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(TFT) Courtly Love as Magic
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- Subject: (TFT) Courtly Love as Magic
- From: Sgt Hulka <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 10:05:43 -0700 (PDT)
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Inspired by Sir Arthur Conan's Doyle The White Company and Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe (both of which are available for free from Project Gutenberg, btw) as well as the various Arthurian romances, it occurred to me that you could treat Courtly Ladies as powerful wizards in a Chivalric setting. This "magic" probably wouldn't be recognized as such by the participants (a distinction would have to be made from "witchcraft") but could be governed by basically the same rules.
Essentially, what I'm getting at, is that the various tokens of Courtly Love...a Lady's glove, a Lady's ribbon tied around a Knight's lance, a wreath bestowed by the Belle of the Tournament upon the victor, etc., could actually be magic items that the Lady created.
For example, a valiant and worthy Knight falls in love with the beautiful Lady, who has the following stats and talents:
ST 8 DX 8 IQ 18
Blur, Detect Enemies, Dazzle, Persuasiveness, Drain Strength, Stone Flesh, Megahex Avert, Spell Shield, Weapon/Armor Enchantment, Lesser Magic Item Creation, Sex Appeal (2), Charisma (4), Courtly Graces (2)
The valiant Knight pledges his undying love to the Lady, and spends several months in courtship. During these months the Knight is so overcome by his love for his Lady that he finds himself constantly weak and incapable of concentrating on anything else. But at the end of the courtship, the Lady accepts his love and pledges herself in return. She offers him a token of said love -- one of her most expensive gloves, embroidered with pearls. The Knight tucks it into his tunic where all may see, and sets out to win honor and glory in his Lady's name.
Later the valiant Knight is challenged by a black, villainous cur who insults said glove hanging from the Knight's tunic. The Knight, quick to defend his lady's honor, throws down the glove as challenge and leaps to the attack. The villainous cur is so overwhelmed by the virtue of the Knight's true love that he is quickly reduced to a quivering mass of lifeless flesh and blood.
In game terms, the several months of courtship was really the creation of the magic item. The Lady used Drain Strength on her Knightly lover, adding his strength to her own so that she could create the glove. Perhaps she has a Lady-in-Waiting or two who AIDED her. In any case, it took far longer than the 1/2 week since she only has a DX of 8. When she was finished she gave the glove to the Knight, and the Glove was really a DAZZLE GEM.
At a tournament, she might kiss her lover for "good luck", which in truth is bestowing a BLUR on him, or a STONE FLESH or a SPELL SHIELD. As she watches him she is so overcome by fear for him that she is on the verge of fainting (which is really her just spending strength every turn to maintain the spell). AVERT is an appeal to an attacker to leave her be in the name of chivalry. PERSUASIVE adds to her own Charisma. She might enchant her chosen Knight's "weapon" with WEAPON/ARMOR ENCHANTMENT by tying a ribbon around it. And so forth.
The key, it seems, for such a setting, would be for the referee to define the accepted roles of magic. Certain spells could be defined as the right and proper effects of courtly love, as above, and others the result of strong faith in the divine, while many spells might be defined as vile witchcraft or black magic.
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