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


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1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

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

Since the “historical” Arthur possibly has more to do with the cultural politics of 9th-century Wales than it does with anything that really happened in Britain in the C5th-C6th, that’s not automatically relevant.*  But in any case, Pendragon’s version of paganism is quite unlike anything that is likely to have existed, and is more like modern paganism, that wouldn’t matter in any case.

*See Guy Halsall, 2014, Worlds of Arthur: Facts and Fictions of the Dark Ages, Oxford: Oxford University Press; Nicholas Higham, King Arthur: The Making of the Legend, New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

I find the quote function on the forum difficult to work with, so for speed I’ll put the remaining quotes in italics.

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.

I basically agree with you that this is how it should be, and I’d go further, but as of the Book of Sires, it no longer is: Aurelius Ambrosius invents vassalage entirely - about a decade before play begins if you start in 479.  That’s what I was referring to.  And there has always been a certain amount of fudging here - back in 3e with The Boy King there were traces of a pseudohistorical post-Roman Britain, with tribes like the Iceni and so on, “Roman knights” who are essentially urban civic elites, the equation of the “Emperor Lucius” with Theodoric, and so on.

But the fudging level goes way up with the BoS.  (Which is, however, enormous fun.)

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.

There are things that may ultimately go back to Celtic pagan stories, but it’s at several steps removed in the stories as we have them.  

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

Pretty much exactly how they are represented in actual medieval romance, frankly.  Not really a problem for me.   The game is not about them.

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.  

Not all of those are things that it makes sense to identify as particularly pagan, though - they’re characteristic of Welsh literature well into the Middle Ages, long into the Christian period.  They affect Welsh retellings of stories that originate on the continent, like retellings of Chrétien, for instance.

And one should not underestimate how weird continental medieval romance can seem from a modern perspective.  Medieval literature is often very distant from modern sensibilities, full stop.

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5 minutes ago, Luca Cherstich said:

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. 

Ah, I somehow forgot about that post. Thanks for bringing that back to my attention.

Okay, having re-read that, honestly? Still not seeing it. The phrasing of "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" does not say to me that "she-knights will start now to be common in Salisbury." The words "more accommodating" don't necessarily mean total acceptance, and the description of them as trailblazers does not put me in mind of them being either common or entrenched even in those places. It sounds more like Salisbury is going to have some particular group/location like, say, Kenilworth Castle and its 30 or so female knights from Blood & Lust, to provide an easy way to explain your female knight in the default homeland for PKs. In that regard, it isn't really much different from how the Book of Knights & Ladies added two whole counties of loyal Picts and Saxons to Logres. It isn't really totally in keeping with the traditional portrayals for there to be whole counties' worth of Saxon and Pictish knights fighting for the Brits decades before Arthur's conquests (or in keeping with historical accuracy for there to be a significant population of Picts in the modern-day West Countries, for that matter), but it provides options for PKs who might want to play something outside that norm, so there they are.

Obviously your feelings on it will be what they are, but to me this honestly sounds like much ado about nothing.

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4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

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).

Phhhhew... alright, there's a lot to unpack here.
No one play Pendragon the same way. Over the year I've been on this forum, I think I've seen a lot of people run it way different than I would do. Including you.

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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. 

Which ones? Because, I've seen it quote a lot of different takes on Arthuriana quote in his rulebooks.

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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. 

Because one of these things are not like the other. There are people who feel wildly uncomfortable playing a different gender than their own, and while I cannot be a dragon in real life, no matter how much I want to, there's something else coming with gender. 

But, you raise another idea here that I think needs to be expanded on.
You gotta consider that people possibly don't roleplay for the same reasons you do. Some do it to immerse themselves in a different world, but still others do it to experience a story from their own first person perspective. People are drawn to Pendragon for different reasons. And avoiding being reminded of the bullshit you go through in real life might be a good way for you to enjoy things.

Arthurian legends are many things. They evolve, all the time, because it is a an ur myth, where people add things all the time. Pendragon is no different, because it emulated Arthuriana with a focus on the chivalric romances. Like, the character of Galahad himself is pretty much just goddamn fanfiction to get one over on Lancelot.
I'd love to use the warrior woman as a rare and exceptional thing, but I don't think we should try to keep it to a minimum in the artwork just because the default is "rare".

The path put forward is not going to make it more "cosmopolitan " or "socialist" (whatever that means) - Mr. Stafford didn't do this in 1st Edition, but the world was a different place in (checks dates on Google) .... 35 years ago?! Odin's eye, things can change. People change. Hell, as Morien state, this even changed in 3rd Edition.
And to put it bluntly, we gotta evolve.

Edited by KungFuFenris
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Søren A. Hjorth
- Freelancer Writer, Cultural Distributer, Font of Less Than Useless Knowledge
https://thenarrativeexploration.wordpress.com/

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Hey, “cosmopolitanism” is definitely staying true to the source material.  Arthur’s court is supposed to be so great that it attracts knights from all over the world!

One thing about Pendragon is that its Arthurian world is rather small.  I want the Gawain who is knighted by the Pope at 15 and goes off and has adventures in the Middle East* before he even finds out who he is.

*I don’t actually, at least not the last part, because it’s basically the Crusades.  But I do want something of medieval narrative’s love of handwaving long distances and just getting the hero to exotic and very vaguely understood lands on the other side of the known world without sweating the details.

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16 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

Phhhhew... alright, there's a lot to unpack here.
No one play Pendragon the same way. Over the year I've been on this forum, I think I've seen a lot of people run it way different than I would do. Including you.

Yes, however the vast majoirty play the same in fairly similar ways, which is why we shouldn't alter the core rules to cater to a small subset of players who think that we need more rules for female knights.

16 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

Which ones? Because, I've seen it quote a lot of different takes on Arthuriana quote in his rulebooks.

How about the ones that have been used as the primary sources, namely Le Morte D'Arthur and to HRB. Most everything else in the game has been tweaked to be compatible with those two.

16 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

Because one of these things are not like the other.

Yes they are. It's a tabletop roleplaying game. 

