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Age of Arthur BRP


Bleddyn

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Some scholars have pointed out that Gildas may have omitted it for political reasons. After all he was very busy pointing out the other rulers flaws.

And another option: Gildas was aware or assumed that Artus, "The Bear", was a nickname of a person, and

did not know the real name ...

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Some scholars have pointed out that Gildas may have omitted it for political reasons. After all he was very busy pointing out the other rulers flaws.

That may well be.But the fact reamins that he did not mention Arthur. Maybe he omitted him out of spite, maybe for political reasons, and maybe he didn't know him by the name Arthur. Or maybe there wasn't any King Arthur, and the legend grew later. We don't know. What we do know is that Arthur is not mentioned Gildas.

And as for the other tales having been rewritten, certainly. But the evidence suggests that the "small details" that were changed probably involve the inclusion of Arthur to a non-Arthurian tale. Medieval Bards probably updated the stories and when selecting a King and court for a backdrop decided that the then popular tales of King Arthur made his court a good choice.

But, my point is that Clawcarver's post that Arthur was a secondary character in the early literature is wrong. Quite the opposite. Arthur only becomes a background figure in later literature. As time went on and non Arthurian tales were co-opted, and as new characters were added to the legends, Arthur became marginalized. In the early stuff he was the central figure.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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And another option: Gildas was aware or assumed that Artus, "The Bear", was a nickname of a person, and

did not know the real name ...

Well put

In might a man, a youth in years, Of boisterous valour, Swift long-maned steeds under the thigh of a handsome youth ...Quicker to a field of blood, than to a wedding quicker to the ravens' feast

- Y Gododdin

"The soldier knows little of philosophers but in him and in his deeds life expresses itself more profoundly than any book can"

- Ernst Junger

E3b1a2 V13 V36

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Of which only Y Gododdin might quality as "early literature."

The Mabinogion, at least the version that has been circulated, goes back only a few hundred years, and takes stroies from two 14th century books. So it is actually not that early at all.

The earliest surviving collection of Welsh Triads dates back to the 13th century.

Now while there probably were older versions of the tales in the Mabinogion and the Triads, they were almost certainly different than how they are today. The most probably reason for Arthur being a background figure in those tales is simply that he was retconned into per-exsisting, non-Arthurian tales), replacing some other figure.

Now Geoffrey of Mommoth's works predates the Mabinogion and the current versions of the Triads by two centuries and Arthur is a central figure.

As for Gildas, he doesn't mention Arthur at all. A somewhat curious omission as if there were a historical Arthur he would have been aware of it.

Sorry, but I'm not having that. You're confusing the dates of manuscripts with the dates of their contents. The dates of the earliest surviving MSS is the latest possible date for composition, but textual scholarship can get us closer to the actual origins of the tales. The MSS in which The Mabinogion stories survive are from the 14th century, true, but all the scholarship I've read suggests that Culhwch and Olwen itself probably dates from the late 11th or early 12th century. Possibly earlier than Geoffrey, possibly at around the same time, but not later.

"The Spoils of Annwn" survives in a MS from the 14th century but, again, is a beast from an earlier era. Commentators differ widely, with anything from the 6th to the 12th century being argued. (Circa 900 is not an unreasonable view.) Either way, it is most likely earlier than Geoffrey, and possibly much older.

Y Gododdin again is the subject of much scholarly debate. Its MS survives from the 13th century, but suggestions for the date of the poem range from the 7th to the 10th centuries. Again, much earlier than Geoffrey.

As for your statement that the figure of Arthur might be presented differently in earlier versions of these texts, well, who knows? He might be, or he might not. He might have a bigger part to play, or a smaller one. He might not even appear in them at all. There's no way of knowing. We can only work with what we have: the texts that survive.

I'm not an expert on either the Welsh material or the French Romances. (I have a Masters degree in Medieval Studies, but Old Icelandic is my speciality.) My hunch, for what it's worth, is that Thomas Green is correct in his conclusion that Arthur, far from being a historical person who has become a legendary figure, was a legendary figure (perhaps a god) who became humanised and historicised by later writers. A good article here (which incidentally mentions some strikingly early dates as possibilities for the Welsh poems): http://www.arthuriana.co.uk/historicity/arthur.htm

Respectfully,

Alan

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... who became humanised and historicised by later writers.

