Hierarchy and Choson

Okay, so during the Nefertiti Overdrive doubt delay, let’s look once again at Choson.

“A secret trip at night (야금모행)” by Shin Yun Bok (신윤복)

The four factors that I wanted to include in Choson included two mechanical decisions and two historical concepts: simplicity, narrative control, historical Korea’s strict hierarchy, and its disdain for warriors.

I’m not concerned with the two former, because those have been hallmarks of my design since Sword Noir. The other two I could hard-code into the setting, but that seems like a cheat. I want to do this mechanically.

My first inclination is a kind of Reputation mechanic, similar to that in Sword Noir. In this case, Reputation would be separated into classes – there are roughly four major societal/class divisions in Choson Korea. Depending on your character’s social class, there would be both positive and negative modifiers dealing with other classes – sure, a yangban noble has social rank over the yangmin commoner, and in public, the yangmin will need to act with respect to the yangban, that doesn’t mean the yangmin actually respects the yangban. External actions and internal motivations will likely be at variance in a lot of social encounters.

This would set up kind of a complex matrix, but it shouldn’t take too much time to use. And it would be the GM that would be reliant upon it, so the players would never actually have to use the matrix.

I want to do something other than just add another modifier to reactions to represent the society’s disdain for warriors, but what could that be?

Still thinking.

You can find more information on Choson here.

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