Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Willow

The Anarchy: Tribute, Raiding, and Saxons

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

That is going to be pretty difficult for vassal knights. They don't have the connections, status, or wealthy to do so. What baron is going to ally with a lowly knight who has no army to speak of? Now, PKs who are officers has some pull with the Countess and Estate Holders might be able to accomplish something, but the opportunities to actually accomplish anything of a signficant scale are limited. Maybe if a PK manages to marry the Countess. 

If your players are drawn to sort of play, the only way they're still going to be low tier vassal knights by the end of Uther's wars, is if you're deliberately holding them back, particularly if they distinguish themselves in the big battles against Gorlois. If they have maintained Uther's favor (a non trivial task) and pulled off major heroics in battle, it would be strange for Uther to not cut them in on the redistrubution of fallen enemies' holdings among his favored loyalists -  SOP for a monarch after a civil war. Even those who remain in Roderick's inner circle will likely be officers of some sort if they've been turning the tide of battles by taking the enemy camp and similar - again, assuming that the players are interested in the lord side of the game.

That's obviously not the only way to play, but it's by no means beyond consideration.

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

There are just as many opportunities in other Periods for PKs to be BDW's, in fact,  probably more. Most PKs simply don't have the means to become warlords during this era, and the major theme of the era is that things are going bad for the British, not go forth and conquer. I've seen some posts on various forums where some people have had thier character take over the County or some such, but most of that seems to happen with GM who just let the players succeed at whatever they want. 

I strongly disagree with your assessment of the other periods in this respect. Once Arthur triumphs, you're back to needing special permission to build castles etc., intra-Briton conflicts are vastly reduced, and major warfare becomes the exception rather than the rule. Arthur brings stability and prosperity, at least for a time. During the civil wars and Anarchy, it's "Chaos is a ladder."

WRT the latter bit, it comes off as a bit judgmental. Who is to say what the PKs should or should not earn through good play? Why presume that a PK with his eyes on lordship who is a lion on the battlefield and a fox at court can only achieve that (after many years of effort, maneuvering, and overcoming various challenges) if the GM is a pushover? 

 

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

Now I'm not saying that the PKs can't try to fight the Saoxons, or move up in the social ladder, but I am saying that your view that the PKs should just go out and kick the Saxons butt is very risky and not all that easy to pull off. If it were as easy to fight back and you seem to think then the Countess would have told the Saxons where to stick their deamnds for tribute. Ulfius is probably the most powerful British warlord in the South and he doesn't ally with Aelle for nothing. 

The situation is that the Brits don't have much of a chance to defeat the Saxons and drive them out at the start of the Anarchy Period. If doing so was as easy as you made out, then the various Barons would have done it.

That it is a difficult, dangerous, uphill battle against dire odds is kind of the point of fighting it. Adventure RPGs aren't about playing it safe. Playing it safe is for NPCs. It's the PKs job to go out and do the hard things, or again - die trying. That's what makes them heroic.

Edited by JonL
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, JonL said:

If your players are drawn to sort of play, the only way they're still going to be low tier vassal knights by the end of Uther's wars, is if you're deliberately holding them back, particularly if they distinguish themselves in the big battles against Gorlois.

It's not a question of stle of pay or a GM holding them back but simple the fact that unless things go very very well for them, they are just not high enough to have that sort of pull.

15 minutes ago, JonL said:

If they have maintained Uther's favor (a non trivial task) and pulled off major heroics in battle, it would be strange for Uther to not cut them in on the redistrubution of fallen enemies' holdings among his favored loyalists -  SOP for a monarch after a civil war. Even those who remain in Roderick's inner circle will likely be officers of some sort if they've been turning the tide of battles by taking the enemy camp and similar - again, assuming that the players are interested in the lord side of the game.

Sure, but that assumes that they PKs manage to get Uther's favor or establish themselves into Roderick inner circle and still survive St. Albans. Basically the higher up the are the more likely they are to get poisoned. 

Gaining Uther favor or becoming an officer isn't automatic. OKs have to do things to earn it, and be lucky. It's doubtful that the PKs will have more than a manor or two for holdings during the Anarchy. Sure if a PK does something fantastic for Uther they might rise up in the ranks a bit, but the odds of becoming powerful enough to have any real impact on things (at least a Banneret) is quite the longshot. 

 

15 minutes ago, JonL said:

That's obviously not the only way to play, but it's by no means beyond consideration.

No, but it depends on a lot of things to fall the right way for the PKs. Basically it's like someone planning for thier future based on the assumption that first, they will win the lottery. 

15 minutes ago, JonL said:

I strongly disagree with your assessment of the other periods in this respect. Once Arthur triumphs, you're back to needing special permission to build castles etc., intra-Briton conflicts are vastly reduced, and major warfare becomes the exception rather than the rule. Arthur brings stability and prosperity, at least for a time. During the civil wars and Anarchy, it's "Chaos is a ladder."

Well we disagree then. For starters Arthur goes off conquering everywhere (the Conquest Period) which gives many more opportunities for knights to earn favor and gain new holdings.  Yes there is a better chance to take someplace by force during the Anarchy, but so what? The odds of keeping it afterwards are slim. One of the first things Arthur does as High King is to restore the lands to all the nobles who got hosed during the Anarchy. So that PK who conquered 20 mansors and built three castles probably won't keep them. 

15 minutes ago, JonL said:

WRT the latter bit, it comes off as a bit judgmental. Who is to say what the PKs should or should not earn through good play? Why presume that a PK with his eyes on lordship who is a lion on the battlefield and a fox at court can only achieve that (after many years of effort, maneuvering, and overcoming various challenges) if the GM is a pushover? 

Well for startrs the higher ranking nobles. I have no problems with the PKs earning  things through good play, or even through dumb luck. I'm just stating that its not automatic. This isn't old D&D where characters will eventually get whatever they want if they just live long enough to reach a high enough level.

