Ranks Within the GoTverse
There are a lot of different positions within the House structures, and this can create some confusion, especially among new Tome Knights. This article attempts to explain the basics of some of the positions of authority within the GoTverse, and also to clarify which of these positions have effects in the game mechanics, and which are simply for Lore or flavour or fun.
Each House Leader can have up to four Bodyguards
Each Regent, Seneschal, or Mercenary can have up to two Bodyguards
Each House Heir can have one Bodyguard
Game Mechanics for All House Positions:Anyone with an official position within a House structure may not change House loyalties without permission of their current House Leader, even temporarily. To do so, they must resign from the position. If their GoTsona is a member of the Royal Family, this might have Lore-based consequences, or may even result in the need to create a new GoTsona. House Leaders may never change House loyalties unless they wish to dissolve their House. Acting Regents are also forbidden from changing House loyalties as long as they serve in the position.
House LeaderEach House has a single leader who is the ultimate authority of the House. This position may have different titles, but their authority is roughly equal to one another. Leaders of Major Houses accept the fealty or service of the leaders of Minor Houses for the purposes of game play, and the words of their House are counted towards the Major House's total, although recognized separately. The primary job of a House Leader is to inspire their House members to write to the best of their ability, providing encouragement and leadership. It is important to be highly visible, so only streamers are considered for the role.
Game Mechanics:When the leader of a House falls in a war, the House is considered to be destroyed. Major House Leaders are automatically part of the Organizers, the people responsible for putting and keeping this Game together. Minor House Leaders are not part of the Organizers, though they are respected and they are often consulted on decision-making. Each House may only have one House Leader. House Leaders are entitled to up to four Bodyguards to protect them from the Undead Horde.
RegentA Regent is a temporary House Leader. They are a person who has been called in to fill the role of House Leader when the House Leader cannot do so. Most Houses will come up with an in-Lore reason to explain this. Regents are usually drawn from House Heirs or Seneschals.
Game Mechanics:A Regent is essentially the same as a House Leader, just acting to temporarily fill the role until more permanent arrangements are made. This is an active role, and only exists as long as someone who is not officially the House Leader is acting in the place of a House Leader. Each House may only have one active Regent at a time. Like with a House Leader, if the Regent falls during a war, the House is considered to be destroyed. A Regent may only have up to two Bodyguards to protect them from the Undead Horde.
House HeirThis person is the one who will directly inherit leadership of the House, should something happen to the House Leader, though they, too, may have a variety of titles. They should be prepared to take over the leadership of the House in an emergency. House Heirs have been suddenly required to assume permanent responsibility and authority for a House before on at least two occasions. Houses Sauropoda, Chiroptera, and Avis currently have no House Heirs.
Game Mechanics:A House Heir may act in place of a House Leader in an emergency situation, and is assumed to be the one taking over if, for some reason, the House Leader is suddenly compelled to leave the Game. Each House may only have one House Heir at a time. House Heirs may also act as Regents if their House Leaders are temporarily unable to lead. House Heirs may only have one Bodyguard to protect them against the Undead Horde.
SeneschalA Seneschal is a person within a House who is empowered to speak with the House Leader's voice. It is somewhat like the "Hand of the King" or "Hand of the Queen" in Game of Thrones. This differs from a Regent in that the House Leader is still present, but may not be able to be as actively involved at the time as the duty of being the House Leader requires, due to real-life stuff getting in the way. Seneschals are typically drawn from other positions within the House that do not have game mechanics associated with them, such as House Librarians, Lore Keepers, Royals, or Bodyguards.
Game Mechanics:Seneschals may speak with the authority of a House Leader without consulting them, and a House is bound to the decisions they have made. However, the fall of a Seneschal has no game mechanic effect on the fall of a House. Still, having one or more Seneschals to encourage and help to lead a House during an event can greatly benefit House morale when the House Leader is otherwise engaged. Seneschals may join Organizer meetings if they are Seneschals in a Major House, to stand in for their House Leader, and keep their House in the loop. Only one Seneschal may take the place of a Major House Leader at an Organizer meeting at one time. A House may have as many Seneschals at a time as the House Leader wants. It all depends on how much trust they are willing to extend. A Seneschal, like a Regent, may have up to two Bodyguards to protect them from the Undead Horde.
Royal ConsortSome Houses, being monarchies, have Royal Consorts. This is usually the IRL spouse of the House Leader, when that spouse also plays the Game of Tomes.
Game Mechanics:A Royal Consort has absolutely no game mechanic related position or authority in a House or in the Game of Tomes at all. However, let's be real. We all know that a person is going to take the word of their IRL spouse very seriously, and that spouse is likely to know something about what's in the House Leader's head. A Royal Consort is not entitled to Bodyguards. It may be somewhat confusing that Erin Righ has Bodyguards of his own, but this does not relate to his position as Prince Consort of House Lapin. This is due to the fact that Erin writes as a Mercenary, who sells his words to raise money for charity during Game of Tomes events (see the Bodyguard rules below.) A Royal Consort may be empowered to act as a Regent or Seneschal, and then they have all the authority and applicable game mechanics of those positions. At the moment, neither of the existing Royal Consorts are empowered to act as a Regent or Seneschal.
