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  1. #1
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    While doing some research (for a Arthurian BR setting) I noticed that
    the laws of inheritance can play a major part in determining who builds
    and empire/kingdom and who doesn`t.

    In Arthurian times there were a number of cultures inhabiting what is
    present day Great Britain. The notion of inheritance, the model used by
    BR, is not present in any of those cultures. BR is a gender-sanitized
    politically correct modified anglo-saxon-norman model of inheritance.

    Pictish society (in what is now Scotland) was matrilinear. The Irish
    followed the Celtic law of Tanistry, and the Brythonic Britons divided
    their kingdoms among all their sons, legal or bastard. The concept of
    handing something down father to son was unique to the germanic
    invaders.

    In BR there are two important things that are investiture inherited, a
    bloodline and a domain. In order to build a good Arthurian setting I`d
    have to create specific bloodline rules for each of the human sub-races.
    e.g.

    Picts: (unfortunately there`s little we can find about the real name of
    these people - pict comes from the roman "painted ones" due to their
    custom of decorating their bodies with tattoos) These are organized into
    7 royal houses, 7 tribes and 7 main provinces. The head of the royal
    house would be a woman - she`s the one with the bloodline, this original
    bloodline (we`ll call it a true bloodline) can be passed from mother to
    daughter by investiture. The children male or female of each matriarch
    receive a minor bloodline when born. The royal houses intermarry to keep
    the bloodlines of their sons as high as possible. Only sons can be kings
    (really they become high-kings, the head of each royal house is also a
    king).

    Legend has it that each of the royal houses is derived from a god
    somewhere back in their history. This fits well with the standard BR
    ideology, these houses are derived from their gods (still existent) as
    mortal progeny. The houses (and these would be the derivations of the
    pictish bloodlines) are :
    Fib
    Fidach
    Foclaid (or Fotla)
    Fortrenn
    Caitt (or Cat)
    Ce
    Circenn

    Note: Only true bloodlines can breed more blooded characters. i.e. A
    great/major/minor bloodline cannot reproduce blooded offspring. The
    bloodlines are trapped within seven families in this way. Only true
    bloodlines can be invested as inheritances and only to a female.
    Generally the strongest male of each house will be king of that house
    (and it`s provinces). If you are a blooded male the only way to have
    blooded children is to marry into another royal house (marrying the
    matriarch or her heir), in which case your children belong to that house
    - their family name is that of the mother.

    Children`s Bloodlines:
    The bloodline derivation of a child is the highest of the two score
    generated by the bloodline of their parent(s). The bloodline score of a
    child`s derivation is a linearly random value between 1 and the value of
    the parent. No child will be born with a bloodline score higher than
    their mother (who must be one of the seven matriarchs of course). A
    child may by chance be born with his/her father`s derivation.

    [Note: except for the "female line" thing, this isn`t much different
    from English royalty today, with the gender swapped around, the recently
    deceased Princess Margaret - sister to the Queen, had a daughter and a
    son. The daughter does not gain a bloodline or title from her mother,
    but (luckily or unluckily for her) did gain one from her father (because
    he happened to be an Earl).]

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  2. #2
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Peter Lubke" <peterlubke@OPTUSNET.COM.AU>
    Sent: Monday, May 20, 2002 6:40 PM


    > In order to build a good Arthurian setting I`d have to create specific
    > bloodline rules for each of the human sub-races.

    No you wouldn`t. The cultures you mention already created rules of
    succession. And the inheritance rules in BR are not " gender-sanitized
    politically correct modified anglo-saxon-norman model of inheritance." They
    are intentionally vague to allow a variety of cultures to employ them.
    Inventing more rules is the wrong approach. Using the vague rules under a
    cultural template allows the greatest flexibilty and the least amount of new
    rules verbage.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    > No you wouldn`t. The cultures you mention already created
    > rules of succession. And the inheritance rules in BR are not
    > " gender-sanitized politically correct modified
    > anglo-saxon-norman model of inheritance." They are
    > intentionally vague to allow a variety of cultures to employ
    > them. Inventing more rules is the wrong approach. Using the
    > vague rules under a cultural template allows the greatest
    > flexibilty and the least amount of new rules verbage.

