View Full Version : Necro-Industrial Revolution

Darth Stabber
2011-02-14, 02:10 PM
So I have a nation that heavily populated with the necromantically inclined/tolerant (and large onyx mining facilities). The cult of We Jas (or some similar deity) has alot of sway, but not full control, and the undead performing most of the unskilled labor within the borders. Is the following a reasonable approximation of the likely out come of a "Necro-Industrial Revolution"

With the working class all but phased out, the excess people would move to the middle class as artisans, merchants, and zombie overseers. The nobility would be composed of higher level casters capable of making the undead, as opposed to merely directing them, and would also be forced to grow. The increase in nobility would ignite new power struggles as new players are in the court games, causing instability. The LAWFUL church, while not seeking full control would see to some continuity of law as the various factions move in and out of power with one assassination after another, and the usurped coming back as undead to destroy their usurpers. The church acts to enforce a common set of law agreed upon by the faithful of the church, and the noble houses, while leaving each dictator to impose and enforce additional statutes as he/she/it sees fit. With coups being the rule, rather than the exception people go from patriotic exemplars one day to political criminals the next, and with the easy availability of various means of coming back, banishment becomes the punishment of choice for political prisoners. This punishment also means that the banished are likely to come into contact with Pelor's (or other undead hating deity's) followers, and be dealt with in a more permanent manner, while providing a relativly constant stream of evil overlord types for the heroes on the continent to put down. The instability would probably last for a couple of generations until a coalition of noble houses and or the church, got together and decided to make a stable governing body (either theocratic or magocratic) headed by the oldest and strongest lich in the kingdom, or some form of "democracy" with any animate dead able caster can vote on representatives.

R. Shackleford
2011-02-14, 02:54 PM
I don't think that the nobility would swell. I would think, that the advent of such a revolution would be fought by the working class, which would either fuel the continuous acquisition of new zombie labor, or lead to all out war. The nobility, who have necromantic powers, would probably try to keep it out of common hands, thus keeping the former workforce somewhere underfoot. It can go either way, depending on how well the working class was unified before the undead take over the workforce.

If such a revolution does occur, the working class would, as you say, have to adapt to the artisan sector, or get with the times and become undead overseers and the like. If they aren't unified, then the skilled laborers would just tell the unskilled ones to suck it up.

How the faith sees this depends on how the faith viewed it before, I'd think. Even then, it wouldn't matter for very long. If the church doesn't have some powerful guns backing it, then the nobility and rulers don't have to listen to it, and can even change it to what they want it to be (see the Anglican Church, for example). The main difference is that odds are that patron deity actual does exist and probably can intervene on some level.

One question, if they're ruled by a dictator, would there even be a nobility? I would think that nobility and dictatorships aren't completely opposite one another, but you'd think a dictator would do away with them before a rightful heir decides to appear. Plus, a land where there are coups so often, and everyone is an evil overlord archetype, you would think that one would eventually savvy up and just exterminate all other threats, up to and including the threat's entire family line. The Chinese did that, and I'm sure plenty of other socities did and still do. That's the only this that I can't gel with this. Everything else works, to me.

Just my thoughts.

2011-02-14, 03:04 PM
In all honesty, as it has tended to go in the real world, the poor would be ignored and allowed/encouraged to starve [i suspect the latter in a circumstance where their corpses are considered valuable], decending into a hotbed of drunkenness and despair.

There would be occasional attempts to destroy the zombie workforces, followed by violent suppression of these "Luddites," which would just yield more despair. After about a year, there would be very little remaining of the lower class save what remains solely to serve the richer elements with entertainments.

Shortly after that, most likely, the impetus would turn either outward with the families vying for control of external markets or attempting to crush each other via those arenas.

Any "society" left would be pretty much a necropolis with a high farming turnover to supply the still living members of the necromancers.

