Thoughts on the Economy Rules

It has been an interesting week or so. As I have been working through the recent economic changes, I have come to realise that I could use the Tax and Profitability rates, to help achieve a couple of ideas that have been floating around in my head for a while.  But first:-

DON’T PANIC – I am not going to implement these changes in The Stolen Lands game, but I do want to get them straight (and written down) for the next time I use these rules.

When we started the game, I wanted ‘civilisation’ to get started quickly and for players to become involved in the campaign side of the game early on in  the game.  Generally, especially at RPoL, if there isn’t a quick(ish) return people lose interest, so the return on investment (0.5) was set to encourage that – and it worked.  However, there has not been any real incentive to settle new areas (I have often had to push that) and growth has been very fast –  faster that I would have liked.  In the space of 6-7 years we have built a city that is already one of the largest settlements in Brevoy and the River Kingdoms.  In a couple of years time, it could be directly comparable  to Restov and Port Ice – the second and third largest cities in Brevoy.  Alongside that, we have developed Midmarch – a province that could soon be comparable with the estates of the great Noble Houses of Brevoy.  Nothing wrong with those things, it is just too fast  :]  Another 5 or 6 years / levels would be much better for the game.  Now I must ‘manipulate’ the Noble houses, a lot more than I would like to, to keep things in balance.  Anyway, before I get to Tax and profitability …

One of the first things I will do (next time I use these rules) is to add a building materials upgrade route.  There is nothing about construction materials in the rules so far – and materials tend to change as a settlement matures, or better materials become available.  In ‘Boom Towns’, which tend to be temporary, buildings are often thrown up with what ever materials are to hand, often wood.  Those   cities that survive, generally make a transition to more carefully constructed buildings, often built from stone.  Ideally, I want to replicate that change, which would help slow development rate down slightly.  Perhaps 0.5bp per size of the building would work?  All I have to do is set fire to part of a city, to encourage the Local Council to enact an ordinance …  I could even factor that cost into the original costs for significant buildings – such as city walls, cathedrals, castles, and universities.

Anyway, back to Tax and Profitability …

Some time ago I added a list of costs and sale prices for developments according to the size of the settlement (shown below) and (IN FUTURE GAMES) I am tempted to use it to manage profitability as well

Purchase Price GP 
Hex TypeOutsiderStandardPreferredSale PriceProfitability
Managed Wilderness (*)37503000225015000.5
Small town (+)56254500337522500.45
Large Town62505000375025000.40
Small City68755500412527500.35
Large City75006000450030000.30

That works, as profitability  is based on the BP value of the development – and GP value of BP changes according to size of settlement, and as settlements grow both the cost of land for further development and the cost of living go up …

Just as importantly, it should do two things. Slow down the rate of settlement growth, and encourage people to invest in smaller settlements.

But Tax is at the discretion of the council.  Standard tax generates 0.2bp per pint of econ in the economy.

I can see, in some circumstances, city rulers putting tax up – lets say to 0.25bp per point of economy.  That would result in a 0.05 reduction in business profitability – and a possible slowing of the economy and settlement growth. 

A council might also drop tax– lets say to 0.15bp per point of economy.  That would result in a 0.05 increase in business profitability – which might result in  the economy and settlement growth, speeding up. 

Posted in House Rules.


  1. In that table of price of a hex for different settlement sizes, what does the profitability ratio actually mean? Does it mean 1BP of econ would generate 0.5BP profit in the smallest settlements but only 0.25BP profit in a metropolis? Would be he same apply for developments generating income from magic?

  2. Yes. However, it won’t be implemented in the Stolen Lands game.

    First, and most importantly, I want to encourage quick development in the early parts of the game, but slow it down later. Settlements growth feels very skewed, it is hard work to get villages off the ground and stable – but Tusk almost has a run-away feel about it, and Newgate’s development has been very fast indeed! There is just too much money knocking about at higher levels and growth is massive.

    Currently, V&A could take a wilderness hex and turn it into a large town in two campaign rounds – with no outside investment. If Henry stopped

    Secondly, it feels like it works with the BPs are defined. BPs represent a real mixture of things – gold, resources, good will, magic and people (and probably a few other things as well). One BP’s worth of people moving into a wilderness/rural hex has a bigger impact on the economy (per head on population) than when they move into a city or large town.

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