Tuesday, December 26, 2006

533: Game Master Notes, Court of Love

Greg's Gaming Notes:

We played a court of love. Everyone put their regular characters aside and pulled out, or wrote up, a woman character to play.

Lady Raeburgh was there. That ol’ axe-throwing noblewoman (“lady” only barely fits) acutally no longer Hates Britons, and she and Leodegrance are among those “perfect old lovers” that the girls talk about. Imagine that. Raeburgh is a bawdy old broad with a henpecked husband.

Lady Adwen, the great duke’s daughter, was there, well-spoken and knowledgable about the subject.

Lady Nia of Swanbridge was a newlywed who came to participate.

Lady Brandimante, a practical courtier, was pretty much dragged into it. Her position among the ladies and marriagability demanded it. She hated it.

The first question was put forth, debated and judged. A troubador came out to entertain everyone. It was Sir Lancelot, who has been at court for years but is normally absent on some or another adventure. No one even expected to see him, and when he came forth to sing his love song for an anonymous Immortal Queen, the women all had to make their Amor Lancelot passions.

It seems that this never made it into print, but it’s based on the fact that all women, upon their first look at Lancelot, must make Trait rolls to see if they get an Amor for him. This is done exactly the same way that men do it for Guenever.

One woman was heard to say, “I would never do anything to betray you, my husband, but if I ever did it would be with that man.” And the only reason that this was not a murderous statement was because it was said about Sir Lancelot, who is absolutely chaste. Every woman loves him, just as all men love Guenever.

As for the Court of Love, I’ll make it short: the questions (from GPC) were presented to all of the council. The players answered for their characters. Then the best answer, from the Queen and Princess of the court, was given, and everyone judged whose answers were right or wrong. A right answer got 50 Glory. A perfect answer, 100.

Nia, Raeburgh, and Adwen all ended with 300 Glory from the event. Brandimante got 100.

Well, now I have to make up some new Court of Love questions. I want to keep this thing going and see where it leads as a source of play rather than the abstract thing rolled for every Winter. Maybe I can generate enough questions from the game if the player knights will indulge Romance. I’ll put their action before the court.

Lady Clina

Well, to do a decent GM job for motivating Romance I’ll need an NPC to lead and guide this thing. I’d like a young heirless, good lineage, beautiful and rich. What NPC might work here? I began to formulate one I’d like to have, a Princess of Love.

I decided I’d go with my preferred NPC family. For game glue, the Salisbury knights have had an ongoing relationship with the Marlborough count for fifty years now. The former kid who was called “Count Chucky” by the last generation is now Earl Charles of Marlborough, and no familarirties in public, please. Childhood hero of the resistance, early companion of Arthur, bla bla. And oh yea, did you know he’s the brother of my player character?

And now, I realize he has a daughter. No other children.

I do a full character sheet for her with (of course) Advanced Character Generation for KAP5. Find the year—533, and follow the steps. Everything worked perfectly except at the end for the Luck Table, so I’m making a Lady’s Luck Table for it.

While assigning her Traits I realized, hey, she qualifies as a Gentlewoman as a beginning character! Great. She also failed to be impressed by the High Queen,

At Statistics I decided to roll randomly. Wow, SIZ 4, CON 19 and APP 19. Tiny woman! At first I thought, wow, can’t do that… but heck, William the Conquerer’s Queen was three feet tall or something! Of course she’s SIZ 4, the Little Lady. For her three Distinctive Features I chose one as the classical Arthurian one, “Pale skin, red lips, black hair;” second, “Pretty Face,” and finally “Perfectly Proportioned Gorgeous Body.”

For assigning skills I played a bit. I wrote in little quotes on what she could say when asked to make that skill (Folklore, “our little people,” and Heraldry, “who is that?”)

I had thought, at first, that she was Sir Clydno’s sister, or half-sister rather—that is—Count Chucky’s sister. Heck, I realized he’s forty or more. His daughter! I drew out the family tree, and in doing so decided that Count Charles’ wife died in childbirth. The count has one legitimate heir, this young woman raised in Guenever’s court.

Ah, there is my heiress, my future Princess of Love.

And she’s Sir Clydno’s niece. (He has no question that the inheritance should go to the legitimate daughter instead of the bastard son. He will be scrupulously selfless in all service to the Lady, his niece.) I discover she wants to be as famous as the Princess of the Rose.

She is tiny—only four feet tall, but perfectly proportioned—and frail. Sixteen years old, saucy and gorgeous and tiny and as courtly and formal as a woman can be. Her noble facade is immense, trained in the court of the High Queen for the last eight years.

Oh yes, she is also the heiress of Marlborough. She will be countess some day.

She is part of Guenever’s court—a lady to a lady right now. She knows Fashion and is steeped in Romance and wants to play the game.

When among only women she admits that she loves the power of the Romance game, and expects to use it to have men do her will for years to come. She teases other women if they aren’t willing to take advantage of this opportunity. The queen does it to run the kingdom. Why should other noble women not use it to run their holdings? It’s an innocent game. Everyone knows that.

She loves diamonds.

If anyone mentions to her that her family arms are just like the King of Sweden, she repeats what her father has always said, slightly modified: “Then, when I meet the King of Sweden I will have my champion fight him to the death.”

And goes on to another subject.

Oh yea, this is the woman that Clydno’s wife is handmaiden to. So Leofaled is a noble lady, the handmaid to a Countess Clina, who herself is (at times) a handmaiden of the High Queen. Young Evan, now ten, serves as a page in this court.

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