Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Solo GPC: Three Years On

Normally I like to post these retrospectives around the anniversary of launching this whole Solo GPC venture, but this year I'm a month late. Happily, this is largely owing to the massive amount of gaming I've been doing, including lots of Solo GPC sessions!

The first year, propelled both by our naive enthusiasm and our interest in the developing arc of Sir Herringdale, we covered 30 game-years. Years Two and Three each saw a comparitively paltry ten game-years go by. This has produced some interesting math, as we started this year precisely 30 game-years out from the end of the Great Campaign. Knowing that it's quite possible to cover such an amount of time in the span of a single year, Des and I have set out to cross the finish line before the end of 2013.

Needless to say, I'm woefully behind on updates - the last dating from 535 and us just having played 541 last night - but I'm recording the sessions and, now that my other campaigns are off the ground and flying under their own power, I anticipate more free time available to get back into writing the updates.

Had I written this update a month ago, my evaluation of the Solo GPC would have been somewhat guarded. Now that I feel we're firmly back in the swing (and really enjoying where events are taking us), I can confidently say that the end is in sight. Thirty game-years is still a long time, however, and I can't wait to see what sort of events transpire in those three decades. The scripted events alone touch on some of the most memorable elements of the Arthurian mythos, and that's to say nothing of how Des's character(s) might interact with same, much less whatever personal story arcs may arise.

Even after three years of play, Des and I are both very much in love with this game. In fact, we've been talking lately about proposing running the GPC with our weekly tabletop group. The idea is that Des, having been through it already, would sit in as a sort of co-GM, playing key NPCs and generally assisting with the task of keeping a larger group humming along. It would be great to finally have someone playing the adversary, and for such a potentially epic exercise no less! I wouldn't be insane enough to attempt write-ups for that campaign, although an actual play podcast would be a very real possibility. I know we've got a couple Pendragon fans in the group, but I haven't pitched the idea yet, so I have no clue if it would fly or not. If it does, I'll be sure to crow about it here, I have a feeling.

Oh, one other take-away observation from this last year's game-play: when I say Des has "been through" the GPC, that's only true to a certain extent. Those of you who have been keeping up with the updates and following along in your own copies of the book will have no doubt realized that there's a lot of material going untapped. And that's just in the actual Great Pendragon Campaign book itself, to say nothing of the many other scenario books and free online adventures. There's just so much damn material available for Pendragon, it boggles the mind - one more reason I'm hot to trot on starting it all over again.

I'll leave things off with another annual tradition. Ever since the close of our first year, I've painted up a miniature of Des's current character at the time. This year was no exception. I felt it only fitting to tap the spirit of the Romance period and the great, star-crossed affair of Loholt and Orlande, by selecting this outstanding Valdemar figure:

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