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stryker99

Expanding holdings in Book of Estate

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We have just started the GPC with the Uther expansion. I have Book of the Estate (and Entourage, Knights & Ladies, Battles 2, and Armies) and am trying to use it's system for manors. Each PK has a single Salisbury manor at the moment. How does a landed knight expand his estate in the Book of the Estate?

I understand that marrying a landed lady is one way, but the random wife tables and the player generated resources I am using for wives makes this highly unlikely. I have seen some references in other materials that lead me to believe Book of the Manor may have had rules for adding to your manor, but Estate does not.

So assuming a Knight starts with the 10L manor from page 38 of Book of the Estate, how does that knight expand to the 50L Estate on page 39 in play?

 

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32 minutes ago, stryker99 said:

So assuming a Knight starts with the 10L manor from page 38 of Book of the Estate, how does that knight expand to the 50L Estate on page 39 in play?

Mostly be somehow being gifted or granted other manors by a  lord. It is deliberately difficult to really expand a holding by much in KAP5. It's not like the old version where knights could just keep marrying heiresses after their wives died in childbirth. 

Most nobles have to keep about 70=80% of their manors themselves, so there are only a relatively few manors available for knights to hold, and generally speaking more manors usually means more knight service owed, so the knight would need to have his own knights to fulfill his military obligation to his liege lord.

 

 

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As Atgxtg says, it is not normal for the manors to simply 'expand'.

The best way of gaining new manors is conquering some new land for the King and being heroic while doing so. This means that the King has some new land that he can use to reward loyal, heroic knights with, and here you are, the man of the hour.

Killing big monsters (dragons and such) might be good for a land reward, too, even though the noble/king in question might be a bit strapped for new manors. Gift manors (for life, non-inheritable) are much more likely, at least to begin with. Especially if they are given 'at the king's pleasure' (I forget if that is the correct wording), meaning that he can revoke the gift any time he feels like it, and be on solid legal footing.

There are some ways to 'expand', though. Investments bring in more income, and it is in principle possible for the PK to pour his battle loot to building investments and eventually double the original income. However, note that when he passes on, the manor will be reassessed, and if its income is £20, then the heir is expected to bring two knights instead of one to the muster.

While it is not supported in BotE, I have allowed in my campaigns for the players to take advantage of an influx of new peasants fleeing Saxons (such as when Essex is established, and Anglia later). In those cases, I have allowed the players to use the village building rules from BotM. However, do note that this is a bit in contradiction to the space rules for improvements in BotE. Technically, such a new village ought to take a space, too.

 

All the above being said, if you want to say that most of the county (Salisbury?) is underpopulated and that there is plenty of space to expand, just ignore the space restrictions (or make them like 10 spaces per £10 manor) and use the BotM population growth rules or something like that. Historically, the population in Europe was in decline during the migration era, although during the High Middle Ages that the KAP society more accurately represents there was a population boom. Even so, it took like 250 years for the population of England to double (and that is based on the most generous estimate), so even during that 'boom', the population growth per generation would be much more glacial, less than 10% per 25 years. But that could give you a reasonable-ish natural population growth, saying that the £10 manor gets +£1 village every 25 years or so, absent any demographic issues.

Alas, Salisbury is likely getting raided during the Anarchy and then again during the Saxon Wars, so I could easily see the population remaining pretty flat, over the long-term. Even if it notches up during the long peace between Badon and Yellow Pestilence, the Yellow Pestilence is sure to knock it back down to Uther levels or even below.

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If it helps, in my own campaign PKs have gotten manors in the following ways:

 

The first PK role played his way into marrying a widow. This took several years and some negotiation. Just recently, about 17 years later in game time, the Count formally granted the manor to the PK's son, finally making it a holding that can be passed down. It has been improved somewhat over the years and produces around £13

The second PK got land by reclaiming a manor that had been taken by an evil knight (so evil that he had a redcap serving him). As the evil knight had wiped out the family that held the land and there were no know claimants, the Count promised to grant the manor to whosoever reclaimed it for him. The PKs did so and one of them, whom the others promoted as as the hero of the encounter, was granted the manor.

