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Author Topic: GMs: What's Wrong  (Read 3467 times)
lumpley
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« on: February 03, 2004, 07:31:51 AM »

Stewardship
The Faith's organization is made of nested domains of spiritual authority, called Stewardship. It looks like this, where "}" means "falls under the Stewardship of":
Local Families } Local Officials } Regional Officials } Prophets & Ancients of the Faith

Families look like this:
Children, Elder Parents, Related Unmarried Adults in the House } Married Adults } Husband

Local Officials look like this:
Various Duty-specific Officials, if there are enough families to need specialized offices } Counselors, if there are enough families that one guy can't do it all } One Guy, "bishop" in Mormon terms, "Branch" in the game I played with Meg and Tom, final title tbd.

Regional Officials look just the same. The duty-specific regional officials are to the local officials as the local officials are to the families. An example:

Bro Bob is the local official in charge of writing down all the babies' names. Whenever a baby's born he writes down its name, and every year he goes through the list to make sure it's good. He falls under the Stewardship of Bro Joe, the local Bish. Bro Frank is the regional official in charge of baby names. Bro Joe and Bro Frank both fall under the Stewardship of Bro Parley, the regional bigcheese; Bro Joe lives here and Bro Frank lives near Bro Parley. Every year, Bro Frank checks the lists of baby names he gets from all the local Bishes, Bro Joe included, in Bro Parley's region. He exists to help Bro Joe and all the other local Bishes get their baby names written down and in order. He may or may not communicate directly with Bro Bob.

And the Prophets and Ancients of the Faith have their own internal structure, but whatever. They speak and act as one, from our point of view here.

Now, the Dogs! The Dogs look like this:
Congregation } Dogs Assigned to it } Committee in charge of Dogs } Prophets & Ancients of the Faith

Notice that the local official has Stewardship over the families in his congregation, while the Dogs assigned to that route have Stewardship over his congregation as a whole, including him in his official capacity. Dogs have no authority to solve the problems of families or individuals, that's the local officials' job, except as the problems spill over into the congregation as a whole. (Which they pretty much do, so that's okay.)

Oh, and an individual person looks like this:
Day-to-day Behavior, Obedience, Destiny, Personal Relationships } You

You do not have Stewardship over your role in your family, your congregation, or the Faith! That's kinda interesting, isn't it?

What Stewardship means in practice is: the King of Life will talk to you about whatever it is you have Stewardship over, and expect you to keep whatever it is in order. From our regional example: God talks to Bro Parley about Bro Parley's counselors, his duty-specific officials, and all the local Bishes in his region (like Bro Joe). He doesn't talk to Bro Parley about Bro Bob, any of the families in Bro Joe's congregation, any of the Dogs in his region, any of his fellow regional bigcheeses, or any random anybody else.

Another example: Bro Brigham is a man in Bro Joe's congregation. He has a wife, six children (two of whom are unmarried adults), and his wife's aging mother in his family. God does not talk to Bro Joe about Bro Brigham's wife, kids, or mother in law. He talks to Bro Joe about Bro Brigham's family: "Bro Brigham's family is troubled," God might say. "See what you can do about that." Then Bro Joe goes to Bro Brigham and says, "God tells me your family is troubled; what's up?" And Bro Brigham might answer: "well, God tells me that my oldest is impatient and bored, which would explain why he's being so rude to his grandmother. I'm thinking I'll send him to my brother's out in Moab for a change of scenery." That's if Bro Brigham is lucky and on top of things. If he's not, he might answer: "yeah, the devil only knows what's going on with them. Fight fight fight, and I can't keep anyone under control." Now Bro Joe has to say, "okay, well you'd better get right with God and quick, so He'll help you get your family in order." If Bro Joe's congregation is big enough to warrant an official in charge of gettin' right with God, Bro Joe will tell him to go visit Bro Brigham; otherwise, Bro Joe has to see to it himself.

