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A quick question

I don't want to go too far off topic, But has anyone else considered using the Pendragon System for that other iconic folklore hero Robin Hood? Along with Arthurian I have also done some work on the RH legends and the thought crossed my mind that players could be outlaws for whatever reason and running from the law to hide up in the Green wood and organizing raids and robbery to survive maybe even coming into contact with Characters from the stories such as Robin etc.

Its something I might try later  once Ive done more Arthurian games

 

Steve

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Yes. I think there was a long-ish thread on Robin Hood variant in the old Nocturnal Forums. If you go to the archive page Scott linked a while back (see below), I think it might be in the Houserules... Anyway, poke around and you will find it.

 

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3 minutes ago, Morien said:

Yes. I think there was a long-ish thread on Robin Hood variant in the old Nocturnal Forums. If you go to the archive page Scott linked a while back (see below), I think it might be in the Houserules... Anyway, poke around and you will find it.

 

Cheers I will take a look

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16 hours ago, Sir Carter said:

A quick question

I don't want to go too far off topic, But has anyone else considered using the Pendragon System for that other iconic folklore hero Robin Hood? 

I do use ICE's Robin Hood supplement as a resource on locations and adventures for KAP. 

One problem I have with using KAP for Robin Hood is that KAP is entirely geared towards and biased towards Knights who are usually the bad guys in a Robin Hood campaign. Pendragon's combat system is not very kind to unarmored heroes - even less kind that other BRP based games. All it all, it could work, but the system would need to be tweaked somehow to change the bias from chivalric knights to heroic outlaws. If you just ran the game as it, I don't think the PC outlaws would last very long. 

I think to make KAP work for Robin Hood a GM probably  would need to:

  • Halve the armor protection (i.e like in RQ/BRP)
  • Double the Shield protection (i.e like in RQ/BRP)
  • Let parrying weapons soak some damage on a parry/partial success (once again like in RQ/BRP)
  • Possibly turn some tasks important to outlaws that are covered under DEX (sneaking, climbing) in KAP into skills  (once again like in RQ/BRP).
  • Incorporate some of the ideas for making DEX and APP more important/useful in game. Robin Hood stories tend to be more about stealth, wits, charm and scoial interaction than about combat. 

 

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On 7/15/2019 at 4:30 PM, Atgxtg said:

I do use ICE's Robin Hood supplement as a resource on locations and adventures for KAP. 

One problem I have with using KAP for Robin Hood is that KAP is entirely geared towards and biased towards Knights who are usually the bad guys in a Robin Hood campaign. Pendragon's combat system is not very kind to unarmored heroes - even less kind that other BRP based games. All it all, it could work, but the system would need to be tweaked somehow to change the bias from chivalric knights to heroic outlaws. If you just ran the game as it, I don't think the PC outlaws would last very long. 

I think to make KAP work for Robin Hood a GM probably  would need to:

  • Halve the armor protection (i.e like in RQ/BRP)
  • Double the Shield protection (i.e like in RQ/BRP)
  • Let parrying weapons soak some damage on a parry/partial success (once again like in RQ/BRP)
  • Possibly turn some tasks important to outlaws that are covered under DEX (sneaking, climbing) in KAP into skills  (once again like in RQ/BRP).
  • Incorporate some of the ideas for making DEX and APP more important/useful in game. Robin Hood stories tend to be more about stealth, wits, charm and scoial interaction than about combat. 

 

One of the fun parts is that the system makes people try to take more use of stealth, wits, charm and social interaction. Taking on a knight in full armour is suicide. 

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On 7/15/2019 at 4:30 PM, Atgxtg said:

Pendragon's combat system is not very kind to unarmored heroes - even less kind that other BRP based games.

+1 If you want to give a robin hood feeling to your pendragon game, just give to unarmored character an armor equal to his dex (even a shield is an armor).

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3 hours ago, Cornelius said:

One of the fun parts is that the system makes people try to take more use of stealth, wits, charm and social interaction. Taking on a knight in full armour is suicide. 

Yup, and as written KAP tends to downplay stealth, wits, charm and social interaction. 

Stealth = DEX

Wits is entirety up to the player

Charm has a couple of skills that can play a part (Folklore, Flirting, Courtesy)

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1 hour ago, Tizun Thane said:

+1 If you want to give a robin hood feeling to your pendragon game, just give to unarmored character an armor equal to his dex (even a shield is an armor).

