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Pendragon Publications - 1990's

Contents

1990:
KING ARTHUR PENDRAGON, Epic Roleplaying in Legendary Britain 3rd edition (CHA2709)
KNIGHTS ADVENTUROUS, Expanding the World of Pendragon (CHA2707)
1991:
THE BOY KING, Arthur Claims the Throne of Britain (CHA2708)
SAVAGE MOUNTAINS, Heroic Adventures Set in the Wilds of Cambria (CHA2710)
BLOOD & LUST, Heroic Adventures in King Arthur's Britain (CHA2711)
1992:
PERILOUS FOREST Heroic Adventures in the heaths and forests of Western Cumbria (CHA2712)
THE SPECTRE KING Heroic Adventures in Legendary Britain (CHA2714)
1993:
King Arthur Pendragon Epic Roleplaying in Legendary Britain Fourth Edition (CHA2716)
1994:
PAGAN SHORES, Ireland in the Age of King Arthur (CHA2713)
CASTLE OF BONES (cancelled) (CHA2715)
1995:
BEYOND THE WALL, Pictland and the North in the Age of King Arthur (CHA2717)
1996:
LAND OF GIANTS Scandinavia and the Beowulf Saga in the Time of King Arthur (CHA2718)
1997:
LORDLY DOMAINS The Rights and Responsibilities of Landowners in the Age of King Arthur (CHA2719)
1998:
uh oh...
1999:
Tales of Chivalry and Romance (GK2720)
Tales of Magic and Miracles (GK2721)
SAXONS, Wolves in the Fold of Arthur's Britain (GK2722)

2000:
Tales of Mystic Tournaments (GK2723)
Book of Knights (GK2734)

1990

KING ARTHUR PENDRAGON, Epic Roleplaying in Legendary Britain 3rd edition (CHA2709)

Written by Greg Stafford
Cover Illustration by Mike Weaver
Interior Illustrations by Carolyn Savoy, Lisa Free, Gus DiZeraga, Arnie Swekel, Tyanna Byerts, Michael Blum.
208 pages.

CONTENTS:

Welcome to Pendragon, What Your Character Knows, Character Generation, Your Family, Glory and Ambition, Game Mechanics, Ideals and Passions, Your Home, Wealth, Chivalric Duties, Scenarios, Characters and Creatures, Appendix

COMMENTARY:

One of the keys to staying in business as a publisher is having a revised edition to a successful product. That way it remains in print, and maybe the loyal fans will also get the new edition, to stay updated, and the borderline skeptics might buy it, figuring maybe it was better now. Of course, sometimes this effect backfires when a game changes so much that the old timers dislike the new one (see RQ3).

Well, Pendragon hasn't fallen into that particular hole. The game system hasn't changed radically from the first to the fifth editions.

This edition, however, did have some notable changes. The one first was the elimination of the five languages and five cultures that had been in the 1st edition. I had found, though continued play, that those things only interfered with game flow and pleasure. And anyway, the literature form which it drew so much never had different languages (of course, they never had Picts and Saxons either, but what the heck.)

Also, this was a book, not a box. Everything was in one place.

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KNIGHTS ADVENTUROUS, Expanding the World of Pendragon (CHA2707)

Written by Greg Stafford
Cover Illustration by Sue Krinard
Interior Illustrations by Arnie Swekel, Carolyn Savoy
Map, Celtic Decorations by Gus DiZeraga
136 pages

CONTENTS:

Introduction, Advanced Character Generation, The Lands, The Peoples, Ambitions, Women, Religions, Wealth, Grand Events, Magic and Faerie, Appendices, Map (approx. 22" x 34") of Britain

COMMENTARY:

This is the first appearance of the extended character generation system that was later included in the 4th edition Pendragon rules. Grand Events, the final chapter, gives details on visits to court, running tournaments and hunting for adventures. Includes regional maps, illustrations, coats of arms.

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1991

THE BOY KING, Arthur Claims the Throne of Britain (CHA2708)

Written by Greg Stafford Cover Illustration by Michael Weaver
Interior Illustrations by Arnie Swekel, Gus DiZeraga, Kevin Zucker
136 pages

CONTENTS:

synopsis of early history, an adventure in the Forest Sauvage, and various GM notes, a year-by-year description of events, synopsis of subsequent events, character descriptions and sheets for the major figures of the legend.

