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Showing content with the highest reputation on 03/22/2015 in all areas

  1. 2 points
  2. 2 points
    Julich10, I am unsure what part of the world you are in, but if you can find some historical reenactors.... I am certain with some patience and understanding they may allow you to try a matchlock, flintlock, wheel-lock and or rapier. I personally own 3 of the four, lacking only a wheel-lock. As a reenactor, if there is anything I can help you with regarding material culture of the era, please don't hesitate to ask. I mostly do later 17th century reenacting, (I have gear for 1640s and 1670s), but I know plenty of reenactors that do earlier 17th century reenacting, so can send you photographs, and help explain anything you like. One thing I have contemplated doing with the Renaissance rules is making some adventures or a campaign set in one of my favourite eras (either the 1670s-1680s or the first two decades of the 1700s) using my detailed knowledge of things in those eras, including the black powder firearms and adjusting the rules slightly to better reflect the reality of the use of those weapons. For example, the matchlock rules as written, only cover how many turns to load and fire. They do not mention lighting the match cord which is required to fire the matchlock. So I would add some basic rules for lighting the match-cord, making it take longer for the first shot when not prepared. Also, match-cord is a combustable. It tends to come in lengths of 2 to 3 meters/yards, and in my experience, I tend to burn through half to a full meter/yard in single reenactment battle. Reenactment battles tend to go much longer than I believe a real firefight would in the period, so I might suggest a single length of match-cord lasting 5 to 7 battles.
  3. 1 point
    I am starting to prepare a Clockwork and Cthulhu campaign entitled "A Clockwork of Orange" for play in the summer of 2016 which gives me a little time to prepare. I wanted to start this thread to share some of my ideas around the campaign, some of the historical references I am using, and to solicit whatever input you, the readers of these posts, might be able to provide. The title was more than I could resist. I am reading the biography of William the Silent, written by C.V. Wedgwood, a female English historian of the last century. William the Silent was also known as William of Orange, leader of the Dutch Revolt, who was murdered by Balthasar Gerard at Delft on July 10th, 1584. The clockwork in question, I think, was an armillary sphere designed by Leonardo Da Vinci and pictured in the Codex Atlanticus. It would have come to William the Silent by way of Francis I, King of France, who was at Da Vinci's bedside when he breathed his last and was also the foe of the Hapsburg Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. I think a lost Codex detailing this sphere and its unique capabilities was somehow obtained by William the Silent during the rebellion but the actual sphere was not constructed until it fell into the hands of the Johann Wilhelm, the mad Duke of Julich-Cleves-Berg whose "death" in 1609 lead to the war of the Julich succession, precursor to the Thirty Year's War which began in Prague in 1618 (I actually stood on the spot in the Old Town Square of Prague where 27 Protestant Noblemen were executed in 1621 by the victorious forces of the Holy Roman Emperor. Charles V was succeeded in the West by his son, Philip II, King of Spain. Enter Cthuhu and his minions. the Spanish Conquest of Mexico began in 1519. Interestingly, Pope Leo X published the a papal encyclical entitled Exsurge Domine ("Arise O Lord") intended to refute the 95 Theses of Martin Luther in 1520, the first volley of the Counter-Reformation. Perhaps the Spanish Conquistadores, arriving in the ancient city of Teotihuacan stole an artifact known as "The Smoking Mirror". sacred to the Aztec Deity Tezcatlipoca, while claiming the city for the Pope. Perhaps Tezcatlipoca was an avatar of Nyarlahotep in Mesoamerica. Tezcatlipoca is described as a god of "the night sky, the night winds, hurricanes, the north, the earth, obsidian, enmity, discord, rulership, divination, sorcery, jaguars and war". Tezcatlipoca was called "The Smoking Mirror" in the Nahuatl tongue of the Aztecs. Since the theft of the mirror, his dark thoughts are affecting the dreams of the most sensitive Eurpeans, Da Vinci among them, who died in 1519 ( perhaps too sensitive?) in Amboise, France. Perhaps Da Vinci wrote the Codex in the last days of his life, under this influence, to provide a blueprint for an armillary sphere to return the Outer Gods from their exile in time and space. Perhaps his power to create enmity is responsible for Pope Leo's encyclical which unconsciously manifests Tezcatlipoca's enmity against mankind and will lead to terrible wars of religion between Protestant and Catholic. Those who stole the artifact of Tlaloc were murdered by the brujos (sorcerors) of the Aztecs, but not before the artifact fell into the hands of Nuno Beltran de Guzman, the Governor of Panuco, "a cruel, violent and irrational tyrant", who was possessed by "The Smoking Mirror" and founded the cult of the Senhor de Chalma, "the Black Christ", a syncretism of Catholicism and Tezcatlipoca. These cultists returned to Spain with Cristobal Onate, a captain of Guzman, when Guzman was arrested for treason and genocide against the indigenous population. They are now seeking the Clockwork of Orange inspired by Tezcatlipoca/Nyarlahotep which they believe has the power to return the Outer Gods from their aeons long exile when "the stars are right" and will bring about the end of the world, which the millenarian aspect of the cult of The Smoking Mirror, the Senhor de Chalma, the Black Christ. The year is now 1610, the place is Heidelberg, Germany in the Nekkar Valley. The 14 year old Friedrich V, Elector Palatine of the Holy Roman Emperor, has just lost his father, the head of the Protestant Union, to alcoholism. His mother, Louisa Juliana, is the daughter of William the Silent, Prince of Orange. As regent (there was a controversy over this that led to much bad blood), Johann II, Count Palatine of Zweibrucken, is concerned about the Julich succession controversy. One