Monday, July 14, 2008

Euro-inspired fantasy gaming

I spent most of last week listening to the double-CD compilation album John Barleycorn Reborn, described by Warren Ellis as "dark folk" and subtitled "dark britannica." It's good stuff -- full of haunting, percussive melodies about fertility, sacrifice and the clash of Christianity with pagan Britain's roots.

It's got me jazzed to play some sort of proto-medieval fantasy game, one rooted in shamanistic magic, maybe with some sort of conquest element thrown in, that pits a peaceful indigenous people against some sort of inexorable invading force. I really dig the idea of an agrarian culture imbued with some sort commonly used, everyday magic -- that then crashes up against the spears and horses of some marauding force. It's a story that's formed the basis of any number of films; the three that come to mind right now are Dances With Wolves, 10,000 B.C. and Pathfinder. Never thought I'd ever find a reason to mention those last two in a sentence, but whatever....

Ars Magica evokes this setting really well, as does Tribe 8 (though the setting is dramatically different). There's got to be something out there more rooted in history and ancient cultures. Any other games out there that offer a little Euro-inspired fantasy?

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