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  1. #1
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    Opposed holding types (brainstorming)

    Excuse me if I pun on at the mouth....

    Interestingly enough (to me) gods come in two major flavors; ones
    that embody abstract human ideas, like Haeyln whose portfolio
    includes things like law, justice and chivalry and those who embody
    things having to do with the nature or natural environment like the
    sea, fire and weather.

    I`ve always thought it would be nice if such a distinction were
    portrayed somehow game mechanically. That is, a god who embodies a
    human ideal/concept might be more influenced and/or derive more
    "mana" from the actual worship of humans. Haelyn is more likely to
    respond to the prayers of knights before battle, and the god himself
    derives more "godly power" from the existence of temples. Erik, on
    the other hand, as a nature god wants unspoiled natural land, hence
    the lack of development in the Rjurik Highlands.

    (Sorry for the resurrection; I`m finally getting around to going through my
    inbox and I found this little nugget. I put in a new thread, but its an off-shoot from the Haelyn thread.)

    Gary, about a year ago, I had a similiar idea, but never really developed it. It
    came from an idea I`ve always had about the presence of "Dark Sources" in
    Cerelia, and branched out from there. Anyway, here it goes:

    For every regent type in the game, there may also exist one or more other
    regents that represent polar opposites or shadow opposition to these
    groups. They`re not necessarily enemies, but the very nature of their
    organization means they will forever remain in competition. (I`m a big fan
    of promoting more direct competition at the domain level, as opposed to the
    indirect competition I feel exists now.)

    So, while we have a King who might depend on gaining Regency from Law
    Holdings, we might also have a Kingpin that depends on lawlessness. So in a
    level-4 province with a level 2 law holding, 2 RP are going to the Law
    Holding and 2 RP are going to the "Non-Law Holdings" if they are owned.
    When the Level 2 law holding is ruled, one non-law holding is destroyed to
    make room. This, of course, makes the traditional regents far more
    powerful. It is a similiar relationship that exists currently between
    province levels and source holdings.

    I never could come up with what would be the opposite of a Guild Holding,
    but I figure the elves must have something since they have no guilds.
    Likely, whatever it is, would be destroyed by the presence of Guilds.

    The temple holdings are opposed with non-temple holdings, which I always
    imaged ot be equivilent to druidic holdings. Thus, the presence of the
    temples could destroy the "natural" spiritual energies. Of course, I always
    imagined druids to be source holding rulers also, so my interpretation
    varies from other people on this issue quite a bit. Like I said, the idea
    was never fully developed, so it only makes half-sense right now, but I
    thought it was a fairly cool idea.

    The source holding was a little more complicated, because the campaign I was
    designing had a Dark Source, which is something outside of the Birthright
    material. In my interpretation, rising province levels could destroy
    sources (and thus sources functioned as non-provinces), but they could not
    destroy Dark Sources. Dark Sources, however, when ruled, could destroy
    Source holdings, and if there were no source holdings, then province
    levels. The Dark Sources were meant to represent a corrupt taint in the
    land, connected to source holdings from the Shadow World.


    One of the advantages of this system, is that you can look at information
    about a realm (or just look at the map), and in addition to learning a bunch
    of stuff about it, there`s a bunch of stuff you could learn about it based
    on what isn`t there. If something is missing that should be filled (like
    empty source holdings lying near a source-regent`s domain), there`s a
    domain-level reason WHY that may be the case, and the player is exposed to
    the idea that there may be a consequence to claiming it. (In this case, it
    could really piss off any non-source holding regents that the player may not
    be aware of).


    I was imagining that most non-holdings are tiny organizations in and of
    themselves that are very little threat to a regent, except as a nuisance in
    an RP bidding war, but there might be a few powerful (hidden) empires
    controlling non-holdings in multiple domains that work to keep the
    traditional regents out of particular areas and activities. And they have
    RP. And possibly troops.
    "Chance favors the prepared mind."
    --Sir Isaac Newton

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    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    Guild holdings care about the "self" as they try and further individual wealth and prestige through craftsmanship and trading. Perhaps the anti-guild holdings are socialist, Marxist holdings were ownership is more universal and production is to make items to "share" not "sell". They try and further the community more than the individual. The regent is the leader who gives direction, maybe the chairman/secretary of the committee.

