[PnP] Economic Project, Part 3

Burton Choinski bchoinski at verizon.net
Thu Apr 24 14:38:38 CEST 2014

For this issue we will start to deal with various raw materials as well as try to finish up the farming occupations.

In addition to the "Producer" year of 300 days work and the "Crafter" year of 240 days work, a "Refiner" year splits the difference at 270 days.  I have updated the Collier on my excel sheet, but there was no significant price changes for the Potter or Glassmaker products.

FLAX FARMER (1bb/day)
Flax farmers grow flax for both the fibers it produces as well as the seed, which is usually used for animal feed or pressed into oil for water proofing or sealing. Using a document from the 1800's, I have a yield of 250# of lint (rendered fibers) and 8 bushels of seed per acre (448#). The low fiber yield is due to the fact that about 85% of the plant weight is removed to access the useful fibers.  Using our normal farm family over 14 acres (7 active), we get a yield of 1750# (584# per man) of fiber and 3416# of seed (half used for next season, for a usable yield of 1708#, or 570# per man).  As for other farmers, this is over 300 days, with an additional 30 days working for their liege.

In terms of value, we assume the fibers make up 75% of the income.

	Flax Fiber: 0.3853bb/#
	Flax Seed: 0.1316bb/#

HEMP FARMER (1bb/day)
Hemp farmers produce hemp, a fiber crop used to make rope (and coarse cloth).  The seed is also pressed for oil (for convenience, I have the seed yield the same as for flax).  Hemp produces about 850# of fiber per acre, or 1984# per farmer.
	Hemp Fiber: 0.1135bb/#

MILLERS (5bb/day):
Millers were an important part of any society, taking grain from the surrounding community and using wind, water or animal power to grind it into flour.  The only source I have to go with here is from "Economy Quest":

	Millers own a mill of some kind and grind other people's grain. The standard 
	miller's cut is 10% of the grain ground.  

Using this as a guide, we will assume that the family grinds 40,500bb of barley per year to make their income needs (over 270 days). This is about 222,125# of grain, or 823# per day for the family (275# per person).  Wheat flour has gluten and can be baked into risen loaves; barley flour does not, resulting in denser bread.
	Barley Flour:	5# per 1bb
	Wheat Flour:	2.5# per 1bb

In many cases flax seed was used for cheaper animal feed, but it was also pressed for useful oil. Assuming a refining rate similar to a miller, a family presses 16,200bb of flax seed (linseed) into oil, about 123,119# worth (456# per day for the family, or 152# per day per  adult).  When pressed, linseed produces 40% oil per weight in seed, with a liquid value of 0.13 gallons to the pound.
	Linseed Oil: 2.84bb per gallon (3bb per gallon retail)

SPINNER (1bb/day)
Spinners use distaffs or other similar hand tools to take flax fiber and twist it into tightly wound thread.  The 2-3 foot lengths of fiber are carefully fed in to produce spools of a single thread. As per GLTC, spinners can produce 350 yards of common thread per day, over 270 days. At 1# per 640 yards of thread (enough for 10 square feet of fabric), a single spinner produces 148# of thread per year.  Spinning is often performed by families in idle time to generate extra income.  Fine thread takes longer to spin (75# per day) and requires higher quality flax (FOUR times cost). Hemp fibers can also be spun into coarse thread at DOUBLE the normal rate.
	Thread:	2.615bb/# 
	Fine Thread: 5.941bb/#
	Hemp Thread: 1.554bb/#

NOTE: Spinners will also deal with Wool, which will be used by higher occupations, but I am still trying to settle out how I’m going to deal with Herding occupations and all the various animal products, such as Meat, leather, milk or eggs.  I plan to deal with this stuff in Part 4 and will put addendum’s to Spinners, Weavers and Clothiers in that article.

