Status and Bastard knight

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Status and Bastard knight

Postby Tedric » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:25 am

Two questions for now :

My PC are son, bastard, and retainers of a landed knight in the Vale. The head of House has a status 3 so my PC all have a status 2.
According to my campaign, the head of the house is going to die in a few months and the Heir (a NPC) in two years or so. So, one PC will become the new Head of the House.
Does this mean he will automatically get a status 3 even if he never invested XP points in that ability?

And what if other PC want to raise their status by investing experience? Is it possible like with any other ability?

Second question, one of the PC is a bastard. His goal is to become a knight and earn some respect and affection from his father. I don't remember to have seen any bastard knight in the books ('I have only read the first two so far). So can he become a knight despite his condition?
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby Flagg » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:20 am

Anyone can be a knight. The only real requirements are the ability to furnish your own horse and arms. I'm not sure land granted to knights is hereditary, though.
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby coldwind » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:59 am

The lands of a landed knight are just as hereditary as any other noble's land - the only differences are a lower Status and the lack of the right to pit and gallows (ie, the landed knight cannot carry out justice on his own lands).

The Status increase isn't automatic, and must be paid for like any other ability increase.

Generally, a character cannot increase their Status unless permitted by something (the Landed benefit, or an improvement in thr character's house's Influence resource).

Plenty of bastards are knights - although I think most are mentioned in later books, such as Ser Rolland Storm, the Bastard of Nightsong.
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby Tedric » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:12 pm

Thanks both for your answers.
What I understand is, even if one PC becomes head of the House, he will still have to invest enough XP to raise his status to the level he could pretend to reach.
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby DaimosofRedstone » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:38 pm

coldwind wrote:The lands of a landed knight are just as hereditary as any other noble's land - the only differences are a lower Status and the lack of the right to pit and gallows (ie, the landed knight cannot carry out justice on his own lands).

Actually NO land is strictly inheritable.
In the end all goes to the king and while it is EXPECTED that the King will affirm every of his lords heirs to the same holdings as his forebearer (and there would be hell to pay if he did not) he does not have to.
And landed knights are the lowest rug of the ladder and this much more vulnerable to disinheritance.

Also the Bastard would need to be affirmed by the King, because Bastards cannot inherit.
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby Flagg » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:48 pm

DaimosofRedstone wrote:Actually NO land is strictly inheritable.
In the end all goes to the king and while it is EXPECTED that the King will affirm every of his lords heirs to the same holdings as his forebearer (and there would be hell to pay if he did not) he does not have to.
And landed knights are the lowest rug of the ladder and this much more vulnerable to disinheritance.


Is this based on something Martin wrote/said, or European history?
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby DaimosofRedstone » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:54 pm

Flagg wrote:
DaimosofRedstone wrote:Actually NO land is strictly inheritable.
In the end all goes to the king and while it is EXPECTED that the King will affirm every of his lords heirs to the same holdings as his forebearer (and there would be hell to pay if he did not) he does not have to.
And landed knights are the lowest rug of the ladder and this much more vulnerable to disinheritance.


Is this based on something Martin wrote/said, or European history?

Both.
As for Martin i think the huge party where Robb instates all his bannerman and the commands of Jeoffrey to everybody to come and kiss his ring or lose his land support this.
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby coldwind » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:50 pm

Those were just vassals swearing fealty.

Now, to be fair, a king certainly has the power to strip a vassal of any lands and titles, but as with anything, that's only really enforceable if he himself has enough support to put down the disloyal vassal.

I wouldn't frame the situation as lands automatically reverting to the King until such a time as he reinvests them in the heir, but rather, the lands automatic pass down to heirs unless the King interferes - after all, that's how all those incredibly unlikely distant cousins even have a shot at inheritance when the main family line is offed.

In particular, your noted examples both involve incredibly young lieges - one who is decidedly full of himself and needs constant worship, and one who has big shoes to fill from a land where respect is still earned and not something you're born into. Neither exactly a standard inheritance model.
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby DaimosofRedstone » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:11 am

coldwind wrote:Those were just vassals swearing fealty.

