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View Full Version : Reaching the end of GPC... after 14 years!

09-16-2016, 09:32 PM
We started the campaign with four players in the Autumn of 2002 (at least, that is what one of my players tell me; unfortunately I have lost the emails from that bygone era). As it predated the publication of GPC, we started in the year 503, after I had found a pre-Boy King campaign for 503 - 509 that someone had made for their own campaign and I swiped from the internet (alas again, I don't have the memory of who, or I would give proper praise to them). The idea was then to continue with the Boy King, which we eventually did. This was the era of pen-and-paper still, gathering together physically and swapping jokes and news before settling down to play. (I have to admit that I miss those sessions. :) Online gaming is better than nothing, but there is more immediacy when everyone is in the same room, rather than being distracted by kids... On the other hand, it might be hard finding the time nowadays, and the group is scattered geographically now, too.)

Whilst we probably averaged a good 36+ sessions per year (almost weekly), it still took us quite some time to get to the Battle of Badon Hill, which we got to in the Spring of 2005. As I was moving quite a significant distance away, Badon Hill saw a TPK in the hands (jaws) of Wotan and his wolves, no less. Quite epic, I thought, and the players agreed.

We restarted a year or two later, after GPC was out. Everyone was getting antsy to play again, and we had discovered the wonders of Skype at the time, making it possible to have conference calls and play that way. Dice rolling happened in IRC, as well as spelling out the names of places and people. That is pretty much the way we played the rest of the campaign (although we switched from Skype to Teamspeak). We skipped to the Roman War, the players playing the children of the first generation. One player didn't return, but we found a replacement easily enough, and then added one more after the Roman War. We continued playing around 30 sessions per year, despite me being a couple of years on another continent. We lost another player towards the end or 540s, but picked up two more, for a total of 6 players to the end. PKs died, but fortunately there were a couple of family branches to play, cousins or younger brothers taking over until the main line heir was playable.

The Orkney - De Gales feud played a major part in the 540s and early 550s, and after the Grail Quest, the PKs found themselves picking sides between Orkneys and de Ganis, in turn! Two of them died trying to arrest Lancelot, but thanks to some of our Glory Points = Fate Points houserules, two other PKs survived and one of them even managed to knock Lancelot out! Luckily, the GM had an out; the other de Ganis knights managed to stage a jail break (as Arthur and most of the other knights were not present), and the story was back on tracks. (Not that I would have minded so much if they had killed Lancelot, if they had chosen to do so. That would have led to the fracturing of the Round Table, too, albeit probably not quite as violently.)

In our campaign, Mordred was never revealed as Arthur's son, and there was even some doubt if he ever was Arthur's, since Queen Margawse seduced a Pagan PK on her trip to Arthur's court, too. He was much more sympathetic character and why not, since the PKs were aligned with the Orkneys most of the time. His claim to the throne came about when all other of his older brothers had died and Gawaine and Arthur were rumored to be dead in Gaul, against Lancelot (I moved the Battles of Dolorous Garde to Benoit, since it made more sense to me that Lancelot could draw upon more troops in his homeland; I did quite a lot of altering things in 560, admittedly). It really worked rather beautifully, so much so that now that we are after Camlann, some of the living PKs are contemplating about siding with Mordred's sons against Constantine, who has claimed the crown after Mordred and Arthur are both dead (or gone to Avalon, in Arthur's case), with a claim that Arthur named him heir (which the PK, who was there and tossed Excalibur to the water, told the other PKs privately was not the case, but with the carrot of an heiress and the stick of a beheading confirmed publicly).

So, we still have a bit of epilogue to play, but I figured I'd get this announcement typed, since i had a bit of time in my hands. :)

09-16-2016, 11:39 PM
I assume each year took more than one session to complete?

09-17-2016, 01:02 AM
I assume each year took more than one session to complete?

Oh yes. We took our time each year.

The 'average' yearly schedule was roughly like this:
Spring: Dealing with Family Event -results, followed by the Pentecost Tournament (1-2 sessions)
Summer: The Main Adventure of the Year (2+ sessions)
Autumn: Tournament or other personal stuff (0.5 - 1 sessions)
Winter: Winter Phase (0.5 - 1 sessions)

So in total, we probably averaged around 4-6 sessions per year, with some rare years only 3 sessions. Each game session was about 4h, although we rarely started on the dot, and sometimes people had to leave early, so lets say an average of 3 - 3.5h of play.

If we had stuck to the "1 game year / 1 game session" -rule of thumb, we would have finished the campaign probably in 2 years. but at the same time, we probably would have lost some of the depth, having to hurry along. I'll admit, though, that I wasn't always at my best as a GM, and some of the sessions were more of 'fillers', giving myself time to come up with something more interesting while the PKs were participating in Tournaments and stuff. In any case, it worked for us.

I am still GMing another GPC Pendragon campaign which started... wow, about 3 years ago, in October 2013! Due to people's schedules, we have been able to play maybe twice per month, on average, with some longer hiatuses around the summer holidays and Christmas. So lets say about 24 sessions per year. Given that we just recently completed Year 505, so 20 game years, that implies about 3 sessions per game year, which accords well with my own feeling:

Spring: Spring court (0.5 sessions).
Summer: Main event of the Year (1-2 sessions).
Autumn: Wrap-up (0.5 sessions).
Winter: Winter Phase (0.5 sessions).

