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About Morien

  • Rank
    Advanced Member


  • 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.
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  • 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. Morien

    Winter Phase Summary PDF (in progress)

    I know. I just tried to not distract people with full invective. Not only that, but it very very much undervalues the Wives. After all, if they are likely to drop dead in a few years, there is much less incentive to actually caring about them as people. Or even worse, you put in the time to court them, and then they die on you like mayflies. For instance, there was one NPC lady whom the PK pursued, and wouldn't you know that she dropped dead like a couple of years into the marriage. All that half a dozen years of flirting and courting, gone. In addition, given the murderous child survival rules (fortunately, THOSE got fixed in Book of the Estate), you were looking at only 1 in 4 children surviving to adulthood, on ordinary. This meant that your wife was likely to give you two children before she died, and of those two children, one, MAYBE, would survive to adulthood. So in the end, you had something like 25% chance of a living adult son from that marriage to carry on the family legacy. Not a good thing, dynastically. With the new childbirth rules Thijs and I came up with, the chance of death in childbirth is much rarer now, and hence more of a tragedy when it does happen, rather than 'oh, goodie, I can get the marriage Glory again'...
  2. It is very much OK to ask for advice in this Forum. It is practically what it is for! 1. Hunting on horseback: I think the assumption in the adventure is that they'd be on foot, but many other creatures are hunted on horseback, so it is not unrealistic as such. 2. Charging the bear on horseback: I would not allow this. Generally speaking, I don't allow lance charges in a forest, unless it is along an actual road or a clearing. A game path is twisty and windy enough, and not wide enough to pass the target, so you'd be crashing your horse into the bear. The horse doesn't want to do that! Finally, you'd only use the horse's damage stat for LANCE CHARGES. If you are poking with a spear from the saddle or swinging your sword, you are using your own damage stat. And yes, it should have been opposed rolling, only the winner does damage. 3. Valorous rolls: I wouldn't mandate these for a mere bear, but I could see that for squires, just to showcase how the Trait system works. Trait 16 doesn't make you immune to Trait TESTS, IMHO. It simply means that if you have a CHOICE whether you wish to act Valorous or Cowardly, you HAVE TO CHOOSE Valorous, unless you roll and FAIL your Valorous 16. Example of a choice: "You have the evening free. Do you wish to spend the time flirting with the ladies (check Lustful), booze up with the knights (check Indulgent), attend the evening mass (check Pious) or something else, what?" In this case, someone with Chaste 16 COULDN'T choose flirting with the ladies unless they rolled and failed Chaste 16 first. Someone with Chase 15 could pick it up straight away, and I would require someone with Lustful 16 to choose flirting unless they roll and fail Lustful 16 first. Example of a test: "The sultry lady (actually a succubus) tries to seduce you. Roll Chaste to resist." In this case, it is less of a choice and more of a triggered test of your Trait. It doesn't matter what your Trait is, you are still rolling it. I generally reserve these kinds of trait tests to (semi-)magical encounters, not for mundane ones, which I keep as a choice. Note that many beasts and monsters mandate Valorous rolls, possibly with minuses before you can engage them in combat. These would be tests, too; you have to roll and succeed in Valorous, no matter what your Valorous trait is. Even if it is modified to 1, you can still succeed, despite your Cowardly being 19. 4. GM screen: There is none, but @Atgxtg just mentioned that he is in a process of compiling his own. Maybe he can share it with us once he is done? If you have any more questions, feel free to ask! Welcome to the community!
  3. Morien

    Winter Phase Summary PDF (in progress)

    If you go by the KAP 5.2 Childbirth table, then no. The modifiers you had earlier were the suggested variant childbirth modifiers ( http://nocturnalmediaforum.com/iecarus/forum/showthread.php?2155-New-Childbirth-Table-amp-Blessed-Birth&p=18243&viewfull=1#post18243 ), worked by me and Thijs on the Nocturnal Forum. But they should be used for the rules for Conception and Birth being separate rolls (& tables), not with the KAP 5.2 childbirth table (which, as an aside, I find murderous for the women and very displeasing).
  4. Morien

    Winter Phase Summary PDF (in progress)

    Childbirth modifiers or the childbirth table is wrong. Where did you get this? I don't see the PK squire stuff that was mentioned earlier, but that is good; those rules should be used for PK squires, not for follower squires.
  5. Morien

    Hating Cambrians & Cumbrians?

