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11/22/2016 4:41 am  #21


Re: Migration Era BoL - Barbarians of the Dark Ages

Thank you both for the suggestion. Having gone through it again, not only is it an excellent product that makes me want to play in heroic greece (not that I needed much convincing on that count ;) ), but it's got a lot of material and food for thought for my thinking on Mirkwood.

I had been toying with something along the lines of HoH Kleos - and here is where I am at the moment:

Favour
Works broadly like Kleos. In most cases it is gained by fulfilling the commands of your lord. Favour is not absolute, but is linked to your lord and hall. Ranks are:

0 - Outsider - you are not welcome in the hall.
1 - Guest/Subject - you have a seat at the end of the table and is given food and lodging. To even be given a chance to speak to your Lord, you must expend treasure or complete a small quest.
2 - Guest-friend/Follower - you have a seat among the Lords men, and are given ale and meat. You may speak to your Lord in time if you request to do so. To gain a small favour from your lord, you must expend treasure or complete a quest.
3 - Retainer - you are part of the Lords hird or guard - you have a seat at the high table, and are given mead and occasional tokens of favour. You may speak to your Lord on request. To gain a favour from your lord, you must expend numerous treasure or complete a major quest.
4 + Trusted Retainer - you are a trusted part of the Lords hird and you sit close to your Lord. You are given the choicest pickings and silver rings as token of favour. You may speak freely to your lord. You may also gain favours from your lord for your good service. To gain a major favour, a piece of land or a title, you will need to expend an artefact or complete a set of quests.

Above 4, the characters will accrue specific positions of trust within the hall (Herald, Fire-warden, Drinking-compation of the Lord, Head of the Stables, Skald, Adviser etc) and advance in position and influence. You may also set up your own hall under the tutelage of your Lord, and gather your own advisers.

If you abandon your Hall and travel to a new Lord, you will be accepted at Level 1 if your Favour at your old Hall is 1 or 2, at level 2 if it is 3 or 4.

All at the discretion of the GM and depending on how you play out your characters relationship with his lord.
 

Last edited by Peter (11/22/2016 4:51 am)

 

11/22/2016 9:16 am  #22


Re: Migration Era BoL - Barbarians of the Dark Ages

Seems like a good fit for the period/myths. It brought to mind Beowulf pitching up with his crew to sort out the monster problem, his rep already established.

​One thing though - family relationships. Would you get pluses/a temporary raise, if you were a distant blood relative, or offspring of an old companion? [Although obviously you don't have to quantify everything.]


My real name is Steve Hall
 

11/22/2016 9:41 am  #23


Re: Migration Era BoL - Barbarians of the Dark Ages

Gruntfuttock wrote:

​One thing though - family relationships. Would you get pluses/a temporary raise, if you were a distant blood relative, or offspring of an old companion? [Although obviously you don't have to quantify everything.]

Good points that really help me develop my thinking on this:
- I think this should be reflected as a boon - "Heir", which gives the PC +1 to Favour with the Lord they are related to.
- This means that the Career Heir (Senator) should be scrapped, to be repesented by the Boon above, and a Boon called 'Senator' for Imperials.
- This ties in to my thinking on the Hall, i.e. that it should be defined to a certain extent - you should name the Lord, the Lady of the Hall, the Captain of the Hird, the Heir to the Hall, the Lord's Priest and a couple of other positions of note - that could end up being taken up by PCs once they get enough favour. These named characters in the hall and the relationships (and betrayals) between should be used to drive the campaign

Last edited by Peter (11/22/2016 10:04 am)

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11/23/2016 5:43 pm  #24


Re: Migration Era BoL - Barbarians of the Dark Ages

I've tried to move this across to a work document on google drive. Very grateful for your comments and edits. I've started to flesh out the careers.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/112LWqXbFtYv8BS9Ocg41uedRhob9PQjX3WXNxT0p810/edit?usp=sharing

Simon - you will see that I used some of the standard text for the boons and flaws. Let me know if you would prefer I take this out as it of course your text!

Last edited by Peter (11/24/2016 2:32 am)

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11/24/2016 2:04 am  #25


Re: Migration Era BoL - Barbarians of the Dark Ages

Peter wrote:

I've tried to move this across to a work document on google drive. Very grateful for your comments and edits. I've started to flesh out the careers.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/112LWqXbFtYv8BS9Ocg41uedRhob9PQjX3WXNxT0p810/edit?usp=sharing

Simon - you will see that I used some of the standard text for the boons and flaws. Let me know if you would prefer I take this out as it of course your text!

​Not a problem (if you decide to publish for money (http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png
) talk to me again!)
 

Last edited by Simon W (11/24/2016 2:04 am)

 

11/24/2016 2:33 am  #26


Re: Migration Era BoL - Barbarians of the Dark Ages

Simon W wrote:

​Not a problem (if you decide to publish for money (http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png
) talk to me again!)
 

Thank you, appreciate it!

Last edited by Peter (11/24/2016 2:34 am)

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11/26/2016 4:06 pm  #27


Re: Migration Era BoL - Barbarians of the Dark Ages

I've worked on this a bit further and tried to pull together something more complete.

