Far too many years ago, I posted a custom Ideal for Pendragon on the old forums. Those forums don’t exist any more, but plenty of people liked the ideal, so I’m posting it here. I’ll add some thoughts and explanations after.
This benefit represents the ideals of King Uther and dark age knighthood, for the days before Chivalry. The true knight is brave (Valorous), even foolhardy (Reckless). He knows there is nothing more important than his good name (Proud), and avenges slights against it (Vengeful). The true knight upholds the practice of largesse (Generosity) and expects others to keep their word (Trusting). A true knight also knows that Might Makes Right (Arbitrary).
Traits: Need 80 points from Vengeful, Generous, Proud, Reckless, Trusting and Valorous. Since a strong knight makes his own rules, you can replace the lowest of these traits with your Arbitrary score.
Benefit: +1/5th Hit Points (round nearest)
Glory: 50 glory per year.
Chivalry: A True Knight cannot also be Chivalrous. When Chivalry becomes available, this ideal identifies you as an honourable-but-villainous knight, or a traditionalist who rejects King Arthurs new laws. Once a land (whether a kingdom or a manor) accepts Arthur’s rule, this ideal vanishes from that land.
Thoughts on this Ideal
The concept behind this Ideal is that The King has a magical impact on his world, and the nature of that impact is related to The King. Uther is a flawed character, and reinforces a kind of dark ages sensibility of knighthood. The traits do match those pretty well, I think.
If I was going to chnage the traits, I’d drop the Arbitrary effect. The other traits already do a good job of representing this kind of knighthood, and it’s already a fairly easy Ideal to qualify for – Arbitray isn’t really needed.
The ideal bonus, giving extra hit points, is in keeping with my own preference for Chivalry. It gives less of a bonus than Chivalry, and the bonus is based not on the total traits but the characters raw physical ability. That’s intentional.
If you were using the traditional Chivalry bonus, you could keep this method, or perhaps change it to give +1 damage and +1 armour. That’s less powerful than Chivaltry (+3 armur) and it hsould be less powerful – but also emphasises the aggressiveness of this kind of knight. They hit harder!
I think the idea of losing the benefit when a land adopts Arthur as ruler is fun. This allows a knight to rebel against their king to keep the bonus, and be more obviously an outcast or villain. I think having a benefit for opponents who aren’t outright evil is fun. It also gives players a meaningful choice, especially if they have this benefit.
There you go. I think this adds to games, especially those which start in the Uther age. Have fun with it, and let me know your thoughts and experiences.