I could probably tighten that up some, try to get down to 2 sessions per year, to keep things moving a bit faster. But it really depends what is happening during the year and how involved the PKs get with stuff. For instance, in the year 505, they spent two sessions with a 'side-quest', taking care of a problem with some Faerie Knights in the Modron Forest, which stretched the whole year to a whopping 6 sessions, although a couple of them were short, 2.5 - 3h sessions.

09-17-2016, 03:40 AM
Here are most of the characters (I am skipping a couple of characters that were played for just a year or two, before the main heir became old enough to be played, or when the player felt that this character wasn't 'it'). In practice, it wasn't as neatly organised as this, as characters died at different times, etc., so they overlapped and interleaved more than this categorisation implies. Also, only two of the original four players continued until the end.

Starting characters and their major achievements
- Sir Maddock: One of the best Swordsmen in Britain, a founding member of the Knights of the Round Table, Banneret
- Dame Arianwen: First woman knight in the Round Table and a founding member of the same, famous healer (at the beginning, woman knights rolled from Woman's Gift and this being 4th edition, she rolled +10 First Aid & Chirurgery... needless to say, she was quite instrumental in keeping the 'boys' alive), wife of a Banneret (Sir Maddock)
- Sir Calfais: The unfortunate Sir Calfais suffered many a major wound, enfeebling him before his time. He became maddened whilst fighting against Saxons and disappeared into the woods, never to be heard from again. He was replaced by his cousin...
- Sir Ceren (cousin of Sir Calfais): Became a Round Table Knight.
- Sir Cynwal (player didn't continue): Became a Round Table Knight.
All the above (except Sir Calfais) were Heroes of the Badon Hill, defending the hill and stymieing the Saxon attacks, until Arthur outflanked them with the rest of the RTKs. They all died in the subsequent night, fighting against Wotan and his wolves.

Second characters (Roman War onwards):
- Sir Garnock: Eldest son of Sir Maddock, who grew up speedily to adulthood in Faerie Realm. Due to this upbringing, he was looked on with suspicion by Earl Robert, and not confirmed to his inheritance straight away. When he (and others) were assumed dead when they didn't return from the Roman War (actually, shipwrecked in a Faerie island, where time flowed very slowly), the estate was given to the second son, Sir Nerthaid. Sir Garnock didn't contest this when he returned, and was satisfied with one manor, as a vassal to his little brother. This turned out rather well for the family, since Sir Nerthaid managed to gain the County of Mortain in Normandy when Sir Kay reconquered it from the French. Sir Garnock was killed accidentally in a joust, when a splinter of the lance entered his helmet through a gap in the visor (critical lance hit, followed by a high damage and low hit points from preceding challenges, and a fumbled First Aid...).
- Dame Heledd: Bastard daughter of Sir Maddock, followed in the footsteps of her stepmother, Dame Arianwen, and became a Round Table Knight. Like her stepmother, she also married well, to a banneret in Mortain, a political marriage to tie the local nobility to the new Count Nerthaid. She died of sickness a few years later (retired PK, so died from a Family Event).
- Sir Robert: Son of Sir Calfais, his moment of glory came early, when in the Battle of Autun, he killed the famous Roman General Petreius Cocta, causing the battle to turn to the advantage of the Britons. Alas, this promising young man's life was cut short, when he died trying to rescue King Arthur from the Witch, Camille.
- Sir Malbeth (new player): Eldest son of Sir Cynwal, he became a Pagan and was also taken to Faerie Realm as a child, returning as a grown man just a couple of years later. He became a Round Table Knight, commanded the Royal Army in Builth War with great success, married a Faerie Lady, and disappeared with his wife when he laid mortally wounded in newly constructed Builth Castle. Later he was met in Faerie Realm as a Faerie knight.
- Sir Nidian (new player): A newcomer to the group, Sir Nidian was famed for his loyalty to Count Nerthaid, but also for helping to save King Arthur from the dungeon of the Witch, Camille, with the help of his future, Saxon wife, Aelwyn. Alas, he was mortally wounded whilst rescuing Lady Llinos (see below) from an enchanted castle later on. Had he survived, he would have made it to the Round Table.