    Allow me to root for the "less rules means better rules" side for a
    moment here.

    There, done now.

    --
    John Machin
    (trithemius@paradise.net.nz)
    -----------------------------------
    "Nothing is more beautiful than to know the All."
    Athanasius Kircher, Ars Magna Sciendi.

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  4. #4
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    On Tue, 2002-05-21 at 10:18, Kenneth Gauck wrote:
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: "Peter Lubke" <peterlubke@OPTUSNET.COM.AU>
    > Sent: Monday, May 20, 2002 6:40 PM
    >
    >
    > > In order to build a good Arthurian setting I`d have to create specific
    > > bloodline rules for each of the human sub-races.
    >
    > No you wouldn`t. The cultures you mention already created rules of
    > succession. And the inheritance rules in BR are not " gender-sanitized
    > politically correct modified anglo-saxon-norman model of inheritance." They
    > are intentionally vague to allow a variety of cultures to employ them.
    > Inventing more rules is the wrong approach. Using the vague rules under a
    > cultural template allows the greatest flexibilty and the least amount of new
    > rules verbage.

    I agree.

    Perhaps I shouldn`t have used the word "rule". However to get an
    authentic flavor it would be prudent to ensure that regents of realms
    follow the laws or customs of the people and the priests. Now while it`s
    a fantasy game, the DM has the advantage of setting the ground rules.
    What I`m suggesting is a specific campaign modification (for the purpose
    of running in the example - a character with a pictish bloodline). I`m
    using it to point out that the inherent implied law of succession as
    used in BR is, as you suggest, very general - and therefore inadequate
    by and of itself *in this case*.

    However in this campaign (if I ever finish), it would not be possible
    for a pictish character with a bloodline to do anything else - I would
    enforce the cultural convention by way of DM fiat. A set of "rules" or
    guidelines to what is *acceptable* for the PCs to follows seems
    appropriate.

    It`s interesting to note that historically at around the this time, an
    Irish king (Erc) marries into the Royal lines of the Picts and one of
    his sons becomes King of the Picts and Scots. His tribe was the Scotti,
    and based probably in Strathclyde as well as. His son took up the
    rulership of the kingdom of Dalriada (and high-king of the Picts as well
    with some probability) in the area around Argyll. Of course an Irish
    king cannot name his son heir either by the Celtic Law of Tanistry.

    A custom among various Celtic tribes--notably in Scotland and
    Ireland--by which the king or chief of the clan was elected by family
    heads in full assembly. He held office for life and was required by
    custom to be of full age, in possession of all his faculties, and
    without any remarkable blemish of mind or body. At the same time and
    subject to the same conditions, a tanist, or next heir to the
    chieftaincy, was elected, who, if the king died or became disqualified,
    at once became king. Sometimes the king`s son became tanist, but not
    because the system of primogeniture was in any way recognized; indeed,
    the only principle adopted was that the dignity of chieftainship should
    descend to the eldest and most worthy of the same blood, who well could
    be a brother, nephew, or cousin. This system of succession left the
    headship open to the ambitious and was a frequent source of strife both
    in families and between the clans. Tanistry in Scotland was abolished by
    a legal decision in the reign of James I (1406-37) and the English
    system of primogeniture substituted.



    >
    > Kenneth Gauck
    > kgauck@mchsi.com
    >
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  5. #5
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    > > No you wouldn`t. The cultures you mention already created
    > > rules of succession. And the inheritance rules in BR are not
    > > " gender-sanitized politically correct modified
    > > anglo-saxon-norman model of inheritance." They are
    > > intentionally vague to allow a variety of cultures to employ
    > > them. Inventing more rules is the wrong approach. Using the
    > > vague rules under a cultural template allows the greatest
    > > flexibilty and the least amount of new rules verbage.
    >
    >Allow me to root for the "less rules means better rules" side for a
    >moment here.
    >
    >There, done now.

