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Thread: Possible impacts of dubious cowardice

  1. #1

    Possible impacts of dubious cowardice

    During 482 while on campaign in the Summerlands, my PKs needed to cross a bridge held by an enemy force. They were at the head of an army and at a tactical disadvantage, so they dressed a man as a Summerlands knight they had defeated earlier in the conflict and had him deliver forged orders to stand down. The deception worked but soon became public knowledge. Do you think this was practical or cowardly (or both) and should it impact their reputation at court? I didn't give them cowardly checks because their motive was to save casualties out of a concern for future battles, not fear so much. It was certainly deceitful.

  2. #2
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    I gave a character a check for cowardly and one for prudent when they came up with a good plan that would avoid the glory of battle. It's only a check, so they might not go up (although I expect they are likely to), if it cowardly doesn't but prudent does then maybe people at were more impressed with their wits. Even if cowardly does go up, I suspect that assuming they win the following battle where they have gained the advantage of crossing the bridge, it will soon be forgotten in the glory they gain there.

    However if a character in the group had Reckless 16, I would ask them to roll it, to avoid doing a Leeroy Jenkins on their careful plans.

    Similarly if they just charged the bridge one check for Reckless and Valorous might be in order.
    Last edited by TerryTroll; 10-10-2018 at 08:33 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by PowerThrills View Post
    During 482 while on campaign in the Summerlands, my PKs needed to cross a bridge held by an enemy force. They were at the head of an army and at a tactical disadvantage, so they dressed a man as a Summerlands knight they had defeated earlier in the conflict and had him deliver forged orders to stand down. The deception worked but soon became public knowledge. Do you think this was practical or cowardly (or both) and should it impact their reputation at court? I didn't give them cowardly checks because their motive was to save casualties out of a concern for future battles, not fear so much. It was certainly deceitful.
    I wouldn't give Cowardly for this, personally, but definitely Prudent (for the others, the disguised knight might get Reckless) and Deceitful. I don't think it would impact on their standing at court (in particular Uther's court; it worked, didn't it?). Ruse de guerre and all that.

    Mind you, it wouldn't have worked in my campaign. A random, unknown knight would not be believed even if he is carrying the correct shield/surcoat or such. Besides, he wouldn't have authority to order anything on his own, and if he is bring the message from the king, what the heck is he doing on the wrong side of the bridge? And finally, there would be at least one Summerland knight in command, and given that the numbers of knights are in the 50-100 range in a county, he would have grown up with that captured Summerland knight and met him several times at court. Alright, if the PK crits his Deceitful, or the NPC fumbles Suspicious, then MAYBE.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by TerryTroll View Post
    I gave a character a check for cowardly and one for prudent when they came up with a good plan that would avoid the glory of battle. It's only a check, so they might not go up (although I expect they are likely to), if it cowardly doesn't but prudent does then maybe people at were more impressed with their wits. Even if cowardly does go up, I suspect that assuming they win the following battle where they have gained the advantage of crossing the bridge, it will soon be forgotten in the glory they gain there.

    However if a character in the group had Reckless 16, I would ask them to roll it, to avoid doing a Leeroy Jenkins on their careful plans.

    Similarly if they just charged the bridge one check for Reckless and Valorous might be in order.
    One of them actually is Reckless 17. I suppose I forgot about that in the heat of the moment.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Morien View Post
    I wouldn't give Cowardly for this, personally, but definitely Prudent (for the others, the disguised knight might get Reckless) and Deceitful. I don't think it would impact on their standing at court (in particular Uther's court; it worked, didn't it?). Ruse de guerre and all that.

    Mind you, it wouldn't have worked in my campaign. A random, unknown knight would not be believed even if he is carrying the correct shield/surcoat or such. Besides, he wouldn't have authority to order anything on his own, and if he is bring the message from the king, what the heck is he doing on the wrong side of the bridge? And finally, there would be at least one Summerland knight in command, and given that the numbers of knights are in the 50-100 range in a county, he would have grown up with that captured Summerland knight and met him several times at court. Alright, if the PK crits his Deceitful, or the NPC fumbles Suspicious, then MAYBE.
    They actually had a boat handy that they used to ferry the knight across in the night, so he came up from the correct side of the bridge. I asked a PK to roll Law (in place of Intrigue) to create the forgery and he managed to crit that roll. The NPC Knight that he talked to failed Awareness vs. the PK's Law crit and a Suspicious, but did not fumble. I still was too forgiving in hindsight, didn't consider that the court would be that tightly knit.
    Last edited by PowerThrills; 10-11-2018 at 12:11 AM. Reason: Added quote and elaboration

  6. #6
    Just as a supporting comment, I think you did very well in light of the rolls and plan factors cited. Even Mr. Reckless wouldn't have that much of a chance to mess things up if he's at a distance and the "action" is ferried by boat before the deception went off.

    Good play, methinks!
    --Khanwulf

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    Quote Originally Posted by PowerThrills View Post
    They actually had a boat handy that they used to ferry the knight across in the night, so he came up from the correct side of the bridge. I asked a PK to roll Law (in place of Intrigue) to create the forgery and he managed to crit that roll. The NPC Knight that he talked to failed Awareness vs. the PK's Law crit and a Suspicious, but did not fumble. I still was too forgiving in hindsight, didn't consider that the court would be that tightly knit.
    OK, that helps to explain it. I would have used Read Latin for the forgery, not Intrigue, and asked for a Deceitful roll as well upon meeting the NPK. But at least there was a crit in there somewhere. Maybe the NPK in question didn't feel like dying in a glorious but ultimately doomed bridge defense and didn't feel like interrogating the PK further upon getting new orders he liked to have. The only major weakness I see is really in the fact that the two NPKs probably knew one another, but maybe the bridge knight was a vassal knight who frequented the court relatively rarely and the PK was disguised just as a random household knight. Could happen.

    In the end, I think you did well. Being flexible and rewarding player initiative is very good. Players like it when their schemes work!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PowerThrills View Post
    One of them actually is Reckless 17. I suppose I forgot about that in the heat of the moment.
    Easy to do, really the onus is on the player to draw attention to that.

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