King Arthur Pendragon Returns To Chaosium
  • King Arthur Pendragon Returns To Chaosium


    Pendragon, the Arthurian game of chivalric knights, created by the recently passed Greg Stafford, was originally released in 1985. Over the years there have been various editions, and the game has been owned by Chaosium, Green Knight Publishing, White Wolf Publishing, and Nocturnal Media. Now it's returning to Chaosium, it's original publisher.



    Greg Stafford died this year. He considered King Arthus Pendragon to be his masterpiece -- "Pendragon is my masterpiece. It's a role-playing game in the world of King Arthur."

    Here's the full announcement:

    "Chaosium Inc, original publishers of Greg Stafford's King Arthur Pendragon roleplaying game (KAP), will once again become the owners and publishers of the game, it was announced today.

    All rights to KAP and the Prince Valiant story-telling game have been transferred from the ownership of Nocturnal Media to Chaosium.

    Greg Stafford, founder of Chaosium and creator of both games, passed away in October this year. The return of these titles to Chaosium has the blessing of Greg Stafford's wife Suzanne and his children.

    Steve Wieck speaking for Nocturnal Media on the transition of Pendragon back to Chaosium:

    "There’s a story behind this story. In the early 1990’s, the staff of Chaosium were celebrating with a feast at Mader’s Restaurant in Milwaukee after a successful Gen Con. At the table next to them, the White Wolf staff also feasted on haunches of meat and steins of beer. My brother Stewart and Mark Rein Hagen, founders of White Wolf, stood and toasted Greg Stafford and the Chaosium crew, “Hail to Chaosium, the pioneers, the seers, the shamans, who ignited the flame of storytelling in our roleplaying hobby”, and the White Wolf table cheered their respect.

    Naturally, one cannot possibly out-do Greg Stafford, the creator of Pendragon, in matters of feasting etiquette. Thus Greg rose and toasted back with supreme humility, “We were merely keeping the fire lit through the cold, dark night, for we heard in the distance the howl of the wolf and knew the wolf would come to turn the flame to a bonfire.”

    It would be years later that White Wolf would end up acquiring Greg’s King Arthur Pendragon game (which had already travelled from Chaosium to Green Knight Publishing). And still later, after White Wolf merged with CCP, ownership of the Pendragon game travelled back to Stewart’s new company Nocturnal Media. Stewart immediately started collaborating with Greg to publish a new edition and supplemental material for the game.

    Then both Stewart and Greg passed, and it’s been a bit of a cold, dark night. Those of us who remain at Nocturnal have tried to keep the Pendragon fire lit through the night, publishing new KAP supplements and the Paladin game, but it’s clear that for the fire to become a bonfire, the wheel should turn full circle and Pendragon return to its origin, return to Chaosium. We pass the torch to our friends at Chaosium, knowing that greatness awaits. The Boy King is ready to become a Conqueror. Long live the King."
    Earlier this year at Gen Con it was announced that Chaosium was assisting Nocturnal Media in release and distribution of its products, and would help with the fulfilment of several of its Kickstarters. That assistance will continue.

    Going forward, KAP and Prince Valiant titles will be available from Chaosium.com, and at Chaosium's page at DriveThruRPG. David Larkins, who Greg Stafford announced as his KAP line editor at Gen Con this year, continues in this role, now working for Chaosium"
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. billd91's Avatar
      billd91 -
      Though Pendragon has never been my primary RPG of choice, there's a LOT of cool stuff in it. Kudos to Chaosium for bringing it home.
    1. TrippyHippy's Avatar
      TrippyHippy -
      This is a strong candidate for the best fantasy RPG ever written, and is possibly the author Greg Staffords most personal work.

      The return to Chaosium is great for everybody involved, including the fans.
    1. Badvoc's Avatar
      Badvoc -
      Fantastic news. Pendragon is such a unique game and I can't think of a better new home for it than Chaosium.

      I wonder if this changes the plans for a print release of 5.2 (beyond the Kickstarter backers who got it as an add-on for the Paladin campaign)? Either way, I'm excited to see what new releases are eventually planned.

      Edit: Just discovered that the Pendragon 5.2 hardback is now available directly from Chaosium. Good stuff.
    1. TrippyHippy's Avatar
      TrippyHippy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Badvoc View Post
      Either way, I'm excited to see what new releases are eventually planned.
      David Larkins gave some notice on this, and the plans include some more supplements for King Arthur Pendragon, including a Book of Magic which will set up an alternative game premise playing magicians. There will also be follow on games, based on Pendragon rules but in different eras. Paladin will be released possibly as soon as January 2019, but we should also see Mymidon (Greek warriors), Samurai and who knows what then..
    1. trancejeremy's Avatar
      trancejeremy -
      I'm somewhat skeptical that Chaosium can support it properly. Maybe they've gotten better in the last few years, but so much support for Call of Cthulhu was either handed off to fans (via the monograph program) or other companies, either officially via a license, or unofficially. And so many Cthulhu variants have risen up because Chaosium dropped the ball, IMHO.
    1. TrippyHippy's Avatar
      TrippyHippy -
      Quote Originally Posted by trancejeremy View Post
      I'm somewhat skeptical that Chaosium can support it properly. Maybe they've gotten better in the last few years, but so much support for Call of Cthulhu was either handed off to fans (via the monograph program) or other companies, either officially via a license, or unofficially. And so many Cthulhu variants have risen up because Chaosium dropped the ball, IMHO.
      I think you'll find, if you check on the rpg news outlets, or even just checking at the Chaosium site, that there has been some very dramatic changes at Chaosium over the last few years. As in: the entire ownership and management has been completely changed over. The whole monograph policy went out with the last management, with the new management becoming quite assertive about third party licenses, and the sort of things being produced recently are very high quality, full colour books which are clearly works of passion and are well supported with supplements.