The third PK marred a widow (his third wife) after leading a force to recover a farie stone with healing properties that helped to save the Count from the plague (I started the campaign very early, in 410, so this is all long before Counter Roderick). As teh PK played a major part in helping to save the Counts life (along with Coventina, a Lady of the Lake), he had some very nice modifiers  on the random wife table and was rewarded with a heiress with a manor.

Later, the same PK lead a unit that captured an enemy commander in battle, and he was gifted a second manor near Portus Dubris (Dover) by King Constatin. 

The last PK got his first manor due to his position in a Knightly Order than the PKs had established early on. Due to the Order being comprised almost entirely of knights from Salisbury (the original PKs plus a vassal knight and some inlaws), and it part in saving the Count from the plague, the order was granted the manor of Little Langford and the (Ogre inhabited) remains of the old Hill fort of Groverly Castle. Although technically the knight is really the steward of the manor,  the order decided to make that PK the knight in residence to fulfill their military service obligation to the Count. This came about in no small part because all the other members had land.

Recently the same PK finally got a manor of his own from the "A Prefect Wife" card at a feast. As the PK is now late in his career, has over 10,000 Glory, have served the Count well in many ways, etc. He rolled well on the table and got an heiress with  £11 in land and £37 in treasure.

So after 25 years each PK has managed to acquire one family manor to raise their status to vassal knight. A couple have a second manor as a gift, which they can not pass down.

 

Only one PK has a chance as two manors, but he turned it down. The son of one of the PKs ended up saving the lift of General Aetius from assassins (actually several other PKs played a bigger part in it, but as the younger knight failed several Awareness rolls he missed a lot of things and so went into the general tent and helped to defend the general against the two assassin inside the tent, and thus looked good in front of the general), and had the chance to marry one of Aetius nieces (who had a nice villa with two vineyards and three wineries that produced something like £20/year), but the player had to bow out as the player had already gone to great effort to marry into a prestigious Roman family back in Britain and if he would have backed out of it at this late date (the wedding was set for the next year, and  had been for over a decade) he would have insulted the family and made a powerful enemy. 

 

But basically, like Morien says, you have to earn it by doing great things for somebody important. 

I'd also caution very strongly against awarding manors lightly. Doing so can both cheapen the effect, and lead to major escalation. I usually try to find other rewards besides land or portable treasure. Stuff that has a personal value to the PKs. That way the players get the satisfaction of their actions being recognized and rewarded, but don't end up with too much wealth or land. For example, the PKs knightly order was formally recognized by the King for it role if combating the plague (knights now get 25 glory for joining), a statue of a griffin (its worth some libra but it's mostly a prestige thing for the order and is really just a big rock), and more recently, .Gorcely Castle (a old ruined hillfort that is really just a money pit. While the PKs recent military success abroad has allowed them to get permission to fortiy it from King Constatin, actually doing so, and manning it, will take a lot more money that the members can muster, and just  building a great hall, stables and outbuildings should eat up the remainder of their war booty). So while all those rewards are nice, none will really make the knights richer or give them more land.  

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Significant land can be gained by wooing heiresses and widows, but they should be significant NPCs in their own right., as important as other knights.

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3 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

Significant land can be gained by wooing heiresses and widows, but they should be significant NPCs in their own right., as important as other knights.

Just to add that usually, heiresses and widows also have guardians/wardens (often the liege lord) who have the say who the heiress/widow will marry. So it is not always enough to simply woo the lady, but one needs to make good with the guardian, too. Heiresses are also rare (since vassal knights are also rarer now); I think I crunched the numbers in the other forum and came up with a number of roughly one full 1 manor heiress and 2 shared manor heiresses per generation for Salisbury (so roughly, per county). Naturally, that is simply an average and the GM is free to ignore it, but it should give some indication how rare marrying an heiress ought to be. All the more so since the liege has plenty of incentive to actually marry the heiresses off to deserving household knights, not just the PKs, so there is plenty of competition for them.

