[Glorantha]Bless Crops

From: ALISON PLACE <alison_place_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 06:17:01 -0700 (PDT)

     I've got a question that I thought might interest the great collective (though frequently schizophrenic) mind of the digest, while helping me in my game. I was checking up on crop yield figures (sparked by Chris Graham's question), and wondered what numerical effect Bless Crops (or any other similar ritual) would have.

     The more that I thought about it, the more that I believed that this is one of the relatively few occasions when you would get a real mini-max algebraic calculation on the part of farmers. They keep track of harvest yields year after year, plus they know how much seed they need to sow each field. Given this information, what would be the farmer's choice when it comes to using crop blessings?

     One opinion I've heard is that Bless Crops is just basically crop insurance, in that a blessed field will always yield an acceptable quantity for that field. It won't make a marginal field give you great yields for that area, just adequate. However, even that definition should give rise to interesting quandaries.

  1. Does Bless Crops have a multiplier effect on the yield, or closer to an additive one?
  2. Depending on #1, would he use them on his best fields only, worst fields only, or a mix (assuming he has more than one).
  3. Does it make sense to change the fields that receive the blessing depending on the omens for that growing season?
  4. Will seed grain saved from a blessed crop be better than from an unblessed field?
  5. How many Bless Crops spells is any farmer likely to learn? Over enough years, does the family manage to bless nearly the whole of their ploughed land each year?
  6. Would cultural differences occur in the pattern of use between, e.g., farmers in Sun County, Sartar and the Lunar Heartlands?
  7. Is it more likely that the farmer decides where to cast the blessings, or the local priest/priestess? (I'd put that down to culture, but since the farmer knows his land best, how much difference does that make to the authority of the priestess?)
  8. Really esoteric question - how much has the need/security of temples/congregations that can give all the necessary agricultural blessings and other services influenced the settlement patterns in Glorantha?

     Thanks for any speculations you can give me.


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--__--__-- Received on Fri 22 Oct 2004 - 06:57:15 EEST

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