Sunday, May 1, 2022

Still "Mining" in Germany

Still "Mining" in Germany
So I'm on my third weekend, of four, on my business "trip" to Germany and I'm dying to get some gaming in. Playing cards with the guys is fine and all, but I have dice that need to be rolled and being on this blog is as close as I'm going to get until I'm state-side. The only physical game stores I've managed to find out about are on the other side of the country, so I guess my free time will have to be spent drinking, playing cards, and being a tourist. 

Really not a terrible way to spend my free time.....but still.

I am lucky in that there is a metric butt-ton (or would it be butt-tonne?) of inspirational ideas to be found here. I've got a small list already going and have even started on an outline for an OSR adventure inspired by a trio of sites I got to visit while out & about.

Also, and I get on so many levels that this is kind of a "duh" moment, but so many things here in Germany are so.......foreign. Not so much culture shock type stuff, but little stuff that is just so different to the point it seems like it could be used as good flavor text. 

I mean, when we play in a table-top RPG we're playing characters in a foreign land. There should be a ton of differences between our world and the fantasy world, I mean well outside of the concept of magic and monsters. Now I'm assuming that the majority of Tavern patrons are Americans and that the majority of table-top RPGs have a more...Medieval European (Western or Eastern) flavor.

Hopefully some of my observations from this trip, and my previous travels (I did live in another German state for a few years) would help me as a GM to convey some appreciable semblance of these differences to liven up the game a bit.

Life in a Medieval Series

One resource I've found useful as a GM, probably more useful than my first-hand experiences, is the Medieval Life series of books by Frances and Joseph Gies. I guess this series is up to eight books now, but I only have the Life in a Medieval Village, Life in a Medieval Castle, and Life in a Medieval City books (these are not sponsored links, unless Erik is able to change them out.....). 

I'm not done with all of the books, but I have liked what I've read so far and I recommend them to pretty much any GM.

I'm a sucker for historical-type books so consider this a biased recommendation. I'd love, love, love to find some local history and folklore books about the region I'm in now that I could use to inject more life into my GMing (and writing). I'm sure they exist, but not in English.....

Now I've been going on a bit about Europe and Germany obviously 'cause that's where I'm at now, but I have to admit that these kinds of things I'm picking up on here are available back in the US, if you know where to look. We've got some great early colonial history from the like of early New York or Boston, but I've been surprised by minable historical details in unlikely places. 

One example I read about the early history of the Iowa county I went to high school in. IIRC 1840's or so. Records were a bit on the scarce side, but populations and memberships were available. It seemed like there were a LOT of social groups/not-so-secret societies and it seemed like most men were probably involved in at least two groups, so clearly there was a lot of intertwining of these social groups. Might seem like nothing, but now when I develop a small village I add in multiple non-religious organizations and develop small ties between them. If the PCs befriend one group they might get some extra play from others, or some level of hate/distrust from others.

Hopefully I can get some dice rolling this next week or so, or at least get some map-work done....

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