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01-18-2011, 04:00 PM
The Great Pendragon Campaign
Welcome to The Great Pendragon Campaign. Sorry about the multiposting, but I need a lot of info on here, and the forum gives me an error message if I put too much in one post. Anyway. In this thread is everything and anything you need to play Pendragon 5E on Manga Tutorials.
Note: The following info should really only be used as reference. I suggest all players read the setting info, but I'll guide you guys through the intricacies of the rules as we play.
Disclaimer: All rights to the Pendragon Tabletop RPG Franchise belong to Gregg Stafford and White Wolf. Below is my interpretation of the rules presented, non-profit, as of the terms of the attributed Creative Commons license.
Post 1: Introduction, Disclaimer, Resources, Player List, NPC List, Location List.
Post 2: Recent History, Feudalism, Britain, Logres, and Salisbury.
Post 3: The Building Blocks of a Character.
Post 4: Rolling Dice, Combat, Injury and Health.
Post 5: Game Time, Winter Phase.
Invisible Castle - To Be Used For Dice Rolling (http://invisiblecastle.com/)
The Pendragon Page - has name generators, maps, and other useful resources. (http://www.angelfire.com/rpg2/dnd3e/pendragon.htm)
to be updated...
Important Non-Player Characters
to be updated...
to be updated...
01-18-2011, 04:01 PM
The year is 485 Anno Domini. About seventy years ago, when your grandfather was alive, the Supreme Collegium or High Council of Britain chose a native leader, known as Emperor Constantin, to rule the island. He reigned well in difficult times, and in 440 his son Constans succeeded him. A few years later, Constans was killed, and the throne was assumed by a man named Vortigern.
At that time, a massive Pictish and Irish invasion threatened the entire island until Vortigern hired a small mercenary army of Saxon warriors. Victory was not enough, though, and, inflamed by lust, Vortigern married the daughter of the Saxon King Hengest. Vortigern also brought warlike leaders from the north and settled them around the western coasts to defend against Irish invaders. But Vortigern was tyrannical and not well loved.
Soon, many eastern lords of Britain rebelled against their new king, but they were crushed and their lands given to his Saxon allies. Vortigern’s own son led another rebellion, and, though temporarily successful, he was killed in battle just 23 years ago. Then, during the infamous “Night of the Long Knives,” the Saxons betrayed Vortigern, slaying nearly all the British leadership. The island suffered greatly as Vortigern himself came under the rule of his erstwhile Saxon allies.
When your father was a young knight, in the year 466, Aurelius Ambrosius, eldest son of Constantin, landed with an army from Brittany. Immediately, the people of Britain literally flocked to his banner, a magical standard that depicted a great red dragon. Vortigern fled and took refuge in northwestern Cambria. It was there that the child sage Merlin prophesied the fate of Britain. Aurelius Ambrosius overcame the Saxons and then Vortigern himself, and was named High King. He was called the “high king,” or Pendragon, in part because of the great battle banner he bore.
During his reign, Aurelius Pendragon defeated new invasions by Saxons and even led a fleet to ravage the coasts of the Saxon and Frisian lands, suppressing further invasions for years. But when he marched against a combined Saxon and Irish army five years ago, in 480, he was treacherously poisoned, and died. His brother, Uther, led the army instead and gained victory. The grateful nobles then named Uther to be the next High King, the new Pendragon.
Uther has been a successful king thus far, quashing all rebellion, defeating Irish rebels and Saxon invaders alike. Last year he snatched victory from defeat with a surprise night raid that brought most of the northern kings under his rule.
Now, in 485, news has come that more Saxons are gathering in far Saxony to come to the aid of their kinsmen in Britain. The preparations for yet more war are building, and the noble British knights prepare once again to defend the realm under their courageous Pendragon.
The rules and laws of feudalism govern the world of Pendragon.
Feudalism begins with the belief that everything belongs to the king, as highest lord of the land. All rights derive from the king, who has distributed some of his rights and responsibilities among his lords; they, in turn, distribute some of these rights and responsibilities to their knights.
Followers swear fealty to their lord, and afterwards are known as vassals of that lord. The lord ensures the loyalty of his favored followers by giving them land, the single most valuable and permanent commodity in the realm. To receive gold is a slightly dubious honor, since even a peasant can be bribed with gold. However, a transfer of land is sacred.
Two types of land transfer are common:
• A gift is given for the duration of the recipient's life but upon death reverts to the lord.
• A grant is given for the life of the recipient and his heirs.
A vassal does not really own the land he is given, but he does own all the granted benefits collected from that land. The vassal may receive a grant in return for loyalty and services. As long as the knight's obligations are satisfied, the benefits are legally his and cannot be justly taken away. Typically, a knight's obligations are to serve loyally in his lord's military campaigns and to advise his lord on important matters. In return, the lord owes his vassal protection, sustenance, and livelihood. If the vassal rescued the king on the battlefield, he might receive his former gift as a permanent grant. If the knight violates his loyalty, he can lose the land he has of the lord. Typical reasons for land to revert to the lord include treason, failure to support the lord, or the lack of an heir when the grant holder dies. Daughters may inherit their father's grants only if there are no male heirs.
BRITAIN, LOGRES, AND SALISBURY
Britain is divided into five areas: Logres, Cambria, Cumbria, Pictland, and Cornwall. Logres is by far the most important. Furthermore, several Saxon kingdoms inhabit the eastern coastal regions.
Logres is the lowland region of Britain previously ruled by the Romans, who established many great cities. Your character’s county, Salisbury, is located here.
The County of Salisbury
Salisbury is one of the most interesting places in Arthurian legend. It is one of the most densely populated areas. Many interesting places are here, as well, such as Stonehenge, most famous of the ancient monuments. Many interesting landmarks are nearby, especially the dozens of prehistoric mounds, stone circles, and the unusual White Horse. Salisbury County, proper, consists of all the holdings of the Earl of Salisbury. This fief consists primarily of the city of Sarum and the large land area on Salisbury Plain around it. The fief is composed of good farmland, and provides other good forms of income for the count — fisheries, taxes on merchants, and tolls from the bridges. The county includes one large city, Sarum, three smaller walled cities (Wilton, Warminster, and Tilshead), and dozens of much smaller towns and villages which are generally clustered in the river valleys around the cities. It has five castles. The one in Sarum is very strong, and is also behind the city walls; the other four (Devizes, du Plain, Ebble, and Vagon) are common motte-and-bailey castles.
The City of Sarum
Sarum is your home base, sitting upon a steep, windswept mound amidst the rolling Salisbury Plain. Sarum was first settled centuries ago during the time before iron was used, in the days when people still worshipped the sun at Stonehenge. A series of concentric rings surround the city: a massive ditch on the outside, then a huge rampart, then another large ditch and another rampart. A great curtain wall perches on the inner rampart and overlooks the inner ditch. Two gates, to the east and west, pierce the walls. They are defended by towered gateworks, each with its huge ironreinforced portcullis, murder holes, and drawbridges. As with all cities, these are closed at night and normally admit no one.
In the center of the city is a great motte, or artificial mound, upon which sits the large castle of the earl. Four ditch-and-rampart spokes radiate from the castle almost to the outer wall, and divide the city into quarters. The northwestern quarter is given over to the magnificent cathedral and church buildings, a part of the fief of the Bishop of Salisbury. It is occupied by churchmen and the bishop’s retinue. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Mary, the Mother of God.
The city occupies the rest, and it serves as the outer bailey for the castle. It is large and relatively rich. It serves as the trading center for the entire county and the earl receives rich revenues from its taxes, part of which go to the High King.
Salisbury Castle, also called Sarum, is a modern (i.e., in the Arthurian era) stone castle. It sits upon a great motte in the center of the city, and is the main seat for your lord, the Earl of Salisbury. Curtain walls 8 feet thick and 20 feet tall surround the inner bailey, which is roughly circular and about 300 feet in diameter. Sarum Castle has four towers.
When your character stays with his lord, Earl Roderick, he does not have private chamber. Instead, like most people in the castle, he sleeps at night in the same place where he works in the daytime. (Thus, cooks sleep in the kitchen, bakers in the pantry, and grooms in the stable.) As a knight, your character sleeps in the Great Hall. This is also the permanent home of the earl’s household knights. They each have a large chest here to store personal possessions. By day, the great hall is the lord’s courtroom. The floor is cleared of furniture except for the lord’s high chair, which remains upon the raised dais at the far end of the room. In the evening, trestle tables and benches are brought out for the evening meal. At night, the tables and benches serve as beds, or people sleep on the floor.