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Am I correct in thinking most new manors that the players get to expand to having an estate wouldn't actually be adjacent to their existing manor? They marry a widow the chance of that widow's lands being near the knights are low. If they conquer a new area for the king, again it isn't likely to be near their existing manor.

Aren't the players likely to end up with little packets of land all over the country rather than vast estates and "huge tracks to land"?

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On 6/16/2019 at 11:07 PM, stryker99 said:

How does a landed knight expand his estate in the Book of the Estate? 

As stated previously, you can't really expand your estate per se. But you can of course construct new investments to maximise profits. On the other side, the investments are precarious, especially during raids. Saxons just love to burn orchards and to steal herd ;)

1 hour ago, TerryTroll said:

Am I correct in thinking most new manors that the players get to expand to having an estate wouldn't actually be adjacent to their existing manor? They marry a widow the chance of that widow's lands being near the knights are low.

Yes, of course. But each widow's estate must have neighbours. It can be a special bait in game.

In my current campaign, one of my PK realize (to my dismay) that a pretty widow of 25 was a neighbour. This widow was the previous wife of the same player. I didn't realise at the time that the estates were so close, but they were.

The player married the same woman twice with two different characters!  At least the player remember her name...

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3 hours ago, TerryTroll said:

Am I correct in thinking most new manors that the players get to expand to having an estate wouldn't actually be adjacent to their existing manor? They marry a widow the chance of that widow's lands being near the knights are low. If they conquer a new area for the king, again it isn't likely to be near their existing manor.

Yup.

3 hours ago, TerryTroll said:

Aren't the players likely to end up with little packets of land all over the country rather than vast estates and "huge tracks to land"?

Exactly. 

Except that a player could try to role play things to try and get manors that are close to each other. For example, courting a heiress or widow who lives nearby, and if on a border, he could try to conquer a manor across the border.  That would make getting manors close together more likely, but would be much more difficult to pull off, as it limits the knight's possibilities. 

 

I also suppose that in some rare cases a knight could make arrangements with his liege lord to swap a manor or two to consolidate his holding, but such things would be rare, and require a great deal of trust and loyalty, as consolidated holding would make the knight more powerful and more difficult to deal with militarily. Basically, I believe such an act the Knight from a rich vassal knights with several manors to an estate holder. I think historically though, the reverse was more likely to occur.

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Is the best time to move from manor to estate during the anarchy period where you can just make a quick land grab, or offer protection to your neighbour if they basically become part of your holdings?

Marrying your son off to a allied neighbour seems a good move as well, if something were to happen to his sons.

 

On the other hand... I'm currently 490 marrying two of my Player Knights off to maidens from Cornwall as Earl Roderick thought it strengthen the relationship with Duke Gorlois... well if they must wait around so long, they will get pushed into a political marriage. Visiting any holdings they get could be tricky in the future.

Edited by TerryTroll

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54 minutes ago, TerryTroll said:

Is the best time to move from manor to estate during the anarchy period where you can just make a quick land grab, or offer protection to your neighbour if they basically become part of your holdings?

Marrying your son off to a allied neighbour seems a good move as well, if something were to happen to his sons.

 

On the other hand... I'm currently 490 marrying two of my Player Knights off to maidens from Cornwall as Earl Roderick thought it strengthen the relationship with Duke Gorlois... well if they must wait around so long, they will get pushed into a political marriage. Visiting any holdings they get could be tricky in the future.

There will be many widows in Cornwall in the coming years. Some may have grievances against outsider knights. Best be careful. Some might be grateful. Some are not.

 

(The women of Igraine's household may have learned potion-making like their mistress. Others, being pagan (Cornwall is only partly Christianized) have 'fiery dispositions' as the men of Logres might see it.)

Edited by jeffjerwin

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1 hour ago, TerryTroll said:

Is the best time to move from manor to estate during the anarchy period where you can just make a quick land grab, or offer protection to your neighbour if they basically become part of your holdings?

