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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    You say that they are newly-established nobles on newly-established lands? where are they getting those "knights or whatever"? part of the idea of the feudal contract is that you are supposed to deal with local problems out of local resources. so they may not have anyone they can send, so they have to go themselves. and if they go out of their way to create a force of knights so they don't have to deal with the threat 1) that's what they want to do, you should be willing to let them do it 2) the loyalty of said knights isn't necessarily guaranteed.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    I've had this idea in my mind for a while. The details haven't been worked out yet, but the gist of it is that the players (legendary heroes according to the backstories they will create) have gotten their hands in a piece of land and declared themselves lords of the local area.

    Now, having players sit around in a castle/keep doing lordish stuff is boring. They are heroes for god's sake! So I want something to motivate them going out and adventuring. But what? What would be enough of an inciting incident to make newly established lords go out and explore dungeons and risk their lives as good old adventurers? Instead of sending out knights or whatever to deal with the problems
    As far as "knights or whatever" typically that was the nobility, at least in most areas. That was their primary function outside of the administration of land. I would put the particular dungeon in the land they happen to own, so now it's their problem, if they don't deal with it, then there's a chance they'll lose out on their land to other parties or have the crown seize it.
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    Read up on Richard Lionheart. He was always out adventuring and he was a king
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  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    Quote Originally Posted by Particle_Man View Post
    Yeah but I am playing the odds here. I would be willing to bet that a greater percentage of "good" nobles would give a damn about Innocent Farmer's Eighth Son: John Smith (kidnapped by goblins) than the percentage of "evil" nobles would. Not that evil nobles cannot have motives to potect/rescue John Smith. But good nobles can have those motives and the additional motive "because it is the right thing to do!".

    And while evil nobles can care somewhat, good nobles tend to care more, and about more people. In particular, the above John Smith. I could see an evil noble caring about their own son, or their own spouse, but I am harder pressed to find deep resevoirs of caring in evil nobles' hearts for eighth's sons of random farmers (especially if the farmer is not even one of "their" farmers, but is a farmer from a different noble's domain).

    And even if you find that rare evil noble that cares about everybody to the point of rescuing any innocent in danger from monsters, I would say that would be only one of the ways one could be evil, and not a particularly common way one could be evil at that. Certainly it is believable for an evil noble to say "Who cares about a superfluous brat! I want to stay in my comfy castle and play cards!" and a good noble to say "That poor kid! I swear that I will rescue him!" and if the average person heard both statements and had to guess which noble was evil and which noble was good, I think most people would assign "good" and "evil" to the nobles in a similar manner.
    Yep. Good lords care about their people more than evil lords. Evil lords care about their reputation. If you are scary enough people won't want to screw with you. The math on that works out to "less people screwing with you > more people screwing with you." The Vlad the Impaler reference was spot on. Hit hard and fast so that you don't need to hit often. The evil lord doesn't care about little Timmy in the well, but he hates it when some chump has the audacity to screw with his stuff, (including his peasants.) For reference, see Strahd protecting his people from Azalin.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    Yep but a good lord might even care about someone else’s peasants.

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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    Quote Originally Posted by Particle_Man View Post
    Yep but a good lord might even care about someone else’s peasants.
    An evil lord might want to show that the person who's responsible for other peasants can't manage and so maybe somebody else should be put in charge.
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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    As far as "knights or whatever" typically that was the nobility, at least in most areas. That was their primary function outside of the administration of land. I would put the particular dungeon in the land they happen to own, so now it's their problem, if they don't deal with it, then there's a chance they'll lose out on their land to other parties or have the crown seize it.
    Pretty much wherever there were knights they were the minor nobility.

    This is because keeping and maintaining a horse suitable for battle is a non-trivial expense, they need to be bred big and strong and so they eat a lot and need a fair amount of training, so they would be granted lands, and income from those lands, in order to be able to fulfil their military function if required by their lord.

    Of course, in a D&D world where you get to the position of local lordship via adventuring and killing monsters and taking their stuff, the knights could simply be lower level and so the players as lords of the land need to go and solve problems which require their additional abilities.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    Pretty much wherever there were knights they were the minor nobility.

    This is because keeping and maintaining a horse suitable for battle is a non-trivial expense, they need to be bred big and strong and so they eat a lot and need a fair amount of training, so they would be granted lands, and income from those lands, in order to be able to fulfil their military function if required by their lord.
    Unless you are arguing that Richard the Lionheart was "minor" nobility that is categorically untrue. Charlemagne as well. Almost all the nobility in the middle ages had some sort of expected military service. Now you couldn't be a knight and not be nobility but basically nobles all the way up were expected to pull their weight in that regard.
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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    I've had this idea in my mind for a while. The details haven't been worked out yet, but the gist of it is that the players (legendary heroes according to the backstories they will create) have gotten their hands in a piece of land and declared themselves lords of the local area.

