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About Algesan

  • Rank
    Advanced Member


  • RPG Biography
    Pretty much anything from OD&D onwards through the 80s
  • Current games
    Variants of multiple genres using AD&D/OSRIC
  • Blurb
    I'm just here to do some research

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  1. Algesan

    Greg Stafford Condolence Thread

    Condolences to the family and thanks for the times of fun that Mr. Stafford provided for those of us who played the games he brought to light.
  2. Algesan

    Pendragon questions

    Thanks to both of you on this one. I'll shelve it for now. This was just my Pendragon "day" and I was skimming my way through some stuff and taking notes. I'm putting it on my list to poke around for some charts online and see what the accounting they entail is. Having played a number of games with heavy accounting loads, it isn't too bad if it can be automated, but even if it cannot be and the players do want more accounting, then hand-wavium works early on and we can tag on the more complicated stuff later if they want it. Even if they do, the first few sessions would still be about RPing and combat, which fits n00b knights who don't have a wife yet. Thanks again, I'll probably have another question or two next week. Oh, for reference, I'm looking at running the starter appendix in the back of 5.2 (technically as squires, but fully trained ones) and then go into The Great Pendragon Campaign sequence with a knighting happening in there somewhere.
  3. Algesan

    Pendragon questions

    Okay, next question, what is the difference between Book of the Manor and Book of the Estate? Manor holdings seem to be a bit skimmed in the bundles, but from what I'm pulling together, each new player knight has a manor worth a base of 10L a year and only a few potential optional rolls (or luck roll goodies) alter that amount. Not much on how to build the all important fortifications (so the lady waifu can defend against the sieges of villains) or much else. Heh, I know one of my players will go for the 40 year old widow with the five manors available listed among the notable NPCs of Salisbury..... Oh, ugh, this is kind of important, because that one starter manor kinda sorta hand-wavishly covers the expenses of the player (and new lordling) along with his relative knights...and I guess the levies....but if a player does something like marrying the rich widow, now he has a bunch of manors that kinda sorta hand-wavishly cover the expense of the knights running each of those manors for him....but what generates the new income that he is now supposed to spend by "living large" with his wealth? <sigh> I might just hand-wavium all of this into "it kinda sorta supports you as much as you need". Heh.
  4. Algesan

    Pendragon questions

    Thanks, I'm going to be looking at the system more in the next week. Now, I'm trying to play some catch up elsewhere.... Delays in quests/missions are something I'm used to one way or another. Heck, my first "main" campaign ended up on hold for almost a month for a RL issue, which was fortunate since the player had managed to get the unholy crap shot out of himself (in a non-magic, WW2 tech hellhole at the arse end of nowhere) and get sidelined for another month of game time. Soooo, I simply gave him a couple of exp rolls per week in certain skills (book learning types of skills he could study while stuck in the hospital) after he got back some of his lost hit points to compensate for everyone else continuing to do missions buffing their combat abilities. I have time though, I don't see a Pendragon campaign going anywhere until next year sometime.
  5. Algesan

    Pendragon questions

    Haven't gotten that far into the system yet, but I did pick up that players should have an extra character or two rolled up for just such emergencies, as well as simply getting whacked. Although after a few game years that should take care of itself since the knight's first squire should be a knight also, usually having been knighted as a household knight by their "master".
  6. Algesan

    Pendragon questions

    Heh, the reference was more towards the core BRP system where you aren't enhancing skills, but having to figure out exactly what skills to buy.
  7. Algesan

    Pendragon questions

    This one. All I have it the BoK linked, The Pendragon Campaign QS rules, and the two bundles that were linked earlier. See, prayer works, I say "God, I wish I didn't have to spend so much money on this system" and someone links to the bundles in my price range . I don't have any issues with BoK&L from an informational standpoint, it is just laid out so badly compared to BoK. Something has been telling me that 4th Edition was the one I wanted, but surprisingly it cannot be found anywhere on the Net to download for a peek. The funniest part, using the Cthulhu Fantasy character creator I kept coming across these odd Lore skills that I could only link back to Pendragon, especially the 4th Edition. Right now I'm testing character creation and seeing if it "breaks" it to use some of the stuff from the BoK. Much cleaner (in one case) and flexible (in another case). Mostly using the family & inheritance system from BoK and letting everyone be a "knight" without worrying about dates (the game is anachronistic enough, so what's a bit more?) plus adding in the squire training system from BoK. I will be retaining some of the greater info from the BoK&L because it gives more character and the Expertise skills instead of cultural weapons. Will it work? Probably. I really think that in the end it won't matter too much either way. What I'm looking forward to is the potential for: Spring - go to court (or take care of other biz) and intrigue/romance to set up for Summer - quest/big tournament and then Fall - report back to court/go home/tie up loose ends intrigue/romance and ending up with Winter glory, exp, land gains. That sounds like a bit of fun.
  8. Algesan

