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Jeff

Social Classes in Glorantha

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This is some material Greg and I put together that will likely be appearing in one of the near future RQ releases. Some interesting surprises here.

SOCIAL CLASSES

These are general terms. Each region may have its own special term, or even divide each these classes into more than one type. Regardless of the local name, the general social divisions are more or less the same.

Social class generally extends to your immediate kin as well, and sometimes to your extended kin as well.

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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Thanks Jeff, the number offer quick insight into the social structure.

I think something as useful would be to give standard names to these social groups for various  societies. It will add immediately flavour to any game.

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On 10/11/2019 at 7:23 AM, Minlister said:

Thanks Jeff, the number offer quick insight into the social structure.

I think something as useful would be to give standard names to these social groups for various  societies. It will add immediately flavour to any game.

Agreed, adding a general name for each culture could go a long way towards playing character from different cultures as these numbers already do. Obviously characters from Dara Happan are going to have very different views on the Unfree/Slaves in general than someone from Hendriki. 

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Thanks Jeff! I'm actually surprised at Esrolia, which I pictured as the more civilized and progressive place around Dragon Pass. But looking at those numbers, you could interpret it as a ruthless oligarchy where Nobles rules over a majority (55%) of people that are enslaved or partially enslaved, with little middle-class people. I didn't picture Ernalda as the type of deity to condone this type of society either but maybe I have her wrong, or maybe nobody bothered to free traditional slave families dating all the way back to the Vingkotling era, but that feels like an awful long time ago.

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