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History Gaming from Scratch 
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Post Re: History Gaming from Scratch
Thengel wrote:
Thalaba wrote:
Yes, exactly. Pete Nash, who wrote Rome for BRP and Vikings for MRQ2 once mentioned experiencing a kind of 'exponential history effect'. He found that the more he read, the more cool stuff he wanted to include until it was out of control. He ended up removing a lot of material.

This, precisely, was my experience in writing Roma Imperious.


Not my experience, but then I am really, really, really good at focusing.

-clash

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Tue May 10, 2011 10:38 pm
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Post Re: History Gaming from Scratch
Aos wrote:
I'd be interested in knowing what that lecture you referenced in the OP Thalaba. Specifically I want to know what evidence is cited in regards to the views on Kingship and the mortuary practices of the time.


The lecture is 'Introduction to Ancient Greek Histroy' by Dr. Donald Kagan.

WRT Mortuary practices, Kagan mentions that bodies were burned in the Iliad, whereas archaeological evidence shows that the Mycenaeans interred their bodies.

With respect to Kingship, he discusses the the nature of kings in the Iliad: Kings are equals, with Agamemnon first among equals. Homer's kings are not protrayed as kings, but rather as nobles, and a line is drawn in society between commoner and noble. The are simply too weak and poor to be Mycenaean era kings. Homer's queens are basically either in the bedroom or at the loom.

Mycenaean culture, on the other hand, as a palace economy culture, similar to what was found in Syria, Canaan, and Anatolia. Kings in these cultures didn't really have peers in the way that Homer portrays. The high king in a hegemony of kingdoms would have had much more absolute power. Furthermore, the Mycenaean palaces were literate, bureaucratic places, and there is no indication of that in Homer.

I'm sure there's more to it than this - the lecture itself only touches on the issue.

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Wed May 11, 2011 12:30 pm
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Post Re: History Gaming from Scratch
I'll have to have a listen to it.
I'll take this opportunity to point out, as i always do, that archaeologists, as a rule, agree with one another on almost nothing and just about any piece of material evidence can be looked at in several different ways. Whatever, though, I'm pretty hip to the Minoan period but after that i get really shaky really fast, so I'm not qualified to judge; however, I'm going to have lunch with a classicist on Friday, I'll have to ask her some questions.


Wed May 11, 2011 12:48 pm
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Post Re: History Gaming from Scratch
My experience:

1. I began playing rpgs with an existing interest in things medieval.

2. Thus, I eventually acquired Pendragon.

3. After much playing of PD with different characters in different places, I conceived the idea of subtly altering the game to make it more Dark Ages, less Romantic Chivalry. You can see the results of this here. At this point PD was my model of a historical game.

4. After reading about that somebody (I believe it was Mithras/Paul Elliot) had done a historical with HeroQuest, I realised that the HQ system could support a gritty Dark Ages background, and began using my pre-existing research to do that conversion.



I've also thought about the very Homeric/archaeological divide under discussion, and I don't know how anybody decides these things. It's gut feeling, surely. Both would be fun if implemented well. My own bent is Real History, so I'd be going with the boar's-tusk helmets and wicker shields. BUt generally it starts with an intellectual exercise: i.e. can I do it in this system?

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Wed May 11, 2011 6:41 pm
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Post Re: History Gaming from Scratch
Droogie! Welcome back! I've missed you! :D

-clash

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Wed May 11, 2011 7:02 pm
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Post Re: History Gaming from Scratch
Thengel wrote:
Thalaba wrote:
Yes, exactly. Pete Nash, who wrote Rome for BRP and Vikings for MRQ2 once mentioned experiencing a kind of 'exponential history effect'. He found that the more he read, the more cool stuff he wanted to include until it was out of control. He ended up removing a lot of material.

This, precisely, was my experience in writing Roma Imperious.


So, then... how did you eventually decide what to encode mechanically and what not to?

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Wed May 11, 2011 7:15 pm
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Post Re: History Gaming from Scratch
droog wrote:
My experience:

1. I began playing rpgs with an existing interest in things medieval.

2. Thus, I eventually acquired Pendragon.

3. After much playing of PD with different characters in different places, I conceived the idea of subtly altering the game to make it more Dark Ages, less Romantic Chivalry. You can see the results of this here. At this point PD was my model of a historical game.

4. After reading about that somebody (I believe it was Mithras/Paul Elliot) had done a historical with HeroQuest, I realised that the HQ system could support a gritty Dark Ages background, and began using my pre-existing research to do that conversion.


This is something I must look into. I've read a lot of material on Dark Ages Britain, and the main thing keeping me away from Pendragon was its focus on the myth. Paul Elliot does a lot of BRP related material (Warlords of Alexander and Zenobia spring to mind). I wasn't aware he also used HeroQuest, but it makes sense given the connection between the two games.

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I've also thought about the very Homeric/archaeological divide under discussion, and I don't know how anybody decides these things. It's gut feeling, surely. Both would be fun if implemented well. My own bent is Real History, so I'd be going with the boar's-tusk helmets and wicker shields. BUt generally it starts with an intellectual exercise: i.e. can I do it in this system?


Does it? What if making a games from scratch? I was operating on the assumption you would first try to identify what you wanted to do, then try to fit the system to the idea. But then, I'm more of a setting hog than a system hog.

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Wed May 11, 2011 7:20 pm
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Post Re: History Gaming from Scratch
Thalaba wrote:
droog wrote:
Does it?

For me it does, I mean. Also, I don't know if I separate 'setting' from 'system' as such. I suppose it goes 'I like this setting '---> 'I know these systems' ---> 'What qualities does each system have?' ---> 'I'll try this system'

Vanilla Pendragon is a highly formalised game that can almost run solo, and I tried to transpose those elements into my conversion. As Greg Stafford said, it's a game that tries to educate the modern mind about the medieval mindset (it's also very much about the yearly passage of events). HeroQuest is a much more open game that is suited for a a more freewheeling style of setting. I would bring out different ones depending on the group, but in the end they're both the Dark Ages because that's my interest.

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Wed May 11, 2011 8:56 pm
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