Month: May 2015

Fleshing Out Language Proficiencies in 5th Edition D&D

I recently wrote up my houserules for giving the Medicine skill a little more depth and utility.  When push came to shove, I scaled back some of the “crunchy” benefits I had incorporated because the changes didn’t feel right to me in light of 5th edition’s streamlined rules.   At the same time I wanted to stress the use of Medicine in diagnosing and treating long-term illnesses and poisoned creatures without adding unneeded complexity.

With that in mind I got thinking about ways to expand upon the uses of other skills and proficiencies in 5th edition.  Today’s proficiency:

LANGUAGES

According to the Player’s Handbook, your character can speak, read, and write certain languages “by virtue of their race”.  In addition characters may gain languages from their class choice (i.e. bards know additional languages, druids speak Druidic, and rogues speak Thieves’ Cant) and/or from class archetypes (knowledge domain clerics are learned and, as such, gain additional languages).  Finally, both backgrounds and some feats grant added languages.

But what does knowing a language mean beyond understanding its spoken and written words?  Here are some insights from the Player’s Handbook:

  • Draconic is thought to be one of the oldest languages and is often used in the study of magic.
  • Elven literature is rich and varied, and their songs and poems are famous among other races. Many bards learn their language so they can add Elvish ballads to their repertoires.
  • Humans typically learn the languages of other peoples they deal with, including obscure dialects. They are fond of sprinkling their speech with words borrowed from other tongues: Orc curses, Elvish musical expressions, Dwarvish military phrases, and so on.
  • The Gnomish language, which uses the Dwarvish script, is renowned for its technical treatises and its catalogs of knowledge about the natural world.

As such, it’s pretty clear that knowing languages should impart a character with insights into that race’s cultural and social mores, history, idioms (phrases that have both a literal and figurative meaning), works of literature and music, and generally provide give an inkling of that race’s outlook on life.  Speaking elven, for example, should allow that speaker to know a bit of their history, to be familiar with passages from elven works of literature, to be able to know some elven poems and songs, and better understand the elven people.

Also, HOW the character came to know the language should be factored into the equation.  Did a character who speaks Elven live among the elves for years, did an elven friend or paramour teach them, was it learned in a college of magic or bardic college, or did the character pore over tomes in order to teach themselves the tongue?

When considering Intelligence-based skills, I try to consider which languages could relate to them.  For example, I try to remember which characters speak Elven and Draconic (and, sometimes, other languages… such as Gnomish) when magical texts are found because those texts will often be written, at least in part, in those tongues.  When that’s the case, the character will gain advantage on their Arcana roll.   At the same, I would grant disadvantage on a History check when the check involves a race whose language a character isn’t fluent in.

Use of Charisma-based skills would also benefit.  For example, a character who speaks Orc would know when to use Intimidation and when to use Persuasion (or Deception) when parlaying with a band of orcs.  Likewise, a character who speaks Dwarven very possibly had extensive dealing with the dwarves (who don’t just teach their language to anyone), and would know how best to address a dwarven lord or haggle with a merchant.  Not speaking a race’s language could grant disadvantage when dealing with members of that race… depending on the circumstances.  While Common would allow for communication between a human and dwarf, things would go more smoothly if the human spoke dwarven (which would impart some degree of dwarven etiquette).

Fixing the Medicine Skill, Healer’s Kit, and Healer Feat (D&D 5th Edition) – Updated on 5/29

Reading the PHB, it’s pretty clear that the Medicine skill does nothing to aid in the treatment of wounds, ailments, or diseases.  As written, it only allows for stabilizing dying creatures and for diagnosing illnesses.

Here are my slight changes to Medicine (and associated changes to the healer’s kit and Healer feat):

SKILL

Medicine.  A Wisdom (Medicine) check lets you try to stabilize a dying companion, evaluate others wounds, diagnose illnesses, treat poisoned or diseased creatures, and examine corpses in order determine the cause of death.

With a successful Wisdom (Medicine) check you can stabilize a dying character at 0 hit points.

Medicine may also be used to provide long-term care to poisoned or diseased creatures.  When a poisoned or diseased creature is cared for by someone proficient in the Medicine skill, they make their recuperation saving throws (see Downtime: Recuperating on page 187 of the Player’s Handbook) with advantage.

EQUIPMENT

Healer’s Kit.  This kit is a leather pouch containing bandages, salves, and splints. The kit has ten uses. As an action, you can expend one use of the kit to stabilize a creature that has 0 hit points, without needing to make a Wisdom (Medicine) check.

If you expend one use of a healer’s kit to treat a poisoned or diseased creature, they make their recuperation saving throw (see Downtime: Recuperating on page 187 of the Player’s Handbook) with advantage.

FEAT

Healer.  You are an able physician, allowing you to mend wounds quickly and get your allies back in the fight. You gain the following benefits:

  • You have advantage on all Wisdom (Medicine) checks.
  • When you use a healer’s kit to stabilize a dying creature, that creature also regains 1d6+4 hit points.
  • As an action, you can spend one use of a healer’s kit to tend to a creature and restore 1d6 + 4 hit points to it, plus additional hit points equal to the creature’s maximum number of Hit Dice. The creature can’t regain hit points from this feat again until it finishes a short or long rest.

DOWNTIME

Recuperating.  You can use downtime between adventures to recover from a debilitating injury, disease, or poison.  After three days of downtime spent recuperating, you can make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw.  If you are treated by someone proficient in the Medicine skills, you have advantage on this saving throw.  On a successful save, you can choose one of the following results:

  • End one effect on you that prevents you from regaining hit points.
  • For the next 24 hours, gain advantage on saving throws against one disease or poison currently affecting you.

Summer Gaming Lull

Now that summer is unofficially upon us, I’ll be glad to be getting in more time lounging poolside and enjoying the outdoors in general.  At the same time, summer is usually my worst season for gaming these days.  That’s in stark contrast to how things were when I was a kid, when summers meant we gamed a few times per week… and had overnight gaming sessions at least twice per month.