    I guess that may make the Elves into communists, which isn't really that silly an idea. After all, they seem to have a different point-of-view to the other races and being eternal would force them to have to get along well with each other. After all, an elven inter-family dispute would last forever!

    Sorontar

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    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sorontar View Post
    Guild holdings care about the "self" as they try and further individual wealth and prestige through craftsmanship and trading.
    Sorontar
    Expanding on this one.

    Wouldn't then a guild holding be in opposition to a temple holding? (regardless of whether it was a druidic vein or not) Temple holdings represent faith and support in something external and spiritual while guild holding represent putting strength in the material possessions and the like.

    I would pit source holdings against province size themselves, potentially using law holdings as the holding "type" that would work. But really the province "size" is what works directly against source holdings.
    Duane Eggert

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    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman View Post
    Wouldn't then a guild holding be in opposition to a temple holding?
    That only works for certain religions. In particular, temples to Sera "represent faith and support... in the material possessions" themselves, and their means of acquisition. In Brechtur, and some parts of other lands, temples and guilds are ideological allies, not enemies. In fact, Sera's religion would really approve of modern currency: it is not tied to any material thing, instead deriving its value solely from the people's faith that it will continue to be useful for buying things. Laerme's faith probably also allies with guilds (more money = more parties), as does Eloele's (more money = more to steal, more guilds = more friends to steal it with). Cuiraecen, Avani and Haelyn probably don't really care, but will encourage the people to support any guild which advances their interests (e.g., guilds in Khinasi can win the support of the temples by donating some of their profits to support scholarship). Only Erik and Ruornil are directly opposed to the philosophy of guilds, and perhaps to a lesser extent Belinik (real men are warriors, not merchants).


    Ryan

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    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryancaveney View Post
    That only works for certain religions. In particular, temples to Sera "represent faith and support... in the material possessions" themselves, and their means of acquisition. In Brechtur, and some parts of other lands, temples and guilds are ideological allies, not enemies. In fact, Sera's religion would really approve of modern currency: it is not tied to any material thing, instead deriving its value solely from the people's faith that it will continue to be useful for buying things. Laerme's faith probably also allies with guilds (more money = more parties), as does Eloele's (more money = more to steal, more guilds = more friends to steal it with). Cuiraecen, Avani and Haelyn probably don't really care, but will encourage the people to support any guild which advances their interests (e.g., guilds in Khinasi can win the support of the temples by donating some of their profits to support scholarship). Only Erik and Ruornil are directly opposed to the philosophy of guilds, and perhaps to a lesser extent Belinik (real men are warriors, not merchants).

    Ryan
    But wouldn't temples of Sera still be in contrast to guild holding becasue they would be "demanding" a portion of their income as a tribute. Thus cutting into what the people hold as "dear".

    Eloele could likewise be seen as the same since they are "stealing" from the guilds. I don't really see Eloele as valuing "material" goods as much as valuing how to "acquire" things - they also deal heavily with "information" and "blackmail" IMO.

    Avani would, IMO, be directly opposed to any sort of guild. They value knowledge not wealth and usually the two are in competition.

    Nesire values family and the hearth (and of course the sea - but I see that as more associated with "mourning" than the actual sea).

    Haelyn - law is the essence of strength and justice. Law and guilds are almost always in direct conflict since guilds also represent the "criminal activity".

    Erik and Rournil are the obvious ones (as you point out) to be in opposition to guilds.

    Belnick - is a lot like Cuicean. Only Force and might are the most important things. Counting coins shows signs of weakness.

    Krisha is in many ways like Eloele only more power hungry IMO. Also more closely associated with the undead than the other deities (as far as controlling not dispatching).

    Cuircean. Strength makes might. If you value a coin then you don't value your ability to use strength.

    If going the superficial route and relying on culture than a guild would never have an opposition holding - but that doesn't make sense to me if we are trying to work up which holdings are in opposition to each other.
    Duane Eggert

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Back when fire was new and the earth still warm, John Machin and I discussed whether holdings had ideology (my position) or whether they were simply the organizations which followed the regent (his position). I am now totally in favor of John's position. The earth cooling had nothing to do with it. John was right. Holdings will have various combinations of ideologies, some community minded, some selfish, some advancing this interest, some another. The thing that binds them is that they give service and allegience to the regent.

