The Orang Malaya (‘free people’) form the commoner caste and the majority of the population in the Hari Ragat setting. They do the farming, fishing, woodcutting, carpentry, and most crafts, most families living as retainers to an Orang Dakila noble. They are the Orang Dakila’s companions in war, the hunt, and in voyaging.
As player characters, Orang Malaya embody the ‘peasant hero’ archetype: sturdy, knowledgeable in the practical matters that have to do with their rustic way of life. The Orang Malaya Role has bonuses to rolls involving the lore of field and coast, which are the Orang Malaya’s working environment, and to rolls involving hard manual labor.
Orang Malaya characters may take Warrior, Corsair or Hunter as their career Roles, just like Orang Dakila. A few may even become Shamans.
Elevation to Orang Dakila
If an Orang Malaya gains enough Renown in-game, he may be elevated to the Orang Dakila caste by the nobles of his community – if they favor him. I also allow starting characters to be newly elevated Orang Dakila. The latter have to take both Orang Malaya and Orang Dakila as Roles, usually with Orang Dakila at just 1D.
Elevation to Orang Dakila status means acknowledging that the character has divine/heroic ancestry somewhere in his lineage, even if he’s not aware of who that special ancestor was. It is usual for a newly elevated Orang Dakila to commission a shaman to commune with the ancestors for him, to find out who his unknown heroic ancestor was.
It may even be that there isn’t one, but this remains the basis of Orang Dakila rank, even if only a fiction. The acquisition of Renown is taken as proof positive that the person has the spiritual power and ancestral favor worthy of Orang Dakila status.
I may as well take up the Orang Kaya in this post as well. Orang Kaya in the Hari Ragat setting refers to a new, rising caste in the wealthy kingdoms on the islands of Namaya, Tundok and Irayon.
Orang Kaya – the words mean ‘man of means’ – are Orang Malaya, or descendants of Orang Malaya, whose wealth has given them a status higher than that of commoner. They act in many ways like Orang Dakila – living in grandiose style, conspicuously consuming luxuries, and maintaining retinues of Orang Malaya and Orang Dukha – but do not cultivate a martial culture like the Orang Dakila.
In game terms, Orang Kaya are merchant-adventurers. The Role can be used for rolls involving negotiation, appraisal of goods, trading, and haggling. Orang Kaya get bonuses to appraising and trading in the goods produced on their own islands.
The recommended career Role for Orang Kaya is Corsair. Ability to sail and navigate, and to fight for booty or defend against pirates, can only help an Orang Kaya gain more wealth.
As with Orang Malaya characters, it is possible for an Orang Kaya to become Orang Dakila if he or she gains enough Renown.
Perks and Limitations
I’ve come up with an idea to help differentiate the character Roles even more through Assets. On creation, every player receives 6 Asset Dice that can be spent on any ‘normal’ Assets – this does not include Secrets (martial arts), Tattoos, Treasures, Bahandi, and Divine Gifts.
Taking the Orang Dakila role gives you an additional 6 Asset Dice that can be spent on Divine Gifts, Secrets, Treasures, Bahandi and Tattoos as well as normal Assets.
Taking the Orang Malaya role gives you an additional 6 Asset Dice that can be spent on Secrets and Tattoos as well as normal Assets.
Taking the Orang Kaya role gives you an additional 6 Asset Dice that can be spent on Wealth and Bahandi as well as normal Assets.
Taking the Orang Pandita role gives you an additional 6 Asset Dice that can be spent on Divine Gifts, Treasures, Bahandi, and Orang Pandita/Shaman-only Secrets.
Taking the Orang Dukha role on top of another caste role gets you no additional Asset Dice. However if your character’s only caste role is Orang Dukha, you get an additional 6 Asset Dice that may be spent on anything except Treasures, Bahandi, Wealth, Tattoos, or Secrets.