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Old 04-29-2021, 12:42 PM   #21
Stormcrow
 
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

I think your problem lies in trying to assimilate your preferred playing style, which appears to be combat-heavy and socially light, with the traditional role of knights, which is both combat-heavy and socially heavy. When you can imagine combat-heavy and socially light peasants or wizards, the knight doesn't seem to fit into your paradigm.

So do one of two things: either jettison the idea of a courtly knight in your game, or just don't use those traits that have no impact on your game. If your adventures don't deal with things like high-status people socially interacting with low-status people, if they don't deal with courtly intrigue or funding arms, don't use those traits, and the knight can invest more points into things like weapon skills and combat advantages.

In other words, I think you're trying to cram someone else's concept of a knight into your concept of an adventure.

I don't, on the other hand, think your idea of what is common in a game and what isn't is necessarily representative of the majority. I think you'll find a lot of people care about the social attributes of the knight.
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Old 04-29-2021, 12:58 PM   #22
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

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Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post

Nah. They'd get by on defaults for the social skills. [...] What carries them in high society is the actual status which makes them members of the club, as it were, not any actual capability. SF is a desirable skill but not necessary.
Also, you could do worse than to treat Status as a bonus to all even vaguely "social" skills when the knight is serving as a bona fide knight and not trying to talk their way into or out of a situation with someone who doesn't know or care (like a foreigner, successful lower-class criminal, or cloistered monk). So, for a Status 2 knight, Savoir-Faire (High Society) effectively defaults to IQ-2 in his own land.

This isn't really original thinking. It's more like extending Status as a Reaction Modifier (p. B29) to Influence rolls and then riffing on it a bit. It's basically treating Status as geographically and culturally specific Charisma.
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Old 04-29-2021, 01:11 PM   #23
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

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Originally Posted by CarrionPeacock View Post
...
However, how one should deal with it in a not-so-dungeon fantasy games, like one set in Banestorm/Yrth?
The best solution would be to hand the noble character more points, but doing so in anything but a tight-knit group would draw complaint from others. ...
One possible answer is to give the nobles compulsory Disadvantages that don't apply to the others like feudal Duties, Enemies, Intolerance, Debt, Dependents, Reputation, etc.

Also, for lower point nobles you could minimize the panoply of things they 'should' have by limiting them territorially or situationally (Legal Enforcement or Immunity advantages might be formal, but not viable in every practicality). Or for non-core skills, acknowledge that they might have formal exposure to them but not be very good at them (maybe using Dabbler instead of full Skill levels).

Another thing would be to make sure that everyone from every social stratum has to buy the things the might realistically have, like Guild memberships, Streetwise, Contacts, Social Chameleon, and 'everyman' skills that nobles might actually never have been forced to pick up.
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Old 04-29-2021, 01:16 PM   #24
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
I'm not necessarily saying totally neglect social skills. You should have at least a minimal degree of manners even as a inexperienced knight. But then just because you're a commoner is no excuse for totally neglecting social skills either. You think peasants didn't know how to dance? The kind of dancing they did was one of the marks of social status, but they knew how to dance, how to carouse, how to gamble, how to bargain. Just being a commoner is no excuse for being a totally focussed combat monster with no life skills.

And the initial list was of the skills not of a knight, but of a landed noble and courtier. Few knights were administrators and politicians.
I'm sure the peasants knew how to do these things but wouldn't a nobleman would have been actually taught how to do it best, and had more time for such lessons?
Also, I thought the difference beween the knight and the landed noble/courtier the proficiency, and not a complete have/have not? I mean, the knight might have these skills at 10-11 (Average - most non-job skills for ordinary folks) while the landed noble would have them at 12-13 (Competent - most job skills for ordinary folks).

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
I think your problem lies in trying to assimilate your preferred playing style, which appears to be combat-heavy and socially light, with the traditional role of knights, which is both combat-heavy and socially heavy. When you can imagine combat-heavy and socially light peasants or wizards, the knight doesn't seem to fit into your paradigm.

So do one of two things: either jettison the idea of a courtly knight in your game, or just don't use those traits that have no impact on your game. If your adventures don't deal with things like high-status people socially interacting with low-status people, if they don't deal with courtly intrigue or funding arms, don't use those traits, and the knight can invest more points into things like weapon skills and combat advantages.

In other words, I think you're trying to cram someone else's concept of a knight into your concept of an adventure.