Stewardship applies to interpreting doctrine! God tells the Prophets and Ancients the Truth. The Prophets and Ancients derive from It specific doctrines, as It applies to the here and now, which they tell to the regional officials. The regional officials apply the doctrines to the circumstances of their regions, and tell the local officials. The local officials apply these interpretations to their own congregations, and tell the families. The husbands apply the interpreted interpretations to themselves and their wives, and with their wives apply them to their children and other family members. Responsibility for following doctrine goes back up the line: if family members don't, the husband has to answer to the local official; if a region doesn't, the regional official has to answer to the Prophets and Ancients.

Pride can enter into Stewardship when:
- You think that you'd do a better job with someone than that someone's Steward, like if you think you know better what's good for Bro Brigham's wife than Bro Brigham does.
- You think that your convenience is more important than your Stewardship, so you don't attend to it.
- You think that fulfilling your Stewardship obligations means you deserve recompense or special consideration. (This was the heart of the conflict in my game with Meg and Tom. Bro Benjamin, his wife and her ally thought that Bro Benjamin deserved a second wife, he was doing "such a good job.")
- You think that the person with Stewardship over you is doing a bad job or doesn't deserve it, or you don't have to listen to him.
- You use your Stewardship over someone as though it were power, not responsibility.
- You favor some of the people over whom you have Stewardship above the others, seeing to their needs preferentially.

Stewardship probs will generate conflict in the game by themselves pretty much only insofar as your group is interested in the Faith's structure, order, and who has to obey whom. But it underlies everything that follows, so best to have a good grip on it.

Women's vs. Men's Roles
Girls are expected to:
- be retiring, demure, quiet, polite, patient, and deferential.
- do boring, repetitive, menial work without complaining.
- be afraid of spiders, mice, guns, horses, climbing, falling, and swimming.
- not be afraid of blood.
- tend their younger siblings.
- help make meals, keep the house clean, and keep the animals fed.

Boys are expected to:
- be obedient, energetic, respectful, enthusiastic, smart, and confident.
- do hard physical work without complaining.
- not be afraid of anything.
- take on increasingly adult male responsibilities.
- not be too hard to clean up after.

Unmarried women are expected to:
- keep to their families.
- be receptive to courtship.
- fight to keep their courtships proper.
- overcome their girlish fears.
- continue on essentially as girls, otherwise.

Unmarried men are expected to:
- aggressively court multiple women (intending to marry only one of them, until called to marry another by the Faith, which may never happen).
- travel.
- work as men.

Married women are expected to:
- bear and raise children.
- serve their husbands.
- keep house.

Married men are expected to:
- provide for their families.
- educate their wives and children.
- defend their homes.

Old women are expected to:
- help their daughters raise their grandchildren and keep their houses.
- be sweet, patient, indulgent and wise.

Old men are expected to:
- help educate their grandchildren.
- be clear-spoken, opinionated, stern and wise.

Pride can enter into Gender Roles when:
- you aren't satisfied with the roles of your gender: you want more freedom, or the roles of the other gender.
- you want someone of the other gender to act outside her or his roles.
- you deny someone full access to her or his roles (by locking your unmarried adult daughter in the house or overprotecting your son, for instance).

People, especially women, who want to transcend their gender roles are sympathetic. Lots of good, interesting, very satisfying conflict possibilities there.

Love, Sex, & Marriage; Virtue & Sin
- Between husband and wife, all sex and all love is virtuous.
- Between two men or two women, no romantic love is virtuous (although familial and comradely love can be) and sex is a sin (and, coincidentally, a crime).
- Between two people married to others, no romantic love is virtuous and sex is a sin.
- Between an unmarried man and a married woman, no romantic love is virtuous and sex is a sin.
- Between a married man and an unmarried woman, romantic love might be virtuous, and sex is a sin.
- Between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman, romantic love is virtuous, and sex is probably a sin.

Except for the non-ideal case of a husband and wife who don't love one another, in the absence of romantic love, sex is never virtuous.
Now, see that "probably"? That's because the King of Life is, occasionally, a realist. Sometimes, when it matters, God prefers a loving family to official recognition.

