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Interest in Outremer? [Crusades campaign]

PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:53 pm
by sully
I am probably a month or two away from being ready to begin, and then at that point who knows how far I'd get before the holidays would force a break, but I figured I'd check with the Hinterlands regulars first. I'd like to start a campaign using Delving Deeper rules, based in the Kingdom of Jerusalem just after the end of the First Crusade when the Crusader States (Edessa, Antioch, Tripoli, and Jerusalem) were first created. I call it Outremer (French for "overseas", the name commonly given to the Crusader States by the Franks).

Jerusalem is easy to find, go to where the men speak Italian, then continue until they speak something else.

Some of you may remember the thread over on odd74 that I began about running a semi-historical campaign set in this time period. Tho' that thread meandered into "less than useful" territory, some of the suggestions were helpful.

I also have been talking with Ways about some new character classes that fit the milieu a little better (e.g. no elves, dwarves, or halflings so I want to add some more options other than human fighter, cleric, mage, or thief).

Left to right: Godfrey, Tancred, Raymond, Bohemund. Bonus points to anyone who can figure out where Tancred's horse is.

Plus, I just watched Kingdom of Heaven last night :D and it energized me toward wrapping up my prep and getting the game in motion. I figure the more I talk about it with other folks, the more it will force me to make it happen.

No helmet means lots of critical hit chances!

The game would be a sandbox environment so the party would be free to pursue any endeavor. Conflict with the Saracens to the north or south, protecting pilgrims from Europe, trade with Cathay, exploring old ruins from Roman, Jewish, or Arab times, recovering relics of the Faith, fighting monsters and abominations of an earlier Age, or being typical D&D murder hobos, everything's on the table. I will warn you that there will be consequences for certain actions undertaken. The Jews are weak and the Saracens are disorganized but neither are powerless.

The only thing I will say is that I'm not interested in pursuing any angles involving religious strife, slavery, or wanton harm done to innocents like women and children. Yes, the Christians slaughtered a lot of Jews and Muslims. That's not what this campaign is about. I'll be perfectly frank with you about it: I'm ignoring that aspect of the history. If you have a problem with that, this is not the campaign for you.

You're the good guys... err, girls.... uh, you get the idea.

I haven't chosen the exact date for when the campaign will begin but it will be during a time when the Saracen opposition to the Latin Kingdoms was disorganized, there was a lot of trade between Saracens and Christians, and in some cases, factions of Saracens allied with the Christians in order to defeat other Saracen factions. I like the concept of shifting alliances, versus the later times when Saladin united the Saracen forces and ejected the Christians from Jerusalem.

Anyway, who's up for it? If there's a lot of interest, I'll accelerate my prep timeline.

Posting rate should be a little faster than Hinterlands but not too much. Twice or three times a week at best.

Re: Interest in Outremer? [Crusades campaign]

PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:13 am
by waysoftheearth
It sounds intriguing Sully.... do you have a starting location/scenario in mind of the potential players?

Will it be wholly "historic" or will there be some fantasy elements? Will there be monsters? magic spells?

Re: Interest in Outremer? [Crusades campaign]

PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:14 pm
by sully
waysoftheearth wrote:It sounds intriguing Sully.... do you have a starting location/scenario in mind of the potential players?

Will it be wholly "historic" or will there be some fantasy elements? Will there be monsters? magic spells?

Starting location - having arrived in the Holy Land, specifically Acre, on a boat from Italy, the party will be part of a caravan of pilgrims journeying to Jerusalem. Play will begin "on the road". It is assumed that PCs will be from Europe but this starting point gives a good excuse for such folks to be partying with "the locals", if so desired.

Side note - I really don't care if the party is full of folks from all over but I'll be honest: I'm not making it easy for anyone. If the party is made up of a Greek, a Jew, an Egyptian, a Persian, and a Frank, you're all going to be shunned nearly everywhere you go, as "freaks", or worse, spies, or even worse, heretics.

Historic v. fantasy - Not completely historic. Many fantasy elements. There will be fantastic monsters but these will tend to be one-offs, so to speak. e.g. if you meet and defeat a chimera, chances are that's the only one in all of the Middle East, unless you find one in a zoo in Alexandria or Baghdad. They are vanishingly rare, having been more common during earlier Ages but hunted down and killed as Man strengthened his hold on the world. Hoping to have lots of tie-ins to Biblical "myths", e.g. are the giants actually Nephilim? Are the Nephilim, if they exist, the Sons of God (i.e. fallen angels) or the offspring of these Sons and the daughters of Man?

So conflict will be mainly with other Men, but can quickly expand to include the undead, summoned spirits like djinni and efreet, and the "monsters" of the time.

Magic? - Magic exists. The time I need before beginning the campaign is to figure out how I want to deal with magic-users and clerics. Part of the reason why I wanted to use DD rules was to keep things simple, so I suspect that I'll take the easy way out but we'll see if I have the energy to re-skin mages and give them alternate sources of power, like alchemy or pagan worship or command over spirits or what have you.

Re: Interest in Outremer? [Crusades campaign]

PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:38 pm
by mgtremaine
Deeping on how busy I feel when you start I might be in.

I like the setup. I think you could really go interesting on Magic. Alchemists seems like a gimme, you might be able to do something with Witchcraft and Sorcery. Clerics are either easy, as is, with baneful and beneficial powers based on outlook, or right out because of subject matter. This would be lots of Cleric vs Cleric action since Anti-Cliercs would be kind rare.