The Open Field System

The open-field system was the prevalent agricultural system in much of Europe during the Middle Ages and lasted into the 20th century in parts of western Europe, Russia, Iran and Turkey. Under the open-field system, each manor or village had two or three large fields, usually several hundred acres each, which were divided into many narrow strips of land. The strips or selions were cultivated by individuals or peasant families, often called tenants or serfs. The holdings of a manor also included woodland and pasture areas for common usage and fields belonging to the lord of the manor and the church. The farmers customarily lived in individual houses in a nucleated village with a much larger manor house and church nearby. The open-field system necessitated co-operation among the inhabitants of the manor.

So, yeah. Decent breakdown, which gets me to several “to-do” campaign details, like have some sample maps for medieval manors (the whole village, not the building) to represent civilized areas (as well as once civilized and civilized areas threatened by chaos).

There are some economic implications as well, such as the prevalence of pork as a peasant meat crop, sheep as a wool crop, and beef as a nobility meat crop. Total improvisational statistic,but I’m assuming 4 pigs to 2 sheep to 1 cow (and likewise, livestock associated roles assigned to people).

Could a serf own livestock?

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