Default era

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Marras
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Default era

Post by Marras » 04 Jan 2016, 10:38

I have been around here for quite some time so I shouldn't have to ask this but for some reason I am still a bit unclear what era the game defaults to. Is it up to 18th century or some earlier century? I know firearms are supported and that's great but when I have visions how it would actually look I'm afraid that I might have too advanced setting in mind.
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Agamemnon
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Re: Default era

Post by Agamemnon » 04 Jan 2016, 14:53

Marras wrote:I have been around here for quite some time so I shouldn't have to ask this but for some reason I am still a bit unclear what era the game defaults to. Is it up to 18th century or some earlier century? I know firearms are supported and that's great but when I have visions how it would actually look I'm afraid that I might have too advanced setting in mind.

We've been specifically concentrating on the fuzzy area between the renaissance and the early modern period. We tend to use 1500-1600 as our "Default" period.

That said, because of the nature of this period, we basically give you the building blocks of any other pre-modern period. If you want high medieval, keep plate but more or less ignore firearms. If you want swashbuckling pirates, keep firearms, ignore armor (though breastplates were still used for some time, if I recall). The pattern goes on the further back you want to go. You might have to adjust the prices on your own (a sword in 600AD was a big deal, fit for royalty and heroes. A sword in 1600AD is a commonplace weapon used by pretty much everyone who fights) but the crunch is all there.
Sword and Scoundrel: On Role-Playing and Fantasy Obscura

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
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EinBein
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Re: Default era

Post by EinBein » 04 Jan 2016, 19:05

That sounds great indeed. I just got intrigued by Battle Brothers, an indie computer game that is on steam in early access (and has not much features in its current state). It's basically about building a band of mercenaries and doing what mercenaries do in a low fantasy gritty medieval world, roughly taking artistic inspiration from 800 to 1200 of our own time period. I like the art style very much. It's actually the best part of the game :P

http://battlebrothersgame.com/media/images/

I would love to do a bastardly campaign in a similar setting...
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Marras
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Re: Default era

Post by Marras » 05 Jan 2016, 02:42

So, the default era would include Three Musketeers but not Black Sails. My vision is set to 1700 but I can scale back to 1600 if necessary. In any case, it is a fantasy world that I will be using and not a strict time period in our history.

EinBein, that game looks cool and that idea of mercenary band is great! I suppose I will try to start things without NPC hirelings as I am afraid that it will take some time for us to learn the system.
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Re: Default era

Post by Agamemnon » 05 Jan 2016, 16:57

Marras wrote:So, the default era would include Three Musketeers but not Black Sails. My vision is set to 1700 but I can scale back to 1600 if necessary. In any case, it is a fantasy world that I will be using and not a strict time period in our history.

EinBein, that game looks cool and that idea of mercenary band is great! I suppose I will try to start things without NPC hirelings as I am afraid that it will take some time for us to learn the system.
That's sort of the thing. If you want a Black Sails game, all you really have to do is assume sabers and cutlasses instead of rapiers, and then assume flintlocks instead of wheellock or matchlock guns. Imagine everyone in different clothing, it's basically done.

Now naval technology is a whole different argument you could have, but that's not something we're tackling in the scope of the core book anyway.

And yeah. Einbein's game looks pretty great.
Sword and Scoundrel: On Role-Playing and Fantasy Obscura

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib, the Princess Irulan
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Re: Default era

Post by EinBein » 05 Jan 2016, 18:27

Do you have chainmail in the beta? And axes? Just because they weren't too dominant in the timeframe you have in focus...
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Re: Default era

Post by Agamemnon » 05 Jan 2016, 21:18

EinBein wrote:Do you have chainmail in the beta? And axes? Just because they weren't too dominant in the timeframe you have in focus...
Yes on both counts. You still see bits of maille here and there in our period - the bishop's mantle was popular with pikemen as a relatively cheap defense, and you still see some random places using hauberks - gallowglass irish mercenaries are shown wearing maille in the early 1600s. Plus, maille is still used to guard the gaps in a lot of plate configurations.

Axes are built into our weapon codex system, so we not only have them, you can customize them a fair amount. They are about the scariest cutting weapons in the game.
Sword and Scoundrel: On Role-Playing and Fantasy Obscura

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib, the Princess Irulan
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Re: Default era

Post by Marras » 06 Jan 2016, 12:47

Yes, I know the naval rules will come at some point in future and I am not aiming at piratical campaign, at the moment.

But great, I will have to think of what type of firearms will be available etc. as rapiers would be cool for mostly urban game :)
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Re: Default era

Post by higgins » 06 Jan 2016, 13:55

Marras wrote:But great, I will have to think of what type of firearms will be available etc. as rapiers would be cool for mostly urban game :)
You're covered in both the rapier, as well as the firearm department. And we couldn't avoid maille in renaissance even if we wanted to... as maille is used for voiders -- aka the maille patches sewn onto the arming doublet to make up for the gaps in plate armor.

