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  • #61
    The House of Wisdom (Baghdad, 765 - 1258)
    After a series of political and dynastic struggles, the early Islamic world mostly coalesced into the Abbasid Caliphate, and their leader Al-Mansur established his new capital along the Tigris River. He originally called it Madinat al-Salaam (City of Peace), but everyone just started calling it Baghdad, after a small Persian town that was already there. The city very quickly became a center of commerce and learning. Part of this came from Al-Mansur's interest in astronomy and astrology, which led to him commissioning the translation of various works from Persia, India and elsewhere, as well as older Greek works. This tradition would be carried on by several of his successors, and eventually they amassed what became known as the Grand Library of Baghdad. The large number of books included works on mathematics, optics, medicine, and philosophy, as well as poetry and The Book of Ingenious Devices (which included various mechanical devices and automata). The city had its own medieval paper mills just to keep up with demand. The exact nature of this library is a subject of debate among historians, as there seems to be no real agreement on if it was ever actually turned into a public academy or if it just remained a private collection. However, a number of public schools of learning did exist during the middle and later parts of the Abbasid period. (Unfortunately, almost all trace of it was destroyed when the Mongols sacked Baghdad in 1258, leaving only various second and third hand accounts of its existence.)
    Baghdad during this time is a very wealthy and cosmopolitan city. People come there from all over the greater Middle East and beyond - including India and parts of Europe - primarily as merchants and traders. The city includes notable populations of Jews, Christians (especially Nestorian and Syriac/Armenian), and Zoroastrians. However, as dhimmi, they are all second class subjects to varying degrees (usually depending on the attitudes of the current administration). By medieval standards, the city is very clean, having an abundant supply of water from the Tigris and over a thousand public baths called hammams. In addition, the city was full of cabarets, taverns, and other social halls (including those specifically for playing early versions of backgammon and chess, apparently). There were also live plays, concerts, public storytellers, and so forth. A lot of this activity apparently carried on into the evenings and even nights as well. (Obviously, in the World of Darkness, this will be important later.)
    What we have here is a huge, wealthy and diverse city, full of people, various intrigues (private, government and religious, though the last two overlap heavily in the Caliphate), and objects of value coming in from the far corners of the known world. (Seriously, the Caliphate had contact with Tibet and China's Tang Dynasty, as well as East Africa and the Byzantines.) This is a setting of intrigue in all its forms. Political machinations, family feuds, financial conflicts, academic skullduggery, hidden history, criminal conspiracies, heists, murder mysteries and the like are the focus here. And in the background of it all is a certain degree of awe and wonder at the fact that this city is barely even a century old at the start of its Golden Age.

    Primary Games:
    • Mage - The city is a point of pride to the Ahl I Batin. Islam and the Caliphate is one of their greatest tools in trying to advance the Doctrine of Unity, and their combination of subtle machinations and academic scholarship allows them to take to the city like fish to water. The Caliph's court, the various houses of learning, the Mosques, and the market squares are all places they work their magic. Beyond the Batini themselves is their creation of the Web of Faith, the alliance of Muslim willworkers. While their exact make up has never really been documented, it includes various artificers, shaman, dervishes and others. All of them have a place in the city. (On the outside are the Taftini, who view Islam and the Caliphate as abominations to their way of life and magic.) You could do this with Dark Ages: Mage, although the low number of Foundation/Pillar set ups may be an obstacle (especially if you want to involve travelers from India, Africa or China). The alternative is to use Mage: The Sorcerers' Crusade (or one of the Modern versions if you wish). A lot of the stuff from the Artificers and Swashbucklers handbooks can apply to the setting.
    • Vampire: The Dark Ages (Veil of Night) - This city, with its massive population, its webs of intrigue, and its diverse night life, make this a paradise for the Kindred of the Ashirra. All of the Middle Eastern Clans have their niche to fill here (even Ventrue and the occasional Tzimisce from the Eastern Roman Empire or India). Lasombra and Assamites among the courts, the Salubri and Nosferatu in the Mosques, the Toreador and Brujah in the libraries, and the Ravnos and Setites in the markets. (Mix and match the above as suits you.) Its the medieval equivalent in scope and scale to what something like Chicago by Night was to the modern nights.
    Secondary Games:
    • Dark Ages: Fae - Baghdad's Golden Age is mentioned frequently in the One Thousand and One Nights, and a number of the stories are folk tales from the Abbasid era. As such, you can easily have medieval Changelings who go the full epic fantasy route, interacting with djinn, ghul, and ifrit while possessing magic carpets, looking glasses, and more.
    • Mummy - The Immortals fit in with the world of medieval Baghdad very well, with the added interesting wrinkle that to beings who've been eye witnesses to the region's history for centuries and even millennium witnessing such a spectacular city springing up in such a short amount of time. This gives Mummy characters an interesting perspective on the city and its culture. In addition to those who serve Horus, the city is likely to attract Ishmaelites and Cabiri as well, and their interactions are certain to be interesting.
    Last edited by No One of Consequence; 01-22-2021, 09:40 PM.


    What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
    Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