I don't, on the other hand, think your idea of what is common in a game and what isn't is necessarily representative of the majority. I think you'll find a lot of people care about the social attributes of the knight.
You are correct that my preferred style is combat heavy, but I'm aware of this bias and I've been taking it in account.
I agree with you that knights are both combat-heavy and social-heavy. The problem is that heavy and light is defined by the rest of the party/possibility. If a non-noble character invests their point in combat related traits, that's what "combat heavy" means in this situation. A knightly character, to also be combat-heavy would need o invest as many points as they did, which leaves little point to also be social-heavy, like the mage that become expert diplomat for 1-4 points thanks to their already high IQ. The knight can at best be combat-light and social-light, which makes them ineffective in any challenge tailored for the skills of the non-noble fighter and mage-diplomat.
The solution seems to be to either give more points to the knight, or to force the other characters to spend points elsewhere, preventing them from specializing too much.
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Old 04-29-2021, 01:33 PM   #25
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

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Originally Posted by CarrionPeacock View Post
I'm sure the peasants knew how to do these things but wouldn't a nobleman would have been actually taught how to do it best, and had more time for such lessons?.
The kind of "nobleman" who becomes a landless knight?

No, not especially. Squires didn't spend a lot of time on dancing and etiquette lessons. The comportment training they got would be mostly subsumed in having greater than 0 status. They were soldiers and they were trained as soldiers. They didn't usually have higher social skills than a commoner (apart from once again, the impact of relative social status), they had different social skills.
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Old 04-29-2021, 01:33 PM   #26
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

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Originally Posted by CarrionPeacock View Post
My problem is when fantasy elements starts to seep in and non-noble combatants becomes a possibility. The knight still needs all the social attributes you mentioned, while the peasant can ignore it and count on the brainy wizard or charming rogue to cover it.
This is an issue of niche protection - in many ways, the knight serves both as Fighter and Face. You'll need to set things up so the Face abilities the knight has but the rogue lacks (like Status, appropriate Savoir-Faire, etc) matter - the knight is in better position to be able to meet with other nobles in the first place (or get his rogue friend into position - "... quite a memorable hunt, I do agree. Ah, here we are. Lord Harish, this is my associate I told you about. As I said before, he has a proposition I believe would be of great benefit to all of us - come, have a seat while I call a servant for refreshments..."), for example. Note this doesn't have to be something the GM sets up - the knight's player might ask if there's anyone at the court he is already on good terms with (possibly calling for an appropriate Savoir-Faire roll), making it easier to establish friendly contact.

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To your second point about knight in name only, I don't think he would be more capable than typical knight. As Kromm mentioned, these guys would have a higher point total and thus possess all the skills of the name-only knight, plus the social traits.
If you have enough points to make a typical knight, and then largely avoid the knight's social traits in favor of combat traits, he will more-or-less by definition be a more capable combatant than a typical knight. If you only had enough points to make someone as combat-capable as a typical knight but not acquire their social traits, then you have no choice but to make a knight who is subpar in some or all fashions (or just abandon the idea of making a knight, as a GM who doesn't give you enough of a point budget to do so is sending a pretty clear - if perhaps unintentional - "Don't make a knight" message).

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Originally Posted by CarrionPeacock View Post
Anyway the problem is not in a realistic context but in a game. Fighting in the middle of a village to save it from orcs or storming small fortifications are common in a game, at least more so than charging and routing as part of a proper war effort. And in these situations the mounted capability of a knight doesn't give him any edge.
Play to your strengths. Don't wait until the orcs have gotten into the village - meet them on the open field, making use of your height, reach, and mobility advantages to harry and break them up (with support from your party), trample them with your mount, and so forth. Charges are most effective with a lot of knights at once, but you can still make good use of your lance when by yourself, isolating important orcs and running them down. You can also come up from behind them - those who try to turn and fight are delaying their own arrival to the village (buying time to build up defenses, or for the Hastily-Assembled Peasant Archer Brigade (tm) to put more arrows in them), while those who keep going are defenseless to being trampled, impaled, etc. And, of course, your high mobility means you can simply bypass those who are ready for you to go after those who aren't.
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Old 04-29-2021, 01:37 PM   #27
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

I just noticed I wrote "ineffective" in the title instead of "inefficient", which is what I meant. Maybe that's causing some minsunderstanding?
I didn't mean to say social traits are less valuable than combat ones, but that a knight needs both and given the same points budget branching out results in less impressive results than if one had specialized.

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Also, you could do worse than to treat Status as a bonus to all even vaguely "social" skills when the knight is serving as a bona fide knight and not trying to talk their way into or out of a situation with someone who doesn't know or care (like a foreigner, successful lower-class criminal, or cloistered monk). So, for a Status 2 knight, Savoir-Faire (High Society) effectively defaults to IQ-2 in his own land.

