Gaining a noble title

Mobius

Squire
¿Why would the Owner's Board have anything to do with it? Nobility is a strictly role-play, LCO effect? if a Chapter wants to hand out Knighthood, Squirehood, or Grand High Pumbahood like pocket-lint, ¿how does it affect you? I'm missing the underlying meaning to a whole part of this whole conversation - ¿why does it matter how the bestowing of Titles differ from chapter to chapter? If a plot teams wants tips on how they could handle such, I can understand the interest, but otherwise, ¿isn't it largely immaterial? Now, if this conversation was focused on creating a Fortannis wide system of Nobility, titles that would have meaning in every Chapter, then I'd grok-- otherwise, [shrug]. It's like telling a Chapter their racial packets are wrong.
 

markusdark

Knight
I started the question to see what the general thought of what a player and their character should be judged upon to be awarded a noble title. The rulebook says that it has "everything to do with your role-playing skills." Some people feel this is what it should be, others feel that it should include other items such as the same thing you do to get goblin stamps and some apparently feel that it should be delivered like "pocket lint".

In the end, like I said in the OP, it is up to the individual chapter. However, it is hard to (paraphrasing rulebook here) respect all the hard work it took someone to get the title if there is no way to tell how they acquired it or what work they put forth. Without some set universal guidelines, IMO, lessens the value of nobility overall and does become what another called just another "belt bauble."

For my money, without knowing what they had to do to become a noble, I suppose I'll treat nobles just like I treat everyone else in the game - if they show that they deserve my respect, they'll get it. If this offends them, then I guess they could always sentence me to death. ;)
 

Gilwing

Baron
Alliance Logistics
markusdark said:
For my money, without knowing what they had to do to become a noble, I suppose I'll treat nobles just like I treat everyone else in the game - if they show that they deserve my respect, they'll get it. If this offends them, then I guess they could always sentence me to death. ;)
QFT
 
Jevedor said:
obcidian_bandit said:
I've seen them passed out as treasure on modules, I've heard people (plural) talk about winning their titles in card games, I've seen them handed out for things that occurred exclusively in Downtimes (BGAs on the EC), and I know of a few that were just purchased outright with Gobbies.
I find my self doubting that you have seen that. That sounds awful exaggerated.
I can name at least two PCs for each of those examples, and 5-10 for some of them. Heck, one of my PCs got a title one of those ways, which is actually the incident I mentioned earlier which caused me to question the whole system all those years ago. (To be fair, it wasn't my Knight, but another PC, and in a 'lowly' noble sort of way, it legitimately took me around 8 years to pull off the Knighthood.) I won't actually name names, or even name chapters in which I know that those things have occurred, but I'm fairly confident that I could rattle off 20 characters, 10 or more of which I'd bet still play and use the titles, and probably 5-6 chapters. That's about half of the chapters in the Alliance, and those are only the ones I know about, so I do kick it into the 'national issue' box.

Mobius said:
if a Chapter wants to hand out Knighthood, Squirehood, or Grand High Pumbahood like pocket-lint, ¿how does it affect you? I'm missing the underlying meaning to a whole part of this whole conversation - ¿why does it matter how the bestowing of Titles differ from chapter to chapter?
Basically, this:
markusdark said:
However, it is hard to (paraphrasing rulebook here) respect all the hard work it took someone to get the title if there is no way to tell how they acquired it or what work they put forth. Without some set universal guidelines, IMO, lessens the value of nobility overall and does become what another called just another "belt bauble."
I basically quit assuming that people put work into their titles for a long time, and when I finally pulled the aforementioned Knighthood, it made me realize that the title made a difference to some people, but some people assumed it was a belt bauble, just like I had been doing. Having been on both sides of that, I realize that it is, in general, an unfair assumption to make, and taking that attitude doesn't so much solve the problem but pass it off by ignoring the cause and its effects. It's easy enough for some of my PCs to ignore the nobility, but as a Player I should be able to expect certain attributes of the person who plays a PC that has gone through the effort and commitment to the game that it takes to get to that point, and as a Staffer I should be able to expect that player to go beyond what is expected of the average player and assume that they'll be a positive influence in my game, help newer players, and make sure people are feeling involved. I can't do that if someone purchased their title with gobbies or got it because they were on the right module that one time.
 

RiddickDale

Squire
Moderator
Public Relations Committee
Wait... so this thread isn't specifically about knights? It's about "Misc. Other" nobility?

I'll be honest. I never pay much attention AT ALL to any title other than Sir, Dame, Baron, or better. I've never suffered for it.

I don't see any reason why you couldn't do the same thing.

