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Wives, Fertility, Aging, and Birthing Tables


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Hello All,

I am currently playing in a GPC game using the current rule set. My character has managed to marry Lady Indeg of Salisbury. My GM has said that Indeg is past child-bearing age, though through game play, my knight has managed to acquire a magical means of siring a son and daughter on her (twins.) However, the KAP 5.1 rule book says that there is no age limit for being able to have children, but this is not the only game I've played in where a GM has said something similar. 

Now, I am totally willing to abide by whatever decision my GM makes, but for my own peace of mind, I can't seem to find anything in the rules that contradicts what the 5.1 rule book says. I do, however, remember seeing a table somewhere about birthing tables, and a wife's age. I think it went something like "the older the wife gets, the harder it is for her to get pregnant, and the higher risk she runs of dying in childbirth," but I can't seem to find it again. I'm also not sure if my wife will ever die of old age, allowing my character to marry again and sire children with someone else. I realize 5.1 isn't exactly the most current, and I may be missing something somewhere; I just don't know where.

 

So, my questions are:

Is there anything in the supplements or anywhere else that says a wife stops bearing children at a certain age? If so, where? Can a wife die of natural means over time? (i.e. old age?) Is my knight stuck with this otherwise infertile old lady for the rest of the game? Please help!

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30 minutes ago, Craiger said:

Is there anything in the supplements or anywhere else that says a wife stops bearing children at a certain age?

Technically no, other than of course , death. However, there are a few fan made childbirth tables that might have an upper limit. I think Morien's house talbes broken things up by the age of the wine if 5 or 10 year increments.

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If so, where? Can a wife die of natural means over time? (i.e. old age?) Is my knight stuck with this otherwise infertile old lady for the rest of the game? Please help!

You're stuck if your GM says so, since he gets to decide those things.

Also, it is probably worth noting that Lady Indeg's land is her's  not actually the  PKs, and thus should escheat back to the Count upon her death. So basically the knight gets some extra income and glory for the rest of her life. Now the count could grant some or all of her land to her husband, but he would really need to do something impressive to earn that honor.

 

 

 

Edited by Atgxtg
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Fist, your GM is the Law in your campaign. If he said a woman past 40 can not naturally have a child (like you know, in real life), she can't have a child. You manage to magically have twins, so good for you. Don't be too greedy. When you married lady Indeg, you knew that fertility was an issue. It looks like you are trying to have your cake and eat it.

And yes, there is rules concerning the declining fertility of women. Unfortunately, they were on the website of Greg Stafford, who is no longer available.

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40 minutes ago, Tizun Thane said:

Fist, your GM is the Law in your campaign. If he said a woman past 40 can not naturally have a child (like you know, in real life), she can't have a child. You manage to magically have twins, so good for you. Don't be too greedy. When you married lady Indeg, you knew that fertility was an issue. It looks like you are trying to have your cake and eat it.

And yes, there is rules concerning the declining fertility of women. Unfortunately, they were on the website of Greg Stafford, who is no longer available.

No, certainly not trying to push a point. As I said, I'm fine with his ruling, if that's what he decides. But one great thing about our game and the GM is that we all discuss the rules, point out discrepancies (which happen from time to time in this game system,) and he makes a final ruling from there. We have not yet discussed this, so please don't think I'm trying to battle my game master bc something is disadvantageous to me after he has already made up his mind. I just thought I had seen some tables somewhere about it, and thought there might be a discrepancy in the rules. I run games too, so I like to know for my own sake when my players ask. I most likely saw it on the old Nocturnal Website. Wasn't aware if it came from or ever made it into one of the new supplements. And to be fair, if women past 40 can't have children (like you know, in real life,) then they should be able to die of old age as well. Especially if there is a system in place for the PKs to do so (i.e aging tables)

Edited by Craiger
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36 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Technically no, other than of course , death. However, there are a few fan made childbirth tables that might have an upper limit. I think Morien's house talbes broken things up by the age of the wine if 5 or 10 year increments.

You're stuck if your GM says so, since he gets to decide those things.

Also, it is probably worth noting that Lady Indeg's land is her's  not actually the  PKs, and thus should escheat back to the Count upon her death. So basically the knight gets some extra income and glory for the rest of her life. Now the count could grant some or all of her land to her husband, but he would really need to do something impressive to earn that honor.

