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Morien

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Morien last won the day on July 31 2019

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About Morien

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  • RPG Biography
    1989 D&D, the original one.
    1990s Other RPGs to follow.
    1995 GURPS. Lots of GURPS.
    2000 Pendragon. Lots of Pendragon.
    2010-ish Becoming active in Nocturnal's Pendragon Forum.
    2014 Starting to help out with the publications & erratas as part of Greg's 'Household Knights'.
  • Current games
    GMing one GPC Pendragon Campaign, and another campaign in Middle-earth using Pendragon system.
    Playing in a couple of GURPS campaign.
  • Location
    Barcelona, for now
  • Blurb
    To be honest, I chose my username based on an old RPG character of mine, not because of its Arthurian connection. I am a pasty-white Finn, actually. :P

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  1. Simple option, just reduce the squeeze damage by 1. I think we had a discussion about the BotW's squeeze damage being a bit high as it is, if you search the forum. As it is, Squeezing is probably a stupid idea, whereas it works better as a temptation. So I could even see an argument lowering it by 1 regardless and then lowering it a second time during Anarchy if you have to pay tribute: the peasants realize that this is to avoid their huts being burned, so they might grumble a bit but they are not about to abandon their homes and fields over it, since it is probably as bad if not worse elsewhere.
  2. No permanent damage. It is simply render that would normally go to the lord and now doesn't. Squeezing is getting extra from the peasants. That being said, I would lower the permanent damage from squeezes during Anarchy: things are bad everywhere so better to stick with the lord who is not a total psycho.
  3. Thanks for the clarification. I was already a step further which was basically not giving any or very minor cultural skill differences. Let the Player decide what kind of a Saxon he is playing, I say, rather than locking him/her in to be a Great Axe wielding boatsman. Heck, the Berroc Saxons have been living inland (albeit alongside Thames, admittedly) for almost a century by the start of GPC!
  4. Yep, now you got it. As for DEX/2 +0 or +3 or even +5, all of those would be fine by me. Even +5 would just get DEX 20 guy to 15, which is still OK.
  5. I allow splitting, but the secondary roll is purely for defensive purposes only. You may block one blow with your shield while skewering the other guy with your lance, but no skewering both of them on a charge.
  6. Like Tizun Thane already said, most of the actions where DEX is used are actions that the PKs will avoid like plague, since the -10 to DEX from armor ensures that they will fail. This leaves the avoiding knockdown as the main use for the DEX, but here is the kicker: SIZ is better than DEX for that, too. And most of us know that, so if one is doing the point-buy method (the standard in KAP 5.2), a more typical PK is SIZ 18, DEX 9 than SIZ 9 and DEX 18. ONLY looking at knockdown, we have these odds: Damage less than 9: Neither knight suffers knockdown. Damage 9-17: DEX 18 knight has to roll and has 10% chance of being knocked down. SIZ 18 does not have to roll, so 0% chance of being knocked down. Advantage: SIZ 18. Damage 18-35: DEX 18 automatically knocked down, since this is double or more his SIZ 9. SIZ 18 gets to roll his DEX 9 and has 55% chance of falling, which is better than 100% chance of falling. Advantage: SIZ 18. Damage 36 or more: Both automatically knocked down. As you can see, there is NO damage range in this scenario where DEX 18 is a better build for knockdown than SIZ 18. If we widen the comparison, SIZ gives HP and DMG, too, both of which are invaluable in combat. Indeed, if the two have, say, STR 11, SIZ 18 has DMG 5d6, which gives about 50% chance of an automatic knockdown on SIZ 9 guy (rendering his DEX 18 useless), while SIZ 9 guy has a puny 3d6 damage, which only has 0.5% chance of even triggering a knockdown roll. Even if the STR is raised to 12 and hence 4d6 damage for SIZ 9, this only gives a 15.9% chance of triggering a knockdown roll on SIZ 18 guy, making that DEX 9 come to play only one sixth of the time. What does DEX bring to the party? The use in climbing, sneaking and such, which have already been noted being something that the PKs avoid like plague anyway, and even DEX 18 guy would have 60% chance of failing in armor. No thanks. There is the movement speed, but given the divisor of 10 and rounding, it is very easy for a SIZ 18 guy to just get enough STR to make his Move 2.5 -> rounds to 3 (STR 15 in this scenario, leaving DEX 18 SIZ 9 guy at Move 3.3 = 3, and DMG 4d6, both suboptimal builds). And this gives SIZ 18 6d6 damage, too, knocking SIZ 9 flat on his back automatically about 80% of the time. This is why many of us feel that DEX needs some kind of a boost to make it a more worthwhile investment. For example, making physical skills have starting values of DEX/2 in the character generation means that if you invest in DEX in beginning, you will need to invest less in skill points later on, meaning those saved yearly trainings can go towards boosting your STR or CON instead. And hence make DEX less useless.
