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Author Topic: RoS "historical"  (Read 8163 times)
Matt Snyder
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« on: April 25, 2003, 06:30:20 AM »

My group is going to start up a "historical" campaign for Riddle of Steel, and were' looking for any advice on how to run it. Have there been previous threads here that discussed this?

We haven't nailed down a time and place. I'm looking at something like the end of the Second Crusade -- so  around 1150 in and around France and Normandy, perhaps.

Does anyone have other suggestions for different times/places that would be more suitable?

We want the game to have some dark, supernatural undertones. I considered setting the campaign in the actual Dark Ages (anywhere from Scandanavia to Byzantium), but that would preclude some interesting technologies (weapons & armor), and maybe certain character concepts ("traditional" knights or even templars, for example).

Obviously, the more fuel for SAs the better -- things like loyalty to the church, faith, love, vengeance, all that good stuff!
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Gary_Bingham
Member

Posts: 65


« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2003, 06:43:23 AM »

Please take a look at the following thread
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=6105

Our group just finished what was hopefully the first chapter of a TROS campaign set on the Prussian Front of the Holy Roman Empire.
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Salamander
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Posts: 450


« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2003, 06:53:57 AM »

Hey,

I am setting up a campaign in the Renaissance to be up and running this summer. The first thing you have to do is a LOT of research on the time period and the immediately preceding time period to get a feel for the big picture. Once you have the picture you can address how TRoS fits within the chosen period. Of course the way the world was is always a good guideline.

The magic user in the party will have to be very careful as the reformation of the church has caused the inquisition to go a little haywire and if he's not careful (which he usually is), his friends will be bringing marshmallows to his demise.

In my case I chose the Renaissance due to the massive amount of opportunity and options available to the players from that time.

Things to consider include the locale they are in, what is the culture like? The method of Government? What is the economy? What kind of exchange system do they use? Is thier currency accepted abroad? What is the exchange rate? What level of technology was available? How is magic viewed? Do the Fae have a problem with procreation? And whatever other questions you need answered for your campaign. By the way, the Crusades will be a great setting, if I may say so.

Get one of those honkin' big historical table books and pencil in the things you want to add, it is a huge help. Also, if the players are worried they will change history or something remember that things aren't always as they seem. Maybe their actions caused the history we have now... just one of many options.
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"Don't fight your opponent's sword, fight your opponent. For as you fight my sword, I shall fight you. My sword shall be nicked, your body shall be peirced through and I shall have a new sword".
Matt Snyder
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Posts: 1380


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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2003, 07:05:12 AM »

Thanks Gary and Salamander.

Gary -- how did you find some of the "color" bits -- banners, etc.? Any web site links?

Quote from: Salamander
Hey,

Get one of those honkin' big historical table books and pencil in the things you want to add, it is a huge help. Also, if the players are worried they will change history or something remember that things aren't always as they seem. Maybe their actions caused the history we have now... just one of many options.


This is one thing we're not worried about. We've agreed that changing history is perfectly acceptable.
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Gary_Bingham
Member

Posts: 65


« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2003, 07:18:57 AM »

Matt, actually I was a player in this game.

However one of my favourite content sources is
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook.html
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toli
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Posts: 313


« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2003, 07:36:07 AM »

Quote from: Matt Snyder

We haven't nailed down a time and place. I'm looking at something like the end of the Second Crusade -- so  around 1150 in and around France and Normandy, perhaps.


I've always wanted to play a campaign set around 950-1000 or so in France, specifically in the Angers region.  I read a bunch of books on Fulk Nerra who sort of 'established' the county of Anjou.  THere are a couple of battles but more skirmishes and intrique...

Just a thought.  

NT
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NT
Valamir
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2003, 08:19:34 AM »

Yeah, French history as a whole (i.e. the big picture) I've generally found pretty boring.

But the history of the individual historical provinces that make up France is pretty cool.  Auvergne and Nivernais are a couple of my favorites...so much so that the city in my next project is names Auvernais.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2003, 09:44:17 AM »

I'd push towards rennaisance as far as possible, but not so far as you'd have to get rules for guns. So, depending on where you were, that would probably put you in the 14th to 15th centuries. Guns were present, but not at all widely used, and not suitable for "adventurers" (gotta carry around some big thing on a stick...basically battlefield weapons).

A really good game could be centered around the War of the Roses in England (see the boardgame Kingmaker for details). More political intrigue than you can shake a stick at. Factions composed of tiny armies led by nobles running around and taking control of towns and castles. Only some unreliable artillery for guns. Fun, fun.