ROPEMAKERS (2bb/day)
Ropemakers are similar to spinners, but the need to produce very long lengths and thickness of ropes requires a bit more skill. The time to spin rope fibers is similar to that for spinners except that instead of producing one long thread, triplets of thread are then twined together to produce thicker and thicker ropes.  Ropes for ships are usually oiled or tarred and cost DOUBLE.
	Line: 1-1/4bb per 100' for 1/8" (0.5#, 125# maximum load)
	Rope: 4-3/4bb per 100' for 1/4" (2#, 500# maximum load
	Heavy Rope: 2CC per 100' for 1/2" (9 pounds, 1 ton maximum load)
	Mooring Rope: 8CC per 100' for 1" (35#, 4 ton maximum load

WEAVER (2bb/day)
Most weaving can be performed by slicked labor working hand looms.  As per GLTC:
	The size of pieces of cloth is limited by loom size. Since most looms were set up so that the weaver could work while seated, 
	pieces wider than a person’s arm span and longer than a seated individual’s reach would be special projects. Thus, most cloth
	was at most two yards wide and often no more than 1.5 yards long.

It takes a weaver 5 days to set up and weave a 15# bolt of cloth, 5'x30', for a rate of 3# per day.  This is over the 240 days of a crafting year.  Common cloth has a weight of 1# per 10 square feet. Fine cloth using fine thread will have half the weight for a given bolt but takes twice as long to setup and weave.  However, cloth use is not measured in terms of pounds, but in terms of yards of cloth, or "bolts". While common cloth may use use a single "spool" of thread to produce a certain yardage of cloth, fine cloths will require 4 times as many spools (higher thread count) for the same amount of cloth. Burlap is woven from hemp thread and suitable for sacks or covers.
	Common Cloth:	3.5317bb/# (53bb per bolt of 15#)
	Fine Cloth:	25.5977bb/# (192bb per bolt of 7.5#)
	Burlap:		2.47b/# (37bb per bolt of 15#)

The above cost is for natural cloth.  Bleaching it (to make it white) can easily DOUBLE the cost; the use of dyes or ornate weaving patterns can also DOUBLE, TRIPLE or increase it by even more.  

CLOTHIER (5bb/day)
GURPS has no useful indication of rate of creation, so I had to make a wild estimate of 6# of cloth per day. 10% of the cloth used is lost as scrap.  When converting P&P or other sources for clothing, use the listed weight for both common and fine clothing when determining materials cost, but upon completion reduce the actual weight of fine clothing by HALF (i.e. 4# of clothing from a converted source actually weighs 2# if made from fine cloth).
	Common Clothing:	5.2bb per pound
	Fine Clothing:		15.5b per pound

When creating new clothing goods, multiply by the source weight and round up to the next 1/4bb if 5bb or less, or the next 1bb if over this.  These prices assume plain cloth; for more ornate cloth (common, unusual or rare dyes; simple or complex weave patterns, etc), increase clothing cost by 75% for every multiple of cloth cost over x1:
	x2		+75%	(x1.75)
	x3		+150%	(x2.50)
	x4		+225%	(x3.25)
	x5		+300%	(x4.00)
	x6		+375%	(x4.75)

Beyond this, other costs can be tacked on (jewels or gold/silver threads woven in, at cost, fancy embroidery at 1CC per day (days required at GM determination), etc.

A full set of common clothing weighs about 2#.  If made from fine cloth that had a x3 value, this outfit would cost 78bb (8CC retail) and have an effective weight of 1#.

SAILMAKERS (2bb/day)
Sailmakers use multiple layers of cloth to form canvas, which is treated with linseed oil to reduce permeability and to waterproof it.  Canvas has a weight of 20# per 100 square feet.
	Canvas Sail:	88.66bb/100 sq ft (9CC retail)

SACKMAKER (2bb/day)
Sackmakers primarily create utilitarian bags and covers from burlap, but can also make poor quality clothing for low station people as well.  Their production rates are similar to those as weavers, but quality is limited to poor since they are not as fully skilled.
	Burlap Products:	3.2543bb/#

Web sources

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