King Arthur Pendragon Pitch Doc

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My Monday Night Group is wrapping Silent Titans using the Into the Odd rules in the Monday Night Group. Soon we will be fishing around for something new to play. Several options are available. (As always!)

(For those who have been following this blog: we finished up my Lamentations of the Flame Princess campaign to great success. I have put the Traveller game on ice because I wasn’t happy with it. Notes coming on both of these items some day!)

One game I want to run for my players is King Arthur Pendragon using Greg Stafford’s amazing The Great Pendragon Campaign.

When I floated the idea of playing an RPG set with the mythic time of King Arthur one of my players gave me–well, not quite an eye-roll–but certainly nothing like strong interest. He added, when I asked him about this, “But if you like it, I’m down with doing it, because we always have a good time.”

I said, “Yeah, but this is kind of specific. Pendragon is about about digging into Arthurian legend. You don’t have be a scholar, but I you have no interest in Arthurian stuff you’re not going to have a good time.”

It occurred to me a few days later that when I think of “King Arthur” I might be thinking of one thing, and my fellow player might be thinking of something else. After all King Arthur is represented in so many ways, with so many different styles, tone, and over all effect. Le Morte D’Arthur, the musical Camelot, The Mists of Avalon, and more all are about “King Arthur”–but they are all very different!

So I followed up with another question. I asked, “When I say ‘King Arthur’ what are you thinking? What are your references?”

He replied: “The only thing I really know about King Arthur is this cartoon I watched as a kid where this team of high school football players go back in time and become Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and fight Moran   Fey.”

And I was like, “I have no idea what that is. But that’s not at all what I’m thinking about when I think ‘King Arthur.'”

To make clear what King Arthur Pendragon means to me I made a pitch document of five pages laying out the core concepts of what play is about, including recent history for the setting, a copy of character sheet, the core mechanics, and a desertion of the core conflicts that play is about in King Arthur Pendragon.

I wanted to emphasis the invasions and military conflict, internal family fighting, the fact that knights can be both good and bad, and that what kind of knight you are is what the game is about.

In short, I think many people might think that Arthurian literature is all about moral simplicity and that everyone is “good.” They might love a show like Game of Thrones and assume that Arthurian literate is the opposite of that series. But Game of Thrones is built from the on the same kinds conflicts that Thomas Malory used in Le Morte D’Arthur: hard choices, split loyalties, and dynastic struggles.

1 thought on “King Arthur Pendragon Pitch Doc

  1. Yay! More Tales to Astound! Welcome back.
    I would, of course, love to hear about what happened with the Traveller game.
    When it comes to Arthur, there are so many sources one can draw on that aren’t “simple”. I always liked Arthur (and Merlin) as more of a Celtic sort dealing with equal parts squabbling clans and offshore invaders.
    But then, when it comes to Arthur (and games inspired by him and his world / time), I pretty much love it all from Mists of Avalon to Lawhead’s Pendragon Cycle (the original trilogy) to even the 2004 movie with Clive Owen and Keira Knightly – in addition to the more classical romances.

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