    Comment


    • #62
      Sengoku: Low Conquers High (Japan, 1467 - 1615)
      The Sengoku, or Warring States, period is the century plus long time when Japan's Ashikaga Shogunate collapsed into violent civil war, eventually resulting in the Tokugawa Shogunate that lasted until the 19th century. The TLDR version is that that Ashikaga weren't really strong enough to fully consolidate and hold their power, leading to a bunch of powerful regional lords to try to increase their own standing. This quickly got out of hand, with a lot of lower lords, second and third sons, and former peasants elevated to Samurai status deciding the conditions were right to rebel against their own superiors and establish their own power bases. (This phenomenon became known as gekokujo, or "low conquers high".) This breakdown also resulted in various Buddhist monasteries, independent cities, merchant clans and bandit lords becoming local powers in their own right. More than a few Samurai found themselves as ronin, in the service of new masters, or just quitting to become monks or outlaws. This is also the era where the shinobi (or ninja) made their appearance as hired scouts, assassins, and spies.
      While this is a violent and chaotic period, it's also one of economic growth, with merchants selling agricultural goods and imports from China and Renaissance Era Europe (including muskets) to the various warlords. There's also a lot of cultural development, with a lot of Noh theater and tea ceremony culture originating during this time, and Shinto regaining a lot of its cultural prominence after a period of being somewhat eclipsed by Buddhism. Also, Christianity - brought by Portuguese Jesuits - was a thing, especially in Kyushu and Kyoto.
      One of the staples of early Japanese cinema is chanbara, or sword fighting films. While these range all over the place time-wise (some even to the period before the first World War), they've done a lot to influence both Japanese views of the samurai eras and how Westerners view historical Japan. A lot of the early films from the 50s and early 60s were made by creators whose experiences during WW2, especially with how the government and military hierarchy had used the concepts of Bushido, honor, and the samurai ascetic to influence and manipulate an entire generation to bad ends. This resulted in stories in which the concepts of Bushido and the samurai ideas of loyalty and honor were deconstructed and the protagonists would often chafe under or even rebel against these systems. (Later films tended to be made by those who'd grown up in the post War boom and its fairly restrictive education system, and so tended to romanticize what the earlier films were deconstructing.) This mindset had a lot of influence on late 60s and 70s creators of Westerns, and as a result chanbara is sometimes seen as the Japanese equivalent to the American (or Italian) Western.
      Another famous trope in chanbara films became the massive - sometimes to a ludicrous degree - and stylized blood sprays that would follow sword strikes. This actually resulted from an effects accident during Kurosawa's Sanjuro that was left in the final cut (because you can't really do a second take when the entire cast, set and costumes are now soaked with fake blood). You can see the influence of this in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol 1 and a lot of more R-rated violent anime.
      Because a lot of the Year of the Lotus stuff was so heavily influenced by Asian media that was easily available in the West back in the late 90s, ie anime and chanbara films (as well as various other martial arts films from Hong Kong, Japan, and elsewhere), this setting just leans into that. It's essentially a chanbara RPG with monsters and magic, including the stylized action/violence and anti-hero characters that go with it.
      If you've never seen them, I recommend Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, Kagemusha, The Hidden Fortress (a big influence on Star Wars), Ran, and Throne of Blood (the last two based on King Lear and MacBeth, respectively). Also the anime Sword of the Stranger and Princess Mononoke. Also the anime film Ninja Scroll, which isn't really historical, but draws a lot on chanbara influences. James Clavell's Shogun is also set in this period.

      Primary Games:
      • Werewolf (The Beast Courts) - Werebeasts play really well in this, as Werewolf is a game based around fairly savage violence (as well as animistic spiritual elements that mesh fairly well with Japanese culture) and shape changers are the sort that can spew out six gallons of blood from a sword strike and not immediately die. Obviously, the Hakken shine here, as would their Glasswalker/Warder counterparts within some of the cities and towns. I mention ninja, and Nezumi Ratkin and Tengu Corax can slot into that role (as can Nagah if you want to use them as part of the Beast Courts or as a stand alone thing). Kitsune also shine during this entire period as warriors, priests, diplomats, spies and so forth. The weird politics of the period mean that various Beast Court or Hakken caerns have the potential to end up as local power centers, especially if sheltering masses of Kinfolk from the strife. A lot of Bakemono are probably wandering around, and you can mine Japanese folklore and various horror media for ideas. The presence of Europeans also offers the potential wrinkle of Japan's shifters encountering Western Garou, and all the complications which would come with it.
      • Kindred of the East - Like I said, Year of the Lotus, especially KotE, drew heavily on available Japanese media, so you may as well just lean into it. The various Dharma are all going to have their own opinions and reactions on what is happening during the era, from trying to restore central authority to reveling in the chaos and everything in between. Bone Flowers trying to deal with the disruptions to the underworld and the restless dead from all the death and violence. Thrashing Dragons enjoying these new things the Western outsiders are bringing. Devil-Tigers delivering divine judgment on those rebelling against their rightful lord (or those failing their subordinates). Plus followers of the Spirit of the Living Earth enjoying the resurgence of Shinto and those influenced by this whole Christianity thing.
      Secondary Games:
      • Mage: The Sorcerers Crusade - While this starts during the M:SC period, it goes beyond it by about a century. (The M:SC's timeline for the real world goes to the late 1500s, but only covers Europe; the mystic timeline just stops at 1500. I find both facts annoying.) A lot of the stuff in Sorcerers' Crusade still applies to this period. The main Japanese Traditions are going to be the Akashic Brotherhood and the Dreamspeakers. This will be augmented by a small number of Eastern Ecstatics and really no one else, at least until some of the Celestial Chorus arrive with the Portuguese. However, the Portuguese are also going to bring with them the Gabrielites, the High Guild, the Razors, and the Explorators. Probably some Craftmasons as well. (While Christianity and eventually Westerners in general will be barred from Japan, certain ideas of the Order of Reason are likely to stay around and find fertile ground of the Tokugawa Shogunate, which was in many ways a bureaucratic dictatorship.) Very little has really been written about Japan's pre-modern Mage set up. (Even M:SC barely gives it any mention, and it's pretty much ignored in the Companion.) My personal head canon is that there were two Awakened Courts, one based around the Emperor and one around the Shogun. Originally they'd both be in Kyoto, but with the Tokugawa Shogunate, the Shogun's Court moved to Edo (Tokyo) and started to evolve into the Japanese equivalent to the Order of Reason. YMMV.
      • The Inquisition/Dark Ages: Inquisitor - As I mentioned, Christianity first came to Japan in this period, especially with the Jesuits (led by Francis Xavier). The converts included a sizable number of peasants, as well as several lords and merchants. The port of Nagasaki was established by a daimyo convert and given to the Jesuits to administer. Xavier was involved with the Portuguese Inquisition, having established a branch of it in the Indian colony of Goa to enforce orthodoxy among converts there. While the World of Darkness's Shadow Inquisition isn't the same thing as the various historical Papal, Spanish or other Inquisitions, it's very likely that some members of the various factions have ended up in Japan and may have even recruited from converts there. Upperclass traders and merchants from the House of Murnau work well here, as do (especially) the Oculi Dei. Unfortunately, this period of Christianity in Japan would end when the Tokugawa Shogunate banned Christian missionaries, established a Buddhist inquisition, and eventually just murdered all of the converts they could find. Only a tiny minority remained as a secret underground movement until the 19th century.
      • World of Darkness: Ninja - So, this was never actually a thing, somewhat surprisingly. While you have your various ninja like factions in the KotE, Beast Courts, Mages, and the like, they were never really developed all that much. And then there's the real ones. As I mentioned above, shinobi were largely commoners (and occasionally maybe ronin) trained to act as military scouts, mercenaries, spies and assassins. They tended to wage war via deceit and deception, employing the sort of tactics samurai would officially consider beneath them (but samurai lords would still happily hire ninja anyway). A few manuals about shinobi were written during the Tokugawa period, mostly based on Chinese military philosophy, with discussion of things like disguises and infiltration, weapons, and (oddly) astrology. It was during the Meiji Restoration that the ninja became highly romanticized in folklore and pop culture, first developing a lot of the mystical powers they later became famous for. If you want to run something with mortal ninja in the Sengoku period, you could go the historical route and have normal mortals with a lot of training and interesting tools. Alternately, you could draw ideas from the Shih in Demon Hunter X or adapt some of the Sorcerer or Psychic powers to create mortal ninja who actually can do a lot of the legendary tricks.


