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stryker99

Expanding holdings in Book of Estate

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3 hours ago, Morien said:

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

True. 

I'm not advocating for a Book of Lands per se.  However, if one were to do it for some reason, I'd combine things.  One reason might be to reduce redundancy and to reduce the cost for new buyers (one more expensive book but less than two individual books), but I don't see any urgency for such a project.

 

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18 hours ago, Morien said:

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.

I think you mised my point. I('m not saying you can't run a manor using BoE- that's what I'm doing now. What I'm saying is that I'd like BoE and BOM to be compatible with each other. BOM uses an older economic model and I'd like to see it brought up to date, especially as everything post BOE uses the BoE model. 

18 hours ago, Morien said:

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.

I don't want luck tables either. What I would like is to allow for some randomization with income by harvest, but in a simpler fashion than in BoM. IMO just being able to replace the fixed results with a variable die roll would work.

 

18 hours ago, Morien said:

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.

Yes, it would be easy to implment. I'd prefer something with more variantion than a +/-20% though. Historically, when things went bad they went very bad, and there was famine nearly one out of three years. 

 

18 hours ago, Morien said:

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

I don't either. I'd just like to see BoM updated to the BoE economic model. Same with the KAP core rules. They still use the £6 manor.

I hostly consider this to be bad game support. Unless someone is aware of the supplements and is up to date with them, he could easily fail into the problems from BoM or be confused by the different economics used in BoW or BoU. Same with the different types of armor. Game stats and armor definitions should vary from supplement to supplement.

And it's not like it all that difficult to update PDFs.

18 hours ago, Morien said:

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.

I agree. I'd be equally happy with either updating BoM to the current economic model or pulling it entirely to prevent it from causing more confusion and messing everything else up. But having ONE supplement that works on an different economic model than everything else is a bad thing. 

BTW, I think ransoms need to be updated to fit the current economic model in some fashion too. I don't mind if the values stay about the same, but I think they should be tied to income in some way. 

18 hours ago, Morien said:

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...

IN many ways I think 4th edition was superior. It was internally consistent and complete and there were far fewer bugs and errors in it. I think KAP5+ does have some nice stuff in it -mostly in the supplements, but overall KAP4 is a fully realized game while KAP5 feels more like one that isn't -it's a game that is still evolving, and will probably continue to do so until/if become KAP6. 

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15 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I don't either. I'd just like to see BoM updated to the BoE economic model. Same with the KAP core rules. They still use the £6 manor.

Yes, I did misunderstand you, since I don't see a great benefit to a standalone BoM anymore.

As for the core KAP...

KAP 5.2, p. 77: "Your starting manor pays you an annual income of £10"

KAP 5.2, p.133: "You gain 10 Glory if you hold land with an income of £10 (one manor) for a year,"

KAP 5.2, p. 231: "(A typical vassal knight’s manor earns £10 per year.)"

However, what it doesn't do is explain that only £6 of that money goes to supporting the knight, and that there is also £1 left over to spend on other stuff. Grr. I would have been much happier if they had just added even the £10 Demesne Manor example box from BotW p. 169. Even the breakdown of the £10 Customary income part of it.

15 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I'd be equally happy with either updating BoM to the current economic model or pulling it entirely to prevent it from causing more confusion and messing everything else up. But having ONE supplement that works on an different economic model than everything else is a bad thing.  

I think BoM is officially obsolete, but like you can buy 1st edition Pendragon, you can also buy BoM. The problem and the risk of confusion is that BoM is still labelled as a 5th edition product, which is the current core edition...

EDIT: It would help if there was a note in the product page that Book of the Manor has been superseded by the Book of the Estate. It could still be offered, but at least people would know. As it is, it is somewhat misleading advertising: "This 2nd edition of the Book of the Manor presents the revised economic system to
use for knightly manors in King Arthur Pendragon." Yes, revised compared to KAP 5.0 & GPC, but not compared to Book of the Estate.

It would be easy enough to update from £6 to £10 manor, and fix the harvest variation to something more reasonable (alas, I think the whole way that the harvest is rolled up is broken). Heck, BoM already talks about the Money You Never See, and a £120 total economic output. But it would still take someone to go in and make the changes... assuming that the layout files are still saved somewhere, of course.

