Bounty and season moves

  • 2 Replies
Bounty and season moves
« on: September 16, 2014, 05:52:00 PM »
I feel like there is more to be said about bounties than the playtest docs so far give us.

Mechanically, at the moment, "a bounty" is an output to several moves, most importantly the season end moves and certain rights, and it's an input to a couple of moves involving sacrifice and enchantment or luck/harvest/victory.

The bounties we know about are meat, fur, mead-and-meat, food, and coin.

A few things about this:

- in marked contrast to AW Classic, where securing the 1-barter necessary to, at a minimum, make it through the month without starving can be a matter of some urgency, there is nothing mechanical in the rules about hunger or other needs. Obviously, narratively, the MC can threaten you with starvation, but there's no clue how the bounty rules relate to this. Let's say you did end up with a bounty of mead and meat -- is that enough to last you for a week? A month? A season? A year? To last your family for a month? To last your household, your holding, your people, for a month? We know "a bounty" is one unit of sacrifice, but we don't know anything about it as a unit of economy or survival.

- there are also no trade and barter moves to speak of, and no explicit bounties of trade goods, which is interesting in a game which makes explicit reference to various kinds of trade (such as "the spice trade") and at a time when merchants and markets were an important source of political power -- lords granting privileges and rights to townspeople in order to attract trade, profit from it, and be able to grant food, boons and wealth to warriors was an  important factor in political power, and the Stronghold rules correctly suggest that ports and markets were important things to protect -- for just this reason.

- in terms of economic production, the industries suggested by the bounties are three: food production, hunting for fur, and soldiering. One glaring omission here is textile production, especially of wool. In her notes on writing Hild (which I strongly encourage anyone interested in AW:DA to read!), Nicola Griffith said that she ran across historian's estimate that women in the Dark Ages of all social classes spent 65% of their waking hours engaged in textile production -- shearing, carding, spinning, weaving, sewing. They weren't just hanging out At The Hearth with their hands empty. (Ah, here it is: ).

- On the other hand, "coin" was pretty rare. "Treasure" -- brooches, fine cloth, ivory, beautiful knives -- or boons (even a grant of land) seem a more likely outcome of a bout of Dark Ages soldiering than "coin". Especially as the game has otherwise no monetary economy.

- there is an apparent scaling problem in the use of "a bounty" in the individual season moves and in the People season move "prepare for what's coming". If I work as a tenant laborer I end up with a bounty of food -- in exchange for my individual, presumably unskilled, labor. If I prepare a people for what's coming, on a miss I generate nothing, on the most likely 7-9 result I also produce... a bounty of food. Is that the same sized bounty? How long will it feed the people, vs. the tenant laborer? If we follow the rules correctly, and both the tenant laborer and the People Prepared For What's Coming find they need to make an enchantment to deal with what's coming, they have the same amount of bounty to offer. Is there some scaling factor there, like when the People offers a bounty the enchantment will protect all of them, while the individual's bounty is smaller? The rules offer no such provision.



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Re: Bounty and season moves
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2014, 05:22:23 AM »
Agreed! It's undeveloped.


Re: Bounty and season moves
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2014, 06:29:25 PM »
To expand on plausiblefabulist's idea of representing the loom as an industry on top of the existing implicit industries, it also seems to me that the forge would be good to have modelled.  Given, after all, the existence of the Blacksmith.  Just a thought.