      I think you might be a bit out of date in your assessment. I'm not completely sold on every decision or utterance that has come out of Chaosium since the change-over, but in terms of running a business, they have turned around a failing enterprise into one of the most dynamic in the industry over the last couple of years.
    1. Badvoc's Avatar
      Badvoc -
      Quote Originally Posted by TrippyHippy View Post
      David Larkins gave some notice on this, and the plans include some more supplements for King Arthur Pendragon, including a Book of Magic which will set up an alternative game premise playing magicians. There will also be follow on games, based on Pendragon rules but in different eras. Paladin will be released possibly as soon as January 2019, but we should also see Mymidon (Greek warriors), Samurai and who knows what then..
      Ah - thanks for that. All new info for me, but I'm happy to see that the plans are to treat Pendragon as a developing game line. Generational adventures in ancient Greece or feudal Japan? Yep - great directions to expand the game.
    1. Myrdin Potter's Avatar
      Myrdin Potter -
      Chaosium cannot even deliver on the Runequest Classic Kickstarter which is copying old PDF. I am not hopeful about them doing anything here.
    1. R_Chance's Avatar
      R_Chance -
      Quote Originally Posted by Myrdin Potter View Post
      Chaosium cannot even deliver on the Runequest Classic Kickstarter which is copying old PDF. I am not hopeful about them doing anything here.
      You mean the 50th Anniversary PDF / hardback of Runequest 2nd edition? That's done and out, quite awhile ago I thought. My hardback is sitting on my shelf about 10' away from me right now... or was there a problem with some peoples KS fulfillment? I bought mine post KS...
    1. Myrdin Potter's Avatar
      Myrdin Potter -
      That kickstarter has not come close to fulfilling all the materials promised. They reprinted the hardback of the rules (with all the errors caught in proofreading still there, like the size for Ducks), but they owe almost all the older supplements which are year(s) behind schedule with updates maybe every few months with new promises that are then broken.
    1. TrippyHippy's Avatar
      TrippyHippy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Myrdin Potter View Post
      That kickstarter has not come close to fulfilling all the materials promised. They reprinted the hardback of the rules (with all the errors caught in proofreading still there, like the size for Ducks), but they owe almost all the older supplements which are year(s) behind schedule with updates maybe every few months with new promises that are then broken.
      The various PDF supplements to the Classic game were included as stretch goals for add-on purchases. While the process of delivering all of these has been frustratingly slow, the process itself wasn't actually given any stated schedule beyond initial estimates. From my count, out of the 14 stretch goals for add ons listed, there remains 5 still to be delivered.
    1. Myrdin Potter's Avatar
      Myrdin Potter -
      Quote Originally Posted by TrippyHippy View Post
      The various PDF supplements to the Classic game were included as stretch goals for add-on purchases. While the process of delivering all of these has been frustratingly slow, the process itself wasn't actually given any stated schedule. From my count, out of the 14 stretch goals for add ons listed, there remains 5 still to be delivered. The core materials of the campaign were delivered a long time ago.
      That is quite disingenuous. Paid add-ons that are going on 3 years to deliver in PDF format and an error riddled hard-cover that was crowd sourced and corrected and then printed with all the errors still in it (except for the leather version) is more accurate. In frequent updates and promised delivery and it will get better not being met. Many of the "14" are short and several pages long. The larger (and more expensive) add-ons are still outstanding.

      This was one of my first Kickstarters I backed (I have well over 100 now) and Runequest 2e had a special place in my heart as it was the first non-D&D RPG I had played. There were lots of promises about the new management (this was one of the first after that happened), but I have not seen real improvement. Chaosium has such a bad reputation on Kickstarter that they are not offering products there any more.

      In the case of Pendragon (and others), the Kickstarter principal passed away and they are still being fulfilled. Where issues were identified in the original PDFs, they were addressed. They are super delayed but slowly each one is coming out and there are more frequent updates. This news is actually delaying them even more.
    1. TrippyHippy's Avatar
      TrippyHippy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Myrdin Potter View Post
      That is quite disingenuous. Paid add-ons that are going on 3 years to deliver in PDF format and an error riddled hard-cover that was crowd sourced and corrected and then printed with all the errors still in it (except for the leather version) is more accurate. In frequent updates and promised delivery and it will get better not being met. Many of the "14" are short and several pages long. The larger (and more expensive) add-ons are still outstanding.

      This was one of my first Kickstarters I backed (I have well over 100 now) and Runequest 2e had a special place in my heart as it was the first non-D&D RPG I had played. There were lots of promises about the new management (this was one of the first after that happened), but I have not seen real improvement. Chaosium has such a bad reputation on Kickstarter that they are not offering products there any more.

      In the case of Pendragon (and others), the Kickstarter principal passed away and they are still being fulfilled. Where issues were identified in the original PDFs, they were addressed. They are super delayed but slowly each one is coming out and there are more frequent updates. This news is actually delaying them even more.
      Stating the facts as they are is not being disingenuous.

      Stating that this news has any negative impact upon the delivery of Paladin, Pendragon or Prince Valiant, or that the production of Classic RuneQuest supplements has any bearing on the matter, is. As a backer of all of these, I already have recieved most of it. Paladin is in it's final stages, and is due sometime next month.
    Comments Leave Comment