Thursday 1 December 2005

Imaginary tax-gathering.

Raven has some fascinating thoughts on how to implement taxation in a role-playing game, which you should read. Yes, you should. And he goes off at a particularly good tangent:

The king is trying to keep roads in good repair, maintain a reasonable sized army against invasion from some nasty foreign types, and keep enough guards in the towns to suppress crime. But how can he be expected to fund all this? He has a reasonable tax rate, but one particularly tenacious bandit gang keeps on stealing the tax money. To make up the difference, and to have a chance of catching the bandits, he has to increase the tax rate to be able to hire more guards and manhunters. Meanwhile the citizens are deriding him and his employees for the evil high tax rate and for failing to protect them and for the roads falling into disrepair. He must be spending all that tax money on himself, the bastard! Robin Hood, on the other hand, is a lovely man because he gives the people free money. Everyone loves him. Sure, he doesn't repair the roads or protect people or anything, but nor does the guy who has all the tax money.


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