Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-16-2021, 05:45 PM   #1
Sam Baughn
 
Sam Baughn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: United Kingdom of Great Britain and some other bits.
Default [Banestorm] Why is the Cardien Council of Lords full of barons and vicounts?

I've been reading up on southern Ytarria for a campaign set in Tredoy, which I've never really gamed in before. I noticed something strange in the description of the Council of Lords, it says they are 'the seven greatest Cardien nobles' and lists them as:
  • Prince Anthemius Crivelli (Duke of Hadaton)
  • Baron Saywell of Alimar
  • Count Faramon of Alimar
  • Baron Caius of Minder
  • Baron Vincent of Calder
  • Viscount Guillaume of Tredroy
  • Baron Amalric of Ten-Tiri
That's four barons, one viscount, one count, and two dukes.
In a kingdom of several million people, I'd expect there to be something like (order of magnitude):
  • Ten thousand barons
  • One thousand viscounts
  • One hundred counts or earls
  • Ten dukes
So either there is a weird shortage of high-ranking nobles, Cardiens titles don't follow the same progression as Megalan (or European) ones, or Cardiel's titles no longer bear much relation to the bearer's actual power.
In GURPS Fantasy: Tredoy, it specifically notes that viscount Guillaume and the baron of Dorilis resent being vassals of baron Bowvrey because of his low title, which kind of suggests that there is still a pretty firm feudal pecking order and barons aren't high on it.
__________________
My blog.
Sam Baughn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2021, 05:55 PM   #2
Gold & Appel Inc
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: One Mile Up
Default Re: [Banestorm] Why is the Cardien Council of Lords full of barons and vicounts?

More than any other society in known Yrth, money talks in Cardiel.
Gold & Appel Inc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2021, 06:47 PM   #3
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: [Banestorm] Why is the Cardien Council of Lords full of barons and vicounts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Baughn View Post
In a kingdom of several million people, I'd expect there to be something like (order of magnitude):
  • Ten thousand barons
  • One thousand viscounts
  • One hundred counts or earls
  • Ten dukes
Why those figures?

The real-world UK currently has 30 dukedoms and 66 million people, or 1 in 2 million. A kingdom of several million would have only a couple. Googling as about fast as I can type, so not thorough research or analysis:
  • 426 barons (1:155K)
  • 115 viscounts (1:573K)
  • 191 earls (1:345K)
  • 30 dukes (1:2200K)
Of course, the modern nobility isn't exactly functional, so there's no real reason for those particular proportions other than history and money. It's not like it's an actual management hierarchy with a 1:10 fanout ratio. And communication tech is better (if we ignore magic, anyway). But you don't really need that many minor nobles.

(Don't forget a lot of the smaller titles are held directly by higher ones. Not every barony has its own unique baron, and there's not always a different human at each level of the hierarchy.)
Anaraxes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2021, 04:30 AM   #4
Sam Baughn
 
Sam Baughn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: United Kingdom of Great Britain and some other bits.
Default Re: [Banestorm] Why is the Cardien Council of Lords full of barons and vicounts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Why those figures?

The real-world UK currently has 30 dukedoms and 66 million people, or 1 in 2 million. A kingdom of several million would have only a couple. Googling as about fast as I can type, so not thorough research or analysis:
  • 426 barons (1:155K)
  • 115 viscounts (1:573K)
  • 191 earls (1:345K)
  • 30 dukes (1:2200K)
Of course, the modern nobility isn't exactly functional, so there's no real reason for those particular proportions other than history and money. It's not like it's an actual management hierarchy with a 1:10 fanout ratio. And communication tech is better (if we ignore magic, anyway). But you don't really need that many minor nobles.

(Don't forget a lot of the smaller titles are held directly by higher ones. Not every barony has its own unique baron, and there's not always a different human at each level of the hierarchy.)
My model of roughly how many nobles to expect is basically:
Around 1% of the population are nobility (i.e. every 'hundred' or village has a noble family and a population of around a hundred commoner families).
The lowest rank of noble is a baron.
Titles in a feudal system follow some kind of logarithmic progression, so each level has roughly the same number of vassals as the previous one.
For countries with populations in the millions and five or so levels of nobility (baron, possibly viscount, count / earl, possibly marquis, duke, archduke / prince / king), this works out to roughly ten vassals each.
Obviously that is an ideal which only roughly corresponds to real feudalism.
__________________
My blog.
Sam Baughn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2021, 04:44 AM   #5
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: [Banestorm] Why is the Cardien Council of Lords full of barons and vicounts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Baughn View Post
Around 1% of the population are nobility (i.e. every 'hundred' or village has a noble family and a population of around a hundred commoner families).
The lowest rank of noble is a baron.
A village probably has a knight, rather than a baron. That's not a hereditary rank, and hence not "nobility." The sons of knights were, however, the commonest source of new knights. In later centuries, when armoured cavalry became obsolete, the heads of villages were often not knighted, and became village squires.
johndallman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2021, 04:34 AM   #6
Agemegos
 
Agemegos's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Oz
Default Re: [Banestorm] Why is the Cardien Council of Lords full of barons and vicounts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
A village probably has a knight, rather than a baron.
Once upon a time (c. 1265) Sir John de Daiville (or De Ewill, or D’Eyvile) was a wealthy knight. He owned five villages in Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire, but being recognised as a baron slipped through his fingers.

