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Other Uses of the Pendragon System


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Hello,

First time posting here.  Been a fan of Greg Stafford's KAP RPG, mostly as a reader.  The system seems very simple, elegant, and lethal, qualities I appreciate in a game.

My question has to do with whether or not other games have been created from the KAP system.  For example, the Paladin: Warriors of Charlemagne game seems like a very close copy.  Are there any others?

As a derivative question, has anyone used the Pendragon system for their own "home-brew"/"hack"?

Lastly, are there any examples of modules or adventures written for the Pendragon system, aside from the published "core" works?  For example, the only one I've seen is a short adventure from White Dwarf issue 83 called "The Black Knight" which, interestingly, was an adventure written for Pendragon, Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play, and AD&D.

If these questions have already been asked, apologies in advance.

Cheers,

WP6

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A long time ago I used it for Middle-earth. I think those notes are lost now, but it works well for fantasy with a psychological and epic component like that one.

The Dragons of Britain zine from Stygian Fox has several adventures in it. It's available at Drivethru: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/2834/Stygian-Fox/subcategory/5060_32622/The-Dragons-of-Britain.

There is also the Great Book of Pendragon Treasures, which compiles work from the late 90s listserve for KAP.

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4 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

A long time ago I used it for Middle-earth. I think those notes are lost now, but it works well for fantasy with a psychological and epic component like that one.

Another Middle-earth enthusiast here. I have used KAP to run one- or two-shot con games* set either in the end of the Second Age or playing the Rohan riders in the late Third Age, ramping up to the War of the Ring. Works like a charm. (* = with a slightly reduced skill sets so that it is easier to explain to people who are new to the game)

I have also GMed a campaign set in the end of the Second Age, the PCs being part of the Numenorean Faithful escaping the Downfall of Numenor with Isildur, and playing a role in the establishment of Gondor. It is currently on a hiatus, as I am digesting the feedback and the hurdles that the long lifespan and the lack of information on the early days of Gondor means for the campaign. In short, it takes a much more work for the GM when you don't have something like Book of Sires or GPC to give you the yearly framework. In Middle-earth history, your milestones tend to be hundreds of years apart, and just have a couple of lines of text. The feedback from our playthrough of the first 'book' was to de-emphasize the 'routine' and instead focus on the crisis points, like 10-20 years span around the milestones.

I did post my Middle-earth hack of KAP on the older forum, consisting mainly of changing some of the Winter Phase rules to prevent the long lifespans of the Dunedain from making the older characters into perfect demigods. I did also rewrite some of the skills, ditching some and introducing others.

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The French publishers of Pendragon have produced a notable amount of original, official material for the game. If you can read French, I can put a list here for your perusal. Also, the French magazines Casus Belli, Tatou, Backstab and Descartes Magazine included several original Pendragon scenarios over the years.

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I participated in a high fantasy setting with the KAP system. Magic was far more present and there were player characters who were magic users. Magic spells were used as skills.  So you could have a healing spell as a skill. We did not use the magic system from the 4th edition.

There are two settings in the works I think. One in a japanese samurai setting and one in the bronze age. I do not know what the status is at this moment.

To be honest the system can be used best when you play in a setting where traits and passions are more important than common sense. Also if you have a system where there is some kind of ideal to live by is the norm. In KAP the ideal is Chivalry. For a japanese setting this could be Bushido. The Ideal determines which traits and passions are important.

 

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Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond.  Good info and I've started looking at Dragons of Britain, the Great Book of Pendragon Treasures, and Pendragon Pass for starters and for inspiration.

Searching elsewhere, I found a thread on RPG.net of interest:

https://forum.rpg.net/index.php?threads/alternate-semi-mythical-eras-for-pendragon.793237/

Some good ideas there, too, like putting the game in Dark Ages or Medieval Germany (Nibelungenlied/Volsungasaga, or the time of Henry the Fowler/Otto the Great and/or Frederick Barbarossa/Frederick II).

Don't know if anyone's actually done any work on those settings.

