Author Topic: RE: Tuluk Caste System  (Read 12073 times)

spawnloser

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RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2006, 09:10:22 AM »
Dear, calm down.  'Kay?

I do feel that people were being way too literal in their taking of what Cuusardo said.  Seriously, people.  If a noble wants something a commoner has a simple, "Well, that is such a nice ring.  I wish I had one," from Chosen to commoner should generally result in the noble getting it eventually.  I mean, that's what the patronage system is about...commoners give stuff to nobles that then speak for those commoners in the Triumvirate.  Not giving gifts to the Chosen is like saying, "I don't want you to protect me."
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Morfeus

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RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2006, 09:28:33 AM »
I think people are often forgetting that nobles are different, higher caste. If my average, Tuluki born commoner-character hears from Chosen anything leading to impression Chosen wishes to get my character's shirt, my character would most probably give the shirt to Chosen immediatelly (and then go and brag about it). But well, that is just me.

Tamarin

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RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2006, 01:59:05 PM »
Quote from: "Morfeus"
I think people are often forgetting that nobles are different, higher caste. If my average, Tuluki born commoner-character hears from Chosen anything leading to impression Chosen wishes to get my character's shirt, my character would most probably give the shirt to Chosen immediatelly (and then go and brag about it). But well, that is just me.


Morfeus has this aspect correct.  It's not that the Chosen can or really should demand anything, but that it's the citizen's choice to offer it of his or her own free will.  The difference between that, and the Chosen "getting what the want because they're Chosen and they should have it" is -huge-.  Huge difference.  Not at all the same thing.

This is NOT Allanak.
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spawnloser

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RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2006, 02:02:17 PM »
Quote from: "Morfeus"
If my average, Tuluki born commoner-character hears from Chosen anything leading to impression Chosen wishes to get my character's shirt, my character would most probably give the shirt to Chosen immediatelly (and then go and brag about it). But well, that is just me.
I'd offer to get one I hadn't worn already or to wash it for them first.  :wink:
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Naiona

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RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #29 on: April 08, 2006, 05:44:14 PM »
Tuluk has legalized thievery and thieves available for a reasonable fee should anyone really want anything else that anyone has.  A smart noble may have a few of them on call under his/her own patronage. A great "professional" (aka thief) might have loose partisan relationships with multiple influential people.  I would love to see this played out more as intended and thieves treated as artisans rather then criminals by the majority of the populace in Tuluk.

A little bit of a derailment, but the Tuluki means of getting something you want from someone unwilling to hand it over is to have it stolen - or failing that purchasing a license and having the stubborn person asassinated.  The nobility of Tuluk is well aware of this and has the funds and connections to see it done.  They -will- get what they want most of the time.
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Bebop

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RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #30 on: April 08, 2006, 05:50:58 PM »
I disagree that bards are the equivilent to a Merchant House family member, even if their job is as a merchant.  Merchant Houses are loaded.  They do business in two city states and they are raised in luxury not to different from the nobles of cities.  The Merchant Houses may not have the status as nobles since the nobles are Chosen by the Lords over each city but they still bare the last name of a very wealthy House.  They are raised their entire lives being not the top of the city, but pretty top tier in their own house with servants and slaves and for the Kurac their own Outpost.  The control who gets what and when, they can up the prices of the stuff you buy if you piss them off and they can work with you on all sorts of different issues more so an Agent yes, but a Junior Agent and a Junior Merchant we'll say, are really not that far apart in jobs, they just represent the same House in different ways.

I find it kind of non realistic that some bard would born in a little circle House would meet the equivilent of a House family member.  And just because someones character might be a "new" merchant that doesn't mean that really they are new.  You have to remember they have been raised their entire lives with training, power and luxuries that other commoners have not.  They are top tier commoners, living only slightly less better then a noble and they know how to write.  They are ensured that trust, the only commoners who are ensured it.

