For the Old World social class is not an indefinite concept. It’s a real and definitive stricture on the rights and respect that a character is entitled to.
- Nobles have the full rights and freedoms which we might expect a person to have in a modern setting. They are always born to their station.
- Military characters have less than that. They have left behind any outside social rank in favour of a lifetime of service
- Commoners have less again.
Uruk society is a lot more fluid, making this choice less important for them.
The Old World Social Classes
The Nobility of Sollundom is ancient and powerful, often descended from the Old Blood of the distant past. They are the landowners and governors of every nation of Sollundom, extending and maintaining their familial holdings down through generations. There is a level of interconnectedness and mutual respect that extends across borders. Since the nobility know that they are outnumbered and retain their power mainly through
The New World colony in Osterheim represents both an opportunity and a threat to the power of the nobility. An opportunity because it means that noble families can expand their lands. Bringing wealth back home from across the seas. But a threat because it means that wealthy merchants and commoners can seek power. Power, that they feel they are entitled to with their
Players of noble characters should think about whether they’re playing offence or defence in the great class war.
The Military class is made up of people whose life and upbringing is grounded in a fighting organisation. They are officers and professionals whose civilian social standing has been left behind for a lifetime of service. Perhaps they are part of the formal militaries of the various Old World Nations. Or, they could be of an order of combatants outside those structures. In common, military characters have an adherence to a system of ranks and proximity to organised violence.
They straddle a middle ground of power and authority that varies by context. In times of peace, they take orders; in times of war, they give orders. Military characters are not only active troops
- military supporters
- retired soldiers
- assorted hangers-on
However, not all soldiers are from the Military class.
The New World colony in Osterheim might be either an obligation or a free choice. They might be there against their will, as part of an overseas deployment on the orders of a superior. They might be there by choice, seeking glory and coin. Or they might simply be there as loyal troops, doing what’s necessary.
You’ll need to decide what your character’s disposition is towards the colony as a whole. It’s the military characters who are most likely to come into conflict with them, after all.
More than other classes – you will need to decide what your disposition is with regards to the local population.
“Common” covers wealthy merchants, poorer workers and everything in between. Legally, they have very few rights throughout most of Sollundom. Although some cities give special rights to merchants in
The New World colony in Osterheim can serve as both a refuge and a step-stone for commoners. Commoners can find a safe haven or new start in Osterheim. Especially if they have been victims of violence, oppression or are cut off from society. Alternatively, some might come to the New World to accrue wealth from new opportunities. And stepping outside the rigid class structures of the Old World in the process.
Will you use the colonial distance as a chance to challenge the status quo?
The founders of the Nation of Charleston chose to abandon the old societal structures. They claim all within Charleston to be of equal standing and rights. This does not prevent groups vying for power, and some of the old prejudices and conventions are still present.
There is a notable difference between those who helped found the Nation and those that have arrived since that time.
The Founders and Early settlers of Charleston have worked hard. Both to establish their lands and their status as an independent nation. They have a vision for what they want this nation to become and they will fight to make it happen. In difficult times they generally chose to support other founders over newcomers. Regardless of what skills or resources the newcomers may bring.
Word of the independent nation of Charleston has spread far and wide. The appeal of abandoning the shackles of the Old World welcomed by many who now voyage across the sea. Unwelcomed and in a harsh environment, newcomers will notice the fickle nature the founders often display towards them. When food is scarce they will force out extra mouths rather than seek to feed them.