D&D General Need wheat. Too dangerous. (worldbuilding)

Ixal

Hero
Or modern day moose, those things are massive
You know that D&D used to have dire moose?
I wonder if D&D humanoids have domesticated and bred dire wolves into canine variants. Nothing combines "chic" with "effective home defense" quite like a properly-groomed dire poodle.
There are more factors to domestication. Is it practical to domesticate an animal? Can you keep and feed it? Is it useful?
Feeding a dire wolf can become a problem for many people.
 

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You know that D&D used to have dire moose?

There are more factors to domestication. Is it practical to domesticate an animal? Can you keep and feed it? Is it useful?
Feeding a dire wolf can become a problem for many people.

To quote the (controversial) Guns, Germs & Steel, here are some ingredients for domesticating large animals for food purposes.

Diet. (Most large domesticated animals are herbivores, because you want to feed them cheaply. Obviously large dogs are an exception to this, but I've never heard of a culture that eats large dogs. The chihuahua was a kind of portable snack.)

Growth rate. (Cattle grow quickly. Lions... not so much.)

Captive breeding. (Many animals will refuse to breed in captivity. Apparently Japanese bears would not breed in captivity, so they were never actually domesticated. More on this in a bit.)

Disposition. (Animals that get aggressive, such as bears, are very hard to domesticate. Even if you can, it's not worth it. Japanese bears were captured as cubs, rather than raise in captivity, then killed and eaten before they could grow too large and aggressive. African buffalo and zebras are also very nasty. I suspect the Wakandan rhino cavalry required some special technology to keep them under control.)

Panic. (Many animals will panic in captivity, battering themselves against cages and walls or simply suffering from heart problems.)

Social structure. (Horses, cattle, and dogs are particularly social, making them easy to control. If you want horses or cattle to go somewhere, just take control of the dominant horse or cow/bull and the rest will follow. You can get horses to cross streams this way. Non-social animals might simply spend too much time fighting.)

I imagine dire moose cannot be domesticated as I've never heard of anyone domesticating real moose. But I don't know enough about moose behavior to determine if they are docile enough, social enough, and calm enough to domesticate.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I wonder if D&D humanoids have domesticated and bred dire wolves into canine variants. Nothing combines "chic" with "effective home defense" quite like a properly-groomed dire poodle.
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Chaosmancer

Legend
Humans originally domesticated canines because it was handy having some predators working for you instead of against you. What might the humanoids of a fantasy world domesticate for similar purposes?

Well, we know that there are reports of Elves domesticating Owlbears and Blink Dogs work with people. Could probably get some Displacer Beats because they are also smart.

Giant Spiders would totally be domesticated. Or at least farmed. Spider Silk is too valuable. Giant Bees.

I'm not super familiar with a lot of the other fauna in DnD, would have to re-reference older editions which had a wider variety of monsters. Cave Fishers are one I've had Dwarves domesticate, because alcoholic blood.
 

Hussar

Legend
Can we judge how certain and obvious that is based on interactions between countries/tribes/nationalities/religions/ethnic groups in the real world? :.-(
Absolutely. Considering that the overwhelming majority of countries/tribes/nationalities/religions/ethnic groups in the real world get along fine, or at least tolerably well. As in they trade, cooperate, build cities and countries and by and large don't have any major conflicts most of the time.

It's pretty rare for there to be areas of constant conflict in the world. I know it happens, and there are obvious examples. But, there are far, far more examples where it doesn't.
 

Laurefindel

Legend
I tend to resolve the food/land vs monsters issue with feudalism, and typically make my version of FR or other settings a bit more medieval than suggested. @cbwjm , @Steampunkette and @Ancalagon have touched the subject already.

The majority of people don't live in walled cities; they live in the countryside under the protection of their local lord or lady. The king does not invest in erecting watchtower all over his realm, he appoints nobles, gives them a fief for them to own and protect, and expects them to keep the rampaging monsters at bay. In turn, the nobles owe tithes and obligations to their liege. The king does not pay for watchtowers, he gets paid for those watchtowers!

