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RichardA

Book of Feasts Question

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1 hour ago, Call Me Deacon Blues said:

So, this is probably not helpful, but here's how I deal with clothes/gems:

Actually it is kinda helpful. Much of  the underlying thinking is similar to what we've  been kicking around in this thread. Namely that  you need to s pend more to get more of a bonus and  that the higher your standard of living the more you should have to spend to get a bonus.

 

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38 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

the higher your standard of living the more you should have to spend to get a bonus.

As long as you get a bonus* for what you have spent for your standard of living, too. I mean, I'd be a bit miffed if I am spending £15 per year (extra £9) on living the life and get no bonus for it but someone can drop £1 in and get a bonus.

* As people might know, I am solidly against childbirth & survival modifiers for the grade of maintenance, and have argued that it should be more of a social peacocking thing: show your status and importance via conspicuous displays of wealth. Hence my argument is that SoL should be giving finer clothing, fancier food at the table and bonuses for social interaction & glory. 

 

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7 hours ago, Morien said:

As long as you get a bonus* for what you have spent for your standard of living, too. I mean, I'd be a bit miffed if I am spending £15 per year (extra £9) on living the life and get no bonus for it but someone can drop £1 in and get a bonus.

Yes, I agree.

7 hours ago, Morien said:

* As people might know, I am solidly against childbirth & survival modifiers for the grade of maintenance, and have argued that it should be more of a social peacocking thing: show your status and importance via conspicuous displays of wealth. Hence my argument is that SoL should be giving finer clothing, fancier food at the table and bonuses for social interaction & glory. 

I disagree somewhat. Naturally a higher standard of living  would also include a better diet and  better living accommodations (warmer building with more tapestries to cover drafts). So I could see a modifier, but not a big one.

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4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Naturally a higher standard of living  would also include a better diet and  better living accommodations (warmer building with more tapestries to cover drafts).

Yes in comparison to a starving poor serf living in a rickety hut and unable to afford firewood or food for his children. But this is a knightly family we are talking about, and minor differences (up to x2) in money spent.

When it comes to the diet, the amount of calories is not an issue, and one could argue that by increasing the price of foods (more meat, sweet stuff, more potent wine), you are actually making the diet less healthy. Gout was a rich man's disease, and being fat was if not a status symbol (as the knights were expected to be physically fit), something associated with wealth as poor people would not have the means nor the leisure to pile on the pounds. As a comparison, assuming that you are a healthy, and reasonably well-to-do individual (i.e. you don't have to worry about your monthly food bill), just how much better your diet is if you buy twice the amount of meat that you currently do, and drop the green stuff and wholegrain bread in favor of sugared jam on white bread?

Also, one could argue that a wooden hall would actually be better insulated than a stone one (freezing during late winter and long into the spring, stifling hot during late summer and into the autumn), and a healthier place to live, too. In any case, there wouldn't be a huge disparity between the room where a baron sleeps and a room where a vassal knight sleeps: the difference would be more in the price of the furnishings, rather than a difference in kind. And if we are looking at knights, the grade of maintenance does not include treasure like tapestries or expansion of the manorial hall, but consumables like clothing and food. Thus, the argument of the better living accommodations would not be valid, IMHO, in any case.

Thus, I would argue that the step up from an ordinary knight to a rich knight, even to a superlative knight, would not markedly change the lifespan expectancy of the children, nor the number of children. 

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12 minutes ago, Morien said:

When it comes to the diet, the amount of calories is not an issue, and one could argue that by increasing the price of foods (more meat, sweet stuff, more potent wine), you are actually making the diet less healthy.

Aruge  yes, prove? Probably not. Even the bnobles didn't eat as much or as well as people in Europe or the  US do today. So that extra food, and better funishing might make a diference. Probably not as much as  in the KAP book, but I could see a +1 per grade of maintenance.

