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Morien

Prioritizing the 5th edition supplements

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The above quotation is what prompted me to start a new thread on this. Since we do see this question asked often enough, I figured it would be nice to have it as its own thread rather than hidden inside the Bear Hunt thread.

As for my own thoughts...

1. GPC: This depends a bit. I could see someone getting the Book of Uther first (or just the stand-alone GPC King Uther Expansion) and using that as a cheap test campaign 480 - 484 to see how his/her players like it. But assuming we are talking about someone committed to this, then yeah, GPC itself is pretty much a must have. As much as I have griped about being constrained by the GPC from time to time, it does offer a great framework to deviate from when you want to, or a crutch when you can't come up with anything else.

2. Book of the Entourage: Personally, I would be tempted to get Book of the Entourage next. It is useful throughout the campaign and it has information on how to run NPC wives and husbands and how to get them and how much marriage glory they are worth, etc (including fixing the WAY too generous random marriage table in KAP 5.2). Not to mention other retainers and how they develop as well, including the average equipment of the knights through the periods. And also more information on the squirehood & maid-in-waiting years. There are other interesting nuggets hidden in there as well. And it is a cheap as far as the Book of... series goes.

3. Book of the Estate: This has some very important rule changes hidden in there, including the Title Glory [EDIT3: This is actually in Warlord, not in Estate!], but most importantly the Family Survival rules. If you don't use these (or other fixes) you pretty ensure that your dynasty will die during the childhood. Since dynastic play is one of the big draws of Pendragon for me, this is very important. Of course, you can just grab those rules from forum discussions and use them, as well as the new manor rules, and get by. But if your players like building up their home base or interacting with their servants, this book becomes even more important. If they care not a whit about those things, I could see skipping this book.

Here comes a choice. If you are mainly interested in playing a default GPC with Cymric knights from Salisbury, I would go for the Book of the Warlord next. However, if you want to bring a disparate group of knights from over the Western Empire to play in Logres, Book of Knights & Ladies and Book of Sires is what you want.

4A. Book of the Warlord: Again, I personally prefer this book over Book of Uther*, with which it overlaps a lot. Book of the Warlord overlaps somewhat with Estate, too, but it does bring with it a complete list of all of the castles of Logres from 485 to 518, including nuggets of information what happens to them (and Salisbury) during the Anarchy. And the Barons as of 485, with nice tables for Scenario Hooks & Baronial Replacement during Anarchy. To cap it off, there is a nice Warlord (NPK) generator with a heraldry generator, too, giving the GMs an easy way to come up with new individual NPKs with a few rolls of the dice. Oh, did I mention the Graft solo for the PKs who have managed to become officers of a Baron? Not to mention all the experience checks they gain from executing their office? All of the above is very useful throughout the Early Phase, and I'd argue that the Scenario & Replacement tables will give a nice kickstart for any damsel in distress or mysterious castle adventures during Romance & Tournament, too, before Yellow Pestilence & Wasteland & Grail Quest pretty much recreate the chaos of Anarchy and it is off to the races again with the lawlessness and usurpation! Oh, did I mention also the honour (landholdings) write-ups for Salisbury, Silchester and the Barony of Thornbush?

* The realm information is only slightly expanded in Book of Uther, although BoU does detail Uther's court a lot. However, since I personally don't see the new knights interacting so much with the high officials of Uther's court, I much prefer the castle information in BotW and its much wider usability. BoU has the Courtly Intrigue tables, but my understanding is that the Book of Feasts pretty much provides enough courtly action by themselves already. This pretty much leaves just the GPC expansion on the table for BoU, as far as I am concerned, and it is available as a standalone, too.

4B. Book of Knights & Ladies and Book of Sires: Book of Knights & Ladies offers more chargen origin options, like Atgxtg said. However, it does suffer a bit from the same fault as the Book of Sires, which is that once your knight's history/bloodline is set, it is unlikely to change during the campaign (unless you manage to get the whole dynasty killed which, in my mind, is very detrimental to the campaign as the whole). I can see the appeal of of having the other chargen options, but it becomes a bit hard to explain what all of these foreign knights are doing in Uther's Britain, which is NOT a shining beacon of chivalry that Camelot will be later on. Book of Sires gives some answers that question, but I would argue that the main use for Book of Sires would be to provide a very nice resource for the GMs to either explore a 'prequel GPC', stretching from 439 to 485 in Logres & Cumbria, or using those local histories to use another county than Salisbury as the homeland for the PKs. And even set the campaign in another county, for which option the Book of the Warlords would be very useful, too.

5. Pretty much whichever set 4A or 4B I didn't already get, for reasons stated above.

6. Book of Uther, for reasons stated above. And I have to say, if you already have the GPC & Book of Sires, the GPC Expansion doesn't add too much to it, making BoU worth even less to me. Again, if you like dozens of characters with short back stories / personalities and going heavy on the Uther period, perhaps with the help of BoSires starting the campaign earlier and allowing the PKs to be movers and shakers by Uther Period, then more power to you. But the fact that in the default GPC campaign, most of these characters will be dead within a decade is a major minus in my 'usability' sheet.

7. Book of the Manor: Like Atgxtg said, this is pretty much superseded by ESTATE & ENTOURAGE.

Since I have not used Book of Battles and Book of Armies in play, and cordially dislike them for making the battles even longer and more math-heavy (while recognizing that there are some good ideas in there mixed with bad ones, IMHO... the Skill 20+ units of commoners drive me NUTS!), I don't think I can give a good recommendation on those. I do see Atgxtg's point of using the BoA unit tables with the basic Battle system, but since I hate those tables, this is not a recommendation for me! Because I'd end up rewriting those encounter lists anyway (and do!), BoA is wasted on me. People do tell me that once you learn the BoB system, it works nicely (even if somewhat overpowered at times, allowing the Players to game the system to cause the enemy army to rout, if I understand right). But I have no interest in making Battles even more complicated than they already are, and am in fact mor inclined to the other way, BoB and BoA gets a thumbs down from me. Again, my personal preference. Your Pendragon May Vary.

The big omission is the Book of Feasts, which I do not own. This is because I already have a homebrew system in place that I use for the feasts, and see no need to introduce a new system for it, potentially making the feasts even longer than they already are. But that being said, I'd probably bump it up to at least number 6, maybe even higher (up to 3rd) if the GM is not that into the world information and wants to focus solely on what the PKs are up to during their adventures.

Alright. I hope that somewhat rambling list will be useful to someone!

(Now if we include the earlier supplements, all the adventure & regional books get big thumbs up for the sheer amount of adventures that they contain! Blood & Lust is probably my favorite, with its multi-year mini-campaign around the Heart Blade.)

 

EDIT (prices from Drivethrurpg at the moment of writing this):

Just realized that while Book of Uther is $19.99, Book of Sires is ONLY $14.99! I'd call that a steal, actually! Book of Uther adds 5 years to GPC, while Book of Sires adds... uh... at least 45 years, which you can multiply by at least 4 or so for all the regional differences that you can mine for adventure ideas, too!

Book of the Warlord is a rather hefty chunk of change at $29.99, even more than GPC's $24.99.

Book of the Entourage is $14.99, and Book of the Estate $19.99.

I could even see dropping Book of the Estate in favor of Book of the Warlord + Book of the Entourage, if really strapped for cash. Warlord can be used for running a simple manor, but it tends to gloss over some of the low detail stuff more than Estate does. However, if you are not big on base building and fortifying your manor (which, historically, you wouldn't be allowed to do on a whim, actually), then yeah, you would be fine just using Warlord's appendix for the single manor. You still need to fix the family/child survival of the base rulebook, but there are plenty of threads discussing that in the old Nocturnal Forum (once it becomes available again), or just asking people here.

But in the final analysis, most of the Pendragon books are about the same as ordering a pizza. Pizza is gone in an evening, but the book would still be there. :)

 

EDIT 2:

I can't believe that I forgot all the fine free stuff that is around, too...

The Marriage of Count Roderick: https://www.chaosium.com/content/FreePDFs/Pendragon/NM14 - Marriage of Count Roderick.pdf

The Dragons of Britain #1 - #4: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/121452/The-Dragons-of-Britain-1

Edited by Morien
1: Price listing, 2: The free stuff, 3. Corrections
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First of all all the Book of series does is expand upon a part of the game. Estate gives more insight in running an estate, Uther gives more insight in the court of King Uther. So if you have a group of players who like court intrigues and empire building. The Estate and uther are probably the ones you want. If you have a group who likes the generational play GPC and Estate or Manor are interesting. Book of Entourage also helps here. If you wish to have a more divers group of knights Book of Knights and Ladies is a handy one then.

Book of the Estate vs Book of the Manor. I would choose one of the systems and stick with it. But I would choose Estate over Manor. (even thou I use a modified manor system currently).

Book of Knights and Ladies. I use them as a GM to set the background of other knights, but did not use it for the PKs as I wanted them to come from Salisbury.

Book of Sires: I would use this one as a GM to get some background on the other areas of Britain and to get some depth on the things that happen there. Other than that I would only use it if I would set the campaign in another region than Salisbury.

