Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pendragon Materials

A question will often come up about what materials (read: books) are required to play Pendragon.  I am by no means an expert, but I have bought or seen pretty much all the available books out there and here is my take on it.  It depends.  Yeah, it sounds like a cop-out, but it really depends on the type of campaign that you and your players want to be a part of.

All Campaign Types:
·         King Arthur Pendragon – Core Rules.  The only “must have” book on this list to run the game.  Whether this is the most recent rules (version 5.1, as of this writing) or another set, a basic rule book is needed.  If you don’t already have one, I would recommend getting the latest one, as all the other books build on this.
·         The Great Pendragon Campaign: While not really necessary for all games, I would recommend getting this simply for the background information.  It won’t hurt you to not have it, but it certainly helps a great deal to have it.
·         Gamemaster Characters: Useful even without the GPC, since it gives you the stats of major NPC’s in the various game periods.  No, these stats are not in the main rulebook.
·         The Book of Knights and Ladies: Advanced character generation for all game periods.  There are also now new skills for each culture, which can be quite useful in game play.

Court Heavy Campaigns:
·         The Book of the Manor: Want to micro-manage your manor?  This is the book for you.  Not a necessity for all campaigns, but it does add nice flavor to the winter phase.  Beware; there is a decent amount of number crunching in the advanced rules, but worth the benefits, especially for the skill checks.
·         The Book of the Entourage: This will help you flesh out your player knight’s followers and how useful they are.  Worth it, in this author’s opinion, just for the random wife table. 

Battle Heavy Campaigns:
·         The Book of Battle: Want to run a large scale battle?  This is the book for you.  If you don’t want a lot of combat in your game, you can easily skip this.  Version 2 is fairly streamlined, but still has some crunching for everyone at the table.
·         The Book of Armies: A must if you buy BoB.  Many useful armies, even what battles they are used in.  I used this recently for the Roman Campaign and it proved its worth immediately. 

You will note that RPG Now has several bundles available, so if you haven’t gotten any of the books you should be able to save some cash.  Keep in mind, though, that there may be a newer version of a certain book in these bundles, so you’ll want to do your homework first.

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