Where Do Rights Come From?

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Where Do Rights Come From?
« on: September 10, 2014, 02:42:13 PM »
So after our playtest last night, we were discussing the somewhat problematic space that rights presently occupy.

Rights seem to describe a sort of generalized public opinion and support; a liege lord is a liege lord because her subjects recognize her authority.  Or to go supernatural about it, the wicker-wise can perform enchantments because the Other World respects their wisdom/power/connections/what-have-you.

The only thing is, when the right is denied, that support and respect is more or less ignored.  This happens in the fiction—the usurper dismissing the lord's proper place—but it also occurs mechanically—the people who recognized you as their proper lord are suddenly looking the other way and making embarrassed coughing noises. All the support and respect implied by the fictional positioning is revealed as completely useless and ineffective.  Which seems weird.

Which got us to thinking—what if rights are specifically bestowed by their domains?  When they are denied, the "gods are angry" option is replaced by "the bestowing domain is angry."  So if you trample on the ancestral right and title to rule a stronghold, the ruler might declare that the people are revolting against the usurper's misrule.  If you disrupt somebody's good investments, then the Wider World gets angry at you for disrupting trade.  If your right to lead worshippers gets denied by your domineering liege lord, the Old Ways might surface to teach him a lesson in respect and humility.  If you prevent your war-leader from sending out scouts, War gets angry with you, which doesn't bode well for the battle you're about to fight.

This also puts a little more flavor into the fiction, so not just the gods get angry at the abused rights, but the Land Itself and the Other World and all sorts of juicy goodness.

*

Ich

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Re: Where Do Rights Come From?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2014, 10:53:08 PM »
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The only thing is, when the right is denied, that support and respect is more or less ignored.  This happens in the fiction—the usurper dismissing the lord's proper place—but it also occurs mechanically—the people who recognized you as their proper lord are suddenly looking the other way and making embarrassed coughing noises. All the support and respect implied by the fictional positioning is revealed as completely useless and ineffective.  Which seems weird.

Well, yes, that would be weird.  I don't think when a right is denied it is denied by everyone.  The rebel denies the Liege Lord's right, but why would that mean his supporters, do too?

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Which got us to thinking—what if rights are specifically bestowed by their domains?  When they are denied, the "gods are angry" option is replaced by "the bestowing domain is angry."  So if you trample on the ancestral right and title to rule a stronghold, the ruler might declare that the people are revolting against the usurper's misrule.  If you disrupt somebody's good investments, then the Wider World gets angry at you for disrupting trade.  If your right to lead worshipers gets denied by your domineering liege lord, the Old Ways might surface to teach him a lesson in respect and humility.  If you prevent your war-leader from sending out scouts, War gets angry with you, which doesn't bode well for the battle you're about to fight.

This also puts a little more flavor into the fiction, so not just the gods get angry at the abused rights, but the Land Itself and the Other World and all sorts of juicy goodness.

It seems to me you are creating gods for the domains, one or more, for each, and I like it.  They might be powerful spirits or demi-gods, thus allowing for a great and jealous monotheistic god, and pantheons rich with many greater and lesser gods, or they might be the only true gods, which could be worshiped in divergent ways among many different peoples.

Re: Where Do Rights Come From?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2014, 10:57:28 PM »
They don't even have to be gods. If you disrupt someone's investments, the wider world (no caps) doesn't trust you in trade agreements. If a Keep Liege denies the Wicker Wise's demand for a sacrifice, the followers of the old ways will be affronted. If you harm someone who has a right to hospitality. . .well, Walder Frey will get his sooner or later.

Re: Where Do Rights Come From?
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2014, 04:04:07 AM »
I have to say, I like this interpretation, and it addresses my personal lack of enthusiasm for denied rights at present. But looking at it through this lens (not Gods, but 'domains' for want of a better word) helps things make a little more sense to me.

Re: Where Do Rights Come From?
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2014, 11:21:30 AM »
This came up in our discussions of rights as well. Some of the rights appear to be granted supernaturally, some of them are more "social" rights, and some of them could be either. Here's is a quote from an e-mail chain about the discussion, possibly might provide some food for thought. The player in question was imagining his Outranger as sort of a wilderness mystic:
 
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That would fit with my intention for something like "You have the right to due respect, from bound, free, noble and royal alike." I wasn't just seeing that as "People look up to him!" Or fear him or have heard of his exploits or etc. I was seeing it as the Forest Moves With Him -- when he comes into town, he brings that same feeling you get when you are alone amongst the giant trees and it's too quiet and a single raven flaps its heavy wings above moving in and out of heavy panes of sunlight. When he invokes Who He Is in regards to this right, people feel that are not just talking to a guy, but to something more fundamental and primal. There would be other ways to interpret the same game effect -- culture, tradition, etc. But it's much more than saying "people respect this guy."