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I want to share my current play through of Pendragon I've started a few weeks ago with two of my friends!  This forum has been a trove of useful information for prepping my game and I wish to get a generous check (or is it pride that drives me here?) sharing the fruits of that labor. 

Currently we've done: Session 0/Chargen, 485 #1 and 485 #2.

You may remember my face as one of those from Steven Lumpkin's actual play a few years back. Well I've come back and running my own. 

We're definitely making some rules mistakes here and there, but overall we're getting better and faster with the ruleset as both myself and colin have played some Pendragon before.

Here's our two knights as of the end of 485!

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If you want to catch it live, we play 4-6pm PT on my twitch channel!
 

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13 hours ago, 7dot62mm said:

I watched every episode of Lumpkin's campaign on YouTube and it was great. I'll definitely try to follow yours as well. Thanks for sharing.

 

Hey thanks friend! No promises but I'll see what I can do to get some of the old cast or even some of the Rollplay R&D crew to cameo.

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Episode 3 (Year 486) is up on YouTube!

I really, really like what we were able to get done this whole session! A year! in like 150 minutes! I'm very proud with this session overall and besides a few things I'll state below, if I can keep the quality of this session the standard, I'd be a very happy Pendragon GameMaster.

Things I will continue to do before the next session:

  • poems are a nice touch (thanks Esoteric Order of Roleplayers for the idea!)
  • sprinkle things into the game!
    • Pre-roll this year's random events
      • Winter phase misfortunes (and the season they occur in)
      • Winter phase solo events (and the season they most likely occur in)
        • ex: the NPC Tyngyr got the fight solo event in spring! It made perfect sense to align it w/ easter.
  • Keep a rough list of NPCs in a spreadsheet for references
    • Note NPC stats/ages and traits
    • Note eligible marriage materials
    • Note rival knights
    • Note extended family stuff

Things I will change before the next session:

  • Production
    • Overlays
      • I need to improve the size of the cam boxes and make taller the size of the Roll20 dice box.
    • Music
      • I need to find steadier music for the game
  • Prep
    • Stream it!
      • Lots of people are interested in watching me roll/write up the solo events of our knights and NPC knights.

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10 hours ago, ericvulgaris said:

Pre-roll this year's random events

  • Winter phase misfortunes (and the season they occur in)
  • Winter phase solo events (and the season they most likely occur in)
    • ex: the NPC Tyngyr got the fight solo event in spring! It made perfect sense to align it w/ easter.

Could you talk more about this? 

I have always seen the event rolled in Winter as occurring while the PCs were off adventuring or busy elsewhere, coming home, and hearing news of events they had missed. (There is no quick communication is my logic. News of an uncle gone missing might not come around to the PCs for a few months.) Thus, the fallout from the events occurs in the next session, after the knight discovers he has lost a child or family member was slandered or whatever. 

This model suggests (the GM or the Players, I'm not sure which yet) rolls up the events for that year before play begins and sprinkles them throughout the year of play.

Am I getting this right?

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I'll be doing the prep for this session tonight where I'll be doing this stuff in practice. I'll link the vod when it's done with. 

But to answer your question immediately, yes. the events rolled in the winter phase, for me, are what's occurring this coming year. The lag of information is certainly a factor as you say. Some actions do occur in winter and you just hear about them! Others get sprinkled.

This scope of what gets sprinkled, to me, involves weather (general descriptions of bad/good weather through the growing months)/manorial luck/conflict/solo adventures. 

I let the dice guide me when the event takes place rather than specifically while the knights away. It could very well be happening when the knights is off. I leave it up to a seasonal d4. If the knights home (say springtime) then they can act. My past session had a great example of a Saxon/bandit raid occur in spring while a knight was home! 

I used that amazing recursive table of solo events some fan made and based on that table I invented the "defend raid" sorta skill challenge where successes impact the property destruction and conflict dice rolled end of the year. He ended up rolling 2d6 take the lowest of the two, with no property destruction this year added to his fate.

My table agreed that it was way more fun than happening while he was out on Garrison duty as the book would have us for 486.

