New Playbook: The Great Lady

  • 3 Replies
New Playbook: The Great Lady
« on: September 16, 2014, 08:06:34 PM »
Some playbooks will simply claw their bloody way out of you. Here is one such playbook.

The Great Lady

Steward of the land,
Helpmeet to the powerful,
The soul of poise and grace.

When choosing your stats: +2 Good, +1, +1, +0, -1


You have the right to due respect, from bound, free, noble, and royal, from friend and enemy alike.

You have the right to command others' assistance, at your word, wherever you go.

You have the ancestral right and title to rule a stronghold, either in your own right or as dowry to husband, as may be. If this stronghold is not already part of the fiction, create it now.

You have the right to hold others in vassal to you, either in your own right or as dowry to husband, as may be; to receive their rents, muster, and tribute; and to command their hospitality.

You are a legal heir to a crown, either in your own right or as dowry to husband, as may be. Upon its fall, you or husband have the right to contend with your fellow heirs to claim it.

You have the right to offer hospitality and protection to those under your roof.

You have the right to ready your household for what's coming, as you see best.

You are exhilarating, intoxicating, when you choose to be. When you win someone over, instead of asking your last question, you have the right to choose 1 of the following:
Warmth returns to them: hope, kindness, love, mercy, or faith.
Ask them a boon. If they can do it, they must. If they cannot do it, they must break themselves on the task.
Treat them cruelly. You leave them in despair, longing, and regret.


Re: New Playbook: The Great Lady
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2014, 11:27:03 AM »
You have the ancestral right and title to rule a stronghold, either in your own right or as dowry to husband, as may be. If this stronghold is not already part of the fiction, create it now.

Is the "is not already part of the fiction" standard across similar rights? It sounds weird to refer to it this way in the middle of a playbook, and I think something like "If this stronghold does not already exist" or "If this stronghold hasn't been made yet" (or created instead of made) sounds more natural to me.

I think I'd personally like to see 1-2 more "mechanical" rights (at least one stat swap maybe, if nothing else), but I'm also a move junkie XD

- Alex

Re: New Playbook: The Great Lady
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2014, 01:13:33 PM »
I don't get what "in your own right or as dowry to husband" means exactly here. "Dowry" is property which was owned by the family of the bride, and became the possession of the husband (or his family) as part of a marriage contract, sometimes with some provision under which it may revert to the bride's family's possession (like in case of divorce or annulment). "Bride-price" is the opposite -- payment from the husband's family to the bride's.

In this case, it sounds like you want to say that you either inherited the right to the stronghold/vassalage/crown, or acquired it through marriage. But "dowry" is not how women acquire things through marriage: it's the opposite. Or do you in fact mean by "as dowry to husband" that this is a right which would have been entirely your own had you not married, but your control of it is now compromised because it was part of your dowry -- what was once your own right, you now wield only on your husband's sufferance? That would be an interesting idea for a playbook, but I'd like to see it fleshed out more.

In general, it's an interesting choice to explicitly gender an AW:DA playbook, since the others intentionally avoid gendering. I think there may be compelling reasons to do so. But if what you mean by dowry is "via your husband", this one sort of says "well, if you're a Keep Liege, you command a stronghold; if you're a Great Lady, you command a stronghold, which you might have acquired by marriage." But that isn't actually specific to gender; many male Keep Lieges acquired their strongholds by marriage -- the whole point of noble marriage being a mutual exchange, and unification, of property. So it seems odd to make an explicitly gendered playbook and the main thing it does that's specifically about gender is to emphasize  something which is the case anyway?

It would be fine for this playbook to strike "either in your own right or as dowry to husband", and just be that collection of existing rights, verbatim, which emphasize a balance of noble inheritance and hospitality/keep management -- Keep Liege without the war and justice stuff, so an inward-focused leader playbook, a President to the Keep Liege's CEO. That doesn't really need to be as gendered -- it's a traditional female role, but I'd almost rather see another playbook name so that a male character could have that set of rights as well -- and it doesn't necessarily need "exhilarating/intoxicating" in there.

Maybe more interesting, though, and sort of the other half of what you seem to be going for here, would be a  playbook which assumed some specific patriarchal constraints on women's power, and then explored what strategies they used to transcend or wrestle with those constraints. Maybe you have ancestral title to a stronghold, but you DON'T just get to rule it -- your husband has that right. He can't rule it without you, but nor can you issue orders in his presence. Maybe you have to use indirect strategies -- maybe you can muster warriors with Good, but only when you can show that you have been personally wronged or slighted. Maybe you have extra moves attached to Denied Right, which lets you automatically obtain certain resources when your rights are denied, because of the people's or the nobles' sympathies. Here, exhilarating/intoxicating makes more sense.

For that latter playbook, I'd also love to see a Season Move "At Court", which allows you to gather influence, information, and experience by attending your royal relatives, patiently listening to gossip, winning loyalties, and carrying on intrigues. Perhaps it would function like Travel, except getting experience towards rights of the New Nobility, and returning with news of the Court.

Re: New Playbook: The Great Lady
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2014, 08:49:15 PM »
One of the reasons this playbook exists is that I am a fan of Melanie Wilkes nee Hamilton, from Gone With the Wind. More specifically, the Exhilarating, Intoxicating right was exactly what Melanie used to bring Rhett Butler back from the brink of despair after the death of his daughter Bonnie Blue.

As for 'in your own right or as dowry to husband, as may be', my intent was that this could go either way, and that no one had any particular right for it to be one way or the other; 'dowry to husband' means that whatever it is goes as dowry to her husband or to her future husband. Own right, or dowry? As the players create characters and setting, one or the other may be the obvious way to go; do it that way. If not, then set things up so that it could go either way and then play to find out. If you don't like this kind of tension at all, then stay away from those 3 rights, or else play a keep liege or other important person instead.

Queen Elizabeth I of England resolved the Own Right or Dowry question by never marrying. Many enfeoffed noblewomen were, until married off, considered dependents under wardship. Some others ruled their own holdings.

Vincent, feel free to do as you like with the Great Lady playbook.