19 November 2015

If we boil down RPGs to their reward/consquence mechanics

DnD is a game about gaining experience.
Pendragon is a game about glory.
CoC is a game about losing your sanity.
Kobolds Ate My Baby is a game about dying horrible deaths and kobold death speeches.
Golden Sky Stories is a game about FEELINGS.
Rifts/Palladiums see DnD.

11 October 2015

Why I don’t run Pathfinder.

As some of you may know, my first exposure to RPGs was in the 90s with a combination of the Holmes bluebook and the AD&D DMG. My brother and I didn’t play a whole lot of it, but we played some. I played some with a friend in middle school.
We also didn’t the same access to console games, unlike other children of the 90s.
The two of us, my brother and I, did play a possibly excessive amount of Risk, and when Magic: the Gathering came out, 1993, we weren’t playing it yet. We started playing it around the time Ice Age came out, 1995, but for our household it wasn’t until 1996 when Mirage came out, that we started playing in more heavily, when the Tempest block came out, 1997, we dove into it. 
As brothers, we were extremely competitive towards each other, which is great when playing a competitive game. For a fair amount of time my brother was better than me, but over all we were evenly matched. 
By this time, we had both had more exposure to console games, we even had a play station, and were playing the final fantasy series.
I started playing D&D more heavily when 3rd edition came out. I was in high school. I played it at school. Like a nerd. Back then I never ran into the weird problems I have run into running and playing Pathfinder. I still didn’t run into these problems when 3.5 came out and I ran a brief campaign during college. 
I had started playing MTG again with the Mirrodin block, 2001, with my friends, different friends from my school based D&D ones. I didn’t play at school because the school MTG culture was one of “oh noes I’m drawing the cards I want I must look through my deck” and other gross disregards for the rules of the game. Games have rules. I like to follow the rules of the game, that way when I change them I can explain why. In any case, I never found it satisfying to play MTG with people who don’t know, understand, or flat-out ignore the rules.
While this makes me sound like an insufferable rules-lawyering prick, I actually wasn’t. I simply chose not to play with people who didn’t play the way I wanted to. This carried over into playing with my friends. I had over the course of that period of time, made several decks that used once or twice and then never again, because my friends didn’t enjoy playing against them. I find fun to push the game, and figure out why certain design choices were made, which is one of the reasons I still to this day have a huge amount of scorn for the “stop the game I’m mana hosed let me dig through my deck some land,” and the “nuh uh, all lands gives you mana” type of players. The game did, and does, have cards that do that, on top of the fact that part of the game is luck and chance, and that those kinds of players strike me as poor losers, and probably winners. 

So, how does this relate to Pathfinder?

I am not a charoper, one of those people who do theorycrafting and other such things to optimize their characters for Pathfinder, or other table-top games. I used to be fairly into the theorycrating of paladin tanking and hunter dps in World of Warcraft. Not because I really wanted to, but because in order to do the stuff that was fun, raiding for me, you sort of needed to do some minimal research and experimentation. Even then, I did it to the point that I gained enough of an understanding that allowed me to do things that weren’t 100% optimal, in the eyes of the poorly informed or just plain stupid. Things like tanking heroic instances in DPS gear. Because ultimatly, games are about fun. This is why I would lambaste assholes with illusions of eliteness, especially when they were wrong. 
I don’t play table-top rpgs to scratch that itch. I could play WoW, or MTG, or find some other game. When I sit down to play an rpg, I want to things other than exclusively or heavily combat.
But with that being said, when playing, or running, a game like Pathfinder, which has an emphasis on combat, it really pisses me off when tactical, strategic, or logistical thinking is not rewarded or outright shunned. This is something that seems to plague portions of the Pathfinder community. They expect a “balanced” and “level appropriate” encounter, which means, they want to win, and even if they win if they didn’t win with the kind of ease they wanted, they complain. Those are actual complaints I have had from players when I was running.
Naturally, this is a problem with the people, not the game; I’ve had this same problem running retro-clones and B/X. However, Pathfinder requires a lot investment of everyone involved to get it to work. Retuning encounters, rebalancing loot, repopulating dungeons, all of that demands more time. 
The point of this rambling is more of a reminder to myself why I don’t run it. If I don’t this, I’ll try to run it again. I enjoyed running PF when I first picked it, and I was enjoying running PF until have to scuttle my participation in that group, even with the one major problem player who was the root of all the complaints. I enjoy playing it, my wife is an excellent PF GM. I really enjoy making monsters and NPCs for it, just browse through the Pathfinder tag. 
But, it’s a game built on certain assumptions: you will have X plusses worth of bonuses to certain rolls at certain levels, a balanced encounter is one that won’t generally kill a player, and your character is a special hero. As such, without magical items, saving throw based attacks favor the caster, not the target, which is the opposite of everything prior to 3e. I did some math, and baring a huge disparity in caster stat to saving throw, at equal levels as levels go higher, casters will dominate because of save or suck.  
While I could houserule, or use some of the other variants, either published by Paizo or on the internet, the amount of work it requires me to alter PF counter these inbuilt assumptions is not worth it because I can take other games and add to them the parts I like about PF.

