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Old 09-21-2022, 04:24 PM   #21
The Colonel
 
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Default Re: [BANESTORM] Ending slavery in the Evil Empire

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Originally Posted by Willy View Post
We had such a situation in history, in the last phase of the roman decline people were forced to keep their partents job, and peasants were legally bound to the fields they ployed. This was the historical birth of serfdom. Still a lot of people kept slaves and both system went hand in hand for some time. Slavery in the west was even legal to a point were serfdom was no more.

In the worly of YRTH both systems make much sense, serfdom brought over from earth, because it was the middle ages were the banestorm first occured, and slavery. a nation like Megalos or other warmongers will have a steady supply of prosoners of war, which makes slaves cheap and easy to aquire.
As I was given to understand it, serfdom was instituted as you say, but came about at least partially because the supply of slaves that had tended the great estates had dried up ... partly due to Christianization and the manumission movement, and partly because Rome was no longer capturing slaves and increasingly couldn't afford to buy them.

In turn, the great slave tended estates had come about because of the near extinction of Roman peasant class in the Punic Wars.

The question being, if agriculture is largely performed by serfs, what function do chattle slaves perform? Mining would be obvious - it was traditionally an industry that consumed vast quantities of slaves - otherwise, are they a purely urban institution?

Meanwhile, does anyone know the reason behind the imperial edict against emancipation? What was the tradition before the edict?

As for slavery outliving serfdom in real life - as I understand it, it was more a case of slavery being re-introduced by invading tribes (and then replaced by serfdom again)...
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Old 09-21-2022, 06:32 PM   #22
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Default Re: [BANESTORM] Ending slavery in the Evil Empire

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SNIP
Meanwhile, does anyone know the reason behind the imperial edict against emancipation? What was the tradition before the edict?

As for slavery outliving serfdom in real life - as I understand it, it was more a case of slavery being re-introduced by invading tribes (and then replaced by serfdom again)...
No I dinbīt found any reason for the edict in all books, PDFs and other SJG stuff were YRth is mentioned the empire has made freeing slaves illegal. The only official products I didnīt read are the second edition of the Pyramid. Maybe itīs just to outline Megalos as a evil empire in opposition to the other nations. At least in 3rd Ed. Fantasy we have a clear writing that freeing slaves is illegal, in Orcslayer slavery or Megalos arenīt mentioned. Orcs are bad, torture and capture people but thatīs it.

Sadly slavery was legal in some nations through history until the 1990s africa has a long history of slavery and that was before and after the arab slave trade and surely a much longer period than the classic slave trade we learn in schools. While slavery is forbidden now worldwide, there are hints that in some regions slavery is still in use. Itīs a bit problematic to get your rights and freedom if the local judge, the police chief and the military captain are on the other side... . Especially if the gouvernment is far away. Mostly that are failed states, under the last nations officially giving up slavery were 3 african nations. At least one of them has reports about local spots still using slavery.

On top of that we have of course the problem that if a nations undergoes turmoil, warlords and bandits have there own version of "law". Often reintroducing slavery.

Last edited by Willy; 09-22-2022 at 04:09 PM. Reason: spelling error
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Old 09-22-2022, 05:24 AM   #23
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Default Re: [BANESTORM] Ending slavery in the Evil Empire

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I do wonder if the Underground Engineers, who typically came from a society without slavery, might get involved in the "free the slaves" movement.
I had forgotten about the Engineers and you're quite right, the abolition of slavery would be a project they could get behind. Unfortunately, they can only be of limited help (unless I do a major retcon on their capabilities) and the Emperor has good reason not to want to annoy the MoS.

I'm taking the state of Megalosian law from BANESTORM at p 42:

"In all lands, slavery is for life, though outside Megalos slaves may be freed by their owners, and Islam encourages this." (Emphasis added.)

And also see p 96 on the city of Teridar:

"One regular event is the Libertatum, in which four slaves battle each other for potential freedom. The Earl petitions the Emperor to release the victor – petitions which somehow never succeed."

As to where this harshness comes from, I suspect that an early Emperor decided that a clear distinction had to be made between those who owned and those who were owned. Or this being Megalos it could just have been sheer evil bloody mindedness.
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Old 09-22-2022, 06:02 AM   #24
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Default Re: [BANESTORM] Ending slavery in the Evil Empire

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As to where this harshness comes from, I suspect that an early Emperor decided that a clear distinction had to be made between those who owned and those who were owned. Or this being Megalos it could just have been sheer evil bloody mindedness.
If the Demon Emperor touched the subject at all, he'll have done so by reaffirming tradition, if he had any sense.
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Old 09-22-2022, 06:33 AM   #25
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Default Re: [BANESTORM] Ending slavery in the Evil Empire

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As to where this harshness comes from, I suspect that an early Emperor decided that a clear distinction had to be made between those who owned and those who were owned. Or this being Megalos it could just have been sheer evil bloody mindedness.
When applied to conquered people, making it so they - and their descendants - cannot later rise to power within your empire makes some sense. When applied to criminals, making slavery basically a life sentence without parole more strongly discourages breaking the relevant laws than having it be something that's generally a few years with good behavior. For paying off debts or generating some momentary income for your family, there may be some ways in which manumission could be exploited to run something of a con job, where a landowner purchases a slave but then said slave gets set free well before the investment pays off (maybe via some confusing fine print/legalese in the contract). From the standpoint of the slave owners and overseers, the possibility of manumission is a bit of a threat, as it means any slave they severely mistreat they'll either have to keep or risk a future owner setting the slave free - which may well result in the former slave returning for vengeance. Or you could end up with a freed slave tracking down loved ones to set free, like in Django Unchained, which may well end poorly for said loved ones' current owner(s).