I suspect not. One of the things Arthur does when he becomes High King is restore lots of land to families who lost it during the Anarchy. While I suspect that mostly meant to Saxons, there were other land grabbers. So while ther Anarchy could be a realtively easy time to expand your holdings, keeping it all is still tricky.

 

IMO the best time to try and expand is during any of the wars. Taking manors that are held by a vassals of a lord that your liege lord (or King Arthur) is at war with is probably the easiest way to grab land that you can hold onto -if your side wins the war.  The land will probably be far from the PKs home (Salisbury), but I think it is still the easiest way to get an actual estate by conquest. 

1 hour ago, TerryTroll said:

Marrying your son off to a allied neighbour seems a good move as well, if something were to happen to his sons.

Yes, on multiple levels. Not only can is possibly lead to getting more land somewhere down the road, but it gives you someone to help out during raids and such. 

 

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Thanks for all the great replies! My instincts were correct: Wife or reward from higher ups are the primary ways to gain more land holdings.

What this leaves me wondering is what is the point of Book of the Estate over Book of the Manor? Stuff I read led me to believe Estate was the "new way" but very little of it seems to fit with the default of each player knight has one manor. I was trying to avoid buying EVERYTHING, but I am getting darn close to it; should I pick up BotM? Would using it fit our current situation better?

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5 hours ago, stryker99 said:

What this leaves me wondering is what is the point of Book of the Estate over Book of the Manor? 

IMO Estate does a better job of things. Manor adds a lot of neat details but with all the die rolling and such it seems to eat up a lot of game time, every year, plus it can lead to runaway escalation with income. Estate eliminates more of the variable rolls and uses fixed values for things, which speeds things along, and it introduces the concept of spaces, limiting the number of income producing improvements than a manor can reasonable hold. IN BoM, someone with a lot of money could but lots of investments, clear land for new villages and turn a typical manor into a holding that could produce ten times as much as a single manor, or even more. With Estate that's just not possible as there isn't enough free space in a typical manor to build that many investments or clear much land. 

With my last campaign Manor was one of the two manor reason why the campaign crashed and burned (my only Pendragon campaign ever to do so). The new campaign uses Estate and the results have been much better, even if the knights are somewhat poorer. 

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The revised Book of the Estate is much superior to The Book of Manor, IMHO. It works from Manor scales up to Counties, even though the book itself is only up to £100. It does have breakdowns of the manorial personnel as well, something which BoM just touches upon but doesn't actually lay out in detail.

There are opportunities during GPC for the PKs (at least some of them) to gain an estate. Or even starting a campaign with estate holders, although in that case, they would likely be more geographically scattered than the norm. Or simply rewrite the amount of vassal lands to something like 50% to make more vassal manors/estates available.

Furthermore, Estate has much more world information than BoM, including updated Glory rewards for the titles, and the family survival tables, as well as revised fortifications and other improvements.

And like Atgxtg already mentioned, BoM is pretty broken when it comes to investments, slow with the variable income, and the harvest rules are... not ideal, too. So plenty of reasons, IMHO, to prefer Book of the Estate.

 

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5 hours ago, Morien said:

And like Atgxtg already mentioned, BoM is pretty broken when it comes to investments, slow with the variable income, and the harvest rules are... not ideal, too. So plenty of reasons, IMHO, to prefer Book of the Estate.

I wonder if a revised BoM is a possibility. It wouldn't take too much to update BoM to BoE's mechanics. Increase the manor income, put a space limit, and replace variable income with fixed income using the low average die results. That should do over 80% of the hard lifting. 

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5 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I wonder if a revised BoM is a possibility.

I thought of the same thing. They are two different systems in the way they look at finances, however.  Not sure if it could be done, but BoM would then be able to handle manor(s) and then 
BoE would do the same on a larger scale.

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7 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I wonder if a revised BoM is a possibility. It wouldn't take too much to update BoM to BoE's mechanics. Increase the manor income, put a space limit, and replace variable income with fixed income using the low average die results. That should do over 80% of the hard lifting. 