    The Embassy to Estregales in 494 has some Cambrian tribesmen as guests to King Canan. The Hate might cause some friction there between the guests.
  6. Morien

    Book of Beasts

    I hope David won't nail my hide to the mast for speaking out, but this (having an easy way to scale the size of the animal & its stats based on its size) is something that Greg and I were talking for KAP 6, as well as overhauling the beast stats in general so that they'd be more consistent. Granted, the more fantastical beasts are fantastical for a reason, and not necessarily conform to their mundane counterparts; the poster child of this is the Lion, of course. Derived Stat formulas are not that simple, since especially movement and damage would vary some from animal to animal. For instance, a hoofed animal's kick should differ from the bite of a wolf, for instance. Personally, I am not burning with need for this kind of a book, but I am probably on the lighter side when it comes to beast use in my campaigns, preferring more human opponents. And I am experienced enough to tweak beasts to match what I want them to be capable of doing, or simply to individualize them. And, to be brutally honest, my campaigns already require several sessions for a year, I don't need more emphasis on Hunt to take even more time! I am even condensing tournaments to a few rolls as it is!
  7. Morien

    Hating Cambrians & Cumbrians?

    Cambrian tribesmen are the hill men of Cambria. So you'd be looking at the mountains of Wales, pretty much most of Cambria south of Norgales and north of Escavalon and Estregales. There are some civilized kingdoms out there like Ergyng and Galvoie, but most of them are tribesmen rather than feudal. In Cumbria, the situation is somewhat different, since they become feudalized more fully, too. So the Hatred should probably be for a particular Cumbrian homeland. If you don't mind me asking, in what circumstances did they pick up those Hates? Grandfather died in the invasion of the Picts and the Cumbrians? Siege of Carlion for the Cambrians? I am asking because if you start off from South Counties, it takes a bit of doing to get those Hates otherwise...
  8. Yes. I think Bob's phrasing there was because all of the family history is 'previous history' from the chargen perspective. But yeah, following history might be less confusing.
  9. Morien

    Family history from 480?

    The above two would be easily combined into a single book. After all, horses are beasties, too, and it would give this hypothetical Book of the Beasts some additional material to make it more interesting. It would probably need some more than just the size variants and variety of horses, though. Updated hunting rules, perhaps, and a couple of beast related adventures? Oh, fully agreed there. There is the Marriage of Count Roderick, but it is admittedly more of a string of short yearly solos to enliven the campaign than an adventure by itself. Of course there is the host of 'Tales of...' series and the regional books with adventures from previous editions, too, which is what I am primarily drawing on for adventures, especially in Romance and after. Having some new adventures would be nice, though. Probably the bigger issue is the maps going down to manor-level, or worse, hamlet level. A quick few page blurb on the ruling family and a couple of main NPKs and ladies and clerics would be easy enough, but a full book on every county? That is way too much. That being said, I for one would like to see more regional books, like I have said. Some of these were published, at least in part, in previous editions, like Perilous Forest covering pretty much the whole of Cumbria, and Savage Mountains doing Cambria. But both of those treated the regions more like places for the PKs to visit and adventure in, and then go home to Salisbury/Logres, rather than actually being from the region. Instead, I'd like to see regional books that detail the starting location at least to the level of Salisbury in KAP 5.2, including family history, and then give me support to running GPC from that region instead of Salisbury. Including some local adventures, which can be adapted to outside knights as well. For example, Cameliard and Lothian would be very interesting places to start from, and get very little attention in GPC. Even Savage Mountains and Beyond the Wall pretty much gloss over these regions, and more importantly, are already set in Conquest/Romance phases, a good generation or two after the official starting date. For more Logres-centric game, Lindsey looks like a very interesting region as well, although admittedly it 'suffers' a bit from having its Duke survive, and hence Anarchy is not nearly as interesting as in Salisbury. But granted, you could make the same claim about Cameliard and Lothian as well, and at least in Lindsey, you'd certainly feel the Saxon pressure a lot more, not to mention Malahaut looking at your lands pretty hungrily as well. Speaking of Malahaut, it and Cornwall would be additional interesting starting places, and in Cornwall's case, you could cover both the Duchy of Cornwall and the Kingdom of Cornwall.
  10. Morien

    Family history from 480?

