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Social Classes and Inequality


In this essay, I aim to spotlight the pivotal role class can play in fantasy roleplaying. It's not just about concocting epic battles or summoning mythical creatures; it's about infusing depth and realism into our imagined worlds. These themes aren't embellishments but essential components that breathe life into character backgrounds, shape the landscapes of our realms, and ignite the flames of compelling narratives.

Why examine the intricacies of social hierarchy and inequality in fantasy roleplaying? Well, for starters, it mirrors our own world in fascinating ways. By weaving these elements into our storytelling, I can explore complex societal issues and provoke thought and discussion among players. Plus, it adds layers of authenticity and believability to our fictional settings, grounding them in familiarity that resonates with our own experiences.

Consider this: imagine a world where the divide between rich and poor is as vast as the expanse between the heavens and the abyss. How does this dynamic shape the lives of our characters? What struggles do they face as they navigate a society rife with inequality? By grappling with these questions, I unearth storytelling potential, paving the way for adventures that are as thought-provoking as they are thrilling.

Exploring class allows us to challenge conventional notions of heroism and villainy. Heroes aren't always born from noble bloodlines, and villains aren't always relegated to the shadows. By subverting these tropes, I open doors to new narratives brimming with complexity and nuance, where the lines between good and evil blur and characters are shaped by their circumstances as much as their choices.

Examining class isn't just about enriching our fantasy worlds; it's about harnessing the power of storytelling to illuminate the human condition. It's about creating narratives that resonate with players on a deeper level, sparking conversations and hopefully fostering empathy along the way. So join me as I begin a journey through fantasy roleplaying, where the stories I tell are as multifaceted as the world I inhabit.

Lux Adversaria is a series of informal essays where I examine different aspects of tabletop roleplaying. Adversaria refers to miscellaneous writings in Latin, representing my personal collections of notes and reflections. The term lux adversaria roughly translates to light of adversity, reflecting my exploration of challenges and difficult topics.

Lightspress believes in keeping roleplaying simple, focusing on useful content rather than flashy presentation. After all, the real magic of roleplaying happens around the table, where creativity and collaboration thrive, not in a book. Visit to learn more.

Berin Kinsman is a writer and publisher in the roleplaying community, best known for his work at Lightspress. He specializes in creating narrative-driven resources that enhance storytelling and accessibility in roleplaying experiences.


This essay explores the significance of class in fantasy roleplaying. I examine how these elements shape character backgrounds, influence worldbuilding, and inspire stories and adventures. By examining the impact of social hierarchy and injustice, I aim to highlight their importance in creating thought-provoking roleplaying experiences. Through examples and suggestions, I illustrate how integrating these themes enriches storytelling and encourages players to explore complex societal issues within their fictional worlds.

53 pages. PDF and epub files included.

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File Last Updated:
May 11, 2024
This title was added to our catalog on May 14, 2024.