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On 6/28/2019 at 1:53 AM, mandrill_one said:

The French publishers of Pendragon have produced a notable amount of original, official material for the game. If you can read French, I can put a list here for your perusal. Also, the French magazines Casus Belli, Tatou, Backstab and Descartes Magazine included several original Pendragon scenarios over the years.

Yes please to adding a list here. 

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I go through phases of using one system for everything (too intellectually limited to hold several sets of rules in mind and too lazy to make notes and play aids or to re-read).

I've used PenDragon for Dr Who, Star Wars, Samurai, Dark Ages, Golden Age of Piracy, Ringworld, Discworld, Fables (the comic books) and others I've forgotten.

And played in Ancient Greek, Glorantha, Forgotten Realms and DC Comic book superheroes run by others.

I think that the central rules are so strong that they cope with any setting (but see above). Of course my view of which bits are the central rules and yours may differ wildly.

Edited by Al.
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On 6/28/2019 at 9:38 AM, Cornelius said:

I participated in a high fantasy setting with the KAP system. Magic was far more present and there were player characters who were magic users. Magic spells were used as skills.  So you could have a healing spell as a skill. We did not use the magic system from the 4th edition.

This is tangential, but the idea of having a magic system where individual spells are used as skills is pretty clever.  How did you limit amount of uses per spell?

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On 6/30/2019 at 3:47 AM, Wolfpack Six said:

This is tangential, but the idea of having a magic system where individual spells are used as skills is pretty clever.  How did you limit amount of uses per spell?

Spells costs hitpoints to cast. The cost depended on the spell cast (usually either 1d6, 2d6, or 3d6 damage). Strong spells had a higher cost. But this could be mitigated a bit by making artefacts in advance (you could pay the cost in advance and then cast the spell at the apropriate time. Also the location you cast a spell (crossings of leylines and magical hotspots made it easier and had a less cost to it).

But also a spell usually had a downside. And failing the spell could have dire consequences. Thus not only fumbles were dangerous, also failing could be dangerous. 

For instance my character had a healing spell. It worked as follows: You could heal up to your skill in hitpoints on someone, but must take the damage yourself. You can heal this after a good night sleep, instead of weeks. This could mean that I healed the fighter, and went unconscious as a result, but after a night sleep I was whole again. 

Most of the time if you failed the spell worked a bit too well. We had someone with a fire power, but he had set the camp in a conflageration several times due to a failed skill test. This was funny for the players, but less so for the characters. 

 

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On 6/29/2019 at 4:02 PM, BioKeith said:

Yes please to adding a list here. 

Here it is. Original French scenarios included in official books:

 

Editeur Oriflam

- Le roi oublié (with the GM screen)


Editeur Icare


- Chroniques de Pendragon 1 (one scenario per year, 486-492):
Le linceul de Noctua (8 pages) qui voit les chevaliers en quête d'une relique dérobée dans un couvent saccagé,
L’honneur sauf (7 pages) où ils doivent mener bataille contre des saxons avant d'être confronté au véritable problème,
L’Enfant des Marais (8 pages), épisode dans lequel les héros se dressent face à des créatures habitant des marais,
Triste Muse (9 pages) avec une étape au coeur de l'hiver dans un chateau à l'atmosphère lourde,
Chevalier, Pilleur, Bourreau (8 pages) où les chevaliers tentent de retrouver de leurs frères faits prisonniers,
Nos Maudites Chimères (9 pages) centré une Dame enlevée à délivrer,
La course de l’Enchanteur (7 pages) qui met en scène Merlin lui-même pour les envoyer rechercher un chevalier retenu dans une forêt par un voeu.


