OSR: 1d100 Baronial Grievances

If you're going to hexcrawl in a populated, feudal area, you will run into several barons. They all have problems. Most of them aren't problems the PCs can solve.

The table can be used with a d100 roll, or a d10 roll on a particular topic, or (and this is my personal favourite), by picking an entry and rambling on and on and on, listing subsequent entries, looping, and changing the subject until the players beg you to stop. Barons often get angry and throw things in the middle of a good rant.

Barons won't normally reveal their troubles to strangers, but if they are drunk, surly, duplicitous, manipulative, extremely tired, or just notorious windbags, the PCs can get an earful

If you want to see how the peasants feel, check out this table

Symbaroun, official art. Artist unknown.

1d100 Baronial Grievances

You can barely understand my troubles.
1 The weather is ruining my crops.
2 My mill is constantly breaking down.
3 My horse is sick. I've never seen such a decrepit beast.
4 I am accosted by flatterers and liars.
5 The burdens of my Estate would crush a lesser man.
6 My manor is collapsing and my castles are little more than ruins.
7 The natural order of Creation is unraveling.
8 Merchants overcharge me for everything.
9 Moneylenders seek to ruin me.
10 And my own knights are little better than knaves.

And my peasants are...
11 Revolting. Have you smelled them?
12 Stupid.
13 Superstitious.
14 Petty.
15 Bickering.
16 Drunken.
17 Lazy.
18 Filthy.
19 Animals! No better than animals!
20 Or perhaps worse, for I love my hounds more than any peasant!

The damn peasants, I say...
21 They come to me with the strangest problems.
22 Cases and injuries only idiots could invent.
23 And then they whine about taxes.
24 And food. And fees. Ungrateful creatures!
25 In my father's time, they were not so rebellious.
26 And their demands are often outrageous.
27 They know nothing of honour or warfare or the order of the world.
28 They seek only food, fornication, and sleep. A curse on all peasants!
29 Not one of them goes to church.
30 Or if they do, it is only to sleep and laugh at the service.

And speaking of the Church...
31 The parish priest harangues me day and night.
32 He wants more money.
33 Or he objects to something I've done.
34 Or maybe something I didn't do; I can never tell. To him, I am always in the wrong.
35 But what does he know of holiness?
36 He's a hypocrite, I say. He keeps a mistress or two, drinks, fights, swears.
37 Berates the peasants for wickedness while practicing the same vices.
38 And then has the gall to order me around?
39 I should write to the Bishop and have him replaced. Or better, flogged.
40 In my father's time, he'd have done it himself, but now you can't flog priests. Bah!

The Count?
41 Well, he's an honourable man.
42 Chivalrous, certainly. Usually to the wives of other men.
43 And brave. He has never shown weakness by courting allies.
44 And generous. Everything he has, he spends. Everything I have he spends too.
45 Wise, in a worldly way. Theological matters do not trouble him.
46 Nor the use of letters, I think, but what good have letters ever done?
47 And he fights well. He will happily fight friend and foe alike.
48 He has no shortage of people willing to speak his praises.
49 And the King pays very close attention to his movements.
50 And his barons can only express their total devotion.

As for me...
51 Gout in my feet.
52 And gout in my fingers.
53 And my hair is falling out.
54 My teeth ache.
55 And I can't swing a sword like I used to.
56 I'm getting fat, I know, like a pig in a sty. Fattened up for slaughter, no doubt.
57 And I have a rash on my neck.
58 Not to mention this horrible cough.
59 And my old wounds from the War ache on cold nights.
60 And sometimes it hurts to piss.

My family? 
61 My wife was beautiful, once. Now she looks like a turnip.
62 But when she was younger, every man desired her.
63 How can I know if my children are my own?
64 Perhaps it would be better if they were bastards, for they are my burden and my curse.
65 My son and heir is a lazy fool.
66 He chases the serving girls and drinks at all hours.
67 My daughter keeps the company of troubadours and thieves.
68 And she speaks to peasants in an unsettling manner.
69 My uncle is a snake and a murderer.
70 My aunt is a poisoner and witch.

There is always more...
71 My bastard son is competent, but the Count would never legitimize him.
72 And half the young women in the barony look like me, or my father.
73 My younger brother plots my death.
74 My older sister married a barbarian and sends me scandalous letters.
75 My younger sister became a nun. Her letters are worse.
76 I swear, my cousins are the largest pack of fools in Creation.
77 Unlike my dear neighbor, Baron X. His children are paragons of virtue.
78 What did he do to deserve such worthy children, when I am so afflicted?
79 My squire can't tell one end of a horse from the other.
80 And my butler is a thief, a liar, and probably a sodomite.

The War? 
81 Our enemies are cowards!
82 They use dishonorable tactics.
83 They hide in fortresses and avoid battles.
84 They burn their own villages tear down bridges.
85 And while we might use the same tactics out of desperation, we do not enjoy it.
86 Unlike our enemies, who love to break the code of chivalry.
87 Some of them are decent men, I admit, but most are bastard sons of dogs.
88 There is no place for peasants in warfare.
89 And mercenary peasants are even worse. What a plague! What a disease!
90 No wonder we can't seem to win the war. Perhaps things will go better this year.

And also...
91 Many of my villages have not recovered from the Plague.
92 And the War that followed it.
93 And then the terrible storms last year.
94 My knights practice farming or poetry, not warfare.
95 Bandits and stranger things lurk in the hills.
96 Every neighboring baron desires my death.
97 What the Count and King do not take, the Church demands.
98 As though I had wealth to spare, with all my many expenses.
99 These are troubled, disordered, and unfortunate times.
100 But I suppose things could be worse.

1 comment:

  1. good one
    i like the headers of sub list - i might steal that as ppl misinterpreted my d10sub types often