That being said if I rolled summer... So be it! He eats the regular d6 or whatever for a raid per book of the manor. 

 

 

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If I'm following:

  • If you are heading into playing 486 next year
  • You, the GM, make the Winter Event rolls for 486 by yourself (in other words, the Players do not make these rolls)
  • The PCs will discover what these events are (weather and so ) as play continues through the session of 486. Some will involve the PCs, and others will only be discovered in the Winter Season/Phase of 486 (allowing the PCs to act on them in 487)
  • The advantage of this is that sometimes the PCs get to get caught up in cool and compelling adventure material. (Which is always good for an RPG game). Moreover, it provides motivation for the PCs to generate their own adventure material. (If the PCs learn, while playing through 486, that the weather is getting bad this year, or the peasants are getting ornery, they can take actions like raiding lands to shore up wealth or distributing wealth to keep their people happier.)

Is this pretty much it?

Thanks!

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That's pretty much how we do it, too. We roll the next year's winter phase rolls at the end of the current year, and then the GM (me) can use the downtime to match the rolls to the events (Expanded Manorial Luck and Expanded Family Events). Then I tend to sprinkle the events and news around the upcoming year, or even make a bigger adventure about it if it is important enough (recent example: a newly born baby of one of the PKs was switched to a changeling, which was discovered when the babe was to be baptised).

The huge advantage of doing it this way is that it allows the GM to weave the event into the narrative, rather than just spring it on the player at the winter phase with nothing the player can do about it. Also, it is easier for the GM since you usually have a week or more between sessions to think about your dastardly schemes, rather than having to come up with one on the fly. I very much recommend this approach. :)

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So @Morien, when you do it the Players make the rolls and know these things (in one form or another) are coming down the road next session?

Also, @ericvulgaris, are you also using the Expanded Manorial Luck and Expanded Family Events, or the tables out of KAP core rules?

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Yeah I got this idea from @Morien. I've had the unique position of while being a new GM, I've played some pendragon before. I'm trying to avoid or ameliorate or blunt the "Oh that's whats goin on?" moments you get when just starting out. I guess what I'm saying is that there's a sort of lack of expectations as a new Pendragon player.

Excuse this small tangent --- So in Pendragon, you're told we're playing king arthur but we start in the dark ages/brutal/metal/grimdark time period and things kinda feel like they're happening to you rather than you being an agent. It's just like any game -- there's a moment where you need to know the system -- and in pendragon you need to know what Kights do and what problems to solve before you can become more proactive. I want players to scheme and decide how they want to be remembered and that requires knowledge/agency/choices. I don't want them to stumble in the dark if I can help it. That tends to be more frustrating than fun! Again its personal but player proactivity is my goal and an indicator of a successful game. Not all games etc, but being able to foreshadow coming problems rather than dumping them on players is my way of onboarding that proactivity I seek.

Anyways, as far as who rolls what, I had a conversation with my players about who makes these random winter rolls. If they feel comfortable finding out during the session or if they enjoy feeling like they're taking fate in their hands, etc and rolling in winter together. We decided that they roll the 2d6 (1d6 manorial luck/1d6 conflict) for the year (even before I roll the weather). I do roll the manorial luck/bad luck table result based on their d6 results. Furthermore in my last episode (486) you also see me check in with my players about the amount of faerie in our game too. There isn't a one-size-fits-all solution but a content negotiation that exists only at one's table.

If something is happening in spring, then they do kinda get ambushed. In my 486 episode, a player knight got ambushed by bandits in spring (conflict table!). I gave them the "fell north air" superstition they could test as an omen for a raid of saxons, but then they were beset! But otherwise they had to do an extended fight and then we abstracted the rest of the raid with a solo event/skill challenge.

Regarding tables, TBH right now I'm rolling on both the KAP core and expanded tables and choosing the more interesting of the two at this point. I'm not convinced one table is better than the other two years in. I will ultimately decide on one eventually. I just don't have enough data or experience to say which one is best. I'm still experimenting!

Edited by ericvulgaris

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4 hours ago, creativehum said:

So @Morien, when you do it the Players make the rolls and know these things (in one form or another) are coming down the road next session?

