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Thursday Treasurepile #1: Love & War- The Sourcebook of Knights & Chivalry

Written by MythicParty - Published on February 21, 2013

Love & WarOk, our inaugural Thursday giveaway.  To review the Legalese:

Every Thursday there will be a short summary of gaming-related product.  If there are at least 20 unique comments under that review, we’ll give away whatever we’ve reviewed to the reader who has submitted the ‘+5 comment’ for it.  What do we mean by that?   Well its a somewhat subjective decision based upon whether the staff here either got something useful out of reading your post or maybe just LOL’d at your reply.  And yes, employees of DMing or their family members are not eligible to win, although their comments do count towards the 20 minimum requirement.  Readers can indeed post multiple times- say if responding to another person- but still only get counted once towards the 20 readers overall.  Contests run for a full-week, so if a book reviewed doesn’t immediately get the full 20, it’ll keep on being eligible for a new owner until it both does & the next review comes out on a Thursday.

So Penumbra’s Love & War, The Sourcebook of Knights & Chivalry by David Chart.  A 160 page hardback from 2004 (MSRP $29.95) that covers four knightly virtues (Valor, Loyalty, Piety, & Love), various non-human knightly orders, & rules for honor/renown, tournaments, court battles of wit.  Then there is a Chapter of variations- such as having no Valor, no Loyalty, no Piety, etc.  But also alternatives for each like Daredevils for Valor or Godseekers for Piety.  And of course there is a section for Evil Knights.  Lastly, there is a nice Index of all the D20 material: Feats, Magic Items, Prestige Classes, Skill Checks, Spells, etc.

What was Platinum from all this? Well the parts about Love.  (Chapter Five)  I know Valentines Day was just the other week, but there really is a ton of roleplay potential with this virtue or even just the emotion..  For example in trying to win the heart of your beloved you might use the extended rules for composing poetry (page 111), winning their favor (page 112), or going on an adventure for Love’s sake (page 125).  Another interesting aspect was the Love variant called Lover Pairs (page 159) which is essentially same-sex couples or a heterosexual couple of two races that can’t interbreed, yet sworn to aid each other against all of life’s tribulations.  The pair serve the same Lord yet seek to make their beloved into a better person by encouraging personal growth whether through modeling it, pointing out flaws, or directly aiding development.  The Prestige Class share a link, can divert damage, & eventually even Teleport to each other.  On the flip side of the spectrum is an option for Evil Knights called Dark Love which is all about corrupting, betraying, & eventually ruining a chosen target.  Ouch.

  • Coolest Mundane Equipment: Jousting Armor- elaborate thin plate whose decoration proclaims a knight’s status as well as a +2 Ride check bonus
  • Coolest Armor & Weapon Special Ability: Loyal- attunes a weapon to a particular individual & then that weapon can’t damage them or those loyal to them
  • Coolest Feat:  Dying Blow- When 0hp or lower, invoke to gain +8 to STR, DEX, 7 CON + triple your threat range but you can only attack/chase the opponent who dropped you.
  • Coolest Magic Item: A Major Artifact called The Sword of Deeds- a +5 holy brilliant energy longsword that keeps the wielder alive to achieve a sworn great deed.  If the character succeeds, “every bard in the world knows of the success and much of the story behind it.”
  • Coolest Miscellaneous: Rules for Quests- something difficult +having an unknown element & will be life-changing.  If seeking the blessing of a diety there is a ritual to see if the diety/DM approves.  If so then the affect is as a geas/quest spell with bonus as if a divine favor & can commune a # of times per month equal to character level.
  • Coolest Prestige Class: The aforementioned Lover Pairs.
  • Coolest Skill Checks: Using Diplomacy for a Battle of Wits, fought with Reputation Points.  The example of a verbal duel over dinner was entertaining & is a new way for PCs to ‘fight.’
  • Coolest Spell: Foe’s Measure- Sor/Wiz 1 (Divination) caster learns the power of all creatures in a 30′ radius relative to himself.  No Saving Throw but Spell Resistance.
  • Coolest art: A full page public domain piece on page 98 of a knight & a lady  riding horses slowly through the woods

Alright DMing Readers, get those comments posted.  Remember, we need at least 20 before we can select someone’s to be the ‘+5 comment‘ & win this book for themselves!

Written by MythicParty

Dog-loving, movie-watching, pizza aficionado. Content Editor for DMing.com, Project Manager for AvatarArt.com, & player of the coolest characters in a weekly D&D game. Halflings are the real heroes.

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Thanks for reading.

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Thursday Treasurepile #1: Love & War- The Sourcebook of Knights & Chivalry, 3.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings » Leave a comment

 

 Comments

24 Responses to “Thursday Treasurepile #1: Love & War- The Sourcebook of Knights & Chivalry”
  1. Shir says:

    My favorite campaign setting was always Birthright, and I still play it occasionally (as the DM). My players had their characters fight to gain and expand their own kingdoms as the center of the campaign. But such long-term goals lent themselves as opportunities to develop the character’s personal lives.
    Characters developed a love-life, sometimes married and raised children. When the children are old enough to become PCs, a new campaign begins, the next generation!
    The new characters benefited from the advice of their retired adventuring parents and kept exploring the world as heirs to their parent’s kingdoms.
    After a while, the players feel almost as if they are part DMs because they shape the world with their political marriages and careful placement of relatives…
    Its true that there wasn’t much room for romance in the real Middle Ages, but love can augment a fantasy world in a similar way that we use magic to augment the Middle Ages.
    I admit it never occurred to me to actually assign game mechanics to love…

  2. Ian Fleming says:

    My inner gamer and inner historian are arguing over this sourcebook. On one hand, I know we’re playing a fantasy game and having a rigid moral code isn’t a stretch of the imagination. We have numerous stories of heroic paragons and their deeds from many parts of the world all over history. But the number of knights/nobility in the middle ages that truly followed a code of chivalry were very, very few. The lower classes very rarely had that courtesy extended to them. In war, you did what you had to do to survive 9 times out of 10, and even on Sundays.

