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Pendragon questions

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3 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

So building additional Hamlets do not reduce the Hate score.

 Field, Hamlet-sized, Voluntary, under Natural Population Growth on p. 29:

"Reduce Hate Landlord: 1 per attempt; 3 for success"

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1 hour ago, Morien said:

 Field, Hamlet-sized, Voluntary, under Natural Population Growth on p. 29:

It's on page 38 in 2nd edition. 

Quote

"Reduce Hate Landlord: 1 per attempt; 3 for success"

Yup, but that only applies under very specific circumstances: "Use this option only if you have excess native people by the method above".

So if the lord has a bunch of peasants who need housing he can lower the hate score this way. But he can't just build a hamlet whenever he wishes in order to reduce the Hate score. He has to have excess villagers.

Edited by Atgxtg

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47 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Yup, but that only applies under very specific circumstances: "Use this option only if you have excess native people by the method above".

Yes, which was the circumstances of the specific question, unless I misunderstood...

OK, rereading it wasn't obvious. I agree, the price on p. 17 for a Hamlet is the replacement. If you start from scratch and import (buy, capture) peasants to work the field, then you should use New Hamlet rules on p. 29 (using v1) and you would not reduce Hate. But since this is way worse way of making money than any other investment in BotM (you have to pay £45 AND get the peasants from somewhere for a measly £1 per year, in comparison to, say Apiary £2 to build, £1d2-1 profit), I assumed that the situation would be the voluntary build-up.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Morien said:

Yes, which was the circumstances of the specific question, unless I misunderstood...

OK, rereading it wasn't obvious. I agree, the price on p. 17 for a Hamlet is the replacement. If you start from scratch and import (buy, capture) peasants to work the field, then you should use New Hamlet rules on p. 29 (using v1) and you would not reduce Hate. But since this is way worse way of making money than any other investment in BotM (you have to pay £45 AND get the peasants from somewhere for a measly £1 per year, in comparison to, say Apiary £2 to build, £1d2-1 profit), I assumed that the situation would be the voluntary build-up.

Since it was given as one example under other land improvements, it didn't view it the same way you did, but if I had, then I would agree with you that it is possible, and generally not worth it economically in the BoM rules. Still, the message was focused on lowering Hate (Landlord) rather than economic improvement.

 

Economically, there is really not much better than building lots and lots of apiaries or some such. It works out to a 25% average annual return on the initial investment, and that's better most investors could hope for today. Yes, there is some risk (1d2-1) of zeroing out, but the bell curve for multiple d2s helps with that. But then, you already knew that. 

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Alright, to be specific, I wasn't so much concerned about the monetary side of the 'investment'. Rather, it was the subject of the hate reduction. You are right, the buildings that are part of the Manor village to start with have a net 0 hate, increasing it if it is destroyed, only decreased again if the rebuilding is financed by the lord. My actual assumption was that only one improvement of certain type could be built (so only a single Apiary or Large horse herd), so that wasn’t a part of the question. With the exception of roads, which clearly state ‘per mile’. I also wasn’t asking about building dozens of villages. I was taking the ‘expanded population’ mechanic into consideration, combined with the ‘build them homes and fields or the turn to banditry’ rule, and aligning it to the rules of building a ¼ village, a hamlet, or a full village. (although, strictly speaking, the numbers don’t work out, a hamlet is 100 commoners, a village is 500 commoners, ergo, a hamlet can’t be ¼ village). So, let’s consider that Sir Whosit has been running his land pretty well for the last year. Come winter phase, he rolls the population roll, and boom, he 100 to many commoners for the current size of his village. That means he either builds new accommodations in the current village, or he builds a shiny new hamlet for them. Both mechanics are there: (Cluster of (Commoner’s) Houses A cluster is 5-10 commoners’ huts (about a quarter of a hamlet). These peasant hovels are house, barn and byre all in one so that the people can stay warmed by small fires and the presence of their animal and rotting hay and cabbage. Cost to Build: £8 Personnel: Eight or so farmers and their families, each approximately 5 people, plus a few animals. Reduce Hate (landlord): 1 Hamlet, or ¼ Village This includes the structures for approximately 100 people, including outbuildings, animals, etc. Cost to Build: £30 Reduce Hate (landlord): 3 Entire Village This includes the structures for approximately 500 people, including their outbuildings, animals, etc. but not the village church, bakery, mill, well, etc. Cost to Build: £150 Reduce Hate (landlord): 15 If you combine these rules, instead of making them exclusive, then it seems like building up your population and increasing the size of the settlement is one way pacify them. Combine in further subtle text, like a manor and village produce 4-8 libra, and the populations of different types of settlements on page 7 (again, BoM), finally, the idea that being a good landlord comes with the increases of population, the added glory for increased income, etc. What you have is a metric for increasing the conditions of the holding in order to benefit both the land holder AND the commoners. On the other hand, what’s the point of even bothering? If no matter what you do, they are just going to freaking hate you, why worry about it? Hell, letting them turn to banditry just seems like good adventure hooks. “Woohoo! Another 100 saps to hunt down and brutally murder… er, I mean bring justice to!” Of course, if they hate you enough, that won’t be a problem either. I mean, it’s not like we are talking about a game where traits like generosity and justice are adhered to. Wait, yeah we are. I personally have no intent on playing the Sherriff of Nottingham, here. So, why should I be punished, as a player, as though I were. Oh, and to counter the earlier comment about it not being economical to build hamlets, that is true until every year you income is reduced to negligible or meager because your commoners hate you. Then that one libram a year is looking pretty important.

