in the Shadow of Greatness


October 4, 2004

noble titles and StockNPC(ing) StickySerial

titles. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001
...terms used to designate degrees of sovereignty, nobility, and honor.
Perhaps starting to talk about stocking the castle starts with some idea of noble titles.

It would be unusual to have important nobles attending on a casual court, but more likely for a formal court. IOW, an earl might want to be the steward for a king that holds important decisions at the castle court while a tightly held royal decision making process (like Amber) or a casual court (like Random might favor) would not confer serious advantage to a steward.

In the latter cases, the castle staff would likely be educated commoners, priests, or foreign experts like Bill Roth.

In history, being the king's secretary might or might not make you a very important person yourself. IMC, the steward is a lord, the chatelaine is a dame, while the rest of the staff are commoners.

So how indeed do we populate a castle staff? We manage resources. Note we probably only generate key positions.

  • Steward: seneschal and leader of staff
    • Royal Secretary: king's time (may also work for queen)
    • Queen's Own: queen's confidant
    • Master Clerk: royal paper trail
    • Chatelaine: head of domestics
      • valets (more often personal to each visitor)
      • maids
      • footmen
      • pages
      • launderers
      • musicians
    • Headgroom: stables
      • grooms
      • couriers
      • coachmen
      • trainers
    • Smith: weapons and metalwork
    • Chef: kitchens
      • cellarer
      • cooks
      • scullery
    • GroundsKeep: gardens and grounds
      • herbists/medicinal
      • arborists
      • landscapers
    • Librarian: family archives
    • Commander of Royal Guard: elite troops
      • in your campaign, this position might be equal or superior to the Steward
      • guards: several shifts for 24/7 duty

    • Secretary of Finance: IMC this is treasury, trade, taxes, etc.
    • Secretary of Portfolios: IMC this is diplomacy, treaties, justice, etc.
If your court is more ornate, you add clerks for each important office.

IMC, castle officers send their paper through the Master Clerk, do their own, or pay for clerking out of their own pocket. Some ministers use nephews, daughters or friends.

IMC, a few positions not listed above are taken care of informally by family members.

  • Physician
  • Education
  • Arcane Arts
  • Environment

With this list in hand, you can start to fill in the main positions and quickly realize the basic size of the entire staff given 24 hour duties. IMC, the complete staff is not on 24 hour call and yet I have over a hundred headcount.

[updates: here]

Filed under : Amber, IMC at 04.10.2004