The Players roll and they get some sense from their rolls (bad neutral good manorial luck, fumbled harvest etc) but we don't check the tables there and then since that would defeat the purpose of saving time. We play online so it is pretty quick to roll and record a stack of dice. I mean, the players could go in and find the PDFs and read the results if they truly wanted to, but generally these are minor results so I doubt any of them bother. 

Frankly if the family event is that the cousin got another kid, that only shows up in the winter phase summary email. It would only show up in the session if there is a reason for them to seek a cousin out and I decide that this would add some colour to the encounter by having the cousin's pregnant wife/mistress around.

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Here's the beginnings of my prep for next week's game. This is me slowly building the outline of events that can/will come to pass next session. Between now and then I flesh out names/scenarios for extra details, look for a good quote, poem, or lyric that fits the game. Hopefully this kinda content helps illustrates what i mean when I say I pregenerate a lot of content. 

I must admit that it's challenging to break down my process exactly. I recognize a lot of my decision making comes from internal gamemastering experience and feel than hard-coded rule! All I can say is that I start with the dice and imagine the situation in my head and what it'd look like in play and go from there. Sometimes that means I alter a detail or give more contex or I just leave things as they are... then maybe 30 minutes later i have a great idea for that section and go back... It's hard to quantify!

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I solved a big inheritance knot today. 

I'm doing what most people are doing these days and solving for how to present a world of pendragon rife with struggle but maybe not include the crappy bits of misogyny. So I've divested Steward and Knight from gender, but kept their power levels, so-to-speak. Rather than present this as some sorta utopia in mind, I want to prove that people mess things up and will devalue/other/piss off one another. This isn't to debate whether this is a good thing for your game or my game. this is just how it is in my game and not interested in being convinced otherwise.

The point is, if we follow primogeniture, then the knight or steward role doesn't matter for inheritance. This leads to some weird situations like

  • Why can't stewards inherit their own lands?
  • Why can't stewards choose who they marry?

Well I can't say I solved this once and for all for all the realm, but I did solve it for the case of my Sir Gareth marrying Lady Elaine and inheriting her 4 demense manors. 

Here's my answer to that and this shouldn't be too much work to steal for any future pendragon GM:

Lady Elaine is a steward and grew up in the courts of Sarum. Her previous husband, a knight, was slew in a lovers quarrel with a commoner orchestrated (rumored at least) by her and the Earl decided that this steward is a capital p Problem. HOWEVER, the earl just can't catch a break here and do the easy thing. If he dissolves her legitmacy, you know who'd get these manors? The gosh dang Steward of Levcomagus. So our Earl has a problem. The answer he came up with is that she just cant inherit the lands as a screw you to her. 

This does two things for me. 1.) Solves why this steward is ineligible to inherit their lands and 2.) It introduces drama and an easy build into the Sir Blains/Earl Roderick feud.

Next year or so I'll probably introduce some contesting heirs to some of the manors put forward by Sir Blains as a way to steal those manors back!

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I am not sure I follow you... A steward is a position, not really a title any more than a butler is. Just because you are the steward, it gives you no rights over the manor you oversee. You can be totally unconnected from the family that owns the manor.

Maybe you were using steward in the sense of 'the spouse who looks after the manor while the knight spouse focuses on fighting'. Even then you would be incorrect, as the widow is only entitled to one-third as Widow's Portion for life, not for the whole manor of her late husband. If she is an heiress, then it would be the guardian who gets the control. However, at least in that case, I could see the woman getting more independence in a less historically attuned game.

But I still don't get what Blains has to do with Elaine's manors. If she is the heiress of manors belonging to Levcomagus, then her marriage to someone else doesn't change the liege-vassal relationship of those manors: the manors are still enfeoffed from Levcomagus, not from Salisbury, and whoever becomes the knight has to swear fealty to Levcomagus for them.

 

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3 minutes ago, ericvulgaris said:


The point is, if we follow primogeniture, then the knight or steward role doesn't matter for inheritance. This leads to some weird situations like

  • Why can't stewards inherit their own lands?

