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Posts posted by jmberry1s

  1. The May Babies is kind of weird in that, according to my sources, it's something of a political cartoon. The short explanation is that Emperor Frederick II regained Christian control over Jerusalem while excommunicated, then had himself crowned King of Jerusalem while still excommunicated, and thus technically profaned the holiest city, so the Cistercian monks who wrote the Vulgate created the scenario of the May Babies to critisize this - the paramount monarch (Arthur/Frederick) committing a profane act (infanticide/crusading while excommunicate) at what should be the height of his achievements (Being crowned King of Logres/Jerusalem).


    It is, of course, something that loses a lot of meaning in the modern world.

  2. I saw it, it was good.

    Some things for people who are on the fence of seeing it to note:

    • It's not an action movie as the trailers might imply, but a much more quiet and artsy film
    • It is really, REALLY, surreal, with a common theme from all but the initial act being the film almost demanding the audience ask "Okay, how real is this scene? How much should I take at face value?" From what I understand, this is common with the director
    • There are deviations from the tale, but they are fairly mild and it still hits all the major story beats of the original poem (and maintaining an ironclad fidelity to Arthurian canon is probably a fool's errand in any event).
  3. 5 minutes ago, Call Me Deacon Blues said:

    I was actually referring to something I read about and now can't freaking find... but it was like a stone inscription saying something to the effect of "the warrior Arthur stood here." Something like that? I remember reading an article that said it predated any actual texts we had. Could be wrong, I love Arthuriana but I'm not too up on my ancient texts

    You're most likely thinking of the Artognou Stone:


    Its Arthurian connections have, unsurprisingly, been hotly debated.

  4. I think you hit the nail on the head with Howard Pyle, who was an American. In 1903.


    In other words, a man from a country that at the time had an incredibly Celtophilic undercurrent in its culture. Americans had (and still have to a lesser degree) an obsession with Irish and Scottish culture due to British oppression of the Irish and numerous politicians and businessmen of early days of the US having Scottish ancestry. By Pyle's time, while Arthur was still usually treated as the quintessential High Middle Ages monarch, it was also becoming common knowledge that he originated from the Welsh (Cian of the Chariots, considered the first true "Dark Ages" take on the story, had come out in the 1880s) and Wales, Ireland, same difference, right?


    Obviously, in actuality Welsh and Irish culture are very different and there's no record of the Welsh using a title like High King - the figures who you'd think would qualify, Arthur included, are titled King of the Britons.

  5. This idea was inspired by the Roman War thread, but I thought it would be a useful thread on its own - a collection of alternate ideas on how to play the GPC. As written, the GPC draws from two major, modern influences - Rosemary Sutcliffe and T.H. White, with a bit of John Boorman's "Excalibur" thrown in. While this isn't too surprising - between "The Sword in the Stone" and "Camelot" White's version is probably the most well known take on Arthur that doesn't have the king kill a rabbit with a hand grenade, while Sutcliffe's attempt to provide a historical Arthur looms large in Arthurian fictions, even as many of her conclusions, like the depiction of the Picts, become increasingly dated. But this needn't be the only way to do things. I've come up with a few potential variants:

    • Dark Age GPC: Obviously a way to have a shorter GPC would be to choose your preferred theory and run through that. The "knights" would be milites following Arthur through the 13 battles, possibly fighting on the continent. Passions wouldn't be used since they are very much a Romantic idea, and Picts, rather than being based off an increasingly outdated concept, would have the same mechanics as Cymri. There would be no tech advancement - everyone would stick with the Uther period tech (and even that might be too advanced).
    • Welsh GPC: This one takes from the Mabinogion and similar tales. Passions would be used, but they'd be interpreted differently. This is different from Dark Age GPC above as where that would emphasize "knight" as warrior, this would emphasize "knight" as adventurer - the crux would be going on larger than life adventures, dealing with giants, witches, and eldritch beings, and generally being classically heroic - the characters would probably have supernatural gifts similar to Gwalchmai's ability to run faster than any man alive or Cei's ability to grow to giant-size. Actually, this wouldn't really be a GPC at all, but a way to have a series of semi-related adventures without worrying about a larger plot - Camlann will still happen, but not at any set point.

