Historical Mu* - Looking for interested Staff



  • Looking at a new mu*, central focus would be semi-historical L&L (focus on house politics) in a period of high conflict.

    We are settling on 722 AD, the beginning of the Reconquista and the potential birth of the Kingdom of Asturias.

    It would be semi-historical with less historical accuracy in favor of Hollywood take; drama, action, intrigue, romance, etc.. Likewise, less focus on actually technology and culture to simply 'looking' the period; lenient on customs and styles of dress by a few centuries probably. We are not playing dirt toiling peoples with gingivitis.

    We are looking at just after the Battle of Covadonga, whereby Pelagius has been released from his duty as a hostage to the Wali in Cordoba. We are hand waving it to ... at the time of succession of the new governor (wali) in 718, some sons given as hostage under the Treaty of Orihuela were released in jubilation (in light of limited resources on specific chronicles of detail of the time period). Pelagius freed (escaped) at this time goes north and gets some support in the Artures (Asturian Mountains) region. They proceed to harangue local judges/magistrates until Musa marches to the region in 722 after invading Gaul/Aquitaine yet again, whereby Musa is defeated.

    Anbasa ibn Suḥaym al-Kalbi is the Wali of Cordoba while the Umayyad Caliphate has not yet moved to Cordoba, it is not yet the Emirate of Cordoba either. Simply one Wali (governor) over a series of regional governors. Pelagius has some support and is establishing a court as a Visigoth prince (Asturian Prince). There is a governor in the region of Gijon for the Wali of Cordoba (the area that will become Leon).

    Players will play lesser nobles from families in the region of Astures (Asturian Mountains of Northern Spain). Sons that are the noble knights who choose to fight against the Muslims, or with them in support of the Caliph's governor, some maybe recently promoted commoner landowners, but all lesser nobles at the start. The houses have the choice of the more suitable option for their personal political gains, its wide open what they decide to do. The seeds are planted for the birth of the Kingdom of Asturias, but we deviate from history at the start in favor of player choice.

    Many options. They could side with Pelagius and continue to ignite the Reconquista, seeking out judges/magistrates and troops loyal to the Caliph to defeat/remove. They could join in the Berber Rebillion to come, taking roots as well with the sparks of rebellion in the air. They could side with the Caliph and invade Aquitaine and Gaul for spoils while quenching the fires of Pelagius?

    The focus is on the noble families, the movers and shakers of the region, but there may be opportunity to play the administrative side of the Umayyad, from Saracen and Moor supporters, or the Berbers who were recently conquered as well and are settling more in north/west Spain (leading to their own rebellion). Maybe room for the common use of mercenary groups used by Pelagius/Asturias or the Wali (a group of Norsemen, Flemish Spearman, Frankish Knights, Moorish mounted archers, or Berber Light cavalry, mercenaries of war out for spoils and capitalizing on the turmoil in the region). Just primary focus on house and house politics with intermittent conflicts based on decisions made by the houses and their plans of action.

    We are looking for those interested in staffing, which would include helping develop meta to give the player base something to do, helping develop some theme so that we can be more flushed out and ready for an actual player base, those interested in helping with building (grid/theme/etc.). If I had time, we could push forward as is, but this place will be much better with a handful of staff to help keep it running from the get go.



  • Follow-up to my initial post; Little Red Hen style, I'll plant the wheat, who'll help me reap the wheat.

    Anyone out there interested in running heads of houses or faction heads for nobles/ caliphate? Or general interest in playing to be sure I'm not making effort for no return?


  • Pitcrew

    I think the idea is terrific, and you seem very excited! Don't be discouraged by silence! If you keep it up, players will come. =)



  • Could be interesting, I was recently reading some neat Dark Age-style stuff. And as @SunnyJ said, keep posting your ideas. It's how I got a lot of the hammerwork done on Houses of hte Blood, throwing up my dev stuff as I went here.


  • TV & Movies

    My instinct is... good intentions but really iffy result given a couple reasons:

    • Despite being willing to wave a bit historical accuracy (this was the case on Realms too, partly as a staff call and partly even by Pendragon design), it's way off what most people are familiar with when they think of knights and whatnot, and that's almost certainly going to cause friction among people who want to do it right and people who don't give a fuuuuuuck.

