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Thats my point exactly. I don't want romantisation, i aim to historical realism. Anyway...

 

One other point i want to add, Anarchy period and early reign of Arthur was full of wars, maybe even more than during initial saxon invasion. Thats, along with accompanying starvation and diseases, logically led to population decline. The thing is, in archaic agrarian society this may lead to increased average prosperity - poor people are more likely to die, and already cultivated land will later be re-distributed among survivors - or at least that what (according to modern historians) happened after Plague. Obviously, with modern economy, going Thanos on people wouldn't work like that😅

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Romanticise, not romanise!  Romanisation has stopped by this period.  I can't see how you are aiming for realism when you ignore the historical sources that are relevant to Logres while bringing in unconnected ones from elsewhere.  I don't think there is any way we are going to agree on anything on this thread, so have a nice day, y'all.

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25 minutes ago, Ali the Helering said:

Romanticise, not romanise!  Romanisation has stopped by this period. 

oops, autocorrect...😅

26 minutes ago, Ali the Helering said:

I can't see how you are aiming for realism when you ignore the historical sources that are relevant to Logres while bringing in unconnected ones from elsewhere.

Well, basic KAP combine elements from multiple different sources (including 20thc books and movies), and intentionally anachronistic. Settlements and economic model, for example, explicitly based on 11thc, not 6thc. 

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On 11/6/2021 at 12:24 AM, Morien said:

but all men are not equal in Arthur's kingdom, either. A knight is a knight and a serf is a serf. Now, Arthur hands out justice tempered with mercy, and it is a much better place to live, but it is not an egalitarian utopia.

Yet, Arthur promised to knight Percival, even while assuming him to be just naive peasant kid... Beside, early feudalism was comparatively more egalitarian than many later form of society. Household knights and vassals knights with single manor (i.e. majority of nobility*) had income just slightly larger than rich peasants, of which there was much more then most people think. And, logically, there would be more in KAP, given smaller population density. So wealth gap would be even smaller, and "middle class" more numerous.

* since Arthur wisely avoided empowering high nobility too much, there would be even larger proportion of minor noblesse. Which is useful, as they more likely to go adventuring instead of scheming.😆

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On 11/30/2021 at 5:50 PM, Oleksandr said:

http://web.archive.org/web/20170226164946/http://gspendragon.com/swans_hundred.pdf

http://web.archive.org/web/20170226165038/http://gspendragon.com/ambrius_hundred.pdf

So, was there plans for more of such detailed descriptions of hundreds? I mean, it both interesting AND useful.

Greg said on the old forum that these were drafts for what was going to be the Book of Salisbury. At one point the idea was that each Salisbury hundred would get a map and detailed description. Last year sirlarkins said the Book of Salisbury is still in the pipeline as part of a GM's Resource Pack.

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36 minutes ago, Oleksandr said:

Two more questions:

1) is 10% income bonus from nearby City/market town/port/(woods, from BoE) applicable for small manors - 10 and less L?

Yes. Woods even make this point explicitly: "Thus, a wooded manor of £10 provides £1". However, note that unlike the other bonuses (due to trade), Woods is NOT automatic. You need to have gotten the Woods rights assigned to your Manor to begin with.

36 minutes ago, Oleksandr said:

2) BoE states that landholder can maintain ut to 20% more knight than normal. Are there still obligation to provide 3 soldiers per this extra knights?

Depends if it is written into Servitium debitum or not. The obligation is to provide whatever is written in Servitium debitum, everything more is voluntary.

The math works out that the normal full servitum debitum is £5.5 per £10, and 20% of that is £1.1 per £10. This is just a tad more than you'd be able to afford with Discretionary funds, but close enough to keep things simple, so yes, I would just handwave it and say that yes you can have SD of 6 knights and 18 footmen for a £50 estate at the cost of your Discretionary funds (even though the exact would be 6 knights and 17 footmen = 1 knight + 2 footmen extra = £5 extra = normal DF of £50 estate), if for some reason the King has insisted on as high SD as feasible.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/6/2021 at 10:33 AM, Morien said:

Depends if it is written into Servitium debitum or not. The obligation is to provide whatever is written in Servitium debitum, everything more is voluntary.

The math works out that the normal full servitum debitum is £5.5 per £10, and 20% of that is £1.1 per £10. This is just a tad more than you'd be able to afford with Discretionary funds, but close enough to keep things simple, so yes, I would just handwave it and say that yes you can have SD of 6 knights and 18 footmen for a £50 estate at the cost of your Discretionary funds (even though the exact would be 6 knights and 17 footmen = 1 knight + 2 footmen extra = £5 extra = normal DF of £50 estate), if for some reason the King has insisted on as high SD as feasible.

