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creativehum

Choosing the First Session Material for the GPC

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1 hour ago, creativehum said:

There is a very good chance the Players won't care. And yet, having spent the time on creating the Family History some of the Plyers might well end up being curious "Hey, who is hanging around this manor I just inherited?"

Well you have a lot of leeway here. Basically the Liege will want to have someone running the place. Partly because it is his, and partly because he owes the PKs father to see that the manor is there for his son (the PK) to inherit.  So you can feel free to pick. Maybe mix and match. A couple of PKs could have Mom watching it, some a male relative, and some see to by someone the Liege appoints. Or just say the Liege or the family are seeing to it.

1 hour ago, creativehum said:

Also, when I was thinking about this, the notion of the Uncle who would rather have had the nephew not inherit did come to mind -- which is why I started thinking about it more.

Well , as the GM you can certainly go that route with one PK, if you  want to. Don't do it will all of them, though. I suggest that if you want to go down that rabbit hole have two PKS who have esquire uncles managing their manors for them. Perhaps they don't get along with those uncles either? One turns out to be a real jerk who tries to do away with the PK so he can inherit, while the other sticks  by his nephew (another PK) but just doesn't get along with him. 

The problems with such a  story line, especially at the start of the game are:

  • that the scheming uncle could actually succeed and that you'd need to start up a new family or let the PK play the bad uncle. 
  • In  order for the plot the be viable, the PK can't have any younger brothers or else they would inherit instead.

 

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To clarify: The "Uncle Plot" would only come about if one of the Players thought of it and asked for it during character creation. (My Players are wonderfully pro-active about creating compilations for their characters!)

And no... I wouldn't have this be the case for every PC. I mean... that would be nonsensical. 

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On the record for keeping track of characters, strong characterizations area must and frequent repetition. When you do a court scene name drop people especially in Uther's time. In Anarchy when there's no King or Earl, then it should be more mysterious. And while you're name dropping, put in comments about their prominent traits (e.g. "Oh, did you hear that another maid in Gloucester had a baby that looked like Pellinore?) Do that with a number of characters. Also, most helpful, we have a lined list that I hand out to the record keeper in the group and they add names, homeland, and a note as they meet people. That has been the most helpful, they've met well over 4 pages of named characters and it's 512 for us. Inevitably, many of them blend together.

As too starting you're game, I would really recommend starting in 484 for you, and when I say that, at 3 hours, you'll get characters made and then I would run through the knighting ceremony with the jump and then run some training session style mock combats and horse races stuff. That'll probably be all you can get. Introduce Elad, Earl Roderick's family, and some other knight to train with them. That way everyone has an idea how to play when you jump into the GPC for 485. My players had a very difficult time grasping the roll under concept. Not conceptually, but in prsctice they started rolling dice and were bewildered because of D&D. Many of them celebrated rolls of a 1 in their weapon skills despite multiple explanations and losses in combat. Anyways, after that tutorial, I'd start following everyone else's advice on the start of 485.

I will also say, if you use the extended family history, you may not even have time for that little. In which case, I would just start in 485.

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More questions for kicking things off.

KAP core rules says this:

Quote

Father Brugyn: The priest of the manor you will gain upon being knighted, Brugyn is neither terribly smart nor terribly holy. He attends to the spiritual welfare of his flock with a businesslike efficiency unstained by either scandal or avarice.

I assume this is an example priest for the manor of one of the knights? Or does Fr. Brugyn do a circuit of all the manors in Salisbury? (This character wasn't in KAP 3rd, so not sure how this is supposed to play out!)

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2 hours ago, creativehum said:

More questions for kicking things off.

KAP core rules says this:

I assume this is an example priest for the manor of one of the knights? Or does Fr. Brugyn do a circuit of all the manors in Salisbury? (This character wasn't in KAP 3rd, so not sure how this is supposed to play out!)

Parishes usually have several manors within them.

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18 hours ago, Morien said:

By RAW, it would only be Mom if she is already thrice widowed. BotEnt: "No woman can be forced to marry a fourth time," and it is highlighted as official errata to KAP 5.1. Until then, the Mom becomes a ward of the liege lord as well. As I said previously, if the Mom is alive, there is a good chance (especially if she is still in childbearing age) that the liege would marry her off quickly to a trusted household knight. Thus rewarding the household knight with a possibility that if the PK snuffs it, the household knight's children might inherit instead (since the Mom is an heiress in this case, as unlikely as that is for all PKs). If the Mom remarries, then it is likely that she and the new husband would be living at the manor and taking care of it.