Between the various weekend plans my group’s members make and our collective vacation getaways, we typically wind up playing no more than a few times per month…  which puts a damper on any RPGs that we’re playing.  I, for one, feel like a game loses momentum if it isn’t played at least twice per month.

If only I could figure out a way to get my gaming groups to play while in the pool!

Historical Maps for Pendragon

As I noted previously, I prefer to start Pendragon games in the late 5th century… either during Aurelius Ambrosius’s campaign to unseat Vortigern or during the reign of Uther.  In doing so I like to use older maps of Britain, particularly those that show the Roman settlements and roads, along with the tribal divisions of the island.

The reason I focus on the Roman and tribal elements is that the native Britons would have strong ties to their tribes, and would primarily identify as members of those tribal groups.  In fact, a recent study shows that Britons still live roughly in the same areas they did in the 6th century!  At the same time, the Romans occupied Britain to some extent from 43 AD until 410 AD.  During that time, their roads, settlements, fortifications, trade arrangements, and tribal relations surely made a huge impact upon the people and landscape of Britain.

The Votadini tribe, for example, lived under the direct rule of Rome between Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall from 138-162 AD. When the Romans withdrew behind Hadrian’s Wall in 164 AD, they left the Votadini as a client kingdom, a buffer zone against the Picts in the north. They maintained client status until the Romans pulled out of Britain in 410 AD. Through a series of linguistic changes, the Votadini became known as the Gododdin, and maintained a kingdom until their defeat by the Angles c.600 AD.

Here are some of those maps:

Britannia400adhexgrid

roman300

Roman_Britain_410

Vision & Light (D&D 5th Edition Houserule)

Here’s my slightly tweaked take on lighting conditions in 5th edition.  This houserule reduces the effects of less-than-optimal lighting, having darkness penalties apply only in pitch black conditions.

surprise

VISION AND LIGHT

The most fundamental tasks of adventuring – noticing danger, finding hidden objects, hitting an enemy in combat, and targeting a spell, to name just a few – rely heavily on a character’s ability to see. Darkness and other effects that obscure vision can prove a significant hindrance.  A given area might be lightly or heavily obscured.

In a lightly obscured area, such as dim light, patchy fog, or moderate foliage, creatures have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.

A heavily obscured area – such as darkness, opaque fog, or dense foliage – blocks vision entirely. A creature in a heavily obscured area effectively suffers from the blinded condition (see appendix A).

The presence or absence of light in an environment creates three categories of illumination: bright light, dim light, and darkness.

  • Bright light lets most creatures see normally. Even gloomy days provide bright light, as do torches, lanterns, fires, and other sources of illumination within a specific radius. The soft light of twilight and dawn also counts as bright light. A particularly brilliant full moon might bathe the land in bright light.
  • Dim light, also called deep shadow, creates a lightly obscured area. An area of dim light is usually a boundary between a source of bright light, such as a torch, and surrounding darkness. Characters face dim light outdoors on most moonlit nights or indoors when embers in a fireplace or moonlight through a window provide some light to see by.
  • Darkness, also called complete darkness or pitch-black, creates a heavily obscured area. Characters face darkness outdoors on a moonless night, within the confines of an unlit dungeon or a subterranean vault, or in an area of magical darkness.

Lingering Wounds for 5th Edition D&D

As much as I’m digging 5th edition, the ability to completely heal all damage with a long rest doesn’t sit well with me.  Here’s a simple method that allows for lingering wound effects without bogging down the game.  It has the added benefit of giving new options for recovering from exhaustion effects (which is especially useful for berserker barbarians using the frenzy ability).

WOUND LEVELS

This optional rule allows for lingering wounds while keeping hit point recovery as is. To keep things abstract and simple, creatures take 1 level of exhaustion when they suffer a critical hit (instead of suffering increased damage) or drop to 0 hp. To offset the exhaustion effects associated with wound levels, cure wounds and restoration spells would remove exhaustion effects in addition to their curative effects. Cure wounds removes one level of exhaustion. Lesser restoration now removes up to two levels of exhaustion and greater restoration removes all levels of exhaustion.

EXHAUSTION

Some special abilities and environmental hazards, such as starvation and the long-term effects of freezing or scorching temperatures, can lead to a special condition called exhaustion. Exhaustion is measured in six levels. An effect can give a creature one or more levels of exhaustion, as specified in the effect’s description.

Level 1: Disadvantage on ability checks

Level 2:   Speed halved

Level 3:  Disadvantage on attack rolls and saving throws

Level 4:  Hit point maximum halved

Level 5:  Speed reduced to 0

Level 6: Death

If an already exhausted creature suffers another effect that causes exhaustion, its current level of exhaustion increases by the amount specified in the effect’s description. A creature suffers the effect of its current level of exhaustion as well as all lower levels. For example, a creature suffering level 2 exhaustion has its speed halved and has disadvantage on ability checks. An effect that removes exhaustion reduces its level as specified in the effect’s description, with all exhaustion effects ending if a creature’s exhaustion level is reduced below 1. Finishing a long rest reduces a creature’s exhaustion level by 1, provided that the creature has also ingested some food and drink.

Stealing from 5th Edition D&D for 5th Edition Pendragon

One of my pet peeves with Pendragon is its use of reflexive modifiers on opposed checks.

Example:
If a mounted lance-wielder attacked a dagger-armed man on foot, the mounted man would receive a +5 modifier to his Lance skill for being mounted, while the man on foot would suffer a –5 modifier to his Dagger skill for the disadvantage of such a tiny weapon against a lance in this situation.

