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Tondollari
Developer
02 Dec 2013

Location: Louisiana

"The Mother Alessia" is having a hard time making ends meet. Meanwhile competitors are flourishing that, unlike the Mother Alessia, are not part of the Bakers' Guild.

The owners want these non-members to pay guild dues. They need a mercenary (the player) to get them to pay up. There should be a few creative ways of doing this, some taking advantage of Mercantile/Speechcraft. Potential targets are:

*Pinefist Foods
*Gul-Ei's Pantry
*Emaroc Harquart's Baked Goods
*A street vendor selling homemade bread

The player will collect the dues and get to keep a portion of the money (20%? Possibly more with good Mercantile skill).
Post Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:11 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Tondollari
Developer
02 Dec 2013

Location: Louisiana

Basic outline for first half + the first collection. Would like feedback.

latest rumors ("Common" NPCs only):
I hear The Mother Alessia is bleeding drakes. The only thing keeping it afloat is the Baker's Guild, but they don't have much pull in Old Ebonheart.

greeting "Calsa Attius":
"Welcome to The Mother Alessia, Old Ebonheart's finest bakery. If you need anything, just ask. We also have work available if you're interested in collecting guild dues."

guild dues

"We need help collecting dues for the Baker's Guild, whose authority is often forgotten by the city's merchants. Are you a good negotiator?"

>Not really.
>Yes, but I'm not interested.
>Yes, and I'll collect those dues.

"Good. The merchants you need to talk to are: Turunstrid Harrow-Hand, Emaroc Harquart, Gul-Ei, and Murletta Jarontus. You will be able to keep half of every collection."

Turunstrid Harrow-Hand

"She's in the plaza in front of the Grand Chapel of Talos. Her cart is loaded with bread from Skyrim. Transport of baked goods across provincial borders requires form QAF-44E3, which she does not have. This carries a 30 drake penalty."

Emaroc Harquart

"He owns a bakery close to the slums. When you exit our store, head down the street in front of you heading east. You'll pass by his shop just as the street curves southward. There is a basket of free bread just outside his door - defective product, which according to charter amendment 206-A should be either discarded or sold for livestock consumption. Also, he isn't a guild member and refused to pay past dues. His total debt is 290 drakes."

Gul-Ei

"He runs an amateur shop out of his house next to the docks. He isn't a guild member, and has been reported for unsanitary conditions. We aren't as strict with the impoverished, however, so we will only collect 60 drakes. Also, please mention that all Argonians are required to wear gloves while kneading dough."

Murletta Jarontus

She runs Pinefist Foods, right in front of Emaroc Harquart's bakery. She isn't a guild member, but usually doesn't mind paying the penalty. She owes 120 drakes.

Topic: Guild Dues "Turunstrid Harrow-Hand"

"Are you kidding me? This bread hasn't left the cart since I set out from Rorikstead. It is so stale that elves could forge armor out of it. Why should I pay to not sell it?"

MERCANTILE "A one-time fee of thirty septims will keep the Baker's Guild off your back."

FAIL "Oh, you mean those two jugheads down the street? Look, %PCRace, the only "quality assurance" I can give them involves this bread and your face. Which means I could hit you with it. In the face. It would probably knock your teeth out."

SUCCESS "Oh, fine! Here's your crummy guild dues. Just go away."
Post Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:29 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

It looks good so far; the only bit that struck me as odd is that the player gets to keep 50% of the dues, which would be extremely generous for a successful establishment, let alone a failing one. This could, however, be waived aside as gameplay convention.
Though I'd still somewhat prefer if the reward were not a cash reward, or not primarily. For a bakery/diner, a discount probably wouldn't be very appealing either, at least by itself. Bakers' gloves with a weak fire resistance and hand-to-hand bonus (for kneading dough)? Razz
Post Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:48 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Tondollari
Developer
02 Dec 2013

Location: Louisiana

The rate could be lowered. Also, instead of Mercantile checks for payment itself, there could be an option to lie about the amount owed, injecting a total of ~270 drakes of "pure profit".
Post Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:37 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Both solutions sound good to me, especially the latter. Always good to give players plenty of opportunity to be jerks.
Post Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:53 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Dragon32
Member
06 Apr 2008



The "form QAF-44E3" and similar references to paperwork are, to me, jarring for a pseudo-medieval society. What's implied by that is a large bureaucracy, effective and extensive paper making industries, printing presses and associated industry, widespread literacy...

