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Hey there people, i'm just here to ask if any of you ended in war against king Arthur. Mostly curiosity, becuase my players are in the precipice of this situation.

You see, we just started the boy king's period, and the players are now playing with the children of the former generation. we just stopped the game as arthur has appeared alongside with merlin and claimed excalibur. As everyone knows, lot's of nobles has sided against him, and in this case, those nobles include the player knights parents (who during anarchy period became the true power of salisbury and rydichan), and of course, one of the players is married with a saxon princess, his sister is married with a saxon king, and they're allied with half of the saxon kingdoms, as well as one of the players is married with the countess of rydichan. Now, Earl robert wants to side with arthur, but as i said before, the older generation won't support him (they don't have anything against arthur, but they hate merlin). So, the situation here is that the players current knights (the current generation) doesn't know whoto support: either they choose their families, or they choose their liege lord.

As you can see, they have a hard choice to do, and in one case, they go to war with arthur. So i would like to hear your opinion on this situation.

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In our campaign, Salisbury became a vassal of Cornwall and fought against Arthur until submitting after the Battle if Terrabil.

Remember that the default GPC with Robert siding with Arthur is for you to change. Given the fact that you have changed Salisbury's alignment by having them ally with the Saxons, and Robert's trusted, high glory advisors telling him never to trust Merlin, he might choose to go against Arthur, too. I would let the Players decide which side they wish to be on and have Robert side that way. The Honor loss for betraying your life lord is big enough that very few Players would choose to do it.

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Like Morien said. Never forget the new count will probably ask  counsel to his vassals. Maybe Robert is inclined to follow Arthur, but maybe he could be convinced otherwise.

11 hours ago, Elcid321 said:

Now, Earl robert wants to side with arthur, but as i said before, the older generation won't support him

It's great drama ! Force your characters to choose beetween their liege and their family. Clash of passions! It's the heart of KAP ^^

5 hours ago, Elcid321 said:

so, you're saying that they should join their parents in the war against arthur? sounds cool, but i'm wondering, wouldn't they lose honor for going against their liege lord?

Your players are free, remember. Yes, it could be a bit dishonorable to go against his lord (even if I should mitigate the losses by half because they have good reasons).

According to the legends, there is one honorable way to do it. You give back your lands to your lord, saying publicly he is not a good lord, and you can not be his vassal anymore. Of course, it's a bit drastic...

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Honestly, it all sounds great to me, too.  Tragic dilemmas like liege lord vs. family are exactly what I like about Pendragon.   think a big question here is, what Passions are they famous for?  This seems to me to be the sort of situation where the downside of having that Passion that you use for inspiration becomes relevant.

Either way they go, it’s a story, and whichever tie they betray, that’s consequences for generations down the line.  It may well be a good idea to adopt Morien’s advice of having Robert go with what the PKs want, to make siding with their parents and the Saxons a choice that they can make.  But I’d suggest that, since it’s not what Robert wants to do, he should hate them for making him do it — at least if you’re using his GPC Passions and characterization in the text.  And I think it should be obvious that they are making him do it, that he is only doing this because his position as the new earl is so weak that he cannot afford to defy his most important vassals.  The consequences if they side with Arthur over their families are also pretty obvious.

No matter what, Arthur will later on no doubt have a lecture about how it illustrates the importance of some knightly value, the smug bastard. 🙂

2 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

According to the legends, there is one honorable way to do it. You give back your lands to your lord, saying publicly he is not a good lord, and you can not be his vassal anymore. Of course, it's a bit drastic...

Rydychan potentially gives them a bit of flexibility here.  The campaign can fairly readily continue by relocating them there, perhaps as household knights of the Countess until heiresses etc. become available.

