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D&D General D&Difying History

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Have you run a historical (including mythic history) game in D&D? If so, what era and location did you choose? How to you integrate D&D's particulars? DID you swap out real world cultures for D&D races, or not use D&D races, or something else? How did it go?

I have made a few attempts but the most ambitious was Post-Roman Britain using 3.5/Pathfinder. I didn't necessarily direct swap cultures for races but generally speaking Dwarves were from the Wales region, Elves were from Ireland, halflings and humans were "local" and orcs and goblins had been pushed back to the other side of Hadrian's Wall (but I avoided saying "Picts are orcs"). The invading Saxons were replaced by hobgoblins, but in retrospect I should have made them the elves. It worked pretty well for a while but as happened a lot in that time it eventually collapsed under the weight of the system.
 

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J-H

Hero
When I originally ran Castle Dracula (Castlevania), I set it in Transylvania. The party starts at the edge of the castle mountain, so the setting didn't play into it very much outside of the introduction mentioning undead and werewolves near the walls of Istanbul and Vienna by the time the party arrived.

There were some prisoners in the castle that I originally had as four different groups (Hungarians, Turks, etc.) that didn't get along. When putting it on the DM's Guild, I had to edit that to more of a suggestion of "Use groups from your world that hate each other to make managing them more complex" and delete the references to real-world cities in the intro.

Since the DM's Guild is probably the main source for 3rd party module/campaign material, there's not going to be much published out there that reflects a D&D-ized real world setting.

I also explicitly said that I wasn't touching the religious aspect. If D&D, obviously paladins, clerics, druids, and a pantheon of deities, including a fight with an Avatar of Death... yet in Dracula's castle, there's an old Christian chapel and a few places where crosses are carved (usually signifying safe areas for the party to rest). There's recognizable history up to the 1400s, which means recognizable religions in the background.
Everyone was there to kill zombies, skeletons, vampires, etc., not to discuss theological possibilities.
 

jgsugden

Legend
Not D&D per se, but homebrew rules inspired by them (4E was used as a basis).

The lore of the setting says that magic was real and fairly common until some event sealed it away causing a collapse of society that regressed technology in many places. Magic was sealed away for nearly 2000 years, but it returns in the opening moments of the game (set in London, 1870).

It is a mix of Call of Cthulhu, D&D, Sherlock Holmes, Deadlands, Alias (tv show), etc... Over 9 adventures the Pregen PCs, each with unique mechanics that the players figure out as they play, have to go to different locations around the world and deal with the impacts of magic returning to the world. It is designed to run for about 200 hours of gaming and features 32 locations - some well known real world locations, some fairly obscure, and some fantasy (Atlantis, for example). I use real world maps for almost everything - even Atlantis maps are based upon real world designs.

It is not a balanced RPG. Some of the PCs are more powerful than others, and it is very easy for it to go off the tracks and reach a premature end (which did occur twice). However, every PC has spotlight built into the adventure, and it has had a successful run.
 


Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I did not do a direct game, but I use to refer to the green book Historical 2E supplements for a lot of things.

Outside of D&D, I've played quasi-historical games such as 7th Sea, and CoC set in the 20's.
Those books were cool; i had the whole set. I wish it were still possible to make stuff like that.
 

nevin

Hero
Have you run a historical (including mythic history) game in D&D? If so, what era and location did you choose? How to you integrate D&D's particulars? DID you swap out real world cultures for D&D races, or not use D&D races, or something else? How did it go?

I have made a few attempts but the most ambitious was Post-Roman Britain using 3.5/Pathfinder. I didn't necessarily direct swap cultures for races but generally speaking Dwarves were from the Wales region, Elves were from Ireland, halflings and humans were "local" and orcs and goblins had been pushed back to the other side of Hadrian's Wall (but I avoided saying "Picts are orcs"). The invading Saxons were replaced by hobgoblins, but in retrospect I should have made them the elves. It worked pretty well for a while but as happened a lot in that time it eventually collapsed under the weight of the system.
I'd have made the Elves norway, sweden, scandanavia, or had them be the surviviors of Carthage.
 


MGibster

Legend
I attempted an Ancient Greek campaign using one of the historical green books from 2nd edition AD&D. It didn't go very well as I don't think AD&D was well suited to that kind of thing. There are just too many changes one has to make and you get to the point where it no longer feels like you're playing D&D. So why bother using D&D at that point?
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I attempted an Ancient Greek campaign using one of the historical green books from 2nd edition AD&D. It didn't go very well as I don't think AD&D was well suited to that kind of thing. There are just too many changes one has to make and you get to the point where it no longer feels like you're playing D&D. So why bother using D&D at that point?
The same reason as always: because you're DMing for a group of D&D players.
 

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