    Pendragon questions

    Not so much "dug in", I'm only working character creation right now to fiddle with the system. It is something I do, make up the characters to find issues and options, then run a few combats against stock NPCs to get a feel for how the combat works. Yeah, you are right about the multiple publishers. As a side comment on the BRP system itself, the point allocation character creation stinks. It works great if I prebuild or use something like the Cthulhu Fantasy character generator and my players like that just fine. Converting characters over from d20 based systems worked out as well. Allocating points? It was seriously tedious as everyone worried about getting some kind of skill to at least have a roll vs. pushing as many skills to max so they were effective. {shrug} Might just be us, only two of the five us actually create our own Hero characters when we do that system, so that might be part of it, but quite frankly the best way I liked using the BRP system as is was to divide the Professional points by 10 and then give a flat bonus to 10 Professional skills, then divide the Personal points by 10 and pick 10 other skills to slot them in, although you could stack on top of your Professional skills if you wanted to.
  9. Algesan

    Pendragon questions

    I really think it isn't going to be too bad (except the oversimplified "squire" experience in the main book), just as soon as I can write up: 1. Start on page 16, roll or pick starting homeland 2. Go to page 17-X and roll on the appropriate chart for actual home. 3. Go to page ? and roll for this 4. Go to page ?? and look for that 5. Go to page ??? and roll for the other thing etc. Or probably go with shortening up the entire thing by changing up the order to match how players have been filling out character sheets since before Pendragon existed.
  10. Algesan

    Pendragon questions

    Might be, but supposedly the Book of Knights & Ladies is updated to 5th Edition standards and from the layout, look and feel of the Quick Start Book of Knights, I'd say it was based on 5th Edition as well. Ahhh, except for maybe the more straightforward and complete feeling character creation system in the BoK that doesn't resemble prebuilt clones that takes multiple page flips to fill out a number of items on the character sheet. Although there is that difference where quickstart gets a cultural "specialty weapon" and the BoK&L get special skills that replace other skills..... I'll put it this way, I'm almost finished with my 3d BoK&L (mainstream) character when in a similar amount of time going step by step through the rules in BoK (quick start), I'd finished 10 characters.
  11. Algesan

    Pendragon questions

    The problem with the Japanese culture is that it emphasized agility over sheer protection (although this was more of a physical issue that became cultural, Japan did NOT have the mineral wealth or quality that Western Europeans had, but there were cultural issues related to the Orient), so they never actually got to the quality of gear that Europeans enjoyed and the Europeans still emphasized agility, but with less need to dodge every blow. Even then, recorded duels with between Samurai and Portuguese in the Sengoku and early Edo periods tend to record a clear superiority in duels by the Portuguese using both an agility based fencing style and similar heavy clothing for "armor". In fact, it has been noted that Miyamoto Musashi lived in a time and place where he could have trivially observed or come in contact with European rapier & dagger fighting, which some consider might have inspired his two sword style. Personally, I wouldn't run a post gunpowder or Oriental game of any sort without a parry or dodge capability using d100. Pendragon looks like a lot of fun, but it is a rather simple game trying to recreate (somewhat) the life & times of King Arthur from a romantic point of view from 1000 or so years after his possible lifetime. Many of the issues I asked questions about above are all part of the tradition classic Arthurian fantasies and as someone pointed out, they were issues from many centuries later. Heh, the "Norman chainmail" listed as armor for the game dates several hundred years *after* the game's set time line, which is set a century after the classic period for King Arthur.... So, the idea of giving and receiving might blows protected only by one's stout set of armor fits right in...ignoring what we do know about systems of martial arts to fight that including deflecting, parrying and avoiding (dodging) incoming blows. Fantasy for fun instead of reality. It also makes for simpler combat resolution...
  12. Algesan

    Pendragon questions

    Okay, sorry for the rant again. Thanks for the various answers. This does look like something useful for what I want it for, which is a quick break and/or not having to deal with occasional last minute changes in available players in our small group. If someone misses, then so what, the rest go on the annual adventure and everyone can do the winter phase(s) as needed.
  13. Algesan