      What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
      Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

      Comment


      • #63
        Cocaine Cowboys (Miami, 1979 - 1989)
        By the late 70s, Miami had become one of the main points of entry for illegal drugs traveling from South America into the US. There was a lot of money to be made and the biggest money maker was in cocaine, with at least 70% of US cocaine entering through the city. (Also about 70% of marijuana and 90% of counterfeit Quaaludes.) And with all this illegal money came a lot of violence from turf wars between various cartels, gangs, and other parties. The phrase "cocaine cowboys" comes from a police officer's comments after a pair of Columbian cartel members gunned down two other men in broad daylight at the Dadeland Mall in 1979. Things only got worse from there, as the city had 573 murders in 1980 and 621 in 1981. The city morgue had to rend a refrigerated truck to handle the overflow of bodies, and was only able to get rid of it in 1988. Crime was so bad that some journalists said the city should be considered a failed state.
        An aspect that funded the drug wars was the Mariel Boatlift of 1980. In the few years leading up to this, a number of Cubans had been attempting to seek asylum with various foreign embassies in Havana (including somewhere around 2000 at one time at the Peruvian one). This lead to Castro's regime saying anyone who wanted to leave Cuba was free to do so. However, it was arranged that anyone trying to do so would also be beaten by government organized mobs and endure other harassment while trying to do so. Castro also had the jails and mental institutions emptied out in order to unload Cuba's hardcore criminals and mentally ill on to other countries. This included the United States, especially Miami, as a lot of the previous Cuban refugees who'd established themselves in the city made a concerted effort to help Cubans now trying to escape the regime. So Miami was suddenly flooded with both a large number of impoverished refugees, but also a lot of violent criminals and a not insignificant number of people with severe psychological problems.
        One of the main centers for the drug business was the Mutiny hotel in the Coconut Grove area. In order to launder their money, a lot of dealers and traffickers would funnel their cash into fronts such as luxury car dealerships, five star hotels, condo developments, and fancy night clubs. This gave the city a reputation for glamour and hedonism when such things were at a high point in the 80s. (The fact that the very popular show Miami Vice tended to sanitize some of the more impoverished and dangerous areas of the city only added to this.) By the end of the decade, the violence levels had ebbed, largely owing to the weakening of several of the Columbian cartels and the massive ramp up of the US's "War on Drugs".
        In addition to the period Miami Vice tv show, this is also the setting for the film Scarface. The video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City very clearly drew the bulk of its inspiration from the city and its drug wars.

        Primary Games:
        • Vampire - The level of open violence - combined with the Liberty City riots of 1980 - are the sort of back drop that implies that a violent struggle is going on between rival Vampire sects. While it's very possible that there is some Anarch involvement early on, especially with the above mentioned riots, this is the sort of the sort of thing that tends to be considered the Sabbat's wheelhouse. I can't at the moment find any history of Miami for the WoD, but this would probably be a good time for an attempted Sabbat takeover of the city (or possibly retaking it after the Camarilla establish themselves during or after WW2). An added wrinkle to all of this is the Setites. While the whole Setites + drugs stereotype was done to death back in the day, it is there and does make a certain degree of sense for some corners of the clan. The clan's involvement in Haiti also comes into play here, with a lot of Haitian immigrants coming to Miami in the 70s and 80s. And with that comes the clash between the mainstream Setites and the Serpents of Light. This might cause the Setites to ally with the Miami Camarilla against their common enemy.
        • World of Darkness: Mafia - While that book focuses primarily on a cinematic view of the Italian organized crime traditions, a lot of its themes are just as applicable to those involved in Miami's drug trade, be they cartel members, refugees, smugglers or what have you.
        • Werewolf (Ratkin) - The world of drug dealers, enforcers, addicts and undercover cops is strangely a world that the Ratkin would fit right into. They are, by and large, fairly scummy individuals and some are likely to see drug addiction as another disease they can use to thin out the human herd. And their violent, twitchy behavior fits in perfectly well with the sort of people who chop people up with chainsaws in hotel bathtubs.
        And finally, as a plot hook, if you wanted to set a Wraith game in Miami, all of this violence is likely to climax with the 1992 Hurricane Andrew coinciding with a powerful maelstrom hitting the city.


