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Agricultural Development Details

Small Holdings

Small holdings are at the heart of life outside the town walls, and you find them both in Rural and urban hinterland areas. The majority of country folk are small holders of one sort or another, treat them as Commoners with the skill Profession:Farmer +5 and other craft skills at +4.

As soon as people move into a hex (often when a road or a watchtower is build) they set up small holdings. A few fields, worked by hand, growing whatever crops grow easily in the area. There are probably a couple of goats and a few chickens – and maybe a donkey for transport. Food production is supplemented by whatever means possible - small scale hunting, foraging the local area and casual labour all play a part. During winter months they put slack-time to good use by making minor items for sale – it might be making baskets and reed mats, whittling clothes pegs, charcoal burning or making simple pots out of local clay.

Stolen Land Examples.

Rural: Small game, that can be ‘taken’ with a sling or light cross bow as well as locally collected wild fruits, nuts, berries and mushrooms are all good additions to the food they produce. Smallholders might manage to send some of their crop to market, but that doesn’t really generate enough income to pay rent, taxes and other expenses, so they pick up casual labouring work where they can, and many work as field hands on local farms, as part of a road maintenance crew or whatever other labouring work is available locally.

Hinterland: The land that surrounds a town or a city often has laws that restrict hunting and foraging - but there are many more opportunities to pick up casual labouring jobs in the town or city.

Plains and Hill hexes: Vegetable crops are generally limited to things like Cabbage, Root Veg, Onions, Peas, Beans, Corn , while Apples, Blackberries and Plums are often cultivated as well. Chickens are kept for their eggs, goats for milk – Females are only killed for meat when they are old and not producing, males are fattened towards feast days, unless they are a particularly fine breeding specimen.

Wet Hexes with rivers, lakes or swamps, often see smallholder diets supplemented with fish, eels and, in a few cases, mussels.

Woodland Hexes are very different. Forest gardens, planted in woodland clearing, provide a controlled source of food - although this needs to be heavily supplemented by game and other locally sourced foodstuffs. Acorns are common, and can be treated and ground to make both flour and a hot drink . There are plenty of wild nut trees, which can provide a larder full of nuts over the winter.

NOTE:Forest Garden


While smallholdings grow crops for food, farms concentrate on growing income generating crops efficiently. When you build farms in a hex you clear fields, set grazing land aside and bring in specialist equipment and people. A farm has draft animals, special storage barns and specialist farmers – and they provide work for your smallholders. You will find them in Rural and Suburban areas. Draft Horses and Oxen provide the muscle power to plough fields and haul huge wagons, while threshing sheds, shearing pens and specialized dairies make for more efficient processing.

Basic Farms grow Cabbage, Root Veg, Onions, Peas, Beans, as well as a few fields of grain (mainly Wheat, Oats and Barley). There are a few nilk cows, goats, geese, chickens and perhaps a couple of pigs.

Farmers are Experts with skill specialization and Profession:Farmer +10

Basic farms can be upgraded to large farms that specialize in a single cash crop - While they all keep the mixed agricultural core, theextra fields and resources are generally focussed on a single, cash producing crop.

Stolen Land Examples:

Plains Areas: The primary cash crops are cereals, flax and hemp - which are used for making bread, beer, linen and rope - with dairy cattle as the main herd animals, providing cheeses to send to market.

Hilly Areas: In the hills, the farmers tend to concentrate on husbandry, with wool producing sheep as their main herd animal. Oats and vegetables serve as their main crop. Stepps milk cheese are another possibility.

Wet Areas: In hexes that include part of a swamp (the rest of the hex must be Hill or Plains) you can grow Flax as a cash crop. The seeds are used to make Linseed oil, which is edible, and was one of the first commercially produced plant oil in the Real World. More important, perhaps, is that the stems can be processed to produce fibres, which (after further treatment) can be turned into thread - which is woven to make Linen. In Europe, linen was used to make shirts, chemises and underwear before we were able to bulk import cotton.

Rural: In Rural areas there are often broad tracts of 'wild' land between developments (farms / village / etc ) so there is still space for hunting and foraging.

Hinterland: The bigger the town or city the stricter the rules are for land use - and the more crowded their hinterland area gets, so less chance to forage. However, that also means that there is more casual work in the city …

pathfinder/campaign_systems2/rural_development_details.txt · Last modified: 2021/12/27 13:54 by johnb