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Clophiroth

Adventures for Squires

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Hello, co-posters!

 

Due to certain circumstances in my campaign (early deaths, mostly) for the next three years my two players will be playing as squires, the eldest children of their previous characters. The problem is... Squires are really restricted in what they can do. Most adventures are written for knights, and most actions will, rightfully, be seen as stealing Glory belonging to proper knights. Last session was a bit of a comical adventure (dealing with a pooka who stole the warhorse of one of the knights while they were camping, and they tried to get the horse back before the knights woke up!), but that is a trick that will exhaust itself very soon, so...

 

Can you help me? What adventures ideas do you think are cool and appropiate with squires? This year is the battle between Nanteleod and Malahaut, and the knights whom the player serve will surely participate, as we are playing with Cambrian knights, and I was thinking to make a battle-lite (each turn the players would roll to a event they have to participate in: from helping their knights out from an ambush, to fight against infantry which is less of a glory-steal, to help carry their wounded knights/search for a horse), so I think I have this year covered, but there are still two other years to cover... Any helpful suggestions?

 

Thanks, people. 

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Battlefield promotions are a thing...

One option that could be considered is to incapacitate the knights that they're serving somehow (e.g. a sudden illness) and then something comes up. The bedridden knights, seeing no other option, send their squires out to deal with the task. Successful completion is then seen as the squires proving their worth and winning their spurs. Hence promotion early to knighthood...

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As Arcadiagt5 said, you can easily get the PK squires knighted early, if they are already close to the knighting age. (My usual cut-off is 18 years; one of the current PKs is 19.5 years old, since his previous PK died during the summer.) What you have in mind for this year, the squires saving the lives of their knights, that is plenty enough to state that they have proven their worth and get knighted early. Alternatively, I think there is heavier fighting ahead, and Nanteleod might decide that every knight is needed: why keep these guys as squires when they already have the (minimum) skills and the equipment necessary for knighthood? Step up and fight for your King and Country!

Now, if you specifically want to keep them as squires and run squire-centric adventures, that is another kettle of fish.

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10 minutes ago, Arcadiagt5 said:

Battlefield promotions are a thing...

One option that could be considered is to incapacitate the knights that they're serving somehow (e.g. a sudden illness) and then something comes up. The bedridden knights, seeing no other option, send their squires out to deal with the task. Successful completion is then seen as the squires proving their worth and winning their spurs. Hence promotion early to knighthood...

That was something I thought, early promotion if they do well. Specially in next session, which is a battle!

 

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Just now, Morien said:

As Arcadiagt5 said, you can easily get the PK squires knighted early, if they are already close to the knighting age. (My usual cut-off is 18 years; one of the current PKs is 19.5 years old, since his previous PK died during the summer.) What you have in mind for this year, the squires saving the lives of their knights, that is plenty enough to state that they have proven their worth and get knighted early. Alternatively, I think there is heavier fighting ahead, and Nanteleod might decide that every knight is needed: why keep these guys as squires when they already have the (minimum) skills and the equipment necessary for knighthood? Step up and fight for your King and Country!

Now, if you specifically want to keep them as squires and run squire-centric adventures, that is another kettle of fish.

I don't really care about keeping them as squires: I would rather make them knights soon, although the players seem to want to play as squires for a bit.

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8 hours ago, Clophiroth said:

the players seem to want to play as squires for a bit.

Well if it is something that they have expressed interest in, it might behoove you to cater to their interest...

I mean, if they are not keen on resuming the life of a knight, why push them? They can play squires in Battles and whatnot, and it is still possible to play some adventures with them while they are squires. Unfortunately, the Anarchy is not the best time for squire-antics: it is much more fun when they are able to act as go-betweens and messengers between a knight and his adored lady, or have to foil a dastardly plot by their knight's rival to cause the knight to embarrass himself during a tournament or stuff like that, which can happen in the later periods. Squires are also acting as servers during the feasts, and might have an opportunity to try to smooth things over, or prevent other squires from making things worse, etc.

I'd talk to the players and find out why they want to play squires, and what is it that they hope to get out of it.

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Maybe you can use the squires as messengers, or even as "investigators"  (a murder, a taxe issue, whatever) while the war is raging elsewhere.

Otherwise, I wrote a little adventure for squires here.