        What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
        Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

        Comment


        • #64
          The Last Pharaohs (Alexandria, Egypt, 305 - 30 BC)
          Alexander the Great conquered a massive empire. Then he dropped dead, leaving his generals to divide it up among themselves. Egypt went to Ptolemy and he quickly the new Pharaoh. This would be Egypt's last pharaonic dynasty, lasting until the Roman conquest of 30 BC. Every male ruler took the name Ptolemy, while most of the Queen Regents (as opposed to Queen Consorts) took the name Cleopatra, with the most famous being Cleopatra VII. Under the Ptolemy dynasty, Egypt's ruling class were firmly Hellenized Greeks, controlling military, economic, and politics through the kingdom's complex bureaucracy. However, the native Egyptians did maintain control of the religious institutions, and gradually make inroads into the bureaucracy. The royal family did ingratiate themselves to the local population by adapting aspects of the Egyptian faith (including marrying each other) and financially supporting the priesthood and temples. Under their reign, Egypt became the wealthiest and most powerful of the Hellenistic successor states until it was finally conquered by Rome.
          The jewel of the Ptolemaic Kingdom was the new city of Alexandria, founded by and named after the deified conqueror. It quickly became a center of the Mediterranean world, especially for trade and culture. This included the famous Lighthouse (and its great harbor) and the legendary Library. Alexandria was a flourishing and cosmopolitan metropolis, the equivalent of places like New York, London, or Paris at their heights. This included the largest urban Jewish community in the world at the time, as well as merchants and traders from India, Africa, and Western Europe. Anything you can do in those cities in the modern day, you can do in Alexandria with its Hellenistic equivalent. Which makes it a fun game setting.

          Primary Games:
          • Vampire - While Egypt has always been stereotyped as the land of the Setites, they probably play only a small role here, being more active among the rural native population (especially in the deserts). However, this is very likely the period when you start to see members - especially younger ones - adapting Greek aspects such as Typhon. Meanwhile, a major player in Alexandria are the Ravnos Alexandrians. In stark contrast to any modern stereotypes about the clan, the Alexandrians are primarily merchants, traders and negotiators, which makes them capable diplomats and navigators of the Egyptian bureaucracy. The role of Egypt as a major power player in the region makes it attractive to Ventrue, while its role as a center of culture draws in Toreador and Brujah. The ties to Mediterranean sea trade likely attract Lasombra, while Malkavians and Cappadoceans have a place within the Egyptian priesthood and its cults. And its role as a center of scholarship and learning bring in Assamites. This is a very dynamic and diverse setting, with a lot of potential for kindred intrigue and machinations. And this is only augmented by the various high level plots and rivalries within the royal family, especially in the later periods of the kingdom.
          • Mummy - The domination of the land of Egypt by Greek outsiders is likely to be a bit infuriating to Horus and his followers. They probably blame this entirely on the Setites, even if it isn't true and they are as mad about it as their enemies. But at least they still have a strong hold over the land's priesthood. But even more offensive are these Greek Cabiri. Clearly they must have stolen the Spell of Life, because it's inconceivable that a culture with its own deep and complex Underworld traditions could've developed its own method of immortality. The presence of the Hellenistic Greeks and of other cultures within Alexandria also opens the possibility of Ishmaelites operating within the city.
          Secondary Games:
          • Mage - There's a lot to play with here from a Mage standpoint. This is early in the Ahl I Batin's development, and it's very possible that during this period a lot of them see the pan-Hellenic culture that's spread across Egypt, Persia and even to western India as a potential vehicle for the Doctrine of Unity (similar to how they'd see Islam centuries later). As such, they'd be a powerful but subtle presence in Alexandria, especially among the government bureaucracy, the famous Library, and the various traders. Meanwhile, Ptolemaic Egypt is where the concept of Hermes-Trimegistus originated, which allows for early porto-Hermetics. This is in addition to the native House of Seshat. The worship of Ptah is still a big deal, especially in Memphis, and in my own head-canon I tie that to the origins of the Brotherhood of the Rule. On top of this, there's the Children of Osiris, cults of Isis, and the Hem-Ka Sobk. The Greek presence means that agents of the Ixoi may be present. And then there's the various Celestial Chorus prototypes, including groups devoted to Jehovah, the Atenist heresy, Zoroastrianism, and others. Probably also ecstatic cults to Dionysius (such as those allegedly followed by Alexander the Great's mother).
          Last edited by No One of Consequence; 02-27-2021, 11:31 PM.


          What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
          Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

          Comment


          • #65
            Veterans of the Psychic Wars (USA, 1974 - 1984)

            Something slightly different, as this was just an odd idea that occurred to me and wouldn't go away. Anyway, even very early during the Cold War, the US military and intelligence services kept starting various projects centered around certain fringe theories and sciences involving aspects of the human mind. This included various research into forms of mind control, psychic remote viewing, and other oddities, conducted under the auspices of DARPA, MKUltra, Stargate, and others. Exactly what these programs involved is not entirely known (CIA Director Richard Helms had almost all MKUltra files destroyed in 1973, and a lot of the surviving records are sort of vague). But as these programs came to light in the early 70s, they entered public consciousness and mythology. MKUltra especially ended up being named dropped a lot in period fiction involving psychic powers and conspiracies. This particular setting is based on these works and their various tropes.
            A lot of Stephen King's early material touched on this sort of thing. His first novel, Carrie, came out in 1974 and is what I'm using as the start date for this. He followed this up with The Shining, The Dead Zone, and Firestarter, all of which centered on psychic characters. Firestarter is especially noteworthy as it includes The Shop, a sort of CIA/DARPA mashup that tries to weaponize psychic powers, and characters who were part of MKUltra experiments. The more modern period piece, Stranger Things, draws heavily on aspects of Firestarter for inspiration. (The four novels are all worth reading if you're a WoD fan, and even better, all have well made film adaptions.) There's also the 1981 film Scanners, 1978's The Fury, and 1980's Altered States.

            Primary Games:
            • World of Darkness: Psychics - Again, one of those things that wasn't an actual book, but really should have been. In this, the PCs are former subjects of various government (or a deeper, more supernatural conspiracy) experiments to produce and harness psychic abilities. Former college students and soldiers are especially appropriate, as are their children. They likely have to live under the radar or even on the run, constantly looking over their shoulder for The Man and his agents who want to forcefully recruit/return them to military-industrial service. It's a world of justified paranoia and likely being constantly getting inadvertently dragged into having to risk exposing their powers against other paranormal threats, serial killers, and late 70s/early 80s threats.
            • Project: Twilight - The flip side of things, in which those government agencies who are aware of the existence of supernatural entities have probably started to make a concerted effort to recruit agents or assets with psychic abilities. These characters are more likely to be in the realm of pre/postcognitive, empathic, or remote viewing types. (The Hunter: The Vigil supplement World of Darkness: Slasher's Vanguard Serial Crimes Unit and its Teleinformatics power make good inspiration here, as do certain aspects of the novel Red Dragon and its original film adaption Manhunter.) This takes things in a more procedural direction, as the PCs investigate unusual crimes or events, but still takes a turn for the paranoid as they likely uncover various conspiracies, including ones secretly pulling the strings of their own agency.
            Secondary Games:
            • Werewolf - PENTEX's Project: Odyssey is based on a lot of this period fiction, and they make an excellent villain for this setting. Werewolf characters may have Kinfolk who were part of such experiments and they or their children are now being hunted by mysterious organizations. Alternately, the PCs may be said Kinfolk and have to turn to Garou relations - ones who may be suspicious of their unusual powers - for protection.


