Borrow an idea, improve it, and set it free

Long ago when I first came across the details of the Knights of Solamnia, I was immediately intrigued. Here was a lavishly intricate hierarchy for a system of lesser nobles that was perfect for any game setting requiring a group of armed, determined, and heroic leaders to see society through difficult times. As presented in their original “Dragonlance” setting, however, the Knights of Solamnia have fallen on hard times. Everything is in decay, and the lands they are sworn to defend are everywhere in chaos and upheaval. In essence, these poor fellows are on the fast track to extinction. As well-thought out as their order(s) were, the heyday of their rule had long since fallen to distant memory.

Now, I loved how the different orders were set up. Let me reiterate that for you; LOVED it. It was detailed to an extreme (I do love the minutiae) and I always thought that with a bit of tinkering it would work beautifully in one of my own game’s nation-states. Slothjemia was a poor choice, because knights in the land of the Midnight Skull do not function at all like those in more “feudal” areas. But, alas, none of my players ever ventured far enough from Slothjemia to make exploring these options worthwhile. The answer was obvious, though. Start the players someplace other than Slothjemia, and you can build a brand new culture from the ground up, one that includes some variation of the Knights of Solamnia. And lo, here we are. The players in my present group are based in the kingdom of Fanolania. Fanolania is the kind of place that would need good knights, and not the ones that are tired, smacked around, and on their way out the door. They need the good guys at the peak of their grandeur.

And so here we go with the premiere of the Knights of the Domaine. This complex and dedicated group of royally ordained nobles will serve as the template to see just how glorious this notion is, given the strengths and powers afforded them at this time of wealth and affluence. It should prove interesting, perhaps enlightening. I’ll let you know how it goes at tomorrow’s game.

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