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Psyckosama
07-26-2010, 09:41 PM
I created this for WFRP but they can be quickly applied to any fantasy game. It's based on parts from an old AD&D book. Don't remember which one.

Everyday Taxes

These are taxes which are collected whenever they are applicable.

Consumption Tax

This is a typical sales tax. In many parts of the Empire a small tax is charged on every transaction It's normally paid to a merchant in addition to the normal cost of the transaction. Merchants are then charged this percentage of their profits separately. The standard rate for this tax is normally between 5-10%. Thats about a half-pence to a penny for shilling spent, or a shilling or two to every crown. In most situations where the bill is so small as to make collection problematic, merchants tend to run a tax tab or simply will occasionally overcharge to make up the difference.

Luxury Tax

Because of feudal privilege, the Imperial authorities often have to look to other means to get money out of the noble classes. As such they're always looking for ways to get that extra pound of flesh from the ruling class. One such method is to tax the sale of certain high end items. Items such as rare furs, jewelry, silks, and spices are considered to be luxuries. While the tax on these items is rarely fixed, as the 'Luxury Tax' tends to be a series of individual taxes on various luxury goods, they tend to be around 10-20% and are applied on top of any normal sales taxes.

Inheritance Tax

All property, goods, and wealth inherited by a person is subject to a tax between 5% and 15% of the value of the estate. This tax is paid only once, however, additional taxes can be applied if the property is passed on another beneficiary. The nobility is exempt from the Inheritance tax, much to the regret of the authorities.

Tolls

There are countless minor tolls through the empire to be paid on roads, bridges, or city gates. They tend to vary vastly, but a safe average is usually a shilling or two per person. One popular method is a shilling per leg.

Monthly Taxes

These type of taxes are due about once a month, as described below.

Market Festival Tax

Many towns in the Empire have a monthly Market Festival. On that day, traveling peddlers, nomadic entertainers, and other groups that are normally considered undesirables are invited into the city to set up shop for one day, abet under guard. The amusements and exotic wears they bring with them tend to attract people from all around the area to attend. In addition, most local merchants usually choose the market festival day to display their new wears as to take advantage of the crowds. On this day, entry to the market normally has a charge of between 1-5p. There are rarely any complaints about the Market Festival Tax as all that would need to be done to silence them is to threaten to cancel the festival. Attempts of dodge it though is often problematic and can sometimes be pandemic. To ensure payment, in many towns, any side entrances to the market are blockaded and those who pay the entry fee may be stamped to show that they have paid. Anyone found trying to illegally enter the market, or found in the square without a stamp (or a good reason) is fined heavily.

Yearly Taxes

These taxes are only collected once a year, usually at different times to soften the financial blow.

Hearth Tax

Once a year, every building in the Empire is assessed for a hearth tax. The higher quality the building, the higher the tax. This tax can vary drastically from only a handful of pennies for a simple peasant hovel, to hundreds of gold for a privately owned palace. In many parts of the empire, the nobility are exempt from the Hearth Tax.

Land Tax

One of the most popular taxes in the Empire, at least for the nobility, is the Land Tax. One a year the value of every piece of settled land in the Empire is assessed for function and the legal owner of that acreage is taxed on its use and value. The more useful, developed, or conveniently located the land, the more its taxed. In most parts of the Empire, the Nobility is exempt from the land tax due to Feudal Privilege.

Here are some average taxes per acre
Barren: 1/2f
Water: 1f
Uncultivated/Woodland 1f
Cultivated: 2f
Urban: 6f
Walled*: 1s
* Walled counts any land within defensive fortifications, such as a walled city.

Heraldry Tax

Once a year, everyone that wishes to display a distinct and unique seal, banner, or coat of arms must pay 5 crowns to the authorities in order to ensure that it is protected. This tax covers everything from the coats-of-arms of noble houses and knights, to the unique banners of mercenary companies, to the official seals of guilds and trading houses. If the tax is not paid, then duplicating the symbol is not a crime. As such this tax is taken very seriously by all involved.

The Tithe

Once a year, all produce, rents, and profits from the lands themselves are taxed at a rate of about 10%. This mostly affects rich landowners and, therefore, the nobility.

