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Just wondering where most people set their Renaissance games, is it in war-torn Britain, War-torn Europe or somewhere even more fantastical and "um" war-torn?

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So far just war-torn Britain and interplanetary space via Scotland following the adventures of a Highwaywoman, an extravagant Cavalier spy (a sort of undercover fop really), a dour Scottish Alchemist with feuding issues and last a Samurai Alchemist of no fixed abode - some or none of the mentioned may also have skills in the field clockwork  or even witchcraft but that would be telling. Seems enough for me to be going on with at the moment.

A good place to look for inspiration on a global scale fitting the Renaissance time frame are the books of the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson - spanning the world of 1620 to 1720 ish with momentous events such as English Civil War, War all over Europe as well, Louis XIV and the founding of Versaille, New colonies in the Americas, Spanish treasure fleets in the Pacific, Barbary Pirates in North Africa, Armenian coffee merchants, the King of the Vagabonds, Sinister French nobles eating rotten fish, The founding of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton vs. Leibniz, Hooke, Boyle, Huygens and Christopher Wren, Kings (and Queens) coming and going at the drop of a crown. Must be something in that lot to make a good campaign or ten!

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9 hours ago, Firebird01 said:

The books of the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson

Cheers man, will have to check these out as they sound perfect also Samurai Alchemist has me intrigued. 

Edited by Butters

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In a moment of weakness I agreed that my player (who loves all things of a Japanese martial nature) could take on the role of a visiting Samurai noble who, under instruction from the newly founded Imperial college of alchemy in his home country would journey to the shores of England to study at the invisible college and bring back the techniques to his master. Unfortunately in the time it has taken him to get to Europe, find a sponsor (the father of the Scottish alchemist in the party) Japan, now being in the Edo period and ruled by the Shogunate, has closed it's borders to all non-Japanese and declared him a "ghost" and no longer considered to be of Nippon. This has upset him a bit, but as he has managed to combine 'For to sharpen a blade' with his katana to devastating effect, also he has suit of lacquered armour that spends most of the time around his neck in the form of an amulet to be summoned into fullness by means of a successful alchemy skill roll. He is a bit overpowered to be honest, but a few witchcraft spells or miasmas soon put him at a disadvantage and even it up a bit.

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I'm just about to start the Kingdom and Commonwealth campaign, so War Torn England it is for me. My players have a Puritan (but also Noble) spy, an ambitious Alchemist and a Warlock.

Edited by Questbird
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Hope you enjoy it, and also hope your players respond just as mine have - by going totally off script and running around on needless but entertaining side quests (requiring a lot of ad-lib storytelling). Make sure the exploding badgers cause mayhem.

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Just in case it comes in useful, here is a spell that was researched by our Scottish alchemist during the campaign.

 

For to Listen To The Whispering Breezes

Duration 10, Magnitude 1, Ranged (10 x POW m), Resisted special (Persistence)

Element: Air

This spell enables the caster to hear anything that is being said within the given range as if it were being spoken directly to them. The conversation must in most cases be taking place within line of sight of the alchemist. It may, however, even be possible to listen to the conversation of people out of sight e.g. in a room with an open window that can be observed (GM discretion as to the effectiveness of this) but not in an adjoining room to that with the open window. The spell relies on an observed target. The spell cuts out all extraneous noise and relays even the quietest of whispered words clearly. A persistence roll will only apply if the target is making a concerted effort to conceal what they are saying, for example, ladies talking behind their fans.

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On 11/30/2018 at 8:53 PM, Firebird01 said:

He has suit of lacquered armour that spends most of the time around his neck in the form of an amulet to be summoned into fullness by means of a successful alchemy skill roll

So cool.

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On 12/2/2018 at 9:23 AM, Questbird said:

I'm just about to start the Kingdom and Commonwealth campaign, so War Torn England it is for me. My players have a Puritan (but also Noble) spy, an ambitious Alchemist and a Warlock.

How are you dealing with playing with such a mixed group of opposites who normally would be killing each other? 

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On 12/12/2018 at 5:05 AM, Butters said:

How are you dealing with playing with such a mixed group of opposites who normally would be killing each other? 

