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Old 04-29-2021, 07:13 PM   #41
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

I would recommend getting your horse as an ally though, and your armour as signature gear. It helps get around the financing problem if you don't have a patron who can provide them.
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Old 04-29-2021, 07:30 PM   #42
Sorenant
 
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

You're underestimating the benefits of Status.
A successful social skill roll (eg Savoir-Faire) adds 2 to the reaction roll, Status 2 gives the same bonus and requires no roll as long as you're dealing with someone with Status 0, which most people are.
It also grants unfair privilege, like better reward for a deed or better (or only one to be given a) sleeping accommodation, and so on.
There's no official rule for it but you might also consider granting various discounts to people with Status. Services are part, if not the entirety, of the taxes paid by a craftsman to his lord.

You also don't need to buy a warhorse, your cost of living (the 80% you paid) already paid for it if you have Status 2 (if it gets hurt you will need to pay for a new one, so you might not want to go too wild with it). With the money you saved you can get a much cheaper Saddle Horse for your squire and your equipment, allowing you to travel light and thus enter combat with more FP than the commoner fighter that had to carry it all. This squire can also free your time, like when the party takes turn standing watch during night the squire takes your place and your character can sleep all night and wake up well rested. In a dungeon raid (or similar situation) you and you squire means you get to carry twice the loot compared to the rest of the party, and you don't have to split it half-half with him.

Last edited by Sorenant; 04-29-2021 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 04-29-2021, 07:37 PM   #43
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

High-Status should probably also take a lot shorter time when shopping. In a medieval society, the idea that everyone should wait in a queue is ludicrous - obviously a knight's time is more valuable than that of a simple burgher or (horrors) an itinerant troublemaker.
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Old 04-29-2021, 08:58 PM   #44
Keampe
 
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

All of this discussion, while fascinating, is beside the point of the OP. Let's put this another way:

A GM sits down with the group and says "I'm running a medieval fantasy game, you all get 250 points for your characters." Bob, who wants to play a knight, will be a weaker combatant than Sam, who wants to play a gutter raised pauper who became a mercenary. Bob's paying points for Status and Wealth that Sam is getting points back for. Both are focused on combat as they should be, but Sam just has more points. This should not be the case.

Knights were raised for combat. It's their entire reason for being. They've been trained since childhood by the best people their father could find and they've had the time to learn. Even the leisure activities of a knight were mostly related to combat - hawking, hunting, horse riding and such forth combined with daily training to fight. It's how they make their money, it's how they gain land and status or keep those if times get hard. It's the one thing they should be better at than anyone else.

The GURPS solution? - give the knight more points. Perfectly realistic as things go - they should be worth more points.

So, the GM sits down with the group and says "I'm running a medieval fantasy campaign, you all get 250 points, except Bob. He wants to make a Knight so he gets 300 points." Realistic, perhaps, but few groups would be OK with that.

This is one reason I make characters the way I do. Buckets of Points is another way as well (it's what mine is based on) and it can work wonders for better characters in general.

- Shane
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Old 04-29-2021, 09:10 PM   #45
Rupert
 
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
I would recommend getting your horse as an ally though, and your armour as signature gear. It helps get around the financing problem if you don't have a patron who can provide them.
Armour as signature gear means accepting that you're not upgrading it any time soon, at least if the GM enforces the "it's part of your legend" part of the advantage.

Me, I use the DFRPG version of Signature Gear, so I tend to forget that there's a really cheap way of buying stuff available in the Basic Set.

As an Ally a good warhorse is probably 2 points for a 150-point knight x3 for appearance = 6 points, and it's going to be flat-out unavailable every so often. It's worth 4 points as Signature Gear, and about 8 points if you buy it by going from Wealthy to Very Wealthy. Signature Gear is clearly the best option if your GM allows it (and they should probably say "buy it as an Ally if you want it to be more than a piece of gear").
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Old 04-29-2021, 09:20 PM   #46
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

Part of the problem is that if only one, or some, of the PCs are knightly/noble, one thing they've bought with their points, if one is being realistic, is the ability to have entire scenes where everyone else's characters get to do little or nothing, because at best they're standing around the walls of a ballroom, or sitting in the cloakroom, while the nobles get to have a ball, network, intrigue, etc.

Yes, the GM can find stuff for the non-nobles, like collecting gossip and so on, but most of that should be summed up in a couple of quick skill checks if those non-nobles aren't 'faces' with lots of point investment in information gathering, etc. Contrast this with combat, where while the non-noble combat wombats are best at it, a noble with a combat focus still gets to contribute competently to combat. Only the complete non-combatants will be sitting out combat completely.

Of course, most groups don't like that and thus most GMs look for ways to include the non-nobles and to avoid noble-only events, and in so doing they reduce the value of all those points being a noble costs (for the status, if nothing else).
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Old 04-29-2021, 09:28 PM   #47
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keampe View Post
All of this discussion, while fascinating, is beside the point of the OP. Let's put this another way:

A GM sits down with the group and says "I'm running a medieval fantasy game, you all get 250 points for your characters." Bob, who wants to play a knight, will be a weaker combatant than Sam, who wants to play a gutter raised pauper who became a mercenary. Bob's paying points for Status and Wealth that Sam is getting points back for. Both are focused on combat as they should be, but Sam just has more points. This should not be the case.