It depends on what you consider as "later". It is a bit suspicious that the previously very uncom-

mon name "Arthur" suddenly became rather fashionable in the Celtic regions around 600 AD,

while there is no earlier trace of any old Celtic deity with that or a similar name.

In any case, Arthur was a well established figure long before Mallory. I remember visiting the

Norman cathedral in Otranto in Apulia in southern Italy, which has a truly fascinating mosaic

floor that depicts hundreds of stories. This mosaic was created in 1163 AD, and Arthur figures

very prominently in it - hundreds of years before and hundreds of miles away from Mallory.

Edited by rust

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Sorry, but I'm not having that. You're confusing the dates of manuscripts with the dates of their contents. The dates of the earliest surviving MSS is the latest possible date for composition, but textual scholarship can get us closer to the actual origins of the tales. The MSS in which The Mabinogion stories survive are from the 14th century, true, but all the scholarship I've read suggests that Culhwch and Olwen itself probably dates from the late 11th or early 12th century. Possibly earlier than Geoffrey, possibly at around the same time, but not later.

But you cannot call the stories "early literature". Anymore that you can call the Star Trek revamp "early Trek." The fact reamins we are stuck with a version from a latter era. It's ot that Arthur went from being a marginal figure to a central one, but the reverse.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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It depends on what you consider as "later". It is a bit suspicious that the previously very uncom-

mon name "Arthur" suddenly became rather fashionable in the Celtic regions around 600 AD,

while there is no earlier trace of any old Celtic deity with that or a similar name.

I believe there were some kings from earlier centuries with the name Arthur. The ame didn't just spring up around 600AD. Part of the difficulty with the name is that is could just as easily have been a title, either Celtic or Roman. Or both, or neither. There is simply nothing conclusive.

And what Arthur lacks in a name, he makes up for in traits and backstory. He bears a striking similarity to Conarie More, Llew and several other heroes/deities. But that is typical. It is another telling of the heroes' journey. And that is the problem. There is very little to differentiate Arthur from other, similar heroes. At least not now.

I believe that Arthu is a composite of several characters, both historical and otherwise.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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But you cannot call the stories "early literature". Anymore that you can call the Star Trek revamp "early Trek." The fact reamins we are stuck with a version from a latter era. It's ot that Arthur went from being a marginal figure to a central one, but the reverse.

the Illiad isn't early literature, beowulf isn't early lit. ? god lord man let it go :horse:

In might a man, a youth in years, Of boisterous valour, Swift long-maned steeds under the thigh of a handsome youth ...Quicker to a field of blood, than to a wedding quicker to the ravens' feast

- Y Gododdin

"The soldier knows little of philosophers but in him and in his deeds life expresses itself more profoundly than any book can"

- Ernst Junger

E3b1a2 V13 V36

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the Illiad isn't early literature, beowulf isn't early lit. ? god lord man let it go :horse:

Clawcaver's claim being made was that Arthur was a marginal figure in the early literature, and then became a more central figure over time. But I guesss I'm not allowed to refute that.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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I believe that Arthu is a composite of several characters, both historical and otherwise.

This is my view, too. I think that someone named Arthur - more likely a nickname "Bear" than

a real name - lived somewhen between 450 BC and 550 BC in Wales, most likely in northern

Wales, and that this person became well known (if not proverbial - "like Arthur") as a good

warrior, perhaps a good leader of warriors.

Later on many stories were "retconned" and connected with this Arthur, "like Arthur" became

"in Arthur's time", "among Arthur's men" and "at Arthur's court", and real or legendary people

from other sources were connected with the now legendary Arthur, who steadily increased in

stature and importance and "assimilated" more and more real history and legends.

In the high and late Middle Ages, when the idea of chivalry was developed, Arthur became the

"perfect Christian knightly king", and the many old and new and widely differing stories about

and around him were finally interconnected and "canonized" into Mallory's Arthur, now more a

romantic figure than a Welsh warrior - the Pendragon Arthur, with few traces of the post-Ro-

man Welsh warrior left.

If I had to bet who the model for "the real Arthur" could have been, I would most probably put

my money on Owain Dangwyn or someone very close to him in time and place - in my view just

the right time and place.

