Night's Watchmen - No armor, no horse

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Night's Watchmen - No armor, no horse

Postby Flagg » Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:05 am

By the book, smallfolk who join the Watch can't purchase equipment. They essentially get clothes and a sword. That means (and this seems especially important for Rangers) that they don't get armor or a horse. Can one assume that this means they outfit themselves from a common pool of their castle's resources, or does it really mean that the Watch doesn't armor most of their men, and forces them to walk?
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Re: Night's Watchmen - No armor, no horse

Postby BeardedDork » Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:50 am

The watch explicitly armored Samwell Tarley in a Game of Thrones, owing to the fact that the armor he arrived with was only mostly black. Their horses are the property of the Watch, that's how in a Dance of Dragons it is revealed that the watch slaughters all but a few breeding pairs of horses for meat in the winter. If the horses were privately owned that would be a much pricklier issue.
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Re: Night's Watchmen - No armor, no horse

Postby Flagg » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:27 am

It seems that people are allowed personal property that they bring with them to the Wall, especially nobles. In the very first chapter, Ser Weymar has a huge destrier that I doubt the Watch would have supplied him, a fancy sable cloak, and a bejeweled sword. That seems to fit with the rules in the book that allow highborn characters to purchase equipment as normal.

I'd assume that all issued equipment is common property of the Watch -- that is, if you didn't bring it with you, it's issued to you -- but that's not the same as it being yours. It makes me wonder why they would issue a sword, but not armor?
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Re: Night's Watchmen - No armor, no horse

Postby Legate » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:16 am

"It makes me wonder why they would issue a sword, but not armor?"

I could see two reasons for this.
1) An oversight when the book was written.
2) A lack of resources on the part of the Watch (they have to slaughter horses for meat in winter after all). They certainly aren't a rich organization, by any means. Historically, peasent levies were not that well supplied in historical based armies either, it could be a matter of "if you can't afford to bring it with you...you don't get it when you are here." However, I would say they would be issued a horse for rangings, that only makes sense.
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Re: Night's Watchmen - No armor, no horse

Postby Flagg » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:12 pm

Curiously, all of the example characters (who all happen to be lowborn) have armor, and three out of the four of them have garrons.

Any ideas for a house rule to allow characters to at least start with armor, if not a steed?

A longsword, shield, mail, and a garron costs 1070ss. I'm thinking of letting lowborn characters just spend 1200ss to equip themselves however they see fit, within reason. Highborn characters can take the higher of this, or a Status result in gold dragons.
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Re: Night's Watchmen - No armor, no horse

Postby Flagg » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:35 pm

On second thought, maybe Status x 500ss would be more appropriate. Seems to fit better with the "a man gets what he earns" ideal.
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Re: Night's Watchmen - No armor, no horse

Postby Legate » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:32 pm

Flagg wrote:Curiously, all of the example characters (who all happen to be lowborn) have armor, and three out of the four of them have garrons.

Any ideas for a house rule to allow characters to at least start with armor, if not a steed?

A longsword, shield, mail, and a garron costs 1070ss. I'm thinking of letting lowborn characters just spend 1200ss to equip themselves however they see fit, within reason. Highborn characters can take the higher of this, or a Status result in gold dragons.


I am not so sure of this. From what was shown on the series most of the low born members of the Watch were outfitted with either leather or at most splint armour. Only the more seinor members were shown wearing mail and above. I would say allow them a weapon (common grade) and light armour, and have the Watch issue them a horse.
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Re: Night's Watchmen - No armor, no horse

Postby Flagg » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:48 pm

Legate wrote:I am not so sure of this. From what was shown on the series most of the low born members of the Watch were outfitted with either leather or at most splint armour. Only the more seinor members were shown wearing mail and above.


