Jump to content

Stories/resources for Ladies


Recommended Posts

Hi all- long time role-player and 'knew-that-Pendragon-existed'-er here, gearing up for my first time running a campaign. I have a flexible and experienced group of role-players who find as much amusement in energetic failure as they do in success, and I find the prospect of this increasingly middle-aged and cynical group trying to play at being Arthurian knights quite irresistible!

Time is my main enemy. I don't have the time create a whole campaign in detail. This was another reason Pendragon appealed to me- between the GPC and the older story supplements, there's a huge wealth of material I can draw on. This way, I can write one ongoing storyline myself and weave it in with all the provided material to create quite a substantial experience.

There's just one area where this doesn't quite work out. One of our group is keen to play a Lady (she is female btw), and definitely a courtly Lady rather than a Lady Knight (though I'd happily write a way to get the latter into the campaign if requested). The problem I am having is that, beyond character creation, I can't seem to find any story material for Ladies. I absolutely understand and appreciate that the core of Pendragon is playing Knights and you do anything else at your own peril, but I was surprised to find- so far- nothing at all. Some of the more intrigue- style stories work great for Ladies of course, alongside the knights, but, for example: The romantic stories in past supplements give me a great wealth of options that I can use as materials to marry off my knight players. Alas, there's no equivalents I can find for Ladies! I can see a lot of dramatic (and, for that matter, comedic) potential for stories about Knights trying to win a player-Lady's favour, or (for later in the campaign) about examining the whole 'amor' thing from the Lady's side. Just in general, I can think of some very interesting storylines about examining the potential power and agency a Lady can have in what seems to be a totally male-dominated world. I wasn't expecting a lot of things; I just thought someone might have written a few somewhere.

I can (and will) write some of this myself, of course, but I was just wondering if anyone can point me in the direction of any Lady-orientated material for Pendragon that already exists (for storylines, not mechanics). Any advice from GMs who have run Lady PCs in the past appreciated of course!

One other question- I love the Book of Feasts, but whilst the book itself is written with both knights and ladies in mind, the deck isn't. I don't suppose anyone knows of any plans for a Lady-friendly version of the deck do they? It would be a bunch of work for me to solve that one.

 

Thanks for any help!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeff is your guy, I am thinking.

Go to this thread, where he talks a bit about his campaign featuring ladies-in-waiting to Guenever: https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/10258-running-multiple-characters-per-player-in-pendragon/Here are a couple of quick cut-and-pastes of what he said, but do read the whole thing:

 

"We spend 1/2 our time at court. There are also secondary courts to visit on most adventures. They do go with the knights, but that's because the adventures are based on their jobs: carrying letters, finding Lancelot, accompanying the Queen when she's traveling. In the first adventure (I started in the 530s) they found Lancelot and rescued him from Sir Phelot (adapted from Malory). Obviously, it's a little unrealistic to have the Queen's servants wandering the woods considering how dangerous they are, but keep in mind that the romances have this sort of thing happening all the time: a lady recruits a knight to come with her on a dangerous errand. He does all the jousting, and she keeps track of the route and keeps him alive (kind of a like a squire, but with more agency)."

....

"The main difference mechanically besides the fighting skills is the lack of armor, which is problematic when the opponent is evil. Any actual fighting they do is last ditch. I set up the adventures so there's lots of intrigue and female NPCs rather than wave after wave of ruffians and monsters. They are often doing the talking. The knight and lady combo seems to work fine when they're in synch, and these are brothers and sisters and close relations (all of the PCs are at least 2nd cousins of each other). Lady loves and Knightly loves would obviously be NPCs or the whole mystery of romance would be gone, but I could see wives and husbands being played by different players."

...

"Other than that, which makes the romance solo for ladies a must (since usually the knightly lover would be this escort), the trick is to design adventures around the skills that ladies possess, such as Intrigue, Romance, etc... (courtly skills) and assign goals for the adventure (and Glory awards based on them) where the lady's escort's martial abilities and their own problem-solving provide the solution. Basically, all lady-oriented adventures will have 'problems' and 'solutions' that aren't necessarily addressed by combat. Also such pastimes as fashion, 'tournaments of love', 'courts of love', seeking a champion/lover etc. would have to be elaborated on and given Glory values. The model 'Ladies' in the Arthurian legends are great queens and noblewomen, usually rulers in their own right: just as with PC knights, the default lady character is the heir - though this means they usually lack surviving brothers. The other means of gaining Lady's Glory would be through serving as a handmaiden or lady in waiting to a queen. This means entanglement with the queen's private life, which might be rather adventurous."

