Tang Chinese Steppe Falconer at Court

A Twilight of Empires

Lords of the Earth, Campaign 13

Slaves in Antiquity

This section is lifted from Leslie Dodd's LOTE42 website, with permission.

Slave NFP (sNFP) - (Sects. and

Having had a number of interesting discussions with other players and GM's on the topic of sNFP, I wanted to make some things clear regarding slavery in the game. Slavery was employed in pretty much every society in the world in 1100 AD. The French, English and Germans owned slaves just like the Ghanaians, the Moors and other Slave economies (indeed, the word English word "slave" is a derivative of the word "Slav" since most slaves in Medieval Europe were captured from the Slavic lands; the word "Welsh" is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word wealas meaning "servant"). The essential difference between slavery in a Slave Economy and slavery in a non-Slave economy is in scale - in Medieval Europe, slaves were employed but not in any numerically significant way; on the other hand, in Medieval Ife, something like 70% of the population were slaves.

This is represented in the rules by the fact that a Slave economy, dependent on huge amounts of forced labour, is fairly inefficient; an Agrarian economy, in which serfdom and slavery are assumed to be employed, is more efficient, but the most efficient is the Free economy in which neither slavery nor serfdom exist in any form. Basically, unless your economy is Free, you may assume that there are some slaves toiling in your fields (albeit abstract slaves rather than concrete sNFP slaves).

In any case, sNFP may be used by non-Slave economies to construct PWB's but be warned - the greater the number of Slave PWB's built, the greater the chance that your economy will become a Slave economy. In addition, you should recognise that if a non-Slave economy does turn itself into a Slave economy, the player runs the risk of severe economic and social difficulties as the imported slaves undermine the position of local farmers. Think on all those Roman Land Reforms of the C.1st BC and be aware that free farmers aren't going to like the presence of huge numbers of unpaid labourers against whom freemen cannot compete.

Lastly, remember that any economy type performing an Enslavement order automatically become a Slave economy.

Chris Cornuelle / lote13gm at xmission dot com / last modified Tuesday, 16-Nov-2004 14:24:08 MST
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