I know there's not a one-to-one relationship between a fantasy world and Earth, a lot of things can be hand waved away with "Um... it's y'know... wizards and magic and stuff". Which is fine.

Just saying a particular person hasn't paid their guild dues / tithe what have you would be enough, IMO.

Similarly:
"There is a basket of free bread just outside his door - defective product, which according to charter amendment 206-A should be either discarded or sold for livestock consumption"
To
"There is a basket of free bread just outside his door, a defective product, which according to guild rules should be either discarded or sold for livestock consumption"
Post Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:16 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Tondollari
Developer
02 Dec 2013

Location: Louisiana

You help a bureaucrat fill out Census & Excise Office forms right after you get off the boat. Widespread literacy also seems a given considering the majority of NPCs own books. Mention of printing press is generally avoided but seems plausible. Either way there's an abundance of inked paper.
Post Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:28 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Ironed Maidens
Developer
23 Feb 2008



I agree with Dragon. I think that the best thing to do would be to remember that fantasy is always reality, just with a twist. QAF-44E3 is too formal.

"There is a basket of free bread just outside his door - defective product, which according to charter amendment 206-A should be either discarded or sold for livestock consumption"

Could easily be

"There is a basket of free bread just outside his door - defective product, which according to the Empirical Forager's Proclamation should be either discarded or sold for livestock consumption"

Just change the words around to have a Tamriellic meaning to them. It helps relate to the world around it and submerge the player in the RPG elements even more, no matter how subtle it may seem.
Post Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:10 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Tondollari
Developer
02 Dec 2013

Location: Louisiana

That does sound better. Will use more... "culture-driven"(?) naming.
Post Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:26 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
EJRS
Developer
14 Aug 2013



I think you are very much overestimating the life expectancy of bread. Bread doesn't really stay fresh more than a day, two at most, unless frozen or kept in plastic. Importing bread is a really bad and unrealistic idea: it goes stale before you'd have time to transport it anywhere, and it's simply much more effective to import the flour and bake it close to where it is to be sold.

Also, remember that there is a poorhouse in OE. Altruistic bakers might send any leftover bread there, which might not go down well with the guild.

Considering it is an Imperial guild, wouldn't it be the task of the Imperial tax collectors, with backing from the legion if needed, to collect guild dues in cases where it is not voluntarily paid on time? Perhaps this could be made into a low-tier Legion assignment, or a Fighters Guild-assignment. Mercenary work for an imperial guild should go by way of the imperial guild of mercenary work, no?
Post Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:54 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
EJRS
Developer
14 Aug 2013



Tondollari wrote:
latest rumors ("Common" NPCs only):
I hear The Mother Alessia is bleeding drakes. The only thing keeping it afloat is the Baker's Guild, but they don't have much pull in Old Ebonheart.


How come the Baker's Guild doesn't have much pull in Old Ebonheart? I can see why this would make sense if we were talking about a city or town of Dunmer origin, but if the guild has any pull anywhere in Morrowind, wouldn't it be the foremost imperial city in the province, OE?

Also, as I read this, you are implying that the Baker's Guild is supporting The Mother Alessia economically. That doesn't really make sense for a guild - where would the money come from? The other bakers of the guild? Why? Rather, they'd be kept afloat, even though their product is sub-par (why else would they be failing?), by getting contracts from the Legion, the Navy the OE-castle etc. - Imperial contractors - on basis of their ties with the Guild. I would change this into:

"I bought a loaf of bread at The Mother Alessia the other day - stale as timber. I hear they are only kept afloat by the favourable contracts the Baker's Guild keep steering their way."
Post Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:53 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Tondollari
Developer
02 Dec 2013

Location: Louisiana

EJRS wrote:
I think you are very much overestimating the life expectancy of bread. Bread doesn't really stay fresh more than a day, two at most, unless frozen or kept in plastic. Importing bread is a really bad and unrealistic idea: it goes stale before you'd have time to transport it anywhere, and it's simply much more effective to import the flour and bake it close to where it is to be sold.


I know that in the real world it would be destroyed at this point, but it seems like old unmoldy bread could be handwaved in this universe. Even if a magical answer is provided (her coating it with her granny's antifungal spriggan earwax or whatever), it might just raise more questions and seem shoehorned.

Also, she didn't set out intending to sell the bread in Morrowind. She just stopped by multiple towns on her route and hasn't been able to get rid of the stuff. Should probably make this more explicit (This bread hasn't left the cart since I set out from Rorikstead. -> I haven't been able to get rid of this bread since I set out from Rorikstead.)

