By Henry of Huntingdon (Historia Anglorum) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I’m preparing for an upcoming Burning Wheel campaign. I am using the Anarchy of England as the backdrop.
Every great man built himself a castle and held it against the king; and they filled the whole land with these castles. They sorely burdened the unhappy people of the country with forced labour on the castles; and when the castles were built, they filled them with devils and wicked men. The Angle-Saxon Chronicle, placed as the entry for the year 1137, but written in the 1150s. This section comes from The Peterborough Chronicle 1070-1154, ed. C Clark, 2nd edn. (Oxford, 1970); translations include The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. D. Whitelock et al. (London, 1962)
If the characters crawl the English countryside, I want some more random generators. Five years ago, I was gearing up to run a campaign set during a war. I wrote up a random wartime village generator; I may reuse some of that.
In response to a weak crown, the barons are consolidating their personal power.
What is the State of the Fortifications?
|3-5||Major enhancements beginning|
|6-8||Major enhancements wrapping up|
|9-11||Earthen motte and bailey|
Were these Fortifications Sanctioned by the King?
An unsanctioned castle may draw the ire of the king; Though he has numerous irons in the fire.
Taking a page from Zzarchov Kowolski’s Scenic Dunnsmouth (review), I’m establishing a campaign attribute “King’s Popularity”.
When a person’s loyalty to the king is unknown, the GM rolls 2d6 to get their “Loyal to the King” score. Then compare that score to the current “King’s Popularity”:
|Loyal to the King is...||Resulting Allegiance|
|Less than King's Popularity||Loyal to the King Stephen|
|Equal to King's Popularity||Hedging bets|
|Greater than King's Popularity||Loyal to Empress Matilda|
Throughout the course of play as the “King’s Popularity” rises and falls, this will adjust a person’s allegiance.
Example: The current “King’s Popularity” score is 7. The players encounter Herald FitzJohn, an unknown. The GM secretly rolls 2d6 and gets a 6. Herald FitzJohn’s allegiance is to King Stephen. If the “King’s Popularity” drops to 5, the Herald FitzJohn’s allegiance will shift to Empress Matilda.
- Village/city events - lift from Torchbearer
- Countryside events - drawing a blank right now