Hello all! Long time no talk.
My absence from the blog has not really been desired, but sadly necessary. My real life is very busy with work, musical projects and such that I can't devote myself as much to writing as I'd like. However, I bring good news.
I recently came upon a new job that is not creatively draining like my former - meaning I have a lot of juices flowing around and a lot of desire to write. This means two things.
First, Zweihander is soon to get is first expansion - Main Gauche! Set to come to Kickstarter soon, it features new professions, new spells, chaotic gifts, electrotech devices and all sorts of fun things to add to your grim and perilous worlds. Look for it to hit Kickstarter in the next few months.
Secondly, 300 Years War has been renamed and will be released - when I get done with it. Now called Age of Iron (a little more catchy and easy to say, I think), it will still be my spin on the Old World meshed with some ideas from pulp authors like Howard, Lovecraft and Smith. Aside from the setting, I also plan to offer new monsters for sure and perhaps other options. This will be released via Grim and Perilous Library, which is Zweihander's community content imprint.
So stuff is happening, just behind the scenes! But this is a great year for all kinds of grimdark gaming - don't forget Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th edition comes out this year, as well as Age of Sigmar 2e and Warhammer 40k Roleplay: Wrath and Glory!
Thanks for sticking around, and I hope to deliver more info about both Main Gauche and Age of Iron very soon!
Thursday, February 8, 2018
But I come to you once again, hat in hand, declaring a second Three Hundred Years War redux. I realized the main problem I was having, which is a problem I have with many creative endeavors: I try to do too much. Three Hundred Years' War was always supposed to be broad strokes, but I got too bogged into the details to make it so.
So I am revising the idea with what I call a 'bullseye' approach. Basically, the nations and locations of the setting will be under three types.
The first is Terra Icognita - which is most non-European countries like my fantastic China, Ethiopia, etc. They will get a broad stroke of maybe a paragraph, but that paragraph will be much more nuanced than most of what the Old World did for WH.
The second is Surrounding Lands - which are the (mostly) European-style countries involved in my fantastic Thirty Years' War - though this includes some nations like the Ottoman Empire, Morocco and so on. Each will get a couple paragraphs each, and there are probably around 15 or 16.
Finally, is the Imperial Gazetteer - a close up look of the Gilded Imperium (or maybe just the Imperium. I'm shuffling names.) This will go into the different states of the Imperium, life there and so on, since the setting is mostly focused on that.
I know I had said previously I would give more word count to places like Cathay, Nihon, etc., but I have just set a monumental task for myself back then I wasn't really planning on. I hope to revisit this in the future, but the little Terra Incognita brushes will at least help a little.
So I'm going to do some planning, and hopefully the next time you hear from me we'll be buckling down. Thanks for sticking with me through all my flip-flopping.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
|Luis the Greater, Le Rei Soleil|
Roughly one thousand years ago after the Old Imperium collapsed under its own weight, much of the western half of that empire was without leadership. Often seen only as a breadbasket fit for peasants to work on, a minor duke known as Hugo Cour decided to take up the flag and unite these fractured people. Declaring the land he claimed as Couronne and taking the title of Le Rei Soleil, Hugo spent the rest of his life uniting the nascent kingdoms of the land into a cohesive monarchical empire - the Couronne of today, ruled by Luis the Greater. Despite struggles and conflicts with nearly all their neighbors - especially Hespia, Albain and the Gilded Imperium - Couronne still stands as one of the mightiest empires of Europa.
