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Tamburlain
09-22-2009, 11:13 PM
For reasons unknown to me, I've been drawn lately to rpgs whose themes and settings are historically grounded, though at times enhanced with elements of fantasy. Alternative history rpgs would also fall into this category.

Just now I'd have to say my favorites in this mixed-historical genre are Savage World of Solomon Kane, Deadlands Reloaded, and Victoriana 2e.

What are your favorite historical and alt-historical rpgs and settings?

Arkhemedes
09-23-2009, 07:52 AM
I have a homebrew campaign that I run occasionally about a group of time travelers and we've skipped through many cool historical time periods. We started in prehistoric times from dealing with dinosaurs to dealing with cavemen. The last time I ran it, the group adventured in ancient Sumer and Egypt. Lots of fun.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-23-2009, 08:46 AM
WFRP: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay

Check it out; you'll love it. Very dark and gritty.

MortonStromgal
09-23-2009, 11:15 AM
Dark Ages: X (That is Vampire, Mage, Werewolf, Fae, Inquisitor)
I also like the idea of Witchhunter: The invisible war but I'm not sold that any of the factions would work togeather.
Also Requiem for Rome (supplement for Vampire: The Requiem) is very well done but I'm not a huge fan of Roman era stuff or Requiem.

If I had to pick only one Dark Ages: Vampire is by far my favorite game right now.

Deadone
09-23-2009, 12:25 PM
Dark Ages: Vampire, Chivalry and Sorcery.

Hoitash
09-23-2009, 02:08 PM
The campaign I'm preparing right now is pretty much a DnD version of the change of France from an Absolute Monarchy to a Republic, with some treason, foreign wars, and international politics added.

I figure if the non combat sutff is interesting enough, they won't mind not fighting something every five minutes.

mnemenoi
09-23-2009, 03:47 PM
Ars Magica, I ran a great Hibernian covenant that was a very fun game. I set it in Monaghan county, near the city of Clones. Clan politics, fey history, and church incursions made it very memorable indeed.

Farcaster
09-23-2009, 04:07 PM
Tamburlain, tou might consider checking out Colonial Gothic. We recently did an interview with Richard Iorio that you might be interested in.

Spumis
09-23-2009, 09:44 PM
I'm throwing another vote out for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.

Tamburlain
09-23-2009, 10:05 PM
Tamburlain, tou might consider checking out Colonial Gothic. We recently did an interview with Richard Iorio that you might be interested in.

I like the new version of Colonial Gothic. :) In fact it was your interview and Korhal's review that influenced me to give it a try. The 12-degree system works well for me. It's light, intuitive, and I really cotton on to the fate card mechanic, which reminds me of Burning Wheel's belief-based rp system.

Witch Hunter is okay, too. I'm not as happy with its core system as CG, but I like the setting fluff as much, if not more.

The historical rpg/setting that I'm really looking forward to playing is Spirits of '86, for Savage Worlds, which is being written by Matthew Cutter. He's the author of an amazing Deadlands supplement 'The Flood', so my expectations are high.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

I have a homebrew campaign... The last time I ran it, the group adventured in ancient Sumer and Egypt. Lots of fun.

Sounds like my kinda game! :)

Did you hack 2e for a system? I know they're not 2e, but some of my favorite D&D modules were the Desert of Desolation series.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

The campaign I'm preparing right now is pretty much a DnD version of the change of France from an Absolute Monarchy to a Republic, with some treason, foreign wars, and international politics added.

I figure if the non combat sutff is interesting enough, they won't mind not fighting something every five minutes.

Another one that sounds like my kinda' game. Are you stripping the magic out completely? There is something brave about having a magic-free historical game, especially if technology is also minimized. It's hard to pull off in my experience, but with the right players/GM--who are really into a given period of history--it can be even more magical than with magic.

Hoitash
09-24-2009, 08:06 AM
I figured I'd keep the magic, so it still has the DnD feel with the classes and races, but all the countries and continents are of my own design. I'm debating having spell components though, simply because the players are newbies.

michael
09-24-2009, 08:17 AM
Before I moved to Florida, my old group did a Russian campaign during the era of Charlemagne (sp). It featured the staff of Roland, and various other famous artifacts from history. The DM did a lot of research. We figured out a way to make $$ by trading spices with the Turks. There were undead roaming the Syberian wastes. It was pretty cool.

lomifeh
09-24-2009, 11:16 AM
Ars Magica is a great setting for that stuff. I've not tried Warhammer yet but was considering it since I enjoy the tabletop game. Those who have tried Warhammer Fantasy is it something you'd recommend?

