Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I Think I'm Done with Pseudo-European Settings for a While

For last few months I've been feeling a bit directionless in my games. Part comes from being a natural malcontent and never being fully happy with anything that I'm working on creatively; but there's also a disconnect going on in my head when it comes to playing in a European setting. I can't tell you why either.

I mean I grew up loving reading about England, Germany, France, and Spain - my God, how do I love Spain! In recent years though there's been this growing sensation that throwing a European veneer over my games isn't adding anything to the experience and is instead cutting my feet right out from under me as I feel bound to a reality that shouldn't be intersecting with my fiction. So this afternoon I've decided that I'm done running my games in those settings, at least for a little while. 

I've mentioned several times in the past year that I think running a campaign set in the Americas would be a lot of fun. I do believe that I'm going to do that because everything else just seems so disheartening to me right now.  Perhaps I'm just having a difficult time expressing myself this afternoon. 

Tomorrow will be better. Until then . . .

20 comments:

  1. Setting it in a Colonial America type world could be fun (firearms being something you might want to leave out in place of magic).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm actually thinking about doing something with the Savage Coast and setting it along the East Coast of the US.

      Delete
    2. That sounds cool. Pirates, colonialism, frontier living, black powder weapons...

      I actually think firearms can be folded into a D&D-style game in a balanced way as they are basically 1-shot magic weapons that require several combat rounds to reload. IIRC, fast Civil War reenactors take about 15 - 20 seconds to re-pack their muskets, which is why you had 3 firing lines that could fire every 5 seconds.

      This has actually gotten me thinking about 5e firearms. Since AC represents the difficulty of armor penetration in D&D (a "hit" is really a hit that also does harm, as opposed to a glancing blow), it would almost make sense that a blackpowder weapon would bypass some AC (such as getting an automatic +2 to hit even if non-magical) given their armor-penetration property.

      Delete
    3. Let me tell you all about Palladium Fantasy Role-Play, Standard Damage and Mega Damage! I promise it will only make your head explode once and then you'll see the light and join our horde of fanboys screaming for a new edition!

      Delete
    4. A friend of mine likes RIFTS... so, say no more. ;)

      Delete
  2. You're not reading enough Hellboy. Read more Russian mythology.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Having said that, I've just realized my homebrew setting -- Wanderhaven -- is a mashup of mostly American ideas, including specific parts of the Bronx and the part of Maine where we vacation. Even the "frontier" elements are more American than European. Big fat fail from me today.

      Delete
    2. Even if I had read all the Hellboy there was it wouldn't be enough! By the way have you picked up the Goon yet? My God is that a brilliant series!

      Delete
    3. I have not.

      I reviewed comics for a while, and that put me off them completely... for years. I came back by way of sharing a passion with my kids, but I'm still mostly reading them through the lens of their understanding. Which is to say that I'm reading a lot of superhero comics.

      That said, my favorite books these days are Lazarus and Saga. Lazarus in particular is excellent.

      Delete
    4. I haven't read either of those yet! I'll have to check them out.

      Delete
  3. Maybe Heirs to the Lost World RPG would hit the spot: alternative history 17th C. Caribbean setting with Mayan and Aztec civilizations still intact. I ran a whole island sugar plantation slave uprising campaign inspired by a classic of Third World cinema: Burn!. I helped edit the manuscript so I am biased, but this setting really hits my sweet spots.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heirs to the Lost World RPG? I'm going to have to check that one out!

      Delete
  4. Man, get yourself some Tekumel. Me, I'm wanting to take my game back home to Old Detroit and run with the French and Anishinabeg up the Potawatomi Trail searching out the Nain Rouge to ask for a wish or hunt along the shores of Gitchigumi for the Dog Man before he kills another missionary, though it's not really the Dog Man but a British scheme of treachery and debauchery to capture natives for the slave trade. Maybe ply the waters of The Strait running furs and whisky for gold and glory. Yeah, there's guns...and big knives, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, I do need to get some Tekumel.

      Delete
  5. Just because I'm a contrary bastard, I feel obligated to point out that unless you're going to go pre-Columbian and perhaps even pre-Viking, the Americas are a pseudo-European setting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope. I fundamentally reject your logic by putting my fingers in my ears and loudly screaming so I can't hear you!

      Delete
  6. Milton Davis has a great series called "Changa's Safari" it's about an East african trader and his crew that venture from Madagascar to China on various "Sinbad type" adventures. The stories have a light fantasy touch with wizards, demons, and magical weapons all in a sophisticated African society built on trade. I'm thinking of a non- pseudo European campaign using elements of these stories along with the Map of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periplus_of_the_Erythraean_Sea

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, that sounds like a really fun game! I'll have to check it out. Thank you so much for telling me about it.

      Delete
  7. One non-pseudo European setting I've been bouncing around in my head for the one-on-one games that I run for my wife involves using one of southernmost villages in Isle of Dread as the starting point of the campaign with her running 4 zero level native villagers funnel style. The setting could be typical fantasy or post-apocalyptic (like the movie I was a a Teenage Caveman). I could see using the U series modified to fit the tropics. Dwellers of the Forbidden City would make a good adventure site on one of the other islands in the archipelago.

    ReplyDelete

Just a Little Update

Just a few quick notes for those of you wondering about Dyvers. I'm currently working on a project in my spare time that is taking...