Hm, as i understand, Servitium debitum not always so standardised? (that would explain why some regional armies (in old editions at least) has more knights than soldiers)

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8 minutes ago, Oleksandr said:

Hm, as i understand, Servitium debitum not always so standardised? (that would explain why some regional armies (in old editions at least) has more knights than soldiers)

Correct. The 1+3 is the standard in Logres, but even there it can vary. But it is the starting point to start varying from. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/6/2021 at 9:24 AM, Morien said:

Also, to answer to Oleksandr, Uther Period is not supposed to be all sweetness and light, quite the opposite.

Agreed.  The Uther period is one when the Saxon invasion is in swing.  Britain is in the throes of de-romanization.  It is a time of slaving, warlordism, and random murder for profit akin to the Anarchy of Stephen or the Viking Invasions.  The 'Groans of the Britains' were the result of the Roman Empire having to downgrade its holdings due to invasions and epidemics.  Was Uther's rule worse than the Normans?  Well, quite possibly, as William the Bastard had a super-prosperous Saxon kingdom to plunder, said to be the richest land in Europe, while Uther is just the biggest of a group of petty regional warlords trying to keep the Romano-British people alive through a terrible period.

On 11/13/2021 at 4:24 PM, Ali the Helering said:

I don't think you are nitpicking, but I do think you are in great danger of romanticising non-egalitarian social structures.  That, however, is your right.

First show me a culture with writing that hasn't romanticized non-egalitarian social structures.  This is the historical norm, not the exception, and with good reason within history (being the study of documents).  The fact is, the existence of social order depends on a monopoly of violence, without which there is only pitiful rates of health care, trade, education, industry, etc.  During a period when the social order is shaky at best, there being no separation between the state and military, and the monopoly of violence is not well established, propaganda legitimizing any central authority is a necessity for the survival of any social order on which to build.  That is certainly one way of viewing the Arthurian Myths in their original pre-Malory context.  Without the power of myth, there was no reason to hold any king in esteem, or for armed men to cultivate any love of civilizing values, and thus the social order collapses into murderous anarchy again and again.

It is also worth pointing out that it was Sir William Marshal aka Guillame de Marechal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, an extraordinary knight and pretty genuine historical paragon of chivalry who is the primary driving force for the British Monarchy's long term adoption of the Magna Carta thanks to his regency of Henry III, and which made modern democratic states possible by enforcing representative government and limiting the power of the crown, unlike what happened in continental Europe, where absolutist monarchy became increasingly out of control.  Sir Bill deserves everyone's respect, and his own trilly imo.

 

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46 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Agreed.  The Uther period is one when the Saxon invasion is in swing.  Britain is in the throes of de-romanization.  It is a time of slaving, warlordism, and random murder for profit akin to the Anarchy of Stephen or the Viking Invasions.  The 'Groans of the Britains' were the result of the Roman Empire having to downgrade its holdings due to invasions and epidemics.  Was Uther's rule worse than the Normans?  Well, quite possibly, as William the Bastard had a super-prosperous Saxon kingdom to plunder, said to be the richest land in Europe, while Uther is just the biggest of a group of petty regional warlords trying to keep the Romano-British people alive through a terrible period.

Well, while his rule was, obviously, troubled, i still have doubts he was as intentionally oppressive as normans. I mean, he wasn't conqueror of foreigners after all...

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5 hours ago, Darius West said:

First show me a culture with writing that hasn't romanticized non-egalitarian social structures.  This is the historical norm, not the exception, and with good reason within history (being the study of documents).  The fact is, the existence of social order depends on a monopoly of violence, without which there is only pitiful rates of health care, trade, education, industry, etc.  During a period when the social order is shaky at best, there being no separation between the state and military, and the monopoly of violence is not well established, propaganda legitimizing any central authority is a necessity for the survival of any social order on which to build.  That is certainly one way of viewing the Arthurian Myths in their original pre-Malory context.  Without the power of myth, there was no reason to hold any king in esteem, or for armed men to cultivate any love of civilizing values, and thus the social order collapses into murderous anarchy again and again.

