Domain Income/Expense Questions

So let’s assume that you have a city of 3000 families. According to the Domains and settlements chapter, they bring in an income of 7.5 gp/ family. That gives a total of 22,500 gp/month income.
The expenses are given as 2gp for garrison, 1.5 gp for maintenance, 30% for taxes and tithes, and 5gp/season for festivals (that works out to 1.66gp/month). Plugging in 3000 families, and I get 22,230 gp/month expense.

This works out to just 230 gp a month income. But the table on page 134 shows that the town should be making around 1500 gp a month.

What am I doing wrong? It’s not just for this–none of my calculations are gibing with the book.

Jon, I don’t think you are doing anything wrong. Your math seems right.

The tables assume that the ruler of a city with 3,000 families is a prince. As a prince, he has a realm which includes vassal domains, and those vassal domains themselves have towns within them that are paying in vassal revenue.

If you take a look at the table on p. 231 in the rule book, you will see that for a realm to have a city of 3,000, it is assumed to have something like 12,500 to 25,000 urban settlers in total. Without factoring those settlers in, the prince’s city isn’t making as much revenue.

If this is Tyr we’re talking about, you can probably cut out the taxes, which will help a bit. Not sure about the tithes.

The book states that taxes and tithes are a fraction of “Gross” income, which is traditionally defined as “gains from all sources less the cost of goods sold”

Does this mean that taxes should be applied before or after static expenses? (IE: If my peasants bring me 2000 gold, and then 1000 of it goes to festivals and guards, is my 10% tithe 200 gold (from the total) or 100 (from what I have left after the costs)

Also, just to practice my math skills: Prince Average has land worth 6 gp per family (and all families generate +4 for services and +2 for taxes), which means he’s raking in 12 gold coins for every peasant family. He’s also shelling out 3.6 in taxes and tithes, plus 1.6 for festivals (5.2 total now) plus 2 for guards (6.2 now). His peasants are worth 5.8 per family. If he has the largest possible stronghold (which costs 1200 per month in upkeep), and his domain is full to brimming, he’ll earn 68,400 gp from his personal domain’s urban settler families.

This still seems odd- The town is essentially breaking even rather than generating revenue, and exists less as an opportunity for Prince Average to expand his realm than to create a more conveniently placed market.

By "gross" I meant "revenue before expenses" rather "revenue after expenses". In other words, taxes are taken off-the-top.

You aren't wrong that domain revenues are vastly larger than urban revenues. It's by design. The game purposefully makes land worth much more than cities.

From a historical point of view, most rulers gained wealth and power by controlling vast tracts of land, which were a source of food and soldiers. Cities often were cost centers (consider the cost of the dole for Rome's citizens).

From a gameplay point of view, it incentives continued expansion and conquest of land, rather than playing "SimCity" and building up one city.

From a ruler's point of view, the main benefits of an urban settlement are:

1. Growth - A means of *some* growth when no new land is available to settle

2. Defense - Urban settlements must be conquered before a domain can be seized by an enemy

3. Manpower - Higher population density means more conscripts and militia available per unit of territory

This isn't to say that ruling a city couldn't be profitable, but the profits would often come from controlling trade. The game models that by giving you major bonus to mercantile trade within your own city. It also lets you team up with a thief character to control crime in the city and profit that way.

Ah, I’m glad to know the system is performing as designed. Thank you for clearing that up- These are all excellent points.

Are there any ways to skew the maths so that trade-focused city-states without much of a domain attached can make a lot of money?

Massalia is the main polis in my game (heading a Duchy of 60,000 families covering twelve 24-mile hexes, and including two vassal Counties with villages in them), and it was extremely wealthy because it was the nexus of virtually all trade between Gallia (France) and the rest of the western Mediterranean. Big flows going in and out, all of which were being loaded/unloaded there. By it's size (around 1100 families - a large town) it only merits a class IV market; is it possible to upgrade it to a larger class due to it's location and trade links?

They weren't a vassal realm, so presumably they don't have to pay out taxes? Additionally, tithes don't make a lot of sense in this context, it wasn't the state that paid to maintain the temples, but wealthy citizens in the form of liturgies. Can I just ignore both of those as far as expenses go?

I’m treating the city of Tyr as the lord’s domain, so while it doesn’t get lots of income, the taxes and tithes of the small, but relatively resource rich areas get bundled together (being a Theocrat has it’s advantages).

The way you get extra money from cities is taking advantage of the trade benefits you get when operating in a market you control. You can also collaborate with the locale syndicate(which may or may not be a henchman/party member) for more profit by (partially) sheltering them from prosecution from certain crimes in exchange for a cut. You can control both legal trade and smuggling quite quickly if you play your cards right.

To expand on Nerdnumber1’s point, check out the stuff in the core rulebook about mercantile trading. In particular, there’s a part that talks about a city’s land value, between 3gp and 9gp, which will influence the demands for certain goods. A high value will require putting +1 on several goods, making them cheaper in the mercantile system. a 9gp city is very wealthy and has lots of goods to export, which the ruler of the city can then exploit. There are also rules for granting a monopoly which permits someone to deal in larger quantities of a particular good and have the random price modified by 10 percentage points in their favor.

ooof, posted without checking first. a 9gp domain will actually be applying MINUS 1 to a number of goods.

Right, right, -1 demand makes sense, because obviously it’s hard to sell trees to the man who lives in Lumbertown.

This does, however, make it cheaper to buy, and therefore more profitable to export should own a few ships.