Covenant Development

I'm working on the finances--before I look through posts, does anyone remember if Patrick was around long enough to set up his lab-in-a-field?


I've nearly got the finances squared away, but I still need to figure out the treasury (I need to figure out which lab upgrades happened when, in order to adjust expenses for earlier years). Two observations: #1), unless an income source is put into operation ASAP, the treasury will be gone at the end of this year; and #2), once all three income sources are in operation, the covenant will be bringing in more than twice what it needs for expenditures. Wow, wasn't planning on that (but putting all the labs into commission will increase expenses by a certain amount).


I thought this had been set-up, as he had started creating the mutated creatures. There was a thread earlier where we may have had to deal with them, but it was decided that he took the creatures with him when he also took the trough.

Suggest the covenant decommission the field lab. I cannot see it being used by the current guests or members.


If we don't, it will fall into disuse and decay (possibly rapidly being outside?). Best to strip it of anything useful while setting up another lab. (Could give a bonus to that process, since it's more "moving" a lab than setting up a new one? Don't have Covenants w/ me, forget if there's a significant diff, but I want to remember there is.)

I just looked it up, and moving a lab costs three seasons, vs. two for setting it up--but in this case, since we're not moving it very far, and therefore it doesn't have to be crated up, we can treat it as just setting a lab up.

At any rate, I need to go back and figure out if he set it up in the first place, not because we want to keep it, but to calculate the expenses for the year(s) in question.


EDIT: Here's the last version of Patrick's seasonal activities plan: It looks like he set aside one season to create longevity ritual, but no time actually to set up a lab. Since he apparently needed the longevity ritual by the end of the year, I'm going to say he did actually set up the lab, and used it for one season, and I'll adjust the expenses thusly.

I think since Patrick arrived before Portia left, so therefore got the benefits of her casting Laboratory of Bonisagus rather than needing to set it up himself.

So what that says is that for anything like a "basic" lab it's easier to not worry about it than to try to recreate it exactly. That makes sense for a complex lab, but not so much for a basic one, which I would think(?) would be easier if the basic building blocks are already in place and organized and simply being moved next door.

Oh well, so much for that... :frowning:

Ah, yeah. So I need to charge the accounts for two years of his lab, actually. Thanks.


For anyone who cares....

amul had Patrick's lab listed as having an Upkeep of +5, due to being Outdoors--but, despite it's location, I think Patrick's wards (which, presumably, kept out rain and the like) really preclude treating it as truly having the Outdoors Flaw. Since he also had Magical Heating, I'm going to treat the Upkeep as +2 for purposes of our accounts.


OK, I've rejiggered the expenses a little bit, taking into account the actual (not the originally planned) number of inhabitants, and calculating costs per Inhabitants point, rather than rounding up, as well as adding in cost savings in the Buildings category for the mason and carpenter. The yearly expenses for 1228 will be 82.5 pounds, plus sundries.

I also adjusted the treasury, deducting expenses for 1226 and 1227 (adjusing for changes to the labs over the previous two years, and inflation). I deducted 19 pounds for sundries, leaving a total of 110 pounds in the treasury--that's enough for this year (1228), but income is going to be necessary very soon.

We are now officially up-to-date on bookkeeping, which is where I wanted to be before adding new players.


Which is to say, we're almost broke. I could have told you that without doing the books. :laughing:

Actually...that leads to a couple of questions....

First, I think that, starting in 1228, I'm going to treat at least some of the "visiting" magi as permanent inhabitants, if they intend to live at Nova Castra permanently: it seems odd to pay only half cost for "guests" who are living at the covenant indefinitely. This might also involve adjusting the number of permanent covenfolk, if these newly resident magi bring grogs or other covenfolk with them.

Second, in looking at the finances, I've discovered that the covenant will have way, way more income than it needs, once all three sources are put into operation (more magi and the fielding of the promised cavalary force will put a dent into the budget, but the covenant will still be quite well-off). I think that, when we created the covenant, we might have mistakenly believed that the Secondary Income Boon gave a Lesser rather than a Typical source of income. What would the rest of you think about trading one of the Secondary Incomes for another Boon?


(Is that even possible? Have you seen the wishlist of a typical PC mage?) :laughing:

Seriously, if we actually do have enough - and "enough" defined as a strong positive cashflow even after we make all immediate improvements plus more tbd - I'd be all in favor of it.

The dealbreaker is if the magi have to find a new source of income in the future to have the money to throw at problems down the road. Penny-pinching and a "strong" covenant are oxymoronic.

Right now, there's enough to support the absurdly high-Upkeep labs, and still to tuck away a tidy sum each year. More magi, a cavarly force, and inflation will eat into that, but there'll still be a surplus in average years (and possibly even bad ones).

In the end, it depends on how challenging you want things to be--if we really have more money than we know what to do with, then monetary resources won't be a source of stories--though all those riches might well attract unwelcome attention.


I'm still fairly new. But my thought is to dial back on the wealth and get some other goody instead.

We should aim for the mundane cashflow to be resistant to major disruption; either through having a surplus which can be horded and spent cyclically, or by several sources. I think that desire is covered from what MTK has described, so after that any extra coins are just more metal. A Boon of some sort would be good, but I think unless the surplus is consistently large there should be consideration to how to grow the covenant. And significant growth requires investment.

I'd note though a lot of things which I think would make good upgrades for the covenant cost a significant amount of silver, so I couldn't see a scenario where the Magi didn't have a plan for improvement. Getting each project underway with skilled resources is probably more an issue, but again, that is a great problem to have.

  • lab improvements, multiple specialist buildings, better living quarters for the folk (+morale), funding of expeditions by companion class characters, a wider breadth of farm stock, etc.

I now this is a more conservative approach, but the last thing I want to worry about is paying the covenfolk, or having to skimp on equipment, or on labs.

Q. How many pounds per year excess do you mean?

With the current expenses (which will go up, as I've noted before), and the planned income sources, the surplus would be over two-thirds of the income--that is, over 170 pounds a year.

One possibility is to have two Lesser sources in addition to the main income source (the quarry); that gives a lower total than two Typical sources, but it's less vulnerable to disruptions. Also, the sales of toys from the regio is a little more believable as a Lesser source, I think.


170 pounds is certainly a very large surplus, so it makes sense to drop it downward - especially if that also grants a Boon or removes some other disadvantage. Skimming p.71 of Covenants I think we could easily spend ~40-50 pounds per year on extras and improvements if we planned it, so a surplus around that would be good. But whatever we end with should be fine too.

I've no fundemental objection to toning down the income a bit, although would depend on what it was replaced with. Did you have anything specific in mind?