Now this may be over-simplistic but that's the basic assumption. This can range from a rustic clan-like structure to a fanciful and arrogant aristocracy, from proud and free peasants to oppressed serfs, from caring knights to aristocratic assholes.

And then comes a threat that the local baron alone cannot counter. That's when adventurers come in...
 


Hussar

Legend
Not to mention those Neanderthal, Australopithecus, Homo erectus, Homo floresiensis relatives that used to be wandering around. Apparently there were at least 21 human species that have been recognized.

One of the issues I have with this topic though is that it always comes back to someone throwing down the "racism" card as if that ends all discussion in a "I'm right you're wrong" sort of way.

So I'm just going to reiterate: the mods don't allow this topic. Can we go back to discussing whether or not anyone other than a first level apprentice can use magic to alter reality for the benefit of the society at large?
Sorry folks. Stepped away for a while, so I'm going to be pulling stuff from pretty far back in the thread. Feel free to skip to the end of these posts for the latest thought.

Again, I'd point out that there were, as you say, 21 human species that coexisted (and quite possibly had children together) for tens of thousands of years. It's not like Homo Sapiens committed mass genocide on these other species to seize the planet. There's very little evidence that these different hominids conflicted at all. So, why are we presuming that humans and humanoids must never cooperate?
 

Hussar

Legend
Most of human history is an exercise in constant warfare, tribe against tribe shifted into country against country (aka the tribes got bigger) but that has been a constant thing through much of our history.

And that's just dealing with our own people. Imagine how hard it would be to maintain relations with a truly "alien" species. Elves as an example, how do you work on deals measured in years against a race that normally thinks of things in terms of centuries?

Not saying it is impossible, but I think conflict is more likely than long term cooperation in many examples. At least if nothing else, both ideas (cooperation or conflict) could easily be explained and justified.
Not really. I live in a country that had the better part of 500 years with no major conflicts - Japan. The Edo period is pretty marked by the fact that while it started pretty bloody and ended horrifically, the centuries in between were largely peaceful. The Korean penninsula is largely the same. Centuries of peace.

There are lots and lots of examples throughout history of peace. The notion of "constant warfare" is not a reasonable reading of history. And, let's not forget, that prior to the 20th century, and certainly prior to the Renaissance, wars were very, very small things by and large and largely left the non-combatants out of it.
 

Hussar

Legend
Humans originally domesticated canines because it was handy having some predators working for you instead of against you. What might the humanoids of a fantasy world domesticate for similar purposes?
Bingo.

Now, add to that the fact that a LOT of those really handy beings are actually intelligent, can talk and be reasoned with and think about how useful they would be and how useful we could be to them.

Rolling back to Treants. Sure, we need a lot of wood. Fair enough. But, we can cut a deal. We'll PLANT more than we take and then take care of the forests. In return, you animate your trees and get your forest organized exactly how you like. If a tree is dying, animate it, walk it out to the edge of the forest, have it stand up really straight and we'll take care of it, humanely and with dignity. Everyone wins here.

I do remember a really cool Dragon article from years ago about the Ecology of the Wyvern where the locals would mix wyvern scat into big vats and paint the roofs of their homes with it during Wyvern season to keep them away. I have to admit, the old Ecology articles did paint a very different picture of a D&D world than what gets presented by setting books.
 

Oofta

Legend
Not really. I live in a country that had the better part of 500 years with no major conflicts - Japan. The Edo period is pretty marked by the fact that while it started pretty bloody and ended horrifically, the centuries in between were largely peaceful. The Korean penninsula is largely the same. Centuries of peace.

There are lots and lots of examples throughout history of peace. The notion of "constant warfare" is not a reasonable reading of history. And, let's not forget, that prior to the 20th century, and certainly prior to the Renaissance, wars were very, very small things by and large and largely left the non-combatants out of it.
Nobody has any real idea of how the different species interacted. In some cases there was probably peaceful interaction, it's why a lot of people have traces of Neanderthal blood.

All we really know is that we're still here and none[/] of them are around any more. Odds are, over the long run we decided killing them off was just survival of the fittest.

