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Farm, Forge and Steam

Farm, Forge and Steam

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Farm, Forge and Steam is a campaign design aid for GMs who want a realistic and logical background.

It provides information and guidelines for key areas of campaign design including -

* Population distribution and growth
* Diseases and Demographics (the biggest retarding factor on pre-modern population growth after food supplies)
* Food sources, productivity and supply (how many people are needed to grow the food, and how many non-farmers they can support)
* Transport effects (or why the biggest metropolises are port cities)
* Technology effects (or why even magic can't prevent technological progress)
* Magic effects (how magic would really affect a world over a long period of time)
* Common design faults and mistaken assumptions (why technological and social stasis for millennia doesn't work, why "universal empires" don't make much sense, and why its a bad idea to price technology for "game balance" reasons ... and unneccessary to boot).

If you are designing a new campaign world, or overhauling an existing one (whether commercially published or home brew), then you can't go far wrong by using FFnS to ensure that the whole creation hangs together.

Farm, Forge and Steam is usable with *any* game system, as it is a *meta* product ... it provides the underpinnings for the campaign without affecting the actual game system.

The "rules" that are detailed in Farm, Forge and Steam are general ones, not universal mathematical formulae (though some of them come with mathematically applicable data), and enable you to provide broad and medium level application for your campaign.

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Reviews (12)
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November 29th, 2017
Crop yield statistics for ancient times (up to the fall of the Roman Empire) and into the early Dark Ages are very low, far lower than that given by period sources. Also, this work assumes the beneficial nature of monastic intitutions, and while there [...]
September 22nd, 2016
Food (and Metal) for Thought In Farm, Force, and Steam, Phillip MacGregor emphasizes the continuous evolution of past pre-industrial societies, and the ecological and technological constraints on these societies, in order to show how they could [...]
May 23rd, 2015
The book is an excellent read on the historical relationship between food production, technical advancement, disease and societal change. It's goal is to introduce more realism into fantasy society designs. That's where it falls down in my opinion. [...]
January 22nd, 2011
I've been doing world building for a long time, and have also for a long time purchased and read various guides and books on history, and on the construction of realistic campaign worlds. With Farm, Forge and Steam, I hoped I had picked up a document [...]
April 16th, 2006
A decent overview of technology. Not really much practical use for it though.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br> [...]
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Product Information
Electrum seller
Publisher Stock #
PGD 002
File Size:
4.21 MB
Original electronic
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File Last Updated:
May 30, 2005
This title was added to our catalog on May 30, 2005.
Publisher Info
Phalanx Games Design
Publisher Average Rating