    I’m glad to see they have variant rules for not having certain virtues. As a player & GM, I do prefer to make real characters with their own faults, and, knight or no, they have their share of faults as well.

    Interesting book!

  3. Darkwarren says:

    This looks like it might also be a great addition to a Kingmaker campaign.

  4. Suspense says:

    Who says knights get the monopoly on virtue? I’d love to read this for ideas on bringing this stuff into lots of characters’ lives, especially villains!

  5. Kitsap Charles says:

    This sounds similar in many respects to Greg Stafford’s award-winning “King Arthur Pendragon” RPG, which he himself describes as his gaming masterpiece.

    Pendragon also deals with chivalric virtues and vices, thirteen of them in fact, in campaigns which see perhaps an adventure per game year, and which span PC generations through the 80+ year Arthurian cycle. Although out of print for a very long time (some editions are going for $200-300 online), I understand that it’s been updated and re-released.

    I haven’t seen “Love and War” yet, but based on David Chart’s sterling record with previous supplements, I’m sure this will be equally outstanding.

  6. Chris says:

    I love the sword of deeds, had a dm years ago that gave each member of the group an intelligent amulet that could resurrect us 3 times but with each resurrection the compulsion to complete the item’s singular quest became more powerful. Unfortunately not ever quest was the same so certain party members were working at cross purposes. A memorable campaign, but I think it would be even better if all the bards across the land would know about the success or folly of our characters.

  7. Darkwarren says:

    Chris, that sounds like an awesome idea – resurrecting amulets with a geas/quest.

    I wonder as well if the same virtues could be taken out of the military knightly orders and espoused by monks, clerics, etc. A lot of cool potential for variations here.

  8. I’ve owned this sourcebook for years because I found it cheap at a garage sale. To date, I have only glanced through it, but I think I will take a closer look as I plan my next campaign. Thanks for the tips. :)

  9. Fullovstars says:

    I love the pendragon style stuff as a campaign setting to be visited every few years or so and i’ll take a gander at this book the next time we are thinking of running another one. Which may be sooner now than I was planning.

  10. Liselle says:

    I guess I’m not all that into knights because this book doesn’t really grab me. Sure, there might be some plot and character development ideas there, but I can’t say I’m terribly excited. Still, I thought I’d post a comment to nudge this closer to the 20 mark.:)

  11. Aaron C says:

    I’m liking the site reboot.. And who didn’t life a chance at swag?

  12. Jay says:

    I’ve always wanted to run Penumbra, but have never gotten a chance. I guess it goes back on the “shelf” with Ptolus and a “real” of Eberron :( One, day. One day.

  13. James says:

    Ironically, a female member of a group I DM for is running a paladin and has hinted at the idea of roleplaying a relationship in-game. I have been reticent thus far to get that going for her, partly because that is unknown territory for me. Fortune smiles on me, I guess, because Penumbra has got this book out that lays it all out for me and it is even tailored to knightly type classes!

  14. Mason says:

    I have a player/character playing a Paladin who I’ll hand this over to – he’s going to love it.

  15. Caddoko says:

    This is too cool, I never really addressed the idea of love and the like in-game until recently as my parties are rarely into the in-party interaction but as of late we’ve been playing with a lot more opportunities for characters to influence each-other. (One player is actually about to be manipulated by another into lying to the rest of the party.) This’d make an excellent additon to my gaming library.

  16. Tony says:

    It looks like this would come in quite useful for both filling in some details for backgrounds of NPCs, but also would be a good resource for the PC Paladins in our group. Certainly a book to add to the gaming shelves.

  17. Sean Holland says:

    Sounds like fun, knights do not have much of a place in my current campaign but maybe that could change . . .

  18. EdTheMad says:

    “Chuck Norris tears can cure cancer, but he never cries.”
    “Oh yeah? Well, a paladin that admits he was wrong could raise the Gods, but they never do.”

  19. Adam says:

    This book sounds like it may be an interesting addition to anyone playing paladins. I usually use them as a basis for any knights I have played. It would hopefully give me some additional insights or ideas on different codes of valor to follow.

  20. Annie Malmstrom says:

    I would have a lot of fun corrupting the morale code say for an antipaladin for my PCs to fight. This looks really cool, a great addition to any book collection.

  21. Ben Allred says:

    I like the sound of this book. The “knights in shining armor” period is one of my favorites. I just hope that the book talks about how to roleplay in this period. The last thing d20 needs is more knights and paladins who swear that they’re Lawful Good, but go around bullying peasants and killing people just because they don’t like them.

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