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Ravian

Penance for a Virtuous Pagan

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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?

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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

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I wouldn't have Arthur force the character to change religion. That's sort of pushes the boundaries of liege lord rights, and seems out pf place for Arthur. I'd probably have Arthur give him some task-perhaps helping the poor so he can see why he shouldn't be selfish.

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Presumably, the PKs would be in for a share of the treasure as a reward? Arthur could command the Germanic Pagan to use his share to give alms to the poor, which would definitely be good for a Generous check, helping to balance out the Selfish Check. Given that Generous is one of the Germanic Pagan Traits (BoK&L), this would be good for the character too.

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9 hours ago, Morien said:

Presumably, the PKs would be in for a share of the treasure as a reward? Arthur could command the Germanic Pagan to use his share to give alms to the poor, which would definitely be good for a Generous check, helping to balance out the Selfish Check. Given that Generous is one of the Germanic Pagan Traits (BoK&L), this would be good for the character too.

If Arthur ordered it, I don't think the PKS would deserve the gernous check, since they didn't choose to act generous, but merely followed Arthur's command. Well, unless the PK was given a chance to steal the money earmarked for the poor, which wouldn't be a bad way to set things up. the PK is given some libra to distribute, and has the chance to skim some off the top. The monk accompanying him of the job could even suggest doing so, but is really there to check on the PKs honesty, with the whole thing being a test.

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27 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

If Arthur ordered it, I don't think the PKS would deserve the gernous check, since they didn't choose to act generous, but merely followed Arthur's command. Well, unless the PK was given a chance to steal the money earmarked for the poor, which wouldn't be a bad way to set things up. the PK is given some libra to distribute, and has the chance to skim some off the top. The monk accompanying him of the job could even suggest doing so, but is really there to check on the PKs honesty, with the whole thing being a test.

Well, given the description as an exemplar Germanic Pagan, he ought to have Generous 16+ and a reputation for it. So I could easily see Arthur giving him his share and suggesting that he spend the money 'wisely to show his remorse'. But then leave it up to the PK, awarding checks depending how much he spends to Charity. Assuming he truly has strong Loyalty Arthur as well, he probably needs no more nudging than that to show his Generosity. The risk of the 'tempting monk' is that I would not put it past the Germanic Pagan to get offended by the suggestion and split the monk's skull with an axe. :P

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9 minutes ago, Morien said:

Well, given the description as an exemplar Germanic Pagan, he ought to have Generous 16+ and a reputation for it. So I could easily see Arthur giving him his share and suggesting that he spend the money 'wisely to show his remorse'. But then leave it up to the PK, awarding checks depending how much he spends to Charity. Assuming he truly has strong Loyalty Arthur as well, he probably needs no more nudging than that to show his Generosity. The risk of the 'tempting monk' is that I would not put it past the Germanic Pagan to get offended by the suggestion and split the monk's skull with an axe. :P

Yeah, but I think that would be more of a case of the knight being able to use loyalty to resist his selfish urges.

Hay, wait a minute! Looking over the OP he says that the PK  fumbled his selfish test and tried to stealthily steal some treasure for himself". If the PK fumbled his selfish test, then he should have acted generously, not selfishly. Maybe that was mis-worded?

Edited by Atgxtg

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Arthur reviews with the repentant thief the various grisly ways Saxon lords would punish one of their own who so betrayed them, but then accepts his confession in the spirit of redemption through Christ's grace, and gives him the opportunity to atone by spending a season protecting his royal Almoner from thieves, and witnessing the impact of their work upon the lives of those in need.

Whether these experiences move the PK to be baptized is of course up to the Player.

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9 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Yeah, but I think that would be more of a case of the knight being able to use loyalty to resist his selfish urges.

Hay, wait a minute! Looking over the OP he says that the PK  fumbled his selfish test and tried to stealthily steal some treasure for himself". If the PK fumbled his selfish test, then he should have acted generously, not selfishly. Maybe that was mis-worded?

Sorry my mistake. I meant he rolled Generous/Selfish and fumbled Generous.