As far as how what did or did not happen in the real world relates to games, I see no correlation at all. Every DM and group should decide what makes sense to them.
 

Hussar

Legend
Odds definitely are not that we killed them off. Odds are that changes in climate did.

But like you say we don’t know.

I agree that it should be up to individual dms. But it would be nice if we at least got a couple of examples in the published settings instead of every setting presenting a single view of how species interact.

No one is talking about what you do in your game and I have no idea why you are getting defensive about it.
 

Al2O3

Explorer
You breed more sheep.

Flippant answer aside, I think that we need to consider that the interaction between, say, a village and a dragon, can have many flavors. It really is up to the GM to decide!

In one case, the dragon is predatory - they are eating sheeps far faster than the villagers can provide. This is a problem and heroes may be required to solve the situation. Tada, you have an adventure!

But the situation doesn't have to be this dire. Perhaps the dragon is more reasonable and the villagers have increased their sheep production, and everyone is happy(ish). But not you don't have an adventure... and that's ok! This could just be background flavor.

OR

It could be the foundation of a different kind of adventure. Perhaps a neighboring baron covets the dragon's lands, and tells the heroes how terrible the dragon is and could they go kill her and "liberate" the "poor" villagers?

Perhaps the dragon hires the adventurers to do something. What? there are hundreds of possibilities here.

Perhaps the dragon is considered a "noble" too, and is one of the Elector Counts... but human politics is tedious to him. It asks the players to investigate the candidates for him and report.

Perhaps the dragon is worried about another dragon? Or wants to court that dragon? Bored of sheep and wants the PCs to acquire more exotic food?

All this to say, it's really up to the GM.
I agree that there are many ways it can play out in D&D. My post was more about the particular version of St George and the dragon. That one is what happens when you run out of livestock and still need to feed the dragon.

 

Al2O3

Explorer
Since there have been a lot of mentions of what you can do with in acre:
An acre is basically one field. You just need one farmer, one ox and one day to plow it. That could be useful information in terms of "how many farmers and how much land do we need?"

For more about acres:

I guess "hide" might also be a relevant term for the discussion of area. Hide (unit) - Wikipedia
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Since there have been a lot of mentions of what you can do with in acre:
An acre is basically one field. You just need one farmer, one ox and one day to plow it. That could be useful information in terms of "how many farmers and how much land do we need?"

For more about acres:

I guess "hide" might also be a relevant term for the discussion of area. Hide (unit) - Wikipedia

In my campaign I assume each settlement/Stronghold (Manor, Village, Castle, Monastary, Farmstead, Bandits Lair, Owlbear Den etc) occupies a hyde of 120 Acres.
For mapping purposes a hex is one square mile of 600 Acres which means I can fit 5 hydes in a hex wether its rural (Town-Druids Cairn-Farm-Forest-Lair) Or Urban (Port-Tavern-Temple-Shop-Street)
PCs get to influence the Strongholds which often means the hydes are relevant for play
 

For my own Jewel of the Desert setting, there are three factors that help prevent this being a problem:

1. The vast majority of sapient beings are part of both nomadic and civic society (which are considered related branches of the same underlying culture). Orcs, ogres, minotaurs, and a number of other races that would normally be "always evil brigands" are just as much part of society as elves, dwarves, and humans. This means there's a lot fewer raiders than there might otherwise be.

2. Most of the really nasty monsters live in the Wastes, and don't like going into the tamed lands near cities. There's ancient power out in the Wastes that seems to sustain and even improve monsters, so it might be that civic lands are off-limits. The nomad tribes have to fight off monsters, but it's more a seasonal thing than an every-day-struggle. Nobody truly knows where all the monsters come from either way though!

3. Both Druids/Shamans (collectively, Kahina) and Clerics (the Safiqi priesthood) assist with keeping the land fertile and productive, with the former being generally better at it. Alchemy is also used to enrich soils and accelerate plant growth and animal fertility.

