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SaxBasilisk

Younger Knights

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I'm getting ready to start running the Great Pendragon Campaign. I'd like each player to start with a vassal knight and a household knight as a backup, with both being grandsons of the same knight.

The trouble is, the rules don't seem to make an allowance for rolling up younger characters. I'd also like to avoid a bunch of family complications or handwaving the history. I know I could come up with some explanation involving bastard sons or twins or other arrangements, but all of these seem unsatisfying.

How would you handle this?

Edited by SaxBasilisk

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Hoiusehold knights are rolled up the same as vassal knights, only then tend to be a little poorer. This is spelled out in the Book of Knights & Ladies, but you can basically ignore it for chargen if you want to- it usally doesn't make much of a difference.

There are rules for rolling up PK squires in the book of Entourage. Boiled down to their simplest:

  • They start at age 14, with -3 to SIZ and STR
  • All their skills start at the normal starting values except for the Knightly skills of  Awareness, Courtesy Battle, First AId, Sword, Lance, Horsemanship, and Hunting witch all start at 3. 

Each Year the Squire:

  • Gets back one of the points of SIZ and STR lost. Even years is SIZ, odd STR until they grow up to normal STR and SIZ at age 20.
  • Get 5 skill points that they can put into raising their knightly skills (above) in addition to their normal training and practice. This is due to the "on the job traning" that comes from being a squire to a knight.
  • Get 5 glory per 1000 Glory of the knight they are serving . Being the squire of King Uther (GLory 27550) is way more glorious than being the squire to Sir Nobody (Glory 1,001).

 

Story wise, just what do you need? It doesn't look like you would need to change much to make it work. 

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I'd just make the two brothers a year or two apart.  Year 1, everyone only has one PK. Year 2 the younger brother is now a knight and everyone has 2 PKs.

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Many of the heroes of Arthurian romance are quite young when they start out - younger than the basic starting age - 16-18 on the average. I'd use the rules Atgxtg cited, and fully embrace having teen knights.

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On 6/15/2019 at 10:03 PM, jeffjerwin said:

Many of the heroes of Arthurian romance are quite young when they start out - younger than the basic starting age - 16-18 on the average. I'd use the rules Atgxtg cited, and fully embrace having teen knights.

Bonus points if you run a few sessions of what is essentially Arthurian Squire High-School drama.

Great for introducing "peer" named characters also as squires (or pages), whom they may bump into later.

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On 6/16/2019 at 5:03 AM, jeffjerwin said:

Many of the heroes of Arthurian romance are quite young when they start out - younger than the basic starting age - 16-18 on the average. I'd use the rules Atgxtg cited, and fully embrace having teen knights.

Yep.

For GMs wanting to have PKs who are a bit more exceptional, starting them off around 15+1d3 years with full 21-year old skillset / chargen would also be an option. Let's face it, the extra few years of avoiding aging rolls is unlikely to become the sticking point of the campaign, anyway. Especially if everyone starts within 2 years of each other anyway.

To truly compare with the Arthurian paragons, you'd really have to boost them a lot from that, too. Like giving extra 5 - 10 yearly trainings. Of course, someone like Gareth/Beaumains should be the really rare outlier, what with having duelled Lancelot to a draw on his first outing, if the memory serves. Of course, you could fudge this by saying that Lancelot was holding back and just wanting to test the young knight, but still.

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On 6/15/2019 at 12:58 PM, Atgxtg said:

There are rules for rolling up PK squires in the book of Entourage

Atgxtg is correct. There is an alternative set of rules in Book of Knights and Ladies, pg. 57.  Essentially, you start as a 16 year old, they don't worry about attributes, but reduce skills greater than 5 by 3 points (or keep them at 5, whichever is greater). Then add 10 points.

I also echo starting characters at ages younger than 21, especially if the gm is setting somewhere where tribal warriors are.  If all the players are brand new, then one or two years as squires would allow the gm to showcase the rules more so players become more familiar and ease them into knighthood.  YPMV, of course, but one of the more remember-able characters was when he was but a squire.

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14 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

Atgxtg is correct. There is an alternative set of rules in Book of Knights and Ladies, pg. 57.  Essentially, you start as a 16 year old, they don't worry about attributes, but reduce skills greater than 5 by 3 points (or keep them at 5, whichever is greater). Then add 10 points.

Yup. I'm more fond of the one in BoEnt, though. I think it works better. 

14 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

I also echo starting characters at ages younger than 21, especially if the gm is setting somewhere where tribal warriors are.  If all the players are brand new, then one or two years as squires would allow the gm to showcase the rules more so players become more familiar and ease them into knighthood. 

Amen! One of the things that disappointed me abotu KAP5 was starting as knights. Squires were a great way for someone new to learn the game while having some sort of safety net. Starting as a knight, when you don;'t understand the game system can be dangerous. Things like double teams or foots vs horse can quickly throw a fight if a player isn't aware of the way they modfiy the battle. 

14 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

YPMV, of course, but one of the more remember-able characters was when he was but a squire.

I have platyed and seen several. I've even started a campaign with everyone coming in as 15 year old squires.

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The biggest problem of course, is that most want to play Knights and do what they want to do, rather than what Knights were expected to do.

Each campaign is unique.  I believe that starting in different locations, different starting ages, different periods of play, and scaling of how much magic is in the game are all in the works at the moment.  David has a huge amount of his plate and I know he is working as fast as possible.  But, he has a steep learning curve as he was thrown a real curveball.  

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17 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

David has a huge amount of his plate and I know he is working as fast as possible.  But, he has a steep learning curve as he was thrown a real curveball.  

Are you referring to the wealth of KAP supplements planned combined with the sad and untimely passing of Greg? Or is this in reference to something else specifically?

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Correct on the first try.  David was in place and was learning when the sad event happened.  Now, David is doing a huge amount without the advice of Greg. I am helping where I can as is everyone else.

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