That being said, even if the Mom is not remarried to someone, it is possible that the liege would let her to continue to look after the manor. It is no skin off his nose, and it would probably ensure that the manor gets more personal attention. However, there are a lot of examples (and story potential) in having the manor entrusted to someone else, who either wants to try and keep it for himself, or is trying to squeeze every potential profit out of the manor before the PK inherits. Such as selling off some of the flocks and so forth, which can then lead to court cases, feuding, etc. That is, if you wish to do it.

I don't think this is mentioned in the rules, but just to add another line of possible backstories, there was the real-world possibility of a widow paying a fine to her guardian so she could marry her own choice of husband, or even to not marry at all.

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11 minutes ago, Uqbarian said:

I don't think this is mentioned in the rules, but just to add another line of possible backstories, there was the real-world possibility of a widow paying a fine to her guardian so she could marry her own choice of husband, or even to not marry at all.

This was often only allowed if she was too old to have children, unfortunately.

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15 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

This was often only allowed if she was too old to have children, unfortunately.

True, that.

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

Parishes usually have several manors within them.

Indeed, though it seems unlikely that one parish would cover all of the possible player manors.

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21 hours ago, Username said:

On the record for keeping track of characters, strong characterizations area must and frequent repetition. When you do a court scene name drop people especially in Uther's time. In Anarchy when there's no King or Earl, then it should be more mysterious. And while you're name dropping, put in comments about their prominent traits (e.g. "Oh, did you hear that another maid in Gloucester had a baby that looked like Pellinore?) Do that with a number of characters. Also, most helpful, we have a lined list that I hand out to the record keeper in the group and they add names, homeland, and a note as they meet people. That has been the most helpful, they've met well over 4 pages of named characters and it's 512 for us. Inevitably, many of them blend together.

As too starting you're game, I would really recommend starting in 484 for you, and when I say that, at 3 hours, you'll get characters made and then I would run through the knighting ceremony with the jump and then run some training session style mock combats and horse races stuff. That'll probably be all you can get. Introduce Elad, Earl Roderick's family, and some other knight to train with them. That way everyone has an idea how to play when you jump into the GPC for 485. My players had a very difficult time grasping the roll under concept. Not conceptually, but in prsctice they started rolling dice and were bewildered because of D&D. Many of them celebrated rolls of a 1 in their weapon skills despite multiple explanations and losses in combat. Anyways, after that tutorial, I'd start following everyone else's advice on the start of 485.

I will also say, if you use the extended family history, you may not even have time for that little. In which case, I would just start in 485.

My group usually spends one night doing character creation.  Usually, we coordinate to ensure we cover all the bases.  That is not always what happens, but most times it does.  In Pendragon, that means we spend a bit of time going over our previous history noting all the names of people, battles, and odd things that we have in common, but also what we don't have in common.  Knowing your fathers were in the same battle and possibly where one died and the other didn't, we look a the glory totals given and create a mini backstory about that battle.  It really gives the players a feel of a group from the get go.

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8 hours ago, Uqbarian said:

Indeed, though it seems unlikely that one parish would cover all of the possible player manors.

That is where I bumped. Given that the manors are rolled for and distributed across Salisbury, I wasn't sure if the priest covered all of Salisbury. 

To use a single priest one could use a cluster of manors to roll from. Or, using the larger area, one could simply provide an extra priest or two. 

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8 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

This was often only allowed if she was too old to have children, unfortunately.

A custom suggested on page 72 of KAP 5.2 is that if a lady is widowed twice she gets to pick her own husband. (It is in the little biography of Lady Indeg.)

i don't know if that is historically accurate, but I do like it. It tells a little story about the lady's fortunes and a sense of possibility opened up through unfortunate events.

(Also, "child bearing age" is kind of wish-washy. A specific age would have to be picked for the cutoff point. Yes?)