However, I would very much hesitate to make this bet, because all that is just what I consider

most plausible, and history does not always follow the concept of highest plausibility, so it could

just as well have been completely different.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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okay changing gears in the thread.... Brp with or without hit locations?

In might a man, a youth in years, Of boisterous valour, Swift long-maned steeds under the thigh of a handsome youth ...Quicker to a field of blood, than to a wedding quicker to the ravens' feast

- Y Gododdin

"The soldier knows little of philosophers but in him and in his deeds life expresses itself more profoundly than any book can"

- Ernst Junger

E3b1a2 V13 V36

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okay changing gears in the thread.... Brp with or without hit locations?

If you prefer a more gritty game, hit locations would be fine, but if you aim for a more heroic-

cinematic game, total hit points might fit better. It is a matter of taste, I usually prefer total hit

points, in my view they make the game a bit more "rules light" and fast and the characters a

bit less vulnerable - however, they also make combat more simplistic, and do not go well hand

in hand with a detailed combat system with many tactical options and thelike.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Interesting that both sides of the Arthur camp thought that my last post supported them :-)

As to a supplement, I would agree with cjbowser and take the Merrie England line that the supplement should be about the tales of the time, not necessarily the historical fact.

So, the histories from the Gododdin and Mabigonian would apply, as would the historical kingdoms, as would the existence of King Arthur. However, King Arthur is merely a part of the setting, not the whole thing. After all, Kings are only important to other Kings. Normal people don't care about Kings, they care more about the warriors devastating their land.

You could equally well play Druids fighting Christianity, Christians making Celtic deities into Saints, Britons fighting Saxon invaders, Fairies trying to stay relevant or even Saxons fighting for a place in a decaying world.

Personally, I've never really cared whether any historical/legendary character actually existed. What is more important, to me, is how the stories interact and how they can be used together.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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okay changing gears in the thread.... Brp with or without hit locations?

I'd always play with hit locations. That's because I don't like the idea of rolling for Major Wound effects depending on the damage taken, it doesn't feel right to me.

But, my games have always had a healthy amount of healing magic.

I'd use CON+SIZ for PC Hit Points, though, and allow enchanted/blessed armour and weapons. Also, I'd say that 0 HP = Unconscious and you only die when you have reached you maximum HPs negatively, so someone with 15 HPs goes unconscious at 0 HP and starts to die at -15 HP, even then I'd allow death to occur after CON rounds, to allow for last-minute healing. Minor NPCs can die whenever the GM wants, but major NPCs would follow the Heroic rules.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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If you prefer a more gritty game, hit locations would be fine, but if you aim for a more heroic-

cinematic game, total hit points might fit better. It is a matter of taste, I usually prefer total hit

points, in my view they make the game a bit more "rules light" and fast and the characters a

bit less vulnerable - however, they also make combat more simplistic, and do not go well hand

in hand with a detailed combat system with many tactical options and thelike.

Very good points for consideration .....I would like to hear more of your thoughts as well on many of the other topics I will bring up.

In might a man, a youth in years, Of boisterous valour, Swift long-maned steeds under the thigh of a handsome youth ...Quicker to a field of blood, than to a wedding quicker to the ravens' feast

- Y Gododdin

"The soldier knows little of philosophers but in him and in his deeds life expresses itself more profoundly than any book can"

- Ernst Junger

E3b1a2 V13 V36

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I'd always play with hit locations. That's because I don't like the idea of rolling for Major Wound effects depending on the damage taken, it doesn't feel right to me.

But, my games have always had a healthy amount of healing magic.

I'd use CON+SIZ for PC Hit Points, though, and allow enchanted/blessed armour and weapons. Also, I'd say that 0 HP = Unconscious and you only die when you have reached you maximum HPs negatively, so someone with 15 HPs goes unconscious at 0 HP and starts to die at -15 HP, even then I'd allow death to occur after CON rounds, to allow for last-minute healing. Minor NPCs can die whenever the GM wants, but major NPCs would follow the Heroic rules.

I like the Minor NPC option you have brought up... it alls the epic feel to it.

