Sunday, August 10, 2014

[Pendragon] The Great Pendragon Campaign: Years 509 and 510 - The Sword in the Stone

Salisbury is under the boot of Saxon domination, its ruler just a young boy. A tournament is called in London to find the rightful king at long last. But who shall it be, and how will Salisbury fare?



Featuring:

Jade
Jen
Renae
Dave S.
And…Edie the Dog.

The campaign's wiki can be found here.

20 comments:

  1. I don't think you guys have a firm grasp on how hospitality works.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not so much not having a firm grasp of it, rather it's having a higher competing passion.

      Delete
    2. Oh, I thought he was slagging off Jade's pie, and I was about ready to throw down! ;)

      Seriously, though, I have no problems with the various violations of hospitality that have occurred thus far because, as Schimpff points out, that's just the game system doing what it's designed to do--the crux of the Pendragon experience is having "notable" (16+) Traits and Passions drive you to do things that are not in your best interest. Like gobbing in the eye of a king, for example.

      Delete
    3. Perhaps they finally learned to stop letting Hospitality get in the way of their decision-making process, given that the last two times they were polite in someone else's hauls it has resulted in a complete massacre. Also the service they received that year did not justify a 200% increase in the price of admission. This new management is just terrible! King Idres sure was a good sport about offering an alliance to Salisbury given that he had just been magnificently spat on. He probably has a great Hospitality.

      It does make a certain amount of sense for Cynrain to be the one to knight Arthur, as it was his forces along with Nanteliod's who liberated London from the Saxons. Even though as discussed it was a completely inglorious act, the people would still probably recognise his banner as one of their liberators.

      Delete
    4. As Syagrius found out, they know how to make Hospitality work for them. Or against other people, at any rate.

      Seriously, Hospitality, from a story point of view, is there to be violated. And, at least in my opinion, this is a comparatively minor violation. No weapons drawn, and the provocation is extreme: if Idres swore an oath back when Cornwall and Salisbury made their original alliance (and while Blains may have been a love-struck puppy, he was presumably not utterly naive), then Idres has behaved in a manner that goes beyond dishonorable.

      At least for me, what Sir A did wouldn't even require a high Hate Passion to justify. I'd be fine with boring old Vengeful.

      Delete
    5. "King Idres sure was a good sport about offering an alliance to Salisbury given that he had just been magnificently spat on."

      Just a point of clarification: he wasn't proposing an alliance, but rather _annexation_. Knowing full well that they'd reject it, of course. He'll be back (next time with an army behind him), and he'll be looking to pay back that eye-gobbing personally. :D

      Delete
    6. "...then Idres has behaved in a manner that goes beyond dishonorable."

      Oh yeah, from an objective point of view, Idres is the Hitler to Blains' Molotov--but of course, he wouldn't see it that way.

      Delete
  2. For reference by the way, Blains "comforted" Ellen in 498, so then their son was born either that year or the next. Thus he would be about 10-11 when Arthur is knighted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I figured it'd been about 10 years. Oh, Blains, Jr.--what wonders do you have in store for us?

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Jake! I knew our Blains Supporters would come through :)
      "Earl" Robert is going to have some hell to pay in about 11 years when the rightful heir comes to claim his county.

      Delete
  3. And the Anarchy (many years of play extracted from *one sentence* in Malory) ends, as something that's just a little too much collides with Mr. Schimpff's metaknowledge and he succumbs to the temptation...

    Last week, I was spluttering "Two years in one session. But - but - 510! 510! How's that going to work? How?"

    But that was obviously too spoilery to post as a comment. (I can see that you achieved it by cutting the tournament part of the narrative to a minimum and leaving out other business that's in The Boy King and I assume is also in the GPC.)

    I am a little curious as to why you decided to handle it this way, though. Too railroady?

    Also, - I initially heard "The lord has found you a wife" as "The Lord has found you a wife." This made sense, much more so than when,several battles ago, I misheard "Flashy warriors" as "Slashy warriors."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Anarchy really is the best of times and the worst of times. It drags on so long! But it kinda has to, because everyone has to feel that desperation by the end, the relief that comes from having someone, even a "boy king," show up to claim the crown.

      As for my session planning strategy: there's plenty more to the year 510, and I knew from previous experience that's there's simply no way you can fit it all in one session. And 509 is super truncated as-written. So I figured, hey, no need to add too much to 509--just combine it with "part one" of 510 and thus keep things on schedule, as it were. (Meaning, if we can wrap up 510 next session, we'll be sticking to our "one session::one year" metric.) But even so, we may not be able to cover everything and have to stretch to an extra session beyond. This is a packed year!

      And yeah, the whole Sword in the Stone sequence is fairly...well, not railroady, per se, but perhaps de-protagonizing? Everyone knows the scene, and there's really not much to do with it from a PC perspective, so the main thing is to cover it, pay it its proper due, involve the PCs as much as possible (cf. Wulfram and Cynrain getting honored), and move on.

      (Oh, and yeah--the actual tournament is largely truncated in the GPC, too.)

      Delete
    2. It definitely felt a bit side-lining, enough that I had some anxiety about sounding out with Archade during the first (or rather, second) sword drawing. Working from the vaguest Disney knowledge, I think I may have stolen the thunder from like 3 different NPCs.

      Delete
    3. I do try and move through the side-lining moments as efficiently as possible. But don't ever feel bad for stealing NPCs' thunder! There's nothing wrong with a PC taking the place of another character in a story. (Watch out for Green Knights at Yuletide...)

      Delete
    4. Given that their county had been conquered by Saxons, their manors needed extensive renovation work, and their liege wanted to go on a tour of the surrounding area presumably to round up allies to oust said Saxons, a little bit of stream-lining was likely required to justify the tournament and subsequent several month vigil spent watching a sword. Besides, if you're playing a game set in Arthurian times (and you are now!) then you could've missed the coronation entirely.

      There has to be some myth-making involved, because otherwise my inclination is to side with Wulfram on this one. Ensorcelled stones disgorging swords to random orphans is no basis for a system of government.

      Delete
    5. And, as it turns out, The Sword in the Stone has just won the Retro Hugo for Best Novel of 1939, so it was the right week for this.

      Delete
  4. One other thing: you can really tell when people are in the Southwest when they think that multiple overcast skies in spring are worth commenting on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bwahahaha! Too true! One thing I continually forget to do is insert some good old British weather into my descriptions. But hey, it's a mythical time, right? ;)

      Delete
    2. Yeah, coming from California and then New Mexico, it's really tough to imagine a slate of entire months where it's continuously rainy and cloudy.

      Delete
    3. We're coming off about a month and a half of near-continuous sunshine up here in the Pacific Northwest. It is being remarked as highly unusual, and I for one am comforted by the return of ceaseless rain.

      Also Arthur is clearly not cut out to be a PC, because with the now proven mystical power of parting the clouds he should be exploiting this to guarantee sunlight on even the worst of days for a massive boon to agriculture. I can guarantee my players would have dropped everything to start scientific calculations to work out how best to use it.

      Idea from me: Invent morse code, and through a controlled series of partial sword-pulling, communicate with cities a long distance away in order to maintain nation-wide Kingly decree system.

      Delete