It is also worth pointing out that it was Sir William Marshal aka Guillame de Marechal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, an extraordinary knight and pretty genuine historical paragon of chivalry who is the primary driving force for the British Monarchy's long term adoption of the Magna Carta thanks to his regency of Henry III, and which made modern democratic states possible by enforcing representative government and limiting the power of the crown, unlike what happened in continental Europe, where absolutist monarchy became increasingly out of control.  Sir Bill deserves everyone's respect, and his own trilly imo.

 

Actually, there are many cultures that have romanticised egalitarian social structures, including most western liberal democracies.  I am in favour of such social structures, but not in favour of romanticising them!  The Arthurian myths are not so easily 'lumped together' though - there is a marked difference between the Mabinogion and the French geste.

While I am a great admirer of William Marshal, and his military abilities and atypical behaviour, I think that you over-estimate the success and effect of the Magna Carta.  Representative government in the UK didn't truly exist until the Representation of the People Act in 1928, with female suffrage.  Until then it was the domain of select and unrepresentative groupings.

 

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On 1/6/2022 at 1:21 AM, Darius West said:

The fact is, the existence of social order depends on a monopoly of violence, without which there is only pitiful rates of health care, trade, education, industry, etc. 

No, not the sole fact, but a popular opinion regularly invoked to reconcile with a status quo of misery.  But also rather beside the point.

!i!

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On 1/8/2022 at 7:46 PM, Ian Absentia said:

No, not the sole fact, but a popular opinion regularly invoked to reconcile with a status quo of misery. 

The citizen resolves to give up their recourse to violence to the state, and the state in turn promises to render justice in the case of wrongdoing.  Thus the state has the monopoly of violence.  The monopoly of violence is the foundation of the Rule of Law.  When the state cannot maintain the monopoly of violence, you get anarchy, like Somalia.  When the monopoly of violence is well established, and there is broad consensus that it is well administered, you get countries like Norway.  If you want a status quo of misery, Somalian anarchy is the example of misery, not Norway.

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20 hours ago, Darius West said:

The citizen resolves to give up their recourse to violence to the state, and the state in turn promises to render justice in the case of wrongdoing.  Thus the state has the monopoly of violence.  The monopoly of violence is the foundation of the Rule of Law.  When the state cannot maintain the monopoly of violence, you get anarchy, like Somalia.  When the monopoly of violence is well established, and there is broad consensus that it is well administered, you get countries like Norway.  If you want a status quo of misery, Somalian anarchy is the example of misery, not Norway.

Historically, that has seldom been the case, however.  The use of violence by the elite or by those sanctioned by a local elite has frequently been accepted.

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22 minutes ago, Ali the Helering said:

Historically, that has seldom been the case, however.  The use of violence by the elite or by those sanctioned by a local elite has frequently been accepted.

That is the very thing that the monopoly of violence exists to prevent by stripping local elites of the power to hand down summary justice, and instead placing that power in the hands of national institutions, under various forms of policy and oversight to avoid systemic abuses.

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4 minutes ago, Ali the Helering said:

Historically, that has seldom been the case, however.  The use of violence by the elite or by those sanctioned by a local elite has frequently been accepted.

Depending on region. Throughout middle ages there was quite a lot of popular movements against such injustice, occasionally quite successful. Often minor noblesse joined such movements. Additionally, free cities often joined alliances to protect their rights (including in England). There was also armed infighting between such cities and aristocracy, again, often successful. And in earlier (tribal) period attempts by "elites" to enforce their rule against the wishes of "commoners" often ends with death or exile of this "elites".

On 1/6/2022 at 5:10 PM, Ali the Helering said:

Actually, there are many cultures that have romanticised egalitarian social structures, including most western liberal democracies.  I am in favour of such social structures, but not in favour of romanticising them!  The Arthurian myths are not so easily 'lumped together' though - there is a marked difference between the Mabinogion and the French geste.

As i said earlier, feudal societies occasionally could be more egalitarian then some later forms. More than soviet union at least (which too was heavily romanticised). At least wealth gap was relatively small early on, and ruling elite was obliged to serv in the military, as shock troops even.

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13 hours ago, Darius West said:

That is the very thing that the monopoly of violence exists to prevent by stripping local elites of the power to hand down summary justice, and instead placing that power in the hands of national institutions, under various forms of policy and oversight to avoid systemic abuses.

Very true, but not applicable to the period about which we are corresponding.

