So, on to finances. In order to figure these out, we need to figure out what we need in the way of covenfolk. What I see so far is five separate residences for five magi, a school, and a regio. The regio should have little in the way of permanent covenfolk. We might have a few that possess magical abilities and won't warp. But most covenfolk will live in one of the separate residences or at the school. (I don't know if the school will be contiguous with one of the magi residences or separate. We'll need to figure that out.)
Now, each magus will probably have his official sanctum inside the regio, since that's where they'll have their labs. But to the extent that they want to interact with the outside world, they'll maintain a presence in their residences. So how many people will each magus need for support?
Well, we can start with the bare minimum: a magus, a companion, and a shield grog. Not all companions have to live with the same magus as their player is associated with. But it will simplify the numbers if I assume that at the start. That requires two servants and two teamsters for a minimum total household size of seven. Now, I understand that the magi might be spending a lot of time in their labs. But they'll want to maintain a functional household in the city, so even if they're not there all the time, they'll need to maintain a staff of servants.
Of course it's more complicated than that. To start, there's the question of specialists and craftsmen. Let's be minimalist and assume one of each for a given residence. That ups the number of servants to three and leaves the teamsters at two for a total household size of ten. But that's not counting dependents. There are bound to be some children too young to work or an elderly covenfolk who can't work anymore. Let's asume an average of two dependents per residence. That doesn't change the servant or teamster requirement, leaving us with a minimum reasonable household size of twelve. (We'll look at larger households in a moment.)
Now there's the school. For the sake of argument we'll assume it's separate from the residences. If it's attached to one, then we can fold those numbers into the residence numbers. The required number of servants or teamsters might change by one, but it should be close in numbers. Let's assume five teachers, three craftsmen, and five grogs for the school. That requires four servants and three teamsters, for a total size of twenty. Given twenty covenfolk, it doesn't seem unreasonable to say that there would be four dependents, raising the total to twenty-five (we needed one more servant).
Then there's the center of the covenant in the regio. I know I said that few people would be there permanently, but we'll need to account for the fact that the magi will be there a lot and will need some servants to take care of them. The servants needed for the regio would not be full time in the regio (for the most part) and would probably overlap with servants from the residences. For example, a residence might have five servants, three of which serve the residence and two of which serve the regio. The servants would rotate who served where so that no servant spent too much time in the regio.
So, while this might overestimate the staff we need, lets' assume all five magi as residents of the regio, though we'll skip the companions. They require five servants and three teamsters. Let's assume they'll each want a lab assistant and bump that up to eight servants and three teamsters for eleven total people. Let's assume two dependents (who will no doubt live in a residence outside the regio, but who should be counted), which ups the number of servants to nine and the number of teamsters to four. We have a total of fifteen people associated with the regio.
So, what we have so far is:
FIVE RESIDENCES: 60 people
SCHOOL: 25 people
REGIO: 15 people
TOTAL: 100 people in the covenant
Of course that only has us having five specialists and five craftsmen beyond what we have for the school. I'm guessing we'll want more than that. So, as promised, we get back to residences. What if we assumed two specialists and two craftsmen per residence? And while we're at it, let's up the number of grogs from just one to three. That requires four servants and three teamsters for a total of sixteen people. With that number, I'd up the number of dependents to three, which brings us to nineteen per household. We can round up to twenty for ease of counting, if we like.
So, that changes things to:
FIVE RESIDENCES: 100 people
SCHOOL: 25 people
REGIO: 15 people
TOTAL: 140 people in the covenant
Let's up that to 150 to account for some laborers and a few horses.
Now, that's a lot of people, I hear you say. Remember that these people are spread out across five separate residences, one school, and a regio. This is also an era where the rich had a lot of servants, and the magi count as rich. So really, having about 25-30 people in a residence isn't that much, especially considering that the bare bones magus residence requires 7 people, and the smallest reasonable size is 12.
Given these numbers, we have a little under 200 population points of people, with an unmodified cost of 260 MP/year (assuming 3 MP/year for each lab and 10% of our income as tithes). That number doesn't account for the benefit of specialists, craftsmen, or laborers, so it will definitely go down. The point is, if these are our numbers, we're well within our budget of 350 MP/year.
In any case, that's my attempt to estimate the general population and finances for the covenant. I made some huge assumptions, and guestimated a lot. No doubt the real numbers will change, possibly by a lot in some areas. But these numbers form a good baseline to start from. And they prove that we're on track to have a manageable budget.
I welcome any thoughts on population and budget.