Rather than applying such modifiers (which stack things heavily in favor of one combatant) I’d like to use a modified form of 5th Edition D&D’s advantage rules:

Advantage:
Sometimes circumstances dictate that you are at an advantage when making a d20 check. When that happens, you roll a second d20 when you make the roll and use the more advantageous die roll.  Examples of circumstances that grant advantage include:

  • Hunting with hunting dogs
  • Finding one’s way in local woodlands
  • Attacking a foot soldier from horseback
  • Attacking an unaware foe
  • Sneaking up on a distracted guard
  • Making a trait check when circumstances favor that trait heavily

Advantage can apply to both opposed and unopposed checks and, in instances where multiple variables are at play, consider if the overall circumstances are clearly favorable to the individual making the d20 check. 

Inspired characters gain advantage on their chosen d20 check.  In instances where both parties have some form of advantage (i.e. inspired Saxon berserker attacking a mounted knight), the advantages cancel each other out so that both parties make normal d20 rolls.  

A combatant using the “uncontrolled attack” option (which used to be called “berserker attack” in older editions of Pendragon) gains advantage on their d20 weapon skill roll.  Likewise, a combatant using the “defense” option gains advantage on their d20 weapon skill roll but cannot deal damage.  As such, the advantage gained through an “uncontrolled attack” would be negated by an opponent choosing “defense”. 

Disadvantage:

Disadvantage only applies to unopposed d20 checks when you are clearly at a disadvantage.  In such situations, roll a second d20 when you make the roll and use the less advantageous die roll.  Examples of circumstances that grant disadvantage include:

  • Finding ones’ way in a mist-shrouded forest
  • Attacking a heavily concealed foe with a ranged weapon
  • Climbing a wall in chain or plate armor

Disadvantage does not apply to opposed checks because, in such instances that favored one individual over another, the favored individual would gain advantage on their d20 roll.  

Examples:  A bear being hunted by a drunken knight would have advantage on its avoidance roll against the knight’s hunting roll.  Also, an alert guard would have advantage on his awareness skill check when rolling against a fully armored knight sneaking towards him.  If that guard were distracted, however, neither roll would have the advantage.

Skills by Culture (Pendragon 5th Edition)

I’ll get back to posting about other games (D&D 5th Edition in particular) but, first, I’d like to get back to my added options for creating 5th Edition Pendragon characters.

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CLASS QUALIFICATIONS

If your character has all the attributes listed below, he qualifies for that class. Check with the gamemaster for female player characters.

Squire
Skills: First Aid 6, Battle 1, Horsemanship 6, one other skill (normally Sword) at 5
Traits & Passions: Valorous 8, Loyalty (Lord) 10

Footsoldier
Skills: Great Spear 10, Other Weapon 5
Traits & Passions: Valorous 10, Loyalty (Lord) 10

Sergeant
Skills: Lance 10, Spear 5, Other Weapon 10, Horsemanship 10
Traits & Passions: Valorous 10, Loyalty (Lord) 10
The character must own a healthy combat-trained horse (rouncy, charger, etc.) with all tack, weapons, and a suit of armor.

Warrior
Skills: Primary cultural weapon 10, First Aid 6

Traits & Passions: Valorous 12, Loyalty (Lord) 10, Honor 8

The character must possess the traditional weapons and equipment for the culture.

Mercenary Knight or Knight Errant
Skills: First Aid 6, Sword or other weapon 10, Lance 10, Spear 5, Horsemanship 10
Traits & Passions: Valorous 12, Honor 5, Loyalty (Lord) 15
The character must own a healthy combat-trained horse (rouncy, charger, etc.) with all tack, weapons, and a suit of armor. — The character must be knighted by a lord for favors done or heroic acts performed during play, most commonly on the battlefield. Squires, warriors, and sergeants are all occasionally knighted for their actions, and if the lord performing the ceremony cannot support them, they must live as mercenaries or errant knights until another lord is found.
Sometimes during a campaign the son of a heroic player character will be knighted by the heroic character’s lord, as a favor for past services. This must be determined during play. As on the battlefield, if the lord cannot support more household knights, the new knight becomes a mercenary or errant knight.

Bachelor (Household) Knight
Skills: First Aid 10, Battle 10, Lance 10, Horsemanship 10, Sword 10, Any other 2 non-combat skills 10
Traits & Passions: Valorous 15, Honor 5, Loyalty (lord ) 15
The character must own a healthy combat-trained horse (rouncy, charger, etc.) with all tack, weapons, and a suit of metal armor. Normally a household knight must be the son of a knight and age 21. Thus continuity is preserved. Some exceptions to these qualifications exist. Specifically, eldest sons may turn out not to qualify according to these standards, but may be knighted anyway if they can make a fair showing at knightly skills, especially if they are heirs to the title and their father is dead. Thus there are a fair number of rich, powerful, spoiled, unqualified adolescents riding around as knights.

Vassal Knight, Banneret, Lord
Not available at the start of play using this book. All bachelor knight requirements are needed. In addition, the character must have hereditary rights to the position, or be granted it through play. See Pendragon and the “Noble Ambitions” chapter for more information.
Lucky player knights who are also eldest sons of a lord who has died may immediately take an oath of homage and fealty to their liege lord to obtain their rightful office. However, this may depend upon game play, since many lords insist that new knights first prove themselves worthy of their inheritance. The gamemaster controls the situation.

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Family Background by Homeland & Culture (Pendragon 5th Edition)

FATHER’S CLASS

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INHERITED GLORY, SKILLS, TRAITS, PASSIONS & OUTFIT

Legionarius          

Glory:  3d6+50

18 skills points, Awareness +1, Spear +1, Sword +1, Grapple +2, Dagger +3

Proud +1, Prudent +1d3, Selfish +1d3+2, Cruel +1d6, Valorous +1, Honor +1d3, Loyalty (Lord) +1

Legionarius Outfit

 

Squire

Glory:  6d6

20 skill points, Alertness +2, Heraldry +2 (substitute Recognize in the Uther – Anarchy periods), Horsemanship +2

Energetic +1d3, Modest +1d3, Prudent +1d3, Valorous +1d6, Loyalty (Lord) +3

Outfit 1 (Footsoldier’s Outfit for Irish and Pictish characters)

 