16 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

There are people who feel wildly uncomfortable playing a different gender than their own,

They don't have to. But that doesn't obligate a GM or a game designer to alter things to accommodate them. If a GM was running a RPG where everyone plays female characters and somebody feels "widly uncomfrtable" about doing so, then they don't have to play. And the GM doesn't have to alter the game just to cater to that player.

16 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

and while I cannot be a dragon in real life, no matter how much I want to, there's something else coming with gender. 

How do you know? 

 

16 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

But, you raise another idea here that I think needs to be expanded on.
You gotta consider that people possibly don't roleplay for the same reasons you do. Some do it to immerse themselves in a different world, but still others do it to experience a story from their own first person perspective. People are drawn to Pendragon for different reasons. And avoiding being reminded of the bullshit you go through in real life might be a good way for you to enjoy things.

Yes people play for different reasons, but that factors into what they play. I doubt anyone who plays Pendragon lives as a medieval serf, or was married off against their will for political reasons. If that is the sort of BS they had to go through in real life then they probably don't want to play a game sent is a feudal medieval culture. 

 

THe thing is, no one is forced to play Pendragon or any other RPG. The see a game, and decide they want to try it. If that game was so objectionable in the first place, then they wouldn't have decided to play it. 

Pendragon has existed more or less the same for over 30 years. Anyone who is going to play it has fair warning as to what it is and should decide if they are okay with that before they decide to play it.  If they don't like something then they can certainly work out changes for their group. But that doesn''t mean the game itself should be changed just for them. Pendragon  is what it is, and shouldn't be altered to chase after people who don't want to play it.

 

16 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

Arthurian legends are many things. They evolve, all the time, because it is a an ur myth, where people add things all the time. Pendragon is no different, because it emulated Arthuriana with a focus on the chivalric romances.

The core ideas behind Pendragon have remained unchanged. It has been and hopefully will continue to be Greg's vision of an Arthruian RPG. Note that Prince Valiant, another Arthurian written by Greg, is different and reflect Hal Foster's take on King Arthur. 

 

16 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

 

Like, the character of Galahad himself is pretty much just goddamn fanfiction to get one over on Lancelot.
I'd love to use the warrior woman as a rare and exceptional thing, but I don't think we should try to keep it to a minimum in the artwork just because the default is "rare".

No, Lancelot is female fanficion, essnetially a "paperback romance". Galahad is church propaganda for the devout. But then pretty much all the main characters are fanfiction by modern standards. 

16 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

The path put forward is not going to make it more "cosmopolitan " or "socialist" (whatever that means) - Mr. Stafford didn't do this in 1st Edition, but the world was a different place in (checks dates on Google) .... 35 years ago?! Odin's eye, things can change. People change. Hell, as Morien state, this even changed in 3rd Edition.

Was the world in a different place when 5th edition came out. Look, Greg could have made the game more "unisex" at any time but didn't do so because it didn't fit. He left things up for each GM to decide for themself, because YGMV.

But if you alter the core rules to make knighthood unisex, then you take away that choice. 

 

 

16 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:


And to put it bluntly, we gotta evolve.

To answer it bluntly, why? Why does Pendragon have to evolve? It has lasted all these years becuase people like it for what it is. There are lots of RPGs out there where people can play female knights. D&D springs to mind again. Furthermore, the door has been open to female characters since at least 3rd edtion, and no one needs to change the rules to play female knights. Any Pendragon GM could start up a campaign tomorrow based around a group of female PKs. Nothing in the game prevents that. So why do we need to change the game?

And, if we did change the game, we'd have to tackle the economic, inheritance, and social problems that would come from it, specially: 

  1. Economic: A pre-industrial society can only support so many knights. In fact, that was why the manor system of land management came about. If you have women knights then you need to figure out what those men are going to be doing.
  2. Inheritance: Primogeniture is how inheritance is decided. Once you allow for female knights things get much more complicated. Does the first son or first daughter inherit? Maybe the first child? What happens when two knight marry? Historically,  Primogeniture came about to stop the cycle or wars over succession whenever a powerful noble died. Put the daughters into the mix and things would be even less stable than they were.

 

If people want to play in a game where everyone is equal then a game where you have a High King ruling over everyone isn't going to be it, no matter what gender the knights are. King Arthur's count is pretty much the poster child for a patriarchy, and the PKs are helping to support it.

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Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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There’s obviously room for different games to play differently.  (For what it’s worth, my personal preference is, female knights are exceptional, but if people, male or female, play one, I won’t foreground it as an issue.  Because I am primarily interested in the game as genre emulation of medieval romance.)  

But I think you’re exaggerating the extent to which this is a radical change:

Twentieth century thinking allows for extrapolation where the Middle Ages did not. The Arthurian legend has survived for 1400 years because it has been able to adapt to the needs of its audience. There is certainly room in the Enchanted Realm for women knights today. [emphasis added.]

Knights Adventurous (1990), p. 80.

It’s absolutely not the case that Pendragon has ever required that the GM allow female knights and make them a recognized “thing” in its world, but, thirty years ago, it was strongly encouraging the GM to do so, and using language not unlike Kung Fu Fenris’s “evolve” to describe that.

I’m not sure that what Mr. Larkins is describing adds up to that much more in its actual effect than if you relocated Kenilworth Castle to Salisbury.

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30 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Yes, however the vast majoirty play the same in fairly similar ways, which is why we shouldn't alter the core rules to cater to a small subset of players who think that we need more rules for female knights.

More rules? No. Giving more artpieces in the books? Sure.
Honestly, I think we're talking past each other. Because it seems like I just want to increase the amount of Dames with Swords in the artwork, to make
sure that people know it's a valid option.
I am not advocating for special rules for having female knights or the dissolvement of the feudal setup inherient in KAP.

What I am saying is having an additional focus on that option might do well in bringing people into the game.
Neither the current dev team, nor I am advocating for a complete unisex knight setup, but it might do well with an expanded chapter on the topic. I liked the passage in KAP 5.2, 
but it could do well with some expansion to help people that want to give their own spin on things.

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How about the ones that have been used as the primary sources, namely Le Morte D'Arthur and to HRB. Most everything else in the game has been tweaked to be compatible with those two.

Well. Yeah? Having a few more Melora's don't invalidate that.

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Yes they are. It's a tabletop roleplaying game. 