    Pendragon questions

    Thanks for the replies and the link to the bundles was nice. Solved the economic issue quite smartly. Preliminary review: Ugh. The freebie "quick start" rules worked out real well for me and sparked my interest. (Book of Knights, NOT Book of Knights & Ladies & Pendragon Campaign, NOT Great Pendragon Campaign). There was a clean character creation, although for several reasons it was obviously a bit skimpy, from looking at the full rules, it appears that it was a character creation that would be perfectly usable with the main rules. Then, there was the 5.2....You know, did someone else write/edit the Book of Knights? Seriously. Oh, severely limited scope of character creation too, seriously limited. Usually the "quick start" version is the extremely limited version, not the "core rulebook" version, right? But wait! I can use the Book of Knights & Ladies to expand on the character creation process. (whistles a jaunty tune and dives into the book).....(skims).....(goes back for a closer read)....(skims).....(switches back and forth among pages, notes that virtually all of this dreck is useful AFTER the character is created, but not BEFORE).....(skims)....(figures out halfway through the "local character" creation system there is No Fething Way a character creation process can be filleted out of the mess by printing some of the pages)....(skims further to see if there is anything at all worth it)...(discovers that the character creation system starts about halfway through the section, with more useful but worthless for initial character creation verbiage, but not so bad as almost the ENTIRE first half of the section on character creation) Again, UGH! I'm sorry, this is a work in serious need of editing expertise. It is interesting, appears to be (so far, after that introduction, I'm afraid to claim that it is actually) a clean and functional character creation process with plenty of lore, but I'm still not sure that there aren't critical character points buried in the mass of fluff/lore verbiage that got dumped out first (and had little to nothing to do with character creation). Heh, one flaw that struck me immediately was the sudden appearance in the various Feudal, Tribal, Urban, etc. charts and tables was that the "Knight, Vassal" used in all the other works had totally disappeared from the charts to determine your father's status. Now, it was still there in the definitions and still there for the inherited abilities and gear, but you cannot physically roll a "Knight, Vassal" anywhere in the charts. Oh, wait, useful for me that I happen to know that what Pendragon RPG calls a "Knight, Vassal" is what historical texts call a "Landed Knight" or in the words of the charts "Knight, Landed"....unfortunately, the guys I play with wouldn't have had a clue about that if they noticed, except by process of elimination. That was a mega-facepalm event for me it was so obviously stupid and bad. I'll get over it, I just had to vent when I look over something like this with all its rep (which it deserves a lot of AFAIK now) and see seriously stupid crap like this. The 5.2 rules should have either had the Quick Start version or a set of pregenerated characters should be handed out. Seriously.... No, "make up your own stuff" doesn't cut it with a mature (or what should be a mature) product. That was more for a time when the "rules" from the book were a hodgepodge of stuff that barely worked when it didn't contradict itself or was blindly inserted for game balance and never explained. 1st Edition, not 5th Edition. I see how much of a cluster that causes in games I participate in. If someone starts doing big house rules that contradict the written rules, the best thing to do is to throw away whatever part of the game system that was being "fixed to work right" and not use it for your character, because almost always it is a nerf detrimental to your character and if it is an exploit, then it will be nerfed to "balance it" (idiot, if you hadn't fethed with it, it wouldn't be "unbalanced"!), so why waste time developing it for your character.
  14. Algesan

    Pendragon questions

    Okay, Pendragon looks interesting, but.... 1. The system is meant to be a multigenerational type of game with you starting as a knight beginning to raise his family's fortunes over time, yes? 2. Think I have the overview of each year being a series of actions (short adventures) followed by a "winter" of maintenance. So, how many adventures or events typically are covered during the action part of the year in most campaigns? (I admit, this is sounding a bit like what I enjoy from the En Garde! rpg, not to be confused with the En Garde! tabletop skirmish game, which is a great game in itself.) What I'm looking for here, would it be a decent game playable with a 5-6 hour time slot for each year of game time? Another way, each year primarily several set piece hack n slash (tournament, skirmish/battle, slay the bad guy, etc.) events and one RPing event per "year". 3. Are tournaments as "pro sports" part of the game? Historically, this is what they were, rather violent sport with deaths being very low and having a "circuit" in many areas with poorer knights traveling from one to another to try to gain their fortune. Some even did this, "bought" land and continued it as a way to inject cash into their estates. 4. Given this kind of system, how much can it map over to some historical issues, where an English knight (or minor lord) could end up being a faithful vassal of the King, but also a major lord in France and Ireland? This caused some issues much later in the medieval period where knights were given the option at various times of remaining loyal to their King (of England) or being forced to change their liege to the King of France to maintain their much more extensive estates in France. Yes, this does lead to oddities where minor Baron Billy Bod is also Earl Billy Bod of Big Landia Overseas who could seriously challenge the King (not beat necessarily, but cost him lots of time & money) using those overseas troops and resources. 5. Heh, I can see the issue with armor and mass damage, which plays more to the romance side when actually "knights" of the period were wearing leather, chain and maybe a plate or two (but probably not) with an open faced helm (more than likely) during combat footing, but otherwise ran around with a light bit of chain or a quilted gambeson for armor. Full articulated plate? It makes my question 4 above a LOT more relevant from the historical side, if not so much the fantasy side. Heh, the trope of "knight in shining armor" is too pervasive instead of the reality of "knight in dingy and smelly leather & chain". EDIT: 6. What is with all of these "Book of the ????" I'm seeing on the online sites? Are they necessary? If not, what do they do? Dropping $50-100 on a game to fiddle with is one thing, but I could see that price tripling or quadrupling quickly if all of these "supplements" are considered required. Makes GW look like wimps in the "have to buy all these books to play the full game" mode. SIDE NOTE: All En Garde! the RPG really needs is a decent combat system. I've made a few notes & charts (based on the quick combat system from an old Dragon & the stats from En Garde!) to use the excellent higher level functions of it to create "tactical" results from the various orders each player gives for the month, but haven't gotten far with it since I'm also wanting to integrate the tabletop game (not related to each other, I just love the way that skirmish system is designed) so it can be used for the seasonal campaigns. Actually, I've just had some thoughts how BRP could usefully convert to tabletop stats..... Heh, actually, The Fantasy Trip would probably work even better if you dropped the Wizard half of the system.... Where did I put those books...
  15. Algesan

    If not Stormbringer, what then?

    Ah, the days when 40k Chainfists were middle finger mounted..... But, as you requested