Farming (sage ability)
Farming is an amateur-status sage ability in the study of Grasses & Grains, imparting knowledge about the process of plowing, sowing, weeding, harvesting and winnowing staple crops, particularly grains and root vegetables, including barley, maize, millet, oats, rice, rye, wheat, potatoes, beets, vetch, esparto grass and clover for animals.
The character is also adept in the use of a scythe to cut grain, a sickle, a flail for threshing and the management of oxen, mules or draft horses for plowing. He or she has spent several years in the act of farming, so that it’s second-nature to ready the land for planting and to direct others in how to help.
The typical yield for a European wheat farm historically, using inexpert methods, was between 400 and 600 lbs. of grain per acre, about three times the amount of seed planted. A character with farming skill is able to increase this yield by 50%, thereby producing 600 to 900 lbs. per acre. As a farmer, he or she can also recognise good land from bad, and knows which sort of seed is best in which types of soil.
If the character so desires, he or she may choose a scythe, sickle or flail as a weapon proficiency, regardless of class. The scythe causes 1-8 damage in traditional D&D; the otehrs cause 1-6. If not chosen as a proficiency, the character’s non-proficiency penalty with any of these tools is bettered by 1 point.
If the character wishes to start a farm, while leaving the day-to-day tasks to hirelings, the character need only give two days a week during the growing season, which varies depending on the crop. Each week where this time is not spent reduces the crop’s yield by 5 per cent — so, plainly, an adventuring character can miss a few weeks and still count on a good crop as a food supply.