Coeur de Lion

A place for DMs, GMs, or players to post stories, play reports, or general info about their current or ongoing campaigns.
Ancalagon
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Re: Coeur de Lion

Post by Ancalagon » Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:49 am

Since things are nowadays with it pretty much expected that characters will have at least one high stat and the majority of the rest being above average, that's why I went with 3d6. No rerolling 1s or any other dice shenanigans. As a player I have no problems with taking what I get with a 3d6 method. But we're a little more old school than a lot of folks. Heh. I figure one point on one stat isn't too extravagant. I've seen the 'raise a stat by one and drop another by two' exploited by min/maxers to create hulking tank combat monsters with absolute garbage everywhere else. Blech.

In the current 2e campaign I'm in, my stats totaled are the lowest of any of the characters. I have one 16 and nothing else that grants a bonus but so far I've advanced the farthest. The guy who sits next to me has two 18s, two 16s, and two 12s.



Cloak-n-Dagger
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Post by Cloak-n-Dagger » Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:51 pm

Two 18s and two 16s...really? Yeah, I'm sure those are legit.... :roll:
“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints” ~ Wilfred Peterson, American Author

Ancalagon
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Post by Ancalagon » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:58 pm

Coeur de Lion - Money

What modern people think of as money, whether it be coins, bills, or any other abstract form, is a convenience rather than a necessity. If all money suddenly vanished off the face of the world, a lot of people would be angry, but the basics of life could continue. True wealth is measured in solid goods of value.

The basic unit of value is land. Land provides food, clothing, and shelter; without it, you would die. For that reason, only those who are crazy or truly desperate will sell it. Instead, people barter items of value whose worth depends on the land’s bounty, such as grain and livestock. However, these are not easily exchanged physically, and require that there be a significant surplus on hand. Therefore, a symbol of the exchange—money—replaces the actual goods. Silver coins make the ideal currency: precious metal is portable and for the most part without practical use.

The only coin in Coeur de Lion England is the silver penny, represented by the letter “d”, minted by the King and only by the King. This coin is about 92% silver, and the most stable currency in medieval Europe. Silver coins are very thin: it is common to vow a particular penny to a saint by bending it in half between the thumb and fingers. The hapenny (half a penny) and farthing (quarter of a penny) are made by cutting up pennies. Larger units also exist, but only as “money of account.” Twelve pennies (12d) make a shilling, represented by the letter “s”, and twenty shillings (20s), make a pound (£1), which consists of a pound of silver, 240d. A mark is two thirds of a pound, 13s 4d. The half mark (6s 8d) and the mark are common amounts for fines or taxation. Pounds and marks are not minted, but money offered to pay a large fine would be weighed rather than being counted.

Silver coins in medieval England are not like modern money, but are rather a medium of barter. Instead of exchanging tangible goods, like chickens or bread, for a needed item, a purchaser uses an equivalent value in silver. The advantage of a coin is that its value is easier to ascertain than that of a nugget or gem.

Keep in mind another point about medieval money: it’s evil. Any desire for profit beyond what is necessary to stay alive is considered a sin. Lending money with an interest charge is usury, though opinions differ on what level of interest is sinful. Just to be on the safe side, moneylending and many other merchant enterprises are often left to those whom medieval Christians think are damned anyway – Jews, Saracens, and Italian banking families.

Many peasants in the Coeur de Lion England setting live out their lives without ever using a coin. Anyone dealing with poor people may have to barter in goods of like value: a meal, a dozen eggs, a yard of cloth, or perhaps a special service from a craftsperson. Establishments that regularly serve travelers have special arrangements, since their goods or services are usually costly enough to necessitate payment in coins. In cities, coins are more common, and every town has merchants whose business involves dealing with them.

Paper money of a sort does exist in the Middle Ages, in the form of cheques. A noble can write a letter of indebtedness to a banking house or to another person and sign it, creating an easily transported voucher that can be redeemed on demand for its value in silver. A deed of ownership of land can fulfill the same function.

An endorsed check has additional signatures (endorsements) of rich and influential people. In theory, their signatures vouch for the check-writer’s honesty; in practice, if the original writer doesn’t honor the debt, the endorser has to come up with the cash. Obviously, the best checks are the ones endorsed by an archbishop or a monarch.

Captain_Blood
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Post by Captain_Blood » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:42 am

Nice to read that all of your thoughts and work are bearing fruit. I really like the Death's Door mechanic. It has me thinking about similar uses for the other stats. Maybe something that would make CHA VERY important. I hate the fact that it is a dump stat for most every other game too. Thought I have solved that with interaction quests for time to time. No solid uses for any other stat yet, but it's a good thought exercise.

Ancalagon
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Post by Ancalagon » Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:14 pm

I have an idea I'm toying with if people assign a poor number to CHA or drop it by 2 points to raise another by 1 point. If the player assigns a really low number to CHA, then they get to roll on a table I have with distinguishing traits that help to explain why CHA is so low. The lower the number put into CHA, the more rolls on the table the player gets to make. Still rolling the idea around in my head. ;)

Ancalagon
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Post by Ancalagon » Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:23 pm

I will most likely end up designing a character sheet for use with Coeur de Lion. Thinking about using Excel and incorporating a few images rather than just having the sheet be plain. I think I'll have the characteristics listed in alphabetical order: CHA, CON, DEX, INT, STR, WIS. Lamentations of the Flame Princess does so and, for whatever reason, I kinda like it.