A village probably has a bailiff to run it for the owner, who might visit once per year, if ever. The owner might be an abbey, nunnery, or cathedral chapter. Or a bishop.
__________________

© copyright Brett Evill
Discussion of FLAT BLACK

Last edited by Agemegos; 05-22-2021 at 05:05 AM. Reason: reorganised
Agemegos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2021, 07:01 AM   #7
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: [Banestorm] Why is the Cardien Council of Lords full of barons and vicounts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Baughn View Post
My model of roughly how many nobles to expect is basically:
Around 1% of the population are nobility (i.e. every 'hundred' or village has a noble family and a population of around a hundred commoner families).
The lowest rank of noble is a baron.
OK, that's one problem right there. It's not, Baron is fairly substantial title (Status 3 or 4), nobility starts at Status 1, Status 2 for sure, with titles like "gentlemen" or "squire" or "lord" or "mister" (yes it's a title).

Quote:
Titles in a feudal system follow some kind of logarithmic progression, so each level has roughly the same number of vassals as the previous one.
That's certainly false in specific instances, but may be *approximately* valid. It's a reasonable assumption for Status levels, but it's not a given that everybody with the same title has the same Status, or that different titles lie at different ones. In a fair number of historic cases the reason your title is "higher" than his could be a king liked one of your ancestors better. He may be richer and have a bigger army, but hey you've got right to wear a fancier hat. And of course "Baron" isn't a Status 2 title for 100 subordinates, it's a Status 4 or so one, for 10,000.
In the case of Cardiel, where apparently no ruling prince has ever managed to declare himself King and make it stick, there may well be social norms that limit or prevent him from handing out "higher" titles too.
__________________
--
MA Lloyd
malloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2021, 08:17 AM   #8
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: [Banestorm] Why is the Cardien Council of Lords full of barons and vicounts?

Looking at the answers thus far, I am surprised that no one noted that many of the noble ranks were actually responsible for administrative duties more than anything else. A count was to administer to a county. A baron was to administer to a barony. It wasn't directly tied to the size of the land being administered, yet it was really a function of how well the administrator COULD handle the task that was his purview.

In my feudal campaigns, I make liberal use of Social regard and Social Stigma. I have three classes of birth in Medieval England (removing Slavery from the list, as Slavery did exist even prior to 1200 AD).

Noble Born
Common Born
Base Born

Here is the wording, where I've stressed the word to emphasize it...

You are a member of a class, race, sex, or other group that your society holds in high regard.

You belong to a race, class, sex, or other group that your society deems inferior.

So, what is the difference between a rich serf and a poor Commoner? -1 Social situations where status counts. +1 in situations where relative wealth matters. +0 where both count.

Were a Wealthy commoner to get overly familiar with a Noble born person, said commoner can expect to get slapped down in a big way in a social situation. Just as two "races" look askance at their children when they start getting romantically involved with someone of a race not their own, so too would that "askance" look appear when dealing with issues of differing social status (which is the origin of the phrase "born on the wrong side of the blanket" originates.)

In all? Just treat the number of nobility in general as a function of the people they're overseeing at an administrative level, and realize that the "lesser" nobility are all intended to help the greater nobility administer to their lands. Toss in a few "Allodial lands" for those nobles who hold their land directly from the King without subinfeudation being involved, and you're set.

If I might suggest? Get your hands on A Magical Medieval Society Western Europe Second Edition by Expeditious Express. It has some decent rules for Kingdom building from the ground up.
hal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2021, 08:36 AM   #9
ericthered
Hero of Democracy
 
ericthered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: far from the ocean
Default Re: [Banestorm] Why is the Cardien Council of Lords full of barons and vicounts?

England has about 400 barons, and in 1200 it had about 3 million people. That's about 7 thousand people per baron, assuming the number of barons has been relatively constant. Of course, England historically had stronger Barons than other places: the house of Lords displays that.



Current England has 25-ish functional dukes (ignoring titles controlled by the crown), so that's a 16 to 1 ratio of barons to dukes, so if you put 4 vassals in each layer, and use two layers, things turn out about right.
__________________
Be helpful, not pedantic

Worlds Beyond Earth -- my blog

Check out the PbP forum! If you don't see a game you'd like, ask me about making one!
ericthered is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2021, 08:55 AM   #10
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: [Banestorm] Why is the Cardien Council of Lords full of barons and vicounts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Baughn View Post
My model of roughly how many nobles to expect is basically:
Around 1% of the population are nobility (i.e. every 'hundred' or village has a noble family and a population of around a hundred commoner families).
The lowest rank of noble is a baron.
I would say landed knight is the lowest rank of noble. And yes, "landed knight" is a hereditary title...in that if you inherit the land you inherit the knighthood. Baronets were also lower, but in Megalos are just referred to as "lesser barons">
David Johnston2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
banestorm

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.