D&D General Fantasy Farming

Ixal

Hero
Grains keep and ship well. The romans, using no magic whatsoever, kept Rome supplied in grain, feeding a 1 million population.
Grains keep for a year or so and only if you have good storage for it, something that requires a lot of space and logistics for very high magical yields.
And grains only literally ship well. When you do not have ships then moving large amount of grains will be very problematic. The only reason why Rome could grow so large is because of the Nile and the easy shipping from Egypt.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Micah Sweet

Legend
I agree with you that some cantrips - mold earth especially - would be very useful. But I don't think that a cantrip could be cast every round, minute after minute, hour after hour - the caster would just get exhausted. Sure that's not in the rules, but the rules don't cover every situation, and we can use logic/common sense. The same way a person can't swing a sword hours on end, a caster shouldn't be able to cast cantrips at will forever.

that being said - even if the caster is using a cantrip every 5 min, that is still extremely useful.
I wish logic and common sense trumped the rules more often, but more often then not I find the reverse is true, especially if a PC wants to do something.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
A circular area of half mile radius would be about 500+ acres. 30 acres (a virgate) is the area one person can plow in a season with a two oxen team. This would enhance 17-20 virgates. One acre to feed one person for a year. 600 acres to feed and provide sufficient wealth to support one knight and horse. The local baron might control 1000 - 2000 acres. Make friends with your local 5th level druid and have them stay a week. Gifts, maybe a keg of wine or mead wouldn't hurt.

This is, of course, off the cuff and looking at a nearly 1000 year spread of time in Europe. But, it's a starting place.
Why would a druid whose life's purpose is preserving and enhancing nature want to instead use his gifts granted by said nature, to preserve and enhance nature killing civilization?
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Why would a druid whose life's purpose is preserving and enhancing nature want to instead use his gifts granted by said nature, to preserve and enhance nature killing civilization?
Farms arent necessarily nature killing, the Roman Farm included an irrigated garden, willow plantation, olive orchard, meadow, grain land, forest trees, vineyard and an acorn woodlands and encouraged nymphs to visit. A druid who sees people as part of nature and farming as a way to boost productivity of the surrounding lands should be happy to help.

Even practices like Swidden farming that use Fire in some tropical ‘jungle’ areas help forest regeneration and nutrient cycling.

Grains keep for a year or so and only if you have good storage for it, something that requires a lot of space and logistics for very high magical yields.
And grains only literally ship well. When you do not have ships then moving large amount of grains will be very problematic. The only reason why Rome could grow so large is because of the Nile and the easy shipping from Egypt.
properly stored grain in a granary could last up to four years with good cycling. Its also important to remember that hard bread and fermented grains (ie Beer) were important rations as beer in particular allowed Grain to be stored indefinately.

However I am confused by your reference to Nile shipping - how did that help the Romans get grain from Spain or when they went north into Europe?
 
Last edited:


Why would a druid whose life's purpose is preserving and enhancing nature want to instead use his gifts granted by said nature, to preserve and enhance nature killing civilization?
Because it may become a civilization that lives in harmony with nature.
Or, the baron's the druid's brother. Family sticks together.
People are complex.
 

I agree with you that some cantrips - mold earth especially - would be very useful. But I don't think that a cantrip could be cast every round, minute after minute, hour after hour - the caster would just get exhausted. Sure that's not in the rules, but the rules don't cover every situation, and we can use logic/common sense. The same way a person can't swing a sword hours on end, a caster shouldn't be able to cast cantrips at will forever.

that being said - even if the caster is using a cantrip every 5 min, that is still extremely useful.
I mean can the fighter swing an axe to cut down a tree?
Can the barbarian swing a pick/shovel?

no matter how much of a limit you put on the cantrip you HAVE to limit the physical work just as much and the cantrip will always do more faster
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Because it may become a civilization that lives in harmony with nature.
Then when that happens, the druids will be happy and help. They're not going to help destroyers of nature on the off chance that some day they will change. :p
Or, the baron's the druid's brother. Family sticks together.
Then he never had the intense love of nature to become a druid in the first place. That's like saying, "Well, I'm so dedicated to justice that I became a paladin of devotion, but I help my brother murder people, because family sticks together." Someone so dedicated to preserving nature that nature itself is granting him power isn't going to sacrifice that belief for his brother.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Farms arent necessarily nature killing, the Roman Farm included an irrigated garden, willow plantation, olive orchard, meadow, grain land, forest trees, vineyard and an acorn woodlands and encouraged nymphs to visit. A druid who sees people as part of nature and farming as a way to boost productivity of the surrounding lands should be happy to help.
The farms aren't necessarily nature killing. People who eat the food are. The Romans paved over a lot of nature to get their armies from place to place. They destroyed a lot of habitats to build their cities, garrisons and forts. They destroyed a lot of nature by killing animals and mining and smelting metals for their pleasure and soldiers.