01-18-2011, 04:01 PM
THE UNIVERSAL LAWS
Certain customary laws — hospitality, family, loyalty, and honour — are universal among all the peoples of Britain. Your character knows these unwritten laws well. These laws are respected even between mortal enemies. Even the most barbaric or vicious groups in Britain accept these ancient traditions as necessary and essential for survival in an unforgiving world. Breaking the universal laws is a very serious offence indeed.
The host may never act against his visitor, but must treat him as an honoured guest. The visitor, in turn, must be civil and not insult his host. A person’s house is considered to be sacrosanct, protected by whatever powers watch over mankind. This is true whether one lives in a hovel or a mighty castle. The offender is never trusted in anyone’s house again if he breaks the rules, and common superstition assures that an ill fate will dog the offender’s footsteps from then on.
The loyalty and affection of a person for his family is considered to be inherent to nature. It is unthinkable that someone would turn against his family. A kinslayer is inhuman, almost demonic. One’s own kin should always be trusted. Even if a kinsman acts despicably to others, he is still to be trusted. Only one’s family can always be counted upon in an emergency.
Loyalty is acknowledged as the basis for all of society beyond the family. All members of society, excepting the mad, hold loyalty to someone. For warriors, loyalty is particularly important because it is the foundation of military organization and the basis of survival in battle. Those who break an oath of loyalty are outcasts from society and will never again be trusted by right-thinking people. As with the laws of hospitality and kinship, the supernatural powers that watch over man may intervene to bring oathbreakers to a terrible end.
Honour is required of knights, but not of everyone else. Having honour is one of the things that sets a knight apart from all others.
Churchmen do not need it, for they are supposed to put the interests of God and the Church before their own. Commoners do not need it, for they have enough difficulty simply staying alive. Women do not need it because they are "merely women".
Knights, however, must have honour because they have agreed to take the oath of knighthood. Without honour, no oath is worth taking, for without it the sworn word will soon be broken. It is conceivable that a knight could cheat and connive yet maintain his own sense of honour, as long as the oath of knighthood was never violated. Honour includes your character’s personal code of integrity, pride, and dignity, which is important enough to be backed up by force of arms.
Your character traditionally begins with a Honour passion of 15. Here is a non-exhaustive list of dishonourable acts and the sample penalty to your Honour (the penalty can, and will, vary depending on the exact circumstances):
Attacking an unarmed knight: –1
Desertion from battle or military service: –1
Plundering a holy place of your religion: –1
Puking at a royal feast: –1
Calling an important person by the wrong name: –1
Killing an unarmed holy person of your religion: –2
Killing, kidnapping, or raping a noblewoman: –2
Lending money at a profit: –2
Performing physical labor: –2
Being proven to have lied to your liege: –3
Breaking an oath: –3
Flagrant cowardice: –3
Treachery against a member of your family: –5
Treason against your liege: –5
Disobeying your liege: –5
Killing a kinsman: –6
Learning to cast magical spells: –8
Honour lost can sometimes be regained through a public apology, which can also take the form of a public humbling or a public humiliation if the fault was particularly bad. But for this to work, your apology must be accepted, which is not necessarily the case every time.
Whenever a character’s Honour is reduced to 4 or lower, he has proven himself unfit to bear the title of knight and serve a lord. His lord must either outlaw him or degrade him (i.e., strip him of knighthood). Honour may eventually be regained at this grim point in a character’s career. But if a character’s Honour ever reaches 0, the player must remove that character from active play. Recovery from such a low state is simply not possible.
CUSTOMS OF KNIGHTHOOD
You Are The Law
Knights are sheriff, judge, and jury for all matters of Low Justice on their own domains. If a character has land, then it is his responsibility to maintain justice within it. Likewise, on their lord's land, knights must act on their lord’s behalf, either delivering justice then and there or else taking the wrongdoer to the lord's court. Knights who break the law are subject to justice in the courts of whoever was offended. If the lawbreaking takes place in a knight’s own domain, then his own lord makes judgment. The only exception to this is when a knight breaks a rule of his lord, in which case the other knights of the court stand to deliver a judgment. Knights accused of wrongdoing at any time may claim trial by combat instead of normal court justice.
Trial By Combat
In any case of justice, any knight may choose trial by combat. In this trial, everyone knows that God will favor the right party, that right will aid might. A lord can, and a woman must, choose a knight to fight in his or her stead. The fight may end when a combatant is knocked down or wounded, or to the death. The ruling of battle, made by God, cannot be reversed or appealed.
Low Justice is the purview of any noble of a land, including knights, who can judge any case less critical than murder, rape, or other capital crime. Knights can deliver justice to commoners, up to and including imprisonment and the cutting off of hands, ears, and other body parts. They cannot judge capital crimes or deliver a sentence of death, or judge other nobles or members of the clergy.
High Justice is reserved for higher nobles, usually only kings. They make rulings on capital crimes, which are anything that may be rewarded with the death penalty. This includes treason, rape, murder, and theft of the lord's goods.
Knights are often captured and held in various states of arrest. Sometimes they are maintained according to their station, sitting at their captor's table and making no attempt to escape since they have given their word of surrender. Often, though, they languish shamefully in dark dungeons, dirty and unfed. Surprisingly, even enemies of the worst kind do not kill their enemies. Hated murderers languish away in prison rather than being hung or killed. The reason lies in the fact that most knights and lords do not have the right of life and death over their prisoners. This is determined by the division of Justice into High and Low, as mentioned above. Most lords have the rights only to Low Justice, which allows them to enforce most laws except those of capital crimes. Any crime that warrants death of the culprit is a matter of High Justice, enforceable only by a king. To execute a criminal would be unusual and illegal, drawing the lord's attention and wrath significantly enough that the knight might lose his station for disobedience to his rightful office.
Two rival types of Christianity are practiced in Britain at this time.
• British Christianity is native to the island, established by immigrants four centuries ago. It has bishops and abbots, but no single figure rules over all of them. Their local kings or noblemen appoint these important leaders, who in turn are loyal to their regional lords.
• The Roman Church is part of a hierarchy that takes its orders from Rome, so the pope determines its bishops. The Roman Christian Church in Logres has one supreme churchman, the Archbishop of Carlion, a Cymric, Dubricus by name; there are also a dozen or so abbots of great houses.
Churchmen are not considered noble unless they are also landlords, which is not uncommon. Many noble families have made land grants to churches or abbeys, which in turn supply knights in the usual feudal manner.
Much of Britain is still pagan. Many farmers across Logres still make offerings to the field and weather gods, and many kingdoms outside of Logres even have kings and nobles who sacrifice to the old gods. The local kings are advised by councilors who are professed druids, a class of bardic priests and wise men who are in touch with the ancient powers of the land. The druid leaders are appointed to their positions by the local kings. A druidic network exists, but it does not have a ruling hierarchy. Instead, druids acknowledge each other’s ranks through their exercise of knowledge and power.
An oath is a promise made under the witness of God, the most sacred form of promise, and cannot be broken except with the gravest consequences: To Christians, it implies the threat of eternal damnation in Hell. Perhaps just as important, though, are the more immediate social consequences. All normal people shun oath-breakers. A man's sworn word is one of the few possessions that he has after all material goods are taken away. It measures his soul and personality. A breaker of oaths has a shriveled and tiny soul, is not to be trusted, and forfeits the rights that he had as a member of society. Since all of society is based upon oaths and keeping one's word, anyone who fails in this duty fails to uphold society and, therefore, cannot be part of it.
Oaths can be taken literally or figuratively. However, most common people look to the oath's spirit to be fulfilled, while intellectuals sometimes allow only the letter to be fulfilled. Such misunderstandings are the cause of much friction between classes.
Homage and Fealty
Every knight but the king is someone's vassal. Everyone who has a lord has undertaken a ritual composed of homage and fealty, pledging two free men to an unbreakable, permanent bond of loyalty.
Homage is an act of submission. It is the personal oath of an underling to his lord, promising aid and counsel. Aid means military assistance, while counsel means support of the lord in his business and the granting of advice. Then the lord gives a similar promise of leadership, and of support expressed as a beneficium, or gift. The beneficium is usually a land grant, or fief.
Fealty is an oath of faithfulness. Fealty's most common clause includes a promise never to attack the lord.
