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Chris T
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The Winter Phase for Pendragon (1st - 5th Editions) includes a section on maintenance for your manor each year. Your manors earn you some money each year, but my apiary, mew, and dovecoat cost some £'s upkeep, as does keeping fancy clothes for court.



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robbbbbb wrote:
I don't know that I've ever used taxation specifically as a plot point, though I think I should with my kids. If only as an excuse to get them thinking about lawful taxation and what the implications of it are.

Taxes in a medieval fantasy realm aren't ever going to be fairly adjudicated, however. Taxation in ancient/medieval times was more a function of the tax collector looking around for who he could effectively shake down. One might note the portrayal of tax collectors in the Gospels for a pertinent example.

And the point about taxation being a threat more in a low-fantasy setting are right on target.


That reminds me. I suppose I do have some experience in an abstract way. In Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1st Edition), players could set up strongholds. There was money collected. I think many of the players were only on the clearing the area phase. However, I do recall one player getting his Tower set up. Then the DMG had rules for how much taxes would come in I think. Usually PCs died or they got bored with their characters before we got too much into this stuff.
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I seem to recall an article titled (something like) "Fees, Tariffs, Tithes, Taxes, and Tolls" wherein various means of liberating cash from your players were laid out. While this was focused on a fantasy setting, the concept applies universally.

Examples of middlemen and authoritarians levying charges of all types on every possible source of income within their spheres of influence are too numerous to count, both IRL and in literature & film.

In games I have run, should a local Lord need funds to equip an army or ransom an important figure, I would make sure to extract money from the PCs to support those efforts, especially if the PCs were not going to participate in the conflict or effect a rescue.

The PCs would draw a lot of attention to themselves as they built up reputation and wealth, which would attract an 'unsavoury element' wherever they were staying. More guards/police would have to be hired to keep the general populace safe. Money for this would have to come from somewhere. If the PCs didn't stump up the funds, they'd be asked (or forced) to leave the area.

While travelling there would be docking charges, customs & excise fees, palms to be greased, currency exchange fees, protection monies to be paid, and so forth. I don't feel that I went overboard; they'd always have (almost) enough left to get by, but amassing huge personal fortunes wasn't a thing they'd be able to do.
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Chuck Dee
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Too much real world for my escapism, thanks very much.
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sdonohue wrote:
Shardra wrote:
What is "tax day"?


In the US we have to pay an income tax each year. The filing deadline is April 15.
Most likely chosen to be far enough after election day in November that people aren't thinking about it when considering how to vote, and far enough before November so that they've forgotten when they do.

Pete (supposes it might also be about 100 days after the year ends)
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plezercruz wrote:
sdonohue wrote:
Shardra wrote:
What is "tax day"?


In the US we have to pay an income tax each year. The filing deadline is April 15.
Most likely chosen to be far enough after election day in November that people aren't thinking about it when considering how to vote, and far enough before November so that they've forgotten when they do.

Pete (supposes it might also be about 100 days after the year ends)


I assume your tax year is 1 Jan - 31 December?

In New Zealand our tax year is 1 April - 31 March, and our deadline for filing is 7 July. So we are a little bit shorter.
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Shardra wrote:
What is "tax day"?

In Canada, tax day is the end of April (in most cases) to file your papers and remit any taxes owing to the government.

We also have a tax freedom day, which usually falls in early June. This reflects the point at which, if we had to pay all our taxes up front (for every level of government), we’d give them every dollar we earned before June 10 (2018). The average Canadian family (with two or more people) will pay $50,464 in total taxes or 43.6% of its annual income (2018).
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Bill Webb's Book of Dirty Tricks recommends taxes for players to spend their wealth. Both political and religious.
And most of his modules have taxes upon arriving in a city.

It created some interesting low level decisions in Cyclopean Deeps as only non residents were taxed, so my players tried to obtain residences in the cities they wanted to revisit.

However in my experience there are better ways to get players to waste their money than taxes. It is land. Land is fantastic. An estate has hard working servents (who need paying), head servents/scribes (who ask for money to bribe the PC's rivals scribes), land that needs machinery/fertilizer, castles that need building. The list goes on. Not only do you get to say "Your scribe says the land needs fertalizing this year, due to a shortage caused by the Blue Dragon the cost will be 12,000gp, or I've got a friend who says he can do it for 8,000gp, unless sire wants his people to starve?" Not only will players spend their money they'll immediately go on adventure so they don't have to spend their money next year.

To me taxes take but don't provide any hooks for play, spending on land and titles really gets players going.
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Clark Timmins
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rebuscarnival wrote:
The monopoly is on the ethical use of force, which is moot when wizards can turn into dragons, because both wizards and the state do not follow the same ethical rules as normal people.

If the State has no practical method of forcing compliance, then the State cannot tax. To wit, Charles VII did not tax Orléans prior to 1429. We must assume thereafter his royal highness was especially spirited in his taxation of that city.
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William Hostman
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It's important in Pendragon.