I would be really grateful for your comments or suggestions (please feel free to comment directly in the document) before I take this further. Both in terms of balancing particular points, the direction of the whole thing and what I may be missing

Thanks!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/112LWqXbFtYv8BS9Ocg41uedRhob9PQjX3WXNxT0p810/edit?usp=sharing

Last edited by Peter (11/26/2016 4:10 pm)

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11/30/2016 7:45 am  #28


Re: Migration Era BoL - Barbarians of the Dark Ages

So, I've developed the Favour rules a bit further (and renamed them Honour), and I have looked into the other setting specific rules I'd like to introduce. This is an area where I feel on particular thin ice, as I do not want to invent new systems for their own sake or make the game clunky, but on the other hand do want a nice thematic driver for PCs to go adventuring. Your input would be very welcome

Setting specific rules


Hero Points: Hero Points can no longer be used for Defy Death or Luck of the Gods, unless you have the relevant Boon. Your faith (Pagan, Scriptural or Faithless) provides additional boons to choose from. You may regain one Hero Point through sacrifice (pagan), or giving alms (scriptural).


Boons and Flaws: In Barbarians of the Mirkwood, PCs may choose their Boons and Flaws from those listed under their Origin, those listed under Career and those listed under their Religious Faith. Boons must be paid for with Flaws or Hero Points in the same way as in the core rules.


Treasure: A treasure is any valuable object or set of object that enhance the status of the owner and can be used as a gift. Treasures can be found during the course of adventuring , or given as gifts by Lords. An ornate silver ring, a chest of gold coins or an ivory drinking horn are all examples of treasures. Each treasure is unique, and must be described in full - and recorded on your character sheet. One player could volunteer as treasurer, and keep a record of any treasures held together by all PCs. Treasures can be presented to your Lord as a token of respect and loyalty, and will then be displayed in the hall for the glory of the tribe. The Lord will also give any person he Honours a Treasure. All Named Items count as Treasure.


Advancement: At the end of each Saga, each PC receives one advancement point. Please see the rules for Being Honoured in the next section. The PC does not gain followers through advancement - see instead the rules for Honour below.


The Hall and Honour


Being Honoured: If the PCs have done a great service to the hall during the saga, if this deed has been witnessed or recognised and if they present the Lord with all the treasure they have received (including Named Items), they will be honoured with a sumptuous feast. They will receive an additional Advancement Point and one point of Honour (see below). The Lord will also provide them with a gift of one Treasure, or, after Honour 4, one Named Item. Please feel free to describe the great feast in detail - with mountains of meat, streams of mead and ale and glorious elegies. The higher the Honour of the PCs, the greater the feast.


Honour
As you perform deeds and undertake quests in service of your lord and your tribe, you gain in standing and reputation. Honour and glory are powerful driving forces for many, and the warriors of a hall will compete fiercely with each other for the attention of their lord.


0 - Outsider - you are not welcome in the hall.
1 - Guest or Subject - you have a seat at the end of the table and is given food and lodging. To even be given a chance to speak to your Lord, you must expend treasure or complete a small quest.
2 - Guest-friend or Follower - you have a seat among the Lords men, and are given ale and meat. You may speak to your Lord in time if you request to do so. To gain a small favour from your lord, you must expend treasure or complete a quest.
3 - Retainer - you are part of the Lords hird or guard - you have a seat at the high table, and are given mead and occasional tokens of favour. You may speak to your Lord on request. To gain a favour from your lord, you must expend numerous treasure or complete a major quest. As a retainer, you gain a loyal follower of your own - counts a tough NPC.
4 + Companion - you are a trusted part of the Lords hird and you sit close to your Lord. You are given the choicest pickings and silver rings as token of favour. You may speak freely to your lord. You may also gain favours from your lord for your good service. To gain a major favour, a piece of land or a title, you will need to expend an artefact or complete a set of quests. You also gain an additional follower.


Companions may accrue specific positions of trust within the hall (see Roles of the Hall) and advance in position and influence as they increase in Honour beyond 4.


Your own hall
Above 4, you may also set up your own hall under the tutelage of your Lord, and gather your own advisers. For each point of Honour above four, you may choose one tough follower or 10 rabble followers. The tough follower could attend you at your Lord's hall - or take up one of the roles of the hall at your own hall. Rabble followers always live at your own hall. Once you have your own hall, it is assumed that you will Honour your own Followers with Treasure - if you do not do this regularly, they will start abandoning you. Managing your own hall, and the relationship with the Lord’s hall and other allies, could be the seed for a great campaign in its own right. This is not the place for detailed rules for how to manage your own hall.


Other halls
If you abandon your Hall and travel to seek the hospitality of a new Lord, you will be accepted at Honour 1 if your Honour at your old Hall is 1 or 2, at Honour 2 if it is 3 or 4. The GM decides how you


Roles of the Hall
Whether the hall is a wooden Mead Hall of the Germanic Woods, a marbled Aula in the crumbling empire or lucious tent on the Scythian plains, it is always defined by the people that inhabit it and their relationships.


