Maintaining a Stable Society

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Azeem
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Maintaining a Stable Society

Postby Azeem » Sat Nov 06, 2004 9:42 pm

As noted when "Children of the Nile" was first announced, the central focus of the city is the people themselves, not the buildings. In this sense, "Children of the Nile" is not only a "city sim" but also a "society sim". Because the people are extremely important, act on their own volition, and have thier own particular needs and wants, understanding how the social ladder is integral to creating a stable, self-sufficient society.

Rising Through the Ranks:
The only people that will start out at the top are nobles that immigrate to the city and your Pharaoh. The vast majority of the populace will take time (and sometimes even several generations) to advance in their social standing. Although there are defined social classes, social mobility is relatively flexible in "Children of the Nile". Don't be surprised to see your simple servants become nobles within a few years!

As in "Pharaoh," the actions of the ruler will have an impact on the society as a whole. However, in "Children of the Nile," you can't make a quasi-classless society where everyone lives in a nice luxury home. There are still distinct social classes. Much of maintaining and sustaining the needs of the different levels of the social strata require much more of a balancing act. At the very beginnings of the city, people will primarily be peasants, shopkeepers, or craftsmen. Depending on how much food people have, people will either rise or decline in their socio-economic standing. How stable your economy is will make or break your society.

In "Children of the Nile," very base of society is and will always be the farmers since these will be the only people that grow crops, which are the most important resources. Farmers will recieve their food (which also doubles as a sort of currency) directly from farming. Nobles and Pharaoh will recieve food from the farmers. Farmers will use the food they farmed to purchase goods from the commonware shopkeepers. Commonware shopkeepers are at the very center of the social ladder because everyone purchases their goods, thus they are easily the most mobile. Also note that before families can eventually become Nobles, they must always become Luxury shopkeepers first. Luxury shopkeepers are the final step in the social ladder before a family can become one of the Nobility. Members of the Nobility may have their children educated, who later become members of the educated elite (priests, scribes, etc.).

When a family reaches the top (nobles or educated elites), their social standing does not decline despite their diminishing wealth. Oftentimes, when things go very bad for them, thus causing their satisfaction to decline, they simply will emigrate (rather than becoming villagers or vagrants).

Usually, a bottom-to-top progression of a social ladder will look like this:
Villager (or Vagrant) -> Servant -> Commonware Shopkeeper -> Luxury Shopkeeper -> Noble

These progressions are also common:
Villager -> Farmer -> Craftsman -> Commonware Shopkeeper -> Luxury Shopkeeper -> Noble

Villager (or Vagrant) -> Servant -> Craftsman -> Commonware Shopkeeper -> Luxury Shopkeeper -> Noble

Villager -> Commonware Shopkeeper -> Luxury Shopkeeper -> Noble

Indicators of a Failing Household:
Sometimes, families may fall on hard times and may either return to the simple village life or become homeless beggars, hoping to ride out the tough times and waiting for new opportunity.

There are two quick ways to tell if certain sectors of your society is experiencing hardship:
1) City dwellers (not villagers) are out gathering wild fruit, fish, or fowl rather than working.
2) Houses appear dilapidated.

When these two things are visibile, it is clear that there is a problem in the distribution and exchange of food.

Notice that food gathered from wild fruit and hunted prey cannot be used to barter for goods.

Causes of Decline:
Households fail simply by not having enough food. This may be due to certain sectors of your city being too populated. If there are too many shopkeepers but too few customers, then your shopkeepers will not be able to have enough food. If there are too many entertainers and servants but too few nobles, then they will recieve less and less. There is a lot of interdependency in the societal system of "Children of the Nile." Government workers are dependent on food from bakeries, thus a lack of bakeries (along with a poor treasury) will cause them to not be able to recieve their much-needed edible salary.

Balancing Society:
As noted earlier, balancing is the most important aspect of maintaining a stable city in "Children of the Nile." The causes of decline are due to having too many people and too little food or poor distribution of food. Take note of how food travels through the city. People will always buy goods, thus shopkeepers are at the very center of society. Shopkeepers will suffer if there are too many other shopkeepers (thus causing them to have fewer and fewer customers). But at the same time, too few shopkeepers will cause the rest of the city to suffer (as people won't be able to get enough of the goods they want). Too few farmers and nobles will cause your city treasury to decline and indirectly causing government workers to recieve less and less of the bread they need. Thus the balancing your society is crucial.