Hobbits are not real. Personal biological and sociological predetermined features are. Which might seperate the need or desire to play against or along real-life.

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They don't have to. But that doesn't obligate a GM or a game designer to alter things to accommodate them. If a GM was running a RPG where everyone plays female characters and somebody feels "widly uncomfrtable" about doing so, then they don't have to play. And the GM doesn't have to alter the game just to cater to that player.

If everyone agrees, it's not catering. You're assuming everyone has your outlook on things.

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How do you know? 

O_o
How do I know I can't be a dragon? If you know something I don't, please say the word, because I'm just about done with humanity.

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Yes people play for different reasons, but that factors into what they play. I doubt anyone who plays Pendragon lives as a medieval serf, or was married off against their will for political reasons. If that is the sort of BS they had to go through in real life then they probably don't want to play a game sent is a feudal medieval culture. 

Well. I was kinda refering to the whole idea of being told "You can't be girl knight!" is kinda just a throwback to the schoolyard seperation. 

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THe thing is, no one is forced to play Pendragon or any other RPG. The see a game, and decide they want to try it. If that game was so objectionable in the first place, then they wouldn't have decided to play it. 

I doubt it's objectionable, but I think having knights be genderlocked is just a weird relic. Exceptional and society-breaking? Sure, I'm running with that in my game. 

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Pendragon has existed more or less the same for over 30 years. Anyone who is going to play it has fair warning as to what it is and should decide if they are okay with that before they decide to play it.  If they don't like something then they can certainly work out changes for their group. But that doesn''t mean the game itself should be changed just for them. Pendragon  is what it is, and shouldn't be altered to chase after people who don't want to play it.

So. I've been running a game that have broken many of the unspoken rules, and I don't think the KAP-Police is knocking on my door to take my books away. Having options does not preclude anything. 

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The core ideas behind Pendragon have remained unchanged. It has been and hopefully will continue to be Greg's vision of an Arthruian RPG. Note that Prince Valiant, another Arthurian written by Greg, is different and reflect Hal Foster's take on King Arthur. 

Well, yeah. While I adore the design, I am not really comfortable talking about a dead man's vision. He's not around to tell us his ideas from the ground up, and it might have evolved a bit. (Just to be clear, I don't trust anyone else in that way. Neither philosophers nor religious figures.)

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No, Lancelot is female fanficion, essnetially a "paperback romance". Galahad is church propaganda for the devout. But then pretty much all the main characters are fanfiction by modern standards. 

Well. That's true. Anyways. My point was that there's a lot of room for flexibility within the core that was set up, and I don't think it's as incompatible as you think.

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Was the world in a different place when 5th edition came out. Look, Greg could have made the game more "unisex" at any time but didn't do so because it didn't fit. He left things up for each GM to decide for themself, because YGMV.

But if you alter the core rules to make knighthood unisex, then you take away that choice. 

I think I said this earlier, but altering core rules is not my point. Only increased art visibility and a bit of extra info on the stuff that having female knights in the setting would entail.

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To answer it bluntly, why? Why does Pendragon have to evolve? It has lasted all these years becuase people like it for what it is. There are lots of RPGs out there where people can play female knights. D&D springs to mind again. Furthermore, the door has been open to female characters since at least 3rd edtion, and no one needs to change the rules to play female knights. Any Pendragon GM could start up a campaign tomorrow based around a group of female PKs. Nothing in the game prevents that. So why do we need to change the game?

And, if we did change the game, we'd have to tackle the economic, inheritance, and social problems that would come from it, specially: 

  1. Economic: A pre-industrial society can only support so many knights. In fact, that was why the manor system of land management came about. If you have women knights then you need to figure out what those men are going to be doing.
  2. Inheritance: Primogeniture is how inheritance is decided. Once you allow for female knights things get much more complicated. Does the first son or first daughter inherit? Maybe the first child? What happens when two knight marry? Historically,  Primogeniture came about to stop the cycle or wars over succession whenever a powerful noble died. Put the daughters into the mix and things would be even less stable than they were.

If people want to play in a game where everyone is equal then a game where you have a High King ruling over everyone isn't going to be it, no matter what gender the knights are. King Arthur's count is pretty much the poster child for a patriarchy, and the PKs are helping to support it.

Because down that path lies the road to being model train enthusiasts. (Sorry in advance to anyone who are MTE, I might not have all the facts here.)
I am not looking for an egalitarian Camelot myth. However, KAP gives us an immergent storyline, the legacy aspect and the rules for Traits, Passions and Combat are some of the finest knight rules in the world.
99.5% of the game is fucking excellent, which is why people would like to play it, and I am sure, if there's just a tiny bit more effort placed in describing where female knights can fit in our own versions of the Arthurian Romances, I think we're a lot better off than we used to be.

Alright. It's two am here, and I've rewritten this a bunch of times to not ruffle too many feathers.
I think I said my 2 cents here.

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Søren A. Hjorth
- Freelancer Writer, Cultural Distributer, Font of Less Than Useless Knowledge
https://thenarrativeexploration.wordpress.com/

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Hey, start reading page 52 of the 5.2 Core Rulebook, starting at the heading Non-Traditional Women. Read through to the end of page 55. There's even a picture of one on page 53. So. yeah. This is not a new development. This section even exists in the 5.0 book, page 41 through page 43, with a different picture of a woman knight on page 42. I could go on, but I don't really think I have to? It's already there. It's ALREADY part of the game, and you CAN'T say that Greg Stafford didn't want it there.

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15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

More rules? No. Giving more artpieces in the books? Sure.

Oh. I'm less opposed tot hat, although it could be viewed as being sexist.

15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:


Honestly, I think we're talking past each other. Because it seems like I just want to increase the amount of Dames with Swords in the artwork, to make sure that people know it's a valid option.

It's not really that valid an option though. Female knights open up a can of worms, though. 

There was some female warrior art in a previous book that, while nice art, turned out to be poor armor. 

15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

I am not advocating for special rules for having female knights or the dissolvement of the feudal setup inherient in KAP.

Oh, okay. From your previous post I though you were pushing for change to make the setting more emancipated. 

15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

What I am saying is having an additional focus on that option might do well in bringing people into the game.

