Friday, December 16, 2016

The Great Pendragon Campaign: Epic Play-through Year 490

Summary: Our group is attempting a complete run of the Great Pendragon Campaign  using 5th edition rules. Players are Matt, Mark, and Lilith. I am the GM.

Year 490
The sixth year in the Uther Period, with Uther Pendragon as king of Britain.

Our current roster of characters:
  •          Sir Eleanor of Dinton, played by Lilith.
  •          Sir Conmorl of Winterbourne Gunnet, played by Matt.
  •         Sir Aeddan of Pitton, played by Mark.
In this session, Mark brings in a new character. His old character’s son is still far too young to inherit, so he takes on Sir Aeddan, the old character’s younger brother. Matt decides his old character Sir Galmwr has run off back into the woods, seeking out the Lady of Flowers to live at her court again.

This year features the Battle of Lyndsey (by way of Geoffrey of Monmouth, apparently). The Cymric knights go north to fight the Saxons coming down through Northumberland, and fight them back from their march southward. The two fearsome Saxon kings Octa and Eosa lead them. The battle is pretty fierce, and culminates in an opportunity take down King Octa as the Saxons are routing. Sir Aeddan is the one who breaks through, capturing the Saxon King to win a huge sum of Glory and potentially a great ransom. After the battle, there is a great victory feast, and the player knights get their first glance at Ygraine, apparently super hot, since just laying eyes on her makes you make a Lustful roll. Even Sir Eleanor makes the roll, as Lilith informs us that Eleanor is mostly into women. Sure, she’ll marry for heirs, but that’s not where her romantic inclinations lie.

Further intrigue follows in winter court with the King. He has released all his lords back to their own lands, but won’t let Duke Gorlois go and the duke is getting irritated. The king is besotted with Ygraine and keeping the duke around so she has to stay too. Gorlois steals away along with his wife in the middle of the night, witnessed but not stopped by the player knights. The king then claims that Gorlois has abused his hospitality and prepares once again to make war on Cornwall. Meanwhile, Earl Roderick of Salisbury, lord of our player characters, and the king’s bastard son Madoc are far more concerned with a massive landing of Saxons in the lands they already hold. The Earl leaves many of his men behind to guard the county while he is off on the king’s war.

Thoughts: More battle! There’s a lot of that early game in the campaign. This time, a really cool opportunity for the players to shine and capture the enemy king. I took this event as inspiration forward and tried to give players the opportunity to make a difference in a battle, and if they get the result that indicates an enemy general or hero, let them have a shot at someone important.

The Ygraine stuff is super heavy handed. I see what they are going for here, the tragedy of Uther needs to play out. I don’t think being a passive witness and unable to change anything is really involving the player knights, though. There some serious railroading here in this section. The whole Lustful thing is also interesting. Only Queen Guenivere inspires the same sort of rolls in the campaign. It did reveal some interesting information about one of the player knights, so that turned out well. Sir Aedden ended up hopelessly in love with Ygraine, which ends up pretty cool later as he runs into her many times as they slowly age out of the game. 

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