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9 minutes ago, Ravian said:

Sorry my mistake. I meant he rolled Generous/Selfish and fumbled Generous.

That's better. :)

Un, I mean rules wise. :blink:

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7 hours ago, Ravian said:

Sorry my mistake. I meant he rolled Generous/Selfish and fumbled Generous.

Just for the record, if the PK have 16+ in generous, he don't have to roll if he don't want to, except if there is some magical compulsion.

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3 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

Just for the record, if the PK have 16+ in generous, he don't have to roll if he don't want to, except if there is some magical compulsion.

Well, sort of. The rules have said that in the last few editions, probably as a concession to those who don't like die rolls ruling their actions, but Greg's adventures never had that escape clause. Much like how skill checks got toned down in later editions of the rules to please those GMs who wanted to limit and control how checks got passed out, the 16+ passion rule in the books isn't how  Greg wrote trait tests into adventures. So it's really "he doesn't have to roll, if the GM says Generous 16+ lets him off the hook."

If it were a blanket "no need to roll" then:

  1. What would be the point of traits higher than 16?
  2. Why do knights with Valor 16 still need to make valor rolls?

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

but Greg's adventures never had that escape clause.

I know, believe me, I know. And during years, I forced my players to roll.  But it works better that way.

2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

If it were a blanket "no need to roll" then:

  1. What would be the point of traits higher than 16?
  2. Why do knights with Valor 16 still need to make valor rolls?

You still need to test if there is a magical compulsion (a siren trying to lure a chaste knight), or extreme circonstances (a Valorous roll for a monster for example, or a sober roll after days without eating for example).

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42 minutes ago, Tizun Thane said:

I know, believe me, I know. And during years, I forced my players to roll.  But it works better that way.

I dunno. I think it depends on how many trait tests adventures normally have.  I don't have my PKs roll a trait for every situation that comes up, as that would be jarring and interrupt play too much. Most adventures tend to have a handful of trait tests, so I usally run them, and my players are happy to get the chance for a check.

42 minutes ago, Tizun Thane said:

You still need to test if there is a magical compulsion (a siren trying to lure a chaste knight), or extreme circonstances (a Valorous roll for a monster for example, or a sober roll after days without eating for example).

Yeah, and I usually run a test if the situation is important. Being Indulgent might not matter most of the time, but being indulgent when  sitting next to a lady you are trying to impress might be. As a rule I thumb, I figure that if success isn't worth a check, then the roll isn't worth forcing, and vice versa.

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45 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Yeah, and I usually run a test if the situation is important. Being Indulgent might not matter most of the time, but being indulgent when  sitting next to a lady you are trying to impress might be. As a rule I thumb, I figure that if success isn't worth a check, then the roll isn't worth forcing, and vice versa.

I am sooooo stealing that thumb!

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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.

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2 hours ago, Ravian said:

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.

Yes, that has a ring of truth to it. I'm not saying you were wrong to force the issue. Neither was Tizun Thane when he mentioned the 16+ rule. It was just bringing up the options. As GM you get to decide when to enforce certain rules and when not to. Cursed Dragon gold silver sounds like a good time for a trait test to me. And like a GM, you didn't mention the curse until after you mentioned the silver. BTW, how much was there and how much did he try to steal?

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2 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Yes, that has a ring of truth to it. I'm not saying you were wrong to force the issue. Neither was Tizun Thane when he mentioned the 16+ rule. It was just bringing up the options. As GM you get to decide when to enforce certain rules and when not to. Cursed Dragon gold silver sounds like a good time for a trait test to me. And like a GM, you didn't mention the curse until after you mentioned the silver. BTW, how much was there and how much did he try to steal?

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?)

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1 hour ago, Ravian said:

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.

Yeah, that's a real temptation alright. If we just consetiveely estimate that "all of Arthur's knights" means just his personal ones as King of Logres, well, Uther has 21 eschilles/210 knights in BoU, and we can probably double that because the population doubled historically,  so 420 knights, times 20 libra each is £8400. So four king's ransoms. Ka Ching! That's a conservative estimate. We could throw in all his other vassals and really give the pack horse a rupture. I think it was already four tons of silver, maybe closer to twenty tons.

