Jump to content

Stay tuned in the coming days for a major announcement about the King Arthur Pendragon RPG


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 183
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

This week Chaosium is marking the second anniversary of the passing of company founder Greg Stafford. On Sunday we will launch 'The Adventure of the Great Hunt', a special Quickstart preview of Pendra

Wearing Mod Hat: This thread has diverged a long way from the initial topic. Folks, you want to continue having a discussion about representation of female characters across the editions of KAP,

It's pretty repugnant and disingenuous what you've done there. He was saying that there are certain historical backgrounds where prejudice and limitations are fact and unavoidable. And he was using a

Posted Images

20 minutes ago, Hzark10 said:

Not sure what you mean on she-knight.  The fact that any of the Pregens could be a woman, or that they didn't declare one or more to be a woman?

I think Luca is referring to the picture on p. 19. I admit, I had to take a second look; it didn't register until he pointed it out.

Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Hzark10 said:

Not sure what you mean on she-knight.  The fact that any of the Pregens could be a woman, or that they didn't declare one or more to be a woman?

Listen...I'm old-style, and I feel that female knights are completely contradicting the genre that this game evokes.

I feel that 5th edition did a great work explaining the traditional/non-traditional mode.

Warrior women should be exceptional individuals, as they are throughout all European chivalric literature ....but I know many people play KAP with male/female knights at a 50/50 rate.

And I have not problem with everybody playing as they like at their tables...as far as female knights / warrior dames do not become taken for granted as common in the core rules.

That double knight figure makes me fear that from now onwards the "50 male /50 female " rate will be the default assumption.

I just hope to be wrong about it.

I would rather prefer the Ladies' options to be expanded.

 

Edited by Luca Cherstich
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

YPMV will always have its place.  Can't say for certain, but women did go to war. Certain cultures had women that would fight as well as the men.  But, most games will keep to the standard of what has been played, I would think.  For example, a campaign along the style of Foster's Prince Valiant would be different than one patterned after Ivanhoe, different than Beowolf and so on.  Each gamemaster will make that decision, I would think.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I think we might have a good time with increasing the option of being exceptional people (which in an RPG? That's what most people are going for). 

Hell, I even suspect that we could do well with a chapter on Chivalric Literature, and tell people who wants to go for full emulation how to do so. It might be okay to make the "non-traditional" version the default and have that chapter for those who wants to emulate Mallory completely.
That does not mean that the artwork is going to be indicative of how many female knights are in the setting, they're just there to give a the impression that it's a valid option.

Give us more fightin' dames. We have 5 past editions from the other perspective.
Times have changed, and it's about time that Pendragon change a bit with it, just to allow for greater accessibilty for a wider-range of players. It's quite easy to give the option for different ethnic groups. After all, we're in the post-Roman migration era.
More female knights in the artwork would be a good thing.

Edited by KungFuFenris
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Luca Cherstich said:

Warrior women should be exceptional individuals, as they are throughout all European chivalric literature ....but I know many people play KAP with male/female knights at a 50/50 rate.

I think one thing to keep in mind that the PKs are exceptional individuals, so I would not use the PK gender distribution to infer the NPK gender distribution, personally. Female Player-knights have been possible since at least KAP 3, including the NPK female knights of Boadicea's Daughters. Every GM and group should feel free to set their 'frequency of female knight appearance' to what they deem desirable in their game, IMHO.

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Morien said:

I think one thing to keep in mind that the PKs are exceptional individuals, so I would not use the PK gender distribution to infer the NPK gender distribution, personally. Female Player-knights have been possible since at least KAP 3, including the NPK female knights of Boadicea's Daughters. Every GM and group should feel free to set their 'frequency of female knight appearance' to what they deem desirable in their game, IMHO.

People should be free to play as they like, even with a whole female knights group of warrior dames married to calm gentlemen peacefully tending their manors at home... 

But the genre is what it is, with its strict genderized Male Knights/Female Ladies paradigm. 

I just fear that the assumed default will be changed.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I am thinking it will be more welcoming for women players, and the role of Ladies themselves will be expanded at some point. Either in the core or an expansion. But if gm's and players are happy now with their campaigns, I don't think it will negate those.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Knights' gender is a matter left up to the Gamemaster, and the core rulebook includes a section discussing how to set your preferred version (up to and including "no women knights at all"). The important thing is that options are presented.

Yes, there will be women knights depicted in illustrations in forthcoming material; the default assumption is that some regions of Britain (such as Salisbury, the Red Castle, or Din Eidyn) are more accommodating to trailblazing women knights, while in other parts they are vanishingly rare. Gamemasters can calibrate up or down from that baseline to suit their group's taste.

  • Like 9
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I find interesting is that Pendragon has from the beginning encouraged the possibility of games that break with the source material in their assumptions about gender* and religion - but from the beginning has been insistent about sticking with the source material’s assumptions about class.  