Third Characters (c.540s):
- Sir Taran: Third son of Sir Maddock (Sir Nerthaid, the second son, was a plot NPC). Became a Round Table Knight and was almost killed by the Paulag Cat. Died fighting against a Fiend in a Pre-Grail Quest. (The PKs had visited the Grail Castle before, so with the Wasteland expanding, they figured Grail might help, but they were unable to get back to the Castle. This attempt prompted the Grail Quest in our campaign, when it was reported in Camelot.)
- Lady Llinos: Daughter of Sir Maddock and Dame Arianwen, she is an even greater healer than her mother ever was. Famed for her beauty and independent spirit, she gained notoriety (but also Glory) when it was revealed that she had been the mistress of Sir (Prince) Agravaine, the Earl of Salisbury, for years even though he was married. This was one of the greatest scandals in Camelot, and led to Sir Agravaine's hatred of Queen Guinever, especially when her infidelity with Sir Lancelot was rumored. This made Sir Agravaine adamant about exposing the duplicitous Queen and her lover, leading to Sir Agravaine's death in the ill-fated attempt to arrest Sir Lancelot in the Queen's chamber. Thanks to Lady Llinos' long life, healing arts and participation in many of the greatest adventures of her age, she is likely one of the best known ladies of her age (Glory 20000+, if I recall correctly). Amongst the knights whose lives she saved (at one time or another) were: Sir Lamorak, Sir Agravaine, Sir Gaheris.
- Sir Ceredan (player dropped out of the game): Son of Sir Ceren, this exemplary Christian, Chivalrous Knight became a Round Table Knight, and modestly deferred to Sir Malbeth's wish to be the army commander in Builth War. He became a trusted knight of Sir Agravaine in Salisbury, but vanished in the Grail Quest. Later, it was discovered that he had actually reached the Grail Castle and joined the Grail Knights, forsaking the mortal world.
- Sir Maelgore: Cousin of Sir Malbeth, this amorous household knight was unfortunately killed by jealous husband after being caught in bed with the man's wife.
- Sir Gregorius: Cousin of Sir Nidian, Sir Gregorius Bear-Bane defeated an 'orrid bear single-handedly, although he was almost killed by the bear in a previous encounter. He was a suitor of Fair Ahvielle with some success, but unfortunately perished fighting Picts in Caledonia, before he could wed her.
- Sir Edward (same player as Gregorius): Sir Edward rose to prominence as a loyal vassal knight of Sir Agravaine, and the wielder of the famed blade Wyrmbane. Alas, that same sword was to be his downfall, for he took on one dragon too many by himself, and the dread wyrm chomped his head off (critical hit). In his other achievements, he killed Sir Dornar de Gales in a duel of honor, following the Feast of the Spilled Wine (both the Orkney loyalists and the de Gales supporters were deliberately 'fumbling' with their wine glasses in order to get a pretext for a duel).

Fourth Characters (c. 550s & 560s):
- Sir Caedmon: Son of Sir Garnock, Sir Caedmon helped in destroying the Great Engine, and fought with distinction in other battles, too, for which he was eventually invited to the Round Table. He was the only surviving RTK (apart from Mordred) from trying to arrest Sir Lancelot, although he was knocked unconscious. At the negotiations before the Battle of Camlann, Sir Caedmon informed Prince Mordred that his ally, King Brian of the Isles, had been responsible for killing Sir Gawaine, deliberately attacking him after Gawaine had already identified himself, despite the King's claim that it was mistaken identity. This caused Prince Mordred to exclaim: "You snake!" and to draw his sword to strike King Brian down, which unfortunately started the Battle... Sir Caedmon died in the final charge, fighting against Prince Mordred's bodyguards.
- Lady Llinos: continued... She almost died at the Batle of Camlann when a knight loyal to Sir Agravaine's (years dead) wife tried to assassinate her in the infirmary. She was rescued by Sir Rhain, Sir Grimald and her daughter Lady Aleine, and when she woke up a couple of weeks later, she found out that Sir Constantine the Senechal had claimed the Crown, on the argument that King Arthur named him as heir and Mordred's sons are traitors like their father. Given that Sir Grimald confessed privately to her that King Arthur said no such thing, and with her high Honest, she is considering siding with Mordred's sons...
- Sir Cynbeth: The eldest son of Sir Malbeth, Sir Cynbeth was famous for his burning love for his eventual wife, the fair lady Gwenllian. So much so that he could barely be in her presence without being driven mad (the player fumbled at least two Amor rolls...) with longing. He commanded with valor and skill the knights of Salisbury who rode to relieve Camelot from the Cornish Invasion, for which he was granted the status of a Knight of the Round Table. He was the epitome of Honor (Honor 22, I think) and died fighting against Sir Lancelot to defend his liege, Sir Agravaine (who, indeed, was dragged out of danger, but alas, he perished nonetheless).
- Sir Elidir: Brother of Sir Edward, he had fierce loyalty of Sir Agravaine, which (combined with glorious heroics) was eventually rewarded with the hand of Lady Anwen, the daughter of Sir Nidian and the sole heiress of rich lands. He was also sponsored to the Round Table by Sir Agravaine, after the losses suffered during the Grail Quest, and proved to be a worthy addition to that august company. He was ordered by Sir Agravaine to break the Queen's chamber's door down with his warhammer, when Sir Lancelot refused to come out and surrender. Unfortunately, this meant that Sir Elidir was the first to face Sir Lancelot, and he perished in combat.
- Sir Dwyai (new player): Sir Dwyai's main claim to Glory is his Hatred of Sir Tor, which lead Sir Dwyai to kill Sir Tor in the field of honor, sinking his lance into the already unconscious opponent. For this act, Sir Dwyai was declared an outlaw, and he escaped Camelot and Logres. He was rumored to be dead, but he reappeared in the Battle of Camlann, fighting as a bodyguard to Prince Heraut of Malahaut, and unhorsed his brother (Sir Rhain, below) and his former comrade (Sir Caedmon), before retreating with the Prince from the battlefield as the tide threatened to turn against them. He is presumed to be alive and very dangerous (with a lance, at least).
- Sir Rhain (same player as above): Brother of Sir Dwyai, he was one of the biggest and most loyal knights in Salisbury, proving his worth at an early age. Together with Sir Grimald (next section), he saved the life of Lady Llinos during the Battle of Camlann, and then joined in King Arthur's final charge. His body was found later by Sir Grimald surrounded by dead enemy infantry, having been unhorsed in the fighting.
- Dame Deryn (new player): Following in the trail blazed by Dame Arianwen and Dame Heledd, Dame Deryn was also the cousin of Lady Gwenllian (see Sir Cynbeth). She was the one who destroyed the Infernal Engine of the Cornishmen, at the high risk to her own life, and for which she was rewarded with a seat in the Round Table. She married Sir Rhys, the third son of Count Nerthaid, who eventually became Count Rhys, too. She had a huge crush on Sir Galahad, which went unrequited, and a brief but passionate, adulterous affair with young Sir Lavaine. Unfortunately, she died fighting against Trolls summoned by a Saxon Witch.
- Dame Aithne (same player as above): Daughter of Dame Heledd and former Squire to Dame Deryn, her greatest claim to fame is being the only knight who has defeated Sir Lancelot in battle! She managed this feat in the Arrest of Sir Lancelot, being the only knight left standing of the arrest party and hence preventing Sir Lancelot from escaping. (Some might quibble that Sir Lancelot was already wounded, and was fighting both Sir Caedmon and Dame Aithne at the same time, but the fact remains that it was her hammer that knocked the great Sir Lancelot out.) Her passionate loyalty to Sir Agravaine turned to Hatred of Sir Lancelot, when Sir Agravaine died of his wounds. Dame Aithne later on defeated Sir Lavaine in a duel in front of Benoic Castle, and was one of the last knights to fall at the Battle of Camlann. Had the Round Table not already been broken by the time she did her heroics, she certainly would have merited a seat, as her mother had.