Now I can see how a top Seeker, who has been around awhile and proved his worth would be seen as perhaps trustworthy and influential through song and maybe their status would be equal to a House family member.  But there are lots of bards in Tuluk and someone is born into a House.  Status depends on what your character does as a person and there are alot of intricacies that you can't just spell out.  But I think it's wrong to automatically see a bard as the equivilant of a Merchant House family member.  They aren't just some crafter sitting on the side of the road shouting wares.  A merchants job requires alot of IC and OOC work and you have to remember realistically it requires finesse WRITING, training and alot if not constant hours for the person.

That is like saying that every up and coming on Conan O' Brian is equal to the Beatles or even more so Bill Gates.  There are alot of up and comings but there are not alot of Seekers that actually have the title keep it and do well by it.  And they are definitely not the power House of a billionaire like Bill Gates.

Tamarin

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RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #31 on: April 08, 2006, 06:04:16 PM »
You have some valid points, Bebop.  A bard definitnely does have to earn his/her status.  It is by no means just given to them simply because they are a bard.  But a bard who works for it can garner a -huge- amount of political support from commoners, nobles, and templars alike.  This is part of the patronage system, which of course is integral to the Caste system.

Merchants have to work equally hard.  Like you said, it's a lot of work.  If the merchant doesn't put in that work, or pisses someone off, he (just like a bard or any other person for that matter) can see a downfall.

Now, the comparison between a single bard and an entire merchant house is not a fair one.  To be realistic, you would have to compare the entire merchant house with the entire Poets' Circle.  That way, you're comparing organization to organization, and individual to individual.  Not individual to organization.  As a group, the Bards and Master Bards of the Circle hold a HUMONGOUS amount of political clout.  This is most notably prominent when you look at the Driamuseks, who are charged with teaching young nobles how to act.  In real life terms...no.  You don't compare Bono to Microsoft.  You compare the RIAA to Microsoft.  You compare the record labels to Microsoft.

Also, not all bards reach the upper ranks.  If a bard actually reaches the rank of Bard, it's assumed that he/she has a certain amount of influence and aptitude.  So you might think "oh poo that guy shouldn't be so influential because he's a Bard."  You're thinking backwards.  The reality is much more like "that guy worked his tail off to get lots of influence while working on his craft.  That's why he's a bard."  And then Master Bard...is even moreso.  You don't fuck with a Master Bard.  Just like you don't fuck with the Head of House of any merchant house.

Does that make sense?
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Bebop

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RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #32 on: April 08, 2006, 06:22:47 PM »
I understand, but I think it's narrow sighted to look at a bard and think bard = merchant.  They are nothing alike career wise and I think a House family member should be used to being treated a certain way, though to a lesser degree then a Noble.

A bard can't understand that, they weren't born to a life of luxury persay though they have the potential to earn it.  Even without a job in within a Merchant House as a family member, you are above the workers there.  You are family, and you have been raised in silks, or your own outpost.  In many ways you hold alot of power that a Bard does not.  And if a Merchant House family member has been raised their whole life in silks, training and luxury I think they are going to think they are not better then the nobles or Faithful not even equal but certainly that they are better then the average commoner.

I don't see any reason why a Bard would come to believe this about him/herself unless they had worked hard to achieve the status of say a Seeker or something.  Status can change for each person individually despite any career.

I just don't think that people should look at Merchant Family members as some hawker on the side of the road or like any other commoner. They are commoners but they are better then the average commoner and used to a life of power over their servants, slaves and workers and have no idea what the average life in the warrens would be like.  They are rich, they are powerful in two city states.  They just aren't "chosen" so to say.

I don't think people give merchant family members enough respect if they look at them like a bard.  If you grow up carrying around a little silk parasol in your fluffy pink dress while the other kids are playing with dried dung, the kid who grew up in the warrens is going to look up at the one who grew up in House Kadius or Salarr and think wow I wish I could be like that.  They're not going to treat them like your everday run of the mill pal unless they develop that friendship.

Larrath

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RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #33 on: April 08, 2006, 06:39:10 PM »
First of all, on merchant family members and their upbringing - they have a relatively easy life with some luxury; they never had to worry about food or water, always had their own bed if they didn't live in a very large shared room, have education that many others lack, and so on and so forth.  