    • Real life settings are also probably a little subtle to make plain sense of the politics so the PCs can follow along. I'm not sure what you intend as 'houses/factions' but usually the benefit of fantasy settings is they're a lot more cleanly delineated on this stuff. You'd need to take some really clear steps here.

    • Even with our resident race baiting specialist banned and ignoring his dumb rants about RA, there's some iffiness making a game about defeating the Muslims given obvious RL context that is obvious. I dunno. Maybe people can handle it, but I even remember some iffy stuff with how people handled Kurgans on Star Crusade, and at least there's a thin layer of pretend there.



  • Lotherio, I teach medieval history, and even I got lost in that background explanation. I think you need to make this a lot simpler to understand or very few people will bother to look at it.


  • Coder

    The idea of a historical game is cool, but, I think the first thing that should be done is just to say the /theme/ is set in an alternate world that is like this spot in history.

    That way the game has a future and a setting that is the target audience but leaves the future open for development.

    One of the biggest things about truly 'historical' settings/themes is that it leaves the future already written, there's nowhere to diverge. The theme and setting become the greatest barrier to plot development.

    For example:

    Setting a game in Rome during the time of Julius Caesar might be a cool idea, but, we already know that Julius gets wiped out by Brutus and crew which means that the future is already written if you go for historical accuracy.

    So the best way (in my honest opinion) to do something like this is to just state right out the gate that these are the differences between historical Rome as we know it (Using the above example) and that things aren't set in stone. The future is unwritten. Women can and do have some power openly, etc.

    Any time you make a historical piece and try to keep it true to history such as with religious wars and the like you are setting yourself up for grief in my opinion.



  • @Lithium I did say we deviate from history, we are not following its course. Part of semi-historical, we can say this is alternate history/universe, but we will not attempt to stay on historical course as mentioned in original post. Outcomes determined by what players do.

    @BetterJudgment Simplified was the first sentence; 722 ad, start of the reconquest of Spain. Northern nobility after Pelagius has victory at Battle of Covadonga. The rest is alterations and deviations from what most folks would find on Wikipedia. Poor judgement on my part, I assumed most folks would google reconquista. I usually google history when I see a new history place, I wasn't trying to make history sound interesting to anyone.

    Interesting simplification to me: the game focuses on the nobility of northern Spain. Former Visigoth families subjugated by conquest under the Umayyad caliphate. Ten years ago a treaty was signed with the Umayyad, granting autonomous authority to the nobles in the north, at the cost of sending sons to cordoba as hostage to assure compliance. Now some have returned. Rebellion has started. Players may join the rebellion, or they may side with the conquerors, it's a game of politics?



  • @Lotherio Seems like an interesting premise to me. I wouldn't mind trying it out, but I'm a bit too time shy these days to offer up any staffing services.



  • @bored said in Historical Mu* - Looking for interested Staff:

    My instinct is... good intentions but really iffy result given a couple reasons:

    All good points, a reason most historical games are iffy, and a reason I'd like some extra staff and assistance, even if as sounding board.

    • Despite being willing to wave a bit historical accuracy (this was the case on Realms too, partly as a staff call and partly even by Pendragon design), it's way off what most people are familiar with when they think of knights and whatnot, and that's almost certainly going to cause friction among people who want to do it right and people who don't give a fuuuuuuck.

    Our aim now is less historical accurate, we are aiming for more fantasy and what most people after L&L politics will recognize. Realms was started as knightly adventure, players wanted house politics and we tried to curve to meet the demand without much efficacy. The system itself tried to crunch in 1000 years of history to play the historical part through gothic knights and hi literature of 15th century. That followed by historical pedantics left some of it floundering. We are trying to shore up this potential before even considering opening for cg and play.

    • Real life settings are also probably a little subtle to make plain sense of the politics so the PCs can follow along. I'm not sure what you intend as 'houses/factions' but usually the benefit of fantasy settings is they're a lot more cleanly delineated on this stuff. You'd need to take some really clear steps here.

    These will be a lot more clear. Historically, the point of time and location is more muddled then Pendragon on nobility, land ownership and knights. We have no desire to make it confusing. It will be far more familiar to fantasy folks than a historical accuracy.

    • Even with our resident race baiting specialist banned and ignoring his dumb rants about RA, there's some iffiness making a game about defeating the Muslims given obvious RL context that is obvious. I dunno. Maybe people can handle it, but I even remember some iffy stuff with how people handled Kurgans on Star Crusade, and at least there's a thin layer of pretend there.