- Chroniques de Pendragon 2 (one scenario per year, 494-507):
L'eau des morts (11 pages) où les Chevalierst doivent découvrir l'origine d'une malédiction et la lever pour convaincre un souverain de faire alliance avec Uther,
Trésors d'Anarchie (8 pages) qui se déroule avec en toile de fond une invasion saxonne, la mort d'Uther, et le début de la période d'anarchie qui s'ensuit,
Veilleur & Soudoier (10 pages) qu voit les Chevaliers rechercher l'allégeance d'un de leurs pairs pour le trouver mort, et rechercher ce qui a mené à cette issue,
Les adieux du sorcier (10 pages) où les Chevaliers doivent respecter une dette, repousser des saxons et remplir une mission pour un vieil allié,
Morgane (10 pages) se déroulant en Cornouailles où les Chevaliers ont été mandés en ambassade et où ils vont devoir libérer le prince capturé pour être livré à ses ennemis,
Il était une Foi (12 pages) qui voit les PJ aider une alliée de leur suzeraine à retrouver son père puis à reprendre son fief à des chevaliers félons,
L'aube derrière les brumes (11 pages), s'étendant sur trois années, et permettant aux Chevaliers de nouer de nouvelles alliances, d'en découdre avec les saxons jusqu'à la bataille de Cambridge et la libération de Londres


- Rédempteurs (in La Rose et l'Epée, translation of BoK&L) 

- La Mariée Cambrienne  (with the GM screen)

- L'Abondant Fils Ainé (with the GM screen)

- Les cendres de Dieu (in Fiefs et Manoirs, translation of BoM and BotE)

- La Bête de Tilshead (in Pendragon rulebook)
 

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French scenarios included in magazines:

- Backstab
Backstab 03 - Qui va a la chasse
Backstab 08 - Le roi se meurt

- Casus Belli (2nd series)
CB 040 - Anciens Mysteres
CB 074 - Premieres Armes
CB 099 - Le Loup dans la Bergerie
CB 103 - Gout de cendres
CB 112 - Enfant des fees
CB 114 - Quatre filles
CB HS08 - Chasse au blanc cerf
CB HS15 - Chant des loups
CB HS24 - Meute doree de Saxemord

- Tatou
1 or 2 scenarios/articles per issue between issues 10-24

Please note that I haven't got EVERY issue of Backstab, Tatou and CB magazines, so some scenarios could be missing from those lists.

Spanish scenarios included in magazines:

- Nivel 9
Nivel9 10 - La Dama Misteriosa
Nivel9 12 - Do ut Des

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On 6/28/2019 at 9:14 AM, Username said:

I mentioned this elsewhere, but I'm in a group that is using it with minimal changes for a Sengoku era Samurai game.

John Wick says, "the original L5R RPG was just me cribbing from Pendragon."

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On 7/1/2019 at 9:56 PM, Wolfpack Six said:

How about more simple, "traditional" dungeon crawl-type adventures in the Pendragon system?  Any examples of those?

Probably not. KAP doesn't really work all that well as a tradtional dungeon-crawl type of game. Damage is more singficant and healing slower and less reliable compared to most dungeon-crawl type RPGs.Not that it can't handle an epic adventure, it can, but it's not geared towards the slow attrition of hit points and other resources that most dungeon-crawl RPGs are designed around. 

 

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On 6/29/2019 at 4:02 PM, BioKeith said:

Yes please to adding a list here. 

