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    Senior Member Beruin's Avatar
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    Cerilian Clothing Laws

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaleela View Post
    In our campaign, Purple is the imperial color, and the source of the color is rare, thus making it too expensive for all save Sovereigns and pretentious, social climbing, uppity merchants ;-) , and is reserved for the Imperial family. Crimson cloth of gold or silver might be reserved for Royalty, courtly garments made of red fabric might be reserved for Royal orders of knighthood and the clergy. Ermine is also our choice of Royal or Imperial fur. Sable being for Earls/Counts, and lower. These clothing laws change over time and the Sovereigns can change them at the drop of a hat so that they can fine people for breaking the law.

    In our campaign, giving a woman a striped hood in Oesorde is a mortal insult if she is not a member of the "profession". It implies that the woman might be involved in infidelity. If she is not involved in an affair or is not a prostitute, don't be surprised if a feud results.
    I recently read that yellow, while originally signifying 'fulfilled love', was the colour prostitutes and Jews had to wear. Striped clothing was something of a luxury and its use was frowned upon by the church.

    Have other DMs also used clothing regulations? Which ones and to what effect?

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    Senior Member Jaleela's Avatar
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    Yellow hosen in England symbolized a bachelor. It all depends on when and where in history you are. Laws changed over time. So it really comes down to the individual country and what laws are in place.

    I'll consult the footnotes for our supplements, but the stirped hood is pulled from a historical example.

    If the country has a rigid social sturcture, merchants, not originally coming from the nobility, could not wear exotic cloth like expensive brocades, or cloth of gold, or indeed certain colors or furs. They couldn't wear their gowns/coats a certain length, etc...

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    Senior Member Beruin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaleela View Post
    Yellow hosen in England symbolized a bachelor.
    A few years ago, I purchased a cd with old folk songs in London, including one titled 'Give me my yellow hose again', the sad lament of a bachelor turned husband

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaleela
    If the country has a rigid social sturcture, merchants, not originally coming from the nobility, could not wear exotic cloth like expensive brocades, or cloth of gold, or indeed certain colors or furs. They couldn't wear their gowns/coats a certain length, etc...
    However, many historians seem to think that the sheer number of clothing regulations and sermons preaching against too much luxury in clothing show that these regulations didn't work. A merchant wishing to show off would wear what he wanted and simply pay the associated fine, earning more prestige because he shows that he's wealthy enough to afford the fine as well.

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    The historical system is rather linear, from peasant to king, but in Birthright there are five power centers and it makes more sense, I think, that each struggles to preserve its own special distinctions. Medieval Europe really on had two classes like that, the nobility and the clergy. But Cerilia might have four or five distinct sources of social power and so members of each holding would jealously guard looking like you were a member.

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    Senior Member Beruin's Avatar
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    Well, we have class divisions and cultural divisions here, and both can add colour to our beloved setting.

    What happens when a Vos mercenary wearing sable, the sign of an accomplished warrior and skilled hunter in his culture, enters an Anuirean city where this fur is restricted to royalty or nobility?

    And a peasant bandit or rebel wearing brocade or, for that matter, something other than grey, black or blue clothing (the only colours traditionally allowed for peasants) shows in an instance that he doesn't give a damn for the Anuirean social order.

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    Senior Member Jaleela's Avatar
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    I agree that things aren't always so clear cut regarding clothing laws.

    There are obviously flaws in the notion historically. But it is something that can add color and depth to a campaign and depending on where, can be an interesting, but short encounter for party members that give them a feel for their surroundings.

    The Vos wearing sable, might be considered a visitor from another land and would be cut some slack. Though someone might explain it to them...politely.

    The Merchant, well, they might be able to pay the fines, but I doubt that they would win any favor with the ruling class. If they persisted and constantly rubbed the law in their faces, things might get interesting.

    That may be true regarding the peasant and the bandit, and I am almost certain that in each case, that they would come to a bad end.

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    Senior Member Beruin's Avatar
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    D'accord with regard to the peasant rebel or bandit and to some extent with the Vos, although this might also depend on the general level of tolerance in a given area.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaleela;
    The Merchant, well, they might be able to pay the fines, but I doubt that they would win any favor with the ruling class. If they persisted and constantly rubbed the law in their faces, things might get interesting.
    In this case, the results mainly depend on how traditional the ruling class is and how urgently the ruler is in need of money.
    In Medieval Germany, their were quite a number of regulations besides clothing laws, up to and including instructions on how many guests could be legally invited to a wedding and how many meals and drinks were allowed to be served. These rules were often initiated by the clergy (after all, gluttony is a mortal sin), but were apparently quite often violated.
    For practical purposes, the fines associated with violating these rules often became a kind of luxuries tax and had no further social repercussions. In fact, a ruler in need of money might even be grateful that the merchants in his realm like to show off their wealth, because this also fills his coffers.

    Enforcing clothing and similar regulations might be a good example of using the decree action to generate money (as mentioned in the original rules, the BRCS doesn't include this option explictly).

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