Mercenary Knight

Glory:  6d6+100

20 skill points, Sword +3, any other weapon +3

Cruel +1d6, Valorous +1d3

Outfit 2 (Outfit 3 for Roman characters)

 

Warrior

Glory:  6d6+50

24 skill points, Awareness +2, Spear +2, Cultural Weapon +3

Proud +1, Reckless +1d3, Valorous +1d3+2, Honor +1d6, Loyalty (Lord) +3

Cultural Warrior Outfit

 

Family Chieftain

Glory:  2d6+100

28 skill points, Cultural Weapon +2

Love (family) +1d3, Valorous +1d3, Honor +1d3, Loyalty (Lord) +1d3+3

Cultural Warrior Outfit

 

Tribal or Clan Chieftain

Glory:  6d6+250

30 skill points, Cultural Weapon +3

Valorous +1d3, Loyalty (Clan) 2d6+6, Honor +1d6

Cultural Warrior Outfit

 

Bachelor Knight

Glory:  6d6+250

26 skill points

Valorous +1, Loyalty (Lord) +3, Honor +1

Outfit 3 (Outfit 2 for Frankish, Irish, Pictish & Saxon characters)

 

Vassal Knight

Glory:  6d6+250

30 skill points

Valorous +2, Loyalty (Lord) +4, Honor +1

Outfit 3 (Outfit 2 for Frankish, Irish, Pictish & Saxon characters)

 

Banneret Knight

Glory:  6d6+250

32 skill points

Valorous +3, Loyalty (Lord) +5, Honor +1d3

Two rolls on the Luck table

Outfit 3 (Outfit 2 for Frankish, Pictish & Saxon characters)

 

Officer

Glory:  6d6+300

26 skill points plus see below

Valorous +1, Loyalty (Lord) +4, Honor +1d3

  • Seneschal: Stewardship +4, Intrigue +2, Hospitality +1d3
  • Marshal: Battle +3, Valorous +1d3
  • Butler: Courtesy +3, Intrigue +1, Generous +3
  • Chamberlain: Read (Latin) +4, Heraldry +2 (substitute Recognize in the Uther – Anarchy periods)
  • Constable: Tourney +3 (substitute Battle in the Uther – Anarchy periods), Horsemanship +2
  • Forester: Awareness +2, Falconry +2, Hunting +4
  • Castellan: Battle +2, Courtesy +2, Stewardship +2

Outfit 4 (Outfit 3 for Frankish & Saxon characters)

 

Lord

Glory:  6d6+300

26 skill points, Courtesy +2, Heraldry +2 (substitute Recognize in the Uther – Anarchy periods), Intrigue +2, Battle +2, Sword +2, Spear +2

Proud +1d3, Loyalty (Lord) +6, Honor +3, Valorous +1d3

Three rolls on the Luck table

Outfit 4 (Outfit 3 for Saxon characters)

 

Free Holding Knight

Glory:  6d6+250

26 skill points, Stewardship +2, Courtesy +2, Intrigue +2, Battle +2, Sword +2

Proud +1d3, Loyalty (Lord) +1d3, Honor +1d3, Valorous +1d3

Two rolls on the Luck table

Outfit 4

 

INHERITED OUTFITS

 

UTHER-BOY KING PERIOD

Legionarius Outfit

Leather and open helm (4 pt), spear, legionary shield (9 pt), sword, dagger, clothing worth 60d.

Cymric Warrior’s Outfit

Leather armor (4 pt), spear, shield, sword, clothing worth 90d.

Pictish Warrior’s Outfit

No armor, 2 great spears, 5 javelins, great axe, dagger, clothing worth 10d.

Irish Warrior’s Outfit

Leather armor (4 points), 2 spears, shield, sword, dagger, clothing worth 60d.

Saxon Warrior’s Outfit

Cuirbouilli (6 pt), 2 spears, shield, sword, great axe, 3 javelins, dagger, clothing worth 60d.

Outfit 1

Rouncy, leather armor (4 pt), spear, shield, sword, dagger, clothing worth 90d.

Outfit 2

Charger, cuirbouilli (6 pt), spear, shield, sword, dagger, clothing worth 120d.

Oufit 3

Charger, rouncy, Norman chainmail (10 pt), 2 spears, shield, sword, dagger, clothing worth 1L.

Oufit 4

Charger, palfrey, 2 rouncies, Norma chainmail (10 pt), 2 spears, shield, sword, any one other available weapon, dagger, clothing worth 2L, 120d in money.

Outfit 5

2 chargers, palfrey, 2 rouncies, Norman chainmail (10 pt), 2 spears, shield, sword, any one other available weapon, dagger, clothing worth 4L, 1L in money.

Oufit 6

2 chargers, palfrey, 2 rouncies, Norman chainmail (10 pt), 2 spears, shield, sword, any one other available weapon, dagger, clothing worth 2L, 120d in money.

 

CONQUEST-TWILIGHT PERIOD

Foorsoldier’s Outfit

Leather armor (4 pt), great spear, sword or other cultural weapon, dagger, clothing worth 80d.

Cymric Warrior’s Outfit

Leather armor (4 pt), spear, shield, sword, dagger, clothing worth 120d.

Pictish Warrior’s Outfit

No armor, 2 great spears, 5 javelins, great axe, dagger, clothing worth 10d.

Irish Warrior’s Outfit

Leather armor (4 points), 2 spears, shield, sword, dagger, clothing worth 60d.

Saxon Warrior’s Outfit

Cuirbouilli (6 pt), 2 spears, shield, sword, great axe, 3 javelins, dagger, clothing worth 60d.

Outfit 1

2 rouncies, cuirbouilli (6 pt), spear, shield, sword, dagger, clothing worth 120d.

Outfit 2

Charger, 2 rouncies, Norman chainmail (10 pt), 2 spears, shield, sword, 5 jousting lances, dagger, clothing worth 1L.

Oufit 3

Charger, palfrey, rouncy, reinforced chainmail armor (12 pt), 2 spears, shield, sword, any one other weapon, 5 jousting lances, dagger, clothing worth 2L., 1L in money, 1 squire.