Couronne worships a regional goddess known as The Lady, but for many years they too worshiped the Old Beliefs. As worship of The Lady grew, the Couronne government started to suppress Old Believers until they reached their breaking point, striking at the unfairness in rebellion. The government and worshipers of The Lady fell upon them, igniting a bloody massacre that would turn into a full scale religious war. This period of time, known only as the Rebellions, lasted about 40 years and resulted in the deaths of over three million people, the exchange of power of Le Rei Soleil a few times, and strife throughout the nation. This was ended when the grandfather of the current Le Rei Soleil ascended the throne and made peace between the two sects. The religions are now civil, but tensions are still there.
|A duke's castle in the Couronne countryside|
Couronne is very much a rural kingdom, but one of quite striking beauty. It is mostly composed of rolling plains and farmlands, with occasional lowlands and basins that create swampy marshes. All sorts of crops thrive here - fruits, grains, flowers and livestock are shipped from Couronne all throughout Europa. Couronne is lush with rivers - the Liger and Sequana rivers feed much of the country, and the River Rhenus serves as a natural border between Couronne and their hated Imperium neighbors. The south of the country is hilly, with parts of it bleeding into the Alpenne Range. To their west is the Great Ocean, which Luis the Greater has already set ships across in hopes to colonize the 'safer' parts of Dinetah. The climate is temperate, with long springs and mild summers.
Politics and Divisions
Couronne is divided into dukedoms, where the duke or duchess rules over their capital city and the surrounding countryside. There are between roughly 20 to 30 dukedoms at a time, their numbers changing depending on grants, fealties and the progress of the Great War. Le Rei Soleil is the 'duke' of Panam - Couronne's capital - though he rules from his palace at Semailles. The actual city of Panam is one of the largest in all of Europa, with nearly half a million residents. Couronne cities are often large and extravagant, with beautiful castles and architecture, but this is a facade - their streets are rife with urban poor, disease and banditry, and only the nobility generally gets to enjoy the fineries. Most of Couronne's population remain rural in the farmlands and marshes of the dukedoms.
|A conflict between Couronne nobles and peasants|
Couronne peoples are proud and often seen as haughty, but it's just because they know what they want. Dark hair and pronounced facial features are common, and many are slim - often from malnutrition. There is quite a large gap between the upper echelons of Couronne and the peasants. The nobility, especially the many knights and chevaliers that have defined the Couronne military, are often decadent and sordid, many flirting with Corruption. The peasantry in the cities live in squalor, decay and filth, while those in the countryside work long hours to meet demand. Couronne residents of both classes like to put on airs of superiority regardless. The Burgher class is little to non-existent, and often composed of foreigners.
Panam - Panam is the capital of Couronne, and while its tall marble buildings and wide streets are appealing, it is the worst offender of the corruption in the undercurrent of Couronne. The squares and gardens are well tended, but the back alley slums are full of the poor and wretched. The nobles dance and play while the paupers are pushed into the refuse by newly bannered knights. Truly a great place to visit, but an awful one to live in.
Bordeu - Bordeu is only a town by population size, but is one of the most important settlements in all of Couronne. Nestled inbetween the Liger and Sequana, Bordeu is full of winery after winery, producing some of the finest brews in the entirety of the world. The countryside is also beautiful, with many dukes holding summer homes in the town proper. Though the winemakers faire slightly better than city peasants, its not by much.
Rodomo - Located on the River Rhenus, Rodomo was once the victim of a terrible attack at the hand of the forces of Corruption. The barbarians and foul creatures were eventually run off, but not without the city being razed. Over a few decades the town was built back up, but it was never the same - people tell tales about pained wails in the night, blood being pulled out of the well, and that the marsh is devouring the city itself. Most people give Rodomo a wide berth, and many nobles don't even acknowledge it.
(Sorry for the delay on this one! Work and freelancing has been nuts! Hopefully gonna get back into the swing of thing soon)
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Bulwark of the Fey
Normally reserved to 'fey', those of elven, dwarven or halfling descent, the Bulwark of the Fey believes that they are the true inheritors of Terra AD, and that the vast horde of humans, mutants, manimals and plantients are blights to the land and should be eliminated. Very few Bulwark groups are out in the open, as many perform guerilla terrorism on mutant or human enclaves in any city or village. Some entire villages have been consumed by the Bulwark, and they are dangerous places to wander near if you are a not a fey.