And as Agamemnon said, in the terms of firearms, all you need to do is to switch matchlocks/wheellocks out with flintlocks and there you go. Basically you get the function of a wheellock for the price of a matchlock. Plus the flinlock is more reliable than any of its predecessors, but we're not getting into that... not yet anyway. :)
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Marras
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Re: Default era

Post by Marras » 06 Jan 2016, 14:54

Not yet? Depending on my final feeling and inspirations I might even get flintlocks and rapiers :twisted: Ah, the joys of pick and mix!
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Re: Default era

Post by higgins » 06 Jan 2016, 16:18

I meant that we currently don't have any rules for firing mechanism unreliability. :)
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Re: Default era

Post by Marras » 06 Jan 2016, 16:23

Ah, I got it now :) Well, until there is a mechanism for that, then those firearms are surprisingly reliable in my games.
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Re: Default era

Post by Agamemnon » 06 Jan 2016, 20:20

Marras wrote:Ah, I got it now :) Well, until there is a mechanism for that, then those firearms are surprisingly reliable in my games.
the unreliability of early firearms is overstated in general, I think. So long as you didnt get your powder wet, you were fine. The difference in firing mechanisms wasn't even that huge a jump in reliability so much as it was convenience. With a matchlock you've got to keep this big burning match lit at all times, which meant that you pretty well had to know ahead of time you would be using the gun and would have to haul around a great deal of match cord to keep it constantly burning. I imagine it was harder to sneak up on someone with a matchlock as well, what with the smell of burning match. Plus, handling black powder while holding a lit match in hand is enough to make anyone nervous.

The big advantage Wheellocks have are that you aren't fooling with a match. You dont have to worry about burning yourself or setting your powder off, dont have to worry about the smell, etc. Most importantly - the weapon can be primed and readied ahead of time and used at a moment's notice. That's why almost all pistols in our period are wheellocks - a matchlock pistol is basically useless for the role pistols played.

Interesting aside - wheellock pistols actually got a bad reputation as an assassin's weapon, as it is an extremely deadly tool that can be used suddenly and from a distance and while still hidden under a cloak without a burning match or something giving it away.

The tradeoff is that wheellocks were expensive and delicate mechanisms, and if it gets knocked around in the wrong way, you might screw up the springs.

Modeling a flintlock isn't really an issue of "firearm reliability" so much as it is just a matter of making wheellock functionality come at matchlock prices.
Sword and Scoundrel: On Role-Playing and Fantasy Obscura

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib, the Princess Irulan
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Re: Default era

Post by EinBein » 07 Jan 2016, 03:13

Agamemnon wrote:the unreliability of early firearms is overstated in general, I think.
I have a funny book in German, containing a collection of some of the 33.000 confession letters sent to the Apostolic Penitentiary in the years from 1431 to 1503.

There are lots of cases where clergymen used early blackpowder weapons during festivities, just while sitting together for supper or while hunting and killing some bystander "by accident". Those weapons are most often referred to as "bombardellas" and "piscidas".

One very funny letter from a bird-hunting frankish priests claims, that he went near a river, waited until a bypassing ship was out of reach, shot at a bird and by hitting the poultry, the projectile was deflected and killed a man on the ship with the bullett in his throat.

One has to know, that those letters very often had the purpose to marginalize fatal events (of which many happened, not only with firearms) so that the pastorate could claim absolution from the pope and sleep well again. So they might not be the most honest testimonies ;)

Anyways, it can be assumed that the part with the killed man on the ship is true, because otherwise, the priest wouldn't have bothered to write the letter at all...
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Re: Default era

Post by Agamemnon » 07 Jan 2016, 13:44

EinBein wrote:Anyways, it can be assumed that the part with the killed man on the ship is true, because otherwise, the priest wouldn't have bothered to write the letter at all...
I'm sure the death of the man is true.. I suspect it's far more likely the priest missed the bird entirely and killed the man by freak chance, however.

I'm also sure people had accidents back then with firearms just as people have accidents now. Probably more so when dealing with raw black powder.

I was more referring to the way certain games will represent black powder firearms by giving you a 5% chance to have some terrible misfire any time you use it - usually resulting in the thing either failing to fire and being fouled, or exploding in your hand damaging the user.

If firearms had a 1-in-20 chance to blow up on you any time you used them, I suspect they wouldn't have caught on.
Sword and Scoundrel: On Role-Playing and Fantasy Obscura

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib, the Princess Irulan
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