COMMENTARY:

Some people complained that they didn't really understand how to run an ongoing epic campaign. Most games just had the PCs as the center of the universe, with not a lot going on outside of their adventures. I wrote this to illustrate how to have the campaign history going on, and integrate the PCs into it. Also, the early years of Arthur's campaign were pretty scripted, and this is the script.

This is my first effort at a year-by-year description of events in Britain. There are some background events, but the real adventures begin in the year 510, with the "Adventure of the Sword in the Stone," and end in the year 531, which was the starting date of the Chaosium edition of the game. Subsequent events were also briefly noted.

I hoped that this book would show GMs how to run a campaign. In case it didn't, I started to imagine how I might explain the whole life of King Arthur in such a way.

Sam Shirley had submitted a scenario long ago, gotten hired and proof read some early books, and was now the line editor for Pendragon, in charge of executing my desires for the line by this time.

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SAVAGE MOUNTAINS, Heroic Adventures Set in the Wilds of Cambria (CHA2710)

Written by Greg Stafford, Katherine Kerr, William Bridges
Cover Illustration by James Halloway
Interior Illustrations by Arnie Swekel
Maps, Celtic Decorations by Gus DiZeraga
128 pages

CONTENTS:

Introduction, Common Knowledge, Gamemaster Information, Map of Pendragon Cambria, Carlion-on-Usk, Stories, The Adventure of the Dolorous Wyrm, The Ad venture of the Best Wine in the World, The Cambrian War, Cambrian War Handouts, The Adventure of the Paulag Cat, Sources, Character Sheet.

COMMENTARY:

From the start one of my original intentions had been to present books that gave great detail for the various regions of Enchanted Britain. This was the first, giving details of Cambria, or as moderns have it, Wales. This, like the other regional books, also presented adventures for the post-530 period—the time of High Adventure when knights would just go off and find fascinating and dangerous challenges.

Whenever I wrote a supplement, I tried to make it as a model for others to follow. This was the model for subsequent regional books.

Since this was a combination of both sixth century and Medieval history I combed through dozens of sources to get the information, though a few sifted to the top of usefulness. The criteria I used to include material was to include anything in or before the Middle Ages. Thus if something was after 1500, then I didn't use it, no matter how tempting. Hardly anything is certain about the Sixth century history, and the storytellers relied upon their contemporary knowledge to provide setting, and so I started with what we know of Medieval history to name kingdoms and tribes. Ghost stories, folklore, legend, archeology and faerie lore fleshed out the enchanted geography.

Also, whenever I made a supplement, I have tried to reveal some new way to playing the game. Sure, there are always the episodic adventures, and I included several of those here. But here is the Cambrian War scenario. This is based on the wars of King Edward I and his conquest of Wales. Here King Arthur takes the part of King Edward, and leads the main invasion up in the north, whose facts are briefly given in case the knights just follow him.

But my favorite scenario is the Bulith Campaign, where a PC is in charge of a secondary theater of the war. It's really different form normal scenarios. Each year the local chiefs approach him for gifts, and then various among them approach with problems they are having, generally with the occupying forces under the commander's charge. He has to make command level decisions, allocate resources, and try to placate local tribal lords to establish British rule among these wild tribesmen. It's nearly impossible to please them all, and he'll have to right whoever is unhappy. But I found it to be very entertaining and challenging, and quite out of the ordinary for rpg adventures.

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BLOOD & LUST, Heroic Adventures in King Arthur's Britain (CHA2711)

Written by Greg Stafford, Paul Cockburn, Suzanne Courteau, Garry Fay, Leonard Wilson, Sam Shirley.
Cover Illustration by Stephen King
Interior Illustrations by Arnie Swekel
Ship Illustrations by Daryl Midgette
Maps, Celtic decorations by Gus DiZeraga
128 pages

CONTENTS:

Gamemastering Tips, Getting About (including ships), The Adventure of the Heart Blade, The Adventure of the Castle of Tears, The Adventure of Morgan le Fay's Challenge, The Dukedom of Angleland, The Adventure of the Stygian Stallions, Short Adventures, Bibliography, Introductory Handouts, Lover's Solo Handout, Character Sheet.

