Thursday, November 8, 2012


Map from: Pendragon, or King Arthur Pendragon, is a role-playing game (RPG) in which players take the role of knights performing chivalric deeds in the tradition of Arthurian legend. It was originally written by Greg Stafford and published by Chaosium, then was acquired by Green Knight Publishing, who in turn passed on the rights to White Wolf, Inc. in 2004. White Wolf sold the game to Stewart Wieck in 2009. Wieck formed Nocturnal Media, which has since updated and reissued the 5th edition originally published by White Wolf.

In 1991, Pendragon (3rd edition) won the Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Rules of 1990. In 1999 Pyramid magazine named Pendragon as one of The Millennium's Most Underrated Games. Editor Scott Haring said "Pendragon is one of the few RPGs that has a moral point of view ... And it's a great melding of game system with game world.".The 5th edition won the Outie award for Best Retread in 2006.

Pendragon or Pen Draig, meaning in Welsh "head dragon" or "chief dragon" (a figurative title referring to status as a leader), is the name of several traditional Kings of the Britons:
  • Ambrosius Aurelianus, son of Constantine II of Britain, called "Pendragon" in the Vulgate Cycle
  • Uther, brother of Aurelius and father of King Arthur, is called Uther Pendragon because he was inspired by a dragon-shaped comet (In the Vulgate, he took the name from his brother)
  • King Arthur, son of Uther
  • Maelgwn of Gwynedd, described by Gildas as the "dragon of the island"
In the Historia Regum Britanniae, one of the earliest texts of the Arthurian legend, only Uther is given the surname "Pendragon", which is explained as meaning "dragon's head". In the prose version of Robert de Boron's Merlin, the name of Uther's elder brother Ambrosius is given as "Pendragon", while Uter (Uther) changes his name after his brother's death to "Uterpendragon".

The use of "Pendragon" to refer to Arthur, rather than to Uther or his brother, is of much more recent vintage. In literature, one of its earliest uses to refer to Arthur is in Alfred Tennyson's poem Lancelot and Elaine, where, however, it appears as a title of Arthur rather than as a surname, following contemporary speculation that "pendragon" had been a term for an ancient British war-chief.
The term "Pen Dragon" also is a Fennian (Ephraimite) form meaning, Pen "child(ren) of" Ap "Son of" combined with "Dargon" or "Dragon" the symbol of the Tuatha de Dannon (Danites) who were warriors that married the Irish widows, hence the Gaullo term Welch (Ue Lach) or "woman of a warrior."

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