After both of these oaths have been sworn, the vassal is the "man of another man". Multiple loyalties are possible when a man swears fealty to two (or more) different lords. The issue is confused at court, but currently the most popular solution offered to the problem of multiple lords is the practice of having a liege lord. That is, among all of one's lords, one is selected to be liege, and he has priority in the vassal's loyalty in case of conflict. Your character has only one lord to begin, which creates no problem. However, if he acquires lands elsewhere, the character will eventually have to choose one as liege.
01-18-2011, 04:02 PM
THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF A CHARACTER
The physical qualities of any Pendragon character are quantified by five basic attributes, from which various other statistics are then derived. These five primary attributes are Size (SIZ), Dexterity (DEX), Strength (STR), Constitution (CON), and Appearance (APP). In each case, the larger the value of an attribute, the more advantageous it is for your character.
The cultural minimums and maximums for a Cymric knight (like your character) are:
SIZ: Min. 8 - Max. 18
DEX: Min. 5 - Max. 18
STR: Min. 5 - Max. 18
CON: Min. 5 - Max. 21
APP: Min. 5 - Max. 18
Note that no attributes are given for intelligence. It is that player’s intelligence that dictates the character’s goals and actions, not an arbitrary number on a character sheet. Thus, in a sense, the player is the character’s "intelligence score"!
Remember that a character becomes bedridden and unplayable once one of his attributes reaches 3 or lower, even APP. So none of them should be neglected during character creation.
Some of a character’s statistics are derived from those already determined above.
Damage: A character’s Damage value reflects his potential to do harm to his foe. The value acquired from the equation below indicates the number of six-sided dice that the player rolls when his character successfully hits something or someone with a sword or other heavy weapon.
Damage = (SIZ + STR)/6 [the result is the number of d6 rolled for damage]
Healing Rate: The Healing Rate of a character indicates the number of hit points which can be regained during a week of game time by the character, as long as that character is quietly resting.
Healing Rate = (CON + STR)/10
Movement Rate: This value indicates the number of yards per melee round that your character can walk while in armor. The Movement Rate number also affects daily overland rates and forced march.
Movement Rate = (STR + DEX)/10
Total Hit Points: Total Hit Points are used in combat to determine how much damage a character may sustain before going unconscious or being killed.
Total Hit Points = CON + SIZ
Unconscious: This value is a threshold below which a character falls unconscious. Every time any character’s current hit points fall below this value, that character drops to the ground, senseless and out of play. In many cases, this might save his life.
Unconscious = Total Hit Points/4
Knockdown: When your knight takes damage during combat, if the damage received is equal to or greater than his SIZ value but less than twice that value, then the character has received a blow that sends him reeling for balance. He must now make a DEX roll, if on foot, or a Horsemanship roll if mounted. If the roll is successful, then the character recovers handily and can continue fighting as normal. If the roll fails, the knight falls down. (The character is always knocked down when the damage received is equal to or greater than twice the knockdown value)
Knockdown = SIZ
Major Wound: Damage from a single injury that is equal to or greater than CON (the Major Wound threshold) represents serious bodily harm that the character simply cannot shrug off. Concretely, the character may become unconscious, he may lose points in his attributes permanently, and he will require the attention of an expert in order to avoid infection of the wound and other complications. If he hasn't fallen unconscious, the character will also need to succeed with a Valorous roll if he wants to continue fighting.
Major Wound = CON
ROUNDING OFF FRACTIONS
When performing calculations in Pendragon, round 0.5 and higher fractions upward and lesser fractions downward. For example, a character with a Damage value of 4.43 would have an effective value of 4, while a character with a Damage value of 4.5 would have a 5.
Traits are dualistic personality factors presented in opposed pairs. A trait and its opposite both exist in every individual. They define a person’s feelings and tendencies. Pendragon has thirteen pairs of personality traits which are important.
The total value of each trait pair must always equal 20 when the game begins, and in most cases this will never change: When one trait increases, the opposite decreases by the same amount. So, for example, if your Generous trait is 13, your Selfish trait will be 7. Should your Generous trait increase to 14, your Selfish trait would automatically decrease to 6, and vice versa.
To be chaste is to be monogamous, or otherwise faithful to one’s sexual mores. It does not always require virginity, so a man being faithful to his wife is exhibiting the Chaste trait. A chaste person is modest and decorous in terms of sexual or flirtatious behavior. Lustful describes sexual desire, and also implies sexual activity, often without personal commitment between the persons involved.
A vigorous person is Energetic. This trait includes the natural inclination to get up early, work hard, and apply oneself fully to the tasks at hand. Laziness includes all slothful activity, such as loafing and general sedentary behavior. At the furthest end of the spectrum lies complete indolence.
To be forgiving means to be willing to take insult without injury. A forgiving character is unlikely to seek revenge for injuries intended or done to him. Vengeful indicates a character’s propensity to seek revenge.
Generous determines the impulse, learning, or desire to share with others. Selfish is the desire to possess, keep, and further accumulate things for oneself. This possessiveness usually regards material property and wealth, but it might apply to Glory, so that the character always wishes to keep the most glorious tasks and duties for himself.
To be honest is to deal truthfully with others, both in matters of import or triviality, no matter what the consequences. A deceitful person is generally likely to distort truths, or to fabricate untruths, for his own ends (or perhaps on
behalf of others) — or in some cases, simply for the sake of doing so.
To be modest is to be quiet and reserved about one’s gifts and accomplishments, not seeking excessive attention in the recitation of one’s own deeds. A modest character is glad simply to perform deeds, rather than bask in the repeated glory of hearing about them. The Proud trait indicates the degree to which one gets pleasure from hearing and/or boasting of his deeds. Both Germanic and Pagan ways value Pride in a character.
A just character is capable of telling what is right and wrong (within the mores of his upbringing and his personal beliefs), and is desirous of passing due judgment based on that information. Arbitrary means that the character has no concern for what is right or wrong, and uses other information and bases for his decision making.
Mercy indicates a tendency to extend sympathy, pity, and aid to others. This includes sparing an enemy, giving money to the poor, helping the weak, and any other act that is not expected of one’s rank and station. Cruel indicates a disregard for the feelings and needs of others, or lack of sympathy. High values in Cruel indicate that the character actually enjoys the discomforts and troubles of others.
A pious character often dwells on spiritual matters, and is aware of them and their implications in the material world. Worldly indicates a disregard or disbelief in the spiritual side of life. Extreme values might indicate blasphemy and sacrilege. Alternatively, it might just indicate taking great pleasure in temporal things such as fine clothes, comfortable furnishings, good music and poetry... Do not confuse Worldly with Indulgent; the two often go hand-in-hand, but they are not the same.
The prudent character gives thought to what he does before he acts. The reckless character acts before he thinks things through, without concern for anything but the immediate consequences.
Temperance means that a character takes only what he needs of food, drink, and other temporal needs. He is frugal and abstains from excess. An indulgent character is a gourmand: He takes pleasure in food and drink, both in quality and quantity. Extremes of this indicate gluttony and drunkenness.
One who is trusting tends to believe information without any inclination to suspect its falsity. Suspicious indicates that a person is unlikely to believe what he hears unless proof is offered.
To be valorous means to be brave and courageous, willing to place oneself in danger for the sake of victory, friends, or the simple love of battle. Normal knights are valorous. Cowardly means to be fearful of pain and of harm to one’s self. Someone who is extremely faint-hearted is labeled as a poltroon.
STANDARD TRAIT ROLL RESULTS
An experience check is normally gained, and the character acts strongly in accordance with the trait.
The character acts in accordance with the trait. The player may decide precisely what action ensues within that limitation. An experience check should be gained only if the action is somehow significant to the story or the character.
Roll again, this time against the opposed trait. Success on this second roll means the character acts in accordance with that second trait. Failure indicates the player may choose freely how the character will act. No checks are given.
The opposite trait is checked, and the character immediately acts in accordance with the checked trait.
Receiving an experience check in a trait implies that, at the end of the year, the character (whether he likes it or not) will get a chance to increase the checked trait... and thus decrease the opposite trait, as explained above.
A character may have strong feelings about someone or something in particular that modify one or more of their traits. In game, these tendencies are referred to as directed traits. Directed traits thus represent strong feelings or beliefs, but not strong enough to drive your character mad, as a passion might.
In situations where the directed trait might reasonably alter your character’s actions or perceptions, he applies its numeric value as a modifier on appropriate trait rolls.
