Grades of Maintenance

The economic situation (or “grade”) of a knight is quantified by the annual income allotted to him during each Winter Phase. Five grades of knight exist for this purpose: Impoverished, Poor, Ordinary, Rich, and Superlative.


A knight with an income of less than £1 per year is Impoverished. His is a miserable lot. He appears ragged, most likely lean and sickly, and his armor is pitted and rusty.

He has no squire and often lacks a horse of any kind. As a result, an Impoverished knight counts only as a sergeant in battle, even though he may be far more skilled or valorous. Legally, impoverishment means trouble.

An Impoverished household knight is not required to remain loyal to his lord since, under the feudal oath, his lord promised him sustenance. He may leave or may be sent away on a quest by the hapless lord.

On the other hand, if a vassal knight neglects his land to the point of impoverishment, the lord has the right to cancel their agreement and take the land back. The vassal has clearly failed to maintain the land and uphold his end of the feudal bargain.

Glory: No Glory is gained during the Winter Phase for suffering the life of an Impoverished knight.

  • Winter Phase Modifiers: -15 to Horse Survival and Child Survival; no children born, -1 to armor ratings; make CON roll, where failure = lose 1 CON.


Poor knights are, for whatever reason, unable to maintain themselves in the manner in which they ought. A knight who receives £1 to £3 per year is considered Poor. In general, a Poor knight has no squire; rides a mangy, sway-backed horse; is hungry, lean, and ragged; and wears armor in a sad state of disrepair.

Glory: No effect. There is no shame, but no special fame, in being a poor knight.

  • Winter Phase Modifiers: -3 to Horse Survival and Child Survival, cumulative each poor year to a max of -15; -5 to Childbirth Table rolls.


Ordinary knights are those most often discussed in Pendragon; generally, whenever the word “knight” is used, unmodified by another adjective, it refers to a character of this economic standing. Ordinary knights comprise the majority of chivalry. Player knights always begin the game as Ordinary knights in terms of economic quality.

An Ordinary knight receives between £4 to £7 per year in money and food, which keeps himself, his family, a single squire, and his horses in a healthy and robust manner of living, and his equipment in good repair. This may be provided by his lord, or by a normal manor.

Glory: No effect.

  • Winter Phase Modifiers: None.


Rich knights receive between £8 and £14 per year to spend on their maintenance, an amount significantly above normal standards. Their families live well off the fat of the land.

Rich knights usually wear clothing of rich fabrics and furs in the latest style, have ornate silver-decorated tack for their glossy-coated horses, and regularly enjoy rich feasts.

They typically have two squires in attendance, both being well-mounted and attentive to their knight’s needs.

Glory: Knights who live above their expected means (i.e., more than £7 per year) gain Glory equal to the annual number of maintenance libra spent; thus, a knight who has £11 per year also gains 11 Glory per year. If a lord supplies this maintenance, rather than the knights’ getting the money themselves, the lord also gains a like amount of Glory.

  • Winter Phase Modifiers: +1 to Horse and Child Survival Table rolls, +3 to Childbirth Table.


Superlative knights are the most extravagant and impressive of all, requiring £15 per year or more for upkeep.

Their armor shines brightly, and their clothing is sumptuous, with intricate stitching, extensive use of gold thread, jewels, imported feathers, and furs from fantastic beasts.

Three squires, each proud in matching livery, typically attend the knight’s needs.

Superlative knights also benefit from superior health and the aid of well-equipped, loyal squires in battle.

Glory: As noted under Rich knights, above, knights who live above their expected means gain additional annual Glory based on their income.

  • Winter Phase Modifiers: +2 to Horse Survival Table, +3 to Child Survival Table, +5 to Childbirth Table.

Grades of Maintenance

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