Sunday, May 26, 2024

Distraction: reviewing De Agricultura for a Kids Fantasy TRPG

 I maintain a copy of De Agricultura for sharing. I've updated it and used Askyourpdf to help me review it since I've forgotten everything I learned about it. The only thing I remember is that it's better than Harn Manor, and it probably was the basis of Harn Manor and proof that Taylorism existed much earlier, that Medes and City-states of Mesopotamia in 3000 BCE had already developed these metrics much earlier. 

The starting place for the TRPG is a manor in a frontier territory. Very typical fantasy but with some twists - as a kids TRPG, there are some PG elements like an order of secular social workers that administer these lands - professional bureaucrats who typically offer their competence in return for honoring their social work. Their social work is primarily charity and helping people get back on their feet. Imagine Mohists, Franciscans,  and Buddhists (as a Philosophy and secular - allowing people to have relations and national loyalties). The people who adhere to the Philosophy and identify with it call themselves Anastasian - the order is called Phoenix Dawn (I know its a common order name). Luminaries are the administrators and they maintain many Estates for various Nobles - even competing or nobles. They tend to stay out of politics - unlike the church which requires faith and blind obedience. So the order tries not to be political, and is imperfect (corruption and manipulation exists, as well as abuse of power). Of course - any charitable organization will have their True Believers and their internal Inquisitors (called Auditors). 

As a kid-friendly TRPG - I was reading old TRPG adventures, and it all began with the Murder-Hobo activity - reviewing the old adventures - I realized, wait a minute - there is historical text in what the training for soldiering and operations. Guard Duty, Hunting and Retrieval Tasks, and Exploration and Survival Tasks (traveling to A to B with a map and directions) are already very challenging tasks that don't involve murder-and-looting, and its going to be educational if kids learn some basics knowledge. 

One fo the things I want a TRPG for kids to do is to see the world more as an Adventure. Traveling, Trying new things, and learning they can work with the uncertainty of an RNG of life would be ideal if they play a TRPG. Like any TRPGer dad this is my Nth Attempt to get my kids to play TRPGs. 

So I'm avoiding the huge difference in Social Status for Starting characters - as well as the complexities of such dynamics. all the starting characters are Wards of the order, or one of the many migrating families that have moved to the Manor to help transform the fields, and a bit of background fluff - like those who identify as Anastasians have a duty to expand frontiers - giving to their eldest children enough resources to cultivate a new land - which the order will double and provide servants. Of course its imperfect - some people chose to leave being Anastasians in order to keep their kids from leaving . 
The players will definitely start in a very idealized and exceptional place - and then discover the other Lands and other conditions. making the players acclimate in one area and then learning to acclimate in other areas. As a frontier town, they will be introduced in other cultures and areas. This is one of many side distracting projects - because i was short of money to afford getting my kids the Pathfinder 2e remastered begginer box because of the many expenses that came up: they broke their ipad for school, a friends medical emergency, and my many projects. So reflexively I DIYed it - and anyway I will make the book launch as part of my Mneme Variant Combat rules book - because it will use a majority of the rules of that book to simplify combat and stream line it.  

So there will be just Stat Allocation, a 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 and 5 stat will be assigned. I will simplify the background as they are all wards of the order. Then as for career, they start with the 0 level skills of the career. This is their first term - they basically mustered out already at 16-ish. In the manor there are Mentors who determine the 6 skills at 0 level. Their first Adventure is travel through the Fort into their neighbor's territory, doing a trade escort mission. I wonder what the kids will think of the "Labor Tax" they have to work on projects around the manor for 40 days a year? (this is a very important topic in Philippine history and that of many of the colonized people around the world). 

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