I’ve been working on this project for Lamentations of the Flame Princess for some time, and it’s finally jumped to the front of my working goals. Briefly, it shifts the location of the game to the Ottoman Empire, during the same canonical year, 1630.
Our scenario concerns the ruins of the House of Wisdom, a jewel of culture for centuries before it was destroyed by Mongol occupiers in the 13th century CE (400 years before our period). It also happens to be in Safavid-occupied Baghdad, which is an unstable and dangerous location just right for our purposes.
You see, historical Ottoman fantasy (literature, occult) is D&D. Ancient treasures that will be appreciated by people you return them to, a wide variety of politically-tolerated and not-tolerated religions, coinage that actually operates as money, magic that involves demon-binding and paper bursting into flame, not to mention charging-up through receiving the divine. And if you want to know where the dragon was that St. George killed a thousand years ago, why, that was historical Syria, and he was a Turk.
Seeing the D&D tropes make actual historical, literary, and in-fiction justified sense is an incredible treat. All you have to take out are the Disney Middle Ages and Tolkien, and Jim got rid of both of those already. For this project, for the highly pragmatic, rationalist culture, his emphasis on non-naturalistic, reality-disruptive magic suits perfectly.
Here are the player handouts I used: one in general, one for the adventure. They’re both pretty sketchy and rough, not developed text or pre-publication draft. For the ruins themselves, I used a mentally-edited version of Raven Downs Keep. I didn’t have the image I used here for the lead at the time of play, but I wish I had, because it is perfect for the scenario and actually matches the map I used! (it is a Bosnian madrassah).
In this session, we did not get to see any player-character magic flying, which is too bad because I am really looking forward to my tentative rules tweaks hitting their limits, i.e., not working and providing me with the next design step. I’ve already seen the first stages in other sessions with other people, and my current rules now have a chance to work if they’re any good, so I’m hoping to see if-and-how they aren’t. As you’ll see, the situation at the end of the session definitely begs for a couple spells and prayers, so here’s my fingers crossed for it.
As with many, or even most Adept Play recordings, we’re looking at an international range, from the locations Toronto, Atlanta, Brussels, (close to) Milan, Frankfurt, Istanbul, and me here in Norrköping. Combined with a couple of breaks due to dropped connections, that led to a number of comparisons of history and culture which I reluctantly edited out. I also snipped one bit about God & stuff and edited it for posting in the comments if anyone’s interested.
I also have a number of “about play and players” notes that I’m reserving, and some of them are derived from material I edited out for time’s sake. I plan to follow up with the group alone about them after we’re done with the adventures, and since all the players are patrons, that might be a special post-play Lab.