 

12 hours ago, Oleksandr said:

Depending on region. Throughout middle ages there was quite a lot of popular movements against such injustice, occasionally quite successful. Often minor noblesse joined such movements. Additionally, free cities often joined alliances to protect their rights (including in England). There was also armed infighting between such cities and aristocracy, again, often successful. And in earlier (tribal) period attempts by "elites" to enforce their rule against the wishes of "commoners" often ends with death or exile of this "elites".

As i said earlier, feudal societies occasionally could be more egalitarian then some later forms. More than soviet union at least (which too was heavily romanticised). At least wealth gap was relatively small early on, and ruling elite was obliged to serv in the military, as shock troops even.

Yep.  Occasionally being the operative word.  As I said in my post, seldom.  Unfortunately the extent of such success was normally curtailed by the reaction against it. 

I am not too sure what the Soviet Union has to do with this - can you explain, please?

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11 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

Yep.  Occasionally being the operative word.  As I said in my post, seldom.  Unfortunately the extent of such success was normally curtailed by the reaction against it. 

Well, free cities and their alliances (which sometimes also included market towns) was much more successful at protecting their rights. Additionally, in borderland/frontier regions, due to constant raiding/counter-raiding populase was much more accustomed to violence, and in this regions population tended to be largely uncontrollable, despite considerable government efforts. Cossacks was famous example, though English-Scottish border may be more relevant. 

On 1/10/2022 at 10:48 AM, Ali the Helering said:

Historically, that has seldom been the case, however.  The use of violence by the elite or by those sanctioned by a local elite has frequently been accepted.

It depends. At least in Northern/Eastern Europe during tribal/transitional period (in other words, for half of middle ages) elites had no power to enforce their rule without popular support. Chiefs's personal troops wasn't big enough to overpower militia. In fact, chief position often was electable, and kept in check by people assemblies.

12 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

I am not too sure what the Soviet Union has to do with this - can you explain, please?

Well, besides that i quite familiar with it (being born in it 😅), it a good example of supposedly pro-people country that in reality was more oppressive than societies that stereotyped as oppressive. With state mandated romanticization campaign.

I could provide a lot of examples, but most telling is this - during formation soviet government declared whole class of landholding farmers national enemies and launched elimination campaign. Then villagers were forced (including by artificial famine) into collective farms, without IDs (i.e. effectively making them serfs) until 70th. 

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On 1/6/2022 at 9:09 PM, Oleksandr said:

Well, while his rule was, obviously, troubled, i still have doubts he was as intentionally oppressive as normans. I mean, he wasn't conqueror of foreigners after all...

Good intentions don't matter much to your starving peasants.  No, I don't think Uther intended to rule over a catastrophic period either, but a really good leader is the one who fixes the problems, not the one who 'treads water' waiting for the storm to pass.  William the Bastard however was 'the storm'. 

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Question, corebook say knights can mobilise their peasants for defence, so, if PK is berrock (or other loyal) saxon, and rule over land in Berroc or similar saxon populated region, should they instead have access to ceorls? (and that is another good reason to treet commoners well, in GPC among Uther period's troop tipes "Rich ceorl" rated above standard foot soldiers)

Similarly, should they have saxon warriors instead of foot soldiers?

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2 hours ago, Oleksandr said:

Question, corebook say knights can mobilise their peasants for defence, so, if PK is berrock (or other loyal) saxon, and rule over land in Berroc or similar saxon populated region, should they instead have access to ceorls? (and that is another good reason to treet commoners well, in GPC among Uther period's troop tipes "Rich ceorl" rated above standard foot soldiers)

Similarly, should they have saxon warriors instead of foot soldiers?

Maybe. But if I am giving the PK access to slightly higher quality troops, I am going to make him pay for that, too. For example, the Saxon Warriors might be expecting some gifts from their generous chieftain if the year has gone well, and the Saxon ceorls might not be willing to put up with Squeezes. And I might be even asking for the PK to have Folk Lore at 10, to reflect the smaller societal gulf between him and his Saxon subjects.

Frankly, being a LazyGMtm, I probably would sidestep this issue completely by not even bringing it up in a normal campaign context. Even in Berroc, the commoners are a mixture of Saxon and Cymric, definitely by Uther Period, almost a century after the Saxon arrival, and the warrior elite is fighting in the Cymric style and needing Cymric type social organization to fund the knight and the horses.

As for Kent, Wessex, etc... By the time the Saxon lands are reconquered after Badon, there are not really all that much call for the peasant militias, and you probably would have forbidden the Saxon ceorls to own weapons and armor anyway, in order to make rebelling harder for them. So it likely would not come up there, either.

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