Jump to content

Ransom, loot etc


Recommended Posts

We're around year 485 and an enemy knight surrendered to the PKs. Another enemy knight was knocked off his horse and fled. The PKs were on a routine patrol under the command of the Marshal of Salisbury.

If ransom is paid for the enemy knight, who gets the ransom?

Who gets the captured enemy horse, equipment and other loot?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Typically it's the knight who captured them. In some cases knights might share a ransom if they felt that more than one was responsible or if they are especially friendly or generous with each other.  You could have the Marshall kinda pull rank here, if he had a hand in it, but generally that's not such a great thing, and even if you do he should share some of it or get a selfish check. 

Ransoms were a big incentive for knights to want to ride into battle and also one of the major reason why they would often break ranks, charge when they weren't supposed to and become so difficult to control. Taking one average prisoner is like hitting a lottery, with several years of income and goods. 

 

 

 

 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the book Saxons! the cultural line is drawn that among the Germanics the proper way to handle loot/prisoners was to turn them over to your chief (who might then pass them on up to the one in charge of the battle). Then, the loot got divided as the chief showed his generosity for all to see. After all, can't be generous if you got nothing to give away, right?

This implied to me that British knights got to keep their personal prisoners--who might be escorted from the field by squires after honorably surrendering, and could only be expected to surrender valuable prisoners when their lords "pulled rank" somewhat irregularly or as a show of loyalty.

And yes, it's a huge source of income. I've done it exactly once so far and it involved a baron, so was very happy the as-yet-unknighted PKs were obligated to fork over the loot to their chief!

 

--Khanwulf 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for perspectives! I'm still a bit confused though. In the rulebook it says about the Skirmish of Allington (p. 230) that

Quote

If there are prisoners, the knights take them back to the earl, who takes command of them.

If the PKs are to get the ransom, the "takes command" could mean "put in arrest on behalf of their captors", as it's likely the PKs don't have proper facilities to keep prisoners at their manors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this sort of thing would depend on the tradition of the locale. It seems to me that in many places a patrol sent by the lord to keep the peace which then ended up  apprehending an evil knight would be expected to bring the miscreant to their lord for sentencing and the like and that the prisoner plus any loot would be the lord's. After all he is the law on his lands. Now if the is smart the lord would undoubtedly reward the knight in some lucrative way.

A proper battle is then a different thing, the knights enter the fray knowing that any loot including prisoners are theirs to keep. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, The God Learner said:

If the prisoner knight pledges not to escape, then you can just keep him in suitable chambers. 

Yes, accepting his word or Parole. You can even let him go on the condistion that he won't take up arms against you again until he pays up. Its a bit trusting though, as once he's free he might reneg. 

2 hours ago, 7dot62mm said:

I think this sort of thing would depend on the tradition of the locale. It seems to me that in many places a patrol sent by the lord to keep the peace which then ended up  apprehending an evil knight would be expected to bring the miscreant to their lord for sentencing and the like and that the prisoner plus any loot would be the lord's.

That's a  different situation. An evil knight who is bing brought to justice is not at all like a a knight who is captured in battle. The latter did no wrong and committed no crime. 

It's like comparing someone on the most wanted list to a POW. 

 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Its a bit trusting though, as once he's free he might reneg. 

My word is my bond, sir. (This sentiment historically lasted surprisingly long.)

And in the other direction, a robber knight would sequester his captives in his dungeons and stretch them on the rack now and then while their relatives scramble to raise silver. 

Edited by The God Learner
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the general sentiment mentioned here. Captives on the battlefield are usually kept by the knight doing the capture. Enemies caught while questing or traveling are sent back to the lord whether particularly honorable or not. This is a very frequent and very Arthurian. Gawaine, Percival, or Lancelot always send their captives back to the court even if the knight is honorable. Their frequent captives are actually how they win so much Glory. There is the precedent of taking any equipment needed by the knight, especially mounts. In Chretien de Troyes Percival mounts are taken from the person defeated by both Percival and Gawaine. Though the Percival does kill the Knight in Red before taking his gear.