But the primary reason is probably For Teh Evulz (which some of the above overlap with as well). Another possibility is that, if manumission was ever a thing in the empire, back then there were a lot of instances of people using their slaves as soldiers in various flavors of civil unrest, promising the slaves freedom if victorious. It's harder to get your slaves to go into battle for you if they'll still be slaves regardless of the result.
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Old 09-22-2022, 07:19 AM   #26
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Default Re: [BANESTORM] Ending slavery in the Evil Empire

Megalos has four different kinds of slavery... though birth and capture are pretty close. The law on them is likely to be quite different.

I wonder if most "slaves by choice" are really indentured servants. Page 59 indicates that christians aren't allowed to enslave other christians, but that indentured servitude is permitted. So most slaves by choice would be required by church law to be indentured instead. Those can be freed, of course, though perhaps only at the end of their service. I'm not sure if "you can't free a slave" applies to them... maybe you could turn them loose in the middle of their service. On the other hand, they could twist the law to say you have an obligation to that slave and thus cannot free them... I can see nasty abuses with either version of the law.

Slaves by Law are excommunicated criminals. They are owned by the crown, so "you can't free them" usually won't apply, because it sounds like the emperor usually doesn't sell them. They're also the defacto prison system. These might not be people you want to free willy-nilly, though you could certainly move their status away from "death by hard labor", and the emperor certainly has the authority to do that without too much trouble.

Slaves by capture are largely foreigners, non-christians captured in war or by professional raiders. Slaves by birth most likely come from this population. This is where the "you can't free a slave" applies most strongly. Its probably also the most typical "slave" of megalos. The logic is probably you don't want these foreign infidels running free in your country. This is of course ignoring that the slaves by birth have little connection to their "homeland", and ignoring conversion, and many other little inconvenient details... you know, the way oppressive systems tend to pick the worst of both options and ignore the contradictions.

The easiest way to start freeing slaves is by leveraging those inconsistencies.
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Old 09-22-2022, 09:19 AM   #27
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Default Re: [BANESTORM] Ending slavery in the Evil Empire

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If the Demon Emperor touched the subject at all, he'll have done so by reaffirming tradition, if he had any sense.
The Demon Emperor was noted for not paying attention to things that couldn't give him immediate pleasure or the chance to be horrible to/tempt to their damnation living souls.

There's a lot that needs reforming in the new Emperor's in tray and even more that just hasn't been done properly.
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Old 09-22-2022, 09:26 AM   #28
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Default Re: [BANESTORM] Ending slavery in the Evil Empire

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No I didnbīt found any reason for the edicvt in all books, PDFs and other SJG stuff were YRth is mentioned the empire has made freeing slaves illegal. The only official products I didnīt read are the second edition of the Pyramid. Maybe itīs just to outline Megalos as a evil empire in opposition to the other nations. At least in 3rd Ed. Fantasy we have a clear writing that freeing slaves is illegal, in Orcslayer slavery or Megalos arenīt mentioned. Orcs are bad, torture and capture people but thatīs it.
Ah, I'd missed that this was a pre-existing IP position, I thought it was in campaign development. Still, even with SJG, boilerplate evil is a possibility.

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Originally Posted by Willy View Post
Sadly slavery was legal in some nations through history until the 1990s africa has a long history of slavery and that was before and after the arab slave trade and surely a much longer period than the classic slave trade we learn in schools. While slavery is forbidden now worldwide, there are hints that in some regions slavery is still in use. Itīs a bit problematic to get your rights and freedom if the local judge, the police chief and the military captain are on the other side... . Especially if the gouvernment is far away. Mostly that are failed states, under the last nations officially giving up slavery were 3 african nations. At least one of them has reports about local spots still using slavery.

On top of that we have of course the problem that if a nations undergoes turmoil, warlords and bandits have there own version of "law". Often reintroducing slavery.
Ah, yes. I see what you mean ... I was still thinking in narrow terms of European historical succession. Arguably there are economic pressures, as well as cultural ones that militate against slavery, but those also require a fairly advanced economy so any primitive setting can afford to ignore those.
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Old 09-22-2022, 12:48 PM   #29
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Default Re: [BANESTORM] Ending slavery in the Evil Empire

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No.

But I could see a situation where a company or other corporate body owned a slave and that slave was in effective control of the corporation because the real owner was missing or indifferent to its running.

It might be possible for the slave to issue orders that the company manumit the CEO. But it might not be wise to draw attention to this anomaly in the law.
I recall someone's suggestion for Transhuman Space, where one class of AIs were not legally people in one country, and the workaround was to have the AI owned by a corporation which owns nothing else and is controlled by the AI.
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Old 09-22-2022, 01:33 PM   #30
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Default Re: [BANESTORM] Ending slavery in the Evil Empire

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I recall someone's suggestion for Transhuman Space, where one class of AIs were not legally people in one country, and the workaround was to have the AI owned by a corporation which owns nothing else and is controlled by the AI.
I don't think Megalos' legal system will be very supportive of that idea for slaves.
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