Sunday, March 29, 2015

[Pendragon] The Great Pendragon Campaign: Year 535 (Part I) - The Goblin Market

Our heroes agree to help out the Earl of Salisbury by clearing out the woods outside Vagon Castle. What could possibly go wrong?


Dave S.
And…Edie the Dog

The campaign's wiki can be found here.


  1. Sweetmeeeeeeeats.

    I think Sir Daig needs his own Obsidian Portal page. He's been around for years, has a feud with a character no one likes, and I celebrate his upcoming kinda-faerie wedding!

    It was a little weird that Sawel both doesn't have a Religious bonus and was constantly making fearie lore rolls. Clearly he needs some more piety to win over his nun-amour. He's just not Christian enough for her right now.

    And I really wish Leander would stop causing international incidents. Not only is he going to slip a love potion to the heir of Salisbury's wife, but he's going to present the pair with some sort of tapestry detailing his valourous deeds. Kind of rude, but it's an enchanted faerie tapestry which means it's probably going to drive Sir Gondrins mad with envy, which coupled with an eventual revelation about his wife is going to lead him to declare a blood feud with the DeGanis household. Was one war with France not enough? Do you REALLY need to start another one?

    1. Sawel is actually pretty typical of a lot of medieval knights, even the ones in religious orders. The level of theological ignorance was almost cute, really.

      As for the potential Salisbury-De Ganis feud...well, I can dream, can't I? ;)

    2. Don't worry, I don't think you'll need to dream very hard.

  2. I think you've misread the cost of the potion. It's Amor (recipient of potion), so that's Amor (Orlande), but having that price hit when she drinks it would be dramatic. In fact, it would have to wait because it says RECIPIENT, not intended target. So, the wrong person drinking it, and falling in love with you, doesn't cost any extra.

    Will the tapestry have the scene where Leander slips the potion into Orlande's drink?

    Leander is giving Sir Brus some stiff competition for his title of Worst Knight in the World.

    1. That's correct--I did catch that on the second read-through. (That was why I was being cagey right at the very end there; "Oh! It has another cost but it doesn't affect you.") I imagine that the way it works (and how I'm going to apply it) is: potion consumed, Amor generated (and applied to Resistance), then Amor reduced according to the "price" of the potion. (Which, I imagine, is the recipient realizing they've been ensorcelled somehow...) And yes, hopefully Leander will make damn sure the potion's delivered to its intended target! Because this is totally one of those faerie tale potions that could accidently get drunk by a homely goodwife or a dog or something. Muhahaha!

      Oh man, that tapestry has a lot of potential, doesn't it? Hmmm.

      I'd say Leander's got a ways to go before he catches up with Sir Brus, but he's definitely turning out to be a widdle troublemaker. I do love it when characters become slaves to their passions. :D

    2. I don't think this would appear on the tapestry unless he somehow valorously thwarts (or convinces) some guards into allowing him to use the potion. Given how he is the knight with the strongest relation to Sir Tristram this is definitely an interesting connection. Maybe he should ask his friend for some advice.

      Given how common love potions are in these stories I agree it's not anywhere near as bad as oath-breakers or kinslayers, though this is certainly an interesting question for the Court of Love. I'm more afraid of the tapestry because its effect seems so benign, and if there's one thing I'm sure of it's that the more benign the object, the more horrible its curse.

      My second worst consequence (so far) for the tapestry is that it not only displays the triumphs of Leander, but minimizes the accomplishments of those he was with. The portrait commemorating the victory of the circlet excludes Sir Siegbright as the one who actually claims the item, removes Sir Sawel as being involved in striking down the Marshal of the Fair, and recasts Sir Daig as the ugly goblin guide who takes them into the forest. It could (potentially) boost the glory of Leander, but also impose a glory penalty to anyone who adventures with him so long as their deeds are recorded on that tapestry. Even a minor shifting of Glory awards would be enough to slowly eat away the trust of the group.

      The worst involves the tapestry being a full-on Dorian Grey like tapestry where when it's destroyed, all of Leander's accomplishments on there are erased. Anything he accomplished gets forgotten, and possibly even undone. There's even a hint that this might be what's going to happen, what with Daig recognising Siegbright but not Leander when he was in his madness...