Hence my follow-up idea of making it a multiplier of Status. The members you describe would be the standard Status 1 or 2 grunts. Senior (i.e. higher Status) members would have better gear.
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Re: Night's Watchmen - No armor, no horse

Postby Legate » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:07 pm

I just don't think that a Status 1 Smallfolk is going to see 500 ss in his lifetime. You have to remember that even stated in the books that the Watch has mainly only been able, for the most part, to recruit from the prisons of Westeros, the type of scum they have as a base are not going to have any money to buy weapons and armour. In fact if they could do so I am sure they would take to the life of a bandit, rather then a Brother of the Watch. And even if a local peasent decided that he might be better off in the Watch (3 squares a day and roof over his head) he isn't going to able to afford weapons either.

I think that if a house rule is necessary just say the Watch issues what is necessary and available at the time they are sworn in as a member of the Watch. 500 ssx Status is just way too much IMO.
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Re: Night's Watchmen - No armor, no horse

Postby Flagg » Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:24 am

I'm not talking about money these men would have earned. I'm talking about an equivalent worth in equipment issued to them by the Watch. A common longsword costs 500ss, and that's clearly standard issue.
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Re: Night's Watchmen - No armor, no horse

Postby Canarr » Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:33 am

Is there a differen System for starting equipment in the Nights Watch Book? By my math, getting 5-7 Gold Dragons for starters should be doable even for a Status 2 character.
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Re: Night's Watchmen - No armor, no horse

Postby Flagg » Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:40 am

Yes, by the rules, smallfolk characters get

Night's Watch, p.32 wrote: ... only a sword, a set of warm clothes, a
black woolen cloak, a medium wooden shield, and whatever minor tools
he needs to complete his tasks on the Wall. At the Narrator’s discretion,
players may also start with a bow or crossbow.


I think this creates under-equipped cookie-cutter PCs, who have less than what we see in the novels (and, curiously, have less than the pre-gen character archetypes in the book, which are supposed to be valid starting characters). That may be OK for rank and file NCs, but player characters should be able to have a little more variety and choice.

Highborn characters get equipment as normal.
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Re: Night's Watchmen - No armor, no horse

Postby Legate » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:20 am

Flagg wrote:I'm not talking about money these men would have earned. I'm talking about an equivalent worth in equipment issued to them by the Watch. A common longsword costs 500ss, and that's clearly standard issue.


Ah, OK I see where you are coming from now. But, I still have to ask why this needs a special house rule like "500ssxstatus? As GM just issue what equipment you think is necessary, and if the players think of anything else they made need on a ranging have then make a request to the QM.

Though I can see the confusion if the archetypes are better equipment then rolled up PCs of the same status.

Too bad my group isn't really interested in this game...I was really looking forward to this book. Oh, well. :(
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Re: Night's Watchmen - No armor, no horse

Postby Flagg » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:21 pm

Legate wrote:But, I still have to ask why this needs a special house rule like "500ssxstatus? As GM just issue what equipment you think is necessary, and if the players think of anything else they made need on a ranging have then make a request to the QM.


Because it sets a system for purchasing equipment which exists for every other type of character in the game, and it gives players the freedom to make appropriate characters without having to ask me for special exceptions.
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Re: Night's Watchmen - No armor, no horse

Postby Legate » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:39 pm

I guess I just don't understand the problem. To me saying here is what you are issued in the Watch is easier then coming up with a house rule.
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Re: Night's Watchmen - No armor, no horse

Postby Flagg » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:03 pm

The main advantage is it puts the power in the player's hand to customize the character how they want.
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Re: Night's Watchmen - No armor, no horse

Postby Legate » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:36 pm

Flagg wrote:The main advantage is it puts the power in the player's hand to customize the character how they want.


Ok, this just leads into a whole different discussion.
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Re: Night's Watchmen - No armor, no horse

Postby Legate » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:07 am

"In the very first chapter, Ser Weymar has a huge destrier that I doubt the Watch would have supplied him, a fancy sable cloak, and a bejeweled sword."

I got the impression those were items he either brought with him to The Wall.
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