From: Nick Brooke (
Date: Thu 08 Feb 1996 - 21:34:20 EET

"Hasni" asks:

> How do the silly Hrestoli become knights? Does everybody really spend
> all their time training PLANT LORE? I've got a new PC, who spent a year
> as a herder, four years as a "squire", and then five years as a sailor.
> So, he's got a whopping 5% plant lore. He'll never leave farmer caste,
> and he'll never learn intensity, right? Poor choad.

Whaddaya mean, "training Plant Lore"? The context where this rule mechanic
appears makes it pretty plain what's going on: these guys are supposed to become
good farmer-class workers before they join the Army as common soldiers. "So get
out in the fields and slog, poor little rich kid! There's no fancy 'Plant Lore
Training' down 'ere on the farm, mate: you learn 'em the way we all learn 'em."

If RQ had more sensibly-named skills like Farm and Herd, you'd want 60% in them,
instead of the "abstract" Animal Lore and Plant Lore. Your ability at Farming
should certainly be increasable by living on the farm, not just by "research"

and "training". What the recruiting sergeant is looking for is your competence
and knowledge of the land (or trade, or whatever), not fancy book-learning and
the ability to quote the Latin (Brithini?) names of flora and fauna.

So, if you've been hopping around from job to job (tinker, tailor, squire and
sailor), you'll be a jack of all trades but master of none, and you'll
understandably have a hard time passing the skill competence test. Loskalmi
society isn't set up for the benefit of shiftless, unreliable sorts like
yourself: they want good dedicated workers.

From my sect writeup in Tales #13:

: [Farmer] class of society includes the vast majority of Loskalmi subjects,
: not only field workers but also herdsmen, merchants, craftsmen, artisans,
: sailors and servants to the upper classes (this last category includes
: both knights' Squires and wizards' Acolythists."

If you can develop 60% competence in two mundane skills of *any* of these
Farmer-class occupations, you'd *theoretically* be allowed into the Army. BUT,

developing instead those skills that are proper to higher classes explicitly
does NOT qualify you as a Farmer. So a Squire who mastered weapon skills is not
a Good Squire (worthy of promotion): he's a Disobedient Squire, and ought to
learn instead how to bind wounds, or groom a horse, or polish armour, or wait
upon his lord. Again, from the sect writeup:

: To enlist in his local Battalion, an applicant must demonstrate 60%
: ability in two Farmer-class skills (usually Plant Lore and any Craft) to a
: recruiting officer at a County Fair. Other tests or contests are frequently
: held, at the recruiting officer's discretion. He must demonstrate himself
: to be a true Loskalmi patriot, strong, fit and eager to serve his nation.
: He must swear Hrestol's Oath, declaring his readiness to die for his people,
: and sacrifice 1 POW to Hrestol's Idealism.

But who really wants to join the Army and get killed by the Kingdom of War? You
could be a footsoldier slogging in the ranks for years before you're invited
into the Battalion's Order of Chivalry... and the Black Host is nearer to
Loskalm every spring! Me, I'm staying on the farm!



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