Interesting, although I think that causes more problems. It makes armor a minor upgrade or even a downgrade for most characters. Who would wear 4-6 point leather? It also tends to make everybody rather arrow resistant. I'd much rather give weapons a protection score and tie it to a partial success. 

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43 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Interesting, although I think that causes more problems. It makes armor a minor upgrade or even a downgrade for most characters. Who would wear 4-6 point leather? It also tends to make everybody rather arrow resistant. I'd much rather give weapons a protection score and tie it to a partial success. 

If you read the linked thread on the old Nocturnal Forum, the suggestion was:

Partial success = Modified DEX worth of Armor IN ADDITION to any shield & armor worn.

Whereas normal armor always protected, even if you failed or fumbled. Hence something like a Norman Chain (10 pts, -10 DEX) would be 'neutral' in a Partial Success for anyone with DEX > 9, but would still be superior since it protects even if you fail. However, good luck doing any acrobatics in it...

Even something like 4 point armor (-5 DEX) could be worth it, since those 4 points might make a difference between a Major Wound or just a Wound in a failed weapon roll. And a 6 point armor would actually be +1 armor point even on a partial success.

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23 hours ago, Morien said:

If you read the linked thread on the old Nocturnal Forum, the suggestion was:

Ah, I was responding to Tizun Thane's suggestion, which was much simpler. 

23 hours ago, Morien said:

Partial success = Modified DEX worth of Armor IN ADDITION to any shield & armor worn.

Whereas normal armor always protected, even if you failed or fumbled. Hence something like a Norman Chain (10 pts, -10 DEX) would be 'neutral' in a Partial Success for anyone with DEX > 9, but would still be superior since it protects even if you fail. However, good luck doing any acrobatics in it...

Even something like 4 point armor (-5 DEX) could be worth it, since those 4 points might make a difference between a Major Wound or just a Wound in a failed weapon roll. And a 6 point armor would actually be +1 armor point even on a partial success.

Also interesting. Modified DEX does address some of the problems, although I'm still not sold on the idea. A high DEX character with a good skill and a shield could become much more tougher than someone in the appropriate armor. I'm not saying it won't work, but I have reservations.

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I'm actually the guy who started that previous Robin Hood thread back in the Nocturnal forums.

I definitely been thinking about the need to make armor less vital for survival.

Some things that I've conceived/heard have been, use a modified dex as a shield bonus

But one idea I like is to do a big switcheroo, and have modified Dex be one's primary armor, while armor provides a shield bonus. So a partial success means you can maneuver yourself so your armor absorbs part of the blow, while a failure means your opponent is able to hit an opening. Maybe include a corollary that these bonuses reflect how Yeomen are taught to fight, agile and on their feet, while metal armor is too heavy for that kind of maneuvering and so knights have to use it and their shields to defend themselves with.

Shields could either be ignored by yeomen (which wouldn't be out of genre at all) or provide an additional small armor bonus (likely with the corrollary of being a noticeable weapon of a soldier, cumbersome for doing anything dextrous, and possibly capable of being battered apart. In general it's more likely to be something you grab during the middle of a fight when you have the opportunity rather than carrying it around with you all the time.)

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I s'pose it wouldn't go amiss to suggest that "Merrie England: Robyn Hode" is worth a look.  BRP/KAP crossovers are not tricksy-and-hard, after all...

It might also be worth considering if, rather than importing some BRPism's into a KAP engine, you might import some KAPisms into a BRP engine.  BRP/KAP crossovers are not tricksy-and-hard, after all...

Having no deep understanding of KAP (and NO understanding of the criteria important to Sir Carter, Ravian, and the other estimable folk in this thread), I shan't  suggest that any of my ideas here are good ideas.  Just offering them as "FWIW" notions.

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3 hours ago, g33k said:

I s'pose it wouldn't go amiss to suggest that "Merrie England: Robyn Hode" is worth a look.  BRP/KAP crossovers are not tricksy-and-hard, after all...

It might also be worth considering if, rather than importing some BRPism's into a KAP engine, you might import some KAPisms into a BRP engine.  BRP/KAP crossovers are not tricksy-and-hard, after all...