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Expansion is a desirable thing and Sir Whosit would be smart to do so, if he can. But it isn't quite as simple as it looks.The thing about both population increases and building new settlements is that they are not entirely within the PKs control.

  • First the population actually has to increase, which takes a bit of luck and some time.
  • Then the knight has to have the funds to build the settlement and the workforce to do so. Depending on the knights income it could take several years to build a hamlet or village, which would mean that the peasants turn to banditry before he can do so.
  • Banditry is far from being a good adventure hook, as the bandits raid the holding and could steal goods and damage buildings.

As far as the commoners automatically hating you it is really a matter of circumstances and degree. While there is an initial hate score, it is the knight's actions, and yearly events that will matter in the long run. Sometimes, bad luck, poor harvest and the like will result in the peasants really hating the landlord and there being little the knight can do about it. Other times things will go well for the knight and he can work on reducing the Hate, even into negative values. But a lot of that will depend on the individual PKs and the events that occur in the campaign.

 

In my campaigns I've had knights who to pay tribute and ransom and were forced to shortchange themselves and squeeze the peasants to get by. They were hated by their peasants for things that were mostly beyond their control to fix. I've also had PKs who did so well at tournaments that the manor was no longer their major source of income, and they were able to make all sorts of improvements and investments, and took less rent than they were entitled to during lean years. They were loved by the peasants. Most PKs wound up somewhere in between. Some wanted to do nice things but could afford it; some did a little; others could have but chose not to. 

with Pendragon is that the path isn't as clear cut or as easy as in some other RPGs. There is no "right path" to take. There are many paths, some of which could prove to be right, under the circumstances.

 

Edited by Atgxtg

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Thank you for the candid replies. While I didn't mean to come across as a whiny bastard, it is still a sort of repeated slap in the face, that I keep looking for the bright side of the game, and upon thinking I have found it, am told that it doesn't work that way. As far as the control being largely out of the players PK's hands, I do understand that. I have actually read and re-read the manuals (KAP core 5.1, BoM, K&L) that will be in use for the game. I like a lot of the concepts. I don't like being told constantly that I can't do things. Thus far, in game play, I have been feeling like my character is largely inert. That said, we started off as squires, have done a few practice missions so that the two of us in the group that haven't played before can get the hang of it. Looking forward to building my characters ancestral lands was something I was looking forward to. And then the rules happened. As you say, a lot of things can happen, but I have always been one to work out a way not to depend on my luck too heavily. It is really crappy luck. (You would not believe how many times the my first combat roll in a new campaign was a critical fumble). Anyway, I will keep my hopes high, and play for all I am worth, and disregard my penchant for poor dice rolls. Although, I still maintain that the rules, smoothed out and taken as a cohesive unit, actually support a knight running his lands responsibly, that the benefit of doing so is increasing the population (however gradually) and continuously increasing their approval of the land holder. And, I am still apprehensive that simply being an unlanded knight, collecting your annual stipend, and winning the tournaments like a champ are the better options. In other words, that having land is a burden that could break a knight, and won't be worth the effort.

Edited by cgcauth
typo

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By-the-by, Atgxtg, as a means of learning the system, I decided to learn how to do some PDF creation. Would you mind looking at these (will probably have to download them) and twll me what you think? I am wanting to know as much about function and usability as accuracy. // https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nSDSvZ0kO8SsOAD4baFJVtJXZnACP9ov/view?usp=drivesdk // https://drive.google.com/file/d/1s31ptLU3GWtK5_oGv4FlsKag8FoNtEUt/view?usp=drivesdk // https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HG00EFAJAQhsxnwSiL45hhnWXEJ-_YjA/view?usp=drivesdk

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48 minutes ago, cgcauth said:

Thank you for the candid replies. While I didn't mean to come across as a whiny bastard, it is still a sort of repeated slap in the face, that I keep looking for the bright side of the game, and upon thinking I have found it, am told that it doesn't work that way.

Well, why do you expect/want to do? 

48 minutes ago, cgcauth said:

As far as the control being largely out of the players PK's hands, I do understand that.