    Now, having players sit around in a castle/keep doing lordish stuff is boring. They are heroes for god's sake! So I want something to motivate them going out and adventuring. But what? What would be enough of an inciting incident to make newly established lords go out and explore dungeons and risk their lives as good old adventurers? Instead of sending out knights or whatever to deal with the problems

    I suppose I could link magic items with adventuring (aka, no magic mart), but still. Adventuring just to get better gear is not something I think it would be fun. At all.

    This is a brainstorming activity, and everything is fair game. Foreing threats, domestic threats, doomsday, whatever. The only thing I don't want to hear is "they wouldn't lol your idea sucks". I really want to make this work.

    For what it's worth, the system is 3.PF, but I'm looking for general advice here.

    Thanks!

    TLDR: What would be enough of an inciting incident to make newly established lords go out and explore dungeons and risk their lives as good old adventurers? Instead of sending out knights or whatever to deal with the problems
    For HONOUR!

    The nobles routinely chose the most prestigious positions, which often were also the most dangerous. Dante is an example; since he was a (petty) noble, he drafted himself into the light cavalry of Florence, the first troops to make contact with the enemies. The standard bearer of the French King is another example.

    But then you also have challenges. The challenges can be thrown by the enemies (this is a constant of the Arcturian cycle: a giant knight comes inside and challenges the court, or Arthur directly), but can also be thrown among the lords. It can also be the usual lady who wants you to proof your worth. If you are trying to impress a girl and all the other lords are doing it by chopping off heads, you probably will want to chop off some heads, too.

    The thing is, lords were knights themselves. IIRC there was a famous feast held by Barbarossa where he knighted his sons, to which all the knights in the realm took part. They were of greatly different standings, but they all had in common the fact that they were knights, from the Emperor to the lowliest vassal.

    And, finally, you have pilgrimages and armed pilgrimages. Maybe the cleric of the local temple feels a renewed interest for an old catacomb, which by now is a dungeon. Maybe the high cleric of the patron deity has called for all his followers to try and free a castle from the Nazgul. A lord then has strong incentives to get things going, both as a believer and in the eye of society. And you can't make a pilgrimage by proxy!
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  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    Unless you are arguing that Richard the Lionheart was "minor" nobility that is categorically untrue. Charlemagne as well. Almost all the nobility in the middle ages had some sort of expected military service. Now you couldn't be a knight and not be nobility but basically nobles all the way up were expected to pull their weight in that regard.
    I'm not sure how you get that from the point that Knights are the minor nobility.

    Kings were not Knights, Knight was explicitly a social rank, basically the lowest rank of the landed classes.

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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    Disagree with you there, a knight was a social order, it had a lowly rank that did service to higher ranking lords, but all were equally knights, pursuing honor and paying lip service to the code of chivalry and enjoying the same sports. Knight of the sword that is, distinguished later from knights of the robe who were elevated for civil service.

    It was a to us bizarre theory but in theory the King of France was a knight as much as the guy with one horse and suit of armor, they had a claim on each other and if the King of France failed in his knightly duties it was resented by other knights.
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  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    This isn't actually related to your question but the thread title makes me think of aristocrats who engage in a pseudo-chivalric sport called maze-hunting or whatever, where small artificial dungeons are created with distinct trials.
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  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    I'm not sure how you get that from the point that Knights are the minor nobility.

    Kings were not Knights, Knight was explicitly a social rank, basically the lowest rank of the landed classes.
    Kings were knighted as others have pointed out, they literally were knights. They often had responsibilities that were different and often more than regular knights but they still rode off to war with knights and served as heavy cavalry like all the other knights.
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  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    Also, part of the deal of having been granted title would likely have been various duties.

    including "protecting the population" from threats and also potential threats...and what is down in the ruined tower of some mage could get out and hurt someone.

    Also since you can be called up by your upper nobles to serve a noble can get stuck doing stuff for their "boss". Also since the same boss is likely the one who can reward you as a noble being useful to them can be very good for you. Maybe you don't need a rod of absorbing but your Count can trade that to the wizarding circle and buy better
    relations...meaning more apprentice wizards in your territory to tax when they start selling spells and the thanx from that count.

    Also since you may be called to war by the monarch getting yourself better equipment from wherever you can could well save your bacon next year. And if you can't use it maybe your immediate guardsmen can and they may save you in some future battle-so worth investing the time and risk now.

