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King Arthur Pendragon 2nd Edition

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The story goes that KAP2 was planned but eventually dropped and KAP3 was developed instead. I have a couple of questions related to this and was wondering if anyone had the answers:

 

Question 1: Why was KAP2 dropped? Anyone got any idea? And if so why wasn't KAP3 just called KAP2, as no one who wasn't in contact with Greg would have ever known?

 

Question 2: What was the "updated" version of KAP1? Years ago, long before KAP3,  I ran across a version of KAP1 that had some differences from KAP. This happened when a new player created a character with "too many" points. When I pointed that out to the player, he showed me his copy of the KAP Player book, where the point totals were indeed higher. At the time I though that is was a newer edition, similar to RQ2 compared to RQ1. But if it wasn't KAP2, what was it? A updated KAP1? A typo? 

Edited by Atgxtg

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Greg explained the 2nd edition as a simple mistake of announcing a product before actually figuring out what the final product was going to be like. The first edition boxed set of Pendragon sold quite well. So well that they ran out of boxes, and in 1989 they sold the remaining sets of all the contents, sans box, for the lower price of $14.95 instead of $21.95. Chaosium, in true contrast to being the "Orderium" had an unfortunate history of not always updating product numbers when new editions of a game came out (like 2nd and 3rd edition of CoC both using 2301-X). When they initially planned on doing a second edition of KAP, they initially intended to keep it as a boxed set, and so they kept using CHA2701-X as the product code for it. They also announced the product to distributors. 

Lo and behold, as they grew closer to determining the final KAP2 product they realized that boxed games, despite their lovely nature, were just not worth the money. The boxes cost $1, were prone to damage, and certain countries taxed them differently than books. Arkham Horror was their last boxed game in 1987. When any boxed game went out of print, the next edition of the game would be a perfect bound book. Thus, the next edition of KAP had to have a product number that made sense. They already announced 2701-X as a boxed second edition of KAP, but they weren't going to do a boxed set. The "X" designation meant it was a boxed item. Thus, while they could have had the "second" edition of KAP use the next available product number 2709, they didn't want to confuse the distributors even more with having two second editions of the game floating around in their ordering systems. In the end, Greg decided just to call the new edition of Pendragon CHA2309 the "third edition", even though there never was a second edition actually produced or sold. For all I know, he thought it was funny to do so (Greg was a well known trickster).

It is very possible that the first boxed edition of Pendragon had differences between printings. Those would have been only minor corrections though. None of the boxed sets was ever called the second edition. I don't even know if any of them were even labelled as a "second printing". My open copy has no such distinction, and I'm not going to open my shrink-wrapped copy.

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18 hours ago, Rick Meints said:

It is very possible that the first boxed edition of Pendragon had differences between printings. Those would have been only minor corrections though.

Thanks for the explanation. That must have been it. As I mentioned the only reason why I knew of the differences was because somebody I gamed with wrote up a character with his newer Players Book and there were some minor differences. As far as I can recall it was in the points for attributes or skills, and I think a couple of corrections, such as eliminating the  double Latin Language line for Cymric characters. It;s hard to remember, as it's something that I last looked at over 30 years ago. 

18 hours ago, Rick Meints said:

None of the boxed sets was ever called the second edition. I don't even know if any of them were even labelled as a "second printing". My open copy has no such distinction, and I'm not going to open my shrink-wrapped copy.

Thanks. I'll check the copies I have. I think I took the shrink wrap off of all them them long ago. It's sort of a catch 22 with shrink wrap that removing it can reduce resale value, but keeping in on can damage the product (shrink wrap continues to shrink over time).

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I have found a few ways to tell the first printing of Pendragon 1st edition from the second printing of Pendragon 1st edition.

  • The big map has France with a blue background and there is a piece of tape printed on to it. The second printing has France shown its a white background. There could be other changes to the map, but that is the easiest to check.
  • The Pendragon "what's in the box" sheet has an advert for the King Arthur Companion on the top half of page 2. It also has "SOLD OUT" stamped in red on the advert. The advert is gone and it's just white space in the second printing.
  • The players book is very slightly different, although I don't know all the small edits made. One that I found is that on page 15 in the Beginning Skills Values Table, first column, "Speak Irish" is listed before "Speak Cymric". They reversed the order to make them alphabetical in the second printing. 
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