  7. Yes. I was speaking more generally, as in what I would do in any campaign situation. Since your PKs can muster, IIRC, 11 knights on their own (4 PKs + 7 HHKs), I would be tempted to lower the number of knights the liege provides to 10-13 or so. I normally assume that there are enough young/mercenary knights looking for a lifelong job security that hiring them is not a huge problem. Furthermore, it is possible that the liege has an extra HHK after gifting a manor, so he might have a candidate for the PK, too. It is next to impossible for a PK to afford £20 or so per household knight to equip them from scratch, so I don't even try to impose it on them. Although it definitely would be a money sink!
  8. I'd say in Render since otherwise it is a bit too tough for the PKs to come up with the silver. As for how much its should be, I did give my suggestion in that old forum post you said you read? Generally, though, I think 2 lots is about the way to go (2 lots = £2 per £10 manor). This way, they can afford a single tribute easily enough, but paying two tributes the same year will start to hurt. Totally up to you how simple you and your players wish to make it. We have been doing both: most of the manors are handled as individuals, but one estate is a conglomeration of 5 manors, handled as a single unit. If all the manors are clumped together, it is easier to justify treating them as a single unit. It gets a bit more difficult to justify all of them getting raided by Wessex if you have one manor near the Wessex border and other manors tucked away west of Sarum. This ought to only happen if the Saxons are strong enough to actually force the defenders to stay within the walls of the castles. No worries, happy to help.
  9. Nope. Read the p. 89 again, the right hand column, up top: "Each knight is assigned five household knights..." They also get £25 each for mercenaries and fortifications. However, I would keep the total numbers constant, since otherwise the mission becomes even easier with the number of the PKs. Like if you have just two PKs, they have to do this with 10 HHKs and £50, whereas 6 PKs, in addition of having 6 PKs, get 30 HHKs and £150. That doesn't seem fair. Instead, I would just give them in total 20 household knights and £100, dividing them evenly between the PKs (3 PKs = 7 knights each, 4 PKs = 5 HHKs each, 5 PKs = 4 HHKs each, 6 PKs = 3 HHKs each...). EDIT: Of course, if your PKs already have a host of HHKs of their own, and money to burn, then I would lower the liege's contribution even more! Lets see you spend those libra, gentlemen! This of course makes it more worthy to hand out gift manors afterwards, if they win, since it is more of their own success rather than just riding on the liege's benevolence.
  10. Yep, it is per manor. This caused much bitching and crying by the PKs during the Anarchy. Also, do take into account that you are supposed to bring a knight PER MANOR to the muster as well. So if a PK has 4 manors, he'd better have 3 household knights, too (and 2 footmen per knight). As per BotE/W economy rules, you are only pocketing 10% of the money (which comes to £1 per manor*) to use in your own projects, not the full £6 manors in GPC. And if you go by the strict rules, this is in food, which is good only for a year. Then it is gone, unless you trade it in for treasure at 2:1 exchange rate. The PKs do get a boost to their Standard of Living too, though: SoL = £5 + 10% of the income, so a 4 manor (average £10 per manor) knight would have Standard of Living £5+£4 = £9, which is good enough for Rich. (Then again, I am personally against the standard of living modifiers in childbirth and child survival, so it is just extra Glory and a minor courtly bonus for us.) So it is much harder to get very wealthy, especially during Anarchy, even with multiple manors. It is not free money. * If you are using the £6 manors, then 1 household knight = £4 expense, and 2 footmen = £1 expense, meaning that you are left with £6-£5 = £1 extra money per year. BotE/W is a bit more generous than this, but if you have been using £6 manors, this is an easy way to explain where the rest of the money goes.