Finally, for me, the general rule is that if defeated, the loser begs for mercy and sweats to do what the victor commands. The victor, if honorable, makes a demand to go be a captive to the person of their choice, the defeated can even pressure for it to be a neutral party usually the victors liege. The defeated then travels, alone or with their squires in the same condition they were when defeated, so tattered armor and shield for example. If the victor holds the defeated captive or sends the defeated to the liege, they almost always go through with their oath to do as commanded. I do believe I saw an example of the defeated knight not following their command in Malory, but this would definitely be the most vile and despicable of knights. They honestly would probably have too low of Honor to be knights. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, The God Learner said:

My word is my bond, sir. (This sentiment historically lasted surprisingly long.)

Yeah. I actually had this crop in in game too. A PK captured a knight, whose leige lord didn't want to pay the ransom. The PK ended up releasing the knight, as he had been a decent fellow who he had met before, and the PK was swimming in money from previous adventures and tourney's anyway. A couple years later, the PK was pleasantly surprised when the ransom showed up.  It actually came back to help the NPK too, as the PK then trusted the guy and brought him along for some adventueres and missions, which increased the NPK's gorly, status and wealth. 

51 minutes ago, The God Learner said:

And in the other direction, a robber knight would sequester his captives in his dungeons and stretch them on the rack now and then while their relatives scramble to raise silver. 

Breuse sans pity. 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My take:

If the PKs are riding as part of a patrol, under the command of a senior knight (the Marshal) and with other knights, then army rules kick in. At the VERY LEAST, the army commander / liege should get a third of the loot (this is already deducted in normal battle loots, by the way), including ransoms. It was not uncommon for the liege to reserve higher value captives for themselves, paying a 'finder's fee' to the actual captor. In our campaign, half is the usual amount, and allows the PK to get the money NOW rather than in dribs and drabs over the years with the need to have a knightly guest in his manor (the upkeep of the guest is added to the ransom, by the way).

If the PKs are adventuring on their own, then it is a different matter, and they can have the ransom for themselves. Of course, they can have some additional problems with organizing it, so going to the liege again and asking him to organize it with the above 50/50 split is not a bad idea. It also makes the liege happier, so win-win there.

Finally, in our campaigns, the usual agreement in the 'Fellowship' (Group Loyalty) is to split loot in even shares. Everyone shares the danger, so everyone shares the loot. But this is clearly up to the knights themselves. In clear duel situations things are up to the PK who did the dueling, of course.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Morien said:

In our campaign, half is the usual amount, and allows the PK to get the money NOW rather than in dribs and drabs over the years with the need to have a knightly guest in his manor (the upkeep of the guest is added to the ransom, by the way).

Ohh, that's nice. I think my PKs would love to be able to do that. I've had some of think barely able to maintain themselves while waiting to see if a ransom would ever show up. I even had one prison earn his freedom by helping to defend the manor when it got raided by Saxons. Half up front, guaranteed? Yeah, they'd jump at that. 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/24/2019 at 10:59 PM, Atgxtg said:

Ohh, that's nice. I think my PKs would love to be able to do that. I've had some of think barely able to maintain themselves while waiting to see if a ransom would ever show up. I even had one prison earn his freedom by helping to defend the manor when it got raided by Saxons. Half up front, guaranteed? Yeah, they'd jump at that. 

Up to you, of course. I find that the more I GM Pendragon, the less bothered I get about money. It comes and goes very easily. It usually only becomes a problem if the PKs really start leveraging it to something like a mercenary army, but even in those cases, as the GM, I can impose some limits on the availability of the mercenaries, etc. If they spend their loot on building improvements, it usually takes a decade to make the money back, and it might get destroyed by luck or raiding (since we use some modified Book of the Manor rules for those).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...