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Khanwulf

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About Khanwulf

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    Senior Member

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  • RPG Biography
    Kicked off with Car Wars in the 80s and Battletech in early 90s, followed by DnD, Paranoia, Marvel and all that through White Wolf products. Last real table play was in 2004, but the internet is good for folks who are distant or mobile. My games are typified anymore by extensive research and writing, especially since they're play-by-post.
  • Current games
    King Arthur Pendragon, Chronicles of Darkness, Marvel Super Heroes Role-Playing (FASERIP)
  • Blurb
    I'm an international development project professional with a business masters who's worked all over the world and acquired odd perspectives on the same. History, stories and the "systems of systems" that make up things catch my fancy.

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  1. Can we spend some days discussing the GPC implications of the Cat killing Arthur and going on to rule Britain? (Per the satirical French story referenced.) I kid. Mostly. --Khanwulf
  2. The knight is assigned to serve as Arthur's almoner for a period of time. Per Book of Uther that is usually a cleric's job (the normal one can act as a mentor for the knight, instructing him on discerning generosity), with a key trait of Spiritual, automatic check to Generous and opportunity roll to Religion. That'll teach 'im! --Khanwulf
  3. If you *do* need to humanize the Angles, keep in mind that Duke Lindsey keeps a tribe of "pet Angles" to the east and uses them in his military. They are essentially a variation of the Berroc Saxons. Note as well that the Angles didn't join Hengest's little march north in 469. That helps distinguish them from the Saxons (and Jutes) who make up most of Octa and Eossa's horde. But as Morien points out, you don't send someone with a famous Hate to negotiate with his enemies without trying to manage that first. If the PK's lord wants the mission to succeed (and there could always be the twist that he doesn't), then either removing the PK to other duties or working to disarm his ceaseless rage are reasonable steps. --Khanwulf
  4. Duke Eldol is over there, smirking. Also, you could have a half-fae character or one who's spent some time in Faerie.
  5. You don't even need to go that far: the praying class was expected to be lettered, and the ability to read and write and enjoy "secret" knowledge passed through books by ancient people meant that you were assigned sorcerous powers thereby. It's a reason why Morgan is known as an enchantress: she (of the fighting class, albeit female) spent a lot of time in a convent being taught to read and write and study. Thus: magic! So. It seems the consensus is that a knight who acquires magic items and/or abilities may use them freely in accordance with all knightly virtues without denting his honor. After all, God and his early lords have ordained to provide such tools that their order may be maintained to the benefit of the lower classes (and, of course, the nobles). But learning how to force one's will on the world through arcane means is right out. I'd suppose a magical ability that *looks* like a spell, being used in a dishonorable fashion, might increase the honor hit of that action. Maybe. --Khanwulf
  6. This... this has probably been answered before, but let's discuss. Arthurian legend has a variety of "magic knights"... and then it has magic-using knights. The latter group of sorcerous lancers include the mysterious Menw, who shows up in Culhwch and Olwen to raise a fog at one point. The latter group explicitly includes Gawain, and may include Kay, Bedivere and the like if you hew to Culhwch. It's the express inclusion of Gawain that bothers me a tad. Greg set Culhwch to one side because despite its authenticity as one of the earliest legends of Arthur's court, it doesn't fit with the chivalric practice of KAP. Gawain has magic powers that raise his strength in the morning such that he's mightiest at noon and weakens toward dusk. Now... in KAP's honor loss tables there is '-8 for casting spells' (single quotes because I'm not actually looking at it right now). We can assume that Menw took this hit, and then rolled forward raising Honor at ever opportunity. But what about Gawain? If you acquire a magic power--a secret in Gawain's case known to himself, Arthur and select few others I might add--what kind of Honor hit do you take? Are 'spells' limited to KAP-style magic with life energy and all that? Or is it a broader category of magic in general? Bonus: how did Gawain get his solar superman power? Any explanation? --Khanwulf (PS: obviously in Gawain's case he probably earned his Honor back in an afternoon or something--at least by Greg's notes!)
  7. The Formorians were also inveterate sea raiders. They could easily have--in that same breath--based from a variety of icebergs in the Hyperborean days of Irish myth. But the imagery of an ice-castle carved with Formorian heat rays (see: Balor's eye) melting into the sea as knights run off with its mystic gem (or... cauldron?) is precious. --Khanwulf
  8. There's your reason to have 2+ squires, if you can afford it.
