Note: This includes some material excerpted from the Pendragon Book of the Manor. Please also see here for more about the book's contents, and for ordering a copy.


A retinue is the mark of a nobleman. The bigger the retinue, the more important the nobleman.

Knights always have at least their squire as retinue, and when they can afford it, will hire other people as well. Landholders have a natural retinue of their household. Ranking Lord Knights have an elaborate retinue that reflects their personality and interests.

Here’s a guideline to some possibilities.


Glory for a Retinue
Hiring for a Retinue
Starting Skills and Annual Progression
Professional Personnel
The Wandering Bard
The Lady's Retinue
Chief Steward

Glory for Retinue

Expenditure of treasure for Retinue personnel who are Professionals gets Glory, even if they have to be dismissed next year. Thus this is one of the most common ways to spend money. It acquires Glory, and the knight has a temporary expert in a skill, if needed.

Hiring Retinue

Most jobs on the manor are filled by the son of the person doing it. That is the feudal class system. Thus any Specialist Worker, Servant Personnel, Skilled Help or Unskilled Laborer is automatically replaced. However, the new replacement has skills at beginning level.
There is no cost to finding Mercenaries.
For Professional Personnel, the cost of £ 1 must be spent to find a suitable professional if one is desired.

Starting Skills, Skill Progression

Starting skills for all Retinue personnel begins at 1d6+6.
The Key Skill progresses at the rate of 1 point per year, up to 15. Afterwards roll 1d6 and on a roll of 1 he goes up one point in that skill.

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Professional Personnel

If a job is rare and requires education and expertise to be effective, it is probably professional. Each has a Key Skill. This indicates the skill that this person is a specialist at. Starting skill is 5+2d6. When in a retinue, they can perform this task instead of the knight.
Beginners are paid £ 1 per year per Key Skill, while persons of reputation and skill (Key Skill 16+) get £ 2, and sometimes more (figure +£ 1 for each full 5 points above 16 in a Key Skill). Individuals with multiple skills are thus expensive and special. A beginning Herald, with skills in Heraldry, Recognize and Courtesy would cost £ 3 per year, while such a one with 20 years of experience could be worth £ 12!

  • Bard. An expert entertainer who can sing, play harp and tell stories. Bards (as opposed to musicians and troubadours) have a special status due to their pagan religious traditions, even if professing Christianity. Such an expert always costs £ 1 more than their Key Skills would indicate. Key Skills: Sing, Play Harp.
  • Clerk, Reader/Writer. He is usually a church person, but not a priest; or perhaps simply was educated by the priests. Key Skill: Read Latin.
  • Doctor, Physician, Chirurgeon. Starting pay is £ 2. Key Skill: Chirurgery, First Aid.
  • Engineer. This man knows how to build castles and take them down. He can build towers and castles, and also make siege engines, emplace them, dig tunnels and so on. Key Skill: Siege.
  • Herald. An expert at recognizing coasts of arms and badges, he can also paint a shield, advise on tournament protocol, and make loud public announcements. Key Skill: Heraldry.
  • Lawyer. An expert on the ins and outs of law, i.e. - Court business. Key Skill: Courtesy.
  • Mistress. A woman dedicated to personal pleasure. Key Skill: Lust.
  • Musician. A professional trained at playing the courtly instrument of harp. Key Skill: Play Harp.
  • Priest(ess). A holy man (or woman). Key Skill: Religion
  • Proctor. He is a master at keeping figures and books—i.e. an accountant. Key Skill: Stewardship.
  • Raconteur. A professional storyteller, who has memorized histories, legends and other tales and can retell them in an entertaining manner. Key Skill: Orate.
  • Singer. A professional vocalist, also knows many songs for any occasion. Key Skill: Singing
  • Steward. An expert who looks after a manor sized estate, is usually a noble esquire. Key Skill: Stewardship. Note that if a knight is not married with a wife to support, but has engaged a Steward instead, his £ 1cost replaces the costs to support the family. (Yes, this leaves £ 1that goes to the landholder).
  • Troubadour. A poet and musician, who specializes in songs and poems of love and romance. Key Skill: Singing, Play Lute.
  • Valet, Body servant. He is not only an expert in getting and cleaning nice clothing, but also helps in grooming, dressing properly and information on protocol, etc. Key Skill: Fashion
  • Squire. An additional squire to the normal complement of the Knight’s station. Key Skill: Age Euse the rules above under “Your NPC SquireE
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The Wandering Bards

