Begining economics

While we have used prestige to determine our character's story position, this is not always the same as their professional positions. For example Alexander is a mythic companion (magus equivalent) in terms of story and design, but in terms of his standard of living he could be considered either a companion or a specialist... I'm putting this thread in place for people to describe their characters in the following terms:
Magi, companion, dependant, grog(fighter), specialist, servant, laborer, teamster, or animal.

What I have so far:
10 magi (including 1 non gifted redcap)
2 companions at the covenant (Andrew and Iosif Rosi)
3 grogs (warriors) (Constantine's men at arms)
1 specialist (apprentice- Anastasia)
1 non-resident companion (no economic burden)

I will also have a shield grog for Orien. I still need to make him up.

I will also have the schoolmaster as a companion. Still in the early stages of design, but will probably be a Failed Apprentice.

Liberius: magus
Charmion: not supported by covenant
I'm planning to use my last prestige point for a fighter grog.

Currently I have in terms of created/known characters:
Magi:9 (including mercere mythic companion)
Companions: 2 - Alexander and Iosif Rosi : Alexander could be considered a craftsman but I felt givenhis abilities the covenant would give him a bit higher consideration
Grogs: 9-11 - includes 6 followers of Gabrielle, 3 warriors of Constantine, Is Orion still making a shield grog?
Specialists:4 - 1 apprentice, 1 schoolteacher, 1 autocrat, and 1 turb leader
servents, laborers, and teamsters: by calculation we have necessary unwritten redshirts in these categories of 14, 26 and 3 respectively. This can change as other membership changes for the covenant.

I replaced him with the cook. I'll have a red shirt shield grog.

That makes me wonder - how many red shirt grogs will we have. Basically I'm trying to figure out how many total grogs we can expect in the covenant.

I don't see us needing a great deal, especially from going out the gate. Gabriel brings 6 with him, we have 4 others assuming Constantine finishes his, that is already more than one per magus, and given the political situation we really don't want to have an army...

Wait, I got confused. I keep forgetting that "grog" = soldier type. If that's the case then, yes, I will be making up a shield grog for my last point. We can then make Paulos the Cook a red shirt grog.

But if gold shirt "grogs" include non-fighters, I'll keep the cook.

points wise any grog, fighter or not, is considered a grog. But just as a companion can be a craftsman or specialist when you switch from story description to economic description, a grog does not have to be a grog (fighter) when you are calculating the economic impact. Sp yes, in terms of prestige points your cook counts as a grog. Economically however he is a specialist.

Got it. Thanks for the clarification.

Now, let’s move on to how big the covenant is, and what that means in upkeep. Right now, by my count, we have the following (give or take a few):

Magi: 8 (for some reason they seem to count Redcaps as companions in the calculation of expenditures)
Companions: 5 (including one Redcap, who supports himself, and one faerie, who supports herself)
Specialists: 5 (apprentice, master carpenter, steward/chamberlain, and two scribes)
Craftsmen: 5 (cook, book binder, ink maker, and two illuminators)
Grogs: 11
Laborers: none

I’m also assuming the following for purposes of estimating costs:

Dependents: 5 (there must be a few wives or an elderly parent around.)
Horses: 4 (we’ll need something for the teamsters to use to haul supplies.)

Using these numbers, that means we’ll need 19 servants and 12 teamsters, bringing our total size to 68 people.

For the moment, I’ll assume we all have basic labs (+0 upkeep), a moderate cost for arms and armor upkeep, pay double wages, and offer a pension (which has no monetary impact right now). Plugging these numbers into the formulae means that we would have to pay 163 pounds a year in upkeep. This counts the 18 pounds that Alexander, Paulos, and the ink maker save. Now, we currently make 290 pounds a year from two income sources (100, plus 45 for three extra magi, each, if I have the numbers right), so we’re doing fine.

But it occurs to me that we might want to increase some of our expenditures (e.g., labs), so I thought about other cost savings. The first thought was laborers (i.e., people who produce food. I was thinking, since one of our income sources is a large sheep herd, it would make sense for the covenant to have a small herd of its own (i.e., some shepherd laborers). Then I added a few more for good measure. In the end I thought we could have 20 laborers - 12 shepherds, 3 gardeners for a vegetable garden, 3 hunters, and 2 fishermen (there are two big rivers nearby the covenant, which tells me there should be lots of small streams). These 20 laborers get rid of the need for 8 teamsters and save us 20 pounds a year in provisions, bringing the total size of the covenant to 80 people, and our expenses down to 155 pounds per year (it’s only a savings of 18 pounds because those 20 teamsters also need to eat).

