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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Building a Knighthood

    I'm putting together a game where the PCs will all be members of a knighthood which has existed for ages.

    My idea is that this knighthood will be divided into several different orders, each one with a focus on a different power source (Martial, Arcane, Divine and Nature). I've been trying to do some research to figure out what goes into making a knighthood, but of course all the real world examples only cover martial power, and I haven't really been able to find many fictional examples except for in the Dragonlance setting, which also focuses almost exclusively on the martial aspects of knighthood.

    Mostly I'm trying to come up with the tenants of each order (their code of conduct/honor) which I expect would be slightly different for each order. How each one goes about recruiting and training its members, and how they are all connected as a single knighthood. My vision of the knighthood is that everyone who joins begins as a general squire until they demonstrate some talent in one of the four powers, at which point they are taken on as a squire of that order and begin to rise up the ranks.

    Can anyone help me brainstorm this and put it together?

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Building a Knighthood

    For inspiration, look at the Hellknights of Golarion and their subdivisons.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Building a Knighthood

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    For inspiration, look at the Hellknights of Golarion and their subdivisons.
    Never heard of them.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Building a Knighthood

    Quote Originally Posted by Player_One View Post
    Never heard of them.
    Really? They're one of the big features of the setting.

    Short version: Mostly L-aligned Knighthood that model themselves based on the legions of Hell. Dropping to LE is common, but no requirement, Paladins are still welcome and can be found in that knighthood.

    The Knighthood breaks down into certain Orders, each one concerned with either a region or certain aspects of the Law.
    For example, the Order of the Nail is concerned with keeping piracy, brigandry or robbery in check, the Order of the Gate is concerned with keeping crimes against religion and heresies in check.

    This knighthood has the tendency to venerate a pantheon, called The God Claw, encompasing a broad range of deitites. starting with Erastil and Abadar in the middle, more N area, to Iomedae and Asmodeus in the extremer G or E areas.

    Each Order breaks up its ranks in three departments:
    - Noncombatants
    - Armigers, the fighting arm. Fighter, Rangers, Paladins..
    - Signifers, the spellcasting arm. Magus, Cleric, Wizard...

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Building a Knighthood

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Really? They're one of the big features of the setting.
    What setting?

    Regardless thank you. That gives me a couple of ideas to mull around.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Building a Knighthood

    Quote Originally Posted by Player_One View Post
    What setting?
    Golarion. The default setting for Pathfinder.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Building a Knighthood

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Golarion. The default setting for Pathfinder.
    Oh. I don't really know much about Pathfinder

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Building a Knighthood

    Just look at the 5e PHB and go off of the orders of paladins for the class. Pretty solid start for what you are talking about.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    To say that there is nothing new under the sun, is to forget there are more suns than we could possibly know what to do with and that there are probably a lot of new things under them.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Building a Knighthood

    Quote Originally Posted by Garimeth View Post
    Just look at the 5e PHB and go off of the orders of paladins for the class. Pretty solid start for what you are talking about.
    I don't have the 5e PHB

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Building a Knighthood

    It sounds like your conception of "knighthood" is more based on knightly orders like the Knights Templar, Knights Hospitaller, or the Teutonic Knights than on feudal, hereditary knighthood.

    I'd just study up on one or another of them and rip off the organization wholesale.
    It always amazes me how often people on forums would rather accuse you of misreading their posts with malice than re-explain their ideas with clarity.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Building a Knighthood

    Quote Originally Posted by Player_One View Post
    I don't have the 5e PHB
    Might be worth hitting up google for then, I'm sure somebody somewhere has talked about them, but they actually have a full code of oaths for three different paladin types. Green Knight is nature, there is a stereotypical paladin, and then there is a witch-hunter/vengeance paladin.

    What system are you using?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    To say that there is nothing new under the sun, is to forget there are more suns than we could possibly know what to do with and that there are probably a lot of new things under them.

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Building a Knighthood

    The most important thing for a knightly order is that it has a specific purpose. Both real world and fictional knightly orders are dedicated to specific causes. Medieval orders like the Templars and Hospitallers were basically monastic orders with weapons. It's that unity of purpose that makes a knightly order exist. Granted, that purpose can and probably will change over time, but there's always some sort of cause.

    Regardless of whether members of the order are mages, priests, or warriors, every one should adhere to a similar standard of conduct or purpose. They might have specialized functions within the larger order (IE the mage chapter might be dedicated to lorekeeping), but in general, everyone works together towards the same goal.

    Another thing worth pointing out that many of these orders have personnel that aren't actual knights. They need plenty of support personnel, many of whom likely swear none of the knightly vows. Even most of a knightly order's footsoldiers may be laypeople. In fact, an entire chapter of your order might be dedicated to logistical functions.

