Sunday, May 18, 2014

[Pendragon] The Great Pendragon Campaign: Year 496 - Anarchy! (Part I)

With the leaders of Logres dead, anarchy reigns throughout the kingdom, leaving the knights of Salisbury to decide where their loyalties lie, and who to side with. All this, and a monstrous baby, too.


David S.
And...Edie the Dog

The campaign's wiki can be found here.


  1. Good year so far. Really looking forward to part 2.

  2. This is a really obvious point, I realize, but surely the curse should lower the score, not the roll? The rule as written must be a mistake.

    As you point out, there's no chance of a fumble. But there's more:

    Minus 1 to a roll in Pendragon is only a disadvantage under two circumstances. One is opposed rolls. Even there it's not necessarily a disadvantage if the relevant score is low, since the lower one's score is, the more important it becomes that one succeeds at all, since a lot of the time, one's most probable overall success comes from succeeding in one's own roll while one's opponent fails outright. (And in combat, the shield bonus matters a lot, and -1 to the roll makes that more likely.)

    The second circumstance where -1 to the roll would be a disadvantage is where the relevant score is 20 or higher, since one couldn't fail under any circumstances (so only opposed rolls matter). Also, for scores over 20 it lessens the probability of a critical. Here there's no doubt that it's worse.

    So what this seems to represent is a curse that (1) makes you less effective at things that you're amazingly good at, (2) makes you a little more likely to lose contests at things that you're fairly or very good at, (3) makes you more likely to succeed in things where there's no opposing force, (4) makes you better at winning contests in things that you're not very good at, (5) makes you unable ever to fail really badly, and (6) in combat makes you a little worse at hitting your opponent and a little better at getting your shield in the way. Also, you never drop your sword.

    This is a very specialized curse...

    More seriously, it's a good illustration of the complexity that results from Pendragon's "roll-under/roll-high/over-20-is-special" mechanic. What looks like a small change has consequences that explode in different directions.

    1. All excellent points, Voord, and I think I'll go with your suggestion and penalize the target number rather than the roll in the future, in the event that that result comes up again. There would be a few interesting knock-on effects there, too, but nothing outside the usual weirdness that can result from having your target number reduced from a penalty only to then roll a crit on the penalized number. ;)

      I also thought it was kind of odd that the penalty was only -1, since almost every penalty in the game is in multiples of 5, but that's what comes of using fan-generated content, I suppose.

  3. So was this session recorded back in February? Does this mean you're sitting on Part 2 of this year and could release it RIGHT NOW? Curses!

    I like that your knights have themselves a name now. Also that they will demand a feast out of the hated, filthy Saxons yet are deeply suspicious of Medieval Santa Claus's incredibly hospitality and try to get out of there as fast as possible.

    I really hope that Cynrain gets his son back but also gets to keep his Changeling. That little guy is precocious.

    1. Haha, no such luck, bud. The good news is that we've agreed to do a four-hour session next time, because I think we can wrap 496 pretty quickly, get through Winter Phase, and knock out 497 all in one session. We'll see!

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