    Heh. That actually happens in 478-479, while Aurelius is busy with his Frisian campaign. And explains why Uther has such an uphill battle to get to High Kingship; a diplomat he is not. In SIRES, only Nohaut and Deira make a peace treaty with Aurelius; Kent does not. Aurelius loses his Continental mercenaries after 469, and many of his veterans go off with Riothamus to die in that ill-fated campaign, which is why he can't simply stomp Kent out. With Cornwall turning from an ally into a distraction, and Kent getting additional reinforcements from the Continent, Aesc launches an invasion up the Thames valley in 473. It is a hard fought battle, albeit ultimately a defeat for the Britons, hence setting up also the Uther - Gorlois rivalry/hatred as Uther blames Gorlois for not bringing his knights to the fight (Gorlois being busy in a war against Idres). The initiative shifts to the Saxons with lots of raiding. That being said, your variant could work as well, although I would expect that Kent would be more aggressive in 471-2 already; surely Aurelius' personal involvement in the Gaulish Campaign means more of his veterans go with him. This would strip more men from Logres, and with Uther's less than diplomatic ways, probably he would have harder time to muster the nobles, especially the semi-independent kings. He is no High King, after all. I have hard time believing, though, that Aurelius would stay missing for 3 years. But I could see him missing for a year, allowing the balance to shift (as above) and for Kent to tell their kinsmen in the Continent that Britain is ripe for the taking, hence the big influx of more Saxons in 473. With Aurelius rumored dead, though, it becomes harder to justify Octa and Eosa staying calm during the 470s. After all, they still have their armies mainly intact. Although I guess that if Aurelius is returning in 471 already, Octa and Eosa can quickly scrap their plans of Malahaut invasion for the summer. In my headcanon, I have them remaining peaceful out of two reasons: 1) They did take oaths to Aurelius (which is also the excuse why they do rebel in 480s; Aurelius is dead so they are freed from those oaths). 2) 'Sibling' rivalry: if they help Aesc stomp the Britons, Aesc will be reaping most of the Glory and benefits, while Octa and Eosa have to bend knee to him. This is the flipside of why I have Aelle staying calm during 516-517; he doesn't want to help the New Saxon invaders to Malahaut, but prefers Arthur and them whittling each other down, so that he can sweep them off the board afterwards. And it almost works: he is the Bretwalda of all the Saxons of Britain at Badon Hill. But in the end, it would be your story to tell.
  11. Morien

    Family history from 480?

    Nice link, although it doesn't claim that Riothamus would be ruling the Kingdom of Burgundy. As far as I know, Riothamus vanishes from History, and we know the names & the descent of the Kings of the Burgundians during this time. There is no space for Riothamus in Burgundy, and it would be quite difficult to make another kingdom in the middle of Gaul, too. Not to mention, why would he? Especially if he is the High King in Britain (or even a King of Cornwall or Brittany), why wouldn't he return home rather than try to take over another kingdom with, at best, a defeated army that probably wants to go home as well? It is not as if he is a crusader in a far-away land, with the travel home too arduous, expensive and perilous undertaking.
  12. Morien

    Family history from 480?

