Thursday, March 26, 2009

Working Class

When planning your 'world' how do you populate it with realistic occupations?

There are the obvious ones such as a smithy, a banker, merchant etc, but what of the less well known ones?

A good book to help is 'orgy planner wanted' by Vicki Leon.

Forget the title which is there to get people interested, inside you'll find some very odd jobs indeed from the ancient world, but all of which make sense when you contemplate ancient life.

For example, the Hoplite warriors of ancient Greece didn't carry their equipment into battle, they had a slave do it for them. The slave also dressed the warrior in his armour before the battle and would often end up dead after it if his side lost.

Who emptied the cesspits of city houses? A poor man desperate for money who would then sell it onto farmers...at least in Ancient Rome.

We know that emperors had mints where coins were made. Did you know that there was a specialist job making the dies that were used to make the coins? The best dies would only make 1000 coins before they needed replacing, so it was a full time job.

Some cities were known for their baths or their temples, and who better to show the tourists round the town than a tour guide. Yep, there were men and women spinning tall tales in Delphi and other cities before the birth of Christ.

Other good books about jobs and life in ancient and medieval times have been written by Terry Jones of Monty Python fame.

So when you're creating a world, think of every job that would need to be done. Any of them will add a bit more colour than the standard smith, banker and tradesman.

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