  11. Greg made the distinction between KINGDOM of Cornwall (its own kingdom) and DUCHY of Cornwall (part of Logres) already back in GPC (p. 25-26). The map in p. 35 makes this absolutely clear, as does the text on the same page: "It is noted before the battle that some of Uther’s vas- sals did not show up for the muster. Among them, the most prominent absent lord is Duke Gorlois of Cornwall." Among them, i.e. Uther's vassals, the most prominent absent lord is Duke Gorlois of Cornwall. Ergo, Gorlois is Uther's vassal. There has never been any confusion about this in GPC, for example, Gorlois' 485 write-up in Gamemaster's Characters: "Lord: King Uther". Book of the Warlord and Book of Uther are even more explicit about Duke Gorlois being a vassal of the King of Logres. Also, BotW has this to say about Gorlois' dominion on the Cornish peninsula: "He has taken much of the Cornwall peninsula from King Idres and guards against incursions from the Irish." That is why we put that into SIRES, since it was already stated in BotW. And it nicely helps to explain why Idres is so eager to reclaim it, during Anarchy.
  12. Only problem with that is that it again makes DEX nigh useless as far as weapon skills are concerned. Pretty much all PKs start with a melee weapon skill at 15, so unless your DEX is over 16, your skill default is better than your DEX/2 default. I'd be more inclined to go for a straight DEX default, max = best weapon skill, in that case. So if you have DEX 20 and Sword 20, congratulations, you have 20 in all melee weapons. Most knights with DEX 10 would just have a default of 10 in all other weapons. Or to make it a bit more balanced, maybe the average of DEX and Weapon Skill and then -5? So the God of Dex above would have (20+20)/2-5 = 15, and a normal new knight would have (10+15)/2-5 = 8. A barely qualified newbie would have (10+10)/2-5 = 5, and an older veteran knight would have (10+20)/2-5 = 10.
  13. Oh, excellent! No worries, then. Carry on! Assuming these are first generation PKs, they will be croaking soon from aging rolls and the like.
  14. As I said, it is your game, and GM it any way you like. That being said, in my campaign Roderick doesn't have spare manors to hand out in droves. After all, the chances are that if the PKs do something whilst they are in their 20s (most of Uther Period), then there are probably dozens of knights in their 30s who are doing even better. It needs to be really exceptional for the PKs to merit a manor, like saving Roderick's life or something like that. Capturing Octa or killing Gorlois might be worth a reward from Uther, but not from Roderick. In our campaign, I rewarded the PKs with a manor each (two for the one who landed the killing blow) for killing Gorlois, but the lands were in Tintagel County and got lost when Cornwall conquered that county. Another nice trick is to give the PKs GIFT manors, rather than GRANT manors. Gift manors are held only by the original recipient during his lifetime. When he dies, they revert back to the liege; they are not inherited. This means that the PK pretty much has to earn every manor twice: first to get it gifted, and then to turn it into an inheritable grant. Yeah, I hate giving heiresses on a random roll. Sure, they can woo the heiress all they like, but unless they do something major for the liege lord (who is likely her guardian and hence decides who she will marry, the heiress herself gets little say), a marriage isn't going to happen. Heiresses are one of the main ways for the liege lord to reward a full service from a loyal, heroic household knight, which also means that the other household knights will strive to prove themselves loyal and heroic to win such a price. So it needs to be something exceptional on the part of the PK. Just doing well on the battlefield in general is not enough. Right of conquest, in the middle of the magical forest, and no loss to the countess. This I approve. Of course, since it is isolated from the rest of the Salisbury, all sorts of things can happen there and it will take until the PK returns to check up on things before he finds out what has happened... Fair enough, assuming that these were one each. But these could have been gifts (see above). Yep, again this was no loss to Ellen, although technically, this would make Ellen a vassal of Ulfius. The manor is still part of Ulfius' grant from Uther, you see. Ulfius doesn't OWN the land, he is just a vassal of the king in charge of the land. It is a bit strange that Ulfius would hand a manor over rather than just the knight's head, especially given that Ulfius was happy enough to let Blains of Levcomagus feud with Roderick over a decade... But maybe Ulfius really needed Salisbury's help with something, especially if he was getting pressure from the Angles and Essex? So yeah, other than the original battlefield manors and the random heiress, the rest of them sounded reasonable enough. But do note that they can come with strings/complications attached, such as Medbourne getting attacked by some bandits/monsters/faerie in the Forest Sauvage. Also, I hope you have been clear that the Saxon tribute is PER manor, not per PK? That is something that really made my players groan with dismay during the Anarchy.
  15. May have 10 knights under him. Estates do not come in a single size. And technically, a £100 estate holder will have 9 knights under him, with himself being the 10th, if we are nitpicking.
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