I've used taxation in D&D from time to time.
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rebuscarnival wrote:
The monopoly is on the ethical use of force, which is moot when wizards can turn into dragons, because both wizards and the state do not follow the same ethical rules as normal people.


It cannot be a monopoly on the ethical use of force. In the vein of Max Weber, a state is an entity that has a monopoly on the use of force. This means they can decide the rules of force withing a geographical territory.

The monopoly is essentially a generalization. Obviously, even if the most tyrannical societies, there is violence that is not done by or considered permissible by the government. Hence, the claim by the state is that they are the sole ones to determine the legitimate use of force. This is done because they the strongest, not the one's who are right.

For those who think that taxation is theft, there is no ethical use of force to collect taxes. It is a great myth established by the largest criminal organization to make theft more acceptable to the population.

But taxation in a fantasy setting where magic is common does seem problematic from a practical standpoint. It seems as though we would end up with a two tier tax system.

High leveled PC/NPC with magic items, spells, large number of henchmen, etc.

Tax rate 0%

Everyone else

High taxes

There is always the possibility of sales tax instead of income tax. You tax the poor shopkeeper who lacks power to resist. The shop owner then passes the tax on in the form of higher prices.
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As long as the characters have representation, all is fine. cool
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I'm a big fan of the tax rules in Torchbearer, which kick in if you fail a Resources roll when you go back to town.
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I ran a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (1st Edition) campaign about the PC inheriting a dilapidated brewery. When the thing was up and running enough to be paying taxes they hired an accountant (from Lock, Stock and Baal - might as well re-use that one )so we didn't have to deal with the minutiae.

I did set up a plot hook for them about the town they used as a distribution hub charging excessive duty on alcohol being transported (because the town's own breweries were in a cartel), but they decided to grumble rather than get involved in local politics.
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robbbbbb wrote:

Taxes in a medieval fantasy realm aren't ever going to be fairly adjudicated, however. Taxation in ancient/medieval times was more a function of the tax collector looking around for who he could effectively shake down.


Taxes in the middle ages were a highly regulated affair, with all sorts of laws being passed who should pay what amount of tax, and who had the authority to collect the tax. The earliest records in many medieval settlements are precisely about the taxes and how they were collected. E.g. taxes were always a certain % of the amount of harvest, measured by the area of lands etc.

Although in a decentralized system there is always the danger of corruption and bribery, taxes often were the core issue for reforms or revolts. So it was monitored closely, and was not a lawless system as we sometimes tend to think it was.

That doesn’t mean the tax collector was a popular person. But neither is he today ;-)
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Taxes were highly regulated during the Ancient ("Slingshot") Era also.

Rome would have never been Rome without an efficient (and, to some extent, "fair"), taxation system.

Same comment for empires like Egypt, Assyria and Babylon.

Some of the oldest instances of the written word document taxation. cool

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Roger
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I did coin conversions. Any where from 5 to 20 percent of the loot you came out of dungeon with. After a while, I just cut some of the treasure down.
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Eric Clason
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Never had a tax system. But tithes, mandatory for most Clerics and Paladins, voluntary for most others, but it will be taken into account when characters come limping to a temple for help.
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I've used customs duties at gates and ports, as well as dock fees for large cities. I find that it does function a little as a money soak, but it serves to build a stronger connection to the city as a citizen or to build reputation and influence in the city as a source of revenue.
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Mallet wrote:

Taxes were highly regulated during the Ancient ("Slingshot") Era also.

Rome would have never been Rome without an efficient (and, to some extent, "fair"), taxation system.

Same comment for empires like Egypt, Assyria and Babylon.

Some of the oldest instances of the written word document taxation. cool


The instances where that wasn't true our tax infused systems dismiss them as mere tribal behaviors, taboo ways of living... like A... sex. and worshiping other godsshake
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I've played a homebrew Steampunk game that focused on politics, and part of that was which nobles were correctly paying their taxes to the crown in a country reminiscent of a fantasy Italy.

On the flip side, Libertarian tax havens in space have come up in our Eclipse Phase (First Edition) game.
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shiva666 wrote:
Mallet wrote:

Taxes were highly regulated during the Ancient ("Slingshot") Era also.

Rome would have never been Rome without an efficient (and, to some extent, "fair"), taxation system.

Same comment for empires like Egypt, Assyria and Babylon.

Some of the oldest instances of the written word document taxation. cool


The instances where that wasn't true our tax infused systems dismiss them as mere tribal behaviors, taboo ways of living... like A... sex. and worshiping other godsshake


Is that you, GROGnads?
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William Hostman
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Mallet wrote:
shiva666 wrote:
Mallet wrote:

Taxes were highly regulated during the Ancient ("Slingshot") Era also.

Rome would have never been Rome without an efficient (and, to some extent, "fair"), taxation system.

Same comment for empires like Egypt, Assyria and Babylon.

Some of the oldest instances of the written word document taxation. cool


The instances where that wasn't true our tax infused systems dismiss them as mere tribal behaviors, taboo ways of living... like A... sex. and worshiping other godsshake


Is that you, GROGnads?

Nah, Grognads wouldn't champion rules-lite anything...
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