Oufit 4

1 Andalusian charger, palfrey, courser, 2 rouncies, reinforced chainmail armor (12 pt), 2 spears, shield, sword, any one other weapon, 5 jousting lances, dagger, clothing worth 4L., 2L in money, 2 squires.

Outfit 5

1 destrier, 1 Barb charger, 1 Camargue palfrey, 1 rouncy, 1 sumpter, partial plate armor (14 pt), leather hunting armor (2 pts), 6 spears, 2 shields, 2 swords, any two other weapons, 10 jousting lances, dagger, clothing worth 8L., 2L in money, 3 squires.

Oufit 6

1 Frisian destrier, 1 Andalusian chargers, 1 Camargue palfrey, 2 rouncies, 1 sumpter, partial plate armor (14 pt), engraved hunting leather armor (2 pt), 6 spears, 2 shields, 2 swords, any four other weapons, 10 jousting lances, dagger, clothing worth 10L., 3L in money, 4 squires.

 

LUCK BENEFITS

 

d20 roll CYMRIC d20 roll AQUITANIAN d20 roll FRANKISH
01 3d20 denarii. 01 3d20 +60 denarii. 01 3d20 +60 denarii.
02-03 3d20+120 denarii. 02 1 Librum (240 denarii). 02-03 1 Librum (240 denarii).
04-06 1 Librum (240 denarii). 03-04 1d3 Librum. 04 1d3 Librum.
07 1d3 Librum. 05 1d6 Librum. 05 1d6 Librum.
08 1d6 Librum. 06-07 Your forebear died heroically: +100 Glory. 06 Your forebear died heroically: +100 Glory.
09 Family heirloom:  Christian* sacred relic, roll a d6 (1=finger, 2=tears, 3-4=hair, 5=bone fragment, 6=blood) 08-10 Your ancestor was a Visigoth king (1d6+2 generations back):  +100 Glory and a jeweled sword worth 1d3 Librum. 07-10 Family heirloom:  a brooch.  Roll 1d6 for value (1-3 = silver worth 1 L., 4-5 = gold worth 3 L., 6 = silver with diamond worth 5 L.).
10 Family heirloom:  Ancient bronze sword (+1 to Sword skill when used).  Breaks as a non-sword in combat due to its weak blade.  Worth 2L. 11-12 A sumpter 11-13 A magical healing potion that heals 1d6 damage once.  Priceless.
11 Family heirloom:  Blessed spear (+1 modifier to Spear skill when used, until broken).  Worth 120 denarii. Note: Replace with a lance after the Anarchy period 13-15 A rouncy 14-15 A sumpter
12 Family heirloom:  Decorated saddle.  Worth 1 Librum. 16 A charger 16 A rouncy
13 Family heirloom:  Engraved finger ring.  Roll 1d6 for value (1-4 = silver ring worth 120 denarii, 5-6 = gold ring worth 2 L.). 17 A Barb courser 17 A charger
14 Family heirloom:  Armband.  Roll 1d6 for value (1-5 = silver band worth 1 L., 5-6 = gold band worth 8 L.). 18 An Andalusian charger 18 An Andalusian charger
15 Family heirloom:  Valuable cloak worth 1 Librum.  Roll 1d6 for origin (1-2 = Byzantine, 3=German, 4-5=Spanish, 6=Roman). 19 Upgrade your Outfit by 1 19 Upgrade your Outfit by 1
16 A magical healing potion that heals 1d6 damage once.  Priceless. 20 Roll twice more, re-rolling further rolls of “20”. 20 Roll twice more, re-rolling further rolls of “20”.
17-18 A charger
19 Upgrade your Outfit by 1
20 Roll twice more, re-rolling further rolls of “20”.
* Pagan Cymri gain 1d6 L. in place of this relic.

 

d20 roll IRISH & MANX d20 roll PICT d20 roll ROMANS
01 3d20 +60 denarii. 01-03 3d20 denarii. 01 3d20 +60 denarii.
02 1 Librum (240 denarii). 04 Your forebear died heroically: +100 Glory. 02-03 1 Librum (240 denarii).
03-04 Your forebear died heroically: +100 Glory. 05 A rouncy 04 1d3 Librum.
05 A Connacht rouncy. 06-10 You bear a magical tattoo that provides 2 points of armor 05-06 1d6 Librum.
06-10 A charger 11 You have a magical charger, +1 movement rate and +1d3 armor 07-10 Your ancestors came to Britain from Rome(1d6+2 generations back): +100 Glory.
11 An Irish courser 12 1d3 magical healing potions that heal 1d6 damage.  Priceless. 11-12 A charger
12-16 Your are a descendant of a king (1d6+2 generations back):  +150 Glory 13 The faeries have gifted you with a magical great spear of impressive power, +2 to Spear skill until broken.  +100 Glory.  Priceless. 13 An Andalusian charger
17 1d3 magical healing potions that heal 1d6 damage.  Priceless. 14-15 1d6 magical healing potions that heal 1d6 damage.  Priceless. 14 A Barb courser
18 A love potion.  Priceless. 16 1d3 love potions.  Priceless. 15-16 A magical healing potion that heals 1d6 damage once.  Priceless.
19 Upgrade your Outfit by 1 17-19 1d3 strong healing potions (each heals 6 damage).  Priceless. 17-18 A strong healing potion that heals 6 points of damage once.  Priceless.
20 Roll twice more, re-rolling further rolls of “20”. 20 Roll twice more, re-rolling further rolls of “20”. 19 Upgrade your Outfit by 1
20 Roll twice more, re-rolling further rolls of “20”.