Book of Battles and Book of Armies. Unlike Morien I am not as negative about this system than he is. For me it is far better than the original battle system in the core rule book. The problem with the book is that it takes some time to get the hang of it. It gives a lot of options for a unit to do that have it affect the battle. Fortunately the options a unit can do reduce a lot depending on the battle roll of the Unit leader. One important thing to do is translate the math to a description on what happens to the unit of PKs. One of the options to make the battle more memorable is the extended round system. I use this to add a special event to the battle (for instance helping you unhorsed liege lord, or capture an enemy leader, or maybe just halp out a friend). These events make the battle memorable, not the dice rolls.

 

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I think one of the reasons why I rated Knights & ladies so highly is because the random method was the original chargen method and isn't included in KAP5 So if a GM pr Player wants a character from outside of Salisbury K&L is sort of a necessity. 

 

I don't mind the longer battle of BoB/BOA. I like the big important battles to be important events that take up a good part of the game session, nut that is a matter of taste. I can see .why some others don't want to spend all night running one battle. I have the same reaction to Book of the Manor, I don't want to spend the session playing Stewards.  

 I do agree with Morien about some of the stats. While I can certainly see some commoners with skills 20+ (most legions should be able to hold their own against knights, and archers should be good when the warbow comes out), Book of Armires does tend to go a bit overboard, while the core armies in the book tend to be a little too weak. I'd say that a good part of the difficulty here lies in the feast or famine nature of non-knight opponents in KAP. Then tend to be incompetent or in the 20+ crowd. What I think would help would be to do like they did in RQ3 Vikings, and come up with Poor, Average, Veteran, Elite stats for most footmen, similar to what KAP does with knights (Not the same numbers, but along the same idea).

The latest Book of the Entourage actually starts to do something like that with stats for Green (10), Average (12), Veteran (16) troops and the progression could be continued of for a few more steps (say Elite 20?, Legendary 22?). Then most units could be outfitted by their culture and position, and graded by their skill. I also think that as the average armor values for knights have gone up a couple points over the years, and damage has likewise gone up, the average archer, foot solider and Pict should be brought into the 4d6 damage band. SIZ 8 Picts made sense when SIZ was rolled on 3d6, but now that leads to 80 pound weaklings. SIZ 11 is closer to what you get now, And the extra 40 pounds would put them into the 4d6 range. 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I do agree with Morien about some of the stats. While I can certainly see some commoners with skills 20+ (most legions should be able to hold their own against knights, and archers should be good when the warbow comes out), Book of Armires does tend to go a bit overboard, while the core armies in the book tend to be a little too weak. I'd say that a good part of the difficulty here lies in the feast or famine nature of non-knight opponents in KAP. Then tend to be incompetent or in the 20+ crowd. What I think would help would be to do like they did in RQ3 Vikings, and come up with Poor, Average, Veteran, Elite stats for most footmen, similar to what KAP does with knights (Not the same numbers, but along the same idea).

The latest Book of the Entourage actually starts to do something like that with stats for Green (10), Average (12), Veteran (16) troops and the progression could be continued of for a few more steps (say Elite 20?, Legendary 22?). Then most units could be outfitted by their culture and position, and graded by their skill. I also think that as the average armor values for knights have gone up a couple points over the years, and damage has likewise gone up, the average archer, foot solider and Pict should be brought into the 4d6 damage band. SIZ 8 Picts made sense when SIZ was rolled on 3d6, but now that leads to 80 pound weaklings. SIZ 11 is closer to what you get now, And the extra 40 pounds would put them into the 4d6 range.

Well obviously I agree with the ENTOURAGE stats, and I agree that the Picts should be scrappy 4d6, not 3d6. As for the Roman legionnaires, it would depend a lot what timeframe and even individual legion we are talking about. The veterans of the 10th at the end of Caesar's civil war? Stone cold killers, for sure. The Gambiani that had gone native for years in Egypt? Probably less so. A fresh, green legion raised from scratch (with some veteran centurions and optios) would have quite low skills by comparison. Not to mention that both of the above exceptions would be over 500 years out of date, although Vegetius was a near-contemporary. And Late Roman Army tends to get a worse rep than they deserve; they were not useless by any means.

The thing is that in KAP 5.2 rules, there are only two ways of getting skills past 20: very lucky experience skill roll of 20, or Glory Bonus Point. The former is unlikely enough that unless you would deliberately be plucking these guys out of their cohorts for a single superelite unit, it is unlikely to happen. The latter is unlikely for commoners as they would presumably have much lesser chances of Glory. (I forget what is the current ruling on whether commoners even acquire Glory; I seem to recall Greg went back and forth on that idea.)

Don't get me started on The Old Riders with their Lance 30, or Fanatical Household Guards with Loyalty (Uther) 30 (this, at least, is possible under the current rules, although I personally find the auto-increase of Passion on a crit to be a huge, unbalancing mistake), or The Last True Century with their Javelin 25 and Sword 25... Whereas equites and Kataphracts have too low skills; these guys should be knight-equivalents. I also have some beef with the knight table, which means that you are overwhelmingly meeting knights in obsolete armor during the later Periods; I don't mind the average armor coming like one period behind the introductory period, but having 30% of the knights dressed in chainmail during Twilight annoys me. And Lorica Segmentata still being a thing and as efficient as reinforced chainmail... (Yes, yes, I know Pendragon is anachronistic.)

That being said, I just finished skimming through the army tables in BoA, and apart from the occasional skill 20+ unit, most of them tend to have reasonable skills: most of the infantry is 10-15, and most of the knights are 15-20 (and yes, other professional soldiers, even if commoners, should be able to have skills in this range, too, in particular veteran mercenaries). So I can see some use in having BoA if you already bought BoB, but by itself, not enough of an improvement, IMHO. Also, to loop this back to the Picts, the Battle Enemies table in KAP 5.2 gives most of them 4d6+ damage, interestingly enough.

Edited by Morien

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23 hours ago, Morien said:

Well obviously I agree with the ENTOURAGE stats, and I agree that the Picts should be scrappy 4d6, not 3d6.

:)

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As for the Roman legionnaires, it would depend a lot what timeframe and even individual legion we are talking about. The veterans of the 10th at the end of Caesar's civil war? Stone cold killers, for sure. The Gambiani that had gone native for years in Egypt? Probably less so. A fresh, green legion raised from scratch (with some veteran centurions and optios) would have quite low skills by comparison. Not to mention that both of the above exceptions would be over 500 years out of date, although Vegetius was a near-contemporary. And Late Roman Army tends to get a worse rep than they deserve; they were not useless by any means.

Oh sure the can run the gamut like the rest pof the troops, especially at this point in history, where most units are legions in name only. Stitll a well trained legion should be able to hold thier own against knights, and the veteranii could hit some of those lofty numbers. Maybe not all 25s, but 20+ skills aren't impossible. 

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The thing is that in KAP 5.2 rules, there are only two ways of getting skills past 20: very lucky experience skill roll of 20, or Glory Bonus Point. The former is unlikely enough that unless you would deliberately be plucking these guys out of their cohorts for a single superelite unit, it is unlikely to happen. The latter is unlikely for commoners as they would presumably have much lesser chances of Glory. (I forget what is the current ruling on whether commoners even acquire Glory; I seem to recall Greg went back and forth on that idea.)

Neither or those are all that rare. Considering that most Legionares served for 13-205 years at this point. Most would get to 15 skill pretty quickly, and 20 probably wouldn't be all that unreasonable. Then it just boil down to when they roll a 20, or maybe got 1000 glory. , So a real roman unit of veteranii could hit that 21-22 ish point. 

I think commoners should get glory for thier actions, if they are glorious ones,  after all that's how you get those stories of commoners getting knighted for slaying dragons and such. "Lets see you got 900 glory for killing the dragon so I'll knight you, except, wait, you're a common so you didn't get any glory so I don't care that you slew a dragon so off with you knave!"

I could certainly see professional solders with lots of experience having some nice glory totals, or even gladiators if a GM goes back that far. 

 

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Don't get me started on The Old Riders with their Lance 30, or

Yeah the problem here is that while certain individuals could have such a skill, finding enough to field a whole unit on the battlefield seems highly unlikely. King Arthur probably can't do it, and he has Lancelot, Trastam and Gawaine. Maybe we could benefit from a unit commander with skills a few points higher than his unit?

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Fanatical Household Guards with Loyalty (Uther) 30 (this, at least, is possible under the current rules, although I personally find the auto-increase of Passion on a crit to be a huge, unbalancing mistake),

I agree. It starts a runaway passion problem. Knight with 20 passion rolls a critical, which increases his passion, which in turn increases his chance to crtical again, increasing the passion yet again, etc.etc.etc. Someone with a high passion in one of those multiple battle years could. see his passion surge.  IMO it should at least be limited to 1 point per year if over 16, like everything else. 

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or The Last True Century with their Javelin 25 and Sword 25...

Not quite as bad as most of the others. They are one elite unit that will mostly such against Knights.I'd probably be happier if they were 22 ish or so. 

Part of the problem here is that while skills over 20 are supposed to be rare, it is fairly easy for PKs to get their Sword, etc. up to 20 in the current rules in only a few years and then the mounted bonus (+5/-5) does the rest, making just about any footmen a non-threat in the early periods. The Last True Century's biggest advantages are their phenomenal damage stats (5d6 shortsword, another place where Greg changed his mind) and their ability to double team (which turns everybody who rolls more than 3d6 damage into a legitimate threat in KAP). 

IMO what I think we need is a sort of special opponent table similar to how you used to run into the occasional superior knight at the joust in KAP 3/4. Maybe put in in with the surprise results and roll on the table when it comes up. . 

