I'm sticking by my McDonald's analogy. Here's why:
I'm not trying to relate McDonald's to a noble house, but instead the owners of a McDonald's franchise
to the senior Lords and Ladies of a noble house
. The distinction is critical to seeing the analogy; I don't care what the function of the organization is, in this case, I only care about the relation of this peon employee to the nameless, faceless wealth and power that employs them. The peon employee's actions will bear little or NO reflection on the reputation of the Senior Lords and Ladies, or even on the house as a whole. Yeah, if he's caught peeing in the grease, people might get turned off to that particular McDonalds (the Jr. noble employing them), but more likely than not, the Jr. noble will cover it up and ignore it as much as possible. This works identically for "firms working for the government", by the way. I challenge you to find one example of a peon employee's activities reflecting on, say, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lockheed Martin.
Armaddict: We seem to be somewhat in agreement with respect to the uniforms issue, though I would take it further. In the absense of full-uniforms, PCs would have much more liberty to define their own "look", which I think is both a good thing overall, and good for my "grits" campaign.
The answer to John's remark is this: Right. Nobles are being too demanding in what they expect from their employees. You might well expect some polish, style, subtlety, or whatever, from your Atrium-trained aide. But your bodyguard's job is to stand around looking rough and ready (no, BEING rough and ready), not to impress people (beyond impressing them with the belief that he can and will crush their skull), and they shouldn't be expected to behave otherwise. Yes, they're professionals, but they are professional grunts, mercenaries, or soldiers, at best. And none of those are roles requiring skills in ettiquette! Nobles: stop demanding perfect behavior from your guards, _expect_ them to be bullying, crude, socially clumsy, downright mean, whatever. No question, they are probably smarter (read: more cunning), more ambitious (read: more bloodthirsty), and possess more perseverance (read: brass balls), than many other commoners, that's why you hired them. But you didn't hire them to dress well, speak well, or be pleasant company.
This is obviously a huge sticking-point, but please ask yourself seriously which role is more restrictive? Which role is more fun to play, long-term? Which role better suits the environment of the mud? Which role is more in-sync with every other aspect of lilfe on Zalanthas? Zalanthas is a place where EVERYTHING is covered with a layer of dust, sand or salt, nothing is soft or easy or tame.... why would we expect noble-house guards to be any different? (I'd like the nobles _themselves_ to be rougher, as I've mentioned previously on this thread)
You may have discussed making it harder to get into noble houses, Armaddict, I have not. I _have_ mentioned that I'd like our leaders to be more selective, but I meant that in terms of finding people to fill specific roles and judging them on their merits in those roles, I didn't mean it in terms of raising the bar for entry.
I realize that "this isn't dragonland, and it's not the movie dragonslayer, and it's not hollywood," and the intent of mentioning that particular character wasn't to invoke any of those things; I'm sorry if my remarks were so misleading as to have guided you there. I'm trying to offer a broader interpretation of something you (and this time I do mean you
specifically, Armaddict, though I'm sure others agree with you) seem very strongly inclined to define narrowly. You say that
a) noble guard roles have a different disposition than any other commoner
b) if a noble guard isn't trying to be a hero, he won't advance.
c) all noble guards are working to progress in their careers as noble guards.
... and these assumptions are all _wrong_. There is no documentation that specifies that noble guards must be played this way, and all of these assumptions are at odds with the nature of our game, and constriict and confine and constrain what should otherwise be a very broad role.
a) you grant that noble guards are still "just commoners". Why would their disposition be different than any other commoner, inherently?
b) a lot of organizations in the game specifically go out of their way to dull this "hero" instinct... usually heros think for themselves too much, for one thing. For another thing, the "hero" role you're talking about, the guy you think is "what a noble guard is about" seems to me to be just the sort of fellow who will act above his station, acting like a well-trusted aid, when really he is hired muscle and nothing else.
c) this certainly can't possibly be the case. Many people are satisfied with their lot in life and either aren't cut out for leadership, or don't care to be put into positions of responsibility
.... what I don't understand is why you think the role should be so narrowly defined. This sort of over-achiever, in my opinion, would be a relatively rare thing on Zalanthas altogether, and downright one-in-a-million for a muscle-bound thug.
On Zalanthas, only a fool or someone with a good amount of backing will directly oppose the wishes of a noble house. These guys dress in their insignia to let people know they are acting on those wishes. Sometimes they may not be, but the other commoners don't know that. Saying they won't dress appropriate to their work just because no one takes them at face-value anyway would be illogical and counterproductive.
Your overall sense of scope is broken. If I act out against Joe the Borsail Wyvern, I am not necessarily taking on all of Borsail. More likely than not, Joe is going to be on his own, or his Jr-level Borsail boss might even fire him (or eliminate him in some other way) for being more trouble than he's worth. Yeah, wearing that Borsail insignia might buy you some leeway from time to time, but it's hardly a set of red templar's robes. You're still just a punk employee of a punk noble. Wearing Borsail insignia does NOT mean that you are weilding the might of House Borsail, and people suffering from this misconception must stop it!
And yes, I agree with you: people should dress appropriately for their work. If you're a bodyguard in Allanak, the appropriate dress for you isn't in silks; it's not even in polished ceremonial armor. Your job is to be dressed comfortably and functionally. Your job might even be to NOT look too much like a Borsail guard, so that people focused on injuring your ward are less likely to notice you and take countermeasures against you. That's situation-specific, of course, and most of the time a noble will want there bodyguard to be visible -- but the look they should be going for is "tough as hell," not "fresh out of the Atrium."
Lastly: yeah, abuse of alcohol isn't going to be considered a problem on Zalanthas, unless it means your new hire can't drag himself to work. You're applying a modern western stigma to drunkeness which simply isn't applicable to Zalanthas. Everyone drinks like a fish, it's the tee totalers who are weirdos. And no, you can't necessarily replace him that easily (assuming the PC population are not all playing goodie-two-shoes
And the guy who can be controlled with spice? It would be a huge mistake not to hire THAT guy! Unless you have trouble getting hold of spice......
Why would you (I assume you're the Jr. Noble, in this case) bring your thug bodyguard to meet a Senior Lord? He's certainly not necessary (or if he is, you're probably in too much trouble for one bodyguard to get you out of), and yeah, he's probably going to do something crude or embarassing.
Apologies, they've been supplanted in me by players and staff alike over the past seven years.
Accepted. That's why I'm trying to set the record straight