It makes for a striking contrast with what I affectionately call Schlocky Modern Arthuriana (Merlin, Cursed, etc.) which often goes out of its way to question that - we have had at least two Lancelots in other media whose defining trait was that they weren’t noble, but deserved to be knights anyway.

Not endorsing any particular approach, before people rise to defend the honour of the game. :)  It just interests me from the standpoint of the cultural history of the present moment.

*And yes, that there are no women knights in medieval romance, including Arthurian romance, is an oversimplification, before someone points it out.  Also, She-Knight is one of the great lost comics characters that never were.

Edited by Voord 99
Link to post
Share on other sites

If you'd like to know more about what's in store with the forthcoming Pendragon 6th edition, definitely have a listen to the latest episode of The Smart Party. Gaz and Baz talk to Pendragon line editor David Larkins. David also drops news about a new KAP-related Kickstarter...

https://www.whatwouldthesmartpartydo.com/2020/10/18/king-arthur-pendragon

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

On page 13 there is an explicit reference to "any female Player-knights".  Personally I am fine if someone wants to have female knight and glad to see the setting will offer material in support of that but of course it's a "your table" thing about "the story we are imagining".  I think you can have the tone of Mallory etc. without buying into gender roles - it's more a question of "how exceptional is that in the setting". 

Some of the things I see in the material for 6th edition look nice.  The idea that your skill with a weapon on horseback can't be better than your skill at riding for example, the notes about Glory and melancholy etc.  I say this having only 2 months ago dropped a boatload on edition 5.2 but c'est la vie.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some people on RPG.net have commented on how there needs some clarification on tests with scores greater than 20, how in one spot it says 20+x score.  But yeah, the female knight threw me off, I mean we all allow it, but with the understanding that in the context of Arthurian legend its not a thing.  I say keep the gendered roles, but expand on the Lady "class", it helps maintain the "alien" culture of the setting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it is worth, personally, KAP is a game of knights, about knights, for knights. Pretty much every published adventure assumes that the characters are knights. Having GMed campaigns with both female knights and Lady characters in it, it is WAY easier to have female knights than Ladies mixed in with the male knights. Granted, the adventures also assume MALE knights for the most part, but it is still a much smaller change than having to deal with a character who is neither male nor a knight.

Greg has stated that the one reason that his version of Arthuriana has (Celtic) Paganism is because he had players who absolutely refused to play Christian characters. So he allowed Pagan characters. Is this counter to the source material? Absolutely. Is this anachronistic to the historical setting? Ayup. Does it work? Yeah, sorta, as long as you don't pay too much attention to it. Why would the mere existence female knights break the setting, especially since we know that they exist in the Matter of France, and in the Celtic stories (like in Cuchulain).

Female knights, both NPC and PK roles, have explicitly been a thing since KAP 3e. Even from the very beginning, KAP 1e stated that they were an option if the GM wanted to (KAP 1e, Player's Book, p. 23-24). Not only that, 1e also said to use the male stats, as to not make the fighting women start at a disadvantage compared to the males. With the implication being that they ought to use the (male) knight skills, too.

I like the fact that the core rulebook (based on what Sir Larkins said) will have options how common you wish those female knights be. I would hate it for the game to close the door for more inclusivity. Every gaming group can to come to a decision what is right for their campaign. As always, YPWV.

  • Like 8
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/18/2020 at 8:48 AM, KungFuFenris said:

Give us more fightin' dames. We have 5 past editions from the other perspective.
Times have changed, and it's about time that Pendragon change a bit with it,

No, no, no, no, no.

The whole point of playing any sort of  RPG based upon a particular setting is to play in the world of that setting, not in the world of today. If you "modernize" Pendragon to fit the social and cultural views of today (probably close to the views duJour) it ceases being that setting and becomes something else. There are loads of logistical reasons as to why the men fought and the women didn't, and any sort of pre-industrial society cannot support that many knights And while were at it, I doubt anybody today would really want to live in a country where they are rules under a monarchy where they have few to no rights. But we don't turn Arthurian Britain into a democracy (well, unless your writing the play Camelot).

Let Pendragon remain true to it's source material. Greg gave very good reasons for why the role of women is what it is in PEndragon and those reasons are as valid today as they were in the past. 

On 10/18/2020 at 8:48 AM, KungFuFenris said:

just to allow for greater accessibilty for a wider-range of players. It's quite easy to give the option for different ethnic groups. After all, we're in the post-Roman migration era.

How does it make the game more accessible? Are modern role-players so inept as role playing that they cannot play someone of another race or gender? I'm pretty sure I'm not an elf, dwarf, hobbit, dragon, or a female, but I've played characters are all those species and genders at one time or another. The whole point of role-playing is to play someone that you aren't. 