Because it isn't their own land. A steward is someone assigned to run the holding, like a caretaker or grounds keeper, or the manager of a store. He doesn't have any claim upon it by being steward, so he has no right to inherit. 

Now if the Steward also happens to be a younger son (sticking with primogeniture) of the land holder then he might be inline to inherit. 

3 minutes ago, ericvulgaris said:
  • Why can't stewards choose who they marry?

For much the same reasons why most others in a household can't. Here are a couple:

  • Because the leige lord has to pay for the upkeep of the wife. This is most obvious with household knights, but the same economic facts hold true down throughout the whole feudal system. A wife means another mouth to feed, typically at a higher station, and the liege lord pays for it, and for the children.
  • If the steward has some status, which he probably does, then the marriage is also political in nature and effects alliances and loyalties. If a steward were to marry a Saxon woman then maybe her loyalties might be with the Saxons and she might give them information on the manor or even open the gate for them during a siege. 
3 minutes ago, ericvulgaris said:

Well I can't say I solved this once and for all for all the realm, but I did solve it for the case of my Sir Gareth marrying Lady Elaine and inheriting her 4 demense manors. 

Here's my answer to that and this shouldn't be too much work to steal for any future pendragon GM:

Lady Elaine is a steward and grew up in the courts of Sarum. Her previous husband, a knight, was slew in a lovers quarrel with a commoner orchestrated (rumored at least) by her and the Earl decided that this steward is a capital p Problem. HOWEVER, the earl just can't catch a break here and do the easy thing. If he dissolves her legitmacy, you know who'd get these manors? The gosh dang Steward of Levcomagus. So our Earl has a problem. The answer he came up with is that she just cant inherit the lands as a screw you to her. 

This does two things for me. 1.) Solves why this steward is ineligible to inherit their lands and 2.) It introduces drama and an easy build into the Sir Blains/Earl Roderick feud.

Actually it solves a problem that you created. Even assuming you are throwing out the land passing down to the male heirs, technically the land was either granted to her husband, not to the wife. So when he dies either:

  1.  If the land was a gift, it reverts back to the Earl, as a gift of land only last for the holder lifetime. Traditionally, the widow got on-third of it to support herself as the widows portion.  So in  this case the land would never go to her. The reverse would hold true if the land had been given to a female knight who died and left a husband.
  2. If the land was a grant, then is passes down to the heirs of the knight, which would normally mean his eldest son, however in am emancipated Britain this could mean the eldest child, so the daughter could get it. If the child were underage a steward might manage the land until the child were old enough to claim it, and that might be the wife of the deceased knight. So in  this case the land would never go to her.

Now if you want to change things so that the spouse inherits on a grant rather than the children, okay, but remember that they would also inherit all the duties and responsibilities that go along with the grant. So if the wife did inherit, then she would owe knights service to the liege, meaning that she had better get armor, horse and learn how to fight.Now this might sound all well and good to people with modern sensibilities there are some real economic and logistical problems that need to be addressed about it.

  1.  It  is expensive to a knight with horse, armor, weapon, squire and all that. Paying for this expense was a primary reason why the feudal system worked the way it did. In KAP terms that another £2 per year compared to the wife, and that income would have to come from somewhere. So most manors probably couldn't afford to have both husband and wife outfitted as knights. It would probably have to be either/or. 
  2. It also takes time and is expensive to train someone to be a knight. That's why there are squires. So to function as a knight the wife would have to work of these skills, as opposed to her social ones. A Jack of all trades approach like that means that she would probably be a mediocre knight and an mediocre steward. Again the same would hold true for a man who wasn't raised to be a knight. 

Now to make a wife inherits system work, then non-combatant spouses (of either gender) who inherit would either have to take on another knight who can fulfill their military duties, or pay sctutage, which is essentially a portion of the estate income so that the liege can hire mercenaries to do it instead.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that you can't or should have female knight or women inheriting  land, only that if you do, you need to deal with the economic, logistical, and military repercussions  of it. 

 

 

 

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Yes i'm using steward in the later sense. A steward is a noble who is skilled with the pen rather than the sword. (or that's how it should work out societally). Technically the society values a knight more than a steward but they're basically peers.

