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Trifletraxor

VAL-DU-LOUP - Adventures in the Hearth of the Ardennes Forest

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val-du-loup.jpgVal-du-Loup is a setting for medieval adventures using the BRP roleplaying system. It details a backwards, danger-fraught region of the dense, primal Ardennes forests, and is intended to serve for either an Early or a High Middle Ages setting. The Church wields little influence among the counties and baronies along the river Loup. Christian fervor clash with Frankish and Celtish traditions. Barons feud for land, while greedy princes grab the last tidbits left of the Empire. The monograph contains the following sections:

The Player Section: A primer on life in the Middle Ages - medieval society, knighthood, castles, military orders, medieval cities, universities and religion. Detailed information about the setting itself, i.e. the region of Val-du-Loup: the ruling families, assorted personalities (nobles, clergy and commoners) and a lengthy gazetteer of important and interesting locations. Character Creation with suggestions on how to involve player characters in adventures set in Val-du-Loup; and a character sheet designed for a medieval setting.

The Gamemaster Section: The Bestiary with random encounter tables, The Mythos Bestiary, secrets and background for the main personalities and villains in the campaign including game statistics for all major characters and some stock characters.

Adventures: This section includes two complete adventures: A Black Heart and Prelude to War; two adventure synopses; and finally a list of story seeds.

By Guy Dondlinger. 160 pages. Published by Chaosium July 2009.

Edited by Trifletraxor

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This mono is strong enough to support a game on it's own, it contains plenty of information for a lot of sessions in the Valley of the Wolf. Everything you need is included. If you already have an established fantasy-setting, a lot of VdL can be lifted and used. Excellent companion to Cthulhu Dark Ages. And even if none of the above tickles your fancy, it's a good read.

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I have a few question related to the geography of Val du loup, for the author Gheedon, or anyone else who might have information or views on the matter. I've been trying to locate the val in Google Earth (I know it's fictional valley) based on the map on page 22. I did this because I am trying to draw a more detailed campaign map for our game, and wanted to see the distaces to various major cities etc. Now, based on the mentioned map, Val du loup might be located somewhere roughly due east of f1 track of Spa? Maybe around the natural park of Hautes Fagnes-Eifel? I figured this out by drawing a line from Liege to Trier, and then another line from Aachen to Luxembourg.And Val du loup seems to be located smack in the intersection of these lines (or slightly above it). Ok, so looking at Google Earth I got the rough area, and did the same two lines & intersection trick.

Ok, so this is all well and good, and I am not so concerned about whether there really is a valley or river there, and my players won't know any better. The game area is fictional, after all, and created for game purposes. Just one thing is confusing me, the County of Cleve. I assume that this has nothing to do with the real, historical Cleve(s), which is located much further north, if I am not mistaken?

Anyways, I started reading the book and locating the places mentioned on the campaign map. I could use some extra directions in this regard. first of all, the map contains a church or abbey called St. John's, and I can't remember reading anything about this location? Secondly, the Templar site of Epeedor is described, but it's not placed on the map. The river Froideau is marked there, so one assumes it's around there, but how far along the river/swamp? Does St John's have anything to do with this? Another place I could not locate on the map was Castle Cracfer, but the map on page 132 mentions that it's due east from Montfort, so I guess it's outside the main map area? Another feature that's mentioned in the text, but not located on the map, is the hamlet of Loufort and the nearby Lake Noireaux (and the 'desolate' hamlet by the same name). Somewhere near Beaufort, perhaps?

I'd appreciate any input on these issues, and it would be great if someone could provide a more detailed map, perhaps with these items and more added. I intend to do this myself, but I am still in the early stages, and any help would appreciated.

Edited by Verderer

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Just one thing is confusing me, the County of Cleve. I assume that this has nothing to do with the real, historical Cleve(s), which is located much further north, if I am not mistaken?

Many of our medieval realms were quite dispersed and "all over the map", with the original fief

that gave the name in one region and many other, usually smaller parts (gained through inhe-

ritance, as dowries, etc.) belonging to it in other regions. Parts of the County of Cleve could be

almost anywhere in the Holy Roman Empire, and even beyond.

So, while I do not know what the author of Val du Loup intended, it would in any way be quite

plausible to find a part of the County of Cleve far from Cleve itself.

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You might have a point there, rust. Although I did get the impression from the text that this particular Cleve is not the same the historical one, the coat of Arms is different, and name of the Count doesn't match with the historical rulers of the real Cleves, etc. Also, only the Prince-Bishop of Liege and the Counts of Luxembourg are listed in the chapter of 'historical figures'. But I hope Gheedom will be able to clarify the matter at some point?

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Verderer sent me an email asking me to respond to the questions he raised in his entry above, so here it goes:

- the location of Val-du-Loup: Verderer, you are actually spot-on with your extrapolation. I envisioned it close to the Hautes-Fagnes region where the highest peak of the Ardennes is situated.

- Clève is not based on the historic Clèves. I based it loosely on the Counties of Clerveaux and of Vianden, both in what is today Luxembourg.

- Epeedor is a lot further upstream from St. John's. St. John's is where the battle between Rocmort and Hauterre takes place in the scenario Prelude to War, and Epeedor is far enough out of the way not to get involved in this conflict.

- Cracfer is off the map, east of Montfort.

- Loufort was used in the scenario Sign of the Goat, from the first BRP Adventures monograph. It lies to the Northeast of Sainsprit.

I'm finishing up a small supplement for which I'll need to update the map of VdL. I'll be sure to include the missing towns. I'll post a link here when I'm done, probably sometime later this week.

I hope you have fun with the campaign!

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Good stuff, thanks for making them available, Gheedon! This will be very helpful. I was thinking about village and town sizes, and where there might be regular market days. There are no major cities in the area, but I would assume the town of Cleve and other bigger towns would hold markets? And I seem to recall reading someplace that monasteries often had the rights to hold market days within their communities? Any thoughts on such matters?

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Verderer, you can assume that the County seats hold regular markets - Rocmort, Clève and Hauterre, same for Sainsprit as it lies in the heart of the farmlands, and also the town around the abbey of Eonach.

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