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Whereas equites and Kataphracts have too low skills;

 

Depends. Catapharatci were not exactly the same throughout the ancient world. Quality, training, gear and status varied. I can see the lower value for the Equites, they generally didn't fight or train as much as knights, with most moving off into politics after their military service was up. But they should probably get to 15 skill or so before they leave the military.

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these guys should be knight-equivalents. I also have some beef with the knight table, which means that you are overwhelmingly meeting knights in obsolete armor during the later Periods; I don't mind the average armor coming like one period behind the introductory period, but having 30% of the knights dressed in chainmail during Twilight annoys me.

I'm with you there. That should probably be limited to poor knights at that point. Historically Plate was actually cheaper during the latter Middle Ages. 

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And Lorica Segmentata still being a thing and as efficient as reinforced chainmail... (Yes, yes, I know Pendragon is anachronistic.)

Depends. If you go with the lamellar arm guards, leg guards, shoulder coverings, reinforced lather belt and the face mask, I can see it. It's really the same as the Cataphacti armor but with lamellar instead of scale. But the typical bare limbed stuff we usually see should probably be a bit lower. 

The reason for the 12 point version seems to be that Greg used a -2 reducion for partial suits. There is even a point where the Lorica Segmentata seems to be noted as  Partial Plate (12). 

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That being said, I just finished skimming through the army tables in BoA, and apart from the occasional skill 20+ unit, most of them tend to have reasonable skills: most of the infantry is 10-15, and most of the knights are 15-20 (and yes, other professional soldiers, even if commoners, should be able to have skills in this range, too, in particular veteran mercenaries). So I can see some use in having BoA if you already bought BoB, but by itself, not enough of an improvement, IMHO. Also, to loop this back to the Picts, the Battle Enemies table in KAP 5.2 gives most of them 4d6+ damage, interestingly enough.

I agree.Most of the opponents are reasonable. I think that most of the unreasonable ones were mostly a case of trying to add color to the tables, and maybe going a little overboard, like the occasional guys with 20+ points of magical protection. But the unreasonable unitl do seem to congregate too, making their effect worse, as the PKs will have to deal with them an unlikely amount of the time. 

But I do think BoB/BoA do have some weaknesses:

 

1) I do not accept that an entire army will turn and route if just one eschille of the enemy gets to their camp. The British didn't do it at Agincourt (they just killed thier prisoners), and I;'d expect most armies to have enough people back at the camp on in reserve to deal with one unit of knights. 

2) Too many units that just sprint away. With hour long battle turn I find it hard to believe that a group of knights spent the hour chasing down a bunch of footmen who do nothing other than run away all the time. Maybe those units should get a Valor rooll to see if they stand thier ground once in awhile? If all these guys do is run away, how are they still at the battle on turn 6 or 8? 

2) Too many ways for archer units to gang up on the PKs. I've seen battles where five or six units are all shooting at the PKS, because they didn't get picked. For what I've read archers generally held their fire until they were in close as they could penetrate metal armor at range (dropping a die at medium and long is not unreasonable). Range should probably be limited to a couple of zones, especially for Javelins, instead of having units for all over the battle field all trying to pick off the same small group of knights. It looks like a coordinated artillery barrage.

3) Lots of guys do too much damage. Where in the core book there are still hold over that do 3d6, in BoA 5d6 and 6d6 are pretty common. I find it far less likely that somebody could form a whole unit  guys with 6d6 damage than with 22-25 skill. Not unless they were Saxons.  I don't know if it was because they fort to apply weapon modifiers or what but stuff like PIcts doing 5d6+3 with Heavy Javelins is just wrong. Especially when they only do 5d6 with their melee weapons. 

I tend to think this is mostly due to typos, oversights, and errors, as opposed to intention. 

4) The unreasonable units are really unreasonable. We've got a lot of units wandering around with ultra high scores and magical protections, and many have not real justification for it in game terms. In a game where magic ia big deal, somebody waltzing around with 4 or 20! points of magical protection are really too special to just be a random mook on the battlefield. Maybe there should be a special opponents table?This is especially a problem when the PKs get wiped out by someone who has superhuman stats. They expect it from dragons and heroes. Just look at the Men of Death (Picts) from BoA p.22

Heavy Javelin (22) 5d6+3, Greatspear, Spear (22) 5d6 with 8 point cuirbouilli (your favorite) 4 point magical tattoos (so the equivalent of reinforced mail), CON/Major Wound 19. There the best unit on the table! While I can accept the Javelin( 22) or the Greatspear (22) or the Spear (22)skill, or the 4 point magical tattoos that Pict PKs can never find , or the CON, or maybe 5d6+3 Javelin, but all of it together?

And I really hope that 5d6+3 damage from the Javelins was a goof. 

 

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I don't really disagree with most of what you are saying, Atgxtg, although I do take some exception to Sword & Javelin 25 being realistically achievable even by elite, non-knight units. Even with Glory this is a big ask, requiring 10 000+ Glory, and keep in mind that the recommended RTK limit is 8000. Arthur had trouble filling the Round Table in 514, since he didn't find enough qualified candidates in 514, if I recall correctly.

I did some calculations on expected skill levels of NPKs and posted them on Nocturnal Forum, but obviously I don't have easy access to it now to quote it. It depends a lot on assumptions you make on yearly training, but the gist of it was that most knights ought to have their main weapon skill (usually Sword) at 15 within a couple of years of their knighting if not already at knighting. It is simply too central to their role and so easy to raise. Then it becomes much slower, but it still occasionally ticks up. As a rough estimate, I think I adopted something like this:

  • Age: Skill
  • 21: 15
  • 25: 16
  • 30: 17
  • 35: 18
  • 40: 19
  • 45: 20
  • 65: 21

(PKs typically, in my experience, increase their main weapon skill slightly more rapidly, although usually it takes at least a decade for them to reach 20. But that depends a lot how they are using their Glory Bonus Points.)

Anyway, the point is that even if you are FANATICAL at improving your Weapon Skills, it still takes on average 4 years per skill to get it to 20. Granted, you can get lucky with your experience skill rolls and shave an additional a year off  (or two, if VERY lucky), but even with those assumptions, you are at the very least 25 when you plateau at 20. After that, it is either Glory or Experience. Assuming you'd stay in the legions until you are 45, so additional 20 years, and to get 5 experience increases in each skill... This is roughly 1/20 to the power of four per skill or 1 in 160 000. So you might find ONE legionnaire with ONE skill at 25 from experience checks alone. To find one with BOTH skills at 25 would be 1/160 000th squared or one in 25.6 billion.  And remember that those calculations presuppose that every legionnaire would have skill 20 in both weapons at the age of 25, which is a pretty high ask, IMHO...

So yes, having Short Sword 22 and Javelin 22 would be MUCH less offensive. And these guys should be the general's bodyguard type of unit, composed of the evocati.

As for equites, I am thinking more of a Late Roman palatini or comitatenses, rather than the Republican Rich Kids. Cataphractii were usually elite cavalry, so at the very least equivalent to veteran knights (skills 18-20), IMHO. (In GPC, they are a bit too elite with their Lance 27, though, although their Horsemanship should be better than 14.)

I actually have less of an issue with DMG 6d6 than Skill 22-25: DMG 6d6 just requires a big, strong guy whereas Skill 22+ takes hell of a lot of time and practice. If SIZ and STR are 2d6+6, then the chance of SIZ+STR >= 33 is 2.7%. And this is assuming that there is no additional STR training, unlike what at least our PKs are doing to get that sweet sweet 6d6... Heavy Javelins doing +3 Sword damage is too much, though. Allowing it to do Sword damage would be quite enough, IMHO.

Also, Sons of Lleu with their Sword 39???

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17 hours ago, Morien said:

I don't really disagree with most of what you are saying, Atgxtg, although I do take some exception to Sword & Javelin 25 being realistically achievable even by elite, non-knight units. Even with Glory this is a big ask, requiring 10 000+ Glory, and keep in mind that the recommended RTK limit is 8000. Arthur had trouble filling the Round Table in 514, since he didn't find enough qualified candidates in 514, if I recall correctly.

 

(PKs typically, in my experience, increase their main weapon skill slightly more rapidly, although usually it takes at least a decade for them to reach 20. But that depends a lot how they are using their Glory Bonus Points.)

Anyway, the point is that even if you are FANATICAL at improving your Weapon Skills, it still takes on average 4 years per skill to get it to 20. Granted, you can get lucky with your experience skill rolls and shave an additional a year off  (or two, if VERY lucky), but even with those assumptions, you are at the very least 25 when you plateau at 20.

In my campaigns Sword 20 takes a only a few years. I've seen in done in two years with some luck and a lot of glory (knighting and wedding for 2000) in a little at TWO years! KAP5+ chargen lets them start at 15,  skill checks, Training & Practice  and Glory points can definitely get them to 20 within 4 years, and usually less. .

Statistically a PK has about a 50% chance of making one improvement roll in the first three years, plus 3 points of training and practice, for 18-19. Add in a point from Glory (all knights get at least 1000 glory) and you got a 50% chance or so of being there. By year 4 it's a given. Now if the PK has any sort of luck with improvement rolls or Glory awards (wedding, battle or trait bonus), then they can do it faster. 

 

It's not a bad strategy, either. It doesn't really hurt the character, in most cases, as the skill is so useful/necessary.

