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"Let's talk a little bit about Your Glorantha Will Vary (YGWV)" by Ian Cooper

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On 9/12/2019 at 9:24 AM, lordabdul said:

... (yes, I'm rating the Elmal stuff as "minor" because frankly I don't see what the big deal is, but then again I'm new to this) ...

Elmal-vs-Yelmalio can be anything from a non-issue to a central, campaign-defining element.  It depends mostly on players' PC's and the key NPC's & factions.

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I try to avoid terminology like "thrall" or "cottar" in favour of a much more neutral semi-free and unfree. Note that the younger siblings or adult children of a Free person is considered Free, even if they may technically be dependents of someone else.

UNFREE 

This is a person who is not free to do as they will, but instead is designated as property off someone or something else. The exact nature of a slave varies greatly. Domestic slaves have some skills useful within an educated context. Crafts slaves have some useful crafting skill. Labor slaves are unskilled and generally miserable.

Ransom: none

SEMI-FREE 

This is a person who is not property but is not a full free member of the community. A client of another person is typically semi-free as they are not independent of their patron. They are bound to their lands or professions, or work somebody else’s land, livestock, or workshop and are usually unable to leave without permission of their lords. They do have some legal rights and are protected by their patrons.

Ransom:150 to 250 L

Here's how those numbers break down in Sartar, Hendrikiland, and Esrolia:

Region

Unfree

Semi-free

Free Common

Free Wealthy

Low Noble

Middle Noble

High Noble

Total

Sartar

10

16

50

16

5

2

1

100

Hendriki

0

16

60

16

5

2

1

100

Esrolia

30

25

25

10

5

3

2

100

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12 minutes ago, Joerg said:

There is little official information on the Sambari. Their tribal lands lie to the east of the Balmyr lands and were taken from the Torkani.

Thanks for the reminder, The Torkani, have no restriction against keeping enlo (basically slaves) though they usually do not keep human slaves (thralls), Whether a clan keeps a few or not depends on the availability, meaning trade with the Uz, whether they can be afforded, the skill sets the potential owner requires. The Uz usually do not sell Value enlo. I suppose ethics might even come into the equation if only because of the Torkani fights with the Sambari. 

By the by, at what point will we have actually (if we have not already) left the rails of this fine Topic. I think at some point we might have to sidetrack this thread into its on topic. Though I think there already is aTopic on slavery...

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16 minutes ago, Zit said:

Are there free persons who became semi-free or even unfree to pay their debts (or their parent's debts) ?

Yes. How common that is depends on the community. I suspect that is quite common in Esrolia and rarer in Sartar. 

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5 hours ago, MOB said:

They probably make the same sort of rationalising mental gymnastics that the many idealistic signers of the US Declaration of Independence who were slave owners did.

Yelmalian: "But surely you must understand that this slavery is just! Slavery is the natural place in the good and natural hierarchy for such people. What would be truly unjust would be to not enslave them!"

Fonritian: "Yes, and aren't we all slaves, truly, just with different masters?"

Yelmalian: "Ew, I'm not talking to you!"

Edited by Akhôrahil
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1 hour ago, Jeff said:

Here's how those numbers break down in Sartar, Hendrikiland, and Esrolia:

Region

Unfree

Semi-free

Free Common

Free Wealthy

Low Noble

Middle Noble

High Noble

Total

Sartar

10

16

50

16

5

2

1

100

Hendriki

0

16

60

16

5

2

1

100

Esrolia

30

25

25

10

5

3

2

100

I really like the "Free Wealthy" status. If thought of in RQ terms, what would the standard of living costs and the ransom be for such people?

Similarly, differentiating between different classes of nobles is great. 

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14 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I really like the "Free Wealthy" status. If thought of in RQ terms, what would the standard of living costs and the ransom be for such people?

Similarly, differentiating between different classes of nobles is great. 

I'd actually say that the Noble standard of living in RQG is actually closer to Free Wealthy. Low Nobles are chieftains, chief priests, hangers on of the Prince. Middle Nobles are tribal kings like Queen Leika. And the High Nobility in Sartar is the house of Sartar itself.

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7 minutes ago, Jeff said:

I'd actually say that the Noble standard of living in RQG is actually closer to Free Wealthy. Low Nobles are chieftains, chief priests, hangers on of the Prince. Middle Nobles are tribal kings like Queen Leika. And the High Nobility in Sartar is the house of Sartar itself.

Hmm, so many "Nobles" in RQG (people like weaponthanes or mere clan bigwigs) or others with a Noble ransom (like regular priests) wouldn't be "Noble" under this classification? That seems like it could get confusing, in that case. And "chieftains, chief priests, hangers on of the Prince" can't possibly make up 5% of the population, surely (while it sounds about right for clan nobility)?

I was picturing that Free Wealthy would be people like merchants, highly successful farmers, ranchers, top-notch craftsmen, and so on. 

Edited by Akhôrahil

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1 minute ago, Akhôrahil said:

Hmm, so many "Nobles" in RQG (people like weaponthanes or mere clan bigwigs) or others with a Noble ransom (like regular priests) wouldn't be "Noble" under this classification? That seems like it could get confusing, in that case.