of his councilors, a pre-Fama Rosicrucian, is more concerned about what he and his brethren at Heidelberg University have determined regarding the construction of Da Vinci's Armillary Sphere by Hans Gruber, an artificer from Nuremberg, at the court of the mad Duke Johann-Wolfgang of Julich-Cleves-Berg (see Mad Princes of Renaissance Germany by HC Erik Midelfort). The Rosicrucians are also aware of the infiltration of the church by minions of The Black Christ, Nyarlahotep, and realize how dangerous it would be if they were to find the Sphere. And so, the party of adventurers will be dispatched by boat down the Rhine to Dusseldorf, from whence they will make their way to the palace of the Dukes of Julich-Cleves-Berg to attempt to recover the sphere before the minions of Nyarlahotep succeed in doing so and bring about their millenarian vision. So, some questions: 1. is this the kind of Clockwork and Cthulhu adventure you would find enjoyable? 2. Does anyone know of any Cthulhu in Mexico resources that could be used? I have, from an historical perspective, Aztec and Maya Myths, by Karl Taube, though I think the identification of the Black Christ of Chalma, a syncretization of Tezcatlipoca, with Nyarlahotep is my own unique idea. 3, As far as I know, the Clockwork game system focuses mostly on the English countryside during the English Civil War period, which is a bit later than the Thirty Years War than where my own campaign is leading. Does anyone know of any Cakebread and Walton materials based on this slightly earlier period? I am putting together some of my own factions but don't mind "leveraging" (stealing?) the work of others in this regard. 4. If you were running this game, what are some of the elements you would include? Thanks all - look forward to hearing from you!
  4. 1 point
    Buff coats were not bad versus sword blades of the era, since rapiers were the main stay (and some slightly wider bladed "back-swords"). So against lighter sword blades, or knives, a buff coat would be reasonable protection. Against black powder weapons, they would be of no more use than a light shirt. A buff coat would be made from heavier leather than a motorcycle jacket. If that helps give you an idea of how thick they are. On photos, below is a photo of a friend of mine in an outfit I made for him. This outfit is based of a drawing of what would have been a petty officer of the era (a corporal or seargent or the like). These images are from his facebook page, so I hope they are visible to you, I am sorry if they are not (I am unsure of my friends privacy settings) Here is another friend of mine (the one with the musket, the younger one to the left is a stranger to me). I am unsure as to what he has based this outfit on, but my guess is the outfits in this picture are typical of soldiers of the 1590s to 1610s, and perhaps even into the 1620s.
  5. 1 point
    High praise indeed from the author of so many great gaming ideas...thank you! In terms of Early Modern Warfare, I really like William Urban's book Matchlocks to Flintlocks: Warfare in Europe and Beyond 1500-1700. I've always wanted to own a flintlock or wheel lock pistol and a rapier. Maybe someday... Although it is proper to begin this story in Mexico, I discovered that Mark Twain visited Heidelberg and wrote about it in A Tramp Abroad (1880). What's more, the text is replete with illustrations which should also prove useful when I get around to our heroes meeting their Rosicrucian patron in the garden of the Hotel die Hirschgasse, which has been operating since the 15th century and was where Twain witnessed a fencing duel between Heidelberg students, all for sport. There are many famous views of Heidelberg from the Hirschgasse across the Nekkar River I may have to get one to hang on the walls of my study. It is close to the Philosophen Weg, or Philosopher's Path, though there is a steeper path that winds up the Heiligenberg, or Holy Mountain (why does Thomas Mann's Zauberberg come to mind?) where there are two monasteries repossessed by the Kurpfalz during the Reformation and a dark and disturbing hole in the ground called the Heidenloch (Heathen Hole), a deep pit where the Devil is said to have his seat. I suppose the witches need somewhere to dance sky-clad under the serious moonlight, but this comes later. Meanwhile, in Mexico -- I am reading The Mound by Zealia Bishop, which describes one of Coronado's soldiers separated from the main body of explorers and finding the entrance to a rather fantastic, subterranean world in Oklahoma, though the language of the inhabitants, when not using telepathy, represents a purer form of the "debased" Nahuatl language spoken by the Aztecs. This was one of the "revisions" by which Lovecraft earned his scant living, cleaning up the work of other writers, and The Mound was published in 1929-1930. With the Wall Street crash, there were probably a lot of folks who wished they could crawl underground! Interestingly, the Sanctuary of Chalma was built over a cave sacred to Tezcatlipoca. As a chthonic deity, he was known as Oxtoteotl, the Dark Lord of the Cave. In the campaign, of course, he will be the Mesoamerican avatar of Nyarlahotep. Reading ahead: I have Aztec and Maya Myths by Keith Taube, The Arcane Secrets and Occult Lore of the Ancient Mexicans and Mayans by Louis Spence. The Popol Vuh translated by Dennis Tedlock, and the Seven Volumes (like the Seven Cities of Gold) I am waiting for of The Florentine Codex compiled by Fray Bernadino Sahagun in the 16th century, arguably the first anthropologist, who spoke to the elders of the Aztec communities about their gods while there were still those who remembered their life pre-Conquest, Conquistador by Buddy Levy, The Fire from Within by Carlos Casteneda (I read many of Castaneda's books avidly in my high school days), Spanish Society 1400-1600 by Teofilo Ruiz, and of course, Captain Alatriste by Arturo Perez-Reverte (thanks again Mr. Bagley!) to quickly skim for ideas and then read more carefully at a later date. I will give myself two weeks with this material and then I will share whatever occurs to me as the Cult of the Smoking Mirror transported back to the Old World by the Spanish treasure fleet. As always, I welcome any questions or comments you might offer...