10 October 2015

In honor of the season a 5E race: the Skeleton

Skeletons: Sometimes a heroic mortal dies someplace tainted with evil, but instead of rising up as a truly evil or mindless undead minion of the dungeon they rise up in full possession of their memories and will, but sans their flesh and any spell-casting ability. This is but one of the ways a heroic Skeleton could come into being. Others include a botched resurrection or raise dead spell, or a once ordinary mortal rising out of their grave.

As a skeleton, you have the following racial traits.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity and Constitution scores increase by 1.
Size. Despite being bereft of the fleshy prison of mortality your size as a skeleton is Medium.
Darkvision. The necromantic energies animating you grant to the ability to see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Brittle Bones. As a skeleton, you posses a vulnerability to bludgeoning attacks.
Resilence of the Damned. As member of the corporeal undead you have several immunities. You are immune to disease, poison, and exhaustion. You do not need to eat or breathe, but you can ingest food and drink if you wish. Instead of sleeping, you enter an inactive state for 4 hours each day. You do not dream in this state; you are fully aware of your surroundings and notice approaching enemies and other events as normal.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one other language of your choice, or whatever languages you spoke in life.

08 October 2015

Some Pendragon, BRP Mecha, and general mecha related musings: A repository

This is going to be a repository of my late night musings that relate to mecha RPG stuff, primarily BRP Mecha.

Shared privately  -  Sep 9, 2015
It just hit me what I can use OVA for.

A reboot of my Pendragon/Mecha game. The mecha stats are secondary to the fact that the PKs are knights that use mecha instead of horses, and it was way more anime than Pendragon. I mean I had a magical girl as a PK.

Doesn't mean Ill reboot that game though.

OVA is a weird game, and suppose that is because it's a generic game. I don't think that making a game medium focused is really a good idea. The idea that one game could give you the tools to do a very diverse medium, anime and/or manga, will never not be silly. I've discarded this idea. I might save it for an attempt of Gurrenvangelion, although I think BRP Mecha will be suitable for it.

Shared privately  -  Sep 16, 2015
Having thus far only played two games of Battletech I am seeing some inspiration from it in BRP Mecha. I could easily see porting over the 'mech sheet, weapons and equipment, and basically doing BRP Battletech. It wouldn't be a good fit for something like Macross, but I could definitely see myself running a redux of my Mecha Pendragon game on such a manner. 

Sep 16, 2015

And I just had an idea about Pendragon 4th edition's magic system relating to said Mecha Pendragon campaign.
The more I think about redoing Pendragon and Mecha, the more I think that bolting Battletech on top of BRP or Pendragon might do the job better than BRP Mecha. Or a hybridizing of things.

My vague idea of using the 4e Pendragon magic system is generally making magic hard to use outside of the mecha, represented by a very low cap on how many d20s used to generate magic, but getting a sizable number of d20s or a flat bonus when within the mecha. And only within certain mecha at that. I'm not in general a fan of 4e's magic, but it might work for this kind of game.

Shared privately  -  Sep 29, 2015
Sometimes I really do feel like I should attempt a partial reboot of my Pendragon/Mecha campaign but with more stompy robot actions by bolting on 'mech creation and stats over BRP mecha.

Sep 29, 2015

Things I've been thinking about porting over from battletech to BRP mecha:

Ablative armor
Fixed weapon damage
An oddly repetitive post from me, but I do like the idea of ablative rather than reductive or deflective armor, and the fixed weapon damage does work in Battletech, even if it might feel a bit boardgamey.

Shared privately  -  Oct 4, 2015
I think Cross Ange would make a terrible table-top RPG, but it might make a good MMO or CRPG. That assumes that someone wants to emulate the "bishojo riding transforming mecha that earn a living slaying interdimensional DRAGONs," and not the plot of the series.
If one did want to directly emulate the show, BRP Mecha seems like an excellent fit. If one doesn't, BRP Mecha is still probably a very good fit.

