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Jan 11

The Class System in Modern Society

Now, my loyal Llamatasticizers (oh yeah, funky title) might read the title and think, “come on now, Luke… the Class System doesn’t really play that much of a part in our society these days!” Well, you’d be wrong! At least not about the Class System you’re thinking…

In these modern times, it’s true… the aristocracy does not have the same degree of power it once did, the power of the majority playing a more and more prominent role in decision-making the world over. However, we are all of us still under the influence of a Class System which not only dictates our personalities, physical attributes and appearance; but also dictates our prospects in life (or our limitations). The system is so ingrained in our society that it’s hardly detectable, having been accepted as the norm some time ago.

The Class System to which I refer is not too dissimilar to that of RPGs. All of us are defined by a series of characteristics, the sum of which assign us a role that we are forced into adopting by other ‘players on the server’.

Characteristics:

Stamina – The characteristic which defines a person’s physique, resilience to disease, poison and (should the need arise) magic.

Charisma – The characteristic which reflects a person’s inter-personal skills. A higher Charisma value will allow a person a higher percentage chance of success when bartering, gaining information, and interacting with members of the opposite sex. This skill is also sometimes referred to as Speechcraft, but its value also denotes a person’s physical attractiveness.

Strength – A basic characteristic, this literally means the level of strength a person has. A higher strength value can be useful in combat, or physically oriented professions.

Intelligence – This characteristic reflects the level of factual knowledge a person has. This characteristic has absolutely nothing to do with Wisdom; it literally means the amount of information on various subjects a person has stored cognitively. Higher levels in this characteristic aid in the faster retrieval of this information, and may ultimately prove useful on TV gameshows or pub quizzes.

Wisdom – Wisdom is the characteristic which may most commonly be referred to as ‘common sense’. Completely apart from ‘book learning’, Wisdom dictates the degree of prudence, patience and forethought a person has. A very useful characteristic for party/warband leaders.

Dexterity – A characteristic that denotes not only a person’s balance, poise and ability to work well with their hands, but also their movement speed and speed at which new skills are acquired (which is bolstered by a high Intelligence value)

Mercantile – This characteristic reflects how good with money a person is. Higher values may be prone to saving and wise purchases, lower values over-spend etc.

Now, this may all seem very crude; but just take a moment to think about how your life is affected by these characteristics (obviously these aren’t the only ones, these are just an example to show you what I mean). Each day, you are judged by others based on your Characteristics, their opinions and judgements based solely on their Characteristics.

Say you’re going for a job interview: the interviewer will most likely be Low Stamina, Average Charisma, Low Strength, Above-Average Intelligence, High Wisdom, Average Dexterity and Average Mercantile. Based on these Characteristics and the job you’re going for, you will be expected to correspond to a pre-determined set of values. If you don’t, chances are you won’t get the job. If you have a stupidly high Charisma value, you may ‘roll a 20′ and get the job, but later on you’ll most likely be sacked because they’ll find out you used Bluff.

In our base genetics, we as humans have a series of checkboxes in our heads which we check in order to find an ideal mate; and ultimately to produce healthy spawn. Scientific research has shown that during a woman’s menstrual cycle they are more attracted to High Stamina, Average Charisma, High Strength; but at other times they’re attracted to Below-Average Stamina, High Charisma, Below-Average Strength and even look for Intelligence and Wisdom values. The reasons for this are evolutionarily obvious, and therefore I don’t need to go into it. The point I’d like to make for this is that innately, the woman is immediately assigning classes! For my crude example of an RPG: at one point she wants a Warrior, at other times she wants a Bard or a Scholar. Based solely on these characteristics, the woman has made a judgement of a person and assigned them a class. Just as the interviewer who was LFM a certain class for their particular Instance.

Now, I myself am an Average Stamina, Above-Average Charisma, Below-Average Strength, High Intelligence, Below-Average Wisdom, Average Dexterity, and my Mercantile is in minus values. Because of these values I could never be a Warrior class for example. In the modern day, I should as a citizen in a modern country with modern laws; be entitled to pursue any occupation of my choosing and have equal opportunities in attaining it. That being said, there’s no bloody way I’d be a good soldier, fireman, policeman or even builder. All of these professions are suited to people with High Stamina, Above-Average Strength or better and High Dexterity values (High Wisdom wouldn’t hurt in all these mentioned professions either). Now, this is my physical makeup: the very set of values that make me who I am… and they’re preventing me from entering a certain series of professions in life. Am I put out by this? No, of course not… the very same set of values dictate that I have enough sense to see that for all the things I can’t do, there’re just as many things I can! I just have to live with the fact I’ve rolled a Scholar and play to the best of my ability.

My point is this, in modern countries no-one really cares who your father was anymore (which I approve). There are, of course, a few isolated instances of preference to birthright, but

I'd just like to point out that mariachi is a FANTASTIC representation of a bard

let’s not worry about them… they’ll eventually inbreed themselves into non-existence or fail miserably at everything they attempt due to incompatibility with the Characteristics needed for their job. In these modern times, we are instead limited by our own being. Now from a certain point of view, this is very constricting as you could never possibly hope to change or alter this fact: you’re trapped as you until you die. However, on the other hand… we can identify it as the perfect system for getting the right person for the right job etc. (Just as a sidenote on that particular subject: it bloody pisses me off no end when physically oriented occupations change their minimum requirements for people who are clearly not qualified for the job. N.B. that tiny little woman who became a firefighter, meaning they had to lower the height restriction, redesign the fire station, adjust the setup of the fire truck, etc. How bloody ridiculous! I’ve got nothing against a woman being a firefighter, go for it! But if a woman’s going to pull me out of a burning building, I want her to be built like a freakin’ lumberjack and be able to chuck me places with one hand! i.e. like a firefighter should! Anyway, short rant over…)

So there you have it, the Class System in Modern Society. Take the time to evaluate your class based on your Characteristics (be honest with yourself to get the best results) and then just get out there and act on them. You’re only going to get the most out of your Class if you spec in the right gear that boosts your attributes, and only then will you get loot!

Just one final note: if/when assessing your Class you find you have a Magic value, seek someone who’s specced out in Psychiatry.


About the author

Mr Llamatastic

2 comments

  1. sarah

    This was an interesting, well written post. I completely agree that we are limited by our very being and as so inevitably judged and judgers. To be is to be limited and as you said this can be as much a positive as much as a negative. But it is a fact. And it irritates me as much as it irritates that people are ignoring these factors by adherin to ridiculous equal opportunities policies that seek to treat everyone as the same when they’re NOT. What they should be seeking to do is recognise that different people have different skills and weaknesses and treat them fairly within this framework.

  2. sarah

    sorry for the APPALLING grammar and errors- it lost my work the first time so i had to rewrite it at top speed before my lunch break ended!

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