On 10/18/2020 at 8:48 AM, KungFuFenris said:

More female knights in the artwork would be a good thing.

I disagree. All that would do would be to encourage people to play the game as something different than what it is. It would also cheapen any warrior women that do appear in a campaign, as they would be commonplace.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/18/2020 at 4:23 AM, Luca Cherstich said:

Need time to properly consider this but the Pre-made PCs now have "arming swords", and we got "aketon" counted separated from "Coat of Plates" and "Great Helm"....that's interesting!!!

That latter is a updated version of a 3rd edition idea. 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I feel that female knights are less of a break with the source material than (as Morien notes) pagans or a pseudohistory in which vassalage is invented recently, and yet everyone treats it as if it were ingrained practice since time immemorial.*  There is at least one female knight in an Arthurian romance (Melora, recently mentioned by Leingod) and, as Morien notes, one finds them elsewhere.  

It’s closest to the source material to treat female knights as exceptional and sometimes disguised as men, but not impossible.   On the other hand, it would be closest to the source material to treat Pendragon’s version of pagans** as impossible and not there at all.  Descriptive statements, not normative - one can turn these dials in the direction that suits you as far as I’m concerned. 

As far as issues of representation go, there are sensitive questions there, and there’s a risk of tempers flaring.   But while the fictional integrity of a setting does matter, it does not necessarily matter more than whether or not actual people feel excluded from the game - different gaming groups will strike the balance in different places.  And Pendragon’s setting is a bit of a hodge-podge of different Arthurian things.  It’s not really a seamless coherent web of things that make perfect sense to begin with.

*Admittedly, I eliminated both from my game.  But they are taken for granted as acceptable in “normal” Pendragon

**The kind of “pagan” foreigners who appear in actual medieval romance are another matter.  They pose other problems, of course.  And they are not Britons.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Voord 99 said:

Personally, I feel that female knights are less of a break with the source material than (as Morien notes) pagans

Pagans existed in the 5th and 6th centuries and much of the early Arthruian tales are basically pagan. 

5 minutes ago, Voord 99 said:

or a pseudohistory in which vassalage is invented recently, and yet everyone treats it as if it were ingrained practice since time immemorial.*

That not a break at all. Medieval people looked at things through a medieval lens. They pretty much retconned Rome and anient Greece into a Feudal structure. It how people like Julius Cesar and Alexander the Great end up being viewed as Knights. 

5 minutes ago, Voord 99 said:

 There is at least one female knight in an Arthurian romance (Melora, recently mentioned by Leingod) and, as Morien notes, one finds them elsewhere.  

It’s closest to the source material to treat female knights as exceptional and sometimes disguised as men, but not impossible.   

Certainly. I'm all for the exception, provide it remains the exception. I think the occasion feamle knight, or other woman warrior is fine for a campaign, and can enhance things. Matter fo fact I have a woman running a female Saxon now, and she is planning on bringing in another woman to replace her and maybe even become a knight. 

What I'm against is making the setting cosmopolitan with equal representation for all, as that not Arthurian Britain. 

5 minutes ago, Voord 99 said:

 

On the other hand, it would be closest to the source material to treat Pendragon’s version of pagans** as impossible and not there at all.

But they are all over the place in Arthruian Lore. Look at the orgins of characters such as Gawaine, and Kay, or items such as Excalibur and the Holy Grail. All have pagan roots.

5 minutes ago, Voord 99 said:

 Descriptive statements, not normative - one can turn these dials in the direction that suits you as far as I’m concerned. 

But turning the dials in the game books changes where the center point lies. It also causes a lot of problems in terms of economics and succession. It takes a manor with hundred of peasants to support one knight. If knighthood becomes open to women then the whole feudal structure is going to need to be reworked. 

If  a GM wants to alter things in their campaign, that their choice, but I don't think the core rules need to be changed to chase after people who aren't interested in the setting in the first place.

For contrast look at D&D. Most D&D game worlds tend to be the same, because all have a sort of cosmopolitan society going on - the same cosmopolitan society. If Pendragon gets altered to bring it more in line with modern values then it will just be another D&D. 

5 minutes ago, Voord 99 said:

As far as issues of representation go, there are sensitive questions there, and there’s a risk of tempers flaring.  

I don't think the questions are sensitive, just some of the people. 

Honestly, there is no need or reason to change Pendragon from what it is into some sort of modern socialist state. The Arthurian world is not fair and equal. Not everybody get fair representation in that setting. That goes for the 98% or so of the population who aren't part of the nobility as well as women, and foreigners. 

5 minutes ago, Voord 99 said:

But while the fictional integrity of a setting does matter, it does not necessarily matter more than whether or not actual people feel excluded from the game

If they feel exclused from the game then why are they at the table? Look, when I started up my current campaign, I had a female player who wanted to play, and I laid out some ground rules as far as what was permitted in this campaign- that included no female knights -at least at first, and that she would need to play a male knight. If that wasn't acceptable then we wouldn't have played Pendragon. 

