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SaxBasilisk

Great Pendragon Campaign GM Discussion - 483 AD (Book of Uther) (SPOILERS)

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I wanted to start a series of threads dealing with each year of the GPC as I ran it, to discuss some of the opportunities and challenges thereof. Of course, I didn't think about that until I got to 483 AD. Oh well. I'm perfectly happy if anyone wants to start threads for these or other years.

I don't intend this to be particularly inspiring or insightful, but we'll see how it goes.

Material given here is from the events of the year in The Book of Uther, as well as the free scenario "The Marriage of Count Roderick," which a potential GM should be reading in advance.

Depending upon the length of the session(s), the GM will likely want to have some character-centered events prepped. This is true for most of the campaign, of course, but I think it's especially true for this year. Aside from the ambush at the beginning of "Marriage," there's no combat in this year. The major event in GPC is a courtly one that may largely bypass your characters, unless they're the sorts who like to get involved in others' romantic lives.

I like to send the characters the royal pronouncements and gossip beforehand, to start getting them into the mood of the session. If you use the same technique, there's a particularly mangled sentence in the Gossip that I rewrote as follows:

Quote

“Ha ha, even she would sell her dignity if she could save £1000 to buy Lucius’ lands.”

If running "Marriage," you might consider what happens if the characters take prisoners. These ruffians are the only people who can identify the individual who hired them - yet they are due to be executed. You might give some thought as to what happens if the PCs try to keep one alive - does it anger the king or count? A trip to Malahaut may be in order (see the "Malahaut Embassy" adventure in GPC AD 487 if you want some dressing).

The marriage of the count is an important enough event to warrant a big feast, especially as a culmination if the players have been playing out the various courtly visits. If you've got a Feast Deck, pull it out.

If you have any other questions or insights about playing out this particular year, please let me know!

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2 hours ago, SaxBasilisk said:

If you have any other questions or insights about playing out this particular year, please let me know!

The major insight, just in case you don't already know about it, is that this whole incident is what sets off the feud between Salisbury and Levcomagus. 

As far as gossip goes, I tend to use intrigue rolls to see just what information the player knights get and how accurate it is. I've fond that a few "not quite correct" rumors can spice up a game session. Especially if the things that the players see can support those rumors. 

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On 1/20/2020 at 4:18 PM, Atgxtg said:

The major insight, just in case you don't already know about it, is that this whole incident is what sets off the feud between Salisbury and Levcomagus. 

That is the major impact of the adventure. I'm not too worried about covering that one, as it's explicitly mentioned at the end of "Marriage" - but now it's mentioned here as well.

It does inspire another thought: GMs should probably be reminded in 496 to go back and look at the end of "Marriage," to see if they want to employ any of those plot threads from thirteen years before...

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13 hours ago, SaxBasilisk said:

That is the major impact of the adventure. I'm not too worried about covering that one, as it's explicitly mentioned at the end of "Marriage" - but now it's mentioned here as well.

It does inspire another thought: GMs should probably be reminded in 496 to go back and look at the end of "Marriage," to see if they want to employ any of those plot threads from thirteen years before...

Yeah, and if they want to build on anything unusual that occurred, or add in new and different elements. In one of my previous Pendragon campaign's I adapted a Prince Valiant adventure into the feud, with one of the PKs stepping in to protect a lad accused of witchcraft, and thwarting a knight from Levcomagus. This made the feud more personal and intense, and culminated in the PK's forces accidentally besieging Levcomagus.

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16 hours ago, SaxBasilisk said:

That is the major impact of the adventure. I'm not too worried about covering that one, as it's explicitly mentioned at the end of "Marriage" - but now it's mentioned here as well.

It could be interesting that the ambush was not from Levcomagus, but from a third nefarious fellow trying to add fuel to the fire.

2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

This made the feud more personal and intense, and culminated in the PK's forces accidentally besieging Levcomagus.

accidentally? 😀

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1 hour ago, Tizun Thane said:

It could be interesting that the ambush was not from Levcomagus, but from a third nefarious fellow trying to add fuel to the fire.

Yes it could. You just need someone who could benefit from player one side against the other. 

1 hour ago, Tizun Thane said:

accidentally? 😀

Yup. What happened was that the PK in question was making a killing off the tourney circuit and had invested in a large amount of siege equipment. An old knight who was a friend of his sent a messenger asking for help in a local war, and the PK rushed off with what forces he could gather and made his way north to the old knight, all to eager both to aid his friend, and to use some of that siege equipment. Unfortunately, the road he took lead right past Levcomagus, and when the PKs realized what that looked like, some of them rode off ahead to to and convince the knight of Levcomagus that they "were just passing by" and not to worry about the 200 libra (!) worth of siege equipment. The locals didn't believe the PKs and captured them, and the PK's army, encouraged by an overzealous household knight whom a PK had taken on, assaulted the city to rescue the PKs.  It turned into quite a mess. 

 

 

 

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