COMMENTARY:

Sam Shirley was editing the line by then. I have always enjoyed the editorial coordination, but hated the detail work, which he was good at. He would deal with the authors, artist, AND do the layout. That's a lot of work for one guy! He did it well!

I'd assign a temporary name for supplements. I was irritated that this particular title made it all the way through the process though. Lust, after all, wasn't really a passion we wanted to crow about in a title.

But it didn't negatively affect sales.

Sam was doing a major job on the line by this time. He told me, "I rewrote many of the adventures in these books. Truth is, working with the authors on these books was a lot like teaching a college course in how to write Arthurian roleplaying fiction. I wrote a lot of mail explaining how to structure the narrative & often ended up rewriting large portions myself."

By this time I was leaving much of the work to Sam, including soliciting the work, dealing with unsolicited submissions, as well as art assignments, editing and so on.

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1992

PERILOUS FOREST Heroic Adventures in the heaths and forests of Western Cumbria (CHA2712)

Written by Greg Stafford, Geoff Gillan, Sam Shirley, Michael Trout
Cover Illustration by Stephen King
Interior Illustrations by Arnie Swekel
128 pages

CONTENTS:

Introduction, Gamemaster Information, Hadrian's Wall, Places of Interest, On the Road, Short Adventures, The Adventures of the Perilous Forest, The Adventure of the Waste Lands, Pendragon Releases (list), Starting Handouts, What People Say (handouts), Guide to the King's Road (handout), Character Sheets; also, Pullout Map

COMMENTARY:

This book is, more or less, the Regional Adventure book for Cumbria. It names people and gives a map and descriptions for the Medieval, ancient and legendary sites of the land north of the Humber and south of the wall.

The King's Road scenario here is one of my favorite Pendragon scenarios (along with the Bulith War) because it's so different from others. Most scenarios have a plot to them, with something to solve. But this one is very much for the wandering, questing knights. It is very much an example of how I prepare for the impromptu parts of my games, or for wandering quests in general.

For the players, it starts with a map of the road from Eburacum to Carduel, noting places to stay and so on. Of course, it's a little bit out of date, but otherwise useful to follow.

Then the Gamemaster has the usual Places of Interest for the setting, similar to those in other regional books. Then he gets character information for the many lords along the way, some friendly, others less so, and also for the information that they will share out on various adventures thereabouts. Of course, different people know different things, or share different information, and so the player knights have to piece together facts as they go. But the key is that they can ask, at each stop, "Where's the Adventure hereabouts?" and the scenario has the information in the form of short scenarios and the aforesaid Places. So it is entirely up to the players to determine what they will do. Some of the adventures can't be resolved without solving another one first, or maybe even two. For instance, don't just go and fight the dragons directly! It's death. But secret keys to their destruction can be found elsewhere.

Other more standard adventures are included, and a description of Hadrian's Wall.

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THE SPECTRE KING Heroic Adventures in Legendary Britain (CHA2714)

Written by Martin Bourne, Peter Corliss, Mike Dawson, Garry Fay, Mike Manolakes, Sam Shirley
Cover Illustration by Stephen King
Interior Illustrations by Arnie Swekel, Jaime Lombardo, Ron Hill, Terri Midgette, Kerie Campbell

CONTENTS:

Introduction, The Adventure of the Spectre King, The Grand Tourney of Logres, The Adventure of the Werewolf, The Adventure of the Ghost Knight, Cambridge, The Adventure of the Helmed Knight, The Adventure of the Horned Boar, Character Sheets

COMMENTARY:

By this time the game had gotten known to a large enough pool of competent writers that I didn't feel compelled to do all the work. Sam had largely taken control of the line and was doing a great job at it. This book of six excellent adventures is tribute to that.