But... That is already in Book of the Estate. The £10 manor example. Totally same mechanics work just as well for £10 Manor as for £100 Estate. That was the whole point of the scalable New Economics.

Or did you mean having a variable harvest, the whole concern my commoners mechanic (bleh) and Hate Landlord and Manorial Luck (AKA how will the dice screw you over this year)?

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Apart from the value of the manor (6L vs 10L), BoM and BoE represent two different economic approaches to running a manor.  Historically these approaches varies through time.  BoE assumes that the peasants hold/work most of the land and provide a constant render to the lord, so variable harvests don't matter in terms of lordly income.  BoM really assumes that the lord is holding more in demense and, therefore, can profit from good years and suffer in bad years.  Technically speaking, the BoM approach to economics would be more appropriate to later Periods/Phases.  That said, I think some of the economic swings are too high.

A new version of BoE (based on 10L) might include both system and how they evolve over the course of the GPC. Personally, if I were to issue new versions, I'd combine BoWarlords, BoEstate and BoManor (for time-varying economics) into one big BoLandHolding. 

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1 hour ago, Morien said:

Or did you mean having a variable harvest, the whole concern my commoners mechanic (bleh) and Hate Landlord and Manorial Luck (AKA how will the dice screw you over this year)?

Yup.  

However, having a book that concerns itself with just a knight's manor has merit, at least to me.  The concern I have is the two different economic approaches they have and whether they can be resolved into a single system.  An Estate would have a completely different aspect than a manor. Maybe combining them as the BoM does have buildings and such that BoE does not and BoE concerns itself differently than BoM.

But, that is probably just me.

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6 hours ago, Morien said:

But... That is already in Book of the Estate. The £10 manor example. Totally same mechanics work just as well for £10 Manor as for £100 Estate. That was the whole point of the scalable New Economics.

Or did you mean having a variable harvest, the whole concern my commoners mechanic (bleh) and Hate Landlord and Manorial Luck (AKA how will the dice screw you over this year)?

No I mean't making all the stuff in BoM get brought up to BoE standards. Put the £10 manor economic model into BoM (and into the core KAP rulebook as well) and have the various enhancements in BoM adjusted to match the values in BoE. Plus there are some things in BoM that aren't in BoE. 

 

I'd like all the economic rules to be compatible with each other. Variable harvests could be an optional rule. For instance a fixed income of £2 could be replaced with £1d3 and so forth. MAybe the fixed income of a manor (£10) could be replaced with  3d6 or even 2d6+3  adjusted by weather, raids and so forth. It. wouldn't take much work to accomplish, either.

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7 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

I thought of the same thing. They are two different systems in the way they look at finances, however.

I don't see them being all that different. I think the differences are that: 

  • BoE deals more with "income that you don't see" by making allowances for guard, servants and other retainers.
  • BoE used fixed results instead of variable rolls (probably based on the idea that it tends to average out large scale), but I thin a lot of BOMs random rolls could be streamlined (i.e instead of rolling randomly and then multiply the results by the harvest the harvest could be represented by the random rolls and modifiers).
  • BoE  uses "space" to put some limits of things to prevent players from going overboard by building 100 apiaries or some such - which was a potential problem in BoM, as after a certain point it could mutate into a ever increasing feedback loop. 
7 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

 

  Not sure if it could be done, but BoM would then be able to handle manor(s) and then 
BoE would do the same on a larger scale.

Call me crazy but I think it could be done (yeah, I know that two things are not mutually exclusive). I think most of it would port over. Maybe some things would need a scaled down version, kinda like the difference between jousting area and jousting list, but I think most of it just take s a little number crunching and streamlining.

