Thursday, 12 January 2017

Settings for the Renaissance

Renaissance (2013)
I have never had much interest in a Renaissance game setting until recently. I bought “Renaissance Deluxe” (2013) from Cakebread & Walton. It is from the Runequest family of rules or more precisely from the OpenQuest family of rules.

As its title suggests, Renaissance assumes a European Renaissance era setting. Personally I enjoy middle settings that are not historically based.  It just feel right and there are numerous examples from Tolkien to Game of Thrones. But once you move time ahead to the Renaissance moving outside of an historical setting does not entirely feel right. But a historical setting is a lot of work and research.

The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh
I did a search online for Renaissance RPG Settings and got very few hits.  I believe TSR’s “Masque of Red Death” might have been Renaissance but I have never seen a copy, I have a copy of “The Darkest Age” (2012) from a Kickstarter.  It certainly could be used in a Renaissance setting although you need a zombie apocalypse. The only time I have ever played something vaguely in the Renaissance era would be module U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh (1980). It is an excellent adventure I have run several times and it definitely feels Renaissance although that was not the intent.  The other modules in the U series, not so much.

The one possibility that occurs to me for using the Renaissance rules is actually a post-apocalyptic setting where technology has regressed to wagons, pistols and the like. You can even throw in some modern conveniences.  This is the idea behind the Andala setting I mentioned previously.  I was also thinking that the Savage Worlds settings of Ultima Forsan (2000) and Winter Eternal (2014) might fit the bill.  The later I recently bought and read. An ice-bound setting is interesting but I would want to make a lot of changes.

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