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I was going to start using the BoFeasts and after reading it, I wonder...

Do you track the stats of every NPC in your campaign? I'm a lazy GM with little time, and I feel overwhelmed with the possibility of having to track (and update every year of campaign) things like glory and skills of all the NPCs (or even "just" the important ones).

How do you manage to do this? Or don't you?

PS: for the family I just use a list of 20 NPCs and ages (posted by rcvan in the old forum) for each PK but I don't track the glory or other stats...

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21 minutes ago, The Wanderer said:

Do you track the stats of every NPC in your campaign?

Oh hell no.

I might update a recurring personal enemy of a PK when he shows up again in the story, but I seriously don't bother keeping year to year track of anyone, not even the main NPCs like Count Roderick, etc. Frankly, most of the time it does not matter at all if the Count's Glory is 5000 or 6000, or if his Sword is 17 or 18.

As for the other family members, I keep track of age (and of course the familial connection and the current status/position, including marriage) and any children (I have my own system for this). But I don't bother with their stats unless the PKs face them in battle, nor their Glory. I might assign a Glory 'tier' to some of the NPCs, and it is possible for them to move up with time, but that is more story-driven than game-mechanics-driven. If I need the personal enemy of a PK to succeed in X, so that the plot can happen, then he will succeed in X, without rolling.

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I'm asking mainly because the BoFeasts. There is a sheet to track NPCs glory, app, courtesy flirting, intrigue, chaste, modest and temperate, I think just in case a PK has to interact with them.

I have another question regarding the Feasts: I find all the sitting preferance based on APP a bit weird... shouldn't it be based on Glory? I mean... a knight with 8000 glory and APP 5... is he going to (almost invariably) be seated below the salt?

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Seating should be based on rank, what I read on this topic.  Not exhaustive reading, but this appeared to be the consistent assumption.  You sit where you sit. There’s room for debate about who outranks whom, and ordinary knights are grouped together with plenty of room for variation within that group, but an APP roll should not put you at high table ahead of people who clearly outrank you.

What I do is (basically) keep the mechanic but interpret it differently — the APP roll determines how much people pay attention to you “overall,” not where you sit.  Same effects on Geniality, you can run things essentially the same way.  (I have some house rules that do change things, but they don’t affect the basic principle, and you could stick much closer to the BoF RAW and still do it.)  

About the only thing is that some cards don’t sit well with being at high table — that’s the only area where you do have to depart from the BoF.  Everything else can be rationalized.  E.g. critical APP = “Everyone’s looking at you throughout the feast, you can’t draw cards because it’s as if you were at high table, being watched by everyone.”  (That’s not how I handle it in practice, but one could.)

And honestly, I don’t map out all the NPCs.  I have one NPC incident per PK per round planned in advance, to serve the story, and bring other NPCs in as cards and PK choices dictate, if necessary inventing them on the fly, but mostly trying to obey the Law of Conservation of Characters and use NPCs who’ve appeared before.  I’m also pretty flexible about letting the players say what they want to do and going outside the BoF if necessary, rather than playing strictly by the minigame rules.

Edited by Voord 99
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8 hours ago, Voord 99 said:

And honestly, I don’t map out all the NPCs.  I have one NPC incident per PK per round planned in advance, to serve the story, and bring other NPCs in as cards and PK choices dictate, if necessary inventing them on the fly, but mostly trying to obey the Law of Conservation of Characters and use NPCs who’ve appeared before.

Yep, Conservation of Characters is a good thing. It allows the PKs (and hence the players) have repeated interactions with NPCs, and hence form more of an attachment (or rivalry) with them.

11 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

I'm asking mainly because the BoFeasts. There is a sheet to track NPCs glory, app, courtesy flirting, intrigue, chaste, modest and temperate, I think just in case a PK has to interact with them.

I can see that. From p. 7, it is clear that the intent is to basically populate the feast with NPCs for the PKs to interact with, in their own table, etc. There is a very nice adventure illustrating how such an interaction could be GMed (outside the BoF system): the Adventure of the Werewolf in The Spectre King (3e) and the Tales of Spectre Kings (4.5e reprinting with the Grand Tourney switched out for the White Horror) books.