Here's a wargaming page that would help with getting set up in the era along with some history, should you think that the suggestion has merit.
http://www.inisfail.com/~ancients/wotr-list-v3.html

Mike
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toli
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Posts: 313


« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2003, 10:56:01 AM »

Another interesting time period would be the second half of lthe 1100's in France/England.  There were lots of civil wars between Henry II and his sons Henry the Young King, Richar I, and John as well was wars between Henry II and the King of France (Louis?).  It was also a time when knighthood was at its peak and tournaments were important.  There were also lots of little regional disputes in the south of france.

For a good background you could read both Elanor and the 4 Kings and the biography of William Marsha.  Elanor of Aquitane was married first to the King of France, went on Crusade, then divorced the king of france and married Henry II (father of Richard the Lionheart etc).

William Marshal started out as a landless younger son, but made it big on the tournament circuit, becoming tudor in arms to Henry the Young King, and eventually Earl of Pembroke and Regent for Henry III.  A real rags to riches story...probably a bit destinty SA for old William....

BTW, Richard was famous for using mercenaries (esp crossbowmen) so not every one would have to be a knight....NT
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NT
Matt Snyder
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2003, 11:21:15 AM »

Quote from: toli
Another interesting time period would be the second half of lthe 1100's in France/England.  There were lots of civil wars between Henry II and his sons Henry the Young King, Richar I, and John as well was wars between Henry II and the King of France (Louis?).  It was also a time when knighthood was at its peak and tournaments were important.  There were also lots of little regional disputes in the south of france.


Yep, this is precisely the time I'm looking at -- the return following the Second Crusade, with Eleanor of Acquitaine in her "home" kingdom. My loosey-goosey idea is to set it in Acquitaine with Eleanor as a kind of patron to players (or not for those with conflicting loyalties!).

Quote

BTW, Richard was famous for using mercenaries (esp crossbowmen) so not every one would have to be a knight....NT


Cool -- one of the tidbits that I'm looking for! Thanks.
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Spartan
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Posts: 192


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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2003, 12:06:31 PM »

Also, this might be of some assistance: aedificium.org

Personally, I find I prefer early medieval time periods the best, since they bear a strking resemblance to my beloved Hârn.  They have a certain grittiness that I feel is lacking in Renaissance time periods.  Just don't tell Salamander... I'm playing in his upcoming TROS campaign! ;)

-Mark
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And remember kids... Pillage first, THEN burn.
Valamir
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« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2003, 12:41:02 PM »

Matt if this time period floats your boat, I have a whole game supplement called (not surprisingly) Lionheart (or something thereto).  Its got tons of cool stuff in it.  

I picked it up off ebay.  Let me know and I'll get you the full info on it and maybe you can find a copy.
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Spartan
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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2003, 12:46:25 PM »

Quote from: Valamir
Matt if this time period floats your boat, I have a whole game supplement called (not surprisingly) Lionheart


Lionheart is available from Columbia Games. :)

-Mark
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And remember kids... Pillage first, THEN burn.
Valamir
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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2003, 01:47:38 PM »

Yup, that is indeed the one.  I was thinking it was connected to my Harn stuff but couldn't remember the details.  Actually I, didn't even realize it was still in print (I only paid $10 off of Ebay instead of the $30 its going for on the site fortuneately).  

But I will vouch for its usefullness as a sourcebook, even if $30 bucks seems a little outrageous for a 96 page softcover.
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Salamander
Member

Posts: 450


« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2003, 01:49:45 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
I'd push towards rennaisance as far as possible, but not so far as you'd have to get rules for guns. So, depending on where you were, that would probably put you in the 14th to 15th centuries. Guns were present, but not at all widely used, and not suitable for "adventurers" (gotta carry around some big thing on a stick...basically battlefield weapons).

A really good game could be centered around the War of the Roses in England (see the boardgame Kingmaker for details). More political intrigue than you can shake a stick at. Factions composed of tiny armies led by nobles running around and taking control of towns and castles. Only some unreliable artillery for guns. Fun, fun.



Mike


Firearms did not move past the battle field until the late 1600's due to weight, reliability and ease of readiness reasons. And they were pretty inaccurate and unreliable until around the same time. Matchlocks were the norm as far a firearms went until the snaphaunce (early flintlock) was "perfected". Wheel locks existed as early as 1515, maybe earlier, but where extremely expensive and complicated. Imagine having to wind up your pistol... And even then there were a very large number of bows and crossbows on the battle field until as late as 1580, perhaps even being the majority of the missile weapons being used. Cannon were generally used for seige only due to their total lack of mobility. Most times they would teamster the gun barrel to where they were going to be,  build the mounting and line it up under the cramped cover of a bunch of pavises.
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"Don't fight your opponent's sword, fight your opponent. For as you fight my sword, I shall fight you. My sword shall be nicked, your body shall be peirced through and I shall have a new sword".
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