Friday, April 15, 2011

N is For Nepotism

While reading C J Sansom's book, Sovereign, the nobles have a few 'hanger ons' with them that contribute little. Where I live, in good old Chicago, where we have Cook County and Illinois where we actually have a phrase used to describe how things are done, "Pay to Play", this might fall under the heading of Nepotism.

This is an old tradition that even has some roots in the church. I understand the Borgia might have had a little something to do with it eh

In a fantasy setting, especially a fantasy city, this would still probably be a fairly common occurrence. And yet... it could easily put the entire city in danger. Imagine a guard captain that's incompetent but knows some nobles. When the giants break through his gate, perhaps it's the players who get the blame despite the fact that the captain was no where to be found?

In the mage's guild, perhaps the player's who've found ancient and subtle arcane writings and items are skipped over for promotion by the son of the head of the mage's guild, despite the fact that he can't even cat a magic missile.

Nepotism can lead to all sorts of interesting bits where the players might not have to worry about the potential incompetents, but the allies and families of said incompetents. After all, in the movie Casino, it's not the fool who has multiple wins  occur simultaneously that becomes a thorn in Robert Dinero's character's side, but rather, that man's family who begin to investigate into Robert Dinero's qualifications.

The enemy takes many shapes and forms and corruption is just another of them.