 

17 hours ago, Morien said:

After that, it is either Glory or Experience. Assuming you'd stay in the legions until you are 45, so additional 20 years, and to get 5 experience increases in each skill... This is roughly 1/20 to the power of four per skill or 1 in 160 000.

Uh, no, your math is off. Your assuming that they must succeed in every improvement roll, and forgetting about the multiple attempts. Thety don't. They just have to succeed five times (a 5% chance) out of 20 attempts.

The chance of getting one success in 20 tries is 1-(0.95^20) or 64%, and the odds for successive attempts are approximately 60-64% of the previous chance. 

That means that they have a 64% chance of getting a 21, about a 40% chance of a 22, about a  24% of a 23, a 14% of a 24, and about a 8% chance of a 25.

For two skills that would be 8% squared  or a 4/625 chance. 

Not great but a lot better than 1 in 160k. It does mean that on average one in every 150 veterans would be at least that good. Some could be higher, either by geting lucky on the improvement rolls, or by being even older, or joining before they were 21, which was quite common.   

So considering the size of a Legion, I could see them being able to scrape together at least one Unit/Contubernium/Eschile 's worth of 25/25 guys, so I don't mind it.

  

 

17 hours ago, Morien said:

So you might find ONE legionnaire with ONE skill at 25 from experience checks alone. To find one with BOTH skills at 25 would be 1/160 000th squared or one in 25.6 billion.  And remember that those calculations presuppose that every legionnaire would have skill 20 in both weapons at the age of 25, which is a pretty high ask, IMHO...

No, like I said your math is way off. With a 5% chance of increasing every year the odds are much much higher. 

17 hours ago, Morien said:

So yes, having Short Sword 22 and Javelin 22 would be MUCH less offensive. And these guys should be the general's bodyguard type of unit, composed of the evocati.

Yes, and IMO that is probably about as high as ANY opponent should get before they must be a "Named" NPC.

17 hours ago, Morien said:

As for equites, I am thinking more of a Late Roman palatini or comitatenses, rather than the Republican Rich Kids. Cataphractii were usually elite cavalry, so at the very least equivalent to veteran knights (skills 18-20), IMHO. (In GPC, they are a bit too elite with their Lance 27, though, although their Horsemanship should be better than 14.)

 

I actually have less of an issue with DMG 6d6 than Skill 22-25: DMG 6d6 just requires a big, strong guy whereas Skill 22+ takes hell of a lot of time and practice. If SIZ and STR are 2d6+6, then the chance of SIZ+STR >= 33 is 2.7%.And this is assuming that there is no additional STR training, unlike what at least our PKs are doing to get that sweet sweet 6d6...

First off you math is off again. The chance of getting 33+ if SIZ and STR were rolled on 2d6+6 would be the same as rolling 21+ on 4d6, or 1.54%

Secondly, STR and SIZ  are not 2d6+6 in any version of Pendragon!

In KAP1 there were 3d6, so getting a 33+ was 0.12%

In KAP 3/4 using the random method,  SIZ 2d6+6 and STR 3d6 , the odds of a 33+ would be the same as rolling 27+ on 5d6. or 0.45%

In KAP 5 using K&L (the only random method in KAP5+), SIZ 3d6+4, STR 3d6+1, the odds are the same as rolling 28+ on 6d6 or 2.49%

So even in the best case, K&L the odds of are much less than rolling up a Skill 23/23 guy. And, unlike skill the guys with low stats have no real chance of improving SIZ or STR to 6d6 level if they aren't close to begin with. A guy with a 10 Skill can still have a chance of getting to skill 25 in 20 years. It's a minuscule one, but it's a chance. But the guy with SIZ below 15  has virtually not chance of getting to 33+ needed for 3d6 without glory. That's half the male population and all the (non heroic) female population right there. 

Now Saxons change the odds considerably. For them the odds of 6d6 is like 5d6, or 9.05%, and then there are the 1/200 or so people with the with the wotanic religious bonus , so approximately 10% of the Saxons have 6d6 damage or better.  

 

17 hours ago, Morien said:

Heavy Javelins doing +3 Sword damage is too much, though. Allowing it to do Sword damage would be quite enough, IMHO.

Elsewhere in the book Heavy Javelins just do +3 Javelin Damage. So someone with Sword 5d6 would do Javelin 3d6, Heavy Javelin 3d6+3. So I think the 5d6+3 was a goof. I'd love to see a updated version that corrected stuff like that and maybe adjusted armor a little,  for era. For most opponents a simple +2 points in later Periods would do it.

Something like a table that went up to 30 or 40 with a +5, +10, etc. for Period. It would fix the problem you have with the all knight army too. Put the knights in 8-10 point armor at the bottom and then they couldn't be rolled during the Twilight Period.

 

17 hours ago, Morien said:

Also, Sons of Lleu with their Sword 39???

Yeah, while It might add color to the tables , but  5d6 damage unless a PK crticals is overkill.  And there is nothing the players could have done differently to prevent it. About the only good thing is that they don't do critical damage.

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4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Uh, no, your math is off. Your assuming that they must succeed in every improvement roll, and forgetting about the multiple attempts. Thety don't. They just have to succeed five times (a 5% chance) out of 20 attempts.

The chance of getting one success in 20 tries is 1-(0.95^20) or 64%, and the odds for successive attempts are approximately 60-64% of the previous chance. 

That means that they have a 64% chance of getting a 21, about a 40% chance of a 22, about a  24% of a 23, a 14% of a 24, and about a 8% chance of a 25.

For two skills that would be 8% squared  or a 4/625 chance. 

Yeah, my math was off, shows what happens when you don't think it through. Thanks for checking. :)

That being said, I think yours is off, too.

1-(0.95^20) = 64% is the chance of 1 or more successful raises. But after that, the chance goes down by a lot. 

I did a quick dice roller automation and ran it through 1 million times, for these percentages of increases (assuming 20 experience rolls):

0  35.8855
1  37.7065
2  18.8551
3  5.9712
4  1.3244
5  0.2251
6+  0.0322

So you get about 0.2% chance of one skill increasing by 5, and for two independent skills it would be 0.2% * 0.2% = 4e-6 or 4-in-a-million.

(Just to check that the roller isn't doing anything stupid... The mathematical formula would be:

n!/(k!(n-k)!)*(1-p)^(n-k)*p^k

where n = number of tries, k = number of successes, p is the probability of a success, and n! = 1*2*...*n.

So for 5 success out of 20 tries, we should get 20!/(5!*15!)*(0.95)^15*(0.05)^5 = 0.22446%)

You get of course a much better chance if you assume that there are 2 Glory Bonus Points being used, so that you need only 4 increases in each. In this case, you have about 1.3% *1.3% = 169 in a million. Given that I seriously doubt that every legionnaire in the whole Empire (especially given how piss-poor shape the WRE is by 520s) would have +2000 Glory since their 25th birthday, and remember, that 25th year cutoff was for the true fanatics anyway, I seriously doubt you would find even an eschille of these guys, let alone a centuria. If you get ALL the badasses in the ERE and WRE together, then sure, you could perhaps field a dreamteam of guys with two skills at 25 (with at least 4000 extra Glory), but these would be named heroes, not random mooks. And finally, this analysis hinged on the fact that they would reach skill 20 in both at the age of 25, and would have 20 more years to train. Which means they have taken already 10 years of Aging, too, which is liable to knock off 1d6 from their damage as well...

 

4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

First off you math is off again. The chance of getting 33+ if SIZ and STR were rolled on 2d6+6 would be the same as rolling 21+ on 4d6, or 1.54%

1.54% is the chance of EXACTLY 33 on 4d6+12, or 21 on 4d6. The chance of 33+ is 2.7%.

But sure, let's take 4th edition and 2d6+6 and 3d6. This does give us 0.72% with 33+. Even without anything else, this is much higher than the 0.225% for a single skill at 25, let alone two. But since I have NEVER seen a PK who hasn't spent at least some points into increasing their stats, and the write-ups for young and ordinary knights implies this is very much the case, I think we are low-balling here quite a lot.

In fact, if you take the Ordinary Knight as the mean value (SIZ 14, STR 14, implying 2d6+7 in both), this means that the chance of 33+ on 4d6+14 is the number we should be looking at: 9.72%. (Or perhaps you would prefer SIZ 2d6+6+1 and STR 3d6+3, which would give 9.8% chance for 33+.)

Or we can take even the Book of Knights and Ladies, which has SIZ 3d6+4 and STR 3d6+1, BEFORE adding the 4 miscellaneous picks that my players usually put to SIZ & STR: 6.08% at minimum (your 2.49% assumed EXACTLY 33 again), or 27.94% at maximum (all 4 picks in SIZ & STR) or 14.46% (2 picks in STR & SIZ).

None of the above considerations require any trickery with the experience checks and in fact require less yearly trainings & Glory points than getting the two skills to 20 in the first place!

Thus, a 6d6 Cymric Knight might be a uncommon opponent, but not something that would be exceedingly rare. 5% - 10% seems quite reasonable, and higher when you get into more glorious knights.

Edited by Morien
Corrected the 3d6+5 error in SIZ to 3d6+4

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38 minutes ago, Morien said:

Yeah, my math was off, shows what happens when you don't think it through. Thanks for checking. :)

That being said, I think yours is off, too.

Yeah it was. Opps. 