It's trickier than you might think. While superficially similar to BRP, Pendragon does just about everything differently. While some things port over faiulry easily, and some others can be alterted to fit, some things are troublesome. 

One of the big hurdles with a Robin Hood type game is that Pendragon handles armor, shields, and weapon defense differently enough from BRP to essentially make a Robin Hood campaign unplayable without making some sort of change to the combat system. Just what that change should be to best reflect the setting is "tricksy".

 

3 hours ago, g33k said:

Having no deep understanding of KAP (and NO understanding of the criteria important to Sir Carter, Ravian, and the other estimable folk in this thread), I shan't  suggest that any of my ideas here are good ideas.  Just offering them as "FWIW" notions.

Well having a somewhat deep understanding of KAP and probably some understanding of the criteria required due to both the former and some understanding of the setting, I will suggest that your ideas here are good ideas. Just not so easy to pull off as the usual port from one BRP game to another. 

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Something quick and dirty...

What about using DEX in opposition to a missile attack roll?

Partial Success, half damage; Critical, no damage. 

You wouldn't have to alter Armor at all, and while not an ideal solution, would allow the game to fit the story better. For this I'm thinking that armor would slow you down too much, so you would have to be unarmored to try this.

In addition, the target must know about the attack; they need to be able to see their attacker to try and time things right.

SDLeary

Edited by SDLeary

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I've been toying around with the idea of using 1/2 of DEX as armor minus DEX penalty to armor value plus any real armor. It would be an easy and consistent number that wouldn't add extra rolls to the game which, I think is important because every roll compounds the time and the speed of Pendragon is one of it's greatest appeals.

It would give a 16 DEX fighter with Hard Leather 9 armor (e.g. [16/2] - 5 + 6). A 16 DEX fighter with Padded 10 armor. A 16 DEX fighter naked, 8 armor. A 16 DEX fighter in Chain, 10 armor or if in reinforced 12 armor. Shield would apply as normal.

Heavy armor is always better, as it should be but a high DEX fighter has a speed benefit at least. The oddity of this system is that Padded Armor is surprisingly good for DEX fighters, better than leather.

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Being a BRP grognard, DEX as armor just seems wrong. Very DnD-ish.

This is another brainstorm, I'm not really advocating it as all of this (footwork, body movement, etc) is already supposed to be subsumed into  relevant combat skill.

If you want to apply more DEX to the normal combat calculations, then why not simply invoke a "Defense" mechanism, that uses DEX to reduce chance to hit?

Defense = DEX/4; in addition a character with SIZE in the range 15-17 would be –1, 18-20 would be –2, to this score. I would also probably include negatives for Encumbrance. This score would be applied as a negative modifier to the character "attacking".

(Yes, I'm kind of taking this from RQ2... I would incorporate more, but the relevant characteristics don't exist in Pendragon :)  )

SDLeary

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On 8/7/2019 at 1:20 PM, SDLeary said:

Being a BRP grognard, DEX as armor just seems wrong. Very DnD-ish.

This is another brainstorm, I'm not really advocating it as all of this (footwork, body movement, etc) is already supposed to be subsumed into  relevant combat skill.

If you want to apply more DEX to the normal combat calculations, then why not simply invoke a "Defense" mechanism, that uses DEX to reduce chance to hit?

Mostly because it doesn't solve the problems.

Most  BRP games have a parry mechanic, and place greater emphasis on the parry weapon's protection than the armor's. This means that a shilled character can get around will little to no armor, providing he can make his parry rolls most of the time. But Pendragon, instead of having alternating attacks and parries,  uses a opposed roll with a "winner take all" approach. The basic difficult in a Robin Hood style game using KAP rules is that KAP puts heavy emphasis on armor as the primary means of defense/avoid damage. This is somewhat augmented by shields. As there is no parry, per say, any unarmored or lightly armor PC who losing an exchange of combat will almost certainly take a major wound, or worse. Since every PC will lose a melee combat roll sometime, this would pretty much make the Robin Hood campaign non-viable.

 

Any attempt to modify the KAP rules to make them work for Robin Hood will need to address this somehow. Just how is the question, and there are multiple approaches. One would be to lower the  values of armor, increase the protection from shields and add some protection for partial success for un-shielded characters. Another is to use DEX to soak damage. Adding a RQ2 Defense score doesn't really help with the problem. Not unless you want to assume that every PC and singincant NPC has a very high defense scores and that has it own problems and tends to slow the game down.