494 L'eau des Morts (The Water of the Dead) Chroniques: Saison 2 3 In French. Uther sends the PC's to Estregales as ambassedors and investigators Estregales, Carmarthen French
495 Trésors d'Anarchie (Treasures of Anarchy) Chroniques: Saison 2 14 In French. Uther sends the PC's to Lindsey, to get men and money to fight the Saxons Lindsey, St. Albans, London French
496-498 Veilleurs et Soudoier (Watchmen and Welder) Chroniques: Saison 2 22 In French. Restore the honour of a knight, in a land without High King Sarum, Oxfordshire, Forest Sauvage French
498 Les Adieux du Sorcier (The Sorcerer's Farewell) Chroniques: Saison 2 32 In French. Help Countess Hélène, and keep Merlin save Sarum, Hantonne, Dorset French
499-501 Morgane Chroniques: Saison 2 42 In French. Fighting Angles, by way of Cornwall Ilchester, Marlboro, London, Hertford, Royston French
502-503 Il etait une Foi (Once upon a Time) Chroniques: Saison 2 52 In French. This is a extended version of the adventure "Oxford Usurpers", in the GPC, but different from the one in Lordly Domains Rydychan/Oxfordshire, Silchester, London French
504-507 L'aube derriere les Brumes (The Sun behind the Clouds) Chroniques: Saison 2 64 In French. Trying to form an alliance during Anarchy Sarum, Lindsey, Cornwall, London French
486 Le Linceul de Noctua (The Shroud of Noctua) Chroniques: Saison 1 3 In French. A knight's "hate saxons" leads him to attack manors in Salisbury Sarum, Salisbury French
487 L'Honneur Sauf (Honour excepted) Chroniques: Saison 1 11 In French. A diplomatic mission to a hostile court Sarum, Lincoln, Eburacum French
488 L'Enfant des Marais (The Swamp Child) Chroniques: Saison 1 18 In French. A diplomatic mission and what you need to do to close the deal Sarum, Wells, Bath, the village of the White Tower French
489 Triste Muse (Dark Muse) Chroniques: Saison 1 26 In French. A gracious host welcomes you, to a castle full of intrigue Cornwall, Lindsey French
490 Chevalier, Pilleur, Bourreau (Knight, Pillager, Executioner Chroniques: Saison 1 35 In French. To the rescue of knights captured by Saxons Lindsey, Malahaut, Nohaut French
491 Nos Maudites Chimères (Our Cursed Chimera) Chroniques: Saison 1 43 In French. Finding and rescueing a lady in distress gets really complicated here On the Road, London, Cornwall French
492 La Course d'Enchanteur (The Enchanters Way) Chroniques: Saison 1 52 In French. Merlin asks you to go and liberate an imprisoned knight Cornwall, Bodmin Moor French
530 - 531 Le Chevalier au Faucon (The knight of the Falcon) Tatou 10 28 In French. The child of earl Robert has been abducted Salisbury French
510 and later Dans la Forêt de Morgane (In Morgaine's Forest) Tatou 11 27 In French. A strange encounter during a hunt Salisbury, Morgaine's Forest French
510 and later Fleur de Sang (Flower of Blood) Tatou 12 11 In French. Your wife\lady\love is behaving strangely Your manor, In the Woods, in Faerie French
531 and later le Roi Toujours Mourant (the ever dying king) Tatou 13 7 In French. A strange request for spending your winter (First part of the adventure. Second part is "La Dernière Flèche"(The Last Arrow)) Anywhere, Cambria French
531 and later La Dernière Flèche (The Last Arrow) Tatou 14 4 In French. The end of a dreadful curse (Second part of the adventure. First part is "Le Roi Toujours Mourant"(The ever dying King)) Cambria French
531 and later Le Chevalier à la Teste Tranchée (The Knight of the Couped Head) Tatou 15 4 In French. The High King wants you to catch a bandit knight Forest Sauvage, in Faerie French
511 Les Cerfs Blanc (The White Deer) Tatou 16 6 In French. A winter hunt for a magnificent White Deer turns into something different Royal Court in Banbury, On the Road French
510 and later Le Vengeance du Bâtard (The Bastard's Revenge) Tatou 17 8 In French. A forgotten bastard wants to serve his revenge Your manor, any castle French
any time La Cour d'Oberon (Oberon's Court) Tatou 20 8 In French. How to deal with a Faerie Kingdom Lavenham in Essex French
510 - 520 Un Bienfait n'est Jamais Perdu (A good deed always gets rewarded) Tatou 20 12 In French. You are guarding a castle near the Saxon border Lavenham in Essex French
530 and later Le Sorcier du Cheshire (The Cheshire Wizard) Tatou 23 16 In French. Arthur sends you to Cambria, to check on the Count of Redchapel Redchapel in Cambria French
510 and later Vengeances (Revenge) Tatou 24 29 In French. A dastardly knight needs to be stopped On the Road French
530 and later Qui va à la chasse… (When hunting…) Backstab 3 92 In French. A giant Faerie Boar needs to be killed Salisbury, Morgaine's Forest, Camelot French
495 Le Roi se Meurt (The King is dying) Backstab 8 79 In French. A Wizard promises Uther a son Dorchester, St. Albans French
510 - 530 Anciens Mystères (Ancient Mysteries)  Casus Belli 40 30 In French. Saxons have been seen near the Forest Sauvage In and near Forest Sauvage French
531 Premières Armes… (First Blood) Casus Belli 74 XIII In French. You come upon several villages, supposedly raided by Saxons Salisbury, Camelot French
531 and later Le Loup dans la Bergerie (The Wolf in the Sheepfold) Casus Belli 99 52 In French. One of your lords vassals has not come to court for some time. You are send there to investigate, and, if necessarry, compel him to come to court again In the Woods French
531 and later Les Quatre Filles du Chevalier Cadwallon (The Four Daughters of Sir Cadwallon) Casus Belli 144 ?? In French. The lord of a manor you're visiting is looking for his four daughters, and asks for your help In the Woods French
510 and later La Chasse au Blanc Cerf (The hunt for the White Deer) Casus Belli Hors Serie 8 102 In French. Two sisters are under a curse. You are tasked to lift it. In the Woods French
531 and later Le Chant des Loups (The Wolves Song) Casus Belli Hors Serie 15 70 In French. The daughter of a baron is missing. You are tasked to find her Silchester, London, In the Woods, In Faerie French
524 La Meute Dorée de Saxmord (Saxmord's Golden Pack) Casus Belli Hors Serie 24 66 In French. A strange pack of hounds breaks up the battle in which you are fighting. Pennines French
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For everyone fluent in french, the best Pendragon Adventures are IMO :

