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Thom Truelove

Full Pendragon Timeline?

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Hello,

I seem to recall, in earlier editions of Pendragon, a by-year chronology of the events of Arthuriana. Due to shelter-in-place considerations I am about 75 miles from my game books. Can anyone provide me with the timeline from Arthur's coronation to the final battle at Camlaan? In particular, I'm hopeful to (re)learn in which year Merlin's imprisonment began.

Thank you.

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I don't have that timeline for you, but wrt to Merlin...

He has a quote in 516.

He is rumored to be dead in 517.

He is rumored to just be ill and taken care of by the Lady of the Lake (Nimue) in 518.

He is rumored to be sleeping in 521 and in 522, with a knight of Malahaut hearing his voice from a pool. Allegedly.

He is rumored to have been at court in 523, in disguise, to say farewell to Arthur. The Intrigue box seems to confirm this. And while Arthur sends knights to look for him, he is really gone.

So taking GPC as written, 523 seems to be the date. However, given how much it is rumored from 516 onwards and that he doesn't make an appearance during the Battle of Badon, I am coming around to the idea (suggested by other people, I didn't originate it) that he is gone by 517, and 523 is just a vision/spell sent by Merlin to Arthur.

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This might help. Have a look through the old forum as well. you can search it in google using

site: greathall.chaosium.com query

https://greathall.chaosium.com/Pendragon%20Forum%20Archive/index.php/t-2802.html

the doc in the article is still available:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1HVmSV3FfN599Zxeovfetyv3Q392ax-sDW2WsdJR6kZg/edit#gid=0

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9 hours ago, Thom Truelove said:

Hello,

I seem to recall, in earlier editions of Pendragon, a by-year chronology of the events of Arthuriana. Due to shelter-in-place considerations I am about 75 miles from my game books. Can anyone provide me with the timeline from Arthur's coronation to the final battle at Camlaan? In particular, I'm hopeful to (re)learn in which year Merlin's imprisonment began.

Thank you.

I think what you want is the chronology in The Pendragon Campaign. Not the Great Pendragon Campaign, but The Pendragon Campaign written for KAP1. It's about a ten page synopis of the major events. For legal reasons I can't copy and print it here, but I can port over a couple of details.

In the PC Merlin is said to disappear in 515, and Bagdemanus discovers him imprisoned under a stone in 516. But this was back when Greg has Nimue be the one who locked Merlin away instead of Viviane (they were really the same character under different manes, but over time morphed into the good lady of the lake and the evil one). Later Greg, decided to follow Malory a bit more closely.

I suspect what we see in the GPC is a way to blend both stories with Merlin apparently missing in 515-6 with Nimue's help and showing up again later. Since Badon is in 518, I'd surmise that Merlin was dropping off the radar so that he could help ensure Arthur's victory. He probably found that being "dead" made it easier for him to work his plans and so kept under the radar from then on. As Morien pointed out, he seems to be around until 523, when Arthur is secure as High King. Maybe he even did a little behind the scenes work during the Roman War that we don't know of.

He would have to have been around sometime after 514  to show the Holy Grail to the assembled Round Table. I don't see it happened during Arthur's wedding as it would get lost in the shuffle of miracles. 

Anyway, Merlin's disappearance is so shrouded in mystery that you can run it just about whenever you wish, after 515 or so. Considering that Lady Camille uses magic successful on Arthur in 531, it seems likely that MErlin wasn't around to protect him any more. So he is probably gone by 530. Some legends even have Merlin escaping and showing up after Camlaan. Or maybe Merlin "died" in the 420s and used form riding to come back as Taliesin?

 

 

 

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It does have a synopsis of the events, major characters. It does have a shortened campaign that can be run in a reasonable time frame and I believe was the beginnings of the GPC which did see print later.

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20 hours ago, Thom Truelove said:

Do you mean this, by chance?

https://www.chaosium.com/the-pendragon-campaign-pdf/

If so, I may have to buy and download.

Yes, that's exactly what I mean. Just to give you a heads up, it was the first supplement for Pendragon (although the Grey Knight might have beaten it out of the gate). It's a smorgasbord of stuff, like most RPG supplements at that time. They used to put any new stuff they had into whatever they published as they didn't know if they would get another chance to publish another supplement.