Link to post
Share on other sites

You kind of hit on one of the weak points of the game. While Pendragon is geared towards and fantastic for playing knights, playing anything else is a bit problematic. This is mostly due to the sources. As far a ladies go, they tended to be more the motivation behind adventures or the prize awarded from a successful adventure rather than being actual protagonists. I think Greg had hoped to expand the ladies section to make them more involved, but not to the point where they rise above a supporting role.

I suggest talking with the player and getting an idea of their expectations before creating their character. Than way you'll not only see if the player fully understands the limitations of the role, and also it will help to give you some possible adventure ideas. 

I'd also suggest making the lady some sort of heiress so that knights will take an interest in her. Then you can create some rival NPKS that she can interact with, and her marriage can become a subplot for the game. Especially if her father is dead and she is a ward of the Count. For instance, maybe the Count is thinking of marringy her off to Knight A, but she doesn't like him and can work to try prevent or at least delay the marriage, hoping that Knight B could move up in status and she could marry him instead. And maybe she could enlist the PKs, allow you to turn this into some adventures. If you give her some sort of wondrous item, like a magical sword, then lots of knights could take an interest.

You can probably look at some of the old adventures and turn them around so thatt they are from a ladies point of view. Then try and come up with Courtly rolls she can make, and the consequences of them, and a way to handle some stuff off screen. 

 

As far as the feast deck goes, you are pretty much correct - the deck is really focused towards knights.  I think most of the cards could be adjusted to work for a lady, maybe with a little gender swapping. I think that would be the easiest solution as that way you wouldn't need to make up any any new cards, and could just use the existing once with slightly altered contents. I'll give the cardas a quick going over to see which ones would be troublesome, and try to come up with ways to adapt them.


 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some other thoughts:

1. How many players do you have? One big issue is that one of the main occupations of knights is fighting, which is the ladies' weak point, especially if the player is not all that keen on the combat role. This tends to mean that while the knights do their thing, the player of the lady gets bored out of her skull. (This actually was an issue in our older campaign, where there was 1 lady and 5 knights. The lady was able to contribute up to the point when swords came out, and then it was all pretty much just waiting until it was time to break out the bandages again. Given how many published adventures are solved with the application of keen steel, this sidelined her from the climax of the story quite often.) One option is of course that if there is a combat-heavy adventure/session coming up, then the Lady's player can skip that session, but if that happens often, I would not blame the player for deciding that the campaign is obviously not for her.

2. Starting Year 519: I would seriously, seriously consider not running the whole GPC, especially given that you already said you are pressed for time. Uther Period and Anarchy are all about might makes right and women are property & prizes more than anything else. Boy King is full of Battles, sidelining the Lady. Instead, I would start after Badon Hill, and keep the PKs home rather than send them to the Roman War. The Lady character should be an heiress (like Atgxtg suggested), but more importantly, she should be one of Guenever's trusted confidants. Heck, I would fill Logres in 526-528 full of plots now that Arthur and most of his goody-two-shoe knights are away and use the Lady as Guenever's Inquisitor, ferreting out plots and solving mysteries, with the PKs as her personal Brute Squad. Assuming the Players would be into such storyline. (Historical comparison, Eleanor of Aquitaine as de facto regent during Richard the Lionheart's crusade and even before that.)

3. Connections between player-characters: I would definitely make sure that at least some of the player-knights are related to the lady, so that she has an incentive in keeping them alive and vice versa. Like an acknowledged bastard brother and/or a orphaned foster brother, growing up in the same household, maybe a cousin or an uncle, and perhaps even another vassal of her fathers... Simply trying to ensure that there are plenty of reasons why she would be interested how they are doing and vice versa. Alternatively, of course, you could make them household knights in the service of the Queen, and keep everyone together that way, but I think the familial connection is better. Also, that helps to ensure that there is no PK-on-PK violence over who gets to woo her. Indeed, I would encourage to keep the wooers as NPCs; more flexibility that way.