 

 

 

I likely saw Morien's table on the old forum, so that would explain it. As far as Indeg's lands go, I am aware that they don't belong to my PK, but I was under the impression that they would pass to Indeg's son (my PKs heir,) being a male heir of her body. I believe there is something in either Warlord or Estate that says this. In our game, we have agreed that my knight holds these lands in stewardship until their son comes of age.

That said, is there a system in place in the RAW that deals with wives dying of old age, like the player knights? 

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11 minutes ago, Craiger said:

I was under the impression that they would pass to Indeg's son (my PKs heir,) being a male heir of her body.

Only if they were Indeg's to begin with, rather than just Widow's Portion. In 5.2, she has two manors by her own inheritance and 3 as a widow. Those 2 first ones would be inheritable.

19 minutes ago, Craiger said:

I just thought I had seen some tables somewhere about it, and thought there might be a discrepancy in the rules.

Greg also had some tables on his website, and you can still reach them via waybackmachine, I believe... I don't particularly like them since they are even more murderous for the women than the regular table, which is bad enough.

The normal rules don't really have to think about it too much, since the wives generally start less than 20, and are almost certainly dead by 40, due to the 10% death chance per year.

Book of the Estate p. 22 has rules for miscellaneous death, and also includes this note: "For married females of childbearing age (15-40)". Although for simplicity, I would just use 45 as the cutoff, since then it works better with the categories.

 

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1 hour ago, Craiger said:

I likely saw Morien's table on the old forum, so that would explain it. As far as Indeg's lands go, I am aware that they don't belong to my PK, but I was under the impression that they would pass to Indeg's son (my PKs heir,) being a male heir of her body. I believe there is something in either Warlord or Estate that says this. In our game, we have agreed that my knight holds these lands in stewardship until their son comes of age.

Well historically they belong to the children of Indeg's first husband, and would backtrack up that path if he left no heirs. If there are  no heirs, then  thw widws portion could end  up going  to Indeg's children b y the PK, but somebody  might come out of the woodwork with a claim.  

 

It is also possible, but unlikely that the Count might recognize  the PKS son as  the hier, if  it suits the Count and there really isn't anyone else around with  a claim. Basically, all  those manors are a huge grant and the Count would really need a good reason to want to reward a PK so much.  He's be halfway to  being an estate holder.

 

1 hour ago, Craiger said:

That said, is there a system in place in the RAW that deals with wives dying of old age, like the player knights? 

Yeah, in Estate or Warlord there is a table for  NPKs and significant NPCs dying off from various causes including old age. 

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If Indeg has any sons from her previous three marriages (none mentioned, but it would be up to the GM, IMHO), then the eldest of those sons would inherit Indeg's own two manors, regardless of any children with a PK. If Indeg has only daughters, they would share equally, unless she gets a son with the PK, who would then inherit those two manors.

Widow's Portions would go back to the heirs of the dead husbands (any children they had, with or without Indeg, then their siblings & siblings' children, and then it gets a bit more iffy, potential escheat to the liege, i.e. the Count). In no case would the PK or any children he has with or without Indeg inherit those manors. They might get granted or gifted if they escheat to the Count, but this is a NEW gift or grant, not inheritance.

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It's already been ruled in our campaign that Indeg had no children with any of her previous husbands (at least none that lived to adulthood,) and that there are no other known heirs around from any of the other marriages that might lay claim to them. Now, he didn't say anything about the other husbands having bastards or children from previous marriages, so if he decides to throw that curve ball somewhere down the road, that's up to him, and I would welcome the challenge, because that's just good role playing. 

At any rate, my questions really had to do with npc wives being able to give birth past a certain age, and whether or not said wives could die of old age, which I think you all have answered. Thank you! :)

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1 minute ago, Craiger said:

Now, he didn't say anything about the other husbands having bastards or children from previous marriages, so if he decides to throw that curve ball somewhere down the road, that's up to him, and I would welcome the challenge, because that's just good role playing. 

Wouldn't matter, for your character. Indeg's two manors are for Indeg's blood-relatives, her own (future) children first, not her husbands' families (since she has no children with the husbands'). The Widow's Portion manors go back to the husbands' families, even if the husbands' were childless. If there are NO heirs (in either case), then the manors escheat to the Liege. Good luck getting them; he has plenty of deserving household knights to reward, too...

1 minute ago, Craiger said:

At any rate, my questions really had to do with npc wives being able to give birth past a certain age, and whether or not said wives could die of old age, which I think you all have answered. Thank you! :)

You are quite welcome!