RoyalsRoyals are members of a House's royal families. This group most typically includes Prinxes, Princes and Princesses, but may include people with other titles as well. These people generally have some established in-Lore relationship with the House Leader.
Game Mechanics:The only game mechanic that being a Royal has, when one does not also hold another position, is that the Royals cannot change Houses freely. Royals hold no actual game authority in a House. In Lore, it has much greater implications, mostly for fun.
House LibrarianA House Librarian is the keeper of a House's library and records. In Lore, they are the ones who crown a new monarch (House Leader) in a coronation event, being the representative of the faith of the people -- knowledge and books.
Game Mechanics:There is no game mechanic involved in being a House Librarian, except that they may not change Houses freely. In Lore, however, they roughly equate to the leader of a state religion, and as the ones who crown a Monarch, they carry a great deal of in-Universe authority.
Lore KeeperA Lore Keeper keeps the lore and history of a House. This may or may not be the same person as the House Librarian, and may or may not have another position or role within a House. Some Houses have a team of Lore Keepers.
Game Mechanics:A Lore Keeper is responsible for keeping the Lore of a House updated on the website. If the Lore of a House isn't up-to-date, you know who to bother!
BodyguardsSome important individuals are protected by Bodyguards. These are people who have literally volunteered to die for someone else within the GoTverse. In the Lore, they usually serve as military, intelligence, and/or security operatives within a House or other organization. Some Bodyguard units, but not all of them, have a senior person who is effectively "in charge," known as the Captain of the (Bodyguard Unit Name). This has no in-game mechanics, but in Lore, may carry additional authority.
Game Mechanics:Bodyguards literally offer to sacrifice their lives in the place of a person of importance. This could be a House Leader, a Regent, a House Heir, one of a House's Seneschals, or a Mercenary raising money for charity. If the guarded person's name turns up on the Wheel of Misfortune when a House falls, one of their Bodyguards is randomly drawn to join the Undead Horde in their place -- until they have run out of Bodyguards. Each House can have a total of up to five Bodyguards, who they can distribute however they like, as long as the following limits are observed:
Night MonarchThe Night Monarch is the leader of the Undead Horde. They are effectively a House Leader, and speak and act for the Undead Horde in a war (November Game of Tomes events). The Night Monarch is elected from the populace of Tome Knights (Game of Tomes players.) Anyone may run to serve as the Night Monarch, although House Leaders are discouraged from doing so. Their job is to be the best Bad Guy(tm) they can possibly be, as well as to inspire the Undead Horde. In a manner of speaking, in Lore, they can be said to be possessed. The darkest sides of their personalities manifest. In theory, when the living reclaim The Iron Tome, the Night Monarch is restored to life, along with the rest of the Undead, and resumes their previous role in Lore -- but now with the consequences of having been the Night Monarch to deal with.
Game Mechanics:The Night Monarch, once elected, joins the Organizers team, and in all other ways, is treated like a Major House Leader, except that they are not subject to being drafted into the Undead Horde (too late!) so require no Bodyguards. They are considered to be an Organizer from August 1 of the year they are elected, to the first week of December the following year, or once the Finale has aired. They work with the Organizers and the previous Night Monarch to find special ways to lead and inspire the Undead Horde. They help come up with a "villain plot" and film Lore to support it. It is important to be highly visible, so only streamers are considered. They are expected to stay on the team to help guide and advise the next Night Monarch, and help the Organizers direct the content of the plot as a consequence of their in-Lore actions. However, in Lore, they only act as a House Leader during the events of the November War.
Criminal Syndicate LeadersIn the GoTverse, a "criminal syndicate" is a group that has dedicated itself to an extra task to help and support Tome Knights during (and around) events. Members can be of any House or none. Currently, we have the Self Care Mafia, which encourages our players not to neglect their basic needs and self-care during an event; and the Chaos Cartel, which is dedicated to encouragement and inspiration. The two play out a friendly rivalry, so you can be a member of one or the other of these syndicates; not both. In Lore, the two groups are technically illegal criminal organizations. Mostly, we just have fun with it, though! It's an excellent gag.
BossesBosses are the leaders of the Criminal Syndicates. They usually invented the syndicate and they organize the syndicate members to make up their badges, challenges, games, and policies.
Sub-Bosses:Criminal syndicates may also have Sub-Bosses: that is, people who have some degree of authority within the syndicate who answer only to the Boss. They are usually empowered to act without directly consulting the Boss.
Game Mechanics:The Bosses and Sub-Bosses of the syndicates are given a lot of leeway to assist and encourage the Tome Knights. Both groups make badges you can collect and assign awards to acknowledge things they support. They get involved heavily in the Lore and can usually be seen as voices of compassion and encouragement almost everywhere. Nothing they do has any effect on the mechanics of the Game, however; it's all just for fun!
This article is a work in progress, and may be subject to changes.
This article is part of a series related to streaming the Game of Tomes. For more information, see Streaming Game of Tomes.