Quote

BTW, I think ransoms need to be updated to fit the current economic model in some fashion too. I don't mind if the values stay about the same, but I think they should be tied to income in some way.  

:)

15 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I'd prefer something with more variantion than a +/-20% though. Historically, when things went bad they went very bad, and there was famine nearly one out of three years.  

The variation in BoM is beyond silly, though: x1/6 to x2.5.

In our Frankenstein variant, I have replaced every step with a +-10% instead (£1 for a single manor). That gives a nice +-30%, and if you are already living hand to mouth as a typical peasant family would, -30% would hurt. Basically, if everyone else were to eat normally, 30% of the family would starve. Also, it would be easy to handwave and say that the taxes, tolls and court fees and such would soften the harvest blow for the Knight, so the actual hit on the peasants could be closer to -50%. (Also, note that you do get +-30% also with the suggestion I made, even more often since it just requires a 1 and a fumbled Stewardship.)

Mind you, I do impose Wasteland penalties on top of the 'regular' harvest, so you start seeing yearly -10%, -20%... etc creeping in, as the Wasteland expands.

If you wish to have harsher harvests, you could easily have -20% per step instead. This would give you a -60% harvest on a crit weather roll vs. fumbled Stewardship. Or, have Meager/Good at -10% (no DF) / +10% (double DF) and then +-20% per extra step, which would bring you to 0.5 - 1.5. Which looks pretty nice, admittedly, and the need for crit-fumble pair to reach the +-50% would keep them quite rare.

 

Out of curiosity, what is your source for the 1 out of 3 years being a famine?

Quoting this: https://www.europenowjournal.org/2018/09/04/famine-and-dearth-in-medieval-england/

"A combination of narrative accounts of famine, and a more general mapping of harvests through yield and price data, indicates that twenty-three of the 140 years between 1210 and 1350 experienced poor harvests in one or more grains, and approximately half of these were sufficiently extreme and their consequences sufficiently severe to be counted as crisis events (Dyer 1989: 262-3; Hoyle 2017: 148)."

Twenty-three out of 140 = 16.4% (~1/6)

Half of those being crisis (famine) = 1/12.

Also, 1210 - 1350 would be closer to the Conquest Period, in internal Pendragon Timeline, and thence to Arthur's Peace from Romance onwards to the Yellow Pestilence, which is supposed to be a Period of great plenty and fine harvests (until the aforementioned YP and the encroaching Wasteland). So we definitely would expect less famines than the maxed out Medieval England historically.

 

15 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

IN many ways I think 4th edition was superior. It was internally consistent and complete and there were far fewer bugs and errors in it.

Well, if you include the Green Knight 4.5 edition stuff into it, too, then you will start seeing a mess again... I think, as has been expressed many times already in these forums, that Greg liked to tinker. He had a decade and a half to tinker with 5th edition with numerous supplements, and it shows.

I am with you in hoping that KAP 6 will bring consistency to the line again.

Edited by Morien

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20 hours ago, Morien said:

Yes, I did misunderstand you, since I don't see a great benefit to a standalone BoM anymore.

As for the core KAP...

But the old model with the  £6 standard are still included, such as the standards of living (pp.184-184)

20 hours ago, Morien said:

However, what it doesn't do is explain that only £6 of that money goes to supporting the knight, and that there is also £1 left over to spend on other stuff. Grr. I would have been much happier if they had just added even the £10 Demesne Manor example box from BotW p. 169. Even the breakdown of the £10 Customary income part of it.

Me too.  It would be better if everything used the same economic model.

20 hours ago, Morien said:

I think BoM is officially obsolete, but like you can buy 1st edition Pendragon, you can also buy BoM. The problem and the risk of confusion is that BoM is still labelled as a 5th edition product, which is the current core edition...

Exactly. With KAP1 or KAP4 you know you are using an older edition. With BoM you have every reason to believe what you have in compatible with KAP5 and is the latest economic model. So I think it should be updated, replaced or at least related as obsolete. 

 

I was looking at it yesterday and noticed that the pay for hirelings doesn't exactly match up with the Book of the Entourage either. IN BoM it's £1 per skill, with £2 or even £3 for higher skill scores. This would greatly affect footsoliders kept at the manor, as a 16 skill is quite likely. 