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-24-2009, 12:52 PM
Ars Magica is a great setting for that stuff. I've not tried Warhammer yet but was considering it since I enjoy the tabletop game. Those who have tried Warhammer Fantasy is it something you'd recommend?
Definitely! In fact, it is my favorite game of all time, even over dnd... and i've been playing dnd since the mid-70's. As far as edition is concerned, both editions are great, Also, fyi, there is a 3rd edition coming out soon that we WFRP fans are looking forward to, well, me anyway. http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite.asp?eidm=93

Arkhemedes
09-24-2009, 06:22 PM
In answer to your question Tamburlain, yes I did hack 2e - quite a bit in fact. I revamped the combat system a bit, gave the characters two sets of hit points (body points and stamina points) and created a critical hit system - all in an effort to make the game more realistic. It was a bit crunchy but the players enjoyed it. I also made it so that the characters could change classes and kits every time they jumped to a new time period and setting (similar to 3e but before 3e came out). After a while each of the characters had so many skills and abilities at their disposal it sometimes became tough for them to decide what to do - but no one ever complained about it.

As for using the Desert of Desolation, one of the players wanted me to use parts of it. But I had already run the module in its entirety twice and did not want to do it a third time (even though its a great module). Nevertheless, I had so much material on Egyptian-like settings that I never had any problem with finding things for them to do. In fact, if I ever pick the campaign up again, which I'd like to, I've got plenty more things left to do in Egypt alone.

XeroDrift
10-05-2009, 10:44 AM
Gregory Keyes's Age of Unreason series of books would make a cool setting.

templeorder
10-05-2009, 11:17 PM
So,when i was growing up i watched two shows in particular because Robert Conrad and my dad look alike. Ba-Ba Black Sheep was one and Wild Wild West was the other. Wild Will Smith sucked - i'll just leave that, but recently, after my dad passed away, i bought season 1 of Wild Wild West on DVD. These stand up REALLY WELL. James bond meets the wild west - good acting, great sets, dialog - well, its a product of its time. But, it made me want to run a wild west setting based on this premise - the character working for either the government, a foreign power, or anarchists+confederate malcontents. I'm busy for a few weeks, but i/m going to watch the whole set and then run a few games.

All i can say is i hope i can scrounge a few players out of my other groups to get at least one game day in for this idea...

Arkhemedes
10-06-2009, 07:34 AM
So,when i was growing up i watched two shows in particular because Robert Conrad and my dad look alike. Ba-Ba Black Sheep was one and Wild Wild West was the other. Wild Will Smith sucked - i'll just leave that, but recently, after my dad passed away, i bought season 1 of Wild Wild West on DVD. These stand up REALLY WELL. James bond meets the wild west - good acting, great sets, dialog - well, its a product of its time. But, it made me want to run a wild west setting based on this premise - the character working for either the government, a foreign power, or anarchists+confederate malcontents. I'm busy for a few weeks, but i/m going to watch the whole set and then run a few games.

All i can say is i hope i can scrounge a few players out of my other groups to get at least one game day in for this idea...
I recently bought the entire series of Wild Wild West and I'm currently on the second season. Great series overall. But there are definitely a few duds in there as well. And yeah, I've also thought it would be a cool setting for an RPG.

XeroDrift
10-07-2009, 11:36 AM
Applying a sort Steam-Punk veneer to any given era in history would also yield fun and interesting results

DMMike
10-07-2009, 01:53 PM
I've been thinking about playing a Garden of Eden game...maybe it's too far in the past. There's only room for one hero, but it's pretty cool putting different templates, undead, lycanthrope, fiendish, on the monster, er, Eve.

XeroDrift
10-08-2009, 11:51 AM
I've been thinking about playing a Garden of Eden game...maybe it's too far in the past. There's only room for one hero, but it's pretty cool putting different templates, undead, lycanthrope, fiendish, on the monster, er, Eve.

Not necessarily, honestly, in that setting, i think Adam would serve better as an NPC. The PCs would fill the roles of protectors, of Adam, Eve, the Garden, maybe even heaven itself. They could be angels, or devils, or anything you could think of. There would be a great deal of potential in a setting after the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden. The christian story of the garden is the story of the advent and ascension of man, but that doesnt mean there couldnt be countless other creations that were older than man but werent chosen as the masters of the world, or were created to fill specific roles in the world of man. This could birth all sorts of stories, jealous angels, scheming demons, renegade protectors, failed creations... and dont underestimate the vast potential of Lilith...

