So drawing together some of the NTME issues from the material thus far, how do I apply these to an actual player's land in my world?
Let's take the offline party's holdings, which would be 300+ square miles in Transylvania, north of the modern city of Brasov, or Renaissance Kronstadt. Because the Civ IV icons translate in a very crappy way to making your own map, I'm going to steal images from someone else ... and see if they come screaming at me.
There, that's not so bad.
In Civilization IV (C4) terms, all the hexes are "grassland." Those without hills produce 2 food; those with a forest produce 2 food and 1 hammer; the hills with forest produce 1 food and 2 hammers. The river hexes also produce 1 coin, and the village produces 1 additional hammer.
Translating this into D&D terms, the lowland and the forests each can produce up to 300 million calories, or enough for 1,500 persons; the hills can produce 100 million calories. All the river hexes produce the equivalent coin to 500 persons ... but what would that be?
Rather than pull this number at random, as I have proposed in earlier posts, I can turn instead to my macroeconomic system. According to that system, Kronstadt imports 627.81 references of goods, from all over the world, based on the distance of Kronstadt from every other trade distribution point I have calculated so far. The same system enables me to gauge the total number of persons affected by the Kronstadt market, based on the economic principle that supply = production/distance. Population is "production" as much as anything else. Kronstadt's market therefore serves more than just the local population, but has tendrils reaching effectively worldwide. Total affected population: 3,730,878.
627.81 references translates into a total gross value from production of 1,429,105,750 copper pieces ... triple that, in accordance with monetary velocity as proposed in an earlier post, GDP equals 1,149 c.p./capita, or 5.985 gold pieces.
This, multiplied by a population of 500 (one base village), equals 2,993 g.p. This is much less than the number I proposed earlier ... remember that only a third of it is coin that moves into the party's hands ... a mere 998 g.p. (rounding off).
The party's land includes a total population of 1,500 - but note that the land itself only has a maximum production of three gold, even if the population gets higher. I am presuming with this overall system that somewhere in the region of Kronstadt's influence there are hexes that produce the balance of said gold - the city of Kronstadt itself, for instance, must produce a ton. I don't have to worry about those numbers, however. I only have to worry about what the party controls. If the party ever gets to a point where they control Kronstadt, well, then I'll worry about it.
The population of 1,500 gives the player's land a C4 population of '2' ... which means they can work two of the six available hexes. If they choose to work the rivers, they could gain for themselves the tidy sum of nearly 3,000 g.p.; or they could concentrate on hammers, or they could concentrate on food. They could translate those hammers into the creation of farms, or knocking down the trees and diminishing their long term value. They could import horses, sheep, cattle or pigs, or the 10th level druid in the party could import deer or beaver. Certain crops may be practical; certain animals certainly would not be. At any rate, the party must feed its own population, so 300 million calories would be absolutely necessary to stave off starvation.
As a sidenote, we could break down the exact food to get 'grittier,' less uniform production potentials. Suppose we up the food production of a '1 food' to 105 million calories as opposed to 100 million; this would mean that '2 food' would be equal to 315 million calories.
Since 105 divides equally in 7, and since 2d6 has an average of 7, we could say that a piece of land has the potential to produce food equal to 15 million x 2d6 (1 food) or that number plus 30 million x 2d6 (2 food). Thus, we would roll 2d6 twice for the open meadow next to the town. The first roll multiplied by 15 million, and the second roll multiplied by 30 million. If we rolled two eights, the total food production would not be 315 million, but would instead be 360 million.
A small change? Perhaps. But it makes the range of a piece of grassland from 45 million (double snake-eyes) to 540 million (double box cars). Which piece of land the party works, develops or defends in time of war would very definitely be established. A party could get very lucky, or very unlucky with the land they were given to work ... especially since the roll would apply to everything, coin and hammers also. The production requirements would then be multiplied by seven for verisimilitude ... and homogenous hexes would be replaced with potential military targets and unconsidered backcountry.