12 minutes ago, Morien said:

 just how much better your diet is if you buy twice the amount of meat that you currently do, and drop the green stuff and wholegrain bread in favor of sugared jam on white bread?

Probably significantly at that level. Meat isn't bad for you. The major reasons why  meat is problem for some people today is due to a less physically active lifestyle and occupation. I  doubt they'd have sugaraed jam back then, and even thie rwhite bread wasn't like the processed stuff we get today. Not to  mention the lack of fillers allowed in today's foods.

 

Again I could see a +1 per grade of maintenance added to the second survival roll. That would work out to a fairly minor  reduction.

12 minutes ago, Morien said:

Also, one could argue that a wooden hall would actually be better insulated than a stone one (freezing during late winter and long into the spring, stifling hot during late summer and into the autumn),

Yup. I'd go with that.

12 minutes ago, Morien said:

and a healthier place to live, too.

I'm  not sold on that.  Stone tends  to be cleaner and less  prone to vermin and  parasites, although  stone halls did have  wooden  timbers for supports.

12 minutes ago, Morien said:

In any case, there wouldn't be a huge disparity between the room where a baron sleeps and a room where a vassal knight sleeps: the difference would be more in the price of the furnishings, rather than a difference in kind.

Oh, I could think of a few things. The Baron's sleeping room is probably better heated, since the fireplace  won't h ave  to heat as big an area. It probably is less drafty due to tapestries, and probably has better blankets and better, fresher bedding too. It gets clearned more often and probably has fewer bugs.

12 minutes ago, Morien said:

And if we are looking at knights, the grade of maintenance does not include treasure like tapestries or expansion of the manorial hall, but consumables like clothing and food. Thus, the argument of the better living accommodations would not be valid, IMHO, in any case.

Thus, I would argue that the step up from an ordinary knight to a rich knight, even to a superlative knight, would not markedly change the lifespan expectancy of the children, nor the number of children. 

Can we find examples of household and vassal knights that show that? 

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1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

The Baron's sleeping room is probably better heated, since the fireplace  won't h ave  to heat as big an area.

Does not follow. The Baron could easily have a larger bedroom than a vassal knight and hence more space to be heated. Besides, as I said later, if we are focusing the inquiry on what happens to a vassal knight PK who upgrades from Ordinary to Rich for one year, this ought to not involve any changes to the size of his bedroom, nor even the tapestries (which would be treasure, not SoL).

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

Even the bnobles didn't eat as much or as well as people in Europe or the  US do today.

Partly disagreed, as your later contention about processed foods indicates as well. See for instance this one: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7148534.stm

Notice specifically the point about the nobles often overindulging, even though the link is mainly focused on the peasants' food. (I presume, assuming good circumstances rather than famine conditions.) Now the medieval people did not appreciate all the vitamins and things we take for granted, so I would agree that the noble diets might be badly out of whack, which is part what I am arguing, actually.

See more about the criticism of the medieval nobles' diets here (the opening paragraph): http://www.medieval-life-and-times.info/medieval-food/medieval-diet.htm

And some more here: https://www.bl.uk/the-middle-ages/articles/the-medieval-diet#
 

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

Can we find examples of household and vassal knights that show that? 

Alas, I don't have a table of this information, and it would take a bunch of examples to get good statistics out of it. Furthermore, the best evidence is obviously for higher nobles and royalty. Often times the children who die young are dropped out of the chronicles, too, making child survival even harder.

Still, that being said, it seems that there is a lot of variation. You can take William Marshal with his 10 kids (all survived) and contrast his sons' luck (childless, as far as legitimate marriages go; granted, they seem all have married very late in life and died relatively soon after their marriages, within several years) with his daughters (generally several children). Or we can look at King Philip II of France, who had five children from two of his wives (3 survived, twin boys died within days of birth). These are naturally just some individual examples, and William Marshal and his kids were on the top tier of England's nobility.

