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Old 03-04-2021, 02:39 AM   #11
Michele
 
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Default Re: Real life hangers on at Renaissance royal courts?

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Plus, the person who actually provides the wine can then tell other customers that he provides the King's wine and charge them a premium, making up for the fact that the King doesn't actually pay him for the wine.
Right, and this brings up the merchants and their relationship with the court. The guy advertising his wines by defining hmself as a purveyor of the royal house would almost certainly be a commoner. But he'd probably strike some deal with a nobleman living at the court. This would be yet another source of income for the nobleman - nothing as base as a salary, and maybe not even a participation in the winery profits, but, maybe, the occasional "loan" the merchant would then forget about. The nobleman, as his part of the deal, would lobby for the winery at the court, try to prevent competition, provide additional clout just by being friendly with the merchant, and make sure the lackeys of other noblemen did not bother the delivery men or the like.
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Old 03-04-2021, 08:05 AM   #12
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Default Re: Real life hangers on at Renaissance royal courts?

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Plus, the person who actually provides the wine can then tell other customers that he provides the King's wine and charge them a premium, making up for the fact that the King doesn't actually pay him for the wine.
There are still remnants of this in European kingdoms. For example, the UK. I know the Dutch do this as well, I'm currently looking at the seal on one product on my desk.
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Old 03-04-2021, 09:38 AM   #13
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Default Re: Real life hangers on at Renaissance royal courts?

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A lot of people with a title but not much else trying desperately to get some kind of post that pays or gets bribes or otherwise will get them out of hock. They're in debt to their tailors, their grocers, and everyone else who provides for their needs, and only their titles are keeping large men with clubs from discussing their debts in an alley somewhere.

That sounds like a nice breeding ground for Player Characters.
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Old 03-04-2021, 11:29 AM   #14
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Default Re: Real life hangers on at Renaissance royal courts?

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But keep in mind that (presumably by design) court life was absurdly expensive, and as I mentioned, royal appointments are probably best described, in GURPS terms, as Independent Income - you have some hireling to do the real work.
Note, however, that without a bureaucracy, getting that pension every month can be very difficult. "Oh, I'm sorry, the treasurer left for his estate. When he coming back? I don't know. No, I can't authorize any payments in the meanwhile."
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Old 03-04-2021, 11:42 AM   #15
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Default Re: Real life hangers on at Renaissance royal courts?

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There are still remnants of this in European kingdoms. For example, the UK. I know the Dutch do this as well, I'm currently looking at the seal on one product on my desk.
Which circles back to the kind of positions courtiers want. Being the one who issues such warrants or can influence their issue is a great way to get all manner of formal and informal payments from people who want such a warrant. In thr the UK that was historically the Lord Chamberlain, the Master of Revels, or some functionary assigned by them. This is why aristocrats scheme and backstab to get the job of, basically, a glorified butler.
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Old 03-04-2021, 04:41 PM   #16
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There's also the role of professional suck-up; it's not a formal position, but sufficient flattery/charm/toadying towards someone who actually has got money can get you a place to stay in his manor or townhouse, 'loans' to be paid back on the 5th of never, secondhand court clothing, valuable gifts that can be quietly pawned, etc. In exchange, you hang around your patron at court, laugh at all his jokes, bully and harass his enemies and their toadies, go to his parties to make them look popular and generally act like a rockstar's entourage.
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Old 03-04-2021, 04:44 PM   #17
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Default Re: Real life hangers on at Renaissance royal courts?

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That sounds like a nice breeding ground for Player Characters.
Pretty sure The Three Musketeers is the prototype for that.
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Old 03-04-2021, 06:12 PM   #18
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Might want to look at the type of folks that hang around the US President or the Russian President. Using the US as the example, not so much the Cabinet officials but ones like the Press Secretary, National Security Advisor, White House Chef, the Secret Service agents assigned to Presidential duty, Personal lawyer, Personal Doctor, etc. Many of these are the modern versions of the types of jobs filled by the medieval Royal Courts.
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Old 03-05-2021, 04:26 AM   #19
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Default Re: Real life hangers on at Renaissance royal courts?

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There's also the role of professional suck-up; it's not a formal position, but sufficient flattery/charm/toadying towards someone who actually has got money can get you a place to stay in his manor or townhouse, 'loans' to be paid back on the 5th of never, secondhand court clothing, valuable gifts that can be quietly pawned, etc. In exchange, you hang around your patron at court, laugh at all his jokes, bully and harass his enemies and their toadies, go to his parties to make them look popular and generally act like a rockstar's entourage.
Sure. I seem to remember I provided a Sycophant template for GURPS Historical Folks. Note, however, that suitably skilled and constant adulation might eventually also bring you one of those minor official positions, as an additional reward. If the king (or other person having the power to grant that appointment) actually likes adulation, he might also mistake that for loyalty, and if so, he might prefer to appoint a loyal follower rather than somebody experienced but straight-backed.
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:50 AM   #20
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Default Re: Real life hangers on at Renaissance royal courts?

There's also the various learned sorts that a Renaissance noble with pretensions to (or actual interest in) culture would patronize at court: alchemists, astrologers/astronomers, philosophers, poets, painters, sculptors, and so on. They provide entertainment as a sideline, but their main purpose is to bolster the patron's prestige.

And someone (or someones) in the court is definitely going to be a spymaster if the noble has any sense at all.
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