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King Arthur Pendragon: 4th Edition
by Mark M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2014 10:35:45
First things first...what this game ISN'T...

This is not any form of D&D, or an old-school retro clone. This is not high magic fantasy. This is not level-based D20.

What it is, is a game of Arthurian fantasy filled with knights, damsels in distress, mysterious magic and an elegant system for backing up role play with mechanics. The Passions and Traits are a beautifully simple way of having consistent (well, consistent-ish) characterization while not feeling intrusive during play.

The game's mechanics are simple, but not simplistic. Combat is realistically brutal and harsh, but not arbitrary. When you win, you won with skill, and when you lose, you lose because your opponent was likely more skilled. I like too that the damage dealt with hand weapons is based more on the character than on the weapon type, with modification made for the type. It *feels* more right to me.

Character creation can be long, but as a process in itself is fun. It isn't just a case of slapping down stats and then figuring out where you fit in the world. You truly build a character from the ground up with a background, history and a place in the rich campaign world that is part and parcel of the Pendragon system.

And speaking of that campaign world, it is richly detailed within the book, and well supported by the author and the community with many additional books and adventures. But that said, it would be convertible to other realms. I'd prefer this system to run a Middle Earth campaign.

I will say that I went with 4th edition over 5th because this edition includes magic rules, which the 5th doesn't. Personal preference but I like to have the magic rules. But I really like the fact that the changes between editions are evolutionary not revolutionary so there's a lot of compatibility even back to the 1st edition!

This is the game I've been looking for since I got my 1st Ed AD&D books and wanted to play a chivalric knight.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
King Arthur Pendragon: 4th Edition
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Book of Records Vol I: Knights
by Michael B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/10/2014 18:06:38
I applaud the attempt to start automating the more mundane aspects of KAP, but this product fell flat for me. The use of Adobe for the form limits the functionality that can be included. Even the publisher's notes warn that one mis-click can reset all your characters personality traits -- using a proper application platform would have avoided these issues. As an IT professional who works with open-source software regularly, I have seen what the next wave of software products are like -- giving users the ability to work around bugs themselves, and customize the product to their liking, especially since Pendragon (as most games) has a good number of variant rules and house rules that have built up over time.

Positives I should note: (1) a $5 price tag means it isn't a great loss to buy the character sheet to try out, and (2) the artwork and overall "look" of the character sheet is very nice, especially since both color and b/w versions were provided.

I am very much looking forward to seeing how the Manor record sheets come out -- a software product to help lead players through the entire winter phase would be a big help in my campaign!

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Records Vol I: Knights
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Book of Battle 2nd Edition
by Simon S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2013 04:00:33
This is a VERY complex system. That in itself does not make me hate this pdf so much. Note that I refer to the pdf and not the book. The pdf is completely devoid of an interactive table of contents. This is insane. The system is so complex that it necessitates referring back and forth through book during the course of a battle and without an itemized and hot linked table of contents it's almost impossible to run a streamlined battle. This is not the only problem, by far. The tutorial for the opening battle of the GPC (Great Pendragon Campaign) is incredibly flawed. It directs the players and to refer to specific tables and rules throughout the book. This would be bad enough without the table of contents, however, many of the referrals actually specify no page numbers, so good luck running an interesting first battle. The example tables are also inconsistently presented and either insufficiently or incorrectly filled out. I actually like this system, it provides a sufficiently diverse and "realistic" abstraction of what I imagine a medieval battle would consist of. It's not the system that is at fault, it's the awkward and seemingly unfinished layout. If you want to learn to run a good battle, do NOT read the whole book and then run through the tutorial with your player knights, as the book suggests. Your players will likely lose interest in running a battle ever again, unless they're saints, or make their Merciful checks. Read the book through several times and then roll up some bare-bones NPCs (with just their relevant combat skills, stats and derived stats) and run them through a few of your own battles at a slow pace, as if they were player knights. It's going to feel like studying for exams from a badly edited chemistry textbook from the 1980s, because really, it is.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Battle 2nd Edition
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Book of the Estate Free Sample
by Darren H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/16/2013 16:39:02
Tried to download and got a 0 MB file. Seems to be corrupt.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Book of the Estate Free Sample
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Book of the Estate Free Sample
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/16/2013 00:39:10
File still corrupt, after reuploaded. Not able to download early a.m. 6/16

.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
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Book of the Estate Free Sample
by Jonathan A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/15/2013 18:26:46
PDF was corrupt and would not load in Adobe Reader

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
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King Arthur Pendragon: Edition 5.1
by Anthony B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/22/2013 07:59:07
This is a game with a long and storied history, marked by a continuous effort to hone and refine it into a thing of great beauty. Much has been written about the game and its great ability to evoke a sense of the Knights of the Round Table in King Arthur's Britain, so this review will not delve into that. Playing Pendragon is an experience, and it is an immersion into the genre of Arthurian literature that is both supported and compelled by the mechanics of the game in ways that few games undertake. Moreso than in many other games, players will discover their characters and the world they live in, in play. I would strongly recommend this game to anyone with a love of Arthurian fiction, fantasy roleplay, or interesting game mechanics.