4. Connections between player-lady and NPC ladies: Unlike the boys, the player-lady has much easier time befriending and gaining the confidence of multiple ladies. It is very much possible that she would have friends all over. These can be used to tug the whole party into adventures, but also give the player-lady a local ally that can feed her information that the player-knights might miss. Besides, something like the Adventure of the Heart Blade will be even more interesting if Ahvielle is not only the Amor of one of the player-knights, but a good friend of the player-lady as well. But I will also underline something that Jeff said: make sure that there is stuff for the player-lady to do, and ways that her skills contribute towards the solution. Even better if she has her own goals that can be achieved even without fighting. Or rather, regardless of how the PKs do.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ladies frequently introduce quests and lead knights on adventures: look at The Tale of Gareth and The Triple Quest.

This is a canon aspect of the stories that isn't reflected in the existing adventures. I suggest making the lady not just a heiress, but a dispossessed heiress (like of Rydychan in the GPC). They can plan the recovery of their own lands, and potentially get involved in intrigues, scouting the lost castles, and seeking out still-loyal retainers.

To make a Lady work you have to give them an equal importance to the knights, which means making them have goals beyond 'a good marriage' and 'getting in Guinevere's good graces'.

The other option is to make them a handmaiden of Guinevere or servant of the Lady of the Lake, and entrust them with delivering messages for them (through dangerous territory). This is also a canon albeit obscure part of the legend.

Finally, the queen herself takes an interest in justice (as the embodiment of royal mercy) and therefore might have need of eyes and ears to find and solve problems on her behalf. These would frequently be in the interests of women, minor children, and commoners oppressed by (male) lords.

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Morien said:

 One big issue is that one of the main occupations of knights is fighting, which is the ladies' weak point, especially if the player is not all that keen on the combat role. This tends to mean that while the knights do their thing, the player of the lady gets bored out of her skull

That's a great point. I could see the lady shining at Court, but not having much to do on an adventure. Finding a way for her to contribute while adventuring is important. 

19 minutes ago, Morien said:

 Starting Year 519: I would seriously, seriously consider not running the whole GPC, especially given that you already said you are pressed for time. Uther Period and Anarchy are all about might makes right and women are property & prizes more than anything else. Boy King is full of Battles, sidelining the Lady. Instead, I would start after Badon Hill, and keep the PKs home rather than send them to the Roman War. The Lady character should be an heiress (like Atgxtg suggested), but more importantly, she should be one of Guenever's trusted confidants. Heck, I would fill Logres in 526-528 full of plots now that Arthur and most of his goody-two-shoe knights are away and use the Lady as Guenever's Inquisitor, ferreting out plots and solving mysteries, with the PKs as her personal Brute Squad. Assuming the Players would be into such storyline. (Historical comparison, Eleanor of Aquitaine as de facto regent during Richard the Lionheart's crusade and even before that.)

I could see making a case fo the 531 start year. Romance and tournaments give the ladies a lot more to do.

 

Another option would be to swipe inspiration (or even the whole adventure) from the Oxford Usurpers. If the Player Lady were the daughter of a nobleman and inherited lands than she didn't have control of, then one or more adventures could focus around that. That might even allow the campaign to start in/slightly before the Anarchy Period. Say  her father dies fighting the Saxons, and she is the rightful heiress but has to seek refuge at Sarum or something. Then regaining the family lands could be a long term goal of the campaign, and the player lady would be important due to her potential holdings. The daughter of a bannerette knight favored by Aurelius and/or Uther, with a dozen manors to her name is going to have a lot of clout, and be too valuable a chess piece for knights to ignore.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

This is a canon aspect of the stories that isn't reflected in the existing adventures. I suggest making the lady not just a heiress, but a dispossessed heiress (like of Rydychan in the GPC). They can plan the recovery of their own lands, and potentially get involved in intrigues, scouting the lost castles, and seeking out still-loyal retainers.

You beat me to it!;)

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

I could see making a case fo the 531 start year. Romance and tournaments give the ladies a lot more to do.