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1 hour ago, Craiger said:

Now, he didn't say anything about the other husbands having bastards or children from previous marriages, so if he decides to throw that curve ball somewhere down the road, that's up to him, and I would welcome the challenge, because that's just good role playing. 

It's not really a curve. Basically when you marry a widow the  land that she hold sis only hers temporarily (he widow's rights) and never becomes the property of her  new husband, or his heirs. Now any manors that she might own outright, that is those that she inherited from her father, are another story.

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I have a somewhat-related question, because I'm a bit unclear on it; is the widow's portion 1/3 of the husband's landholdings at the time of marriage, or throughout the knight's life? I was under the impression it was the former, but wanted to make sure. And while living off the Widow's Portion, whoever is her warden (such as liege or whoever he assigns) or husband, would be who actually gets the income, right? Would it be normal for the widowed mother to live with her adult son, if she had no husband, effectively allowing him to keep the income? I just wanted to be very clear, because a PK's wife did die suddenly, and now we're wanting to make sure we understand how this whole situation worked.

To be more on topic, there is a family survival table in Book of the Estate that has different tables you roll each year depending on their age. That's the way I deal with NPC's lifespans. It also has some allowances for other forms of death, such as plague, siege, etc.

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2 minutes ago, Call Me Deacon Blues said:

I have a somewhat-related question, because I'm a bit unclear on it; is the widow's portion 1/3 of the husband's landholdings at the time of marriage, or throughout the knight's life?  

 

I was under the impression it was the former, but wanted to make sure.

That's a good question. I believe it is at the time of the knight's d eath. The reason being that if  a knight's holdings were to someone  increase, I beleive his wife's income would also increase.

2 minutes ago, Call Me Deacon Blues said:

And while living off the Widow's Portion, whoever is her warden (such as liege or whoever he assigns) or husband, would be who actually gets the income, right?

Just to clarify the widow would get the widows portion of the income. If you mean the rest of the estate, then that would go to the heirs, but could be held for them by the liege or someone he appointed to manage the estate until the heir was of age.

2 minutes ago, Call Me Deacon Blues said:

Would it be normal for the widowed mother to live with her adult son, if she had no husband, effectively allowing him to keep the income?

No. Normally the widows potion would be used to maintain the window, while some of th  income of the rest of the estate would maintain any children. And adult son of the widow would usually have to make his own way, but the older sons would probably be  squired too  to someone before becoming knights and inheriting the land. Younger sons were often incorporated into he family estate somehow, with a young brother possibly ending up as a steward on in some other position. 

 

Just how it worked out depended on how much in come there was and how the land holder or his  heirs might decide to handle it.  

2 minutes ago, Call Me Deacon Blues said:

I just wanted to be very clear, because a PK's wife did die suddenly, and now we're wanting to make sure we understand how this whole situation worked.

If the land belonged to the  PK then it would go back to  him. If, on the other hand the land went to the wife, then the land would  pass on down t o the heirs of the wife's previous husband, or if t here were not any children, back to her husband's male relatives or back to the liege lord.

The overall idea is that land always goes from a male to a an heir. THe "widow's portion" is essentially  a medieval pension plan to take care  of a knights' wife should the knight die before her.

 

2 minutes ago, Call Me Deacon Blues said:

To be more on topic, there is a family survival table in Book of the Estate that has different tables you roll each year depending on their age. That's the way I deal with NPC's lifespans. It also has some allowances for other forms of death, such as plague, siege, etc.

It's a perfectly fine way to  handle generic NPC death. My current campaign has been going on for 45 years  now, and all of the original NPCs have gotten older and most have passed away. 

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Okay, good to know, let me clarify some of my questions.

First off, where does the widow physically live? Like, let's say, the knight had 1 manor, 10 Libra, he dies, therefore wife gets 3.5 (which is what Entourage says to round to, though 1/3 of a libra isn't actually that hard to break up). There is also an adult son, he would inherit the manor, but 3.5 of it is the widow's. So he does get to inherit, but he only gets access to 6.5 L of the manor's wealth, with the additional going to his mother. Does she live in the manor house with him? A separate house on the land? Somewhere else entirely? It seems odd to me for her to live in a different house than the manor, especially since she's still contributing somewhat towards the knight, because she still owes a servitium debitum on 1/3 of a knight (my understanding would be that her 1/3 and the son's 2/3 combined would contribute to the knight in question, in this case, the son himself). And if that's the case, the son would only be getting 6.5 Discretionary fund? The way I figured it worked, while the Widow's Portion was technically hers, if she died and had no father to return to, then her liege took her in, and then basically helped him self to her fund, so long as he kept her up. Maybe I have totally the wrong idea here.

