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Ravian

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About Ravian

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  • RPG Biography
    Playing for a while, got into Pendragon a couple years back, finally running GPC.
  • Current games
    Pendragon, 5e
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    Migrant from the Nocturnal Forums

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  1. It was the Roman Silver that Merlin directs Arthur towards in year 510 after the Battle of Bedegraine, aka enough Silver to reward Arthur's knights all with at least 20 libra each, so easily a literal king's ransom worth of silver. The knight was essentially trying to fill his purse with it when he was caught in the act (One of the other knights is famously suspicious so he didn't get far with it) At which point the other knights reminded him of his duty to Arthur, and so the offending knight rolled his newly gain Loyalty(Arthur) passion, which he passed, succeeded, and so came to his senses on how poor a follower he was being (particularly as a virtuous Saxon pagan) trying to line his own pockets and so resolved that he would tell Arthur, beg forgiveness, and ask for penance to rid himself of the shame. On that note I think I like the "accompany the almoner" idea. Nice opportunity to add a little exposition on how even so early in Arthur's reign the land is visibly improving, add a quick fight with some bandits or somesuch, and a couple of trait check opportunities dealing with the almoner's own inclination to skimp off the top. (Likely with the reasoning of who's Arthur going to believe if he tattles? The Almoner, or the Saxon who just got busted for doing the very same thing he's now accusing others of?)
  2. To be fair, dragons' hoards are typically considered to magically compel greed in Germanic mythology. Just ask Sigurd and Beowulf. so I'd say that it's appropriate for the knights to have to deal with that, even if it was only wyverns rather than proper dragons.
  3. Sorry my mistake. I meant he rolled Generous/Selfish and fumbled Generous.
  4. So during the campaign the player knights recovered some silver guarded by Wyverns on a mission for Arthur, but the Germanic Pagan knight fumbled his selfish test and tried to stealthily steal some treasure for himself. The other knights caught him in the act and reminded him of his loyalty to Arthur (a passion check he succeeded on) so it was resolved that he would inform Arthur of his misdeed and request some form of penance to rid him of his shame. The thing that came to mind initially was conversion to Christianity, but I and Arthur both know that may not be viable as the PK is famously pious and an exemplar of Germanic Pagan virtues and Arthur himself doesn't seem incredibly demanding of conversion given his tolerance of British Pagans in the realm. I'm trying to conceive of what might be a more appropriate punishment in such a case as this. Any ideas?
  5. A little curious looking through some of the terms for castles used in the Boy-King Period. What precisely is the distinction between a Square Tower and a Double-Square Tower? All the book states is that Double-Square and Triple-Square offers more defensive value, but I'm seeing little online that seems to imply anything called as such. Is it a reference to size? Or construction, or what?
  6. I'm actually the guy who started that previous Robin Hood thread back in the Nocturnal forums. I definitely been thinking about the need to make armor less vital for survival. Some things that I've conceived/heard have been, use a modified dex as a shield bonus But one idea I like is to do a big switcheroo, and have modified Dex be one's primary armor, while armor provides a shield bonus. So a partial success means you can maneuver yourself so your armor absorbs part of the blow, while a failure means your opponent is able to hit an opening. Maybe include a corollary that these bonuses reflect how Yeomen are taught to fight, agile and on their feet, while metal armor is too heavy for that kind of maneuvering and so knights have to use it and their shields to defend themselves with. Shields could either be ignored by yeomen (which wouldn't be out of genre at all) or provide an additional small armor bonus (likely with the corrollary of being a noticeable weapon of a soldier, cumbersome for doing anything dextrous, and possibly capable of being battered apart. In general it's more likely to be something you grab during the middle of a fight when you have the opportunity rather than carrying it around with you all the time.)
  7. Unfortunately for me the players have a big reason to be going into the Forest Sauvage. One of my players had a female knight who had an affair with Madoc. In order to keep things good for Arther's return, I put a version of the Changeling adventure in wherein their son be kidnapped by a meddling magician trying to get some of that pendragon blood and now hiding in the Forest Sauvage (this will eventually result in him being transformed into an Eagle.) But of course, with an actual possible heir out there that they have some leads on, it's not something they can afford to ignore. That being said I've got my own twist on some of the Anarchy conflicts, that being that the female knight also has two bastard daughters from Madoc of about marriageable age. Cerdic's already tried to offer a pairing between her eldest and Cyrnic (something they very nearly accepted before it became all too clear that Cerdic is no better in character than his father Vortigern.) and her refusal led to Cynric attempting to invade Salisbury. (Fortunately, they had enough Libra for mercenaries to even the numbers and Wessex was a little unprepared for player marshall's famous hatred for Saxons swaying the battle results. But Cynric's aleady developed a hatred for the guy himself, so round two may not go so well for the Player Knights if they're not careful.) I'm planning on Mark to come forward as another "suitor", to try and claim a Pendragon bride by force, and afterwards Nanteleod (or possibly his son, the guy's kind of on the old side to be without heirs.) to try and cement the alliance he's building (Before he's also inevitably killed.) It's going decently thus far, but I do see that the Forest may risk crowding out the politics. I may see if I can wrap it up in a few sessions and leave the other adventures for later after the enchantment formally begins.
