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Luca Cherstich

Passions in conflict (possible SPOILER)

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How do you behave when two passions conflict?

Do you roll them like you would do for opposing traits?

Let make a practical example.

 

King Uther in 481 orders his vassals to invade Bedegraine.

The example PC is a Household Knight of Earl Roderick but his first cousin is a Household Knight of the Bedegraine King.

The PC has both passions NOT at "famous" level (let say "Loyalty 11 and Love:Family 15").

Since none of his passions is at 16, nothing seems to force its behaviour.

However, this is definitively a stressful situation, in case he faces his cousin on the battlefield (especially since the invasion of Bedegraine is an especially "un-justified" or even "evil"  act by Uther).

 

Without considering any social consequence for disobedience (like been outlawed or something similar) what are the psychological consequences?

I'm for leaving the PC complete agency in this peculiar situation.

  • If he chooses to obey his Earl (and therefore the King), he may get a check in Loyalty: Earl Roderick but lose 1 point of Love:Family.
  • If he chooses to disobey the Earl (whatever the punishment will be), he may get a check in Love:Family but lose 1 point of Loyalty: Earl Roderick.

In both cases, whatever choice is made, if the player seems to be particularly upset about the situation, I'm for giving him Hate (Uther) at 4d6.

 

Any thought?

(And maybe also suggestions about both psychological and practical/social consequences?)

Edited by Luca Cherstich

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If the PK do not have high values (16+), I let them choose. Usually, they lost 1 point in the ignored passion and a check (or +1) in the other.

If they don't know, they roll one passion against the other.

If they have one high passion, they must chose this passion, or roll if they are trying to ignore it.

If they have two high passions, the fun begins. Drama, tears!

In your exemple, an astute PK could find a way to reconcile the 2 passions. he can follow the count in battle, and try to save his cousin fighting in the other side by one way or another.

25 minutes ago, Luca Cherstich said:

(especially since the invasion of Bedegraine is an especially "un-justified" or even "evil"  act by Uther).

It's not the place of mere knight to question his anointed king (check proud, just, - 1 loyalty Uther)

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Sounds good. The following is just my preferences, not based on the rulebook:

I don’t think I would have given check or penalty for doing your duty (invading Bedegraine) - that’s just the expected action. I would have given check and penalty for disobedience, though.

For the Hate (Uther) passion, I would let the player decide if it was fitting or not.

Normaly when giving new passions, we give them a value of 10+1d6. If they are lower than 10 they will seldom be rolled, and if they’re higher than 16 lose a bit of their dangerous and fun edge.

In rare exceptions, if it seems extremely important and positive to the character, we might do 12+1d6 instead.

(Sidenote: We have also houseruled that the value of a passion indicates how positive or negative an influence it is, more than how strong it is. So a passion of 11 could be extremely strong ( strong enough to make you tear the fellowship of the round table apart), it’s just more likely to make you cry or mope or go running screaming into the woods instead of inspiring you to be great. That seems more in line with how it works mechanicaly.)

Edited by Baba
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3 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

If the PK do not have high values (16+), I let them choose. Usually, they lost 1 point in the ignored passion and a check (or +1) in the other.

If they don't know, they roll one passion against the other.

If they have one high passion, they must chose this passion, or roll if they are trying to ignore it.

If they have two high passions, the fun begins. Drama, tears!

In your exemple, an astute PK could find a way to reconcile the 2 passions. he can follow the count in battle, and try to save his cousin fighting in the other side by one way or another.

Pretty much the above.

However, I would note that the example as given would not qualify for Love (Family) in my opinion. Just because you have family fighting on the other side isn't good enough. It needs to be more immediate than that. Like do you raid your cousin's manor (assuming that he is a vassal knight instead of a household one)? Do you personally attack the patrol that the cousin is part of?

As for the penalties, you pretty much have to do what your liege commands. I mean, you have some wiggle-room on how to carry out the orders and of course if it is something dishonorable, then other things come to play: see KAP 5.2, p. 95, Table 4.3. Treason against your liege is -5 Honor, but killing a kinsman is -6. So assuming that your kinsman is attacking your liege, the correct course of action would be to fight defensively to protect your liege, interposing yourself between them. Which hopefully would cause the kinsman to break off the attack and retreat. Most (good) lieges would understand your reluctance to actually kill your kinsman, and even understand you pleading for his life, if he has been captured. Although if the kinsman was trying to assassinate the liege rather than face him in battle honorably, this might not be enough... But if you stand aside and do nothing while your liege is attacked, this is very bad and grounds to be labelled at best a coward and an oathbreaker, or in addition to the previous, also an accomplice in the murder of your own liege. Heck, I think that people would have more understanding under such a situation if you end up fighting against your kinsman and accidentally (damage dice) killing him. In other words, blaming more the kinsman who put you into such no-win situation than you.

