Morien Posted March 24, 2019 Report Share Posted March 24, 2019 (edited) The above quotation is what prompted me to start a new thread on this. Since we do see this question asked often enough, I figured it would be nice to have it as its own thread rather than hidden inside the Bear Hunt thread. As for my own thoughts... 1. GPC: This depends a bit. I could see someone getting the Book of Uther first (or just the stand-alone GPC King Uther Expansion) and using that as a cheap test campaign 480 - 484 to see how his/her players like it. But assuming we are talking about someone committed to this, then yeah, GPC itself is pretty much a must have. As much as I have griped about being constrained by the GPC from time to time, it does offer a great framework to deviate from when you want to, or a crutch when you can't come up with anything else. 2. Book of the Entourage: Personally, I would be tempted to get Book of the Entourage next. It is useful throughout the campaign and it has information on how to run NPC wives and husbands and how to get them and how much marriage glory they are worth, etc (including fixing the WAY too generous random marriage table in KAP 5.2). Not to mention other retainers and how they develop as well, including the average equipment of the knights through the periods. And also more information on the squirehood & maid-in-waiting years. There are other interesting nuggets hidden in there as well. And it is a cheap as far as the Book of... series goes. 3. Book of the Estate: This has some very important rule changes hidden in there, including the Title Glory [EDIT3: This is actually in Warlord, not in Estate!], but most importantly the Family Survival rules. If you don't use these (or other fixes) you pretty ensure that your dynasty will die during the childhood. Since dynastic play is one of the big draws of Pendragon for me, this is very important. Of course, you can just grab those rules from forum discussions and use them, as well as the new manor rules, and get by. But if your players like building up their home base or interacting with their servants, this book becomes even more important. If they care not a whit about those things, I could see skipping this book. Here comes a choice. If you are mainly interested in playing a default GPC with Cymric knights from Salisbury, I would go for the Book of the Warlord next. However, if you want to bring a disparate group of knights from over the Western Empire to play in Logres, Book of Knights & Ladies and Book of Sires is what you want. 4A. Book of the Warlord: Again, I personally prefer this book over Book of Uther*, with which it overlaps a lot. Book of the Warlord overlaps somewhat with Estate, too, but it does bring with it a complete list of all of the castles of Logres from 485 to 518, including nuggets of information what happens to them (and Salisbury) during the Anarchy. And the Barons as of 485, with nice tables for Scenario Hooks & Baronial Replacement during Anarchy. To cap it off, there is a nice Warlord (NPK) generator with a heraldry generator, too, giving the GMs an easy way to come up with new individual NPKs with a few rolls of the dice. Oh, did I mention the Graft solo for the PKs who have managed to become officers of a Baron? Not to mention all the experience checks they gain from executing their office? All of the above is very useful throughout the Early Phase, and I'd argue that the Scenario & Replacement tables will give a nice kickstart for any damsel in distress or mysterious castle adventures during Romance & Tournament, too, before Yellow Pestilence & Wasteland & Grail Quest pretty much recreate the chaos of Anarchy and it is off to the races again with the lawlessness and usurpation! Oh, did I mention also the honour (landholdings) write-ups for Salisbury, Silchester and the Barony of Thornbush? * The realm information is only slightly expanded in Book of Uther, although BoU does detail Uther's court a lot. However, since I personally don't see the new knights interacting so much with the high officials of Uther's court, I much prefer the castle information in BotW and its much wider usability. BoU has the Courtly Intrigue tables, but my understanding is that the Book of Feasts pretty much provides enough courtly action by themselves already. This pretty much leaves just the GPC expansion on the table for BoU, as far as I am concerned, and it is available as a standalone, too. 4B. Book of Knights & Ladies and Book of Sires: Book of Knights & Ladies offers more chargen origin options, like Atgxtg said. However, it does suffer a bit from the same fault as the Book of Sires, which is that once your knight's history/bloodline is set, it is unlikely to change during the campaign (unless you manage to get the whole dynasty killed which, in my mind, is very detrimental to the campaign as the whole). I can see the appeal of of having the other chargen options, but it becomes a bit hard to explain what all of these foreign knights are doing in Uther's Britain, which is NOT a shining beacon of chivalry that Camelot will be later on. Book of Sires gives some answers that question, but I would argue that the main use for Book of Sires would be to provide a very nice resource for the GMs to either explore a 'prequel GPC', stretching from 439 to 485 in Logres & Cumbria, or using those local histories to use another county than Salisbury as the homeland for the PKs. And even set the campaign in another county, for which option the Book of the Warlords would be very useful, too. 5. Pretty much whichever set 4A or 4B I didn't already get, for reasons stated above. 