Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Knight, or, rehousing the murder hobo

I had said in a previous post I wasn't going to bark up this tree. Well, here I am, yapping away.

This post was inspired by this Tweet that said that tracking minute pieces of armor seemed boring. Obviously different strokes -> different folks, but I think this could be fun.

This is a continuation of my series about incomparable classes. As before, I've framed the rules here into a GLoG milieu but you can steal the basic concepts pretty easily. 

The Knight

A - Iron Law

B - Iron Word, Squire

C - Ironclad

D - Baron or Knight Errant

The Iron Law

You are a noble. This grants you the Rights of the Lex Ferum. These rights include:

  • The Right of Iron. You may wear armor. No one else can.
  • The Right of Judgment. You may mete out justice to anybody of the peasant class, up to and including execution.
    • Anybody - even peasants - can complain about your behavior to your liege lord. They may choose to censure you if your judgments prove ignoble. 
  • The Right of Challenge. You may challenge another noble to Trial by Iron to settle any matter of honor between you. This may be to first blood, to yielding, or to the death. This includes the right to engage in Jousts.
  • The Right of Conquest. You may claim a single piece of a defeated knight's armor and add it to your Coat of Arms. (The knight can try to ransom the armor back through gold.)
  • The Right of Redemptio. You are immune to all civil penalties except those from your liege lord (or someone higher in the feudal chain). You will almost never be put to death out of hand. You and your armor will almost always be ransomed back to your family.
Iron Word
Gain an extra Conviction slot. When you may swear an oath, fill this slot with an oath to fulfill your Conviction. You may not swear a second oath until your previous oath is fulfilled.

Squire
Your family assigns a squire to you. This counts as a level 0 Mercenary that you don't have to split loot with. 

Whenever you level up, so does your squire. Whenever you return to civilization, you're obligated to knight them and send them on their way. Your family will soon assign you another oaf to train.

Ironclad
You may restore a single piece of armor to full service by spending a point of Conviction.

Baron
Such are your accomplishments on the field that you are given a barony by your liege lord. You are granted a tower and incomes of 30s/day. This silver may only be used for paying hirelings or mercenaries who are sworn to your service. 

or

Knight Errant
As you are not one to settle down, your family grants you their ancestral sword. You gain a magic sword. The GM determines what it does.

New Armor Rules

Flair

As opposed to core GLoG Guts, most people do not wear armor. It is illegal. (What are you doing, walking around in armor? Upsetting the king's peace? If you love iron so much, we'll clap you in irons! Now, send him to the lord for judgment!)

Shields May Be Sundered is replaced by Hats May Be Lost. Destroy your hat to absorb 1d12 damage from a single source.

Non-knights have a Defense score based on how many significant pieces of flair they're wearing. 

  • Each cool thing you describe your character with (a tattered cloak, a jaunty hat, an eyepatch, a short briar pipe) gives you +1 Defense
  • If the thing is REALLY cool and magical (an elven cloak, a gleeman's patch cloak, a glowing blue woad tattoo, hourglass pupils) gives you +2 Defense. 
  • You may only have three pieces of flair. 

Iron armor

Knights have the Right to Iron and can wear real armor. They do not fuck with flair if they are wearing armor.

Each core piece of armor gives a knight +1 Defense. They can wear six core pieces of armor: two on their head, torso, arms, legs, and a shield. 

Note that knights do not begin the game with armor. They must either be given it by their liege lord/family or use the Right of Conquest to take it from defeated knights. 

Plate armor is too expensive to buy. Broken plate armor can be repaired by a smith. A smith hireling can do this at the rate of 1 piece/day. A hired smith in town will repair a piece of armor for it's [number on the coat of arms sheet] in silver.

Prime Ability - Coat of Arms

As a knight, you have an additional page of your character sheet/legendarium called your Coat of Arms. When you gain a piece of armor as a gift from your lord or through the Right of Conquest, note it down here. You also use this sheet to track if a piece of armor is broken or undamaged.  

If you gain a crest or a shield, draw what they look like. Any piece of armor can be repainted or remade by a smith for 1-100 silver. 


You can have six core pieces of armor: bascinet (head), great helm (head, also), breastplate (torso), vambrace (arms), greaves (legs), and shield (left arm). Each piece of core armor raises your Defense score. 

Each piece of armor can be supplemented with auxiliary armor. For example, a great helm has both a visor and a crest as auxiliary armor. Auxiliary armor does not raise your Defense score by 1.

  • You must have a core piece of armor to wear auxiliary armor. Like, you can't attach your cuisse to nothing. You have to have greaves. 
Each core piece of armor you wear has a special iron technique that can be invoked. When an iron technique is invoked, one piece of armor is broken - either the core piece or one of its auxiliary pieces. If a core piece is broken, reduce your Defense by 1. (Auxiliary armor is useful because you can break that to use a technique instead of your core armor.) 

Iron Techniques

You can use any iron technique if have the appropriate piece of undamaged armor. Some pieces of armor are specially made from exotic materials to provide new techniques. 

Technique of the Bascinet 

Break a piece of bascinet armor to headbutt an opponent you're currently engaged with. This causes them to bleed for 1d2 damage per round or become blind. Either effect can be cured by taking a round to recover.

Technique of the Breastplate

Break a piece of breastplate armor to get close enough to an enemy to deal them a deadly blow. Your next attack crits on a 16+. 

Technique of the Greaves

Break a piece of greaves armor to bullrush an opponent you're currently engaged with. You can either knock them about 10' back or knock them to the ground (their choice). 

Technique of the Great Helm

Break a piece of the great helm to force an ally to reroll a Loyalty check or an enemy to reroll a Reaction roll. 

Technique of the Vambrace

Break a piece of vambrace armor to steal something out of a foe's hands. This can be their weapon, a wand, a MacGuffin ring off their finger, whatever. 

Technique of the Shield

Break your shield to ignore any negative effect that would effect you or a nearby ally. This includes a single attack, a trap, a spell, or any other environmental effect within the GM's allowance. This technique must be used before the effects of the attack/trap/spell are declared. 

Reflections

The B/X Fighter never appealed to me when I was a kid. Back then, I thought that wizards were cool. They could do ~*stuff*~. Fighters could wear armor and carry magic swords. Why couldn't everybody wear armor? Didn't Gandalf have a magic sword and be a wizard? This is dumb and lame. 

Still, as many veterans know, the Fighter had a true utility. This class is an exploration of how "wearing armor" and "having followers" is actually fun. It forefronts the utility of these choices and balances it against the noblesse oblige.

The thing that makes this class work for me is "The Iron Law." Murder hoboing is something a lot of PCs feel that they can do with impunity. The knight makes the bounds of this explicit. 

2 comments:

  1. Uh, minor note, that's "censure" and not "censor" in the last sentence of The Right of Justice.

    ReplyDelete