But their upbringing is nothing like a noble's upbringing.  Whereas the vast majority of the noble are purely politickers and managers, merchant family members do real work - it may be crafting, it may be doing menial work in the crafter's hall or mess hall, copying ledgers into books, helping out in shops, taking inventories [and Merchant Houses generally deal with humongous amounts], and sometimes even hunting if they're the kind to do that.  A merchant family member who is truly just lazy and a mediocre socialite would probably never get any public position.  This isn't really the case with most Noble Houses.
Merchant family members aren't 'raised in silks'.  At best their official uniform will be made of silk, but they won't be giving silk clothes to eight-year old kids.  Even the wealthy Kuracs tend to wear sandcloth or even leather, and Salarrs and Nenyuks are usually more likely to wear either fine leathers or high-quality cotton and linen.  Kadians like silk so maybe in Kadius it's possible.  It's still not anywhere near a noble.

The best way to summarize, I find, is this: while a Merchant Family member might be able to turn to the slaves for whatever they need, a Noble will have his or her own slave to address their needs.


Now about the Poet's Circle and the Houses:
On the comparison between a Master Bard/head of a Circle against the Magnate/regional subhead of a Merchant House, I firmly believe that the Master Bard simply cannot compete.  In the end of the day, not only are the Merchant Houses draconian monopolies, but the Merchant Houses aren't dependant on a single city-state for their survival.
If Muk Utep went to Kadius and told them to get out of his city-state, Kadius could stay in business in Allanak.  They'd have to make a lot of cut-backs and lose profits and raise prices, but they wouldn't collapse.  If the Konviwedu Circle was told to get out of Tuluk, it would either turn into a minor tribe or be mostly destroyed after three generations.

While all of the Poet's Circle, combined, carries a staggering amount of influence, valuable knowledge (and let's face it, assassins), I think that if Tuluk had to choose between the bards and Salarr's weapons and armor, they'd go with Salarr.  Otherwise they'd start taking ten times as much casualties in each skirmish against Allanak and the criminal elements in the city-state would become much more dangerous to the common Legionnaire.

Now, there is definitely place to pit a medium-high (but not the single highest) ranked Family Merchant against a member of the Poet's Circle.  All but the most influential Seniors in a Merchant House would be committing career (and possibly literal) suicide if they went directly against a Master Bard.  A Bard bard of a Circle is more comparable to a regular Agent-type family member with a very good standing in the House, and a Seeker bard is sitting right across an average regular Agent/Merchant in a House.
Apprentice bards come a dime a dozen, but with the right patron they can also wield a bit of influence.

In conclusion, the Merchant House rules and Poet's Circle drools.
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Bebop

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RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #34 on: April 08, 2006, 06:54:53 PM »
I'm fully aknowledging that they work and they are definitely raised different then a noble but they still have many many luxuries and I think their signfigance and the amount of respect they deserve is underplayed.

Tuluk needs the Merchant Houses for supply and economy.  And a family member within their own merchant house is law within their own Estate.  They could be well liked an insult towards them could lead to an insult towards the entire House.

Likewise if you're dealing with a Merchant family member who is used to those luxuries and feels they are above the average commoner which they are and definitely more so in wealth, then you are going to need to be kind to them if you want to maintain good business and not get overcharged and remain in good relationship with that House.  Because if you don't they are going to report to the House your attitude and the whole House is going to know.  If you or the people you represent don't deal kindly with a Merchant or any House family member even if they had no job within their House however unlikely that might be, there are going to be consequences to that.  These people have a whole House of wealth behind you and though those consequences maybe small or end up large.

Just because someone is a merchant the House and wealth, and lifestyle they have behind them should not be downplayed or overlooked.  (Not to mention there is a big difference between House family rank of merchant and a common merchant).

Seeker

  • Posts: 1377
RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2006, 06:58:32 PM »
Quote from: "Larrath"

I think that if Tuluk had to choose between the bards and Salarr's weapons and armor, they'd go with Salarr.  


I usually completely agree with Larrath on most of his posts, and most of the above was right on the money.... but I really think you missed the boat on this statement.

In a very real sense the Bardic Circles ARE Tuluki culture.  Tuluk could support a new merchant family to make their arms.  It would take awhile for the new House to rise to the level of expertise of House Salarr, but they would do that long before they turned against their own.   Tuluk would NEVER turn their back on their culture.  Ever.


