Saturday, July 16, 2011

Lothian Raid

A much larger raid by Knights of Lothian and their Pictish allies had passed through Escavalon soon after the Picts of the previous skirmish were defeated. Lord Secundus was one of many Lords to lead his local people in an attempt to harry the Lothians as they headed back north to their allies in Norgales and to exterminate in stragglers. Secundus' men (including Rhufon leading a party of spearmen and Dinogad) went into the hills on the Northern marches and found a mixed band of Lothian Knights accompanied by a band of heavily tattooed Pictish Men of Death.

The war horn was blown and the Knights of Escavalon charged the Knights of Lothian. Rhufon came up against an enemy knight who was well matched to him, but the  enemy knight's lance missed Rhufon, whereas his lance took the enemy knight full-sore below the shield and lifted the Lothian from his saddle, knocking him to the ground. [Rhufon's attack roll succeeded, the Lothian Knight's failed; then Rhufon rolled enough damage to exceed the Knight's Major Wound statistic as given in the Book of Armies, taking him out of the battle]

Rhufon's charge led him past his prostrate foe and as he wheeled to return to his foe, a very large Pict dashed forward and threw a javelin at him. The weapon was well aimed and thrown with great force. It took Rhufon below the arm and pierced him deeply. He fell from his horse and almost passed out. The Pict attempted to attack him once more but Rhufon managed to fend him off until the Lothian band was dispersed. [Rhufon had taken a major wound and then more damage when he fell from his horse; he was now Unhealthy and in need of Chirurgery]

Dinogad attempted to dress Rhufon's wounds but could do little [he Failed his First Aid roll]. A litter was prepared and he was taken back to Secundus' castle where Lady Secundus spent many weeks attempting to heal Rhufon's terrible wound. At first she did more harm than good when removing a shard of the lance-head [she Fumbled her Chirurgery roll] but soon Rhufon could return to his own Demesne, though it was another month before he was back to his old self again. He was permanently injured by the wound and thereafter walked somewhat hunched over [he lost a point of Size].

During his time at Lord Secundus' castle Rhufon made some half-hearted attempts at wooing one of Lady Secundus' younger sisters but neither he nor she was much interested and his terrible love poems were enough to end the whole affair. The first cool winds of autumn saw Rhufon mount his horse and take the road home to his Demesne and, hopefully, a peaceful Winter.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lily Maid of Astolat

"But Sir Lancelot could not be unkind to the maid who had nursed him so tenderly. Only, next morning when he rode away, carrying his shield with him, though he knew Elaine watched him from her turret window, he neither looked up nor waved farewell. And Elaine knew she would never see Sir Lancelot again. "

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rumors of Giants

Word has spread about a band of giants that has formed in the wilderlands, back in the hills. Currently only trouble for the unruly tribesmen, it is said that soon their hunger must inevitably drive them down the river valleys into the richer Demesnes below. Blaewen wonders about the giant he encountered on the Moor last year and what grudges he must be nursing.

I'm contemplating a finite set of adventures using Monsters! Monsters! centered around a marauding band of Giants. Why giants? Because I'm currently painting up a bevy of them....

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Raided by Picts

Summer, 512
In mid-summer Arthur takes his army northwards to attack the King of Malahaut. Most of the fighting men of Escavalon are on campaign and, as a result, the kingdom is poorly defended. Rhufon is tardy in leaving to join his Lord's army and as he and Dinogad are about to leave a messenger from the hill tribesmen arrives with word that King Lot's army is raiding Cambria and Pictish Tribesmen have already been seen in the area.

Rhufon marshals the local defenses but soon Sir Secundus, a wise old knight, unfit for campaigning but still a wily commander, takes over the command of the Marches of northwest Escavalon and all men are armed and readied for red war.

