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Ranks and Titles


A simple analysis of different ranks and titles, with a rough comparison of status and influence. However, there can be quite a lot of variation. Some people might have more than one title and may accumulate the 'status' from each. Others might just have a larger than normal army at their command or have cornered the market in an important commodity. I use this table is a guideline rather than absolute - so be aware that the table might change occasionally.

While I have used the male equivalent of titles, partly to save space, but many are also the primary titles and are used by both men and women. Queen Elizabeth of Britain (etc etc) is also Duke of Normandy (The Channel Isles) and Lord of Mann (Isle of Man). Nothing in this table is meant to imply that females cannot hold titles in their own right - nor to preclude them from using any variant of the table they want to. Indeed, there is nothing to stop a GM from swapping out any titles they don't like.

Ranks and Titles

National Titles Local Titles
Status Landed Militant Order AdministrationMilitaryReligiousAcademicGuild
100 Emperor
60 King
40 Duke
30 Prince Prince-Bishop
20 Sovereign Lord Grand-Commander Regent(1)
25 Count
20 March-Baron Viscount(1) General
15 Baron
10 March-Lord Governor I(1) Captain General Arch-Bishop
8 Lord Knight-Captain Lord Mayor (2) Captain Principal Guild Master
6 Dominus Knight-Commander Lord Advisor (2)
Governor II (1)
Commander Bishop Professor Guild Deputy
3 Laird Knight Mayor (3) Lt Commander High-Priest / Abbot Master Master
2 Officer Town Advisor (3) Lieutenant Priest / Prior Teacher Member
1 Deputy Elder (4) Sergeant Chaplain / Sub-Prior

Landed Titles

I have put Royal Titles at the top of the list - and used this definition to represent anyone who says they have the hereditary right to rule a piece of land - from Emperors who rule many countries by force or arms or treaties, through to the Sovereign Lord who might only claim a small patch of land. These members of Royal houses might be forced to pay taxes or tributes to an overlord - but they still claim their right to rule (even when they can't insist on it)

Noble titles are backed up by land granted to the holder by patent - by a King or other monarch. There is normally a requirement for the holder to follow the laws of the kingdom and to pay taxes accordingly. There is also a requirement to 'Defend the Realm' as and when required by the Ruler who granted the Patent. In return the holder gets to manage the economy of the land grant for their own benefit and to pass that right and title down to their children.

Aristocratic Titles are slightly different in that they can be backed up by freehold land or land granted by patent - and their title is often granted to them by a Noble who acts as an intermediary between the aristocrat and the Monarch. They are at the bottom of the Aristocratic tree but top of the Non-Noble pecking order. A nice position that leaves them a lot of power, a healthy income and the opportunity to better themselves and add to their portfolio. They get to manage part of the economy for their own benefit, but pay taxes to their immediate superior.

Lairds are somewhat different but still have a title that is attached to a piece of land - and are still called 'Lord' by the commonality, or as a courtesy. The gentry (as a group) are on the cusp between Upper-class and middle-class - it consists of junior or out-of-favour cousins from noble or aristocratic families as well as social climbers who are on the way up. Lairds are the equivalent of Scottish Lairds, Country Squires, Lords-of-the-Manor (England) or Seigneurs (France)

Militant Orders

This started off as Chivalric Orders, and they still come under this heading, but I realized that organizations such as the Knights of Iomedae and the Hell Knights have similar structures - rank titles are different but can be mapped across fairly easily.

I use it for The Brevic Knights in my Pathfinder game on RPoL, but I can see how the Aldori could use a similar set up. The various knightly orders of Taldor would fit this structure nicely. In National Orders the Monarch is going to be the Grand Commander, with Kight-Captains and Knight-Commanders running the various chapters. With the Hell Knights and Iomedian orders - the Grand Commander is head of the Organisation and claims at least a small area of land as theirs by right - with no overlord.

Administrative Titles

Administrative titles are generally Appointments, and the incumbent could be removed by their superiors or electorate.

  1. Regional Officials. A Regent administers an area on behalf of his overlord, a Viscount is normally the senior Baron in a County/Province and a Governor (I) is the senior Aristocrat (Dominus or Lord) in a region. A Governor (II) rules administers a subsection of a County/Province.
  2. City Officials. Lord Advisors might be treasurer, councillor, marshal etc. The Lord Mayor of a large independent City (such as Restov) will have the same levels of influence as a governor while the Lord Mayor of an Independent Metropolis (such as New Steven) has the same influence as a Viscount.
  3. Town Officials. Advisors might be treasurer, councillor, marshal etc.
  4. Elder, Leader, Hetman, Reeve, Bailiff … Someone appointed to manage a village.

Other Titles

The other titles are either self-explanatory or are described in the various Business or Stronghold Rules. A Prince-Bishop might represent the Pope as ruler of The Vatican, the ruler of a small Theocracy or something akin to the Prince-Bishops of the Holy Roman Empire.

Southern Region

The primary responsibility of a Noble is to defend the land and uphold the security of the inhabitants. The ability to provide this security is measured by the Defence Value. There are three ranks of Noble titles that are available in Midmarch, and one way you can show your Noble potential is to contribute an appropriate number of Defence Points to The defence of the March. At different ranks you are expected to provide:-

Henry, Baron Gates and Viscount Midmarch, may appoint Lords and Lords-Dominus equivalent ranks (at present) and will be able to appoint Lords when he progresses beyond the hereditary Rank of Baron.

Cass Mordane, Lord Mayor of Tusk may appoint lifetime titles that are the equivalent of Lords-Dominus.

  • Dominus – 5 Defence Points
  • Lord – 10 Defence Points
  • Baron – 15 Defence Points
  • March-Lord is the holder of any independent area of land, who has less than 15 Defence Points
  • March-Baron is the holder of any independent area of land, who has 15 or more Defence Points

As you build your stronghold, the defence points will come. The larger you build your estates and holdings, the easier it is to ‘collect’ defence points. If you have more than one estate, you can combine their defence values when calculating which Noble Title you can claim.

You may also qualify with non-estate holdings - Sword-schools, hamlet-estates or even mercenary barracks can count towards the title.

pathfinder/campaign_systems2/people/noble_titles.txt · Last modified: 2021/07/18 11:49 by johnb