Twilight: 1634 — Sword & Sorcery in the Thirty Years’ War
I’ve been on another Thirty Years War (TYW, hereafter) kick for the last couple weeks, probably due to several factors:
- Recent readings on historical Protestantism
- the imminent possibility of characters’ travel to the Prophet Pentad in our Traveller game
- the call for S&S tales for Weird Enclaves & Black Pits, which revived my interest in (and desire for) TYW adventure tales, which seem to be few in number and far between
- “historical research” for our upcoming trip to Germany
Not surprisingly, all this research has seeped into my general gaming thoughts. If I’m already developing a TYW setting for stories, why not use it for gaming?
Well, here’s the campaign pitch: Bavaria, September 1634, following the Battle of Nördlingen. A ragged group of deserters and drifters struggle to survive through a landscape ravaged of war, famine, and plague, beset by perils both mundane and supernatural. In this “parallel Bavaria” all the creatures of fairy tales and legends are real: witches, vampires, ghosts, demons, monsters, faerie folk, and forces of dark magic stalk the German countryside’s dark forests and crumbling ruins.
Twilight: 1634 is a mostly-realistic historical setting incorporating some supernatural and magical elements, especially those derived from German sources as Grimm’s Fairy Tales, the Nibelungenlied, and the Romanticism of E.T.A. Hoffmann and others. S&S inspirations include R.E. Howard’s Solomon Kane, Clark Ashton Smith’s Averoigne tales, and Moorcock’s War Hound and the World’s Pain. The setting is also influenced by the dark surrealism of Apocalypse Now and the gritty survivalist feel of Twilight: 2000 and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.
I have a feeling I’ll be writing a lot more about this in the days to come, even though I don’t foresee a campaign kicking off any time soon; I’m interested in working out setting and system information, even if it’s only an academic exercise for now…