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Lordly Domains: Of Allies and Enemies - What Would You Do? (SPOILERS)


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I'm about to start on the "Of Allies and Enemies" adventure from Lordly Domains, incorporating it into the GPC.

Due to their planning, the players managed to marry off a local woman to Bege, then turning Bellus and Bege against each other with a few strategems. Basile died under mysterious circumstances while the Salisbury knights were camped outside the fortress. Ulfius turned up later that summer and took out Belleus instead of Basile.

So it appears we're going into a conflict against the Rydychan Usurpers when there's only one usurper, and the youngest one at that. He doesn't trust outsiders and doesn't want to swear fealty to the countess of Rydychan, but he does care for his Salisbury wife and doesn't have many options.

How would you play out this scenario with these changes?

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Hmm, so you basically took out the antagonists before running the adventure. I think Bege, robbed of his brothers' help, would be seeking some kind of an accommodation with his Salisbury relatives. Staying alive and keeping your lands even if it means bending the knee is preferable to dying. That being said, see below...

Well, first question: Did the PKs take Basile's fortress or did one of his lieutenants take over? In the latter case, you still have an enemy there.

Second question: How are things between Levcomagus/Silchester and Salisbury? If things are not peachy keen, it would be easy enough to assume that whoever Ulfius leaves in charge after withdrawing most of his armies might harbor anti-Salisbury sentiments and seek to undermine the PKs' efforts to husband their manors. Thus, acting almost like one of the Usurping Brothers for the benefit of the adventure.

So if Salisbury and Silchester are at loggerheads, I could see Bege stalling, trying to play one side against the other. He is probably not an outright antagonist to the PKs, wanting to keep his escape hatch open, but he would no doubt be willing to stay in the sidelines and let the others try to stymie the PKs. The status quo would work for him.

Finally, even absent of the above issues, you could easily enough run the interesting parts of the Allies & Enemies, with the faerie encounters and issues with the local grumbling and defections and the like.

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A bit of a different idea, but,iIf the PK's are in good relations with Bele's wife, and the Countess Ellen, then you can also try to finagle an accommodation that he might be able to swear fealty to the Countess instead.  Might not be able to sustain it long term, but perhaps Ellen could get another loyal retainer in a different way.

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IMHO, there is no adventure per se anymore. You could keep the unused parts of the adventure (the good ones) for other parts of the GPC.

If the younger brother have his senses, he would negotiate and bend the knee to keeping his lands. Maybe the countess of Rydychan wants his head, and your players have to negociate. Maybe the brother wants to betray her to avenge his brothers and take the county...

 

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I must admit, my eye went straight to “under mysterious circumstances.”  Obviously, you don’t want to spoil the mystery for your players by saying what those were here.  But whatever entity is responsible — do they have a next move?

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Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone! I think I know which way to take this now.

SIlchester was exerting a little muscle on Salisbury, so they promised to help him out with Rydychan in exchange for friendlier relations. 

I don't think anyone really has a next move here. I just traded the bulk of this adventure for putting a cursed artifact into circulation, and that deal one of the PKs made with Morgan le Fay... 

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The nice thing about medieval literature is that a lot of it consists of the same motifs repeated.  So you could save the parts you didn’t use for a future adventure, and when your players say, “Hang on, didn’t we already have a story about three brothers and three castles?” you can reply, “Yes. That’s the point.” 🙂

Edited by Voord 99
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On 4/24/2021 at 4:09 AM, Voord 99 said:

The nice thing about medieval literature is that a lot of it consists of the same motifs repeated.  So you could save the parts you didn’t use for a future adventure, and when your players say, “Hang on, didn’t we already have a story about three brothers and three castles?” you can reply, “Yes. That’s the point.” 🙂

And of course the third time's the charm, it isn't a proper recurring motif if it only happens twice.

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