    Figuring out whether a guild, or any other holding is of one ideological point of view or another is best done on a case by case basis for color and flavor, rather than as a way to understand how the holdings interact. As Ryan develops in his post, different holding naturally might have different ideological positions, but I will add that even within those positions, the varience is so wide that these are just generalizations useful as a point of departure, and no further. Guessing whether any given holding adopts any given views approaches random. What is generally reliable is that they will serve and pledge allegience to the regent.

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    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman View Post
    But wouldn't temples of Sera still be in contrast to guild holding becasue they would be "demanding" a portion of their income as a tribute. Thus cutting into what the people hold as "dear"
    Not at all. Making money in a commercial transaction is itself an act of worship of Sera, whether or not the people involved ever officially pray at her temple. Her temples are probably run as businesses -- they make their money by acting as investment bankers, so they have a naturally symbiotic relationship with merchants. She derives support from the people through their economic activity, so for her as a god to be powerful the guilds must be strong.

    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman View Post
    Eloele could likewise be seen as the same since they are "stealing" from the guilds. I don't really see Eloele as valuing "material" goods as much as valuing how to "acquire" things
    So you think once her acolytes have acquired stuff, they give it all away so they can try to acquire it again? I sincerely doubt that. Furthermore, since actual temples to Eloele only openly exist in bandit realms, "and guilds also represent the 'criminal activity'" engaged in by her worshippers, then in good Haelynite realms some of the guild holdings are probably in fact semi-secret temples to Eloele. Extending the point I raised in discussing Sera, the act of stealing itself constitutes worship of Eloele, so even if there are thieves who don't have hidden shrines to Eloele in their homes (and I suspect all of them would, just as all scholars pray to Avani for aid in research even if there is no temple holding dedicated to her within a thousand miles), the very act of theft is worshipping Eloele at least as much as -- probably much more than -- praying to her in a formal temple setting.

    When the gods are present in everyday life, it is deeds, not words, that count. Worship means following your god's example in your actions, emulating how they acted when they walked the earth themselves. Singing songs and chanting in unison are only direct worshipful to Laerme and Haelyn, respectively. Ceremonies to other gods will include such things as window dressing, but the real core of worshipping Haelyn is *doing* justice, not just talking about it, just as the real core of worshipping Laerme is composing your own works of art, not just appreciating those of others.

    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman View Post
    Avani would, IMO, be directly opposed to any sort of guild. They value knowledge not wealth and usually the two are in competition.
    What? How did you decide they were in competition? Scholarship as we know it could not exist without the patronage of wealthy individuals who want their names associated with greater things. Rich people endowing professorships at universities, and drug companies investing in research to discover new curative chemicals to sell, are modern-day examples of acts which in BR would constitute worship (or at the very least sacrifice to, which in the ancient world was a really big part of worship) of Avani. Sure, companies which cut their R&D departments in order to improve this year's bottom line are going against Avani's wishes, but there is nothing about commerce which is inherently opposed to knowledge, and success in business frequently demands using reason and increasing one's knowledge. In fact, in a world before the printing press, books could be an extremely valuable luxury trade good -- as is knowledge itself (your customers want X; your competitor is planning to do Y), as you already alluded to in discussing Eloele.

    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman View Post
    Nesire values family and the hearth (and of course the sea - but I see that as more associated with "mourning" than the actual sea).
    Which makes me think she's philosophically indifferent to guilds. On the other hand, sailing is an important part of commerce, and it splits families for long periods and causes mourning when shipwrecks happen. Thus, while being a sailor isn't necessarily itself worship of Nesirie, it certainly encourages the practice (sacrificing to her for a safe voyage so you can come home to your family again). Therefore, the presence of guild holdings in coastal provinces will increase the amount of worship Nesirie gets.