Historically, it was not uncommon for knights to have family members on both sides. Intermarrying amongst the nobility was common, so it was easy to have in-laws and cousins on the other side, and during rebellions, you might easily have brothers fighting on both sides to ensure that someone of the family would be on the winning side. And of course when we scale up to royal level, Henry I and his elder brother Robert Curthose fought battles against one another several times, and this was continued by Robert's son William Clito, who raise many rebellions against his uncle, Henry I. Or King Stephen fighting against his cousin, Empress Matilda, for the crown of England? And who can forget the Angevin lion cubs raising at least two rebellions against their father, Henry II? 

Edited by Morien
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For me it depends on the situation and just how much they are opposed to each other. Usually it would be a roll, but if one passion is low I'll usually let a player ignore or override it. 

If both passions are moderate to strong, then I usually require an opposed roll, although I might apply a modifier depending upon the circumstances. For example saving your liege lord's life is generally more important than going to town to buy the woman you love a new dress, and so the contest wouldn't be equal. Vice versa would also hold true, although probably not to the same extent due to the "top down" nature of feudal society. 

 

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I agree with @Morien that it would take more than just being in a war or battle against each other. You need to get into a situation where both passion contradict. For instance your lord who orders you to kill your kinsman. If you get in that situation I would usually let the player decide what he wants to do or let both passions rolled against each other (oppossed). Even if one is 16+ and the other not. The winner is the passion that rules the situation.

So yes this can mean you do not act the way everyone expect, maybe even including yourself. It is the drama after all. You may not act as rational as you think. Afterwards the PK can lament on his choice and the unfairness of life. For me this is the core of KAP. You must make a choice and sometimes both are bad ones. And yes, eahc choice will have consequences. 

I do have a houserule that you can decide to act in a different way, but this will affect both passions (usually a +1 or -1 depending if you act for or against it)

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On 3/16/2020 at 3:17 PM, Cornelius said:

I agree with @Morien that it would take more than just being in a war or battle against each other. You need to get into a situation where both passion contradict..

Both going to war against each other makes both passions contradicting almost unavoidable. Fighting against someone that you have sworn fealty to is acting against then and thus against the Fealty passion to them. About the only way I see a knight avoiding such a conflict is if he isn't directly involved in the conflict. For instance, the knight is assigned to defend against the Saxons or PIcts while the two Lords fight it out. That was his loyalties do not come into conflict.

On 3/16/2020 at 3:17 PM, Cornelius said:

For instance your lord who orders you to kill your kinsman. If you get in that situation I would usually let the player decide what he wants to do or let both passions rolled against each other (oppossed). Even if one is 16+ and the other not. The winner is the passion that rules the situation.

Is a very tough situation. Depending on the circumstances, it can actually be one of the handful of acceptable  justifications for a knight to turn against his liege lord. The kinsman would have to have done some very egregious/traitorous to warrant the killing. It could easily be a situation where the knight turns to his liege and explains that he simply cannot kill his own brother/son/cousin/etc. and probably be forgiven and excused on the task by the liege lord. 

 

I would ususally force this to be a passion roll, assuming that at least one of the passions is high. 15 vs. 15 is typical, and a 16+ on either or both is probably likely. Even if a PK doesn't have much love for his family, he's probably not going to want to kill a relative. 

 

On 3/16/2020 at 3:17 PM, Cornelius said:

So yes this can mean you do not act the way everyone expect, maybe even including yourself. It is the drama after all. You may not act as rational as you think. Afterwards the PK can lament on his choice and the unfairness of life. For me this is the core of KAP. You must make a choice and sometimes both are bad ones. And yes, eahc choice will have consequences. 

I do have a houserule that you can decide to act in a different way, but this will affect both passions (usually a +1 or -1 depending if you act for or against it)

I like the concept but I find the execution to be dubious. What if someone had Loyalty (Lord) 3 and Love Family (19)? If you just let the player choose then the passion scores do not note the strength of the passion anymore, only the likihood of getting inspired by it. 

 

Greg, orginal itent, watered down somewhat due to complaints, is that the traits and passions do rule the character's actions to some extent. 

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On 3/12/2020 at 11:04 AM, Tizun Thane said:

If they don't know, they roll one passion against the other

I was just thiking...what happens if rolling passions in this "trait-like" way?

Do you treat them like trait or do you consider results as Success:Inspired VS Failure:Disheartened?

And, if so, one can become Disheartened by a failure + Inspired by a Success in the opposite passion, or inspired by both....isn't it a mess?

Maybe I would just use them as conflict traits, with not consequences on Inspiration/Disaheartening

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13 minutes ago, Luca Cherstich said:

I was just thiking...what happens if rolling passions in this "trait-like" way?

Do you treat them like trait or do you consider results as Success:Inspired VS Failure:Disheartened?

Like a trait. 

The idea here is to see which passion wins out, when in conflict, whereas inspiration is when a passion drives a character to attempt some great deed because/for the object of the passion. 