True, but with the downside that you are already two-thirds of the way through the GPC.

As for starting with the Rydychan type storyline in Anarchy, I think it is a bit too far back, and you still have the issue of the Boy King which is one Battle after another. Although I could see using Anarchy as a backdrop, but starting the campaign in 514 or so, with Guenever's wedding. Wronged heiress and whatnot. And keep the Players busy with trying to reclaim her lands while Arthur is still too busy with the Saxons. Especially if her lands are more out of the way, such as in Cambria or in the southern Pennines or in the middle of the Forest Sauvage...

As for Romance and Tournaments, no reason that those can't feature already in Conquest. Indeed, I would expect Guenever to start pushing the court that way ever since 514. For example, her reaction in Le Morte when Gawaine confesses to accidentally killing a lady (she threw herself in the way to protect her lover who was about to be beheaded by Gawaine): "And there by ordinance of the queen there was set a quest of ladies on Sir Gawaine, and they judged him for ever while he lived to be with all ladies, and to fight for their quarrels; and that ever he should be courteous, and never to refuse mercy to him that asketh mercy."

EDIT: Ahvielle, from The Adventure of the Heart Blade, is almost exactly what you were suggesting earlier: a banneret's daughter with a magical sword as an heirloom.

Edited by Morien
Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Morien said:

True, but with the downside that you are already two-thirds of the way through the GPC.

Yeah-although I suppose a GM could offset that by running three adventures per year. It's not an ideal solution, but then it's not an ideal situation to begin with. Basically, ladies do have a lot to do in Pendragon. 

34 minutes ago, Morien said:

As for starting with the Rydychan type storyline in Anarchy, I think it is a bit too far back, and you still have the issue of the Boy King which is one Battle after another.

As opposed to the Conquest Period, where Arthur campaigns in the North, France, Italy and Ireland? Let's face it, Battles are a thing in just about every Period.

34 minutes ago, Morien said:

Although I could see using Anarchy as a backdrop, but starting the campaign in 514 or so, with Guenever's wedding. Wronged heiress and whatnot. And keep the Players busy with trying to reclaim her lands while Arthur is still too busy with the Saxons. Especially if her lands are more out of the way, such as in Cambria or in the southern Pennines or in the middle of the Forest Sauvage...

I don't think it makes all that much of a difference, really. THe GM still needs to figur out what the player lady is going to do while the wars come around. Can't very well ask the player to stay home when they run Badon.

34 minutes ago, Morien said:

As for Romance and Tournaments, no reason that those can't feature already in Conquest.

Well,if you do that, you could just retcon them back to Uther's reign. The game leave them out of the early periods for reasons -mainly to give the game a gritter feeling to contrast with the land under Arthur. So it's all about trade offs.

 

Again we are all just trying to play with the hand we're dealt with. Honestly , if I were the OP I'd probably nix the lady player character, or at least make sure the player had a knight to play for all the combat stuff. 

 

34 minutes ago, Morien said:

EDIT: Ahvielle, from The Adventure of the Heart Blade, is almost exactly what you were suggesting earlier: a banneret's daughter with a magical sword as an heirloom.

Yes it is. I'm not all that fond of that adventure either. It also showcases the drawbacks of a traditional lady in Pendragon. While Ahvielle is the instigator of the adventure she doesn't actually do much. But I think that giving a PL some sort of wealth/status/item helps to keep her on par with the knights. The PKs can't just blow her off an unimportant.

But the problem remains that ladies in Arthurian literature don't do much in an adventure. At least not anything good. That makes it much tougher for a GM. While some courtly adventures will be fine with ladies. Something like what Karr did with the Poisoned Apple incident would be a great adventure for Knights and Ladies, but I' not sure what a player lady could do while the knights fight a giant or dragon, other than to get abducted.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh wow guys, that's an amazing set of answers- thanks very much! Ok so just to comment on a few points you all raised there:

 

- Morien, that Jeff link looks great; seeing how someone has handled the practicalities will be invaluable. I'll check it out in full soon, but just looking at the summary thoughtfully provided confirms some of the things I was considering. Definitely I am pondering some Lady-centric stories based around their skill sets, and my Lady is the sort of player who will really appreciate a story that's not combat based. The important thing for me is to maintain player agency- more on that below. I pondered the idea of inter-player romance/marriage but I doubt it would work out well in my group! It would be hilarious but more trouble than it's worth.