    Minor tinkering such as changing the accounting of the Manors to make them more consistent doesn't matter so much. Even though the 'sticker income' of the manor has increased from £6 to £10, the ordinary knightly upkeep is still £4+£2 for the family, like it was before the change. Besides, I can hardly object to it when I was one of the main guys pushing and implementing the change. I'd be curious to hear more about the impact on published adventures... I do know that the skill (and Glory) levels have changed dramatically from 1st edition to 5th edition; for instance the Grey Knight adventure has Round Table Knights like Tor running around with skills more suitable for a beginning PK in 5th edition! However, once you fix the numbers, the society they present is compatible with the 5th edition setting still. But I wonder if you had other examples in mind to share? I agree that Book of... line is optional (although some are more optional than others, IMHO), but the main point is that you end up scrapping the unified setting and GPC and adventures with alternative takes on Arthur. If Chivalry is not a thing and Arthur is just one of the regional warlords who are ambushing and raiding each other with spear-and-shield warbands measuring, at best, in a couple of hundred men, the society is radically different and the adventures that rely on a set of cultural assumptions of chivalry, amor, tournaments, travel, trade, etc, won't work anymore. Note that I am not arguing that you shouldn't do something like that in your own game. Heck, I have run Rohan mini-campaign & Late Second Age Gondor campaign using KAP system, and it works just fine. But in neither case have I been able to use the published KAP setting & adventure material. I am simply expressing doubt that such a What-If book would gain traction, but then again, I am not an employee of Chaosium, so thankfully, these considerations are not my headache.
  13. Morien

    Family history from 480?

    I doubt there is enough support for something like a Book of What If/Arthurs. After all, as soon as you adopt a more radically different take on Arthur and the history, you end up tossing Book of Uther, Book of the Warlord, Book of the Estate, Book of Sires and, most importantly of all, GPC into the dust bin. And all the other ripple effects on published adventures etc. Not worth it. Instead, you could (and I suspect you already have!) look at other games that do explore different Arthurs, like GURPS Camelot ( http://www.warehouse23.com/media/SJG30-6041_preview.pdf ) which does have Riothamus as Arthur, or Keltia ( http://cubicle7.co.uk/what-is-keltia/ ) or Mythic Britain ( https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/139443/Mythic-Britain ) or Age of Arthur ( https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/111752/Age-of-Arthur?src=hottest_filtered&filters=0_2140_140_0_0 ) for a more Dark Ages Celtic Mythos take. And I am sure I am missing some, too; I was trying to recall one that is basically a hard historical Subroman Britain setting, without the fantasy elements. Granted, I have not played any of the above nor even read the rulebooks, save for GURPS Camelot. Mythic Britain uses RuneQuest 6 (Mythras) system ( http://thedesignmechanism.com/resources/TDM110 Mythras Imperative.pdf ), so it should be easy enough to hack to fit Pendragon or vice versa... Here is an adventure I found online, with a somewhat different Gawaine: http://thedesignmechanism.com/resources/Caves of the Circind.pdf
  14. Morien

    Family history from 480?

    And to Khanwulf's point, Riothamus is also NOT Ambrosius / Aurelius in SIRES, either. That being said, you could easily enough send Aurelius to a continental campaign in 470 with Riothamus, and have Aurelius survive. You could even rename Riothamus to something else, and then pretend that your Aurelius is the Riothamus who gets his ass handed to him in Gaul, only that Aurelius survives the debacle. This would presumably cause some ripple effect on 471 and 472, since one would imagine Aurelius' prestige and manpower would take a hit, too. YPWV, as Greg was fond of saying.
  15. Morien

    Family history from 480?

    Bigger issue for SIRES is that Riothamus is NOT Ambrosius in SIRES, but the King of Domnonie. His death allows Idres to seize power in Domnonie and Cornwall, and also kicks off a war between Idres and Gorlois, without which you don't have the Duchy of Cornwall in its full extent, including Tintagel. So what this would mean in short term is that Britain would be stronger against the Saxons in 470s, since there is no side war going on in Cornwall, and Riothamus is instead a loyal ally. There is also less of a need for a war in Brittany, meaning that Riothamus would be able to rebuild his army much better. But whether this would be enough to tilt odds, who knows? Aurelius is more reactive than proactive in most of 470s, save for the Frisian campaign, which is already a success. The Cornish troops might not make a big difference, if they even get to the battlefield in time. It would be easy enough to kill Riothamus off by 480 at the latest and kick off the Cornish War then, a decade out of date. The only problem here is that Uther has no love for Gorlois, so he might step in earlier to try and rein Gorlois in.