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Beyond Solo Scenarios on the Saxon Shore

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One of my players wants to switch to playing PKs so he can take up a household knight. His previous PK participated in the Adventure of Sword Lake, has a tendency to anger powerful people, loves Lady Llylla of the Castle of Vigor, and really hates Saxons. Thus, Count Roderick is going to put him "on loan" to Baron Ederyn, and send him off to kill Saxons for a few years. There's a good chance the player will want to return to this PK at some point.

Looking at the book, I'm wondering how to play this. The Vassal Knight Service solo seems a little short on both Glory and risk of death. At the same time, I'd prefer not to model it on something like the Book of the Estate, where it's all modeled with one roll with no Glory attached. I suppose I could put him through battle rounds or a sample combat against a tough Saxon to model what happens that year.

How would you handle this situation?

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Do you mind if I ask why the player wants to switch to playing a household knight? The thing is, I have found that it tends to be detrimental to switch characters, let alone families, since this tends to cut the dynastic aspect short and also means that all the story threads connecting to the previous PK are somewhat for naught. Also, the Player pretty much has to start building the good will of the NPCs from scratch again. Of course, if the Player is really wanting to do that, sure, but I would be curious as to the reasons. I can understand the love angle, but surely the lady in question has already been married off, if this is like 5+ years after she was introduced in the Marriage of Count Roderick? (Although again, up to the GM on that score, obviously.)

Anyway, you could steal a page out of BoSires (or family history) & the Vassal Solos, and just make up some sort of 1d20 table. Given his hatred of Saxons, he presumably would be spending more of his time raiding/defending, and you can model the raid/defense with another 1d20* roll as if it were a battle. That way, you would get some better idea of how did he do in those raids. Or you could just say that thanks to his high Hate, he tends to participate in such things every year and roll the raid separate from any other service he takes.

* Actually, since he is a PK, it probably would be better to do it in a way you suggest, and use his own skills. Like roll Battle vs. enemy's Battle of 15 to see how his skirmishing goes, and then roll his weapon skills. See this thread which is for a tournament, but a similar thing could work here:

With fumbles increasing the enemy's results by one, so that if he fumbles and enemy succeeds, it counts as a critical hit. Given that Saxons tend to go around with Axes doing 5d6+1d6 vs. shields, this gives him a real chance of getting a major wound or even dying on bad rolling. Of course, I would allow him getting inspired by Hate Saxons for one of the skills, but that brings with it a chance of fumbling the Hate Saxons and driving him mad. I would probably be giving him a check on his Amor for the Lady, if she is still around, since presumably he would pine.

Edited by Morien
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Thank you! I think I am looking for something along those lines.

As for the backstory - I'm altering the system slightly, so I've got female knights and pre-Romance Period use of the Amor passion. Those are my choices.

I figured that Lady Llylla had another couple years, given how picky Ederyn was about her suitors. Then my player declared that he wanted to court her, despite the differences in status. I let him roll for a passion, and he ended up with a high one. So every time a suitor shows, he duels them into a bloody pulp, usually in public - thus the bad relations with powerful people. This has gone on for long enough that Ederyn has lost territory, to the Saxons, including much of what he was going to provide for her dowry.

In this context, "winning" means a wife with a high Cruel who dislikes him immensely for taking her away from better prospects, and a need to negotiate his relationship with the mistress with whom he has a child, and who has the ability to curse people... And the player acknowledges all of this. He likes to switch up characters every so often, and I think he is committed to this crazy situation but might need a break from the drama.

So he's playing a family member - in this case, the older sister / household knight denied her birthright who vanished a few years ago and became the focus of a short scenario to bring her back. I think there's enough backstory and connection to the campaign to make her a viable alternative for a little while.

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3 hours ago, SaxBasilisk said:

So every time a suitor shows, he duels them into a bloody pulp, usually in public - thus the bad relations with powerful people.

Sounds to me that this guy is the perfect candidate for a Samsonian challenge, such as 'conquer back my dowry and bring me the head of the King of Essex, and then I will consent to the marriage'. Either he succeeds, in which case, he has proven his usefulness, or he dies and doesn't cause any more trouble. Then again, the powerful nobles in my campaign tend to reach rather easily for the 'bigger hammer' approach: "Will no one rid me of this turbulent knight? What unfaithful servants I must have, if they do not avenge their lord's mistreatment..." Cue a string of household knight impassioned by their Loyalty [lord] and a gleam of a reward manor in their eyes. In Arthur's age, things are different, but even there, we have the Orkneys murdering de Gales knights, showing that chivalry sometimes takes the backseat to revenge.

Not that I am saying that you should do so, just that in my campaign, it is not healthy to make too many powerful enemies. :P

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