Shared privately  -  Oct 6, 2015
A possible rules-addenum to BRP Mecha: Calucate armor off of SIZ not Size Class, make it ablative rather than reductive, critical/special successes by-pass it to disable/destroy components, and damage done to unarmored sections are treated like critical/special successes.
And this is me just spitballing. It seems like a good idea.

Shared privately  -  Yesterday 4:00 PM
Strongly considering doing MechaPendragon in/after November as my next face-to-face game instead of Macross: Megaroad-01.

Yesterday 5:06 PM

It will be post-apocalyptic Great Pendragon Campaign with ancient mecha.

Depending on how much of the Revolution D100 play-test documents I have, I might do it d20 pendragon-style or d100.

Yesterday 5:33 PM

One of the cons of this conglomeration is that there is a lack of granularity between mecha, or at least the way I converted them, that removes one of the conceits of Pendragon, that knights aren't always using their warhorse.

Of course there is nothing stopping me from only using my conversions as a starting point, which is what I would do.

I do prefer the conceit of the GM is the one that stats up the mecha, not the players, as it matches up with player knights being unable to customize their horses beyond vagaries fueled by money.
 Ideas to get this conceit to work:
  1. Some kind of time limit on mecha operation time. Leaning towards a heat based limit like in Valvrave, Break Blade, or Battletech.
  2. Some kind of limit based on the physical or mental strain piloting a combat mech.
  3. Pack mecha being super strong, but super slow; combat mecha being much faster, but lacking in endurance; and riding mecha being faster, but unsuited to being in combat too much. Related in a way to #1, and basically making pack meca trucks, combat mecha some manner of combat vehicle, and riding mecha sexy sportcars.
  4. Just do away with the multiple mount conceit like I did in my first Pendragon mecha game.
Shared privately  -  9:30 PM
Another way it appears that BRP Mecha is borrowing from Battletech is that movement of your mecha accumulate tokens, I know it sounds weird, which are used to count modifiers to the various pertinent skill roles, i. e. the modifiers a 'mech gets to hit based on how much it and its target(s) moved during movement.
This is one of things that almost makes me regret picking up BRP Mecha in the first place, and not having played Battletech until very recently.

11 September 2015

RRT Miniatures Part the Two

This is more of a consolidation of in-progress photos of our RRT miniatures than anything else. I had a good head of steam, but that somehow led to me getting back to my poetry, which is actually more important than assembling and painting tiny robots at this point in time.

Any ways. All of my destroids are assembled, except for stumpy the spartan whose hand went AWOL, and most of the destroids are primed.

Damn it. This is why you call in UXO and don't pick it up.

 I also ended up putting the legs of one of my tomahawks on backwards.

I also got all of my VF-1 fighter modes assembled. As the standard squadron for RRT is 1 VF-1J with 3 VF-1A, I have two -1Js and six -1A, the ninth is a VF-1S.

This is the fucking bullshit I have to deal with assembling these miniatures.

Well tomorrow I plan on assembling most, if not all, of the VF-1 GERWALK modes. I'm not sure how I'm going to do the fighters flight stand wise. I don't much like the included stands.

05 September 2015

Robotech RPG Tactics Miniatures...

...are such a fucking pain in the ass to assemble.

The connections between sprue and parts are placed in dumb fucking places, and are occasionally thicker than the part itself.

They are also exhausting for me and my wife to assemble. But since I'm planning on running a f2f Macross campaign in the near future, it would be nice to make use of the minis I already own.

14 August 2015

LISTEN TO MY SONG: Or how do play the Minmei in BRP Mecha?

I'm stumped on how to model the power of song  in Macross using BRP.

As I am focused on following the fleet of Megaroad-01, I could simply ignore it as Lynn Minmei is on board and that allows me to place it in the background and wholly GM fiat territory. This is not satisfactory because then noone can start out as a wannabee pop idol who eventually has a massive impact on the relations between the fleet and soon to be former existential threat.

This leaves me wanting something mechanical. I could simply leave it in the realm of the mundane Perform/Sing skill, as is shown in SDF/DYRL?, and thereby ignoring the Song Energy shenanigans of 7 with Basra and Fire Bomber/Sound Force, and I can easily ignore the specifics of Frontier as it's based on a bacterial infection. If I do leave it as a mundane skill then power song would by implication only affect uncultured Zentradi, which leaves for a boring and already done threat. I'm still not even sure how the Sharon Apple Incident happend, was it just mass hypnosis? But even then that still falls into mundane, and only affecting humans and Zentradi. Zero was simply a specific blood-line and a specific song being a key, so I'm inclined to partially ignore that.