(I used the Raiding rules from Lordly Domains to run this Raid)

Word comes that a Pict warband, nearly equal in size to Secundus' small army, has come through the hills and is approaching Rhufon's Demesne. Secundus orders a large skirmish, hoping to repel the raiders while preserving his defensive capabilities. Rhufon's forces are  well prepared  which helps him win the Battle roll. I randomly determine that 3 rounds of melee will be fought. Rhufon is Inspired by Loyalty to his Lord and gains a +10 in the fight, he is faced by a group of experienced Pict Warriors. In the initial charge he uses his lance and neatly skewers a muscular older Pict. Then, in the midst of the scrum, he draws his sword and charges the largest Pict he can see. The Northerner turns to meet the charge and uses his shield to ward off most of the damage from Rhufon's attack but so much damage is inflicted (twice his SZ) that he is knocked onto his back. The heavily tattooed Pict begins to pick himself up when Rhufon lands another, even heavier, blow. The Pict goes to his knees and begs for mercy. Rhufon makes a merciful roll and succeeds. He takes the warrior prisoner and sends him to the rear with his squire.

Meanwhile Sir Secundus has defeated and captured a Pict chieftain and the rest of the raiding party has fled back into the Northern hills.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Hedge Knight

Crossroads in Fen- Mystery-Mundane (Hedge Knight)
Mystery= Mundane (Hedge Knight): Prophecy: Noble (Knight)

Late 512, Escavalon

Sir Rhufon rides alone through his domain and comes to a crossroads in a marshy area in the valley. Here he is met by a poor Hedge Knight, riding an old Rouncy and wearing Leather Armor. Rhufon prepares for the customary Joust when suddenly the air around the young knight begins to shimmer and, emerging from the rushes beside the road, a maiden appears. She walks to the young Knight placing a crown of flowers on his head. he maiden looks to Sir Rhufon and prophesies that, though seemingly humble now, he will someday be great and noble Knight who will rid the land of enemies and make the wastelands green again. She then disappears into the marsh and the shimmering light disappears.
Rhufon is overwhelmed and seeing the radded state of this young Knight takes a Merciful check and rolls a critical. Rhufon lowers his lance and invites the young knight to return with him to Rhufon's manor where he may find service as a household knight. The young man is overwhelmed by this display of kindness and accepts. His name is Sir Dinogad (and he is equipped as a Poor knight and has the stats of a young Knight.)

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Border Skirmish

Over the weekend I "rolled up" a Pendragon character (5e) who I'm calling Sir Rhufon. He is a Cymric knight from the Western Marches of the Kingdom of Escavalon in southern Cambria. The whole purpose originally was to test the Pendragon skirmish rules but somehow I went through the whole character generation process (as laid out in the Book of Knights & Ladies). So anyhow Escavalon and it's neighbor Estregales really don't like each other so I used this rivalry to generate a skirmish.
The leader of Escavalon's force of Knights was a generic "Old Knight" with a Battle skill of 18. For his Tactics roll he makes a fumble and thus "grants" a -10 to the first round of combat to Sir Rhufon. I rolled a random opponent and got a  Poor Knight. I rolled a random number of battle rounds which turned out to be 2.  Since Rhufon's Lance skill is 10  he is unable to win in the first round. Luckily his armor stops the damage inflicted by his opponent.
Rhufon wheels his horse about and charges the Estregales Knight in the second round and lands a solid blow (Rhufon passes his Skill Roll, the enemy knight fails), but does not unhorse him. The recall is then sounded by the leader of the Escavalon Knights and the game ended. The Old Knight failed his Followers Fate roll and took a bad drubbing. Though Rhufon receives glory from defeating his opponent, he is still shamed by the poor showing of his comrades.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Spring Hunt

Taking his mind off other things, Blaewen leaves his keep for the green woods and sets out on a hunt. He brings with him a Forester and his pack of 5 hounds. I quickly generated a variant of Pendragon's Hunt rules.

The Hunt is divided into 3 phases: The Search, The Chase & the Kill.
The Search is a SR vs the Rarity of the animal. If wanting to randomly pick an animal an SR is made and the choice may be made from any eligible beasts from the highest level passed or lower. The roll may be modified by a hunstman who may roll a Bonus Die which may be substituted for either rolled die in the SR (and yes, you may create doubles this way). A Fumble will result in the character becoming LOST.

Blaewen set out to hunt whatever beast first presented itself and this turned out to be a red stag (Rarity: Level 1/ Avoidance: Level 2/ MR: 10 [2d+5 Combat dice]). His Forester rolls a Bonus Die which Blaewen uses in place of his own creating instead a 10 (double 5s) and a rerolled 5 + his Luck of 12 for a total of 27. Blaewen quickly find the Deer and he then pursues it.