I was picturing that Free Wealthy would be people like merchants, highly successful farmers, ranchers, top-notch craftsmen, and so on. 

Yeah it gets blurry on the edges! But once you start looking at Esrolia and the Lunar Empire, it becomes that much of what Sartar considers "nobility" would just count as Free Wealthy there. A thane (I try to avoid some of the incredible confusion introduced by TR and ST about types of "thanes") is a part of the tribal leadership. Thanes, priests, scribes - all have higher ransoms than ordinary farmers. But from an Esrolian perspective, having 5 hides of land hardly makes you even a petty noble! Not when you have temples endowed with huge contributions of grain and resources, or part of the incredible wealth from trade, etc.

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6 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Yeah it gets blurry on the edges! But once you start looking at Esrolia and the Lunar Empire, it becomes that much of what Sartar considers "nobility" would just count as Free Wealthy there. A thane (I try to avoid some of the incredible confusion introduced by TR and ST about types of "thanes") is a part of the tribal leadership. Thanes, priests, scribes - all have higher ransoms than ordinary farmers. But from an Esrolian perspective, having 5 hides of land hardly makes you even a petty noble! Not when you have temples endowed with huge contributions of grain and resources, or part of the incredible wealth from trade, etc.

Ah, so it's about relative versus absolute wealth! I would be inclined to go with relative wealth when talking about local elites - the top few percent who are also the leadership are the "nobles", even if outsiders would scoff at their unimpressive resources, but I can see it working either way.

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2 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Ah, so it's about relative versus absolute wealth! I would be inclined to go with relative wealth when talking about local elites - the top few percent who are also the leadership are the "nobles", even if outsiders would scoff at their unimpressive resources, but I can see it working either way.

Since I have not yet published my Social Classes section, I'm happy to tweak it around the edges. Here's the full chart:

Region

Unfree

Semi-free

Free Common

Free Wealthy

Low Noble

Middle Noble

High Noble

Total

Sartar

10

16

50

16

5

2

1

100

Esrolia

30

25

25

10

5

3

2

100

Hendriki

0

16

60

16

5

2

1

100

Malkonwal

0

50

30

11

5

2

2

100

Rightarm Islands

20

23

35

14

5

2

1

100

Tarsh

15

26

35

15

5

2

2

100

Prax

15

0

52

25

7

1

0

100

Caladraland

10

25

46

10

5

3

1

100

Holay

25

25

30

10

6

2

2

100

Aggar

10

22

45

15

6

1

1

100

Vanch

20

30

30

10

6

2

2

100

Imther

20

25

35

10

7

2

1

100

Sylila

20

40

20

10

6

2

2

100

Dara Happa

35

35

10

10

6

2

2

100

UNFREE 

This is a person who is not free to do as they will, but instead is designated as property off someone or something else. The exact nature of a slave varies greatly. Domestic slaves have some skills useful within an educated context. Crafts slaves have some useful crafting skill. Labor slaves are unskilled and generally miserable.

Ransom: none

SEMI-FREE 

This is a person who is not property but is not a full free member of the community. A client of another person is typically semi-free as they are not independent of their patron. They are bound to their lands or professions, or work somebody else’s land, livestock, or workshop and are usually unable to leave without permission of their lords. They do have some legal rights and are protected by their patrons.

Ransom:150 to 250 L

FREE COMMON 

This is a free person with legal standing in the community. They usually must have some property or other means of reliable income, and are expected to perform some responsible civic duties as well.

Ransom:500 L

FREE WEALTHY 

This is a Free Commoner with enough wealth to be armed and equipped better than their peers. They might have military duties, like thanes; religious duties, like priests or scribes; or they might be wealthy farmers, merchants, or crafters. They have increased social standing and civic responsibilities. They may have reached this status through their own pluck, official appointment, or other means.

Ransom: 1000 L

LOW NOBLE 

This is the equivalent of a landed knight or chieftain, the lowest of aristocratic circles in many cultures. This is the equivalent of a chief priest of temple.

Ransom: 2000 L

MID NOBLE 

This is the ruling class – the equivalents of barons, counts, tribal kings, high priests, city mayors, etc., or important retainers of high nobles. They are generally urbanized in customs.

Ransom: 4000 L

HIGH NOBLE 

This is the uncommon nobility, of the highest rank. This includes the rulers of an entire region – kings or queens who rule over many tribes (such as Esrolia, Sartar, Tarsh, etc.), Lunar Satraps, and the Prince of Sartar.

Ransom: 40,000 L

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2 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I thought this was an interesting illustration, by the way (from a series of blog posts I just read about Sparta on the A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry  blog).

population-breakdown-in-ancient-states1.jpg

Great graphic. There is wide-ranging debate on what the breakdown of non-free, semi-free, and free citizens in various Greek city-states were. But certainly a great starting point - might be interesting to see what those charts would like for Gloranthan societies.

