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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Dark Albion semi-update (content spoilers)

I'm too busy to do a proper blog entry today.

Why?
First because I'm going to be late for my dinner appointment wherein I'll finally get to watch the latest episode of Doctor Who.

Second, because I've spent the last day or so furiously working on the Dark Albion OSR setting-book I'm doing in collaboration with Dominique Crouzet (author of Fantastic Heroes & Witchery).

So in lieu of giving a lot of effort to today's entry, I'll just tell you that the last two things I've been working on, which will be in the Dark Albion book, are:

a) a detailed (about 9 page long) guide to currency, equipment, and wages; which is based on research to be more authentically reflective of a late medieval economy than (I think) any other OSR product out there!

b) a similarly-detailed (about 12 pages) chapter with rules on Noble House Management, with new mechanics for running one's properties, armies, and political influence.  It will include rules for obtaining political favors and forming political alliances, for family fortunes, and a system for resolving the large-scale battles of the Rose War.

So let me know what you think about that, particularly if it's something that would make you more interested as an OSR gamer (or gamer in general) in getting Dark Albion.

And while you're at it, let me know what else you might wish would be in the book!

RPGPundit

Currently Smoking: Morretti Rhodesian + Peterson's Old Dublin

20 comments:

  1. You had me at "Dark Albion" and "Dominique Crouzet".

    What's the fantasy level of the book? Dark? Low? High?

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  2. Low fantasy, with dark undertones (but not the kind of 'grimdark' thing people sometimes associate with the term).

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    1. Take my money dammit! : ) Any idea when this will be out?

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    2. Probably sometime early in 2015.

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  3. What level of detail are we talking about with regard to the domain rules? ACKS or An Echo, Resounding?

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    1. A really good question. I love both ACKS and the Red Tide supplement, although I kind of prefer the ACKS battle system and the Red Tide domain system... so I'm really interested in hearing about the Dark Albion "feeling"

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    2. There'd be little point in just replicating the rules-heavy complexity of ACKS or the RC. The dark albion rules are going to be more streamlined, a bit more abstract; for both battle and domain management. There won't be any shopping-lists-of-moat-costs, nor will there be a need to keep track of your sheep's wool productivity.

      Because the core of the setting involves the Rose War (Albion's civil war), the main point of house management will be in terms of tracking those financial, military and political resources that you can use in different ways to further your house's situation in that time of strife.

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    3. Very interesting. I've played lots of King Arthur Pendragon games (including the complete Great Pendragon Campaign) and I like the tales of competing noble houses. Looking forward for this project.

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  4. Hello Pundit!

    How will the book be sold? POD through Lulu like the core FH&W book or something else?

    Cheers!

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    1. I can't really comment on that yet; the final decision will be Crouzet's, not mine.

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    2. I intend this: Lulu hardback, Amazon softcover (Lulu and Createspace don't propose Amazon hardcovers), RPGnow PDF, and maybe a free excerpt.

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    3. Well there we go; that sounds like a plan!

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  5. I am very interested in exactly these things you mention, though I suspect what you are doing may be for a somewhat earlier period that I'd like. I have a few questions.

    (1) By late medieval (and the name Rose Wars) I'm assuming you intend the economy and noble house management and status to be reflective of the War of the Roses period in English history more than the King Steven/Queen Maud civil war period or the early modern English Civil War period. Correct?

    (2) Any thoughts on how applicable the economy, house management, and status sections would be to an early modern period i.e. 1620s-1630s (James I & Charles I)?

    (3) What is the status of black powder weapons in the Dark Albion setting? (I ask in part to help judge how useful the setting will be to my Honor+Intrigue campaign which is currently set in 1623-4.

    Personally I think economy, domain management (especially domains that could be controlled by a PC/player), and a status/influence/favor system are exactly what would make an OSR game take on the sort of long term, campaign style of game that I prefer.

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    1. Some great questions there, thanks!

      1) Yes, Albion is set in a only slightly "Fantasized" version of england in the war of the roses. The campaign is set up start around 1454, and there will be a chronology for running events up to 1485.

      2) Well, the economic rules would work well up to the early tudor period but I think if you're going as far as the Stuarts, it probably wouldn't be too accurate. House management would fare slightly better, but again, there's stuff particular to the war-torn environment of the mid-15th century (which is very different than the war-torn environment of the mid-17th century). So the fair answer would be that it probably wouldn't be ideal for the 1630s, no.

      3) I've chosen to be very slightly anachronistic when it comes to firearms, and made them a bit more advanced than they would have been at the time. This means that you could probably use those rules for the Stuart period as well.

      The Albion setting is definitely made for long-term campaign-style games. That's my specialty and my preference as well.

      3)

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  6. Really looking forward to this. Do you have a rough idea when it will be out? This year, maybe?

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    1. As I mentioned above, most likely early 2015. I doubt it'll be done before the end of the year.

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  7. Perhaps this has been asked before elsewhere, but what level of compatibility with 5e?

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    1. Since the book is system neutral, and the elements of system all refer to common concepts in all versions of OSR play (things like "The Earl of Warwick is a 9th Level fighter", or "Swords made by the master-weaponsmiths of Sheffield grant a +1 to hit or a +2 to damage"), it will be 100% compatible. The one big difference will be that you might have to do a bit more work in following the guidelines in the chapter about what kind of classes to allow or not allow, and what kind of magic to use.

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  8. This will be on my to buy list when it comes out.

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