[CONAN] Cimmerian Thoughts You Can Help Me Consider

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Supplement Four
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[CONAN] Cimmerian Thoughts You Can Help Me Consider

Postby Supplement Four » Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:54 am

Here's something you guys can help me with. In my campaign, I'm trying to decide how fast a PC can accrue wealth.

For those that don't know, my campaign centers around a clan of Cimmerians. They're hillmen who claim territory at the base of the Eiglophian mountains in northern Cimmeria. The clanholme is a smallish village on a plateau overlooking the Hoath Plain. Besides the village, the clan consists of 9 homesteads spread out over clan territory.

The entire clan totals 336 clansmen. This is a total of 24 families, with an average family size of 14 persons.

140 clansmen live in the village while the other 196 live among the 9 homesteads.

This clan can normally field a force of 53 warriors. This force can be increased to 77 warriors in times of strife. There is a small contingent of full-time warriors (the clan war-chief plus 8 warriors), but most are clansmen with other careers. Each clansmen spends a quarter of the year as part of the standing military force (they refer to this as going "on the watch") that patrols clan territory and trails), while the rest of the year, they spend at their normal "jobs". Thus, a trapper will volunteer for the watch at the time of year when trapping yields the least results. A weaponsmith may serve his time on watch never leaving his forge, but working entirely on watch weapons.

Now that you know a bit of background, here are some questions I'm trying to decide upon. Arguments one way or the other are helpful to me in reasoning these questions out, putting some logic behind them.

I'm trying to consider....

Just how "socialistic" is the clan? Cimmerians traditionally have few possessions, but do the hunters feed everyone? Do they hunt, then bring the kill into the town butcher, where the women cook the food, then the entire town eats?

Or does each family fend for itself? How was this done among the ancient Celts? The Ancient Irish? The American Indians?

If a family has a bad day at the hunt, how would it get food? From a friend?

I assume that the clan is not a capitalistic society, but rather more socialistic (just how much will be determined by the answer to the first question above). Each person's "job" is needed for the entire clan to survive. So, if someone needs some nails, do they have to pay the blacksmith for the nails? Or, does the blacksmith just make the nails and give them to who needs them?

When the hunter returns with a kill, does he give it all to the clan? Does he keep some for himself? How does he interact with the trader, the furrier, the leatherworker, the cook, the butcher, the tanner, etc? Does he make trades? Or does he just give the stuff away, and in return, he gets his needs taken care of?

When a weaponsmith makes weapons, is he paid for them? How does he interact with those that need nails, door hinges, rakes, knives, broadswords, and the like? How does he pay for the iron-ore?

And, how can the weaponsmith prosper? Where does "clan wealth" separate from "personal wealth".

If you've got some comments on how a clan will operate socially and economically, I'd like to hear it. I'm trying to decide all these types of questions for my game, and I'm just not sure what direction to take yet.

Call it one of the hazards (actually, it's a "joy") of creating a sandbox.
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Postby Spectator » Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:48 am

Traditionally celtic clans were pretty "socialistic" they did view the clan as a large family, so resources were spread around.

I think you also have to think of the economic concept of "the tragedy of the commons" meaning when everyone has free reign to hunt and to graze, w/o restrictions, there may be no game left or all the good pastures will be devastated.

I imagine the clan elders allocate resources (if they hear that a wild aurochs was killed they may tell the clan to head to hunters house for a grand feast (the hunter would get the choice cut, though), tell who can hunt what and where, which families have the grazing right at the top of the glen and who gets the bottom of the glen.

There is a method to the concept and that is (without sounding like a climate change alarmist) sustainability, utilization of resources w/o depletion, and constant stewardship.
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Postby kintire » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:34 pm

Traditionally celtic clans were pretty "socialistic" they did view the clan as a large family, so resources were spread around

Depends which Celts and when, but usually all surplus went to the clan chief or king and he decided who got it all. Craftsmen and warriors were maintained by him. Mind you, if he was not generous with the stuff his authority would erode.

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