    In wanting to get more taxes from their lands nobles are incentivized to open new trade routes, protect merchants etc. possibly via being able to charter mercantile endeavors or that nobles can act as bankers/investors. So opening up new trade avenues by clearing out a goblin tribe/pack of displacer beasts/a young adult dragon or whatever could well be right up their ally even if they are not a direct threat.

    Or maybe you just need gold to pay for such investments described above...or grain for the peasants after a bad harvest (which will a good idea as it earn loyalty for later)...or a bigger stronghold. Heck digging up a stronghold builders guide will get the right player looking for every copper they can get-for easy motivation.

    Also included could be ideas like - if you need to call in help from above (your duke if you are baron, your count if you are a knight, etc) then they get to keep any loot etc from doing so, both to encourage self reliance and to defray the costs to the upper ranks.
    Any of the above for a neighboring lord-mutual aid agreements and the like may have
    lords/ladies/lordlings all come together for any of the above. For alliance, friendship, etc as much as being extra blades in a fight..hell that could be your party right there..


    Also may want to dig around in Birthright from 2e stuff for more ideas. As that setting took being a noble and going on adventures as a given there.
    Last edited by sktarq; 2019-08-31 at 05:20 PM. Reason: Visual clarity

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    An evil lord might want to show that the person who's responsible for other peasants can't manage and so maybe somebody else should be put in charge.
    As could a good lord. But the good lord can have that motivation, or could intrinsically care for the peasants or indeed any innocent people harmed by monsters, even if there is no actual or potential purely instrumental benefit from doing so.

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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    Quote Originally Posted by Particle_Man View Post
    As could a good lord. But the good lord can have that motivation, or could intrinsically care for the peasants or indeed any innocent people harmed by monsters, even if there is no actual or potential purely instrumental benefit from doing so.
    True, I'm not arguing that a Good Lord couldn't be motivated similarly I'm arguing that most things that you could have a Good lord do in terms of broad strokes you could also find a reason for an Evil lord to do, you just need to find that reason. Remember that a DM controls what their NPCs know, and controls how they're feeling at a given moment, you can find ways to motivate people to do lots of things, of course some require more backflips.
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  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    I guess it depends if you are looking for reasons for the pcs or trying to make a world of npcs. In the former case this thread provides many possible reasons. In the latter case it makes sense that good lords will be more often motivated to help others than evil lords, and thus more likely to go adventuring even at risk to themselves.

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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Motivation for the characters to adventure is a responsibility that the players to figure out.
    There's a lot of truth there, and if the characters are to provide you with a backstory, I'd look more towards integrating their backstory into the present plot.
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  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    I've had this idea in my mind for a while. The details haven't been worked out yet, but the gist of it is that the players (legendary heroes according to the backstories they will create) have gotten their hands in a piece of land and declared themselves lords of the local area.

    Now, having players sit around in a castle/keep doing lordish stuff is boring. They are heroes for god's sake! So I want something to motivate them going out and adventuring. But what? What would be enough of an inciting incident to make newly established lords go out and explore dungeons and risk their lives as good old adventurers? Instead of sending out knights or whatever to deal with the problems

    I suppose I could link magic items with adventuring (aka, no magic mart), but still. Adventuring just to get better gear is not something I think it would be fun. At all.

    This is a brainstorming activity, and everything is fair game. Foreing threats, domestic threats, doomsday, whatever. The only thing I don't want to hear is "they wouldn't lol your idea sucks". I really want to make this work.

    For what it's worth, the system is 3.PF, but I'm looking for general advice here.

    Thanks!

    TLDR: What would be enough of an inciting incident to make newly established lords go out and explore dungeons and risk their lives as good old adventurers? Instead of sending out knights or whatever to deal with the problems
    Lambton Worm scenario: the aristocrats adventure because in their past they have accrued all kinds of dark craggy curses, and adventuring is either a way of prepping to endure that fate or an attempt to find a way out from under it, either by ending the curse or finding other power things to deflect it. It can't be trusted to third parties because it's so directly about their secrets and weaknesses.

    Economic reality of adventuring: Adventurers accumulate enormous wealth insanely fast plus personal power, in ways that fundamentally transform power dynamics in society...not necessarily flattening them, but creating a new hierarchy...so old adventurers turning noble might find themselves prodded to keep going, lest they be supplanted.

    Adventuring as a proxy for war command: martial accomplishment is a stepstone to power, but it's not always available. Dungeons and monsters represent a way of demonstrating both rulership and personal courage in the absence of warfare. Heck, it would make sense if kingdoms incentivized this kind of behavior, including giving medals and awards. So adventuring feeds back into their newer positions as peerage.

    It's a trap: the land and the title were always attached to dark secrets, curses, and supernatural bad stuff, and whoever placed the adventurers in their positions knew it. The newly-granted mansion is cursed...the old adventurers have to find out why, and starts a whole process of back-and-forth between court intrigue and dungeon crawling.

