Solo GPC

515 (Part One)
The Grey Knight

I’ve been looking forward to this year for a while now. The year 515 marks the 30-year anniversary from the start of the game. I can’t believe Sir Herringdale is in his 50s! Being the evil GM I am, I have no intention of letting up on the poor bastard for this anniversary year. Accordingly, the adventure slated for this year is a real doozy, and it could lead in any of a multitude of directions and have some serious repercussions for our redoubtable knight. Then again, he might just sail through it with nary a scratch. As a GM, I love being as surprised as the players by the twists and turns of a campaign. Granted, that doesn’t happen as often when you’re sitting on the chart-side of the proverbial screen, but that does tend to make those surprise moments all the sweeter. I have a feeling this year’s adventure has a lot of potential in that regard, thus my relish.

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514 (Part Two)
Royal Wedding

Some time passed between our previous session and this one, so when we sat down to find out what became of Sir Herringdale on his quest it was with more than a hint of apprehension. I had cleverly structured things so that neither of us knew whether Herringdale survived the quest…and the opponent I had in mind meant that I for one was hoping the outcome would remain in doubt even during the session itself. With that in mind, we picked up our dice and proceeded, trading grim looks of understanding…

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514 (Part One)
Royal Wedding

It’s been entirely too long since the last campaign update, and I do apologize for that. Suffice to say the usual excuses apply: real life, blah, blah, etc. So let’s just gather around this bounty of Pendragon goodness and feast our turkey-sodden (here in the U.S. at least) eyes upon the events that befell Sir Herringdale and his kin in the Year of Our Lord, 514.

By mutual agreement, this was to be the year that Des debuted Herringdale’s daughter, Lady Meleri, as her backup PC until such time as Herringdale takes his final bow (voluntarily or otherwise…).

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513
Terrabil Swift Sword

Astute readers will have noticed that the campaign has been on pause the last couple weeks. I find that long-term campaigns sometimes need these “breathing periods” – brief pauses in which the campaign (to say nothing of the GM and players) catch their collective breath, as it were. I’ve also been busier than usual in real life thanks to an unexpected but very exciting career transition opportunity that’s come up. But we’ve got our next session scheduled for this week, so regular updates should resume until they don’t.

I’m particularly sorry to keep y’all waiting for this one since this was a bit of a short session. The shortness was owing to the fact that I know the next couple years should be pretty jam-packed; I like to pace the years of my Pendragon campaigns, separating the bigger, more epic years with either more low-key events or more straightforward activities. This year fell into the latter category; it was pretty much by the book with very little embellishment on my part. This was partly intentional, but it was also one of those nights where I struggled with engaging with the simple act of GMing, inevitable in any long term campaign (and certainly a factor in precipitating the ensuing breathing period). Nevertheless, Des had a great time, and during play we once again found ourselves sweating it over whether Herringdale would live to see the next Winter Phase…

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512
Three Feasts

This year was one of those years, like 492, in which events vital to the mythical story arc played out before Herringdale’s astonished eyes. It wasn’t quite as rail-roady as the year of high treason though, and there were even opportunities for Herringdale to directly participate in some of the ongoing events. Certainly, the hall of Du Plain castle will now have a part in the legend…and they’re still trying to get the blood stains off the floor of the hall…

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511
Ghosts of the Past

After the sweeping, epic events (not to mention epic length!) of 510, I wanted to dial things down a bit for 511. Bring events to a more personal level, that sort of thing. Here’s how it all played out…

We had left off with Herringdale and a host of other worthies wintering over at Carlion. As the winter wore on, the cold and dark nights were whiled away with long, serious discussions, instigated and led by Arthur, on the nature of knighthood. What made a man a knight as opposed to a simple armored thug riding a horse? How were knights differentiated from the common stock? Did knights share a certain commonality of beliefs that united them?

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510 (Session Three)
...and Of Boy Kings

With this third and final installment, the year 510 officially takes the crown as the most epic-length year so far in our campaign. Three full sessions! About 15 hours of game play! Not that I was surprised; this was obviously going to be an epic year based solely on events laid out in the GPC itself. As it turned out, Herringdale found plenty of moments to personally shine, as well.

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510 (Session Two)
...and Of Boy Kings

 Picking up where we left off, then…

Having been crowned King of Logres to widespread jubilation and acclaim, Arthur was swept off in a grand procession bound for Carlion. This just so happened to be Herringdale’s destination too. Arthur was going because the Supreme Collegium was reconvening in the ancient city to elect a High King. Herringdale was going because his daughter, Heledd, was due to marry King Alain of Escavalon. Don’t you love it when character motivations line up with campaign events so neatly?

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510 (Session One)
...and Of Boy Kings

Here we are at last; if you’re familiar with the contents of the Great Pendragon Campaign, you know what’s coming this year. The trick in running it is to weave the events in the PCs’ lives into the grander narrative. In effect, one of the most oft-told stories in the Western lexicon becomes background scenery for the exploits of the campaign’s main characters. This could be said of the GPC in general, but it’s especially true for this year.

Even a campaign limiting itself purely to the events scripted in the book would find 510 to be an extraordinarily action-packed year. As this year also marked several important watershed moments for Herringdale personally, it’s turned into a truly epic year – one we’re still making our way through, actually. Obviously, then, this will be the first of another several-part installment.

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509
Of Countesses and Earls...

[Partly by design, partly by accident, this turned to be a real action-packed year. It actually spanned two full sessions, so be warned that it’s even lengthier than usual…]

This year witnessed Sir Herringdale come into his own as a political mover and shaker in Salisbury and beyond. Some of his attempts at power brokerage met with wild success; others proved much more vexing… The year started off, however, with strange portents of things to come.

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