  8. One interesting point is that if someone is presiding over a case (as described in Book of Warlords I believe) they get a just check if they come to the correct decision (as in they punish a guilty person or release an innocent person) whereas they get an arbitrary check if they do what would not be appropriate according to the law. The thing that stands out to me is that they get these checks based upon the truth of the situation, rather than just their perceptions of the case. So if the defendant is really guilty but uses trickery and deception to convince the court otherwise, the judge can still gain an arbitrary check if they follow what they perceive as justice by letting the defendant go free. Granted part of what I kind of get is the idea that the law in Pendragon isn't just a manmade thing but something more absolute (notably, if you are in a trial by combat and are on the right side, you actually can get a bonus based off of your Just trait.)
  9. I mean what strikes me is that it's use is going to be simultaneously more niche and more broad than other passions. It's going to be primarily applicable in social situations (Which by and large are still going to be somewhat lower stakes than the pitched combats that most passions get invoked in). That being said, that still is likely to come up relatively often and necessitate a lot of appearance rolls. (Which could get a little tricky to track who likes how each given person looks) Additionally, one other idea came to me when I was looking through Paladin's Attitudes. That being that you could use your appearance as the base attitude, modified by relevant traits. (Eg: the church cares about your lowest religious trait, Arthur cares about your lowest chivalrous trait, the commoners care about you being merciful, etc.) Honestly kind of feels like a missed opportunity when they introduced the whole idea of Attitudes.
  10. I mean theoretically Monasteries can be a fair option to get your kid educated, after all monks are some of the most educated people around. The issue of course is that Constans seems to have taken to the monastic environment too well, and his father never took him out of that monastery, whereas Aurelius and Uther managed to get a solid military education during their flight to Brittany. It's possible that Contantine overestimated how effectively he could craft a stable kingdom during his reign, possibly naively viewing that he could create some New Rome or something. With that mindset, he possibly considered that it would be more effective for his heir to be educated and intelligent enough to maintain the kingdom after he forged it through war and politics. Unfortunately he ended up just creating a bookworm and Vortigern saw that he was severely unready for the practical realities of politics.
  11. Honestly this is probably the best idea I've heard so far as a way to make Appearance useful. Totally stealing this.
  12. I wouldn't likely use this in base pendragon, as you're right knights in shining armor are a big consideration. I've been pondering some various alternate settings where lighter armor might not be such a crazy idea. (Right now I'm looking at Game of Thrones for instance, where heavy armor is still generally going to win out, but there are lighter armored foes that can present at least some difficulty to even a knight, even if they still will likely win out eventually. (Water Dancers and the like)). Mainly I'm thinking this as more of a consolation prize for lighter fighters to keep heavy fighters a little cautious that they won't just mow through them like grass. They'll still probably win, since armor will trump Endurance in most cases, but the foes will still probably be able to survive an extra hit or two, during which they might get that lucky crit in.
  13. So I've been doing some homebrew modifications with the Pendragon system, particularly in those cases wherein armor is considered less essential, though certainly still useful. Ideas have often been tossed around of ways by which this could be implemented. Most notably using dexterity as a sort of shield armor value. But while reading through The One Ring rpg (Cubicle Seven's LotR system) another idea occurred to me of another possible alternate system, as I worry that the "DEX as shield value" idea may make DEX potentially too valuable, since it might actually be preferable for more skilled warriors to wear no armor at all, which while suitable for some genres, can still strain credulity if you're still trying to maintain some realism. So an alternate system is proposed. Rather than a shield bonus, DEX and CON are combined and averaged out to create a derived statistic of "Endurance Points". (Note that I'm still tinkering with that math, and I suspect it may currently be too low). In combat, a partial success means that Endurance points are deducted before Hit Points are, representing the character still being able to dodge and parry to a limited extent to avoid the worst of a blow. On a miss, endurance points are ignored completely and all damage goes directly to hit points. Notably, endurance points recover much more quickly compared to hit points, usually refilling completely assuming the character has had at least an hour or so of rest. Of course, armor being as heavy as it is, it acts as a significant degree of strain on one's endurance. Armor reduces one's total endurance (not totally sure on numbers yet, but likely enough that most heavily armored knights likely won't have many if any endurance points available to them (in order to avoid messing with the expectations of core combat too much.)) So basically the philosophy as I understand it ought to be that armor will be very preferable in most cases, but fighting with lighter armor can be at least something of a viable strategy if you've got the skill and endurance to back it up, though ideally some sort of armor, even light leather suits that won't reduce your endurance too much would be preferable to nothing at all. Obviously this is an experiment in its early stages and the details need to be sorted out, but I'm looking for feedback on whether it could be viable and how those numbers ought to be set to promote the best balance to at least allow a lighter armor build to be useful even for those that could afford heavier stuff.
