Works and Welfare

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Every nobleman also rules a population of serfs, peasants, and free merchants, and while courting their popularity is much less important than courting the loyalty of your nobles your popularity among the people helps reduce the number of troops you need to maintain order, helps keep down rebellions against your rule and allows the al-Malik to pat themselves on the back until they dislocate a shoulder.

The most common way to increase popularity among the peasantry is through public works and general welfare - the fabled 'bread and circuses' of ancient Rome. Like Largesse, spending on Works & Welfare achieves a 1.5% bonus for every 1% of your income you dedicate to that task. Also like Loyalty, PC actions may affect Popularity above and beyond Works & Welfare spending. The base loyalty of a population is 25, and nobles typically spend approximately 30% of their income on Works & Welfare for a final total of roughly 70. It is worth noting on Vargo, however, that most fiefs have up to a -25% penalty due to Vargo being conquered within the last generation.


Like modifiers to Loyalty, a character in a position of governance is expected to engage in certain IC actions with NPCs that affect his popularity. Again, staff does not require scenes to occur- we assume they are in the background- but we welcome PCs to RP around the behavior outlined below. The methods below are the most common styles of increasing the popularity of the people.

First method: Extrovert/Passion + Oratory (for rank 7+)/Charm (for rank 5-) + appropriate blessings/curses generates the goal. For every point above 10 a +3 percent modifier is added to a noble's popularity. For every point below 10, a -3 percent modifier is added to a noble's popularity. This represents the occasional rousing speech or stirring address (when Passion is used), or eloquent expression of popular sentiments (when extrovert is used). These speeches are often spurred by typical things that would require a noble to assure his people of his leadership- wars, floods, rains, draughts, or on a more happy note, feast days and celebrations. This method is more commonly used by younger nobles who enjoys being in the limelight. It is also favored by House Hazat (a notoriously hot blooded lot), and House Hawkwood.

Charm can be substituted for Oratory at the rank of Baronet or less because baronets generally are attempting to deal with a much smaller group of people. It's entirely possible for a landed knight (which is what a baronet really is) to literally know everyone under his charge by name. If a baronet has an abornomally large holding, or a baron an abnormally small holding, use the appropriate skill to the number of NPCs being influence.

Second method: Wits+Politics+appropriate blessings/curses generates the goal. For every point above 10, a +1 percent modifier is added to a noble's popularity. For every point below 10, a -3 percent modifier is added to a noble's popularity. This is the common method of governing used by older nobles who aren't up to riding their lands and addressing the people. This style of government relies on a noble's ability to delegate authority to the right ombudsmen, civic leaders, military officers, or knights (however one runs one's villages). It's a more bureaucratic style of government, and is favored by House Decados and House al-Malik- both houses that typically don't like milling with the common man.