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Old 05-17-2021, 03:00 AM   #11
Phantasm
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Why is the Cardien Council of Lords full of barons and vicounts?

IIRC, the feudal system in medieval France and the Holy Roman Empire were hardly what we'd consider "stratified" when it came to noble titles, so it makes sense that Yrth would have a screwball system, if system it actually has.

A count in the HRE could be a vassal of a baron, who in turn could be the vassal of two or more different barons, viscounts ("vice-counts"), counts, or marquis/margraves ("border counts"). I once read one instance of a count who was a vassal of another count, and had a baron as a vassal, provided aid to his baron vassal in a border conflict, only to get called into service by his own oath against himself because the noble his vassal the baron was in conflict with was the count he was the vassal of! And that instances like that were considered "common" if not "routine" during the High Medieval period in Northern and Western Europe, because fealty was given not based on title but on actual influence or land controlled. Some folks had sworn oaths of fealty to several nobles of various titles, and had to choose which oaths to fill when called to service.

So in practice, a viscount is not necessarily always answering to a count; he could answer to a baron. A duke with little actual power could owe fealty to a much more powerful baron. And the king may have little to no power over the nobles who put him on the throne.
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Old 05-17-2021, 04:30 AM   #12
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Why is the Cardien Council of Lords full of barons and vicounts?

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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.
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Old 05-17-2021, 04:44 AM   #13
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Why is the Cardien Council of Lords full of barons and vicounts?

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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.
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Old 05-17-2021, 06:14 AM   #14
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Why is the Cardien Council of Lords full of barons and vicounts?

I don't know Yrth all that well, but as far as Europe on Earth goes, the highly structured British peerage as we know it was a relatively late evolution.

In France through most of the middle ages, baron wasn't really a title that was handed out, it was a description of a particular social condition: a landed lord with armed retainers who was in homage to a generic 'prince' (a ruler who might be titled King, Emperor, Prince or Duke). Observers might call such individuals baron but they themselves wouldn't necessarily tack it to their names. The concept of 'peer' meant someone in direct homage to the king, without any requirement of a particular title. One of the greatest peer familes of the 1300s were De Coucy who had no title, were in homage to the king and members of his council, and were 'barons of the crown' de facto. In such a status an heir who inherited the lands could, theoretically decline to do homage to the monarch but still be lord of their domains but not a baron because they had no relationship of homage. Such a person would be a 'prince' in their own right, albeit a minor one and something of a black sheep.

'Count' in its original usage was an appointed office, but a vastly powerful and important one as a military and administrative boss of a region. The office, the title, and any land or other rights that went with it were dependent on the 'imperium' of the ruler who granted them; there was no quality to countship that was independent of the ruler who granted it. I theory, any free person could be appointed a count although in practice it was typically powerful noble. Eventually the office became hereditary but always remained subject to the ovrrlord's approval. Same for marquesses who were counts of border territories.

Dukes came in two types. There were those who were 'princes' (i.e ruling monarchs) whose traditional title happend to be Duke instead of Prince or King, e.g. the duke of Burgundy. Then there were others who were given the title as a mark of status rather than power, typically offspring of a monarch who were not heirs to the crown.
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Old 05-17-2021, 07:01 AM   #15
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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.
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Old 05-17-2021, 08:17 AM   #16
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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.
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Old 05-17-2021, 08:36 AM   #17
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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.
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Old 05-17-2021, 08:55 AM   #18
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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">
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Old 05-17-2021, 10:14 AM   #19
Sam Baughn
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Why is the Cardien Council of Lords full of barons and vicounts?

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
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.
So for Cardiel you might have:
  1. 1 Status 6 ruler (The Prince of Cardiel).
  2. A couple of other Status 6 nobles (roughly equivalent to a Megalan duke), almost certainly on the Council of Lords. I guess the Count of Aliar and Duke of Hadaton (although he's currently the prince) are the most likely to be at this level.
  3. About a dozen Status 5 nobles (equivalent to a Count, Earl, or Marquis in Megalos) some of them on the Council of Lords, many of them with titles which would only be Status 4 in Megalos (viscount, baron).
  4. Fifty or so noble families headed by a Status 4 individual, mostly with the titles viscount or baron.
  5. Roughly two hundred noble families headed by Status 3 individuals who may be lesser barons, knights, or simply very respectable gentry.
  6. Something in the region of 800 Status 2 respectable gentry, lesser knights, and possibly baronets.
  7. About three thousand Status 1 squires, gentry, and other petty nobles (generic 'lords', dons).
  8. Roughly 2,000 commoners per noble.
Presumably there is also a church hierarchy which probably goes up to about Status 4 for the three archbishops, down to Status 1 (or maybe 0) for priests, with Status 2-3 bishops between them (and monks, nuns, abbots, etc. forming a parallel hierarchy up to Status 2 or so). I guess that each level of status in the church has more subordinates than the nobility, since there would need to be many thousands of priests to minister to the millions of Christians. I expect that actual status of a cleric will depend both on their rank in the church and their family's position in the feudal hierarchy.
Commoners seem to be able to get up to Status 2 as government officials (mayors) or in guilds (guildmaster). I guess a mayor typically governs a town (thousands of people) or city (up to half a million in the case of Tredoy) which seems to be imply more subjects than an equivalent-status noble (which makes sense, since a commoner would probably get less respect than a noble even if their actual power and wealth were the same).
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Old 05-17-2021, 10:27 AM   #20
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Why is the Cardien Council of Lords full of barons and vicounts?

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Originally Posted by Sam Baughn View Post
So for Cardiel you might have:[LIST=1][*]1 Status 6 ruler (The Prince of Cardiel).[*]A couple of other Status 6 nobles (roughly equivalent to a Megalan duke), almost certainly on the Council of Lords. I guess the Count of Aliar and Duke of Hadaton (although he's currently the prince) are the most likely to be at this level..
No. The highest nobles have to be one step down from the prince. That's the appeal to being elected Prince, that it gives you a status boost. Thing is, Cardiel, like Caithness doesn't really have a pyramidal social structure. That's why it has a ruling council and an elected monarchy. What it really is, is a confederation of 7 very minor monarchs.
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