So I am assuming primogeniture is still the de facto inheritance law of the time but it ignores knight or steward class for the inheritor. Lands and titles go to the first born. Period. Lady Elaine is the first born and the rights of her 4 demense belong to her. She's the proper heir to them. Family-wise,  the next legal heir would be a different branch of her line -- her uncle -- the steward of levcomagus. I made up that they're familially related.

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47 minutes ago, ericvulgaris said:

Family-wise,  the next legal heir would be a different branch of her line -- her uncle -- the steward of levcomagus. I made up that they're familially related.

OK, then I can see why Roderick would not want them to go to Blains if Elaine gets disinherited. However, if he can disinherit Elaine, then he can disinherit Blains, too. Even without going back all the way to Blains. If a knight loses his lands due to his crimes, his younger brother can complain that the lands should come to him, but I don't think the liege is beholden to do that: the grant was to the knight and he broke the deal, hence the grant is null and void.

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25 minutes ago, ericvulgaris said:

Yes i'm using steward in the later sense. A steward is a noble who is skilled with the pen rather than the sword. (or that's how it should work out societally). Technically the society values a knight more than a steward but they're basically peers.

Ah. The thin is in medieval times the land holder owed military service (and other things) to the liege lord. Steward in the latter sense is more  akin to their Esquire role from the Renascence. The reason why that worked in latter times was because by then feudal armies had been replace with professional standing armies and mercenaries paid for by taxed.

 

22 minutes ago, ericvulgaris said:

Ok clearly i did not solve this knot. 😅 Back to thinking about this more. I clearly did not understand how inheritance works my first go around!

I hate to tell you but you probably can't solve it. The "men go to work, women stay home" thing is as much about the realities of  earning a living as it is about "misogamy". The problems are that there is only a limited amount of income to go around, somebody has to go through pregnancy and rear the children, and both running the household and fighting require different skill sets and training. In the modern world we have gotten around this with two working parents, day care, school, 9-5 jobs, and the ability to commute. Women's liberation and women in the work force happened/is happening when it did less because men were keeping women down than because that is when it became viable. 

Just like with the marriage thing. It used to be that men would try to earn a promotion at work so that they could support a wife, and employers would factor that when considering who to promote. A married man was considered more reliable as he had a wife and family to support. Today that doesn't happen because the wife also woks, and the husband is expected to support her (at least not to the same extent as before). 

IMO your simpliest solution is probably the ones I mentioned above, especially scutage as there would be £4 of income left over that would normally support the husband. That could easily go to the liege lord (until a knight inherits) so he could maintain another household knight, or hire some mercenaries, and everybody is happy. 

The estate keeping another knight would also works but raises it own problems, such as what happens to him once the heir is of age. If the wife wants to suit up and be a knight for a few years, that's fine too. The only real problems with that are the time it takes to train and the risks of the job. 

 

But my suggestion is scutage.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Morien said:

OK, then I can see why Roderick would not want them to go to Blains if Elaine gets disinherited. However, if he can disinherit Elaine, then he can disinherit Blains, too. Even without going back all the way to Blains. If a knight loses his lands due to his crimes, his younger brother can complain that the lands should come to him, but I don't think the liege is beholden to do that: the grant was to the knight and he broke the deal, hence the grant is null and void.

Yeah that turns more into a case of politics and clot. The younger brother could be totally in the wrong but get the land if he has powerful relatives and friends whom the liege wants to keep on good terms with.

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Yall have been so enlightening so here's my process of merging both Primogeniture and Knighthood into something that kinda works. Did I miss anything?

Basic Assumptions

Knight vs Beneficiary

This world is a dark world and runs on force and military ability/readiness.

  1. An earl controls a ton of territory thanks to a duke or king. Too much for one person to control so he basically sub-leases parts of it to loyal men and women in exchange for military service.

  2. There's more eligible military people than lands.

    1. These eligible military people are called cavalrymen

      1. Distinguished ones with favor of the earl are even unlanded esquires. 

        1. Not all calvalrymen are esquires but all esquires are calvarymen

  3. Landed esquires must provide military service to the earl in exchange for their own parcels of land and the rights of their firstborn children to inherit the land like they have (also to serve like they have).