Arkhemedes
10-08-2009, 12:27 PM
One of the cool things about my time travel campaign is that it dealt with not just one version of the world and therefore one version of a time-line, but with many alternate versions of the world each with its own creation story. So not only did we explore the Biblical version, but also the wholly scientific version and the creation myths of Egypt and Sumer. If I ever resume that campaign the plan is explore the creation myths of other cultures as well.

Hoitash
10-08-2009, 02:46 PM
I've been seriously thinking about Dungeons and Dragons in space. Yeah I know, I hate myself, too.

Arkhemedes
10-08-2009, 10:00 PM
I've been seriously thinking about Dungeons and Dragons in space. Yeah I know, I hate myself, too.
It's been done. It's called Spelljammer. And it's actually a pretty cool setting if you don't mind throwing everything you know about physics out the window.

tesral
10-08-2009, 10:07 PM
So,when i was growing up i watched two shows in particular because Robert Conrad and my dad look alike. Ba-Ba Black Sheep was one and Wild Wild West was the other. Wild Will Smith sucked - i'll just leave that, but recently, after my dad passed away, i bought season 1 of Wild Wild West on DVD. These stand up REALLY WELL. James bond meets the wild west - good acting, great sets, dialog - well, its a product of its time. But, it made me want to run a wild west setting based on this premise - the character working for either the government, a foreign power, or anarchists+confederate malcontents. I'm busy for a few weeks, but i/m going to watch the whole set and then run a few games.

Wild Wild West was steampunk before the term was invented. I remember watching it as a kid.

I also suggest you look up "Brisco County Junior" I understand on hearsay that it has a similar flavor.

Sascha
10-08-2009, 10:31 PM
It's been done. It's called Spelljammer. And it's actually a pretty cool setting if you don't mind throwing everything you know about physics out the window.
Or, at least, the stuff that wasn't already thrown out with the game's title word "Dragon" ;)


Wild Wild West was steampunk before the term was invented. I remember watching it as a kid.

I also suggest you look up "Brisco County Junior" I understand on hearsay that it has a similar flavor.
I'll second this, with a "Bruce Campbell~!" justification. The primary MacGuffin tends towards the supernatural, but there's plenty of steampunk nods to future technologies. (Also, Bruce Campbell~)

Arkhemedes
10-08-2009, 10:45 PM
Or, at least, the stuff that wasn't already thrown out with the game's title word "Dragon" ;)


I'll second this, with a "Bruce Campbell~!" justification. The primary MacGuffin tends towards the supernatural, but there's plenty of steampunk nods to future technologies. (Also, Bruce Campbell~)
Well, I don't know of any other D&D settings where all solid objects have a gravity field that bisects them and which carry with them an envelope of air whenever they pass from an atmosphere into the vacuum of space.

And yeah, with Wild Wild West, pretty much anything goes. Nothing is too outlandish there.

Hoitash
10-08-2009, 10:47 PM
Ow that hurt my head.

tesral
10-09-2009, 01:24 AM
Or, at least, the stuff that wasn't already thrown out with the game's title word "Dragon" ;)


I rectified the physics of Spelljammer. Restored Newtonian physics, changed the nature of the helms so as not to tie the poor abused magician up forever. Borrowed the jump system from "The Mote in God's Eye" for getting from system to system, and in general made it mine.


Favorite Historical Setting? I have a fondness for the Tudor period. As a fantasy setting or straight up, I think a cool game could be done in that era.

XeroDrift
10-09-2009, 07:10 PM
I also suggest you look up "Brisco County Junior"

Bruce Campbell is one of my favorites, king of the B movies!



I'll second this, with a "Bruce Campbell~!" justification. The primary MacGuffin tends towards the supernatural, but there's plenty of steampunk nods to future technologies. (Also, Bruce Campbell~)

See, she gets it

Etarnon
10-09-2009, 10:26 PM
I'm a fan of Pacesetter's TimeMaster, and also Man, Myth & Magic (I believe Yaquinto made that.)

I believe FGU also made a time travel game, I forgot the name. But I recall a viking scenario, a Vietnam fall of Saigon scenario and a Return to biblical Sodom scenario...might have been a different company.

XeroDrift
10-10-2009, 06:14 PM
Im a Lord of The Rings fan, but games based on it are usually disappointing

Tamburlain
10-10-2009, 08:21 PM
Gregory Keyes's Age of Unreason series of books would make a cool setting.

