2019-06-01 History and Games

JB is wrestling with the idea of a campaign in real, historical South America with conquistadores being the adventurers but has trouble making it work because the conquistadores were so damn horrible. It truly is a quandary. In the blog post and the discussion he says that dragons and giants are fine, but replacing humans with lizards and goblins is not.

I don’t think it would work. If it is a human vs human struggle and something you could delve into and learn from then why make it a game; and if a game, how can you turn all the suffering into entertainment, or if replaced by lizards and goblins you are erasing the real world victims out of history. All the ways forward are not good.

One interesting aspect is the question of how “near” things are and that apparently playing Vikings is fine (I’m currently in a Moonshae campaign where the Northmen and the Ffolk feel like just that). Steppe nomads is fine. Romans is fine. That’s because our identity is no longer tied up in these ideas. It’s only when you read a novel like Wake set in the Norman conquest that you might start to resent the British nobility again as you realize that where as you might have forgiven and forgotten about the Norman conquest, they still own the land.

I feel like the most important part would be to not have anybody be represented by caricatures (goblins instead of humans), and then decide how you felt about it all. Disease, slavery, genocide – it might not be a background I felt like playing in no matter the historical closeness.

(Also on Lasagna Social.)

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