Morien Posted October 22, 2020 Report Share Posted October 22, 2020 (edited) As requested by MOB, I am starting a new thread on this topic. The starting off point is Roberto's post here: https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/12969-stay-tuned-in-the-coming-days-for-a-major-announcement-about-the-king-arthur pendragon rpg/page/3/?tab=comments#comment-202120 He stated that he would like to see about 50% females in the knights and the rulers/lieges. (EDIT: Just so we are crystal-clear... I am not saying that this is what the future of the line should be. Personally, I am happy with most noblewomen choosing to be ladies and just a select bunch deciding that being a knight is for them. I am mainly trying to see how this would impact on the game and gameplay.) So first of all, how to make that happen? That is easy: simply erase the male-preferred part of the primogeniture. The eldest child will be the heir, the second is the spare, and not only that, they will get trained as knights regardless of sex. Since the sex of the baby is for practical purposes 50/50, this would result in a 50/50 split between male and female knightly heirs and spares. However, what is the implication on the heiresses in this brave new world? You could of course still have a non-knight heiress, if she doesn't have any knightly siblings left... which actually might be more common than just not having brothers would be, if we assume that a typical vassal knight family can afford to knight a maximum of two children (the eldest + the spare with dad's old equipment). The way to make female lady heiresses more common would be to drop the requirement that they are trained as knights. But this would lead to male knights being more common than female knights, since the husband would very likely be a knight himself. So it would be incompatible with the (approximately) 50/50 split, while having some rare non-knightly heiresses wouldn't really influence the fraction that much. Another way to do this would be to say that the heir of the vassal knight needs to be a knight, but that of a Baron (maybe even an estate holder) can be a non-knight, as they will have a host of household knights and officers to take care of the fighting stuff. That would work, and give those rich heiresses for the RTKs to save and marry. How about non-heiress ladies? Well, you still have 50 percent of the knights having lady wives, and there are presumably the younger sisters of the heirs and spares. So you'd still have wife/amor candidates for the male PKs, and presumably the female PKs could have their pick of both knightly and esquire males. So as far as the PKs are concerned, the world might still be pretty close to the default male-preferred-primogeniture, rare-female-knights KAP. Sure, you have half of the knights who are actually women, but it is not as if you'd interact with the mass of the knights anyway as individuals. You can still have 'save the heiress' -adventure, and arguably, since you could more easily have non-knightly male heirs (since there is less of a push to have all males trained as knights), you could have 'save the heir' -adventures, too ('I just want... to SING!'). What might change a bit is that since now the knighthood is more of a quirk of birth order, you don't get the same self-selection that the rare-female-knights get. There is no reason to assume that the firstborn female baby would be bigger and stronger than the second-born. While female PKs should obviously be exceptions to this (that bit about not arbitrarily punishing players), there are physical differences in males and females on average that would result in the female knights being in a statistical disadvantage against their male counterparts (a reason why the sports are segregated in real world). Again, this would not matter that much to the PKs: they are usually going to be more exceptional than the norm anyway. It just means that the 4d6 damage band would likely be more populated, having both young male and many female knights in there. So you might see a small drop in the average damage in Battle opponents. Maybe. So, one thing I had not spoken explicitly about yet was household knights. Now, given how rare the vassal knights are in BotW (10-20% or so), it is clear that the household knights have to come from somewhere else, too. Funnily enough, dropping the restriction that only male (usually) become knights makes for a bigger pool of candidates. Still, expecting 5 knighted members per vassal knight family is a bit too much, especially as I just stated above that you probably can afford two. So you pretty much have to get other sources of household knights: allowing the household knights to marry and produce children, and the eldest children getting trained as a knight and inheriting the HHK parent's equipment would make the household knights more self-sustaining, as well as keep the sex ratio in check as it is again 50/50 which sex the eldest child will be. Even if only half of the HHKs would marry and produce at least one child, you would still get some replenishment, and the second children can act as spares if the eldest dies without children of their own. Promotion from the ranks might still be a thing (especially during the early periods of heavy warfare), and here we might actually see some self-selection of female warriors, as only the best would be competing for the promotion. On the other hand, you would expect more male candidates, simply because of the physical advantage mentioned previously. Still, this would not be a huge fraction in the end, either. What there pretty much would have to be on the lieges' side, though, is transgenerational loyalty. You are taking the son/daughter of your household knight (or your father's household knight) as your own household knight, since that is simply what is expected. This would no doubt lead to quite strong Loyalties on both sides, especially since if you are of the same age, those household knight children were probably your playmates and friends when growing up, too. Because it is true that from the liege's side of things, a male knight is logistically superior: bigger and stronger and hence a better fighter (more damage and HP), and while the pregnancy probably wouldn't be a huge issue for household knights (marrying later, and only some of them marry), it might be on the back of the head when deciding. So let's talk about pregnancy. The pregnancy of the higher nobility doesn't really matter (even assuming that a half of them would be female knights): they are a small minority anyway, and have marshals and household knights to do their fighting for them, and can easily afford the extra mercenary knight if the king is being an ass about it. If we have about 20% vassal knights, this would be about 10% female knights. Assuming that they would be out of action for, say, 3 months due to pregnancy, and they would be pregnant every other year (possibly an overestimate), and the birthdates would be effectively random through the year, you would get 1/8th of the female vassal knights who would be indisposed at any given moment of the campaigning season. Given that the vassal servitium debitum is 40 days, you would get about 7 month window that the female vassal knight might be within her 4 month 'maternity