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Tizun Thane

Adapting Chrétien de Troyes novels

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In french culture, Chrétien de Troyes (1130-1190) is respected and his work still studied, as the first french novelist, and the first to write about arthurian mythos and to "invent" the Graal.

But King Arthur Pendragon and his GPC is massively based on Thomas Malory's work, and Chrétien's is a tertiary source at best. I think it's a missed opportunity. To be more faithful to the french sources, more ancient than Malory by a few centuries, I tried to insert more Chrétien in the GPC, to make it more to my taste. 

First, let's begin with my favorite novel, Yvain ou le chevalier au Lion. It's a great arthurian story anyway, and I encourage everyone to read it. There is some differences of course. In the french novel, Yvain et Gauvain are first cousins by their fathers. In the english one, they are related by the mothers. In the french novel, Yvain, already the son of King Urien, is not the son of Morgan le Fay! And yet, she is portrayed in a positive light as a healer. Anyway...

  • In 522, The GPC said that Yvain [the french way, I'm a rebel] is dubbed and goes immediatly to the Triple Quest (like in Malory).
  • In 523, after a year of questing, he is at the court of the King Arthur, to tell his adventures.
  • In 524, he is appointed to the Round Table, with his nickname "The Knight with the Lion".

Considering that the novel begins at the Royal Court, and he gained his nickname during the adventures of the novel, case closed: The adventures of the novel are setted in 523. Except... there is still some issues. His adventures are segmented into  half. In the first half, he revenged his cousin Calogrenant, marry the duchess Laudine, and he is happy and then go to tournaments. In the second half, one year after, he became crazy after betraying his love before going for many mores adventures, with a finish in duel against Gawaine.

The GPC is still working. The first adventures and his wedding are in 523, and the rest in 524. The GM can add to the GPC the events of the novel during this two years. Or, he can be even more ambitious, and adapt the novel for his players...

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I touched on this my research for a forthcoming book, but placed the events in 536 to 538. You will note that Chretien makes the events of the Lancelot/Chevalier au Charette and (its apparent sequel) Yvain overlap.

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9 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

In french culture, Chrétien de Troyes (1130-1190) is respected and his work still studied, as the first french novelist, and the first to write about arthurian mythos and to "invent" the Graal.

There are Welsh and Breton sources  about Arthur that predate Chrétien de Troyes. Not that there is anything wrong with basing your campaign around Chrétien de Troyes as your primary source. I suspect Pendragon uses Marry partly becuase it is better well know and read in English speaking countries, and because there is something almost sacrilegious about using a non-British source  for the primary source about such an British Icon. 

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The advantage of Malory is also that it covers the whole story from Arthur's conception to his death at Camlann, so you get an overview and some idea of the comparative chronology. The other stories focusing on individual knights tend to be more fragmentary.

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11 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

I touched on this my research for a forthcoming book, but placed the events in 536 to 538. You will note that Chretien makes the events of the Lancelot/Chevalier au Charette and (its apparent sequel) Yvain overlap.

Yes, the two stories are in the same timeline (they overlap as you said). I tried to ignore that to fit the adventure in the timeline of the GPC. As Yvain is called the Knight with the Lion in 524... And in the third edition, the character sheet of Ywain had a love (wife) 20, which of course indicate that Yvain has met his wife in 531.

But, I admit that I love your idea more! It gives something to do for PK during the abudction without Lancelot  stealing all the glory.

Your forthcoming book sounds very intriguing... I would love to hear more 😁

10 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

There are Welsh and Breton sources  about Arthur that predate Chrétien de Troyes. 

Sure, but his influence is huge, and like I said, I just love the books ;)

 

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3 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

But, I admit that I love your idea more! It gives something to do for PK during the abudction without Lancelot  stealing all the glory. 

You do encounter a small problem that you will have to rewrite a lot of the other chronology to make this fit. For instance, Marhaus dies in 529 by Tristram's hand, so you need to tweak Tristram's chronology. Also, by shifting it a decade, it means that Morgan Le Fey doesn't start her plotting until 530s, since that revelation is what drives Yvaine and Gawaine from the court. Finally, Gawaine is a much more badass after the Roman War rather than the relatively young knight he is still in mid-520s, so the Triple Questers are less equals.

I think Greg had the right idea following Malory in this and placing the Triple Questers before the Roman War.

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36 minutes ago, Morien said:

ou do encounter a small problem that you will have to rewrite a lot of the other chronology to make this fit. For instance, Marhaus dies in 529 by Tristram's hand, so you need to tweak Tristram's chronology. Also, by shifting it a decade, it means that Morgan Le Fey doesn't start her plotting until 530s, since that revelation is what drives Yvaine and Gawaine from the court. Finally, Gawaine is a much more badass after the Roman War rather than the relatively young knight he is still in mid-520s, so the Triple Questers are less equals.

Not at all. I fear there is a misunderstanding between us. Maybe because of my bad english.😅

The Triple Quest stays in 522-523. The adventure of the Knight with a Lion (aka the Chrétien's novel) can be placed, like jeffjerwin suggested, in 536-538, to stay faithful both to the GPC and Chrétien's work. Marhaus does not appear in the novel, so his death is not a concern.

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