In might a man, a youth in years, Of boisterous valour, Swift long-maned steeds under the thigh of a handsome youth ...Quicker to a field of blood, than to a wedding quicker to the ravens' feast

- Y Gododdin

"The soldier knows little of philosophers but in him and in his deeds life expresses itself more profoundly than any book can"

- Ernst Junger

E3b1a2 V13 V36

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Interesting that both sides of the Arthur camp thought that my last post supported them :-)

As to a supplement, I would agree with cjbowser and take the Merrie England line that the supplement should be about the tales of the time, not necessarily the historical fact.

So, the histories from the Gododdin and Mabigonian would apply, as would the historical kingdoms, as would the existence of King Arthur. However, King Arthur is merely a part of the setting, not the whole thing. After all, Kings are only important to other Kings. Normal people don't care about Kings, they care more about the warriors devastating their land.

You could equally well play Druids fighting Christianity, Christians making Celtic deities into Saints, Britons fighting Saxon invaders, Fairies trying to stay relevant or even Saxons fighting for a place in a decaying world.

Personally, I've never really cared whether any historical/legendary character actually existed. What is more important, to me, is how the stories interact and how they can be used together.

I agree the mixture fact and fantasy.... I am really not looking to make a " King Arthur campaign" More of a gritty magical....Campaign. The factions you have addressed are the protagonists inherent to the conflict in the struggle to survive and dominate the area of play. It is the tension in the background. Hollywood and contemporary authors have all brought up concepts and approaches that could be explored.

A test Scenario to run would be a Group is tasked by the liege lord to recover a magical artifact that exists in a other world..... the gate to it is in a henge which has to be entered on a astrological or Solar event ( where you would need a druid or Bard to uncover). The henge could exist in a territory in a belligerent Sub-Kings Land. The Items guardian could be supernatural.

attachment.php?attachmentid=428

Simple plot line. Comments, fresh Produce?

Edited by Bleddyn

In might a man, a youth in years, Of boisterous valour, Swift long-maned steeds under the thigh of a handsome youth ...Quicker to a field of blood, than to a wedding quicker to the ravens' feast

- Y Gododdin

"The soldier knows little of philosophers but in him and in his deeds life expresses itself more profoundly than any book can"

- Ernst Junger

E3b1a2 V13 V36

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Let me see ... :)

Your king and his only son are dying of the Yellow Plague of Rhos, and once they are dead and

their royal line has ended, the king of a neighbouring realm will invade and subjugate your ho-

meland.

The only man who ever was able to heal the Yellow Plague has died many years ago, and he

was buried together with the fairy chalice that enabled him to brew the potion that healed the

plague. You could steal the chalice from his mound, but you would not know how to use it and

what ingredients are needed for the potion.

You have to go to Annwn to ask the dead healer, but the only way there is through a henge on

the lands of the neighbouring king, who will do whatever he can to prevent your success, with

means fair and foul, including magic.

If you manage to reach Annwn, the Lord of the Underworld will only allow you to speak with the

dead healer if you and your companions win a series of challenges against his servants, from

bardic tale to duel combat - one challenge for each member of the group.

Should you and your companions win the majority of the challenges, the healer will agree to tell

you what you need to know, and where to find the ingredients for the potion.

Now all you have to do is to return through the henge, where the enemy king's best warriors

are already waiting to kill you ... >:>

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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attachment.php?attachmentid=427

Magic Cup, Jim Fitzpatrick

Yep sounds like a prospect...... I like epics that make you use your brain. My idea was the chalice/cauldron to restore the health of the king (and Captialize on the Boorman concept that " You and the Land are one"). Rust I am adding you to my friends list!!! I like your idea....

Magic .... capitalizing in the divine , wiccan and druid traditions.... Charms, pendants, curses, omen and prayers..... Comments and suggestions? I like the Spell sphere method from Elric!'s Unmapped east... where there is specialization but nothing is out of reach.... Also Christian miracles and charms As I have previously mentioned St. Partick's "Lorica" as a protective charm in combat and in magical contests.

By the way I am getting the Fantasy Grounds II ..... to test this out.... The figure out which system to use BRP (stormbringer) or BRP RQ or Open Quest... I would like some input there from my more learned peers hear. Also volunteers? Time frame to start would be in about two months. From there to start working on a supplement hopefully a fan free one but if it has to be licensed I need to find a charity that would benefit.