I;m not sure if that is a good thing though. I think that people should be aware of what the game and setting are like coming in, or else they might be disillusioned with the reality of the game. Pendragon is something of an acquired taste, and is differnt from the typical FRPG. 

15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:


Neither the current dev team, nor I am advocating for a complete unisex knight setup, but it might do well with an expanded chapter on the topic. I liked the passage in KAP 5.2, 
but it could do well with some expansion to help people that want to give their own spin on things.

I could certinaly see it get a few pages in whatever the KAP6 version of Knights & Ladies turns out to be. I do think that a warning about the consequences- at least in terms of lots of female knights (a one off here or there is no big deal), and and how to handle the passing of generations would be in order.

For example, in my campaign I houseruled that new knights get 1/10th the glory of the parent with the highest glory. That way if a knight marries a noblewoman with much more glory than him, the children will benefit from that (which they don't do by RAW). That rule would also help as far as playing the daughters of female knights or warriors. I've considered extending it to close family, to allow for a nice to inherent, as female warriors tend not to have children, as there are often social, religious, and physical complications.

 

15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

Well. Yeah? Having a few more Melora's don't invalidate that.

No they don't Having enough to fill half the seats at the  Round Table would.  

15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

Hobbits are not real. Personal biological and sociological predetermined features are. Which might seperate the need or desire to play against or along real-life.

Neither is any character in a RPG. In the end this is all just "make pretend". A GM has to run characters of all races and genders in a game, all the time, yet a player having to do so is some sort of life crisis? This is a non-issue.

15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

If everyone agrees, it's not catering. You're assuming everyone has your outlook on things.

It is catering. Pendragon is not a democracy. THe GM is the authroity at the table. That's actually in the rulebook. If the GM says "no" then the answer is no, even if everyone else at the table thinks it should be yes. 

15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

O_o
How do I know I can't be a dragon? If you know something I don't, please say the word, because I'm just about done with humanity.

How do you know that playing someone of a different gender in a RPG is all that differernt from playing somone of a different species? We have no dragons or hobbits to compare notes with. In the end, this is all stuff that we pretend, and is played using the same methods.

15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

Well. I was kinda refering to the whole idea of being told "You can't be girl knight!" is kinda just a throwback to the schoolyard seperation. 

And it should be. It is a partriacal setting. I wouldn't allow an all feamle RAF fighter sqadron if I were running a game set in Brtian during WW2. 

15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

I doubt it's objectionable, but I think having knights be genderlocked is just a weird relic.

No, it actually a near inevitability of the time and place. I know we all are raised with the idea of equality, and I certainty wouldn't want to take rights away from any group of people, the fact is historically most warriors were men for reasons. Childbirth and rearing being one of the major ones. Greater upper body strength being another. Modern society has ways around those problems but pre-industrial societies didn't.

And speaking of relics, how about plate armor, warhorse and lance charges. Don't they seem archaic?

15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

Exceptional and society-breaking? Sure, I'm running with that in my game. 

How about game breaking? Where all these female knights getting their income from? Why isn't some male "rightful" heir running it instead? What happens to the estate when she dies? What happens when she can fulfill her knightly duties becuase she is pregnant? 

 

15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

So. I've been running a game that have broken many of the unspoken rules, and I don't think the KAP-Police is knocking on my door to take my books away. Having options does not preclude anything. 

o they haven't. But you are knocking on everyone elses door by stating that the game needs these things to evolve. Pendragon can do just fine without more art of women in armor. 

15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

Well, yeah. While I adore the design, I am not really comfortable talking about a dead man's vision. He's not around to tell us his ideas from the ground up, and it might have evolved a bit. (Just to be clear, I don't trust anyone else in that way. Neither philosophers nor religious figures.)

Well, Greg made many of his thoughts known, and the guy in charge of the game now was hand picked by Greg, and 6th edition is supposed to be Gregs final vision of the game. As far as getting Greg's ideas on Pendragon from the ground up, they are out there, in various designers notes, articles, and posts. 

And nothing has really evolved. People think that the ideas of equality and making games more feamle friendly is a new thing, it isn't. 

 

15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

Well. That's true. Anyways. My point was that there's a lot of room for flexibility within the core that was set up, and I don't think it's as incompatible as you think.

Yes, there is a lot of room for flexibility, but that is precisely what you will lose by making feamle knights more mainstream in the setting. A good example of this is the magican rules from KAP4. On the one hand the rules made magican player characters an option. On the other hand such characters didn't fit well into the game. 

15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

I think I said this earlier, but altering core rules is not my point. Only increased art visibility and a bit of extra info on the stuff that having female knights in the setting would entail.

I think that would be false advertising. As it stands a player can play a female knight if, and only if their GM allows it. 

As far as the extra ifo went, that would reqiure raising a lot of questions, most of which should probably be left to a GM. For instance what would be the proper form of address would female knight use. Sir? It wouldn't be Lady, as that refers to a marries noblewoman, nor Dame as that was the propr title for a landholder Banerettess.

 

15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

Because down that path lies the road to being model train enthusiasts. (Sorry in advance to anyone who are MTE, I might not have all the facts here.)

And is that a bad thing? Not all change is an improvement upon what existed before. That's why somethings end up getting dropped when they don't pan out-such as the Book of the Manor

15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:


I am not looking for an egalitarian Camelot myth. However, KAP gives us an immergent storyline, the legacy aspect and the rules for Traits, Passions and Combat are some of the finest knight rules in the world.
99.5% of the game is fucking excellent, which is why people would like to play it,

Then play it.

15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

and I am sure, if there's just a tiny bit more effort placed in describing where female knights can fit in our own versions of the Arthurian Romances, I think we're a lot better off than we used to be.

And I think you're dead wrong. If any GM wants to have female knights in the game, they can. Nothing is stopping them. But to do so they will have to sit down, do some research, and figure out how doing to is going to impact their game. That's the same thing a GM has to do when adding any new houserule or other element to their campaign. 

But if they aren't willing to put in the effort to do that first, then maybe they shouldn't. What it seems like is that you want the designers to alter the structure of society in the game to accommodate female knights. That means they will decide how all the fiddling details work out, how inheritance is supposed to work, how marriages for female knights work, how childbirth affects knight's service (this is pretty much a killer as the enemy isn't going to postpone a war because someone is in the family way), etc. etc.