- Atgxtg (am I pronouncing that right?), sorry, I don;t know if I misread that last bit- was that an offer at the end to take a quick look at the cards in my behalf? That's an above-and-beyond response if so, but in any case that's another really helpful answer. I think a lot of them could be easily gender inverted, but I might rattle my brains to think of some distinct Lady-situations too. The Book of Feasts is just a great product in general, great for giving the game a bit of a change in pace and it was immediately obvious it was perfect for situations where Ladies could play alongside Knights in the same story with no issues, so it was the supplement closest to being bang on the kind of thing I needed- hence I am keen to get the deck working for everyone.

Indeed, the literature sources are to blame here and I am not literally criticising Pendragon- especially the main rules set- for not making this any sort of priority. My RPing philosophy when working with source material is always to show a tremendous respect for that material, but at the same time to recognise that these things were never meant to be fossilised and so there is a delicate balance to be found of how to put your own stamp on something whilst not undermining its basis. In the end, it is still going to be a campaign with knights at its heart and the Lady player understands this, but I think narratively there is some space to push the boundaries a bit to get some very meaningful Lady stories in there. I think she could play a powerful and meaningful role even at a supporting level, and heck, you never know where these stories go until you run them. Ultimately, it will be good roleplaying if done right, and that's the best reason of all!

I'd been pondering the heiress thing. If I am going to be pushing at the boundaries, then dealing with the possibilities of unwanted marriage is thematically very strong, giving the player a chance both to show some personality as they are not slaves to the system, but also needing some intelligence to deal with the problem in a way that doesn't completely undermine her place in society. The player involved already helped me with an experimental run through the Book of Sires which gave us a suggested background that might play very well into that kind of idea, though it's not all fully formed yet.

- Morien the Second, the group size is an interesting question. It can be up to 7 but one of the meta-things we have to work with these days is what with jobs, families and other real life issues we rarely have a reliable long-term run of all of us there at once. We try to write stories with that in mind, and this is actually anther reason I thought Pendragon might work well, as the campaign structure seems very flexible. If some quests are done with various different groups of knights, it's no disaster; solo adventures allow for catch ups (I can even do some stuff via email between sessions), I can focus on different things at different times and my group won't mind a little variation in power levels if one player is more consistent than others. Related, avoiding the Lady-boredom thing was indeed on my mind! I had pondered three different solutions. First, I can prioritise running combat-heavy stories when she's not there (it's particularly easy to explain her absence, after all- one advantage of a Lady!). Second, I can prioritise less-combat heavy stories when she IS there (like that murder mystery one in one of the supplements). Thirdly, every so often I think it's ok to put her in a position of great peril where she will be dependant on the other players. No-one likes to be a fish out of water all the time but as an occasional thing it;s a good RPing challenge. By the same logic, I expect some of the knights to feel pretty useless in some of the Lady-based stories I may write!

The thing about not running the GPC from the start strikes me as the sort of eminently sensible advice that I may end up not taking, even though I am sure you are right that it will be less work. The way I am writing things right now is that I am starting with a mini-campaign set in the 480-484 period, with pre-generated characters of reasonable power (including one Lady) and some set motivations. I'll run this like a standard RP game without any of the big Pendragon complications like running your household/family etc, and it will give the players a chance to get used to the system and the setting, whilst I introduce early versions of some of my planned plot elements. The pregens will be written out (one way or another!) at 484 and then the players roll up for their characters for the campaign after that, with a good idea of what might be useful for their characters. After that I can start dropping in the wider Pendragon systems. The prequel setup I had in mind works better if it dovetails into 485. It will quickly become a godawful time to be a Lady indeed, but I might be able to take that head-on. The advice about running Ladies in a later period is all appreciated though, because that means I can do a complete change of pace for the early life of her descendants (assuming the player elects to keep playing as Lady, which I suspect she will).

