I think its sad that I knew that this was in the Builder caste boards before even clicking it.
Short answer: Not really.
Hi, I'm Cadence. I started Gor not very long ago, as a Builder. I usually RP combat characters in other sims... I have a war vet, a mage that loves the rush of killing, a cop in Midian. My other SL hobby is SL Combat, so when I reached Gor, I wanted something new, something different. Well, I script, but also I love clockworks. I love inventing, and I attended a class before ever starting gor, on Gorean Technology. I was inspired. That class, more than any other, discussing medical technology, computers, light bulbs. Wow, WOW! The Builders are freaking awesome!
What I found is a caste that doesn't know what it is, and which others don't know what to do with it. In most cases, we're just... sim builders.
I don't build, but I -did- study up on architecture, historical engineering methods, aquaducts... I can't build your sim's aquaducts, but ICly i can point out flaws, RP out major projects to install mechanical pumps to it, all that. But people don't want that.
Why RP out designing and installing a massive and complex gate system? We just bought a script that groupchecks. Done. Five minutes.
We want something new built, so we build it. Done. Maybe if the Builders are lucky they can get a bit of RP in.
Both of these would be nice RPs though, but lacking in... oomph. People, men especially, come to Gor to gain, to grow, to take and to attain things. Wealth ic, power, influence, women. Being a glorified janitor? While it was fun RPing out taking slaves about to test a new chemical mix to remove grafitti, its kinda sucky when that's ALL your RP consists of.
We're treated either as OOC builders, or janitors,i n most cases. At worst, we're treated as a caste of 'wacky inventors'.
I hate wacky inventors. The Builders are not treated as the Caste that built the City in which people walk. The caste that can destroy your business by closing a road. A Caste that acn declare your cylinder "unsafe" and have everyone evicted. There's no mention that they may try to tax all trade (Because hey, everyone's rich) causing trouble with the Merchants. In times of war, no one came to cadence about defenses. He had to go to others. War was for warriors. No one pays much mind to the Builders. What do they know?
You know, other than fortifications, supply lines, siege methods, etc.
The Builders have so much potential to be great, to have political games and scheming and risk and gain and loss and violence. They are the men and women who literally built Gor. The streets upon which we walk, the walls which defend us. The water we drink, the light we read by, the doors we open, the medical equipment we are healed by even. Our slaves are kept in line using their tools, you control your tarn with their inventions.
To relegate the greatest builders of your city to janitors, or at best "Hi I need you to build me this little basic thing" is almost an insult, and its -boring- to many. And what it leads to is a caste, in my experience, of people who seem at best bored, or at worst are "rich, retired from the caste, and just sort of tinkering".
I attempted to rework a caste into something complex, with life and meaning, and ended up with few responses, because there's no oomph to the Builders. There's no reason. And often times if someone who -can- ooc build comes along, you're made that much more meaningless. The warriors can meter fight, the physicians fix them up from it. Scribes very often do OOC paperwork and IC paprework that actually needs writing. The Builders... exist in this grey area.
I think the central reason I actually have more or less retired from the caste can be summed up by this. When I said to someone I wanted more gain and risk and conflict in my RP, the response was "Then you should maybe be a Warrior".
Until people realize RP can come out of even the smallest of events, and realize that ICly everything is more complex than just installing a prim... its gaining materials, trading for metals in other cities, perhaps even getting an architect with skill in what you want from another city... the Builders will basically be of two types. Sim builders, and bored people.
Also, I say all this as someone who -can- script, and has happily scripted siege engines, etc., but who actually tried to -avoid- making that the reason I'm a builder and instead tried to make it an entirely RP position.