    1. Neither landed esquires nor their children need to be male as long as they serve militarily.

    2. The esquire-in-charge of these lands is called a Knight. 

      1. Knights are specifically promoted by the Earl and the titleship of the land passed to them and their children or the next eligible esquire in the family.

Heirs and Claims

  1. Due to the agreement of feudal service, firstborns of landed knights are the only guaranteed knight of any family.

    1. Other esquires can be trained but they’re considered household or even unlanded knights.

  2. Other family members who forego military service are beneficiaries of the privileges of the serving esquire/knight and cannot hold land themselves.

    1. Called eponymously a Beneficiary

  3. For families of current knights without an heir, surrogacy and adoption are viable paths for offspring.

    1. Legitimacy of the offspring is granted by the Earl

      1. Contests for legitimacy are subject to the Earl's discretion

i guess I still dont understand why Lady Elaine would have holdings of 4 demense manors that would go to whomever they marry. Like they should default to her uncle or someone, right? Or minimally the Earl. So is this a case of the Earl giving the 4 manors away, actually? is that what others have done in their games?

 

Edited by ericvulgaris

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7 minutes ago, ericvulgaris said:

i guess I still dont understand why Lady Elaine would have holdings of 4 demense manors that would go to whomever they marry. Like they should default to her uncle or someone, right? Or minimally the Earl. So is this a case of the Earl giving the 4 manors away, actually? is that what others have done in their games?

That is because you have changed the rules of inheritance in your game from the default.

Women who are not knights are still able to inherit land in KAP if there are no brothers. The only issue is that if the women are not knights, their lands are overseen by their guardian (usually the liege) or by their knight husband if they are married.

Edited by Morien

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I gotta admit I don't know shit about feudalism as much as I thought i did. Lucky for me I have folks like you and my knowledgeable players.

Well it's been explained to me that the missing piece to the puzzle is that while beneficiaries don't inherit, per se, they hold and steward lands. Basically as a beneficiary of an esquire but serving as what's called in modern times an estate-holder. As one of those, you may not sell the manor or do anything with it other than upkeep it unless married or passes common-law-ly to your next of kin. That's because the Earl's name is the landholder and changes need his approval. It doesn't necessarily default back to the Earl cuz the Earl really doesn't wanna micromanage 100 acres of mud 3 days away from his beautiful castle when he already has a family doin it for him. (What I mean is a household knight probably serves in the keeper's stead until things work out... which I guess I don't know why that household knight if single wouldn't just marry and get promoted... anyways)

So in the case of Lady Elaine, those lands of hers are the Earls (just as all lands are the earls) but specifically were her late husbands. Lady Elaine doesn't "own" those lands but is holding those lands. Upon death of the holder, they turn into safe mode or like child-lock mode until either A.) marries or B.) dies where they pass like whatever common law dictates so parent/uncle/whatever. The point being, the Earl must approve the process either through marriage/transfer of property or through approving the passage of common law to turn that estate out Estate-Holder/safe-mode.

I guess what that means, to preserve the danger, is that Lady Elaines lands are being threatened to be owned by Sir Blains because somewhere on his side of the family, he's married into Lady Elaine's family (possibly like the uncle). Those lands, should she pass without an heir or be married would technically switch lordship to the duke of the vale/silchester in that case, which is why Roderick is making sure Lady Elaine's married to a loyal knight.

Edited by ericvulgaris

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35 minutes ago, ericvulgaris said:

So in the case of Lady Elaine, those lands of hers are the Earls (just as all lands are the earls) but specifically were her late husbands. Lady Elaine doesn't "own" those lands but is holding those lands.

No. If the lands were the late husband's, Elaine would be entitled to 1/3rd as the widow's portion (for the rest of her life), but the other lands would go to the HUSBAND'S heirs, not to her. Spouses do not inherit! The heirs are the husband's legitimate children (eldest son first), whether or not by Elaine*, and if there are no children, then to siblings (eldest brother first). Whether uncles or cousins would be entitled depends. I'd say no, since otherwise it will be next to impossible for lands to escheat back to the liege, but obviously in your plot line the uncle at least needs to be able to inherit.

