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Voord 99

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  1. Anno CDLXXXVIII: Eo anno, Uterpendragon rex Loegriae Madocum principem, filium suum, cum exercitu in Galliam misit Syagrio Romanorum regi subvenire, cuius regnum Franci sibi subjugaverant. Sed mox Madocus ad Britanniam rediit, postquam Bagias cepit nec cum Francis aliter conflixit; nam reperti sunt homines Britanni inter Syagrii milites, qui a Sulien duce Bedegraniae exiliati erant. Horum exulum unus erat Brannud ille miles gregarius, a quo frater Godefridi, Germanus miles beatae memoriae, in proelio victus occisusque erat. Nihilominus Godefridus Brannudque amicabiliter alius alium inv
  2. For me, those are very different. When you’re playing really solo, at least the way I do it, the system is the GM as much as possible. One leans very heavily on random tables (and very possibly uses something like Mythic or Ironsworn as well). What makes Pendragon especially suitable is, as Prometheus878 points out above, that Traits and Passions mean that you can do this for the player side as well. In some ways, you are neither player nor GM, nor a combination of the two, but something a little different from both, observing the story develop from the outside. I find that I regard the
  3. For inspiration: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-41612817 Only goes back to the 15th century, admittedly.
  4. I’ve done it a couple of times, although not yet all the way through. (Once wasn’t the GPC, but The Boy King — that one got up to 531; the other one I do intermittently now, and is in 496.) Both times what I did was start with one knight and his squire and take it from there, with the squire becoming a second knight if he lived to be knighted, with two new squires, and so on. In principle, that’s an exponential progression, but survival in Pendragon being what it is, it’s turned out both times that it seemed to stabilize at about 2-3 knights at any one time. That might change if I were
  5. “Caolifynn”. This mispelling is interestingish, as it suggests that you may be pronouncing the f in Caoilfhionn. This is my entry for Most Pedantic Comment. 🙂
  6. The widow’s portion is to some degree a question of just how far you want to go down the road of King Arthur Pendragon: Exciting Adventures in Medieval Litigation and the Development of the Common Law. In the real world, there were a lot of court cases about dower (what this is called in law) — there were, I believe, cases where mothers ended up suing their sons for not giving them what they were entitled to. I’m not an expert, but I’ve looked into this a bit. Some thoughts:- - There isn’t a commercial market in “knightly real estate” as such. In principle, I believe you can al
  7. Anno CDLXXXVII: Madocus princeps cum classe magna ab Uterpendragon rege circum Loegriam missus est, et naves hostium permultas incenderunt. Proelia autem cum Saxonibus terra marique commissa sunt, in quibus omnibus praeter ultimum Madocus victor exstitit, et in illo ultimo, quod navale factum est in mari septentrionali, dubium est uter Britones an Saxones superassent. Postea Madocus princeps omnibus militibus, qui pro eo cum Saxonibus concertaverant, anulos aureos ad similitudinem draconis dedit. In hac expeditione Gerontius miles gregarius Sarisburiensis cum Madoco principe cum hosti
  8. I’ve thought vaguely about trying to mash up Good Society with Pendragon.
  9. “To refuse ransom to a prisoner captured in warfare with an external enemy — in contrast to situations of rebellion — was regarded as among the most heinous of atrocities in war, for it negated the crucial assumption that, notwithstanding the price demanded, a captured nobleman could ultimately purchase his freedom.” Matthew Strickland (1996), War and Chivalry: The Conduct and Perception of War in England and Normandy, 1066-1217, p 199. Of course, people in reality did things that were dishonourable all the time for pragmatic reasons, and there absolutely are instances of people refusing
  10. That’s actually what the bit about there being a difference in wars with external enemies and rebels was about, and you taking an Honour loss in the case of the former but not the latter. It should be a big Honour loss, too — it was viewed as one of the most horrific things you could do in war to refuse to ransom a nobleman (assuming he wasn’t a rebel), because it violated the basic understood agreement that gave every noble a special privileged position. But if you can take the Honour loss, go ahead... You should also suffer an Honour loss for not treating a non-noble captive with re
  11. I’d exclude Traits under most circumstances — the main exception might be a Valorous roll to engage. Many Trait rolls are not very naturally connected to the idea of being disheartened, and it seems to me that the purpose of the rule is to discourage frivolous rolls for Inspiration, and it’s relatively rare that modifying a Trait is going to be a deterrent there. (I mean, if you took the rule very literally, you’d ask how it applied to the roll on the Stats Lost table following a Major Wound. 🙂 ) I must admit that I don’t let players roll again on a different Passion anyway if they fa
  12. I confine Madness to something like this (any clear-cut failure on a task inspired by a Famous Passion or a critical on a non-Famous Passion), or any situation in which the object of the Passion believes (rightly or wrongly) that you have failed to live up to a Famous Passion. (For things like Honour or Hospitality, the object is “society at large” rather than anyone specific.) The way in which Madness mechanically occurs in the game doesn’t seem to correspond well to the literature to my mind. Lancelot should be incapable of fumbling his Love (Guinevere) Passion, and while the GM is fr
  13. creativehum’s thread about ransoms got me thinking, and I’ve been looking into the practice of ransom during the Middle Ages. Nothing very dramatic — basically, what I could read online. But some stuff that a GM might use in a Pendragon game:- - In some games, ransom might not exist in the Uther period. Background: it’s not as if the Middle Ages was the first time that anyone ever thought, “Hang on, we could get something for this guy, maybe?” What makes the medieval period different is that noblemen could *expect* to be ransomed, that it was institutionalized as a standard practice.