Making direct connections between the Lady and some of the players sounds like an excellent idea. For sure, the player here will absolutely love being the one to come up with more intellectual solutions to problems that the knights will often just charge their biggest lance at. Whilst I am not planning magic characters, I am definitely planning a magic-heavy plotline, which work well alongside a thinky approach.

Jeffjerwin (and also a bit of Morien above)- I find the idea of making the Lady actually part of some of the quest backgrounds, or even generating the quests, a fascinating one. Did I read around here somewhere that one of the possible ideas for the upcoming magic rules was for the magic player to be some from of quest giver sometimes? I don't plan to run magic players in my game but it's a great concept that could work with Ladies. I shall have to think on this more- thanks!

 

You've all helped me a heck of a lot already. Great community guys- I'll keep paying attention here and see what I can work out!

 

Edited by Ushgarak
Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Ushgarak said:

- Atgxtg (am I pronouncing that right?), sorry,

LOL! Do worry, it orongally was how I remembered my PINN number for my ATM card (back when they had 3 digits). I've kept it as a ID because it is usally unique, as opposed to something like Steve#1147 or Fred#921

25 minutes ago, Ushgarak said:

I don;t know if I misread that last bit- was that an offer at the end to take a quick look at the cards in my behalf?

Yeah, although it isn't entirely on your behalf. The situation could come up in other games, including my own, and some of us have been kicking around ideas on how to improve the situation for female characters. I we can figure out a way to adjust a the feast cards it would help. And if I look at it now, I won't have to do so in a panic, on the fly, during an acutal game session. 

25 minutes ago, Ushgarak said:

That's an above-and-beyond response if so, but in any case that's another really helpful answer. I think a lot of them could be easily gender inverted, but I might rattle my brains to think of some distinct Lady-situations too.

Yeah, but unless you are printing all your own cards you need to make any new cards blend in with the existing ones. IMO it would be much easier to try and minimize the changes  to try and keep it all as compatible as  possible with the existing text.. I'm much easier to keep a cheat sheet with alterate rules for a half dozen cards than to try and print up a whole new deck or to introduce 20 or so female specific cards. 

As a off the head rule, I'd say if you can't make sesne of the card for a female character, let the player draw a new one.

25 minutes ago, Ushgarak said:

Indeed, the literature sources are to blame here and I am not literally criticising Pendragon- especially the main rules set- for not making this any sort of priority.

Somewhat. Arthurian literature is what it is. It was never supposed to be a modern setting fair to everyone with gender equality and freedom of religion and such. It a mythical, sprobably fedual setting that is patriarchal. It's King Arthur Pendragon, not Freely Elected Governor Arthur Pendragon, And that's fine. It's a game and no one actually thinks socieity shoudl work this way, anymore than D&D players think that everyone should walk around carrying a sword. 

 

GMs and players need to accept the setting for what it is. The game might not be the right fit for all groups or all players. And that's not just a gender thing. The game greatest strength is also it's greatest drawback-it's all about knights. Anything else is going to need extra attention to make it work. In my current campaign one of the players is running a Saxon Shieldmaiden and I had to make some adjustments to keep the character interesting and relevant in a world of knights. Last session everyone discovered just how useful the Wotanic relgios bonus (+1d6 damage), mark of the hammer (+2 damage), can be a sea with a  Composite Bow( 3d6+3 damage), especially when none of the knights have bothered to learn how to use a missle weapon. 

But the Shield maiden is a backup to the character's main character, who is a squire, and she also has a knight character as well. So I've got options when working up adventures to keep her involved and interested. 

25 minutes ago, Ushgarak said:

My RPing philosophy when working with source material is always to show a tremendous respect for that material, but at the same time to recognise that these things were never meant to be fossilised and so there is a delicate balance to be found of how to put your own stamp on something whilst not undermining its basis. In the end, it is still going to be a campaign with knights at its heart and the Lady player understands this, but I think narratively there is some space to push the boundaries a bit to get some very meaningful Lady stories in there. I think she could play a powerful and meaningful role even at a supporting level, and heck, you never know where these stories go until you run them. Ultimately, it will be good roleplaying if done right, and that's the best reason of all!

The seems basically sound. The key sticking point is as Morien already mentioned, combat. Knights tend to deal with alot of situations through might of arms, and that doesn't give the lady much to do. Now that is alright, as long as they player has something to do during the session and if the fights aren't too long. 