 

Back before BoM I used to simulate the harvest with a £2d6 roll for income, reflecting the variable harvest, with modifiers for things like blessings, curses, raids, stewardship rolls,  and so on. I could also see some of the variable rolls being combined into one roll. For example, rather than rolling separately for the manor 10) and for the  dairy 2) the two could be combined (£12) and then (optionally) converted to a variable roll (say 2d6+5 or 3d6+2) on a table.  Things which gave an income that wasn't affected by the harvest would be tallied up and rolled separately. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

No I mean't making all the stuff in BoM get brought up to BoE standards. Put the £10 manor economic model into BoM (and into the core KAP rulebook as well) and have the various enhancements in BoM adjusted to match the values in BoE. Plus there are some things in BoM that aren't in BoE. 

That is what I am trying to say. Just run the £10 manor as a £10 'estate' using the Book of the Estate. Works like a charm. Many of the missing enchantments are missing because Greg decided that they should not be offered as options, so I don't see that as a big problem, either. A lot of the Book of Manor is taken up by followers, who are dealt much better in Book of the Entourage already, too.

Luck tables I am not a huge fan of, although those would be easy enough to implement. Unlike in BoM, BotE already has plenty of rules to prevent an exponential growth of the estate income, not the least being the reassessment as the place is inherited, which resets the free income. Also the Return-Of-Investment is about 1:10, rather than the 1:2 in some BoM investments. So there is less need for random investment destruction and raids to keep things from going out of control.

Random harvest would be another potential tweak, but even this would be dead easy to implement. Something like this (off the top of my head, pretty similar to GPC quick system) would be more than enough, IMHO:

Harvest, roll 1d6: 1 = -2 Lots, 2 = -1 Lot, 3-4 = Normal, 5=+1 Lot, 6= +2 Lots

Stewardship roll: Critical = +1 Lot always, Success = remove -1 Lot, Failure = remove +1 Lot, Fumble = -1 Lot always.

I do have my own more convoluted BoM hybrid, but I am not sure it is worth it.

As for Raids, they are already dealt in ESTATE.

11 hours ago, fulk said:

Personally, if I were to issue new versions, I'd combine BoWarlords, BoEstate and BoManor (for time-varying economics) into one big BoLandHolding. 

I seriously doubt that there is hunger for Yet Another Landholding Book.

That being said, I do agree that there is a lot of overlap between ESTATE and WARLORD on the landholding side, and WARLORD and UTHER on the Logres nobility etc side. So if we'd start it from scratch, I would very much support that ESTATE and WARLORD would be just a single book, as you proposed, covering the landholding system, and the actual world information & NPCs would be in Book of Uther. But it would not be worth it to start re-editing and re-publishing the books.

If there is a new Book of Arthur or Book of Logres, to cover what the place looks like after the Saxon Wars, I would much rather have the landholding system changes just in a couple of pages of appendix rather than its own book that would repeat 95% of already published material. Another thing that I thought 4th edition got right was that it listed the armies of the nobles could call upon. This gave me, as the GM, a very nice handle on what would happen if there was an attack some place, what kind of forces would be readily available, etc. Of course, the landholdings were much more concentrated, rather than the Norman scattershot that Greg ended up adopting for WARLORD...

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7 hours ago, Morien said:

I seriously doubt that there is hunger for Yet Another Landholding Book.

I'm not suggesting one, per se.  I just think there is substantial redundancy between BoW and BoE.  IF they were to be substantially updated for some reason, I'd combine them. 

 

RE economics, I believe Greg was thinking of a later manorial economics book, but I don't think an entirely separate book is necessary.  One could take BoE and BoW, combine them, then add a chapter or appendix to discuss how things change through time, add variable harvests, add retainers and affinities instead of servitium debitum etc, while not actually altering the underlying 10L manor etc.

NT

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3 hours ago, fulk said:

One could take BoE and BoW, combine them, then add a chapter or appendix to discuss how things change through time, add variable harvests, add retainers and affinities instead of servitium debitum etc, while not actually altering the underlying 10L manor etc. 

Since the only new material would be that chapter or appendix of changes, it would, IMHO, be better just combined with any 'Book of Arthur' than to republish the combined Estate & Warlord.

But that is David's headache, not mine! :)

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