Especially because getting married isn't just a church thing. It's also a Territorial Authority thing. Not all people who should marry are able to, legally, be it because of fees, corrupt TA representatives, or various other difficulties - all the result of the unrighteousness of the non-Faithful and the corruptness of the TA and the other religions.

Pride can enter into love, sex etc. when:
- you demand the love of, or impose your love upon, someone who doesn't love you.
- you act as though you love someone when you really don't.
- you consider your love to transcend sin and virtue, like when you're in love with someone inappropriate.
- you want sex, without considering love, virtue or sin (here's Sis Avigail).

And you know? That stuff's all rare bloody story meat.

Polygamy
Polygamy (technically polygyny; polyandry isn't allowed a'tall) is, in the Faith, a reward to men for long-term service and dedication. No man under, say, 30 has a second wife, and no man under 40 has a third (or fourth, or fifth, or sixth...). To get official allowance to court a woman after your first wife, you must:
- have been called upon by the King of Life to do so, as confirmed by the person with Stewardship over you.
- be fulfilling the Stewardship of your office in the Faith in an exemplary fashion (or have retired from a lifetime of doing so).
- have a woman in mind.
- be able to support the addition to your family, including the inevitable children and elder parents.

And pride can enter into Polygamy when:
- you consider polygamy to be your right, instead of a reward you have to deserve.
- you think that you deserve polygamy when really you just want it (here's Bro Benjamin et al again).
- you're a wife and you don't welcome a righteous subsequent wife.
- you're a second or subsequent wife and you resent the wives before you.
- you put your relationships with your fellow wives over your relationship with your husband.
- you're pursuing or part of a polygamous marriage unapproved by the Faith.
- you're a wife who wants an additional husband.

Polygamy is love, sex etc. times two. Or more. It puts people in complicated and high-pressure situations. Problematic polygamy can drive your game.

Money
Nobody in the Faith should be hungry when someone else is eating. The King of Life has said so, and it's maybe the Faith's most constant struggle.

Pride can enter into money when:
- you think you deserve more than someone else.
- you don't want to give up what you have when someone else needs it more than you do.

And that's pretty good story stuff, but it's sure not sex.
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lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2004, 07:34:34 AM »

For convenience, here are the Pride thingies by themselves:

Pride can enter into Stewardship when:
- You think that you'd do a better job with someone than that someone's Steward, like if you think you know better what's good for Bro Brigham's wife than Bro Brigham does.
- You think that your convenience is more important than your Stewardship, so you don't attend to it.
- You think that fulfilling your Stewardship obligations means you deserve recompense or special consideration.
- You think that the person with Stewardship over you is doing a bad job or doesn't deserve it, or you don't have to listen to him.
- You use your Stewardship over someone as though it were power, not responsibility.
- You favor some of the people over whom you have Stewardship above the others, seeing to their needs preferentially.

Pride can enter into Gender Roles when:
- you aren't satisfied with the roles of your gender: you want more freedom, or the roles of the other gender.
- you want someone of the other gender to act outside her or his roles.
- you deny someone full access to her or his roles (by locking your unmarried adult daughter in the house or overprotecting your son, for instance).

Pride can enter into love, sex etc. when:
- you demand the love of, or impose your love upon, someone who doesn't love you.
- you act as though you love someone when you really don't.
- you consider your love to transcend sin and virtue, like when you're in love with someone inappropriate.
- you want sex, without considering love, virtue or sin.

Pride can enter into Polygamy when:
- you consider polygamy to be your right, instead of a reward you have to deserve.
- you think that you deserve polygamy when really you just want it (here's Bro Benjamin et al again).
- you're a wife and you don't welcome a righteous subsequent wife.
- you're a second or subsequent wife and you resent the wives before you.
- you put your relationships with your fellow wives over your relationship with your husband.
- you're pursuing or part of a polygamous marriage unapproved by the Faith.
- you're a wife who wants an additional husband.

Pride can enter into money when:
- you think you deserve more than someone else.
- you don't want to give up what you have when someone else needs it more than you do.
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