Tuesday, September 4, 2018

No Barrowmaze This Week

Last week, we were down two players and my wife had food poisoning, so there was no game.  With no game last week, there is nothing to post this week.  In the meantime, I'll tell you about the other campaign I'm prepping.

I play in a monthly Rise of the Runelords game using the Artesia game system.  The GM for that is out of state for several months training for his new job.  Rather than risk having the group disperse from inactivity, I volunteered to run a game to fill the gap.  I call it HRE 1650: The Miniseries.

Set in a version of the Holy Roman Empire, just after the Thirty Years War, the PCs will be the friends and hangers-on of the 4th son of a minor barony - low-lifes.  The game starts on the 19th birthday of their patron and all are at a shady tavern just across the border, celebrating.  Then events happen that catapult the 4th son of the Baron into suddenly being the Baron (assuming he and the PCs survive the night).

The new Baron needs to find out who just tried to take over his barony, but cannot leave or the barony will fall apart and be consumed.  He turns to the PCs to be his trusted [and potentially disposable] agents, asking them to dig into the conspiracy and "fix things".

There should be enough for the players to do to cover 4-5 play sessions with this setup, including a "level boss" for the players to defeat.  If our original DM ends up not returning to Houston to work (which is a possibility), I can switch to HRE 1650: The Series and run it as a longer campaign with a final boss stepping out of the shadows.

I'll be using the Adventurer, Conqueror, King System including the ACKS Player's Companion, Domains at War, and Guns of War supplements.  I've been diving into the history and maps of the Holy Roman Empire to find an appropriate place to tuck a barony.  I've also been making notes how history is different due to the fantasy races.  Pagantry is recognized as a religious category in the Empire and covers just about anything not Catholicism, Lutheranism, and Calvinism.  [As Terry Pratchett pointed out in his Discworld books, it's hard to deny the existence of gods when they can come by and throw rocks at your house.]

I'm creating a map in Adobe Illustrator using a map of the HRE from 1400.  My assumption is that the added issues of a fantasy world would slow down the historical consolidation of lands.  Plus, I like the look of the map in 1400.

That's about where I am right now, still collecting data and warping it to meet my campaign needs.  The German Wikipedia has been extremely useful for this (as you might expect) and Chrome's translate capability is good enough that I can understand the articles.  I'm filling up my own wiki with the results (using WikidPad) for hopefully quick access during play.  I'll also produce a small gazetteer of the immediate environs and anything major the players will need to know.

That's it for this week.  There will be a Barrowmaze session report next week and I'll do occasional updates on the HRE 1650 campaign, which starts at the end of this month (September).

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