I don't buy into the whole "feel excluded" argument. If someone wanted to play a hobbit would the feel excluded if the GM refused because there aren't any hobbits in the setting? People watch and read and play all sorts of stories where the main characters differ in  species/sex/race/social class/color/religion/economic wealth level/political leanings/favotire food/etc. and do not feel excluded. 

5 minutes ago, Voord 99 said:

- different gaming groups will strike the balance in different places.  And Pendragon’s setting is a bit of a hodge-podge of different Arthurian things.  It’s not really a seamless coherent web of things that make perfect sense to begin with.

Yes it is a bit of a hodge-podge, athough there is some undelyng unity. Again, I'm fine with what a GM chooses to do in thier campaign, but I don't believe the game should be altered to try and cater to gamers who aren't interested in Pendragon in the first place. 

Greg could have made the game gender netural back in first edition. He didn't do so becuase it didn't fit the setting.

5 minutes ago, Voord 99 said:

*Admittedly, I eliminated both from my game.  But they are taken for granted as acceptable in “normal” Pendragon

You eliminated pagans? How to you represent Merlin, the Ladies of the Lake, Faeries and other Pagan elements of the setting?

5 minutes ago, Voord 99 said:

**The kind of “pagan” foreigners who appear in actual medieval romance are another matter.  They pose other problems, of course.  And they are not Britons.

It depends a lot of what sources you use. There were (and still are) a lot of Celtic Pagan and semi-Pagan elements in the Arthurian tales as well as in the historical setting. Such elements remain in many of the stories and also explains why some stories make so little sense to modern readers.  These elements weren't really a problem in Pendragon until the KAP5 supplements when Arthurian Britain shifted into a mid-late medieval model.  

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Voord 99 said:

There is at least one female knight in an Arthurian romance (Melora, recently mentioned by Leingod) and, as Morien notes, one finds them elsewhere.  

There's also Britomart from Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, the daughter of King Ryons who falls in love with a knight named Artegall after seeing a vision of him in a mirror, gets an enchanted spear and suit of armor from a captured Saxon warrior-queen and goes on adventures in Fairy Land with Arthur (here presented as a knight, yet with the story apparently set before he becomes a king) to find him.

Edited by Leingod
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/18/2020 at 6:11 PM, sirlarkins said:

Knights' gender is a matter left up to the Gamemaster, and the core rulebook includes a section discussing how to set your preferred version (up to and including "no women knights at all"). The important thing is that options are presented.

Yes, there will be women knights depicted in illustrations in forthcoming material; the default assumption is that some regions of Britain (such as Salisbury, the Red Castle, or Din Eidyn) are more accommodating to trailblazing women knights, while in other parts they are vanishingly rare. Gamemasters can calibrate up or down from that baseline to suit their group's taste.

So, the game will present us options.... But it is clear that the default expectations about female knights is changed. 

One question about the setting: will this change affect also the new, revised multi-volumes GPC and the NPCs there? 

All the barons and knights in the GPC are obviously male (as they should traditionally be), will you change that? 

And, furthermore, will we have for example something like starting PKs been trained by some Old Dame She-Knight instead than good old Sir Elad? 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Luca Cherstich said:

So, the game will present us options.... But it is clear that the default expectations about female knights is changed. 

Is it clear that it's changed? There's an image of a male knight and a female knight, then the text explains that your group can give the pre-gen characters whatever names and genders they'd like to, and that's it. I don't really see what the fuss is about in either direction. It's an introductory scenario that will presumably be read and played by new players as well as old; why shouldn't they let people know that they can play a female knight if they'd like to?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Leingod said:

Is it clear that it's changed? There's an image of a male knight and a female knight, then the text explains that your group can give the pre-gen characters whatever names and genders they'd like to, and that's it. I don't really see what the fuss is about in either direction. It's an introductory scenario that will presumably be read and played by new players as well as old; why shouldn't they let people know that they can play a female knight if they'd like to?

Off course They Should tell people to play KAP as they like with knights of whatever gender or sexual preferences they like.

However, if your read above that she-knights will start now to be common in Salisbury.

That's definitively a change about the default approach. While, at least for me, the default should be the old Traditional approach which was in Mallory as well as in all the old chivalric literature (knights are men, with some unique, quite special female warriors). 

And, more than anything else, if we start seeing important NPCs changing gender in the GPC, that could be a problem for those, like me, who want to remain traditional and maybe also buy the new books. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well. You still have the old GPC and can use it as you please.
If it's not for your tastes, it's not to your tastes, and as the damn thing is finished for layout, I don't see it changing.

I don't think we'll see a gender-bend Lancelot, but I think it might be an option.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...