    Guys, come on. The original poster already stated that to capture the
    flavor he was looking for he wanted these additional rules added in. This
    was a premise, not an argument; accept it in the model and work with it.
    Whether you agree the flavor he`s looking for, or with the particular
    interface that he and his players use to play the game is irrelevent.

    Can`t you just comment on the ideas he`s trying to express without
    automatically accusing him of playing the game wrong?


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  6. #6
    Senior Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    > Can`t you just comment on the ideas he`s trying to express
    > without automatically accusing him of playing the game wrong?

    It`s just that these ideas are in any book on the subject, you just need
    to use them in the game. Rule tweaking is all but irrelevant. We really
    can`t comment on RW inheritance models and say things like "They should
    have done x" can we?

    Kenneth`s point is that rules are non-specific enough, reformating the
    bloodline system maybe not be an advantage. I agree, hence my post.

    Systematically, I cringe from the notion of extensive rule alteration,
    when I see no real setting benefit.
    Creatively, I say go for it. But I can`t give more help than any one of
    a number of books on the subject.

    --
    John Machin
    (trithemius@paradise.net.nz)
    -----------------------------------
    "Nothing is more beautiful than to know the All."
    Athanasius Kircher, Ars Magna Sciendi.

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  7. #7
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Lord Rahvin" <lordrahvin@HOTMAIL.COM>
    Sent: Monday, May 20, 2002 8:47 PM


    > Can`t you just comment on the ideas he`s trying to express without
    > automatically accusing him of playing the game wrong?

    Its not a matter of saying that its the wrong game. Its a matter of
    observing that rules are a clumsy way of enforcing cultural standards. This
    is the reason some of us, most notably Gary have chaffed at the way the
    Paladin class assumes a cultural enviroment of Galahad-like knights doing
    good. This is the reason I urged that precise descriptions of inheritance
    practices be done in some form of "cultural description" and described to
    players as the "Pictish tradition, dating back to when the Picts left the
    bogs primeval and established the first society of men."

    Players get the idea that inheritance will work as the DM has told them, and
    there is no chance of an "effect" vs "affect" debate as we saw in this list
    a few years ago. Players ought to know that when they swing a sword, or
    jump a pit, they have some knowable chance for success. They need to know
    the mechanisms to interact with the material world. Rules are good for
    this. How leaders are chosen is something different, and mechanics should
    be avoided. In general mechanics should be avoided for anything that isn`t
    mechanistic.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  8. #8
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    On Tue, 2002-05-21 at 12:21, Kenneth Gauck wrote:
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: "Lord Rahvin" <lordrahvin@HOTMAIL.COM>
    > Sent: Monday, May 20, 2002 8:47 PM
    >
    >
    > > Can`t you just comment on the ideas he`s trying to express without
    > > automatically accusing him of playing the game wrong?
    >
    > Its not a matter of saying that its the wrong game. Its a matter of
    > observing that rules are a clumsy way of enforcing cultural standards. This
    > is the reason some of us, most notably Gary have chaffed at the way the
    > Paladin class assumes a cultural enviroment of Galahad-like knights doing
    > good. This is the reason I urged that precise descriptions of inheritance
    > practices be done in some form of "cultural description" and described to
    > players as the "Pictish tradition, dating back to when the Picts left the
    > bogs primeval and established the first society of men."
    >
    > Players get the idea that inheritance will work as the DM has told them, and
    > there is no chance of an "effect" vs "affect" debate as we saw in this list
    > a few years ago. Players ought to know that when they swing a sword, or
    > jump a pit, they have some knowable chance for success. They need to know
    > the mechanisms to interact with the material world. Rules are good for
    > this. How leaders are chosen is something different, and mechanics should
    > be avoided. In general mechanics should be avoided for anything that isn`t
    > mechanistic.