Qualifications: Membership is normally limited to NPC fey (elf, dwarf, halfling).
Benefits: None. Membership in this Archaic Alignment is normally only open to NPCs.
Secret Sign: An ancient fey symbol for 'unity' traced in the air with two fingers.
Open to any race of any stripe, the Old Worlders call back for a simpler time before the world was irradiated and inundated with magic. They wish to bring back ancient institutions, cities and countries the way they were, though their methods are not always well thought-out. Though they are certain in their ideals, they often bump against forces who would either undo society or try to keep technology in check. Old Worlders also actively seek knowledge out about the Ancient Ones, and thus they often keep archives of ruined media and have a sort of 'worship' for cultural icons of the past.
Qualifications: Membership is open to any race as long as they believe in the golden glory of the Old World
Benefits: Basic knowledge of Ancient Ones structures, symbols and pop culture; access to Old Worlder archives
Secret Sign: Holding you two hands outspread behind your head, to appear as mouse ears
Open to any race, Entropists believe that the world is dead and needs to stay that way. They run across the countryside as nomads; raiding settlements, destroying farms and knocking down ruins until nothing remains. Most Entropists are nihilists and do not care who they kill, though children are often stolen to be raised in their numbers. They feel like the only way for the world to regrow is to wipe it all clean so it can be reborn, but their violence is well-known and uncontrollable.
Qualifications: Membership is normally limited to NPCs of any race
Benefits: None. Membership in this Archaic Alignment is normally only open to NPCs.
Secret Sign: A thumb run across the person's throat, as if to slit it.
Monday, June 19, 2017
I already have two drafts on deck: a revised Couronne and a historical Timeline. As for this update, I have a list of all the countries/factions I am going to cover, which is about 32. I've eliminated the Hobgoblin Khans basically because I don't think there is enough meat in there. I also think Siabra will take a more colonial/piratical bent than normal WH, but that's a little up in the air.
I also plan to start moving away from Europa, as I've done most of my posts about that. I might go into Asiwai (my Asia) or Kibula (my Africa) and play around in there for a while. But without further ado, here is my updated list, which I've divided into human and non-human.
Gilded Imperium (Include halflings)
Ntotila (The new Amazon nation)
Imperial Elves (Includes sea elves)
Dwarves (Includes gnomes)
Chosen of Chaos
Orx and Goblins
Friday, June 2, 2017
|Invincible loves it!|
Since then, my design experience has improved and I made a much cleaner, nicer sheet. It is based off an old MSHRPG sheet, so it has a bit of a retro feel. I decided to link it here for those who are interested!
Hope you all enjoy it, and Three Hundred Years' War posts should be continuing soon.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
|Queen Ysabel I and King Ferrando II|
Hespia had long been a conquered region. At one time or another, native Hespians were under the control of the Alpenne Empire and the Gilded Imperium, both reverting back to their small kingdoms after those empires fell. Roughly 1500 years ago, Hespia was overtaken by the Sonrai Sultanates. After centuries of rule be the Sonrai, a Hespian nobleman named Pelagius roused an army - claiming the divine favor of the Steward - and struck back against the Sonrai. Centuries of fighting continued, but native Hespians eventually drove the Sonrai completely out of the peninsula roughly 100 years ago, completing the 'Reunification'. This feat was celebrated by the marriage of Ysabel I and Ferrando II - the rulers of the two greatest kingdoms in Hespia who first united the lands under one rule.
Hespia is currently in the midst of what could be called a golden age. Led by King Filipe IV - who is of the same royal house as Ferdinandus II - their massive navies travel all over the world trading goods, setting up colonies in the New World and Kibula, and enforcing their sprawling borders. Art, philosophy, education and faith are at an all time high, and few can compete with the might of Hespia. That does not mean all is well - Hespia is the seat of the Inquisition, and fanaticism runs high against anyone who does not worship the Steward. Not only that, but Hespia is involved in multiple conflicts against Couronne, Albain, Schwarzlander and Osmanli pirates, not to mention their activity in the Great War. It is both a time of gold and a time of bloodshed for Hespia, and King Filipe worries for the future.
