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Merlin Monroe et alia

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  • RPG Biography
    I'm a castmember on Show Us Your Crits!'s adult stream (currently running a Shadowrun game called Neurally Ambiguous: Geppetto Must Die) and an RPG blogger and writer.
  • Current games
    Shadowrun, Pendragon, Vampire 5th
  • Location
    Oakland, CA, USA
  • Blurb
    RPGs were the first place in my life I I found where I could believe that anything, including me, could be real if I wanted it to be. It has been, literally, a lifesaver and I'm starting to try to give back

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  1. Do please send me the map when you do, if you would! What year in-game would they have come into being? Female knights would play into a big theme of my game (since my two ace players, one cis-ish and one nonbinary, both created ladies-masquerading-as-knights ~ Sir Briant took her dead brother's name to prevent an evil Aunt from taking the family estate and Sir Jasper was told by the Cymru that adopted her that she had to pretend to be a man in order to be sure of inheriting his manor) Do you know where I could get a quick breakdown of the character and their themes? I'ven't read the Faerie Queene yet. Also, when does Artgualchar become the earl, is that an identifiable thing? Thank you, all three of you for your responses!
  2. I'm wondering about building up the background of Sir Sansum ap AElwyn Wuerense, called the Stormcloud, the step-father of one of my PKs, Sir Uhtred mac Doughall, called le Beau. Is Wuerensis ever detailed in any of the books? Online resources? Or are the scant bits in Book of Uther all/most of what I have to go on?
  3. I think the difficulty is that I'm having trouble finding the action of Trusting-vs.-Suspicious conflicts. Like, when I imagine various and sundry scenes in which I might want someone to make a rule, I find myself asking "Can you?" questions (which are Skill questions) rather than "Do you?" questions (which are Trait questions ~ mebbe also Passion questions? *shrug* I dunno, Passions are my biggest GM weakness atm).....
  4. I'm having some trouble figuring out how to set up a Suspicious v. Trusting dilemma/challenge.... How do y'all do it? What are some good examples film y'all's games?
  5. oof. Player Knights will be the death of me, in all the best ways. We're in 480, the first year of the Book of Uther. Revna Friggasdottir of Skane, a.k.a. Sir Jasper ap Hewgon, who was told by Merlin the Magician that a new type of warrior was coming whose power came from the force of their virtue rather than the strength of their arm, and that he was the first, the Knight of Women, struck down the newly minted Sir Madoc ap Uther ap Constantin within a single medieval hour of his recognition by his father. Why, you might ask? Because his second in the Knighting Ceremony was Sir Gouvernail, who had struck Jasper down before he called upon the power of his goddess to rise him up and strike Gouvernail down for his continued attempt to slake his thirst upon the ahem virtue of a servant girl. So, this session, they arrive at the battle-camp near Bodenham for the Battle of Salisbury, and a deathly ill Aurelius Ambrosius summons Sir Jasper to his tent. Where he proceeds to yell and rage at the Cymru-adopted Northman for slaughtering his way up Aurelius's family tree. After some quite skillful oration on the part of Sir Jasper and his friend Sir Briatn ap Gerin, styled of the Open Hand, the High King relents and scars Sir Jasper's face (quite consensually) to balance the scales. Jasper being so happy and willing to do it as a way to make things right (cuz Northman, duh) really made it hit extra hard when I as DM stepped in to say, "And with that wounding of the Knight of Women by the High King, Guinevere's marriage is doomed." Anyway, Revna proceeds to use the blood to bless the High King with healing.... ....and crits the Generous roll!!!! I left it somewhat ambiguous, but/and it's gonna feel hella cheap and deprotagonizing if I let Eopa just give the Pendragon a higher dose of stronger stuff and kill him anyway. What do I do??? How do I get rid of Aurelius Ambrosius to allow Uther his reign? How does everything change if Sir Jasper has saved the Pendragon's life? Any ideas?
  6. I can't believe I didn't think of this earlier this month ~ does "The Matter of Pride" strike any ideas in you? Say.... 1945 (with the return from the war) to 2025? (80 years, the same length as the GPC). Family lines sometimes hereditary (cuz queers do child sometimes, whether the usual way or by adopting) but likely more love/relationship based (my PC is the lover of the lover of the lover of my original PC). Pride switching off with Valorous as the primary Virtue of knighthood, romance existing alongside playing home (a.k.a., gentlewomanliness) and fierceness (a.k.a., chivalry), etc.