How so? What are they like? I'm always up for new setting inspiration.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

I rectified the physics of Spelljammer. Restored Newtonian physics, changed the nature of the helms so as not to tie the poor abused magician up forever. Borrowed the jump system from "The Mote in God's Eye" for getting from system to system, and in general made it mine.


Favorite Historical Setting? I have a fondness for the Tudor period. As a fantasy setting or straight up, I think a cool game could be done in that era.

Agreed! It would make a great setting.

I think one of the frequent advantages of games set in authentic historical periods is GM inspiration. Usually, if a GM chooses a particular historical period, it means that he/she has particular affection for it. In my experience, at least as a player, this affection usually translates into vivid scene-painting and interesting plot hooks.

XeroDrift
10-11-2009, 02:22 PM
How so? What are they like? I'm always up for new setting inspiration.


Sort of hard to explain, its a kind of steampunk/alchemical story with some supernatural aspects thrown in starring Benjamin Franklin and Isaac Newton. Takes some historical figures and settings and wildly spins them, definitely worth reading even you don't convert it into a game world.

tesral
10-11-2009, 08:47 PM
Agreed! It would make a great setting.

I think one of the frequent advantages of games set in authentic historical periods is GM inspiration. Usually, if a GM chooses a particular historical period, it means that he/she has particular affection for it. In my experience, at least as a player, this affection usually translates into vivid scene-painting and interesting plot hooks.

Oldest advice in the book, "Write what you know". From personal experience I can tell you that it is good advice. When I get too far outside my comfort zone the games flounder.

michaelsbagley
10-16-2009, 08:42 AM
Although Savage Worlds isn't my favourite system (it's not bad, I just prefer systems with more than 5 levels to an attribute to make more difference between character traits)... Anyways, The Pirates of the Spanish Main RPG (based loosely on the collectable poket model game) was pretty well done. Being a huge fan of pirates and the 17th century history in general made that a no brainer though. I like the concept of doing a 17th century game with GURPS, but haven't tried it yet.

templeorder
10-17-2009, 10:46 AM
Having just watched the Vampire Hunter D pair of movies, that setting i would think could yield huge amounts of fun. Gothic horror, steam punk, sci-fi, fantasy - its sort of got something for everyone. Not sure its something i would take it on easily - a lot of thought for game balance would have to be put into it. But it could be a really rich experience...

I see "Twilight" out there - anyone ever played this?

CarlZog
10-18-2009, 10:33 AM
I'm fond of Skull and Crossbones, a d20-based game of piracy set in the Caribbean in the 17th century. It uses local voodoo and santeria beliefs as the basis for a magic system, but is otherwise set in a historical reality.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoitash http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/pnpg_style/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php?p=113741#post113741)
I've been seriously thinking about Dungeons and Dragons in space. Yeah I know, I hate myself, too.


It's been done. It's called Spelljammer.

And more recently it was called Dragonstar: D&D meets space opera.

gajenx
11-27-2009, 10:32 PM
For me historically I love the world set up for Runequest if I do Middle Ages to Bronze age games, since the world is set to be around then.

But I also love me some 7th Seas. Really who can say no to the high age of Pirates, Privateers, and Swashbucklers.

For modern settings I often enjoyed the old World of Darkness or Scion systems that White wolf created.

Umiushi
11-28-2009, 02:53 AM
My favorite is Sengoku, since I'm all about 16th century Japan. Besides samurai and ninja, there are battling priests with multiple religions, a large variety of monsters, mountaintop sorcerers, and even a classic Dark Lord in the form of Oda Nobunaga. It's an era of rapidly increasing technology thanks to foreign trade, and one with a great deal of potential for social mobility: the warlord who eventually unifies the country starts life as a peasant. Basically, it's a setting where a large variety of stories can be told, from classic dungeon crawls to adventures that resemble science fiction.

Dr.Dead
11-28-2009, 08:56 AM
I in a city that is like roman capital but it has magic, and orcs, elves, halflings, dwarfs, hill giants, ect... liveing in this one city getting along. At 1st I was confused but I read the city laws it was cool, the city is protected by guards and by magic, The magic keep people from harming others and the gaurds are there to make sure know one tries to get away with a robbery, or trying to dispell the protection that is casted on the city. I still think its cool.;)

mrken
11-28-2009, 04:49 PM
After all the mentions in this thread, I am surprised to see not one mention of Pendragon. I do realize it is an old game, older than some of you who read this, but it is still a very good game. It also has a very real feeling in it as most of the magic is in the hands of NPC's and therefore can be easily striped out of the game.