            What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
            Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

            Comment


            • #66
              I am definitely going to use some of the information from "The Last Pharaohs" in my Werewolf game. One of the players has a Nubian ancestor from the Ptolemaic period and will be communing with her soon.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by ThomasM View Post
                I am definitely going to use some of the information from "The Last Pharaohs" in my Werewolf game. One of the players has a Nubian ancestor from the Ptolemaic period and will be communing with her soon.
                Nubia is an interesting area, and I would like to do something with the Kingdom of Kush at some point. Maybe with the idea of Kushite Setites being involved with the 25th Dynasty. Also the idea of Sudanese/Nubian (and maybe even Ethiopian/Aksumite) Mummies who have a complicated relationship with Horus's followers.


                What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

                Comment


                • #68
                  I'm really enjoying this series. I keep tinkering with different historic WoD games and it's lovely to see someone else's thought process on this.


                  What doesn't kill you, makes you... stranger.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post

                    Nubia is an interesting area, and I would like to do something with the Kingdom of Kush at some point. Maybe with the idea of Kushite Setites being involved with the 25th Dynasty. Also the idea of Sudanese/Nubian (and maybe even Ethiopian/Aksumite) Mummies who have a complicated relationship with Horus's followers.
                    I definitely look forward to anything you post on the topic!

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Been under the weather the past few weeks. Will hopefully have Prague up this week. Maybe Mexico as well.

                      Also poking at ideas about the very early Industrial Revolution in either England or New England, and Spanish California.



                      What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                      Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
                        Been under the weather the past few weeks.
                        I hope you are better and stay that way for a long while.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Bohemian Rhapsody (Prague, 1583 - 1611)

                          In 1576, the 24 year old Rudolf II of the House of Hapsburg became the new Holy Roman Emperor. (This in addition to his existing titles of King of Hungary, King of Croatia, and King of Bohemia, as well as Archduke of Austria. Yes, politics in the HRE/early Austrian Empire were almost ridiculously complicated.) In 1583, he moved the imperial court to Prague (in Bohemia, what we now call the Czech Republic), away from the Habsburg's traditional stronghold of Vienna. Rudolf had spent his teen years among his mother's family in the Hapsburg Spanish royal court, and was considered somewhat aloof and stiff by the standards of the Austrian branch. However, some of this may have been the result of his bouts of melancholy (ie, depression). He was somewhat reserved, a recluse, and disliked traveling, as well as having a life long fascination with science/natural philosophy, including astronomy and alchemy, clocks, and horses, among other things. He may or may not have been bisexual, as he never married, but had a mistress with whom he had several children with, and was rumored to have been with several other women, as well as with his court chamberlain and several valets. However, it's unclear how much, if any, of this may have been part of a whisper campaign against him by enemies within his family and the Catholic Church. (Sometimes, history just comes down to the answer of "Maybe" or "We don't know.")
                          Rudolf was a major patron of the sciences and the arts, with his royal court including the likes of astronomers Tycho Brahe and Johannas Kepler, and alchemists/occultists Edward Kelly and John Dee. His patronage of the arts was a major factor in the development of the Northern Mannerist style, and he also sponsored various writers and poets. Rudolf also had one of the largest Cabinets of Curiosities in Europe. These cabinets were forerunners of what we now think of as museums, and in Rudolf's case, his "cabinet" took up most of an entire wing of his estate, including a wide range of animal, vegetable and mineral items, as well as various mechanical devices and obscure manuscripts. This in addition to botanical gardens and a menagerie (private zoo), of which a lion and a tiger were apparently allowed to roam the castle as they pleased. He carried out a number of alchemical experiments on his own, as well as having a habit of starring at paintings for hours on end at times.
                          The 16th century in Germany was full of a lot of conflict between Catholics and Protestants, and Rudolf was exceedingly tolerant of both sides, with an ultimate goal of hopefully reuniting Christian Europe, possibly toward a crusade against the Turkish invasions of the Balkans. (He seems to have inherited this idea from his father.) He was also pretty tolerant of the Jewish population in Prague. Unfortunately, his efforts to walk a neutral path between Catholic and Protestant factions didn't do much to deal with the underlying issues and conflicts, and shortly after his death, the 30 Years War kicked off with Prague's Protestant faction literally throwing the Catholic faction's envoys out of a castle window (which is apparently a Prague tradition).
                          Prague during this period is as interesting as its ruler. Prague Castle is still one of the largest ancient castles in the world, having been started in the 9th century. It's home to Charles University, founded in 1348, and the Charles Bridge, built during the same century. There's a notable Jewish population, and this is the period when the story of the Golum of Prague is supposed to take place. Prague's reputation as a center for art and science, as well as the patronage of both the Emperor and various local aristocrats and rich burghers has attracted a number of artists, artisans, and craftspeople from Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. It's also attracted its fair share of charlatans and con artists.