A druid isn't going to help them by giving them more food to enable continue to destroy nature in other ways.
 

Ixal

Hero
Farms arent necessarily nature killing, the Roman Farm included an irrigated garden, willow plantation, olive orchard, meadow, grain land, forest trees, vineyard and an acorn woodlands and encouraged nymphs to visit. A druid who sees people as part of nature and farming as a way to boost productivity of the surrounding lands should be happy to help.

Even practices like Swidden farming that use Fire in some tropical ‘jungle’ areas help forest regeneration and nutrient cycling.


properly stored grain in a granary could last up to four years with good cycling. Its also important to remember that hard bread and fermented grains (ie Beer) were important rations as beer in particular allowed Grain to be stored indefinately.

However I am confused by your reference to Nile shipping - how did that help the Romans get grain from Spain or when they went north into Europe?
You usually did not get good cycling with granaries available with D&D tech level.
Converting grain into bread and beer increases its volume and thus requires more storage space. And the more space you need the harder to keep it vermin free.

The main food source for Rome was Egypt, not Spain or Europe. Partly because Egypt very fertile and partly because shipping was easy as all farms were near a major river with easy sea access.
 
Last edited:

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I mean can the fighter swing an axe to cut down a tree?
Can the barbarian swing a pick/shovel?

no matter how much of a limit you put on the cantrip you HAVE to limit the physical work just as much and the cantrip will always do more faster

isn't that what I said?

My main message though is that if someone wants to calculate how much work a cantrip-wielding mage-farmer can do, casting every round for hours on end is not realistic. The same way you can't swing an axe constantly for 8 hours.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
isn't that what I said?

My main message though is that if someone wants to calculate how much work a cantrip-wielding mage-farmer can do, casting every round for hours on end is not realistic. The same way you can't swing an axe constantly for 8 hours.

I have worked in a farm and yes we did 8 hours or more (sometimes 12).

I would assume the spellcaster would take breaks. Spellcasting would be comparatively easy.

One of the worst days was bad sunburn blistering the skin on my ears and having the blisters pop.
 

isn't that what I said?

My main message though is that if someone wants to calculate how much work a cantrip-wielding mage-farmer can do, casting every round for hours on end is not realistic. The same way you can't swing an axe constantly for 8 hours.
I have worked in a farm and yes we did 8 hours or more (sometimes 12).

I would assume the spellcaster would take breaks. Spellcasting would be comparatively easy.

One of the worst days was bad sunburn blistering the skin on my ears and having the blisters pop.
I am weak now, I do office work and could not do 2 hours of 'hard work'. I still have friends in retail and in shipping reciving that are getting ready for the time of year were there will be 10 hour days with little to no break, on your feet moving doing things... now 99% of us are inside at least but my argument is that the cantrip is no MORE taxing then the shovel or the axe. And we know people can do those actions with a few 15 min breaks and a meal break for 8 hours.

so assuming that you have a caster cast the cantrip 5 times per minute (less then half the speed they could) for 8 out of the 10 hours they are supposed to work 4 15 min breaks and 1 hour one(that counts as a short rest) and you have 2,400 uses of the cantrip at least.
 

Voadam

Legend
The Mold Earth cantrip in Xanathar's could do a lot of plow and planting type work with an at will cantrip quickly and easily and could be heavily exploited for such as written.

Since it is a supplement spell that originated in the Temple of Elemental Evil web enhancement to give some more elemental flavored cantrips in an evil cultist non-agricultural context I don't think it should be assumed as part of the common D&D baseline for economics and agriculture though.

From the PH there is Mage Hand and Prestidigitation, which are useful but harder to leverage for these kinds of situations.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top