

Yield in bushels= ((1d6 per seed bushel sown)+Land Quality + Seasonal Modifiers)/2
Roll a control die (1d6) and if this number is greater then the no of bushels sown the yield is halved.

Seasonal Modifiers haven't been fiugyure out yet but it's safe to keep them in the -4 to +4 range.

Land Quality is rated as per a D&D stat.

After each growing season a plot of land must make a saving throw with a negative modifier equal to the bushels of seed planted. A failed save downgrades the quality of that plot by the no. of seed bushels sown.

Land save is 10+

How much hood do people need to eat ? 12-24 bushels a year in corn (grain) and legumes (beans and peas) seems to be the answer. STR x 1.5 seems to do the trick, characters that don't each this much have an increased chance of illness.

Land can yield 1-3 harvests a year depending on land,climate, and farming techniques used.

Land recovery, each season a plot is fallow a save can be made for that plot to upgrade the land quality by 1 for a plot downgraded due to a failed save from an earlier plot season.


  1. The obvious additions would be bonuses for magical, (e.g. Plant Growth), or technological, (e.g. seed drills), improvements.

    Using those examples:
    Plant Growth would be a straight up bonus to yield. Either +1 per sown bushel or switching to either d8s or d10s.
    OTOH, seed drills don't really improve yield but they are much easier on the soil. So have them give a bonus to the Land save.

    It might also be worth including Land Quality in the Land save. As the soil gets worse, there is less you can do to ruin it and more you can do to improve it. I might also allow a particularly high Land save to improve a non-fallow field, (say at double the DC).

  2. Man has it really been since 2010 when you first came out with these sim economy posts.

    Still love what you have done, are doing, here, especially like the take on land area and the number of troops it supports.

    Mike (same one from Oct 2010 :))

  3. Definetly have to figure out the modieifers I'm confortable with. They would vary considerably with scale however. The basic mechanic can be scaled up to fit pretty large plots, even whole regions but the impact of modifiers would shift.
    Animal impact on farm labor is curious. Need enough beasts to pull the plows but too many is a drain on output.

    I'm certainly in favor of going more gamish over spreadsheetish. The d6 bushels and the control die give the player something to do.