Mercenary guards and official city-state militaries keep watch and prevent large-scale problems, but small-scale stuff still happens. That's where Adventurers come in! It's been a profession for a long time, but it recently catapulted to particular prominence after some adventurers helped save the Sultana of the largest city-state from a coup attempt sponsored by an efreeti noble (who, shall we say, did not do well after his efforts were revealed.)
 

Grakarg

Explorer
I like to think about the economics of a fantasy world when doing the worldbuilding. And honestly, I can say that my players could care less... But I still have fun with it and dammit, the DM gets to have fun too!

Anyway, if you like to think about agriculture in a fantasy/medieval realm, I found this short .pdf book to be a good source of inspiration: Grain into Gold by Board Enterprises Grain Into Gold - Board Enterprises | DriveThruRPG.com

The author breaks down how many acres of farmland a farmer would need to support themselves and their family, and from the price of wheat, extrapolates the values of other goods.

I also like the Dungeonomics series of blog posts by Multiplexer on the the Critical Hits website. She takes common economic theories and ideas and twists them into applying to fantasy worlds. There are some great ones. Dungeonomics — Critical Hits
 

It must be relatively safe to farm, otherwise there wouldn't be any farms.

In farmlands you get bandits that want your cash (and only kill you as collateral damage). And in the wild you get monsters (e.g. bears, wolves, etc.) that want you for dinner.

And once players hit L5, things only get dangerous if they go to really remote and dangerous regions where you certainly won't find a peasant farmer trying to grow wheat.
 

Ixal

Hero
Not really. I live in a country that had the better part of 500 years with no major conflicts - Japan. The Edo period is pretty marked by the fact that while it started pretty bloody and ended horrifically, the centuries in between were largely peaceful. The Korean penninsula is largely the same. Centuries of peace.

There are lots and lots of examples throughout history of peace. The notion of "constant warfare" is not a reasonable reading of history. And, let's not forget, that prior to the 20th century, and certainly prior to the Renaissance, wars were very, very small things by and large and largely left the non-combatants out of it.
From a historic points of view, glossing over entire decades, there was constant warfare. And lets not forget that the usual low level raiding is usually beneath the notice of historians.
That in some region one power won so completely to suppress all opposition for longer periods of time does not negate that. Those regions are all outlier and special because they had peace.
I also disagree that wars were small and the non combatants not affected. That certainly does not apply to the ancient area. And even after that mass enslavement of entire cities did happen.
But for the people living there it was entirely possible to live ones entire life without bigger conflict.

Bingo.

Now, add to that the fact that a LOT of those really handy beings are actually intelligent, can talk and be reasoned with and think about how useful they would be and how useful we could be to them.

Rolling back to Treants. Sure, we need a lot of wood. Fair enough. But, we can cut a deal. We'll PLANT more than we take and then take care of the forests. In return, you animate your trees and get your forest organized exactly how you like. If a tree is dying, animate it, walk it out to the edge of the forest, have it stand up really straight and we'll take care of it, humanely and with dignity. Everyone wins here.

I do remember a really cool Dragon article from years ago about the Ecology of the Wyvern where the locals would mix wyvern scat into big vats and paint the roofs of their homes with it during Wyvern season to keep them away. I have to admit, the old Ecology articles did paint a very different picture of a D&D world than what gets presented by setting books.
Depends on if humans can find an alternative to creating and maintaining fire. If not an industrial centre can require hundreds of tons of wood per year and it is hard to do that sustainable I think (not sure though).
 

Hussar

Legend
Well, sure, somewhere in the world there is a war going on pretty much all the time. That doesn't change the fact that for about 90% of the population of the world, they aren't involved in an armed conflict at any given time. And, yes, cities were enslaved. Sure. But, again, these are outliers.

To put it another way, how many times was London enslaved? London's a couple of thousand years old. Must have happened many times.

And, what kind of industrial center are you thinking about? What time period are we looking at? Again, looking at Japan, Japan was more or less self sufficient and trucking along for centuries.

Something I think people tend to forget is just how empty the medieval world would be. The population of all of England in the 11th century was what, 2 million? About 1/30th what it is now. That's a LOT of empty space. D&D worlds are freaking ginormous. The population density should be about what you see in Siberia or northern Canada.
 

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