This 5.1 edition is, as it states on the back, a cleaned up version of 5th Edition. On a surface scan, little is different, other than the shift from Arthaus to Nocturnal. For players of earlier editions, there are greater differences. Character generation has dropped the random method for point assignment, and the wider character options which marred or made 4th Edition (depending on your PoV) have been cast aside as well. This rule set focuses on generating Knights from Salisbury in a clean and efficient manner to get people into the game without delay. For newcomers, it is excellent. For old hands, some might prefer to fall back on chargen from previous editions then sally forth with the rest of 5.1 intact.

The look of the pages in the PDF is sharp and attractive. The organization throughout is easy to follow. A small but surprising complaint is that this title lacks bookmarks and hyperlinks which is extremely frustrating for use at the table. Other than this issue, the PDF is an fantastic value and very satisfying.

The print on demand version of the book I received, however, left something to be desired. In hardcover, the covers were extremely warped and the pages rippled into several waves so that the book cannot lay flat. So extreme a curve was present that the lower corner of the cover coating are pulling open.

Inside, the book is as gorgeous as one would expect. The pages are crisp and of good paper, with a strong binding. For someone who does not care how their books look, or who treats them with tough love, there would be no problem. For someone who appreciates a well-cared-for book, this curvature of cover and rippling of pages is annoying, and very disappointing concerning the purchase price.

Delivery time for print on demand was extraordinary and I have nothing but praise for this aspect of the program. I have ordered print on demand from DrivethruRPG before and had no reason to complain: everything was flawless. On this order, however, with this title and one other I ordered with it (The Great Pendragon Campaign), I was not completely satisfied and would hesitate before trying PoD again.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
King Arthur Pendragon: Edition 5.1
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Noble's Book
by Charles D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2012 13:29:00
There's nothing wrong with this product, and if it were a stand-alone book, it would rate at least four stars. However, although it is relatively well-scanned for an older product, this book is essentially an earlier edition of "Lordly Domains." Unfortunately for me, I purchased both, and only discovered later that they contained roughly the same information. This one is written by Greg Stafford, and I prefer it over "Lordly Domains" on purely aesthetic grounds; the art and writing I believe to be superior and the book just works better for me (it's cheaper too). Really, though, there isn't a great deal of difference between the two, and much of the additional material provided in these two books is included in Pendragon 5.1 and the updated Book of Battle 2nd ed. I would only suggest purchasing either of these volumes if you are considering running a higher-level campaign with Noble PCs, or if you need rules for sieges and/or larger scale warfare.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Noble's Book
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Lordly Domains
by Charles D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2012 13:22:48
Although relatively well-scanned for an older product, this book contains much of the same information as the "Noble's Book" product also offered by DriveThru. I purchased both, unaware of the fact that this volume is primarily a reworking of the material in the "Noble's Book." I prefer the "Noble's Book" for its superior illustrations and better writing. In the end, however, there doesn't seem to be a great deal of difference; much of the additional material provided in these two books is included in Pendragon 5.1 and the updated Book of Battle 2nd ed. For me, the only reason to buy either of these books would be for the rules on sieges and larger-scale warfare.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Lordly Domains
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King Arthur Pendragon: Edition 5.1
by Wolf o. M. F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2012 21:48:05
I already bought Pendragon 5.0 from this site and did not notice (or perhaps it wasn't available at the time) this new 5.1 version. I love the game so far however I must express my disappointment that this 5.1 version has no Table of Contents in the PDF. The 5.0 version has and it makes it very easy to flick through during game. I'm not too keen on going through and creating all the ToC links myself. Was this an oversight or will you release an updated PDF with a full set of links?

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
King Arthur Pendragon: Edition 5.1
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The Great Pendragon Campaign
by James S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/23/2012 12:30:30
Perhaps the most ambitious and amazing adventure I have ever read. A must buy for anyone who is interested in GMing Pendragon.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Great Pendragon Campaign
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King Arthur Pendragon: Edition 5.1
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/18/2012 23:02:14
King Arthur Pendragon has always held a special place in my gaming heart, despite the fact that I've not played it often. When I have, however, I am easily caught up in the sweeping grandeur that this game supports so well. It has a number of innovative elements that have stood the test of time, and are still concepts I have yet to see replicated elsewhere.

