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Pendragon 5.2: Questions about Levy & Quality of Troops

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I'm currently GMing the GPC in 5.2 and a number of questions have come up now that we've finished with the Book of Uther and enter 486, for which I can find no answer in the books itself and its kind of strange. If it helps, I'm not an english native.

1. How do Levy, lost in Battles, regenerate? Assume you have 80 People from your first manor, you lose 12 in a battle, Now with the number of people born and growing up, I'd assume at least 1 to 3 person would grow to add but I can't find any numbers about this anywhere.

2. One of the knights has by marriage acquired two additional manors and their income and now was looking to improve the quality of his knights, levies or even getting his hands on some better troops, but it seems that this is either only a thing for Barons (as per Book of the Warlord) or troop quality isn't a thing per se anywhere? Basically: is it possible to improve your troops and/or levy with armor or weapons and how can you raise for example a group of archers/et al. etc?

Sadly, even a longer Google search didn't help, because then I mostly find Crusader Kings entries -_-

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1. This was asked in the Discord a while back. Here is my answer from there (spoiler, your 1-3 men per year is pretty much where I ended up, too):

Given that they are likely your best workers (healthy adult men), too, it is best if you don't get them killed! But like DreadLindwyrm said, time mainly. You could also try to sponsor some of the widows and young maidens to re-/marry by putting some silver as a dowry, lure some strapping lads (younger sons without a family plot) from a nearby village or even a town.

KAP tends to abstract away the nitty-gritty of manorial stuff. And it has been moving away from the idea of the knight being able to call on his own 'Army' of peasants and such. The Peasant Levy is supposed to only be activated for home defense (i.e. the manor itself is being raided), or by the Royal Order.

The earlier Lordly Domains and Book of the Manor had more rules for the population and the population growth. The Lordly Domain rules are broken beyond belief, so no more about those. The Book of the Manor rules are a bit more reasonable, but require the tracking of the harvest conditions (well, you might be doing that anyway in BotM), and then has a randomness to the population increase. But it doesn't address the death of the Levy, either.

My rule of thumb would be that the Levy recovers roughly a couple of guys per year, via normal boys becoming men method. While there would likely be a small demographic collapse if you get your whole levy slaughtered, unless you rolled extremely well on the Levy, they were probably still not every adult men on the village (on average, around half). And it is easy enough to assume that there would be enough immigration from neighboring villages etc that they would make good of the slump. The flat rate or 2 guys per year (per manor) means that the normal levy of ~50 men would take a generation (25 years) to replenish, which seems about right to me, whereas a smaller levy would be replenished faster, as they were a smaller proportion of the adult men pool to begin with.


2. Better quality troops

Of course you can, see the Book of the Entourage for Mesnie (p. 22-23). You just have to pay them more. I would give Loyalty bonuses for the men if you upgrade your old mesnie rather than hiring new mercenaries. This costs you some money in the short term (buying better equipment), but the loyalty bonus is nice.

As for upgrading the Levy, that is much harder, because part of the feudal deal is that they provide the work and the knight provides the protection. That being said, the Levy is already expected to bring some of their own weapons to the fight (at least the richer yeoman ones). Also, in order to make them better fighters, they would need to get trained, and that cuts into their working hours. I allow the PKs to turn a portion of the Levy into a Militia, who are like Sunday Soldiers, at the cost of some income. They are a bit better than the normal Levy, and they help to keep the banditry down around the village, but they also get a bit more uppity if they have to do it without the knight there ("why do we need that absentee knight if we are the ones protecting ourselves, I ask you lads..."). And if they are mistreated, the following banditry and/or peasant revolt will have better training...

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