Sunday, May 11, 2014

[Pendragon] The Great Pendragon Campaign: Year 495 - The Battle of St. Albans

It's make-or-break time for King Uther and his army as Octa and Eosa once again invade Logres. Can the ailing king pull out a victory?



Featuring:

Brendan
Jade
Renae
David S.
Jen
And...Edie the Dog

The campaign's wiki can be found here.

13 comments:

  1. This battle appears to have gone a lot better than the last one! Even David's legendary failures only resulted in him having loud, amazing clashes with people rather than taking another nap in the dirt. Just such a shame that your knights decided to be polite at the least opportune moment.

    The die rolling system was really confusing for me, especially since I only recently realised that there was a one-shot session where presumably you had some time where you actually sat down and explained the rules. I've had to put together the rules of Pendragon from listening to you play it, where I think it's started to make sense. I love how failed passions can result in amazing successes, which is why Cormac is now dark, brooding Batman in his manor, ruminating on his dead wife, child and Earl while trying to piece together detective style what's going on.

    Also good work being elevated to the peerage and then being the sole survivor of a massacre Cynrain! That'll look great on ye olde resume.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not gonna lie, I did give serious thought to running the GPC with Savage Worlds. I'm used to Pendragon's mechanics by now, but I understand and appreciate how wonky they can be for new players.

      The best way to sum it up is that it's the "highest without going over" model, which means that rolling your target number exactly is the best possible result, ergo, a critical. Since rolling a natural 20 is the most you can fail by, by definition, that's a fumble. Things are complicated when bonuses raise your target number above 20. It's now impossible to fumble, for one thing (or even fail, for that matter, though you can still be beaten if you're opposing your roll against another). Essentially, a 20 becomes your new crit threshold. If your target number is above 20, then the difference adds to your roll--in effect the difference increases the odds of a crit, and makes your roll higher in any case, thereby making it more likely you'll win an opposed roll.

      The first page of this PDF sums up the rules nicely:
      http://www.grifone.org/download/Basic%20Rules.pdf

      Delete
    2. Huzzah I did get it! It actually is a very nice and well-put together system, but is also legitimately different enough from other games that it feels like a nice unique system. I also really enjoy the conflicting character traits when dealing with situations. It was just weird at first to hear rolling a 20 described as both a critical failure and a critical success depending on context

      The epiphany for me was when I realised that GPC is playing by Price is Right rules. You're trying to get closest to your target number without going over, and then when competing against someone if you both pass then the person who passed with a higher number wins.

      Delete
    3. You had me at "David [S]'s legendary failures."

      I also found it funny that they were suddenly being courteous knights at the worst possible moment.

      Delete
  2. A couple of weeks ago, I commented that knowing what's generally coming up produces tremendous suspense when listening to these. I doubt it will be possible to top this episode.

    Congratulations on presenting the choice about where to feast to Cynrain and Cormac in such an offhand way. I really did think that was it for the two of them when they chose to be inside the hall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally thought they were going to eat it, too. It was very tense! However, this is merely the beginning of MANY suspenseful sessions.

      Delete
    2. Voord 99: I wanted to go about potential PC poisoning in a methodical way, so that if anyone died it would be by their own chain of action. Ergo, setting a rule in my notes that someone needed to crit their weapon rolls on half or more of the battle rounds they fought in just to get invited up to the Big Show, then still leaving it up to the players to decide whether to go. If Jade and Brendan hadn't shown sudden caution at Uther's toast (thanks to that foreshadowing from the previous year, no doubt), or failed their Suspicious rolls, I was prepared at that point to bid their characters a fond farewell. They cut it about as close as they could have!

      Delete
  3. I've been waiting for this one, and it did not disappoint. I wish I could have seen the players' faces! And honestly, any episode that ends with a big, Shakespearean pile of corpses on the stage is a good one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gregg: Obviously, everyone knew Uther was not long for the world, but I was really happy with the way I kept them in the dark about when it would happen, as well as the fact that all the other lords check out at the same time. The shock was palpable in the air, no doubt. The week leading up to the session was one of sweet, sweet anticipation for me, I must say.

      Delete
  4. Aside from all the wonderful dramatics, shouldn't Sir Tathan get a Glory award for killing two Saxons with naught but the power of his wit? The Saxon army was reported at 9,000 strong; then Dave S. made a quip, and it was 8,998 strong!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, love it! If there was a Glory award for being a smart-ass, er, clever quipping, Tathan would have outstripped Cynrain by now, I think. ;)

      Delete
  5. The reactions of the players were priceless. I'm looking forward to getting to this event with my group. We're about to do 489 (though I may make 489 a boring year so we can move on to 490).

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete