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redmoongoddess

Pagan Shore: What have you done with it (If at all)?

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So, I like the Sourcebook Pagan Shore and the deep dive into Irish culture that it does. But it doesn't contain any major adventures. Just short ones. Really, more like ideas for adventures. This can REALLY be inconvenient for people someone such as me who suffers from GM's Block when confronted with extremely deep material that we (Read: I'm) not familiar with. I just don't get a feeling of what do actually do in the setting of Ancient Ireland aside from the usual "Fight in wars because the local Irish tribes people really want to cut the face of Arthur off" adventure that is very often used in the GPC already. I really wish that they included at least one major adventure in the book similar to what Beyond The Wall or Land Of Giants did 

 

So, I feel the best answer would be to ask all of the fellows of the BRP forums if they've ever strongly used the material that's in Pagan Shore in a campaign, and what exactly, did that entail that wasn't just "fight in a epic battle for 10 rounds"? 

 

I am already aware of the cool Castle Of Bones adventure that was featured on Greg's old website where you battle a bunch of skeletons in the old castle of...bones. I'm just interested in what concepts people's explored in the setting of Pendragon Ireland that makes use of the unique concepts that are present in it. Such as Geas, constant battles between the Tribes, and people stealing the crap out of cows.

 

I am particularly interested in that idea suggested in Pagan Shore about the giant tournament to marry the Goddess that is briefly mentioned in the GPC. I feel there is a lot potential for an cool epic adventure in the idea of involving tons of famous warriors from around the world coming together to battle for the privilege of being an literal goddesses boyfriend. Maybe it could be fleshed out into a full adventure someday? Granted you find a way to give an proper ending to the quest that isn't the players watching someone else become the boyfriend. Or the players ACTUALLY winning in the tournament and then becoming practically demi-gods. It would break the campaign.  

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I've had this supplement for close to twenty years and, like you, have done nothing with it. The idea of Ireland in the Arthurian age is very inspiring but the supplement is not. Currently I'm thinking that since Ireland is several decades behind the Logres when it comes to chivalry etc. perhaps I could place some unused Uther age scenarios in Ireland. But then I'd need to railroad the player characters into visiting the island...

 

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I intend to use it some when my players get into the conquest era. There's going to be less opportunity for glory then and they rather seem to enjoy campaigning and half of the group enjoys the political back and forth. The geas section should make for a great quest by itself.

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Do you have any good ideas on using the Geas things? Personally I've got this idea of the players needing to give themselves ones in exchange for some sort of great power in order to defeat some kind of magical villain who isn't killable by plain ol' stabbing. Maybe a fairy court that only allows people who give out their Geas in?

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23 minutes ago, Redmoongodess said:

Do you have any good ideas on using the Geas things? Personally I've got this idea of the players needing to give themselves ones in exchange for some sort of great power in order to defeat some kind of magical villain who isn't killable by plain ol' stabbing. Maybe a fairy court that only allows people who give out their Geas in?

I've used it for Pagan Knights who get fostered by a Caliieach. The PK gets some extra training but gets burned with the geas.

 

As far as using Pagan Shore in general, the focus on  knights has generally resulted in t his being used more for fringe characters, rather than being the central point of a campaign.

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I admit that I have not used Pagan Shores for much, mainly to just get some background information when the PKs have interacted with Leinster, participating in one battle between Leinster and the High King.

As people have pointed out, Ireland might be a fertile ground to take the campaign to a slightly different path, by allowing the PKs to take the place of the conquering Anglo-Normans / Cymric knights in GPC. The movie, The War Lord, might work wonderfully in such a setting, too, with its Pagan overtones and strife between the peasants and the occupying foreigners.

 

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On 12/31/2019 at 7:30 PM, Morien said:

As people have pointed out, Ireland might be a fertile ground to take the campaign to a slightly different path, by allowing the PKs to take the place of the conquering Anglo-Normans / Cymric knights in GPC.

Otherwise, you could play irish characters fighting for freedom against this evil bunch of imperialists.

On 12/30/2019 at 9:46 PM, Redmoongodess said:

Do you have any good ideas on using the Geas things? Personally I've got this idea of the players needing to give themselves ones in exchange for some sort of great power in order to defeat some kind of magical villain who isn't killable by plain ol' stabbing. Maybe a fairy court that only allows people who give out their Geas in?

I suppose you have to pillage the cycle of Ulster for inspiration. Otherwise, many arthurians stories can be reused. For example, the quest in Culhwch ac Olwen seems perfect.

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On 1/2/2020 at 4:15 AM, Tizun Thane said:

Otherwise, you could play irish characters fighting for freedom against this evil bunch of imperialists.

Yup. Much like how Saxons presents the game from the Saxon point of view. Or you could focus on inter-tribal and inter-clan rivalries.

On 1/2/2020 at 4:15 AM, Tizun Thane said:

I suppose you have to pillage the cycle of Ulster for inspiration. Otherwise, many arthurians stories can be reused. For example, the quest in Culhwch ac Olwen seems perfect.

Yeah, or just go with any old Irish myths and legends or medievval Irish ones. It's a rich campaign area. A GM could even go back and run a Mythic Ireland.

But, I think the thing is, that much like with Saxons! and Land of the Giants,  focusing or Ireland and things Irish generally comes at the expense of the Arthurian setting.  GMs always have to decide just how much they are willing to divert from the mainstream campaign, and what the pros and cons are of doing so. 

 

I have an Irish adventure in the works where the PKs get shrunk down to mouse size by a leprechaun based off on a line in Pagan Shore, but figure the idea might be too fantastic/high fantasy for Pendragon. I might be able to get away with it after 532 during the time when the enchantment of Britian is strongest, but maybe not.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

 

I have an Irish adventure in the works where the PKs get shrunk down to mouse size by a leprechaun based off on a line in Pagan Shore, but figure the idea might be too fantastic/high fantasy for Pendragon. I might be able to get away with it after 532 during the time when the enchantment of Britian is strongest, but maybe not

I'd say it fits as well as that published adventure with the boar-headed humanoids from fairy. I think it's Tales of Magic and Miracles, right? Which is to say, it seems a little odd, but just right enough to be doable. I guess it all depends on how you present it.

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The interface between 'Iron Age Ireland' and Arthurian Britain in the stories comes from two main sources: Tristram's interactions with the Irish (after all his beloved is Irish) and from Galeholt, who is culturally Irish in KAP.

I'd argue that Isolt's family (including Marhaus (aka Li Morholt)) and Galeholt's extended family and friends make better premises for an Irish-Arthurian game than the activities of British adventurers/despoilers like the ones in Pagan Shore, even if their interests don't always align with Arthur's. They are at least heroic in a recognizable way, rather than the sort of people whose primary motivation is plunder.

Finn Mac Cumhail has some interactions, entirely anachronistically, with Arthur, 'chief of the Fianna of Britain', which are an excellent insight into the pre-chivalric Arthur of Welsh legend, now mostly lost.

There's a very interesting French Romance called the Marvels of Rigomer which could be adapted into an Ireland based Arthurian adventure but would require some work (it's a little weird). I may work on it when there's a Pendragon Fan Publishing path developed. Another is Durmart, which has the hero become king of Ireland, but it's harder to adapt to a group of player characters.

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The fact that a lot of people haven't actually done much with this book is pretty much just proof that old Chaosium really should've included an large scale adventure or two within it...Maybe there could be an Ireland set adventure in a future Pendragon book? Not necessarily based on Pagan Shore. But just generally inspired by Irish folklore.

On a different note, does anyone know anything about the Lady of the Launds that is briefly mentioned in Malory that Tristram would've married if he accepted the lady?

An adventurous part of me wants to run that as an adventure some day, in Pagan Shore it claims the warriors from Ireland were beaten badly because they weren't good at the usage of Lances, maybe in this timeline this causes an large upset (read:lawsuit) towards Arthur, forcing King Anguish to rewrite the rules into an more general contest that includes contests of Poetry and Sword Battles to allow the tribes and warriors of Ireland an better chance against the many powerful knights of Arthur's Britain. 

Perhaps Miss Lady Of The Launds actually has an agenda to this separate from getting married, maybe she's not please with Ireland possibly being even more Christianize by Arthurs' realm full of Christians, and the Tournament in some way is meant to teach Mr. Anguish and Arthur an lesson about trying to enforce their beliefs onto Ireland not always working, perhaps our Lady already owns multiple "lovers" and the winner will be gain nothing from winning? 

And then an bad magical thing would occur that only the PC's would be able to solve, but I've not figured that out yet, I guess I'll figure it out whenever I finally run a Pendragon campaign. But, does anyone got suggestions/pointers for my idea? 

 

On 1/6/2020 at 9:40 AM, Atgxtg said:

I have an Irish adventure in the works where the PKs get shrunk down to mouse size by a leprechaun based off on a line in Pagan Shore, but figure the idea might be too fantastic/high fantasy for Pendragon. I might be able to get away with it after 532 during the time when the enchantment of Britian is strongest, but maybe not.

 

 

 

Part of the fun of Pendragon for me is that it allows for exploring themes and subjects that weren't present in the legends but still fits with it's general origins. Don't worry about the idea being too silly. And what line? There's a lot of interesting ones in PS. 

Edited by Redmoongodess

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9 minutes ago, Redmoongodess said:

On a different note, does anyone know anything about the Lady of the Launds that is briefly mentioned in Malory that Tristram would've married if he 

The Laundes tournament comes from the Prose Tristan, and replaces an episode in the earlier verse versions where Tristram kills a dragon to win the hand of Isolde (he doesn't tell her or her father she will be given to his uncle - he doesn't fall in love with her until after he drinks to potion en route to Cornwall). Tristram is badly injured and the Irish king's steward beheads the dead dragon and tries to claim Isolde's hand.

The Lady of the Laundes (Fr. 'demoiselle des Landes')  is 'nigh cousin to the king' (Anguish). She's a stand in for Isolde herself, because you'll note that Palomides is participating to impress Isolde. Before Christianization there seems to have been female rulers in Ireland (compare Medb). To me it sounds like the 'fairs' at Lughnasa time: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tailteann_Games_(ancient)

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I feel so dumb for not finishing my sentence when I sent that in. Anyways, that is A LOT different from the image in my mind of a magical queen who rules the "Launds" of Ireland while riding on a Elk or Bear or something else magical and naturey. BUT the love potion does give me an idea of how to bring the PKs into the adventurey part of the tournament that isn't answered by "why doesn't one of the round table knights do it?"

In my brain "The Adventure Of The Wooing Of The Lady Of The Launds" starts off with an tournament including many of the important figures from King Arthur's court and the famous warriors and poets mentioned in Pagan Shore, but then someone with an agenda against The Lady and/or Arthur and/or Anguish decides to send a leprechaun to sneak in an love potion during a fest in the middle of the tourney...that accidentally ends up being given to one of the PKs, forcing them to fall in love with Miss Lady Of The Launds, and vice versa. 

Clearly seeing the love is magically enchanted, Lady Of The Launds sends the warriors and knights of the Tournament to find a cure to the love potion, presumably it can only be cured by an ritual that requires the two cursed to be there. I imagine the word of this leads to the present Irish warriors to accuse the round table knights of treachery and so the player knights need to get the cure as fast as they can before things get to the point of bloodshed. This may also apply to the Druids and Cailleach* consoled for assistance.
 

* Word used for the warrior women and witches who taught Cú Chulainn the mighty Irish martial arts.

Also: I feel there could be a lot of fun in a adventure where Player Knights from Britain need to follow the rules indicated by Irish warriors, namely, Geas. Perhaps to appease the many Irish warriors angry the "King Of Ireland" is celebrating the victory of that gutless "warrior" Arthur, it is instructed that warriors from Ireland are allowed to place Geas on those defeated by them, at the expensive of their foes being allowed to do the same. I could see fun roleplaying coming from that. 

As for an possible ending, I think it should be VERY difficult to get the Lady to actually marry the player knight unless they are REALLY good at battling the MANY warriors who are at the tournament...including Tristan. I feel the most likely ending is for the players to free the Lady and the player Knight from a love struck enchantment, but ultimately the lady shows no interest in marrying the player, and the actual winner ends up being...one of the mentioned knights in Pagan Shore I forgot the name of. Ultimately The Lady is in a loveless marriage but is clearly the dominant one of said relationship regardless. But perhaps it at least leads to the players being on good terms with King Anguish and The Lady. 

And there is all of the enemies who could've forced our protagonists to follow the Geas. Or vice versia. I'm sure players will want to get vengeance. It's expected.

It needs a lot more fleshing out...but it's an idea. 

Sadly, I won't be able to run this for a long time due to the fact I don't have an active Pendragon campaign currently, but I am curious to see if people on this forum think any of what I've typed is a good idea, or if I am stupid for typing this crap and I should be ashamed for writing it. Maybe it's in a middle column. I just want validation for spending a ton of time on my ramblings made out of boredom.

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On 1/15/2020 at 1:12 AM, Redmoongodess said:

 

As for an possible ending, I think it should be VERY difficult to get the Lady to actually marry the player knight unless they are REALLY good at battling the MANY warriors who are at the tournament...including Tristan. I feel the most likely ending is for the players to free the Lady and the player Knight from a love struck enchantment, but ultimately the lady shows no interest in marrying the player, and the actual winner ends up being...one of the mentioned knights in Pagan Shore I forgot the name of. Ultimately The Lady is in a loveless marriage but is clearly the dominant one of said relationship regardless. But perhaps it at least leads to the players being on good terms with King Anguish and The Lady. 

Neither Tristram nor Palomides are interested in the Lady of the Laundes' hand (they're doing it for the Glory), so a third-place finisher has a shot with her. Though she may be offended at not being 'chosen' and call it all off. In any case no one marries her in the Prose Tristan: Palamedes refuses to because of Isolde, and Tristan likewise. She may have grounds to dislike Isolde for overshadowing her moment.

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On 1/15/2020 at 10:12 AM, Redmoongodess said:

Sadly, I won't be able to run this for a long time due to the fact I don't have an active Pendragon campaign currently, but I am curious to see if people on this forum think any of what I've typed is a good idea, or if I am stupid for typing this crap and I should be ashamed for writing it. Maybe it's in a middle column. I just want validation for spending a ton of time on my ramblings made out of boredom.

It could be a good adventure!  But it's a bit difficult to "force" love on characters, for a non-descript "lady of the launds". You have to make her alive and attractive to players to make the adventure works.

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