Based on the studio's track record of controversy, you might go into A Woman's Lot expecting something politically incorrect. It's a slightly misleading title, suggesting that women should "learn their place" in medieval society. It's actually more progressive than you'd expect. In fact, you could make the argument that Warhorse Studios tried to give more nuance to these perspectives of medieval history. The two women at the center of A Woman's Lot aren't always necessarily "strong women," but they are strong characters; well-rounded and fleshed-out. Far from perfect, of course, but enough to make the DLC worth playing. This is the fourth and final DLC for the medieval RPG Kingdom Come: Deliverance, following From the Ashes, The Amorous Adventures of Bold Sir Hans Capon, and Band of Bastards, and it might be the best one.
A Woman's Lot delivers two stretch goals of the base game's original Kickstarter campaign. As we reported in early 2018, some of that content had to be cut from the base game. It introduces the dog companion and a playable female character. Of course, that's not the main character; you can't complete the base game as the female character. That would completely nullify any pretense of historical accuracy and would make for a completely different game. Instead, you get to play a few quests as Theresa, who becomes a love interest of Henry, the main character, in the base game. It's a rather elegant compromise that presents an interesting perspective on the base game's introduction.
A Woman's Lot – Theresa's LotOne of the biggest shortcomings of the base game was a lack of resolution or continuity to Henry's relationship with Theresa. It builds up nicely enough, but after consummation with a roll in the hay, there's just nothing. If you talked to her, she might even act as if nothing happened. Sure, you could come up with some headcanon story to make up for it, but that's not optimal. The DLC manages to rectify that, and there's quite a bit of extra dialogue. You can also pursue a more meaningful and active courtship with her if you choose to. Even if you choose not to, you can still get her to talk about the Sack of Skalitz by the Cumans, and how she survived it. In fact, Henry wouldn't have survived without her, as she's the one who helps rescue him by the end of the first chapter.
That's the first half of the DLC, as Theresa's story shifts to her own playable first-person perspective. She wakes up in her father's house the day before the Sack, and she goes about her daily life, helping her father and her brothers with their own lives. Some of this involves feeding the animals, fetching this or that for her father. The most interesting quest of this segment leads you into the Skalitz silver mines to retrieve a sack of stolen silver. Her father and older brother have a rather disreputable operation going, as was fitting for millers in medieval times. It falls on Theresa to get them out of that mess, and it's actually a fun quest if you enjoy sneaking about and finding your way through maze-like levels.
Stealthing and Stabbing in A Woman's LotYou'll have Theresa's dog around most of the time, sniffing out things, which can be helpful. He's also a half-decent combat sidekick if you sic him on your enemies. Since Theresa gets a quick lesson with wooden swords from Henry the day before the Sack, she can handle a sword, though not when facing armored Cumans. She can also rock a bow well enough, as her brother taught her at some point (she already has some levels in Archery when you start her story).
For the most part, you won't be able to face more than one Cuman at a time. Even then, it can be tough. Not only because Theresa doesn't have much skill, but especially because she can't wear armor. Even if she takes the armor from a dead Cuman, it's just not available to wear. It makes sense in the context, and it adds a new level of challenge.
As you're sneaking around in broad daylight, you might get to stealth kill a couple of Cumans. You can also get lucky cheesing the melee combat with a longsword, sticking them with the pointy end. It's quite tense for the first hour or so, as you try to avoid Cumans and help other survivors of the Sack. Since you'll only get a handful of saves (that's the Savior Schnapps system, same as with Henry), it can be tough to accomplish some of the quests. Nothing too difficult, just enough to make the survival and overall ordeal feel meaningful and compelling.
