Saturday, April 9, 2016

Reflections on more Historical Gaming

As I get older and learn more about history I learn more about the delicate elements and details that are harder and harder to communicate without being given the benefit of the doubt. Running games where the setting has these mature themes and converting the data to a sense of authenticity of the a setting becomes trickier in light of agnotology.

Inquiry, Scrutiny, and Learning are key themes in my gaming style. So be advised that as I'm writing it running such games have become more controversial and best suited among consenting adults who have a lot of trust and understanding between them.

Questions that come up because of learning about History and Showing how complicated and fascinating it can be:

How much death does an Adventure experience in his life? How many people they know die of violence and natural causes?

Arguments if there exists a Childhood for Medieval people given these mortality rates. MW by dorsey armstrong and some historians have a postion that such childhood exists but there is still some debate about it.

Divorce rates as a base rate to look at how many relationships just dont work out. Arranged marriages and how people can be happy or unhappy with or without love in marriage. Then there is the matters of Infidelity being more acceptable and even matters of Polygamy. Then there is violence in the household and things not being so cut and dry (like the overwhelming pressure to stay in a violent relationship as PCs many such cases)

Modern violence against women statistics as compared to what would it be in medieval settings, if you believe its worse than how does one handle it? So many very difficult and muddy aspects about this. An NPC or PC can be a rapist and get away with it and have an overwhelming support for his actions. Then there is the stockholm aspect of these abuses, its how its always been done.

Dehumanization and Institutional abuses, if you do entertain and have it as part of a setting how do you have it in the settings.

Player Characters who are not "clean" modern ideals - do they belong in the players or NPCs only? This is where character development overclocks the empathy engine?


Key points
  • 0.15% growth in population annually. Wiki
  • It can be negative in periods of war and famine, it can be on the low of 0.1% to 0.3%. 
    • 7 children born per household based on the 30% infant Mortality, 4-5 children grow to adult hood. The fine details of the median averages can mean a bump of up to 0.3% population growth per year. MW
      • Note that in modern eras infant mortality is in the per thousands, except in poor communities who have medical access no better than medieval tech.
    • 10% Maternal Mortality rate (guessing)Note in the modern era that this is at the per thousands. same note as above. 
  • Average life span is 40-60 for people who survive past 5 years old. MW
  • Average family person age is 20s MW and Wiki
  • Urban Areas have a negative growth rate and draws it population (MW)
    • Death rate is higher among the working and poor, as compared to the Artisans and Merchant classes. (guessing) 
    • Note from the citizenship rights for Towns and Cities. 
  • Recruitment Demographics in an Armies and Fighting Men
    • Only a small % of all male population tend to be in fighting age: 16-40. 
    • Given the birth rates and death rate, I'd guess at about 30-40%. 
  • Given that 5 tenant households can support a professional fighting man I'm guessing about 6-8% of men are professional warriors. 
    • Working with 10% attrition per year of fighting men in conflict areas. In periods of war it would be much higher. 
      • does this translate to 0.5% attrition per period war in conflict areas? Thats not the whole picture because there are non-combatant casualites
    • Note Horses have a 10% attrition per sub unit of period of a Campaign in SWM. Sub unit of a Campaign in Gaming is Adventuring but in war its Tasks or Projects. (Guessing)
  • A Tenant, typically an indentured servant and his family, tends to work a portion a Hide of land or a Virgate. 
    • A Virgate is anywhere from 30-80 acres. Inclusive of fallow land and pasture lands. 
    • An Acre is an amount of Ox&Man day to work in an median average of 4,000sqm 40,000sqft. It gets smaller the lower the tech level, and thus the lower the amount of food it can produce. 
    • The productivity of a Tenant  Household is better measured per year. 
    • Treat a small farm of a tenant like any small business - with a very low 3 year survival rate (30% or a -2 on a 3d6 vs 10, and subject to the economic cycles of growth, surplus, scarcity, and instability). I recommend that experts (GURPS skill 14, and equivalent in other systems) only grant a +1 to this roll or shift odds at most by 10%. Daniel Kahneman and other statistician have belief that leaders only have a small factor in the success of the organization. The greatest factor is circumstance (the economic cycles). 
    • more on Household Economics of Farmers.



Medieval Demographics based on the Wiki
Notes from Dorsey Armstrong's Medieval World 
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