  • Premières Armes (Casus Belli 74). A very good first adventure for squires. I played it 4 times and it was always a success.
  • La Chasse au Blanc Cerf (Casus Belli HS 8). Maybe the best KAP adventure I ever read. It's like an old tale coming to life. I played it 4 times and it was always a success.
  • Fleur de Sang (in some Tatou magazine). An hilarious premise. Every woman in the county suddenly hates her husband (and all the men by the way), including all the wives and paramours of the players. A good adventure, but I never had the chance to play it. Maybe some day.
  • Le roi oublié (with the GM screen). A good adventure about the legendary city of Ys.

PS (in french, sorry ) . Je n'ai pas lu Chroniques de Pendragon saison 2, et c'est quasiment introuvable aujourd'hui. Cela va quelque chose? J'avais été un peu déçu de la saison 1. De même, pour les scénarios de l'édition d'Icare, cela vaut le coup de jeter un oeil?

   
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6 hours ago, Call Me Deacon Blues said:

Does anyone know who has rights to these adventures? Chaosium or whoever does French publishing, or even somehow the authors?  I would love them to get an English translation if at all possible. 

It's a mess. All the publishing companies and magazines don't exist anymore. I don't know if anyone still owns the intellectual property, but I know that  french law is very protective toward the authors.

If you want to translate them into english, I think the best is to try to contact directly the author by social medias, and to talk with him. Each one was beautifully illustrated, but it's another issue.

 

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6 hours ago, Call Me Deacon Blues said:

Does anyone know who has rights to these adventures? Chaosium or whoever does French publishing, or even somehow the authors?  I would love them to get an English translation if at all possible. 

As has been previously mentioned, it's complicated and full of legal hurdles. Even if the magazines themselves don't exist anymore, a company or estate may still own the rights to the text and illustrations. Likewise the rights may have reverted to the author or artist. You will need to pay the author or license the text to translate it. In the long run, it's easier and cheaper to buy the magazine and learn French. Personally, my French 5 normally receives a +10 augment by using a Google translate cameraphone. Never distributing the results is also saves Honour.

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