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The Wanderer

Book of Feasts... recommended or not?

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Hello, I've just acquired the Book of Feasts but I still haven't read it. Do you recommend using it in the game or not?

PS: as skype or zoom is not possible for us, the next weeks of quarantine I'm going to run the campaign via forum for my players (I created a forum for that matter). Any suggestions?

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24 minutes ago, The Wanderer said:

Hello, I've just acquired the Book of Feasts but I still haven't read it. Do you recommend using it in the game or not?

I have heard good things about it, provided that you don't overuse it. Especially the Glory rules need a fix, IMHO, since the PKs are only competing against one another, meaning that one of them always gets the huge amount of Glory for being Most Genial, even if they are all louts.

See previous threads (such as this one https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/10767-book-of-feasts-question/ ) for some ideas and discussion on how to use the book.

Personally, I have not used it yet, since I had my own feast rules, but I have been thinking about getting the thing and incorporating it to my own campaign.

 

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For what is worth, I've used three times and had a lot of fun, creating incredibly good hooks for new stories which were developed later on.

regarding playing online: I make the players roll 1d155 and then I post the Jpeg of the Card.

It works for us!

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1 hour ago, The Wanderer said:

Hello, I've just acquired the Book of Feasts but I still haven't read it. Do you recommend using it in the game or not?

Yes, I recommend it, providing you buy or print the cards to go with it. The cards are the heart and soul of the Book of Feasts. 

 

Also, as Morien pointed out, it's best to use sparingly, both because of the time it takes up in the session (you can easily spend an hour or more running a feast, depending on what cards are played and what sort of story ideas the GM came into the feat with), and because the novelty of the cards/feast drops off with over use. A good deal of the fun is that the players don't know just what can happen because they do not know all the cards. Once the cards become familiar to them it becomes more routine.

There are a few issues with the Feast procedure, especially the seating and glory awards, but they are minor, and any issues are easily overlooked as the feasts are a  lot of fun to play out. GMs should be prepared to go with the flow and improvise some stuff based upon the card play. I've seen PKs unexpecteldy married off young, rivals made and plot hooks dropped for future adevntures.

 

1 hour ago, The Wanderer said:

PS: as skype or zoom is not possible for us, the next weeks of quarantine I'm going to run the campaign via forum for my players (I created a forum for that matter). Any suggestions?

Yes, but it depends a lot on what Peroid you are playing in and what supplements you use. 

Something like a hunt can be good since you can run multiple groups at once easier in a forum as opposed to live play. I'd also suggest a few images, and maps to help set the mood. 

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I really recommend it. Much like everyone else, we use the book rather sparingly. Probably more than many on the forum though. I'd say we usually have a feast nearly every other year sometimes more often. But not Everytime there's a feast. The glory is higher than for some events, but not higher than others and considering the amount of time is similar to running a short adventure or a few combats, I don't think it's overinflated.

We have ran into problems with late game knights and higher glory. Once you have relatively high glory in your 40s or even late 30s you end up drawing so many cards that you frequently have mandatory cards either as host cards or true mandatory cards in your hand and that lessens some of the fun of the cards.

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2 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

For feasts less important where you don't use the BotF, what rules do you use?

I like Book of Feast but I have thus far avoided using it for any social meeting or court, in order to speed up things and allow some variety in the game experience.

Sometimes I use a lot of ad-hoc GM& player improvisation or, if I'm bored, I roll on the "Courtly Experience" table from this pdf.
https://www.chaosium.com/content/FreePDFs/Pendragon/NM14 - Marriage of Count Roderick.pdf

 

Furthermore, Book of Uther p. 60-62 has some tables for creating very quick adventure-hooks for  court intrigues, but you have to work developing them.

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3 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

For feasts less important where you don't use the BotF, what rules do you use?

For lesser feasts I usually don't do anything. Sometimes I give out glory for attending it, if it is significant in some way. Keep in mind that knights are attending feats throughout the year, on the major holidays. If a group tried to roleplay every feast, they would never get through the year. The same holds true for hunts. The ones you play out are either stand out in some way, or meant to be representative of the whole activity.

