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Using Renaissance Deluxe for 13th Century France


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Hi all,

Forum has been a bit quiet but hopefully someone can respond to this query.  Also hope C&W are doing okay.

I've seen references to RD being used for pre-gunpowder settings.  This would be a fantasy-horror type setting, dipping into Clockwork and Cthulhu.

The setting is Averoigne (from Clark Ashton Smith’s stories of the 1930’s-40’s) - 13th Century magical France,  with bits of Joiry (C.L. Moore), and C’thulhu Mythos (Smith drew from HP Lovecraft in some stories).  The tone of the movie Ladyhawk may provide some inspiration.  The tone permits more optimism than most Averoigne stories, however it is a horror story.

 The primary source of information and map for Averoigne is from the Worlds of C’thulhu magazine (issues 1 to 3, much better than say the one from the old D&D module).

Would the rules work for that sort of game?


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On 3/8/2023 at 8:54 AM, Valvorik said:

Would the rules work for that sort of game?

I would see no reason why not.  

The main change would be the absence of  gunpowder weapons (save for a rare 'handgonne' or 'bombard').  The Close Combat weapons list would be largely unchanged (though you might want to lose the rapiers and side-swords).

You might have to fudge the armor definitions a bit;  substituting mail for buff-coats for instance.

Pretty much the main 'mechanical' difference between a renaissance period game and a late medieval period game is going to be the growing prevalence of gun-powder weapons. Everything else, the social and cultural changes, the transition from feudal states to  absolute monarchies for example, are just going to be matters of roleplaying 'fluff.'




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All the BRP-family games work very well indeed for this sort of real-world-based setting.

I think Renaissance and C&C are a very good foundation, possibly the closest available(?)... though you may also want to look at Cthulhu Dark Ages for some older tech/professions/etc.

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Thanks again, I also have Legend but I liked the baked-in sanity angle and factions might be useful.

I also have the Basic Roleplaying core book for tweaking etc.

Oh and a I have Cthulhu Dark Ages too.  The system is a little too harsh for what I want, but I like somethings about it.  The 'anti-wiff' option of "if both combatants miss then actually they both hit" rule is cool.


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Re Openquest is it the different approach to wounds and dying?  I did find the Openquest free SRD.

What I have so far, comments welcome.  Now Averoigne is said to be 13th Century but its origin stories span quite the range and it's said at times to be really closer to Renaissance but a backwater without gunpowder.  The stories are actually set from what appears to be 12th Century to 18th (and include time travel).

Skill Changes

Replace Common Gun Combat with Ranged Combat (Bows), removing that from Advanced list.

Healing – Paracelsan healing is not available (being 16th Century)

Remove all artillery-skills

Common – add Deception (lying CHA + INT), opposed by Insight

Advanced skills - add Lore (Occult) (cf Clockwork and Cthulhu p.12) – a Profession skill for Cunning Man/Wise Woman; Physician (Herbalist); Witch/Warlock.


The following Factions are in use Noble House (multiple ones), Community (village or town etc), Gang (MA1), Guild, Religion (Catholic) (MA2), Religion (Druid, philosophically they are Deists and use that Faction’s stats) (MA2), Secret Society (multiple)(MA 1 or 2 depending), Self Interest (often the drive of lone sorcerers, Amoral, Greed, Revenge, Lust, Wrath etc., MA1 and 2), Order of Esoteric Discoverie (Clockwork and Cthulhu p.25, MA2), Invisible College (Clockwork and Chivalry p.119, MA2).

Faction Mental Amour is of different types – MA1 applies to blood, gore and corpses, MA2 applies to supernatural creatures and magic.  MA is also available to professions with an obvious connection to violence (e.g., Soldier) whether or not their faction offers it, as if it did.


Gunpowder weapons and artillery removed.

Remove rapier and side sword

Armour categories are unchanged but constituent elements to be 13th century-consistent.


Sanity is used

Character Creation

Stats using Openquest approach – all start at 8 and are bought up using 30 points, with maximum of 18.

Professions limited to those appropriate to setting:  Alchemist, Camp Follower, Cottager/Serf, Craftsman, Cunning Man/Wisewoman (likely Druid-connected), Entertainer (as Troubadour), Farmer, Knight (modified to be less dandy), Lord or Lady, Mercenary, Outlaw, Physician (Galenic or Herbalist), Preacher, Rook, Ruffian, Scholar, Soldier, Thief, Vagabond, Valet or Lady’s Maid, Watchman, Witch/Warlock, Witch Finder/Inquisitor, Woodsman

Knight is modified only the write-up, skills remain the same.

Professions created (usually just an existing one tinkered) based on Dark Ages: Averoigne suggestions in Worlds of Cthulhu Issue #1 (August 2004): 

Anchorite - religious hermit of heretical leanings either Roman Catholic, Gnostic, Manichaeism or Cathar – uses Preacher but instead of Influence has Resistance.

Ex-Crusader - a soldier with knowledge of other lands and languages, remove Advanced Skill Lore (Tactics) and remove second “choose one” option, add Language (Other), Culture (Other), and Survival.

Religious Order Knight (Templar) - Knight but remove Advance Skill Courtesy and add Advance Skill Beliefs (Own), Lore (Theology)


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