 

Most of what is in the PC is outdated, and is covered better and more detail in latter supplements, notable thre GPC, but a lot of stuff appeared in the PC first. It does give a condense timeline with most events given a single line or two. The overviews of the lives of Arthur, Gwen, Lacelot, and Mordred, and the designers notes are still quite helpful.All in all, everything in the PC is still relevant and still works, even though it's from first edition, but almost all of it gets covered better and in more detail in latter books.

 

I am trying to give a fiar view of the supplment without overly selling it. On the one hand it is/was a fantastic supplement in it's day, I'm glad I bought it (twice), and still peruse it on occasion, for useful stuff - such as the random encounter tables when the knight travel. On the other hand it's a 35 year old supplement that has mostly been superceeded by later and greater supplements, and probably won't contain much that you haven't seen in a revised form somewhere. 

 

IMO the PDF is certainly worth the $5, especially if you don't have the GPC (and why not:blink:;)???), but at best will be a lightly used reference book, not the "go to" book it once was. I hope that makes sense. 

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It's interesting the PC has chapters dedicated to important characters' history. IIRC, the GPC doesn't, and their stats are in a separate pdf.

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20 hours ago, Mugen said:

It's interesting the PC has chapters dedicated to important characters' history. IIRC, the GPC doesn't, and their stats are in a separate pdf.

Yup. There are a few gems in the PC that for some reason or another never got reprinted. The character timelines and the encounter tables come to mind. Plus any of Greg's "Designer's Notes" are gold, as they give us an insight not only into how the game is designed to work, but also why. I can't say how many times at the gaming table where having an insight into the designers intentions helped me to deal with a tough GMing situation. 

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The Pendragon Campaign is 75 pages and The Great Pendragon Campaign is 429 pages. The gamemaster character file was probably created as a separate file due to size/cost of the GPC if added to it. 

If one is familiar with the latter, then a great amount of the former is in there, rewritten a bit and expanded.  It is true that a timeline is added for certain characters, but this is done for only the four most important characters: Arthur, Guenever, Lancelot and Modred. The key difference I think is the pace of the campaign. The entire campaign according to GPC is about two years, if played weekly. In the PC, it is accelerated where it is suggested to run 6 years in the same session.  

The part I like the most is the extensive Bibliography section where Greg talks about each book he lists rather than just the list. For example, in Marion Bradley Zimmer's Mist of Avalon, he notes that Gueneviere is the least likeable version he has encountered, but is his favorite interpretation of Modred.

Just my humble opinion, and remember YPMV.

 

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6 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

The Pendragon Campaign is 75 pages and The Great Pendragon Campaign is 429 pages. The gamemaster character file was probably created as a separate file due to size/cost of the GPC if added to it. 

Yup, and Yup. I'm not sure what your point is with that though. 

6 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

If one is familiar with the latter, then a great amount of the former is in there, rewritten a bit and expanded. 

Again yup. I think this is all common knowledge to those who have seen both books. The GPC expnads upon and fleshes out the timeline presented in the PC. 

6 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

It is true that a timeline is added for certain characters, but this is done for only the four most important characters: Arthur, Guenever, Lancelot and Modred. The key difference I think is the pace of the campaign. The entire campaign according to GPC is about two years, if played weekly. In the PC, it is accelerated where it is suggested to run 6 years in the same session.  

No. The several years at once thing was something that Greg used in a few special cases. At first it is used with pre-PHASE ONE starting date, so that the players can get familar with the game system and how it works and even have time to create replacement characters should things go sour, before being put into the campaign proper. Then,  a few years are run at once to help give the players time to establish family lines and latter to trim those lines as needed.

But the pace of the game was always the same at approximately one game session per year.

 

6 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

The part I like the most is the extensive Bibliography section where Greg talks about each book he lists rather than just the list. For example, in Marion Bradley Zimmer's Mist of Avalon, he notes that Gueneviere is the least likeable version he has encountered, but is his favorite interpretation of Modred.

Stuff like that is gold, since it helps to show us what Greg was thinking about with certian characters, why they have the stats they do, and provideinsight into how to run them. 

6 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

Just my humble opinion, and remember YPMV.

Yeah, no two Pendragon campaign are, could be, or should be, exactly the same. 