Quote

1-(0.95^20) = 64% is the chance of 1 or more successful raises. But after that, the chance goes down by a lot. 

I did a quick dice roller automation and ran it through 1 million times, for these percentages of increases (assuming 20 experience rolls):

0  35.8855
1  37.7065
2  18.8551
3  5.9712
4  1.3244
5  0.2251
6+  0.0322

I don't think the formula is correct there. The big drop offs don't seem to make sense. 

 

Quote

1.54% is the chance of EXACTLY 33 on 4d6+12, or 21 on 4d6. The chance of 33+ is 2.7%.

Yup.

Quote

But sure, let's take 4th edition and 2d6+6 and 3d6. This does give us 0.72% with 33+. Even without anything else, this is much higher than the 0.225% for a single skill at 25, let alone two. But since I have NEVER seen a PK who hasn't spent at least some points into increasing their stats, and the write-ups for young and ordinary knights implies this is very much the case, I think we are low-balling here quite a lot.

I don't, next section will explain why

Quote

In fact, if you take the Ordinary Knight as the mean value (SIZ 14, STR 14, implying 2d6+7 in both), this means that the chance of 33+ on 4d6+14 is the number we should be looking at: 9.72%.

Why? There is nothing in the game that suggests that a a Knight is rolling 2d6+6 for STR or SIZ in KAP5. The average for KAP 5 is SIZ14.5,  STR11.5 for a total of 26. So we can probably assume that the average knight has increased his STR by 2-3 points to get it to 14. That's not what I'd call low-balling

Now in KAP 4 it was 2d6+6 and 3d6, so it would have been 1 point of SIZ and 3-4 points of STR so maybe the new knights have been shortchanged a point of SIZ and STR compared to KAP4,  but that's hardly low-balling. 

One big difference between the skills and stats is that skills are much easier to raise, have a higher ceiling as far as training goes, and can be improved no matter your age.  SIZ is pretty much Glory only, and STR will be glory only after 15 years. So the average knight isn't going to get to 6d6 before the aging table kicks in. Conversely skills can always go up. A character with a SIZ below 15 can't get to a 33 without spending glory (K&L character have a slightly better chance), due to the caps on STR and SIZ.and that eliminates half of the characters right there. 

 

Quote

Or we can take even the Book of Knights and Ladies, which has SIZ 3d6+5 and STR 3d6+1,

It SIZ 3d6+4 in my copy. Did they change that? 

Quote

 

BEFORE adding the 4 miscellaneous picks that my players usually put to SIZ & STR: 6.08% at minimum (your 2.49% assumed EXACTLY 33 again), or 27.94% at maximum (all 4 picks in SIZ & STR) or 14.46% (2 picks in STR & SIZ).

 

You players do that?Put all 4 picks into STR and SIZ? Well that skews the odds for them,. but I don't think it's fair to assume that to be what most knights will do. There are skills passions and traits to consider. 

My players tend to focus on getting skills and traits, with maybe a point ortwo into attributes and possibley a point into Loyalty (Lord).

 

Quote

None of the above considerations require any trickery with the experience checks and in fact require less yearly trainings & Glory points than getting the two skills to 20 in the first place!

Only if they have very good rolls to begin, or good rolls and put all their picks into improving SIZ and STR. 

Getting two skills at 20 isn't all that hard to do or take that much time. 

 

Quote

Thus, a 6d6 Cymric Knight might be a uncommon opponent, but not something that would be exceedingly rare.

For the average knight STR+SIZ 26, that would mean raising stats, probably STR due to age, by 7 points. Something that could only be done with training or glory, and possibly past cultural limits (so Glory). I think that would be quite rare. 

PKS can do it because they get more glory and other bonuses than most knights. 

 

 

 

Edited by Atgxtg

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1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

Why? There is nothing in the game that suggests that a a Knight is rolling 2d6+6 for STR or SIZ in KAP5. The average for KAP 5 is SIZ14.5,  STR11.5 for a total of 26. So we can probably assume that the average knight has increased his STR by 2-3 points to get it to 14. That's not what I'd call low-balling

That's my point: the ORDINARY KNIGHT has SIZ 14 and STR 14, not 14.5 and 11.5. So if we assume that knights in general use 2-3 points to SIZ (possible to grow up still in chargen,with miscellaneous picks) & STR (even later, as implied by the young knight write-up), this would give the K&L DMG value of (3d6+4+3d6+1+2)/6, which would give my stated 14.46% probability of 6d6 (2 picks/raises in total to STR & SIZ). This is plenty and a far cry from the lowball estimate of2d6+6+3d6 which gives 0.72%. Which, by the way, would require again the ORDINARY KNIGHT to use 4.5 raises to get to 14/14, which in turn would give out what I said before: "(Or perhaps you would prefer SIZ 2d6+6+1 and STR 3d6+3, which would give 9.8% chance for 33+.)"

Both of the above assumptions result in 6d6 being in the 10% - 15% range of the Cymric knights, which is why I'd call it uncommon. I NEVER claimed that the AVERAGE Cymric Knight should be 6d6 (although my players' PKs usually are, it is just too useful in a fight). Just that facing a 6d6 Cymric knight should not be that shocking.

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

Getting two skills at 20 isn't all that hard to do or take that much time.  

That is 10 points that need to come AFTER character generation (assuming 21-year old knights) from experience checks, yearly training or Glory points. The chances are that you get maybe a point each in the first 4 years from experience checks, but the other 4+4 points then need to come from yearly training or Glory.

By contrast, even taking your full average rolls as the starting point (which I am not arguing for; the 6d6 is uncommon, not the average!), they still would require only 7 points, which is 1 point less than getting two skills to 20. Thus, even at the average rolls, a PK could push his character to 6d6 quicker than two skills to 20. And this is ignoring those 4 miscellaneous picks in Chargen that can be used to increase stats, but not skills past 15. If they do that, then they only need 3 points, which is quite easy.

And just to make it absolutely crystal clear, I am NOT arguing that the AVERAGE Cymric Knight would have 6d6 damage or Sword and Lance at 20! Nor am I even making a claim that there would be more knights with 6d6 than Sword and Lance at 20. All I have been saying is that having 6d6 damage is not terribly uncommon, and by far more common than having those skills at 25, which is where this side track started from. Although, IMHO, getting 6d6 is even quicker to do for a PK than getting both skills at 20, assuming average rolls and a will to do so.

I would also agree that the PKs get more Glory than the Average knights. But that was not the question here. If we start adding Glory to the Stat discussion, too, then it becomes even easier to reach 6d6 for more famous knights.

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

It SIZ 3d6+4 in my copy. Did they change that?  

No, my typo. I did use the correct numbers when calculating the probabilities, though.

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

I don't think the formula is correct there. The big drop offs don't seem to make sense.  

Those numbers are not based on a formula, but simply two for -loops: the inner loop doing 20 rolls of 1d20 and calculating how many 20s I got, and an outer loop of 1 million repeats of those 20 rolls. I then simply calculate how many 'increases' I got and calculate the percentage. It is what you would get by doing it by hand, but it is much quicker to computerize it.

The mathematical formula agrees with those numbers, too:

1 success: 37.74%

2 successes: 18.97%

Your mistake was (at least in the first formulation you used) that you used the chance of 1+ successes (that is, one OR MORE, i.e. all but the 0 successes outcome) to cover only the 1 success outcome. I am not sure how you calculated the rest. But you already agreed that was in error, so probably not worth pursuing it.

If you use the mathematical formula to get 0 successes, it becomes: 20!/20!*0.95^20 = 0.95^20 (and this is certainly correct!) = 35.85%, which is close enough my brute force approach.

Edited by Morien
grammar

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1 hour ago, Morien said:

That's my point: the ORDINARY KNIGHT has SIZ 14 and STR 14, not 14.5 and 11.5. So if we assume that knights in general use 2-3 points to SIZ (possible to grow up still in chargen,with miscellaneous picks) & STR (even later, as implied by the young knight write-up),

I wouldn't assume that. I'd assume the YOUNG KNIGHT SIZ 14, STR 11 is what an average knight would be like  at age 21,after chargen, and that the ORDINARY KNIGHT raised his STR  by 3 points over the years.

Now, by that reasoning the average knight (SIZ 14) can never get to 6d6 damage without using a Glory Point. And that's assuming he gets to STR 18. 

 

So I'd put that well below a 10% probability. That essentially means a YOUNG KNIGHT would have to spend half of the years available for training and practice on STR plus  a Glory Point to do it. And if he has a slightly lower than average SIZ it gets even more difficult. 

1 hour ago, Morien said:

 Just that facing a 6d6 Cymric knight should not be that shocking.

It is when they show up 30% of the time (I didn't count the 7d6 damage) on the All-Knight Army table. That's better than the Saxons. At least some of them need 2H weapons to do it.

I can accept one or possibly two units of Cymric knights doing 6d6. Three if they are round table knights or some such. But six! And a 7d6 one as well? If you can swallow that the Last Ture Legion shouldn't be a problem. 

 

 

And then there are the  Picts? Of all people in KAP they should be the last ones to get to 6d6 damage, but...

16 Shimmering Tattooed Warriors: Javelin (27): 3d6, 2-H Stone Axe (27): 6d6, 15; Leather (6), Magic (9) 20

Skill 27/27, 6d6 damage (5d6 +2H) 6 point (non-hard) leather, and 9 points of magic. 