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1 hour ago, Luca Cherstich said:

Sometimes I use a lot of ad-hoc GM& player improvisation or, if I'm bored, I roll on the "Courtly Experience" table from this pdf.
https://www.chaosium.com/content/FreePDFs/Pendragon/NM14 - Marriage of Count Roderick.pdf

 

Furthermore, Book of Uther p. 60-62 has some tables for creating very quick adventure-hooks for  court intrigues, but you have to work developing them.

Thank you very much :)

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9 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

For feasts less important where you don't use the BotF, what rules do you use?

I usually have them roll a courtly skill and roleplay off it and if they do particularly well there may be glory involved. Then we have a few interactions with the host and we're done.

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On 4/17/2020 at 12:51 PM, Luca Cherstich said:

regarding playing online: I make the players roll 1d155 and then I post the Jpeg of the Card.

Just curious, how do you roll 155? not easily divisible.

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1 hour ago, Hzark10 said:

Just curious, how do you roll 155? not easily divisible.

Probably with a tablet app. Computers can roll all sorts of wield dice.

I was thinking that an app which actually shuffled a deck and showed a hand of cards could be useful.

Edited by Atgxtg
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2 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

Just curious, how do you roll 155? not easily divisible.

As people said, easy enough with a computer program. If I were to roll it with actual dice:

1d20 + (1d8-1)*20, if over 155, reroll.

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Yeah, I came up with the idea of rolling a d8 first and then applying it to the roll. Yours is more elegant.  For the last, I had 156-159 reroll. and 160 being choose your card.

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One suggestion: be careful NOT to over-use this book.

I would say: use it no more than once every one or two years.

I really like it and at some point I even used it twice in a single year due to the presence of TWO different important marriages.....but I'll wait some times before I'll use it again.

155 cards seems a lot, but they really are not and using this book every year will make some cards to appear more frequently.

Off course I always interpret cards, adapting the results to the NPCs which I know are present to the specific situation....but I do not want to waste the surprise for players.

For example In the last two feasts I've noticed that there are too many cards with unknown ladies to be involved.

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On 4/29/2020 at 5:35 PM, Luca Cherstich said:

no more than once every one or two years.

Even this is too often according to the author, but I’m not in a state where I can look up the source atm. Probably this forum though, or rpggeek.

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34 minutes ago, Puckohue said:

Even this is too often according to the author, but I’m not in a state where I can look up the source atm. Probably this forum though, or rpggeek.

Unless David has issued another statement somewhere else:

"The idea is that any feast in which you break out the Feast Deck and the special rules is going to be the feast of the year for the P-Ks. Not necessarily the grandest or largest feast they attend or host, but the most memorable, and therefore the one deserving of Glory. As Morien suggested, I would limit these to one per year. So if your group wants to game the system and take turns hosting, fine. If you have a five-player group, each knight is earning an extra 100 Glory every five years. I also like the suggestion of going out of your way to make things complicated for the host--putting on a feast should be stressful!"

In this thread: https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/8975-feast-question/

(Just to add quickly that the above thread has a lot of my comments on how I would use Book of Feasts, such as changing the amount of Glory and basically not using it in any tiny PK-organized feasts, unless they are at least on a baronial level and have significant quests.)

Edited by Morien

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Thanks, that thread helped me find David’s design notes at https://www.chaosium.com/blogpendragon-design-notes-the-book-of-feasts/

where he writes

”There should be a hard limit of no more than one such feast a year, and I would recommend reserving the Feast Deck and only bringing it out on average of once every three to five years.”

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Yeah, when we first got the Book of Feasts we ran a lot of feasts and ended up overdoing it. Not only did it eat up a lot of the playing session but the feast cards started to loose their novelty with repetition. So I used it less often, and, as if often the case, less was more.

One of the interesting side effects of the Feast cards is that the random events can often be weaved into existing story threads. For instance, in my current campaign the Count questions the loyalty of some of the PKs due to said PKs fanatical devotion to their knightly order, spurred on by their rivals at court. At last session's Victory Feast over the Saxons (475, in Dorsette, combined with the adenture of the Knight of the Tusks), there were several Host related event cards where the Count discovered that some of the PKs have a high Loyalty (Count) passion, others gave good council, and still other proved helpful at the feast. He found out quite a bit about the PKs at the feast and it will modify his opinions of them. It all fits in nicely with my campaign, just by interpreting the various random events on the cards.

 

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