After nine years of “it’s going to happen” one of my players who got me back into WFRP all those years ago started his own campaign. And we get to play knights! In Bretonnia!
We created the character (naturally taking the advantage of the magnificent Expanded Character Module by Dave Graffam) and discussed a little about what’s to come. The GM asked us all to write a little something about our characters’ background and I set out to work.
I haven’t actually read the Knights of the Grail in almost ten years. I might have leafed through it on an occasion but now I wanted to get the facts right with my Knight Errant from Parravon. Aaand naturally this was where the problems started.
All players of Warhammer know that it is about exaggerated mockery of the actual history. And most players know that Bretonnia is about chivalric knights in shining armour – like those in Arthurian legends. But what got me off-guard was the description of the Knight Errant:
Knights of the Empire start their careers following after some other knight, acting as nothing more than a servant. What else would you expect from a nation who has forgotten the true meaning of chivalry, the true meaning of honour, and the true meaning of courage?
In Bretonnia, knights start off riding their own trail, as they set off on their errantry tour. Bretonnian knights learn from the best school there is: genuine experience. At the start of their tour, they don’t have any genuine experience, but most make up the deficit with their enthusiasm.
So young boys are set on a warhorse, given a suit of armour and a lance and sent of to their own adventures? No training, no time acting as a squire, no nothing? Just “keep yourself alive lad and kill some orcs for the Lady?”
As it turns out our GM had different plans and he was a bit shocked by this. Even though he has been reading stuff about Bretonnia on and off for all those nine years. “That makes absolutely no sense!” was the summary of his words.
On the other hand I have to (naturally agree) but on the other hand it got me thinking the pure ingenuity of this kind of behaviour.
Warning – This post contains some spoilers and racial doctrine about the evolution of Bretonnians. You can blame the fairies for that.
“Tancred Castle, only recently completed, is a good example of this. It sits on a low but steep hill, and the outer wall is studded with towers. The high inner wall allows defenders to turn the region between the walls into a killing zone, whilst the final round keep also has a tall signal and watchtower. The castle has a good well and large stores of food. Fully manned, it could survive a siege for over three months. The surrounding land is not particularly fertile, and it is unlikely that a living army could last that long.”
See KotG p.70
Standing on the disputed border of Bretonnia and the Empire Tancred Castle has changed hands numerous times during its 500 year old history. It was brought to ruin in the Great War against Chaos and was only recently rebuilt. The castle was given to a notable war hero, Earl Adalbert, by King Louen Leoncoeur and the Earl moved in immediately.
Earl received huffed letters from Marienburg and Altdorf for taking a castle not belonging to Bretonnia but no actual army was ever send to oppose him And as the Storm of Chaos hit the Old World such quarrels were but quickly aside. Earl Adalbert was quickly to reinforce the castle to withstand the forces of Norse reavers.
During the war it withheld against large invading troops and now a mound of burnt corpses rises near the castle. Earl Adalbert gained fame for his virtuous behaviour and unswerving courage against the hordes of Chaos.
After the war Earl Adalbert has sent his Knights of the Realm to patrol the Couronne Swamps as well as the Bitter Moors. Though officially he is making sure that the people living there are safe it is rumoured that he is considering about making a move to conquer Marienburg. Should this be a fact it just might be that he was sent to Castle Tancred to do precisely that by no other than the King of Bretonnia.
Unbeknownst to the inhabitants of the Tancred Castle the Skaven of Clan Sheehakk have carved a small warren under the castle. This warren mainly acts as the focus point of Sheehakk spies that have been sent here by Vasrin the Sneak to learn about knights riding to Bitter Moors.
It seems like we are in for another treat by Sami Uusitalo. Just last month I was proud to host his huge adventure The Queen of Embers and now he sent in another supplement!
Sami has this to say about the new supplement:
Here is a short supplement for Warhammer Fantasy RPG written as an in-game document (and could be used as such). The supplement aims to inspire the GM by introducing several different theories about a mysterious NPC called the Snail Man that can be used either as a villain or an ally – or just a curious character to enliven your games.
I had almost lost hope in Zweihänder getting finished (don’t ask me why). So I was really pleasantly surprised when I noticed that there was a new “Wilderness Travel” section to be read. It clearly draws some influence from The One Ring travelling system as well as the same system for Dungeon World. But standing on the shoulders of giants is a great place to be. I like these rules and am really hopeful that we will eventually return to Bretonnia once I can get my hands on a published Zweihänder book.
In other news: During next weekend the annual Finnish roleplaying convention RopeCon is held in Helsinki. I’ll be heading there and will write about my experiences on Guild Redemund’s Blog. Check it out if you are interested and give me a shout if you are coming to Ropecon. I’m always eager to meet new gamers!
Happy summer and gaming for all!
(Or almost-winter as I understand it is a bit chilly in Australia at the moment.)
Warhammer community newer ceases to amaze me. Current example of the skills of the fans of WFRP is the incoming map of Norsca. Jackdays has been on this project for ages and now the updating is almost finished. The Daily Empire got an early sneak preview and the permission to publish this part of the map – the Northern Bretonnia.
The amount of detail is quite stunning. It’s filled with ruins, land marks, town and castles to inspire GMs and players alike.
I think I’m speaking for (at least almost) the whole community when I say: “Excellent work! When can we see more?”