Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Quasi-Arthurian Setting Idea

I’ve been running a summer Prince Valiant campaign for a few weeks and mostly it’s been very Player Character focused.  I’ve kept the true legends and myths at an arm’s length to avoid having direct contact between PCs and “named” individuals from the classic stories, both from the Prince Valiant comics and the traditional Arthurian legends.  I wanted the feel but without the baggage, and without the predictability that tying too close to already-told tales can produce.
We are now far enough along in the campaign that the PCs will be traveling the wider world, beyond their home kingdom and the near-surroundings.  While I want the players to be able to use Britannia as a rough reference for their sense of place and scale, I also want them to feel as if it is still unexplored by their characters.  This is a tricky line to tread.  I need to make it fresh while still making it familiar.  One of the ways I am going to do so is by using the names of major settlements as renamed by the indigenous people after the Romans have left.  I’ll go into that more in future blog posts on the subject and as I develop the map we will use at the table.  Until then, ponder this concept of familiar and fresh and how someone could do this not only with an Arthurian setting but with any setting used for a tabletop RPG.  I dare say it comes into play more often than one might imagine at first blush.

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