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Farming in Creation

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  • Farming in Creation

    From the 2E Core:

    "Most areas can harvest three crops of rice a year, while the Blessed Isle and the Scavenger Lands bring in five rice crops in the most fertile areas. This vast bounty encourages large and complicated societies, for one peasant can nourish many people with her labor."

    Yeah, the year is longer, but STILL. That really bugs me, because under those conditions you won't get "peasants", or anything like a pre-industrial society at all.

    I think this should be toned down a lot.

  • #2
    Why wouldn't you get "peasants"?

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    • #3
      I'll be honest, I pretty much just ignore that. It's too disruptive to the social make-up otherwise.
      The weird seasonal business is already disruptive enough.

      I'm fine for these things to have been the case in the first age, but not the supposedly backward and poor second age.


      I run... Lunars: The Apocalypse! Exalted 3rd edition. Fimbulwinter is upon the world as an Ice Age begins, and only six young Lunar heroes have a chance of saving humanity.

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      • #4
        While I'm far from a socioagricultural master, it seems to me that almost doubling the amount of rice produced by a peasant would only serve to almost halve the number of peasants (probably less, since five harvest cycles a year sounds a bit labor-intensive). Sure, that results in an awful lot of non-peasants clogging up the non-farms, but advanced pre-industrial farming technologies have done similar things in our history without resulting in anything called non-pre-industrial (not sure about this last point, there might be a difference in scope between this and things like crop rotation I'm missing).


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        • #5
          Yeah some people also think that 30% of the Blessed Isle is developed and cultivated. or something like that. With the divine harvests there they should have such an abundance of food as to use it for basically whatever they want.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
            Yeah some people also think that 30% of the Blessed Isle is developed and cultivated. or something like that. With the divine harvests there they should have such an abundance of food as to use it for basically whatever they want.
            Yeah, with the amount of cultivation and the harvest schedule described in the books, the entire world of Creation should basically be awash in cheap food, which totally screws with any economic models you'd think would be applicable otherwise.

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            • #7
              I think even if the long term yields might be inconsistent with real world societies, it doesn't necessarily mean "industrialization" or anything like that comes into play. I think it's viable* to see industrialization as the outcome of increased access to energy sources and trends in science, machining, trade, land ownership. If you just have very high yields, you may just end up with a lot of peasants sleeping in fields, or merchants bustling around, or boxers fighting rival dojos, or swordsmiths dedicating their lives to the perfect no dachi, and so on. I wouldn't really be averse to taking that tack, as we don't really know what magically high yields would do in a pre-industrial situation.

              *as in viable for people who have studied it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
                I think even if the long term yields might be inconsistent with real world societies, it doesn't necessarily mean "industrialization" or anything like that comes into play. I think it's viable* to see industrialization as the outcome of increased access to energy sources and trends in science, machining, trade, land ownership. If you just have very high yields, you may just end up with a lot of peasants sleeping in fields, or merchants bustling around, or boxers fighting rival dojos, or swordsmiths dedicating their lives to the perfect no dachi, and so on. I wouldn't really be averse to taking that tack, as we don't really know what magically high yields would do in a pre-industrial situation.

                *as in viable for people who have studied it.
                I think the problem is more, who the fuck is eating all of this food? With the blessed isle being a sea of fields that yield harvest after harvest every few months there's just so much food everywhere for supposedly a fairly small population. There aren't New York style super cities or anything.

                Here's the thing, there's some things in the setting that are big and epic and don't make sense, but they're kind of awesome. Like mountains that climb far into the sky such things. In this case I think overstating how giant and badass the crop collecting is.

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                • #9
                  Creation’s fecundity means that for any given community, a smaller number of adults will have to be farmers so more people are freed to do non-food production work. This doesn’t remove the presence of peasantry or create a post-industrial setting.

                  It does mean there are more urban centers, many societies will have a quasi-working class, it’s easier to insert hidden kingdoms in inaccessible or hostile locations, and small nations can still manage sophisticated and educated non-nobles.

