Hey guys, I'm hoping someone can help with the Covenant creation.
It seems to me the rules are a little, shall we say "hazy". Before I get ahead of myself, it maybe the way it’s written, it may be my misunderstanding, but there appears to be a lack of cogency in the way the rules work. By way of passing note, I’m not entirely sure of the logic of some aspects being purchased with Build Points and others with Boons/ Hooks (which in my view may contribute to the problem). Ok so here goes:
- Covenfolk: How many do you start with, how much does it costs and what are you paying with? So Covenfolk includes Craftsmen, Dependants, Grogs, Labourers, Servants, Specialists and Teamsters (Cov, Pg 63). On Covenants Pg 5 the "Baseline" for Covenfolk per Magus is 1 Grog and 2 Others (the example stating such as Servants, Labourers, Teamsters and Craftsmen. But here are the problems:
[tab][/tab]a) Baseline: Although this is an “approximation”, this is to some extent contradicted by the minimum required Servants and Teamsters (Pg 64). For example, if you take a standard Covenant (6 Magi and Grogs), were you to select 1 Craftsmen or Labourer, you would need a minimum of 8 servants (rounded up) and therefore 5 Teamsters for a total of 14 Covenfolk (2 more). This works for any other combination. In other words you cannot have a Covenant with the Baseline unless you have no Other Covenfolk besides Servants/Teamsters. The Baseline is described as an “approximation” of the number of inhabitants. However, in truth it is not an approximation but an absolute minimum (which in most cases is only a theoretical minimum). Ok, hair-splitting I hear you say. The importance I hope will become clear in a moment (I think).
[tab][/tab]b) Cost: I can find no explicit mention of how you actually purchase “Other Covenfolk”. At pg 72 (ArM) you are given the Build Point cost for Specialists, but none for the other “Other Covenfolk”. There is no Boon for purchasing them, besides things like Crossbowmen (which I’ll get to). Reading the Covenant Creation Summary (which if you only have ArM is all you have to go by) it would suggest you get the Baseline for free. However, that is implausible. Were it the case, and you used one or more of the slots for Craftsmen/Labourer (as the example permits), you would be obliged to purchase additional Other Covenfolk (as explained above). But how would I do that? The only rationale I can think of is there is no creation cost for them at all. Rather you can have as many as you can afford in terms of the Expenditure. If that is the case why do I have to spend Build Points on Specialists?
- Income: Allied to the above is the issue of Income. Each Covenant gets a typical source of Income for free. However, you can purchase a Secondary Source of Income as a Boon. This however, makes no sense to me. Surely the source of Income is a matter of in game effect, most particularly based on other choices you make?
Assuming you can have as many Covenfolk as you like, so long as you pay the expenditure, surely you could buy in as many Craftsmen/ Specialists as necessary to make whatever profit you could. For example, my troupe have decided to use Swordsmiths to manufacture weapons and Bee Keepers to produce honey. So long as they’ve paid for the Covenfolk to do it (whatever that may be), why should they need to take an additional Boon to have two sources of income?
Furthermore, the Source of Income derived is little problematic. For example, a Specialist can make approximately 2 Expensive Weapons per season (or 8 per year), (City and Guilds pg. 68). That equates to 120 Shillings or 6 Pounds. Therefore, to have a Typical Source of Income (100 Pounds) you would need 15 Blacksmiths/ Swordsmiths. Even if you purchased Specialists with higher abilities, you’d need at least 3. Suppose my Covenant instead wanted to earn around 100 Pounds but by using a combination of Sword manufacture and Honey production, they would need to take the additional Boon, but why? The answer maybe that I am applying the the rules too rigidly (and feel free to say so) but they don’t appear to me to gel very well together.
other Other Covenfolk: I touched on this earlier. I realise this has been posted about in the past, but it doesn’t seem to have been answered conclusively. If the Troupe take the Crossbowmen Boon (for example) how do you determine how many crossbowmen they are allowed? Again, is this as many as they want, providing they pay the wages et al. If so, why should they have to take a Boon at all? If not, how many do they get with the Boon?
Horses: A small point, but I know how much the Inhabitant Cost is, but how many can I have at creation?
Seasons: What is the relevance of this or is this just an In Game turn. It appears in ArM but not in Covenants. It appears to be a throwback to 4th Edition, whereas in 5th it’s really the Power Level.
Thanks for listening to my ramblings. Any comments welcome.