But the fact that Zero had a specific song being a key, and DYRL? ending Space War 1 with a translated Protoculture pop song does open up the possibility as mundane song and music as a method of communication with aliens that are also derived/created by the Protoculture, or their artifacts. This changes the focus from music being used as a weapon like the bulk of the franchise.

I could model the power of song as a power. The most likely candidate is one or more psychic powers, specifically a modification of Emotion Control, if I were to favor the Basara Song Energy view of music as a power. The downside is the lack of mass influence that is shown with Minmei and Ranka/Sheryl. Using Song Energy as a psychic power works with the one or a very small number of enemies, such as the individual protodevlin that Sound Force fought, and it might also work alongside the more mundane mass culture shock style influence shown on Zentradi and mind-controlled Varuta.

I don't think mutations or super powers would be suitable for modeling the power of song. The sample magic and sorcery in the BGB also don't look right. I might be able to do something with Spirit Magic from The Magic Book, which by the way gave some ideas for a potential alien species to run into.

10 August 2015

Macross Flashback 2012/Megaroad-01 Colonization Fleet campaign

Pros and Cons of using various rules systems at my disposal to run a Macross Flashback 2012/Megaroad-01 Colonization Fleet campaign.

Palladium Megaversal
It's AD&D with an assload of KS's houserules.
There are 4 series of games devoted to Robotech/Macross (1e Robotech, Robotech II, Macross II, and 2e Robotech)
The rules are 30+ years old, so people I am more likely to game with will have passing familiarity with the game.
2e Robotech is currently in print and expanding at the glacial rate PB is known for.
There are official guidelines for converting characters to Robotech RPG Tactics.
There is at least one person sharing his unofficial Robotech and Macross mecha stats. To include the VF-4 series of veritechs. http://worldofjaymz.wikia.com/wiki/Worldofjaymz_Wiki
There is a whole lot of other Megaversal games to steal material from.

PB rules books are still notorious for being difficult to reference combat rules, and the combat rules have a widespread reputation for being confusing.
There are no official stats for the YF-4/VF-X-4/VF-4 Lightning III.
Robotech is focused on magical plant fuel power.
No rules for Minmei/Minmay style using music to culture Zentradi or other aliens. The closest to rules for using music offensively is the Mardook Emulator OCC in Macross II. There might something to steal from other PB games.

Basic Roleplaying with BRP Mecha
Everything is a percentile skill.
D&D style attributes.
Loose-guidelines on how to take official technical specifications and turn them in game stats.
I've already done up stats for several SDF-1 Macross mecha, and created a spreadsheet to automate the stat creation process.

I have problems with some of the rules in BRP Mecha such as: any weapon capable of burst or automatic fire has it's range reduced heavily, which flies in the face of my personal experience with automatic weapons; the heavy reliance on a collection of Motivations, which are treated like skills which give you Fate Points that allow the PCs and important NPCs to do a lot of "cinematic" things like bump up skills and avoid death.
You have to do you own mecha stats, and if you can't find certain official specifications you need to just whole cloth make things up.
There are no other mecha specific supplements for BRP that I am aware of.
There are again no explicit rules for Minmei style music stuff, but it is likely it could done using super-powers, sorcery, psychic powers, or other magic rules.

Explicitly about emulating anime.
Has rules for making mecha and using mecha.
There is probably some way to do the Minmei music stuff hiding in the abilities.

Extremely generic because anime and manga are diverse sea of genera unified basically by a large number of stylistic choices in the art and country of origin.
Have to make all the mecha stats up, and do so in a very hand-wavey way. 

Stars Without Number
Has rules for mecha
It's an OSR game

No transforming mecha
No Minmei music stuff

Lists the Robotech series as inspiration al material
Has a lot obvious references to Macross

All the Cthullhu stuff
I don't like the rules
No transforming mecha
Again no Minmei music, unless it gets fluffed as psychic power or sorcery.

20 July 2015

Campaign Prep for Spears of the Dawn pt 2: Firearms

In the last decade Sokone artisans have discovered gunpowder and invented flintlock firearms. Ironically, they have not yet invented fireworks. Flintlocks are more common in Sokone, where cities may have artillery and militia armed with arquebuses or muskets, and pistols are more than curiosities carried by the wealthy or adventurous Spears. In other kingdoms arquebuses are more often toys used by the wealthy to hunt game, and pistols carried by the much more adventurous Spears.