 

 

Quote

Defense = DEX/4; in addition a character with SIZE in the range 15-17 would be –1, 18-20 would be –2, to this score. I would also probably include negatives for Encumbrance. This score would be applied as a negative modifier to the character "attacking".

(Yes, I'm kind of taking this from RQ2... I would incorporate more, but the relevant characteristics don't exist in Pendragon :)  )

SDLeary

It might not be a bad idea on it's own, although there are a few problems with Defense in RQ2 that would have to be dealt with (namely that once defense started to improve it could become the dominant factor in a fight), but it would't help much with the Robin Hood idea. 

In a nutshell, what we need is a way for lightly armored characters to be able to hold their own in a melee. In KAP a character without armor (or in leather) is probably going to drop if he gets hit-especially in KAP5, where 5d6 and 6d6 damage stats are more common. in RQ/BRP the parry did this. In KAP, weapons don't stop any damage and a shield is only worth 6 on a partial success- which isn't that much when most opponents are doing four or five dice damage.

 

Edited by Atgxtg

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6 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Any attempt to modify the KAP rules to make them work for Robin Hood will need to address this somehow. Just how is the question, and there are multiple approaches. One would be to lower the  values of armor, increase the protection from shields and add some protection for partial success for un-shielded characters. Another is to use DEX to soak damage. Adding a RQ2 Defense score doesn't really help with the problem. Not unless you want to assume that every PC and singincant NPC has a very high defense scores and that has it own problems and tends to slow the game down

Shields... Small 6AP, medium 9AP, large 12AP, unshielded characters parry with their weapon, say 6AP, but with no protection against missile fire. Similar to PDP, but with an increase for weapon parry..

DEX... Special Combat Tactic – Evasion: Unarmored or Lightly Armored character may use their DEX to oppose an incoming attack. Success keeps character out of harms way; critical allows an immediate riposte. Target of the riposte can only defend. (Was thinking of uncontested riposte at first, but figured this was too powerful)

Death mitigation... 0HP you fall unconscious (if you didn't prior to that point), deteriorating status gives you CON rounds, minutes, hours, days survival, depending on the type and severity of the last wound that took you to zero or below. Any negative value (damage that goes below HP) reduces the CON based time period for survival.

Death mitigation 2... Merlin... (sorry)... Herne the Hunter pulls your bacon out of the fire at the last second as you lay bleeding on the field of battle. He transports you to his sacred cave and uses his ancient knowledge to heal you of your wounds in 1d6+1 days. 😁

6 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

In a nutshell, what we need is a way for lightly armored characters to be able to hold their own in a melee. In KAP a character without armor (or in leather) is probably going to drop if he gets hit-especially in KAP5, where 5d6 and 6d6 damage stats are more common. in RQ/BRP the parry did this. In KAP, weapons don't stop any damage and a shield is only worth 6 on a partial success- which isn't that much when most opponents are doing four or five dice damage.

 

Damage = (STR + SIZ) /8 or /10... as you've pointed out in the past, the latter doesn't give enough variation, but its an option.

As for Shields and weapons, see above.

Again, this is all just brainstorming. 

SDLeary

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15 hours ago, SDLeary said:

Shields... Small 6AP, medium 9AP, large 12AP, unshielded characters parry with their weapon, say 6AP, but with no protection against missile fire. Similar to PDP, but with an increase for weapon parry..

That's a possibility, but doesn't handle the typical cinemaitc Robin Hood duels where two characters sqaure off with swords and no shields. In BRP/RQ weapons can soak some damage. In KAP they don't.  That's why I suggested taking a page out of RQ3 for armor and parry AP scores.

 

15 hours ago, SDLeary said:

DEX... Special Combat Tactic – Evasion: Unarmored or Lightly Armored character may use their DEX to oppose an incoming attack. Success keeps character out of harms way; critical allows an immediate riposte. Target of the riposte can only defend. (Was thinking of uncontested riposte at first, but figured this was too powerful)

There actually is a Dodge tactic in KAP already, the problem is that it takes the place of fighting back so it is rarely used.