Ancalagon
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Post by Ancalagon » Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:54 pm

PC Starting HIT POINTS and Advancement

Something I'll use from the old Iron Circle days is the method of determining starting hit points and how hit points are gained as levels advance.

A character's base hit points is the value assigned to the CON characteristic. A player will roll the 1st level hit die as normal and add the result to the base hit points to determine starting HPs at 1st level. For example: Robbie Douglas, a 1st level fighter from the Lowlands of Scotland, has CON of 14. Robbie's player rolls a d10 and the result is a 6. Robbie's first level hit points are 14 + 6 = 20.

HackMaster 4e from 2001 did something similar by using an automatic Hit Point kicker of 16, 20, or 21 hit points at 1st level to help characters survive a hit or two in the course of combat. I didn't want an automatic kicker like HackMaster but rather wanted it tied to CON since CON is the measure of vitality, endurance, health, etc. Another reason for linking 1st level hit points to CON is to give the players something else to ponder when assigning values to characteristics and making CON much more important than it typically is (q.v. Captain Blood's post from 22-Aug).

As characters advance in level, they will receive a fixed amount of hit points for each new level. Fighter types receive 3, Thief types receive 2, and Spellers receive 1. Hit Points are finite and precious. Combat is dangerous and may not need to be the first response to every situation.

Deil the Yin
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Post by Deil the Yin » Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:04 pm

I think that's a pretty cool concept for hit points! Do you have to make adjustments to your monsters/encounters for the PC's at higher levels due to this, or does the HP gain even out mathmatically?
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Deil the Yin
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Post by Deil the Yin » Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:17 pm

Great flavour for a game, going beyond just "gold pieces" etc...

I've also adopted the mathematical accounting of the coin types (ie 12 pennies/copper = 1 shilling/silver) with silver being the most common/base coin, but also have the differing alloys genearlly and created varying nomenclatures for the denominations based on the different culture-types and races (eg shilling/guinnea/farthing/rigoel). Looks complicated but is still quite simplistic... I think.
Ancalagon wrote:Coeur de Lion - Money ...
The only coin in Coeur de Lion England is the silver penny, represented by the letter “d”, minted by the King and only by the King. This coin is about 92% silver, and the most stable currency in medieval Europe. Silver coins are very thin: it is common to vow a particular penny to a saint by bending it in half between the thumb and fingers. The hapenny (half a penny) and farthing (quarter of a penny) are made by cutting up pennies. Larger units also exist, but only as “money of account.” Twelve pennies (12d) make a shilling, represented by the letter “s”, and twenty shillings (20s), make a pound (£1), which consists of a pound of silver, 240d. A mark is two thirds of a pound, 13s 4d. The half mark (6s 8d) and the mark are common amounts for fines or taxation. Pounds and marks are not minted, but money offered to pay a large fine would be weighed rather than being counted.
Here's Tae Us,
Wha's Like Us,
Damn few... an' they're a' DEID!

Ancalagon
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Post by Ancalagon » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:50 am

Deil the Yin wrote:I think that's a pretty cool concept for hit points! Do you have to make adjustments to your monsters/encounters for the PC's at higher levels due to this, or does the HP gain even out mathmatically?
Thanks!
PCs are ahead of the curve on hit points under the method I'll use but, more or less, things will even out mathematically around 5th - 6th level. Exploding damage dice help to even that out, too. More on that later. ;)

Now with that being said, an aspect of Couer de Lion I've not discussed yet is that its meant for a slower advancement rate compared to some RPGs / editions, etc. First level PCs are a cut above the 0-level peasantry scratching in the dirt but by no means superheroes. By the time a character reaches 5th level he has gotten around and is pretty BA without being over-the-top. You won't find and Mordenkainens, Dwizzits, or Elminsters running around.

Something tied to a slower rate of advancement is the passage of time. In campaigns I've played in and run, the PCs are constantly go-go-go so that years of time around the game table amounts to maybe six months of campaign time. And there's nothing wrong with that. But for Coeur de Lion, I want to take a different approach. The setting will have periods of lots of activity (ie adventuring) in bursts with downtime for healing, feudal duties for some, prepping and hunkering down for winter, etc. Sometimes time will pass seasonally with not much going on. Those periods of time can be fast forwarded by the DM. At this point I envision the setting covering 1190 to 1216 - that's a lot of time, multi-generational for some. Time passes. Time matters. Time sometimes catches up with people. Some characters may endure. Some may die. Some may find contentment, or be permanently wounded in one manner or another, or simply weary of life on the road and retire to be replaced by more eager adventurers... perhaps younger relatives of the retiring character...

Anyway... lots of ideas floating around in the head that I hope will see the light of day!

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