Name        Damage    Slaughter    Range Capacity Price
Pistol        1d8           1d6             15/45        1        40 si
Arquebus  1d10          1d8             50/200      1        60 si
Musket     1d12          1d8             75/300      1        80 si

20 rounds of shot and powder cost 3 si and are one item for encumbrance.

Flintlocks hit unarmored AC within average range, and suffer a -4 penalty beyond average range.
All firearms require two hands to reload.
A pistol can be fired once per round, provided that the character doesn't move during that round.
An arquebus can fired once every other round, provided that the character doesn't move during that round.
A musket can fired once every three rounds, provided that the character doesn't move during that round.
Every movement made adds one more round to the reload time, and it requires both hands to be free to reload.
Muskets require a resting fork or suffer an additional -2 penalty.
Arquebuses and Muskets require two hands to fire.
Arquebuses can be fired one handed suffering a -2 penalty.
Firearms are piercing weapons, and as such the Eternal take minimum damage from them in addition to ignore the results of slaughter dice. The Eternal still ignore slaughter die even if a warrior with the charmed steel idahun is the wielder of the firearm.
Firearms with rifling can be purchased at double price, reducing the range penalty to normal, but also doubling reload time.
A pistol counts as one object for encumbrance. An arquebus counts as two objects for encumbrance, and a musket counts as three.
Firearms are so far the only weapons that can be purchased that use the slaughter die mechanic from Silent Legions.

25 June 2015

Campaign Prep for Spears of the Dawn

Having decided that I a) really liked the very brief time I ran Spears of the Dawn and b) really should restrict the next game I try to run to games I already own the rather than buying yet another OSR game, I shall be fleshing out, in very small ways, a SotD game. One of the other reasons I am planning on using SotD rather than my usual favorite, LotFP w/ B/X and AD&D, is that by picking an OSR game that is heavily flavored away from traditional D&D it is helping me restrain myself from going to far out there with my usual desires for weirdness, that never seem to work out with my groups. Another reason is that while SotD is broadly compatible with all the OSR games, it is much more specifically compatible with the rest of the Sine Nomine Publishing games, Stars Without Number, Other Dust, and most importantly Silent Legions, with all of which I can inject varying amounts of the post-apoc and Sci-Fi that I want in a more general sword and sorcery game. Although I am also tempted to twist everything to be all Metamorphis Alpha too.

My first bit of prep is using outer god generator to flesh out the Gods Below in SotD, which upon my first coming across in 2013, struck me as being ripe for some kind of lovecrafting outer god treatment, so when I saw that SL has an entire chapter devoted to making a new and unique mythos for your game I instantly thought of the Gods Below. I am debating whether I want to pre-gen cults to the Gods Below or Eternal cults, or generate them as needed to fit in with the intended sand-boxery of the campaign.

Thus far I have determined there are three Gods Below who exist imprisoned beneath the world and for reasons all their own granted the Undying Gift the Eternal Lords (the sort of BBEGs of generations past), and grant their cultists access to the Sphere of Blasphemy in SotD, but will also grant dark sorceries and disciplines from SL.

The first of the Under Gods is known to its cultists by such names as "The Seer" and "The Wailing First Arm." It claims dominion over all manner recording speech, which consists primarily blasphemous writings. It is also the primary font from which the eldritch powers granted to cultist flows. Sight and sound, voices and visions, are it's clear forte, but arms can also wield things other than scribes.

The second is known only as "The Bleeding Deviser of the First." It is the Under God of the mind, specifically dreams, nightmares, and visions. Like the other two it is less immediately terrifying than would seem. For while it can inflict horrible visions, it, like the others, is restricted to directly interacting with those foolish enough to truck with them. So, our average person, or hero, should have no worries about terrifying visions of bleeding hellscapes, well not from the Gods Below. It is extremely likely that more than one cultist has been inspired after a blood sacrifice with a ritual or discipline that inflicts nightmares.

The third and final God Below is "The Ashen Tyrant of Day." It is said that the Ashen Tyrant is the responsible for the Night Men that plague the Green Lands of the Lokossa. While sacrifices to the Wailing First Army will be done by threshing, and those to the Bleeding Deviser by exsanguination, sacrifices to the Ashen Tyrant are commonly by immolation, whether by brands or volcano, but can also include the slow suffocation by smoke or by being buried in the ashes of slowly burning fires. It has the greatest direct ability to affect the Upper Lands, but only through the small creatures of the night. It is also said that heat exhaustion, and other sicknesses, are its doing, able to pervert the life giving rays of the Everburning Sun into a horrible death.