    There`s a good setting-justified reason for (say in this case) only
    allowing the true-blooded females to pass a pictish god`s bloodline to
    their children. The BR rules and the Cerilia setting rules are horribly
    intertwined. It`s often difficult to see where one ends and the other
    begins. The precedent is set (by Cerilia) in many instances. Nothing
    I`ve done invalidates or breaks any BR ruleset - it just restrains them
    further - by adding additional setting-race-specific "rules".

    But it begs the question: "Why aren`t there some Cerilia-race-specific
    guidelines for inheritance ?" (and by innuendo bloodlines - bloodlines
    being caught up in the nobility concept therein) All human Cerilian
    races follow the broader generalization for rules of inheritance, based
    on a open and modern set of mores that historically is not present in
    earlier cultures. The sourcebooks show a distinct bias to primogeniture
    (if not outright following it to the letter) that extends across all the
    human Cerilian cultures, the diversity suggested by those that jumped in
    against what I had to say (by arguing that the system was general enough
    to take care of all possibilities) does not exist.

    >
    > Kenneth Gauck
    > kgauck@mchsi.com
    >
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  9. #9
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 09:21 PM 5/20/2002 -0500, Kenneth Gauck wrote:

    I`m combining a couple of posts here.

    > > In order to build a good Arthurian setting I`d have to create specific
    > > bloodline rules for each of the human sub-races.
    >
    >No you wouldn`t. The cultures you mention already created rules of
    >succession. And the inheritance rules in BR are not "gender-sanitized
    >politically correct modified anglo-saxon-norman model of
    >inheritance." They are intentionally vague to allow a variety of cultures
    >to employ them. Inventing more rules is the wrong approach. Using the
    >vague rules under a cultural template allows the greatest flexibilty and
    >the least amount of new rules verbage.

    Actually, I think that`s a contradiction. If the current rules aren`t "a
    gender-sanitized politically correct modified anglo-saxon-norman model of
    inheritance" then you would by definition need to modify them in order to
    create such a system, wouldn`t you? If someone were trying to reflect some
    sort of specific method of inheritance, more rules is really the only way
    to go.

    However, I`d suggest the current rules on investiture are much more of a BR
    specific system, actually, meant to describe a relatively limited type of
    political transfer of power, using RP, bloodlines, etc. A more generalized
    rule for handing off a realm would probably make better sense.

    > > Can`t you just comment on the ideas he`s trying to express without
    > > automatically accusing him of playing the game wrong?
    >
    >Its not a matter of saying that its the wrong game. Its a matter of
    >observing that rules are a clumsy way of enforcing cultural
    >standards. This is the reason some of us, most notably Gary have chaffed
    >at the way the Paladin class assumes a cultural enviroment of Galahad-like
    >knights doing good.

    Actually, what I object to is the way most people seem to interpret the
    class that way when there`s really very little in the character class
    description that supports that interpretation. It uses the word "squire"
    at one point, and the 2e class description listed very knightly examples,
    but there`s no reason why characters have to fit into that mold. It`s
    absolutely possible to go with a knightly interpretation, but it isn`t
    mandatory. If someone wanted to play a character class that was a more
    Galahad-like knight there should be changes to the class that better
    describe that paradigm.

    That is, in fact, what happens in BR. Paladins of Haelyn have more
    descriptive text to describe them. I don`t think it need necessarily be
    knighthood in the Arthurian sense, but BR paladins do differ from standard
    3e (or 2e) paladins. How do BR paladins differ from the core
    classes? Well... with more rules, I`m afraid. Yup, more specific rules
    that change the class itself to fit particular paradigms.

    I generally agree with the sentiment that less rules are better, but when
    one is actually trying to articulate something in particular, then one can
    either go with some sort of ruling or one can do it on the fly, and there`s
    nothing at all wrong with discussing rules issues beforehand so that they
    exist in the archives and if at some point in the future a situation occurs
    and you don`t have any idea how you might want to go about handling it in
    the game, there is some sort of guideline for doing so. At the very least
    it is no skin off anyone`s nose for other people to discuss such matters,
    and I don`t find it reasonable that anyone could know what someone else is
    going to need in their game, so the presumption that a particular rules
    discussion is unnecessary seems both intrusive and unreasonable.

