Wife’s Skills and Improvement
From Dirk T: Can a player knight change the statistics / personality Traits / skills of his wife? Does she pass through the Winter Phase process like a knight, too? Or does she only get one / a few points to allocate like a steward?
Ladies who appear in the game are of three types: the GM character, the player- NPC and the full character.
GM Characters are whatever the GM wishes them to be.
Player-NPC wives treatment is similar to that of squires or esquires. They get a name, a few skills that progress as an NPC, and roll each year for having children. Suggested skills are: Stewardship, Chirurgery and Siege. Players ought to keep a couple of notes about the woman’s personality, but she is not really “in the story.” She’s got a non-speaking part, entirely in support of the player night.
Full character wives are full characters, with complete character sheets. She will have been created through the character generation in the core book or, preferably, Book of Knights & Ladies, and thus they have the entire array of skills available. Each winter they go through the entire Winter Phase learning process.
NOTE: in my game the full character wife MUST be played by a player other than the husband. This prevents the unnatural cooperation that so easily occurs when one player has two close characters, and almost always provides some surprises and entertainment when she is played at court, etc.
Dirk T continues:
Ok. But if I got you right, a player knight with a wife (NPC) without the "gentlewoman bonus" can never increase her traits to get the bonus (without the aid of the GM)?
That’s right. The bonus is only available (in my game) to full player characters. In the same way I would never allow an NPC vassal knight to be chivalrous. Those kinds of bonuses are special for the full (and GM) characters.