                  These are all desirable for the setting of a sword and sorcery game.

                  Creation is a wondrous place. The first thing the core tells you is that the "real world" is what happens when Creation is bent, it's magic stripped away, and humanity's soul becomes stunted and withered. It wouldn't make much sense if it resembled real world bronze and iron age cultures as those are to the Second Age what the Second Age was to the First.

                  Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

                  I think the problem is more, who the fuck is eating all of this food? With the blessed isle being a sea of fields that yield harvest after harvest every few months there's just so much food everywhere for supposedly a fairly small population. There aren't New York style super cities or anything.
                  I think that's where the dissonance is. The Blessed Isle's population is huge and the Imperial City is a place of 'labyrinth streets and towering spires' with an 'unparalleled collection of wonders.' The average man and woman of the Realm is six-foot tall. Port cities host 'countless merchant fleets,' and most cities on the Isle are able to support 'large populations.'
                  Last edited by hippokrene; 04-07-2015, 04:39 AM.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey
                    I think the problem is more, who the fuck is eating all of this food?
                    When food is more abundant, people eat more frequently. I'd also say that food security means a fairly high proportion of farmers can diversify into cash crops, although on the Blessed Isle, most of that cash is just going towards your tax payments, so your capacity to prosper is sharply limited. Also, in the Realm and Scavneger Lands, big surpluses make large armies really easy. In any case, I assumed that "harvests three crops a year" meant that by the time people finished eating one crop, the next would be ready for harvest, so there's never really a lean season where you have to conserve while awaiting the next harvest; was I mistaken in that implication?


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                    • #11
                      Rice is a labor intensive crop. So it still ties up a lot of farmers.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_production_in_India
                      "India, being a land of eternal growing season, and the deltas of Kaveri River, Krishna River, Godavari River and Mahanadi River with a thick set-up of canal irrigation, permits farmers to raise two, and in some pockets, even three crops a year."

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                      • #12
                        I mean, as a unit of value, the number of crops per year seems like something more focused on how much time is spent working, not how much food there is, because it doesn't articulate what the actual yields are like. I also find something erroneous in what seems like an assumption that pre-industrial farming was uniform throughout time and space.


                        I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                        Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                        https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                        • #13
                          A one yield area and a three yield area can be equal amount of work per yield. But the former might not be usable (to dry or to wet, etc) for a period of the year.

                          But of course, how much work has to be done to maintain irrigation systems, pest control, and so on, can vary quite a lot.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                            When food is more abundant, people eat more frequently. I'd also say that food security means a fairly high proportion of farmers can diversify into cash crops, although on the Blessed Isle, most of that cash is just going towards your tax payments, so your capacity to prosper is sharply limited. Also, in the Realm and Scavneger Lands, big surpluses make large armies really easy. In any case, I assumed that "harvests three crops a year" meant that by the time people finished eating one crop, the next would be ready for harvest, so there's never really a lean season where you have to conserve while awaiting the next harvest; was I mistaken in that implication?
                            I sadly don't have the time right now to check but I seem to recall the blessed Isle has a simply ridiculous portion of its land mass dedicated to agriculture, and the crop yields are fitting of a place made blessed by the primordials with cooperative, mostly, gods. I suppose with the right ratio of crops, like if house Cynis wants to hotbox the imperial city so plant 400 acres of pot or something, it can make sense. Barring that though even with needing to feed armies on the march I don't see how you can grind through three or four bumper crops of food.

                            I can't recall, how much food does the Isle export? I know that a large portion of the south is kept fed by the fields near the Lap, the East is super fertile and the North had bad trouble with a short planting season. Maybe large areas in the north rely on the Isles export? Now I'm picturing a "buy local" campaign in the Haslanti league.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

                              like if house Cynis wants to hotbox the imperial city so plant 400 acres of pot or something, it can make sense.
                              Headcanon accepted. Imperial City hotboxing.


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