 
 

Well it's my first game so the short answer is I don't know. The (secretly) Puritan noble spy is just..conflicted in many ways. The Alchemist is obsessed with the science and not the politics (self:Pride). The Warlock (also a noble who fought and lost a duel of honour with the Puritan long ago) keeps that part of his life secret and is on the board of the Invisible Council at Oxford (more obsessed with the politics than the science, which he fakes or ignores). We took a long time picking factions and coming up with connections and reasons for these three wackos to be together. Reminds me a bit of Paranoia (the good parts). I'm looking forward to starting the campaign (I'll start with the mini-adventure in the rulebook) next year.

Edited by Questbird
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That's pretty interesting opposites but their factions give enough wiggle room to still be a group, if in a Dirty Dozen rather than in a Band of Brothers way. I asked as my character is a Puritan and a Parliamentarian whilst another member of the group is a witch hunter who has suddenly started to perform blood magic and has visions and I've been at a loss how to acknowledge that change whilst at the same time trying not to just shoot the witch hunter in the face. If the other character hadn't been a witch hunter it would be tricky enough but somehow him being a witch hunter makes it worse.

Edited by Butters

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I agree it would be pretty hard to stomach the Blood Magic as a Puritan, unless the Witch Hunter could somehow justify it. Maybe the end justifies the means, like cops bending breaking the law to catch criminals. The Puritan presumably also hates witches, so he might be able to bear it. It also depends on the Zealotry level of each character. In my group the Puritan noble spy is the most zealous; probably also likely to be the biggest source of trouble, except that he's a spy and has an interest staying quiet.

Edited by Questbird
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I use the zeal and righteousness only when one of my players tries to have his character react too far outside his beliefs as I see them (note the 'I', my decision on this as players can always find spurious ways to justify the characters actions), this the gives them plenty of opportunity to role-play some interesting intra-party conflicts!

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It was a little bonkers and it bent things as far as they could go without breaking (maybe) but in the end, the Doctor demanded that the Witch Hunter undergo baptism to prove that he's not possessed by a demon. Luckily baptism was seen by Puritans as one of the only two sacraments that they believed, though as with all things religious it's still a crazy web of differing opinions.

Ideally, the Doctor would have preferred a Puritan minister but Father Goodchild would have to do, he at least was Christian. So the Doctor is now slightly mollified after seeing that the Witch Hunter didn't burst into flames 9 Mutter grumble) he is still very suspicious of the Bavarian but at least I can get over this mountain of my own making. So that plus the fact that the Doctor is a little distracted by being half-starved and still recovering from almost having his back snapped in half is making things a little easier, oh and that he appears to be on a moon....mustn't forget that.

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I don't.

At least, not yet.

I'm pretty sure Renaissance is going to be the chassis for a campaign I have in mind, set a bit later -- Napoleonic era; I'll be FrankenBRP'ing other elements into it, though.

I'm still working on various conceptual stuff, but I'm about 80% settled on Renaissance as the core ruleset.

 

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4 hours ago, g33k said:

I'm still working on various conceptual stuff, but I'm about 80% settled on Renaissance as the core ruleset.

It is a great flexible rules system that can be tweaked to work in most settings with little effort.

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I agree, Renaissance is nice and flexible and also allows for a more narrative based adventure with the rules being there for when you really need them such as fighting giant insects on floating islands in space halfway between the moon and earth. Lots of BRP stuff can just be lifted straight in with only a minor tweak or two, great for finding new spells for the main antagonist of the party and strange weapons etc.

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I'm not long out of a six year campaign inspired by hammer Horror movies - tromping around Eastern Europe foiling the machinations of Satanic witches, alchemists, vampires, serpent people, lesbian Satanist nuns, werewolves and Cthulhoid cultists and associated nasties.

Much fun was had.  Especially when I accidentally gave them rulership of Latveria.

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I became quite interested in Jamestown, Virginia, as the location of my last campaign (my group played by night and toured by day) and having spent more time in Williamsburg last September, I am now considering a setting just before the American Revolutionary War involving the descendants of the Jamestown adventurers. 

I think I rather like campaigns set on the verge of war rather than in its midst.  The factional tensions are greater.

Edited by Julich1610

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