 

What you might want to consider is to give the player an NPC, either a knight or family retainer to roll for, especially if the retainer has some non knightly skills that could be useful.. Maybe even let the player roll for any NPK to whom she has given her favor. That way the player still gets to remain involved and the character is also involved. Some of us have talked about  a lady getting some glory for deeds done in her name. 

 

25 minutes ago, Ushgarak said:

I'd been pondering the heiress thing. If I am going to be pushing at the boundaries, then dealing with the possibilities of unwanted marriage is thematically very strong, giving the player a chance both to show some personality as they are not slaves to the system,

Well to to clarify things the key points, IMO are:

  1. Land/Rank/Rare Item all help to give the lady more status and make her desirable as a wife, which allows the GM to introduce more NPKs, jealous ladies and so forth.
  2. It also allows you to set up some sort of long term important goal for her to strive towards, ideally with the willing support of the other players. 
  3. This also make her "more equal" to the other player characters and less window dressing. 

The Lady character makes it harder for you, the GM, as you cannot rely as much on combat when designing or running adventures. You no longer have the luxury of just tossing in a bandit encounter to liven up a slow adventure. Plus you need to sell that idea to the other players. You want to make sure the players don't yiew court the same way old dungeron crawlers used to view being in town.

25 minutes ago, Ushgarak said:

but also needing some intelligence to deal with the problem in a way that doesn't completely undermine her place in society. The player involved already helped me with an experimental run through the Book of Sires which gave us a suggested background that might play very well into that kind of idea, though it's not all fully formed yet.

Try this: What is there is someone else with a claim on the land, that threatens to take some or all of it away? They could show up either before the PL get posession of the estate or afterwards. Then you could run some adventures where the group discovers just who this new person actually is and how legit their claim is (or isn't).

 

25 minutes ago, Ushgarak said:

You've all helped me a heck of a lot already. Great community guys- I'll keep paying attention here and see what I can work out!

Thanks. We try. This is a pretty good gaming site. We have our disagreements and fights, but for the most part we get along and try to be helpful.

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I could see making a case fo the 531 start year. Romance and tournaments give the ladies a lot more to do.

Agree. If you want a game friendly to the ladies, go for 531. 525 or 520 (45 years to 565, so 2 generations) is good two. It's the classical arthurian feel, and a lady can go with the boys as a healer and many other things. There is a bunch of nice published adventures you can play with a lady, like:

  • The adventure of the Werewolf in the Spectre King
  • The  Adventure of the Mysterious Manor in Tales of Chivalry and Romance
  • The Adventure of Cerran Abbas in Tales of Chivalry and Romance
  • Even the Adventure of castle Wakely in Tales of Chivalry and Romance

Uther's reign (and Anarchy for obvious reasons) is dark, brutal, with a lot of wars and pillage, and not a nice place to be a lady.

Sure, you can craft a good story for a lady with the same setting, but you have to shift the focus from a male perspective to a female one, and this will not be classical Pendragon, but Jane Austen met Uther Pendragon.

Otherwise, your Player could have a backup character, a knight (her husband, brother, cousin, wathever) she will play when war rages on (It's a suggestion in Book of the Entourage, and a nice one).

To be honest, all the women I play with are happy to play a male knight. I will impose a male knight as a first character to show the setting and the game.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

To be honest, all the women I play with are happy to play a male knight. I will impose a male knight as a first character to show the setting and the game.

In my current campaign I have a female player, and I had a talk with her beforehand to make sure she understood the focus and limitations of the setting. She did have to play a male knight, but we could open things up a bit with backup characters. That's who the shieldmaiden character happened. Later on she might run a girl disguised as a boy to try and keep the family manor. So there are possibilities but they take a little more work. Especially if trying to remain true to the setting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my players is a female player using a Lady Knight. I talked with her beforehand about how to deal with it (I didn't want to discourage it. I'm a woman, I won't reject female characters out of hand!) and she told me she was interested in being an outsider, and having to deal with the limitations imposed by her gender (she had her husband imposed upon her by her lord, for example) and being seen as some kind of freak. We also determined she was the first Lady Knight in living memory (and knights being such a recent thing, probably the first Lady Knight, full stop) so we decided that she was a bit of a sign: if she does well and gets a lot of Glory, Lady Knights will probably be slightly more accepted: not common, but something you can find in some areas (mostly in their county, where she would be more respected and influential) in small numbers, and be treated with more respect and rights (like being allowed to choose their husbands and run their states without being wards), but if she fails, specially if she fails hard, she will be seen as an example of why women shouldn't be knights. She is dealing with a bit more shit than the other knights, but when I asked she told me that if she didn't want to deal with patriarchal limitations and stereotypes she wouldn't be playing a female knight :P