Now once there is any sort of official sidestep of the feudal structure already in place, then it becomes the new standard, and makes it all the more difficult for a GM to diverge from that interpretation. 

 

15 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

Alright. It's two am here, and I've rewritten this a bunch of times to not ruffle too many feathers.
I think I said my 2 cents here.

Yup. As have I. But once again, the door is open for those who want female knights in their game, and there is tons or females in armor pics all over the internet for those who want them. There is no reason for Pendragon to go Woke. 

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4th edition also had a major section on women. Both traditional and non-traditional. So Greg has had this since 1985.

Why do we need women knights?  Perhaps we don't/Perhaps we do.  But, if/since Arthurian saga is being reinvented with a modern twist, it stands to reason this also will be examined. Heck, there is at least one story where Arthur is female.  Another where man has reached the stars.  Women gamers are becoming more and more popular.  They can play men if they want, but they also want to play women. Rather than close the door, in which case they may create their own version, I would rather see rules set forth that allow them to exist in the world of Arthurian lore I am familiar with.  

Expansion of women in traditional roles has also occurred and the court/winter phase has expanded as a result. In upcoming expansions, women have vital/prominent roles.  So, some of us will play the traditional male dominated games while others will play with a somewhat more modern look.  We are all playing fantasy.  After all, there is only ONE Arthur, right?  Please, will the real King Arthur stand up.

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30 minutes ago, Hzark10 said:

4th edition also had a major section on women. Both traditional and non-traditional. So Greg has had this since 1985.

Why do we need women knights?  Perhaps we don't/Perhaps we do.  But, if/since Arthurian saga is being reinvented with a modern twist, it stands to reason this also will be examined. Heck, there is at least one story where Arthur is female.  Another where man has reached the stars.  Women gamers are becoming more and more popular.  They can play men if they want, but they also want to play women. Rather than close the door, in which case they may create their own version, I would rather see rules set forth that allow them to exist in the world of Arthurian lore I am familiar with.  

Expansion of women in traditional roles has also occurred and the court/winter phase has expanded as a result. In upcoming expansions, women have vital/prominent roles.  So, some of us will play the traditional male dominated games while others will play with a somewhat more modern look.  We are all playing fantasy.  After all, there is only ONE Arthur, right?  Please, will the real King Arthur stand up.

I think what Atgxtg is worried about isnt the option for your game to be more open but the default game changing to be more egalitarian instead of one that is fairly rooted to the fantastical setting of the de Troyes stories. I am more in agreement with Atgxtg than I am opposed as the game has a specific vision and while it encourages players to allow female knights if they like it assumes by default that it isnt the case and any such knight would be the exception. Personally I would be hesitant to let any new player start with a femake knight as I would want their exceptionalness to cause drama. Think Brienne of Tarth, a fantastic knight whose gender was a big obstacle she had to overcome in her world. I would make it easier for such a knight to gain glory as thry really stand out in a world filled with male knights. But i would prefer any new players start with a male knight until they are more comfortable with the setting. If one of them decides theyre training their daughter to inherit then damnit lets see this story through because that sounds awesome. But I dont want it to be default, when I play Pendragon I want something fairly close to the old stories. If I wanted something different that is what I would play. I'm all for more options and expanding on having female knights in your world but I don't want Pendragon to change it's take now to assume an egalitarian world.

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I believe the default of KAP6 will still be the old game we are most familiar with. Each gamemaster may scale the role of women up or even down if they want.  You may see exceptional women more in prominent roles in more progressive areas, expansions in what Ladies can do, and so on but if a gm doesn't want to cater to those options, they don't have to.  YPMV will, in all likelihood, live on.

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Comments:

1) We're not talking about hobbits here. We're talking about people who have been marginalized from our hobby. I'm not saying there aren't women at our tables - but there are others who won't show up because of inappropriate behavior, harassment, or even assault in spaces where men won't see it, even if it happens right in front of them. Many of them will see a game that says "no female characters" may decide not to stick around to see if that reflects the group's real-world attitudes and treatment of women. It's just a game - why take a chance?

2) Art does matter. One common theme that I've heard from women, POC, and people from other marginalized groups is how canny they are about who is represented in various media, and the revelation they had the first time they encountered a work in which someone like them was depicted positively. So - yes, having more female knights in the artwork is important and will expand the game's appeal.

3) I'm not sure where the idea that the "majority" of the players want only male knights - I can think of six who don't. Nor do I understand why a game that incorporates elements from T. H. White and the Mists of Avalon and Excalibur should draw the line against fighting women.

4) Greg was a brilliant guy who has created a wonderful game we all enjoy. His section on women as knights... might have been progressive in the early Eighties. Talking about how it was positive that women were "placed on a pedestal," or ending capsule biographies of female warriors with their negative traits repeatedly, are passages that should be updated.

5) Sure, you might have to figure some things out about how female knights work. I have confidence that this can be done, because I have female and queer knights in my games, and I was able to cobble together something that makes sense in terms of inheritance and marriage and the like. It's not perfect, but it can be done.

6) Being worried about how pregnant women will meet the call to arms is just funny to me. I mean, this is a game in which - until 6th edition - some guy would go running off the battlefield and be gone for years, and his lord effectively shrugs, assumes the knight was really upset, and waits for him to come back, with no penalties being assessed for dereliction of duty... I think they can figure out maternity leave.

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2 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

I believe the default of KAP6 will still be the old game we are most familiar with. Each gamemaster may scale the role of women up or even down if they want.  You may see exceptional women more in prominent roles in more progressive areas, expansions in what Ladies can do, and so on but if a gm doesn't want to cater to those options, they don't have to.  YPMV will, in all likelihood, live on.

It depends on how many female knights NPC we will see in future books and future GPC. 

Furthermore, if all options are open, it would be nice if KAP6 would also expand on the bad and messy consequences on having common "fighting dames" in your pseudo-medieval Logres (inheritance, childbirth, inherited glory etc...) like Atgxtg was explaining above. 