1 hour ago, Ravian said:

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.

Well at least it was a big temptation. When I first read it I kinda wondered: how much he could steal? Now I wonder: How much could he carry?

 

1 hour ago, Ravian said:

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?)

Plus if the knight bucks up and does well, Arthur could forgive his transgression. It's was an unusually strong provocation, a momentary laspe, and he did recognize his mistake and turn himself in. I hope he emptied his pockets.  

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On 11/12/2019 at 8:18 AM, Atgxtg said:

The rules have said that in the last few editions, probably as a concession to those who don't like die rolls ruling their actions, but Greg's adventures never had that escape clause.

It is incoherent/jarring/frustrating for the rule book to plainly state that traits <16 are just guides for roleplaying, and then adventures turn around and use traits as saving throws left and right.

See also: when a Player whose PK has a 21 CON asks, "OK, what's the intensity of the poison in the wine? This is gonna hurt, but unless the dice utterly hate me I ought to at least survive." and there isn't one because the adventure doesn't acknowledge the poison rules at all.

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10 minutes ago, JonL said:

It is incoherent/jarring/frustrating for the rule book to plainly state that traits <16 are just guides for roleplaying, and then adventures turn around and use traits as saving throws left and right.

Yes, the same can be said for the way the game awards skill checks. The rules make it seem far more difficult than the way it is handled in the adventures.

But I think it really is becuase Greg added that stuff (no roll for traits less than 16, a stricter policy for awarding skill checks for those GMs who want to have control over character improvement) to try and please people who didn't like the existing rules. Lots of people do not like having their actions decided by die rolls rather than having a free choice. Of course the problem is if they had a free choice, it would play out like Arthurian stories. 

Personally I'd rather just drop the 16+ restriction, and just leave the decision of when a roll is needed up to the GM, as in the old days. The 16+ rule messes up more stuff than it helps. The stories and the game are full of tests of character where "only knight who is X is worthy of/can do Y" and getting rid of tests ruins that. Sure you can just set thresholds for stuff like they do with the relgion bonuses, but that also has it's drawback as far as playing goes. It's much better for a character to have a chance at something that to just fail.

Also, people are contradictory. A kind person can sometimes be cruel , and vice versa. The roll allows for that.

 

10 minutes ago, JonL said:

See also: when a Player whose PK has a 21 CON asks, "OK, what's the intensity of the poison in the wine? This is gonna hurt, but unless the dice utterly hate me I ought to at least survive." and there isn't one because the adventure doesn't acknowledge the poison rules at all.

Well, thats probably because the poison rules were a late addition to the game, and the scripted nature of the key events.. Before that most poison was handled ad hoc.  For instance Uther and all the nobles dying from poison after St. Ablans was in the Pendragon Campaign in 1985, and  was Greg's invention, too. In Mallory Uther had been ill and succumbs to his illness after the battle. Greg changed to the Uther and all the nobles being poisoned. 

The poison rules as they exist now are a KAP5 addition. One of the things about Greg that was both good  and bad was that he was always tinkering with things and often didn't update previous stuff to reflect the changes. For example, I've mentioned that the Pict Warrior in the rulebook being SIZ 8 was fine in KAP1 where we rolled 3d6 for SIZ, and the average PK was SIZ 10-11. But, with latter editions switching to 2d6+6 and now 3d6+4, Picts really should have had their SIZ increased to 11 to reflect the 3 point difference. 

As for the 21 CON and survival, well realistically that would depend on how much poison he consumed. It is quite possible to take so much of something that you won't survive, even with a 21 CON. Sometimes 50mg might made the difference between a 50% mortality rate and an 100% one.

 

I think ultimately it comes down to the situation being a bad one to run, as the GM just kills off anybody who is there, with no chance of a a character of detection, avoiding or surviving the situation. It litterally the GM just killing off characters by fiat, and that really shouldn't happen to player characters in an RPG.  

 

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