Income Tax

Once a year, every person in the Empire's income is assessed and they are required to pay around 5% of their yearly income in taxes. This tax is highly resented and people will normally do all they can to avoid paying it. In times of lean, it can and has lead to peasant revolt.

Sword Tax

One of the more common local or regional taxes in the Empire is the Sword Tax. It exists as both a way of making money and of keeping an eye on the amounts of arms circulating in the area. If people in a troubled area are buying a great number of weapons, then it is a reliable sign of revolution.

Under the Sword Tax, every ax, bow, spear, firearm, or blade longer than a dagger is taxed at a rate of one shilling per weapon. Some communities have a exception that prevents people such as hunters, woodsman, soldiers, state militia, and merchants for being taxed on tool of their trade or unsold wares. These weapons are still recorded though. Mercenaries do not count.

Some unscrupulous bailiffs are known to use the Sword Tax to extort money from travelers.

Licenses and Fees

Many national, state, and local authorities require various fees to be paid to allow people to go about their daily business.

Beggar’s License

For many begging is a profitable way of life, and the authorities are quite aware of this fact. As such, in many areas all beggars must pay 2 or 3 shillings per season for a license to beg that must be renewed every three months. Those begging without a license, are fined and/or jailed.

Manufacturer’s License

In some areas, any manufacturer of goods must have a license in order to produce. The costs depends on the nature and scale of the operation, being between six shillings and two crowns per year for most smaller operations to hundreds of crowns for vast operations such as canon foundries. It should be noted that this only allows commercial production, it does not insure fair competition

School License

Anyone who wishes to open a school or academy and charge tuition open must pay one crown plus an additional shilling per student per year. Schools run by temples and non-profit community funded by donation are exempt.

In most parts of the Empire, a sufficient bribe, usually about 100 crowns is enough to have the school be given a Provincial or Imperial Charter making them exempt.

Tradesman's License

Like the aformationed Manufacturer’s Licenses, tradesmen who create perishable goods such as beer, wine, bread, etc., or harvest natural resources for personal profit, such as woodsman, hunters, miners, and charcoal burners, must also have a license to do so. As above, the tax depends on the scale of the operation, from 6 shillings for a local baker, to hundreds of gold for a massive mining operation.

Guild Licenses

In most Imperial towns, the local guilds claim the right to regulate trade in the local area. As a rule, the nobility recognize this right. This allow the guilds to set prices, determine who is permitted to sell their goods or services, and establish minimum quality standards. The nobles of course expect to be compensated for their trust. The exact percentage due to the state differs depending on location and services rendered, but 5% of annual profits tends to be the average.

Monopoly Licenses

In the Empire, monopolies are rare and in most situations can only be granted by the local baron or provincial Elector Count, and then are usually only granted to personal friends or people who have done a great favor to the state (such as a giving a very generous donation to the Count in question). The official yearly maintenance fees needed to maintain a monopoly in a given area tend to be rather low, but the personal gifts and free services rendered in thanks usually account for a great deal more. It should be noted that those who do not show sufficiency 'thanks' to the count or baron in question for their magnanimity often find their monopoly revoked, or even worse, given to someone who will.

Legal Fees and Duties

Civil actions are not entirely uncommon in the Empire, and are a separate entity from the criminal courts. While details differ from province to province, to bring a suit to the civil court costs about 10 shillings for the privilege and the amount in dispute must be no less than 10-50 crowns (depending on province).

The loser of a suit must pay the court 10% of the amount sued for, in addition to the claim, and claim money counts as taxable income.

Also, all legal documents prepared by the court cost 5 shillings each, to be paid by the plaintiff, the price of which will be reimbursed as part of the claim, should the defendant loose the case.

Commerce Duties

These taxes relate directly to doing business in a feudal society.

Import Tax

All goods imported into a kingdom are assessed an average tax of 1 penny piece per 100 pounds of cargo. While this may seem to be a minuscule amount, it adds up when shiploads of cargo are in question.

Port Harborage

Every ship is charged 1 silver piece per day for a birth in the public harbor. Private marinas often charge much, much more.