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Y'all are getting way too worked up about this. You're all making assumptions based on a single piece of art and an out of the way comment, in a document that's probably not even in its final form, for a ruleset that won't be out for months. Chill out, geez. It's not the end of the world regardless of what happens.

Also, this has really gone far beyond the supposed topic of this thread...

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9 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Yes, however the vast majoirty play the same in fairly similar ways, which is why we shouldn't alter the core rules to cater to a small subset of players who think that we need more rules for female knights.

I would like to chime in to say my 2 cents.
I'm one of those "small subset of players". I'd like to have about 50% female knights in the KAP corebook. Heck, I'd like to have about 50% of the kings, rulers and other nobles be female. I'd like to have LGBTQ+ characters sprinkled all over the place. I'd like to see some female knight apply fine amor to a male househusband. I'd like to have Dame Lancelotte have an affair with Queen Guenevere Pendragon, and even weirder things. Right there, in the corebook. Will they be there? I don't think so. Would it be a good thing to have them there? I think so.

Are we a minority IN THE WHOLE WORLD OF GAMING? It can be, but I don't think Atgxtg (or anyone else) has any hard data to support this claim. Maybe it's true, but one cannot make it part of an argument without any data to back up their claim. Maybe the gender-biased one is a majority point of view. But maybe it's a majority precisely because until now people with different worldviews have been excluded/rejected or felt not attracted by explicitly gender-biased, prejudiced games.

What I can see is that the world of gaming is changing, and that being inclusive to different genders (and ethnicities, and religions, and social classes) gives more people the chance to feel welcome into a community. I cannot help but think that KAP would be a better game if it was more inclusive, even though it would be less consistent with traditional depictions of the setting. To me, being as inclusive as possible is much more important than being consistent with centuries-old conventions in a game made for 21st century players.

 

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Honestly, the fact a single image is enough for people to cry heresy and come up with (often wrong) reasons why women knights should barely be a thing (if at all), is more reasons why there should be broader depictions of them in the game. One of the difficulties of introducing Pendragon to other people is the inherent moral relativism of the setting, and how much of it is endorsed by in-universe forces vs the game itself.

The nobility of actual Dark Age Britain was often very corrupt and cruel to the lower class, something that is suggested in Pendragon and the literature of Athuria with the prescience of "evil" knights (who presumably were also legally knighted, just like your player knights!), castles with awful customs, and the great flaws of "heroic" knights (Arthur...literally drowned a bunch of babies??????? Or at least attempted to.), but it rarely discusses if the system of Fedualism itself is ultimately good or evil for humanity, and usually leans to the former as an result of the players all being Knights (as supposed to revolting Peasants). 

That alone can turn off a lot of people, but what keeps it from going over the edge of feeling like (unintentional) Federalist Propaganda is that it directly avoids encouraging or rewarding the "bad" sides of Feudalism, whilst not directly ignoring them either. The PK's are usually rewarded for being virtuous, and the property sub-systems usually punish the player for treating their peasants like shit. It's still an more positive version of feudalism than accurate to reality, but it's no an direct endorsement of the system by any means.

The decision to depict women as knight should be welcomed, it shouldn't be an thing that is "common" only as an reminder that Mythical Britain is not an perfect society, but one that still suffers from sexism and it's horrid consequences. What matters is if the game (meaning, rules, art, scenarios, ect.) sides with sexism or not. For the most part, no, it's not as sexist as the myths it was based on. But, the game material is usually written with the assumption that the Knights are men, most of the NPCs that the PCs meet, even weird fae beings, are men, and the women are usually traditionally "feminine" roles, even if they're from the other side. (The only exception is magicians like the Ladies Of The Lake, which is not what the game focuses on for obvious reasons, as playing as a magician isn't very fun in Pendragon-at least with the 4th edition rules.) And The Book Of Lady And Knights has the chance for all women characters (ALL, not just damsels!) to have an lower Valor trait than the men.

Some of this is a side effect of the source material (most of the characters in La Morte De' Arthur are men), and was most likely not due to the creators having an disdain for women, but, in effect, which matters more, it comes off as the game discouraging women from being playable characters (helped by the fact that there's rules for making "ladies" that seems to only be for traditional damsel type characters, but doesn't mention if this rule should be for Lady Knights or not), which is IMHO not too different from what a game made by actual sexists would do. 

Stuff like THIS causes people to not be interested in Pendragon, because they get the impression that it's for not just people with degrees in Medieval history, but also old grognardy neckbeards who hate women and think feminists are the actual oppressors or some bullshit like that.

In the interview that was posted by MOB, Sir Larkins said he was consulting with women players to get feedback on how the new edition handles the issue, and IMHO this is a great idea that should be done for any game dealing with these sort of themes. If the sexism is kept as views from people in-universe and not endorsed by the game (willfully or not), I think a lot more people will be willing to get into the game.

But I feel the new edition should also discuss other potential social issues that come up in the game, and how one can differentiate characters in-setting portraying bigotry as good VS the game endorsing those views through mechanics.

Knights should rarely have 100% modern morals, as it's an inherent aspect of the setting, but there is a line between how bigoted an Knight should be without it potentially punishing them and them being bigoted to the point of feeling too close to actual racism that people might experience in the real world. 

I honestly think that Pendragon's depiction of racism, nationalism, and colonialism are all topics that need to be discussed if the game is to move forward, as there has been previous Pendragon books that honestly feel pro-racist due to the depiction of "foreign" invaders and Arthur's "conquering" of them.

The issue is in the original writers of these tales, not the game's developers. But their decision to follow the source materials to even this part of them was IMHO an mistake, even more considering the allowance for Pagan, Pict, Jewish*, "Sarcren", Saxon and Irish Knights who can keep their original religions without being converted to Christianity by the end of the story. And can even be REWARDED for staying close to their "pagan" virtues! (*Sadly Judaism isn't in the Book Of Lady And Knights IIRC, I hope it gets added back in at some point.)

I think Pendragon needs to disengage from the source material at times, or at least allow and encourage players who want to disengage from it, in order to get better as a game. We don't need an entire novel length of material about how to depict bigotry in a Pendragon game, but more on it than previous editions have done is nothing but a good thing, IMHO.