The game says it is set between 450 and 550 AD or so, I tend to play it another 500 years into the future and it does not seem to suffer any from it. One can GM it with just the basic game of bring in the Nobles book and add another dimension to it. And if you wish you can bring in a fantasy aspect to it.

tesral
11-28-2009, 11:27 PM
From about 1600 to 1800 would be a very interesting period. I realize that is technically several periods, but it mainly the Renaissance, and primary colonization period.

Hoitash
11-29-2009, 10:14 AM
That's the feel I'm trying to get for the game I DM. The dwarven city filled with smog from forges helps, I think. So do the muskets.

tesral
11-29-2009, 05:20 PM
That's the feel I'm trying to get for the game I DM. The dwarven city filled with smog from forges helps, I think. So do the muskets.

http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/SS_Modeler/RPG/Musketeer%27s%20Nightmare.gif

squidyak
12-07-2009, 04:28 PM
Check out the Mythic Vistas series from Green Ronin. Testemant is a particular well done setting, taking place in the biblical era.

madirishman
12-23-2009, 10:08 AM
Another fan of Ars Magica here. I really enjoy spinning real history in the context of the fantasy elements of the setting.

I'm also a fan of a couple of really old-school games, Space: 1889 and Lace & Steel, which draw upon historical elements. L&S is, however, like Warhammer, quasi-historical at best, being set in a fantasy analog of Europe, but a swashbuckling, English Civil War kind of setting. (I guess that means you can throw 7th Sea in here, because it's pretty much the same idea...)

Space: 1889 is making a slight comeback as a setting for Savage Worlds:

http://www.peginc.com/Art/Articles/Space1889/Space1889.html
(http://www.peginc.com/Art/Articles/Space1889/Space1889.html)
Cheers,
Patrick

malchya
05-27-2010, 01:48 PM
An old thread, yes, but I feel the need to throw in my two ducats worth anyway. I've been a gm for more than 30 years and have found, in that time, that historical or quasi historical settings are actually my favorites.

Straight Historical: Privateers and Gentlemen. An old FGU classic that takes place during the great age of fighting sail, 1744 to 1815. PCs are officers aboard Royal Navy warships a la Patrick O'Brian, Alexander Kent, C.S. Forester, et. al. As a reenactor and deep water sailor, this is my favorite setting.

Quasi Historical: Pendragon. I've run the canon setting (5th century "Arturian" Britain) and also used it for a 12th century Richard Lionheart based game.

I can't leave without mentioning Gang Busters, TSR's old cops and robbers masterpiece. Every now and then I just have to give myself a noir treat and run this little much ignored gem!

Hoitash
05-27-2010, 08:11 PM
Arthurian era would be great, especially one that takes place at the fall of the Roman empire, when he supposedly lived.

Of course the risk of Monty Python jokes is astoundingly high :)

Lord Soth
05-27-2010, 09:07 PM
I'm slightly partial to the Might of Rome, historical setting for AD&D...great info and setting, with options to transform it into an even better fantasy setting...

Sascha
05-27-2010, 09:27 PM
I'm slightly partial to the Might of Rome, historical setting for AD&D...great info and setting, with options to transform it into an even better fantasy setting...
Reg (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000092/): All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?
Life of Brian


Of course the risk of Monty Python jokes is astoundingly high :)
So, just like every other game out there, then? :biggrin:

Hoitash
05-28-2010, 10:08 AM
The Romans showed us how insanely awesome massive armies marchng in formation are.

mrken
05-28-2010, 12:44 PM
Pendragon was the most fun game I ever ran as a GM. It was run as written the first time, including the magical and the nobility aspects. The second time I took out the magic and the nobility aspect was handled by the NPC's as no one really wanted to go there. Now I have taken the premise of Pendragon and combined some source material from Harn (great source material) using a simple d100 mechanics system to play a game set around the Lionhearted time period. History makes it easy for me to GM this time period. I guess it is run what you know.

malchya
05-28-2010, 02:57 PM
I also used Columbia Games' Lionheart supplement for a Pendragon setting. I found it to be a superior gaming experience. It constituted quite a bit of work on my part to update he character generation tables, but it was worth it. The players' disappointment at not reaching Jerusalem was one of the more moving incidents in my gming experience!

mrken
05-28-2010, 09:40 PM
I also used the Lionheart supplement for the second game. It is a great addition to the game or any game that is set in that time frame.

Lord Soth
05-28-2010, 10:11 PM
Reg (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000092/): All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?
Life of Brian

One could say they turned a horrendous shop class accident and turned it into a religion. :biggrin: