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Monday, 6 August 2018

Classic Rant: Limits on Aggression in Dark Albion

Someone had suggested to me, quite some time ago (but I never got around to writing on it until now), that this youtube video on the subject of aggression in the context of RPGs was of relevance to some of what I'd talked about how the culture in Dark Albion ought to be different than in regular D&D games and you can't just have people breaking out into open violence at every turn.

Now, I do appreciate getting the recommendation. But besides being too long, I really don't find this video very relevant to Albion. Or indeed, to most medieval settings. There ARE consequences to violence in Albion, but its got nothing to do with "escalation".
It's got to do with propriety.

In Albion it's not about how violent you are, usually, it's about whether or not you're ALLOWED to be violent at someone.

In fact, if you have two knights and they have a dispute, it will NEVER be resolved in pushing and shoving. Fisticuffs and wrestling (except for sport) was completely beneath a knight or noble; it's what filthy peasants did. A dispute between two knights would go from "Arguing" right to either "Duel" or "Appeal to a Lord".

Peasants can punch the shit out of each other, but if one kills another it's bad, because it is not proper for them to kill another peasant. 
A lord can kill a peasant, but not someone else's peasant, only his own. And even then, by the time of the Rose War, he already needs to be able to justify it a bit if questioned on it.

Peasants can NEVER appropriately punch a lord, and drawing a weapon on a lord is petit-treason.

So the issue isn't degree of violence, it's whether it's Socially Permitted or not.

The video link seems to be much more about modern sensibilities than medieval ones. I hope this blog entry points out just how different the medieval ones are, and that this is what you need be able to present IF you want to run Dark Albion in a way that is "medieval authentic".


Currently Smoking: Castello 4K Canadian + Image Latakia

(Originally posted August 24, 2016)


  1. > A dispute between two knights would go from "Arguing" right to either "Duel" or "Appeal to a Lord".

    I wonder if that was the reality in practice? In a court setting it seems likely. But I can easily imagine knights forming a ring for two guys to fight it out, especially if there was drinking involved.

    1. I don't think it's very likely. Not with knights. You could certainly imagine that happening a lot with common peasant soldiers or mercenaries.
      With knights, you could obviously imagine a situation where one or both knights acted very inappropriately and attacked the other in a way that wasn't proper. You could also imagine, perhaps, that if neither knight wanted to get to the level of a duel, they might resolve their dispute in some other way, possibly with some kind of a contest.