leave' period at some point in that servitium debitum. And that is assuming that you would have your whole army together for that 40 days, rather than having some of the vassal knights rotate as their servitium debitum ends. So this would give 1/4rd of the female vassal knights would be indisposed, or 2.5% of all of the liege's knights. Widening this to the household knights, we could assume, for argument's sake, that the household knights would marry late, say around 30 or so, if at all. The age pyramid would imply that the majority of the knights would be younger than this, so let's guestimate that only 1/3rd of the HHKs would be in the potentially marry age category at a given time. We suggested earlier that maybe only half of them actually do. Assuming an even split between male and female HHKs, we get 1/6th of the currently serving HHKs marrying, and 1/12th being females. In other words, we have roughly the same number of married female HHKs as married female vassal knights. So roughly, about 5% of all the liege's knights might be indisposed due to their pregnancy during a fixed 40-day window. So, as far as the 40-day campaign is concerned, this is no biggie: you probably would be leaving more than 5% of your knights to defend your landholdings anyway, act as castellans (a great position for those married female HHK), etc. While the HHKs would be expected to serve 365 days a year, as stated, garrison duty and especially castellan duty is not that incompatible with pregnancy. Sure, you wouldn't want to stick all your pregnant HHKs into the same castle, but you'd have roughly 1/8th of 1/12th of your household knights in their last trimester, or about 1%, at any given time. This is not really a concern (especially if you think that 5% of your household knights might be wandering in the forests, mad, due to a fumbled Loyalty (lord) roll... ). Even if you expand the maternity leave for the full year, you just double the numbers to about 10% of the liege's army, and at least half of that 10% would be well able to fight without issues if need be. Again, these are numbers that you'd expect to see being left home anyway to defend it. It would not have a major impact on the liege's army size. (EDIT: Note that the following issues of an individual female PK would apply even if she were the ONLY female knight in the game world. And if the GM made it deliberately difficult for my female character while ignoring similar things about the male characters, then I hope he would have been honest about it up front that he intended to make it an issue in game. So it would be my choice if I wanted to put up with it, play a male character instead, or walk away.) So what about the individual vassal knight? Sure, though would have that 3-month window when they would have significant issues from pregnancy. But that leaves 9 months of the year. Sure, the winter is not good for adventuring, but it might also coincide with the last trimester, too. As stated previously, I assume 1 pregnancy per 2 years, so even if the last trimester would take a 3-month chunk out of the 6-month or so of the prime adventuring season, you are still left with 75% of your total 12-months of adventuring time. So it is not such a big deal, unless the GM deliberately makes it one. What about raids? Yeah, those could be an issue. However, it would be very, very easy to ask the liege (who does owe you protection, I remind you) or a friendly PK or a neighboring NPK for assistance, if your manor happens to be on the edge of Salisbury and hence more exposed to raiding pre-Badon (after Badon, this is much less of an issue, unless you are playing the Levcomagus feud as a really hot conflict; frankly, as Chivalry takes hold, I wouldn't be surprised if they deliberately would AVOID manors with a pregnant knight or lady in them even if they would be raiding). But the same would be true for any male PKs who happen to be away from their manors to adventure in the Forest Sauvage, or be employed as mercenaries in some wars or be assigned on a mission somewhere farther away. Sure, non-pregnant female PKs might be doing the same thing in addition to being pregnant, but just saying that fixating on the pregnancy as the only vulnerability is not really fair. As for being targeted specifically because the enemy/raider knows that you are indisposed due to a pregnancy means that the enemy has some pretty good intel and the ability to act on it. So the same issue would be faced by any male PK who is low on his hit points and convalescing at home, potentially even unconscious at the time, or mad in the forest. Also, see the previous about asking for help. Heck, might make for a nice little RP/story hook, even, fostering cooperation and friendship between the neighbors. Being vulnerable 1/8th of the time is not huge, either, especially as it might coincide with Winter which is not a great raiding season, as well as our assumptions were pretty generous to begin with: for example, assuming a pregnancy every third year would change this number to 1/12th of the time, less than 10%. In conclusion: 1. If that is what you want, you can have a 50/50 split between male and female knights. 2. The game would still play pretty much the same, except the average NPK damage might come down a bit, due to the higher number of female knights. This might be more of a case for battles than anything else, though. 3. Pregnancy would not have a significant impact on the nobles' armies. 4. If the GM wishes to be difficult, the individual female PK can find ways to protect herself and her lands during the final trimester of her pregnancy. (EDIT: 5. Something I didn't underline earlier... Since the heir now can be male or female, this means that there is a 50 percent chance that you end up playing a gender different from your real world one. That will be a good RP exercise for all those male gamers out there who usually play male characters. After all, that is what RP is supposed to be, playing something you are not, right? OK, that was a bit naughty of me, but I do wonder how much of a holler would have been raised if instead of requiring female players to play a male character, it would have been vice versa? As for actual point, I think I would work with the Player in question: if they prefer playing a male/female knight, I'd just have the elder siblings decline the honor, die of illness or something, or, in the extreme case, just genderflip them.) As for the LGBTQ, this is probably even less of an issue, as sexuality has even less of an impact on being a knight. A gay knight presumably fights just as well as a straight one. The medieval church's doctrine and civil laws hardened over time. Early Medieval laws would just have slapped them on the wrist if caught. It was challenging the church dogma that would get you into trouble. However, given that KAP already has out and proud Pagans worshipping their own gods in public (literally demon worshippers as far as the historical medieval church is concerned), I'd have a hard time claiming that there MUST be a witch-hunt for gay knights. And would the existence of LGBTQ PKs alter the story in meaningful ways? Not really. Edited October 22, 2020 by Morien 3 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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