Saturday 12 February 2011

A few people have asked me to expose the top-​secret “Nobility” ratings I have assigned to many of my character records, so I have just made those visible on the bio pages. If you’re a hardcore Lothere geek—or maybe an RKC-​player interested in how I deal with social rankings—read on.

The ratings go from 1 to 10, serf to king, and look like this:

  1. Serfs, Slaves
  2. Freeholding Peasants, Servants
  3. Lower Gentry, Wealthy/​Educated Tradesmen
  4. Stewards, Landed Gentry
  5. Knights
  6. Lords, Thanes
  7. Barons, Abbots, Bishops
  8. Counts, Archbishops
  9. Princes, Dukes, Cardinals
  10. Kings, Emperors, Popes

Children get a rating based on their parents’ rating, generally dropping a level with each generation unless the child is the heir, with lots of tricky exceptions. Off-​hand I recall that an extremely high-​ranking mother may have children ranking higher than their father; and if a man and his father were both gentlemen then all his children (not only his heir) remain at a rank of gentleman.

The one rank you can’t fall into is serf/​slave – if your father is a serf, then so are you, unless your lord explicitly frees you. Otherwise if you are from a freeholding peasant family, you won’t fall any lower than rank 2.

I only added these ratings in the first place so that I could more easily find Lothere’s “upper class” when searching for lady’s maids, secretary’s assistants, future priests, wives for stewards, that sort of thing. Most people have randomly assigned rankings, which means there are a few people who have inappropriate rankings for their role in the story, and I may correct those later.

So please don’t read too much into these numbers. They don’t correspond to much of anything in the “real world” of the story. (Unlike elven castes, which are very real, at least to the elves who have a vested interest in their existence.)

The numbers are especially useless if you try to compare the ranks of people from different countries. Sigefrith is King of Lothere and has a nobility of 10, but nobody would say he has the same social standing as King Philippe II of France, who also has a nobility of 10.

I expect this will be of greatest interest to the matchmakers among you. You can search by nobility now, so it will be easier to find candidate wives of appropriate rank for Ralf, Aldwin & Friends. Which is fitting, since it’s the reason why I introduced it in the first place. :-) 

Aldwin and Ralf.