    It's a job: "nobility" isn't necessarily just title and lands. If the adventurers obtain nobility through adventuring, it may be that their titles include a charge to be Adventurers of the County or some such. I mean, that's fiat, but it works.

  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    TLDR: What would be enough of an inciting incident to make newly established lords go out and explore dungeons and risk their lives as good old adventurers? Instead of sending out knights or whatever to deal with the problems
    Newly established, they might lack the manpower to send people out to take care of it, and might not be getting any traction on their "Come hero in my barony" announcements, and so have to take care of it themselves.

    For example, look at the classic T1, Village of Hommlet. Rufus and Burne are capable; they're a Warrior and a Wizard, and if they teamed up with Jaroo and/or Terjon or Calmert, they'd do quite well adventuring in the Moathouse. But they can't really send their guards to do it, because that leaves the town undefended. If some convenient adventurers hadn't shown up, they likely would have had to.

    At the Keep on the Borderlands (B2), it's similar... there are a lot of guards who COULD go clean out the Caves of Chaos, but that would leave the keep underdefended.
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  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    I like the “if you don’t adventure than other adventurers will supplant you” idea. It reminds me of first edition monks, druids and assassins where at high level you not only had to fight the current title-holder (this was back when levels had named titles) to actually get that level, but afterwards you could be challenged by a newcomer if they had enough experience points. If you lost and lived, you lost the level!
    Last edited by Particle_Man; 2019-09-01 at 10:47 AM.

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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    A noble is responsible for what happens in their lands, the feudal contract is basically you support me and I fight to protect you. If anything bad is happening it is their job to stop it. They are also responsible for financing themselves, if they can keep themselves in the style they have become accustomed to then they don't have to tax so heavily (or they can have more luxuries). They also get to show off how brave they are to other nobles and their followers.

    The younger children of nobles adventure because they tend not to inherit land and so must see to their own fortunes, if they want to be considered as a marriage prospect for a nobility they had better be wealthy. They also don't have the responsibilities of the elder child so get the noble education and very little to do with it unless a war comes along.

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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    Also may want to dig around in Birthright from 2e stuff for more ideas. As that setting took being a noble and going on adventures as a given there.
    Seconded.
    It has many good ideas, and resources can be found here (ao for 3e & 5e conversions).

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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    There's a lot of "adventures" that lords and ladies could undertake to variable degrees of required combat and levels of heroism vs. aristocracy:
    Going out hunting peasants with their hounds
    Answering their feudal obligation to answer their liege's call to war
    Defending their fief from dragons or tarrasques invaders or whatever
    Going to fancy court occasions to "network"
    Developing their fief
    And of course, accumulating wealth.

    I once ran a game where the players spent most of the game ruling a city that they had led to independence in a popular communist uprising early in the game. Among the things they did:
    Travel to a nearby nation to secure an alliance to protect them against the kingdom the seceded from
    Explore a fallen dwarven fortress to secure heavy weapons to protect their city
    Enter enemy territory to sabotage bridges, spread disease, and poison the water supplies along the enemy army's route of advance
    Arrange to move the city's "collectivized" wealth into offshore bank accounts so they have it even if they were deposed
    Explore a tomb in search of ancient weapons to help them fight and wealth
    Meet with enemy lords to "convince" them to forgo their feudal obligation to march with their king
    Explore a pocket dimension ruled by a vampire lord to get her to bring her massive skeleton army to help them fight
    Track down fugitive enemies of the state [nobles who had escaped the people's rising and were brought back for show trial and execution]
    And of course, fight and win battles against the kingdom trying to reassert control and other powerful monarchies hostile to them and concerned about the ideals and rhetoric they espouse
    Last edited by LordCdrMilitant; 2019-09-05 at 01:32 PM.
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    Default Re: Why would the local aristrocacy go out adventuring?

    Of course a Lord can sent knights or soldiers to deal with some threats, but there's way around this.

    - A knight can killed by the threat, and is uncle the Duke will ask questions about what happened and how the Lord will deal with it.
    - The knight can make a deal with the threat offering several thousands gold to go away and the Lord will have to pay for it.
    - The knight instead of using diplomacy, feels insulted for the Lord's honor and hangs some villagers that cause a problem, which can start a rebellion against the Lord.
    - Or if you feels really mean to your players, sent them a simple letter from the King advising them of his visit next month, and that's he's looking forward to the knights tournament the players are having for his visit. Leaving them to plan such unplanned event and of course pay for it. Many noble went bankrupt receive the King visit with his small group of courtiers (a few hundred peoples).

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