So they not only had to get a really good STR to hit 5d6 damage as a Pict, but they hit the lottery (twice) to get skill 27 in both javelin and axe, then got a suit of +2 leather (the easiest part to accept) and went out and got 9 points of magical protection.  Make the Last True Century look like a bunch of slackers. But wait, then there are the:

11 Grim & Serious Warriors Javelin (15): 4d6; Great Spear (16): 7d6 Magical Tattoo (8) 

7d6? That's impossible for Picts outside of Glory. Also the Javelin doesn't match up. I think somebody goofed and gave the greatspear 2H weapon damage bonus. 

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Morien said:

That is 10 points that need to come AFTER character generation (assuming 21-year old knights) from experience checks, yearly training or Glory points. The chances are that you get maybe a point each in the first 4 years from experience checks, but the other 4+4 points then need to come from yearly training or Glory.

Which is much easier to achieve that 8 points of STR AFTER character generation, because there is no chance of t improving other than by training or glory. 

1 hour ago, Morien said:

And just to make it absolutely crystal clear, I am NOT arguing that the AVERAGE Cymric Knight would have 6d6 damage or Sword and Lance at 20! Nor am I even making a claim that there would be more knights with 6d6 than Sword and Lance at 20. All I have been saying is that having 6d6 damage is not terribly uncommon, and by far more common than having those skills at 25, which is where this side track started from.

 

1 hour ago, Morien said:

Although, IMHO, getting 6d6 is even quicker to do for a PK than getting both skills at 20, assuming average rolls and a will to do so.

And assuming they spend all their chargen picks to do so, yest, because of the cap on skills during chargen. 

Outside of Chargen the two 20s in skills are easier. SIZ is fixed, and 8 points of STR is probably going to take 5 years at best, and that assuming the PK dumps 3 points from Glory into SIZ or STR. Average is mor like 6-7, it depend on how long it takes them to get their next glory point. Best case for skills is probably 2 years., with 10 being the extreme end. 

1 hour ago, Morien said:

I would also agree that the PKs get more Glory than the Average knights. But that was not the question here. If we start adding Glory to the Stat discussion, too, then it becomes even easier to reach 6d6 for more famous knights.

My point is that for an average/YOUNG KNIGHT, they don't get all those extra points and picks to bump up their character during chargen (look at their stats) and that getting to 6d6 would require half their training time and a Glory point. 

 

1 hour ago, Morien said:

Those numbers are not based on a formula, but simply two for -loops: the inner loop doing 20 rolls of 1d20 and calculating how many 20s I got, and an outer loop of 1 million repeats of those 20 rolls. I then simply calculate how many 'increases' I got and calculate the percentage. It is what you would get by doing it by hand, but it is much quicker to computerize it.

Okay, I'll go over the math again. I might have missed something.  

 

 

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5 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Now, by that reasoning the average knight (SIZ 14) can never get to 6d6 damage without using a Glory Point. And that's assuming he gets to STR 18. 

Which was never my argument, as I think I repeated at least three times.

5 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

It is when they show up 30% of the time (I didn't count the 7d6 damage) on the All-Knight Army table. That's better than the Saxons. At least some of them need 2H weapons to do it.

I can accept one or possibly two units of Cymric knights doing 6d6. Three if they are round table knights or some such. But six! And a 7d6 one as well? If you can swallow that the Last Ture Legion shouldn't be a problem.  

No, I agree that 30% - 35% is too much. 7d6 is obviously a typo. The whole All-Knight Army should be overhauled so that it is 1d20 for skills & damages, and then the armor & horse depends on the period & the roll (possibility of coming one - or even two for Twilight - periods behind). As I have repeatedly stated, around 10% (Cymric & Roman) would be reasonable to have damage 6d6, IMHO, plus a famous/leader's bodyguards type of unit.

I also agree that BoA shows signs of a lot of typos and/or things that are not well considered. I have already stated my hatred of units of skill 20+ since the beginning, and you managed to find two more units that I'd have a problem with. 5d6 for Picts is at least possible, but yeah, someone must have given +1d6 to Great Spear and it would still require 6d6 for the Picts which is stretching the system somewhat. It is cases like these that soured me to BoA in the first place.

 

Edited by Morien

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5 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

My point is that for an average/YOUNG KNIGHT, they don't get all those extra points and picks to bump up their character during chargen (look at their stats) and that getting to 6d6 would require half their training time and a Glory point. 

This is a whole another discussion, whether the average NPK is using the same chargen rules as the PKs, or if the PKs get some extra oomph for being PKs. I have seen it argued both ways. I'd agree that the stat bar for the Young Knight implies that at least they didn't boost their stats with those miscellaneous picks, but it is not evidence that they didn't get those picks at all.

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10 hours ago, Morien said:

Which was never my argument, as I think I repeated at least three times.

No, I agree that 30% - 35% is too much. 7d6 is obviously a typo. The whole All-Knight Army should be overhauled so that it is 1d20 for skills & damages, and then the armor & horse depends on the period & the roll (possibility of coming one - or even two for Twilight - periods behind).

Yeah. I can see two solutions to fix the table.

  • You could expand the table beyond 20 and then add a modifier for the Period. That way, the better armors won't show up untilthe latter Periods, and mail will become less common. 
  • A second option would be to list the troops as poor, average, rich and have differet armors for each by era. Basically In the Early Peroids Mail (10) would be the standard with Poor Knights getting Haubergeons (8) and Rich ones getting Superior (Norman) Mail (11). Then in thr Boy King or Conquest Peroid it Shifts so that  Norman Mail (11) is the norm, Mail (10) is for Poor Knights, and Reinforced Mail (12) is for the Rich, and so on. 
Quote

As I have repeatedly stated, around 10% (Cymric & Roman) would be reasonable to have damage 6d6, IMHO, plus a famous/leader's bodyguards type of unit.[/quote]

I can live with one or two units units (10%) on the battlefield with 6d6, with the 30-35% being okay for a Saxon army. But I can also live with the Last Century on the Roman Army table, assuming they are the best elite unit on that table and really stand out.  

Quote

I also agree that BoA shows signs of a lot of typos and/or things that are not well considered. I have already stated my hatred of units of skill 20+ since the beginning, and you managed to find two more units that I'd have a problem with. 5d6 for Picts is at least possible, but yeah, someone must have given +1d6 to Great Spear and it would still require 6d6 for the Picts which is stretching the system somewhat. It is cases like these that soured me to BoA in the first place.

I guess Greg had started a 2nd edition. Maybe it could be a good project for someone to go over the tables and try to correct errors? I also think the special/overpowering units should be on the alternate units list that most armies already have. That way the GM could slot them into the table if he wanted to, but not have them if he didn't like them. 

Yes a GM can opt not to use the tables, but the concept is nice, and a GM can also opt to take a unit out and replace it. I know I've modified some tables for play, and am doing up a Visigoth Army now so the PKs can fight them under Aetius next session (first siege/battle of Arelate), but fixing the typos would go a long way with Book of Armies. I think 85% of the problems stem from typos with the remain 15% being overpowered units that could be handled more easily by GMs, since they are more noticeable. Part of the difficulty with typos is that the numbers are playable so the GM might not spot anything odd with the stats during play. 

Maybe a thread where the possible typos are pointed out for correction? Generally any unit where the weapon damages don't match up with each other according to the rules would be a good candidate. 

Oh, and I wouldn't mind if the greatspear got +1d6 damage like all the other 2H weapons, but if so I'd like for it to apply to everybody. 

Edited by Atgxtg

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10 hours ago, Morien said:

This is a whole another discussion, whether the average NPK is using the same chargen rules as the PKs, or if the PKs get some extra oomph for being PKs. I have seen it argued both ways.

Yes, especially in KAP5. PKs get a lot more bonuses than before, especially in K&L. Qualifying for knighthood isn't even a thing anymore.

10 hours ago, Morien said:

 

I'd agree that the stat bar for the Young Knight implies that at least they didn't boost their stats with those miscellaneous picks, but it is not evidence that they didn't get those picks at all.

That's my point. If we are going with the idea of the sample knight in the book being typical examples for the type, or even the most common examples of their types, then the Young Knight really has a difficult time getting to 6d6, and probably fewer than 10% do so. 

Strangely enough, most tables of Cmric knights follow that idea with maybe 1 or rarely two knight units doing 6d6. It's the all Knight army that goes crazy. Part of the difficulty is probably that in KAP5 knights are on the cups between 4d6 and 5d6. So an average knight can and probably will get to 5d6, so 6d6 is needed to show an above average knight.

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29 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

That's my point. If we are going with the idea of the sample knight in the book being typical examples for the type, or even the most common examples of their types, then the Young Knight really has a difficult time getting to 6d6, and probably fewer than 10% do so.  

Again, I am not arguing that the AVERAGE Young Knight would have 6d6.

What I am arguing is that 6d6 Cymric Knight is not vanishingly rare. I have repeatedly stated that I think 10% is a reasonable number, with the chances increasing with higher Glory Knights (both from selection pressure - knights with poor stats tend to have harder time to gain glory - and from extra Glory Bonus Points that they can spend on raising SIZ & STR).

K&L SIZ 3d6+4, STR 3d6+1 results in: 6.08% at 33+ without any raises.