                          Primary Games
                          • Mage: The Sorcerers Crusade - While this is a few decades out from that game's main setting, almost all of the rules and factions still apply. Prague is the sort of city in which both Traditions and the Order of Reason are likely to thrive and butt heads. However, Rudolf's patronage of both science and occultism, combined with his efforts to keep the peace between various religious factions, presents the interesting opportunity in which both sides are forced to carry out the Ascension War in an almost entirely non-violent fashion. Mages acting as members of the court or dwelling in its orbit would have to counter each other with subtle political machinations and subterfuge rather than open conflict. It's the sort of setting where various members of the Order of Hermes, the Ahl I Batin, the Solificati, the Celestial Chorus, and the Euthanatos will thrive, as well members of the Celestial Masters, the High Guild, the Artificers, and the Razors. The game line's Artificers Handbook and Swashbucklers Handbook will both be valuable resources for the setting.
                          • Changeling - The city and court's dynamism, especially in regards to artistic patronage, provide a welcome haven for those Changelings in the wake of the Sidhe exodus and being cut off from Arcadia. There's a flood of painters, sculptors, poets, natural philosophers, alchemists, artificers, and scholars, as well as a wide collection of charlatans, would be revolutionaries, travelers, and dreamers. Nockers, with their associations with certain Jewish folklore and mysticism, as well as crafting mechanical wonders and devices, fit in especially well. There shouldn't be much trouble working in Boggins, Trolls, Satyrs, Sluagh, Eshu, and Pooka as well. (Or some of the other kiths.) I've no idea exactly how Bohemia would fit in with the various more Irish/British based Houses. There may actually be some long forgotten efforts to establish a House based on something from local folklore/mythology.


                          What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                          Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                          • #73
                            Blood & Fire (Mexico, 1910 - 1920)

                            Mexico has always had a rather tumultuous history. It's initial decade plus long War for Independence in 1808, the revolts against Santa Anna's seizure of power in 1836, the War of the Reform in 1857, the French invasion in 1861, and Gen. Diaz's coup in 1876, leading into the Mexican Revolution against Diaz's regime in 1910. (This would continue with the Dirty War of the 1960s and 70s, the 1994 Zapatista Uprising, and the current conflicts with drug cartels.) Basically, in 1910, the 80 year old Diaz defeated wealthy landowner Fransisco Madero in a very blatantly rigged election. This struggle between competing elites quickly turned into a general insurrection among the population, especially in agrarian areas.
                            Diaz's reign is usually referred to as the Porfiriato, and Diaz largely rose to power through a combination of being able to play everyone else against each other, and by having the loyalty of his own armed forces. He would rig the elections, claiming that only he knew what was best for the country, and would have armed police militias seize land from peasants in order to sell it to wealthy land barons. He promoted development of industry and infrastructure, especially through foreign investment. Much of the agricultural development was oriented toward export crops. The end result was a growing urban work force, an increasingly poverty stricken (and some times starving) rural peasant class, and an ever wealthier elite class of land owners, business owners and government officials.
                            The Revolution went through several stages, with various factions forming, aligning, realigning, and so forth over the decade. These factions included the Federales (ie, the Mexican national army), the Felicistas (supporters of Diaz's nephew after Diaz died), the Magonistas (Anrcho-Communists), the Division del Norte (Madero's armed forces in the north), the Zapatistas (the Southern Liberation Army), the Constitutionalists, the Seditionists, the Conventionists, the Huertistas (followers of the guy who tried to takeover the government in 1913 after murdering Madero; they had the tacit backing of the German Empire and the US Ambassador to Mexico), the military wing of the Mexican Liberal Party, and various bandit gangs (such as those of Pancho Villa). This was a giant mess, made even worse by it's spillover into the United States, with one group within the Seditionists hoping to start a race war in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico in order to regain those lands for Mexico, Villa's attack on several towns in the US, and a somewhat farcical effort by the US Army to enter Northern Mexico and capture him, as well as the US occupation of Vera Cruz. A new Constitution was agreed upon in 1917 (the same one in use today), but the new regime was fairly hostile to the Catholic Church, which led to yet another conflict, the Christero War, in the 1920s.
                            Generally speaking, this is a pretty violent setting, one in which social and business interactions are automatically colored by politics, and most politics is ultimately going to end in betrayal or bloodshed. At the same time, it's a lot of people killing each other over political power and influence, while others are only looking for enough to eat or simple survival. Players are undoubtably going to be forced to face complicated ethical and moral choices, and see some of the things they hold dear swept away by the war.

                            Primary Games:
                            • Vampire - Exact details on most of Mexico are a little fuzzy. Canonically, the Sabbat have supposedly held Mexico City since sometime in the early 19th century. Exactly how much hold they've had on the rest of the nation at what time is unclear. Just personally, I kind of prefer the idea that Mexico is largely a Camarilla holding up until the Revolution, when the Sabbat (who've previously been nomadic packs and a few isolated strongholds) manage to use the chaos and violence to help them eliminate the majority of the Camarilla in the country. YMMV. Regardless, this is going to be a very violent conflict between Sabbat and Camarilla vampires, both personally and through proxies.
                            • Werewolf - This is the same period when Standard Oil morphs into PENTEX. As mentioned, under Diaz's regime, there was a lot of economic and industrial development, including oil extraction and refining. Also mining, especially for heavy metals (Harold & Harold), and other groups that probably tie into the burgeoning PENTEX. This is also very likely the period when the Black Spiral Dancers managed to take over a large portion of Mexico, using the Revolution and its upheaval as a way to attack the Kinfolk and Caerns of local Uktena, Get of Fenris, Shadow Lords, Black Furies, Bone Gnawers, and Iron Riders. This is pretty much the Garou on the losing side of a long war, coming right on the after math of the "Second" War of Rage in Werewolf: The Wild West.
                            Last edited by No One of Consequence; 04-12-2021, 06:32 PM.


                            What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                            Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                            • #74
                              This is a great thread. I have some more ideas, mostly outside of Western cultures, and mostly earlier and longer periods than yours:


                              Newcomers: Immigrations from Indonesia into Australia between 3000 and 2000 bce. This is primarily the mingling of cultures (with potential for violence) and of interest for Werewolf, Mage, and the Spirit Beings and Indonesian Dreams, whatever those are. I don't know if there were any Wan Xian in Indonesian cultures at this time.

                              War of Shame (East Asia) I don't know when this pivotal era was. Primarily Hengeyokai vs. Hengeyokai while Wan Xian manipulate them, and then subsequently Hengeyokai vs. Wan Xian, possibly with peripheral involvement from the Little Gods and/or mages.