    3. I'm personally surprised Leander actually got the tapestry, considering his brother-knight's...penchant for destroying fine wall art.

    4. Wait, I'm interpreting as Leander will lose the points in Amor (Orlande) if Orlande is actually the one that drinks it, if anyone else drinks it he loses nothing because he doesn't have an amor for them.

      The worst(best?)-case scenario is if it goes down a the wedding feast, to get a toast card (the only fair way to say that such an accident would happen) and have Orlande and Gondrins drink from each others cups. Gondrins having an amor for Leander would be awkwardly hysterical.

      I think Des has committed more villainy as a player than she ever did as a the adversary.

    5. Hmm, re-reading the text I think you might be right, Thomas. That was my original read as well, but then I was thinking it was the target's amor. But if that was the case, it probably would've been written as "5 points of the recipient's Amor" rather than "5 points of Amor (recipient)". Nevertheless, I'm kind of liking that interpretation. Hmm. I'll have to give it some thought.

      Des is a total instigator, it's true. S'why I love having her at the table. ;)

    6. Your three basic options are:
      1. Have Leander lose the 5 points of amor. This hurts the most mechanically. Amor crits drop by 25%. Will this stop Des from critting all the time? I doubt it.
      2. Have Orlande lose the 5 points of amor. If it happens before the passion is applied to her resistance it hurts more; after not so much. This is the psychological wound. Yeah, Orlande loves you, but not that much.
      3. Make up your own effect on Orlande. The magic items are just examples and passions are noted to have an exchange rate of 10 to 1 for personality traits. That’s up to 50 points of traits. That’s probably overdoing it. I figure 5 or 10 points of trusting or a directed trait of suspicious- ‘Is Leander cheating on me?’ ought to do it. Even so, you could take it into Fatal Attraction territory and having her act head over heels in love by taking huge chunks out of her chaste, prudent, and trusting. I see this as the long term story option.

  3. I can't stop imagining Sir Daig as singing the Secret Tunnel song.

    And listening to tht makes me think about this secret tunnel. Leander needs to redirect it so that instead of going between Pitton and Newton Tony, it goes between Sarum and.... Where does Leander live? Ireland?

    Now I'm imagining these eight guys digging this tunnel. "Godsblood! I never realized how far it was to Newton Tony!"

    1. Haha, yes!

      As for his living situation, Leander is still a knight of Sir Ector de Maris's household, and who is technically landless as well. As such, they've been staying as guests of Earl Robert for most of the year. If anything, Leander should re-direct the tunnel digging to the continent, where the de Ganis homeland lies. That way, he could reap some Glory for building the first-ever Chunnel!

    2. I believe when this bold idea was first dreamt up it was given the inspired name of the "Chummel". And creating a tunnel for DeGanis troops to quickly and silently reach Salisbury? That's something that would never backfire.

      Also I had missed that Leander was staying with Earl Robert. That'll make those amour rendezvous easier I guess.

    3. Only if the lady generates an amour, Jake. That part's still up in the air, I'm guessing.

    4. Creepy love potions take the "if" out of passion generation! I am supremely confident that Thomas's concerns about the potion getting mixed up and accidentally passed to someone else, resulting in hilarious bedroom misunderstandings, are completely unlikely.

    5. Personally, I cannot endorse the chunnel plan. I feel that if Leander arranges for the construction of a secret tunnel to France the year after accidentally destroying diplomatic relations with them, well, there comes a point where even King Arthur develops a directed trait in Suspicious.

    6. That's where the cunning rebranding of it as the Chummel comes into play. Who could suspect chums? Besides since it would be started in Britain, logically the first people who could use the secret invasion tunnel would be the people constructing it. They can call it the Prince Borre Chummel, a name that I'm sure no one can object to, nor will it likely inevitably get a "Memorial" stuck in there somewhere.

      On an aside I'm a little sad that the players aren't exploring Arthur's "legitimate" bastards very much. I'm familiar with the story of Loholt and I really wish they take action to stop that from taking its course for two people's sakes. I don't actually know what happens with Borre, but I'm going to assume "Dies to make way for Mordred" can sum it up.