 

d20 roll SAXON d20 roll SAXON (continued)
01-03  3d20 denarii. 14 You have a part-share in a ship.  Check with the gamemaster for details.
04 1d3 Librum. 15 You have a blessed axe.  +1 to Great Axe skill when used.  Breaks normally.  Worth 2 Librum.
05-07 Wotan is your ancestor: +200 Glory 16-18 A magical healing potion that heals 1d6 damage once.  Priceless.
08-10 A sumpter 19 Upgrade your Outfit by 1
11 A rouncy 20 Roll twice more, re-rolling further rolls of “20”.
12-13 A charger



 

Names by Culture (Pendragon 5th Edition)

Aquitanian
Aquitanian names reflect the heavy influences of the Franks upon the Roman and Celtic inhabitants of these lands. As such, their names contain Celtic, Germanic, and Roman elements.

Male Names: Use Frankish name and add the following: Aalard, Acostant, Alexis, Argius, Barnard, Beranger, Bovert, Burcan, Cadmar, Corneus, Danain, Daniel, Dragan, Elad, Emeric, Evrard, Gobert, Gundahar, Henri, Jaufre, Jules, Lancel, Lucan, Lucas, Morien, Nicholas, Patric, Remi, Renauld, Roger, Serin, Sevin, Thibaud, Thierry, Thomas, Victor, Xavier.

Female Names: Use Frankish name and add the following: Armide, Babette, Bethilie, Blandine, Brienne, Carelia, Cecile, Danielle, Diane, Edith, Elianor, Ethaine, Felise, Heloise, Helena, Irene, Jeanne, Liaze, Liliane, Lusiane, Lynn, Margot, Olivia, Priscilla, Raisende, Roxane, Sibille, Ursanne, Verrine.

Surnames: Like the Franks and Saxon, Aquitanians only use personal names. In place of surnames, noteworthy Aquitanian knights and nobles adopt nicknames based upon their homeland (i.e. de Ganis), traits (i.e. the Just), appearance (i.e. The Fair), or deeds (i.e. of the Long Hunt).
Some families, usually aristocratic, were identified by collective name taken from a famous forebear such as the Athelings, Gumeningas, Besingas, Baducings, Guthlacingas, the final ‘-ing’ element signifying ‘people of’.

Cymri
Cymric names are similar to their modern Welsh equivalments.

Male Names: Addonwy, Aeron, Afan, Aneirin, Aeddan, Amig, Amlyn, Athrwys, Arddur, Buddfannan, Blaen, Bledri, Bradwen, Bleddig, Cadfannan, Cadfael, Cadwallon, Cilydd, Cynon, Cynfan, Cyfulch, Cynrain, Cunvelyn, Caradoc, Cibno, Ceredig, Cadlew, Cynwal, Clydno, Cynhafal, Dafydd, Defi, Dwyai, Edar, Edern, Eiddef, Erthgi, Elad, Eudaf, Biffin, Gwefrfawr, Gwegon, Gwion, Gwyn, Gwarddur, Gwern, Gwyleged, Gwrien, Gwraid, Gorthyn, Gwaednerth, Gwengad, Brugyn, Gwenabwy, Gwrfelling, Gwair, Graid, Geriant, Gwanon, Hyfaidd, Hywel, Ieuan, Llywel, Marchlew, Moried, Morien, Madog, Morial, Mynyddog, Merin, Neilyn, Nwython, Nai, Nerthaid, Neddig, Nidian, Owain, Padern, Pedrog, Ricerch, Rhodri, Rhufon, Rhun, Sawel, Seriol, Sywno, Tathal, Tathan, Tudfwlch, Tyngyr, Uren, Uwain, Ysgarran.

Female Names: Adwen, Annest, Angarad, Arianwen, Briant, Duddug, Collwen, Dwynwen, Eleri, Ffraid, Glesig, Glesni, Gwen, Heledd, Indeg, Leri, Lleucu, Llio, Melangell, Meleri, Nest, Nia, Tydfil

Surnames: Cymric last names are patronymic, derived from the father or an ancestor. Commoners sometimes take their surname from nicknames or, rarely, from occupational names.
Patronymic surnames link the person’s proper name to his or her father’s by adding ap, ab, or mab (son of) or ferch (daughter of) between their proper name and that of their father. As such Neifion, son of Adern, becomes Neifion ap Adern while Nia, daughter of Uren, is called Nia ferch Uren. An accounting of one’s lineage is patrilineal, appending the names of son (or daughter) to father, then a grandfather, and so on. As such Llewelyn ap Dafydd ab Ieuan ap Griffith ap Meredith denotes Llewelyn, son of Dafydd, son of Ieuan, son of Griffith, son of Meredith. “Ap” is sometimes abbreviated to by simply adding the letter “P” or “B” to the surname of one’s father: ap Owen becomes Bowen, ap Rhys becomes Price or Bryce, or ap Hywel becomes Powell.

Pronunciation Guide: Cymric vowels are long in stressed syllables. Stress is always on the next-to-last syllable, except in very long names, where there is a second, lighter stress on the first syllable to help move the word along.
(c) is roughly equivalent to English k
( w ) is roughly equivalent to English oo
(dd) is roughly equivalent to English th, as in the
(ff) is roughly equivalent to English
(f) is roughly equivalent to English v
(ll) is the “Welsh sound”, an aspirated l-sound. Put the front of your tongue on the roof of your mouth and blow the air out the sides, between your teeth.

Frankish
Male Names: Adalmund, Aimon, Amalric, Arbogast, Archembaud, Arigius, Aurel, Baldric, Bardrim, Baudouin, Bernier, Bertmund, Brantome, Bretonnet, Brunehaut, Bruyant, Carolus, Childeric, Chlodobert, Clovis, Ernaut, Eustache, Fierbras, Fluvant, Gaidon, Galafre, Galien, Gaumadras, Gautier, Gilbert, Gilles, Girard, Godfroi, Grimoald, Gui, Guibert, Guillame, Guinemant, Gundovald, Gunthar, Hardouin, Harde, Hernaudin, Hernaut, Hervis, Hubert, Huges, Huidemar, Ingund, Isore, Jacquelin, Jean, Marc, Jerome, Jourdain, Julian, Landri, Leomund, Leovigild, Lothar, Louis, Maugis, Mercadier, Merovech, Milon, Naimes, Namus, Odovacer, Pepin, Piccolet, Philippe, Pierre, Renaud, Renier, Renouart, Richard, Robert, Roderic, Samson, Sigibrand, Sigimund, Tancred, Thierry, Theudebald, Theuderic, Varocher, Vincent, Vivien, Yon, Yves.

