Thursday, December 1, 2022

Sir Pellinore's Advice to Referees

Here's what Sir Pellinore's Book has to say about how to referee, reproduced without any changes. I think it does a good job of showing the overall flavor of the book. 

To start the game you must at least make a town for the adventurers to start in. You can add the world outside the town, kingdoms, orc tribes, wandering monsters, elves, magic places, shrines, treasures, monsters, thieves and all kinds of other adventures for the other players to find. 

In your world don't make it impossible to survive. Since you must tell the other players what's happening and what effects their actions have you are their eyes and ears. Give them all the information you can.

Don't be too generous or it takes the fun of the struggle out of the game.

Don't be too stingy or no one will want to play.

Let the players do what they want unless it is impossible. After all, it's their neck.

Try to be realistic. Read up on the middle ages so you'll get a good idea of how things went then.

Don't make your world too civilized. If there's no monsters around to fight the players will take to robbery to make life interesting.

When you create your area, start by making a map of the area with graphpaper at a scale of 5–10 miles to a square. Then make maps of a larger scale of areas that should be more detailed, like castiles towns etc. Fill in all the smaller details with your imagination when a player comes to them.

Any rules for anything that is not here feel free to make them up. But, remember, because there are no winners or losers don't feel you have to destroy the other players. Everyone can be a winner! So be just and fair!


  1. Sounds pretty reasonable to me. And it also expects DMs to use discretion rather than some of the nannying found in some later editions.

  2. But where are the orders in ALL CAPS about the importance of campaign timekeeping? Seriously, though, it's well written, clear and wise. I've seen much worse advice for DMs.

  3. Love the part about not making it too civilized, the players will become outlaws. That is the primary reason for the Crusades.