Stuff like the lady knight image and other attempts at gender/racial diversity do nothing but bring more people to the game, (which considering it's an CRIMINALLY underrated game, is a BOON) and discourage the sort of people shouldn't want to play with from this community. Frankly, I would never play with someone who would disallow ladies to be knights. Those are the type of people who I avoid like the plague.

(I don't mean to imply that anyone here is one of those people, by the way. I don't know any of you personally. I do however wish that people would be more considerate in how they sound when criticizing the single image of a lady knight. "She-knight" sounds like something someone from the actual time period would say, which is not a good thing to be saying it unironically in the 21st century! So can we agree as an community to stop that nonsense? Now?)

(Also I love that the Knight lady isn't wearing boob armor. Thank goodness.)

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11 hours ago, Luca Cherstich said:

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). 

By the way, it was Greg Stafford's vision as well. Each time you diverge from the sources to appeal to a modern sensibility, you look like a D&D game and not a KAP game.

41 minutes ago, redmoongoddess said:

I think Pendragon needs to disengage from the source material at times, or at least allow and encourage players who want to disengage from it, in order to get better as a game. We don't need an entire novel length of material about how to depict bigotry in a Pendragon game, but more on it than previous editions have done is nothing but a good thing, IMHO.

I think quite the contrary, and I think it's the heart of the argument. I never saw any racism in the sources, and I read many (many) medieval tales, but as you said, it's a feudal world, and the game portrays it as "a good thing". IRL, no player is thinking the "blue blood are better people, because their ancestors were better people". And yet, in the game, it's true.

The feudal word is patriarcal. Proudly, without any shame. If you alter one thing from the setting, you change the mood of the game. That's why I am very reluctant to allow women knights in my game. Otherwise, it looks like any other D&D game (very inclusive, but empty). It's not against women (of course not!), but it's to be faithful to the sources.

In the old greg stafford site, there was a whole essay "this game is sexist". It was a bit provocative. In fact, the game is not, but the setting is.

53 minutes ago, redmoongoddess said:

Sadly Judaism isn't in the Book Of Lady And Knights IIRC, I hope it gets added back in at some point.)

I have jew players at my table. They think the whole idea of jew knight to be hilarious (in a bad way).  By the way, the rules are in the GPC (and in knights adventurous).

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The option exists for players to play a female knight if they so want and without getting constantly screwed over by the setting. Because there are lots of players who would rather play a female character. Just as there are lots of players who would rather play a male character. There is no reason to create barriers that prevent people from wanting to play in one of the greatest RPGs of all time.

When we've had female knights, they have always been exceptional and noteworthy, but not so exceptional or noteworthy that playing them is a constant uphill battle. At the end of the day, Pendragon is a FUN role-playing game, that lets us explore the Arthurian Romances - one of the greatest collections of stories and archetypes of all time. And every assembler of the Romances made their own additions and twists to it, which is in part why these stories continue to have power and meaning even to us mythically illiterate moderns.

In short, there should be no obstacle to making Pendragon something fun for you and your players. Take it, run with it, and make it yours.

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As an aside, Greg's "Arthurian monomyth" allows us to experience and play through as much of the myth as we want. But to do that, it is not particularly historically grounded. Pendragon leaves our history with the Enchantment of Britain and enters a mythological and magical realm filled with plenty of ahistorical features such as plate armor. Or indeed chivalrous knights. Or even knights at all. None of this may have existed in history (and certainly not circa 520 AD) but it is all part of the myth.

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Plus, as was already brought up, we departed the world of Malory long ago when we decided - specifically because people wanted to play them - that pagan knights could be chivalrous and heroic characters without being (or talking throughout their adventures about how much they want to become) converts to Christianity. That isn't any less changing the world (and values) of the old epics to suit a game being played by modern people than female knights are.

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7 hours ago, mandrill_one said:

I would like to chime in to say my 2 cents.
I'm one of those "small subset of players". I'd like to have about 50% female knights in the KAP corebook. Heck, I'd like to have about 50% of the kings, rulers and other nobles be female. I'd like to have LGBTQ+ characters sprinkled all over the place. I'd like to see some female knight apply fine amor to a male househusband. I'd like to have Dame Lancelotte have an affair with Queen Guenevere Pendragon, and even weirder things.

Why? That's never been what the Arthruian Mythos or Pendragon was about. 

There are plenty of RPGs where you can do what you want, and have that. But this is not the setting for such. Historically men fought and women stayed home and raised the children, and it really wouldn't have worked the other way around Also historically LGBTQ+ people would not have been tolerated in a medieval society.

Again, there are plenty of RPGs out there where you can have equality regardless of sex/race/social status/religion/etc. But that's not how it was, nor how it should be for a historical or semi-historically based RPG.

Why must every RPG be changed to suit modern ideals? 

 

7 hours ago, mandrill_one said:

Right there, in the corebook. Will they be there? I don't think so. Would it be a good thing to have them there? I think so.

Why would it be a good thing? What makes you think that? The mounting evidence, based upon what we are seeing with films, tv, video games, and now D&D is that doing so ruins everything. 

 

All these pre-existing settings and stories are interesting as they are, and altering them to make them all fit the modern cookie cutter image ends up destroying everything that made them compelling in the first place.

 

For example, part of the appeal of the Arthurian story to many people, is the illicit affiar between Guinvere and Lancelot. Well, with modern rules and values, Gwen could simply have divorced Arthur. That whole story only works because of the way medeival soceity worked.

Even Arthur becoming King does make sense when looked at from a mdoern point of view. Michael Palin was right, " strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power
derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!" 
 That's what makes that scene so funny. Would any person in a modern soceity let someone rule over them as a king because of a sword?

7 hours ago, mandrill_one said:

Are we a minority IN THE WHOLE WORLD OF GAMING? It can be, but I don't think Atgxtg (or anyone else) has any hard data to support this claim. Maybe it's true, but one cannot make it part of an argument without any data to back up their claim. Maybe the gender-biased one is a majority point of view. But maybe it's a majority precisely because until now people with different worldviews have been excluded/rejected or felt not attracted by explicitly gender-biased, prejudiced games.

