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JonL

Plantagenet?

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What with all the alt-era Pendragons sprouting like weeds, has anyone given thought to taking a run at an actual 12th-15th century game where all the trappings would actually be period appropriate instead of anachronisms? A lot of Geoffrey of Monmouth's fictive Arthuriana seems to have been bent into molds that bare substantial resemblance to Henry II's rise, so there are a fair number of Angevin era themes baked into Pendragon already. The gamut of fictional resources includes Shakespeare's history plays, Ivanhoe, A Lion in Winter, various Robin Hood tales, and so on. 

Has anyone done this before?

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Not in Pendragon or Prince Valiant, but yes for RuneQuest, BRP and Revolution D100. The Merrie England line covers the reigns from Henry II to Henry III, including Richard I and John.

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I definitely think that a Robin Hood game could work well with Pendragon, forming a gang of noble outlaws fighting against the Tyranny of Prince (and later King) John. Primary issue would be figuring out to incorporate less armor into the game to allow for a more Acrobatic Erol Flynn type of play. (I've considered having Dexterity act like a shield while less armored, thus allowing them not die the instant their opponent rolled slightly better than them, while also encouraging them to use bows and guerilla tactics when they could, since a bad roll could still end nasty.)

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On 1/9/2019 at 10:06 AM, JonL said:

What with all the alt-era Pendragons sprouting like weeds, has anyone given thought to taking a run at an actual 12th-15th century game where all the trappings would actually be period appropriate instead of anachronisms? A lot of Geoffrey of Monmouth's fictive Arthuriana seems to have been bent into molds that bare substantial resemblance to Henry II's rise, so there are a fair number of Angevin era themes baked into Pendragon already. The gamut of fictional resources includes Shakespeare's history plays, Ivanhoe, A Lion in Winter, various Robin Hood tales, and so on. 

Has anyone done this before?

I've thought about it, but in some ways it's like playing in the minor leagues. After King Arthur real history is a bit low keyed. Real knight probably would be less chivalric.

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12 hours ago, Ravian said:

I definitely think that a Robin Hood game could work well with Pendragon, forming a gang of noble outlaws fighting against the Tyranny of Prince (and later King) John. Primary issue would be figuring out to incorporate less armor into the game to allow for a more Acrobatic Erol Flynn type of play. (I've considered having Dexterity act like a shield while less armored, thus allowing them not die the instant their opponent rolled slightly better than them, while also encouraging them to use bows and guerilla tactics when they could, since a bad roll could still end nasty.)

Yeah, armor is the problem. in standard Pendragon the high armor values work to give  Knights (the player characters) and advantage, since they will usually havebetter armor than the non-knight opponents-especially as the game progresses. 

 

The simplest solution would be to fall back on Pendragon's source for game mechanics, RuneQuest/BRP. In RQ armor is about half of the value than in Pendragon, but shields are worth twice as much, and weapons can be used to parry as well. So if Errol Flynn type Robin Hood could parry 10 points of damage with his sword he won't need much armor to get by.  You might even want to consider bringing back the double feint tactic in some some too, to make DEX more useful, and give such a game a more swashbuckling feel.

 

You might even want to consider bringing in category modifiers in some form to make DEX, STR, and APP more significant (as they would be in such a game).

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1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

I've thought about it, but in some ways it's like playing in the minor leagues. After King Arthur real history is a bit low keyed. Real knight probably would be less chivalric.

Ivanhoe is a solid point of reference for Angevin-era heroic fiction, and actually does a pretty worthy job of highlighting conflicting loyalties, ideals vs practicality, tragically impossible loves, and the like.

Also, calling out all five Norman champions at once in this scene is the stuff of epics. :)

(Note Robin Hoode sliding into the cheering section as well.)

Edited by JonL

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57 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Yeah, armor is the problem. in standard Pendragon the high armor values work to give  Knights (the player characters) and advantage, since they will usually havebetter armor than the non-knight opponents-especially as the game progresses. 

 

The simplest solution would be to fall back on Pendragon's source for game mechanics, RuneQuest/BRP. In RQ armor is about half of the value than in Pendragon, but shields are worth twice as much, and weapons can be used to parry as well. So if Errol Flynn type Robin Hood could parry 10 points of damage with his sword he won't need much armor to get by.  You might even want to consider bringing back the double feint tactic in some some too, to make DEX more useful, and give such a game a more swashbuckling feel.

I recall Stormbringer using (originating?) the Pendragon-style general HP + Major Wound Table concept.  I never thought to compare its armor values, but it's probably worth a look.

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2 hours ago, JonL said:

I recall Stormbringer using (originating?) the Pendragon-style general HP + Major Wound Table concept. 

It originated the major wound mechanic. Pendragon does't use a major wound table, and instead just forces a roll on the aging table. But the Major Wound =CON is the same. 

2 hours ago, JonL said:

I never thought to compare its armor values, but it's probably worth a look.

Not really. Stormbinger uses a variable die roll with an average value for armor with helm being about the same as the RQ value.  Pendragon uses a value close to about twice that of RQ. For example Leather is worth 1-2 points in RQ, but 2-4 points in Pendragon. Mail is worth 5-6 points in RQ, and 10-12 points in Pendragon. Plate is worth 8 in RQ and 16 in Pendragon and so on. 

And damage about twice that of RQ as well. For instance  in RQ a STR 12, SIZ 13 character with a a sword does 1D8+1+1D4 (average 8 ) damage. In Pendragon that same character would do 4d6 (average 14) which is close. A character in RQ with STR 18 SIZ 18, would do 1D8+1+1D6 (average 9) but in Pendragon they would do 6d6 (average 21). Again, about double.

 

 

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