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Book of Knights & Ladies $19.99
Publisher: Chaosium
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.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Book of Knights & Ladies
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