LAY OF THE LAND
|A typical 'castillo' in Hespia|
Hespia may be a large empire, but the Hespian Peninsula the actual country lays on is not overly large. Small rivers cross the country, but the largest is the western-flowing Tajo, which most major Hespian cities sit upon. Hespia also has quite a large mountain range called the Pirinioak - a short but broad range that is often served as a defensive point against Couronne. The land is fairly hilly and rocky, turning into occasional plateaus and lowlands. The land is temperate to the north and west, turning into coastal scrubs to the east and arid near-desert at the southern tip. Luckily, Hespia has managed to keep their borders secure - the forces of Corruption rarely tread here, meaning even towns and villages can thrive with only worries of other nations and the occasional Skrzzak incursion. The climate stays warm and dry, but not blistering.
POLITICS AND DIVISIONS
King Filipe IV is the current king of Hespia, and is a member of the House of Hapsburc - the same royal dynasty of Ferdinandus II. King Filipe is an aggressive king militarily, but is also known as a lover of arts and culture. Technically, Hespia is actually two separate kingdoms - the Kingdom of Castilla in the center of the country, and the Kingdom of Arago to the northeast. While both are now part of Hespia, they still have their unique attitudes and cultures. Hespia is still feudal, so provincial governors, princes and dukes rule over most of the country and its holdings, reporting back to King Filipe. While Filipe is tolerant of most things, one thing he is not tolerant of is heretics and dark religions. That's why Grand Inquisitior Antoine - the head of the Inquisition - is the second most powerful person in the country, and probably the most feared.
THE PEOPLE OF HESPIA
|Don Marco, governor of Barna, leading a charge|
The residents of Hespia have the reputation of being passionate, excitable and motivated, though that is not everyone in the country. Their skin is the color of olives and their hair as dark as night, while their faces are sharp and almost aquiline. Hespia still retains remnants of its occupation by the Sonrai Sultanates, with more southern cities possessing Sonrai architecture, culture and faith. Honor is also important in Hespia, whether it be through dancing, sword dueling or bull-fighting, Hespians tend to be larger than life and their cities reflect that. Rural Hespians have a fairly good standard of living compared to most of Europa - they often fish or farm, and tend to live long and with pride in the country.
Tole - Both the capital of Castilla and Hespia as a whole, Tole is truly a multicultural city located at the mouth of the Tajo River. The remnants of Hespia, Alpenne, the Gilded Imperium and the Sonrai Sultantes are all seen in the architecture and culture on this city on a hill. King Filipe holds his court here, as well does Grand Inquisitor Antoine. Though all people are welcome technically, those who do not worship the Steward are advised to watch their backs. Despite this, Tole still serves as the major port of all of Hespia.
Barna - Nestled in the heart of the Pirinioak Mountains, Barna is an old and embattled city, as well as the capital of Arago. It has long served as a defensive choke-point against Couronne and the few Goblin clans that roam the Pirinioak. Barna isn't a grim place though - Hespians here are just as vibrant as other parts of the empire, though they are often quicker to conflict. In addition to their military prowess, Barna produces some of the best wine in all of Hespia.
Ochuse - Though Hespia has sent out multiple of their conquistadores - combinations of explorers and soldiers - to found colonies in the New World or Kibula, few have succeeded. One that succeeded was Tristan de Luna who founded the colony of Ochuse in southeast Dinetah. Though a prosperous trading post for Hespia, Ochuse has found itself embattled on all sides by the Dinetah Confederation, the Aztlan temple-cities and Siabra raiders. King Filipe is considering abandoning the colony if things don't improve.