Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Percival and the Presence of God by Jim Hunter

I can't remember when, where, or for how much I bought Percival and the presence of God, but I know I bought several of the Arthurian novels at that time. I had never read anything written by Jim Hunter prior to this. It was a well written short first-person novel that took me an afternoon to finish off.

In many ways the novel  is timeless.  Well that's not quite true.  But it doesn't seem to be set in a specific  time frame outside of  being in a dark age or a middle-age  or a  medieval style setting .The author is free with a lot of description in terms of what the character is feeling  but not necessarily and say  what the characters wearing, what style armor the character has,  what manner of sword the characters using or other  bits and pieces that some modern authors  drown the reader with.

In short if you're looking for a quick  read  about  Percival  you could do worse  then this book  by  Jim  Hunter.

 In terms of gaming because the novel is short  and combat  is secondary, not even secondary  maybe fourth  or fifth  six place  in the scheme of things  there are still some bits  that can be yanked  for your home  campaigns .

For example  that many people  take  Percival's  quest  to be a worthy and in and of itself.. There is the question  of leaving  not just one home  but many homes  in the pursuit  of something that may not come  to fruition  but it is that characters  drive .  in looking at characters drive  it's important  that the player and GM understand it  but not necessarily important that the other characters  or the NPCs  agree with it.

Another thing to consider  is  the lack of light.  in the wintertime for example  there is not much time to be on the road.  indoors  there is not much light  to do anything  without candles  or torches or lanterns  and many of these things  produce smoke  and heat and fire.

Lastly there is the presence of ruin. Percival thinks he sees King Arthur's castle from afar. As he draws closer to it though, it is merely a ruin that he almost gets himself killed in. IN so doing, he learns deep despair. Ruins are full of potential 'traps' from rotting ceilings and stairwells to support beams and floors that can all fail when a character puts weight on them.

Percival and the Presence of God is not filled with combat and clashes but is an interesting character look at a knight's wanderings as they take him further and further form home.