C&G and Covenents don't mesh well

Perhaps I am missreading but how do you apply the C&G labor point rules to covent resources? They seem to have 2 differnet rule sets where one can increase based on boom or slowness of buisness while the other can only be increased through spending labor points.

Also I was looking into crime / farming as a job and was wondering how one would do crime / farming. Do we consider farming a labor or a craft? So far I've gone with craft. As to crime my ruleing is that you always use the exertion rules to show the dangers of the job. Any thoughts?

Third, magic items to labor point ratio. How would a stone cutting knife inhance a quary's labor points? Any thoughs on how to figure the labor point boost for such items? Any ideas would be helpful.

Well, unlkess they are trade related you don't. If they are trade related, then if you are playing a merchant or tradesman character, you use the C&G system. If you can't be bothered, you use the more abstract Covenants system. You don't use both together, no.

I'd point out that the Covenants system doesn't work properly for minor traders and crafters.

Yes, we do.

I'll eave these last two to Matt, who did the tradesman sections.

Farming is certainly not a craft, as nothing is produced, exactly. The rules could probably support it but while I could see increasing social status through, say, baking (moving from a simple breadmaker to a pastry chef), I'm not seeing how you'd 'improve' farming. Either you have good soil or you don't. A profession is probably a better choice, with increased status representing owning the land and having laborers do most of the toil.

I would strongly council against using the Labor Point rules to represent a criminal enterprise. First, it's neither a craft nor a profession. Second, the Labor Point rule represents the medieval mindset that God rewards hard work; specifically, He rewards it with less work. Images of Israelites toiling and all that. Earning a consistent living through criminal means is almost certainly possible, but it should probably be represented through a different system. The bad Reputations alone cause the mind to, at the very least, boggle.

The reson I would say running a farm over all is a craft is that you can inovate and improve material for better yeild. Buy better seed, get a wheelbarrow, a plow or a stronger hourse. I would think that working the farm would be a labor. I'm still kind of split on this one.

I realy didn't look at in context to do good work and God rewards. Whether you make soddy, normal, good, or excelent goods you get the same labor points. Though there are material consiquences to pawning off soddy goods this is not an act of god against your bad work. Labor points, I was seeing, are a way to messure your work for a season, if your good at it then you get more and you can expand your enterprise. I'm not sure I'm assumeing corectly. Also your labor reputation doesn't have to be good. I see no reson that a criminal doing his trade wouldn't still gain rep as "the dread pirate roberts". Perhaps I'm looking at this in the wrong light. Further insight would be very useful.

I'll eave these last two to Matt, who did the tradesman sections.

While some goods are certainly produced through farming - milk, wheat, beef - I'd still call the overall job a Profession rather than a Craft Ability. A craftsman, in broad strokes, makes something tangible, something that can be bought and sold. While farms can be sold, the overall task of working a farm would be a Profession Ability. I think, anyway. In my mind, a huge chunk of the population farms as their sole means of livelihood, and there is nothing particularly special about farming. This is different from our modern sense of farmers, who make up fewer members of the working population. Not to disparage farmers - I grew up on a dairy farm - but in the Middle Ages, farming was pretty common, pretty "ho-hum".

I wonder if "farmer" was even a recognized title in the Middle Ages; I don't know. What is the difference between a "farmer" and a "peasant"? Thousands of "unskilled" peasants toil their fields, harvest their small vegetable gardens, feeding chickens, and sharing the responsibility of tending to the community's ox. As a storyguide, to tell the truth, I'd be more comfortable with a character with Profession: Serf or Profession: Peasant than Profession: Farmer.

As for crime, I didn't envision this as a profession when developing the Labor Point system (which I can't take credit for, nor do I remember who (Timothy or David) first thought of it). The issue is that a character needs a Craft or Profession Ability score to determine the number of Labor Points she gets a season. There isn't a Profession: Criminal Ability, so you'd need to create one to determine the character's seasonal livelihood. That's fine, but my question is: what does the Ability cover in play? Do I need to put experience points in Leadership (Intimidate), Brawl, Stealth, or other Abilities that would be appropriate to such an individual? This could get messy.

So, for a criminal, I'd determine the exact type of crime he engages in, then make the player use the most appropriate Ability to determine his Labor Points in lieu of a Craft or Profession Ability. I'd also demand some type of season die roll to see if he got caught. Most apprehended petty thieves are hanged, by the way, without a lot of due process or judicial mercy. So if I wanted to be a meanie, which my players often claim, I'd set a seasonal roll that meant the character's death if the roll fails.

I don't know if I'm clarifying anything or merely pontificating. My apologies.

For a character that works two professions, I'd tell a player that such a practice is decidedly not medieval. If they persist, I'd average the two relevant Craft or Profession Abilities to determine the character's Labor Points. I'd also tease him about his "multi-classed" character, and ask him if he's found his "elven boots of +4 springing" yet.

I don't know how I'd apply magic items to Labor Points, and I don't remember if I included anything about this in the book. Let me drink more coffee, re-read the manuscript, and get back to you.

Thanks for the questions, by the way.
Matt Ryan

Good insights into the thought processes behind the system, so always useful. Thanks, Matt.

Definately! Thanks.