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StevenGEmsley

New factions for Renaissance?

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Hi all

My Renaissance Hammer Horror campaign wound to a close last year after about 6 years of play.

I miss it.

Been running something similar for a new group, but with OSR D&D-type rules, but it's not the same.

SO, I'm thinking of getting all Renaissanc-ified again, but something less Hammer-time.  Now in my original game, factions took a back burner (similar to how they were handled in Dark Streets 2nd), but I'd like them to come to the fore in a more Elizabethan/Jacobean setting.

So in the core we have Catholics, Puritans and Satanists.  Check.

In Clockwork & Chivalry we have Laudians (which is an easy fix for both Church of England and Lutherans, the difference being that CofE recognise the monarch as head of the church and Lutherans...well...don't.  Do they?

We also have Anabaptists who were present in Europe around the turn of the 17th Century.

What about Judaism?  Islam? 

Or the non-religious factions?  We have the Invisible College in Clockwork & Chivalry, which gives the alchemists something to belong to. What about the Rosicrucians?  Or the Freemasons?

Are there any write-ups outside the core books (Renaissance/Clockwork & Chivalry/Clockwork & Cthulhu) of any other historically-appropriate factions?  Online fan-work would be fine.

Or if I do them myself, is here an appropriate place to host them?

Cheers!

 

Edited by StevenGEmsley
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A shameless plug, perhaps...The Heydelberg Horror offers a number of new political and religious factions for Renaissance set on the continent in the year 1610, to wit:

Political

The Karolinum, Prague University

The Protestant Union

The Habsburg Empire

The Spanish Empire

The Bourbons

The Dutch Republic

Republic of Venice

Grand Duchy of Tuscany

The Stuarts

The Papal States

The Catholic League

The Rosicrucians

The Jews

Secret Cthulhu Cults

The Society of Jesus

Opus Dei

Religious

Catholic

Lutheran

Reformed

Judaism(Kabbalah)

Rosicrucian(The Two Lights)

Cults 

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Bought (along with the sequel) and this is exactly what I was looking for. I even had 1610 in mind for the campaign year!

So Renaissance Deluxe, these factions and my old copy of A Mighty Fortress for AD&D and that's my 17th Century Europe sandbox campaign!

Many, many thanks..

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You are welcome, certainly!  If you have any questions, please let me know and I would, of course, be interested to hear more of your early 17th century campaign as it takes shape.

Edited by Julich1610
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Steven, frankly the fate of the third installment is in question at the moment.  I will let you know more when I do.  Perhaps you will let me know your opinion of the first two books.  I would be interested to know.  Thanks!

 

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So I've read through the Heydelberg Horror and skimmed the Köln Machinations.

As you know, I came for the factions, and they don't disappoint. The idea to include the 'provenance' of the tenets of the faith is inspired and will give the illusion of veracity to religious debates as players quote the Heydelberg Catechism or the Tridentine Creed to support their arguments. I love little details like these, though they can be ignored if preferred. Also good to see political factions shown as loyalty to royal houses, such as the Stuarts or the Bourbons. Very in keeping with the period.

Now honestly, I intended to leave it there.  My first Call of Cthulhu game was back in around '83 or '84 and I've been adding the Mythos into my games ever since, so am a little burned out on it, if I'm honest.

Then I read the Cult of the Black Christ of Chalma, and it rang a bell, so I hit Google, and lo and behold, it's based on a real legend, and it's this kind of connection and extrapolation that made me fall in love with Call of Cthulhu all those years ago...reading the weird and making it fit the Mythos.  Man, sometimes it's scary how little work is involved in doing that!

So I read the adventure.  Ostensibly it's for Clockwork and Cthulhu, so falls into the category of alt-history, but the clockwork elements aren't intrusive and easily dialled back - the Turkish clockwork warriors are in the background, the Red Scorpion can become an 'ordinary' barge and there is a random encounter which can be ignored if required, or used as-is on the basis that 'real world' clockworks of the time were amazingly intricate and inventive. Without spoilers, it's a solid adventure, tightly plotted with interesting NPCs (all of whom have a story and secrets to tell), but it is rooted in the Mythos - I'm debating a rework to plant it in the God/Satan cosmology, but to be honest it works so very well in the Mythos it would be a shame not to run it as is.

I'll have a better read of the Köln Machinations, but the appendices have some great additions such as the day of the week affecting how various magics work - beautifully in keeping with the beliefs of the time.

I think it would be a massive shame not to see parts 3 and 4, but understand that commercial considerations may hold sway.  I do hope there may be a way to see them in print as, frankly, it's almost as if this ruleset and this campaign were written for me and my group.

Thank you Jeff (and Peter and Ken!)

Edited by StevenGEmsley
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Steven, thanks for your feedback on The Heydelberg Horror.  Will also be interested to hear your thoughts on The Koln Machinations.  Whatever the rewards for writing and publishing these books, they are not primarily commercial success.  There has to be something deeper.  For example, like you, I share the love of weird history that can be frighteningly easy to read in the context of the Cthulhu Mythos.  I used to scan old newspapers looking for exactly this sort of thing when I was running CoC myself.  For A Clockwork of Orange, I had C. Erik Middlefort's Mad Princes of the Renaissance for inspiration, along with many other historical sources (I think I have about 300 books on my Kindle related to the books in some way).  

 This particular year of 1610, when Shakespeare was writing The Tempest, also seemed to me particularly conducive to a campaign - when indeed the clouds of war were gathering over Central Europe that would eventually break forth in the torrents of The Thirty Years' War.  Being swept into my imaginings of the political maelstrom of that period, Disney castles on the hillsides soon reduced to the ruins one sees on a voyage along the Rhine today, as if all the Fairy Tales had an unhappy ending, provided a sufficient impetus.  Something wicked had to lurk behind this, didn't it?  The real provenance of the obsidian seeing stone of Elizabeth's magus, John Dee, led to The Smoking Mirror, Mesoamerica.  There is also a unique fusion of magic, religion and science in this period of time that lends itself to all the elements that I wanted to incorporate somehow in the books.  

There is more to the story, downstream in Düsseldorf, the center of all the political intrigue connected with the United Duchies succession crisis.  I played it out at Gencon three years ago in four sessions with some great gamers; each session of which represents a book in the series.

I can't make promises, but between you and Thorsten, I am considering another ride on Rocinante.

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Quick reply, as I'm on my way out for lunch (will post more later), but if you were to offer up a text-only pdf of your notes for sessions 3 and 4...well, you have one sale at least 😆

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