Friday, January 1, 2010

How's This For Ambitious?

Ah, here we are in 2010 all of a sudden. Hello and happy New Year everyone!

I ended up taking a bit of an impromptu break from Bloglandia over the last two weeks, but I have returned with an ambitious plan to kick off the first post of the new year. It all started a couple weeks ago when, for reasons I'm still not too clear on, I pulled out the character I ran in Des's Pendragon campaign last summer. There were a couple things I wanted to check on for whatever reason, but I ended up just sort of going over the character sheets and remembering how much fun that campaign was. It was a short one, especially by Pendragon standards, covering only about 10 years of game time in the span of maybe a dozen or so sessions, but even in that short amount of time some great stories were woven, epic moments sprang up, new legends were born. It's really almost alchemical how Pendragon just...generates epic moments, almost like some kind of weird mystical engine clanking and puttering away, randomly dropping out gold nuggets.

Quite subtly, almost imperceptibly, I started thinking about Pendragon again, like a recovering alcoholic contemplating just one more sip of the sweet stuff. "Why not run a little one-shot over the holidays?" I thought to myself. Why not indeed. I came up with a modest little scenario idea, pitched the concept to Des, and we were set to go.

Then Des got sick. Then I got sick. So things got put on hold. While in my sick bed, I broke out the 5th edition Pendragon core rules and the Great Pendragon Campaign and started reading up on sections I've only had time to skim before (I purchased both books after starting my last big Pendragon campaign, so I could only cherry-pick sections out of them and never did have use for the 5th edition basic chargen rules, for example). Oh, and I finished devouring the Book of Battles, of course.

As I was reading through the first third of the GPC, I started thinking about my long-deferred dream to run the whole hog. My big Pendragon campaign spanned the years 515 to about 550; a hefty chunk, to be sure, but only about half of the full 80 year span of the GPC campaign arc in toto. I wanted a crack at the thing, and was thinking about when that might happen. My current group are currently engaged in a D&D campaign that shows every sign of continuing on for a good long while, particularly since it's considered a good month when we can actually manage to keep to our biweekly schedule. And after that there's been much interest expressed in Call of Cthulhu, an interest I'm all too obliged to indulge in. Then there's the fact that the GPC itself estimates that even with weekly play a group will get through the whole thing in about 18 months. With a group that meets as irregularly as ours, that's looking more like a 3+ year campaign! Good grief.

But what are you going to do? Launch a side campaign, just you and your lady? The GPC is tough enough with a group of players--to try and tackle it with a single PC would surely be madness.

So of course by now you know exactly what happened: I made my crazy proposal to Des, she joined me on my Ship of Fools, and we've set off for the unknown horizon of trying to navigate the Great Pendragon Campaign!

What that means to this blog is that I'll be posting periodic actual play updates as we go along, along with various silly musings about my approach to running/playing Pendragon. I can't promise anything even approaching regularity in that regard; Des is a PhD student, and during her academic quarters spare time becomes a precious commodity. So we don't have a regular set game schedule for Pendragon. We may very well play several sessions in a week, then go a month without anything, then settle into a sort of bi-weekly rhythm for a while, and so on...

But, much in the manner of the esteemed Chgowiz and his great "Playing D&D With My Wife" posts, this series will hopefully give some insight into the process of single-player gaming, provide a fun little campaign journal, and just be a generally fun read. That's the intention at least.

Here's hoping. As with anything in life, you set your rudder, raise your sail, and hope for the best.
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