20 hours ago, Morien said:

EDIT: It would help if there was a note in the product page that Book of the Manor has been superseded by the Book of the Estate. It could still be offered, but at least people would know. As it is, it is somewhat misleading advertising: "This 2nd edition of the Book of the Manor presents the revised economic system to
use for knightly manors in King Arthur Pendragon." Yes, revised compared to KAP 5.0 & GPC, but not compared to Book of the Estate.

I agree, completely. Either that or just update the contents to better match with Estate.

 

 

 

20 hours ago, Morien said:

The variation in BoM is beyond silly, though: x1/6 to x2.5.

That's not silly, that's historically accurate. Crops yields were highly variable back then. In large part because they didn't know as much about maximizing crops yields as we do today. What was considered a bumper harvest in the middle ages would be average to mildly disappointing today. 

 

 

20 hours ago, Morien said:

In our Frankenstein variant, I have replaced every step with a +-10% instead (£1 for a single manor). That gives a nice +-30%, and if you are already living hand to mouth as a typical peasant family would, -30% would hurt. Basically, if everyone else were to eat normally, 30% of the family would starve. Also, it would be easy to handwave and say that the taxes, tolls and court fees and such would soften the harvest blow for the Knight, so the actual hit on the peasants could be closer to -50%. (Also, note that you do get +-30% also with the suggestion I made, even more often since it just requires a 1 and a fumbled Stewardship.)

That's a method. But I think it's much to secure, safe and fixed. People back then couldn't predict and rely on the harvest the same way the can now. In Estate a Knight knows he is going to make £10 per year and have £1 discretionary funds, and can rely upon that every year, barring a raid ro some such. Historically, it just wasn't so.  

 

20 hours ago, Morien said:

Out of curiosity, what is your source for the 1 out of 3 years being a famine?

Some medieval book I read so long ago I don't remember the title, but I confident I can find more sources to back it up. Most societies barely produced enough food to get by, even up to the late 19th century or so. It why you had 90% of the population farming. You needed 9 farmers to be able to feed 10 people, and so have 10% of the population be able to do something else (warriors, smiths, merchants, clergy, etc).

20 hours ago, Morien said:

Quoting this: https://www.europenowjournal.org/2018/09/04/famine-and-dearth-in-medieval-england/

"A combination of narrative accounts of famine, and a more general mapping of harvests through yield and price data, indicates that twenty-three of the 140 years between 1210 and 1350 experienced poor harvests in one or more grains, and approximately half of these were sufficiently extreme and their consequences sufficiently severe to be counted as crisis events (Dyer 1989: 262-3; Hoyle 2017: 148)."

Twenty-three out of 140 = 16.4% (~1/6)

Half of those being crisis (famine) = 1/12.

Also, 1210 - 1350 would be closer to the Conquest Period, in internal Pendragon Timeline, and thence to Arthur's Peace from Romance onwards to the Yellow Pestilence, which is supposed to be a Period of great plenty and fine harvests (until the aforementioned YP and the encroaching Wasteland). So we definitely would expect less famines than the maxed out Medieval England historically.

I doubt your source. Just a quick search on wikipedia reveals:

Famines were familiar occurrences in Medieval Europe. For example, localised famines occurred in France during the fourteenth century in 1304, 1305, 1310, 1315–1317 (the Great Famine), 1330–34, 1349–51, 1358–60, 1371, 1374–75, and 1390.[2] In England, the most prosperous kingdom affected by the Great Famine, there were famines such as in 1315–1317, 1321, 1351, and 1369.[2] For most people there was often not enough to eat, and life was a relatively short and brutal struggle to survive to old age. According to official records about the English royal family, an example of the best off in society, for whom records were kept, the average life expectancy in 1276 was 35.28 years.[2] Between 1301 and 1325, during the Great Famine it was 29.84 years while between 1348 and 1375 during the Plague, it was only 17.33 years.[2] It demonstrates the relative steep drop between 1348 and 1375 of about 42%.[3]

 

But I'd love to see someone with some better numbers. Often the information it out there but it takes some digging and is pretty dry and boring. I dug though some of that for horses to figure out some stuff of the costs for feeding workhorses, plough horses and oxen, and if I hadn't been working on horse training rules at the time, I wouldn't have bothered.  

