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Dark Ages HeroQuest
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Author:  droog [ Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Dark Ages HeroQuest

I've never run a PbP before, so I hope that people will be gentle.

I'm proposing a game of HeroQuest, set in the world of the 5th–6th centuries AD. This uses some modifications to the system, mainly the removal of a formal magic system and new keywords.

If you're not familiar with HQ, you can have a look at the HQ Game Aids (RAW version, PDF) and/or my modified Game Aids (sorry, Word doc).

There is a wiki I made the last time I ran this face-to-face, if you would like to get a better idea of how I'm approaching the game. Basically, I'm up for a free-wheeling narrative game that takes in any part of Eurasia during these turbulent centuries. Think of a historical novel with characters with strong motivations and heroic lives.

It's a little-known time in many ways and there's a lot of room to maneuver without breaking the framework. A lot of the iconic characters of the time act very much like RPG chrs – bold, decisive, brutal and smart.

Author:  Ian Absentia [ Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dark Ages HeroQuest

I am very interested in this game. I've had a look through your wiki before, and it looks fantastic. I've also recently finished reading The Dictionary of the Khazars, and have been itching to play in a time and place closer to that setting.

Cheers,
!i!

Author:  droog [ Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dark Ages HeroQuest

Thanks! Since you're the first to raise their hand, have you got an idea for a chr?

Last time I ran this I set it in Britain and the chrs were all British. Would you like to do it that way or would you like to have a chr from somewhere else? We might have to come up with an extra keyword or two, but I can't see that being a problem.

Author:  Ian Absentia [ Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dark Ages HeroQuest

I mentioned The Dictionary of the Khazars above, and I've also recently been reading Jan Morris' The Venetian Empire: A Sea Voyage, so I rather have trade and the Byzantines on my mind. As you mention in the wiki, it might be a bit of a stretch to explain what a Byzantine is doing in Britain, but a trader would have more of a reason and modus operandi for getting about.

!i!

Author:  droog [ Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dark Ages HeroQuest

Sounds good to me. I believe there was probably a reasonable amount of travel between the Mediterranean and the northern regions and it's not absurd to imagine a Byzantine in Britain. Might be trade or something vaguely military, or even escaping from the Emperor's justice (rather brutal).

I haven't read Dictionary of the Khazars, but I shall see if I can order it in at the library. I like a good historical novel.

A game set among the steppe nomads might be fun....

Author:  Ian Absentia [ Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dark Ages HeroQuest

Dictionary of the Khazars is a highly unusual novel. It's written in lexicon form in three different books, each drawing on the Christian, the Islamic, or the Jewish sources. With the exception of the more obviously fanciful passages, it's often difficult to draw the distinction between historical fact and fiction, and it often descends into a heavy, dreamy state of affairs (which, personally, I adored). As far as time period goes, the events in the book only begin in the 8th or 9th century AD, so they're a little late for your campaign, but Khazaria, around and about the Caucasus, was a bit of a backwater, so it's good for flavor.

If you are thinking of setting events in the region, it might be worthwhile considering the early Rus traders. Again, they didn't establish their kingdom until the 8th or 9th century or so, but there were early Norse traders traveling downriver from to the Mediterranean earlier on. The Dark Ages were considerably brighter in the vicinity of the Crimea and attracted a lot of traffic.

!i!

!i!

Author:  droog [ Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dark Ages HeroQuest

Quote:
If you are thinking of setting events in the region, it might be worthwhile considering the early Rus traders. Again, they didn't establish their kingdom until the 8th or 9th century or so, but there were early Norse traders traveling downriver from to the Mediterranean earlier on. The Dark Ages were considerably brighter in the vicinity of the Crimea and attracted a lot of traffic.


Yes, I know. I did this period with Pendragon/Land of Giants (the PCs anachronistically found the portage route to the Caspian).

I've been reading about this period for years, and I think I've got a fighting chance of being able to run a kind of sandbox of the 5th century, so bear that in mind.

Author:  droog [ Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dark Ages HeroQuest

BTW, Ian, what times would you say you're normally online?

Author:  Jim Skach [ Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dark Ages HeroQuest

My only question would be how much of this here fancy learnin' history stuff would one have to know to participate?

Not that I could commit; but it sounds interesting and I was curious.

Author:  droog [ Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dark Ages HeroQuest

HQ is pretty good for jumping into things without knowing a lot, because the keywords give you a graphic rundown of your culture etc. I think if you read through the keywords on the wiki you'll get an idea of what's out there.

I don't think you have to read heaps of stuff. One of the reasons I like this period as a source for gaming is that it's somewhat familiar to everybody at a low level. On the other hand, there's a bit of mystery about it because the documentation is sketchy.

Say if we were starting in Britain: all you really need to know is that the Romans left decades ago, things have been going from bad to worse ever since, and the bloody Europeans are invading.

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