Knights were raised for combat. It's their entire reason for being. They've been trained since childhood by the best people their father could find and they've had the time to learn. Even the leisure activities of a knight were mostly related to combat - hawking, hunting, horse riding and such forth combined with daily training to fight. It's how they make their money, it's how they gain land and status or keep those if times get hard. It's the one thing they should be better at than anyone else.

The GURPS solution? - give the knight more points. Perfectly realistic as things go - they should be worth more points.

So, the GM sits down with the group and says "I'm running a medieval fantasy campaign, you all get 250 points, except Bob. He wants to make a Knight so he gets 300 points." Realistic, perhaps, but few groups would be OK with that.

This is one reason I make characters the way I do. Buckets of Points is another way as well (it's what mine is based on) and it can work wonders for better characters in general.

- Shane
I definitely disagree with the bolded. A knight is far more than combat. Heck, even a mercenary is more than combat. The 'positive' social traits that a knight has (status, savior-faire, etc) are mirrored in the 'negative' social traits of mercs (reputation*, streetwise, etc). Someone who is combat and combat only would be something like a gladiator-slave who managed to escape and knows nothing of the world.

*Status 2 and Reputation +4 "I will finish any job I accept if you pay me enough" both cost the same but are vastly different
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While I do not think that GURPS is perfect I do think that it is more balanced than what I am likely to create by GM fiat.
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Old 04-29-2021, 09:30 PM   #48
Keampe
 
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
Part of the problem is that if only one, or some, of the PCs are knightly/noble, one thing they've bought with their points, if one is being realistic, is the ability to have entire scenes where everyone else's characters get to do little or nothing, because at best they're standing around the walls of a ballroom, or sitting in the cloakroom, while the nobles get to have a ball, network, intrigue, etc.

Yes, the GM can find stuff for the non-nobles, like collecting gossip and so on, but most of that should be summed up in a couple of quick skill checks if those non-nobles aren't 'faces' with lots of point investment in information gathering, etc. Contrast this with combat, where while the non-noble combat wombats are best at it, a noble with a combat focus still gets to contribute competently to combat. Only the complete non-combatants will be sitting out combat completely.

Of course, most groups don't like that and thus most GMs look for ways to include the non-nobles and to avoid noble-only events, and in so doing they reduce the value of all those points being a noble costs (for the status, if nothing else).
Actually, the gossip and information collection is a large part of the "role-playing" in my group. I don't like to sum any of that up with a few skill rolls myself.

But, in a more combat oriented game, you'd be totally correct, of course.

- Shane
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Old 04-29-2021, 09:42 PM   #49
Keampe
 
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

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Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
I definitely disagree with the bolded. A knight is far more than combat. Heck, even a mercenary is more than combat. The 'positive' social traits that a knight has (status, savior-faire, etc) are mirrored in the 'negative' social traits of mercs (reputation*, streetwise, etc). Someone who is combat and combat only would be something like a gladiator-slave who managed to escape and knows nothing of the world.

*Status 2 and Reputation +4 "I will finish any job I accept if you pay me enough" both cost the same but are vastly different
All characters should be 3 dimensional, of course, but those things even out over characters - a few points here and there. Both the Knight and the Mercenary should put the vast majority of their focus into combat. It's what they do. It's what they train for.

But, the mercenary has no requirement to have reputation. They don't have to spend those points. They can put them into combat skills (or an extra point of DEX) while anyone playing a knight must have status (or they aren't a Knight) and probably wealth.

Using Buckets of Points or the way I do character creation makes it so that you do get the merc with rep and the Knight with status. Standard character creation doesn't require that.

- Shane
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Old 04-29-2021, 09:44 PM   #50
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: Are knightly characters ineffective?

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Originally Posted by Keampe View Post
Actually, the gossip and information collection is a large part of the "role-playing" in my group. I don't like to sum any of that up with a few skill rolls myself.

But, in a more combat oriented game, you'd be totally correct, of course.

- Shane
In a more combat-oriented game, the noble social events probably don't need screen time any more than the collecting street gossip does.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keampe View Post
All characters should be 3 dimensional, of course, but those things even out over characters - a few points here and there. Both the Knight and the Mercenary should put the vast majority of their focus into combat. It's what they do. It's what they train for.

But, the mercenary has no requirement to have reputation. They don't have to spend those points. They can put them into combat skills (or an extra point of DEX) while anyone playing a knight must have status (or they aren't a Knight) and probably wealth.

Using Buckets of Points or the way I do character creation makes it so that you do get the merc with rep and the Knight with status. Standard character creation doesn't require that.

- Shane
That just sounds like you're holding different backgrounds to different standards of plausibility. How's the mercenary who is 250 points of nothing but murder get to be 250 points of nothing but murder with no reputation, patrons, connections, or allies? Why can't a knight be somebody with a horse, harness, arms, and skills but no discernible background?
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Last edited by Ulzgoroth; 04-29-2021 at 09:50 PM.
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