Day 28: What’s the most interesting period of obscure and unrelatable history you’d like to see a game set in? How would you do it?

I’m tempted to do the show-offy thing where I reference some tiny sliver of time and space that literally tens of people might have heard of, and they’re all total history nerds so whatever I pitched would get ‘splained into oblivion in a hundred post thread.

But if I go big, then I plow into the intersection of Pop Culture and Appropriation and nobody walks away from that car crash.

Oh yeah, I’d definitely go with the first option. Obscurity and unrelatability are both good defenses once you’re out in the world. I’m currently totally in love with my “Werewolves in Aquitaine” setting I squandered on a stupid Burning Wheel one-shot, and I want to swing back around to it. Prompting/modeling/shaping a premodern head space to play in is also one of my favorite Major Design Challenges, and I’ll probably spend my entire life trying to figure out how to do it. So I have to leave the second half of my question unanswered for now. It’s sorta-kinda been done! King Arthur Pendragon does some interesting stuff with, at least, cryptohistorical Arthurian values, but I’m not sure it’s directly portable or even the thing I’d want to do.

I had a longer post in mind about the (suit)ability of games to serve a journalistic function, but I just don’t have the energy to get into a long thing about it. Sorry. (The tl;dr answer is “yes, with massive caveats” and maybe I’ll write more about it down the road.)

Two more days! Is everyone feeling #indieAF ?

11 thoughts on “Day 28: What’s the most interesting period of obscure and unrelatable history you’d like to see a game set in? How would you do it?”

  1. Ahhhh, I am not a part of +Jason Morningstar’s circle of awesome…

    …I’m such a failure…I should have known my efforts to be as cool as Beakley would end in tragedy…

  2. I don’t believe in unrelatability. And there’s a whole bunch of historical stuff I want that doesn’t seem to be out there at present in RPG form, which may or may not be obscure. For instance:

    (*) Babylonia early in the reign of Hammurabi.
    (*) 6th to 7th century CE Byzantium.
    (*) Post-Roman northern Italy.
    (*) Late Moorish Spain, when al-Andalus is fragmented (the period fictionalised in G.G. Kay’s Lions of Al Rassan).
    (*) A game set in the Middle East in late antiquity. Touching on Byzantium, but further east as the focus.
    (*) A game set around the Harrowing of the North, just after the Norman Conquest of England.
    (*) Saxon England around the time the Viking raiding is at its beginning.

Leave a Reply