HarnManor and owed serf labor

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Re: HarnManor and owed serf labor

#26 Post by blackhorde » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:55 am

Rothesay wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:18 am
As I said above, the system doesn't work out who is doing what labor, but it is clearly part of the overall fief budget.
Whether it specifies who is doing the labor or not you can assume averages just like it does and those averages show a loss for the lord with tenants who are only renting and not contributing to the demesne work pool because they rent 45 acres or more.
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Re: HarnManor and owed serf labor

#27 Post by Eder » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:12 am

blackhorde wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:38 am
Is there some other draw I am not aware of for Lords to even allow renting above say .. 40 acres? If they only allowed up to 40 acres rented then they could at least get 5 acres of demesne work out of the tenant household.
Hmm, this sentence possibly highlights what's the problem.
HarnManor, for simplicity computes one big labour pool, from freemen and serfs alike, and then the lord can freely "allocate" all of it as he sees fit (though he might have to pay some of it). In other words, the lord "manages" the entire fief -- and then takes a share of the production (and costs) proportional to the demesne, plus rent, and defrayed of the costs of the labour he gets "for free" from his serfs.

But in reality, the lord can only manage the demesne, and can freely "allocate" only the labour owed from his serfs ... plus whatever labour he can manage to hire. In principle a free tenant household that manages to eke out a decent living out of its 30 acres has no obligation to sell to the lord the 150 days or so of "unspent" labour. They might just choose to "take it easy". In fact, in EH3 Manor, where the lord manages his demesne and that alone, he only gets to allocate serf labour (all of it owed from villeins, part owed and part hired from half villeins and cottars who must sell it lest they starve) , plus possibly a tiny extra (5-10%) of labour surplus purchased from freemen, passing travellers, etc. The key is that in EH3 Manor free tenants provide virtually no labour for the demesne; which is "historically" accurate: as soon as you started working side-by-side with the serfs, it would be easy for the lord to make the case you were yourself a serf.

So it's somewhat misleading to think that, by renting as free land to that same household ... say ... 10 more acres that would otherwise lie fallow, the lord "loses" labour. In fact, what usually happens is that a free household (and even a villein household!) that has a significant excess of "unallocated" labour will ask for free land to rent. The lord might refuse and try to pressure them into selling labour (from which profits more than he'd make from rent) but he can't force them. Since wasting "unallocated" labour and fallow land is a lose-lose situation, some accomodation is usually reached.

In this sense, EH3 Manor is somewhat better than HarnManor mechanically, in that rent is a significant fraction of the kind that land can produce; so the lord is getting comparatively a good deal. Look at 5 acres, 2 (the max) held as cropland and 3 as pasture, assuming LQ 1 and FI 1. If the lord gets some 8d for each of them, he's getting 40d/year. A farmer family will spend 15x2+5x3=45 days on them, plus 25x2+10x3=80d kind, and will manage to pull out 60x2+25x3=195d kind. After paying rent, they are effectively putting into those acres 45 days of labour, for a net profit of 195-80-40=75d kind. So they are getting about 1 2/3 d of kind per day of labour invested... or 30d of kind on top of the 45d they'd get for hiring out their labour; which makes the 40d the lord gets seem a reasonably fair deal for both parties. To be fair, under EH3 mechanics the lord has to pay maintenance for non-demesne land too (which makes little sense to me), amounting to 2.5 days of labour and 5d of kind, but it's still roughly a 50/50 deal). Under HarnManor mechanics, land yields more and costs less, so renting it is comparatively a significantly worse deal for the lord and it's natural to ask "why would he?".

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Re: HarnManor and owed serf labor

#28 Post by Eder » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:29 am

Rothesay wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:18 am
Eder wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:06 am
The lord is not paying for the labour, nor for the "generic" upkeep of the land rented to the free farmer. This is one key difference between HarnManor and EH3 Manor (and one of the very few things I think HarnManor does better). The lord spends labour and kind in proportion to the fraction of the fief that's demesne.
This is incorrect as the example manors make clear. Each of them has fief maintenance under the entire budget including all cleared acres but not woods.
Uhm, I checked the example manors, and they seem to confirm the zest of what I am saying, though you are right that I'm slightly off on some details. There might be some miscommunication here.

In terms of fief maintenance (3 labour days and 6d kind / acre, so not the costs of maintaining cropland/pasture):
a) As for kind, the lord effectively pays in proportion to his fraction of cleared acres (so in a manor with 1500 acres, 300 wood, 600 demesne and 600 tenant, the lord pays half the kind);
b) As for the labour, the lord effectively pays nothing (he only pays for the 8 days/acre of actively maintaining pasture and/or cropland, whether he can "pay" those days with labour owed him, or with labour hired).