At the centre of a hall is the Lord or Lady. This ruler may have the title of King, Dux, Chief or Khagan. He may rule over a small band of brigands or a mighty nation - but in his own hall, his word is always law. He sits in a central place, at the head of a table - and power and influence in the hall is defined by how close you are to the lord.


Next in importance is the Lord's family - linked to him by the strongest bond of all, blood. Many of the Lords family members will take up the positions mentioned below, or lesser roles. With the Boon heir, the PCs may even be related to the Lord. The most important family members are the Spouse and the Heir. Both support the Lord, and provide access to him. The Heir often acts in the Lord’s stead, getting ready for the day when he will replace his parent. The Heir often leads the warriors of the hall into combat. Both the Spouse and the Heir are often involved in the power struggles of the Hall, and may even find themselves opposing their Lord.


Other, optional, roles include:
Master of the Hunt, responsible for leading the chase when the Lord hunts, and for training hunting dogs and falcons. The Master of the Hunt will always have career ranks in Hunter.
Master of the Stables or Count of the Stables, in those halls that dispose of a troop of horsemen, responsible for the health of the hall’s horses, their equipment and the skill of their horsemen. The Master of the Stables often leads the horsemen into combat.
Steward or Great Retainer is the head of the household and the followers, authorised to make arrangements on behalf of the Lord, and command slaves and servants. The Steward may be as powerful as the Spouse or the Heir. A Steward may either have a rank in Warrior, or be Learned - but ideally both. The Steward may lead the foot soldiers into combat.
A Priest or soothsayer is responsible for spiritual wellbeing of the Lord and by extension of the hall. He may admonish the Lord and thereby have significant influence, and leads prayer and ceremonies. In most pagan halls, the Lord is also Priest, and the role is therefore more common in scriptural halls - in pagan halls with a Lord as Priest. Celtic pagan halls may have a High Bard as priest. A Priest requires a career
Some lord’s rely on arcane advice, and therefore keep a Mystic. Their advice is often heeded in the same way as Priests. A Mystic will either have a career background in either Priest (Soothsayer) or Sorcerer.
Master Smith - a smith of outstanding skill that is recognised as a master of his art. He commands the smithy of the hall and may have apprentice smiths working for him.
Master of the Shipyard - responsible for overseeing the construction and repair of ships. This role is of great importance for many tribes around the Northern Seas, and in the ports of the empire. A Master of the Shipyard requires a career in either Seafarer or Carpenter - but ideally both. The Master of the Shipyard may lead the fleet, if the hall has one, into combat.
Favoured Poet, or Bard - praising the deeds of the Lord, his ancestors and the warriors of the tribe and the hall is an important duty. A favoured Poet or Bard may be hold great power - either through his influence of a Lord he flatters, or through his sway over the people of the hall. A favoured poet requires at least two ranks of Poet.


As the PCs increase in favour at the hall, they may take up some of these roles.

Setting up the hall

The Players and the GM should create the Hall and its inhabitants together. First decide where it is located, what type of hall it is and what tribe it belongs to. The GM then names the Lord.

Players then takes it in turn to name and describe one NPC to which the PC has a positive relationship (loyalty, love, friendship, respect) and shared history. If the PC is a newcomer to the hall, then the relationship may be recent, or the NPC may have met him elsewhere. When picking NPCs, Players should be encouraged to pick from the roles above.

Players who belong to the hall and the tribe then get to describe two NPCs - one with which they have a positive relationship, and one with which they have a negative relationship (fear, hatred, feud, envy). PCs who are newcomers instead get to describe the lord (or local senator or chief) in the area they come from, as well as his greatest rival or enemy. Encourage the players to describe the events and impressions that led to these relationships.

Finally, a PC with the Scion Boon should describe one important family member with whom he has a positive relationship, and one person with which he has a negative relationship. The latter should either be a family member, or an enemy of the family locked in a blood feud.

Players do not necessarily need to create new NPCs for each of these roles, but can designate NPCs already described by other Players.

This should create mixed loyalties and tensions, and the GM should use these relationships to create conflict and scenario seeds.

Each Player should also describe one place in or around the hall of particular that is of importance to the PC.

Last edited by Peter (11/30/2016 7:51 am)

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12/13/2016 9:50 am  #29


Re: Migration Era BoL - Barbarians of the Dark Ages

So, I probably have to face up to the fact that I can't call this thing "Barbarians of the Mirkwood" without dissapointing the vast majority of readers expecting something set in Arda.

The problem is that there aren't that many other good options. The most obvious one would be - "Barbarians of Barbaricum" - but the repitition is pretty jarring

EDIT: So, after some consultation I have a decision. It will be "Barbarians of the Dark Ages", with the tagline - Roleplaying in the Mirkwood.

Last edited by Peter (12/15/2016 3:25 am)

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5/20/2017 3:12 am  #30


Re: Migration Era BoL - Barbarians of the Dark Ages

How did I miss all of this?!?


Where's my axe?
 

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