All these knightly orders are all well and good, of course, but what do you do with them? Well, you have PCs in them, and NPCs, and spin some adventure seeds out of it.
But what if you need a bit more of a starting point? Like, say, just who’s running the show or at least where this group of unusual folks came from. It’s a good question, after all, especially if a PC is a member of an order, or for that matter any of the other guilds, factions, and various organizations tossed up here on the blog, or written up elsewhere even.
So here are a few tables for inspiration; roll on them for any given order, or pick one of the results, or just use them as a jumping-off point for your own ideas. They don’t give the nitty-gritty of internal group structures or the like, but they should make a start.
Who Do They Answer To?
01. A ruler — king, empress, etc — or a member of the immediate royal family, or equivalent
02. A great lord of some variety, whether duke or daimyo
03. The hierarch of a religious organization
04. No one but their own leader; the order acts independently
05. No one but their own leader; members may have pledged themselves to various lords and masters
06. There is no true group hierarchy, only cells or networks and apprenticeships
07. A sorcerous or mystical or otherwise non-mortal entity, from dragon to ascended soul
08. The leaders of a community or communities
Of course, a group does need funds. (well, sometimes; some may be more professions of faith or shared wellsprings of knowledge than a formal organization. that’s usually not the case with a knightly order, though, unless the order is a federation of hedge-knights in common.)
How Do They Support The Order?
01. Tithes from members (a percentage of income or labour)
02. Subsidized by royalty, nobility, or other secular patron
03. Subsidized by a religious edifice (temple or shrine)
04. Quests taken on for the order itself
05. Individual members take on quests or missions
06. A mutual aid society, informal in nature
07. Donations from those the order aids
08. There is no direct support for the order as a whole
How Are Members Expected To Contribute?
(beyond upholding the order’s ideals, which kind of goes without saying)
01. Tithing an amount of funds, or in kind, or with labour
02. Teaching new recruits or apprentices
03. Encouraging the growth of the order
04. Performing quests and endeavours that bring acclaim to the order
05. Contending with the order’s rivals and/or enemies
06. Offering aid or shelter to fellows, when called upon
Under many circumstances, several of these possibilities are just taken as a matter of course anyway; but even then, there may be an especial emphasis or value placed on a specific contribution in particular.
Also vitally important — when there’s scores of orders and dozens of factions out and about, it’s highly unlikely that all these groups will somehow never cross paths with at least a few others. So how does that shake out?
What does this order think of another?
01. Kinship, in arms or in peace
02. Casual allies, at least on a day to day basis
03. The leadership/established members are considered allies
04. The leadership/established members are considered rivals or enemies
05. The other order is anathema
06. There is old bad blood, but overtures are being made
07. There is currently competition for [hearts/faith/resources]
08. The order wishes to remain unknown to the other
09. A favour of honour is owed to the other order
10. The other order owes a favour of honour
11. Neutrality, with no particular opinion
12. Curiosity, with a side of jocular rivalry
And if the basic beliefs of the two groups are intrinsically opposed (or aligned) and a contrary result comes up, well, there’s certainly some potential adventuring and politicking in the weeds there —