Most of the inspiration came from the interplay of the results of the god generation tables and the very brief content on the Gods Below in SotD.

A small thought on using some of the rules from SL in SotD. I am definitely going to use the slaughter die, but only on some magical weapons, and on any more advanced weapons that might make their way into the campaign world. I am still unsure on how exactly I will be integrating SWN and OD. I'm also unsure the extent, if any, I want to include Madness. Since Spears are supposed to hunt down Eternals and cultists, I don't want to to heavily impact the genre assumption of solving a large number of problems with sword and spell. I'd say most likely using the Horror and Occult events, ignoring the Bloodshed events.

18 June 2015

Cleaning out my drafts part two

I don't even know why this starts with "Third," and I still have no idea how exactly to flesh this idea out. I might pillage The Dungeon Dozen for some ideas.

Third, a table to roll on after a random encounter, or not so random encounter. Yes it's a random encounter random encounter table. First, I would recommend you check for another random encounter right after. Second, roll on the table of "A FUCKING HERMIT JUMPS OUT OF THE BUSHES AND SAYS..." to see what kind of hermit, the situation you run into the hermit, and what the hermit actually fucking says. This is in the vein of those fucking hermits in The Quest of the Holy Grail popping out to tell certain knights, like Gawain and Lancelot, how they just fucked up being a knight, or other knights, like Galahad, how fucking perfect they are. Why would I do this? What kind of game is this for? Random hermits popping up and distributing information should be a staple of heroic, or murderhoboic, fiction. This just makes it even weirder because unlike the author of The Quest, there is no actual didacticism at play, although it would be cool if the players, or at least their characters thought or acted as though these random hermits weren't random and had real meaning.

Clearing out my drafts part one: What King Arthur Pendragon is about

I know it's damn near lazy and terrible to have yet another post devoted to John Wick, the game designer not the character in an upcoming action flick, but well fuck it. My blog.

First link to his hangouts conversation with Zak S regarding his post on how D&D isn't a roleplaying game.

Several times Wick says things that lead me to believe that he hasn't played most of the games of he is talking about, D&D included despite his talking about playing it.

Pendragon. He states that Pendragon, the awesome game of Arthurian medieval fantasy roleplaying, is "a game about honor".

Pendragon is about honor being a knight, and chivalry, but  this is why honor is only one passion out what is an infinite number of passions. It is true that the default assumption in 5th edition King Arthur Pendragon is that everyone is a knight, and a man, and that every player knight starts with a default value of honor of 15.
Note that the passions section on the first of two pages that is the character sheet from the 5.1 edition of King Arthur Pendragon. Notice that is one of four starting passions. Just from this sheet it could assumed that honor is given as much notational value as all the other passions, like Loyalty to your Lord and Love of your Family, each of the Traits, of which the 13 pairs every character has a value in each trait, and each of the Skills and Combat Skills.
Character sheet space aside, the game mechanics are focused around accumulating Glory, which is essentially experience points for Pendragon despite it having a level-less system. Every thousand glory you get to raise certain numbers by fixed values. But glory has an influence to several of the social skills, ie your extremely glorious knight gets bonuses to Flirt or Romance or Play (Instrument), but so does having a high, or striking, appearance, and wearing clothing above a certain level of value. Further more successful skill usage give you glory, and successfully defeating monsters, beasts, and people in combat gives glory, specifically in the case of other people a fraction of their glory.

In other words you gain glory for doing those things the knights in the Arthurian romances did, chief of which seems to be jousting with every random knight you come across.

Pendragon is a game about amassing glory to marry well and acquire better lands so the next character will start out better. That is the barest of bare bones of what Pendragon is about.

It's basically D&D. You get the largest rewards by fighting things, and combat is at least half of the gameplay of either game.

Even though it's also basically D&D, in which you don't fight everything, and fighting isn't always the best course of action, and you do end up doing a lot of things that aren't fighting.

EDIT 5 Feb 2017:

The object of the game is to acquire Glory. Everything
a character does that is knightly helps to acquire Glory, and
when he attains 1,000 Glory points he has the chance to develop in ways denied to normal folk. He gets Glory through
combat, chivalrous behavior, religious behavior, familial obligation, possessions and riches, and social position.
This is on page five of the 5.1 edition of King Arthur Pendragon, just in case you needed a citation from the game itself to point out how ill-informed John Wick is about the core premise of a game.