* Now if there would be children of Elaine and the husband who inherit the late husband, then Elaine might continue as a steward, but again, in patriarchal KAP society both the widow and the children would become wards of the liege, and he would be the one to decree where they will live.

The only way that Elaine has all those 4 demesne manors and can give them to her second husband & the children they'd have together is:

1) Elaine is the heiress of those 4 manors. I.e. they were her father's, and now they are hers, since the grant from the liege is inheritable. Since she is not a knight, her husband would swear fealty or homage to Roderick for those manors, "by the right of his wife", and then be responsible for bringing 4 knights and 8 foot soldiers from those manors when the Earl calls for his army to gather.

2) Elaine cannot have surviving children from the first marriage, since in this case, the eldest (son) of her surviving children (i.e. from the first marriage) would inherit over the younger children of the second marriage.Going with primogeniture, if she has only daughters from the 1st marriage, then any son born from the 2nd marriage would skip to the front of the inheritance order, but you wanted to avoid this.

Also, you might be interested in this archived thread where Greg has revised the heiresses (sorry that the quote boxes are missing, making it a bit harder to see who says what): http://kapresources.wpengine.com/Pendragon Forum Archive/index.php/t-2091.html

 

Edited by Morien

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1 hour ago, ericvulgaris said:

Yall have been so enlightening so here's my process of merging both Primogeniture and Knighthood into something that kinda works. Did I miss anything?

Yeah, some.

1 hour ago, ericvulgaris said:

Basic Assumptions

Knight vs Beneficiary

This world is a dark world and runs on force and military ability/readiness.

  1. An earl controls a ton of territory thanks to a duke or king. Too much for one person to control so he basically sub-leases parts of it to loyal men and women in exchange for military service.

 

Actually  thanks to God. Thanks to something called Divine Right, the  land all belongs to God, who created it, and he in turn decided to led Kings run it for him. From that point on you're okay. Pans think a little differently, but such cultures usually have something similar with rules being descended from the gods. But basically the idea is that things are the way they are because that is how it is supposed to be. That is very different that the will of the people thing that most of us are raised with today.

1 hour ago, ericvulgaris said:
  1. There's more eligible military people than lands.

    1. These eligible military people are called cavalrymen

      1. Distinguished ones with favor of the earl are even unlanded esquires. 

        1. Not all calvalrymen are esquires but all esquires are calvarymen

 

Uh, no. How could those cavalrymen support themselves? Someone has to feed them and thier horses, but they armor and and weapons. 

 Here is a little Feudal System 101 that might help.

In general it takes about 9 family working the land to support one person who  does something else, such as blacksmith, merchant, working as a servant, or a soldier. The who reason for the whole knight is the boss thing is so that they have enough income to support the knight, his warhorse, his squire, the knight family, and the small army of servants, and craftsmen needed to support them.So all these cavalrymen, (check out the sergeants in Pendragon), need about £2 per year to feed and maintain themselves and their very expensive mounts (which somebody would have to buy).

So there really isn't a big pool of eligible horsemen floating around than the land can't support. Every soldier, mounted or foot has to be supported somehow. Somebody is providing food and shelter. About the closest you get to "more eligible military people" are mercenaries, and they are actually paid for by somebody, just not on a regular basis. 

 

1 hour ago, ericvulgaris said:
  1. Landed esquires must provide military service to the earl in exchange for their own parcels of land and the rights of their firstborn children to inherit the land like they have (also to serve like they have).

    1. Neither landed esquires nor their children need to be male as long as they serve militarily.

    2. The esquire-in-charge of these lands is called a Knight. 

      1. Knights are specifically promoted by the Earl and the titleship of the land passed to them and their children or the next eligible esquire in the family.

 

Okay, that's basically as it stands except for the gender natural wording and works out fine. Well excepted than a LAnced Equire would be a Knight, and that someone can be put in charge of land that isn't theirs, but the gist of it is fine.