  7. Considia Apis Though everyone knows the truth of considia’s parentage, without the Pendragon’s official recognition, it matters only in Aurelius’s doting on this third daughter of a lady-in-waiting of Bees Clearing manor in County Ascalon, near the border with Cornwall. The gossips say that her father merely wants to protect her from the roughness of her uncle, the current heir apparent. Uther is a sweaty, mighty-thewed terror on the battlefield, not an ambitious politician, but perhaps it is indeed best for Considia that she not be between him and the throne, should anything happen to Aurelius Ambrosius. Her cognomen is a bit humorous, considering her home. That was merely a side benefit of the name, however, as it was a name given her for her legendary work habits. A beauty of twenty-four years upon this earth, she stands as an inspiration to most of the inhabitants of Logres, of any gender, and a shame to the rest. In truth, she has a poor reputation among those who have worked with her. Though her domestic skills are impressive, her opinion of them is moreso. Well, to speak more honestly, it’s not that she thinks overmuch of her own skills, but that she thinks overless of the skills of others. The highest compliment she has paid to another women was concerning her very own sister’s needlework: “It’s good,” she said, “but not perfect; would you like to know how to do it better?” Most often, she is of the strident and vocal opinion that others’ efforts are only inhibiting the work. It’s probably just as well that she can (and does) leverage a well-developed understanding of the law, mos maiorum, and customs of the court to avoid working with others, as few want to work with her,. That being said, the old wagtongues whisper that she is a treasure of a wife hidden in plain sight, who will be a blessing to whoever can win her hand. Considia keeps her ash-blonde hair in a simple, practical style beneath which her brow’s constant furrow can be seen and her blue eyes can focus on whatever her long fingers and visibly strong muscles are doing. Her hate of the Irish is as fiercely burning as any Cornish Knight, and is matched only by her loyalty to the High King Aurelius Ambrosius Pendragon, though both are tempered somewhat by an honor that is nigh unimpeachable.
  8. Tulliola Rufa Gnaeus Asinius Agrippa, at home in the wilds as is everyone in his family, served under King Vortigern as a scout during the Pictish invasion of 444 and 445. This allowed him, alone and unarmored by the domestic faith of his battlemates, to witness the strange rites of those diminutive foreigners. To this day, tales are told of Asinius Agrippa’s mercy, as he saved the life of a Pictish Druid in order to learn of their gods and spirits and ways. The druid spoke well, and Agrippa took on the Heathen worships. A tiny little wisp of a thing, the 16-year-old Tulliola is the fourth feminine issue of his first son’s loins, and maintains to this day the foreign rites common in her family. All of these names are familiar to the Pict-descended Sir Uhtred mac Doughall, styled le Beau ~ His own stepfather, Sir Sansum, called the Stormcloud, is descended from Gn. Asinius Agrippa’s first cousin. Tulliola’s brilliant red hair has caused much stir in her short life, with clucktongues whispering of beastly sexual desire and moral degeneration, spinning tales of Satan’s touch and a vampiric witchery. No few of the more boorish knights have opined that this rumored lack of inhibition might be a fun diversion, for she is known as a beauty. Her blue eyes and patrician nose regard all this fuss with a quiet stillness that is otherwise quite unknown on her expressive countenance and a silence that contradicts her reputation for speaking the Gods’ truth at all times. If Sir Sansum’s dislike of the Picts is a common affliction in his line, that perhaps is the best explanation for the poverty of Tulliola’s family, a marked oddity amongst the wealthy lords and ladies that attend upon the Pendragon. Their shared Roman culture, ever rarer in Logres with each passing year, perhaps explains her presence, in turn. The situation has left Tulliola with a shrewd eye for quality, carefully selecting every item and experience to be the absolute best of that thing she can acquire ~ knowing that she cannot fill her life with luxury, Tulliola wants those fine things she can acquire to be as fine as is humanly possible. Though she is known to be an ideal of service to her liege lord (the castellan of Warcastle in Wuerensis) and of a lady’s honor, both fade like stars in the dawn before the love she feels for her father, her family, and her ancestors.
  9. Estrigyr ferch Nadwg, called the Stone Wall Mentioned in the same breath as Barrok’s eligibility is that of her constant companion, the deaconess Estrigyr. Her high cheekbones hold up hazel eyes that seem always half-closed, and her voice soothes the skin itself like silken velvet. Those boorish knights wont to categorize the ladies of the court by their hair color have oft suggested that Estrigyr is the prettiest of the dark blondes in the Pendragon’s court. The late-born 6th daughter of the Hertfordite chamberlain, in a family line littered with clergy and theologians, much hope had been placed upon her to be an exemplary wife like her five older sisters had been. She disappointed every wagtongue who burdened her with those expectations; a gentlewoman she was decidedly not. Those tongues soon turned from wagging to clucking, and that clucking grew louder when a pestilence struck her manor and killed her husband and children, leaving Estrigyr the only survivor. The hardiness thus displayed, and perhaps other qualities as well, have earned her the epithet “the Stone Wall”. Faced with disapproval and rumor, Estrigyr sought and gained ordination as a deaconess and an appointment to a quite minor position in Aurelius Ambrosius’s retinue, hoping to wiggle free from her past and her grief. It is in that office that she was assigned to Barrok when the younger and foreign girl arrived in the Pendragon’s court as a catechist and a teacher. In this, she has found the success she needed to push back against the evil stories that haunted her, for she is, if anything, more of a scholar than her student. Her library is starting to become a legend among the nobles surrounding the High King. Knightly jokes portray her as cold and uninterested in all the usual tactics knights employ to win the favor of their chosen ladies; the more compassionate stories say that she remains faithful to her dead husband. A very passionate woman, noted for the fierceness of her matched love of her family and loyalty to her lord, as well as the fervency of her welcome to any who might need it and the impregnancy of her honor, she is almost never seen outside the company of her young charge, than whom she is half again as old.