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1993

King Arthur Pendragon Epic Roleplaying in Legendary Britain Fourth Edition (CHA2716)

Written by Greg Stafford, with Sam Shirley
Cover Illustration by Stephen King
Interior Illustrations by Lisa Free, Gus DiZeraga, Carolyn Savoy, Arnie Swekel, Teanna Byerts, Michael Blum, Gus DiZeraga
352 pages

CONTENTS:

Welcome to Pendragon, What Your Character Knows, Character Generation, Your Family, The Lands, The Peoples, Glory and Ambitions, Women, Game Mechanics, Ideals and Passion, Religions, Your Home, Wealth, Chivalric Duties, Magician Character Generation, Magic and Faerie, Scenarios, Characters and Creatures, Appendices, Index

COMMENTARY:

Reprinting a book was always difficult. To sell it for a reasonable price we'd have to print a significant number, in the thousands. But we couldn't print too many, because if they didn't sell then our cash would be sitting on the warehouse floor; and if they never sold, then it was just throwing money away. Furthermore, we had to pay the printer in 30 days, and so we'd have to sell enough copies in the first month to pay for the whole print run. In those days everything was sold to distributors, who sold to stores, and if it wasn't a new item then they just didn't order a large enough number to pay for the print run. So things often went out of print, and stayed that way. But we couldn't have the core rule book out of print because without it no one bought the supplements; and the core book usually sold five to seven times more than the supplements.

So we would always try to have a new edition, to boost those initial orders. Pendragon was no exception, and so when the core rule book was out of print we decided to reprint it in a gigantic new volume, putting into it significant contents from other books that were also OP, and including "everything needed to play." No rules were changed, no game changes made.

I'm not entirely satisfied with the reorganization I arranged, but it is what it is. At least it had an index.

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1994

PAGAN SHORE, Ireland in the Age of King Arthur (CHA2713)

Written by John Carnahan
Cover Illustration by Stephen King
Interior Illustrations by Wayne Reynolds
128 pages

CONTENTS:

Introduction, Irish Landscape, Irish People, Irish Magic, Irish Character Generation, Irish Storytelling, Afterward, Irish Character Sheet, Map.

COMMENTARY:

This is the "region book" for Ireland. This is a combination of sixth century and Medieval Ireland, layered over the deep legendary landscape of the Emerald Isle. It's got a lot of information for the natives.

The initial submission played heavily on heroic Irish legends, but these were so powerful that the heroes outclassed knights. That would have detracted from the spirit of the core game, so I had John revise it so they were less powerful. I had played in that setting several times, and I just loved being an Irish satirist. We considered making it its own game, separate from Pendragon but using the system. But we never put that book into print. Some in the company just didn't think there would be sufficient market for a Heroic Irish setting.

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CASTLE OF BONES (cancelled) (CHA2715)

COMMENTARY:

This was the title of the proposed and unfinished supplement dealing with Faerie and its inhabitants. I had done some work on it, and had several contributions for it, largely stats for the denizens and monsters. But we could never quite pull it together with scenarios. We had assigned the number, though, and so this is a blank in the list of products.

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1995

BEYOND THE WALL, Pictland and the North in the Age of King Arthur (CHA2717)

Written by Chris Lampard, Roderick Robertson, Tom Rogan, Eric Rowe, Dave Williams.
Cover Illustration by Stephen King.
Interior Illustrations by Arnie Swekel.
Maps by Darrell Midgette.
128 pages

CONTENTS:

Introduction, Common Knowledge, Gamemaster Information, Caledonian Tribes, Religion, Spirits, The Places, A Pictish Campaign, Short Adventures, The Adventure of the Treacherous Pict, Modular Battle System, Bibliography, Character Sheet, Map.

COMMENTARY:

Another "region book," this time for the wilderness of the north. I had hoped to have the entire island detailed with these books. We never got to Cornwall, or much of Logres in such detail.

Pictland is a crazy place for horse-bound knights to go adventuring, but who can stop a PC? And much of the information is suited for player characters, but naked tattooed Picts were more than a little difficult to fit into the genre easily. But it provided tremendous color for the GM who wanted to portray these savages.

I was not scrutinizing everything for the books, with Sam in charge, and so I wasn't very familiar with the contents. Today, looking this book over to write this, I realize that I just played in one of these scenarios in my latest campaign, with Fergie Game Mastering.

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1996

LAND OF GIANTS Scandinavia and the Beowulf Saga in the Time of King Arthur (CHA2718)

Written by Chris Hind, Robert Andersson, Christer Edling
Cover Illustration by Stephen King
Interior Illustrations by Elise Fowler, Jared Osterhold, Chris Hind and Judy Routt
128 pages

CONTENTS:

Introduction, The Perilous North Sea, The History of Thule, The Wild Northern Land, The Map of Thule, Lords of the North, The Adventure of Hrothgar's Hall, The adventure of the Barrow-dragon, Sources, Handouts.

