480/2: Learn How to Wrap a Bandage, Please!

January 30, 2017
Pendragon Actual Play Roll20 PF

On Thursday the 27th our Pendragon campaign continued to play the adventure season of the year 480 A.D. In the time since our last visit at Lear’s Castle the host of Lindsey, led by Duke Corneus, has left for the south to fight at the side of High King Aurelius Ambrosius against the invading Saxons and Irish. Most of the younger knights (and amongst them our player knights) have been left behind to garrison Lindsey’s castles and guard the country.

The Cast

We meet again Sir Gwair and Sir Uren, our stout player knights. Lady Airen has a short appearance and for the first time we encounter Sir Carron, a rich vassal of the Baron of Lambor. On their travels the knights also encounter a mysterious but very attractive woman.

An account of what transpired in the second session of play, set 480 a.D. in southern Lindsey and the barony of Lambor from the point of view of Sir Uren

While refining their art of arms in the inner bailey of Lear’s Castle Sir Gwair and Sir Uren are roused by a sudden clamour coming from beyond the inner walls.

There they behold beautiful Airen, the young Lady enjoying Sir Mallarm’s hospitality, suffering strong words and hands from an irate knight with foreign coat of arms. Recognizing him as Sir Carron from abroad Sir Gwair adresses him and tries to remind him, who hasn’t presented himself to the custodians of Lear’s Castle, of the holy duty of hospitality being jeopardized by his rash act. Not heeding these wise words of warning Sir Carron seizes his prize and rears his powerful steed in furious flight.

In haste the knightly steeds are readied and mounted to pursue the perpetrator, to free the damsel in distress. Into a small forest the road takes Sir Gwair and Sir Uren. Feathered death lurking in wooden crowns up high to be released upon the unsuspecting knights. But keeneyed Uren cries out: “Mordio!” to warn his friend.

One right, one left into the thicket the knights brave danger. Sir Gwair dashing bravely forth into and through the hail of arrows. Sir Uren heads on, shield raised, kicks one foul apple from the tree who dares to rise the crooked spear against his knightly better. Just punishment follows dour act. So vultures two lay in their blood, three more fly hence avoiding that.

The road parts two before Sir Gwair and he awaits the friend’s arrival. Bloodied he comes ere time gets long to read the way their quarry took.

For two hours the marks of passage lead on to a house of stone beside the road. They strike the door to be struck by beauty. Sir Gwair retains his wits to inquire after the villainous Carron and is invited to discern the matter in deeper detail. Dumpstruck as always in the face of womanly virtues Sir Uren remains as wood in front of wood.

At last he seeks a more profitable venue than taking root and follows the way some more to further track the beseeched. A sturdy woodsman in quick chat gives warning against the woman in the strong house: “The wits of men she slyly steals, so says the rumour.”

Swift the friend on troubled wings flies back to the lair of a presumed witch. Striking again against the wood, Sir Gwair returnes from the lair. Seeming only disturbed in garment he calls forth from his memory the origin of our nemesis of the day. From Lambor County near Sir Carron hails and thereto has he steered his steed.

After caring for each other’s woes our steadfast defenders of hospitality follow suit and come to Lambor Castle’s gate at break of dusk. The warden there gives answer true to where to find Sir Carron: In Carron Hall he dwelles and was not seen in Lambor long.

Guarded by a hedgerow thick lays Carron Hall. And without delay the perennial pursuers demand the head of the Hall before their eyes. It is Sir Carron who comes forth girded with arms to greet his knightly brothers. To be accused and be challenged to give satisfaction for his disregard of holy hospitality. He retorts that old right rectifies his deed: Betrothed stand he and Lady Airen for many years.

Oh, startling news! But prudent Sir Gwair bowing to this law stands still unsatisfied. The severance of hospitality is cause and issue here, so he upholds his challenge. To that Sir Carron bowes too. He ordains the dawn to see their blood and judgement on that matter. Inviting his future contrahends to feast and rest he leads the trusting knights into his hall…

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Again, the scenario preparation didn’t take a lot of time. We are still trying out the rules and concepts and therefore the scenario is centered around these. There was just one new named character appearing who needed a picture and a coat-of-arms and some bandits needed stats and tokens.

Everyone was on time and we had a fun time until we finished the session with a little cliffhanger 1 hour and 45 minutes later. Next week we will pick up here again and probably finish the adventuring season of 480.

Audio was good (Discord again) and this time we were using Roll20’s built-in video chat. That turned out to be a bit buggy. Everyone had to reload Roll20 in their browsers a few times until everyone could see everyone. Once video was running for everyone, it didn’t give us any more problems that night. Good lighting is definitely a boon (luckily I had some studio lights lying around that I could set up) and one player’s webcam wasn’t able to give us a very good image, but this wasn’t too big a drawback.

Using video for the first time, the problem with two people trying to speak at once was about as good as gone and the whole game felt more like a regular roleplaying game sitting around a common table. We will definitely keep using video (and I might try it out in my GURPS group as well).

I am not completely satisfied with the sizes of my tokens. At the moment I am using 210x210 pixel images for the character portraits and the player knights’ tokens (a coat-of-arms for the knights and photos for everyone else), 140x140 pixel images for the tokens on the main page. The first ones show up on the maps as 3x3 square big, the other ones as 2x2 squares. I might keep 2x2 tokens as the main tokens of named characters on the landing page and will add 1x1 tokens to use as markers for combat, battle, or hunts and races.

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