That being said, I would happily just recycle most of the NPCs (indeed, the p. 7 suggests most of them are the famous knights, heiresses and other important, recurring NPCs), and their Glory and exact skills do not matter all that much, I don't think. So I would be happy to just keep their stats pretty much the same from year to year, except maybe revise them every five years or so, if I felt it was important. Or if I wanted the PK actions in the feast to have done induced a change, such lowering a lady's Chaste due to particularly fine piece of Flirting, or a NPK training up his Gaming for a rematch with a PK.

I definitely would not be tracking 100s of NPKs every year on the off chance that I might need one of them. Sure, if I have a recurring NPK who shows up five years down the line to challenge a PK, I would hike up his skills some, maybe add a couple of hundred Glory, but that is probably all I would bother doing. And if he doesn't show up again, I would not even touch his statline, since what is the point?

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16 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

I have another question regarding the Feasts: I find all the sitting preferance based on APP a bit weird... shouldn't it be based on Glory? I mean... a knight with 8000 glory and APP 5... is he going to (almost invariably) be seated below the salt?

Indeed, it's a bit weird. We have an old topic about houseruling the Book of Feasts somewhere on this forum 😀

5 hours ago, Morien said:

There is a very nice adventure illustrating how such an interaction could be GMed (outside the BoF system): the Adventure of the Werewolf in The Spectre King (3e) and the Tales of Spectre Kings (4.5e reprinting with the Grand Tourney switched out for the White Horror) books.

It's based on the Bisclavret lay, an old tale of Marie de France. I played it with the Book of Feasts, and it was a blast 😍

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/31/2022 at 1:26 PM, Tizun Thane said:

I played it with the Book of Feasts, and it was a blast

How did you introduce the rules of the BoFeasts in this adventure? I'm considering running it during Morgan's wedding at 501 (I think it's easy to change things to adequate it for two players: a glorious knight and his squire.

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On 2/12/2022 at 9:06 PM, The Wanderer said:

How did you introduce the rules of the BoFeasts in this adventure? I'm considering running it during Morgan's wedding at 501 (I think it's easy to change things to adequate it for two players: a glorious knight and his squire.

I played the cards as usual. Every time an opportunity arised, I used one of the NPC and role played the encounter.

If a lady is flirting, maybe it's lady Laudine or the other one looking for an husband. If there is some challenge of some knight, sir Ailgell is probably involved. And so on...

After a few rounds, your players will probably connect the dots, and chose some gossiping (intrigue) to know the truth.

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4 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

I played the cards as usual. Every time an opportunity arised, I used one of the NPC and role played the encounter

I think I'll make some minor changes in the NPCs because I have two players and one of them is a squire of the other one. Any suggestions or recommendations?

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IMO, the adventure is better suited for the marvels of Arthurian Times, and a bit wasted during the Anarchy. It's a very courteous adventure, and at odd with the grimness of the Anarchy. However...

During Morgana's wedding, the risk is high some PK dare to ask Morgana about the mystery. She probably knows the truth, but why would she help the players ? If you want to play safe, you could replace the old lady with Morgana. 

Lady Alice (the nice girl looking for a husband) could be a very young  lady-in-waiting of Morgana, or some important NPC (same age as the squire). And so on

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Yeah, the context of the adventure is clearly post-Badon Arthurian times, with Marrok being a Round Table Knight. It is also geographically located near Camelot. Now, you can change all that easily enough, but it is still a rather big jump. I mean, I could see Uriens' court try to make a pelt out of the wolf.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/31/2022 at 5:20 AM, The Wanderer said:

Do you track the stats of every NPC in your campaign? I'm a lazy GM with little time, and I feel overwhelmed with the possibility of having to track (and update every year of campaign) things like glory and skills of all the NPCs (or even "just" the important ones).

Before starting ANY game of ANY sort, I will generally stat out at least 20-40 recurring NPCs.  Always the PCs' families and SOs, their co-workers, and important local shop keepers, and a few adversaries.

Pendragon is good in that you have pregen knight stats in the books, and all the big names have already been done for you.  

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Do I stat every NPC? No, that way lies madness.

However...

I will totally use bits from other scenarios in weird places. If I need a rival knight or a noble, I might steal one from a scenario in a fanzine, or some homebrew website, or a module I've already run. Never discard anything as far as game worlds! If the PKs don't follow a plot thread in a scenario, don't be afraid to reuse situations, locations, NPCs, whatever, somewhere else. Running Pendragon resembles scrapbooking -- when I run, I'll have knight images clipped from magazines, a photocopy of a scenario from an older edition book, various player knight sheets from previous editions to use as NPCs, whatever. It all goes in the pot.

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ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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