COMMENTARY:

The sixth century was a time of tremendous turmoil in Europe, and the era when many famous lived who became centers of the great Medieval legends. Of course we know about King Arthur, but it was also the time of Beowulf, Deitrich of Bern and Sigfried and the characters of the Ring Cycle. I'd always wanted to get those other famous guys into the Pendragon game somehow. Land of Giants was part of that effort.

This is a regional book for Scandinavia. It's quite extensive and detailed, and the original submission was scrutinized and corrected by a couple of Swedish Pendragon fans for accuracy. The adventures are taken from Beowulf. The depth and breadth of this book make it possible to play natives in their own local campaign.

Sam, always overworked with many projects besides Pendragon, had enlisted other help on this. We find Roderick Robertson doing the editing here, under Sam's direction.

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1997

LORDLY DOMAINS The Rights and Responsibilities of Landowners in the Age of King Arthur (CHA2719)

Written by James Palmer, Greg Stafford, Michael Trout, Mark Angeli, Ben Chessell, Judy Routt and Liam Routt
Cover Illustration by Stephen King
Interior Illustrations by Elise Fowler, Mark Angeli, Jason Badower, Judy Routt

CONTENTS:

Introduction, Noble Lands, Grand Events, Fortifications & Encounters, Heraldry, Of Allies and Enemies, Inside a Keep, Appendix

COMMENTARY:

This was a replacement for Nobles Book, and contained a lot of new and more detailed information on the activities mentioned in that and other books. I didn't like the new economic system—it made too much profit. I never wanted to emphasize the economic game anyway. But the events, mews and kennels, and the hunts and tournament materials are excellent and provide tremendous amounts of colorful detail for the GM or players who want it.

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1998

uh oh...

This was a bad year for Chaosium. We would have gone bankrupt if we'd been a normal business instead of a glorious art house dedicated to the art of making games. It had happened before, and we'd survived.

But one consequence was that we had borrowed money from here and there. One time we used the Pendragon line—its name and its products—as collateral for a loan. When it came time to pay this off I had a discussion with my partners, during which they rejected repayment of this relatively small payment, thus defaulting the collateral to Peter Corliss. I was greatly distressed by this loss, and it was a major contributing cause for my departure from Chaosium shortly afterwards.

Shortly after that Chaosium was broken up into four different entities. I left, with ownership of Glorantha and all things related to it, and started Issaries, Inc. Eric Rowe got ownership of much of the Wizard's Attic inventory that had been accumulated as Chaosium expanded its retail sales base. He started a separate fulfillment company, with the same name. Chaosium continued with its Cthulhu and Stormbringer lines.

Pendragon went on, under the Green Knight Publications. I asked to be the line editor, but was turned down. For several years I didn't have any interaction with the game whatsoever.

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1999

Tales of Chivalry and Romance (GK2720)

I did not publish or work on this product.

Tales of Magic and Miracles (GK2721)

I did not publish or work on this product.

SAXONS, Wolves in the Fold of Arthur's Britain (GK2722)

Written by Roderick Robertson
Cover Illustration by Paul M. Carrick
Interior Illustrations by Ann-Catherine Loo
Maps by Bob Fetterolf
148 pages

CONTENTS:

Introduction, Saxon Culture, the Saxon Chronicle, Southeast England: the Saxon Shore, Creating Saxon Characters, Haestingas, The Battle of Badon, Raids and Encounters, New Rules, Bibliography, Pendragon Place names

COMMENTARY:

I had approved the assignment of this book to Roderick long before it ever came out. I wanted a mini-campaign of Saxons that would have a band of savage, blood-thirsty Saxon warriors out for a great Glory quest, which would end in their deaths at Badon. That got done.

I had also wanted a section of scenarios for their sons—orphan kids with resentment against their overlords—who had to be brought into the fold of King Arthur through exemplary behavior of chivalric PCs. Many things confounded this section from ever being done, but the high quality of the first part made this section seem extraneous when the product was finally done under the aegis of Green Knight.

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