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10 hours ago, Atgxtg said:
16 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

The Pendragon Campaign is 75 pages and The Great Pendragon Campaign is 429 pages. The gamemaster character file was probably created as a separate file due to size/cost of the GPC if added to it. 

Yup, and Yup. I'm not sure what your point is with that though. 

It was an attempted answer to what Mugen had posted as shown below:

On 7/29/2020 at 4:43 AM, Mugen said:

It's interesting the PC has chapters dedicated to important characters' history. IIRC, the GPC doesn't, and their stats are in a separate pdf.

 

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22 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

The Pendragon Campaign is 75 pages and The Great Pendragon Campaign is 429 pages.

It's funny that the characters file is, with 58 pages, only 17 pages shorter than the original PC. :D

 

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On 7/30/2020 at 7:35 AM, Atgxtg said:

the encounter tables come to mind.

Yes, but for the record, don't buy the The Pendragon Campaign First Edition, just for this. The encounter tables (and the very good advice from G. Stafford) were reprinted in Blood And Lust in 3e edition, which is much more useful. A true gem.

23 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

For example, in Marion Bradley Zimmer's Mist of Avalon, he notes that Gueneviere is the least likeable version he has encountered, but is his favorite interpretation of Modred.

Yes, I love when Greg Stafford speaks a bit about him. BUT. For the record, you confused two different books. The "best" Mordred, according to Stafford, came from The Once and Future King. The exact quote about Mists of Avalon is:

Quote

Women retell their real parts in the Arthurian cycle. Queen Igraine, Queen Margawse, mostly the priestess Morgan le Fay, but also the least likable Guenever I ave encountered in literature. Also portrayed is my favorite interpretation of Morgan le Fay.

I partially agree by the way. True about Guenever, less true about Morgan. I hated this book from day one. With the recent polemics surrounding MZ Bradley, I understood much more better my own feelings.

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OOPs! Tizan Thane, you are correct, it is Morgan le Fay.  I need to get new glasses. That 8 pt. font is getting harder to read. Thanks for catching that.  If you want to see Greg's thoughts, this bibliography is a gem. Just not sure 3 pages and the timelines are worth enough to get the book as most of the book has been printed in later products. That being said, I would pick it up as it shows the progression of how to flesh out scenarios (compare this print to one later), Greg's thoughts at the time, and a few other details not discussed yet.

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1 hour ago, Hzark10 said:

I need to get new glasses. That 8 pt. font is getting harder to read.

The real life aging table is nasty. Somedays I find 12 point font hard to read. 

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4 hours ago, Mugen said:

It's funny that the characters file is, with 58 pages, only 17 pages shorter than the original PC. :D

Yeah, supplments tended to be shorter in the old days. Overall I think the larger page count of newer books is a mixed blessing. Yes you get more, but often it seems to cover less. 

 

2 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

Yes, but for the record, don't buy the The Pendragon Campaign First Edition, just for this.

I wouldn't recommend buying any first edition Pendragon books, unless someone is a collector, just being a  being a completist,  or has a couple of bucks to throw away of a PDF to read. It's all good stuff, but almost all if it has been updated, improved upon, and reprinted in some latter supplement. One of the things I hope for with KAP6 is that we get updated versions of everything so we don't have to go back into KAP3-4 supplements to find the rules for things, anymore. 

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Understand. However, I might be something of the completist, as I do try to pick up everything for a couple of reasons:

1) They might never see the light of day again, so missing out on whatever is not reprinted.

2) In the scenarios, the might change a few things and seeing an older version also gives me a chance to vary what the current version has (for those players who read everything and try to use that knowledge)

 

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24 minutes ago, Hzark10 said:

Understand. However, I might be something of the completist, as I do try to pick up everything for a couple of reasons:

Me too., If a like/follow and RPG then I try to get all of it. That's doable for most RPGs.

24 minutes ago, Hzark10 said:

1) They might never see the light of day again, so missing out on whatever is not reprinted.

There are some games that I picked up multiple copies of back in the day, or which I pick up whenever I see them in the used bin or at a yard sale because of that. Perhaps my favorite thing abotu DriveThru is that it helped to bring back old out of print RPGs  stuff that otherwise never would have returned. 