6. Book of Uther, for reasons stated above. And I have to say, if you already have the GPC & Book of Sires, the GPC Expansion doesn't add too much to it, making BoU worth even less to me. Again, if you like dozens of characters with short back stories / personalities and going heavy on the Uther period, perhaps with the help of BoSires starting the campaign earlier and allowing the PKs to be movers and shakers by Uther Period, then more power to you. But the fact that in the default GPC campaign, most of these characters will be dead within a decade is a major minus in my 'usability' sheet. 7. Book of the Manor: Like Atgxtg said, this is pretty much superseded by ESTATE & ENTOURAGE. Since I have not used Book of Battles and Book of Armies in play, and cordially dislike them for making the battles even longer and more math-heavy (while recognizing that there are some good ideas in there mixed with bad ones, IMHO... the Skill 20+ units of commoners drive me NUTS!), I don't think I can give a good recommendation on those. I do see Atgxtg's point of using the BoA unit tables with the basic Battle system, but since I hate those tables, this is not a recommendation for me! Because I'd end up rewriting those encounter lists anyway (and do!), BoA is wasted on me. People do tell me that once you learn the BoB system, it works nicely (even if somewhat overpowered at times, allowing the Players to game the system to cause the enemy army to rout, if I understand right). But I have no interest in making Battles even more complicated than they already are, and am in fact mor inclined to the other way, BoB and BoA gets a thumbs down from me. Again, my personal preference. Your Pendragon May Vary. The big omission is the Book of Feasts, which I do not own. This is because I already have a homebrew system in place that I use for the feasts, and see no need to introduce a new system for it, potentially making the feasts even longer than they already are. But that being said, I'd probably bump it up to at least number 6, maybe even higher (up to 3rd) if the GM is not that into the world information and wants to focus solely on what the PKs are up to during their adventures. Alright. I hope that somewhat rambling list will be useful to someone! (Now if we include the earlier supplements, all the adventure & regional books get big thumbs up for the sheer amount of adventures that they contain! Blood & Lust is probably my favorite, with its multi-year mini-campaign around the Heart Blade. EDIT 3: A longer comment here https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/14345-what-books-to-have-for-a-new-campaign-new-to-pendragon/?tab=comments#comment-225403 ) EDIT (prices from Drivethrurpg at the moment of writing this): Just realized that while Book of Uther is $19.99, Book of Sires is ONLY $14.99! I'd call that a steal, actually! Book of Uther adds 5 years to GPC, while Book of Sires adds... uh... at least 45 years, which you can multiply by at least 4 or so for all the regional differences that you can mine for adventure ideas, too! Book of the Warlord is a rather hefty chunk of change at $29.99, even more than GPC's $24.99. Book of the Entourage is $14.99, and Book of the Estate $19.99. I could even see dropping Book of the Estate in favor of Book of the Warlord + Book of the Entourage, if really strapped for cash. Warlord can be used for running a simple manor, but it tends to gloss over some of the low detail stuff more than Estate does. However, if you are not big on base building and fortifying your manor (which, historically, you wouldn't be allowed to do on a whim, actually), then yeah, you would be fine just using Warlord's appendix for the single manor. You still need to fix the family/child survival of the base rulebook, but there are plenty of threads discussing that in the old Nocturnal Forum (once it becomes available again), or just asking people here. But in the final analysis, most of the Pendragon books are about the same as ordering a pizza. Pizza is gone in an evening, but the book would still be there. EDIT 2: I can't believe that I forgot all the fine free stuff that is around, too... The Marriage of Count Roderick: https://www.chaosium.com/content/FreePDFs/Pendragon/NM14 - Marriage of Count Roderick.pdf The Dragons of Britain #1 - #4: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/121452/The-Dragons-of-Britain-1 Edited June 15, 2021 by Morien 1: Price listing, 2: The free stuff, 3. 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