Some directed traits that might come up in play are as follows:
• Weakness for blondes (adds to Lustful rolls where blondes are involved)
• Mistrust Sir So-and-so (adds to Suspicious rolls where Sir So-and-so is involved)
• Mistrust London residents (adds to Suspicious rolls where London residents are involved)
• Forgiving of crying women (adds to Forgiving rolls where crying women are involved)
• Unjust towards Malahauts (adds to Arbitrary rolls where Malahauts are involved)
• Loves mead (adds to Indulgent rolls where mead is involved)
• Fears boars (adds to Cowardly rolls where boars are involved)
... and so on.
For example, if your father was once betrayed by a Roman, your character may have inherited a directed trait of Mistrust (Romans) +3. While making a Suspicious roll when a Roman is involved, your character, in this case, must add his Mistrust (Romans) value of +3 as a modifier to his normal Suspicious score.
The Arthurian tales are full of intense emotion, much of it uncontrolled. Beautiful women drive men to incredible and outrageous acts to prove their love. Family feuds turn otherwise sane men into wild avengers. An idealistic young king determines to bring everyone his extraordinary justice against all odds.
Passionate characters may perform with superhuman effort and a greater likelihood of success. However, passionate characters are volatile and moody — their feelings may change instantly due to success or failure on a passion roll. Based on the success or failure of a passion roll, they are likely to be found in any one of several states of mind which are not found among dispassionate folk: inspiration, introspection, melancholy, shock, and even madness.
Passion rolls are a risky business for players. The results vary, but are likely to be dramatic. The Gamemaster may call for a passion roll, possibly with a modifier for the particular situation. At other times the player may request a roll, with the Gamemaster’s approval. Remember that the Gamemaster has final word on the appropriateness of attempting to use a passion for inspiration. Players are warned that passion rolls can be extremely risky as well as rewarding, for they may subject a knight to several unusual states of mind.
Beginning characters all begin with five passions: Loyalty (to their lord), Love (of family), Hospitality, Honour, and Hate (of Saxons), and can acquire more during the course of the game.
STANDARD PASSION ROLL RESULTS
Character is inspired and acts strongly in accordance with the passion. Gain 1 point in the passion, plus an experience check.
Character is inspired and acts in accordance with the passion. Gain an experience check in the passion.
Character is disheartened and immediately loses 1 point in the passion unless the Gamemaster rules otherwise.
Character is maddened and immediately loses 1 point in the passion.
Receiving an experience check in a passion implies that, at the end of the year, the character (whether he likes it or not) will get a chance to increase the checked passion.
To be inspired is to have achieved the highest state of passion. Inspiration can turn an ordinary character into an extraordinary one; it is the source for the greatness that many Round Table knights often exhibit. An inspired character gains tremendous ability for a time. The player may choose any one skill or combat skill: His character’s value in that skill is modified as shown below, based upon whether he was inspired by a success or a critical success in his passion roll.
Gain +10 modifier
Doubled or gains +20 modifier (whichever results in a higher value)
This inspiration lasts for the length of the task at hand, but never for more than one full day.
If a knight should somehow fail to perform a deed for which he was inspired, he suffers shock.
The character must immediately make a roll on the "aging" table, usually resulting in the loss of a point in one of their statistics.
The Gamemaster may impose shock on characters (with or without their first being inspired) in other appropriate situations as well. Likely circumstances for imposing such a state might be after the knight has just abandoned a lord or a lover to grave danger or a dire fate.
A disheartened knight suffers a –5 modifier on all further rolls made during the situation that brought on his state. Once the situation passes, he then becomes melancholic.
Melancholy causes the victim to be overwhelmed by grief. He or she may fall to the ground weeping aloud, lamenting losses and ill luck, and crying out from deep emotional pain. If a melancholic knight is disturbed by another man, he falls into a maniacal rage, hoping to overcome his misery through violence; he always attacks the disturbing individual unless it is a woman.
The only way a man can hope to calm a melancholic knight is by using "reverse psychology": The would-be healer must first succeed at an unopposed roll using a trait of his choice. If he fails the roll, he fails to penetrate the victim’s melancholy using that trait. He may try again using a different trait. Once the healer succeeds at a trait roll, he provokes an opposed roll from the victim on the opposite trait. (He is assumed to have addressed the melancholic victim in such a way that he provokes a response.) If the melancholic character’s roll loses the resolution, he attacks, but if he wins he calms down and, a short time later, goes to sleep. On a tie, the characters do what their players wish them to do.
In game terms, a bout of melancholia usually lasts for one full day unless it is healed as explained above.
The Gamemaster may impose melancholia on characters (with or without their first being disheartened) in other appropriate situations as well.
A character may be driven mad by his passions. This madness may occur at once, or once the relevant action is over (at the Gamemaster’s discretion). Once madness sets in, the player must immediately give his character sheet to the Gamemaster, who describes what ensues based only on what the other player characters know and can perceive. Normally, mad characters run away immediately. For the duration of their madness, they attempt to avoid the scene of their disastrous experience at all cost. If his character goes mad, a player must play a different character until the madman is cured. A madman is out of play until the Gamemaster wishes to reintroduce him into the campaign - which may be years later, or perhaps never.
If recovered, the madman will have undergone unusual, unknown circumstances that can result in changes to some attributes and/or skills, at the Gamemaster’s option. The character’s player remains unaware of precisely what has transpired while the character was in the Gamemaster’s hands.
Basically, the object of Pendragon is for your character to accumulate Glory. A character’s Glory value measures a character’s fame, success, confidence, importance, influence, and status. Some games use "experience points" and "levels" to represent this, where Pendragon uses Glory.
Knights receive Glory for doing the things that knights do, whether those are behaviours according to the ancient warrior virtues, or the late medieval ideals of chivalry and fine amor. Glory is the chief mode of reward in the game, always given to a player character by the Gamemaster. People are aware of each others’ Glory because they all participate in the same society; while characters do not really know their exact number, everyone is extremely conscious of their status relative to others. Thus, the Glory number is a quantification of your character’s personal social position in comparison to that of others. That is, Glory is not about the quality of a character’s reputation, but about the quantity. (Its quality is handled by the traits and passions system.) A glorious knight might walk about proudly, revered beyond other knights, yet be despised for his cowardly or treacherous deeds. It is important for players to understand the fact that, since Glory measures not reputation but status, successful evil knights may attain the same Glory as some chivalrous knights. Evil knights lose reputation and Honour, not Glory, for their vile deeds.
Characters can get Glory by many different means, so players may choose entirely different paths to Glory for their characters. At times, simple participation in a significant event is enough, but successful action is generally required to gain Glory. Examples of events that normally provide Glory include defeating an enemy in personal combat, getting married, being made a lord, successfully exhibiting a skill at court, spending a great deal of money, and finding the solution to an eerie magical riddle.
Glory can even be gained from events or circumstances that occur in the background, outside of game sessions, without the character’s direct attention or interaction. Ownership of land and castles, for example, grants the character Glory every year. Notoriety and reputation also gain yearly Glory. In addition, because society is concerned with personal behaviour as well as combat and daring, Glory can also be earned from evidence of high passion and from faithful service to chivalrous, romantic, or religious ideals. Glory, once gained, cannot be lost.
WHO CAN GAIN GLORY?
Most situations in which Glory can be gained are off-limits to characters of less than knightly status. For example, feasts and tournaments are held for knights and their ladies only. Squires are expected to serve humbly, not to dance with the ladies or show off their other skills before the court.
As the premier warriors, knights are expected to do most of the fighting, while their squires render assistance by fetching new lances and horses, providing first aid, and possibly fighting off foot soldiers and other rabble. Squires and sergeants are expected to fight when the combat is unchivalrous or when the knights ask for help, and not at any other time. In many cases, only the knights fight, so they get all the Glory from such events. During combat, any sergeant or squire who rudely shoulders aside knights in order to grab Glory may be declared outlaw or simply killed immediately.
In non-combat situations, a presumptuous or insolent sergeant or squire is simply removed from the room, or placed in a dungeon if he resists.
1–999 Non-knight (serf, merchant, squire, damsel, etc.)
1000–1999 Average knight
2000–3999 Notable knight
4000–7999 Famous knight
8000+ Extraordinary knight
Being knighted is an extraordinary event in a player character's life, and is worth 1000 Glory points alone. Therefore, all knights have at least 1000 Glory points. Of course, people like King Arthur or the most famous Knights of the Round Table have even greater Glory than what is mentioned in the chart above.