Fifth (epilogue) Characters:
- Sir Tisilio: Son of Sir Taran, Sir Tisilio survived the Battle of Camlann by not being in it! He is now faced with the aftermath of that momentous battle, having sworn allegiance to King Constantine, which may place him in conflict with his redoubtable Aunt Llinos!
- Lady Aleine: The daughter of Lady Llinos (who is still around, too, despite wounds gained at the Battle of Camlann!), she has the makings of a great healer. A young widow, her husband died at Camlann, and her brother is likely crippled for life. Her mother's political leanings might prove dangerous, too.
- Sir Mabon: Faerie-born son of Sir Malbeth, he grew quickly to adulthood in Faerie Realm, and became the household knight of his big brother, Sir Cynbeth. He claims to be able to talk to animals, and at least he has great rapport with his faerie steed. His main claim to fame is the magnificent fighting at the Battle of Camlann, almost single-handedly defeating the bodyguards of Prince Heraut of Malahaut, before succumbing to his wounds. (Luckily, Sir Grimald, below, took care of the rest.) His fate is currently unknown. (The player had to leave early and missed the next game session.)
- Sir Grimald: From obscure origins as a French household knight of Count Rhys (deceased, fighting against Sir Lancelot in Benoit), Sir Grimald catapulted to fame for not only fighting with great heroics at the Battle of Camlann, but actually being the last knight to see King Arthur and to hear his last words! He confessed privately to Lady Llinos that unlike King Constantine claims (and Sir Grimald confirmed in public), King Arthur never named Sir Constantine as his heir. For this lie, though, King Constantine gave Lady Anwen, the widow of Sir Elidir, as wife to Sir Grimald, who is now thinking of leaving to Mortain to check his new holdings there ASAP...
- Sir Dwyai (again!): As mentioned, Sir Dwyai survived Camlann, and is probably in Malahaut with Prince Heraut.
- Sir Colmar: Brother of Dame Aithne, Sir Colmar managed to miss the Battle of Camlann, too. Heir to an estate in Mortain (his father, Sir Clovis, is still alive and is the senechal of the county), he has a silver tongue, which successfully rescued some potential hostages from Sarum Castle (at the time held by Prince Heraut's men).

09-18-2016, 01:08 AM
Congrats, Morien, that's quite an accomplishment!

I find I cannot play one year per session, for much the same reasons you cite. First of all, my sessions are only 2-2.5 hours each, and it takes us probably six sessions, on average, to get through a year. Alas, we don't play every week, either, so we'll be lucky to ever finish the thing. I think we've been playing for nearly five years and have only played 18 years of the campaign. But no matter, it's the journey itself that appeals to us, not the destination. As long as we're having fun, that's all that counts.

I use the GPC not as the main event but as a backdrop to my PK's personal dramas — the wider world turning with or without them. Sometimes they coincide with the GPC adventures as written, sometimes not. Right now we're in the Anarchy and I've opted to ratchet up the story so the players have more to do that negotiate tributes with the Saxons.



09-18-2016, 03:05 AM
Nice job! And very interesting in the character write ups, seeing how the campaign changed (I wonder how my old game would have gone if the Pagans had joined up with Lot).

09-18-2016, 09:16 AM
Congrats, Morien, that's quite an accomplishment!

Thanks. It is a bit scary, too, that we are now done with the campaign that has has been such a constant companion for the last decade and more. I might do the Middle-Earth campaign using Pendragon that I have always wanted to do but never found the time for. :)

09-18-2016, 11:13 AM
Nice job! And very interesting in the character write ups, seeing how the campaign changed (I wonder how my old game would have gone if the Pagans had joined up with Lot).

Thanks. Yeah, we did have some departures from the norm in this one, especially towards the end. The other campaign (currently over halfway through Anarchy) has the PKs as vassals of Cornwall, with Prince Mark married to Countess Ellen, which means interesting times once 510 happens... They are currently struggling against Levcomagus+Silchester+Rydychan, while Nanteleod and Idres are going to war against each other.