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Tamarin

  • Posts: 3337
RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #36 on: April 08, 2006, 07:13:39 PM »
Quote from: "Bebop"
I understand, but I think it's narrow sighted to look at a bard and think bard = merchant.


You're right, it is narrow sighted, because it's not that simple.  Tuluk is not a simple place.  Tuluk is a subtle place.  I continue.

Quote from: "Bebop"
They are nothing alike career wise and I think a House family member should be used to being treated a certain way, though to a lesser degree then a Noble.


This is a fundamental flaw in your reasoning.  If you look at the roles of a Merchant and a Bard, they are astronomically similar.  A merchant deals with people to sell them goods.  A bard deals with people for entertainment and ideological spin.  At a fundamental level, merchants and bards both deal in public relations.  The actual pragmatic value of what they do is really of little consequence in determining their worth and influence.  They both provide services that all four castes in Tuluk need and want.  I could provide a lengthy list for both merchants and bards of things that they are asked to provide on a regular basis, and you'd see that the scope of what they do really extends beyond the face value of their positions.  But again, at the root, it is public relations and they both partake in it.

Quote from: "Bebop"
A bard can't understand that, they weren't born to a life of luxury persay though they have the potential to earn it.


Says who?  Have you SEEN some of the NPCs in Poets' Circle?  For crying out loud...the bards have an entire SECTOR of the city devoted entirely to them.  They have properties that they oversee, both from the residential and commercial side of things.  Many bards are born into a luxurious lifestyle -- most notably the Driamuseks and Irofels -- so saying that "bards can't understand" this aspect of blood merchants is just false.

Quote from: "Bebop"
Even without a job in within a Merchant House as a family member, you are above the workers there.


Absolutely.  Just like the bards are above the common laborers they hire collectively to do maintenance and grunt work around the Circle.

Quote from: "Bebop"
You are family, and you have been raised in silks, or your own outpost.


And bards are raised with an instrument in their hands from the day they are born.  Learning how to play an instrument well, how to sing well, how to tell stories well, is tantamount to walking around in silks.  You cannot insist that silks are what make merchants better than bards, because bards have their own array of "upper class" things that they are groomed with from a young age as well.

Quote from: "Bebop"
In many ways you hold a lot of power that a Bard does not.


This is another flaw in your reasoning.  Of course there are plenty of ways that bards don't hold the power that merchants do.  Bards, however, hold a tremendous amount of power that Merchants do not.  I'll give one example here, and that is the spread of political ideas.  If the whole of the Circle decided that they were going to wage a war against...let's say kalan bread...then they would probably have the abilities to completely marginalize kalan bread, and yes, even make a lot of citizens hate it.  Merchants do not have this ability, because that's not what they are trained to do.

The point isn't that merchants have power that bards don't.  The point is that they are different.  They occupy different roles within the same social class.  Merchants have a lot of power in one arena; bards have it in another.  There is a lot of mutual respect here between the Merchant organizations and the Circle, because they all realize that merchants are good at some things, and bards are good at another.  Neither really has abilities that are "better" than the others.  You are free to argue that the abilities, influence, and power of the Merchants are in fact better than the abilities, influence, and power of the bards, but in my humble opinion you would be wrong.

Quote from: "Bebop"
And if a Merchant House family member has been raised their whole life in silks, training and luxury I think they are going to think they are not better then the nobles or Faithful not even equal but certainly that they are better then the average commoner.


Here is perhaps where the Bards' power truly shines.  Most of them realize that they too are commoners, and thus they have a certain empathy with the common people (this isn't universally true, of course, but they are all at least aware of the fact that it is a possibility for them).  This gives them a huge amount of power among the common caste, which is by far the largest caste (slaves may be larger but I don't think so).  It's the basic 'love thine enemy' principle.  If you think you're above someone, you can't understand them as well as if you consider yourself to be on equal status with them.