Basic Glory awards
Minimal accomplishment: +1
Ordinary accomplishment: (Default) +10
Heroic accomplishment: +100 or more
Extraordinary accomplishment: +1000
This is of course a rough chart, which simply serves to give an estimate. The actual Glory gained depends on several factors and may vary greatly depending on the situation.
RELIGION AND CHIVALRY
Idealism and faith can help make a man a hero. By ascribing to and behaving in accordance with certain values — that is, by maintaining a minimum value in a number of prescribed traits — a character gains certain rewards and benefits beyond those of lesser knights. Some of these gifts are of a magical nature.
Virtue is the sum of the traits that a culture finds admirable, necessary, and important. Virtues are not fixed, but vary according to the beliefs of the people. In general, whatever trait is the opposite of a virtue is perceived as a vice. The relative virtues of the faiths common to player characters in Pendragon are as follows:
- Roman Christianity: Chaste, Forgiving, Merciful, Modest, Temperate.
- British Christianity: Chaste, Energetic, Generous, Modest, Temperate.
- Paganism: Lustful, Energetic, Generous, Proud, Honest.
Knights who follow a strict religious way of life get an advantage in game. Religious knights work hard to promote their religion through their exemplary lifestyle, and attend mass as much as possible. Bonuses are awarded to characters who maintain a minimum value of 16 in all of the traits pertinent to their religion, as listed above. Religious Knights receive benefits as follows:
- Roman Christian: Total Hit Points +6
- British Christian: Total Hit Points +3, Damage +2
- Pagan: Healing Rate +2
In addition, all Religious Knights gain 100 Glory annually, during the Winter Phase.
If a Religious knight ever fails to maintain his required trait values, even by a single point, he immediately loses these benefits.
Important note: At the beginning of the campaign, most people live by the attitude of "might makes right". Chivalry, which supports the protection of the weak by the strong, is not widespread yet. Therefore, the bonuses awarded for being a chivalrous knight are only possible later on, once chivalry becomes widely accepted.
Like Religious knights, those known as Chivalrous knights must meet certain requirements; those that do gain magical benefits for as long as they maintain those requirements. Chivalrous knights are recognized by their ideals, behavior, and reputation. Although six different traits are admired, chivalry does not hold a person to have a minimum value in all of the requisite traits, as does Religious virtue. Instead, chivalry strives for an average high quality from among them.
Add together your character’s Generous, Energetic, Modest, Just, Merciful, and Valorous trait values. If he has a total of 80 or more in these traits, he may become a Chivalrous knight.
First, though, he must swear an oath to always do the following: “To protect the widow, the orphan, the poor; not to slay a vanquished and defenseless adversary; not to take part in a false judgment or treason, or to withdraw if it cannot be revented; to never give evil counsel to a lady; to help, if possible, a fellow being in distress.” Once he swears this oath, your character gains the benefits of being a Chivalrous knight. If his total in the requisite traits should ever drop below 80 for any reason, he loses the Chivalrous benefits until such a time as his requisite scores once again total 80 or higher.
All Chivalrous knights receive a supernatural boon called the Armor of Honor, which provides him with 3 points of armor reduction, which is added to any protection already gained by actual armor or shields.
Chivalrous knights also gain 100 Glory annually, during the Winter Phase.
01-18-2011, 04:02 PM
WHAT IS A GOOD VALUE FOR YOUR STATISTICS?
For most human characters in the game, statistics for skills, traits and passions have numerical values generally ranging from 1 to 20.
In general, values around 10 are ordinary and unremarkable. Values over 15 are considered superior, while values over 20 are heroic. Only truly glorious knights have values over 20. Values lower than 5 are mediocre.
This is the usual range for humans; some monsters or magical characters have values far exceeding these.
"Unopposed" rolls are made directly against a character's pertinent statistic value (For example, your character would need to succeed in a roll against his Awareness skill to be able detect a bandit hidden in a tree). To determine success or failure, roll 1d20 and compare the result with the character’s statistic value. If the die roll is equal to or less than the number indicated, then the character succeeded at what he was trying to do. Modifiers to the value may apply, raising or lowering the number on the character sheet temporarily. The value may be lowered to 0, in which case failure is certain, or above 19, in which case success is certain. In either case, though, the die should still be rolled to see whether a fumble or critical success occurs.
SUCCESS AND FAILURE
Success is achieved whenever a character rolls under his modified statistic value.
Critical success is achieved whenever a character rolls a number exactly equal to his modified statistic value.
A failure occurs whenever a character rolls above his modified statistic value.
A fumble, a.k.a. a particularly bad failure, occurs whenever a character receives a roll of 20... unless his modified statistic value is 20 or more, in which case he has no chance to fumble. (In such cases, a critical success is instead achieved on a die roll of 20)
"Opposed" rolls are made both against the character’s own statistic and versus the opponent’s rolled number. Simple success may not be enough to defeat the opponent. To win, the player must succeed with his own roll, yet also roll a number higher than that of his opponent. As with unopposed rolls, modifiers may adjust values up or down: Values over 20 increase the rolled number (see "Values greater than 20" below), but the maximum success roll is always 20.
In opposed rolls, a failure is always treated as if the player had rolled 0, regardless of the actual number rolled on the die. Similarly, a critical success is always treated as if the player had rolled (and succeeded with) 20.
An opposed resolution may thus result in a winner and a loser, a tie, or two losers. A winner must roll equal to or under his own statistic value, and also achieve a success that is higher than his opponent. Both opponents may be losers if both fail their roll against their own statistic.
Tie: A tie means that the situation is temporarily unresolved, although time passes while the opponents contend with one another. Continue with the resolution during the next round, as normal. Ties may have specific results in certain special instances; for example, in personal combat, a tie means that other kinds of weapons are broken by a character using a sword.
Partial Success: A loser in an opposed resolution may achieve a “partial success” — i.e., a roll that succeeds relative to his own statistic, but which loses relative to the opponent’s roll. Some minor benefit is usually gained from a partial success. In combat, a character achieving a partial success may parry with a shield.
Example: Your knight has a Sword skill of 15. He is fighting a spear-wielding Saxon with a Spear skill of 13. Let's say your knight rolls 14 on the dice, which is a success as the number is lower than your Sword skill of 15. Now, picture the following situations depending on what the Saxon rolls:
1)The Saxon rolls 12, a success as the number is lower than his Spear skill of 13. Both your roll and his are successful, but your knight wins this round as his result of 14 is higher than the Saxon's 12. Albeit he loses the round, the Saxon gets a partial success because he still rolled successfully against his own statistic, and he would thus be able to use his shield if he was using one.
2)The Saxon rolls 15, a failure as the number is higher than his Spear skill of 13. A failure is treated as though he had rolled 0, as explained above. Your knight thus wins the round and the Saxon does not get a partial success this time.
3)The Saxon rolls 13, a critical success as the number is exactly equal to his Spear skill of 13. A critical success is treated as though he had rolled (and succeeded with) 20, as explained above. The Saxon thus wins the round. But your knight gets a partial success and would be able to use his shield if he was wearing one, as explained above.
VALUES GREATER THAN 20
If a character has a statistic value greater than 20, even if it is only temporarily modified to greater than 20, then every die roll he makes versus that value is increased. The increase is equal to the amount of the value over 20. Thus, a knight with a Dexterity of 25 would gain a +5 bonus to the roll every time he makes a DEX check, as long as he suffers no penalties from other sources.
Treat any result of 21 or higher on the roll as a 20, which is effectively a critical success. Thus, a value greater than 20 in a statistic increases the chance of a critical success and eliminates the chance of a fumble.
Note that the die roll can never be reduced, only increased, in Pendragon. A penalty to a statistic is applied to the statistic’s value, not to the roll itself.
VALUES OF ZERO
Due to negative modifiers, a statistic value may be temporarily reduced to 0. Negative values are never used in Pendragon, even if a modifier would reduce the value to a negative number. Instead, the value is considered to be 0. In such circumstances, the character who wishes to roll against the modified value receives an automatic failure. Players should still roll to see if they fumble (on a roll of 20), as normal.
THE MELEE ROUND
The basic time measure for single or small-group combat is the melee round. This is a short, elastic unit of time — basically, the time required to conceive and perform one action in melee. Melee rounds continue in succession until everyone is done fighting, either through incapacitation, death, surrender, or flight.
MELEE ROUND PROCEDURE
Each time personal combat is joined, the following procedure should be followed during each melee round:
1. Determination Phase
2. Resolution Phase
3. Winner’s Phase
4. Loser’s Phase
5. Movement Phase
In this initial phase, all combatants state what they intend to do this round, including the weapon they wield. Targets and opponents are named. Enemies within 1 yard of each other are automatically considered “engaged,” and need not move to fight. Otherwise, movement must take place (during the Movement Phase) before combat can be resolved in subsequent rounds.