20 hours ago, Morien said:

Well, if you include the Green Knight 4.5 edition stuff into it, too, then you will start seeing a mess again...

Let's not. I'm not all that fond of Green Knights rules changes, although I did like the Knight's Book, sans the triple training rule. 

20 hours ago, Morien said:

I think, as has been expressed many times already in these forums, that Greg liked to tinker. He had a decade and a half to tinker with 5th edition with numerous supplements, and it shows.

Yes, he was always trying to improve upon the game. He did the same with Glorantha too. It's a mixed blessing. On the one hand,, it's nice that he maintained an interested in the game and kept trying to improve it (I do suspect that some of the early rules were meant to be place holders until he could come up with something better). On the other hand, it makes things more convoluted and confusing, making the game much harder for a new GM or player to understand that it should be (or has to be). 

20 hours ago, Morien said:

I am with you in hoping that KAP 6 will bring consistency to the line again.

I think just about everyone is. The only time I've seen people against it is if/when they are worried about adding in the complexity of the latter supplements to the core game. I believe that things can be made consistent without making the core game more complex or really changing much. Most of the rules in the supplements are in the style of alternate or advanced rules that can be used in place of something that exists in the game already, or adds to it. Very little really changes. The game mechanics re the same, and while manors may make more money, knights don't see much more (at least the get £1 to spend now). Likewise while you and I (among others) have been trying to give more appropriate and uniform armor types, the point value is the important thing game-wise. In most cases it doesn't really matter what exactly constitutes 8 point armor. 

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12 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I doubt your source. Just a quick search on wikipedia reveals:

Famines were familiar occurrences in Medieval Europe. For example, localised famines occurred in France during the fourteenth century in 1304, 1305, 1310, 1315–1317 (the Great Famine), 1330–34, 1349–51, 1358–60, 1371, 1374–75, and 1390.[2] In England, the most prosperous kingdom affected by the Great Famine, there were famines such as in 1315–1317, 1321, 1351, and 1369.[2] For most people there was often not enough to eat, and life was a relatively short and brutal struggle to survive to old age. According to official records about the English royal family, an example of the best off in society, for whom records were kept, the average life expectancy in 1276 was 35.28 years.[2] Between 1301 and 1325, during the Great Famine it was 29.84 years while between 1348 and 1375 during the Plague, it was only 17.33 years.[2] It demonstrates the relative steep drop between 1348 and 1375 of about 42%.[3]

If we take those numbers, then England had 6 years of famines during 14th century. 6/100 = 1/16.67. Which is even less than what I quoted as 1/12. Far cry from 1 in 3.

For France, it looks much worse, but at the same time, you have the 100 years war going on, too. A chevauchee through a village could easily cause a localised famine. 21/100 = roughly 1 in 5.

Finally, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_of_1315–1317 : "The onset of the Great Famine coincided with the end of the Medieval Warm Period." So those numbers for 14th century are more unfavorable than they'd be for earlier times. Again, this would be more akin to the hit Britain takes due to the Wasteland than the norm during Conquest - Early Tournament, which is characterized as the heyday of Arthurian peace and prosperity.

13 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

That's not silly, that's historically accurate.

As for the sizes of the harvest, taking that same wikipedia link, we find that famine harvest is like 2:1, and favorable harvest is 7:1. Since you need to save 1 for next year's seed grain, this would give surplus of 1 to 6 grains per seed grain, so a factor of 6, compared to BoM's factor of 15. Assuming that the harvest income would be directly comparable with the harvest grain surplus. Actually, you would expect that the grain prices would reflect the plenty and the scarcity of the grains, and thus even out some of the variation in income.

http://faculty.econ.ucdavis.edu/faculty/gclark/papers/market99.pdf  : "The price of grain moved up and down sharply from year to year. Thus the national average price between 1300 and 1349 ranged from a low of 3.61 s. per quarter to a high of 16.4s. per quarter, a range of more than four to one."