1 hour ago, ericvulgaris said:

Heirs and Claims

  1. Due to the agreement of feudal service, firstborns of landed knights are the only guaranteed knight of any family.

 

Only if the land were granted to a knight so that it would pass down to his heirs. The key thing here is that the land is never truly belongs to the knight, here is just  the caretaker for a higher lord, who also holds it in trust, and so on up the ladder to the King, who in turn is holding it in turst for God.TO Keep the land the knight must have provided good service, and keep providing it. Look at less as land ownership and more like a very long term lease agreement. 

I mention this because unlike today, you can't get into a situation where it your land free and clear. You always own somebody for it. Actually it still like that today, just the underlying justifications for it have changed.  

1 hour ago, ericvulgaris said:
    1. Other esquires can be trained but they’re considered household or even unlanded knights.

Nobody is entitled to just consider themselves a esquire or a knight, they have to be given those honors by a higher ranking nobleman, or, at least, another knight. To become an esquire one must have first served as a squire, and then not been promoted to knight for some reason. To be a knight one has to first be a squire and then get knighted. Neither of these thing are automatic. Well, if your the son of a king or something they might as well  be, but  even Arthur, as Uther's son, ran into trouble because of his youth and status as a squire. He actually had to get knighted and he was King!

One of the reasons why nobles started to rein in on the prvide of raising someone to the status of knight was because all those knights were going to have to make a living somehow, but the only job they knew how to do and could be allowed to do socially was fighting. So how could those guys earn a living?

1 hour ago, ericvulgaris said:
  1. Other family members who forego military service are beneficiaries of the privileges of the serving esquire/knight and cannot hold land themselves.

    1. Called eponymously a Beneficiary

 

Uhhh, maybe. The question here is what exactly are they entitled to, if anything? 

1 hour ago, ericvulgaris said:
  1. For families of current knights without an heir, surrogacy and adoption are viable paths for offspring.

    1. Legitimacy of the offspring is granted by the Earl

      1. Contests for legitimacy are subject to the Earl's discretion

i guess I still dont understand why Lady Elaine would have holdings of 4 demense manors that would go to whomever they marry. Like they should default to her uncle or someone, right? Or minimally the Earl. So is this a case of the Earl giving the 4 manors away, actually? is that what others have done in their games?

Okay, it works like this:.

Let's stay Elaine father had four manors. Don't ask how he got four  manors, I don't know exactly but it does happen. He must have done something really good . Anyway he dies                  without any sons, or any younger brothers. So the land  passes down  to his  daughters,  but he only has Elaine so she gets all of them as her dowry. She isn't a knight though, nor a squire who could be raised to knighthood, and never will be, so she cannot fulfill her military duties, so the Count appoints someone to watch over the manors, possibly her, and pockets the money that would have gone to a knight. He probably uses it to maintain another household knight to make up for being a knight short, but he could spend it on wine, and women  if he wants to. 

Now some knight comes along and wants to marry Elaine. Okay, first off that means the count loses that extra income he's been getting. Secondly just who is this new guy? Is he better than the household knight/booze/fine clothes/armor/loose women that the Count has been spending the money over the past few years? Thirdly, can this new knight be trsuted? Four manors means he'll have three other knights and 8 footmen at his beck and call. Would he betray the Count to a rival lord and open up his manors to assist an invader and fight along side him? What does the Count gain from this new knight? And why should this one guy get a manor instead of the other 100+ household knights who already serve the count? Why four?

Those are the things going through the Count's head at times like this and why Liege Lords get a say in who marries whom. It's why Loyalty Lord is so important. The game now starts it off at 15, but in the character actually had to earn than and demonstrate it. Someone marrying Elaine is only going to happen if the Count thinks  the marriage will be an improvement over the status quo, or that the Count is somehow forced into allowing. Period. 

 

BTW, The land management thing is one of the major reasons why I don't run Pendragon with  modern day equal rights. It opens a big can of worms.  And the dynasty and  generational aspects of the game are important. The women fighting as warrior stuff is easy. Fedual inheritance, however, is a minefield. I can be navigated but it's more likely to go boom, and if you got to cross it it;s better to just take out the minefield, and if you take out the minefield, it is't feudal anymore. 

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