For instance a knight gets inspired to perform a mission for his liege, or impress his Amor, or to save a family member or some such. But there have to be some goal to be inspired to achieve. 

Quote

And, if so, one can become Disheartened by a failure + Inspired by a Success in the opposite passion, or inspired by both....isn't it a mess?

If you treated it as "Success:Inspired VS Failure:Disheartened" then you could end up in a situation where the character is inspired by one passion but disheartened by another, and that would be difficult to play.

Yes, and a good reason why it doesn't work that way.

Not every roll of a passion is for inspirational purposes. Inspiration is just one aspect of a passion. For example a character with a high Love (Family) passion would probably be more likely to be upset by the death of a child than one with a low Love (Family) passion. 

 

Quote

Maybe I would just use them as conflict traits, with not consequences on Inspiration/Disaheartening

That is the intent. 

The guiding rule here is that inspiration is being to used to accomplish some specific task, not just to get a bonus. The player is supposed to declare what they are trying to achieve before they roll for inspiration (and the GM decides if the use seems valid). If the player doesn't have any sort of goal to be inspired to, then they are not going to be inspirited and get a bonus.

Edited by Atgxtg
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On 3/20/2020 at 7:58 PM, Atgxtg said:

I like the concept but I find the execution to be dubious. What if someone had Loyalty (Lord) 3 and Love Family (19)? If you just let the player choose then the passion scores do not note the strength of the passion anymore, only the likihood of getting inspired by it. 

It is a bit of a grey area I admit, but I have players who like to tell a good story, so usually go with the result of the dies, even if it means the result means they lose a notable passion.

It is mainly used when for instance they were in similar situations and acted diffirent or their passions are formed because of similar situations. If the player feels that the roll does not reflect the way his character acts he can change it, but it usually means we talk about it and how it relates to the story as a whole.

The main reson I use this rule is to give the player the control on how the character acts and not the dice. To be honest I like to let the players first explain to me what they wish to do and then change the passions depending on their actions and motivations, and do not use dice rolls. 

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5 hours ago, Cornelius said:

It is a bit of a grey area I admit, but I have players who like to tell a good story, so usually go with the result of the dies, even if it means the result means they lose a notable passion.

Okay, but that really wasn't what the passions are there fore. IMO you might be better served with the trait mechanics from Prince Valiant. There the players are free to do as they wish but earn fame (=glory) when thier actions match up with their traits. 

5 hours ago, Cornelius said:

It is mainly used when for instance they were in similar situations and acted diffirent or their passions are formed because of similar situations. If the player feels that the roll does not reflect the way his character acts he can change it, but it usually means we talk about it and how it relates to the story as a whole.

THe thing about that is players will rarely let thier character act in a negative way that they didn't choose, or if they believe their character is being tested somehow. 

5 hours ago, Cornelius said:

The main reson I use this rule is to give the player the control on how the character acts and not the dice. To be honest I like to let the players first explain to me what they wish to do and then change the passions depending on their actions and motivations, and do not use dice rolls. 

I think that's a bad thing in Pendragon though. Quite a few of the adventures revolve around the characters having their traits or passions tested in some way, to see if they are worthy on some honor or reward. If the players get to chose then such adventures become a cakewalk. Frankly, you really can't run those types of adventures with that method as they players will always be able to pass the test.

 

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On 4/15/2020 at 6:26 PM, Atgxtg said:

Okay, but that really wasn't what the passions are there fore. IMO you might be better served with the trait mechanics from Prince Valiant. There the players are free to do as they wish but earn fame (=glory) when thier actions match up with their traits. 

THe thing about that is players will rarely let thier character act in a negative way that they didn't choose, or if they believe their character is being tested somehow. 

I think that's a bad thing in Pendragon though. Quite a few of the adventures revolve around the characters having their traits or passions tested in some way, to see if they are worthy on some honor or reward. If the players get to chose then such adventures become a cakewalk. Frankly, you really can't run those types of adventures with that method as they players will always be able to pass the test.

 

As I said I may have been lucky that I have players who go with the story and like to get their PKs into trouble. So they go with the dice and as of yet I have not had any player invoke this rule.

Also I play the game more like that every choice has a consequence and that usually means their are no good or bad choices, only choices. Sometimes they think that they made the right choice, but will later find out that it had an unexpected consequence. As always YPMV

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4 hours ago, Cornelius said:

As I said I may have been lucky that I have players who go with the story and like to get their PKs into trouble. So they go with the dice and as of yet I have not had any player invoke this rule.

Also I play the game more like that every choice has a consequence and that usually means their are no good or bad choices, only choices. Sometimes they think that they made the right choice, but will later find out that it had an unexpected consequence. As always YPMV

Hey, that's your choice, but it isn't what was intended for Pendragon, in fact is the exact opposite.  I think it will work against your group in some adventures. Still, it's your game.

BTW, how does that factor into inspiration? Can players choose to become inspired?

Edited by Atgxtg

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