Any non-movement action declared in the previous phase is now resolved. If the character did not intend to move this round, then his action now takes place. If a skill or combat skill roll is required for the action, it is made now. Generally, characters can either fight (during this phase) or move (during the Movement Phase), but not both. Lance charges are an exception to this rule: Knights must both move and fight during the charge, and that resolution takes place now.
If combat occurs, both combatants roll their respective modified weapon skills, using opposed resolution (see "Rolling Dice"). The results leave a winner and a loser, a tie, or two losers. In addition, critical successes and fumbles have special meaning in combat.
If one character succeeds and the other fails, proceed to the Winner’s Phase.
If both fighters fail their weapon rolls, then both missed that round. The fight is inconclusive this round, and no damage is dealt on either side. They can try again (or try something else) next round. Proceed to the Movement Phase.
If both fighters roll the same number and both are successful, then a tie occurs. This is essentially the same as if both had failed, but if one combatant’s weapon is a sword and the other’s is not, the sword breaks the other weapon. Proceed to the Movement Phase.
A fumble means one of two things: Either that the fumbling fighter dropped his weapon (if it was a sword), or that his weapon broke (if it was any other type of weapon). Either way, the character must re-arm himself before he can attack again, or else he must resort to some other type of action.
A critical success on a weapon roll means that the player who rolled the critical deals double damage for his weapon during the Winner’s Phase (so if his normal damage is 4d6, he would roll 8d6) — unless both fighters rolled criticals, in which case their attacks are resolved as a tie.
The winner rolls his damage against the loser. If the winner achieved a notable success (a critical, for example, or a success against a noteworthy foe or that moves the story forward significantly), he may also, with Gamemaster approval, receive an experience check for the weapon used. A critical success deals double damage.
The loser checks for special results and takes damage.
First, the loser should check immediately, based on the damage his opponent rolled in the previous phase, for Knockdown results. (See "Attributes and Derived Statistics".)
Next, if the loser is using a shield and made a successful weapon roll, then he adds his shield’s armor reduction value to his armor’s reduction value for this round.
He now takes damage, subtracting any protection gained from his armor and shield (if applicable).
Any damage beyond that absorbed by the character’s reduction points is recorded under Wounds on the character sheet, and this number is then subtracted from the character’s current hit points. This is the actual damage (as opposed to the "Knockdown damage") taken this round.
Compare the actual damage with the character’s Major Wounds statistic to determine whether he suffers any grievous effects from his enemy’s blow. (See "Attributes and Derived Statistics".)
Also, compare the character’s current hit points with his Unconscious statistic to see if the character has taken too much punishment and thus collapsed. (See "Attributes and Derived Statistics".)
A character who falls unconscious during combat, whether due to a Major Wound or the accumulation of many small wounds, may still attempt a DEX roll if on horseback or balancing on a wall. Success indicates a gentle fall that does little or no damage, at the Gamemaster’s discretion.
Characters who declared movement this round now move up to a number of yards equal to their Movement Rate. Participants in the combat who intended to move this round take their first yard of movement all at once; likewise, their second yard of movement occurs simultaneously; then their third; and so on until all combatants have taken their full allotment of movement. Riders can move up to their mount’s Movement Rate this way (a horse givesa great advantage in melee movement).
A character is not required to move his full Movement Rate. However, once a combatant chooses to stop moving along with the other combatants, he cannot move any further during this phase. When a character moves to within 1 yard of an enemy, evasion may be necessary for movement to continue.
A character who is partially protected by a substantial protective covering (other than armor or a shield) imposes a –5 modifier to attacker’s weapon rolls.
In general, combat in Pendragon is over fast enough that fatigue does not have a chance to overcome adrenaline and valor. However, if a character fights for a number of consecutive melee rounds greater than his CON value, then fatigue should set in; normally, this modifier should not exceed a –5 penalty.
Any time a character fights with the advantage of height, such as a horseman versus a foot soldier or a knight on a rampart attacking a man scaling the wall, a +5/–5 reflexive modifier applies in favor of the character with the height advantage. Note that this modifier applies when one character has fallen to the ground and the other remains standing.
Characters who are grappled, partially entangled, stuck in quicksand, or otherwise unable to move properly suffer a –10/+10 reflexive modifier in combat or to skills involving movement.
A surprised foe includes one attacked from behind or without due warning. The attacker’s weapon roll is always unopposed by the surprised victim, and also gains a +5 modifier. It is very dishonorable to attack an enemy from surprise.
Knights not wearing armor and otherwise only lightly encumbered gain a +5 modifier to all weapon rolls in combat. Characters such as peasants, bandits, or Picts, who are not trained to wear armor, do not gain this modifier. Note that fighting without protection is extremely dangerous, and should never be done on purpose.
In darkness, fog, smoke, or similar conditions, a character suffers a –10 modifier to all weapon skills.
Whenever a character takes a blow, the damage dealt before the victim’s armor, if any, reduces it — is compared to his SIZ value. If the damage received is equal to or greater than the SIZ value but less than twice that value, then the character has received a blow that sends him reeling for balance. He must now make a DEX roll, if on foot, or a Horsemanship roll if mounted. If the roll is successful, then the character recovers handily and can continue fighting as normal. If the roll fails, the knight falls down. If he was mounted, he takes 1d6 damage from the fall; if he was on a wall or some other high place and fumbles the DEX roll, he plummets over the edge, taking falling damage as appropriate.
Whenever a character receives damage equal to twice the value of his SIZ attribute or more, he is knocked down automatically, without the chance to recover his balance.
When knocked down, an armored knight may struggle back to his feet during the Movement Phase next round (i.e., not the one yet to come this round). If the character is attacked before getting up, then he and his opponent(s) receive –5/+5 reflexive modifiers to their weapon rolls. Unless knocked down again, he regains his footing at the beginning of the next Movement Phase, and may take a move normally at that time.
ARMOR AND SHIELDS
At the beginning of the campaign, your knight will be equipped with chainmail, which provides 10 armor points and also causes a -10 DEX penalty. Reinforced chainmail (which provides 12 armor points) exists, but is extremely rare and costly, and is usually available only as a gift from wealthy lords. Better armors will appear later in the campaign.
A shield grants 6 additional points of armor reduction to the loser of an opposed combat resolution with a partial success. (see "Rolling Dice")
Up to three enemies may attack a single character on foot; only two may attack a single foe if all are mounted.
When a knight is opposed by multiple opponents, he can divide his weapon value among them as he wishes. Once your weapon value has been divided, make a separate weapon roll against each opponent, using the assigned portion of your weapon skill as your effective skill for that opponent. When fighting more than one foe, damage may be dealt to all opponents against whom you won the roll.
Moving out of a melee engagement requires the evasion tactic if two characters are fighting afoot or if both are mounted. The evading character must make an opposed DEX roll (if the combatants are on foot) or Horsemanship roll (if they are mounted) opposed to the opponent’s modified weapon skill roll. This tactic imposes +5/–5 reflexive modifiers to the attacker and the dodging character, respectively. If the evading character wins the opposed roll, he dodges the enemy’s attack and may still move normally this turn. If the attacking character wins the roll, he deals damage normally and the evading character cannot move this round. If the characters tie, both are considered to have lost the roll for the round: In this case, the evading character fails to move but is not hit. If the evading character fumbles, he falls down; if he was on horseback, he takes 1d6 damage from the fall. If multiple opponents are involved, this tactic cannot be used at all unless the Gamemaster approves.
If the evasion option is not used, a character cannot disengage from melee combat unless he is mounted and his opponent is afoot. Otherwise, combat goes on until both opponents agree to stop fighting willingly.
A character may spend the melee round simply dodging attacks rather than fighting normally. Treat a dodge as an unopposed DEX roll, with the attacking character making an unopposed weapon skill roll at the same time.
A successful dodge means the character avoided the blow entirely, taking no damage and avoiding any knockdown effects. A critical success while dodging has no additional effect. A failed or fumbled dodge, however, means that the character fell to the ground as a result of his awkward movement, and was hit by the enemy as usual if the latter was successful in his unopposed weapon roll. Damage is inflicted normally, although knockdown need not be tested since the character has already fallen.
A character fighting multiple foes may try dodging, but must divide his DEX value among his foes.