    Note that if you want to be truly accurate, in neither of the above should stand-ins for the Grail Quest or Guinevere's adultery show up. While the prior did take on elements from Welsh tales later on, in both cases literary historiography has consensus that they were invented by Chretien de Troyes.

    • Galfridian GPC: This is the big and most obvious one, in my opinion. What if the GPC more closely matched Geoffrey of Monmouth's tale. This goes back to knight as warrior - this is very much a war campaign from Ambrosius's death on. This is shorter than the main GPC - it ends at 542 with Arthur's death - since it focuses on the wars against the Saxons and Irish, then Arthur's conquests of the surrounding lands, then the Roman War, and finally Modred's rebellion.
    • Romantic GPC: Like the Welsh variant, this would be more of a series of semi-related adventures that happen to have Camlann as a Sword of Damocles than a true campaign, for this is the Arthur of Chretien de Troyes and his peers - the Arthur whose greatest knights were Lancelot, Gawain, and Erec, the Arthur who first lived at Camelot, the Arthur who witnessed Tristram and Isolde. In fact, if you want to just play the game as intended but ignore the GPC (in other words, how things were presented in prior editions), this is probably the way to do it.
    • Prose-Vulgate-Malorian GPC: I'm listing these three together since it needs to be remembered that Malory presented his work as merely an abridged version of the "French Book" (a compilation of Prose Tristan, the Vulgate Cycle, and the Post-Vulgate). This is the one closest to the actual GPC, but probably use older versions like the Boy King as a base, where the campaign starts in the Anarchy or with the drawing of the Sword in the Stone and Uther is a figure of memory. Likewise, don't bring in information of other sources - there are no Saxons, Arthur merely fights the King of Denmark for ... some reason ... during Lot's Rebellion. The Grail Quest is front and center in this version.

    I may go into greater detail on how I personally would do these, but I'd like to here other's opinions first.

    • Like 3
  6. Yeah, if I was dealing with France, I'd rewrite the situation similar to how Book of Sires dealt with the Welsh Genealogies, starting out as history or folklore describes but changing to match the Romances as time goes on. To wit:

    -Clovis wouldn't be Claudas. While this is a popular association in Arthuriana and shows up in "Dark Age Arthur" style stories, it works there because those stories put Arthur around 480 or so. Clovis is dead by the time Arthur gets going in the GPC, so that association doesn't work in KAP.

    -Instead, assuming one keeps Clovis (and I admit, while writing this I came up with some other ideas), I'd give him only two sons: Claudas, replacing Choldomer (so that he can have Bourges and a border with Ganis), and Faramon, replacing Childebert (So that his lands can have a border with Brittany for Tristram to cross). Chlothar and Theuderic's inheritances won't matter, since Aquitaine is ruled by Ganis here and Germany apparently does its own thing in the Romances.


    As for whether Arthur should conquer France ... no. I'd have Claudas be as he is the source material, a constant enemy, but one who is chivalrous and friendly. I'd go with Vulgate France rather than a mock-up of the HYW.

    • Like 1
  7. 7 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

    If the name is from MS 3859 then he's direct descendant of Llew hen ap Gwydion... which would make his ancestors interlopers in the North, presumably claiming rule via a female line.

    In the Guiron cycle, Lot is illegitimate, and his legitimate sister is the Lady of Nohaut. He is descended from one of the followers of Joseph of Arimathea, Perron, in the Lancelot-Grail. I would make him at least 30 in 510 to give his insult against the 'beardless boy' some meaning. Uriens has adult bastard sons in 510 so he would have to be about 40 in 510 and since Lot was his superior and seeming elder it would look better if Lot was at least a handful of years older than him, maybe born in 465. So 468 isn't impossible...

    Edit: also, the Lady of Nohaut is no older than her 30s in 522 when she meets Lancelot, which implies that Cadlew as Lot's father should really be the warlord in 485.