The key is that the lord is not paying the labour or the kind necessary for the maintenance of the portion of the fief worked by the free farmers: they are paying the kind, and everyone but the lord is putting in the labour.
Last edited by Eder on Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: HarnManor and owed serf labor

#29 Post by Rothesay » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:34 am

We may be viewing the accounting from different perspectives. Gross vs. net kind of thing. I don't think it matters from the perspective of the MUD.

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Re: HarnManor and owed serf labor

#30 Post by blackhorde » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:41 am

Rothesay wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:34 am
We may be viewing the accounting from different perspectives. Gross vs. net kind of thing. I don't think it matters from the perspective of the MUD.
Sorta matters. I am figuring out what the expenses and profit are per acre, which is mostly laid out in HarnManor, and then determining what each tenant would provide the land owner rather than lumping everything together for calculations. This varies for free, serf and slave obviously.
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Re: HarnManor and owed serf labor

#31 Post by Rothesay » Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:52 am

I think then a big issue for you is the generalized 500 days per household.

The key question is - how many able-bodied workers are assumed in that number? At least two. So if you go by that and say that each person is good for 250 days a year, then you need to know the relevant population of your HDs. I imagine this is easier for the MUD than for other things. So, let's take the 115 example farmer. She is stated to be old, but her sons and grandsons are running the place. With 13, let's divide them in half and leave six productive workers for a total of 1500 days.

Let's also account to them 11 days for each of their acres. That's 1265, leaving them 235 days they could hire out to work the demesne.

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Re: HarnManor and owed serf labor

#32 Post by blackhorde » Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:54 am

Rothesay wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:52 am
I think then a big issue for you is the generalized 500 days per household.
Why would it be a problem for me to assume my tenant households work 500 days when HarnManor assumes that? See what I'm saying?
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Re: HarnManor and owed serf labor

#33 Post by Eder » Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:55 am

blackhorde wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:41 am
Rothesay wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:34 am
We may be viewing the accounting from different perspectives. Gross vs. net kind of thing. I don't think it matters from the perspective of the MUD.
Sorta matters. I am figuring out what the expenses and profit are per acre, which is mostly laid out in HarnManor, and then determining what each tenant would provide the land owner rather than lumping everything together for calculations. This varies for free, serf and slave obviously.
Ok. It's kind of messy.
First of all, let's split kind and labour, and let's look at kind (both expenses and income) first.
Next, note that for each acre of cleared land essentially "comes" (in terms again both of expenses and income) with (wood_acres/cleared_acres) acres of woods. So, if the fief is 20% woods, each cleared acre effectively "comes" with 0.25 acres of woods; if the lord's demesne if half the cleared acres, he only gains half the profits yielded by his woods.

Expenses and income in kind are then, for each acre of cleared land, disregarding the woods:
+72d x FI x LQ x WI yield (based on a 50/50 mix of cropland and pasture, you might vary this)
-12d x FI of seed/feed
-6d x FI of fief maintenance
for a total of 54d "profit"/acre

In addition, each acre of cleared land brings wood_acres/cleared_acres acres of woods (typically 0.25), yielding
+18d x wood_acres/cleared_acres yield
+120x2/100=2.4d x wood_acres/cleared_acres assarting revenue
for a total extra profit of 20.4d x wood_acres/cleared_acres PER ACRE OF CLEARED LAND.

So 1 acre of cleared land (and the corresponding fraction of woodland) yields (72d x FI x LQ x WI) - (18d x FI) + (20.4d x wood_acres/cleared_acres). Assuming an "average" LQ, FI and WI=1 and a fief that's 20% woods and 80% cleared, it comes to 59.1d / acre of cleared land, on which a free tenant would pay 6d rent and 1d fees to the lord... which is indeed a rather small fraction of the profit (compare with about 50% for EH3 Manor).

In terms of labour, each tenant must "spend" his fraction of cropland and pasture work, or 8 days /acre).
He must also spend all the labour necessary for assarting and for fief maintenance -- including that for the demesne! So, in practice, each acre of tenant land has labour requirements increased by a factor cleared_acres/tenant_acres. For each tenant cleared acre it comes down to 3 days x FI x cleared_acres/tenant_acre for the fief maintenance, and for assarting to 2% of 30 days x wood_acres/cleared_acres x cleared_acres/tenant_acres = 0.6 days x wood_acres/tenant_acres.
The total is then, for each labour of cleared land rented by a tenant, a number of days:
8 + 3xFIxcleared_acres/tenant_acres + 0.6 x wood_acres/tenant_acres.
The last term is very small; assuming and FI of 1 and a fief 20% woods, 40% tenant acres and 40% demesne, the total is then 14.3 days/rented acre, and it takes some 35 acres to "consume" the entire labour pool of a typical household (500 days)

So even after paying rent and fees to the lord, free farmers make a nice (59.1d-7d) / 14.3 days =3.64d/day worked on "their" land (rather than as hired farmhands at 1d/day)! Compare with EH3 Manor, in which they make about 1.66d per day worked.

