Chaosium Publishing has released brand new Pendragon quick-start rules. The tabletop studio has made several popular TTRPGs in the past, including the swashbuckling 7th Sea and the investigative cosmic horror of Call of Cthulhu. but this tabletop adaptation of Arthurian legend is one with some history. The release of this new play material marks the sixth edition of a TTRPG that is almost forty years old.
What is in the Pendragon quick-start rules?
The announcement of the Pendragon quick-start rules came from a developer update on Chaosium's website. These updates are from Pendragon's line editor, David Larkins, which have gone into detail about the various design challenges and developments about the project. This includes the tragic passing of Greg Stafford in 2018, who has been the lead designer of Pendragon since its first edition published in 1985.
In this latest update, Larkins explains why the Pendragon quick-start rules are being released. Larkins expressed that while the intended way to play Pendragon is with an epic grand campaign spanning over a hundred years, that can be intimidating for more casual players. To that end, the newest edition of the game will have Starter Sets, which will include a condensed version of the core rules as well as a series of solo starting adventures to help players get into games easier.
The first act of one of those starter sets, The Adventure of The Sword Tournament, is included in the Pendragon quick-start rules. It can be completed in one session, includes five-to-eight prewritten characters, and includes a brief overview of the core rules such as Traits, Passions, as well as combat. Physical versions of these rules were handed out to guests that attended GenCon 2022, now they are available for free as a digital download.
Overall, the release of quickstart rules is a savvy move on Chaosium's part. TTRPGs can be a big time investment, even when running shorter experiences. Releasing self-contained playtest material can not just garner attention, such as CMON's English release of the little person TTRPG Household, it can provide invaluable player feedback for long-running experiences such as Wizards of the Coast's playtest materials for One D&D.
The latest edition of Pendragon is slated to release in early 2023.