Female Names: Adeline, Aelis, Agnes, Aiglante, Alais, Alicia, Alienor, Alix, Amalon, Amalgard, Ameline, Anseir, Aregund, Aude, Basina, Beatrix, Belle, Bellisent, Berthild, Blond, Brunhild, Brunissent, Catherine, Cecilia, Clarissa, Clothild, Edith, Elisabeth, Erembourg, Ermengart, Esclarmonde, Flore, Fredegund, Galienne, Genevieve, Guiborc, Helissent, Helouise, Hermengart, Hildegard, Isabelle, Jacqueline, Jehanne, Jeannette, Joie, Josiane, Laurence, Lubias, Lutisse, Marguerite, Marie, Mathilde, Margalie, Mirabel, Nicole, Nicolette, Olive, Oriabel, Patronille, Pernelle, Poette, Rosamonde, Sigilind, Sybylle, Theudechild, Wisigard, Yde.

Surnames: Like the Saxons, Franks only use personal names. These names are often made up of two elements, often linked in some way with the parents’ names. For instance, Aldred and Edith might call their daughter Aldith as some elements were suitable for males and females. These names did not necessarily have any link in meaning between their two elements.
In place of surnames, noteworthy Frankish knights and nobles adopt nicknames based upon their homeland (i.e. de Ganis), traits (i.e. the Just), appearance (i.e. The Fair), or deeds (i.e. of the Long Hunt).
Surnames were not necessary for identification purposes although bynames were sometimes used. Although there was no inherited surname, some aristocratic families were identified by a collective name taken from a famous forebear, such as the Athelings, Gumeningas, Besingas, Baducings, or Guthlacingas; with the final ‘-ing’ element signifying ‘people of’.

Irish
Male Names: Aed, Aedan, Aeducan, Ailgel,Ailill, Airechtach, Amalgaid, Art, Baetan, Baeth, Berach, Berchan, Brion, Bruatur, Carthach, Cathal, Cenn, Cerball, Colcu, Comman, Congal, Cormacc, Daig, Diarmait, Donngal, Dunchad, Echen, Elodach, Eogan, Fachtna, Fedelmid, Finnchad, Flann, Guaire, Imchad, Laegaire, Lorccan, Maine, Murchad, Nathi, Ronan, Russ, Senach, Tadc, Tuathal, Ultan

Female Names: Aibhlinn, Aileen, Beibhinn, Bevan, Blaithnaid, Brigid, Cait, Cron, Derbail, Dunlaith, Eithrie, Finnguala, Flann, Gormlaith, Grainne, Lassar, Mor, Orlaith, Sadb, Siobhan, Sinead, Sorcha, Una

Clan Names: Every Irishman has a loyalty to his Clan. Select one from the lists here. In each name a “Mc” prefix means “son of,” and an “O” prefix means “grandson of or descendant of the person named. However, they actually mean the same thing since even the sons are of ancient times.
Similar names indicate a distant kinship, so that the O’Neils acknowledge a distant kinship with the McNeils. Likewise, clans from different parts of the island who have the same name acknowledge distant kinship.
Each clan is actually native to a very specific part of the kingdom, but no attempt has been made to locate these precisely within each kingdom for this edition.

• Ailech: O’Duffy, O’Mulligan, O’Farren, Mc Nelis, Mc Roarty, O’Kenny, O’Dever, Mc Grath.

• Connacht: O’Conor, O’Flynn, O’Fergus, O’Finan, O’Coyne, Mc Conneely, O’downey, O’Nihil, O’Dea, Mc Keane, Mc Donnell, O’Quinn, O’Brien, Mc Mahon, O’Grady, O’Madden, Mc Nevin.

• Dal Ariade: O’Neill Clanaboy, Mc Alister, O’Lynn, O’Lavery.

• Dal Riada: Mc Donnell, O’Quinn, O’Hara, Mc Neill, Mc Cleary, Mc Quillan, Mc Keown, O’Hood.

• Leinster: O’Conor Faly, O’Dempsey, O’Dunn, O’Byrne, O’Toole, Mc Morrough, Mc Gilpatrick, O’Doyle, O’Hartley, O’Nolan, O’Larkin, O’Shea, O’Duff, O’Ronan, O’Cullen.

• Long Isles (same as Dal Riada): Mc Donnell, O’Quinn, O’Hara, Mc Neill, Mc Cleary, Mc Quillan, Mc Keown, O’Hood.

• Meath: O’Reilly, O’Curry, O’Coffey, O’Connolly, O’Kelly, Mc Auley, Mc Gee, O’Casey, O’Connolly, O’Mulecdy.

• Munster: O’Kennedy, O’Meagher, O’Brien Arra, O’Mulrain, O’Conor Kerry, O’Sullivan Mor, Mc Carthy Muskerry, O’Callaghan, Mc Carthy Reagh, O’Sullivan, Beare, O’Fogarty, O’Noonan, O’Long, O’Shelly, Mc Sweeney.

• Oriel: O’Neill, Mc Nally, Mc Gorman, Mc Mahon, O’Hagan, O’Hanlon, O’Breslin, Mc Ardle.

