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So I'm in the planning stages of a new Pendragon campaign. I'm posting about it here for feedback and critiques.

If you're one of my players (only two Player Knights in the campaign, White shield with Brown lion headed Sphinx, and a white lion on a green field), please don't read any further.


So, to start off, we'll be starting on the year 474 or 475. Player Knights will be given their (first) manor through marriage around the same time they are knighted, and they'll all have sons that year. The reason being is so that when the tragedy of 495 happens, they'll have new characters at the "correct" age to begin their careers during the Anarchy Period.

For character creation, I'll be allowing the players to choose which events they like from the Book of Sires for their family history. I've got strong opinions about randomized character creation, and this isn't really a thread about that, but if there's a legitimate reason why I shouldn't let them choose whatever they want, I'll listen. However, even if they pick the "best" history for themselves, that's fine with me. It's very hard to get a game-breaking advantage from choosing the outcomes instead of rolling (if it's possible at all), so I'm not too worried about it.

Question: 496 minus 21 years would mean they were born in 475, so we should start in year 474, correct?

I'll be using the Book of Sires to figure out what's going on during the years leading up to 480, where I'll switch over to either the Book of Uther, or the Marriage of Count Roderick.

Questions: which one (if either) is considered better? Can they be run simultaneously (seems possible, but IDK).

One thing I like to do is "cast" the NPC's in my campaigns. Like, I'll take pictures of actors in armor, and say, here's Count Roderick. A pic of Sean Connery as Long Arthur will serve during the later years of the campaign. There's a pic of Chris Hemsworth as Thor, but he's wearing a robe, so he looks more generically medieval, and that'll be my pic for Gawaine through almost the whole campaign. I really like doing this, and it actually helped with something I struggle over with the Arthurian Myth.

I *HATE* Lancelot to the core of my being. "bUt CoUrTlY LoVe," is an idiotic response to destroying the greatest civilization the world ever knew just because you couldn't keep it in your pants. Best Knight? Ha! He's only beaten by Mordred for the title of WORST knight (not even going to go into Guinevere using her control over the idea of Courtly Love to give herself a pass). I've always wanted to do something with Lancelot; change him in some way, but never hit up on the right answer. Then I decided to use Finn Jones as Loras Tyrell for casting Lancelot, and hit upon a solution. Lancelot never betrayed his best friend, because, like the knight of flowers, he's not interested in women.

To me, it is a near-perfect solution. All the major events can play out the same way, and all the speculation about him and Guinevere can still happen, but none of the idiocy.

Question: how have you dealt with, "The Lancelot Problem?" I know most people see the problem as him being so good at everything that he overshadows the PC's, but that's not really a problem for my group. I also expect many people here to not see his and Guinevere's betrayal of everything for Lust to be much of a problem either (don't kid yourselves, it's Lust, capital "L," not love. Love doesn't put itself first before duty, honor, fidelity, or any other virtue).

What ways have you tweaked the GPC to give players who knows what's coming unexpected twists? We've tried playing through it several times, and have never gotten to the Boy King Period. We've also never started as early as I am now, usually we start at 485, like "normal."

I could do a few of the published adventures. Which ones (if any) are recommended for the GPC?

Finally, is there anything I should watch out for while running before Uther's reign?

Thanks in advance!

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Some very quick answers:

1. It is better if you don't kill off the PKs in 495. Anarchy is at its most rewarding when the PKs have a high enough status (from Glory) that their opinion matters. Or that they really can do some power plays that a fresh 21 year old knight lacks means to do.

That being said, I am a big proponent of giving each PK a couple of younger brothers about 5-7 years apart, just in case. This way there are some spares if the main char snuffs it early on.

Technically, if you want the knights to be 21 at the start of the year, they should turn 21 by the end of the previous year. It just barely works with 475 birth if they got married in the summer 474, so you might push the start to (late) 473 instead. But this is a detail that doesn't really matter all that much, and is something that KAP 5.2 ignores. But see my point 3.

2. The Marriage and the GPC Expansion are meant to be run at the same time. That bring said, you can adjust as you wish. There should be a thread here about starting in 480 with some advice.

Edit: here it is.


3. There shouldn't be any particular problem starting even earlier save that it will be that much longer before reaching Boy King. Also the events are somewhat simple in late 470s, possibly leading into some battle burnout. Finally by making the PKs older, you ate making it more likely that they will be higher in Glory and thus more likely to be killed in 495, and see my first point on that.

4. What published adventures should you play with GPC? My answer usually is: all of them. 🙂

Edited by Morien
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Oh, just to add something...

What is it that you and your players are seeking to experience with GPC? You said you have tried to play through it several times but never got to the Boy King? Which sounds to me that you stall at Anarchy (a common occurrence)? Well, one thing to consider would be to skip all the way to the end of Anarchy, which seems to be that 6e is doing. That would certainly keep it fresher for your players, and the Book of Sires does have an appendix to take the family history all the way to the end of 509.

It also has the advantage that most of the published adventures are set against the backdrop of Arthur's court, not Uther's, usually in the Romance or Tournament Periods, too. Although of course you can tweak them a bit to make them fit earlier/later Periods as well.

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I think what I really want is for the Players to get some new content in for a few years before diving into the Uther part of the GPC. When we get to 495, I'll "reset" their characters to (probably) more permanent characters, and let them continue to build on their father's achievements. We usually get pretty strong by 495, and that's been with us starting at the "normal" start date of 485. Pretty much every time we've played, we've gotten enough glory in those years to qualify for the Round Table (if it had existed that early), so I'm not too worried if their 2nd characters aren't overly strong at the start of the Anarchy period.

My main goal is to have them be famous/powerful enough to play important parts in the Boy King period. Specifically, I'm wanting them to be able to knight Robert and/or Arthur. There's tons of things they can do to gain Glory during the Anarchy period, and at least one of my players is very good about being able to create opportunities out of obstacles (which leads to gaining more Glory).

However, we've never really gotten through the whole Anarchy period, and I'm planning on reigning them in on things like marrying heiresses (more on that later) to slow down their Glory gains. If you think there's not usually enough going on from 496-510 for a knight to go from a famous knight's son to being worthy of knighting some of the most important people in his life, then I'm listening. I can either add in a few extra things for them to gain high amounts of Glory from (got suggestions?), or I can take the earlier advice of not killing them during the Doomed Feast.

About heiresses; I found the thread that talked about the thread with their information (Heiresses Revised), but the main one is gone. Is that information somewhere still accessible, or is it lost forever? I'd love to read through it, and hopefully I'm just missing something silly, but really can't find it.

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3 hours ago, Gryph said:

About heiresses; I found the thread that talked about the thread with their information (Heiresses Revised), but the main one is gone. Is that information somewhere still accessible, or is it lost forever? I'd love to read through it, and hopefully I'm just missing something silly, but really can't find it.

http://kapresources.wpengine.com/Pendragon Forum Archive/index.php/t-2091.html

And then just scroll down until you find what Greg settled on. Personally, they are still too generous.

Also, one thing that slows down the rampant Glory gain is that you fix the Childbirth chances from 10% per year to something like a couple of percent per year. This will actually allow the wives to stick around longer than half a dozen years, and means that the PKs can't just bluebeard their way to gonzo Glory and lands.


Edited by Morien
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