As for this concluding campaign, like said, we started prior to the GPC, so we had Robert as fully grown, adult man already in 503, with his son just having born or something like that. As a campaign summary, it went something like this (quotes from memory, so they might not be word-perfect):

503 - 509 (Pre-GPC):
The major events were the fighting against Levcomagus, and then in 508, the Battle of Venta Belgarum, where the old King Nanteleod of Venta Belgarum (not Escavalon!) died against Cerdic.

"This one time, I am late half an hour, and you get our manor burned down and everyone captured?!" - Dame Arianwen's player who usually was the most punctual of the group
Levcomagus staged a large raid against the border manors. Maddock's and Arianwen's manor was one of the best fortified, so the force assigned to it was not eager to assault it, so instead, they offered Sir Maddock a duel to settle the matter: he wins, and they will move on, without causing damage, but if he loses, they burn the place down and he and his family become captives. Sir Maddock agreed and won against his challenger with a first round critical. However, he then proceeded to do the whole: "Is there anyone else!?" -routine and accepted a new challenge, with the same wager, so in essence risking his manor for no gain as Levcomagus had already agreed to retreat. Needless to say, he lost, and his in-game wife didn't let him to hear the end of it, given how stupid, reckless, needless risk it had been!

510 - 518 (Pre-GPC, using the Boy King):
Joining up with Arthur and fighting in his Battles, of course! And the previously mentioned Total Party Kill at the Badon Hill, courtesy of Wotan and his wolves.

Quote 1:
"And he grows another inch or two." - Sir Maddock's player, when Arthur shows off the drawing of the sword to more crowds, looking more regal each time. (The earned Glory leading to a Glory point, which was spent on SiZ, being the joke.)

Quote 2:
"Dammit, Artie!" - various player characters
The running gag was that the already experienced and mature PKs were feeling rather big brotherly about their new King, who, it has to be said, was a rather sweet young kid with a sense of humor. Alas, his Battle skill sucked, and he continued ordering full frontal charges into enemy spearmen in each battle, to the chagrin of the PKs... Somehow, though, he still ended up winning!

Quote 3:
"I can't believe that we got outwitted by a Giant!" - Maddock's player (I think it was, but probably repeated by others)
The PKs needed something a Giant had, and they didn't fancy fighting the big Giant. So they engaged in horsetrading, figuring the Giant would enjoy some horseflesh. Sure enough, he did, but he figured why keep his end of the bargain and attacked the 2 PKs delivering the horses. This left them at a severe disadvantage as they were on foot and surprised by the Giant's attack, with another 2 PKs farther away. They ended up winning eventually, but many a rib was cracked that day.

Quote 4:
"You have foiled my plans for the last time." - Wotan
After the PKs had successfully held the hill to act as an anvil for Arthur's hammer in the 3rd day of the Battle of Badon Hill, including killing one Saxon King, Wotan sought his revenge on the PKs the following night. I think Sir Maddock managed to land a hit on Wotan himself, which the player bragged about afterwards.

518 - 524:
Skipped. The PKs were dead, the kids were growing up (some of them in Faerie Realm).

525 - 531 (GPC onwards):
The Roman War, from which the PKs didn't return until 531, due to having been shipwrecked on a Faerie island where time flowed slowly (they spent a couple of weeks there and realised later that years had passed).

Quote 1:
"I must congratulate you for your glorious victory, Sir Robert." - Sir Gawaine, with gritted teeth and icy politeness
Sir Robert managed to attack and kill Roman General Petreius Cocta at the Battle of Autun. However, he managed that feat by joining Sir Gawaine's reserves, as they charged the Roman general's bodyguards. Rather than defer to Sir Gawaine to take the Roman General when they both managed to get through the bodyguards, the young knight leaped at the chance for Glory, in effect 'kill-stealing' Sir Gawaine, who was not happy, but he didn't feel it appropriate to punish the young hero of the hour, either.

Quote 2:
"Bedrest means rest, not 'have sex with the innkeeper's daughter'!" - Dame Heledd to her (Pagan) half-brother Sir Garnock
Sir Garnock had been grievously wounded in a prior battle, and was resting in an inn in Paris ("Bored, bored, bored..."), when he decided that seducing the beautiful daughter of an innkeeper was exactly what the doctor ordered ("No, it wasn't!"). The vigorous exercise caused his wounds to reopen and made him unconscious again, before Dame Heledd patched him up again. The comment above became the mandatory add-on to all future bedrest orders that the various party healers told their patients. Furthermore, the innkeeper raised a stink about his daughter being violated by a foreign conqueror, and to forestall a riot in Paris, Sir Kay (as the commandant of Paris) ordered Sir Garnock to do the right thing and marry the girl.