 

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Why not have squire A's knight suffer a major wound or whatever so the squire is out of battle. Then squire B's knight captures an enemy and gives the captive to squire B to take to the rear lines. The captive of course escapes and then the two squires have to re-capture him or face the wrath of the knight. The escapee flees into an old forest/tower/whatever where many dangers lurk.

Edited by 7dot62mm

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If all the players are squires, then one thing you can do is  give them some sort of task, suited for squires, that turns out to be more that originally expected. For instance, a hunt can lead to a group of bandits. Squires sent off to a border manor to deliver a message, get caught up defending against raiders. Keep in mind what the squires of capable of, and give them a challenge they can handle. This can not only give them a nice little adventure without any knights around to steal their thunder, but also can possibly lead to their getting further side missions, or even early promotion to knighthood.

In my current campaign, I started the group off as squires, and they came across a merchant who had been robbed. They hunted down the bandits who stole his cargo, which turned out to be wine for the Archbishop of London. This not only gave them a small adventure suited toward their skill set, but also gave them a couple of contacts (the wine merchant and the Archbishop) that I could (and did) use for further adventures. 

 

Squires in battle are somewhat iffy. Either they act in a supporting role, and don't get to do much (yea, loads of fun, wake me when it's over), or they get a bit more active than they probably should (possible with older squires to knight with multiple squires) and get into the thick of things, where they tend to be over matched, but actual knights and other experienced opponents. It doesn't really work unless the GM sets it up carefully in advance with some sort of story and specific foes.

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good examples, speaking from experience.  Yes, it is possible to run a squire only scenario.  Could even do that for a couple of years.  Be mindful of giving too much glory as the glory awards are scaled for knights.  But, running some adventures to give faces to names which will come up again in later times when they are knights?  Priceless!

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7 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

 

good examples, speaking from experience.  Yes, it is possible to run a squire only scenario.  Could even do that for a couple of years.

 

 

  Be mindful of giving too much glory

Good point. Glory Escalation can be a problem, although it's traits passions and stuff like the religious bonus that has caused most of it in my campaign. That and starting back at 410. Most of the new characters are coming in with 1-2K of inherited glory, and end up being notable before they even got through their first adventure.

 

 

7 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

as the glory awards are scaled for knights.

Yes, but the award is tied to the deed, not to the one doing the deed. For instance if a commoner slays a dragon he would (and should) get all the glory that would go with that along with possibly being knighted. Of course more dragons slay commoners than commoners slay dragons, so it's a non-issue.

Likewise most squires really aren't up to accomplishing adventures that net them lots of glory. By the time they are they are well on their way  to being knighted. 

 

7 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

  But, running some adventures to give faces to names which will come up again in later times when they are knights?  Priceless!

And, in this particular case, necessary. One of the big hurdles with starting in 410 is that I can count the number of named characters the players could interact with. I didn't even a name for the count. So building up some reoccurring characters was vital.

 

Back to squires though, the key is to try and scale things down to the player character's ranks and capabilities, both for game play and game story purposes. If something occasionally turns into more than it was believed to be -that's a potential great adventure, but a GM has to be cautious with stuff like that. It's very easy for things to go awry and one or more squires to get killed off before they really even started. 

 

 

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Paladin actually has some beginning adventurers for squires, and basically the way it handles them is generally by having all the knights be unavailable for a task due to some adventure, and/or the squires are given a task that turns out to be more adventurous than bargained for. You're asked to escort a borrowed relic because all the knights are out chasing some infamous bandit knight (who Roland is later going to kill and get knighted for), which turns into you facing an evil werewolf knight, IIRC. Then there's the "Battle of the Squires," where under the leadership of Ogier the Dane the squires, who are at first doing typical squire things on the sidelines of a big battle, take up arms and armor and take to the field themselves to the turn the tide, and all get knighted for it.

Normally, a squire wouldn't get the chance to take the lead on an adventure before being knighted, sure. So you just have to make a squire's adventure the result of some irregular circumstances that either make the squires the only option right now, or have the adventure find them, preferably in some circumstance where going back to fetch their knights just isn't a realistic option.

Alternatively, Merlin or some holy man has a task that can't be done by a knight for whatever obscure reason, so the squires will have to do.

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On 5/29/2020 at 2:37 AM, Leingod said:

 

Alternatively, Merlin or some holy man has a task that can't be done by a knight for whatever obscure reason

such as "You there, come with me!"

Merlin is a Great GM tool. He can be used to do anything without having to rationalize it beyond his being Merlin. 

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