Monday, April 30, 2012

Medieval levies and revenues for fantasy RPGs

For a long time I use a sheet to work up revenues and troop strength whenever I needed to know that information. I developed it in the early nineties starting with various Harn materials including Battlelust, Harnmanor, and Shorkyne.

To use the worksheet you need to supply the number of manor/estates for each major settlement.  The number of urban households, and the sheet calculates the rest. You can also enter the land quality if you like. 1.0 represents average fertile soil. Lower numbers represent poor soils. Higher numbers better soils. Insert a row in the settlement portion of the sheet to add more settlements.

My general philosophy is to try to use real world units and concepts as much as possible. But use the law of averages to make something that is usable especially for something large as a entire realms.

The current limitation of the worksheet is that it is oriented towards feudal societies and would look very different in a imperial society, viking, etc. Especially in the military section. I still haven't settled in my mind how to deal with those types of societies yet.

Feudal Domains Worksheet

Money Assumptions   
All revenue is given in silver pennies   
One silver penny is equal to one D&D silver piece   
One silver penny is equal $4 of GURPS money   
One gold crown is equal to 320 silver penny    
d is the symbol for 1 silver penny   
Population Assumptions   
Each Manor averages 1,500 acres   
City Household are always entered by referee   
Towns average 500 urban households   
Castles average 100 urban households   
Keeps average 50 urban households   
One Rural Household per 50 acres   
Revenue Assumptions   
Each Urban Household averages 100d of revenue   
Each Rural Household generate 1/4d of revenue   
Each Rural Manor generates 1d per acre of revenue
Note this is the monies paid to the liege and represents net income NOT gross income.   
Different cultures will divide the net income in different ways.  The worksheet provides the base numbers to work with.   
Military Assumptions   
One yeoman per 900 acres of land   
12% of urban household has yeoman training   
A further 1 in 6 urban households has militia training   

Every manor provides a knight fee   
60% of Knight fee will be given in person   
40% of Knight fee will be given in scutage (money)   

Levies serve three months   
A Knight Fee is worth one of the following   
1 Knight   
5 Yeoman    10% of knight's fee will send 5 yeoman instead of a knight
Knight's Affinty   
A Knight Affinty is his retinue of men   
50% of knights will have a heavy horse   
the rest will have a medium horse   
1/3 of knight bring a squire   
25% of Squires of a knight with a heavy horse will have a heavy horse   
the rest will have a medium horse   
10% of the knights will bring an average of 1.5 yeoman (1 to 2)   
Yeoman Breakdown
Medium Foot    20%
Light Foot    45%
Unarmored LongBow    5%
Light LongBow    10%
Unarmoured ShortBow    10%
Light ShortBow    10%
The general yeomanry is raised separately from the call up of knights.   
The costs are support costs   
The levy may be supplemented with paid troops   
The levy may be supplemented with the militia however this threatens the harvest   
Mercenaries use the Yeoman Chart   
Support costs are broken out to show the minimum needed to keep an army in the field.   


Mathew Cubgrove said...


Zachary Houghton said...

Tremendous work, Rob!

Hedgehobbit said...

I've been looking over this chart for a couple days now and have two questions: What are the white diamonds on the map and what is the relationship between a manor and a village?

Robert Conley said...

A manor is a estate with a hamlet or small village attached to it. The diamonds are larger market villages which are generally found within a cluster of ten or so manors. The manors are usually a 1/4 to 1/2 day travel from the market village. roughly 5 to 10 miles away.

Hedgehobbit said...

Not to bother but more questions. I'm curious what the 1d per acre represents when you already have income from the household living in that acreage. Also, what does the LQ represent and why does it only affect this money per acre?

Finally, I'm guessing that the map is 5 miles per hex and, by my calculation, you could fit a bit over 9 manors in each hex (at maximum cultivation). I'm so used to things like B10 where you have two towns and one villages in an area over 10,000 sq miles. Is there a general rule about what percentage of the area of a hex is treated as usable acreage for these calculations?

Robert Conley said...

The 1d per acre represents the value of the yield the estate gets from farming (livestock, crops, etc). For a more detailed treatment look at a copy of Harnmanor from Columbia Games.

Land Quality is the quality of the soil. Whether it good land for farming and typically ranges from .8 to 1.2. It effects the income because it effects yield of the crops and livestock.

See Medieval demographics article (linked on my sidebar) to get a good sense of how dense population was in a medieval setting.