531 - 539:
This was mostly taken up adventuring in Britain and helping Sir Nerthaid capture the county of Mortain, but the most momentous event was the Succession Crisis of Salisbury:

Of particular interest for the rest of the campaign was the fact that Earl Robert had died at Autun, and his son was assassinated in a tournament in 531 (the culprits were mercenary knights from Malahaut using real weapons in a peaceful tournament, but unfortunately, they got their throats slit before anyone got the idea of maybe guarding the unconscious knights). This led to a bit of a Succession Crisis in Salisbury when doubts were cast on the paternity of his posthumous son, due to a prior suitor and subsequent lover that the widowed Countess had. When the child died young, Robert's daughter, Lady Jenna (as in 4th edition), became the richest heiress in the land. She was courted by none other than Sir Agravaine, who was a constant irritant at Camelot for the PKs, due to some past clashes. He went as far as try and block Sir Malbeth's and Sir Ceredan's ascension to the Round Table, managing to delay the invitation for a couple of years. When Lady Jenna was kidnapped, Sir Agravaine raced after her to save her, with his little brother, Sir Mordred, helping. The luck of the dice later, Agravaine was badly hurt in a prior encounter, leaving it to Sir Mordred to rescue Lady Jenna, who of course took more of a shine for the younger, handsomer Orkney brother. So in the end, Arthur threw the ball back to the vassal knights of Salisbury (including the PKs): would they rather have Sir Agravaine or Sir Mordred as their new Earl? The voting was a close one, but finally, Agravaine won by a narrow margin.
"I agree Mordred would be better and none of us really like Agravaine, but if we vote against Agravaine, he will be PISSED and stop at nothing to make our lives miserable. Whereas Mordred seems fine losing the vote to his big brother, and Agravaine would have no reason to be pissed at us if he wins." - Sir Ceredan's (player's) pitch for voting Agravaine)

540 - 549:
With Sir Agravaine as the new Earl of Salisbury, he of course pushed for his vassals Sir Malbeth and Sir Cereden to be added to the Round Table ASAP, singing their praises.

Cambrian War begins due to machinations of the PKs nemesis, the robber knight Sir Aidan (killed in a judicial duel after the War by Sir Ceredan), and the temper of Sir Taran by offending King Maelgwyn of Gomeret. Sir Malbeth wins great glory by absolutely crushing the rebel coalition of Builth in the first Battle, surprising them in their camp and not given them any chance to rally (two critical Battle rolls + a critical melee roll). The victory is capped off by the capture of the rebel leader. Alas, the titular king of Builth is such a detestable creature that the rebels are not willing to accept him back, and Sir Malbeth misses out on a great political marriage between his son and the princess of the Elfael tribe, due to the son thinking that the princess is not pretty enough and that he doesn't love her! As the consequence, the big Elfael tribe remains in the rebel coalition, and after Sir Malbeth's death/disappearance, the rebel tribes manage to catch the less experienced commander's, Sir Taran's, army at a disadvantage and force him to surrender. Given that the rest of the Cambrian war is ramping down and the rest of the royal army free to curb-stomp them, the rebels didn't quite get as good a deal as they hoped from Arthur, but it was good enough, as they were accepted as individual kings rather than subject to the King of Builth.
"I HATE Italian Crossbowmen!" - Sir Edward (and his player), the Justiciar of Builth, after all the seduction trouble caused by their commander, Antonio, and Antonio's refusal to take any responsibility. The actual rant was must longer than this, but alas, I can't remember it in detail.)

Of great importance to the story was Lady Llinos' affair with Earl Agravaine. Despite many children, it seemed that the marriage between Sir Agravaine and Lady Jenna was not a particularly happy one, and the beautiful and somewhat glorious already Lady Llinos happened to catch the eye of the Earl around 546. After giving the Earl's not terribly romantic suggestion some thought, Lady Llinos decided that the pros outweigh the cons, despite her previous semi-friendship with Lady Jenna. Alas, after the Yellow Plague wiped out half of the children of Sir Agravaine and Lady Jenna, including all three of their sons, Lady Jenna became convinced that it was divine wrath, and when she found out about the affair, she of course fixated on that as the cause... There was a bit of a private explosion that Sir Agravaine managed to stamp down on, and told his wife that he is going to do as he pleases and no, he is not going to toss the pagan Lady Llinos into a nunnery like Lady Jenna would like, but if Lady jenna wouldn't play ball, it would be her who retires into a nunnery. After Sir Agravaine had 'black-knighted' his own wife for Lady Llinos, she developed an actual Love Passion for him!
"If someone had told me last week that Llinos would become Agravaine's mistress, I would have laughed long and hard." - Lady Llinos' player, after making the decision for Lady Llinos to accept Sir Agravaine's advances.)

The Orkney-De Gales feud heated up especially towards the end of the decade, with Queen Margawse's affair with Sir Lamorak and her subsequent death in the hands of her son. The Yellow Death killing King Maelgwyn opened the chance for Sir Lamorak and his brothers to press their own claim via King Pellinore at the next Pentecost court. Alas for them, Sir Dornar de Gales trusted this plan in writing to his friend Sir Edward, who, after long and hard soul-searching confessed the contents of the letter to Earl Agravaine, who then alerted his own brothers to start marshalling counterarguments. End result: Duel of Champions between Sir Lamorak (for De Gales heirs) vs. Sir Gawaine (for King Maelgwyn's heirs), which Sir Gawaine won. Sir Lamorak almost died, but Lady Llinos saved his life (for which she was NOT thanked by Earl Agravaine later on!). Sir Gaheris tried his own luck against Sir Lamorak later on the road, but lost the duel, and would have been killed had it not been for the intercession of the PKs and most importantly, Lady Llinos, claiming a boon of Sir Gaheris' life for Sir Lamorak's life she had saved earlier. In the subsequent Tournament of Conisbrough, the both sides were coming up with excuses to beat each other up with real weapons in challenges, in order to hurt the other side badly enough to make them drop out of the Tournament (the prize of which was nothing less than the hand of the princess of Roestoc in marriage, in our campaign). The 'insult' of choice was a glass of spilled wine, lending its name for the Feast of the Spilled Wine. Sir Edward squared off against his former friend, Sir Dornar, and after a tense duel, landed a killing blow (with a critical, the duels themselves were not to be to the death, but accidents happened...).
"Oops." - various knights, insincerely, at the Feast of the Spilled Wine.)