Gilwing mentioned it earlier... we're the X-Men/Avengers/Justice League of this world... even the most humble among us possess power and skill beyond most commoners' (and even some courtly nobles') wildest dreams... it makes sense to me that many among us would be rewarded with decorative titles as rewards for our deeds.

It's also worth noting that some people might just call themselves stuff and get away with it. My primary signs all of his documents as "Riddick Dale Formal Advisor to Sir Theodin Stanhelm-Hammerfist." That sounds fun.... but it doesn't really mean much considering that Knight happens to be a dude on my primaries team. Maybe some of these titles are just that? Fluff?

Stephen
 

Jevedor

Fighter
Asheville Staff
obcidian_bandit said:
I can name at least two PCs for each of those examples, and 5-10 for some of them. Heck, one of my PCs got a title one of those ways, which is actually the incident I mentioned earlier which caused me to question the whole system all those years ago. (To be fair, it wasn't my Knight, but another PC, and in a 'lowly' noble sort of way, it legitimately took me around 8 years to pull off the Knighthood.) I won't actually name names, or even name chapters in which I know that those things have occurred, but I'm fairly confident that I could rattle off 20 characters, 10 or more of which I'd bet still play and use the titles, and probably 5-6 chapters. That's about half of the chapters in the Alliance, and those are only the ones I know about, so I do kick it into the 'national issue' box.
I can believe that a person's interpretation of a situation was that someone simply bought a title or they won it on a mod or a card games.... perhaps it seemed like it was handed to them on a silver platter, but i think you are giving to much credence to cynicism... and there is probably a lot more detail to each one of those situations to better justify the entitlement. While I do believe that perhaps there are people who have worked less than others to gain their positions, as much as you are fairly confident that these titles are just being traded like door prizes, I am confident that they are not.

I don't know if that comes off sounding too strong or antagonistic... but I just really struggle with accepting that something that ridiculous has occurred. I may not have played the chapters that you have played, and I suppose it is "possible" that those things have occurred there... but I know something like that would never fly in any chapter I have ever played, and I cant really believe that there is a plot team out there that would condone such actions. If you have in fact seriously witnessed such things, I can completely understand where you are coming from, but that makes me very sad.
 
Nobility and titles are a plot issues, not a rules issue. The rulebook can make suggestions on roleplay and plot, but it does not control those like it does actual game mechanics.

The adventurers are the elite of the IG world, even the first level adventurer (and no one stays there long). What's the big deal if every one of them has a "title"? Titles are different than nobility and having a place in the IG power structure. When someone learns formal magic, they get a title. It's neat, it's fun, it makes the player feel cool. If a gypsy becomes bandoleer in a card game, I think that's awesome too. In our hobling homeland, you can buy a title of "lord". I think the last one went for 200 to 300 gold. There are HUNDREDS of hobling "lords". But those titles don't hold the same weight as the noble titles from Icenia. We have MWE PC "Council Members". They get a little extra respect and if an event takes place on the MWE islands, they'll have some power too. But overall it's a cool roleplay reward. And fun.

But the characters/players that actually get some IG power with their noble titles are put through the ringer and earn it.

In the SCA, every participant is considered "minor nobility". When you've been around for a few years and contributed or distinguished yourself, you get to call yourself a "lord or lady". If you excel in fighting and prove yourself, you become a knight. If you are the leader of a geographical are, you are a baron. There are all levels of titles, but there are some that are much more prestigious than others. I see our game in a similar vein. I also think it's going to be different from chapter to chapter depending on the game they want to run.

Scott
 

jpariury

Duke
Jevedor said:
I can believe that a person's interpretation of a situation was that someone simply bought a title or they won it on a mod or a card games.... perhaps it seemed like it was handed to them on a silver platter
No, straight up, he's saying one of his characters got a title it neither asked for, sought, nor expected as a result of a fairly inconsequential mod (no rescuing princesses or holding back the goblin hordes). As for winning a title in a game of cards, I'm pretty sure I've made mention of it. A couple times, even. I think when Gregor started out, his title should have been mocked by any noble of equal or higher rank - he handled power over gaje about as well as a gypsy could be expected to. It wasn't until a few years later that he actually started acting worthy of the title, imo.
 

Jevedor

Fighter
Asheville Staff
well then... I am sad.
 

RiddickDale

Squire
Moderator
Public Relations Committee
Few follow-ups then:

1. What title did he get from the module? Did it mean anything unto itself? Or was it just fluff?

2. We've all talked about the "quality player" aspect... I would think that would come into play with your character JP. Sure. You have a funny story about how you got the title... but it was the fact that you were a quality player that helped you keep it.