24 minutes ago, Hzark10 said:

2) In the scenarios, the might change a few things and seeing an older version also gives me a chance to vary what the current version has (for those players who read everything and try to use that knowledge)

Yeah.And sometimes the changes done when something get updated might not work as well. There are a couple of old RPGs where they updated and reprinted stuff, but changes in the rules altered on how things would play out compared to how they were intended to play out. 

I think with old books we walk a tightrope between wanting to tell everyone how great  it is and not wanting to mislead them about a 20+ year old book that might not have anything in it that hasn't be done better latter on, or rules that no longer are used in the current edition. For instance KAP1 is what started it all, and is worth reading just to see what things Greg focused on in the limited space available in the rulebook, yet virtually nothing in the core rulebook would port over to a KAP 5 campaign. 

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1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

For instance KAP1 is what started it all, and is worth reading just to see what things Greg focused on in the limited space available in the rulebook, yet virtually nothing in the core rulebook would port over to a KAP 5 campaign. 

Not in the core rulebook,  but part of the original boxed set: I remember liking the introductory scenario more than what became the standard intro from 3rd edition on*, because of that element in it of witnessing the origin story of a famous character (Pellinore) — it makes the player characters’ experiences more dramatic and special from the start of the game.  In fact, I’d probably use an adapted version of that as my introductory story now, if I still had my copy of 1st edition.   

There were also some characters statted up in the little booklet that aren’t in the GPC Gamemaster Characters PDF, some of whom I’d quite like to have statted up.  I might also be inclined to use elements in the older version of some of the duplicate characters.  (Gawain had his strength-goes-up-and-then-down ability in 1st ed, for instance, if I’m remembering correctly.  It has been a very long time.)

But overall, yes, 1st edition is either duplicated or superseded.

 

*Or so I presume.  I’ve never read 4th edition.

Edited by Voord 99

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17 minutes ago, Voord 99 said:

 

Not in the core rulebook,  but part of the original boxed set: I remember liking the introductory scenario more than what became the standard intro from 3rd edition on*, because of that element in it of witnessing the origin story of a famous character (Pellinore) — it makes the player characters’ experiences more dramatic and special from the start of the game.  In fact, I’d probably use an adapted version of that as my introductory story now, if I still had my copy of 1st edition.   

 

The Pelinore adventure with the bandits and questing beast?. Yeah, it was a good adventure. I think it got dropped because it didn't make sense for Pellinore to be a knight wnhen he was supposed to be a king. Still, it was a good adventure. I wish Greg had updated it and replaced Pellinore with another famous knight.

 

17 minutes ago, Voord 99 said:

There were also some characters statted up in the little booklet that aren’t in the GPC Gamemaster Characters PDF, some of whom I’d quite like to have statted up.

Yeah, but most of the NPC stats were too low to work now. IMO they were probably a bit too low even for KAP1, but the way Pendragon has evolved over the years, most of those 1st edition characters would be hard pressed to hold their own against most PKs now. 

17 minutes ago, Voord 99 said:

 I might also be inclined to use elements in the older version of some of the duplicate characters.  (Gawain had his strength-goes-up-and-then-down ability in 1st ed, for instance, if I’m remembering correctly.  It has been a very long time.)

You're remember it correctly. He'd gain damage dice until he was at double at noon. KAP1 drew a bit more fromCeltic sources than latter editions, which tended to stick close to Malory.

 

17 minutes ago, Voord 99 said:

But overall, yes, 1st edition is either duplicated or superseded.

Yeah. Still, we got to give credit where it's due. If KAP1 hadn't done so much right the first time around, the game probably wouldn't be around now.  It was KAP1 that has served as the rock solid foundation for all the other editions.  About 90-95% of what's in the core rules now is pretty much the same as first edition. Chargen has seen the most change, but mechanically healing, criticals beating higher rolls, and passions  being the major alterations. 

I can't think of many other games where a player could drop a first edition character into a fifth edition game with as little trouble as they would have in Pendragon. 

 

17 minutes ago, Voord 99 said:

*Or so I presume.  I’ve never read 4th edition.

You kinda have. KAP4 is mostly KAP3 with expanded chargen for all cultures , similar to what's in Knight's Adventuerous, as well as a section for player character magicians. Otherwise the two games are virtually the same. 

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