Chivalric orders for Fighters

At what level should a fighter be able to join a chivalric order? What could be a better perk to playing the oft-overlooked fighter than getting the right to chivalric devices, storage in an abbey or such (order of the garter, etc), and the ability to pay off a fraternal brother of their chivalric order to post ransom for their return (thus keeping any enemy capable of understanding the idea of a ransom from killing them.)

The ACKS method of determining this would be to determine how many members are in the order, and then use that to reverse-engineer what the lowest level members would have to be in order for there to be a sufficient quantity of fighters in the order.

For example, in a realm of 6,000,000 people, there are about 285 8th level fighters, 100 9th level fighters, and about 70 of above that level. If you want the order to have 100 members, you might say that it will accept 8th level and above, meaning around 20% of the top tier.

EDIT: I copied the wrong column down from my spreadsheet. Fighter types would only be about 40% of the above numbers. Sorry for the resulting panic I have caused!

I think 5th level is a milestone level - it’s when your followers get +1 morale, so you are clearly becoming a warrior of renown.

That would seem a good place to set the entry level to an order, if they don’t just accept anyone.

If I’m reading the Demographics of Leveled Characters table correctly, those numbers look like the total number of characters (of all classes, not just fighters) - 6,000,000 people divided by 1 in 20,000 at 8th level = 300 level 8s.

To have 100 fighters in one specific order (keeping in mind that there are most likely multiple chivalric orders and that many (most?) fighters won’t be members of any order), I’d think you’d need to allow access at level 6, or level 7 at most. At which point Kiero’s suggestion of level 5 starts looking pretty good, given the significance already carried by that level…

I would say 4th level (Hero) would be my minimum. 4th level was a milestone for fighters (who were called “heroes”) way back in the earliest days of D&D.

That’s how I’ve always read that table, too, which has left me wondering what the breakdown of those 284 people looks like in terms of classes. Alex, are you saying that you meant it as the number of each class? 284 level 8 fighters, 284 level 8 wizards, etc?

Well for one thing, I’m pretty sure that Alex said somewhere (or many places) that certain classes are more common than others with mages being relatively scarce and fighters being much more common.

Of course some are more common, but 285 out of 300 level 8 characters being fighters is 95% fighters and the 100 at level 9 is the entire level 9 population, leaving none as other classes. I’m sure fighters are the most common class, but I wouldn’t expect them to be that much more common.

I’m thinking that 5th level probably is the best level for merit based orders like the order of the garter (I.e., lots of perks, only a few duties) but any level for military orders (free companies, holy orders where your character is required to provide military service to guard pilgrims, etc) since those would be the premise of an entire campaign.

I’d agree, depending on the order. If you limit membership to 8th level and above, even the lowliest member is almost ready to clear some wilderness and establish a domain when they begin. If you start them at 5th you have more of a spread and more incentive to wander.

Maybe 5th Level for most Merit based orders, and 8th level for high holy orders or royal orders since those would be centered on land owning nobility who could supply a mounted heavy cavalrymen (either themselves or their eldest sons).

I’m just thinking that Fighter orders could be a way to grant cool stuff to fighters (and their ilk) without adding more magical powers into the equation.