What next?

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Re: What next?

Postby Galloglaich » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:40 pm

No, certainly a slice of the whole. Probably at least three periods.

The first period would be the 8th - 9th Centuries, the high water mark of the initial brutal Arab invasion, Charles Martel and the beginning of the push-back by the Visigoths; Don Pelayo et al, and the invasions of the Carolingian Franks:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelagius_of_Asturias

the rise of the Christian kingdoms, the Basques in Navarre, the Catalans, the Asturias.

The next phase would be 11th -13th Century, the Golden Age of the enlightened Caliphate of Cordoba, piracy in the Med, the Normans in Sicily, the rise of Castille. Military orders. Incursions by the Almoravids. All the small little kingdoms and city-states of Spain vying for power amongg one another, alliances between moorish and Christian kingdoms against their co-religionists etc. The Almagovars!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almogavars

The fiinal phase would be the 14th -15th Century, the gradual fall of the Kingdom of Granada, the union of Ferdinand and Isabella and consolidation of the Christian kingdoms, the burgeoning power of the Catholic Church and the inquisition, the resurgence of piracy among the expelled Moors and the Barbary Corsairs, the failed invasions of Morrocco, the rise of the Spanish war machine to the pinnacle of European military power, the advent of the Tercicos and their defeat of even the Swiss...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tercio

And after that, by eerie coincidence, the discovery of the New World and the Conquistadors.... but that would be another series ;)

G.
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Re: What next?

Postby casinormal » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:43 pm

Sounds good. All of these are periods that I am familiar with as a historian, but never have seen done in a game setting. Most gamers think of only England or France when they think medieval europe.
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Re: What next?

Postby Galloglaich » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:36 pm

Most gamers think of only England or France when they think medieval europe.


I think you hit the nail on the head. This is a major pet peeve of mine, it's a big part of the reason why history has never gotten basically anywhere in RpGs. Everyone is who ever read Lord of the Rings when they were a kid is yearning for this history he tapped into, but they go down the path that seems to lead there and they never find it, it's a paradox. They come out of the rabbit hole in to this sort of stale ersatz history. Like with swords. Everyone wanted to know about swords but nobody (until just within the last couple of years with the rise of HEMA) knew a damn thing about the actually quite interesting reality, and instead got diverted into this boring dead-end of 30 lb 'sharpened crowbars' used with no skill or technique to their use.

A good example of this phenomenon in the RPG worrld is HARN. A beautifully made game, very detailed, well researched, meticulously designed and internally consistant.... and utterly boring. They made an SCA / Ren-Faire version of Medieval England, which would bore a cow to death. For one thing, almost nothing was going on in early Medieval England. Once the Normans beat the last remnants of the Vikings it was snore city, a European backwater.

But to make it worse, the designers follow this instinct of a lot of American and British re-enactors, SCAdians etc. to homoginize history to make it managable. Every country is a kingdom ruled by chivalry and the feudal order and made up of 90 grubby peasants for every aspiring squire, who is called 'M'Lord' in ye olde Elizabethan Ren Faire dialect. Compare this to the real history of Spain per above, or Italy, or the HRE, Flanders, the Baltic, almost anywhere. It's like the differene between Pokemon and Yojimbo.

I think this is also what happened to Runequest and any number of other "realistic' RPG games. The one which was promising to me was Warhammer FRPG but I didn't find out about that until very recently and the current version has been very homoginzed now for the American audience.


Anyway... I've started working on an adventure supplement for the Codex. It's going to be set in the HRE in the 15th or 16th Century (I haven't completely nailed that down yet). I'll begin to release some details shortly.

G.
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Re: What next?

Postby casinormal » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:22 pm

Cool. 15th century "the germanies" (larger than today, obviously) is what Darklands was all about, so naturally, I'm interested.
For stuff that is definitely NOT a sanitized camelot-style medieval setting, check out "Mythic Russia." It's for the HeroQuest system (which I don't play, but which is so freeform it's almost not really a system), but is really just good as some background on other parts of Europe, set in 1380. (Despite the anachronistic presence of Cossacks).
I also enjoy old-school WFRP as a campaign setting, even if I just use my own old Runequest hybrid for it.
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