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In need of ideas - teenage liege lords

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Hi,

I'm out of ideas (and time) for the next session of my samurai campaign. Since I have been using many details from Pendragon for my own samurai game (such as the Book of the Manor supplement), and the Samurai book is eventually coming up, I thought of asking here to seek help.

The PCs in my pseudo-historic campaign in Suruga (1550 AD) have achieved the hatamoto level, meaning they are sort of elevated bodyguards of their liege lord. Problem is, their liege lord is a spoiled teenager and his half uncle is governing the province until he comes of age. Meanwhile, the PCs have brokered a 12-year truce with their neighbouring and more powerful enemies from Sagami: the Ishizaki. Both provinces are using the time to rebuild their provinces (after several disasters) and arming themselves, in preparation for the day the truce ends, the hostages go back to their homelands, and the battle commences.

- Do you know of any Pendragon scenario focused on courtly intrigue I could adapt to this? :huh:
My only idea for next session is to somehow combine negotiations with the jesuits in order to get saltpeter from the Portuguese (and thus blackpowder), while having to care for their spoiled teenage liege lord. Perhaps he insists on attending the negotiations and he jeopardises the operation with his comments. Is there any scenario (for whatever ruleset, actually, that fits this set-up?).

- I've been eyeing the Prince Valiant episode book. Does it include any scenario that might be suitable? 

 

Thanks in advance!

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I don't know of any KAP-specific scenarios. I've only played the game peripherally a couple of times.

However, historically there is a bunch of intrigue that you can use. They could be sent off as emissary /observers for their liege. In 1550, Takeda Shingen has just finished conquering Shinano Province, thereby taking control of the mountainous spine of Northern Honshu. It's a direct gateway to the fertile Kwanto Plain provinces, and everybody is wondering which way he's gonna jump next. This eventually leads to his conflict with the Uesugi of Echigo Province, but that's a couple years into the future. As of 1550, he's mopping up the last resistance in Shinano and is a major power in the Game of Daimyos.

And wouldn't you know it, your setting of Suruga Province is right next door to the Takeda home of Kai Province. Pretty sure the Uncle Regent would like to have some sense of where Shingen is going to be nosing around next, wouldn't he?

[link to wiki article on Takeda Shingen]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takeda_Shingen

Edited by svensson
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You could look at The Marriage of Count Roderick (available free from this site) and put your players on a quest to find a wife for their spoiled brat liege lord :)

There's a Flashing Blades adventure called The Ambassador's Tales which might work well as a Japanese diplomatic mission. You'd have to change lots of things but it is brilliant and my players just loved it as a Middle-Earth RPG adventure, 25+ years ago. It is available on DrivethruRPG I believe. It would also work as a Pendragon scenario/small campaign.

 

Edited by 7dot62mm
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7 hours ago, svensson said:

However, historically there is a bunch of intrigue that you can use. They could be sent off as emissary /observers for their liege. In 1550, Takeda Shingen has just finished conquering Shinano Province, thereby taking control of the mountainous spine of Northern Honshu. It's a direct gateway to the fertile Kwanto Plain provinces, and everybody is wondering which way he's gonna jump next.

Takeda Shingen is already causing trouble to the PCs! 😁. In fact, last session ended when the army of Suruga repelled a Takeda army planning to attack Shinano from the south after first crossing into the northern mountains of Suruga. Takeda tried to convince the PCs their ally in Shinano is far less convenient than having him as an ally, but they decided to go for the honourable option, and honour their alliance with the daimyo of southern Shinano by stopping Takeda's army. They released a river they had dammed well in advance in preparation for Takeda's incursion, and now the enemy troops are fleeing in disarray.

What would you do if you were Takeda?

I think he's going to retreat as fast as he can, as he has obviously subestimated his enemy, and even if his troops outnumber the local forces, they are in mountainous territory and it's too easy for the local samurai to ambush them. He is then going to offer a non-agression treaty and focus on invading Shinano from the east.

-----------

However, some years later, he might have conquered all of Shinano. And then he may be tempted to crush those pesky samurai who thwarted his plan. So thanks a lot for your suggestion. How would you then plan that mission? 

