• 21 Replies
Re: Rank
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2014, 04:49:55 PM »
Rank is just another way for the players to show the MC what kind of game they want. In AW, picking a playbook with a holding, following or other group attached to it shows that the players are interested in being linked to a central location or thing that stories spill out of, rather than actively engaged in seeking out adventure.

It seems that rank, with it's various advantages and drawbacks, is a powerful narrative tool that allows the players and the MC to set the political tone as well as the scale of the stories told. Muddy skirmishes between small bands of hungry men, or devious back room diplomacy and ranks of armored knights charging at each other across the fields of battle. Though power naturally accrues through rank, it doesn't grant any more or less personal agency. From the Outlaw Heir playbook, you could quite easily be a dispossessed nobleman or landowner who's family lands were stolen who now haunts the forests, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, or you could be the scion of kings, a prince out to reclaim his thrown with the support of his uncle, a neighboring king with a huge standing army.

Two totally different levels of power, equally intriguing, right out of the box.

Re: Rank
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2014, 04:59:32 PM »
Also, the obvious one, the higher your rank, the harder you'll be hit when your fortunes go south!

- A

Re: Rank
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2014, 06:00:52 PM »
So, something interesting to me, that you don't get from looking at an individual playbook: not every rank is equally available. With the five we have, only the Dragon-Herald can start at rank 7. That is really cool to me, and worth doing some information-design to convey, perhaps. Suddenly, that's a reason to be the Dragon-Herald (as though I needed more!): to be the dirty peasant who the mighty lords cannot afford to ignore.

Re: Rank
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2014, 09:36:42 AM »
I really like that players get to choose their rank freely and I don't think the lower ranks need equal benefits, but it would still be really interesting to see cases where low rank gives you stuff. Criminal contacts and ill-gotten gains, perhaps? Bounties on your head? Something brought with you from foreign lands?

So far it mostly just gives you less stuff, which is fine but might represent a missed opportunity.



  • 12
Re: Rank
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2014, 09:56:51 AM »

I think the choice its already an opportunity. At least (but not the least) from a fiction POV.

Maybe it's an opportunity to have less things to manage, or to have a less stake on the world, maybe to become part of someone else's retinue (someone elese  with more responsabilities and political ambitions) or just to play different kinds of stories. Or the same kind from a different perspective.

With great rank comes great responsability and sometimes you will want to play the peasant hero, or the guy from below, the one not favoured by society.

Why would you that? That's what I'm eager to find out while playing!

Re: Rank
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2014, 11:41:13 AM »
It would be a poor fiction if it only concerned itself with the rich and powerful. I really like the option to play characters at differing levels of the social heirarchy - and it could surely lead to some very interesting interactions between player-characters.

I'm not convinced that characters of a lower social rank need compensation for starting with less wealth and power, either - there are (as some have pointed out) a few advantages in the form of less responsibility and management, but I think it would also be an injustice to present poverty as fun, or at least as having mitigating factors. It's not as if it represents a lack of agency (and in this regard I'm glad that Dark Age isn't a medieval peasant simulator), but it definitely conveys the different qualities of life and choices available to people at different tiers of the class structure.

Re: Rank
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2014, 11:45:26 AM »
The less you have the less can go wrong with Fortunes...