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Pendragon tabletop RPG combines The Green Knight with Crusader Kings 3

Green Knight last year wowed audiences with its moody lighting and mystical plot – not to mention Dev Patel’s stellar performance. What stunned many critics was its realistic presentation of a classic Arthurian myth for a modern audience. David Larkins, editor for game publisher Chaosium, has embarked on a similar task. His goal is to revive the classic board game Pendragoncreated by Greg Stafford and first published in 1985. Speaking to Polygon ahead of this year’s Gen Con board game convention, Larkins said fans of the critically acclaimed film should keep an eye out when the final game comes out later this year.

Stafford completed the first draft of Pendragonsixth edition before his death in 2018. Larkins said the author, also known for creating the world of Glorantha, calling it “magnum opus.” In it, Stafford cleverly contrasts the traditional Arthurian myth with the historical timeline of Europe. Players begin as budding knights in the darkest depths of the early Middle Ages, serving little more than armored thugs on behalf of the various royals vying for control. controlled medieval England. But every time a player sits down at the table for a three- or four-hour session, a year passes in the game. As the play takes place in the 12th, 13th, and 14th centuries, Larkins says that it was the idea of ​​chivalry that emerged, persisted, and began to develop. At the same time, Stafford interweaves the political intrigue of historical events such as the Black Death and the 100 Years’ War, constantly stirring in the background. Even the technology of war changes from session to session as new weapons, armor, and fortifications are invented and entered the timeline.

Two noble women, one turning cotton batons into thread and the other reading to her.  They are rendered in a medieval border style.

Image: Agathe Pitie / Chaosium

Played as a long-running campaign, players will even be able to create and play as characters from their own dynasty – much like the hit strategy game, Crusader Kings 3.

Green Knight really the kind of perfect aesthetic rendition of the final third of the campaign,” says Larkins, “where it’s very gray. There is a lot of war and death, and Arthur is this weak king and he is dying. And then, of course, you have the Holy Grail quest to restore everything right at the end – before, you know, Camlann’s final battle, where Arthur and Mordred kill each other.

“It ends on a soft note,” he added with a chuckle.

The two knights of the crusader army rode each other, raising their spears.

Image: Andrey Fetisov

Every player in the table will take on the role of a knight and just like in Crusader Kings, those knights can be drawn from almost anywhere in the medieval world. The game is suitable for all countries and religions. Knights can also be any gender they choose. (Female knights have existed throughout history, although they were not always officially recognized as equals.) The only requirement of the knights was that they must swear allegiance to their lord – and they follow their ethos and passions established during character creation. Those are the traits and passions where Pendragon really shines, says Larkins.

“I’d say it’s like pushing the pace of an Arthurian story because sometimes you’ll find yourself acting against your own best interests,” says Larkins, “just like characters in classic stories. there. Your hatred for someone will cause you to call them out at an inopportune time, or your love for someone will cause you to perform heroic deeds despite the odds. [the fact that] it’s better to be a little more cautious in the meantime. “

The castle doors were knocked down, and a captain led his troops through.  The guards blew their horses, stood ready, and bows and arrows as flaming shards rained down inside the castle.

Image: Josep Perez / Chaosium

“Everybody plays a knight, but every knight is different,” Larkins continued. “And really, the game is about discovering who your knight is. Who are you? What kind of knight are you? Are you chivalrous? Are you a spiritual person? Do you have these aspirations that you are trying to achieve but you are lacking? Are you fulfilling those aspirations? It’s a journey every time you play. “

Unfortunately for the team at Chaosium, the final production of the PendragonThe 6th edition of Gen Con was not released in time overseas. Visitors in Indianapolis will be able to get a giant introductory adventure for free – one that may be available online soon.

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