  10. One of my Player Knights, Sir Daerid ap Doraine, called the Benevolent, recently had a drunken dream in which the faceless horde of courtiers in an abandoned castle failed to remember him. Outside there was a tree, a family tree he knew in that dreamlike way, his family tree, withering and unhealthy, clutching a Saxon's ax in one branch. He then noticed that his arm had become a branch of its own and, upon being urged to "prune the tree", he used a Briton ax to chop it off. His fellows, hearing him relay these phantasms upon awaking near the end of their first royal Pentecostal feast, have decided to arrange for him to find a wife. Well, the Pictish Sir Uhtred mac Doughal, called le Beau, and Sir Briant ap Gerin, styled of the Open Hand, who at a young age took her dead brother's name to protect the family from an evil aunt, have decided this. The Northman Sir Jasper Friggasdottir (yes, that last name is correct), the First Knight, the Knight of Women, is too busy between hooking up with Sir Jareth the Goblin Knight and discovering that the consent-challenged knight he near killed earlier in the court is the newly recognized Prince Madoc ap Uther's friend and second in the Knighting Ceremony. Sir Uhtred will spend the next feast round gossiping to discover the eligible ladies of the court, so I'm randomly creating a bunch of lady NPCs to list out as potential wives for Sir Daerid. I thought I'd post what I create here, for commentary, the amusement of others, and feedback. First up: the Lady Barrok bint Bazzu bint Amacei bint Ihtizaz al-Durr umm Shuruq Barrok is an aristocratic 16-year-old lady from the great capital city of Zazamanc, Patelamunt, which is famed for its sixteen gates and many magnicent gardens which are watered by several wells within its wall. Her ever-gentle and ever-soft hazel eyes would draw the gaze of any who looked upon her countenance, if not for the gleaming gloss of the brown hair above it and her dark skin ~ she is known to be pretty, but is often overshadowed by the truly ravishing ladies in the Pendragon’s court. The fifth daughter of a petty nobleman of unremarkable wealth in North Africa, she has only quite recently arrived in Aurelius’s court, telling of years of siege stretching along her youth and a desire to put many miles between herself and her memories of Patelamunt’s glories sullied by desperate need. She rather quickly adopted the Christianity common to her new home. Despite her strange cultural ways, her scholastic nature, and her strident advocacy for the honor of the Saracen, her reputation for modesty and temperance has won the newcomer the respect and acceptance of the court. A readiness to distinguish her readily visible love of her family from her service to it has helped, as well, allowing her to dodge accusations of loyalty to strange and untrustworthy foreign kings. She has found that the natural deductive abilities she inherited from that beloved family are just as useful in court as they are while studying the ancient wisdoms preserved by her people. Many a clucktongue has noted that she would make a good wife, perhaps a saintly one if only she could find some focus among the luxuries and writings with which she surrounds herself. Too political she is, say her detractors, and not as focused on stewarding an estate.
  11. The way I'm thinking about it is that we're on the edge of Uther, when the last vestiges of Roman civilization and stratification are giving way to a widespread muck and blood of warlords in pretty clothes. At the moment, the socioeconomic classes are muddled and mixed and fluid, so while commoners did not fight in the melee, knights can compete in the bow tournament. But this does give me the idea of having the knights compete against and maybe get beaten by commoners and have to deal with that..... The Norse(wo)man in my group prolly won't care, but I hope the two Brits and the Pict might get a bit more of a burr under their butt.
  12. How do/would you run an archery tournament? I'm not finding rules for it, but my players wanted one at High King Aurelius Ambrosius's Pentecostal feast (we've been playing for like at least six months and we got from winter 480 to Pentecost. I <3 my players!) It's this weekend, and I'm wondering if any of y'all have any specific or in-depth rules?
  13. OMGz thank you so very much! That's super lovely to know, and I am humbled by your "LOTS of research". At the risk of kicking off another round, do you happen to have any idea where the Victorious Tower should be placed >.< Thanks for pointing that connection out! Withe the speed of our plot, I'll have PLENTY of time to seed this into the campaign! Thank you!
  14. My GPC campaign has been in 480 forever, because my players and I love role-playing it all out. We're finally getting around to King Aurelius's Pentecostal/Easter Court (started last session, continuing this session). I was doing a wee bit of quick prep and realized that a handful of knights who will be part of Uther's court next year but are currently more free agents don't have any sort of home listed. I'm imagining this is intended to allow me to futz things as I wish to, but just to check with those who know more than I ~ does anyone happen to know whence Sir Eliezier the Strong, Sir Llywarch, Sir Caradoc the Thirteenth, and Duke Edaris hail? (that last one might just be me reading too fast, I admit)
  15. I think this was posted to the KAP Facebook page, and someone mentioned that it was a pun ~ the German word for stream, I think? sounds a lot like the word for underpants, and the name of the family or the territory was WHATEVERstream (only in German, obvi). Hence the punny, silly coat of arms. O think they or maybe someone else said that this coat isn't even the only one to use the underpants pun >.<
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