Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Fact-checking request for an Early Medieval/Late Antiquity Dark Era

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Fact-checking request for an Early Medieval/Late Antiquity Dark Era

    tl;dr - please tell me if I got any of this obviously wrong.

    TheKingsRaven and I have spent the last couple years writing a medieval era supplement for the fan-made TTRPG Genius: The Transgression. In it, you play as mad scientists and wonder-workers trying to survive in the shadows of the Roman Empire's collapse. As my associate TheKingsRaven described it, "The Enlightened see Rome as a lost splendour that they would recreate, and live in a 'Dark Age' of decline and brutality where little of intellectual or cultural value is created; both because the Geniuses are too busy trying to preserve the past to create anything new, and because they’re too cleverly justifying their belief in a Dark Age to notice if anyone else is proving them wrong."

    I've been doing my own research on the Early Medieval/Late Antiquity for a couple years now, and I think I've managed to write a high-level snapshot of the era that will help players to understand what's going on and how this time period is different from the High and Late Medieval Eras that they're probably more familiar with from books and movies. I was hoping that someone on this forum would be willing to take a look at my A Time Traveller's Guide to the Long Defeat and tell me if I got anything obviously wrong. Historical accuracy and nuance is less important here than getting a "feel" for the Early Medieval era, but I don't want to present information that's patently false if I can help it.


    Last edited by Super_Dave; 05-12-2022, 02:54 PM.

  • monteparnas
    replied
    Originally posted by Super_Dave View Post
    Yeah, I'm realizing that the HUGE amount of time this setting covers makes it difficult to generalize about what life was like, because it could vary so much from region to region and era to era. I guess a lot of that is left up to the ST to research, depending on when exactly they want their chronicle to begin. I'm also toying around with the idea of making the setting generational, coming up with mechanics that allow you to roll up stats for and play as your own children (though that might be biting off more than I can chew).
    Instead of making rules for a generational game, one thing you can try to improve on the "quality of the picture" is to work on one to three Sample Settings, that let you cover a limited scope of region and time, basically a snapshot of a relevant area in a given moment with some tidbits from other times and places just enough to contextualize, really as a fixed setting, so the players can have a more concrete setting to play and a starting point to acclimate to it. Then suggestions on where to research more if they want to.

    Leave a comment:


  • Super_Dave
    replied
    Originally posted by Aurumae View Post
    I think it's pretty good overall, although I would take more effort to define the period in which you will be playing, as Late Antiquity is quite a long stretch of time and much changed during that period. For example, people living in the early fifth century in Britain would likely have considered themselves Romans even after the Legions were withdrawn, while a century later Rome would probably be a mix of history and legend. Lifestyles sometimes deteriorated quite quickly during this period, and while eventually the peasant/serf system will develop, there are many places and people who are just sort of forgotten about as the Roman administration deteriorates but before the evolution of medieval kingdoms.
    Yeah, I'm realizing that the HUGE amount of time this setting covers makes it difficult to generalize about what life was like, because it could vary so much from region to region and era to era. I guess a lot of that is left up to the ST to research, depending on when exactly they want their chronicle to begin. I'm also toying around with the idea of making the setting generational, coming up with mechanics that allow you to roll up stats for and play as your own children (though that might be biting off more than I can chew).

    The exact dates of the Long Defeat are kind of nebulous. We envisioned the era beginning with the "fall" of Rome (which happened at different times in different places) and ending with... probably the Norman Conquest of Britain. It should definitely end no later than the emergence of the first Scholastics in the 12th century.

    Originally posted by Aurumae View Post
    While running it, I found this set of articles to be immensely useful for imagining what Late Antiquity might have been like to live through:

    Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part I: Words
    Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part II: Institutions
    Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part III: Things
    Yes, this. This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for. Thank you so much.

    Leave a comment:


  • glamourweaver
    replied
    I have a bunch of notes for “Vigil for Rome” that I need to actually do something with, though I don’t know if people will like my divergences from “canon” in my treatment of the Aves Minerva.

    Leave a comment:


  • Amethyst
    replied
    I wish somebody would do a Dark Era set in the period covering the last days of the Roman Republic (80 BCE-30 BCE). I think there is one in Dark Eras Companion, but another one from a different supernatural perspective (maybe Genius or Deviant) would be awesome.

    Leave a comment:


  • Aurumae
    replied
    I think it's pretty good overall, although I would take more effort to define the period in which you will be playing, as Late Antiquity is quite a long stretch of time and much changed during that period. For example, people living in the early fifth century in Britain would likely have considered themselves Romans even after the Legions were withdrawn, while a century later Rome would probably be a mix of history and legend. Lifestyles sometimes deteriorated quite quickly during this period, and while eventually the peasant/serf system will develop, there are many places and people who are just sort of forgotten about as the Roman administration deteriorates but before the evolution of medieval kingdoms.

    I find the period of the collapse of the Roman Empire to be one of the most interesting to play in (and covered it in my Vampire game, which ran from Fall of the Camarilla through to Arthur's Britannia). While running it, I found this set of articles to be immensely useful for imagining what Late Antiquity might have been like to live through:

    Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part I: Words
    Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part II: Institutions
    Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part III: Things

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X