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16th Century Ottoman Empire "in BRP" ?


rust

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Now that my fictitional 16th century Maltese Order setting has got some

shape, someone told me that he would love to see the "opposition", the

Barbary Pirates and the Ottoman Empire forces.

Well, so would I ... :o

The problem is, it seems to be a lot more difficult to get useful material

on these cultures of that period, and while I intend to picture them in a

more "oriental-fantastic" style than "realistic" (to make the "discovery" of

their world a little more colourful and interesting for the players), some

real world sources - preferably roleplaying material - to base the fiction

upon would be most helpful.

GURPS Swashbucklers has a few short notes, but they do not help much,

and it is the same with the Flashing Blades RPG and my other sources.

But perhaps there is something more detailed somewhere out there ...

So, if someone has an idea where I could start a search for such material,

please let me know - Thank you. :)

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Thank you very much, some very interesting books there, about the Ottoman

Empire as well as about the Knights Hospitaller, the "role model" for my set-

ting's player characters. :)

Edit.:

And some of those books are even available on Ebay. :)

Edited by rust

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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I've lived 2.5 years in Turkey recently ('96-98). They are a great people. Incredibly gregarious hosts and proud. The rich stay rich by connections and favors, the poor work harder than any I've seen...but stay poor. Corruption is endemic but a luxury the poor cannot afford. Caste often determines future social standing, but I met more than one 'Cinderella Story' where true love, talent and hard work resulted in higher social standing for men born into poor families.

Despite my love and respect for Turks, they do return betrayal with brutal and righteous vengence.

Not a simple opponent for the Maltese Order. Many honest, respectful adversaries can be gained by doing favors and showing mercy. Protecting family members of the Turkish nobility (or merchants or fishermen), shared struggles (against nature, ship-wrecked survival), honest trading could form the basis of at least one friendship among the Turks.

Also, many of the conquered people retain their religion...to this day, more than one family of Christian Turks still speak Spanish as they were refugees from the Inquisition.

Indeed, not a simple, one dimensional evil empire.

They are NOT Arab, they are Turkish. The 'Turks' (as opposed to the conquered natives) are asiatic cousins of the Mongols/Huns.

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Thank you very much, Seneschal and USAFguy. :)

Indeed, not a simple, one dimensional evil empire.

They are NOT Arab, they are Turkish.

This is one of the reasons why it is both very interesting and rather challen-

ging to design this part of the setting.

Even when ignoring the various minorities (Balkans, Greece ...), there are at

least three major and quite different cultures to deal with, the Ottomans /

Turks, the Arabs of the eastern Maghreb and the Berbers / Moors of the wes-

tern Maghreb, all of them "major players" in the wars of the Ottoman Empire

and the Barbary Pirates against the Maltese Knights.

Moreover, the political situation made strange bedfellows during this period.

For example, the Ottoman Empire was often allied with France, and the Ot-

toman navy (plus the pirates) helped France to conquer Nice from Spain -

and France and Spain were among the most important supporters of the Mal-

tese Knights ...

So, the setting will have to deal with a very "non-monolithic" situation, and

I think I will take care that the players understand that their knights have

to be able to deal and compromise with more than a few enemies in order to

achieve anything, and that winning allies and friends in the "other camp" is

almost a necessity for survival, or at least for success.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Well, one of the obvious cool people to include would be Janissaries. It seems like these warriors would make a characterful addition to the campaign. You could even tweak them a little and make them more interesting for your fantasy adaptation.

Thank you for this idea. :)

Indeed, they would be a nice addition, although there are two minor prob-

lems with the Janissaries: They were rarely deployed at sea (the Battle of

Lepanto was one of those rare cases), and I do not yet know how to make

them obviously special - they should have higher military skills, but arms and

weapons normally would be the same as those of other units.

It seems the Janissaries are a very good addition for the "fluff" side of the

setting and campaign, in a way a "military counterpart" to the other "elite

unit" of the knights' opponents, the assassins - perhaps I could even turn

the assassins into a "special forces unit" of the Janissaries ...

Yep, thank you, this makes some nice twists possible. :D

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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