Of course, it is not quite as simple as that, since some/most of the (normal) harvest goes to feeding the lord and his household and servants, rather than for the markets. So during the low harvest, they wouldn't have the surplus to sell, and indeed, buying more grain to make up for the dearth would actually cost more. But it does provide a nice buffer against the high yield bumper crops, so that they don't totally explode the knight's income. Indeed, I think it would be quite defensible to cut the grain surplus income at least in half, if not more.

http://www.cropyields.ac.uk/project.php#1._The_yield_information_contained_in_medieval_manorial_accounts:

indicates that the average harvest was ~3:1 (net yield 2 per seed grain) for barley in Alciston manor, with the net low about 0.75 and high up to 4. So at least for this manor and for barley, something like -50% and +100% variance of harvest would seem to work reasonably well, and if we halve the surplus prices, +-50% works. Granted, this was barley and not wheat, and focusing on 1336 onwards so after the Medieval Warm Period.

If we take the earlier factor of 6, and put average on 3, we get famine x1/3 and bumper crop at x2. Halving the income again for the good harvests would give a maximum of x1.5.

So yeah, I would be pretty content with +-50%.

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I have always looked at Manors and Estates as the same thing with an Estate just having more land/worth?

Since the King owns all lands and the Knights/Lords just administer it for him, couldn't  an increase in worth just be chalked up to the Baron/Duke/King granting the Knight more lands due to his deeds?

I don't seen a 50£ Estate as 5 separate Manors, but just as a larger land area with the more room for crops and villages.

Edited by tenchi2a

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4 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

I have always looked at Manors and Estates as the same thing with an Estate just having more land/worth?

That is pretty much how it is dealt with in Book of the Estate.

While it is possible for the King/Baron to decide that the five manors he has granted to a knight will henceforth become an estate, it is more common for the estate to be created all in one go by the King. But it would, technically, be possible for it to be widely scattered, even though the examples in BotE are geographically concentrated for simplicity.

Note that 5 separate manors do not become an estate just by themselves. Estate is a legal entity as well, in a sense that once it has been established, it cannot be split up (except by heiresses).

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I am curious:

Has there been a case where a King has reassigned manors belonging to different holders that are geographically separate and make them more adjacent to each other? 

What would be the precedent?

What would the repercussions?

Edited by Hzark10

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It has generally been to the (English) King's advantage to keep the nobles' holdings as widely distributed as possible to prevent them from rebelling as easily. This was due to a deliberate policy by William the Conqueror, as he had seen the opposite happen in France, where the geographically concentrated fiefdoms were the norm. His own Duchy of Normandy was de facto independent from the weak French Capet Kings, his titular overlords, and he had fought with and against his kings from time to time.

I don't recall off the top of my head such geographical rearrangements,  but I think I remember cases where the King might decide against one party in an inheritance/dowry dispute and then compensate them with lands elsewhere. Thus, in theory, making both parties content and grateful to the King. It didn't always work.

In Pendragon, as long as both parties are sworn to the King, and agree to the trade, I don't see a reason why it couldn't be done. And, in Pendragon context, it might even make more sense to have geographically concentrated holdings, so that the nobleman has real stake in defending that region as well as the resources at hand to do so. Although I can think of one great reason to give people holdings in both the interior of the kingdom (presumably peaceful) and at the border: they are much more likely to have more men defending their border manors, while the interior barons wouldn't necessarily contribute as much to the border defense.

Edited by Morien

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On 7/7/2019 at 1:25 AM, Morien said:

That is pretty much how it is dealt with in Book of the Estate.

While it is possible for the King/Baron to decide that the five manors he has granted to a knight will henceforth become an estate, it is more common for the estate to be created all in one go by the King. But it would, technically, be possible for it to be widely scattered, even though the examples in BotE are geographically concentrated for simplicity.

Note that 5 separate manors do not become an estate just by themselves. Estate is a legal entity as well, in a sense that once it has been established, it cannot be split up (except by heiresses).

The points I was trying to make are:

1. There are normally great stretches of land between Manors/Estates owned by the King/Baron/etc.

2. A reward for service would IMHO be awarding a parcel of land (Already subdivided by the king, which is what I take awarding of a Manor to be in the game) or an already established Estate.

Example: Sir Jon Doe, is a Knight of Salisbury and earns great glory during the Battle of Alclud. To recognizes this, Sir Roderick (with the power granted by the king) grants him a parcel of land equal to +10£. Effectively making his lands a 20£ Manor.

or

Sir Jon Doe, is a battalion commander during the Battle of Alclud that leads a charge that brakes the enemy allowing for King Arthur's victory. As a reward he is granted the lands (Estate) of a fallen knight from the losing side worth 50£+. His current lands worth 20£ are granted to one of his younger sons that gained great glory during the battle. This is a net gain of 30£ for the knight ready for his oldest son to inherit.