Import License

Every shipment of goods brought into a country must have a license. Normal goods cost about 1 gold piece per shipment to register, while valuable commodities like spices and wines often cost twice that amount, or 2 gold pieces per shipment.

“Coming and Going” Tax

Naturally, any ship or caravan leaving the country is also charged 10 silver pieces per vehicle.

Moneylenders’ Surtax

Bankers and other financial institutions are taxed about 5% of their profits per year. This is one circumstance where the Royal Exchequer often takes a personal hand in verifying the accounting books of an institution, especially a rich one.

Malruhn
07-27-2010, 04:32 PM
I am still amazed by the number of people that believe that historical begging is considered either a profession or being profitable. Only in modern times and in prosperous countries (think First World) can beggers beg as a choice and actually make any money. In the rest of the world, as well as what is documented in all nations' histories, begging is purely a means to survive. There isn't any "thrive" involved.

Second item, a place a ship or boat parks is called a "berth". If you use an "i," the vessel is coming out of a woman's hoo-hoo.

Third, you've totally given adventurers a pass on this one. If I pay my sword tax and go out to slay the dragon and come back with ten wagons full of hoard... he only has to pay about 13 gold, one silver, and then 5% of the loot. This has to be a total typo or you are not basing this on any flavor of historic example at all. Tax rates for peasants were usually in the 75-90% range. If you intend to use a plan like this, adventurers should be taxed the highest, as the possibility of extraordinary incomes is the greatest. Skippy the Farmer is only going to "earn" about 20 bushels of grain per year - leaving him just enough to survive but not enough to get fat and plan a revolt. Tardok the Adventurer may only earn a couple of scars this year... or he may earn a bazillion gold and twelve levels... which makes him a potential threat.

Your concept needs a LOT more work, and a LOT more study before it comes close to resembling anything close to what has been seen in history.

Psyckosama
07-29-2010, 10:49 AM
Ahem...

It's based on parts from an old AD&D book

That's the keyword there.

Malruhn
07-29-2010, 03:00 PM
I never said that old D&D books were sacrosanct and never utterly wrong. I've used lots from old books - but fixed stuff to jive with reality, history and common sense.

That's why I responded as I did.

Lord Captain Tobacco
09-03-2010, 06:04 PM
Good call though. There are a multitude of taxes waiting to be exercised by an ambitious tax collector.
In the ancient world, particularly Imperial Rome, the position of tax collector for a region (or city if large enough) was appointed by the regent (rarely) or purchased (either flat rate or a percentage of the ‘take’). The differences are slight. Appointments go to cronies, henchmen, or relatives; often there was a kickback involved. The purchase gives cash to the regent ‘up front’ and the cost if the purchase is ‘recovered’ over the year. In both cases, anything in excess of the amount expected at the capitol went into the packet of the office holder.
This means that the more aggressive the tax collection- the more money comes TO THE COLLECTOR, not the government. Remember that in the Robin Hood folklore it wasn’t King John who laid the heaviest fines. That was for the Sheriff of Nottingham to levy the highest taxes (and fines) to curry (buy) the favor of the king. John was weak; the Sheriff was allowed to run rampant with taxation.
Now, how to use this power? A new tax to pay for the replacement of the ‘old bridge’. A new tax for the upgrade of arms and livery for the city guard. How about a tax to help pay for that foreign war? Another to ‘show an appreciation for the king’ and “donate’ an expensive gift to the king on his birthday. Yet more to buy arms for the Prince, who has just come of age. A Tea Tax, a Stamp Act, inheritance, and a pun tax. A fee for wearing a weapon. A fee for the right to wear a weapon. A fee for attending court. A fine for NOT attending court. If it moves, fine or fee it. If it doesn’t move, tax it. If it objects, fine it. If it threatens you, apologize profusely to his lordship and look for easier prey.
In short, ANYTHING can be a source for enriching the government and separating the wealth from those hard working adventurers!

tesral
09-08-2010, 04:15 PM
However it isn't much fun on the player end when the DM starts nickeling dieing me to death. We might go out of character and decide that a player's revolt is in order.