William's father John Marshal (nee FitzGilbert)  had two sons by his first wife and four sons from the second, as well as three daughters. Total 9 children. But he probably ranked as a baron in KAP if not in history, since he had two castles and some lands under his command.

Indeed, most of the examples that can easily be found focus on baronial or regal families, not knights. But the overall impression is that there is more variance between the individual's number of issue within the class, than between classes themselves.

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19 hours ago, Morien said:

Does not follow. The Baron could easily have a larger bedroom than a vassal knight and hence more space to be heated. Besides, as I said later, if we are focusing the inquiry on what happens to a vassal knight PK who upgrades from Ordinary to Rich for one year, this ought to not involve any changes to the size of his bedroom, nor even the tapestries (which would be treasure, not SoL).

Okay, I can mostly buy that. The tapestries are a bit of a borderline case, since they  are treasure but also serve a function.

Quote

Partly disagreed, as your later contention about processed foods indicates as well. See for instance this one: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7148534.stm

Yes, generally  most of the high  class versions of foods (i.e. white bread) tend to be  less healthy than the lower clkass version. It why a lot of popular healty foods today (artisan breads)  would have been cosnidered peasant food in the middle ages.

Quote

Notice specifically the point about the nobles often overindulging, even though the link is mainly focused on the peasants' food. (I presume, assuming good circumstances rather than famine conditions.) Now the medieval people did not appreciate all the vitamins and things we take for granted, so I would agree that the noble diets might be badly out of whack, which is part what I am arguing, actually.

See more about the criticism of the medieval nobles' diets here (the opening paragraph): http://www.medieval-life-and-times.info/medieval-food/medieval-diet.htm

And some more here: https://www.bl.uk/the-middle-ages/articles/the-medieval-diet#

I still think the nobles ate better than the peasants,  in part because the nobles always were able to eat, while  the peasants often had shortage due to famine. But since we are  dealing with survival between knights that is a moot  point.

Quote

Alas, I don't have a table of this information, and it would take a bunch of examples to get good statistics out of it.....

Indeed, most of the examples that can easily be found focus on baronial or regal families, not knights. But the overall impression is that there is more variance between the individual's number of issue within the class, than between classes themselves.

As for the latter, that is still true today. There are a lot of factors involved, and generics is one of them.  Wealth probably plays a factor too, especially with larger families.  But I'm not convinced that standard of living plays no part in it. I do think the bonuses in KAP are too generous, but I think the basic idea is sound. 

Edited by Atgxtg

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3 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I do think the bonuses in KAP are too generous,

Fully agreed. :)

3 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

but I think the basic idea is sound.

Agree to disagree, when we are talking about knightly standard of living. :)

I could see penalties on survival and perhaps a minor penalty on childbirth if it drops all the way to Impoverished (you are living on peasant fare at that point, unless you do something about it, and the chargers are definitely going to get the chop, as there is no way you can keep your charger going on grass alone: sell your non-essential horses pronto, and beg, steal or borrow some more provisions!). Poor is still double that, so I would be hesitant to give penalties on survival and childbirth, although I could see a charger starting to suffer a bit. Granted, thanks to the BotE correction on the survival, the child survival bonuses do much less nowadays, muahahaha! :P

Similarly, I would be hesitant to mess with either survival or childbirth in higher standards of living. Sure, when we start talking about Barons and Kings, maybe they could get some small bonus, but a mere +50% or even +100% on the standard knight would be just upgrading the already perfectly adequate fare and clothing into fancier stuff. To be honest, rather than going through the route of the Standard of Living, I would be more inclined to look at Entourage members. As in, hire a full time professional nanny (£1) per child to be their constant, watchful companion, and keep (some) accidents from happening.

Medieval medicine being what it is, I am not sure that having a medical doctor present prescribing leeches on a child would do any good, more likely the opposite! (One of the leading causes of death by childbirth in the early 19th century was doctors not washing their hands between autopsies and childbirth, with the  fateful result of causing infection on the new mothers; much better to have a midwife! https://www.upworthy.com/women-were-dying-from-childbirth-at-hospitals-this-19th-century-doctor-figured-out-why Of course, autopsies were not permitted by the medieval church, but you could easily imagine a doctor coming from treating a sick person and not having changed clothes or washed for weeks and weeks...)