My review, however, is going to focus not on the game (which is fantastic, and every gamer should have a copy on their shelf; 'nuff said), but rather on the Print On Demand delivery of the product. This was one of the very early titles in the POD stable. When my copy arrived, I could not have been happier. The softcover has a fine, glossy finish and the quality of the printing is excellent. The binding is tight and has lasted the twelve months since purchase despite being carted about in my backpack and being read several times over. I honestly couldn't tell the difference between this and any other softcover RPG book on my shelf. A professional and quality job all round.

To me this is a perfect marriage of an excellent classic game, now in a print format that is equally as good. From this experience, I'll be gladly plugging holes in my collection with other DrivethruRPG Print On Demand titles

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
King Arthur Pendragon: Edition 5.1
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Book of Knights & Ladies
by Dominic A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/20/2011 16:34:11
I was fortunate enough to pick up a fresh print copy of Knights and Ladies at Gencon this year, at the drive-thru booth.

I was immediately impressed by the quality of the softcover perfect-binding. The book lies flat quite easily, and the cover illustration is clean and pleasing. Overall, the book is well organized and easy to follow for its main purpose - character generation.

These rules allow you to develop almost any kind of character that occurred in the literature - including Zazamanc (Saracen), Danish, Spanish, Italian, even Hun and half-Faerie!

There are some new rule mechanics - a composite skill for some races - for example, Cymric characters get a single Spear Expertise skill which is applied to spear, Lance and Great Spear. One of my favourites is "Elan", which French characters can use to modify traits such as Lustful, Proud and Valourous.

This supplement makes thought out and subtle additions and extensions to the Pendragon system, which in my view, is the best RPG ever for representing its genre. For anyone playing Pendragon, especially the Great Pendragon Campaign, I heartily recommend this book.

Some may feel that the illustrations are sparse, and there is little fluff, but for me the balance is perfect. The illustrations are simple, artful and represent the period faithfully. The text is clear and concise, and manages to say everything necessary without being overblown or repetitive.

In short, I give this supplement 5 out of 5. Thanks, Greg.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Knights & Ladies
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Book of Knights & Ladies
by George Q. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2011 07:57:04
Released in June 2011, the copyright date in this PDF of 2007 testifies how long I've waited for a "real" release for this book, one of four self-published supplements for Pendragon 5th Edition. The Advanced Character Generation book, replacing the system in the core rules which only covers characters generated in one county at the start of the campaign, The Book of Knights & Ladies (BoK&L) allows you to generate characters from any point of the campaign and from anywhere in Britain, as well as a healthy section on Continental characters.

The book itself is quite dry at point - tables abound, especially in the British knights section with many different awyts to randomly determine county, type of lord, father's class etc. There's plenty of background stuff buried in that (like the sidebar explaining how your lord could be an Admiral in a landlocked county) or the list of major events experienced characters may have participated in: as with all Pendragon books, the love of the writer for the subject matter shines through and you'll pick up lots of little tidbits but at heart it's a functional book for generating characters, for table use before all else.

Overall, it's a book I like a lot and has once again rekindled my love for Pendragon. timeframe issues on using some of the rules here, especially continental knights - you'll be a good year into the Great Pendragon Campaign before you could seriously play a Spanish or Italian night - but especially after reading Le Morte Darthur I'm glad that I can now generate characters in the style of the Saracen Sir Palomides or the French Sir Lancelot. I really like how different cultures are differentiated, not just by different starting skill levels but also by the unique skill each culture has. (So everyone else has a seperate skill for Singing and Playing (Instruments), whereas the Irish have a skilled called Music that does both - and advancing that one skill is easier than trying to keep two at the same level).

My complaints are comparatively petty. Some changes are made here to names and cultures that live in certain parts of the game world which might need a bit of work if you're already started the campaign - a previously Cymric region becomes Pict, for example, and a couple of name changes for foreign realms. The PDF was released totally unerrataed, and while the errata is free that aforementioned 2007 copyright date does make me wonder why the incorrect page reference at one point couldn't have been fixed. But this is all relatively trivial stuff.

Book of Knights & Ladies is one of the most expensive PDFs I've ever bought, at £12, but I picked it up pretty much the moment I saw it was available because I've so looked forward to it. The other self-published supplements may be interesting but I think this is the one that most felt "needed" and would strongly reccomend it for anyone wanting to run Pendragon. Other sources can provide you with more fluff - including supplements for previous editions of Pendragon - but this book gets a big thumbs up from me.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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King Arthur Pendragon: 5th Edition
by Dennis K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/07/2010 09:56:13
Excellent rewrite. Well thought out. The RPG on the market.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
King Arthur Pendragon: 5th Edition
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