15 hours ago, SDLeary said:

Death mitigation... 0HP you fall unconscious (if you didn't prior to that point), deteriorating status gives you CON rounds, minutes, hours, days survival, depending on the type and severity of the last wound that took you to zero or below. Any negative value (damage that goes below HP) reduces the CON based time period for survival.

Death mitigation 2... Merlin... (sorry)... Herne the Hunter pulls your bacon out of the fire at the last second as you lay bleeding on the field of battle. He transports you to his sacred cave and uses his ancient knowledge to heal you of your wounds in 1d6+1 days. 😁

I don't think they need death mitigation-but a way to prevent fights from being one roll encounters. 

15 hours ago, SDLeary said:

Damage = (STR + SIZ) /8 or /10... as you've pointed out in the past, the latter doesn't give enough variation, but its an option.

Yes, but then you run the other problem of people being too tough, plus it doesn't match the setting. Generally the winner of the pic sword duel comes out of it unscarthed or with a scratch on his cheek or shirt. 

15 hours ago, SDLeary said:

As for Shields and weapons, see above.

Again, this is all just brainstorming. 

And not bad brainstorming at that. It's just that Pendragon is so heavily optimized for Knights, and biased in their favor that it puts the heroic commoners from a Robin Hood campaign at a major disadvantage. SO to work out the rules need to be de-optimized for knights and instead optimized for heroic outlaws.  

 

Maybe something like a partial success stopping damage equal to the die roll? For instance if a character is beaten but rolled a 8 he would block 8 points of damage. A Shield would stop another 6 (per Pendragon) and armor could be halved.

 

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7 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Maybe something like a partial success stopping damage equal to the die roll? For instance if a character is beaten but rolled a 8 he would block 8 points of damage. A Shield would stop another 6 (per Pendragon) and armor could be halved.

This could work instead of a straight 6AP... In fact, thinking about it, I kind-of like it. And don't restrict this to swords, because we all know how the Merry Men like their clubs and staffs.

I would still probably take damage down to /8, just for a little more PC safety; and would also bring in Maille only counting half against maces, and extend it to said other bashing weapons. Damage after armor from Clubs and Staffs would be opposed by the targets CON rather than coming off HP. If the target fails, they fall down debilitated for a number of rounds equal to the damage score.

SDLeary

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Here is something I was thinking about for such no-armor setting:

On a partial success, you do not take damage, but are put into a disadvantageous position. Next round, apply -5/+5 modifier.

You'd only get hit if you fail or fumble your skill. This hopefully would mean that the high skill PKs would be able to take on lower skill mooks and survive relatively unscathed, although the randomness of 1d20 is still an issue. But it would be much less of an issue than in a vanilla KAP.

 

The other thing I'd do is to ensure that the average mook is 4d6 damage, not more than that, and 5d6 would be reserved for named opponents. 6d6 would be very rare. This hopefully means that in a pinch, a PK can take one hit from a mook and still continue the fight (i.e. not cross the MW threshold).

Edited by Morien

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8 hours ago, Morien said:

Here is something I was thinking about for such no-armor setting:

On a partial success, you do not take damage, but are put into a disadvantageous position. Next round, apply -5/+5 modifier.

That could work. Several swashbuckling style games use an advantage track of some sort and this could work in a Robin Hood KAP adaption, as KAP has something of an advantage mechanic already. 

8 hours ago, Morien said:

You'd only get hit if you fail or fumble your skill. This hopefully would mean that the high skill PKs would be able to take on lower skill mooks and survive relatively unscathed, although the randomness of 1d20 is still an issue. But it would be much less of an issue than in a vanilla KAP.

How would crticals work? -10 or a hit?

8 hours ago, Morien said:

 

The other thing I'd do is to ensure that the average mook is 4d6 damage, not more than that, and 5d6 would be reserved for named opponents. 6d6 would be very rare. This hopefully means that in a pinch, a PK can take one hit from a mook and still continue the fight (i.e. not cross the MW threshold).

Oh definitely. One of the things that has happened over the years is that Knights have generally gotten bigger and stronger and that has changed the game somewhat. PArt of the reason for this is the changes in chargen over the years (SIZ 3d6 to 2d6+6 to 3d6+4). Just about everybody hits harder now. 

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