I have taxes in my world, they are usually folded into what ever transactions you deal with and I don't trouble the play of the game with same. About the only time I am going to bring taxes front and center is if taxes are the reason for the current plot. It is necessary to show how the local authority is abusing the people or some such.

Psyckosama
09-09-2010, 07:03 AM
I play warhammer FRP. It's one of those games where you want to be torturing the player like that. ;)

cplmac
09-10-2010, 01:25 PM
Ok, I just wanted to say that I don't think that you can use the words fun and taxes together. I definately don't find it fun when I have to prepare and/or pay them.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-10-2010, 01:55 PM
However it isn't much fun on the player end when the DM starts nickeling dieing me to death. We might go out of character and decide that a player's revolt is in order.

I have taxes in my world, they are usually folded into what ever transactions you deal with and I don't trouble the play of the game with same. About the only time I am going to bring taxes front and center is if taxes are the reason for the current plot. It is necessary to show how the local authority is abusing the people or some such.
It actually works quite well in WFRP - if done right - w/o taking away the fun-factor and flavor with the players and the DM. Besides, it forces players to become clever, which just adds another element of fun for everyone involved.

tesral
09-10-2010, 02:13 PM
For a certain quality of fun. I would agree more fun than a root canal operation. I the GM do not wish to work that hard. Taxes to my opinion fall into the same category as in game bathroom breaks. We know everyone does it, but how much fun is role-playing it? Likewise unless the PCs are in a position where how much food they have matters I don't bring up the issue of food.

Do I consider these issues? Yes. Ask me what a Centaur toilet looks like, I can tell you. However I'm not in the habit of bringing it up unless it comes up.

Bob: "These Centaurs have pissed me off, I'm going to plug their toilet up."

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-10-2010, 02:16 PM
Ugh! DnD players - and the like - will never understand WFRP until they have played in a campaign.

Psyckosama
09-11-2010, 02:28 AM
Ugh! DnD players - and the like - will never understand WFRP until they have played in a campaign.

Seyla. :p

If doesn't involve hitting something with an axe or being the big damned hero and they just don't get it. :lol:

tesral
09-11-2010, 10:35 AM
Ugh! DnD players - and the like - will never understand WFRP until they have played in a campaign.

The whole Warhammer setting has never appealed to me. I want something besides war and hiting things with an ax to drive society. Besides the miniatures are downright ugly and Bretons have lousy archery form.

Last two sessions they have not fought a bloody thing, but everyone is on the edge of their seat. A huge earthquake has struck and New City is burning. What do they have to solve that?

Psyckosama
09-12-2010, 07:46 AM
The whole Warhammer setting has never appealed to me. I want something besides war and hiting things with an ax to drive society. Besides the miniatures are downright ugly and Bretons have lousy archery form.

In other words you know absolutely nothing about the setting itself and are judging it completely according to the war game.


Last two sessions they have not fought a bloody thing, but everyone is on the edge of their seat. A huge earthquake has struck and New City is burning. What do they have to solve that?

It's D&D. Wiggle their wands and cast a spell to make it rain.

:mod: edit made due to this being a forum that is open to the general public. P&PG doesn't need any bad publicity due to a choice of wording.

tesral
09-12-2010, 10:19 AM
Then you know nothing about D&D, or my game in particular. Shoe is on the other foot.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-12-2010, 10:36 AM
Why don't we just agree that if it's not your game, then you don't approve, tesral. That has been your mantra on this site for the last few years, after all.

BTW, you have no idea how much Psyckosama (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/member.php/13465-Psyckosama) knows about DnD, whereas, you admit
you know near nothing about WFRP.

Look, no one cares - really - if a DM chooses to allow a bit of taxation, or alot of taxation in one's game. Fact is, these issues work better in some systems that in others. Let's keep it educational.

Good rule of thumb: keep opinions general if you know nothing, or nearly nothing about other gaming systems concerning specific issues. These are how flame wars begin. Oh, and, the wiggling of the... lets say wands joke (which cold be argued as throwing fire on a potential flame war, and therefore is not encouraged), it's intended meaning kinda has some credibility in DnD, whereas, it really doesn't in WFRP. Folks that play both systems recognize this .


