Thank you for your replies, everyone!
Hm, I didn’t know that theory before, but… Isn’t every City-State an Oriental Despotism? The key characteristic is a tyrant who controls access to water. I think that describes every SM, no matter their inspiration.
Or, do you mean it’s an Asian-themed City-State? That could be pretty interesting. Sielba ruling by a ‘mandate of heavens’? A collective society with strong family hierarchies and filial piety? That’d be something to work with.
This is a very interesting idea, with chilling implications for the PCs. Any capable individual risks being stripped of their will?
I also like how it ties to what little I know of Sielba’s personality. It’d be interesting if she craved genuine mortal adoration, yet was doomed to only ever receive mind-slaves (thrallherds can’t even take Leadership feat). That’d create a deliciously deluded - and tormented - individual… Though it might be my inner Ravenloft fan speaking.
This, again, would work great with her vanity. I can see her deluding herself (and, possibly, her subjects) that she is ‘generous’ - she provides for others with bounties taken from her personal resource pool. Also, her Templars would get some extra Secular Authority. ‘Reclaiming’ property needs to be a new application.
@Kalakoftyr This is great, thank you. Porcelain skin would make her look otherwordly on a sun-baked world like Athas. Speaking of Japanese themes, I thought of a ‘social debt’ concept - every act, good or ill, needs to be repaid.That’d give Sielba a very strong power base, since every person in the city technically owes her their lives.