Quote:
Considering it is an Imperial guild, wouldn't it be the task of the Imperial tax collectors, with backing from the legion if needed, to collect guild dues in cases where it is not voluntarily paid on time? Perhaps this could be made into a low-tier Legion assignment, or a Fighters Guild-assignment. Mercenary work for an imperial guild should go by way of the imperial guild of mercenary work, no?


I imagine that the owners of the Mother Alessia are personally responsible for collecting Baker's Guild money, just as the heads of the Mage and Fighter guilds are responsible for collecting their guild dues. Fighter's Guild or Misc., either way they're offloading chores on a third party. They could be too busy to collect it themselves (large order) or they already tried collecting and failed.

Quote:
"I bought a loaf of bread at The Mother Alessia the other day - stale as timber. I hear they are only kept afloat by the favourable contracts the Baker's Guild keep steering their way."


This does sound more reasonable, thanks. Will put up a revised & complete outline soon.
Post Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:44 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



Bit confused as to whether the Bakers' Guild officially exists or has just been made up by the failing bakers? Possibly as intended...
Post Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:43 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Dragon32 wrote:
What's implied by that is a large bureaucracy, effective and extensive paper making industries, printing presses and associated industry, widespread literacy...


All of which very well describe the Empire. While printing presses aren't shown in-game, the number of books flooding the backwater district of Vvardenfell, mostly for relatively low prices, imply their existence. Either that or a really robust system of scribes, but one would expect books to be more expensive in that case. And even ignoring the books, keep in mind that Morrowind is also littered with paper, which alchemists often even dump their ingredients on. Which implies extensive paper production.

A Game at Dinner wrote:
The Prince and his mother, Queen Barenziah, had it privately printed into bound copies and sent to libraries and booksellers throughout Morrowind.


Keep in mind that, despite Oblivion's attempts to show the opposite, the Empire is not merely medieval western Europe. (High Rock has got that covered). In fact, I'd argue that in the era of Redguard and Morrowind, that was one of its lesser inspirations. Among its actual inspirations are dynastic China, (admittedly a very broad stroke), which invented paper, the Roman Empire and classical Greece, which were afloat with papyrus, and as far as western Europe is concerned influences more in the direction of the early modern period (such as the puff-and-slash featured in some Morrowind clothing, the East Empire Trading Company...), by which time paper and the printing press had emerged in Europe.
And that's not even getting into the Imperial Battlespires, "Cyrodiil [becoming] an Empire across the stars" and the "Imperial Mananaut"s.
Unlike Oblivion, which was heavily inspired by the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the TES of Redguard and Morrowind's era was an eclectic mix of various historical and fictional cultures and time periods, with the Star Wars universe arguably being one of the bigger inspirations. Its various cultures, some four centuries after the PGE1 was published, were very much not stuck in the middle ages.

In short, I think the original lines are in character for the Empire, especially in a location such as Old Ebonheart where the influence of the Imperial heartland is especially strong.

As for the bread lasting that long, if it were local bread I'd point out it would probably be made from saltrice, and as such its longevity would be uncertain, though assuming, as would be reasonable, that saltrice has a high salt content, one might assume it to keep well relatively long. Going by the PGE1, however, Skyrim's bread is probably made from wheat, which one would expect to behave much like our wheat. I don't think it's terribly important, though.
Post Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:42 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
EJRS
Developer
14 Aug 2013



Gnomey wrote:

...I'd point out it would probably be made from saltrice...

Personally, I find it reasonable to assume that bread is something that entered Morrowind by way of the Imperials, rather than something that has a tradition within Dunmer culture. If this is assumed, one might assume that flour is imported that fits the Imperial palate, especially to a place such as OE, and thus might be more or less regular wheat.

Other than that, although saltrice is also perfectly fine, what about meadow rye and wickwheat? If saltrice is high in salt-content, I think you'd find it very hard to leaven properly, and TES3 is obviously of a leavened type. /nitpick
Post Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:25 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

That wasn't my idea; I would have assumed wickwheat or something as well. I appear to have gotten the idea from The Alchemist's Formulary:
The Alchemists Formulary wrote:
Bread in Morrowind is usually baked from saltrice flour.

I'd stress the fact that we can only really make assumptions about what saltrice would be like. Like rice it can be used to make bread and spirits, and going from Morrowind dialogue it is apparently tasty:
saltrice wrote:
Saltrice is another of the tasty and nutritious foodstuffs with modest magical properties raised as export crops by Morrowind's farmers and plantation owners. [...]
Post Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:47 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
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