Pronunciation Guide:
(a) is roughly equivalent to English law
(c) is always hard, roughly equivalent to English cow
(d) is roughly equivalent to English j, as in joy
(e) is roughly equivalent to English veil
(g) is roughly equivalent to English, as in goal
(i) is roughly equivalent to English ee, as in fee
(o) is roughly equivalent to English show
(iu) is roughly equivalent to the English ew, as is rood
(s) is roughly equivalent to English sh, as in short
(t) is roughly equivalent to English ch, as in church
(ei) is roughly equivalent to English vine
(ow) is roughly equivalent to English owl
(ch) is roughly equivalent to Scottish loch

Pict
Male Names: Agnoin, Brude, Buban, Buiann, Cian, Cruithne, Drust, Fathecht, Golistan, Llifiau, Luchtai, Mailcon, Mais, Nechtan, Partolan, Peithan, Talorc, Wid.

Female Names: No female Pictish names have been recorded in history. Use Cymric and Irish names.

Surnames: Pict surnames are usually patronymic, linking a person to his or her father by placing mab (son of) or ferch (daughter of) between a person’s proper name and the father’s name.
Nicknames based on traits (“the loner”), places (i.e. “an Arcach”, meaning of The Orkneys), quirks (i.e. “Clag a’ Bhaile” meaning ‘the town bell’ for a loud person), or occupation (i.e. “Clachair” or stonemason) are also common.

Clan Names: Every Pict has a loyalty to his Clan. The word clan simply means children, and each clan is made up of a number of distinct familial branches that are descended from, or believe themselves to be descended from, a common ancestor. New clans contain septs or branches are founded when a powerful or prominent clansman establishes he own notable familial line within that clan. The clan chief is considered the head, or father, of the entire clan and, upon his death, is succeeded by an heir who is elected by clan members during the chief’s lifetime. Only the chief uses the Clan Name as his surname; all others use their patronymic surname or their given byname.

Roman
Roman citizens usually bore two to three elements in their names: a proper name, a surname, and, at times, an honorific.

Male Names: Albanus, Agorix, Arcavius, Avitus, Belletor, Burcanius, Caletus, Caracturus, Catianus, Cunobarrus, Cervidus, Dagwaldus, Decmus, Donicus, Dumnorix, Egbutius, Elvorix, Galerus, Gessius, Ingenvinus, Isatis, Ivimarus, Luonercus, Litumarus, Leddicus, Lupinus, Maccalus, Macrinus, Magunnus, Marullinus, Metunus, Molacus, Nemnogenus, Nonius, Novellius, Olennius, Pertacus, Primanus, Nertomarus, Sarimarcus, Sudrenus, Tanicus, Taurinus, Trenus, Vepgenus, Vibennis, Vitalinus, Ulprus, Voteporix.

Female Names: Except for the names ending in -rix, all male names can be feminized by changing the ending to “ia”. Thus Arcavius becomes Arcavia.

Surname: The surname or nomen designated a Roman citizen as a member of a family or clan. All members of an extended family share the same surname or nomen, and claimed descent from a common ancestor.
The nomen was an essential element of Roman nomenclature throughout Roman history, although its usefulness as a distinguishing element declined precipitously following the Constitutio Antoniniana, which effectively granted the nomen “Aurelius” to vast numbers of newly enfranchised citizens. Countless other “new Romans” acquired the nomen of important families in this manner during imperial times; in the fourth century Aurelius was surpassed in number by Flavius, and other names became quite common, including Valerius, Claudius, Fabius, Julius, and Junius.
Honorific: Honorific names were also used to distinguish branches of the family from one another, and occasionally, to highlight an individual’s achievement, typically in warfare.
Unlike the surname, which was passed down unchanged from father to son, an honorific or cogname could appear and disappear almost at will. They were not normally chosen by the persons who bore them, but were earned or bestowed by others, which may account for the wide variety of unflattering names that were used as cognames.
Examples of honorifics include Magnus (great), Maximus (greatest), Cicero (chick pea), Rufus (red-haired), Numidicus (from Numidia), Scaevola (left-handed), Eboricus (from York), Augustus (venerable).

Pronunciation Guide: remember that all C’s are hard, like K.

Saxon
Male Names: Aelfric, Aescwine, Bassa, Beorhtric, Caedwalla, Caewlin, Centwine, Cenwalch, Cerdic, Coelred, Coelric, Coelwulf, Coenhelm, Conerad, Conewalch, Coenwulf, Cuthbert, Cuthred, Cuthwulf, Cyneagils, Cynewulf, Cynric, Eadbald, Eadberht, Eadric, Eardwulf, Edwin, Edgert, Ethilfrith, Ethelheard, Ethelred, Ethelwulf, Hengest, Hlothere, Horsa, Ine, Octa, Oeric, Osric, Oswald, Oswine, Oswulf, Oswy, Peada, Penda, Sigebryht, Wihtred, Wulfhere

Female Names: Aelflaed, Aelgifu, Aethelred, Burhred, Cuthburh, Cyneburh, Eadgifu, Eadgyth, Eadhild, Ealhred, Eormenburh, Hereswith, Raedburh, Sexburh, Wihtburh

Surnames: Saxons use personal names that are often made up of two elements, often linked in some way with the parents’ names. For instance, Aldred and Edith might call their daughter Aldith as some elements were suitable for males and females. These names did not necessarily have any link in meaning between their two elements.
For clarity’s sake, Saxon’s will sometimes identify themselves as their father’s son or daughter. As such the sons of Helgi may adopt Helgisson as a surname of sorts, while his daughters would be take Helgisdottir as their informal surname.
In place of surnames, noteworthy Saxon warriors and nobles adopt nicknames based upon their homeland (i.e. of the Dales, Lord of Hadding), traits (i.e. the Honey-Tongued, the Learned, the Reckless), appearance (i.e. The Fair, the Fat, the Tall, the Old, the Lame, Blue-Toothed, Swarthy-Cheeked), or deeds (i.e. of the Long Hunt, Far-Wanderer, Battle-Blessed, Head-Splitter).
Surnames were not necessary for identification purposes although bynames were sometimes used. Although there was no inherited surname, some great families were identified by a collective name taken from a famous forebear, such as the Athelings, Gumeningas, Besingas, Baducings, Guthlacingas, or Volsungs; with the final ‘-ing’ or ‘-ung- element signifying ‘people of’.