But we could do better. If we dropped just one summa from the library, we could afford five new craftsmen/specialists. I’d suggest: a silversmith (6), a glassblower (7), a blacksmith (6), a candle maker (6), and a percamenarius (6). This would require 2 more servants (upping our total population to 87), but would drop our yearly expenditures down to 141 pounds per year.

Of course, that means we’re only spending half of what we make. What do we spend the rest on? First, we want to build up a little bit of a reserve in the first few years. But after that? Labs! Let’s say that we support all eight practicing magi with +3 labs. This would up our expenditures to 186 pounds per year, still well within our budget, and leave a surplus to build up the reserves.

Hmm, I just compared numbers and it seems that without the five additional craftsmen (but with the 20 laborers), upkeep would only be 200 pounds per year. So it may not be worth losing a summa to save 14 pounds a year. It may well be better off to recruit those craftsmen during the game.

What does everyone think?

Disclaimer: The above numbers are based on my calculations and estimations, and may be off. But they should be good enough for general estimates.

I have been assuming that the redcap would be treated as a full magus. We also have PCs who need to go into your calculations- I have 9 magi, 2 companions (of the existing 7, 3 are considered specialists and 2 require no support), 9 grogs (10 once the last shield grog is finished, and assuming Constantine finishes his trio), 5 specialists before point expenditures (schoolmaster, cook, turb leader, autocrat, and apprentice), which requires 14 servants, it currently optimizes savings on provisions to have 26 laborers, which means we need 4 teamsters.
We currently have an income of 290 pounds/year. We do not need horses to have teamsters (they are a cost which does not have to be in residence- an oddity of calculation) , but it might be useful to do so- so I'll add horses equal to the teamsters- which means we are actually better off with 30 laborers, which reduces the number of teamsters (and horses) required to 3.
anyone who wants to look at the spreadsheet can PM me their email address and I'll set up a share folder in dropbox for everyone to look at the spreadsheet.

Just a comment here, not an objection. The wives would work as servants. The elderly parents would live out of the worker's wages. This category is for the dependents of the covenant itself, such as retired grogs and covenfolk.

Wagons are usually pulled by oxen rather than horses. And since we are setting up at a mountaintop, we are more likely to use donkeys and/or mules.

Over the long term, laborers end up costing more than they save us. Particularly when we move to a Summer covenant, where the points of inhabitants doubles for each covenfolk. Also, we will live on a mountaintop and our cover is that of a school, so we don't want too add too many people.

Skilled craftsmen are more effective to reduce expenditures, particularly the rare ones. Certainly, a percamenarius would make a lot of sense, since one of our source of income is a scriptorium. It is also useful for the school and for the magi.

We can also use the surplus to acquire mundane books. Area Lore, Artes Liberales, Canon & Civil Law, Church Lore, Medicine, Philosophiae, Theology. But also Dominion Lore, Faerie Lore (mythology texts) and Magic Lore (see the Literature section in TSE pp.43-44).

The schoolmaster should be treated as a companion rather than a specialist, if you consider his standard of living. Perhaps even as a noble. In fact, that's the conditions he would instst on. Otherwise, how could he be treated seriously by the nobles who send their children to his school? :laughing:

being treated as a specialist would be about what he is used to- the same as he was treated as an apprentice and what he has (personal wealth taken from a fallen covenant aside) clawed his way back to. Remember wealth in AM does not give you a higher standard of living, just allows you to accomplish it in fewer seasons per year.

As for laborers, I guess as we become a summer covenant we will need to start training them as specialists...

also it is useful to have laborer's on hand for projects like building labs or houses...

What is the reasoning for coven-folk costing twice the points for a summer covenant. Is that inflation (which affects everything, not just covenfolks), the salary (which would not double the point cost for figuring the other aspects), or something I missed reading covenants (quite likely)?

With regard to specialist a percamenarius would indeed seem to make sense.
Most of the rest (extra specialists, extra shepherds, ...) are things I would want to get to over time. We are just starting out, so even though the other specialists are a big win for lots of reasons, I can't see how we could start with them.


Keep in mind that given the scope of the scriptorium, they already employ a percamenarius shop, which we could 'borrow' from as we can with scribes, book binders, ink makers, etc.

yeah... forgot that Constantine was the ambassador, which changes a few calculations...

I am trying to think through the economic implications of using my (/5) spontaneous rego to help production. With wool, for example how often de we sheer the sheep; how many days of conventional craftsman work does it take to spin that into thread; and how many days weaving does it take to use that thread? It would seem that selling fabric is worth a lot more than selling raw wool. If the level of the rego spell for each of those stages is 4 (which seems likely), then I can with one casting do the daily work of a skilled artisan (equal skill 9) . Not sure how many days work that equates to per day of my time.