3. To me it would be tactically unsound, to have your knights/warlords lands split all over Logres as this would weaken the kingdoms defenses. While there are example of this in KAP, they tend to be administrative districts for warlords tasked with running Counties outside their own. And the said warlords also tend to have a major seat of power County as their point of force.

On 7/7/2019 at 10:09 AM, Morien said:

It has generally been to the (English) King's advantage to keep the nobles' holdings as widely distributed as possible to prevent them from rebelling as easily. This was due to a deliberate policy by William the Conqueror, as he had seen the opposite happen in France, where the geographically concentrated fiefdoms were the norm. His own Duchy of Normandy was de facto independent from the weak French Capet Kings, his titular overlords, and he had fought with and against his kings from time to time.

This is true in the real world but IMHO has no place in the epic fantasy of KAP.

Quote

I don't recall off the top of my head such geographical rearrangements,  but I think I remember cases where the King might decide against one party in an inheritance/dowry dispute and then compensate them with lands elsewhere. Thus, in theory, making both parties content and grateful to the King. It didn't always work.

Again see above

Quote

In Pendragon, as long as both parties are sworn to the King, and agree to the trade, I don't see a reason why it couldn't be done. And, in Pendragon context, it might even make more sense to have geographically concentrated holdings, so that the nobleman has real stake in defending that region as well as the resources at hand to do so. Although I can think of one great reason to give people holdings in both the interior of the kingdom (presumably peaceful) and at the border: they are much more likely to have more men defending their border manors, while the interior barons wouldn't necessarily contribute as much to the border defense.

This comes back to the weak core argument.

In KAP, it is way to common for roaming bands of Saxons or other bandits to attack your lands for the King/Earl to intentionally split your forces all over Logres. 

You have to get the modern ideas of a frontline out of your head when dealing with this time period. Way to much of Logres is unsettled to have an effective boarder defenses.

Edited by tenchi2a

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8 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

This comes back to the weak core argument.

The actual core argument is that Greg wanted to have scattered lands a la Norman system. Whether from desire to stick as close to his historical touchstone of the Norman England as possible or for some other reason I don't know.

8 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

In KAP, it is way to common for roaming bands of Saxons or other bandits to attack your lands for the King/Earl to intentionally split your forces all over Logres. 

You have to get the modern ideas of a frontline out of your head when dealing with this time period. Way to much of Logres is unsettled to have an effective boarder defenses. 

You mistake my meaning. I am not saying that the Saxons need their passports stamped at a border checkpoint before they can enter Logres.

What I am saying is that the lands that are right next to the Saxon Kingdoms are more likely to be raided, since it is easier for Saxons to do so: shorter distance so less chance of detection and less chance of being intercepted as they are returning with their loot, so less risk for them, and less time needed. Also, logistic considerations: you can only carry limited amount of food with you, and once you start to forage, you blow your cover. Might as well raid here and then bug out. It becomes increasingly risky for them to penetrate deeper into Logres, unless it is an actual army, as in 473.

So, if we imagine two counties, one at the border (say, Berroc) and the other near the middle of the kingdom (say, Tribruit), it is clear to see that Berroc is more exposed to Saxon raids, and has a higher chance of being raided. Let's imagine that all the land in those counties are given to two barons.

Geographically concentrated: one baron holds all of Berroc, the other all of Lambor. End result, Baron of Berroc needs to make do with Berroc's resources, while Baron of Lambor enjoys the easy life.

Scattered holdings: Baron of Berroc holds 60% of Berroc and 40% of Lambor, while Baron of Lambor holds 60% of Lambor and 40% of Berroc. Since Lambor is much less exposed, both barons concentrate most of their knights in Berroc, let's say 50% of Lambor knights. End result, Berroc county has now its own knights AND 50% of Lambor's knights protecting it, making it that much harder target for Saxons to raid or to cross, which also makes the lands behind it more secure.

Naturally, the above is a simplified example, but illustrates the principle.

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