A lance charge is the only attack that must be made while moving. The horse must move at least 6 yards in a roughly straight line to build up enough speed for lance charge damage. If a lance charge is made against anything other than a character also making a lance charge, the charging knight gets a +5 modifier to his Lance skill. Further, because the horse’s weight and momentum is behind the attack, the damage from a lance charge uses the horse’s Damage statistic rather than the rider’s, as shown below:
The lance charge can thus be particularly devastating against opponents using ordinary melee weapons. A lance breaks more easily than some weapons: If the total damage dealt by the lance is an odd number, then the lance breaks. Also, a fumble indicates that the lance broke before doing any damage.
Note that charging with a spear works the exact same way, but because of the movement it is still labelled a "lance charge" and you still use your Lance skill for the charge, even though you are wielding a spear. Once you use your spear in anything else than a charge, though, you use your Spear skill.
NO TWO-HANDED WEAPONS
Two-handed weapons may not be used from horseback.
As mentioned above ("Higher ground"), a mounted character fighting an enemy who is afoot gains a +5 modifier to his weapon skill and his enemy gets a -5 modifier to his, unless the footman is armed with a great spear or halberd. This modifier stacks with that gained from a lance charge (for a total of +10), if applicable.
Brawling is a most unchivalrous manner of fighting. Occasionally, however, a player knight will want to hit another character with his fist, a chair, or whatever is handy. There is no special skill defined for such attacks, nor are knights trained in such banal forms of combat: This uncouth kind of violence is more appropriate to commoners than members of the nobility. In fact, engaging in a brawl will probably lose a knight 1 point of Honor. Glory cannot be gained from brawling.
To make a brawling attack, each character involved makes an opposed roll using either STR, DEX, or his Grapple skill, whichever is highest, as his “brawling” value. A critical success deals double damage, as with any attack, while a fumble indicates that the brawler fell down clumsily. Damage for brawling is equal to the character’s normal Damage statistic minus 2d6, to a minimum of 1d6 damage.
Knights disdain to use missile weapons in combat, except for the short-ranged javelin once common in Rome: Only cowards fight from a distance, and personal honor requires men to confront each other body to body. Hunting is different; missile weapons may be used by knights in this pursuit.
Three ranged weapon skills are defined in Pendragon: Bow, Crossbow, and Javelin. As well, a DEX roll can be used to hurl a stone or heave a boulder at an enemy, but there is no “throw” skill per se. All ranged attacks are made as unopposed rolls. If the target has a shield, he does not get an opposed roll, but the shield acts as “cover,” imposing a –5 modifier to the attacker’s skill.
There is no penalty to Honor for using missile weapons, but the Glory gained from defeating an opponent or creature using ranged attacks is always 1/10th of normal.
During a tournament or in a joust or otherwise "friendly" fight, a knight might use blunted (or rebated) weapons, or else voluntarily hold back the full force of his blows. The knight strikes with force, seeking merely to knock his foe to the ground, but without the damage a normal attack would confer. Weapon skill rolls and the chance for a knockdown are calculated normally.
However, rebated weapons and pulled blows deal no actual damage at all except on a critical success: In this case, the attack does normal damage, but not the double damage of a real weapon on a critical. This damage is treated as normal in every way - it may actually wound the opponent, possibly fatally if the knight is truly puissant.
LARGE SCALE BATTLES
Large battles involving thousands of fighters are an important part of Pendragon. The specific rules for them are quite complex but it is not necessary for you to know them, as (at least at first) none of your characters will be important enough to be battle leaders, so you will simply be asked to follow the lead of your lord, and the instructions of your Gamemaster which will be given then.
INJURY AND HEALTH
Knights expect to take injury, and they wear their many scars proudly. Violence in Pendragon is realistic and terrifying, never casual or routine.
Health in Pendragon is measured primarily through the Total Hit Points statistic (calculated using SIZ + CON). Death is imminent if a character has 0 or negative hit points.
As a character loses hit points, he reaches a point at which he becomes unconscious. This important threshold is represented by the Unconscious statistic, equal to Total Hit Points / 4.
At the moment a character goes below this threshold, he slumps slowly to the ground, possibly staggering a few yards first or sliding gently off his horse before collapsing. (A DEX roll is allowed for a mounted character who becomes unconscious, with success indicating that any falling damage is averted; otherwise, he takes another 1d6 points from the fall.)
ZERO OR NEGATIVE HIT POINTS
A character at 0 or negative hit points for any reason is on the verge of death. The First Aid skill or magic may restore and preserve his life long enough for healing to be possible, but unless he is healed to positive hit points before midnight of that same day, the character dies sometime during the night.
Even if he survives, he will need Chirurgery.
REGAINING HIT POINTS
A character’s recovery from injury is a natural bodily process, which is quantified as that character’s Healing Rate, calculated as (STR + CON) / 10. Characters recover a number of hit points equal to their Healing Rate every week, on Sunday at noon.
The First Aid skill lets the injured character regain hit points immediately, and ensures that bleeding is stopped, infection prevented, and so forth. However, a fumble means that the patient loses more hit points and his wound becomes infected. A critical success with the Chirurgery skill augments a patient’s Healing Rate.
The First Aid skill can return lost hit points to wounded characters, and ensures that bleeding is stopped, infection prevented, and so forth. As emergency battlefield treatment, it is useful only immediately or shortly after any kind of wound is received. It cannot be applied to wounds more than a day old, and its benefits can only be received once per wound.
Each use of First Aid for a light wound takes several minutes (3d6 melee rounds, if such a calculation is required). If a failed attempt is made, it is too late for further tries. Any subsequent medical attention must come from Chirurgery.
A successful First Aid roll reduces the chance of a wound’s becoming infected, and also returns 1d3 hit points to the injured character. A critical success heals 1d3+3 hit points. A fumbled First Aid roll causes a further 1d3 hit points of damage to the recipient. Worse, the patient’s condition has been worsened, and the wound is now infected, bleeding further, or otherwise exacerbated. The character is now unhealthy and will need chirurgery.
Any hit dealing less damage than the character’s Major Wound threshold (which equals his CON) indicates minor injuries that are painful, but which do not in themselves cause any additional serious effects.
Damage from a single injury that is equal to or greater than CON (the Major Wound threshold) represents serious bodily harm that the character simply cannot shrug off. There are several consequences to receiving a Major Wound:
1. The “Chirurgery Needed” box is checked immediately.
The character requires the attention of an expert in order to avoid infection and other dangers resulting from his injury.
2. The character falls unconscious unless he makes a successful d20 roll against his current hit points.
3. The player must roll a single time on the "Aging" table and may have one of his attributes permanently decreased.
4. Should the character avoid unconsciousness and wish to continue fighting, he must first make a successful Valorous roll to do so.
5. If further actions are taken once a Major Wound is suffered, both aggravation and deterioration may set in.
Damage from a single blow that is equal to or greater than the Total Hit Points statistic is usually mortal, hence the term. The character has received a truly horrible lifethreatening injury. The character is incapacitated and totally helpless. However, he may still survive if certain criteria are met:
1. First Aid must be successfully applied within 1 hour or the character dies, and even then recovery is doubtful. First Aid must restore enough hit points to give the character at least 1 current point. (Thus, if the character is more than 5 points negative, the wound is always fatal since First Aid never restores more than 6 hit points.) Chirurgery is of no use until the character is out of immediate danger (i.e., has positive hit points).
2. If the character is brought back to 1 or more hit points he lives, but immediately suffers three rolls on the "Aging" table to determine permanent effects.
3. If the character lives beyond the first hour, the "Chirurgery Needed" box is checked. He lies unconscious, and his future is still in grave doubt.
DETERIORATION AND AGGRAVATION
Deterioration affects only unhealthy characters who do not receive a successful Chirurgery roll during the week. Deterioration causes the loss of 1d6 hit points per week (no wound is recorded, and First Aid cannot help). As with natural healing, this damage occurs on Sunday at noon.
Gamemasters may face situations where knights who should be resting insist on activity — perhaps “to travel just for a few hours” or for “just one good fight.” Players who wish to risk their character by taking actions while wounded or unhealthy are free to do so, with realistic consequences. Aggravation means making a condition worse by undertaking excessive activity while ill or injured. Each incident of aggravation causes 1 or more points of damage directly to current hit points; no wound is recorded. Aggravation damage occurs immediately after the activity is completed. The extra damage may cause a character to become unconscious immediately after his rash action.