  9. An interesting observation that hadn't occurred to me before, and will be filed away. The Arthurian expedition to the uttermost north (Iceland and Greenland) is fascinating, as it was drawn on to promote English supremacy and claim over these lands. (Along with Scandinavia I might add.) The fascinating bit is that you could get the effect of a ring of islands around the north pole, if the pole mentioned is magnetic and it was located under what is now Greenland--a Greenland absent its ice cap! Scientists suspect the magnetic pole was at one point located under Greenland, so such an echo seems hauntingly similar to the Peri Reis Map of Antarctica free of ice. The "castle of glass" as an iceberg is a very intriguing take as well. Why not? --Khanwulf
  10. Ok, so yes, it generally has been assumed to be actually turning. Though I still am concerned that there has been a misunderstanding of the origin of the turning maze as it was brought into the ballads. French is not at my command, sadly. Caer Sidi itself is conflated with the Castle of Glass of legends as well--always on an island, and thus separated from the mortal world by the sea. --Khanwulf
  11. So, I stumbled across "The Historic King Arthur: Authenticating the Celtic Hero of Post-Roman Britain" (Frank D. Reno) again. And read the bits on fitting the timeline together, again. Interesting stuff. At any rate, we know Greg stretched the timing of the GPC such that you could run one adventure a year and it would more or less line up with several touchpoints. I'm curious where that timeline could be best telescoped in order to fit something more on the order the above book, with the key dates being: 440 - Hengest's landing (second advent of Saxons) 453 - Aelle's landing (third advent of Saxons) 495 or 497 - Cerdic the West Saxon King landing 497 - Badon 518 - Camlann, between Saxons and Arthur primarily I'm not sure that I'll even attempt to use such compression (which would create a dark ages Arthur overlapping with Ambrosius for sure), but this is what the book suggests. --Khanwulf
  12. On the Turning Castle... do you tend to represent that as an actual, rotating castle? Or one that uses or sits within the Celtic seven-turning maze motif? Just curious.
  13. The Dyke has been found to be at least begun after Roman times started, based on finding Roman nails in the lowest substrata. It does seem like a good idea to just call it refurbished by Ambrosius and try to avoid making a big deal of it. The next major utilization might be as Sussex's border. --Khanwulf
  14. Yeah if Greg moved the naming in later books that's fine. The only plausible reason I can think of Ambrosius to build the thing (or even to enlarge/complete/refurbish it) is because of the Saxons coming up the Thames Valley. I'd be OK with the Dike being intact, USED by Ambrosius as a stopgap, and then colloquially known as "his" thereafter, even as other chroniclers call it "Renn's Dike" for reasons. The reading I've been able to do indicate that this is not the only dyke in southern England, and some of them face east-west. It's just the largest linear fortification. There is some acknowledgement that the post-Roman Britons DID build it, but also note that the Saxons seem to have adopted linear fortifications as well as a means of warding their territory from irate Celts. Aside from some bombshell of unpublished observations, this is probably solid YPMV territory. --Khanwulf
  15. Good gentles, forgive me if this has been covered at depth before. Let's talk about "Ambrosius' Dike". This fortification across the north of Salisbury (and beyond) doesn't seem to have much explanation for its naming, and as the timeline has moved backwards into SIRES, the connection between it and Aurelius Ambrosius is more salient to the story. First, we're talking about the Wansdyke, which runs from eastern Silchester all the way past (south of) Bath and to the sea. It's an impressive engineering feat that incorporates Roman roads at some points (road atop the wall). Here's a map: The dashed line here is the Thames River, while the solid line is the Dyke--in some places > 14 feet high in modern times with a ditch 8+ feet deep on the north side, so we can assume the whole thing was intended to be at least three times the height of a man. There are indications from archaeology that the Wansdyke (Woden's Dyke) dates back to Roman times (as if the road wasn't enough of a clue), but what I'm looking for is more input on why Greg slapped Ambrosius' name on it. Did he intend for Ambrosius to have contributed to its construction? Did the High King go for a ride one day and nod approvingly at the wall, saying "nice dike!" and the Count gave it to him? Something in-between? For my own sake I can imagine a brief window after the 473 disaster of Winchester, in which Ambrosius might have more peasant labor on-hand than knights, and desired to throw up a speed-bump for raiders along the north of his rich lands in Salisbury and Silchester. The Wansdyke effectively wards the south downs from incursions originating from the Thames Valley--which means attacks sailing up the Thames and raiding south from it, as occurred following Winchester. If attacks from north of the Thames were the main focus, we'd expect to see the fords fortified (they were) and manors acting as quick-response posts... yet here is the wall some distance south of the river. So... thoughts? --Khanwulf
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