Nobles: A Roleplay Guide

Nobles: A Roleplay Guide

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About nobility and its interactions with others.
General thoughts:
– The worldview of nobility is false, but accepted by almost everyone in-character on some level, even if they resent nobility too.
– Those who know better need to go quiet about it or face consequences.
– The IronClaw picture of nobility is not historical. It is romanticized and looks more like the Victorian picture of feudal nobility than actual feudal nobility.
– It is the co-operative responsibility of players to try to maintain atmosphere. Sure the fat bastard idiot is not really superior, but if he was treated as what he is by modern standards, it makes for a poor game. HAVE SOLIDARITY WITH THE GAME AND FELLOW PLAYERS – HELP MAINTAIN ATMOSPHERE!
– In the below examples, we say “should” a lot. This doesn’t mean MUST. It is the opinions of most people and tells what your character at should at least pretend to do.
– Nobles are generally neither worse or better than modern people. They are simply put in a position of power and act on a false worldview.
– Try not being a stickler. If a character provokes your noble, offer them chances to apologize or show contrition. Don’t make a huge fight out of every small thing – it will result in people being afraid of doing anything.
How nobles should interact with commoners:
– Commoners are made of a less refined, pure material. It is like gold vs. lead or tin. They are inferior. Very rarely, gold may be found among the base materials and be “adopted.”
– The distinction between nobility and commoners is sanctioned by the Light/Gods in ALL societies in existence in the IronClaw Universe. The fundamental social order is sanctified.
– That something is inferior does not mean that you should treat it horribly. Some nobles despise and mistreat commoners. Others see themselves as stewards to lessers. Most are not particularly good or bad people, showing aspects of both extremes.
– It is honourable for a noble to sponsor social betterment of the commoners. Alms for the poor. Hospitals. Religious activities. Schools. Players are highly encouraged to sponsor commoner projects of this kind.
– A noble should always defend the rights and status of nobility against uppity commoners. To refrain from doing so is deeply dishonourable.
– Nobles know that commoners in some ways can be superior to nobles – a noble can go to hell and a commoner to paradise. This is inconsistent with the first of the above points and a source of tension in noble ideology. They do not like admitting this.
– There are no bright-eyed heroes by modern standards. All nobles enforce cruel punishments for infractions which are not crimes by the standards of today. All military nobles are war criminals by today’s standards and have torched villages or committed massacres. Such are matters of complete routine, part of military strategy and expected by soldiers.
How nobles (non-Doloreaux) should interact with the church:
– The Church is necessary, should be respected and has a rightful place, but it can be pushy. It guarantees your rights, but if it isn’t watched it will encroach on them.
– You should support the Church if it is threatened or challenged by other factors than nobility.
– Harming an ordained priest is sacrilege. One of your main mandates is to protect the Church.
– Many nobles could care less about religion – some are very worldly indeed. But outwardly disrespecting it is very bad form. Outspoken atheism is treason.
– It is always good to tighten relations with the Church. The Rinaldi depend on the Church for survival. The other Houses need the Church on their side to have room to maneuver to improve their status or make a move on Triskellian…
– It is very proper to sponsor Church activities for the spiritual betterment of the commoners.
How Doloreaux should interact with the church:
– Most Doloreaux are Lutarans. There are a few exceptions, who are generally tolerant of the Lutarans, or they couldn’t function in Doloreaux lands.
– Doloreaux are outwardly converted, but it is an open secret that most are Lutarans. The Church usually grudgingly tolerates this, but prosecutes open Lutarism. Doloreaux should NOT give the Church an excuse to move against their House. That’s disloyal and irresponsible.
– It’s right and proper for Lutaran Doloreaux nobles to pay lip service to the Church. Meaning that they should support its works, but only as little as possible to avoid scandal.
– Actual adherents of the Church in Doloreaux lands are not frowned upon, as long as they have a live and let live attitude.
– The Doloreaux are rarely missionary as in them wanting to spread Lutarism to other faiths.
How Nobles should interact with other Nobles in the same House:
– All Nobles are in a class apart for themselves. You should be loyal to your House above all.
– Rank is always a factor, even among friends. The biggest steps in rank are from Gentry to Knight and from Baronet to Baron, since Baron is the lowest rank of high nobility.
– All Nobles of rank Baron and higher are big shots. Think them equivalent to at least a US senator or governor. There are less than a 100 people with so high ranks in each of the Noble Houses. As an example, there were only 59 people of this rank at the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, though the number increased as feudalism was phased out.
– The low nobility, Knights and Baronets, are far lower on the pecking order. There are more than a hundred of those for each member of high nobility.
– Hereditary nobles are always superior to non-hereditary…or so they say. The others are upstarts. Non-hereditary nobles outranking hereditary ones are in a complex situation of both-and-yet-not.
– Non-hereditary nobles have to show deep respect for hereditary nobles, or they are traitors. You can compare it to being adopted into a fine family and then not respecting the family name.
– While you should show respect to superiors, you should NOT fawn. Fawning is for peasants and other base people.
How nobles should interact with nobles in other Houses:
– All nobles of other Houses are doing it wrong. They are not as real nobles as you are.
– Even though other Houses are less real nobles than you are, you still have more in common with each other than with the rabble.
– It is still most honourable to at least pretend to respect with other Houses. Actual respect is fine too. Even if the others are doing it wrong sometimes.
– For enemy Houses or despised nobles from other Houses, ideal behaviour is to show your contempt, but keep up appearances. Insults and threats are honourable, as long as they are at least thinly veiled.
– Enemies do not have to be despised. An enemy may be honourable and noble and fighting each other can be almost friendship, like a friendly rivalry you both enjoy…while trying to kill each other.
– Even mortal enemies such as the Doloreaux and Avoirdupois will work together to protect the rights of nobility against commoners. A peasant revolt is an attack on the order of things, while even the enemy is sort of legitimate.
Last Updated On July 22, 2018