Thats what i said. The basis for the whole feudal contract is the exchange of land and protection for loyalty and support. From the peasant all the way up to the Magnates directly beneath the king.
Now, to be fair, a king certainly has the power to strip a vassal of any lands and titles, but as with anything, that's only really enforceable if he himself has enough support to put down the disloyal vassal.

Of course, but that goes without saying in a land as lawless and pragmatic as Westeros, no?
I wouldn't frame the situation as lands automatically reverting to the King until such a time as he reinvests them in the heir, but rather, the lands automatic pass down to heirs unless the King interferes - after all, that's how all those incredibly unlikely distant cousins even have a shot at inheritance when the main family line is offed.

That does not change the de jure-basis though: Namely that the land is the kings that while he is expected to do so, deigns to assign to the heir.

In particular, your noted examples both involve incredibly young lieges - one who is decidedly full of himself and needs constant worship, and one who has big shoes to fill from a land where respect is still earned and not something you're born into. Neither exactly a standard inheritance model.

I would disagree. The middle ages was a time of quite a few young heirs, some even younger than Joffrey, a lot of arrogant SOBs who risked their whole fortunes for vanity and it was also a time where a son could only go so far with the name his father had made for himself.
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby Canarr » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:16 am

I don't remember any passage in the books where it even hints that the King (or one of the Lords Paramount) would be able to just take away the lands of a faithful vassal, or that the King's - or the liege lord's - permission is required for the lands to pass from Lord to Heir. Not even the silent, expected permission. On the contrary, I always got the impression that the nobles of Westeros feel very very strongly about the lands of their fathers, especially those who've been guarding and ruling those lands for Millennia. They feel those are *their* lands, their family*s lands, and no one else's.

Of course, in the end it depends on what you have the power to accomplish. Certainly King Robert would've been able to take some minor noble's lands and give them to some other minor noble, but that would certainly leave his other subjects to consider whether or not that might happen to *them* as well. And I doubt it would be the rule, more like the exception - there's a reason they still talk about the Reynes of Castamere.
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby Flagg » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:27 am

Canarr wrote:I don't remember any passage in the books where it even hints that the King (or one of the Lords Paramount) would be able to just take away the lands of a faithful vassal


Eddard used his authority as Hand of the King to strip Gregor Clegane of his lands and titles.
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby Zorbeltuss » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:31 am

King can strip someone of lands and titles and hand them over to someone else. Several examples of that in the books.

The central authority is pretty weak though, so the king needs support from other houses to enforce such things.
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby Legate » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:12 am

As has been said; the land ultimately belongs to the King and the Nobles rule that land at his sufferance. If they displease him, he can take the land away with the stroke of a pen. Like wise their titles are bestowed by the King, and can be stripped at any time by him.
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby DaimosofRedstone » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:22 am

Legate wrote:As has been said; the land ultimately belongs to the King and the Nobles rule that land at his sufferance. If they displease him, he can take the land away with the stroke of a pen. Like wise their titles are bestowed by the King, and can be stripped at any time by him.


...though how far he can go with that depends on his armies or the magnates he can gather.
But that goes without saying, especially in a scenario as machivellian as Westeros.
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby Canarr » Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:23 pm

Flagg wrote:
Canarr wrote:I don't remember any passage in the books where it even hints that the King (or one of the Lords Paramount) would be able to just take away the lands of a faithful vassal


Eddard used his authority as Hand of the King to strip Gregor Clegane of his lands and titles.


Yes, but that was in reaction to crimes he committed. Clegane wasn't exactly a "faithful" vassal at that time - at least, not of the King. I do not deny that the King - or one of the Lords Paramount - can, by law, take away lands, titles, wealth and freedom from anyone within their demesne. I just don't believe that this is something that would happen commonly. And I haven't seen any mention that a Lord's Heir must be confirmed by their liege lord. That the vassals of a new Lord swear allegiance to the son like they did to the father, yes; but that's more the other way around.
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby DaimosofRedstone » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:34 pm

Canarr wrote: And I haven't seen any mention that a Lord's Heir must be confirmed by their liege lord. That the vassals of a new Lord swear allegiance to the son like they did to the father, yes; but that's more the other way around.