Assuming that the Ordinary Knight hasn't lost any stats to Aging or Major Wounds, he has trained STR up by +3. If we take that as indicative of a general tendency of ALL knights to train their STR up some as they mature, this gives: 20.58% at 33+ from random rolls and +3 STR from yearly training. Note that this doesn't make any other assumptions that would be VERY common amongst the PKs: if you are already at 32, you will definitely want to spend that yearly training to your STR rather than to your Sword. That extra 1d6 is simply so useful.

Without going into further demographics on how common each type of knight is on the battlefield and how quickly each subset would reach the 6d6 and whether 3d6 young knights would even exist or get strongly encouraged to have a clerical career, we can state that as a rule of thumb, you'd probably expect to see something like 10 - 15% of the knights, in total, having 6d6. Hence it is nowhere near as offensive to me as those skill 25 & 25 or 27 & 27 or 39 troop types.

Of course, BoA All-Knight Army fumbles the ball additionally by turning this upside down: it is the young knights (low skill) who tend to have 6d6, and then it drops with age/skill to 4d6, rather than being more of a bellcurve. But I think we are in agreement that the All-Knight table was already fatally flawed?

 

 

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Sorry, I missed your previous post before replying.

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

Yeah. I can see two solutions to fix the table.

My preference would be the Period-dependent armor & horse, in which case you can get away with just one 1-20 table & the period armor & horse. Average is one armor/horse behind the state-of-the-art, Poor is two steps (if possible), Rich has the state-of-the-art.

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

I can live with one or two units units (10%) on the battlefield with 6d6, with the 30-35% being okay for a Saxon army. But I can also live with the Last Century on the Roman Army table, assuming they are the best elite unit on that table and really stand out.  

I totally agree with the first sentence, and not at all with the second. The True Century being 5% chance PER ROUND IN ALL ROMAN ARMIES? Way, way too much. See below for more.

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

I also think the special/overpowering units should be on the alternate units list that most armies already have.

Rather than that, I would have 20 lead to 'Leader or a special unit' table, and then give small chance of running into some truly elite troops. Although I still think that 25 & 25 is too much unless it is the Emperor's own bodyguards. If you really want to make that troop type more common and stand out, give them Skills 20 & 20 and an applicable Passion (Roma Victrix?) at 20 or something, and allow them to get Impassioned against the PKs. That way, they are still rules-compliant, but a really nasty surprise for the PKs who are used to cutting the footmen down without a sweat.

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20 minutes ago, Morien said:

Again, I am not arguing that the AVERAGE Young Knight would have 6d6.

What I am arguing is that 6d6 Cymric Knight is not vanishingly rare. I have repeatedly stated that I think 10% is a reasonable number, with the chances increasing with higher Glory Knights (both from selection pressure - knights with poor stats tend to have harder time to gain glory - and from extra Glory Bonus Points that they can spend on raising SIZ & STR).

I can accept 10%. And most of the tables follow that. What I can't accept is 35%.

20 minutes ago, Morien said:

K&L SIZ 3d6+4, STR 3d6+1 results in: 6.08% at 33+ without any raises.

Yup.

20 minutes ago, Morien said:

Assuming that the Ordinary Knight hasn't lost any stats to Aging or Major Wounds, he has trained STR up by +3. If we take that as indicative of a general tendency of ALL knights to train their STR up some as they mature, this gives: 20.58% at 33+ from random rolls and +3 STR from yearly training. Note that this doesn't make any other assumptions that would be VERY common amongst the PKs:

I'm not sold on the general assumption. Bascially I think STR training makes sense if a knight is close to the next die, but not much sense after that. Now I can accept the 10-15% that 1 or 2 points of STR training could do to the odds, but I also think that there are a lot of other things that a knight might need to work on that would be more important.  Sword, Horsemanship, and Lance are vital. Not to mention any significant traits or passions. 

20 minutes ago, Morien said:

if you are already at 32, you will definitely want to spend that yearly training to your STR rather than to your Sword. That extra 1d6 is simply so useful.

I think the skill is even more useful. The key thing is the increased chances of getting critical far outweigh the benefits of the extra d6, especially as the PK fights mounted when possible, and many opponents are footmen. Then there are the benefits of getting the shield on a parry, and of eliminating fumbling, and the ability to remain in the saddle when hit. So I'd go for 20 skill over 6d6 as far as usefulness goes. But...

The extra STR (or any other stat) helps when you get to the aging table. I my current campaign one PK who skimped on his APP (7) to have better stats elsewhere ended up spending three years tranining & practice upping his APP to 10 to avoid "uglying out". 

 

20 minutes ago, Morien said:

Without going into further demographics on how common each type of knight is on the battlefield and how quickly each subset would reach the 6d6 and whether 3d6 young knights would even exist or get strongly encouraged to have a clerical career, we can state that as a rule of thumb, you'd probably expect to see something like 10 - 15% of the knights, in total, having 6d6. Hence it is nowhere near as offensive to me as those skill 25 & 25 or 27 & 27 or 39 troop types.

I don't mind 10%, and think 15% is a little too much, but only a little. I don't mind one unit with skill 25, although I'd have been more conformable with 22/22, and the higher values get silly. I'd have much rather seen it said that they were inspired or critically inspired (same results and statistically more likely- i.e. Sons of Lugh (20x2=40). 

I think part of the problem I have here is that the mounted bonus is extremely generous, and makes competent footmen incompetent. The LTC needs a 25 skill just to give knights a challenge. Maybe what is needed is a way for skilled infantry to offset the mounted bonus somehow? Most medieval footmen are rabble but in KAP the Romans art the start and some of the professional footmen at the end of the campaign should be able to pose a challenge. 

 

20 minutes ago, Morien said:

Of course, BoA All-Knight Army fumbles the ball additionally by turning this upside down: it is the young knights (low skill) who tend to have 6d6, and then it drops with age/skill to 4d6, rather than being more of a bellcurve. But I think we are in agreement that the All-Knight table was already fatally flawed?

Yeah, I think we mostly agree, and yeah the all knight table is messed up. Probably because everybody is the same and damage was one of the few ways Greg could mix it up to make them interesting. Still, I think I'll try to redo it.  I also think I'll go through BoA and note the skill values for standard, poor, veteran  and elite units to see if I can work out a pattern. I think that such a pattern would help with generic NPC writeups. It would be nice to vary the Saxons a bit more. 

 

 

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Oh, here is an example sof what I mean about why the 6d6 bothers me more that the high skills:

10 Infantry (Urban Roman) Javelin (20): 3d6,  Gladius & Scutum (22): 6d6 20; Lorica (12), Heavy Shield (8) MW18  Glory 15

Now first off there is the 6d6 damage for the melee weapon, but up until now the Gladius has been treated as a dagger (and is still in a few other places). So to get 6d6 dagger damage they would need 7d6!

Then there is the fact that Javelins are supposed to do -2d6 but this does 3d6. So either the Javelin should do more or the Gladius do less. 

 

Then the unit has a 18 CON (MW=18) on top of that.

The Javelin (20) and Gladius (22) I can accept a lot easier that the damages. 

 

 

 

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Yep, that Urban Roman Infantry is no line infantry, but the general's bodyguard. They are way too badass to be a generic unit. I am pretty much categorically against generic units having skills higher than 20.

Gladius should count as a sword. There is no way in hell that Romans would have sent their men into war with -1d6 handicap. Replica Gladii are wide and and hence very good choppers, and quick thrusters, too thanks to the short length. You get poked with one of those and it will do serious damage.

(That being said, the whole lorica segmentata, gladii & scutum legionnaires of Trajan being a thing in 6th century Ostrogothic Italy or 5th-6th century POST-ROMAN Britain irk me the hell off. I know it shouldn't bother me when the setting is so rife with Medieval anachronisms, but that is kinda the point: the Continent with Franks and Ostrogoths looks like it follows the real history pretty well; just look at BoK&L history write-ups. Those lorica segmentata legionnaires stick out like a sore thumb for me.)

As for making the footmen more dangerous, here is my favorite trick: denser formation. Each time you attack infantry, it is 2:1. Now, if these guys are green (skill 10), no biggie since it is 10-5=5 each vs. 16/2+5=13 for the knight. Besides, they are likely only 4d6 damage anyway. But then they run into Skill 16, dmg 5d6 veterans, and it is a totally different ballgame with two skill 11, 5d6 attacks coming against their split skill of 13/13. And if they run into an elite skill 20, 6d6 damage unit, then things are suddenly going very poorly for the PKs, especially if you add in some javelins beforehand.

Javelins, by the way, should do -1d6 IMHO. This would make javelins actually usable weapons. It makes little sense that a 3d6 weakling using a bow does 3d6, but only 1d6 with a javelin toss.

 

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1 hour ago, Morien said:

Yep, that Urban Roman Infantry is no line infantry, but the general's bodyguard. They are way too badass to be a generic unit. I am pretty much categorically against generic units having skills higher than 20.

Now I can accept the skill more that the wacky damages and 18 CON. I've been lookng through BoA and it looks like: Green Units have a skill in the 5-10 range (1d6+4), Average Units have a skill of around 10, Experienced ones 15, Veterans 19, and Elite 21. I can accept a 21. It just means 5 years of T&P plus one lucky roll or a Glory point.  

 

1 hour ago, Morien said:

Gladius should count as a sword. There is no way in hell that Romans would have sent their men into war with -1d6 handicap. Replica Gladii are wide and and hence very good choppers, and quick thrusters, too thanks to the short length. You get poked with one of those and it will do serious damage.