Of course, the fact that something is dishonorable does not stop characters in romance from doing it...  Betraying your lord can even be presented as the right thing to do — I’m thinking of that person (the name currently escapes me) who falsely swears loyalty to Claudas but betrays him out of a higher loyalty to the family of the dead Ban.  I personally like to interpret that as an Honour vs. Loyalty conflict, mechanically (he never generated a Loyalty Passion to his new lord, and kept his old Loyalty Passion instead, but is bound by his oath as a matter of Honour nonetheless*).   But I can see that one might alternatively mechanize it by mitigating the Honour loss (but absolutely not removing it entirely) as an unusual case in which the demands of Honour are more complicated, pretty much the sort of “good reasons” exception that you suggest.  Not sure if this situation offers any room for that sort of “exceptional case” thinking, though.

EDIT: I’ve been trying to track the episode down — it’s been many years since I read it — and I’m a bit worried that either I read it in a modern retelling, or my memory is simply garbled and wrong.  Honestly, I think I was thinking of Banin, and forgetting that he adds the condition to his service to Claudas that he can leave whenever he likes.  So ignore everything in italics, pretty much — I’d interpret this in my game as him never generating a Loyalty passion and preserving his Honour scrupulously by being legalistically correct about the exact details of what he swore.

*This is not the RAW: the rules are clear that Honour is supposed not to apply if it’s covered by another Passion and that a character in this situation has to generate a new Loyalty/Homage.  I use Honour and Loyalty a little differently from the rules.

Edited by Voord 99
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3 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

According to the legends, there is one honorable way to do it. You give back your lands to your lord, saying publicly he is not a good lord, and you can not be his vassal anymore. Of course, it's a bit drastic...

Yep, that is an option and the one that the players should take if they decide to go against their liege lord, as they are going against their vows anyway. At least this way, they minimize the honor loss.

3 hours ago, Voord 99 said:

Either way they go, it’s a story, and whichever tie they betray, that’s consequences for generations down the line.  It may well be a good idea to adopt Morien’s advice of having Robert go with what the PKs want, to make siding with their parents and the Saxons a choice that they can make.  But I’d suggest that, since it’s not what Robert wants to do, he should hate them for making him do it — at least if you’re using his GPC Passions and characterization in the text.  And I think it should be obvious that they are making him do it, that he is only doing this because his position as the new earl is so weak that he cannot afford to defy his most important vassals.  The consequences if they side with Arthur over their families are also pretty obvious.

Granted, I get the idea here that the Anarchy has played out very differently from the 'default', what with the Saxon alliances. I would actually be more worried about the players ending up on the Saxons' side at Mount Badon, than whatever side they choose in the unification war. After all, one is politics, the other is existential. Also, who did Jenna marry? If that guy is siding with Arthur and Robert does not, then there is a good chance that Robert, even if he survives, will get disbarred for his treachery and the county goes to the pro-Arthur chap via Jenna.

In our campaign, Robert was captured and switched sides to Arthur in 511, with Prince Mark denouncing him as a traitor and refusing to give up Salisbury.  Robert died to an unlucky crit against Prince Galegantis in 512. Thus, Salisbury went after Terrabil to Jenna's husband, the Praetor of Levcomagus, who was a personal enemy of the PKs. Thus, the defeated PKs ended up relocating to Cornwall. Here it will be much harder, if they side with the Saxons, as the Saxon kingdoms end up being wiped out. A much better play would be to back Arthur up and then use those family connections to try and claim rulership of the newly reconquered Saxon county, since you are married to the princess. But this would require foresight that the players likely lack, and would not make so much sense given the circumstances as explained.

That being said, hopefully the PKs will have younger brothers or sons of their own, who can try to revive the family fortunes during the Roman War...

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4 hours ago, Voord 99 said:

Honestly, I think I was thinking of Banin, and forgetting that he adds the condition to his service to Claudas that he can leave whenever he likes.

I was also thinking about Banin in the Vulgate. This guy was crazy ! I don't remenber the subtility of the oath, however. I love that part of the Vulgate with Claudas, Pharien, and the crazy one (aka Banin).

