Wednesday, October 10, 2012

In Fair Narbona Where We Lay Our Scene

As Chris mentioned over at the Hill Cantons, he, Mike D., and I have started working on a medieval RPG - with quite a bit of help from the nice folks over on G+.  As he mentions in that post, I'm going to be running a playtest game set in the Languedoc.  Below is the map I made for the region between Toulouse and Montpelier.

Click to Embiggen

I'm currently working on a map that will blow up the 24 mile hex containing Narbonne to serve as the main focus of the playtest mini-campaign.  PCs will be starting in the city of Narbonne (Narbona in Occitan) in the year in 1191.  I plan on doing a full write up like Chris did for his Ulfland game, but for right now here are the hooks I'll be using for my first playtest session:

The Archbishop of Narbonne, Ramon Berengar, is upset by the news that his cousin, who held a manor between Narbonne and Perpignan, has died.  Word on the street is that his cousin was struck down by the Almighty Himself - or at least one of His saints - but Raimon is convinced that he was murdered by heretics.  He seeks honest men to investigate the matter.

A man claiming to be the bastard son of Raimond I Trencavel has seized east of Carcassonne and has begun raiding merchants traveling between that city and the coast.  He has captured the daughter of Roger Trencavel, the current ruler of Carcassonne, and holding her ransome for what he believes to be his inheritance.  Ermengarde, the ruler of Narbonne and faithful friend to Roger, has offered a manor and a large purse for any who can return the maiden.

Baldwin, the lord of Ferrals, has sent an emissary to recruit armed men in Narbonne.  Apparently there has been some trouble with the serfs at his manor.

So far, the players seem to be leaning towards rescuing the princess - an old cliche that I've never actually used before now.


Now for a general update - I recently moved back to Hattiesburg, and I've started running the Dark Country again on G+.  I'm using WFRP 1e, so my sidebar is still correct.  I'm really liking the way WFRP makes me think about certain aspects of the setting, such as careers, and I may do some posts about that in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Ran a session of this last night. We ended up rolling up a trio of Knights, quite diverse in all but their station.

    Based on our rolls, we determined that two of us were brothers, the first and third born of a well regarded knight errant. As the first born, I took it upon myself to honor my father by taking up the sword and progressing the family name. By 26, I had acquired a rather large manor of my own.
    My brother did not immediately take to the military life, first trying his hand at court, where he prospered in spite of his lack of natural suitability to the task. During this time he became a more devout man and, upon himself joining the knighthood found himself a Hospitaller.

    The third of our band began life the son of a craftsman, residing within the manor which would eventually fall within my dominion. In his youth, the boy would be a scoundrel, before finding his calling as a mercenary. Military discipline, it seems, brought forth the nobility in the youth and he eventually earned his knighthood on the field. Though he remains the more uncouth of the group, he's proving a valuable companion.

    Becoming aware the above hooks, we chose to see about the unruly serfs on our way to assisting Roger Trencavel, if only out of Geographical convenience. As a Hospitaller, the latter task falls within my brother's sworn duties, yet we also found opportunity to serve the Church on our first stop.

    We're currently off to East Carcassonne, having left Baldwin in my neighborly debt & securing our, figuratively, fresh-faced knight a young wife. I hope that this venture may also secure him a manor of his own, and thus another loyal ally within the region to further my own ambitions, humble as they may be.

    Overall, I'd say we enjoyed the characters the system spat out at us, and felt that there was sufficient choice involved in the process, though it is a bit mechanistic.
    One player didn't like how many rolls were involved, in the sense that 11d6 could have left him with either a 33 or 88 in a given skill, and while I didn't take issue with that myself - I see his point.
    It DOES however, manage the best of both worlds when it comes to this Traveller style chargen, in that I didn't feel it would ever produce an unplayable character.
    In my mind, the "mechanistic" feel mostly boiled down to the fact that it would have been made much simpler on everyone's part if we had a java applet that let us make the 3-4 decisions we were given and did all the math/tables in the background. That's not a NEGATIVE, really, just an interpretation of how the process felt - as opposed to, say, most D&D versions which feel more like choosing an connecting a handfull of modular pieces.