What would then happen, in your opinion, if a vassal refused to his oath?
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby Canarr » Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:35 am

SLIGHT SPOILER:

"And once we've defeated the Lannisters, we'll come back for you, drag you out of your castle, and hang you for an oathbreaker!" ;)

No, seriously: remember that the relationships between these families have run like that for thousands of years in some cases. The Flints and Karstarks and Glovers are sworn to House Stark, not to any single Lord Stark. So, for them to refuse to honor their oath of fealty because they don't like the new Lord would be tantamount to treason, and probably be punished accordingly. Consequently, the lands that they've held and defended for their liege lord have been their family's for untold generations - they are *their lands*, populated by *their people*. Not the King's, not the Starks' - theirs.

ANOTHER SPOILER:

When the Bastard of Bolton forcibly wed Lady Hornwood (I think that was her name), it was to gain a claim on her lands and title. It was even cause for worry that maybe Roose Bolton would try to press that claim later, after the war. If such a claim were meaningless, if the Lord Paramount could just snap his fingers and say, "No, you're not gonna inherit that!" - then what would be the point?

So, yes: a Lord can do anything on his or his vassals' lands that he has the power to push through. But I believe that disinheriting a vassal's Heir is something monumental that would not be done lightly - and certainly not easily.
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby phild » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:00 am

Flagg wrote:Anyone can be a knight. The only real requirements are the ability to furnish your own horse and arms. I'm not sure land granted to knights is hereditary, though.

Another old one. I'm playing catch up :-)

This is not true in Westeros. There are 2 ways to be a knight. One is to go through the process of Annointment, as detailed in the Benefit: Annointed Knight. The other is to be knighted on the battlefield by another knight (or the only way, if you're a Northerner and a follower of the Old Gods). We do not know from GRRM whether there is a requirement to furnish your own horse and arms - probably not (e.g. Ser Dontos) but your status would hugely suffer if you couldn't.
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby coldwind » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:09 am

There are no requirements to field your own horse and arms - Lord Beric knighted at his men without such, as did Old Griff across the Narrow Sea.
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby Zorbeltuss » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:06 pm

phild wrote:
Flagg wrote:Anyone can be a knight. The only real requirements are the ability to furnish your own horse and arms. I'm not sure land granted to knights is hereditary, though.

Another old one. I'm playing catch up :-)

This is not true in Westeros. There are 2 ways to be a knight. One is to go through the process of Annointment, as detailed in the Benefit: Annointed Knight. The other is to be knighted on the battlefield by another knight (or the only way, if you're a Northerner and a follower of the Old Gods). We do not know from GRRM whether there is a requirement to furnish your own horse and arms - probably not (e.g. Ser Dontos) but your status would hugely suffer if you couldn't.


Any knight can make a knight.

http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Knight

All it takes is for another knight to dub you on the shoulders with his sword and speak a few lines. Sure there's a lot more ceremony to it for those who are of high birth and such. The rest is just chivalrous fluff that the nobles do. And sometimes men are knighted in reward for feats on the battlefield or some other service.

For that matter, if you happen to have horse, armor and weapons, you can always claim to be a knight. Ser Duncan the tall was never knighted, and it's implied that Ser Osmund Kettleblack lied about him having been knighted as well. Both of them made Kingsguard, and the former Lord Commander even.
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby DaimosofRedstone » Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:34 am

phild wrote:We do not know from GRRM whether there is a requirement to furnish your own horse and arms - probably not (e.g. Ser Dontos) but your status would hugely suffer if you couldn't.

That is, for our world at least, pre-knightly.
By 1000 you could make a knight by giving a man a sword, a horse and a chainmail shirt.
By 1200 you needed to go through a ritual but the equipment had become optional (there were 'knights' who amount to administrators and clerks more than anything else).
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby Flagg » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:41 am

By 2000 you have Sean Connery.
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Re: Status and Bastard knight

Postby Canarr » Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:50 pm

And he rules... ;)
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