  14. For what it’s worth, there’s a (sort of) historical parallel. The later Anglo-Saxons didn’t have ransoming important prisoners as a standard custom of their own, but they paid plenty of ransoms to Viking raiders, who had a practice of capturing important people and demanding payment for their return.
  15. Spelling in the Middle Ages was a bit random. I doubt it helped with Anglo-Norman French that by the time of Malory, people in England still used French for all sorts of things, but it was no longer anyone’s first language if they were from England itself. Mind you, their English spelling was chaotic, too. According to the Anglo-Norman Dictionary, the following are all also spellings of coeur in medieval Norman French: coer, coere, coeur, couer, cour; cuer, cueor, cueur, cuoer, cuor; qeor, qer, qeur, qoer, qor, qore; queer, queor, quer, quere, querre, queur; quoer,
  16. Paladin p. 104. It’s implied that the shield doesn’t reduce damage, although this is not 100% explicit. The rule in Pendragon 5e (at least in the core book) is a little different (p. 142): the shield provides a -5 modifier, not its armor value. But I prefer the Paladin rule, because it allows for for larger shields, magic shields, etc.
  17. For Canada I’ll defer to any actual Canadians. I live in the US, and do have a little sense of the history here, although I didn’t grow up here. Historically, it was the case in the US that French was a very common second language in elite education, and that France was romanticized as the source of culture. There’s a specific obsession with Paris — you can see that image of the city in films like An American in Paris, and — to pick a reference that’s very appropriate on a Chaosium forum — Chambers’ The King in Yellow. I think a lot of this is a direct inheritance from English attit
  18. These things are very different for speakers of different languages, too. If you are a native speaker of English (I and all of my players are), Norman French can be a significant marker that says, “This is medieval!” There’s a whole set of romantic ideas about England in the Middle Ages that dropping into it evokes. Plus, there’s a really gut sense for the English-speaker that goes beyond that that French=high status, the language of the educated, aristocratic. Speakers of lots of other European languages have those general associations with French as well, of course, but it’s really
  19. Yes, I use a lot of the Welsh names from there. The various spellings are particularly helpful, as you can have several different versions of the same name for different characters. (I’d also suggest that people look at the list of Ogham names if you want a resource that lists what Irish names would actually be like in the 5th-6th century.) What would also be useful would be a thorough account of the different ways in which medieval romance invented all those vaguely faux-classical names and other made-up names that were never actually real names. There are an awful lot of those in the
  20. Yes, and one wants to be somewhat careful in modern French with a word that once meant “to kiss”...
  21. People here may well know all about this already, but in case you don’t... So, you’re an English-speaking Pendragon player or GM, and you want a knight to be “le [fun Old French adjective].” A really useful resource here is the Anglo-Norman Dictionary, which can be searched for free online. What makes it particularly useful is that you can search the modern English translations of words: https://anglo-norman.net/search/ All adjectives will have the headword in the masculine singular*, suitable to be attached to a male knight. You will have to do a bit of work if you want the
  22. I really like the idea of having the players be squires through the death of King Ambrosius, so that their careers as knights coincide with the reign of Uther as king. One thing I noticed playing through the BoU before the GPC is that one needs to give some thought to 485, since it is so thoroughly designed as a “training wheels” year. The Marriage of Count Roderick helps a little, because if you run the Skirmish at Allington in 485 in that context, while it no longer serves its intended function as an introduction to deadly combat with other knights, it works excellently as the opening
  23. I think that’s an interesting one. Looking again at the passage in Book 8, Teucer responds to Agamemnon’s praise by saying various things. But at the end Teucer says that he hasn’t yet shot the “raging dog” Hector, and the narrator goes on to say that he was eager (that his thumos was impelling him) to shoot Hector. (Which he fails to do, and Hector throws a rock at him, ending the episode.) Hector definitely counts as a major hero, so that would suggest to me it’s not the case that killing a major figure with the bow wouldn’t count at all as a source of honour, but that it would count
  24. Teucer is probably the most major hero on the Greek side who’s primarily defined as an archer, and he’s given a special archery-based aristeia in Book 8. But he’s given a hard time for using a bow in Sophocles’ Ajax (admittedly by Menelaus, who is a %^$# in that play), and while that’s later, there are traces of a disdainful attitude towards archery in the Iliad, specifically in Diomedes’ words to Paris in book 11. That being said, Agamemnon praises Teucer in very honorific terms in book 8, so any disdain for the bow can be overcome by the simple and very Homeric method of killing enough peo
  25. You might want to modify the archery rules quite a bit in that case — they’re really designed for a game in which they’re something for GMs to use against players, and they’re well-designed for that purpose: straightforward and efficient, without having to remember or look up very much. But they’re not really designed for players to use and find interesting. At least for me, an awful lot of the appeal of the combat system lies in the opposed roll, which gives a great sense of two warriors clashing and allows for meaningful partial successes. Beyond that, you have meaningful special tact
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