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Dominion Economics 101

by Bruce Heard

I've completed the rework of the spreadsheet on dominion economies (taxes, populations, armies, that sort of stuff). If you're interested in trying it out, please send me an e-mail. Feel free to post your comments here. You can use it without having read the article originally published in DRAGON, but you probably will do certain things that you should not be able to do, and you will miss the logic behind the numbers. A lot of the article does not transpire through the spreadsheet either. Also bear in mind the spreadsheet was created with Excel -- converting it might wreak havoc on the formatting and the macros included, possibly rendering much of the spreadsheet useless. Beware.

I've run a test on the realm of Surshield (Bellissaria). Here's the tail end of the file with Surshield's general specs. I had to tinker a bit with some of the original entries (adding some 100+ generic villages that could not appear on the map of Bellissaria considering the scale used -- 72 miles/hex). I also took some liberties with income produced by tolls, port fees, and other resources. Nothing major though. The biggie here is the resulting population discrepancy. I come up with a million and a half Surshieldans while the Almanac stated only 100,000. the latter seems really low (this would be 0.4 people per sq. mile as opposed to the 6 people/sq. mile the spreadsheet proposes). Currently I have 70%+ of Surshield's surface as borderlands. Let me know what you think.

Time allowing, I'll post the other Bellissarian states in the same manner.


Surshield Population Recap
Farming Population: 1,429,650 people (rural) 92.8% of total population
Fishing Population: 9,480 people (urban) 0.6% of total population
Non-Farming Population: 101,735 people (urban) 6.6% of total population
Population Produces a Food Surplus.
Population Includes:
1,512,790 Civilians -- 98% of total population
28,075 Military -- 2% of total population

Realm's or Dominion's Total Population: 1,540,865 people

Geographic Miscellany

Total Realm or Dominion's Surface: 258,552 sq. miles
Population Density: 6 inhabitants/sq. mile

Wilderness Regions: 9% of total surface
Borderland Regions: 70% of total surface
Settled Lands: 21% of total surface

Incomes Recap

Tax Income from Rural Population: 104,389 gp/month -- 74% of total income
Tax Income from Urban Population: 26,810 gp/month -- 19%
Mining Income: 1,500 gp/month -- 1%
Income from Trail/Road Tolls: 2,352 gp/month -- 2%
Income from Port Duties: 4,704 gp/month -- 3%
Fisheries Income: 948 gp/month -- 1%

Total Income for the Realm or the Dominion: 140,703 gp/month

Sample Budget for the Realm or the Dominion
Answer "Y" below for the appropriate conditions Is this a tribute-paying dominion? y
Does this state sponsor a clergy? y

Total Earnings: 140,703 gp/month
Budget Share of Each Item
Imperial or Royal Share: 28,141 gp/month 20% of total earnings
Tithe: 14,070 gp/month 10%
Construction & Upkeep: 39,397 gp/month 28%
Military: 44,321 gp/month 31.5%
Petty Cash: 9,849 gp/month 7%
Treasury: 4,925 gp/month* 3.5%

(*) Assume total treasury is about a year's worth of savings, possibly invested elsewhere in whole or in part, for a total value of: 59,095 gp
Average Cost of Military: 15.8 sp/month per warrior
Average Tax Earnings/Tax-Payer: 0.87 sp/month
Average State Earnings/Capita: 0.91 sp/month