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Sir Carter

Pendragon newbie

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17 hours ago, Morien said:

I may have said something along those line in Nocturnal Forum, back in the day. More of a complaint that there are limits what you can do in Salisbury, what with Camelot and the High King two days away (one if you push it). Of course, one is free to toss the timeline aside, and I tend to juggle the events a bit, so that they match the current twists and turns of the PKs' story arc better.

Don't get me wrong, I think the GPC is a wonderfully fantastic supplement. There is really nothing else quite like it for any RPG. Nor do I believe it is the straight jacket than some think. It's more of a helpful outline and backdrop. But someone could run a Pendragon campaign without out it. That's quite obvious from the fact that the game came out out and went through several editions before the GPC ever came out. So it's not essential, but it is really good and helpful.

17 hours ago, Morien said:

After wrestling with a Middle-earth campaign where you have a couple of sentences of events every few centuries of history as your campaign skeleton, one comes to appreciate the crutch that GPC gives even to an experienced GM!

Amen!

I think the difficulty with Middle Earth is that it really only has a handful of stories to tell and everything else is based upon/tied to those stories. When you get to the Third Age you really only have the events relating to the War of the Ring to work with, and little else. In fact, if a GM want's to remain true to the source, he is severely limited in just how far he can let some characters travel and interact. For instance, if Hobbit adventurers traveled throughout Wilderland prior to Bilbo then much of the mystery and confusion about Hobbits doesn't hold up, and you have to wonder why it took so long for Sauron's minions to find Hobbiton. It's similar with Elves and Dwarves too, as they seemed to be almost legendary beings to the Roharrim.

With King Arthur is is different as not only are there various legends of King Arthur and multiple versions of those legends, but that Arthur and his court were used as a backdrop by other authors to showcase tales of other characters. So you wind up with a "tapestry" of interweaved stories to work off of. With leave a GM with a lot more plot hooks and ideas to work with. The setting is a lot more resisitant and tamper proof too.

In Middle Earth during the Third Age,  everything has to work out just so, or the ring could have ended up up back in Sauron's hands, leading to the fall of the know world for an unspecified amount of time -basically until Valar, or, more likely, Eru,  actually step in an d do about it. It's the outcome that all the free peoples are working to avoid. In contrast, the situation in Arthurian Britain isn't quite to precarious or so dire. Yes, the Saxons, Irish and Scotti will invade, in fact we all know that those invasions are part of history and thus inevitable. What Arthur does is give us a sort of magical golden age before the inevitable happens. There is very little that a group of adventuerous could do early that could actual derail the timeline in a serious manner.

 

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I ran a successful 3rd age campaign Middle-Earth campaign, but I set it in the Northern Kingdom.  That way, no matter what the characters did, the Witch-King won in the end. But it was fun while it lasted. I will admit, it was a non-Pendragon campaign.  And if I did it again, I would use Pendragon. I find the traits and passions so much more enjoyable.

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

When you get to the Third Age you really only have the events relating to the War of the Ring to work with, and little else. In fact, if a GM want's to remain true to the source, he is severely limited in just how far he can let some characters travel and interact.

Only the War of the Ring is covered in detail in the books, yes, but you do have plenty of nuggets that you can build an interesting campaign around. And, indeed, ICE has put out modules that really help to flesh out the setting even if they are not canon. Kin-strife, for example, gives plenty for the PCs to do from spy thrillers to army action. It would also be pretty fun to have the Gondorian or Rohirrim PCs interact with Thorongil, for example participating in the burning of the ships in Umbar, and have their grandchildren see the Return of the King in Aragorn. :)

There is also the fact that there is simply so much time passing between the start of the Third Age and the end of it that a lot of the records can be lost or forgotten about. The Northern Kingdom definitely knew about hobbits, since the whole Shire was established in 1601 under the King's permission. So that would definitely not be a problem. The Rohirrim had some tales of them, so they may have met some hobbits still along Anduin before the Eorlings migrated to Rohan. And even if tales of hobbits would reach Gondor, they could easily be dismissed or simply ignored as unimportant. Individual hobbits could be curiosities or even thought to be just kids.

Once you get closer to the War of the Ring, you of course need to be a bit more careful. But then again, I wouldn't be allowing Hobbit characters (nor Elves and Dwarves) if the campaign is set in Gondor, and so forth.

But we are starting to veer off from the topic of the thread. Happy to continue the discussion in another thread, though. :)

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8 hours ago, Morien said:

Only the War of the Ring is covered in detail in the books, yes,

Just my point. It's really one story with soem added details to flesh out the setting. Not that that is wrong, as it wasn 't supposed to be a RPG setting but the setting for the Hobbit and LOTR. 

8 hours ago, Morien said:

but you do have plenty of nuggets that you can build an interesting campaign around. And, indeed, ICE has put out modules that really help to flesh out the setting even if they are not canon.

Yes, but as you mentioned it is all added stuff, not Tolkien. 

Nringing this back to topic, Pendragon has a lot more going on and more options and details, not just with the GPC but with the source material. There are so many versions additions and variations written over hundreds of years, by som nany differernt people that we as GMs have a lot of options to pick and choose from. 

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On 7/7/2019 at 4:32 PM, Morien said:

Check out this thread:

 

As for the earlier books, the regional & adventure books are well-worth it, although I wouldn't bother with Ebay and just buy them as pdfs from Chaosium.

Also:

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

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