    This is a real concern. Given that at this time, the Muslim conqueror practices tolerance, accepts Christians as members of society, and that the reconquest starts more over freedoms (taxes and authority rather than religion) it's not the focus of theme. But as seen on Realms, players have want to make it a focus regardless. The biggest regional split at the time in religion is catholic vs arian even, but I imagine players will focus on religion and playing it up rather than keeping faith personal. It's just interesting time of politics and alliances needing to be formed to progress anywhere that isn't just grabbing war of roses or going fantasy which will just seem game of thrones lately.


  • Pitcrew

    @Lotherio

    Current issues crop up in our acts of creating, and roleplay is an act of creation. It's going to get brought in for no reason beyond 'this is a current world issue' and roleplay being an easier way for people to explore how they think and feel about something. Beyond that, given that our world is in the current situation that it is, it's a conflict that could be very personal to some of your players.

    Edited to add: The public channel conversations / arguments / drama that would crop up, alone! Good lord.


  • Pitcrew

    @Lotherio The Muslim enclaves of Granada and Cordoba started being tolerant a couple centuries after the great invasion (in which there were genocides, mass rapes, including the more publicized [at the time] enslaving and rape of a Visigothic princess), so it really is up to which timeline you're looking at. If it's later, like, say, around the time of El Cid Campeador (1060 and whereabouts), then you'll see those emirates (Cordoba and Granada, mostly) trying to preserve culture, genteel culture, etc.

    Another idea is to set it around Navarre, where the Christian Kings were fighting with the banu Qasim, also known as Cassius, the traitor Visigoth. His was a dynamic enough fiefdom that at the height of his 'dynasty', he was the de facto leader of much of what would become Aragon, until Cordoba turned their backs on him.



  • @deadculture said in Historical Mu* - Looking for interested Staff:

    @Lotherio The Muslim enclaves of Granada and Cordoba started being tolerant a couple centuries after the great invasion (in which there were genocides, mass rapes, including the more publicized [at the time] enslaving and rape of a Visigothic princess), so it really is up to which timeline you're looking at. If it's later, like, say, around the time of El Cid Campeador (1060 and whereabouts), then you'll see those emirates (Cordoba and Granada, mostly) trying to preserve culture, genteel culture, etc.

    Another idea is to set it around Navarre, where the Christian Kings were fighting with the banu Qasim, also known as Cassius, the traitor Visigoth. His was a dynamic enough fiefdom that at the height of his 'dynasty', he was the de facto leader of much of what would become Aragon, until Cordoba turned their backs on him.

    See, I only have limited info based on what the internets say... Like Wikipedia, which isn't accurate, but represents what limited knowledge I have:

    At the time, the Umayyad taxation and administrative practice were perceived as unjust by some Muslims. The Christian and Jewish population still had autonomy; their judicial matters were dealt with in accordance with their own laws and by their own religious heads or their appointees, although they did pay a poll tax for policing to the central state.[4] Muhammad had stated explicitly during his lifetime that abrahamic religious groups (still a majority in times of the Umayyad Caliphate), should be allowed to practice their own religion, provided that they paid the jizya taxation. The welfare state of both the Muslim and the non-Muslim poor started by Umar ibn al Khattab had also continued, financed by the zakat tax levied only on Muslims.[4] Muawiya's wife Maysum (Yazid's mother) was also a Christian. The relations between the Muslims and the Christians in the state were stable in this time. The Umayyads were involved in frequent battles with the Christian Byzantines without being concerned with protecting themselves in Syria, which had remained largely Christian like many other parts of the empire.[4] Prominent positions were held by Christians, some of whom belonged to families that had served in Byzantine governments. The employment of Christians was part of a broader policy of religious assimilation that was necessitated by the presence of large Christian populations in the conquered provinces, as in Syria. This policy also boosted Muawiya's popularity and solidified Syria as his power base.

    I'd much rather go idealistic fantasy and historically mythological than historically accurate, like most historical places (any old West place and their racial practices vs historical realism). Maybe the time period will be too hot considering modern idealogies and current affairs? As @bored commented.


  • Pitcrew

    @Lotherio I would say do away with history altogether, then, and instead focus on a setting that is a facsimile, and yet allows you enough latitude to write/act as you prefer.

    I recommend 'Lions of al-Rassan' as a source, by Guy Gavriel Kay.

