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Social classes and hierarchies


Skaruts
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I'm not exactly sure what to ask, or how. I guess for a start I should ask what's the social structure within the thief world?

 

I'm not very versed in this. But I like political (and non-political) intrigues and the good old thief world conspiracies, and I'm trying to include that in a "script" I'm writing. But then I'm confused about a lot of things. For example, who governs a city? A governor, a mayor, a lord (is lord an interchangeable term or a specific one?). Since I don't live in an english speaking country, we don't have mayors around here, so the term is a bit alien to me. Surely we have something equivalent, but I'm not sure what.

 

To make matters worse, thief mixes medieval and victorian ages. So I'm not sure what to look for if I google it (wouldn't know what would be relevant from what I found).

Edited by Skaruts
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There are some power structure info in here:

http://wiki.thedarkm...?title=The_City

 

And maybe here:

http://wiki.thedarkm...#.22Factions.22

 

How I see it, it is -like you said- a mixture of medieval and victorian era hierarchy, so investigating wikipedia articles about those would help.

 

Common political themes are probably:

1) nobles/priests/city council members or other political figures conspiring against each other for more power (game of thrones style, maybe).

2) commoners being crushed under the heel of The Church. (Or city watch / guilds using their priviledges to oppress ordinary people.) "Shit flows downwards" -scenario. Whomever in 1) wins, ordinary people suffer.

3) luddites/pagans/tree huggers break steamworks or other industry; economy ramifications, city watch reacts.

4) less drastic ecomony effects: an embargo? A cold winter blocks harbors, like in Mandrasola. A war somewhere else causes supply and demand effects, which causes political effects, which causes social effects. New legislation causes merchants to react dramatically.

 

Probably the political mechanism works like so that there are a few high-power political figures who uses lower level institutions they have power over (guilds, city watch, merchant companies) to get a desired effect.

 

The political effect in the mission is usually left a bit sketchy. Not everything need to be told to the player, the thief is usually just a (disposable?) pawn or an individual trying to get benefit from the political situation he has no power to affect. Because of the sketchiness, you don't need to draw a very complicated picture of the political situation: maybe a mindmap with few lines of few political figures to some political instruments and effects, will help you to write the vague information that reaches the player.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Thanks, Sotha, that's quite useful.

 

But the term "nobles" still gets me wondering. I'm not familiar with game of thrones (though it was recommended to me a few times). I'm familiar with Brent Weeks' Night Angels Trilogy, which involves a crap ton of medieval politics and intrigues. But not having a basic understanding of it makes me remain a bit confused of how it works. For example, from what I understood from those books, a Duke seems to be second to none but the king himself. But then baronets and counts come along and I have no clue where they fit in the hierarchy.

 

I'll see what I can get from wikipedia in the meanwhile.

 

I'm trying to understand these things not to be overly picky in the story, just so I make something that makes sense from the player's perspective. Certainly the player won't get a summary of all the social stuff that's going on, but, using an analogy, I'm trying not to mistake onions for garlic, which might set a player off.

 

EDIT: Found something useful.

Edited by Skaruts
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Noble = a class.

 

So a nobleman was just born into a family of nobility, aristocracy. They are not members of the working class, IE, commoners.

 

You might not need as in depth as wikipedia, but simple dictionary definitions might be easier perhaps?

"The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out."

- Baron Thomas Babington Macauley

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Yea, simple definitions would be fine.

 

Well, I found this, and it seems I'll be taking a while with it. :)

 

One thing came to my mind just now though, that I looked for a day or two ago and couldn't find anything about it: What places would be suitable for nobles to have parties in? Searching "medieval parties locations" only gives me a sumary of modern parties with medieval costumes...

 

I know the royal castle is one place. Are there other places where they'd might throw parties at? This is relevant to my story, since, hopefully I'll have the player "attend" to one. :)

Edited by Skaruts
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Well, nobles could have parties in very many locations:

their manors, hunting estates, maybe even at a Guild Hall (say a noble has power over the Tailor's Guild, and throws a party the Guild Hall of the said guild), or they probably have the wealth to rent/arrange almost any location (say the ancient temple at the top of the mountain, which presently is owned by a strange abbey). Usually the venue is a method to show off their wealth, prestige and taste.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Or show power/exercise control, it would be unusual, but a young noble teenager might want to impress his friends by forcing a commoner family to "let" them use their abode for a party. Then you'd have all the ethical implications of them perhaps taking it out on the family if you pick all their pockets to teach them a lesson.

 

Then again if his father found out... The again the father night be amused instead. Of course if the lord of the region found out... Of course he might be amused instead.

 

Typically though they would choose a location not frequented by the common folk--think "exclusive".

"The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out."

- Baron Thomas Babington Macauley

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Depends on circumstances I would guess? A coachman will certainly be nearby with the coach. A manservant wouldn't be as likely I'd imagine unless there was need (packages to carry, invalid who needed help walking down the street to the function, etc.) Any servant would be there to serve, so relegated to the kitchen/back rooms.

 

It might be offensive to the host for one to bring their own servants, "what, my servants aren't good enough for you?" Kind of like bringing your own food to a dinner party (that's not pot luck).

 

Just like chauffeurs will spend their time at a bar awaiting their passengers, similarly servants would typically be expected to occupy themselves, but be at the beck and call of their masters. Behavior of servants obviously would reflect on the lord, so there could be ramifications due to that.

 

(Note, I'm no expert, just going by books I've read, perhaps movies I've seen, etc.)

"The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out."

- Baron Thomas Babington Macauley

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Makes sense. I thought of coachmen too. I don't know what they occupy themselves with, but perhaps they just chat around and tend to the horses if needed. I guess that's more than enough for a party. I'm not planning on including the coachmen. Although that might be an interesting asset... although it would require a lot of voice acting and character models that probably aren't available.

 

By the way, speaking of not available - and just out of curiosity - are there no Mechanists and Keepers in this thief world? Or they just haven't been included yet?

Edited by Skaruts
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are there no Mechanists and Keepers in this thief world?

 

Nope.

 

You can check out the Inventor's Guild though.

 

http://wiki.thedarkm...#.22Factions.22

 

You might also find this interesting, as it lists common servant types: http://wiki.thedarkm...althy_Household

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I don't know what they occupy themselves with, but perhaps they just chat around and tend to the horses if needed.

 

Yeah, rumor-monger, speak poorly of their lords, complain, pass the news of the day, dice, cards, gamble, hit on women, get sex acts, try to get sex acts, nap, flirt, drink if they can obtain it, drugs if they can obtain it, etc. IE, wine, women and song.

 

What's the quote, something like, small minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, great minds talk about concepts. The nobility would fall into the latter camp, the commoners in the former.

"The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out."

- Baron Thomas Babington Macauley

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You can check out the Inventor's Guild though.

So I suppose the Inventors Guild and the Mages are kind of a replacement. I noticed too that the builders are never referred to as the Hammerites, despite the resemblances. Is this anything to do with legal repercussions? There's still the Pagans...

Edited by Skaruts
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We don't use any Thief IP for copyright reasons. Pagans is just a historical term, and the Builders are a caricature of the medieval church. They're not Hammerites, although there are obvious similarities. I'd go through the Universe section of the wiki...most of this is explained there.

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