Edited by Bleddyn

In might a man, a youth in years, Of boisterous valour, Swift long-maned steeds under the thigh of a handsome youth ...Quicker to a field of blood, than to a wedding quicker to the ravens' feast

- Y Gododdin

"The soldier knows little of philosophers but in him and in his deeds life expresses itself more profoundly than any book can"

- Ernst Junger

E3b1a2 V13 V36

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To Atgxtg

First I want you to know I appreciate your tenacity and sticking to your guns on your convictions and opinions. I respect that. Second I feel Publicly I owe you an apology.... I have a Moderate traumatic brain injury I suffered from an IED in Afghanistan 2006 and I can get moody and snarky ( my wife's words). I hope you continue to express your opinions and take what I say with a grain of Salt.

Sincerely,

Bleddyn

In might a man, a youth in years, Of boisterous valour, Swift long-maned steeds under the thigh of a handsome youth ...Quicker to a field of blood, than to a wedding quicker to the ravens' feast

- Y Gododdin

"The soldier knows little of philosophers but in him and in his deeds life expresses itself more profoundly than any book can"

- Ernst Junger

E3b1a2 V13 V36

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Rust I am adding you to my friends list!!! I like your idea....

Thank you very much. :)

Since fantasy is not really my field, I have no useful opinion on which system would be best

for the scenario and supplement you envision.

My only idea for this would be to take a look at the magic system of the Fourth Edition of Pen-

dragon (I do not know the later editions), because I have the impression that it captures the

feel of the Celtic literature quite well and could therefore provide some ideas for Celtic magic

for other systems, too.

I also like it because in my view it is less "mechanical" than most of the other magic systems

("Press Button A for Result X"), more open and unpredictable.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Thank you very much. :)

Since fantasy is not really my field, I have no useful opinion on which system would be best

for the scenario and supplement you envision.

My only idea for this would be to take a look at the magic system of the Fourth Edition of Pen-

dragon (I do not know the later editions), because I have the impression that it captures the

feel of the Celtic literature quite well and could therefore provide some ideas for Celtic magic

for other systems, too.

I also like it because in my view it is less "mechanical" than most of the other magic systems

("Press Button A for Result X"), more open and unpredictable.

Will do I have it on PDF

In might a man, a youth in years, Of boisterous valour, Swift long-maned steeds under the thigh of a handsome youth ...Quicker to a field of blood, than to a wedding quicker to the ravens' feast

- Y Gododdin

"The soldier knows little of philosophers but in him and in his deeds life expresses itself more profoundly than any book can"

- Ernst Junger

E3b1a2 V13 V36

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I have asked to create a work group for the Age of Arthur BRP here if you would like to be apart of it PM me. I am hoping to create it in a team approach. Also I am not to make money off it. If it has to be licensed I rather the proceeds be used for Charities for Afghan Orphans, Combat Stress/PTSD or Wounded Warriors in the Coalition Countries, unless you need them which is understandable in this current economic recession.

In might a man, a youth in years, Of boisterous valour, Swift long-maned steeds under the thigh of a handsome youth ...Quicker to a field of blood, than to a wedding quicker to the ravens' feast

- Y Gododdin

"The soldier knows little of philosophers but in him and in his deeds life expresses itself more profoundly than any book can"

- Ernst Junger

E3b1a2 V13 V36

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I've kept out of this discussion as it has a been a bit too deep for me. I just wanted to add that there is little point in reinventing the wheel as regards a system for Arthur. Sure BRP would work but I think Pendragon works fine.

The default starting year in 5th edition is 485. This is the last 10 years of Uthers reign. The emphasis is on Dark ages, pot helms and chainmail are the best armours available and they are very expensive. So much so, that only a knight can afford it. That is a warrior with a landholding.

I sympathize about the wish to avoid chivalry and 14cent armour during the dark ages. I am a bit pedentic about details like that. However, when I play Pendragon I suspend my disbelief in the same way as I do when I watch Star Wars.

If you want gritty 'historical' dark ages, Pendragon can do it. BRP can do it. Hell even Cthulhu can do it.

Was Arthur real? Who cares. To me, he is as real as Corum, Elric and Heracles. Doesn't mean I can't enjoy it.

I'd be interested in participating in such a project.

Cheers

Damon

Likes to sneak around

115/420

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