    As far as recruiting goes- that could go any number of ways. If the knights are famous and well respected, people might seek them out. If the knights are secretive, then they probably have a specialized recruiting arm that seeks out talent (if you're familiar with Dragon Age, think Gray Wardens). Historical orders would usually be approached by noblemen who wished to join, bringing with them whatever resources they could. It's also worth noting that larger, more open orders might just hire any specialists they might need for any given purpose.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Building a Knighthood

    Let me agree with a lot of what has been said, especially by isandhlwahna. In addition to that, let me mention a few more secular orders of Knighthood.

    There are many orders of knights that are dedicated to the service of a state as opposed to the service of a deity. The Templar, Hospitaller, and Teutonic orders are all great examples of religious orders, which have interesting histories which can be perused in varying depth. Incidentally, I would suggest visiting wikipedia pages affiliated with each of these orders - if only to just look at what kind of lore you're looking for.

    The first order that I want to mention is the Order of the Garter. The story goes that a particular English monarch was at a grand ball when a woman's garter slipped down her leg while dancing and I think it fell onto the floor. This of course was all great scandal because a garter is a piece of underwear. So you can only imagine the whispers passed between the upper crust of society, and the judgmental chortles and so forth. Edward III then walked over and returned the woman's garter and glared at the courtiers and exclaimed "Shame on him who thinks evil of it." To my mind this is a little like saying "Mind your own damned business, it's just underwear," though depending on who's telling the story, the order was founded because the French phrase that Edward used was aimed at helping achieve legitimacy for his claim on the French throne, or possibly he just thought it was funny to name a knightly order after a piece of underwear. (Imagine being a Knight-Lieutenant in the Order of the Golden Brassiere.)

    Then there's the Order of the Dragon which includes members such as the father of Vlad III Dracula - which to my mind is mostly mentionable for that very reason, but was founded to protect Hungary from the Ottoman Empire.

    As a general rule, a lot of recent knighthoods in the UK have been awarded to people that are less martial in nature, and more cultural in nature. This includes Sir. Sean Connery, Sir. Elton John, Sir. Paul McCartney and other popular music and television heroes. A lot of knighthoods have been awarded to foreign monarchs. This is more a matter of diplomacy, but for example, Bashar Al-Assad has had a couple of knighthoods awarded (and subsequently revoked) over the course of his ruling in Syria.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Building a Knighthood

    Rule Number One Of Founding a Knightly Order:

    The knightly order has to have a cool name.

    Quote Originally Posted by Templarkommando View Post
    The first order that I want to mention is the Order of the Garter. The story goes that a particular English monarch was at a grand ball when a woman's garter slipped down her leg while dancing and I think it fell onto the floor. This of course was all great scandal because a garter is a piece of underwear. So you can only imagine the whispers passed between the upper crust of society, and the judgmental chortles and so forth. Edward III then walked over and returned the woman's garter and glared at the courtiers and exclaimed "Shame on him who thinks evil of it."
    And then some dudes who were present were all like:
    "Yeah, man! Garters are awesome!"
    "Oh yeah!"
    "We should form a club or something!"

    To which Henry III replied:
    "... Or something. Yes."

    And that's how the Order of the Garter was founded.
    Last edited by Raimun; 2015-11-03 at 05:29 PM.
    Signatures are so 90's.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Building a Knighthood

    Something else to consider is what the various subgroups of the knighthood will be doing. Assuming the martial group will be going out and doing soldierly things, what are your other groups going to be doing? How do they further the overall goals of the Knighthood? And where will hybrid classes like the Ranger or Paladin fit in?
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Building a Knighthood

    Fantasy knights need to deviate from their historical counterparts, unless your players want the opportunity to shake down a peasant or two for protection money (which would, admittedly, be a cool campaign feature to include).

    As said above, the fantasy types usually have a thick mythology behind them, like the Templar knights. To that end, I would try to concoct a few myths that are well-known to even the youngest members, and maybe to society outside the knighthood. Write one for the knight who slew some awful creature, the one who saved a king's life by detecting poison in his drink, the one who carried an artifact in his bare hands, without weapons or armor, through a frozen mountain range, etc.

    You could even include a few stories, myths, or secrets that only the really grizzled knights know. Some of them might not even be true. The important thing is that these stories would be an easy way to flesh out the knighthood's motivations, values, and inner workings, and it would give you more creative momentum than just writing their handbook (although if you get inspired enough, every fantasy knighthood needs a code of conduct, to boot).

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Building a Knighthood

    Quote Originally Posted by Doublebat View Post
    Fantasy knights need to deviate from their historical counterparts, unless your players want the opportunity to shake down a peasant or two for protection money (which would, admittedly, be a cool campaign feature to include).
    The latter would be closer to LN or even LE than LG. This bit will have to be made clear to the players, because it'll be a pretty nasty shock if/when they realize the system they're working with doesn't fit the sort of morality they're going for.

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