550 - 556:
Ramping up to the Grail Quest and the Grail Quest itself, with the Cornish Invasion.

Sir Llinos' affair with Earl Agravaine was finally revealed to the public in 551, when Lady Jenna announced it in the Pentecost Court, and asked the protection of King Arthur and the annulnment of the marriage. Queen Guinever sided with Lady Jenna, of course, which led to hatred between her and Earl Agravaine, with Lady Llinos as the whipping girl of Queen Guinever's displeasure. Sir Agravaine denied any charges of domestic abuse, refused the annulment and as for the adultery, well, see the quote below. The issue was again placed in the hands of the Salisbury knights, and the PKs (most importantly Sir Ceredan, who by this time was an NPK, but the player chimed in via email) chose to fight for Earl Agravaine against Lady Jenna's champions. After a hard fight, they won, confirming Earl Agravaine's right to rule Salisbury, even though he and Lady Jenna were separated. Her subsequent death (random event) in 552 removed her from the board, although Queen Guinever continued to disenfranchise and snub Lady Llinos at every opportunity even afterwards. (Yes, Lady Llinos took a big Honor hit, but thanks to the difference in status, it wasn't enough to drop her to Honor 4. She spent the rest of 550s rehabilitating herself by collecting Honor checks.)
"If we start annulling marriages and deposing noblemen and knights from adultery, there will be a lot more bachelors in the realm and empty seats around this table!" - Earl Agravaine's defense speech to the Round Table Knights, causing some uncomfortable squirming.)

The Orkney-De Gales feud reached it climax with the death of Sir Lamorak. Sir Elidir, Dame Deryn and Lady Llinos witnessed the murder of Sir Lamorak by Sir Mordred, who interfered in a duel to the death and stuck his sword into Sir Lamorak's back, when Sir Lamorak was about to kill the unconscious and defeated Earl Agravaine. Fortunately for the PKs, Sir Palomides who was looking into Sir Lamorak's death was distracted by the Grail Quest and died during it, as did Sir Aglovale. Sir Tor, the final named De Gales knight, was murdered by Sir Dwyai after a duel of honor with lances, for which Mordred had loaned his destrier to Sir Dwyai; Sir Dwyai made a lance charge against the already unconscious Sir Tor, which sufficed to kill him, and then rode off before the shocked knights in the audience could mount up and catch him. He was declared an outlaw by King Arthur, who with all his Court was witnessing the murder.
(Quote 1:
"What? You expected me to let this bastard kill Agravaine?" - Sir Mordred to Sir Gawaine, showing the Orkney trait of High Love(Family).
Quote 2: "You were never here, you saw nothing. Got it?" - Sir Mordred pointing the bloody blade at the two PKs, after Lady Llinos had sworn to their trustworthiness. They got it.
Quote 3:
"What happened here?!" - distraught Sir Palomides, a friend of Sir Lamorak, as Sir Elidir and Dame Deryn were burying Sir Lamorak.
"We know nothing, he was already dead when we got here!" - panicky lies from the PKs, which with good rolling, managed to distract Sir Palomides. He did get suspicious later on, when he found out that both PKs were vassals of Earl Agravaine, but didn't have time to follow up on that prior to Grail Quest.
Quote 4: "Well damn. He just stole my destrier." - Sir Mordred, commenting calmly on Sir Dwyai's escape after killing Sir Tor.)

During the Grail Quest, the PKs stay home to look after Salisbury, since they are no RTKs amongst them (Sir Taran died just the previous year in a pre-Grail Quest, as explained in the previous post). Significantly, Earl Agravaine was captured for ransom by King Brian (random event), and not only did the PKs have to defend Sarum and Camelot against the Cornishmen, but they also had to raise enough funds from invasion-and-wasteland-devastated Salisbury to ransom their liege. In the end, Lady Llinos took charge and started calling in every possible favor she had ever done for anyone. With King Arthur contributing half of the bill and Sir Mordred adding what he managed to raise from Orkney estates, they managed to raise the requisite sum and deliver it to King Brian, even though that huge sum attracted a lot of bandits, pirates and even a dragon!
(Quote 1:
"You see an army of Saxons, with the old Bretwalda Aelle's Raven banner in the lead, marching towards the battle." the GM, during the Battle of the Engine, after rumors of Saxons being in revolt and Arthur's sally already being swallowed by the much larger Cornish army.
"Oh F!!! We are dead." the PKs, in response.
"ARTHUUUURRR!!!" the Saxon war-cry as they crash into the Cornish troops, with some 'Death to Cymri!' from some white-bearded veterans.
"Yay!" the PKs, in response.
Quote 2:
"You see an open barrel of that black exploding powder next to the Engine and the wagon with more barrels. Do you stick your torch into it?" - the GM, at the climax of the Battle of the Engine.
"Yes! No! No! I am going to throw it instead! From far, far away!" - Dame Deryn's player's response. This didn't save her from being deaf for quite some time and her horse being skewered by a splinter from the barrel. But she did manage to make the powder wagon and the Engine explode!
Quote 3:
"Ah, you must be Lady Llinos. I have heard much about you." - King Brian's Queen, who turned out to be none other than Morgan Le Fey.
"Um... thanks. Likewise?" - Lady Llinos' eloquent response.)