All I have seen so far is a long list of interesting in game situations that combine to make a pretty nifty story. I don't see how that cheapens anything.
 

markusdark

Knight
RiddickDale said:
Wait... so this thread isn't specifically about knights? It's about "Misc. Other" nobility?
I asked the question in regards to any title that grants one character in game power over another according to the laws of that chapter's land - be it Knight, Bandoleer, Lord or Chief Cheeky Monkey.

I've heard it takes a squire in Ashbury roughly 5 years to become a Knight. I've witnessed someone elsewhere skip past squire and become a knight in just over one.
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
I can think of a couple players in Ashbury who have been given noble titles in foreign lands due to roleplaying things they did IG for those lands, but those titles have no power or weight in Ashbury where the games take place. We've even had players buy titles from the hobling homelands. They get to call themselves "Lord Bigshot from OOGland" but in Ashbury they are still treated as commoners.

I have no problem with honorary titles like that which bring with them no IG power whatsoever. It's like being named Grand Poobah of your clan.
 

jpariury

Duke
For the record, I'm not sure I consider titles in any particular form to be a problem, per se. I can kinda understand where Matt is coming from (i.e. bloody-well everyone's been a member of the Legion of SuperHeroes, to the point that if you -weren't- a member, you probably did something wrong, but how do you distinguish between the ones that really matter like Bats vs. the guy who was in a team-up this one time but was never heard from again like Tyroc) , but I think a lot of good points have been raised in support of their use and frequency. That said, I think the "cheapens" complaint that Matt has is a function of proliferation - titles are a low-cost, no-maintenance method of rewarding players, and over time a lot of them go out, for a variety of reasons. I agree that they add to the story of each individual character in one way or another. Part of the issue is possibly non-standardization of titles - "Lord", for example, is low-court title in some (most?) chapters. Oregon's previous campaign had that title confer significantly greater rights - more in line with a Baron or Duke. Ashbury, based on my own experience, has its own protocol and etiquette (the kneeling and recognition bit) and such. Adding fluff titles confuses the issue because who knows if a "Warden of Truth" is intended to be a but of fluff, or confer certain law-upholding rights, or judicial authority, or what. Tack on simpler things like "Ambassador", and no one knows if that means you have political authority or you're just trying to be the go-between.

Cross-chapter traffic confuses the issue a bit more - Gregor, back in his early days, loved using it to his advantage. Again, he was a gypsy given a noble title, and he used it some very (oog) abusive ways. For example, when a magistrate tried to arrest him, G sent him packing under the guise of "You're only a Magistrate, not a Lord Magistrate, you have no authority, go away". When some gypsies had been arrested, G walked and said "Okay, thanks for capturing them, I'm a knight, I'll take them into custody, shoo shoo." and then letting them go. Those are cool in terms of a single character's story - gypsy gets authority and wreaks a bit of havoc. From an out-of-game "players should respect what it took to get the title" kind of way, it's probably not a shining example of what anyone would want advertised as "this is how you become a knight".

Part of it, of course, is that neither the NPCs nor the plot team were quite ready for these sorts of things - they never had to deal with it before, and had no standard "how to deal with this" in place. Add to that the social support the character had in establishing his title, and it becomes more problematic from the standpoint of the plot team to deal with it in a way that is rewarding to the player, expanding on the story, supportive of what the local plot team wants to tell as a tale, and constructive to the overall player community. I.E. do you really want to lay down the hammer on such a character if it subverts your awesome story about the nobles representing truth and justice and turns the weekend into an adventurers' civil war?

There's also the in-game social aspect of titles and characters. Gregor's knighthood is given a nodding recognition in a few chapters, but even in the chapters in which it is not recognized, people will generally refer to him as "Sir Gregor", particularly in more formal or presentational situations, while around a campfire with friends and gypsies or when someone's about to smack him in the back, it's a shorter "Gregor" kinda of thing. But by and large, most people will simply accept another character's title as the default, and only make a point of not using it when they are specifically targeting someone.

Is it bad?

From an in-game cultural experience, I don't think so. Having "Lord" mean "someone's second cousin twice removed who wanted some pomp and circumstance" in one land and "Dude in charge of everything" in another falls more on the Good Thing® side of the equation - it engenders crosschapter discussion, political roleplay, and the potential for character-vs-character drama. Yes, there are potentials for watering down the value, but I think that falls more on the side of having a plot team that is ready and quick to respond to such issues in an enjoyable manner that strongly supports the local titles over the visiting ones, and has ideas rolling around on how to handle characters stepping outside those bounds.

