This question follows this one

Keeping the same setting, I am now going to add a 5th class : The Judge

The judge wouldn't hold any direct power (no place on the Elite 4) but he (or they?) would make the decisions in awarding points.

In order to do so the Judge(s) is/are heir to a blood line able to wield the sightstone's magic. As said in the previous question, this world's magic is based on nanomachines aggregates (looking like stones) that answer to spoken orders. Here are the conditions to do so :

  • Spilling blood on the stone to activate it (DNA analyze). If you are a member of the appropriate lineage the stone will react to your DNA and activate
  • Orders must be given in the surfaceans tongue. Books are scattered around the world containing those words but the Government is trying to keep it as secret as can be and only a few have access to the pages the Inquisitor retrieve from their "crusades"
  • The stones expect very specific orders and each stone's capacities are limited to a few "spells"

The sightstone's unique spell scatters the nano-machines across a 3km radius (can be changed) in the air and act as cameras scanning the whole city. The Judge(s) can roam the city in his magic vision (VR ? FullDive ? Which ever suits best the needs of your answer) able to stop or rewind or speed up time in order to witness every deed achieved by every citizen and accordingly reward them based on their resources and how much they put on the line to accomplish this deed.

The Judge(s) is/are kept inside the keep and is/are never to leave. The stone range is limited so bringing the Judge(s) to a battlefield to gain full knowledge of your surroundings is risking losing the most powerful stone known to men.

This setting answers my 2 previous problems :

  • being seen to do deeds over actually doing deeds is no longer an issue
  • we do not rely on a book but on someone with the wisdom to analyze each situations

The sightstone's power may be changed however you see fit as long this issues do not resurface.

New problem :

Though the Judge does not hold direct power she/he is an all-seeing being that decides the fate of the entire faction by deciding who will be part of the Elite 4. (The people can still decide to dismiss their representative but the one taking over would still be decided by the Judge)

How do you counterbalance the power of the Judge over society ? Or how do you give such a power to one person/small group of people and make sure they won't abuse it ?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You previous system was neat in that it was a messy democracy with the smell of messy reality. This is just magic. With magic you can have the stone pick people according to their true mana, or spiritual worth, or midichlorian level. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 15:52
  • $\begingroup$ Their is no stone that does that. They are pretty rare and only have limited use. But yeah, I can see how the previous could be attractive as well. I'll keep that in mind $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 16:19

2 Answers 2


How do you counterbalance the power of the Judge over society ? Or how do you give such a power to one person/small group of people and make sure they won't abuse it ?

You've already got a start by limiting their contact with other people. In this way, though they do judge, they are removed from society, in a very specific capacity. They also won't really have time for anything else.

Take it a step further by enacting laws that do not allow them to benefit in any way from their judgements. Some could be that they are not allowed to award points to their own family members, because while they might be removed from them, they need to be above reproach. So if they do see something like that, they have to refer it to another judge.

Limited sight can also mean that ordinary citizens outside of the walls of the city or on battle fields can offer testimony to be considered as something to add to the point system. Having the ability to add points from ordinary citizens will help balance it a bit.

One thing that you are missing is not the good deeds, but the bad ones. Any crimes and things could be an issue, as would low lighting or darkness. If the medium is visual, blind-fighting and darkness bombs of some kind would be what I would do if I were an opposing force. Cameras aren't perfect, and even if these are magic, you can give them limitations.

This is a lot of data to go over in a day, therefore, you might want to give each a geographical area within your city. There could be a definite area cut off, or they could follow a good deed that started in one area and moved to another.

In any case, they will have tremendous influence, no matter what. However, you can codify specific rules and parameters. Good deeds can be codified and assigned specific numbers (helping the elderly for x minutes gets you x points) with the possibility of a bonus per a judgement. You can give Judges a pool of points they are allowed to allot within a day/week/month that go beyond the codified standard system, and even then there should be a max number that they can do per deed. If they want to go over the allotted, or over the max, they have to vote together to reach a consensus.

You also might want "Overseer Judges" whose specific function is to rule when they do not agree, and to look for bias.

  • $\begingroup$ They are not magic. As I said this is pure nanotechnology. The inhabitants don't know that though and treat it as magic. I really like the idea of smoke bombs $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 16:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It's magic, dude. You're painting magic with technological paint, but it's still magic. $\endgroup$
    – The Nate
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 22:32

You will never be able to get rid of the extreme power the Judge has. The judge has complete power within that society. All the judge has to do is carefully control how the points are allocated. If there's some rules dictating how points should be allocated, he simply uses his power to get people to change the rules.

The single most important check on the judge's power is revolution. If the citizens of your world decide that this whole process is rather silly and corrupt, they'll put some heads on pikes and find a new silly process to follow. It's what has happened for millennia.

Consider the power of kings. It is, in theory, absolute. In practice, the threat of revolution limits that power. Your judge will fall into the same pattern.

More interesting will be the addition of a class of judges, whose sole purpose is to mediate this point system. It's going to take a lot of judges to track every single meritocracy point over the course of a year. You could have a lot of fun writing about this civilization paired against another one which doesn't have these judges. They don't have quite the same refined control over who rules (i.e. The Big Four), but they make up for it by having 20% more productivity. Different cultures like that create a very interesting social dynamic. It's never clear who will emerge victorious.


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