Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Great Pendragon Campaign: Epic Play-through Year 486

Summary: Our group is attempting a complete run of the Great Pendragon Campaign  using 5th edition rules. Players are Matt, Mark, and Lilith. I am the GM.

Year 486
The second year in the Uther Period, with Uther Pendragon as king of Britain.

Our current roster of characters:
  • ·        Sir Eleanor of Dinton, played by Lilith.
  • ·        Sir Conmorl of Winterbourne Gunnet, played by Matt.
  • ·        Sir Aeron of Pitton, played by Mark.

Outside threats are the Saxons, wreaking havoc up in Caercolun. The Duke of Lindsey is killed fighting them. These guys are calling themselves the East Saxons at this point, and they’ve seized a lot of territory. There are already some Saxon enclaves in Sussex and Kent. The Kents are actually Jutes, not Saxons, but to our players they are all Saxon invaders.

In this session’s big adventure the player knights all get called upon by Merlin to help him out. This serves as a tutorial on the personal combat system, after last session’s tutorial on the battle system. The knights all fight a three-eyed giant, demonstrating again how dangerous combat can be. They are lucky and don’t get hit by using terrain and ganging up on the thing, and manage to take it down. Following after Merlin, he instructs them to defend him while he busies himself in a boat on a small lake. A strange green knight that appears to be made entirely from plants appears and fights the player knights. Again, with teamwork, they dispatch the creature.

Merlin gets good old Excalibur from the lake, and the knights head back to Uther’s court. We get some cool early medieval flavor here, as the king inspects the spoils from the battles against the Saxons this year, and gives a gift out to every knight in the court from it. Merlin then presents the sword Excalibur to the king, and asks one of the player knights to tell the tale of their adventure. This brings us into the courtly skill part of the game, and Sir Aeron steps up to do the honor. He comports himself well, impressing the king and earning some Glory for himself.

Thoughts: At this point we’ve seen all of the different systems in the game, and I like how the Campaign is walking us through this as a starter, doing battle, personal combat, and courtly activities all within two sessions to get you up to speed. The Excalibur business was interesting, but the player knights seem like a bit of a third wheel in this adventure, getting led around by Merlin and witnessing some epic event but only sort of participating on the fringes. Thanks to the constant threat of lethality, there is a certain amount of emotional remove between you and your character that the system itself seems to encourage.

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