    Well, Book of Sires doesn't go quite that route - in official KAP lore, Cadlew is the son of Tybion ap Cunedda, and so Lot is kin to the kings of Merionydd. As an aside, Nentres is another great-grandson of Cunedda, although his line seems to be entirely an invention of Chaosium's (Nentres ap Clydog ap Herawd ap Cunedda). Strangely, Uriens isn't listed in either the Gododdin or Coeling family trees Book of Sires gives, although its a simple matter to add his lineage (Uriens ap Cynfarch ap Meirion ap Gwrast ap Ceneu) into the Coelings.

  8. 3 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

    I found it's actually quite beneficial to be generous when considering conspicuous consumption. From a gameplay perspective, it much better to let the PKS spend the money and get a little extra glory than it is for them to horde the money and spend it later. Rich PKs become relatively immune to certain troubles and can exert a strong influence on the game in many ways. I once had a PK accidentally take Levcomagus mostly because he was so rich that he could afford to buy a few hundred libra worth of siege equipment, and it was used quite generously during the (accidental) siege. It would have been much better all around if he had been able to spend it as conspicuous consumption.and racked up another 30, 50 or even 100 glory each year.

    ... How do you accidentally siege a town?

  9. For my own purposes I made him Gorlois's grand-nephew. More specifically I split the game's Cador into two separate characters to deal with the problems people have mentioned regarding his lifespan - Cador, who serves Arthur, and his father, Gereint, who is Gorlois's nephew and presumed heir. Gereint (b. 452) is the one who shows up in the Uther Period and the earlier parts of the Anarchy, and the one who serves as a mercenary against the Saxons until he's killed in 507. After this his son Cador (b. 479) goes his own way for a few years before swearing allegiance to Arthur. Gereint's father and Gorlois's brother, BTW, is named Cynwal, and died in the Night of Long Knives.

    If you want more information (including where I got the name "Cynwal"), that will be difficult - at the end of January a hardware crash wiped out almost all of my documents, a good 16 years worth of writings. The Pendragon family tree I've put together on Family Echo survived (obviously), but a lot of the justifications I had written down will now require me to re-research them to figure out the conclusions I made.

  10. 2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

    What he means is that, as far as Pendragon goes, the HRB is the true history, even when it contradicts what we know to be real events. For instance, Magnus Maximus/Macsen Wledig leaves Britian and fights to become Emperor of Rome, whereas in the real world he is defeated. Brutus comes to Britian, when in real history he didn't. Uther's brother is Aurelius Ambroisu instead of Ambrosius Aurelianus. Whatever the HRB says, happens the way it says, except in the few places where Pendragon shifts the timeline a little, such as the reigns of Constatin and Vortigern.

    Well, if you want to get technical, Maximus was (one of) the legally recognized emperor(s) for three years in the real world. The short answer is his claim was recognized after he killed Gratian, but he only held authority in Gaul, Britain, and Hispania and had to recognize the authority of the other two emperors in their portions of the empire. Then he tried to overthrow Valentinian II as well, at which point Theodosius decided he had had enough and obliterated Maximus.

  11. On 9/18/2019 at 4:14 AM, Tizun Thane said:

    Your campaign sounds like a lot of fun!

    Anyway, for a complete list of round table knights, I almost forgot the  list established by Malory for the healing  (book XIX, chapter XI).

    Malory wrote that there were 150 round table knights total, but only ever named 127, not all of whom may have served at the same time. I've transcribed the list in the file here. Some names are clearly duplicates, some have different spellings than what the standard has become, and some are so obscured even a dedicated Arthurian might not recognize them (Erec, son of Lak, becoming Harry le Fise Lake). And, of course, this leaves 23 knights unnamed.

    Malory's Round Table.rtf

  12. I believe the association with Ambrosius comes from the Wansdyke passing close to sites already traditionally associated with him (Amesbury most notably). I thought there might have been a preexisting folk tale connecting the earthwork with Ambrosius, but a quick google search only brings up sites associated with Pendragon (including this thread), a single webpage, a book written in 2000, and several sites involving one Anthony van Dyck.

    12 hours ago, Uqbarian said:

    Yep, I'd probably go with Ambrosius refurbishing it.

    I wish there were more clues as to who Renn might have been, though. The closest name I can think of is Brennius.

    Renn was an invention of Stafford's as far as I know, an ancestor of the equally invented Roderick (I want to say grandfather, but I can't remember the exact relation).

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