Yeah. The thing is that KAP doesn't factor in's advantages (its much faster to use than a cutting sword, doesn't require you to expose yourself, and thrusting weapons then to deliver more lethal wounds). Frankly if we could swipe somethin glike RQ's implae rule it would be fine. Something like -1d6 damage but triple damage on a critical?

1 hour ago, Morien said:

(That being said, the whole lorica segmentata, gladii & scutum legionnaires of Trajan being a thing in 6th century Ostrogothic Italy or 5th-6th century POST-ROMAN Britain irk me the hell off. I know it shouldn't bother me when the setting is so rife with Medieval anachronisms, but that is kinda the point: the Continent with Franks and Ostrogoths looks like it follows the real history pretty well; just look at BoK&L history write-ups. Those lorica segmentata legionnaires stick out like a sore thumb for me.)

I know but the problem is the Romans appear in Mallory and most other sources, so It's a big part of the Legend. At least it's not as bad as the Saracens showing up a century before the founding of Islam. 

 

I'd rather have had them in lorica hamata (8), but then I've kida got the Segemetata down to the 9-10 point range win my armor supplement, and have limited the 12 point lorica to the one with the arm guards, leg guards, and face guard of the cataphracti. Then I can buy it being 12 point armor, just like light scale. . 

 

1 hour ago, Morien said:

As for making the footmen more dangerous, here is my favorite trick: denser formation. Each time you attack infantry, it is 2:1. Now, if these guys are green (skill 10), no biggie since it is 10-5=5 each vs. 16/2+5=13 for the knight. Besides, they are likely only 4d6 damage anyway. But then they run into Skill 16, dmg 5d6 veterans, and it is a totally different ballgame with two skill 11, 5d6 attacks coming against their split skill of 13/13. And if they run into an elite skill 20, 6d6 damage unit, then things are suddenly going very poorly for the PKs, especially if you add in some javelins beforehand.

I like, but they kinda kept that as an advanced trick for elite units. Double and triple teams make a huge difference. Not only due to the need to split, but also the increase chance of not getting a shield. 

 

1 hour ago, Morien said:

Javelins, by the way, should do -1d6 IMHO. This would make javelins actually usable weapons. It makes little sense that a 3d6 weakling using a bow does 3d6, but only 1d6 with a javelin toss.

I'd go for that. It would help to make the plumbata  and war dart useful, too. They could take the -2d6 spot of the javelin. BTW, since you had a hand in bringing the longbow back down to earth, and 3d6+6, what about the composite (man, I hope they fix that compound error) bow? 3d6+3? 

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On 3/24/2019 at 2:23 PM, Morien said:

2. Book of the Entourage: Personally, I would be tempted to get Book of the Entourage next. It is useful throughout the campaign and it has information on how to run NPC wives and husbands and how to get them and how much marriage glory they are worth, etc (including fixing the WAY too generous random marriage table in KAP 5.2). 

The table in the Book of Entourage seems more generous to me than the one in 5.2

for example from 5.2

9-10 gets you a daughter of a household knight (£1d6 dowry) and only 50 glory

12-20 gets you a daughter of a vassal knight (£1d6 dowry) and 100 glory.

but in Entourage

4-10 gets you Eldest daughter of a vassal knight or younger daughter of a rich vassal knight. Dowry: £1d6+6 treasure. and her glory is (5d6+10) × 10 times 1.5  minimum of 225 max 600.

11-12 Eldest daughter of a rich vassal knight or younger daughter of an estate holder. Dowry: £2d6+1 treasure. Her glory is in the range of 225 to 600.

13 and above leads to even better wives with the chance of land even under a roll of 20, where as with 5.2 you need to roll 21 or more to get additional land.

Although it is unfair to compare like with like as you roll a d20 (with very few modifiers) on the first table and a d6 (with significant modifiers) on the Entourage one.

Edited by TerryTroll

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3 hours ago, TerryTroll said:

The table in the Book of Entourage seems more generous to me than the one in 5.2

Look at the land. 

In the core rules, if you roll over a 20 you get at least one manor. Now since each year may grant a PK a +1 with a successful Courtesy roll, then in 4 years they could have a 25% chance of a manor, in 9 years a 50% chance and so on. In the past, PKs would remarry when their wives died in childbirth, and within a generation of two, the PKs would have several manors. After a PK has a couple of sons, it's kinda the smart thing to do on a strategic level, and is the easiest way to get land with the least effort. . 

 

In Entourage where there are a few scattered entries  of land from a co-heiress, which might support a PK and his wife, really getting a large enough parcel to support a knight and his family, that the PK can hold onto is rather difficult. The have to get a 25 or better on 1d6+modifiers. That's at lot of modifiers! 

Now I think the libra bonus being 1 for 1 is a bit much, but even so a player would need to get a lot of other bonuses to have a chance at the 25+. That makes it much more difficult for a PK to sit back and rely on the marriage table to give him a large estate. Now the only ones who can really pull it off are those with tons of glory, a few carts full of libra, a high loyalty and so forth, but by then the PK is probably on the aging table, so he probably won't be doing it again, and again, and again. 

 

Edited by Atgxtg

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3 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Now I think the libra bonus being 1 for 1 is a bit much

This is a mistake in reading how the Gift works. The Gift gives ONLY +1, in return for £(other modifiers). So if the knight has +20 modifier, the Gift needs to be £20 for him to get +1. That's it. You can't buy more than a +1 modifier via the Gift.

Of course each GM is free to change that if they want, but this will totally unbalance the table. At the very least, they should require the Gift as a pyramid sum (using the NEW modifier for each time you have bought +1 Gift modifier), or someone who is less favored (say, a fresh PK with 1400 Glory) would be able to buy +20 modifier for £20, where as someone who already has +10 from heroics etc would only get +2 for the same money, which makes no sense at all.

There is a reason the Gift was capped at +1 and required to equal the value of other modifiers.

6 hours ago, TerryTroll said:

Although it is unfair to compare like with like as you roll a d20 (with very few modifiers) on the first table and a d6 (with significant modifiers) on the Entourage one. 

As Atgxtg explained, it is very much not that straightforward. You cannot simply compare the result numbers when the dice rolls and the modifiers are different. The possible yearly +1 from Courtesy rolls in KAP5.2 table accumulates pretty quickly, and like Atgxtg said, this impacts fast on the amount of land the PKs can accumulate.

It is true that if we look at just the rolls themselves, the average dowry result for KAP 5.2 marriage is £6.9, and for the vassal knight in Entourage £10.33 (actually, a bit less since the automatic +1 from Glory would push one result from 2d6+8 esquire to 1d6+6 eldest vassal, but I was ignoring the modifiers here, including any from Courtesy successes). This due to several factors:

1.) It was decided that the 'default' wife for a vassal knight (himself likely the eldest son of a vassal knight) ought to be the eldest daughter of a vassal knight, rather than a younger daughter of a vassal knight. Makes sense when you think about it.

2.) The Dowry for the eldest daughter was set to about the value of the land, i.e. £10 for a single manor knight rather than the earlier £6 manor. This changed the dowry from 1d6+3 to 1d6+6, resulting in a shift of £6 as far as the default wife's dowry was concerned.

3.) At the time, Greg said that household knights almost never marry, so naturally, there wouldn't be any daughters of the household knights running around, either.

However, do note that if the Knight already has a male heir, he should roll on the column one step to the left, i.e. a Vassal knight should roll as a Household knight and so forth*. Hence, for 2nd and subsequent marriages, assuming that there are heirs, the Vassal Knight's average dowry for the subsequent wives is likely to be just £3.5 or so (the younger daughter of a vassal knight), although it is likely that they would have gained some more Glory & other bonuses by then (which is also true for KAP 5.2 table with its heiress possibilities). But if you take that at face value, then the average of two marriages is about the same as it was in KAP 5.2.

* (ERRATA: Alas, rereading the Book of the Entourage, I see that this is hinted at, but not fully explained: the heir situation was originally in the column titles, IIRC. So this: "and consult the appropriate column, determined by the knight’s rank and pre-existing male heirs." should read as "and consult the appropriate column, determined by the knight’s rank and pre-existing male heirs (lower rank by one).")

 

Edited by Morien

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10 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I like, but they kinda kept that as an advanced trick for elite units. Double and triple teams make a huge difference. Not only due to the need to split, but also the increase chance of not getting a shield. 

Yep. One of my players complains that fighting against two standard footmen is worse than facing an enemy knight, assuming that no one is mounted. Because of the need to split the skill and the likely result being is that they get hit without a shield, possibly twice. And just to rub it in, the Glory for two footmen is less than for one knight, too. I do see his point but keep on using masses of footmen anyway, since knights tend to be rare in garrisons, etc.

However, in field battles, I generally pit them against other knights. This is another reason I dislike BoA tables somewhat. It is not just a question of how many knights you have on the battlefield in proportion to the infantry, but what are those knights doing? Most of the time, they should be countering the enemy knights, both for Glory (the common riffraff is beneath them) as well as to keep the enemy knights from outflanking/breaking their infantry line. This is one reason why I think the split in KAP 5.2 to Knightly opponents and infantry opponents works reasonably well; you can use the infantry when the PKs deliberately choose to go after infantry, but it makes more sense that they'd spend most of their time fighting knights, or that it is enemy knights who manage to engage them rather than the slow footmen.

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