There is also the matter of education, and here you are basically neglecting the amount of education that bards receive.  Bards are -highly- educated people, especially the ones born into the Circle.  The learn history -- Arc of Lore.  The learn the songs that people love, and how to compose new ones that people love -- Arc of Song.  They learn how to debate, influence, slander, and propagate -- Arc of Words.  They learn about satire and subterfuge -- Arc of Acting.  They learn how to kill -- Arc of Blades.  This collective knowledge among the bards has created a wide syllabus and educational system based on the master-apprentice relationship.  To simply marginalize this by saying that it is not equal to the upbringing that merchants get is unfair, completely unfounded, and illogical.

Quote from: "Bebop"
I don't see any reason why a Bard would come to believe this about him/herself unless they had worked hard to achieve the status of say a Seeker or something.  Status can change for each person individually despite any career.


I also see no reason for a merchant to think of themselves so highly unless they too manage to actually garner some bona fide influence for themselves.  Like I said above, merchants and bards both have a cultured, educational upbringing.  They are more similar than you think.

Quote from: "Bebop"
I just don't think that people should look at Merchant Family members as some hawker on the side of the road or like any other commoner.


I fully agree with you, and I sympathize.  Too often, I see merchants being treated like little more than walking vending machines.  This saddens me.  

Quote from: "Bebop"
They are commoners but they are better then the average commoner and used to a life of power over their servants, slaves and workers and have no idea what the average life in the warrens would be like.


Again, this is a double edged sword.  Merchants have power over their servants, but so do bards.  And since Merchants neglect the downtrodden who live in the Warrens, they are missing out on influencing a huge section of the population.  Even the lowliest of the low can pick up a blade in a violent peasant uprising and start killing people via mob mentality.  Don't forget that.

Quote from: "Bebop"
They are rich, they are powerful in two city states.  They just aren't "chosen" so to say.


Just like bards.  Bards have an extreme amount of wealth, that I would argue is easily comparable to that of the Merchant Houses.  Of course, you have to compare the entire Circle to the House, as organization to organization.  The difference here, expounding on your point, is that a bard would -never- think that he is even close to being of the same worth as a Chosen.  People have been disappeared for thinking this way in Tuluk.  That is sedition, plain and simple.

Quote from: "Bebop"
I don't think people give merchant family members enough respect if they look at them like a bard.


This is of course your projected feelings onto other people, because you don't seem to give bards the respect that they are due.  

Quote from: "Bebop"
If you grow up carrying around a little silk parasol in your fluffy pink dress while the other kids are playing with dried dung, the kid who grew up in the warrens is going to look up at the one who grew up in House Kadius or Salarr and think wow I wish I could be like that.  They're not going to treat them like your everday run of the mill pal unless they develop that friendship.


If you grow up learning the Known World's history, and learning how to manipulte your dung-throwing friends' emotions through your words and songs, then the kid who grew up in the warrens is going to look up at the one who grew up in the Circle and think "wow I wish I could be like that".  They are going to probable revere them like rock-stars until they learn that bards are common, every day people.
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Yang

  • Posts: 434
RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #37 on: April 08, 2006, 07:41:10 PM »
A merchant family, say Kadius, has a lot more power (probably I'm sure there can be exceptions) than one bard. A single junior merchant from kadius has as much power as they can garner for themselves, as Tamarin said, and that puts them on the same level as bards.


Both a bard, and a merchant from a merchant family are, in the end: COMMONERS.

So to hell with them both.

proxie

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RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #38 on: April 08, 2006, 07:54:58 PM »
Entirely too often, I have seen Merchant Family members trying to play their PC's like mini nobles. Unfortunately, it usually ends badly for the Merchant Family member.


When it comes down to it, the beloved pet tregil of a high ranking noble has more rank in some situations than a low ranked or new blooded Merchant Family member.

Kadians, Kuracs, Salarri, Nenyuk, and the smaller ones that I can't think of their names, are still commoners. Rich, well connected commoners, especially once they've had the time to build up connections and favors and gather dirt on people to use to get them to their side. But commoners.

Bad things happen on Zalanthas when people try and act outside their station.

Proxie
For those who knew him, my husband Jay, known as Becklee from time to time on Arm, died August 17th, 2008, from complications of muscular dystrophy.