I already talked over this specific instance on the Discord, I believe; she was an heiress, the PK earned more lands besides, her children are all also his children so no weird stepchildren exceptions, hers and his oldest son will inherit the land and the PK will administer it until the child reaches the age of majority, in which case her lands will be inherited by their son, and he will keep his own lands until he dies, in which case they will also go to his eldest son. I know things might get weird if the eldest child dies, and when, and whether or not he had any children beforehand, but like, he's 10 right now, so that's gonna be a bit.

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9 hours ago, Call Me Deacon Blues said:

First off, where does the widow physically live?

She probably live with her son in the familial manor, but she could go to a relative, to the count, buy her own little house somewhere... There is no rule. But yes, widows portion is a mess and a burden in the game.

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On 12/10/2019 at 8:36 AM, Tizun Thane said:

She probably live with her son in the familial manor, but she could go to a relative, to the count, buy her own little house somewhere... There is no rule. But yes, widows portion is a mess and a burden in the game.

I don't think so, it's  pretty simple. 1/3rd of  the manor goes to the wife to maintain her for her life. It's much like a pension today.

Where things get confusing for most people is that  they tend to assume that the wife inherits her husband's property like  is usually the case today.  But in a medieval setting she is out of the  loop and it all  goes back to some male heir.

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16 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I don't think so, it's  pretty simple.

Still, the widow would probably live in the familial manor. What is messy is not the inheritance rules, it is the application of the widow portion.

1/3 of 6£ in the old system is  simple. 1/3 of 10 £ in the new one is messy. 3,333 £ (1 £ for herself, 1£ for her children, and 1,3333 £ for what?). And the rest of the family have only 6,5 £ to pay everything else? Who pays the soldiers, the chaplain? How do you apply that in game?

For my part, that's why so many widows are deprived of their rights...

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5 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

Still, the widow would probably live in the familial manor.

Yes, that is most likely. In fact that is the  point behind t he widow's portion.

5 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

What is messy is not the inheritance rules, it is the application of the widow portion.

Not really. All it is supposed to do is support the widow in the same  lifestyle that she had  when her  husband was alive. No more, no less, Also keep in mind that the wife would also own part of army and family fees, so she would not get the £3.5 any more than the knight gets the £10 for the manor. Instead she would get about £1.5 to maintain herself and her  maid, plus about £1/3 from the discretionary funds, the remaining 1 or so would go towards maintaining the manor and army as before.

5 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

1/3 of 6£ in the old system is  simple. 1/3 of 10 £ in the new one is messy. 3,333 £ (1 £ for herself, 1£ for her children, and 1,3333 £ for what?). And the rest of the family have only 6,5 £ to pay everything else? Who pays the soldiers, the chaplain? How do you apply that in game?

That's all broken  down in the Book  of the Estate, especially on page 38. There is actually more than  £10 for a manor, but some of it isn't part of the knights normal income a nd goes towards maintaining the staff. 

5 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

For my part, that's why so many widows are deprived of their rights...

Except they are not. They get t hie rportion of land to live on as custom dictates. What  hey don't get is £3.5 in pocket change.

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OK, for some reason this didn't post...

It is explained in Entourage as well. For simplicity, the division goes like this:

£3.5 Widow's Portion: Widow and her children (from other marriages) £2, three foot soldiers £1.5 (stationed at the manor still, most likely).

£6.5 left to whoever inherits the manor: Knight & family (incl. horses and squire) £6, Lady's Maid £0.5. Naturally, if the knight is childless, then there is money left over for a Chaplain, otherwise the knight has to rely on the village priest for religious guidance (alas, the village priest is likely illiterate himself, too). 

Edited by Morien
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Naturally, if the widow doesn't have any kids to take care of herself, then she might have some more money to spend around. Well, when I say her, I do mean the guardian. I doubt that widows of a marriageable age stay on the shelf for long: they are pretty great for rewarding household knights with, giving them a chance for a family at very little extra cost for the liege. I also could see widows being quite common as ladies-in-waiting for the Wife of the Liege.

Also, if the knight is unmarried (at the moment, could be a widower), then of course there is no need for a Lady's Maid, although he probably would spring for a wetnurse/nanny of some sort if he still has little kids. If he doesn't have kids, either, then he might be spending that £1.5 for a chaplain and some other hang-around follower worth £0.5.

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