01-18-2011, 04:03 PM
GAME TIME VS REAL TIME
Game time passes quickly in Pendragon, allowing you to have your characters grow older and play a dynasty rather than one single character. As a rule of thumb, one gaming session usually corresponds to one year in game time. Of course, in play-by-post format, the term "gaming session" is irrelevant, but this gives you an idea of how it's done.
Player knights generally get into one or two adventures per year (sometimes more, but that indicates a particularly eventful year). It is assumed that the rest of the time during the year is spent performing their usual knightly tasks (garrison duty, patrolling their lands, overseeing their manor, etc.). These tasks can be roleplayed should something of particular relevance happen, or they can be skipped and the GM simply informs the player that nothing unusual took place that year.
Winter is the time for rest, recuperation, and character growth. During this time, knights engage in training, amorous pursuits, and gossip. In game terms, the players gain the benefits of the deeds performed that year, and they update their character. Although most military activity stops for the winter, people still are active as they gather for feasts and holy days. These meetings are of major importance; a lord often calls his vassals to feast at his castle, or travels through the snow to visit each of them at their own holdings.
The Winter Phase involves the following steps, in this order:
1. Perform Solo Scenario (if applicable)
2. Roll for Experience (if applicable)
3. Check for Aging (if applicable)
4. Check Economic Circumstances
5. Make Stable Rolls
6. Make Family Rolls
7. Undergo Training and Practice
8. Compute Glory
9. Add Bonuses from Glory (if applicable)
1. Perform Solo Scenario
Scenarios of a strictly personal nature, which only involve one player knight, may be performed now, with just the player knight and the GM. There may not be any solo scenario for you to play, it entirely depends on what is going on in your character's life at that time.
2. Roll for Experience
Throughout game play, potential improvements in a skill, passion or trait are recorded as a "check". A check is usually obtained for a critical success in that particular skill, passion or trait during game play. Otherwise, a check can also be obtained either if a normal success was particularly significant to the story, or if several normal successes were recorded.
Concretely, you roll a d20 for each experience check you have on your character sheet. If the number rolled is greater than the current value, then the character learned from experience and adds 1 point to that value. Thus, the more efficient you are at something, and the more difficult it is to improve. If the value is already at 20 or greater, a roll of 20 still boosts it by 1 point. Thus, a character with a checked Proud trait of 24 who received a 20 on the experience check roll would increase his Proud statistic to 25.
The process is repeated for every check on your sheet. Each skill gets only one check per year, but any number of skills may be checked.
3. Check for Aging
Increase your character’s age by one year. Your squire(s) also age at this point, and a player knight’s squire is always replaced with a new 15-year-old squire upon reaching age 21.
If your character is younger than 35, you can jump to the next phase. If your character is 35 years old or more, he must roll on the Aging table each winter. Concretely, this roll will indicate which of your statistic values, if any, are reduced by 1 point. Depending on the result of the dice, you may not decrease any stat, or you may decrease as many as 4 stats.
Aging eventually takes even the most gifted character out of play, usually around age 50 or later. When any attribute, even APP (Appearance), reaches a value of 3 or less, the character is considered bedridden and may no longer participate in active play or receive Glory. He may still give orders (which will probably be ignored), write a will, or tell tales of his adventures. When any attribute reaches 0, the character dies.
NB: The Aging table is also used when a character receives a Major or Mortal Wound, or suffers shock from a failed passion result.
4. Check Economic Circumstances
During this phase, you check the economic circumstances of your manor. This takes into account the Stewardship score of your steward or other caretaker, and opposes it to the potentially bad weather and other influential circumstances (Was the land raided? Are your peasants angry? Was the land cursed? etc.). The result will determine whether you gained extra money this year, or whether you will have to make cuts in your yearly budget.
5. Make Stable Rolls
Every horse owned by the knight must be checked to see if it survived the winter. Horses may die, given bad luck or poor conditions of care. It is the duty of a lord to provide the minimum stable for all of his knights (1 charger, 2 rouncys, 1 sumpter), so if one of these should die the lord should automatically replace it at some point during the year.
6. Make Family Rolls
Your character’s family already exists, but children are desirable, especially for a vassal knight. The ideal way to gain children is through marriage. Once a marriage is achieved, legitimate children are possible. The wife’s Glory and dowry are also desirable. If your character is unmarried and wishes to remain so this winter, you may skip the marriage and childbirth portions of this step. (If you wish to roll on the childbirth table but not the marriage table, you may do that as well.)
Depending on the player's interest in this part of the plot, roleplaying may be required to find a suitable wife. Or, as long as the player does not wish to marry above his class, random tables may be used instead. There are three types of marriage for the player knights:
- Below your class: It is always possible to find a wife below your class. She may be a handmaid, a serving woman, etc. All you need is to obtain permission from your lord, through a Loyalty (Lord) roll. Such a woman has a dowry of £1d6 and 10 Glory.
- Within your class: A Courtesy roll is required to indicate you found a suitable candidate this year. You may succeed in this roll yet choose to wait and not marry yet; for each year you make a successful Courtesy roll but choose to wait, you increase your chance of finding a woman with a high dowry and high Glory when you finally do marry. The dowry of such women ranges from £1d3+6 to £2d6+6, and their Glory ranges from 10 to 250.
- Above your class: Marriage to a woman above your class must always be roleplayed and cannot be settled with random rolls.
Characters normally make a roll on the Childbirth table once per year to find out whether they sired any children. They make this roll whether they are married or not, whether rolling for a wife, concubine, lover, camp follower, or simply some woman they have encountered during play within the previous year. Note, however, that all children born out of wedlock will be illegitimate.
If the player wishes and if the Gamemaster permits it, up to one annual childbirth roll may be attempted per wife, lover, or concubine, if sufficient opportunity was fulfilled during play to possibly allow conception.
Giving birth is dangerous given the generally poor knowledge of medicine, and there is always a chance that the mother will die during childbirth.
Similarly, a roll must be made each year for all existing children under the age of 15 to find out whether they survived the year or fell sick and died.
A roll is also made to find out whether something interesting happened to another member of your family (Did someone get married? Did someone die? Did someone go missing? Was there a birth? etc.).
7. Undergo Training and Practice
This step includes any weapon training or practice done over the winter, and allows deliberate changes to attributes, traits, and passions.
During this step, you may choose to do any one of the following three things:
1. Gain 1d4+3 Points in Skills (To Max 15): Any combination of one or more skills or combat skills may be improved, but you may not improve a Non-Knightly skill in this way, and no skill may be raised to higher than 15.
2. Gain 1 Point in a Skill (To Max 20): You may increase any one skill by 1 point, to a maximum value of 20. Skills can go beyond 20 only by means of experience or Glory.
3. Improve an Attribute, Trait, or Passion: You may raise or lower any one attribute, trait, or passion value by 1 point. No trait can be increased to over 19 this way, and passions cannot be increased over 20 this way. No attribute can be raised higher than its maximum cultural value. A character’s SIZ may not be increased after he reaches age 21; further, a character cannot increase any other attribute (STR, DEX, CON, or APP) after he reaches age 35.
Squires receive 1d3 points to distribute among their skills.
8. Compute Glory
During the winter, all Glory gained during the previous year’s play is computed. The total is then added to the current number in the main "Glory" box on the character sheet. Most Glory is traditionally gained during gameplay, but you also receive annual Glory for all Traits or Passions with a value of 16 or higher, and for your holdings. You may also get a "religious bonus" or a "chivalry bonus" if you are particularly proficient in certain specific traits.
9. Add Bonuses from Glory (if applicable)
A bonus point is gained whenever your total Glory exceeds 1000 points, and for every additional 1000 points thereafter. Each point is to be applied directly to an attribute, trait, passion, skill, or combat skill, increasing that statistic by 1 point. Only two restrictions apply to this increase: No character may increase his attributes beyond their racial maximums, and no character past age 21 can increase his SIZ stat. Everything else is allowed.
01-18-2011, 06:15 PM
Right guys. That about wraps up the info stuff. I think the way to proceed is for you guys to read the setting infodump, and if you can, add me on AIM, PM me, or as alast resort, email me.
I plan to draw up the character sheets on Google Documents so we can all view and edit them.
The campaign starts with you all as squires at Vagon Castle (see the map of Logres), and begins with a short training sequence designed to familiarize you with the basic rules of the game. You can start thinking about names and character ideas, but I think AIM is the way to proceed.
Also, now would be a good time to to ask any questions regarding the setting and/or rules.
01-18-2011, 09:13 PM
what is your AIM name
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