Spouses of the rich and famous

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AlexM
Joined: 2017-01-21 00:28
Spouses of the rich and famous

After reading the blog entry Political Power Is Personal Power (which makes me think of this OOTS), I have been bothered by Lady Celena Valerian from SSoS.  She's the wife of an 8th level legate, and comes from a privileged background with a classical education in Aura.  She is depicted as policically important in Türos Tem, which should translate to being personally powerful.  Despite this, she's 0th level.  Why isn't she something like a level 5 (or higher?) Venturer?  Surely she commands respect among all of the legate's lessers at the fort, and she controls at least a reasonable fraction of her husband's income as household manger.  Just her dinner parties alone probably get her into the level 4 wealth range (1 person feast per day = 300 gp, or several people weeksly imply level 4).

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

It certainly wouldn't break the game if you made Lady Valerian a leveled character. But there are some reasons not to:

  1. "Political Power is Personal Power" is a general principle. But the method by which the principal is embodied in the game world is through the mechanism of the XP rules - ruling domains, building strongholds, leading merchant expeditions, researching magic items, etc. earns XP. Simply having money and being near powerful people does not. Not everyone is devoting their time and energy to becoming more powerful. Some people are just taking pleasure in life.
  2. There are only a limited number of leveled characters around. If every high-level character's spouse is also high level, then the demographics of the game radically change - power is much more tightly concentrated in families and there are many fewer leveled characters left over to frontiersmen, adventurers, and so on. 
  3. Assigning a high level to every non-casting non-combatant of rank and distinction leads to quite odd circumstances. It's difficult to imagine a young knight errant  riding off to resuce the local princess if she ends up higher level than him.

I look at Lady Valerian as well positioned to level should appropriate circumstances arise. For instance, if Ulrand were slain and she ruled the fort, she'd rapidly gain XP.  A real-world example might be Queen Zenobia of Palmyra. Prior to her the death of her husband, there is little record of Zenobia at all. When he is assassinated and she becomes Queen of Palmyra, she then beats a pretender, then takes Syria, then takes Arabia, then declares herself Mother of the Emperor, then Augusta, leads armies, etc.

But, again, every campaign is a law unto itself and you can play with the demographics as you like.

  

creases
Joined: 2012-02-13 01:55

What if love blooms between an NPC and one of his henchmen? What if companions on the battlefield become comjugal companions? Comrades in arms tumble into one another's arms? Would that make level demographics wonky in the same way? The primary/henchman relationship is already presumed to be close.

Aryxymaraki
Aryxymaraki's picture
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Joined: 2014-01-04 02:20

What if love blooms between an NPC and one of his henchmen? What if companions on the battlefield become comjugal companions? Comrades in arms tumble into one another's arms? Would that make level demographics wonky in the same way? The primary/henchman relationship is already presumed to be close.


-creases

That would not affect the demographics because those characters are gaining XP individually, instead of sharing XP gains.

The question is basically one of 'how are they earning XP', and characters don't get free XP for being the spouse of someone who is earning XP.

If the spouse themselves earns XP (by any fashion that would normally earn XP), that's not an issue. There is nothing stopping a ruler from giving their spouse land and title and letting them rule a fief themselves. Doing so would reduce the XP the ruler gains, of course, and thus XP/demographics are conserved.

(I am not an Autarch, this is just my interpretation.)

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

What if love blooms between an NPC and one of his henchmen? What if companions on the battlefield become comjugal companions? Comrades in arms tumble into one another's arms? Would that make level demographics wonky in the same way? The primary/henchman relationship is already presumed to be close.


-creases

That would not affect the demographics because those characters are gaining XP individually, instead of sharing XP gains. The question is basically one of 'how are they earning XP', and characters don't get free XP for being the spouse of someone who is earning XP. If the spouse themselves earns XP (by any fashion that would normally earn XP), that's not an issue. There is nothing stopping a ruler from giving their spouse land and title and letting them rule a fief themselves. Doing so would reduce the XP the ruler gains, of course, and thus XP/demographics are conserved. (I am not an Autarch, this is just my interpretation.)


-Aryxymaraki

Exactly. 

Cuddlefission
Joined: 2018-03-08 14:45

Necromancied to add: For situations like these, one other approach is that you could also apply or twist the Axioms III rules for seperating land ownership and governance, if the land is de facto administrated by the woman while the man is officially in charge, as could be the case depending on the talents and inclinations of those involved. The man would reap the benefits of his rents while doing very little work on the actual estate, while the wife also earns XP for her role handling the actual grind and trouble of managing this all. I'd imagine this is probably a common arrangement for free-spirited adventurers with a limited patience for political affairs!

Jard
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Joined: 2012-07-11 23:23

it's funny you should necromancy this thread, as the most recent Axioms article has suggestions for non-combatents.