Be very careful in expanding your city. Before you plop down new households, keep several things in mind:
1) Government workers: Always make sure that they won't burden your treasury too quickly (in other words, don't build too many government workers' households too quickly until you're sure you can afford them)
2) Shopkeepers: Make sure that they will be able to have enough customers, thus allowing them to survive
3) Entertainers and Servants: Servants and Entertainers depend heavily on the elites for their food, thus balance out the numbers of their households in comparison with the number of elites residing in your city (Usually, if your noble households always have a good amount of food in their stocks, 1 Entertainer would be enough for 3 nobles and 1 Servant is good for 1 Noble household).

Lack of food is also due to poor floods. If farmers, being the very base of the social pyramid, cannot get enough food, then it is possible that your entire society can suffer. Farmers not having a good harvest also causes the Nobility, who have a parasitic relationship with the farmers, to suffer as well, thus Nobles are unable to purchase the services of the middle class. Always strive to keep good tax coverage and build enough granaries and bakaries. Thus, when the inundation fails, a quick fix would be to donate a sum of the Pharaoh's food treasury to the Farmer and Nobles. It is always a good idea to keep a close eye on your total food in your treasury, so you can prepare for hard times ahead.

NanaBanana
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Postby NanaBanana » Sun Nov 07, 2004 5:50 am

Very good write-up Azeem. I couldn't agree more. :D

Yahya
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Postby Yahya » Sun Nov 07, 2004 11:45 am

Azeem: great info. Takes some patience to write all of that out I bet! :D

I would recommend that anyone having their first experience print out this thread, as it is an excellent "Cliff's Notes" version of a manual.

Josh
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Postby Josh » Sun Nov 07, 2004 2:44 pm

/nitpick

In your bottom-to-top progression of a social ladder, add Educated Elite after noble.

But thats not really important.

NanaBanana
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Postby NanaBanana » Sun Nov 07, 2004 4:13 pm

Josh wrote:/nitpick

In your bottom-to-top progression of a social ladder, add Educated Elite after noble.

But thats not really important.


I don't think I would put educated elite after nobles, since EE comes from luxury shopkeepers and nobles, although some retiring EEs can become nobles (mostly priests IIRC). :D

betti
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question

Postby betti » Sun Nov 07, 2004 6:22 pm

ok, I think I understand Azeem's discussion, but what about when you get a message that a priest [for example] or overseer retires and wants to become a nobleman, eg wants a town house? If you think you have enough already to take care of your population, and are short of those at the bottom of the rung, do you just let the guy emigrate?
betti/aka chinmom

Yahya
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Postby Yahya » Sun Nov 07, 2004 6:37 pm

betti wrote:ok, I think I understand Azeem's discussion, but what about when you get a message that a priest [for example] or overseer retires and wants to become a nobleman, eg wants a town house? If you think you have enough already to take care of your population, and are short of those at the bottom of the rung, do you just let the guy emigrate?
betti/aka chinmom

I always do, and I haven't noticed any severe consequences. Unless, of course, I don't have a graduate to take his place, but that's another story.

My feeling about is that I have a city that is working smoothly, the way I like it, and accomplishing my goals. If he's too lazy to stay on a few years, then he can get out! :D

sitearm
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Postby sitearm » Mon Nov 08, 2004 1:48 pm

That's why you have a school and a priest edu-ca-mating students: To have grads ready who will take over the emptied priest position etc. Make sure you ALWAYS have a priest teaching school (either set on "all duties" or "educate students"). :D

betti wrote:ok, I think I understand Azeem's discussion, but what about when you get a message that a priest [for example] or overseer retires and wants to become a nobleman, eg wants a town house? If you think you have enough already to take care of your population, and are short of those at the bottom of the rung, do you just let the guy emigrate?

betti/aka chinmom

Keith
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Postby Keith » Mon Nov 08, 2004 5:04 pm

sitearm9 wrote:That's why you have a school and a priest edu-ca-mating students: To have grads ready who will take over the emptied priest position etc. Make sure you ALWAYS have a priest teaching school (either set on "all duties" or "educate students"). :D

Right. I always have my first priest set to teaching only. I want to crank out a few graduates early so I can cover more services with extra priests or a scribe for the harvest taxation. Early on your people may complain for a while if they don't have access to religious services or healthcare. Unless it's a plague, I leave my priest set to teaching. The next priest I manage to produce covers all jobs. Once I have about 4 or 5 priests working in my city, I can afford to have them specialize if I want to but generally I don't.

I usually go for at least three scribes and as many as five depending on the city and food/trade situation. Even with as few as 40 farms one or two scribes assessing taxes will manage to miss some fields. Also, having the extra scribes takes up the slack if one retires or leaves.

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Egyptian Fanatic
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Postby Egyptian Fanatic » Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:06 pm

Excellent advice, Azeem! :D


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