                              Conquest of Khem (Egypt, c. 1650-1550 bce) No One of Consequence covered the beginning of the war over Khem; this is its ending, the Second Intermediate Period of political chaos between the Middle and New Kingdoms. In 1550 bce Sutekh succeeded in driving the Silent Striders out of Egypt, effectively ending the war by eliminating their strongest opponents. Mummies, Fera, mages, and the native "Fae" would also be involved, just as with Savage Sands. Consequences would likely impact the Underworld as well. Other Garou tribes subsequently moved in to take over abandoned Strider caerns, while the remaining Fera hunker down for survival.

                              War of Enslavement (Arabia and Persia, 950 - 800-ish bce) In which mages led by Solomon wage all-out war against the Djinn, which appear to be "Fae", and basically obliterate most of their civilization.

                              Himalayan Wars (South Asia, 900 - 354 bce) An absurdly long war. Probably only for Mage, at least as the primary game. It has the advantage that if you play mages dominated by past life memories, you can turn it into a (nightmarish) generational chronicle with the "same" characters over the entire war.

                              Cults of Hermes and Isis when they were being formed, and then waging the Wars of Hermes: Greece, Egypt, and Italy in 850-1 bce. (probably a Mage only era)

                              Dragon River War (East Asia, 496 - 480 bce) Mages, Kindred of the East, and Shih free-for-all with the Little Gods and Hengeyokai as secondary focuses. This is the start of the Fourth Age and the fall of the Wan Xian and Hsien according to some books, but after the fall of the Wan Xian according to others, (or at least, the wiki is inconsistent about this). Actually I have wanted for a while to ask when exactly the Fourth Age began.

                              Madagascar during the early mingling of Austronesian and East African cultures that eventually synthesized into Malagasy cultures. Starts 400 bce or later, but I don't really know the dates.

                              Before the Yellow Springs what was the east Chinese Underworld like? I twould be interesting to find out, say, between the fall of the Zhou Dynasty in 256 bce and the Qin unification in 221 bce. Or else during the spread of Confucianism in the Zhou Dynasty (c. 300-256 bce).

                              The Dark Kingdom of Jade invading what would become the Conquered Territories: Korea, Japan, Tibet, Southeast Asia, etc. This is probably a purely Wraith era (or a separate era for each Conquered Territory) unless some Wan Kuei got involved. I don't know the dates of this.

                              Slaughter of the Great Cats (c. 200 bce - 400 ce) During approximately these centuries the native lions and leopards of Europe were exterminated to the last. In real life humans did the deed, but in the WoD the Garou were probably involved too, and possibly vampires as well. This spelled the end of the European Simba and (in my heacanon) Bagheera, although depending on which version you prefer the werelions might have survived by making a deal with the Fae, becoming the Ceilican (instead of just breeding with the Ceilican Kinfolk).

                              Golden Age of Stygia (100 bce - 400 ce) A non-bleak Wraith setting!? Yes, possibly so.

                              British rebellions against the Romans (54? bce - 200 ce) Mages, White Howlers, and probably Fianna, Fera, Fenrir, and even Fae vs. invading Roman Hermetics, Vampires, and whoever else. The end date is when the White Howlers fell and became the Black Spiral Dancers, but the rebellions could have continued.

                              War Against the Devil-Kings (109-631 ce) Mostly or entirely for Mage: Ahl-i-Batin and Taftani vs. the first organized Nephandi.

                              Slaughter Among the Mounds (Adena culture, c. 200 bce) The Adena were a flourishing culture in what is now called the Ohio River Valley. Flourishing, that is, until the Croatan discovered some Wyrm-tainted Mages overseeing human sacrifice and, uh, killed everybody. Including all the Sleepers. Older Brother and Younger Brother were not amused. The non-tainted Mages and Adena-related Fera probably weren't either. The genocide probably caused a stir in the Underworld. And I assume the local Nunnehi encountered serious problems when their Dreamers all died at once. These weren't puny Changelings either, so I can imagine Mages, Nunnehi, and possibly Fera taking revenge on the Croatan for the genocide. This is also when their Older Brothers start losing trust in them, but may still feel obligated to defend them from violent revenge.
                              Some ordinary humans may also become monster-hunters in response. I could imagine an entire chronicle based around child survivors who were brough up by Hairy People in the surrounding woods, banding together as hunters and/or sorcerers against the murderous skin-changers.

                              War of the Guilds (Stygia, 476-1358) A sprawling era for Wraith, including the Second "Great" Maelstrom, Fisher Revolt, suppression and Exodus of the Shining Ones, and other turmoil that degenerated what used to be a relatively nice Dark Kingdom.

                              Out of Kavaiki: Starting around 900-960, and continuing until around 1500, Polynesians made a great push from far western Polynesia all the way to Hawai'i, New Zealand, the Chatham Islands, and Easter Island. This is a time of exploration, civilization-building, new cultures and dreams growing and fluorishing, and horrendous environmental devastation. Mages, Fae, Corax, and Ratkin accompany the first humans to settle these islands and experience great cultural changes alongside them. Local Rokea watch as the island ecosystems begin to collapse under the assault of logging, overhunting, farming, and introduced rats. (By this time, the turtle Mokole had already vanished.) Each island or archipelago's settlement is basically a separate Dark Era, but they're also connected in some cases by later migrations, back-migration, and trade. And of course, new civilizations mean new opportunities for humans to massacre each other.

                              Swahili Coast and Great Zimbabwe (960-1505) A fascinating string of city-states with a complex blending of earlier East African, Arab, and even Indian cultural and religious traditions. I primarily see this as a time of changing paradigms and dreams for Mage and Dark Ages: Fae, but something interesting could surely be done with Werewolf, Vampire, and Wraith for this era.

                              Mali Empire (1230-1610) Another interesting African civilization with opportunities for the main 5 game lines, including the development of local Artisan/Technomage Craft(s), the beginning of colonial conflicts with Europeans, and possibly the Shattering.