  6. 1 point
    I also think this sounds like a great idea! Just the title sold me - but the details are perfect. Renassance Deluxe covers earlier periods - but the kit variations aside (and different strategies for unique units, etc.), the ECW stuff is really not so far from the 30 Years War - many professional soldiers who fought in the ECW had experience fighting, either as mercenaries or idealists, in the 30 Years War - and that knowledge informed the strategies for the ECW conflict. I'm just reading "Europe's Tragedy" - I'll let you know if it's any good. On the game side of things, I could send you the files for Diver & Sundry, which has some (not a lot) 30 Years War stuff in there (arms and armour, from memory) - feel free to PM me
  7. 1 point
    I found the article lazy - and inaccurate. I see, so those high rise mega buildings in Dredd (where all the action takes place) and Minority Report are figments of the imagination are they? Or how about Metropolis, arguably first, best and most influential of the dystopian SF films ever made? A lazy, slightly snide, slightly smug article that ignores 100 years of SF before it. A typical Grauniad piece, actually.
  8. 1 point
    Thank you both for encouragement and inspiration. I look forward to sharing with you the threads of this campaign as they become more interwoven. I looked up Captain Alatriste on Amazon and, intrigued, downloaded the first book to my Kindle. One of my favorite historians, Teofilo Ruiz at UCLA, has written a book entitled Spanish Society 1400-1600. I think Captain Alatriste will make a perfect companion to the history. Interestingly, Ruiz was born in Cuba, which is where Hernan Cortes was stationed as governor prior to the Conquest of Mexico. Ruiz has also written a book on "The Terror of History", a title that sounds a bit Lovecraftian, eh? One of my primary resources for the campaign, by the way, is the 6 volume encyclopedia Europe: 1450-1789 edited by Jonathon Dewald. It has hundreds of short articles on the people, places and events of the period and each article has a bibliography of its sources. This has allowed me to excavate more detail of the history of the early modern period that I find so compelling. On a personal note, I will be in Guadalajara, Mexico in June, which was founded by the aforementioned Cristobal Onate, though I imagine there are few residents who realize he was a Cthulhu cultist. Anyone in the pay of that maniac Guzman, however, should not be surprised by suspicion in this regard, in my opinion. I am also planning a trip up the Rhine by boat to Heidelberg, the walls of which might have been built by my ancestors and subsequently torn down by Louis XiV (a pox on the Sun King!) though I rather admire his ancestor Le Bon Roi, first of the Bourbons, Henri IV, who was also assassinated in 1610 (by a cultist of Nyarlahotep - hmmm?), Victor Hugo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame intimates a conspiracy of this sort. Thanks again for your input, a sense of collaboration makes this much more fun!
  9. 1 point
    Sorry I can't help with advice on resources... But I did like "nclarke" want to commend you on the ideas, and let you know how exciting and interesting this sounds. I will follow this with some interest. From a mundane finctional side, the Alatriste novels might give you some ideas on culture and mundane villians. They are set in spain, but it would likely give you an idea of the prevailent Spanish attitudes of the period. They are set throughout the 30 years wars (each novel jumps a few to a handful of years). From a Cthulhu standpoint, there is a short story in "Colonial Chtuhlu" that is basically turning the classic loast Roanoke colony into a Cthuhlu context... Again, this is the correct period, but an English context, and way further north than Mexico. As a possible back-story, you could read up on Juan Ponce de Leòn, his adventures in the new world in the 90 to 100 years before your chosen time frame might offer some good inspiration. Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas is another possible research point, as is Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda. Hope these ideas help.
  10. 1 point
    Sounds like tremendous fun and very well researched for a setting.
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