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Author Topic: Interest Check: The Chronicles of Kirborg - Semi-Realistic Medieval Setting  (Read 288 times)

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Offline Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

I have a good many ideas for a freeform game set in a pseudo-medieval frontier town right now, but before I develop these ideas any further I would like to check if there might be any actual interest in a setting like this.

The idea is actually pretty simple: A small town / large village in a frontier region would be the setting, the players new arrivals in town who try to make a living there. Think of it as Deadwood crossed with the Cadfael Chronicles and Robin of Sherwood in a world not quite our own if you enjoy the TV shows I do. And if not, just think of it as a generic medieval fantasy setting - without the fantasy.

Why "semi-realistic", "pseudo medieval", or a world "not quite our own"? What's that supposed to mean anyway?

I'd like to have a medieval setting, but making it too realistic might not be a good idea for several reasons. Some players may know a lot about it, others very little. Having the world being unique and not exactly mirroring any historical setting will put everyone on an equal footing.

Another reason to deviate from history would be that historical accuracy might severely restrict characters. Just look at the role of women in medieval Europe. Or how about a commoner found riding a horse? He might be hanged as a horse thief before anyone bothers to ask questions, because commoners might not be supposed to own horses. Then there were sumptuary laws restricting people from wearing certain colors, furs, and so on. Once you get really realistic about the middle ages you might end up with a game where nine people out of ten spend all their life working the fields from before sunrise to sunset - and where would be the fun in that?

So is it going to be a fantasy game then?

No. There will be no Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, and so on. If magic exists, it is something that the players will not actively wield. Pray to God for a miracle and maybe something will happen. Offer a sheep to one of the Old Gods and maybe fortune will smile on you. Did that potion really make the daughter of the blacksmith fall in love with you? Perhaps, and perhaps not.

This game will also strive for a certain amount of realism in many aspects of daily life. For most people knowledge of geography is limited to the place they live and maybe 10 or 20 miles around it, at best. Reading and writing will be rare skills. The closest thing to tourism will be pilgrimages taken late in life, and the forests at the edge of civilization will be wild places where a traveler can easily fall prey to a pack of wolves or bandits - provided he doesn't get hopelessly lost long before that.

What about the characters?

They should be newcomers to Kirborg, the village at the center of the setting, but they can come from all walks of life. Perhaps a young nobleman who has inherited a house and some land there, perhaps a peddler who falls in love with someone in town and decides to try and make a living there. Or maybe a young priest sent to bring the word of The Lord to the heathens of the frontier villages. An old soldier maybe who has seen the world and now longs for a place of peace and quiet, far from the hustle and bustle of the larger towns. A young maiden promised one of the laded gentry, only arriving in town to find that her prospective husband is on his deathbed, torn between returning home and marrying the man in time to inherit his vast but untamed holdings. There are quite a few possibilities and I wouldn't mind if someone plays several members of the same family, to allow for a few more roleplaying possibilities than a single character might allow.

What will happen in-game?

So far I have a few ideas, but it depends a good bit on the characters (should there be enough interest). Right now I see it as a sandbox game with a few planned events. The game could span a few months or several years. It's open for discussion.

Now... would anyone actually be interested in playing something like this?

Offline Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Perhaps I should have structured my "sales pitch" a little differently, so I guess it's time to address some aspects of the game I haven't gone into before:

Who can play?
Ladies, Lieges, and Lords are all welcome and it makes no difference to me if player and character don't share the same gender and/or sex. Males playing as females and vice versa is not a problem.

Character gender and sex
I won't rule anything out, but the society in this setting will be dominated by Christian values and morals. A character who is openly bi, gay, or queer in some way may find him-/her-/hisself ostracized from normal society and is very likely to have some serious difficulties interacting with most people. That does not make playing such a character impossible, but it will present some real problems in the character's daily life. Also keep in mind that in many medieval societies having kids isn't a luxury, but a necessity to provide both helping hands and old-age security. A gay character may well be forced by necessity to have children, even if that isn't exactly their preference.

The role of women in this world will be slightly improved over some real-world precedents, e.g. when it comes to inheritance rights, but (in general) a woman may not wield the same power and influence as a man. Strong women can and do exist, but unless they are of a high social standing they may have to be subtle in how they interact with a male-dominated society.

Game level / category
Without any fantasy elements all characters will be human. While I have not completely made up my mind yet (and will take player input into account) I see this as going into either the Light or Non-Con category. On the other hand, not everything that could develop between characters has to be played out in the group threads. There is no reason why two (or more) people couldn't base a one-shot roleplay on characters and situations developed in the Kirborg game and post that in the appropriate board.

Character creation
I'll bother about a character sheet and post header format if and when there is some interest in this game, but both will (most likely) be pretty "generic", covering character appearance, family and personal history, some personality traits, and so on. A few details may be required, but I won't ask for too much detail. If you want to go into small details and add information to your character sheets you will be free to do so, but I am someone who likes to discover details about his characters during gameplay, so if you are like me you are welcome to paint a picture of your character in broad strokes.

Number of character and players
I'd say this can be played with a minimum of 3 players - provided they are willing to post regularly, regularly meaning perhaps about four times a week or every other day. Maximum group size I would say should be about 6 players, depending a bit on how many characters everyone plays.

Multiple characters per player isn't a problem - and may actually be a good idea, depending on your character concept(s). Many a farmer or craftsman (or even knight) has his/her hands full just dealing with daily work in a medieval world. Playing both a knight and his squire, or perhaps a farmer, his son who is an apprentice to one of the village craftsmen, and his wife who serves in the Baron's household can open up new possibilities and roleplaying options. Playing multiple characters is by no means a requirement, but it is something perfectly fine in this game.

Offline Senti

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I have an idea, I will send it to you.  if that's ok.

Offline Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Sure. Or post it here unless you want to keep it secret for some reason. PM or post both works for me.