                              Fall of the Anasazi (c. 1300) The Uktena uncover a camp of their own tribe who have taken up ritual cannibalism and fallen to the Wyrm, and destroy the fallen camp. These Enemy-Heart-Eaters are apparently similar to the Eaters of the Dead and maybe use a related Rite. Older Brother claim that they only killed the corrupted werewolves, unlike the earlier Croatan attack on the Adena. But it's a little suspicious that the "Anasazi" culture collapses right at the same time. Hmm. If you don't want this to be a Werewolf-only era, involve Anasazi-born mages, the Nunnehi of their Dreams, and the wraiths of the collapsed society.

                              Mongol Empire Collapse: From 1335 until 1368, the Mongol Empire broke apart as first the southwest Asian colonies, then Central Asia, and finally China threw off the Mongol Yoke. I think that revolutions against colonizers are potentially a very interesting time for a lot of heroic action, moral dilemmas, rebuilding society afterwards, and of course discovering new forms of (native) political corruption.

                              War of the Dust Witch (Southern Africa, 1345-1350) Mage, and possibly Wraith.

                              Haudenosaunee Foundation (northeast North America, late 1400s) This era is based in canon, but it depends on your appetite for supernaturals causing real historical events. In Mage: The Sorcerer's Crusade Walking Hawk is possibly intended to be the Great Peacemaker who founded the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy), or at least the prophet who inspired the Great Peacemaker. Walking Hawk warned the nations that would form the Haudenosaunee of the future European invasion and urged them to unite. The werewolves had also received a similar prophecy from Tukcha, although I have no idea if they worked with the mages or at cross-purposes with them. Knowing the Garou, they probably thought the new-fangled democracy and elections were ... peculiar. ("Hey great idea, let's unite the humans so they stand a chance against the prophesied invasion. Great! So first we're going to tell them... wait... wait, what? Voting? They're going to elect their leaders? They must be kidding... they're not kidding? Oh my Goddess, what is this even... The humans have gone mad.")
                              Anytime humans build a whole new societal structure things get interesting for the local Fae (Nunnehi) as well, and this can also be a Dark Era for Fera games.

                              Revolutions against the imperial powers, and rebuilding local societies afterwards: 1790-1830 in Latin America, 1947-1950 in British South India, 1945-1970s in the Middle-East (including the beginning of Israeli colonization), 1945-1980 in Southeast Asia, 1951-1980 in much of Africa, and 1990-1994 in Namibia and South Africa. Across a huge number of colonies, there are tons of stories to tell about these time periods and easily a separate Dark Era for each colony's revolution.

                              Early Environmentalist Movement: Environmentalism and environmental laws evidently do exist in the World of Darkness, although they are significantly weaker than in the real world. The beginning of the environmental movement may therefore start later than in real life, perhaps in the late 1800s or early 1900s. This is an interesting period for shapeshifters, mages, and changelings (especially the Pooka, Selkies, Inanimae, and Tunghats?).

                              Post-War Japan (1945-1950s) Japan has been defeated and occupied by the United States. The nuclear bombs have set off a Great Maelstrom in the Underworld and created a nasty Hellhole in the Umbra. Human society is devastated and changing rapidly with the overthrow of the imperial government, and the Japanese dead (with a large new influx) are rebelling against Yellow Springs oppression yet again. Wraith, KOTE, Werewolf, Mage, Hsien, and (in my headcanon) Japanese Dreams can all have interesting games in this era.

                              Tibetan Diaspora: The People's Republic of China fully conquered and subjugated Tibet 1950-1951, starting the current diaspora across the world. Mage, Werewolf, Fera, Himalayan Asura Changelings, and maybe Kindred of the East or even Hsien.

                              Famine and Cultural Revolution (Communist China 1958-1976) Beginning with the Great Leap Forward, these years saw mass dislocation of people, violence, famine, environmental destruction, and violent upheaval on a huge scale. A huge number of Chinese people died, and countless others had their lives upended or ruined. The Cultural Revolution sees religious images destroyed and traditions attacked by mostly young revolutionaries carrying the red banner of atheism. This also saw a political shakeup with Mao himself being forced to step down as leader of the Communist Party after the catastrophic famine, but continuing his ridiculous cult of personality anyway. Unlike the earlier Fanshen (Communist Revolution), no local triumphs against oppression happen to leaven the catastrophe. Just about any major gameline (except Vampire), plus KOTE, the Hsien, and Wu T'ian. In my headcanon East Asians are just as capable of dreaming as other humans (seriously... they're human) so there are Chinese Changelings here alongside the Hsien, both watching the long-traditional sources of prayer and glamour literally go up in smoke.

                              Ajaba Diaspora: Probably a Werewolf-only era. In 1984 the Simba, with some Bagheera allies, destroyed the Hyena Court in Ngorongoro Crater and began a two-decade reign of terror and bounty on the few surviving werehyenas. This era would focus on the Ajaba diaspora mainly in southwest and south Asia, but potentially also the Americas and Australia. Less focus would be put on Ajaba remaining in Ethiopia or even Egypt, probably their last real holdouts on the African continent. This era only ends in 1997 when Black Tooth and his Endless Pride are mostly killed off by the new Ahadi movement.

                              I also want to link to the Changeling thread about Dark Eras: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...rical-settings
                              Last edited by Erinys; 04-16-2021, 05:37 PM.


                              She/Her. I am very literal-minded and write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                              My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
                              Exalted and cWoD book list. Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors.

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Erinys View Post
                                Tibetan Diaspora: The People's Republic of China fully conquered and subjugated Tibet 1950-1951, starting the current diaspora across the world. Mage, Werewolf, Fera, Himalayan Asura Changelings, and maybe Kindred of the East or even Hsien.
                                If you've never seen it, Vajra Enterprises has a Tibet RPG set in 1959. It deals with the initial Chinese take over, as well as a lot of stuff about Tibetan culture and the religious/mythlore of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon.

                                I'm hoping to do something with Tibet at some point this year. Possibly during the Tibetan Empire of the 7th and 8th centuries.

                                Also a couple of African things (Shaka's Zulu Empire and the Askum Empire of Ethiopia foremost among them), pre-Communist Cuba, the Khazar Khaganate, the Gunpowder Empire periods of the Ottomans and Mughals, ancient Persia, Ming China, and Korea.

                                The two I'm currently working on are England during the early Industrial Revolution and New York's Hudson River Valley in the period after the Revolution.


                                What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                                Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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