Bebop

  • Posts: 3489
RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #39 on: April 08, 2006, 07:57:59 PM »
o.O A bard's wealth is -nothing- similiar to a merchant family members.  And the Poet's Circle is divided into different families.  It's a place of culture but not so much a company that works as one unit.

A merchant house lives in a House, an estate with servants at their call and the matters of an entire House under them, that is powerful in two city states.  Bards are not near as wealthy as a merchant House.  The merchant estates really are very nice involving metal and silk ornamentations, I've been in a Circle House just as well, and needless to the say the rooms where tiny.  It is very different merchant houses are wealthier much much wealthier then bard Houses, this isn't opinion it's a fact.  The wealth of a merchant House... a bard circle House couldn't even touch it.

All merchant Houses deal in is money and goods, all over the world.

See that is where I think part of the misconception lies.  People do not realize the raising of merchant family members.  They are loaded they are not like every other commoner.  Bards may recieve education but merchant family does too, but they also live in a huge estate with a famous name to back up their prestige.  One prominent in both city-states.

A bard may have a last name from a little House in the circle one of a few.  That shouldn't touch a merchant family member in my mind, especially since there are so many bards.

Yang

  • Posts: 434
RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #40 on: April 08, 2006, 08:14:37 PM »
Quote
o.O A bard's wealth is -nothing- similiar to a merchant family members. And the Poet's Circle is divided into different families. It's a place of culture but not so much a company that works as one unit.


I think this is an assumption fueled by a stereotype. Some NPC bards are -very- wealthy. Some PC bards are very wealthy. Beware of this type of assumption. This is all like saying:

What costs more, a license on a merchant family member or a license on a bard.... well. It really DOES depend, now, doesn't it? Ask your local Tuluki templar for more details.

jcarter

  • Posts: 725
RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #41 on: April 08, 2006, 08:19:03 PM »
Bards do not provide services that "all four castes in Tuluk need". They may provide services that are wanted, but they are certainly not needed like the four castes need weapons, clothing, banks, or gear.

Furthermore, bards are not as cohesive and united as compared to a merchant house. Their power is not as great as a merchant house. Whoopee, a bard can sing a song about how Agent Amos is a jackass. That doesn't mean that all of a sudden the entire citystate of Tuluk hates Agent Amos. If Metallica sang a song called Mexico is Lame, people aren't going to suddenly wake up and say, 'Hey, Mexico is really lame!'

Music and entertainment isn't the end all power that can be. It can give suggestions and perhaps extend a sort of feeling, but it's not going to capture hearts and minds and suddenly change opinions on a subject.

Along with that, not all bards are really that great. Not all of them are good enough to craft such thin veils and threats. Not all of them have such great and illustrious patrons, or good enough social graces to become well-known. If  a bard fucks up and someone gets wind that Seeker Joe made a song saying they're a dick, it isn't unreasonable that one day Seeker Joe gets assassinated. It's that simple.

On the other hand, family members of merchant houses hold family bonds with other family members. Merchant houses strive towards one goal in cohesion. They're exceedingly rich. The employee all types, from hunters to aides to spies. A merchant house family member can generally buy a slave. Let's see how many bards are able to do that. Pissing off an entire merchant house can have enormous events that can forever change a clan. All of the top merchant houses, if I recall correctly, extend from Tuluk down to Red Storm.

In the end, there's really no contest between bard vs. family merchant. The only time I would consider the two on an equal field is should a master bard come into play. However, as we all know, master bards aren't too common and generally would be smart enough to avoid getting into the conflict in the first place.

Bebop

  • Posts: 3489
RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #42 on: April 08, 2006, 08:20:23 PM »
I'm not saying what a PC can do for themselves.  A bard can become rich just like anyone else IG.  As reputations are developed and wealth in game that's one thing.  But initially a merchant house family member will always have that wealth and name valid in two city states behind them and they do live like mini-nobles.  That should be taken into consideration.  It's not a sterotype Merchant Houses are a ton a TON more wealthy then any bard family.  And initially I think a merchant family member should be respected more then a bard.