    Close enough to the history, not close enough to piss people off, and gives you plenty of latitude to play with the events that unfold after the book's closing chapter.



  • @deadculture said in Historical Mu* - Looking for interested Staff:

    @Lotherio I would say do away with history altogether, then, and instead focus on a setting that is a facsimile, and yet allows you enough latitude to write/act as you prefer.

    I recommend 'Lions of al-Rassan' as a source, by Guy Gavriel Kay.

    Close enough to the history, not close enough to piss people off, and gives you plenty of latitude to play with the events that unfold after the book's closing chapter.

    I'll check out the book, but if it goes to alt'earth then I'd prefer just more original, just fascimile of the time and location with idealistic view and romanticized over accuracy and inaccuracy.

    Edit: Just the names changed to protect the alternative approach, close enough to reference the semi-basis.



  • If you don't mind someone with very limited coding skills (most of it coming from my brief stint as a builder at Firan), but lots of time to help, learn and some Osprey books to provide a more historical accurate aspects on whatever you'd like to be more closely related to real history, I'd like to volunteer myself to help you out.

    Some points weren't much clear to me, though:

    • Will you focus on a specific city or... county (You could probably use CK2 system of Count-Duke/Lesser King-King/Viceroy-Emperor for simplicity's sake)?
      My suggestion is that you focus on a specific area, let's say the County of Santiago de Compostela, you put the Bishop of Iria as a NPC, allowing the players to play out as barons and nobles trying to find their place on court.
    • Would you be able to play Muslims on the Caliph's court? What about Jews?
    • What kind of system are we looking forward to?
    • How fast would time progress?


  • @sthanheykel said in Historical Mu* - Looking for interested Staff:

    If you don't mind someone with very limited coding skills (most of it coming from my brief stint as a builder at Firan), but lots of time to help, learn and some Osprey books to provide a more historical accurate aspects on whatever you'd like to be more closely related to real history, I'd like to volunteer myself to help you out.

    Some points weren't much clear to me, though:

    • Will you focus on a specific city or... county (You could probably use CK2 system of Count-Duke/Lesser King-King/Viceroy-Emperor for simplicity's sake)?
      My suggestion is that you focus on a specific area, let's say the County of Santiago de Compostela, you put the Bishop of Iria as a NPC, allowing the players to play out as barons and nobles trying to find their place on court.
    • Would you be able to play Muslims on the Caliph's court? What about Jews?
    • What kind of system are we looking forward to?
    • How fast would time progress?

    We're looking at the region of the Asturias mountains of northern Spain, where the autonomous Kingdom of Asturias develops. The region between Cangas de Onis near Covadango and the administrative center of the caliphate at Gijon on the coast (which moves to Leon before said kingdom arises). Using current parishes as a loose guide to the estates, homes, castles of our nobles.

    If we went with actual religion in the area, christian, arian, muslim would be prominent religions, but as noted, we're looking at alternate view of this. Courts would be Pelagius in Cangas de Onis (visigoth prince at this time) and the qadi (judge) of Gijon and the administrative province as established by the wali (governor) of Corboba.

    Base system is FS3 as most L&L folks are familiar with it, probably including a modified trait system (pendragon light).

    No time line, not a rush, just want things on order before opening for cg. If it takes awhile but it's more ready by way of theme and policy to avoid confusion, all the better (last edit, sorry)



  • @Lotherio said in Historical Mu* - Looking for interested Staff:

    @deadculture said in Historical Mu* - Looking for interested Staff:

    I recommend 'Lions of al-Rassan' as a source, by Guy Gavriel Kay.

    I'll check out the book, but if it goes to alt'earth then I'd prefer just more original, just fascimile of the time and location with idealistic view and romanticized over accuracy and inaccuracy.

    I'll second this recommendation. For what it's worth, that book was quite literally impossible for me to put down once I picked it up in a way no book has been before it or since. (It is very sneaky about cliffhanging its chapter breaks!!!)



  • @sthanheykel said in [Historical Mu* - Looking for interested Staff]

    • How fast would time progress?

    Sorry misread. I prefer faster than 1:1 for better flow of things happening and not one incident right after the last. We're going with 2:1.


  • Pitcrew

    @Lotherio Trust me, Lions of al-Rassan is everything you need, bundled in a setting. It's a great read, too. Has all the romantic parts you want to put in a MU loosely based on upon the Reconquista.


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