So now, lets get :focus: before this thread gets derailed.

cplmac
09-12-2010, 12:29 PM
Until other games have caused it to get put on the back burner, I was working on a D&D world that was actually going to involve the problem with taxes. The town that the party is from has two problems. First is that the Kingdom charges very heavy taxes. Usually this isn't that bad of a problem except that now they have a large group of thieves that are taking crops, feed, and anything else they like. Now the townsfolk aren't able to pay their taxes and are in trouble with the king. I chose that scenario since the characters in that game are to start out at level 1.



note: Thanks Thoth-Amon, for those words of wisdom about agreeing to disagree and move on. Hopefully the thread can continue with more ideas of types of taxes, or maybe even the effect of them.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-12-2010, 12:55 PM
http://www.penandpapergames.com/../images/smilies/animated/mod.gif That and earlier responses were going in a bad direction, which is why i chose to make a valiant attempt to get things back on topic.

Game on!

cplmac
09-12-2010, 01:14 PM
http://www.penandpapergames.com/../images/smilies/animated/mod.gif That and earlier responses were going in a bad direction, which is why i chose to make a valiant attempt to get things back on topic.

Game on!

Noticed and appreciated. Thanks.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-12-2010, 01:25 PM
Good call on changing the word in question, and you are 100% right in that those kinds of words only fuel potential flame wars, cplmac.

Glad to be back on topic.

Heck, since we are now back on topic, let me add some stuff (stuff - technical gamers word for highly important gaming related information & material): I personally see *taxation as playing an important role in gaming. That being said, except for WFRP, i rarely use it in dnd and most other gaming systems. Of course, my best gaming buddy who loves 3.5 & DnD4E more than anyone i know, would be the first to argue that taxation adds color and dimension to DnD, and the like, and i should consider using it more... and I will admit, he does inject it into his games, flawlessly. My not choosing to use it, except in very minor doses, other than WFRP - i will admit - probably stems from never really using it way back from the 70's. Of course i do love gnomes and half-orcs, even though they are becoming endangered in gaming, as of late, but i digress before i am accused as well as going off-topic. Our gaming preferences are a byproduct of our gaming experiences, after all.

Again, that's why i love dnd, and others systems as well: I've never played the same game twice in over my 30 years of playing because every DM/GM I've ever played with adds his or her own personal touch to whichever game/gameworld is played.

*Toll charges are, BTW, huge in the games i play, be it WFRP, DnD, Traveller CT, and countless others. I love outrageous toll charges. It gets my players thinking, and can stir up trouble from time to time. (Evil DM laugh can be heard)

Game On!

Psyckosama
09-13-2010, 02:33 AM
Then you know nothing about D&D, or my game in particular. Shoe is on the other foot.

I've run D&D3ed several times in the past actually. Never bothered with 3.5 because it was about then I discovered WFRP.


Why don't we just agree that if it's not your game, then you don't approve. That has been your mantra on this site for the last few years, after all.

Pretty much. And really, I was just being sarcastic in response to his bash.


Look, no one cares - really - if a DM chooses to allow a bit of taxation, or alot of taxation in one's game. Fact is, these issues work better in some systems that in others. Let's keep it educational.

Agreed.


Good rule of thumb: keep opinions general if you know nothing, or nearly nothing about other gaming systems concerning specific issues. These are how flame wars begin. Oh, and, the wiggling of the... lets say wands joke (which cold be argued as throwing fire on a potential flame war, and therefore is not encouraged), it's intended meaning kinda has some credibility in DnD, whereas, it really doesn't in WFRP. Folks that play both systems recognize this .

Agreed^2

Though Ironically these rules are converted from D&D2ed.


Until other games have caused it to get put on the back burner, I was working on a D&D world that was actually going to involve the problem with taxes. The town that the party is from has two problems. First is that the Kingdom charges very heavy taxes. Usually this isn't that bad of a problem except that now they have a large group of thieves that are taking crops, feed, and anything else they like. Now the townsfolk aren't able to pay their taxes and are in trouble with the king. I chose that scenario since the characters in that game are to start out at level 1.

