|The arms of Sir Loholt|
And so the Romance Period begins. This year, 531, used to be the default starting time for a “by the book” Pendragon campaign. Although I didn’t start playing Pendragon in earnest until shortly after 5th edition came out (with its default starting year of 485), the majority of my campaigns, both as GM and player, have ended up centering around this time. So Des and I are in familiar waters.
It’s easy to see why 531 used to be the default starting year. If you’re going to start out during Arthur’s reign, it’s a good time to start. This is when chivalry enters its full flower, when tournaments replace battles as the venue to demonstrate a knight’s courage, when heraldry and pennants and trappers turn those tournament fields into a riot of colors. Fortresses finally start to look like what we think of when we hear the word “castle.” The land is at peace, Adventure and Quest rule the day, and things haven’t started to go down the toilet yet. Soon enough. In the meantime, it is morning in Britain again and our hero is a young knight out to fill the shoes of his father and win the heart of his true love. To Adventure, then!