    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman View Post
    Haelyn - law is the essence of strength and justice. Law and guilds are almost always in direct conflict since guilds also represent the "criminal activity".
    They also represents legitimate, legal merchants, just as law holdings also represent bandit gangs who oppose legitimate, legal authority. Haelyn wants to *regulate* the guilds, but I don't think he wants them stamped out. People will need to trade, so there will have to be laws about trade made and enforced, which Haelyn likes. People will also try to break these laws in order to make more money, so in balance I think he's neutral about guilds in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman View Post
    Belnick - is a lot like Cuicean. Only Force and might are the most important things. Counting coins shows signs of weakness.
    Yes, simply beating people up is an act of worship to both. Which god is worshipped depends on *why* you did it. If you beat people up in order to be mean to them, you're worshipping Belinik. If you beat people up in order to stop them being mean to others, you're worshipping Cuiraecen. On the other hand, Belinik surely believes that beating people up (or threatening to do so) to take their stuff is the only proper way for a righteous man to support himself and his warband, so there has to be someone with nice stuff for good men to take. Therefore, in balance, I think both have a neutral attitude towards commerce: they wouldn't think of engaging in it themselves, but they don't mind if lesser men do.

    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman View Post
    Krisha is in many ways like Eloele only more power hungry IMO. Also more closely associated with the undead than the other deities (as far as controlling not dispatching).
    I think Kreisha may be almost as opposed to guilds as Erik is -- she likes it when people have only her to keep them from freezing to death in the winter, so she hates shops that sell fur coats.

    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman View Post
    If going the superficial route and relying on culture than a guild would never have an opposition holding - but that doesn't make sense to me if we are trying to work up which holdings are in opposition to each other.
    How is culture superficial? How else are we to tell what social activities (for that is what all non-source holdings represent) are opposed? Temples to Nesirie and Belinik are far more opposed to each other than either cares about commerce. Erik's temples teach that opposing commerce is a religious duty, but Sera's temples teach that supporting commerce is a religious duty. Temples and guilds may indeed have opposites (I am unconvinced on that point), but if those opposites do exist, their opposites are definitely not each other.


    Ryan

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    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    Guessing whether any given holding adopts any given views approaches random. What is generally reliable is that they will serve and pledge allegience to the regent.
    I expanded on my earlier post because I found it interesting to explore the religious ideologies, but I agree very strongly with Kenneth (and John, huzzah; where has he gone? can only one of us exist here at a time?) on this point -- holdings can (and sometimes should) love, hate, or ignore each other, just so long as all obey the regent (until a random event says otherwise ).


    Ryan

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman View Post
    But wouldn't temples of Sera still be in contrast to guild holding because they would be "demanding" a portion of their income as a tribute. Thus cutting into what the people hold as "dear".
    I doubt temples of Sera demand tribute or even suggest offerings for Sera's favor. Sera doesn't seem to me to be about asking for money, or what the people hold as dear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan
    Her temples are probably run as businesses -- they make their money by acting as investment bankers, so they have a naturally symbiotic relationship with merchants. She derives support from the people through their economic activity, so for her as a god to be powerful the guilds must be strong.
    I'll generalize what I see Ryan saying there, that Sera's temple makes money for concrete services, like banking, settling contracts, resolving disputes between merchants, verifying that scales are fair, certifying the quality of goods, and otherwise doing what the guilds do within their guilds, but are resolved by temples in conflicts between guilds. The guilds may regard a certain amount of this as a rival authority (but temples will always constitute rival authorities) and they may also appreciate some of the difficult duties being handled by others. Like the temples of Haelyn and law holdings, there is some overlap in function. In fact, there may be such overlap of personnel, that its hard to tell whether the decision is made by the guilds or the temples of Sera, because the decision maker is connected to both.

    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman
    Eloele could likewise be seen as the same since they are "stealing" from the guilds. I don't really see Eloele as valuing "material" goods as much as valuing how to "acquire" things - they also deal heavily with "information" and "blackmail" IMO.
    The purpose of the theft may be more about the theft than the take, but that doesn't make the take unimportant. Just less important. The take funds the temple, so its important. I imagine a certain amount of theiving occuring in Sera's world too, but there the act is more about the take than the theft. Telling the difference would require a long conversation with the thief about his motivations, because in most respects a missing 2000gp necklace is missing either way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan
    When the gods are present in everyday life, it is deeds, not words, that count. Worship means following your god's example in your actions, emulating how they acted when they walked the earth themselves.
    The purpose of ritual in human psycology, putting aside the issue of what effect it has on the divine realm, is to remind people about what is important and to re-create ritually the acts of the divine importance. In this way of seeing things, the rituals are for us, not for the gods. The gods may or many appreciate or desire them, but they are for us, because without them we forget what the gods are about and start offending them without realizing it. If temples celebrate the wedding of Nesirie and Haelyn, its because we are suppose to remember what marriage is for, how it is done, why it is good. Not because either god gets power (or pleasure) from the ritual of reinacting the marriage (although they might, different issue) but because it reinforces in the mind of the follower how we ought to behave. Then, as Ryan says, our actions will empower the gods. The ritual is to teach and remind us about how to act. But the actions are important sources of power, possible much, much greater than the rituals.

