Author Topic: A Heretical Suggestion  (Read 1624 times)

Entsuropi

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A Heretical Suggestion
« on: June 13, 2003, 05:30:31 PM »
I have been reading Warhammer Ancient Battles this week, and considering something that a review subheading on RPG.net made me think of. It was a game sut during the victorian era, 'with magic and secret consparicies stalking the night'.

How would a historical RPG work out? As in, no magic, no crappy conspiracies, no vampires or whatnot. Just, characters and places and events and everythign from a set time period. Say... 100AD Rome. 2000BC Cairo. Ancient Jerusalem. Etc.

I reckon it could be quite interesting, once you get all issues of technology level and staying true to the time out of the way (a single read of a history book should be sufficient for that, and a glance at a map along the lines of "What Rome held". Although it can be more difficult... the Ancient greeks got as far as Cornwall in the UK before the whole macedonian thing).

After all, there must be interest there, otherwise why would Gladiator have been so big? Or Sparticus? If nothing else, a whodunit set in ancient Egypt makes for an interestign change of pace.

Anyway, enough blabbing. What does everyone think? Note that i am talking in generalities, not as in 'should we run this as a pbp?' type thing.
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Brian

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Re: A Heretical Suggestion
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2003, 08:16:00 PM »
I feel this idea has tons of merit, and frankly I'd be itching to participate if you started one on this board. Too bad I've already hit my 2 game limit.. ;)

Seriously, it wouldn't be all that different from many other games, and almost any system would be sufficient to run such a game -- you'd just eliminate magic and fantasy from the material altogether, and the heroes would be ordinary people, perhaps with refined skills in one thing or another, though not necessarily so.

You mentioned Rome... I immediately thought of a Spartcus-like scenario, where you start out as a gladiator and have an opportunity to escape, etc. Or take the opposite approach -- the heroes are roman soldiers.

But really any historical conflict would work as a setting, and if presented well, with interesting characters and places and quality storytelling, it could have a lot of appeal to players like myself.

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Re: A Heretical Suggestion
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2003, 11:54:40 PM »
heh, maybe the forums need some "one shot" games instead of the epic campaigns we all have.

I think the idea has merit too. Though the temptation to muck with magic and anachronistic tech would be far too great for most RPers. But there's a rich tradition of historical wargaming, so why not role playing? You could even come up with a "universal" historical system. One core book for the reality, source books for each era

However, I should also point out that SJGames has done a little of this. they have WWII and a few others. They're so system heavy though, you don't always see that some of them can be "pure" history. Plus no one actually *PLAYS* GURPS. Something simpler than GURPS with really good support for non-magic/non-tech would be really neat though.

Brian

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Re: A Heretical Suggestion
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2003, 12:11:32 AM »
A history-based RPG system... actually this could be as fun to build as to play. Keep us posted if you decide to work on something like this Entropy.

Entsuropi

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Re: A Heretical Suggestion
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2003, 07:01:34 AM »
On building a system.... i've been mucking around with a 40k rpg, and the best idea i have had so far is simply to list a number of books that should be read for ideas on what the setting is like, fill in the gaps a bit and then use the WHFRP system. Maybe tack on the =I= combat system. But apparently there is already one done by fans, so if i find that i would probably just note a list of things i would change and leave it at that.

For a historical system, just do the following...
1) List 2 or 3 good books for each era or civilisation. With all the historians on the board, that should not be difficult. Or even just say 'go buy a gurps book'.
2) Include some notes on conversion for game systems. Should be easy enough - use D20 NPC classes for everyone, use the human 6/4/3 profile for white wolf STer, use base system for warhammer roleplay, only no fate points etc.
Weapons should be fairly simple - most of em are alreaddy listed in most systems, and the others (eg, pilum) are generally variations (a pilum was, to my knowledge, just a really heavy javelin that was short ranged and used for multiple ranks of regiments to fight with).
Lose magic etc.

I agree it would not be different from an average RPG... i mean, consider the following.
'Discover the intentions of the orc horde threatening the human kingdom of Lath'mar, and guide the defenders to the best points to attack the orcs.'
changed to:
'Discover the intentions of the army of Boudiccea that is threatening the roman holdings in england, and guide the legions into battle'.

After all, Gladiator could be run as a one-PC game. It converts fairly well, just lose the battle at the start, or make it more manageable for a 1st level character.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2003, 07:03:17 AM by Charlie82 »
If you're ever in an argument and Entropy winds up looking staid and temperate in comparison, it might be time to cut your losses and start a new thread about something else :)

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