The Chase is undertaken next and is also a SR, this time against the Avoidance level of the quarry. The chase may be modified by the presence of a Huntsman and/or Hounds. If the SR is unsuccessful the chase may continue for as many additional rolls as it takes but increase the level by one for each successive roll after the first. A Fumble will result in the character becoming LOST.
Luckily Blaewen has both a pack and a Forester and so he passes the second level SR necessitated by the Stag's Avoidance level. The pack quickly runs down the deer and Blaewen lets them loose upon it's antlers.

The Kill. This is basically an All-Out combat with the cornered creature. Hounds and their prey do not make SRs but merely inflict the rolled damage on each other. Damage done will kill/ wound hounds reducing the packs MR each round. 
Blaewen watches, from safety, as his pack attacks the stag. The pack starts with a MR of 35 (7 per hound) and Combat Dice of 4d+17; the total rolled is 28. The Stag swings it's antlers around hooking one hound and wounding another (combat dice: 2d+5, a total of 11 is rolled). The hounds easily overwhelm the deer but not without some blood loss.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Winter & Sad News

Blaewen returns home in Autumn and would normally take part in a hunt scenario, but I did not know that yet, so I just used the rules in Pendragon for Winter campaign advancement.
Blaewen sells the Charger he took from the Black Knight and brings home some additional income.
His horses all do well through the Winter.
Blaewen's Brother is married and Blaewen himself does not pursue marriage, though he does courteously call upon many of the eligible ladies of his own class. His heart may still be, in some small part, with his Lady of the Lake, though she did use him poorly.

When the worst of Winter's winds have blown and spring begins to be felt in the air, a dwarf comes to Blaewen's keep and brings terrible news. He informs the knight that the Lady had carried Blaewen's child and had recently been delivered of it but that the Lady took ill and soon died, the infant afterward following it's mother from this world.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Adventure of the Knights of the Red Lance

Wastelands-(I added a location roll for a "building" as well: Standing Stones)-Intrigue-Noble-Knight (object of the Intrigue also Knight)

After leaving the arms of the Lady of the Lake, Blaewen heads South into the Wastelands. There, after several days of travel he comes on a hill topped by a Ring of Standing Stones. There, hanging from the limbs of a dead tree in the center of the ring, is a red lance. Beneath the lance two Knights are fighting. The one has a shield with a field of White and the device of a Red Hart's head, he is armed with a Great Sword.  The other Knight looks almost the same and his shield also bears the device of a  Hart, but this is Black, he is armed with a Mace.
Knight of the Red Hart
MR: 15
Combat Dice: 5d + 8 (Greatsword)
Armor: -13

Knight of the Black Hart
MR: 15
Combat Dice: 4d + 8 (Mace)
Armor: -10

After watching the Knights fight each other to exhaustion, Blaewen offers to mediate their dispute. "Let each of you fight me, in turn.  to the first Blood and whoever defeats me shall be considered the winner of your argument and shall claim the Red Lance." The Brothers agree and the Knight of the Red Hart takes on Blaewen first. The fight is over quickly as Blaewen draws first blood at the first set of blows (I did not use the All-out rules so it would be more clear who had drawn first blood. Blaewen defeated the Knight but his damage would have been absorbed by Armor except for a point of Spite damage that gets through.)
The Knight of the Black Hart then comes at Blaewen. He swings his mace and though his skill is less than Blaewen's he still manages to land a blow which draws blood (1 point of Spite damage.) He is the winner and claims the Red Lance of his own.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Green Lady

The Green Lady
Reaper Figures, P3, Vallejo and GW Foundation Paints
This figure was obviously painted in honor of (and with input from) my daughter.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Lady's Boon (Jousting the Black Knight)

The Lady of the lake uses her Enchantress ability to Enamor Sir Blaewen to her and ensure that he will be "motivated" to accomplish her boon.
In a tower nearby lives the Black Knight. He is as devoted to his infernal ways as the Lady is devoted to Avalon and in the course of their disagreements he has taken a magical potion of the Lady's and she would like it back. She asks Blaewen to teach the Black Knight a lesson and retrieve the Potion.
Balewen rides through the woods to a clearing at the base of the Black Knight's tower where the evil man himself is waiting.
(I did not have power when playing this encounter so I winged it, thus it's not completely in line with some of the suggestions on the Bestiary Page)