    Gary

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  10. #10
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    On Tue, 2002-05-21 at 14:33, Gary wrote:
    > At 09:21 PM 5/20/2002 -0500, Kenneth Gauck wrote:
    >
    > I`m combining a couple of posts here.
    >
    > > > In order to build a good Arthurian setting I`d have to create specific
    > > > bloodline rules for each of the human sub-races.
    > >
    > >No you wouldn`t. The cultures you mention already created rules of
    > >succession. And the inheritance rules in BR are not "gender-sanitized
    > >politically correct modified anglo-saxon-norman model of
    > >inheritance." They are intentionally vague to allow a variety of cultures
    > >to employ them. Inventing more rules is the wrong approach. Using the
    > >vague rules under a cultural template allows the greatest flexibilty and
    > >the least amount of new rules verbage.
    >
    > Actually, I think that`s a contradiction. If the current rules aren`t "a
    > gender-sanitized politically correct modified anglo-saxon-norman model of
    > inheritance" then you would by definition need to modify them in order to
    > create such a system, wouldn`t you? If someone were trying to reflect some
    > sort of specific method of inheritance, more rules is really the only way
    > to go.
    >
    > However, I`d suggest the current rules on investiture are much more of a BR
    > specific system, actually, meant to describe a relatively limited type of
    > political transfer of power, using RP, bloodlines, etc. A more generalized
    > rule for handing off a realm would probably make better sense.
    >
    > > > Can`t you just comment on the ideas he`s trying to express without
    > > > automatically accusing him of playing the game wrong?
    > >
    > >Its not a matter of saying that its the wrong game. Its a matter of
    > >observing that rules are a clumsy way of enforcing cultural
    > >standards. This is the reason some of us, most notably Gary have chaffed
    > >at the way the Paladin class assumes a cultural enviroment of Galahad-like
    > >knights doing good.
    >
    > Actually, what I object to is the way most people seem to interpret the
    > class that way when there`s really very little in the character class
    > description that supports that interpretation. It uses the word "squire"
    > at one point, and the 2e class description listed very knightly examples,
    > but there`s no reason why characters have to fit into that mold. It`s
    > absolutely possible to go with a knightly interpretation, but it isn`t
    > mandatory. If someone wanted to play a character class that was a more
    > Galahad-like knight there should be changes to the class that better
    > describe that paradigm.
    >
    > That is, in fact, what happens in BR. Paladins of Haelyn have more
    > descriptive text to describe them. I don`t think it need necessarily be
    > knighthood in the Arthurian sense, but BR paladins do differ from standard
    > 3e (or 2e) paladins. How do BR paladins differ from the core
    > classes? Well... with more rules, I`m afraid. Yup, more specific rules
    > that change the class itself to fit particular paradigms.

    It`s a minor point to be sure, but the traditional "knighthood in the
    Arthurian sense" is a Norman-French invention of the high medieval
    period and no such paladin-like characters were present in true
    Arthurian times. (In fact Lancelot doesn`t make an appearance until
    dubbed in 800 years later)

    On the other hand, during the period of English history often referred
    to as the Age of Saints, there were a considerable number of warriors
    who were renowned as much for their contribution to Christendom as their
    military prowess. Again though, not at the standards of chivalry as
    espoused by much later 13th and 14th century writers. However, Gary has
    a point as these particular types could be one variant of a more generic
    `paladin` as in fact their `history` (as recorded much later) has
    transformed them (as with Arthur and his knights) into the ideals of a
    society hundreds of years after the actual deeds.
    I
    If we stick to the paladin rules (as given in 2e for example) then we
    make no allowance to play such characters as they actually were, but are
    forced to play them as those deeds might be perceived by another culture
    entirely.

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