18 June 2015

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.

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