This isn't really original thinking. It's more like extending Status as a Reaction Modifier (p. B29) to Influence rolls and then riffing on it a bit. It's basically treating Status as geographically and culturally specific Charisma.
I like this. Would it be wrong to extrapolate it and make Status a sort of talent granting bonus to specific skills + alternative benefit of social position? Like how Charisma is sometimes treated as talent with reation bonus to "people you directly interact with".

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
Another thing would be to make sure that everyone from every social stratum has to buy the things the might realistically have, like Guild memberships, Streetwise, Contacts, Social Chameleon, and 'everyman' skills that nobles might actually never have been forced to pick up.
Yes, that's a very good point I had missed until someone pointed to me earlier.
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Old 04-29-2021, 01:49 PM   #28
JulianLW
 
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

I don't know if anyone's pointed this out or not, but Status, as far as I can tell, never appears in Dungeon Fantasy or DFRPG. Wealthy, according to Basic, gives one level of Status for free. I think a regular knight is Status 1.

Status 2 is an important knight. Status 3 is a Knight Commander or Baron. Status 4 is a Viscount or Earl. Status 5 is an Earl or Marquess. Status 6 is a Marquess or Duke. Status 7 is Dukes and Princes, maybe Kings. Status 8 is Kings and Emperors.

And I like Kromm's suggestion of having these Statuses affect rolls for anyone who belongs in the hierarchy. I thought that was just RAW, but maybe not?

To be a regular, basic knight seems like it would just cost 20 CP for Wealthy (with Status 1 for free) - and then maybe a few quirk points spent on the arms and horses and maybe a squire for an ally. That 20 CP - even in a DF game - gets a lot back in town.
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Old 04-29-2021, 01:55 PM   #29
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

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Originally Posted by CarrionPeacock View Post
Are you sure about battles being common historically? I recall the opposite, that sieges were more common than battles.
This is true, but skirmishes are more common still. You have your scouts and foragers out, and the enemy has their scouts and foragers out. Small groups are trying to seize useful locations or squash slightly smaller groups, and to figure out which army will win if there was a battle (and thus avoid the costly battle).



Quote:
Anyway the problem is not in a realistic context but in a game. Fighting in the middle of a village to save it from orcs or storming small fortifications are common in a game, at least more so than charging and routing as part of a proper war effort. And in these situations the mounted capability of a knight doesn't give him any edge.
So one of the problems is that Dungeon Fantasy seems constructed to minimize the role of knights. I don't know if that's intentional or not, but it feels like it might be. It has its origin in wargaming, and those people were certainly aware of the power a knight could have.



Storming small fortifications is a weak point for the knight. Saving the village from the orcs feels like a strong situation though. Either the orcs are forming up into a formation the knight can out flank and out maneuver, or they're scattered throughout the huts pillaging. I don't imagine the average village as a bad place for a horse, as long as it doesn't go inside the one and two room huts scattered at least 20 feet away from each other. If all of the orcs hole up in a single hut... you've won half the battle.



Quote:
I agree that price point and DR is a problem. However in my experience the DX types with high Basic Speed/Move and skill tends to be the ones that gets to enjoy their mobility more often than a knight with their horse.
It depends on the terrain, the starting distance of the engagement, and your chosen horse. The heavy warhorse is not the only warhorse. If the knight can get them at a good distance, they can almost guarantee the first attack. They do need space, but as long as you aren't indoors, you often have it.



That said, knights are usually best employed as part of teams that all all mounted: If you have to leave the team to attack first or to pull away and regain your advantage, you loose the advantage of teamwork.


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Originally Posted by finn View Post
Another way to "balance" a knight with another fighting character is to require all characters to diversify. Make sure that other "fighter" characters also spend points in non-combat traits such was wilderness survival, athletic traits, personal contacts, personal charm, etc. This should lessen the difference in combat ability between knightly and non-knightly combat oriented characters.

One thing I do in almost all of my games is to give 10 points that are earmarked for "flavor skills". I present these as "Bonus" points, rather than part of the budget, so players feel that I'm giving something rather than taking things away. So 260 or 110 point "final budgets" are common. I find that these points give a big boost to making the sort of skills realistic and rounded characters have viable.
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Old 04-29-2021, 01:57 PM   #30
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

Well, the professional skill(s) of knights depend a lot on what knights, where, and when. We tend to have a soft-focus, idealized view of the social role. A lot of them would be about as good or bad at actual fighting, tactics, and social leadership as a street gang member, corrupt city councilor, bureaucrat, or rich kid living off their parents today. There were even pacifist orders. Almost the only consistent thread would be Status 1-2.
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