Black Knight of the Tower
STR 16          Lance 5d
CON 28         Sword 3d
CHA 15         Armor -10
Adds: +4

The Joust was run as an All-Out melee (see the House Rules Page) and was to the death.
First round both Knights make their Jousting SRs (Level 1 vs STR, since neither has this as a Trait), so no one is unhorsed. The Black Knight take the much harder blow at 11 points and  Blaewen loses 4.
Second pass, again both knights manage to stay on their horses and again the Black Knight in his lighter armor takes the harder blow (both Knights are rolling in the low 20s pretty consistently).
Now the Black Knight is down to 4 CON & Blaewen 6.
Sir Blaewen decides to try and use his Persuasion Trait to convince his opponent to yield. Since the Black Knight is so evil I decide it will be a level 2 SR, which Blaewen fails.
A third pass is made and the evil Knight is Killed by a final heavy blow (he had taken an additional 11 points of damage.
Blaewen recovers the potion and a bag of coppers from the dead Knight, taking his warhorse as a prize as well. Baewen returns to his  Lady of the Lake and convinces her to let him keep the potion (Again a Persuasion SR). It turns out to be a CHA enhancing potion and he gains a whopping 6 point permanent gain to CHA!
Unbeknownst to Blaewen drinking the potion carried a pretty serious risk of becoming permanently under the sway of the lady, but she failed her CHA SR and Blaewen merely accrues the benefits.
As it is, our hero stays with the lady for three months, into Autumn, before she fumbles an Enchantress roll (for dramatic purposes I extende this to one per month not one per day [see Traits Page]). He then makes his way South, into the Wastelands...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

First Adventure: The Giant's Moor

I. The Giant
Moor-Rescue- Mundane- Shepherdess-(Faery-Giant)
When setting out on Adventure Sir Blaewen sets his horse to the South towards the Moors. After 3 days of riding through the wilderness (with no random encounters) he hears the screams of a damosel in distress and rides to a vantage point. There he spies a Giant (I rolled STR x5 and got = MR 75, 8d+38 ) pursuing a shepherdess with bad intent. A giant of this size is clearly beyond Sir Blaewen's ability to kill in a straightforward fight, so he decides that he will attempt to surprise the Giant and land a free attack. I make a 2nd level SR vs DEX and succeed. He also attempts to hamstring the brute, thus settling the matter. His SR vs Swordsmanship fails and so Sir Blaewen sneaks up on the Giant from behind and drives his sword deep into his torso (reducing the Giants MR to 40 something ) . Blood flows in buckets from the giant who turns, swinging a club wildly and knocks Sir Blaewen back. The Knight takes 4 points of damage, after armor. He stands and dodges the giant's next swing (SR3 vs DEX due to armor), and then strikes another hard blow against his enemy (reducing the Giant another 20 some points). Failing his next attempt to dodge, Sir Blaewen stands back and calls to the suffering Giant. He offers his mercy if the giant will leave the shepherdess alone. A 2nd Level SR vs the Persuasion Trait was made and succeeds. The giant grunts his assent and limps off into the depths of the Moor. 
Notes: I gave Blaewen many opportunities to utilize his Traits since that was the only way he would have a chance to defeat it. 
II. The Wolves
Moor-Combat-Mundane- beasts- Wolves-6
A Lady of the Lake
Reaper Miniatures, P3 Paints
Blaewen, unwisely, decides to proceed into the wilds while still suffering from his wounds. A few days later, upon another fog shrouded moor, he is beset by a pack of six wolves. I ruled that only three wolves at a time could engage the knight. He uses his Swordsmanship trait to inflict any damage on one wolf at a time. Unfortunately for Blaewen I miscalculated the Combat Dice for his opponents. The Wolves had MR:12 (2d+6) but as a group of 3 they would have a MR of 36 with Combat dice 4d+18. Instead I added the dice together for a total of 6d+18! Blaewen, depite his armor was slowly nipped to unconciousness and would have provided a meal for the wolves had not a Lady of the Lake & her armed men shown up and scattered the beasts.
III. The Castle of the Lady
Sir Blaewen was taken by the Lady and her company to her castle, several miles to the East. There he was healed after a long rest... She asked of him a boon, to defeat the Lord of the XX, at his domicile some miles from there.
Before the next adventure I will roll on the (soon to be created) Romance table.