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3 hours ago, 7dot62mm said:

You could look at The Marriage of Count Roderick (available free from this site) and put your players on a quest to find a wife for their spoiled brat liege lord :)

There's a Flashing Blades adventure called The Ambassador's Tales which might work well as a Japanese diplomatic mission. You'd have to change lots of things but it is brilliant and my players just loved it as a Middle-Earth RPG adventure, 25+ years ago. It is available on DrivethruRPG I believe. It would also work as a Pendragon scenario/small campaign.

 

Thank you! I'll have a look. I don't mind adapting many details as long as the scenario is cool.

In fact, the boy is already betrothed to one of his uncle's daughters. BTW the uncle has only daughters, no heir. However, 

- the Uncle regent has recently found a concubine. What if she gets pregnant and she has a boy? Temptations...?

- being a spoiled child, perhaps the teenage liege lord insists on marrying another girl. What then?

I'm also looking forward to introducing some negotiations with the Portuguese. Perhaps before their enemies do the same.

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9 hours ago, Runeblogger said:

😁

What would you do if you were Takeda?

I think he's going to retreat as fast as he can, as he has obviously subestimated his enemy, and even if his troops outnumber the local forces, they are in mountainous territory and it's too easy for the local samurai to ambush them. He is then going to offer a non-agression treaty and focus on invading Shinano from the east.

-----------

However, some years later, he might have conquered all of Shinano. And then he may be tempted to crush those pesky samurai who thwarted his plan. So thanks a lot for your suggestion. How would you then plan that mission? 

It depends on how important Sugura Province is to him.

He may look at Sugura's situation and see exploitable weakness. You describe the province's status as precarious... A spoiled brat for a liege lord, an army that is tired and low on gunpowder, damage from recent natural disasters... All of that could make Sugura look like a wounded deer to a pack of wolves.

On the other hand, if Shingen is focused on finishing his work in Shinano, he might see Sugura as a distraction that doesn't have much of an up side for him. The Kwanto provinces are certainly more wealthy. If he controls those, he controls most of the rice production in all of Honshu. Controlling Sugura just give him a port, and seaports are not all that important to Honshu daimyo.

So Shingen may see those pesky samurai as either cunning opponents worthy of respect or as bugs that need to be stomped. Either way, I would certainly have the Takeda start spending some koku to dig up dirt on Our Heroes in order to blackmail them at a later date. They're obviously a major pillar of support for Sugura's daimyo, and it's in the Takeda's best interests to be able to topple them if needs be.

Another idea strikes me as well...

You might introduce religious problems in the form of the Ikko-Ikki sohei. A fiery young Buddhist preacher establishes a monastery nearby and starts preaching about the decadence of samurai. This attracts the farmers and ronin in the area, who form a religious crusading army seeming from out of nowhere. Naturally, this monastery is in a highly defensible location. The situation could be resolved diplomatically if agents of the Sugura daimyo can convince the preacher of their piety and righteousness. OR the players could have another Ishiyama Hongan-ji War on their hands...

Lastly...

There are downloadable resources from L5R [which will certainly require some converting] as well as the earlier samurai games of Bushido by FGU, Sengoku by Gold Rush games, RQ3's Land of Ninja box set, and Mongoose's RQ2 /Legend Land of the Samurai, which was retitled Samurai of Legend.

Edited by svensson

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Some ideas:

In the GPC is a stroy that the PKs go to Estregales as ambassadors and end up in a power struggle in that court when the present King of Estregales is killed. (p 61 Embessay to Estregales).

Another is called: PRESUMPTUOUS PRAETOR, page 68. It tells of a foreigner in exile who abuses the code of hospitality while the lord of the manor is away.  PKs can step in.

An adventure seed before that is: THE MERCENARY SYAGRIUS, which tells about the above exile and that he needs a place to stay. They find him pillaging in the countryside. Syagrius is mad because Prince Madoc left him a few years earlier and he lost his lands because of it.

One of the events during the anarchy period is the kidnapping of Queen Ygraine. You could modify this in a rival's attempt to kidnap the boy's mother.

You could also make it even more of an Arthurian legend in having the uncle getting a son, who is kidnapped, and later returns as a hero. Especially if the current spoiled brat turns into a tyrant. 

 

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