1. If people have been excluded/rejected from a gaming group, for any reason, then they will continue to be excluded for said reason, regardless on what's in print, because it is the other people in the gaming group who exclude or reject them. FYI I have indeed excluded people from a gaming group, but never over the gender or sexual orientation. Usually it was because they were terrible to game with, or could show up on a regular basis.

2. If someone is not attracted to a particular game, well, that's just tough. No one has to rewrite a game to appeal to someone else. There are lots of games out there that I'm not attracted to and I don't play them. For instance, I'm not found of RQG and don't play it. As far as I can tell the game is doing just fine without me.

3. The games are not prejudiced, the settings are. For instance if someone were running a game set during WW2 you won't be able to play someone who is Jewish in the German military, because Nazi Germany was a racist, prejudiced place.

4. If people won't play a game because the genders and sexual orientation of the characters in the game different from their own, then how do they expect to be able to deal with the many setback that will occur during actual play. Or how can they deal with the other people the have to interact with in daily life, especially at the gaming table? Since the vast majority of people in the world are straight heterosexuals, anyone who cannot tolerate that has problems well beyond the gaming table. 

 

 

7 hours ago, mandrill_one said:

What I can see is that the world of gaming is changing, and that being inclusive to different genders (and ethnicities, and religions, and social classes) gives more people the chance to feel welcome into a community.

Then why have the forums become less inclusive and unwelcoming over the last decade? There was a time when people could come to a site like this and debate all sorts of ideas and rules. Now everyone has to cater to those who want "inclusivity and diversity" brought into ever game, regardless if that fits with the setting or not. 

 

Ten years ago we'd have a good debate with lots of people chiming in and giveing thier own points of view. Today, we get progressive levels of wokeness (anyone remember how this started with one person just wanting more female knight artwork?). Frankly I'm surprised the thread hasn't been locked down yet. 

7 hours ago, mandrill_one said:

I cannot help but think that KAP would be a better game if it was more inclusive, even though it would be less consistent with traditional depictions of the setting. To me, being as inclusive as possible is much more important than being consistent with centuries-old conventions in a game made for 21st century players.

 

And I cannot help but think that you are horribly wrong.

Pendragon is popular today for what it is. If you throw all that away to recast in the the mold of 2020 society, it won't be anymore. Just look at how Star Wars, Star Trek, Terminator, and Doctor Who are doing. All those franchises went down the same path you want Pendragon to go down,. and all have lost most of their fan base and can't sell any merchandise anymore. 

If someone want's an Arthruian RPG where half the knight and rulers are female, with lots of LBGTQ+ characters sprinked about, then they should write it. No co-opt an existing RPG. IF someone really wants to do that in Pendragon, well they can. It's thier campaign, they can put Arthur, Lance, and Gwen into a threesome, if that's what they want. 

But you don't really want that, you just want to try and force everyone else to do that.  

 

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6 hours ago, Jeff said:

The option exists for players to play a female knight if they so want and without getting constantly screwed over by the setting.

In short, there should be no obstacle to making Pendragon something fun for you and your players. Take it, run with it, and make it yours.

Jeff, that would depend entirely upon the GM of a given group. Per KAP5.2 page 34, " Each Gamemaster determines the prevailing attitude of Britain toward women during his or her campaign. In some, female knights may be common and acceptable, raising no eyebrows at all. Or they might be strange and unaccepted. Most likely, reactions
will vary from person to person,"

So it really comes down to what a given GM deems suitable in that campaign. If a GM is okay with it then some or even all the knights could be female. If not, then the players have to either accept what the GM rules, or not play.

Things like inheritance, marriage, and  and how child birth affects knightly responsibilities would need to be addressed (maternity leave?) somehow just because they will come up as Pendragon is a generational game. 

 

 

 

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As many others have pointed out, women knights have been acknowledged in the game throughout its history. Greg made the decision for this edition to make their inclusion seem like less of an afterthought that it has in times past. That's all there is to it.

Will there be some women knights featured in the art? Yes. Will there be some women knights as Gamemaster characters? Yes. The inclusion of these characters is rooted in medieval legends and tales; I'm really looking forward to revealing more about this as we move forward.

To reiterate: Your Pendragon Will Vary remains one of the guiding principles. The core rulebook discusses how to scale things like women knights in your game. Implications on inheritance laws are also discussed. If you'll allow a bit of drollery, issues of setting may be monomythic, but are not treated as monolithic.

There will be many more details forthcoming in the weeks and months ahead. I'll just leave things off with a quote from the core rulebook, Greg's own words:

Quote

 

Although the historical medieval Britain is a dismal, violent, and cruel place, with outdated standards of behavior, it was deliberately chosen because it is this exact setting, with its dark overtones, that is inherent in the old literature. In the campaign, the Gamemaster presents the harsh background as the reality within which the characters move. Initially, the Gamemaster’s characters are, for the most part, merciless and brutal. Player-knights may choose to remain in that unenlightened realm of history—they are not penalized, but neither are they rewarded. But they also have a choice to join the struggle to improve the world. Their actions can stand as shining lights of exceptional behavior, breaking the old ways and preparing for a better realm.

The story of King Arthur is about the struggle to improve life. With his faithful knights, he manifests the dream of a better world. The game dramatizes this heroic effort in its play. Great rewards go to those who struggle to improve the kingdom.

King Arthur changes the world, slowly to be sure, but in general for the better. Warlords, selfish sorcerers, even the environment itself in the form of the Wasteland and plagues, all conspire against these changes. The Player-knights are an important part of the struggle for the betterment of Britain.

The improvements in the lives of women and commoners are earmarks of Arthur’s efforts. Ladies make great gains both socially and legally over the course of his reign. They may become knights, gain the power to choose their own husbands, and eventually may inherit their due estates and take care of them without a warden. Commoners are among King Arthur’s earliest supporters, and he even forms Parliament to give them a place to exercise their powers alongside the clergy and lords.

The Gamemaster decides how much resistance hinders these changes. You may of course decide on presenting a fantasy realm that is better than our modern world, with fairness, justice, and goodwill everywhere. However, that attitude significantly alters the stories, and what the stories mean. The best balance is found when the world is medieval, reactionary, and reluctant to change; yet slowly yields under the influence of the Player-knights and their allies working to create a luminous realm.

 

 

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