557 - 564
Cleaning up the damage caused by the absence of knights in the Grail Quest. Wars against Cornwall and France (peace treaty results in both quickly enough, with Cornwall paying reparations and France being split into principalities between the Frankish princes). King Brian's raids are a major irritant, especially when he manages to raise a Saxon Rebellion in Anglia, Essex and Kent. The Royal Army was just getting ready to set sail from Hantonne and finish King Brian once and for all, when Sir Lancelot's affair with Queen Guinever was revealed, which naturally derailed those plans. After battling Sir Lancelot in Ganis, Arthur and Gawaine hear that Mordred has usurped the crown, and they return to Britain. Battle of Camlann results.
(Quote 1:
"I am going to marry my eldest daughter to the Crown Prince of Malahaut." - Earl Agravaine, discussing the marriage plans of his remaining children (three daughters) with his mistress, Lady Llinos.
"She's your daughter." Lady Llinos, with tones that imply that she wouldn't do that to any of her own. (Not a fan of Malahaut!)
Quote 2:
"Situation is under control. Sussex will stay loyal, or I will die trying." - Earl Athelstan's (Aelle's grandson and the hero of the Battle of the Engine) message to King Arthur, as Saxon rebellions are popping up elsewhere.
Quote 3:
"Now we have him!" - Earl Agravaine, gloating as he orders about ten Orkney-affiliated knights to mount up to follow Sir Lancelot back to Camelot.
"Oh s***. I just put us back on the railroad tracks, didn't I?" Sir Elidir's player, one of the lucky ten, who had seen Sir Lancelot leave the royal army and reported it to Earl Agravaine.
Quote 4:
"I beat Lancelot! I beat Lancelot!" - Dame Aithne, singing and dancing, graceful in victory (not really, the player clarified that it was an internal celebration.)
Quote 5:
"We are all going to die." - Sir Grimald's player, as the name of the battlefield is revealed to be Camlann.
"Yup." - the GM (who lied, since both Sir Grimald and Lady Llinos managed to survive!)
Quote 6:
"You snake!" - King Mordred, drawing his sword (The Black Sword) to smite down King Brian, as he just heard of King Brian being responsible for the death of Sir Gawaine. Unfortunately, that was the signal to fire the cannons and start the Battle of Camlann, too...
Quote 7:
"Where did Mordred get all these cannons?!" - Sir Caedmon's player
"You do recall that he was in charge of Camelot's cannonworks, right? What do you think he has been doing this whole time?" - the GM.
Quote 8:
"Oh, you got to be kidding me..." - Sir Caedmon's player, as handgonners move to the front of Mordred's line and get ready to shoot on the charging knights.
"He has been a busy little beaver, hasn't he?" - the GM, referring to Mordred's armament project.
Quote 9:
"Or, you could loot both of them and dual-wield!" - helpful suggestions from the peanut gallery, on what Sir Grimald should do with Excalibur and the Black Sword (a cursed blade that was corrupting its wielders, but also granting extra damage and skill), after both Arthur and Mordred collapse down and he is left the last man standing.
Quote 10:
"It goes *plump* into the river and sinks down to the mud. There it will lie, until along comes a hobbit..." - the GM, after Sir Grimald resisted the lure of the Black Sword ("It is not a hammer." - Sir Grimald) and tosses it into a river.

09-20-2016, 11:45 AM
Do you have the Song of Arda Middle-earth > KAP conversion ruleset that was being developed by a fan and shared on the interwebs about 15 years ago?


09-20-2016, 12:06 PM
Do you have the Song of Arda Middle-earth > KAP conversion ruleset that was being developed by a fan and shared on the interwebs about 15 years ago?

Yes, I did download that. Alas, it is not what I am looking for, so I will make up my own.

Basically, what I am planning is pretty much use Pendragon as is, and just fiddle Winter Phase a bit when it comes to the long-lived Dunedain to keep them from becoming demi-gods via yearly training. I am less worried about experience, since that happens on-screen and is thus limited by the active play time (see below). I already have a general treatment of the diminishing of the Dunedain throughout the Third Age, since the players will be in charge of a Gondorian Dunedain family each. The attribute bonuses will change, too.

Speaking of active play time, naturally I am not planning on GMing the whole 3000+ years of the Third Age. Instead, while we do follow the families throughout that period, we will skip from one interesting period to the next, and cover the gaps basically with something like a family history, maybe in 10 year chunks or so. Then once we find an interesting period, we will zoom in to the 'normal' yearly progression of Pendragon, and play out maybe a 20 year chunk, resolving the 'crisis point', before skipping time again. Climaxing at the War of the Rings, of course.

I am currently in the process of construction a campaign timeline to identify the potential crisis points (Kin-strife is obvious, of course), around which to have these 'mini-campaigns'. I figure something like 6-10 different crisis points, separated by 300 - 500 years or so (or even less, towards the end), for a total of about 100 - 200 years of 'playtime'. However, some of those years might be quick ones, covered in a session.