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Ladies

Lady with hawk

The traditional King Arthur cycle is a very narrowly defined masculine story*, and King Arthur Pendragon reflects that. It is about warrior noblemen, and everyone else has a secondary role, if any at all. The setting is traditional epic, and so it mirrors the literature. The stories are not set to accommodate other social classes. Women, including enchantresses, are also few, but they are far more prominent than non-knightly men. Throughout 500 years of medieval literature the appearances of other social classes are few: a couple of peasants appear, priests mainly in the Grail Quest as interpreters of the miracles, Saxons as fodder for swords. But powerful women are prominent, and critical to the plot. Queen Guenever is half the story of King Arthur. Princess Elaine of Carbonek is the betrayed yet loyal woman, and Queen Isoud something of a doll, but Morgan le Fay and The Ladies of the Lake are women of power. Many other ladies appear to inspire or bewitch the knights.

Yet these are never presented as stories about the women--they are foils and foes for the men. We need to remember that the consumers of the medieval stories all knew of the vast unspoken society of wives, mothers, sisters and daughters that plays its part invisibly, confined to traditional roles. Nonplayer character Ladies are largely relegated to the same roles.

Player character women usually perform these roles too. Such Ladies are not meaningless, unimportant and weak. A player character lady whipping up her powers of command can add wicked and dangerous spice to a game. A player character wife, even if she only uses her Character Traits when alone ("But everyone is getting those silk slippers honey! [attempt chastity/Lust, now...]) suddenly adds depth to the game. If she is ambitious things get interesting, and if she is loud and righteous and inspiring things always get complex and if she is a great supporter of Romance then things get a little bit scary.

Thus most material here is for ladies living in the elite strata of a traditional feudal society, performing the roles of ordinary noble ladies of court who restrict themselves to conventional roles.

Pendragon allows women knights (King Arthur Pendragon, page 41-43), and see also this excellent article by By Stefan Ingstrand.

*Formal Romance, celebrating the discovery of pure love, is the huge exception to the traditional masculine emphasis. It inverts all social and religious standards in an outrageous rebellion of emotion and personal indulgence, entirely to satisfy women's personal, individual desires by dominating willing men. Oh yea, and to love them through sexual frustration too.

Essay: This is a Sexist Game

Romance: Whipsaw Your Men How Women Get Things Done

Sex and Dishonor Practicing the double standard.

Random Statistics. Randomly rolling stats for women.

Glory for Women. Women don’t get always Glory the same way that men do.

New Child Birth Tables. Four Tables, based on the age of the mother.

The Pageant. A 3-event spectacle for women.

Ladies' Money. Women can earn some extra, personal money through Industry.

NPC Wife Skill Advancement. How many skills does an NPC wife have?

The Laws of Love. The original set, where only 12 rules exist.

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