15 minutes ago, JonL said:

That it is a difficult, dangerous, uphill battle against dire odds is kind of the point of fighting it. Adventure RPGs aren't about playing it safe.

That is partially true. Acting reckless, stupid and biting off more than one can chew will get Player characters killed in most adventure RPGs too. Especially one like Pendragon. 

15 minutes ago, JonL said:

Playing it safe is for NPCs. It's the PKs job to go out and do the hard things, or again - die trying. That's what makes them heroic.

Yes, but it also makes them dead.

the PKs should temper those risks with good judgment, or all they will accomplish will be the die trying part. A newly knighted age 21 starting character could heroically fight a Dragon by himself, and will get tons of glory if he wins, but his chances of doing so are rather slim. A player who does stuff like that repeatedly is just going to go through a lot of characters. At least if the "uphill battle against dire odds" is really an uphill battle against dire odds, and not an easy battle with a good PR from the GM. 

 The ones who do well and rise in rank and status learn how to pick their battles and when to take risks, and when not to. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Gaining Uther favor or becoming an officer isn't automatic. OKs have to do things to earn it, and be lucky. It's doubtful that the PKs will have more than a manor or two for holdings during the Anarchy. Sure if a PK does something fantastic for Uther they might rise up in the ranks a bit, but the odds of becoming powerful enough to have any real impact on things (at least a Banneret) is quite the longshot. 

Yeah, they'd have to do something amazing like go on a perilous quest to the Otherworld and bring Uther back a magic sword that let's him win all his battles for something like that to happen, at a minimum. ;)

Edited by JonL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, JonL said:

Yeah, they'd have to do something amazing like go on a perilous quest to the Otherworld and bring Uther back a magic sword that let's him win all his battles for something like that to happen, at a minimum. ;)

More than that. First off, Merlin is the one who enlists the aid of the PKs, as well as the one who gives Uther the Sword, not the PKs. Secondly the same Merlin also "abducts" baby Arthur and leave the PKs holding the bag, and they end up on trial for treason. None of that puts the Pks into Uther's favor. 

Merlin's praise does help the PKs somewhat with the Count, but then Merlin's rep take a big hit after he is declared a traitor. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/24/2019 at 3:27 PM, JonL said:

If this sort of stuff is supposed to be part of the game (especially during the Anarchy), why should the GM smack you down with super-coordinated roving bands or retaliations with 10 times your force? If chevauchée is doing-it-wrong, why are we playing a game about Knights? 

You misunderstood me. Yes, why not. But if you raid a powerful foe, you should be aware that he can strike back. It's not about smacking down the PK. It's about choices and consequences.

During the Anarchy, the Saxons are menacing. The GM should never forget that. If the PK are thinking "it was easy. Saxons are weak.", there is a problem.

On 5/24/2019 at 8:20 PM, Morien said:

at, by the way, is why I am feeling a bit lukewarm about Nanteleod in GPC. He kinda makes it seem that even if Arthur wouldn't exist, one British king would eventually manage to unite the island, and that with just a little bit of luck, Nanteleod would have been that King.

Nanteleod is supposed to be the last hope. And then he dies...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

During the Anarchy, the Saxons are menacing. The GM should never forget that. If the PK are thinking "it was easy. Saxons are weak.", there is a problem.

Pretty much, although the occasional weak encounter hear or there can help too. It shows that the Saxons are not invincible,  but just that it is difficult to do defeat them at present.

Quote

Nanteleod is supposed to be the last hope. And then he dies...

making the situation seem much worse, exactly.

Part of the purpose of the Anarchy Period is to make the situation look bleak in order to make Arthur's rise and victories all that greater. The idea being that Arthur is special and can do what others either wouldn't, couldn't, or in the case of Nanteleod, died before they could, accomplish. The game needs those dark times to make the golden age of Arthur stand out more. 

Edited by Atgxtg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upon further reflection, I admit that Nanteleod can act as a catalyst. He did bring Logres together, albeit briefly, and the days of 505 - 507 were Logres kicking ass and taking names (no bubblegum, since it hadn't been invented yet). So after the surviving lords get their act together again in 509, it makes sense that they would decide that being united is much better than Anarchy, so let's call a tournament and whoever wins will be the next King of Logres. Granted, you can get the same effect even later, but since Nanteleod is there...

I am just not fully convinced that the highs of 505-7 make 508 -9 sting worse than a constant Saxon threat throughout 500s would have. But then again, the one time we played through Anarchy, the PKs ended up allying with Cornwall and later with Wessex against Nanteleod, so it was kinda flipped on them. 505-7 sucked, but 508-9 was happy days again raiding Levcomagus and forcing Marlborough swear allegiance to Salisbury in exchange for immunity from Wessex...

Edited by Morien

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And, in a way, there is beauty in the fact that no two campaigns need to be EXACTLY the same during this time period.  Countess Ellen could end up marrying someone, possibly even Cedric, or a PK.  Or, play one party against another so R. inherits it all once he becomes of age, or the PKs could hightail it somewhere else and set up shop.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

And, in a way, there is beauty in the fact that no two campaigns need to be EXACTLY the same during this time period. 

Beauty? I'd say say a necessity. Unlike virtually every other RPG, Pendragon follows the same timeline and course of events in every campaign. If a GM didn't vary things the campaing would get boring a predicable, much like most computer RPGs.

3 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

Countess Ellen could end up marrying someone, possibly even Cedric, or a PK.  Or, play one party against another so R. inherits it all once he becomes of age, or the PKs could hightail it somewhere else and set up shop.  

Yup. Lots of options for the GM to choose from, although the campaing history and players actions will (and should) play a big part in determining that direction. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...