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 Post subject: Re: ? about val pecentages
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:44 am 
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I see your point, Lucas, though on my part I claim hyperbole.

The big problem with Arcanis is that the whole 'vals can be anything' is both true and false. They are the literal divine children of the gods, so it would be exceedingly rare to find truly 'down and out' vals since their very bloodlines would give them opportunities. We get a good example of this in the Codex Arcanis where it states that human patricians will marry a 'commoner' val to make their family Patrician Imperialis. On the other side, I know a person who played a val'Borda Street Urchin, which is possible that a val'Borda child may be abandoned, but the very fact that they ARE a val would suggest to me that this is an exceedingly rare occurrence.

Arcanis gets really complicated versus other fantasy universes because the concept of the "bastard" can't really exist with a val. If a val goes off an sires an illegitimate child and it is a human, they can pass it off like Gendry (the bastard of Robert Baratheon) in Game of Thrones was, which means that that scion of the noble house CAN (and often is) a farmer or a blacksmith, etc. However, if the illegitimate child is born a val, they are in a bit of a pickle. They cannot reasonably deny their parentage, or even if they can they cannot reasonably deny kinship with the child (even if they deny that THEY as an individual did the deed). While some val families would very well deny kinship to the illegitimate val child, I would think it is more likely that they would foster this child out to relatives to raise. For example, if a minor patrician group of val'Ossans in Salantis had an illegitimate val'Ossan child, they may send it to cousins in Savona to raise to remove the 'tainted' child from their household without officially abandoning their kinsman.

From here, the illegitimate child would be trained likely according to the specific family traits. A val'Tensen would likely be trained in combat skills (horsemanship, fencing, etc), statecraft, psionic discipline, etc. A val'Dellenov would be trained in agriculture and animal husbandry, as well as the same statecraft, etc. A val'Virdan would probably be sent off to whatever army appropriate to the nation and treated as much like "any other soldier" to 'toghen them up'. Like other noble families in history, when it came down to 'finding a job' these nobles would have more options, so from here one may choose to become a swordsmith or a blacksmith, to continue to farm a family plot, or become an assassin. The eldest and most 'properly born' children in the household would be maneuvered into the succession, younger legitimate children into things like magistracies or the priesthood (like in medieval Europe), and many would likely serve in the army at various ranks.

Because of this (which is an assumption I make based on my understandings of noble groups, both in fantasy and in reality), I would assume it would be exceedingly rare for vals to have to learn a 'commoner' trait. As such, while a val may be trained in agriculture or agronomy, they would learn it as a skill and not a trade (with the exception of Saluweans, of course). Similarly, you wouldn't see a val'Mordane making nails and horseshoes, but it wouldn't be unknown for a val'Mordane to be an 'artisan' making beautiful swords or metalwork, but even this is probably a minority. The majority of vals would be what we would term "middle class" or of the noble class in their respective nations because they were literally born to be nobles within human societies of Onara. This is why you get groups such as the Brotherhood of Man who seeks to overthrow what they consider the hegemony of the vals so normal humans can rule. This is why the rulers of almost literally EVERY nation in the Known World is a val, and even those without official val rules have vals in major positions of power (Llyllifel, Censure, Altheria, etc).

Ultimately, we can't make too many equivalencies within Arcanis because we have no numbers of any repute to base these off of. We have never SEEN a val'Mordane making horseshoes, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. We have never SEEN a val'Tensen priest of Nier, nor have we ever seen Elandre' val'Assante' ever cast a spell. I myself wrote a mod (Purity, Fraternity, Justice) where two of the main characters were 'commoner' vals (one was a drover, the other was a former legionnaire) so I am well aware of what CAN happen, but even in that mod I commented on how even 'commoner' vals get special treatment by society for their actions like a minor patrician in Rome would get better legal treatment than a slave or a plebeian. We can only base our opinions on our personal experiences and knowledge of the universe and similar situations.

It is from this that I make my comment about the val'Mordane would make up a disproportionate number of the Deathbringers because it is viewed as a profession "worthy" of a val'Mordane. While they may make up 0.1 or 5 or 10% of the population (whatever, the number is ultimately meaningless), they may make up 50% of the order because their family would maneuver them into the Holy Orders because it is a 'proper' job for a noble scion of Neroth and because their inborn abilities give them greater tools to succeed in that job. Similarly, you would see fewer val'Mordane proportionally in the 'common' trades compared to normal humans (so if they make up 1% of the population, they may make up 0.2% of the farmers), and even then they would most likely have positions of authority even in those fields based on their birth. They wouldn't be the ones making nails in the blacksmith shop, they'd be the skilled artisans making weapons and armor. They wouldn't be the people out in the mud of the field, they'd be the landholder or a supervisor. They wouldn't be the cooper making the barrel, they'd be on the guild council. So on and so forth.

Cody Bergman
Legends of Arcanis Campaign Staff
Initial Author Contact/Adventure Vetting

Haakon Marcus val'Virdan, Divine Holy Judge of Nier
Ruma val'Vasik, Martial Crusader and Master of the Spear
Jorma Osterman, Arcane Coryani Battlemage

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 Post subject: Re: ? about val pecentages
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 9:45 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:44 pm
Posts: 103
toodeep wrote:
In the Deathbringer write up in the primer it says:

Races: Val and humans make up the majority of the
Deathbringers, with val’Mordane being the most predominant
due to their affinity with the Lord of the Tombs

Are val common enough that val'Mordane are actually more common than plain humans in this organization? I know due to power and politics they are likely to be the most predominant in positions of power, but I didn't know I that would be true in the organization as a whole.

Also, is most predominant redundant?

The intent of the sentence is to say that that both val and humans are the races that are the majority population of Deathbringers. Of the vals, the val'Mordane are the most common Deathbringers.

So if you encounter a Deathbringer, there's a good chance it is a val or a human. If it is a val, there is a good chance its a val'Mordane.

Yes, most predominant is redundant. Time to hit the 5e book manuscript to check for that wording...

James Vacca, Living Arcanis Campaign Coordinator

Kailandos, Keeper of the Word and Soldier of Retribution

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