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1 hour ago, creativehum said:

A custom suggested on page 72 of KAP 5.2 is that if a lady is widowed twice she gets to pick her own husband. (It is in the little biography of Lady Indeg.)

i don't know if that is historically accurate, but I do like it. It tells a little story about the lady's fortunes and a sense of possibility opened up through unfortunate events.

(Also, "child bearing age" is kind of wish-washy. A specific age would have to be picked for the cutoff point. Yes?)

Well, the idea was that great estates could be 'married off' without some squire or social climber getting the bride. Usually, by this point the woman either had a child and heir to herself by an earlier marriage - or didn't and appeared to be infertile. In each case the overlord would have the next generation or the next-in-line still in their power. Of course sometimes it might backfire: the child might die young; the thirty odd-year old bride ends up pregnant by her own choice of husband...

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1 hour ago, creativehum said:

A custom suggested on page 72 of KAP 5.2 is that if a lady is widowed twice she gets to pick her own husband. (It is in the little biography of Lady Indeg.)

BotEnt, p. 21: "No woman can be forced to marry a fourth time, ... [Note: This is official errata for King Arthur Pendragon 5.1 p. 39, which states “a woman cannot be forced to marry a third time” — Ed.]"

(With Indeg, just assume that the third husband was a favored household knight of the Count who died in a recent battle, no widow's portion for him.)

Although I will admit that the two marriages is much more playable, since it makes it more likely that it actually comes to play, especially when you have PC Ladies. Then again, I would probably not be enforcing this rule anyway with PC Ladies, opting to give them a bit more control.

Edited by Morien

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37 minutes ago, Morien said:

Although I will admit that the two marriages is much more playable, since it makes it more likely that it actually comes to play, especially when you have PC Ladies. Then again, I would probably not be enforcing this rule anyway with PC Ladies, opting to give them a bit more control.

There was probably a difference between what could be done and what would be done. For instance if a woman really hated her new potential husband, I suspect most fathers would at least try to find her a more suitable match, if they could. Especially the second or third time around. 

As fro the fourth time, well, most of PKs in my games seem to think that such women are jinxed, and that marrying them is to invite death. I'm not saying they are right, just that they think that way. I had one player avoid such a widow despite the fact that she held two manors in Salisbury.

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When I began my campaign years ago, I improvised this little adventure for my squires. I still like it today. It's simple but effective.

The new adventure of the bear of Imber

Problem :

There is no news of sir Richard of Imber since few years. Sir Elad asks a bunch of squires to go to Imber to learn the truth. Sir Richard may be the uncle of one PK for more drama.

Characters :

  • Richard of Imber, his sons Rickard and Christian, all deads.
  • Elizabeth of Imber, daughter of Richard, a noble maid of eighteen summers (glory 250, App 17, stewardship 15, singing 13, First Aid 17, and chirurgy 15, chaste 16, merciful 15, selfish 13, love family 16).
  • The Bear of Imber. A strong black bear with 4d6 damage and armor 8 (100 against a knight), Valorous roll +0.

Secret :

Richard, a christian knight, was cursed by a pagan witch or faery (Nineve for example, or a hag if you want more direct action).  She sent a magical bear who slays every human trying to leave Imber. The exact reason of the curse is left to your imagination.

Solution :

Going to Imber. As the village is far away from the main roads, a hunting roll (or two) is necessary to find the way. On a fail, PKs became « Lost in the woods » (as the solo).

Finally, they will arrive in Imber, and hear a lovely voice singing sadly a beautiful lament from the manor. Soon or later,  the lady of Imber, last survivor of her family, will narrate her sorrowful tale. Her father and brothers fought bravely the beast, and died. A woods witch (or the Hag herself if there is one to fight) foretold that « No knight will ever slay the beast », but her lord father didn’t listen. Many peasants were eaten as well.

She will urge her guests to stay at her manor to be safe. They are only squires after all. I suppose PK (squires happily) will not listen either. Finding the Bear is surprisingly easy : it will attack any people leaving Imber after a few miles. Elizabeth will be grateful of course, but won’t unavoidably fall in love with one of her saviors.

Glory :

  • 60 each for complete success.
  • 10 for joking about Eowyn ("I am no man!")
  • 10 for good Roleplay
  • 100 to share for killing the bear.
Edited by Tizun Thane

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Just to note that Elizabeth would be taken as a ward by the Count, if it has already been a few years. It is not as if Imber is to the hell and back. A few months would be more believable, although even then, it is strange that Lady Elizabeth wouldn't have called anyone for help.