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And some quick math: if you have 2% of the population valued at a ransom of 40,000 L, this means that these 2% make up between 60% and 65% of, let's call it "Gross National Ransom" - the total value of ransoms in the country. If ransoms correspond to wealth and income, this indicates a pretty massive income inequality. Which makes sense for several of the places, and it nicely produces Dara Happas as the most unequal.

Even in fairly egalitarian Sartar and Hendrikiland, the top one percent constitute 30-35% of the GNR, as much as all non-noble frees combined. If ransom is interpreted as corresponding to wealth (surely a simplification, but even so), this makes Sartar about as wealth-unequal as the modern-day United States.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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24 minutes ago, Jeff said:

might be interesting to see what those charts would like for Gloranthan societies.

Some quick work with Excel (class distribution):
GloranthaSocialClasses.JPG.3f4055ee2c21fd86d096c794db806dfc.JPG

Edited by Akhôrahil
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11 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

And some quick math: if you have 2% of the population valued at a ransom of 40,000 L, this means that these 2% make up between 60% and 65% of, let's call it "Gross National Ransom" - the total value of ransoms in the country. If ransoms correspond to wealth and income, this indicates a pretty massive income inequality. Which makes sense for several of the places, and it nicely produces Dara Happas as the most unequal.

Even in fairly egalitarian Sartar and Hendrikiland, the top one percent constitute 30-35% of the GNR, as much as all non-noble frees combined. If ransom is interpreted as corresponding to wealth (surely a simplification, but even so), this makes Sartar about as wealth-unequal as the modern-day United States.

The Prince of Sartar was traditionally VERY WEALTHY. Tarkalor possessed financial resources greater than a Lunar satrap. Under the Lunar Occupation, those higher strata were usurped by the Lunars, but with independence it becomes something Argrath tries to quickly regain. 

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Meanwhile, "Gross National Ransom" per 100 individuals looks like this (and where the height will at least somewhat correspond to the per capita wealth of the country while the distribution indicates amount of inequality):

GNR.JPG.08e43790edc6f906f1b94682e0b5c076.JPG

Edited by Akhôrahil
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Making a couple of Gini (inequality) calculations, I get a Gini of 65.1% for Sartar, 83.2% for Esrolia, 72.3% for Tarsh and 88.1% for Dara Happa (whereas in the RW 60% is considered quite bad)

Here ends the wonkery.

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8 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Making a couple of Gini (inequality) calculations, I get a Gini of 65.1% for Sartar, 83.2% for Esrolia, 72.3% for Tarsh and 88.1% for Dara Happa (whereas in the RW 60% is considered quite bad)

Here ends the wonkery.

Thanks, I was looking at doing that.

It matters a lot whether this is wealth-Gini or income-Gini, but if the closest analogue is income-Gini, this means that Sartar is a lot more enqual than the U.S. (and about as unqual as any country in the modern world), while Esrolia is much more unequal than basically any country on Earth.

In both cases, it's also far higher than European Medieval inequality.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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Just now, Akhôrahil said:

It matters a lot whether this is wealth Gini or income-Gini, but if the closest analogue is income-Gini, this means that Sartar is a lot more enqual than the U.S., while Esrolia is more unequal than basically any country on Earth.

It's ransom-Gini (and the current US figure is on the order of 40% for income according to Wikipedia).  I think ransom could considered a measure of how much liquid wealth is available to free you and thus be the equivalent of income whereas wealth would include things like castles and herds which are notoriously difficult to handover at any stand-off.

 

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5 minutes ago, metcalph said:

It's ransom-Gini (and the current US figure is on the order of 40% for income according to Wikipedia).  I think ransom could considered a measure of how much liquid wealth is available to free you and thus be the equivalent of income whereas wealth would include things like castles and herds which are notoriously difficult to handover at any stand-off.

It's a bit tricky what it corresponds to - supposedly the Semi-Free (like cottars) have virtually no wealth (liquid or otherwise), but still a not incredibly low ransom. Since it's the clan (or tribe, or kingdom...) paying up the ransom (whether you're expected to repay or not), your ransom is basically your value to the clan, so income/productivity would be a significant part of it. 

Edited by Akhôrahil
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2 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

It's a bit tricky what it corresponds to - supposedly the Semi-Free (like cottars) have virtually no wealth (liquid or otherwise), but still a not incredibly low ransom. Since it's the clan (or tribe, or kingdom...) paying up the ransom (whether you're expected to repay or not), your ransom is basically your value to the clan, so income/productivity would be a significant part of it. 

Also the absurdly high ransoms for Princes are intended to make it clear that killing a Prince is a very very dumb thing.

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And the ransom numbers don't really reflect the personal wealth of the individual - they represent the social importance of that person for their community.

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29 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Meanwhile, "Gross National Ransom" per 100 individuals looks like this (and where the height will at least somewhat correspond to the per capita wealth of the country while the distribution indicates amount of inequality):

GNR.JPG.08e43790edc6f906f1b94682e0b5c076.JPG

But I totally dig the idea of Gross National Ransom!

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