How to Earn Thy Vassals’ Respect Without Paying Them or Acknowledging Their Personhood in Any Way Whatsoever
Get the respect thou deserves, by any means necessary
Respect on the fief is a two-way street: If you don’t enforce it with merciless discipline, you may not get the respect due your rank and title.
Many a lord and lady hath struggled with gaining their vassals’ respect without having to resort to extreme measures such as paying them or treating them like something more than human cattle. Perhaps it is a matter of thy leadership style. You’re not being patronizing enough, or thy castle walls don’t cast a sufficiently menacing shadow o’er their pathetic hovels. Or perhaps ‘tis in the inherently recalcitrant nature of peasants.
No matter the cause, it doth not have to be this way.
Here are some tips on how gain the respect of thy peasants, serfs, and other lowly underlings without having to pay them or acknowledge their existence as human beings in any way whatsoever.
Be Consistent in Thy Approach to Flogging
There’s nothing underlings hate more than an inconsistently applied flogging policy. They should know that no matter what insignificant and unavoidable infraction they have committed, or what random whim of wrath hath thrown thee into a flagellating mood, they will be flogged in a predictable manner.
Pass a Mandatory “Respect Me” Decree
If you’re not getting the respect due your rank organically, it could help to decree it by law and enforce it with an iron fist. For maximum condescension, issue an all-hands decree in the dead of night on a Saturday.
Wear Many Capes
Naught invokes admiration from one’s vassals quite like a lord draped in copious exotic vestments and capes and carrying a variety of scepters and other jewel-encrusted accoutrement, all which was procured with the profits gained from the sweat off their backs.
Carry Thyself With a Lofty Arrogance
If you ever have the misfortune of having to look at one of thy peasants directly, make sure you are looking far down thy haughty nose at them, preferably from atop thy steed. Especially effective when paired with capes.
Try to Avoid Deflowering Their Daughters
Annoying, we know. But ‘tis no longer considered politickally correct to deflower the daughters of thy subordinates whenever the flower-picking itch takes hold.
If thou art a noble lady, deflowering sons may still be acceptable in some cases.
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