King Arthur Pendragon RPG is getting a new sixth edition described as the “ultimate edition” of the epic fantasy roleplaying game by RuneQuest co-creator Greg Stafford, with a new sneak preview of the new rules and a free previously unreleased adventure out now.
Originally released in 1985, Pendragon was built on the Basic Roleplaying system used in Stafford’s seventies RPG RuneQuest, but swapped the fantasy world of Glorantha for a setting inspired by the legends and folklore surrounding King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. In contrast to the d100 system of other Basic Roleplaying games such as Call of Cthulhu, Pendragon uses d20 rolls more akin to Dungeons & Dragons, but with players aiming to roll under - instead of over - the target number to succeed.
Players’ characters embark on quests that lean more towards the political and philosophical than hack-and-slash dungeon crawls, with their personal virtues and passions - determined during character creation - driving their behaviour in certain situations as the result of the knights’ unshakeable moral code. In-between adventures, players can return home to live out their character’s day-to-day life.
A major part of the game is its epic scope, with campaigns able to span decades and even generations as players’ characters eventually form families, retire and are replaced by an heir, who becomes the player’s new main character.
The last major iteration of Pendragon was its fifth edition released in 2005 by Vampire: The Masquerade publisher White Wolf, before the game returned to the hands of original studio Chaosium in late 2018, following Stafford’s death that October.
Marking the second anniversary of Stafford’s passing, Chaosium revealed that a sixth edition of King Arthur Pendragon is planned for release.
According to the publisher, Stafford started work on the revision ten years ago and considered it the “ultimate edition” of the long-running RPG. The ruleset has since been through multiple stages of development, with the “fundamentals” of the RPG untouched and the upcoming release featuring “subtle modifications reflecting the culmination of nearly three decades’ refinement of Greg’s vision of Arthurian fantasy", according to Pendragon line editor David Larkins.
While a release date for King Arthur Pendragon 6E is yet to be announced, Chaosium released a new beginner-friendly quickstart featuring some of the new rules and a one-shot scenario, The Adventure of the Great Hunt, originally devised by Stafford in 1991 and now released publicly for the first time. The rules and adventure include six pre-made characters and can be downloaded for free now.