From an out-of-game cultural experience - I'm about fifty-fifty. A large part of it has to do with what sort of plot support you provide. BGA writeups and a few extra coin isn't enough to make a title have strong out-of-game value. There needs to also exist a certain greater degree of plot support. For Oregon, we make sure our "townfolk" NPCs are aware of who the local ranked nobles are and try and make sure they treat them with deference. It helps make a clear distinction between "fluff title" and "rank title", which in turn helps prevent dilution of the importance of those titles. It also makes sure that the local titles are given preference over the visitors.
 

RiddickDale

Squire
Moderator
Public Relations Committee
markusdark said:
RiddickDale said:
Wait... so this thread isn't specifically about knights? It's about "Misc. Other" nobility?
I asked the question in regards to any title that grants one character in game power over another according to the laws of that chapter's land - be it Knight, Bandoleer, Lord or Chief Cheeky Monkey.

I've heard it takes a squire in Ashbury roughly 5 years to become a Knight. I've witnessed someone elsewhere skip past squire and become a knight in just over one.
Pardon me but... So?

We've established that the whole process is not standardized across the Alliance. We've also established that even without standardization there are a fair number of common threads.

We can talk about "too many titles." But, that doesn't sound like your problem.
 

markusdark

Knight
RiddickDale said:
markusdark said:
RiddickDale said:
Wait... so this thread isn't specifically about knights? It's about "Misc. Other" nobility?
I asked the question in regards to any title that grants one character in game power over another according to the laws of that chapter's land - be it Knight, Bandoleer, Lord or Chief Cheeky Monkey.

I've heard it takes a squire in Ashbury roughly 5 years to become a Knight. I've witnessed someone elsewhere skip past squire and become a knight in just over one.
Pardon me but... So?

We've established that the whole process is not standardized across the Alliance. We've also established that even without standardization there are a fair number of common threads.

We can talk about "too many titles." But, that doesn't sound like your problem.
So... nothing really - and I have no problem. You implied that the thread wasn't about Knights, I was just setting my intent straight. Since I started this thread, I have stated that it was totally up to the individual chapter how they proceed. I'm just noting that the hard work that the rulebook states is required to become a knight or noble may not be considered either 'hard' nor 'work', either on its own or in comparison to others.

I had wanted to get a sense from the community what they might consider "hard work" so there was some general, common ground that could be used as a reference and I suppose what we've gotten thus far is the extent of it. I'll be the dutiful, uncolored name now and sit down and shut up - since my character would never do either. :)
 
Hmmm... Maybe the difference is that I want to expect that anyone who's pulled a title did something to deserve it, and accord that player with the proper respect for that. It seems like people are much more willing Alliance-wide to completely dismiss titles under a certain level. I wasn't really approaching it from a "If you ain't a Knight or Baron, you ain't diddly" sort of way, but maybe that's more appropriate.

Part of the issue with noble titles (even lowly ones) as loot or as gobbied items is that they don't expire. You can put out a totally OP magic item, but eventually it'll go away, but titles can last forever.
 
How a chapter treats titles will do no less than establish the reputation of all nobles from that chapter. It may also contribute to the overall reputation of that chapter.

In NH, no title, not lord, squire, guild master or knight, is granted willy-nilly. They cannot be acquired on a mod or through donating laptops.

You have to be an exemplary role player and sportsman, and your character has to be exceptional in a noteworthy manner. I would like to believe that, as a result, those who play nobles in our game can be proud of what they earned.

The only other chapter I play regularly is CT, and they as well have a reputation for taking titles very seriously. For that reason, nobles from NH and CT seem to have a fair amount of respect for one another, and I think that lends further to the legitimacy of each player who earned his or her title, and I think it gives more legitimacy to each game.

I feel this is better for the Alliance on the whole. If only our character cards, production and magic items travel with worth from one chapter to another, we are more akin to a live action video game than a live action role playing game.

Would it not be a great achievement if the plot teams and players of each chapter prized the standards of all other chapters in the Alliance, so much so that the respect, fame, infamy, and the rewards and struggles they wrought, traveled with significance across the whole world of Fortannis?

That is game of worth.

That is an Alliance.

And I’m gonna keep shooting for it.
 
In history many (most?) holders of noble titles did nothing more to earn them than survive long enough to claim them from their forebear. Maybe it's not the way it should have been, but many titles were given out for no better reason than being related to someone, or gave someone some coin or land, and even may have been won at a hand of cards.

I agree that titles should be earned by exemplary role play, but if someone role plays their way to nobility via clever use of force of arms or coin, trickery or even outright fraud, that should be a path open to them.
 

Mobius

Squire
Deadlands said:
Would it not be a great achievement if the plot teams and players of each chapter prized the standards of all other chapters in the Alliance, so much so that the respect, fame, infamy, and the rewards and struggles they wrought, traveled with significance across the whole world of Fortannis?
¡Sing it out, brutha!
 
Top