To many merchants are seen as OOC vending machines and I think some people need to take into a count IC reasoning and haggling and other things like that when they RP with a merchant.  I have had someone get pissed because METAL was too expensive.  You aren't always going to get a timely fair deal, so you need to check yourself when you're dealing with one especially one of great power like a merchant House established in two states.

Larrath

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RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2006, 08:21:02 PM »
Bebop and Tamarin, I think it's best for this thread if you both agree to disagree.  I mean, you both raise very good points, but honestly you're just both fanboys. ;)

Seeker pointed out an important point that I completely missed, and I'll show it here - while the Great Merchant Houses are more important for the survival of Tuluk, the Poet's Circle is more important for Tuluk's culture.  And Tuluk loves its culture.
The roles that a Merchant House Family member and that a Poet's Circle member play are distinctly different and are related to very different aspects of Tuluk.

Merchant family members enjoy a great wealth that, especially in the higher ranks, can put nobles to shame.  I think the Kuraci Magnate has more money than the Borsail House Head, and regardless of that, you can bet your ass that a Merchant family member of the Merchant rank would, within three years of establishing their position in the city-state, have more money than the comparable Poet's Circle bard might see in his lifetime.  On the other hand, the bard will enjoy a lot of non-monetary power - social influence, acquaintences and generally having allies through and through all layers of Tuluk's society.

A single average bard is not more powerful than a single average family merchant.  Education is difficult to say - bards know a wealth of stories and songs, but family merchants are literate and can read books.

Bards don't have the same caliber of upbringing the Merchant Family members have because they're simply not that wealthy.  People born in Bardic Circles have a good upbringing, far better than a regular citizen of Tuluk, but still inferior to that of a Merchant Family Member.
And the Chosens' upbringing is far superior to either, being easier and much more accomondating.
The Faithful's upbringing is mysterious but probably worse than that of a Chosen's upbringing because they too have to work.  Plus there's all the emotional trauma a child-templar must have after they have to dissect their first elf for Killology.

I hope this settles the thread.
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Tamarin

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RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #44 on: April 08, 2006, 08:21:16 PM »
The arguments here against bards are so completely contrived that I'm not going to even bother any more.

Fortunately, the docs are in favor of bards being on equal footing with merchants.  And that's that.
quote="mansa"]emote pees in your bum[/quote]

proxie

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RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2006, 08:22:39 PM »
Quote from: "Bebop"

A merchant house lives in a House, an estate with servants at their call and the matters of an entire House under them, that is powerful in two city states.  Bards are not near as wealthy as a merchant House.  The merchant estates really are very nice involving metal and silk ornamentations, I've been in a Circle House just as well, and needless to the say the rooms where tiny.  It is very different merchant houses are wealthier much much wealthier then bard Houses, this isn't opinion it's a fact.  The wealth of a merchant House... a bard circle House couldn't even touch it.
<snip>
See that is where I think part of the misconception lies.  People do not realize the raising of merchant family members.  They are loaded they are not like every other commoner.  Bards may recieve education but merchant family does too, but they also live in a huge estate with a famous name to back up their prestige.  One prominent in both city-states.

A bard may have a last name from a little House in the circle one of a few.  That shouldn't touch a merchant family member in my mind, especially since there are so many bards.




Not entirely true. Merchant family have grown up with wealth, but when they need to access their own wealth, they have allowances, stipends, etc. Family members in a merchant house don't have unlimited access to money until they earn it. Everything they grew up with was gifted to them by their (successful) relatives.

And yes, there are a bajillion yahoos who pick up mandolins and call themselves bards, but those with the official names have been adopted into or born into and worked their way to wield those names. And those who have have political contacts, in the templarate, commoners, and nobles castes of the city.

Proxie
For those who knew him, my husband Jay, known as Becklee from time to time on Arm, died August 17th, 2008, from complications of muscular dystrophy.

Bebop

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RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #46 on: April 08, 2006, 08:24:33 PM »
Quote from: "Larrath"
Bebop and Tamarin, I think it's best for this thread if you both agree to disagree.  I mean, you both raise very good points, but honestly you're just both fanboys. ;)


That works.

Bebop

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RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #47 on: April 08, 2006, 08:25:05 PM »
*AHEM* Fan GIRL actually, though.

