You've seen/read/at least know of Game of Thrones? And the Nights Watch? The military order of defenders on the frontier that can be seen as knights - but to protect from the barbarians they are supposed to they need to get on with the local barbarians and move in their territory regularly?
That sort of order is going to be a hybrid of knight and barbarian.
Precisely. I have no issues with "rules". It would not be a game otherwise. But, I do have issues with unreasonable restrictions disguised as rules that limit imagination.
Not rolling stats
I agree with you here. I do give the option for players to let me assign scores. I am not so anal as to insist on crippling stuff like 5 STR or 5 INT and any essential ability I think should be at least 13 at very low level. 16 to 18 if you want to be really effective. 10s, 8s, and 11s though for other stats are fair game. I do prefer running for and playing characters that are somewhat competent. RP elements noted.
Speaking of pallies, in 2e due to the way most DMs rolled stats, paladins were rarely played. You needed to roll really well to qualify for one. Imagine you wanted to play the knight in shining armor but have to go with also-ran fighter because of rolls.