Thursday, May 18, 2023

KNIGHT deserves its GLORY


When I first heard about Mark Beren's upcoming game, KNIGHT, I was definitely intrigued.  As someone who has been a fan of Greg Stafford's King Arthur Pendragon and is currently still running The Great Pendragon Campaign for his gaming circle (the campaign started back in 2017!) I've always been fascinated with games that tried to capture the glory and tragedy of Arthurian tales in one form or another.  

In KNIGHT, you play a heroic, glory-seeking knight in service to your Queen. The game drew inspiration from Pendragon, Into the Odd, Forged in the Dark, and Powered by the Apocalypse games, and offers a tight game experience with collaborative storytelling is supported with a solid system.  Each game has three phases; the Quest phase which is goal-oriented, the Fief phase which explores advancement and decision-making, and the Free play phase which grants even more flexibility on your play options.   Dice rolls are resolved with the use of a standard twenty-sided die, with complications arising if the roll is higher than the attribute being used that moment. Adding to the fun is the Effect Die which measures the effectiveness of one's action and determines when a situation or activity has been successfully overcome. Luck plays a part in the game too, especially during the Fief phase of the game, offering favorable results even in scenes where the character has no direct control over the events. Endurance tracks one's ability to stay active, which nicely allows the story to carry on and not focus solely or character mortality. 

The game also has Glory, which represents power, wealth, and influence with the populace.  Even the passage of time is part of the experience, with players creating their own Avalon by drawing a map, then later showing its development and change with later updates.  This adds for a cool cooperative extra experience which reminds me of games like The Quiet Year.   Generational play is also built into the system with the player having to retire their Knight once certain conditions are met. 

The author was very generous in working on this game too, with practically fifth pages of world-creation thoughts, role-playing tips, and game atmosphere considerations offered to help new players embrace the intricacies of a knight's life.  Lots of alternative rules are also provided to help groups tailor fit the experience to what works better for them.  Given the setting is not your standard Arthurian fare, there are lots of new names and places offered for the game's "baseline" setting. This is where, I feel, I struggled a bit as I have always had trouble with names. While some names are probably common or accurate to the setting, I will confess finding myself unsure how to pronounce some of them. And it was curious to see how the game tried to mix enough influences and imagination -based material to form something familiar but new.  Especially with the game offering a campaign framework (called the Three Ages) to give groups a nice jumping off point for a long term campaign session. 

The game has a sleek character sheet design, and even a section to track your family tree (something with I think King Arthur Pendragon could have benefited from having as part of their main sheet).

All in all, I'm extremely excited to find a chance to try this system out.  Mark was kind enough to offer me a chance to see the book (and in return I sent him a copy of my other game, The Cat's Dream) and I definitely look forward to supporting this game once it is formally available. But even this early, I am already seeing this game finding a spot on my virtual shelf for awesome games that offer Arthurian /Arthur-inspired experiences.  

Learn more the game today at

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