Really, the only things that could save the poor would be a policy of feeding the poor from the church, a spate of favoured souls, an area undead cannot enter and still needs large numbers of workers or possibly a spate of Favoured Souls and Sorcerers arrising from amongst the poor.

Darth Stabber
2011-02-14, 03:17 PM
The issue with comparison to the real world is that realworld people stay dead. Given the various methods of coming back to life/unlife available, no threat is ever really gone for ever. Even the "permanent" means of offing a foe are undoable under weird circumstances. If a tyrant took over, even if he overthrew the nobles, they don't go away for ever, they are going to reform 1d10 days later, and continue to be a pain in his bony bum. The timult could really only end by coalition, since the number of interested parties can only grow. Also the nobility would grow, since new noble children are born, but their great grandparents are still around as liches, death knights, necropolitains, or some other nonsense.

The probable difference between nobility and bourgeoisie, would be what template got applied to your corpse (bourgeoisie become zombies or skeletons, nobles become something intelligent).

Though you are probably right about the lower class just going extinct (and adding more corpses), the deity, We Jas, is LN, meaning care for the poor would be minimal.

The ever pragmatic church might give just enough for the lower class to live, but force them to live in a feral brutal manner, in hopes that they would die in such a way as to create some of the more awefull undead. Or as livestock for ghouls and ghasts to "reproduce". This would be a military expenditure.

Darth Stabber
2011-02-14, 04:26 PM
Country: Mortosia (unless i get something better)
Population: 30,000(intelligent), 60,000(mindless)
Capital City: Necropolis City (placeholder)
Climate: Temperate/Taiga
Natural Resources: Onyx, Iron, Wheat, Ambition.
Primary imports: Wood, foodstuff, luxury goods, corpses.
Primary exports: Manufactured goods, magical items, malcontents.
Ruler: Lich Prince Voran the Foul, patron of the House Osteus
Noble houses: The 9 Dark Houses (major noble factions), hundreds of small cults of personality, the church of We Jas.

Regional Feat: Tomb-Tainted Soul.

Major Locations
Necropolis City - Capital city. Ruby Temple - The greatest temple to We Jas on the continent, the inner sanctuary is made entirely of ruby (magically fused).

N'Gatha - Major trading city, built on the Morsy river (The largest pass through the white ridge mountians).

Leifholm - Remote hidden outpost of a heretical sect of Jasite Paladins protecting the few remnants of the peasants and those that objected to the Necro-revolution. Government is currently trying to find and destroy it, but all divinations have failed, and they have begun looking the hard way.

Special Rules
Spontaneous animation - The land is so suffused with negative energy that complete corpses near or in the city have a 10% chance of raising as zombies on their own. Zombies arising in this manner will not attack unless attacked, and otherwise mill about aimlessly, A successful rubuke attempt will control them, after this they become normal zombies. Corpses near Necropolis City or the ruby temple increase this chance to 15%.

Vaguely Unhallowed - Attempts cast Hallow within the borders of Mortosia require a dc 15 CL check, or fail utterly, and draw angry undead to your location. Necropolis City and the Ruby Temple are immune to Hallow, and double the duration of any unhallow effect.

Negative Infusion - Every year in which a non-good individual (of young adult age or older) lives in Mortosia they have a cumulative 1% chance of gaining the tomb-tainted soul feat, and losing their previous regional feat. Every decade in which a tomb-tainted individual live in Mortosia they have a non-cumulative 1% chance of spontaneously aquiring the Necropolitan template, without need for a ritual (but with attendent xp loss, If this takes them below zero xp, they die and immediately become a zombie).

2011-02-14, 04:53 PM
When I saw the title, I thought the thread would be about Cyberpunk (or steam punk) augmented undead, half-construct type things, and possibly a class about such. I think there was such a class in the PrC contests, at one point, too... which only made me think this would be more-so like that, too.

And to think it's about some sort of historical revolution within whichever undead heavy setting you may be running at the time, paralleling our real industrial evolution. bummer.