She also has 17 Proud, which isn't making things easier for her.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Clophiroth said:

She is dealing with a bit more shit than the other knights, but when I asked she told me that if she didn't want to deal with patriarchal limitations and stereotypes she wouldn't be playing a female knight

love it! That's the spirit, especially with her proud 17.

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

So there are possibilities but they take a little more work. Especially if trying to remain true to the setting.

Indeed, there are possibilites but you have to talk with your players.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Clophiroth said:

We also determined she was the first Lady Knight in living memory (and knights being such a recent thing, probably the first Lady Knight, full stop) so we decided that she was a bit of a sign: if she does well and gets a lot of Glory, Lady Knights will probably be slightly more accepted:

That is pretty similar what we did in our old campaign. She ended up with something like 13k in Glory and one of the founding members of the Round Table, so it was no wonder that other female knights followed.

In our current campaign, female knights are somewhat more common, partially due to the way the childbirth rolls came out...

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Tizun Thane said:

Indeed, there are possibilites but you have to talk with your players.

That's probably true with any unorthodox player character in any RPG. Making sure that everyone is on the same page and what their expectations are, and if they are viable for the game.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Morien said:

Starting Year 519: I would seriously, seriously consider not running the whole GPC, especially given that you already said you are pressed for time. Uther Period and Anarchy are all about might makes right and women are property & prizes more than anything else. Boy King is full of Battles, sidelining the Lady. Instead, I would start after Badon Hill, and keep the PKs home rather than send them to the Roman War. The Lady character should be an heiress (like Atgxtg suggested), but more importantly, she should be one of Guenever's trusted confidants. Heck, I would fill Logres in 526-528 full of plots now that Arthur and most of his goody-two-shoe knights are away and use the Lady as Guenever's Inquisitor, ferreting out plots and solving mysteries, with the PKs as her personal Brute Squad. Assuming the Players would be into such storyline. (Historical comparison, Eleanor of Aquitaine as de facto regent during Richard the Lionheart's crusade and even before that.)

 

20 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

This is a canon aspect of the stories that isn't reflected in the existing adventures. I suggest making the lady not just a heiress, but a dispossessed heiress (like of Rydychan in the GPC). They can plan the recovery of their own lands, and potentially get involved in intrigues, scouting the lost castles, and seeking out still-loyal retainers.

I felt like these were the two best pieces of advice and would like to echo them. I told my group to be a male knight for their first character unless they had a strong compulsion to the otherwise, I think it was the right choice because part of the trouble with Uther's period and the Anarchy is that thematically women should have less agency and valued less. It's a boy's club and Arthur changes that by valuing women and his queen. We had a lady knight played by a man then by a woman (character changed hands after a job took the first player away) it worked well. She was a knight incognito. 

The second character we had was a lady with a backup knight protector as her bastard brother. She's being played currently but her usage has been limited since she came in during 514 which was the earliest I would allow it. However, I think that may have been a mistake. If I were to do it again, I'd move her to 519 because of how much time the battles take up during a session of the Boy King Period. There's just not enough time for the great soap opera drama that makes for the most memorable of Pendragon experiences. It's been battle after battle and I think the agency given to women by Arthur plus the fact that the best knights will be gone during the Conquest period will make for some great stories for ladies in that time. How do they maintain the kingdom while the good men are away?

One thing I would do is adapt the rebellion against Arthur during his Roman campaign which is where it's placed during some of the medieval works and seed that while Arthur is gone and make it so that the women have to stop the rebellion by sowing dissent or gaining allegiances in the service of the Queen.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...