I admit, at the first glance, I was totally expecting the Bear to be the transformed & cursed Sir Richard. :P

 

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No one can escape Imber without being eaten by the Bear, so no one knows. The "ward thing" is what the count will want to do later.

14 hours ago, Morien said:

I admit, at the first glance, I was totally expecting the Bear to be the transformed & cursed Sir Richard.

Clearly, it's a better idea 😀 but it turns the simple adventure into a full scenario. PK could escape the bear to find the Hag to kill her/beg her to lift the curse. I could swear there was an adventure online years ago with the same premice (a maiden and her father turned into a bear) !

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4 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

No one can escape Imber without being eaten by the Bear, so no one knows. The "ward thing" is what the count will want to do later.

Yeah, but someone would be sent to check up on things way before 'a few years'. It is not as if Imber is in the middle of a Faerie forest and cannot be found (it is only about 5 miles from Tilshead). If Sir Richard didn't show up to Spring Court and then missed out on any county & hundred courts, then that would already be reason enough for someone to investigate, like a neighbor. And when that neighbor goes missing, that is when the Count starts to take notice that there is something wrong. They wouldn't just go 'Oh, it has been a few years since anyone had anything to do with this village, and the knight of that manor has not shown up to do any of his vassal duties nor at court... I guess I should so something about it... next year.'

Besides, if it is something relatively minor like 'oh, Sir Richard didn't show up for the Easter court at Sarum, while he usually is punctual about that... send a few squires to see if he is sick or something', that makes it more sense that mere squires would be sent to check it out since no one expects it to be anything dangerous.

Also, if no one can escape without the bear eating them, then the Player-squires really don't have a choice. They will have to fight the bear. And of course, this way they wouldn't even have to hunt for it, since it would come to attack them when they leave the village.

 

 

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Fair points 😀. When I played this little adventure years ago, my Imber (called Fullerton, because why not) was in the Forest Perdue, so it makes much more sense.

17 minutes ago, Morien said:

Besides, if it is something relatively minor like 'oh, Sir Richard didn't show up for the Easter court at Sarum, while he usually is punctual about that... send a few squires to see if he is sick or something', that makes it more sense that mere squires would be sent to check it out since no one expects it to be anything dangerous.

A few months works better in the Imber context, I agree.

19 minutes ago, Morien said:

Also, if no one can escape without the bear eating them, then the Player-squires really don't have a choice. They will have to fight the bear. And of course, this way they wouldn't even have to hunt for it, since it would come to attack them when they leave the village.

Exactly. The PK will not test the hunting system, and they better show up fully armed. Its a different adventure.

That's why your idea to make Richard the Bear is interesting. Players may try do dodge the Bear to find the Hag (or whoever did this). They will be preys to the Bear, and you can still use the hunting system in reverse.

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18 minutes ago, Tizun Thane said:

Fair points 😀. When I played this little adventure years ago, my Imber (called Fullerton, because why not) was in the Forest Perdue, so it makes much more sense.

Forest Perdue? Maybe instead of a bear it should be a giant chicken?

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20 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

She sent a magical bear who slays every human trying to leave Imber. The exact reason of the curse is left to your imagination.

I'd be tempted to change this just a bit, to "slay every knight" that tries to leave.  Squires could come and go, as could merchants, and such.  

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4 minutes ago, Hzark10 said:

I'd be tempted to change this just a bit, to "slay every knight" that tries to leave.  Squires could come and go, as could merchants, and such.  

Maybe she just targets Christians and leaves "good pagans" alone?

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53 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Maybe she just targets Christians and leaves "good pagans" alone?

That also is good.  So, from one basic scenario, we now have 9 different ways in can be presented:

normal bear, magical bear, shapechanged bear.

kills everyone, just knights, just christians.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Hzark10 said:

That also is good.  So, from one basic scenario, we now have 9 different ways in can be presented:

normal bear, magical bear, shapechanged bear.

kills everyone, just knights, just christians.

You forgot the giant chicken. It seems silly, but it is very Celtic. 

 

There could be some interesting ramifications of a SIZ 20 chicken, or a flock of them.

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