Tuesday, 1 February 2011


I've recently got myself a copy of The Great Pendragon Campaign. In hardback. Wow. What a book. And what an interesting game Pendragon is - the mechanics of character traits and passions, of chivalry and culture bonuses does appear to build the world into the system. No intelligence or wisdom statistics - I have blogged about the problem of playing characters that are smarter/stupidier, more charismatic/more socially inept, etc. than the player - but instead personality characteristics that can be tested, 'checked' in the Basic Roleplaying method of character development. Want to resist the seductress? Make a Chaste roll. Reading the GPC it is impossible to not be overtaken by an urge to get a game of Pendragon up and running, learn to handle the basics and capture the right tone, and launch into an 80-year dynastic campaign.

However, what I want to bring to the attention of anyone who hasn't yet seen it is a lovely little utility that I found while browsing outwards from one of the excellent Pendragon fan-pages: Brandon Blackmoor's Domesday Book. If you are building a homebrew fantasy world, this tool will generate some rough 'facts' of a medieval-level society, based on the population density and the area that you provide. Just two variables does make it a little rough, with no possibility to feed in differential trade or resource levels, but it provides some good guidelines to avoid building overpopulated, overdeveloped, impossible to feed, faux-medieval societies.

Of course, if you find yourself a copy of the GPC, and it is now 'print-on-demand' at RPGDriveThru, you don't need to do very much world-building at all...


  1. That John Ross stuff is great, a big help for me when thinking about my own domain rules.

    Excellent generator too!

  2. I really like the fact that it gives you a breakdown of the number of craftsmen/merchants of a certain type - it gives you a good idea of just how you might populate your towns, even if you just use it to provide background colour in 'authentic' proportions.

  3. Yeah this looks like one of the features with the most immediate use at the table.

    Wish there was some equivalent demographics work and generators for the early Renaissance and Antiquity.