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1 hour ago, Morien said:

I would actually be more worried about the players ending up on the Saxons' side at Mount Badon, than whatever side they choose in the unification war.

 

Saxons! p. 96: The Battle of Badon ends the Saxon campaign with the glorious deaths of its player characters. Their descendants will be oppressed for years to come, but may have the opportunity to join Arthur’s courts as knights.

I think - in the perhaps unlikely event that the campaign gets to 518 with them still on the Saxon side - that’s more-or-less how you probably have to play it.  

Or a modified version.  Any British knights who fight on the Saxon side at Badon die — the best they can hope for is to die at the hands of someone famous (no shortage of possibilities).  However, Arthur (Merciful 17+) spares the lives of their children, and  has them brought up to be knights at some loyal court, and — who is to say? — they may one day earn their father’s lands or other lands once again by their heroic deeds.

Edited by Voord 99
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On 2/25/2021 at 8:20 AM, Voord 99 said:

 

Saxons! p. 96: The Battle of Badon ends the Saxon campaign with the glorious deaths of its player characters. Their descendants will be oppressed for years to come, but may have the opportunity to join Arthur’s courts as knights.

I think - in the perhaps unlikely event that the campaign gets to 518 with them still on the Saxon side - that’s more-or-less how you probably have to play it.  

Or a modified version.  Any British knights who fight on the Saxon side at Badon die — the best they can hope for is to die at the hands of someone famous (no shortage of possibilities).  However, Arthur (Merciful 17+) spares the lives of their children, and  has them brought up to be knights at some loyal court, and — who is to say? — they may one day earn their father’s lands or other lands once again by their heroic deeds.

That could be a cool thing to run. It could be a thing where you tell the players from the beginning, "None of you are making it out of this fight alive" and tell them this is about getting to decide how they die and what they do in this doomed final battle. You know, short of stuff like "I take Arthur with me" or whatever. Maybe they die heroically saving some ally, who then goes on to be the one who teaches the PC's children all about their amazing valor and knights them when they're older or something? Stuff like that.

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13 hours ago, Leingod said:

It could be a thing where you tell the players from the beginning, "None of you are making it out of this fight alive" and tell them this is about getting to decide how they die and what they do in this doomed final battle. 

Yes, I think it would only be fair to tell the players.  One of the problems with the GPC is that a fair bit of it, especially early on, consists of scripted events where the PKs can’t affect anything.*  But in this particular case, they will all know that Arthur is going to have a decisive victory, so if they’ve stuck with fighting against him, it will probably not come as a surprise that it will end badly.

*This is a problem with using the BoU, because it extends the period, so that 487 feels like 492.  I just did a very short version of the Lindsey Embassy (in 486).  Even as a brief coda to a year in which a lot of other stuff happened, and the PKs had their own separate adventure, I still got the question about whether there was anything the PK could have done to change the King of Malahaut’s attitude, and had to admit that there wasn’t, although I would have allowed them to impress the king and make useful contacts for themselves for the future.

I’ve already decided that when it comes to the Treason Trial, they’ll have a chance to avoid it happening and also that if it does, their decisions about how to answer and die rolls will matter — they may end up being condemned.

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Actually, the GPC scripted events should be seen as the default timeline, IMHO. That is, if the players to nothing, these things happen. It is also set up so the gm can involve the Players in certain scenarios, like the Sword Lake adventure in 486, or gives a choice of scenarios like accompanying the King or go on naval raids with the Prince in 487.  

I have always played that the players can choose their own path. YPMV.  Mostly, it is parallel to the default campaign, but I give the players the possibility of changing what is setup.  it doesn't always happen, but if you keep up with the various games online, you can see they do differ.  

@Voord 99 states just above he may allow his players to avoid the treason trial.  On such things, the different paths of the campaign(s) hang.  

So, if the players somehow end up with a war Against Arthur, then they do and will suffer the consequences.  However, Arthur is forgiving and these misunderstandings can be smoothed over.

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