Of course, if magic is common in your campaign, maybe there is a possibility of getting some local wise woman mix some potions, or getting a chapter of nuns or monks sing prayers for your child's health, for a small fee (£1 per year per child?), granting some protection against illnesses? And I could see potions or divine help giving some bonus to childbirth, too. (Pagans, remember the Beltaine fires, although make sure that you don't lose track of your spouse!)

Edited by Morien

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On 12/19/2019 at 3:31 PM, Morien said:

to disagree, when we are talking about knightly standard of living. :)

Ah well, we can't agree on everything.;)

On 12/19/2019 at 3:31 PM, Morien said:

Granted, thanks to the BotE correction on the survival, the child survival bonuses do much less nowadays, muahahaha! :P

 

Which is also why a +1 and +2 would not seem like a big deal to me. It would reduce a 1.25% chance of death to 1%, to 0.75%. 

On 12/19/2019 at 3:31 PM, Morien said:

 I would be more inclined to look at Entourage members. As in, hire a full time professional nanny (£1) per child to be their constant, watchful companion, and keep (some) accidents from happening.

That's not a bad idea. Probably worth a +1 or so modifier. 

On 12/19/2019 at 3:31 PM, Morien said:

Medieval medicine being what it is, I am not sure that having a medical doctor present prescribing leeches on a child would do any good, more likely the opposite! (One of the leading causes of death by childbirth in the early 19th century was doctors not washing their hands between autopsies and childbirth, with the  fateful result of causing infection on the new mothers; much better to have a midwife! https://www.upworthy.com/women-were-dying-from-childbirth-at-hospitals-this-19th-century-doctor-figured-out-why Of course, autopsies were not permitted by the medieval church, but you could easily imagine a doctor coming from treating a sick person and not having changed clothes or washed for weeks and weeks...)

Medieval medicine is a mixed bag, it probably helps sometimes and hurts others. But Pendragon medicine should be a bit better, since there is still a Roman influence and Roman medicine was pretty good.

On 12/19/2019 at 3:31 PM, Morien said:

Of course, if magic is common in your campaign, maybe there is a possibility of getting some local wise woman mix some potions, or getting a chapter of nuns or monks sing prayers for your child's health, for a small fee (£1 per year per child?), granting some protection against illnesses? And I could see potions or divine help giving some bonus to childbirth, too. (Pagans, remember the Beltaine fires, although make sure that you don't lose track of your spouse!)

Possible but not all that common in my campaign, or most other's I'd assume. Although one PK did get a Bulla amulet in Rome for his son that grants a +1 to the survival rolls. It was a gift from General Aetius and actually worked, as opposed to most of the ones sold on the street. 

 

 

Still back to the feasts...

Putting some of our various  ideas together into  some sort of format:

  • Knights and ladies could be seated mostly  according to their glory "band": Unproven Knights sit with Unproven Knights, Notable  Knights with Notable Knights, Famous Knight with Famous Knights and so on. The APP/Bling roll could bump a character up or down a group, two groups with a critical or fumble(i.e Notable  up to Renowned and Famous, or down to Respected  an Unproven. A Famous Knight with 10,000 Glory is only going to be bumped down so far-unless he isn't recognized for some reason.
  • Cards will be drawn one at a time. A character can either play the card drawn, or redraw and take the new card, up to a limit of APP/6 cards. 

 

I wonder should play proceed according to seating, glory, APP, or geniality?

I also wonder if perhaps the 1 point geniality awards for winning one of the "skill contests" could instead by tied to the opponent's glory, as with tournaments? So beating a Legendary Knight at chess might be worth more than just beating some unproven knight?

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