Control of the PKS is mostly in the players hands. Traits can sometimes play a factor but it is still mostly up to the players to decide what they will do. 

48 minutes ago, cgcauth said:

I have actually read and re-read the manuals (KAP core 5.1, BoM, K&L) that will be in use for the game. I like a lot of the concepts. I don't like being told constantly that I can't do things.

Such as? What sort of things do you want to do that they can't. Most of the restrictions in the game are more social in nature. That is you can't just walk into the King's bedchamber to take a nap, because you are not the king.

48 minutes ago, cgcauth said:

Thus far, in game play, I have been feeling like my character is largely inert. That said, we started off as squires, have done a few practice missions so that the two of us in the group that haven't played before can get the hang of it. Looking forward to building my characters ancestral lands was something I was looking forward to. And then the rules happened. As you say, a lot of things can happen, but I have always been one to work out a way not to depend on my luck too heavily. It is really crappy luck. (You would not believe how many times the my first combat roll in a new campaign was a critical fumble). Anyway, I will keep my hopes high, and play for all I am worth, and disregard my penchant for poor dice rolls.

 

48 minutes ago, cgcauth said:

Although, I still maintain that the rules, smoothed out and taken as a cohesive unit, actually support a knight running his lands responsibly,

Yes the do-that is essential what the Book of the Estate does, smooth things out. Yes a knight should try to run his lands responsibly. It's just that there are other factors in play that could upset the apple cart.  

48 minutes ago, cgcauth said:

that the benefit of doing so is increasing the population (however gradually) and continuously increasing their approval of the land holder.

Uh not really. That's more of the ideal situation. The reality is something else. 

 

First off, constant population increase is not the norm in the time period, unlike today. War, famine, etc. all help to keep the population down. A knight would have to be very lucky to get that sort of gradual increase.

Then there is a question of where to put all those peasants. This goes back into the concept of space again. By the Book of the Estate a knight can just clear land and build more hamlets and villages as long as his funds hold out. Realistically, however, that's just not the case. A knight only has so much land to work with, and if usually bordered by other knights with other manors. Clearing land usually require permission as it comes from woods or other areas set aside for hunting, and there is only so much a knight can do to expand his holdings before he has to fight some other knight for more land. Just take a look at a map of Salisbury where today and see how close the villages are to each other. 

Then there is the harvest. This is something that the PKs have limited control over, but is the major factor here. If the harvest is poor, then the peasants are starving and the knight is scrambling for funds. If the harvest is good, the knight gets extra income, but has lots of ways to spend it (new equipment, ransoms, conspicuous consumption, tournaments, feasts, ransoms, rebuilding lost structure,  improvements to the manor, and, finally, reducing the peasant's hate).

What you are thinking of is certainly the goal, but generally speaking the knight will probably only be partially successful in do so, mostly because of the various things beyond the knights control such as the weather or raiders.  For example, if a knight gets captured in battle (or tournament) and has to pay ransom, then that ransom has to come from somewhere, so the knight might be forced to squeeze the peasants in order to pay, and that will increase hate. 

 

You might be coming at this from a more modern viewpoint, where towns are always expanding and building new businesses, but that's a recent thing. In medieval times most wealth/income comes from farming. Most extra income tends to come from knightly service to the liege lord, adventuring, and ransoms.  

 

To sum up, what you are envisioning is possible, but more of an ideal case where everything goes according to plan. In actual play things will probably not work out that well. Porr harvests, ransoms paid out, raids, paid tribute, plagues, fires, etc. will cause problems that will prevent the manor from being a utopia. Note that is won't necessarily be a wasteland, it just will be a typical manor, with ups and downs like all the rest.

 

48 minutes ago, cgcauth said:

 

And, I am still apprehensive that simply being an unlanded knight, collecting your annual stipend, and winning the tournaments like a champ are the better options. In other words, that having land is a burden that could break a knight, and won't be worth the effort.

Having land isn't necessarily a burden that will break a knight. Land is the foundation on which all the nobles wealth is based upon. It's just that there are a lot of ups and downs, and most of the time the knight will break even. It takes a lot of bad luck and/or bad management for land to break a knight. Something like constant raiding and poor harvests for decades. 

 

The landed knight is better off than the household knight in several ways:

  • He gets glory from the holding. 
  • He can marry and produce heirs to carry on the family name (and replace the PK when he dies or retires)
  • His son will inherit the manor and thus be guaranteed of being a knight
  • The land will sometimes provide income above what the knight requires to maintain himself (in BoM this is determined by the Harvest, while in latter books it is a set £1 per year) that he may spend as he sees fit
  • The manor can be improved which can increase income, glory.
  • The manor gives a knight a place to store things, including big things like furniture or horses.
  • The manor allows the knight to have men of his own to defend his holdings.
  • The manor can be fortified bolstering defense and adding more glory.

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