Isn't part of the problem with identifying precisely what a knight was that the concept itself was evolving throughout the time period we are talking about here (late Roman empire to high medieval)?
Depends on which historians you listen to. Many of those that I read believe that there is a hefty separation between the pre-Medieval cavalryman and the Medieval Knight. Social and military baggage would be totally different.
A Roman equites, for example, is no more like a true Feudal Knight as a Japanese Samurai. They may be similar in concept, but they are still intrinsically different.
But let's remember that what was being referred to that started this side-conversation was not where the concept of a knight truly began. Sutek implied that knights (the Feudal European model that we are familiar with) didn't come about until the 14th century. I simply corrected that statement that that STYLE of knight - the medieval Feudal European knight, existed much earlier and therefore his assertion was incorrect.
I think we can all agree that, with the exception of more advanced equipment, the 14th century Italian Knight was essentially the same 'beast' as the 11th century Norman Knight.
Back to game rules:
Personally, I think that the best option (and I said this earlier in the thread) for a Knight class is simply something akin to the multiclass variants like those presented in the Hyboria's XYZ series. But I also believe that a new core class is a perfectly valid way to handle it.
Some would say that a knight is not that different from a Soldier. I would say that a true knight, in this sense, is as different from a Soldier as, say, a Barbarian. In theory, a Barbarian is really just a Soldier with a variant special ability (Crimson Mist) and a background of coming from uncivilized parts of the world.
One could also say a Barbarian is extremely similar to a Borderer. Or maybe a Borderer is too like a Soldier.
And what is a Noble but a Scholar with a lean toward military and statecraft pursuits instead of sorcerous or studious ones?
As I said earlier in this thread, one can easily make a case that the EXISTING classes can be made with fewer base classes. One could also, just as easily, make a case that the existing classes are specific enough that a variant idea that strays just enough is worthy of its own base class.
So the questions we should ask are:
A.) Would a knight class enhance your game?
B.) Are there enough differences between a knight and soldier to be able to build an entirely new class without the one stepping on the other's toes.
I think the answer is Yes to both questions. But I also think a multiclass variant like those in Hyboria's Finest is a -better- idea. That, however, does not mean a new base class is a -bad- idea.
Either way, a knight should have more abilities centered around being mounted. Perhaps a scaling bonus to Charge damage when mounted.
But with a few minor adjustments and considerations, the right feats and skills, and a variant multiclass of Soldier/Noble would work excellently.
I'm waiting on my copy of Hyboria's Finest now - hoping there's a really nice knight concept in there.