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"Why doesn't Elminster take care of it?"
- Anonymous

Five kings rule o'er the Amorite,
Mighty as fear and old as night;
Swathed with unguent and gold and jewel,
Waxed they merry and fat and cruel.

These five kings said one to another,
'King unto king o'er the world is brother,

(from) The Ballad of the Battle of Gibeon G. K. Chesterton

Basic Information

Superclass is a term coined by author David Rothkopf to describe the 6,000 most powerful and influential people on Earth - the "one in a million" people whose decisions shape the Earth. Most people will never meet them and at best see them on television1.

On the other hand, the protagonists of many stories get involved with Earth-shaking events on a regular basis, so meeting some of the Superclass is not unreasonable.

One thing to keep in mind is that the most precious resource of the Superclass is their own time. Their schedules are full to an extent that every minute of free time is extremely precious to them. They likely have not just one, but several layers of gatekeepers who do little else than manage stuff for them and see to it that they aren't bothered by trivial things - which means that in a sufficiently cutthroat court environment even getting to speak to them may be the result of one or even several adventures. Having their full and undivided attention should not be taken for granted but a reward that the PCs should treasure.

And in more action-oriented environment - like most RPG settings - members of the Superclass have also enemies which prevent them from ever letting their guard down. This may at the very least mean very intense security - but it also means that even if the person in question is a very powerful archmage, he won't necessarily drop everything to fight the PCs' enemies for them. What if all this was an elaborate trap by his enemies to take him down, using the PCs as unwitting patsies? Better to give the PCs some magic items or henchmen to assist them with their problems if the situation is serious - it should still be enough, and if there is really a mastermind behind all this, this might get them to reveal their moves.


Game and Story Use

  • In gamist terms, these are high level quest givers - and BBEGs - the ones that earlier examples pass you onto as you move up the power curve.
  • Of course, the campaign goal of the PCs might be to join the Superclass themselves and become the movers and shakers. And then they are the ones who get pestered by unreasonable requests all the time…
  • The "real life" versions of these people are those who tend to be found on international rich lists, amongst the ranks of former or current heads of state and as primates of major religions. The sort of people that attend international summits and conventions like the Bildeberg group.
  • Such people would be ideal targets for an anarchistic sort of trophy hunter.
  • In a fantasy setting - even a wainscot one - this class may well include faerie monarchs, powers of the land, senior dragons, liches and other such beings. It would be entirely credible for such powers to treat mortal kings and emperors as peers - or even juniors.
    • This can also lead to entities that are members of the superclass by default, but have no real interest in meddling in other people's affairs … other players may well tread a fine line between not offending them by trespassing on their business and not offending them by bothering them too often.
  • These tend to be the people about whom conspiracy theories are composed and who can't have a drink with one another without being suspected of plotting the destruction of entire nations.
    • There may be a damned good reason for that - although at the level at which they operate, the consequences of their actions may not be as obvious to them.
    • Of course that may be because you only get to be this powerful by ensuring that virtually your every waking moment is spent getting and keeping power.
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