Bards are ordinarily not for hire, but live on gifts given to them. They wander the land going where their intuition and poetic obligation urges them to go. They do not charge a fee, but do their job and rely upon the largesse of their host for rewards. No one wishes to short change them, for this could incur their wrath—the satire that is a curse coming from the mouth of a bard!
A qualified bard, who lives at the rate of about £ 2 per year, gets about 1½ denarii a day, or the cost of a noble’s feast for one person. Thus a suitable reward for him would be to have him sit among the knights to eat for the duration of his stay, plus a place to sleep equivalent to a knight’s lodging. The bard would not ask or expect more. Of course, giving more warrants a Generous check for largesse.
And remember that bards whose skills have earned them great fame deserve more. Calculate about double fee for each five years of experience. But do not be stingy with the truly great! If Taliesin himself sings in your hall, it would not be overly generous to give him a gold ring worth £ 20!

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Lady’s Retinue

Wives and daughters live at the same level as their warder -- whether father, husband or brother. Wards of a baron live at their appropriate income level as if they had their estates.
The wives and older daughters of the household knights and esquires are generally handmaidens to the lord’s wife, a high class rank in a noble household. Pages are in her care, to be trained.
The wife of a nobleman, and likely of any wealthy knight, has her own household of helpers. In addition to her handmaidens, plus whatever professional from the list above that she can afford, she may also have:

  • Fashion Expert. Seamstress, clothing designer and perhaps most importantly, knows what is au courant. Key Skill: Fashion.
  • Flower Gardener. He is critical to maintain luxury gardens. Key Skill: Industry (Gardening) £ ½
  • Groom. He, sometimes she, takes care of the horses. Key Skill: Horsemanship £ ½
  • Professional Hair Dresser. She is also skilled at making wigs. Key Skill: +1d6+3 bonus to APP. This lasts for one day.
  • Professional musician. She brings pleasure to the household as they work. Key Skill: Play Harp
  • Protocol Expert. She makes sure no social faux pas occur. Key Skill: Courtesy.
  • Recognizer. She remembers who, what and when among the people at court. Key Skill: Recognize.
  • Spinner. All women spin, but she is an expert. Key Skill: Industry (Spinning)
  • Tutor. She, or he, is a teacher of the Classics, the Bible and literature. Key Skill: Read.
  • Weaver. All women weave, but she is an expert. Key Skill: Industry (Weaving)
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Chief Steward

A single steward can be Chief Steward over several manors. Each manor needs it own Steward, but the Chief Steward can lead them, similar to how a unit leader leads in battle.

At the start of the “Stewardship Phase” of the BoM “Complete Landholding System,” (before Step D.1., page 43), a Chief Steward may attempt her Stewardship skill against the average of the Misfortune levels of the manors under her care. Use the Results Table on page 44, but interpreted to provide the modifiers below.

A Steward who would get the Gentlewoman's Bonus does get it for the results of the Chief Steward roll.

The result is a modifier given to the Stewardship skill for the all under stewards before they make their own attempt a at Step D. 1.

Chief Stewards cost the same as ordinary stewards to maintain.

    Harvest Results Modifier
  • Incredible: +10
  • Excellent: +5
  • Good: +2
  • Regular: 0
  • Meager: -2
  • Bad: -5
  • Very bad: -10
  • Negligible: -15
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