  4. I think the key to Court of Love cases is to think of a love story that leads to questions of what are and are not appropriate actions, but with the need to be anonymous you just get the question without the background story and the only the questions that raise sticking points.

    So, you can take any love story you know, ask about one or two of the plot points, and make judgment calls on them.

    Examples: Cyrano de Bergerac -- Is it right for a knight to seek/receive help in wooing his lady?

    Romeo and Juliet – Is it right for a love to begin that will only lead to war? The answer will be yes, but everyone gets warned. Besides, if the murder/suicide of Rashid and Branwyn effects the flavor of stories to come, there has to be a Orkney/De Ganis love affair.

    Pyramus and Thisbe – If you find out your lover is dead, is it alright – or even expected – that you should kill yourself?

    Salim and Anarkali -- Should you renounce your love if it is the only way to save the life of your lover?

    Also, the question of what a knight under the influence of magic is responsible for and what obligations he has when he comes out from under its effects should be raised.

    A knight is under a geas to help a lady, should he still help her after its effects wear off because she’s a lady, or is he free to go?

    Do witches of noble birth still count as ladies?

    A knight has promised to meet a lady at a certain place and time. He is transformed into a talking pig on his way there. Should he show up anyway, or seek to resolve this handicap first as to avoid any undue stress on his lady?

    ETC …

    1. Here’s my first hypothetical scenario of a complaint that has made its way to the court of love, likely from a confidant of the wife.

      A knight who was not married was courting a lady that was not married. His liege demanded that he marry another lady, so he did. He spends the money from her dowry and lands on his Lady, and nothing on his wife. The knight hates his wife and prays for her death, he may even be slowly poisoning her.

      Let’s see what questions this raises.

      Should a knight refuse his liege’s order to marry, if there is still a chance he can marry his lady love?

      Can a knight use wealth he gets from his wife to woo his Lady, or should he earn the money some other way? The answer is likely he can use his wife’s wealth, but a highly just Lady may task him not to.

      Hating ones wife is against the idea of serving all ladies, and poisoning one is downright villainy, so these don’t become questions. What is likely to happen, is the court would try to play matchmaker for the poor wife in question, so she could know what love feels like, and if villainy is afoot it could be settled the old fashioned way with a sword fight to the death.

      Can/should the wife warn the lady that her husband is secretly a monster?

    2. Here’s an example of a story in stages. Where a question or two each year build on each other, as if receiving a news flash from a soap opera.

      The following events were ripped from a 7th Sea campaign, but would work in a Pendragon one too.

      The complaints in this matter likely come from various sources at different times during the affair. The best complaints will likely come from the knight’s friends who are tired of helping with the shenanigans.

      An older knight finds out that his wife is sad that no knight is wandering around the countryside righting wrongs on her behalf. Loving his wife, he decides to send her anonymous letters announcing to be her secret admirer. This leads to him wandering around as an incognito Don Quixote performing her quests, but also having her think he is having a love affair with someone else when he comes home all battered and bruised.

      He avoids actually contact with her as long as possible, using every conceivable excuse, but eventually she demands a rendezvous with her knight which leads to an in the dark in the park meeting with a fake mustache, thick boots, and a really bad Frankish accent.
      After a few such meetings, and a reluctance on the knights part to go all the way, because he knows the jig would be up, she figures it out and the standard sitcom fair where she gets mad at the knight for the deception ensues, but he wins her back citing love.

      The key becomes how to translate this madness into Court of Love cases.

      A knight has declared his love for a lady without declaring who he is, even to his lady. Is this acceptable?

      A knight has been pledged to a lady for a year and has done all that has been asked of him, but has asked for no reward. Should she offer him one or wait to be asked?

      [Repeatable] A lady has offered a reward to a knight, but he fails to appear to receive it citing (crippling injury, called away to war in Frankia, got drunk and woke up in Ireland, transformed into a tree by a witch, went crazy and lived in a cave for the winter, etc). What is a lady’s recourse in such a situation?

      There are probably some more before this one, but the final question becomes, can a Lady’s Husband be a proper of Lover?

      While you would likely cast Griflet in this role, I think Bedivere is a better fit for the reveal.

    3. Great stuff, Thomas! Expect to hear some of these ideas turning up in future scenarios and courts...