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Running a campaign in Elizabethan times - which rules are better?

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  • Running a campaign in Elizabethan times - which rules are better?

    Hey folks

    I'm planning out a Vampire game to run in an Elizabethan setting and I can't decide whether to use the Dark Ages Vampire 20th Anniversary (DAV20) or the Vampire the Masquerade 20th Anniversary (V20) rules. Which would be better for this setting?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Dogstar View Post
    Hey folks

    I'm planning out a Vampire game to run in an Elizabethan setting and I can't decide whether to use the Dark Ages Vampire 20th Anniversary (DAV20) or the Vampire the Masquerade 20th Anniversary (V20) rules. Which would be better for this setting?
    V20DA is closer in time. That said, I think V20 would work just as well, really. The rules aren't hugely different.

    It's just whether you want full-blown Roads or simple Paths, and whether you want to tweak certain Clan Weaknesses or not.

    You could split the difference and use Victorian Age Vampire, too.

    Either way, there will be changes to the clans and bloodlines, and that may have knock-on effects for Disciplines. Seems like the same amount of work either way.

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    • #3
      You might also want to look at Mage: the Sorcerer's Crusade for the relevant Abilities set, as well as certain historical systems. I've always thought that M:tSC should have developed into its own historical system, like Victorian Age and Dark Ages. Maybe with the tagline "High Renaissance" or "Renaissance Dawn." This could turn into a good SV project for someone.


      THWarted

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      • #4
        Mechanics really shouldn't matter. There is not much difference, but what differences there are really just taste. What is different is the setting and the things that come out of it. Dark Ages is a pre-Anarch Revolt, and pre-Camarilla era where all clans are heavily dominated by elders and exist as competitors, rivals, and allies to all other clans. The modern books's setting is a post-Anarch Revolt with the established sects, revised Traditions, and the source of oppression shifting from the elders and sires in general, to those in the leadership of the sect.

        The Elizabethan era is a post-Dark Ages setting, but one still digesting the remnants of that era. The Sabbat-Camarilla Wars that end with the Camarilla's triumph in the Old World is still ramping up and victory is a hundred years away.

        So I would use V20 as a base, but strategically select some things from DAV20 to still include as a showcase of their decline, and possibly how it adapted and changed.

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        • #5
          The single biggest issue is whether or not you want to use the DA Roads system or modern night's Humanity. The Convention of Thorns, ending the Anarch Revolt, was in 1493. Elizabeth I reigned from 1558 to 1603, so most neonates are going to have been embraced near the Revolt's end or afterwords.

          The Roads largely fell out of use during the several centuries of chaos after the Dark Ages setting, events of which included but weren't limited to the Papal and Shadow Inquisitions, Great Famine of 1315 - 1317 and the Black Death, the Hundred Years War, the various "peasant revolts" in Flanders, England, Estonia, Transylvania, and elsewhere (and the Promethean, Furores, and Anarch Revolts that accompanied them), the fall of Constantinople and the Ottoman invasions of Europe, and the fall of the Cappadocians and rise of the Giovanni.
          My personal head canon is that during all of the above upheaval, many of the so-called Ashen Priests who oversaw and offered instruction in the Roads were destroyed, driven in to torpor, or forced to stop teaching by those elders who favored the creation of the Masquerade. Thus by the Renaissance era, Humanity - especially as a way to blend in with the Kine - became the default teachings for almost all new European Kindred. The exception are likely various cults or secret societies still secretly practicing tenets from the old Roads. Some of these - especially remnants of the Roads of the Beast, of Sin, and some of the minor/heretical Roads - become the foundations for many of the Sabbat Paths of Enlightenment at the Black Monastery in 1666.

          The other main issue is Abilities. The Dark Ages character sheet is probably closer to Elizabethan culture/technology than Masquerade. You will probably need to include Firearms (Matchlocks) as a secondary skill. You may also want to consider renaming Seneschal to Steward.

          I'll also note that the Swashbuckler's Handbook for Mage: The Sorcerers' Crusade has a lot of useful material for the period (even if it's a few decades after that game's main setting). This includes an overview of 15th century courts and how they tend to work, period mystical/occult theories and tools, rules for classic swashbuckling stunts, and a large number of classic court character archetypes all derived from Shakespeare.

          And if you've never seen it, I'll recommend Black Adder II. Also the Tudor and Stewart era episodes of The Worst Jobs in History (which should be on YouTube's Timeline channel). And Errol Flynn's The Sea Hawk.


          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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          • #6
            Good point about the Abilities changes.

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            • #7
              I second using Mage: The Sorcerer's Crusade for ideas. It's a great read, if nothing else.

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              • #8
                Would also suggest looking at the London by Night book for Victorian Age, as several of the characters outlined come to prominence in the Elizabethan era.

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                • #9
                  I'll also throw out Dark Eras for Chronicles of Darkness. It's got a pretty beefy (and excellently written) section on vampires in Elizabethan London.


                  Blood and Bourbon, my New Orleans-based Vampire chronicle.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by False Epiphany View Post
                    I'll also throw out Dark Eras for Chronicles of Darkness. It's got a pretty beefy (and excellently written) section on vampires in Elizabethan London.

                    And each Dark Eras setting is available separately, so Requiem For Regina is available here.


                    Craig Oxbrow
                    The Trinity Continuum freelancer

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Toby Weingarten View Post
                      You might also want to look at Mage: the Sorcerer's Crusade for the relevant Abilities set, as well as certain historical systems. I've always thought that M:tSC should have developed into its own historical system, like Victorian Age and Dark Ages. Maybe with the tagline "High Renaissance" or "Renaissance Dawn." This could turn into a good SV project for someone.
                      In my Ages of Darkness thread, I've discussed Vlad the Impaler's Transylania/Walachia and Spain's "Golden Century" as settings for M:SC and other lines, and am working on bits about Japan's Sengoku era and Rudolph II's Prague. Eventually I want to talk about the various Islamic "gunpowder empires" (including the Ottomans under Suleiman the Magnificent), Prince Henry the Navigator's Portugal, Ivan the Terrible, the start of the Reformation in Germany, and the Florence of Da Vinci and Machiavelli. Probably also the Ming Dynasty and the Aztecs if I can find good hooks for them.


                      In my more ideal world, the main three historical lines would've been Vampire: The Dark Ages, Werewolf: Savage Rome, and Mage: Victorian Twilight, with each getting books about the other lines (Savage Rome by Night, Victorian Vampire, etc.), and two six book mini-lines, Wraith: Revolution (mainly the American and French Revolutions, but really roughly the Seven Years War to Waterloo and its aftermath) and Changeling: The Golden Age (Elizabeth's reign, as well as what was going on in Spain, Prague, France, Russia, and the New World to a certain degree). Given Vampire's popularity, it almost certainly could've supported some sort of Shakespeare by Night or Blood Regency style sourcebook.

                      (I'm honestly a little surprised we never had some sort of London Chronicles which ran from the Dark Ages or earlier through the Tudor era, the Regency, the Victorian era, one or both World Wars, and modern times.)


                      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


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
                        In my Ages of Darkness thread
                        I read your Ages of Darkness thread recently and I wanted to let everyone know that I thought it was really great. A fabulous resource for ideas and references.

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