  14. Thus far I've figured Generous, Honest, Just, Merciful and Modest for the Confucian trait virtues, along with representing Filial Piety as the effective equivalent of the Love (Family) Passion. Daoism and Wu Wei were tricky, lazy was the closest preexisting trait in Pendragon, but it has a lot of negative connotations that aren't present in Wu Wei, so I took some inspiration from the Pendragon Genpei fan site and came up with a new pair of traits, Ambitious and Harmonious. Ambitious characters are more likely to take opportunities that prioritize personal power and influence for themselves (though what methods they are willing to use to accomplish this is likely based on other traits.) Meanwhile Harmonious characters are more likely to prioritize duties and norms even to their personal detriment. So someone like Cao Cao would be famously ambitious, (along with Vengeful, Cruel and especially Suspicious) while Liu Bei, at least early on, would be more Harmonious as he intentionally avoids accruing personal power in the absence of the Emperor's authority. So within that framework, Daoism's virtues are Harmonious, Forgiving, Modest, Prudent, and Temperate. Buddhism also uses Harmonious, as well as Modest, Merciful, Temperate and Chaste (Obviously Buddhism wasn't terribly common during this era, but as they did exist in small numbers in China and some of their neighbors (particularly in the south), I thought it would work well as an option. I admit I haven't actually thought a lot about Legalism, since it wasn't historically much of a philosophy at that point. But you probably are on to something about including it as an anachronistic option (similar to Pagans in Pendragon) given how often Legalist principles are used as the basis for many of the more antagonistic characters in the book (such as Cao Cao) That being said I'm not totally sure what virtues they would have, especially considering that much of it directly rejects the idea of virtue being of importance, instead espousing that the best way to create a society is to create a legal system that minimizes the reliance on individuals. That being said, Ambitious and Cruel could probably be considered appropriate. One thing that I'm doing some work in is some of the character options. Once the game gets going, the military hereditary families that emerged during the Three States period work well for Pendragon's generational play, but at the start you've got characters emerging from a variety of origins, as well as the more meritocratic Han system. Essentially, since the game will largely focus on characters being military officers, it's assumed that any characters you create will end up in some sort of position of authority in the military once the Yellow Turban Rebellion gets started (which seems like the natural starting point for the campaign.) From that you basically either have your appointed scholar-officers (who managed to get themselves appointed after going through the academic system) or more humble commoner squad leaders (to represent characters like the humble members of the Oath of the Peach Garden rising up from modest origins to greatness) Basically you get some starting bonuses based on your starting class (as well as an astrology bonus based on when your character was born) and once your character gets old enough they can start attending some of the public schools offered (automatically if they're from a higher class family, less likely if they start off poor. And impossible for some of the lowest classes.) Formal schooling and informal training both give you skill points, though schooling gives you the option to increase some of the more specialized skills. After a certain degree of schooling, they can start seeing if they've met the standards to be sent to the Academies (which will require some of the more intellectual skills, but will also be easier if you were born in a higher class because neopotism.) If you get into the academy, you get some more skill points and train until you get appointed as a captain, otherwise you do less formal training, join the army, and your character starts when you get promoted to be a squad leader. Hopefully end result ought to be that the Scholar characters will start with more skill points overall, but because of the requirements they had to meet to get into their academy, they'll need to have invested a lot of them in more scholarly skills (which while still useful won't necessarily be as applicable in most of the important battles (though obviously you've got exceptions like some expert uses of the Divination skill to determine when winds will suddenly change in the middle of a battle...)) Meanwhile commoner characters have less skill points overall but will be free to invest more of them into the more obviously useful combat skills by game start. Also considering whether to add a third possible path, based more on the Wuxia concept of the Jiangshu to allow for characters to be raised among outcasts, though that would probably work best for the hypothetical Water Margin supplement (unless all the characters decide to play a group of bandits or something for a very different RotK campaign.)
  15. True enough. I'm not talking about any major overhauls, just a little bit of tweaking here and there.
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