A Woman's Lot – Johanka's LotTheresa's story ends when she helps rescue Henry with the cavalry from Talmberg. The DLC actually shows her side of the rescue as much braver than it seemed in the base game. In any case, she tells her tale, and you can ask her some questions afterward when you're back playing as Henry. When that's all done, Theresa asks him to go see Johanka in the Monastery of Sasau. Now, you've probably already met Johanka in some of the fairly compelling side quests in the base game. If you recall, she's basically nursing a bunch of survivors from Skalitz all on her own, with scarce resources. When you visit her again, she'll tell you about her dreams with the Virgin Mary. From the very first dialogues, you can choose to either believe her or not, and this option follows throughout her entire quest.
Johanka asks you to help people who come to her after delivering a sermon in the Sasau town square. Some of these quests are fun. At one point, you can drink a tailor under the table, then steal his money just to teach him a lesson about gambling, as his wife requested. There's that peculiar and somewhat silly humor from some of the base game's side quests, but also from The Amorous Adventures DLC. It's a kind of humor that doesn't rely on cheap shots about religion, but instead on simple truths about people. Some quests are quite open-ended, letting you play however you like. You can lie and act behind people's backs, or simply be honest and play nice. You can really do a little bit of everything. There's also some interplay between Theresa's story and Johanka's story.
Religion, History, and Fiction in A Woman's LotThe final chapter of A Woman's Lot deals with the consequences of Johanka's dreams with the Virgin Mary and her preaching. As expected, the Church steps in, and Johanka gets in trouble. Now, when a game depicts the Catholic Church, the results can be really ham-handed. It's easy to take a contemporary stance and cast Catholic priests as backward, and so on. To their credit, the DLC's writers took a more nuanced view. The final result seems balanced and respectful of the player's choices and views, whatever they may be. Whether Henry believes in Johanka or not concerning her dreams or visions, he will try to help her because Theresa asked him to. Just as in The Amorous Adventures, the final chapter of A Woman's Lot offers a decent amount of replay value, with some branching choices and consequences.
There is a more serious tone to this final chapter that stands out as more meaningful than anything else in all the expansions. It's true that the Church persecuted many women as witches and heretics. Many of them burned at the stake, such as Joan of Arc (who was then canonized in 1920). A Woman's Lot hints at some of this, and depending on your choices it might lead to a similar conclusion. Of course, this is historical fiction, but there's a charming authenticity to it. It's rare to see this kind of subject in a game with such level-headed writing.
A Woman's Lot Review | A Whole LotDepending on how much you are willing to do for Theresa's and Johanka's friends and family, A Woman's Lot offers a beefy side of content. You won't get a whole lot of action if you're looking for fights, but there are a few. Some of the quests are really compelling, with the customary open-ended design of the base game's side quests. I didn't experience any bugs, only a couple of amusing glitches during some of the cutscenes. The dog companion was okay, though a bit underused. I also thought some of the voice acting felt flat and phoned-in, though that doesn't spoil the overall experience.
Having received A Woman's Lot for free as a backer, I really can't complain, though I wouldn't mind paying for it. It's definitely a much more substantial DLC experience than the previous one, Band of Bastards. It stands as a fitting coda for Kingdom Come: Deliverance as a whole, even without resolution on the ending. As I reached the final chapter of A Woman's Lot, I started feeling the itch to start a new playthrough. I wonder what it plays like after all the patches these past few months have brought. I won't (I just don't have the time), but I'd say that itch is evidence of the quality you can expect from this DLC. Of the four expansions, I'd say it's either the best or the second-best, tied up with The Amorous Adventures.
TechRaptor reviewed Kingdom Come: Deliverance – A Woman's Lot on PC via Steam with a code provided by the developer. The DLC is also available on GOG. The reviewer was a backer of the base game through the game’s official website.
A Woman's Lot is a rewarding coda for Kingdom Come: Deliverance that might make you itch for a new playthrough. It features two tense questlines where you'll survive the Sack of Skalitz as Henry's love interest Theresa, and help the devout nurse Johanka in her complex theological conundrum.
- Level-headed Writing
- Open-ended, Engaging Quests
- Decent Amount of Content
- Dog Companion Underused
- Some Uninspired Voice Acting