    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman
    Avani would, IMO, be directly opposed to any sort of guild. They value knowledge not wealth and usually the two are in competition.
    I don't follow this at all. Why are knowledge and wealth in competition? Everywhere I look, they advance and retreat together. Prosperity brings learning and learning brings prosperity. They are so symbiotic that some temples of Sera must regard Avani as an ally and vise versa (though they can often be rivals too).

    Haelyn - law is the essence of strength and justice. Law and guilds are almost always in direct conflict since guilds also represent the "criminal activity".
    And law holdings can represent bandits. Its people who are criminal, not holdings. Temples can (as we have mentioned) support and encourage criminal activity. Law can be bad law, unjust, tyrannical, protecting cowards, the act of kingship or the process of law can be perverse as well as just, noble, and good. Is Haelyn against law holdings and rulers? Commerce can be lawful or unlawful, just or unjust. For Haelyn, the lawful, just, and upright commerce is good, the unlawful, unjust, criminal activity is bad. So some guilds are good and some are bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan
    Only Erik and Ruornil are directly opposed to the philosophy of guilds.
    Certainly some will be, but only because they are dealing with certain guilders, or because they are just closed minded. Others may well find guilds who are perfectly fine. Maybe they prefer craft guilds to extractive guilds, but even an extractive guild that takes great care to restore the land (planting two trees for everyone harvested, right selection of trees to cull, being alert to and accounting for enviromental conditions like drought) should find favor with some temples of Erik and Ruornil.

    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman
    Belnick - is a lot like Cuicean. Only Force and might are the most important things. Counting coins shows signs of weakness.
    The Vos are very unfriendly to guilds, This might only be a cultural issue and not of great importances to the dieties Belinik and Kriesha, but I don't incline to seeing either one of them favoring guild activity, but more because its a distraction from what is valued than because making things is itself a bad thing. Cuiraecen certainly would value guilds both as a sources of good swords and fine armor, and other elements of war and battle, but also because Cuiraecen values the people who are protected by the warrior and so would regard the guilds no less than the peasant farmer who relies on the bold knight to defend them. Fighting for no purpose is a whole lot less noble.

    Cuircean. Strength makes might. If you value a coin then you don't value your ability to use strength.
    I'd like to see the knights of Cuiraecen spouting off such nonsense to their armorers and weaponsmiths. It also suggests contempt, which is very unlike a liberator. The knight is a higher calling than a smith or a woodcutter, but all are good, the knight is just better. He has compassion and favor for the craftsman, for he desires their goods, admires fine swords and armor, and needs common people to protect.

    If going the superficial route and relying on culture than a guild would never have an opposition holding - but that doesn't make sense to me if we are trying to work up which holdings are in opposition to each other.
    Quite true, but we can also easily imagine a war of all against all, where every regent is at odds with every other regent and creating circumstances where its terribly hard to have any friends and quite easy to be in conflict with everyone else. But the examples given don't offer an special argument for opposition.

    Using Ryan's discussion of magical craftsmanship from the elf thread (a beautiful mitheral thread with unserpassed qualities) and drawing on the original source/province dicotomy, magical craft production would be the natural anti-guild. Cast a spell and make plenty of wood. Another spell turns the wood into tools or tool componants, and suddenly you have built a province and made the tools for people to use. That's the anti-guild.

  10. #10
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    So essentially what people are saying is that holdings are based on cultural mores and therefor those must be considered when figuring out whether or not a holding is in opposition and thus they come down to circumstantial considerations.

    Hmm seems like there can be no "generalizations" to say holding types are in opposition to each other then at all.

    Really, think about, almost all of the arguments are actually founded in cultural aspects.
    Duane Eggert

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