Bebop

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RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #48 on: April 08, 2006, 08:27:10 PM »
Quote from: "proxie"

Not entirely true. Merchant family have grown up with wealth, but when they need to access their own wealth, they have allowances, stipends, etc. Family members in a merchant house don't have unlimited access to money until they earn it. Everything they grew up with was gifted to them by their (successful) relatives.

And yes, there are a bajillion yahoos who pick up mandolins and call themselves bards, but those with the official names have been adopted into or born into and worked their way to wield those names. And those who have have political contacts, in the templarate, commoners, and nobles castes of the city.

Proxie


That is true of course, but my point is that you should treat a merchant with the respect you would treat their entire House if it is a family member you are dealing with.

Okay okay, that is the last thing I'm posting I hope.

Angela Christine

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RE: Tuluk Caste System
« Reply #49 on: April 08, 2006, 09:26:18 PM »
Money isn't everything.  No, really, it isn't.  

You can dress a gemmed rinthi half-elf in silks and diamonds, but he's still going to be seen as scum to most people.  Worse in fact, because now he's trumped up, poser scum that thinks he's better than decent people.  (Obviously that is an Allanak example, fill in your own Tuluk example).  In most of the known world, money != social status.  They just aren't capitalists, money alone doesn't prove how good or bad your blood is.


Who is more powerful: Bill Gates or Dan Rather?  It depends on the situation.  Sure, Bill Gates could by himself a TV station or an hour a night on a major network to run his own TV news show, but he still wouldn't have the credibility of a long-time anchorman/journalist.  Big business and the media both have a lot of influence.

The Merchant Houses are Big Business.  The Bards of poet's circle are The Media.  In Tuluk the Bards take the place that is filled by TV, Movies, newspapers, the music industry, pop stars, the internet, etc. in our world.  The media have significant influence.



It is important to remember that the merchant houses and the Bards are not at odds with each other, nor are they at odds with the noble houses.  Individuals within these groups may have problems with other individuals, but you get that everywhere.  The bards aren't looking to dominate the Merchant Houses, and the merchant houses aren't trying to dominate the bards.  They are complimentary.  


In a dispute between individuals, often how much you are willing to risk and how much political capital you are willing to spend will determine who "wins".  If you call in all your markers and favors on a single dispute, you may get your way on that one issue but find that your overall standing has actually decreased.  Making the other guy spend a lot to beat you (while you spend little or nothing resisting him) can mean that you win in the long run.  Now instead of many people owing that other guy favors, he owes favors to a lot of people, so he has less leverage to use in the future.


Suppose that a noble sees a commoner (could be a Merchant, a Bard, a dung shoveller, whatever, it's a commoner) with a ruby ring, and really wants it because he loves rubies.  For some reason or another the commoner doesn't immediately want to give or sell the ring to the noble, she wants to keep it.  The noble really, really wants that ring so he tries to apply pressure through his government contacts, hires thieves and assassins, offers increasing amounts of cash for it, threatens the commoner's loved ones and so on until he finally gets the ring.  Yay, he won!  On the other hand, he has made a complete ass of himself and many people know about it, so he lost.  He lost a shit load of "cool points" to get that ring.  He is still a noble and the commoner is still a commoner, but his behavior shows poor judgement and may cost him status within his own House.  (It is just barely possible that, knowing about his obsession with rubies, one of his rivals planted that ruby-toting commoner in his path in the first place).


The system works better when the various elements of society co-operate rather than compete.  The Nobles, Templars and Bards don't want to destroy the Merchant Houses, that would ruin the economy.  The Merchants, Templars, and Bards don't want to destroy the Noble Houses, that would destabilize the government.  The Nobles, Merchants and Bards don't want to destroy the Templarate, that would lead to a religious crisis and leave the city-state vulnerable to outside forces leading to widespread panic.  The Nobles, Templars, and Merchants don't want to destroy the Bards, that would destabilize the culture and lead to widespread boredom. The various groups do try to influence each other for their own benefit, but they are not trying to utterly crush each other.  




In conclusion, money isn't everything.


Angela Christine
Treat the other man's faith gently; it is all he has to believe with."     Henry S. Haskins