In comparison, serfs only pay 1d/acre, but must add 4 days of demesne work. So they make (59.1d-1d) / (14.3+4) days or 3.17d/day worked on and/or for their land (this is somewhat less than what free farmers make). Interestingly, it takes just 27.3 acres to consume all 500 days of labour of a "typical" serf household. Of course, this is work done on the serf's land, or on the demesne to pay for the serf's land. Work "for hire" at 1d/day is waaay less profitable. Compare with EH3 manor, in which villeins make about 23d/acre after layout expenses, for which they work 9+4=13 days - in other words, they are earning 1.78d per day worked, or slightly better than free farmers (though after they work the 60 days for their cottage, it comes to roughly the same as free farmers, but without the associated risks).

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Re: HarnManor and owed serf labor

#34 Post by blackhorde » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:35 pm

I'll take the example of a 60 acre freeman farm. I set the [19]feudal payment at 5d/acre and including the 1d/acre for [22] Political expenses.

+ 60d (Toft)
+ 7d Fees * Rented Acres
+- 6 (Rents/Payments-Gifts cancels out) * Rented Acres
- 6d (Maint Costs) * Rented Acres
- 3d (Maint Labor) * Rented Acres (3 days at 1d/day not including lunch and drink)

+60
+420
+- 0
-360
-180
= -60d loss for the lord to rent these acres

The lord would owe much more if he left it fallow, I agree, but that is not the point I am trying to make. I am merely stating that if the lord kept the rented acres at 40 acres or under he would not operate at a loss since Harnmanor assumes every tenant household offers up 500 days of labor so that leaves the freeman farm available labor to work the demesne and then that tenant would not be a burden on the fief budget.
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Re: HarnManor and owed serf labor

#35 Post by Eder » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:47 pm

blackhorde wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:35 pm
The lord would owe much more if he left it fallow, I agree, but that is not the point I am trying to make. I am merely stating that if the lord kept the rented acres at 40 acres or under he would not operate at a loss since Harnmanor assumes every tenant household offers up 500 days of labor so that leaves the freeman farm available labor to work the demesne and then that tenant would not be a burden on the fief budget.
I see what you are saying. But that's one point where HarnManor mechanics deviate from reality, and from "canon" (as in "canonical setting"). Because they allow the lord to freely allocate the "500 days" of every household, free or serf, whereas in reality he cannot. In particular, he cannot demand any labour from freemen, and indeed most freemen would avoid, if at all possible, working on the demesne (particularly year after year; a one-time specific task might be ok) lest custom turn them into serfs. Even at the cost of "wasting" some of their labour surplus! A fief where freemen routinely spend a significant fraction of their labour on the demesne runs contrary to canon (again, as in "setting"). A free household that has significant labour to spare will ask for more land to rent (and the lord with an excess of land will, in general, accede, lest that workforce move elsewhere) or perhaps hire out that labour to other freemen.

Your point should probably be interpreted as: the lord loses money by having that tenant family as free men renting land, instead of having them as serfs owing labour. That's definitely true when labour is in short supply, as on Harn and in a lot Europe when serfdom was introduced. And it's the reason why manor lords are constantly trying to turn their free tenants into serfs: should a free household fall on hard times, the lord does not simply hire their "surplus" labour at 1d/day on a temporary basis, he forces them into a feudal contract that obligates them to provide that labour forever.

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Re: HarnManor and owed serf labor

#36 Post by blackhorde » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:09 am

Good to know the historical perspective. I felt it odd that freemen were part of the labor pool as well though for different reasons.

Its been a good discussion. Learned I was making renters shoulder the burden for acre upkeep when they shouldn't. Have to think of how to deal with that in Harshlands where we have both PC farmers and tenant objects the Lord interacts with. Probably just have the lord pay the 9d/ acre to assign any to PCs.
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Re: HarnManor and owed serf labor

#37 Post by blackhorde » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:00 am

Since PC farmers are freemen I think I will use the historical precedent and not have them work demesne.

That will keep them separate from serfs.

And so lords are not paying 3d/ acre for the privilege of having a Freeman renter I am going to leave the maintenance cost and labor cost for their rented acres to the freeman as well.

Free acres are supposed to be kept separate from the rest anyway.
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Re: HarnManor and owed serf labor

#38 Post by Rothesay » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:50 am

Eder wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:47 pm
should a free household fall on hard times, the lord does not simply hire their "surplus" labour at 1d/day on a temporary basis, he forces them into a feudal contract that obligates them to provide that labour forever.
Yes, I agree with this interpretation.

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