Nice... ;)

note: Thanks Thoth-Amon, for those words of wisdom about agreeing to disagree and move on. Hopefully the thread can continue with more ideas of types of taxes, or maybe even the effect of them.

Agreed.


*Toll charges are, BTW, huge in the games i play, be it WFRP, DnD, Traveller CT, and countless others. I love outrageous toll charges. It gets my players thinking, and can stir up trouble from time to time. (Evil DM laugh can be heard)

Just don't over do it I say. I normally have taxes be obnoxious and consistent. ;)

cplmac
09-13-2010, 10:14 AM
Mwhahahaha! (Evil DM laughter)

In my Tsojcanth game, the party was provided with horses, saddles, saddle bags, and saddle blankets to provide them with transportation. They agreed to pay for them once they returned to the Margrave with the 3 artifacts they were sent to get. They found that the Margrave plans to use the artifacts to overthrow the March of Bissel and haven't went to see him, mostly in part due to the fact that a large group of Dark Elves had managed to get one of the artifacts from the party. They are going to be found by the "tax collector" and his guard to make payment that is overdue, since the Margrave has managed to find out that the party has made it out of the Lost Caverns and has found the artifacts.

Psyckosama
09-13-2010, 09:57 PM
more than once my players have covertly offed the tax man and claimed it was bandits... their rep is good enough people believe them. ;)

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-13-2010, 11:18 PM
On the other hand, i treat government like they do us, today: no excuses accepted for non-payment of taxes.

Whats even better, if the party doesn't want to pay their owned taxes through govt labor, prison, or both, then they are offered a job for the village, town, or city. Of course, these jobs are usually the kinds of jobs nobody wants for a myriad of reasons: sewers and high levels of danger being the top two.

Psyckosama
09-14-2010, 02:25 AM
Thing is medieval taxes didn't work like that. It was often they sent out the collector to find what to tax and then he kept a cut and gave the rest over. This is the reality for vagabond adventurers.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-14-2010, 03:11 AM
Ah, but it works well in the WFRP world... especially in gameplay. Of course, i like to alter things a bit kingdom to kingdom, etc. It helps represent the varying degrees of weight put on citizens and peasants alike, and adds to the feel of the world for the adventurers. What really gets my players worked up is the decrease of accuracy with their muskets over a short distance. Lets just say that they don't care for the smoothbore technology of the times. Being the DM, I just laugh...evilly.

Rmorrow
09-22-2010, 05:56 PM
Taxes are a very good way to diversify the different political areas. I do agree that unless story line is concerned taxes should be logically consistent. (Well, I know yesterday the gate toll was only 2 copper but the lords voted this morning to raise it in order to pay for renovations... Bottom line its 5 silver now take it or leave it.)

As far as historically how taxation was handled most of the examples quoted so far deal only with European countries, specifically the Anglo-Saxon and Germanic histories. Egypt, during the time of the Pharaohs had relatively few to know taxes (mostly impart due to a person working solely for the government and then being dished out food and the like.) In feudal japan it was only one person being taxed, the samurai, as the "common man" was considered a part of the samurai's holdings; exceptions run rampant in that system though.

My point; it is hard to say that this or that is the way it is done as that is an all inclusive and does not take into account the myriad cultures that did something different; like wise seams this is a talk for fantasy games; unless you are trying for a specific real world flavor; there is no reason why your taxes could not work that way. How ever I do agree with the statement about taxing Dependant on gain.

Rule of thumb; nobles tend to be wealthy and up; their goal is to keep that wealth and accumulate more. When doing taxes think of yourself as the one that holds the majority of money and make taxes taht insure other people can not raise their status easily. This does need balance with fairness as un fair taxes historically had an effect on a countries civil war count.

More rules

War is expensive taxes get raised all around

New construction needs to be paid for raise local taxes

In any event; some good things in this discussion once you weed through the My system is better than your system contest.

Stormbow
11-03-2010, 12:01 AM
This is an awesome thread, and I am saving all of that Tax information for future gaming use.

THANKS!

Malruhn
11-04-2010, 08:37 PM
Only two things to say...

If you are a new DM, here's a word of advice... never invent something that can be plagiarized from another source.

Whether you are new or an old hand... welcome aboard!