Two weeks ago Angie and I went to the MET in NYC and decided since we hadn’t been to the Asian exhibits in a long time that is where we would spend our day.
As I stated in my previous post, walking around the MET always gets my creative juices flowing and I find myself looking at weapons, paintings, sculptures, and other pieces getting a plethora of RPG ideas.
As we were walking through the museum, we passed through the Mesopotamia exhibit, the foundation of civilization. I began wondering what it would have been like to live in a harsh environment of bitter cold and harsh winds, dealing with flat land with barely any natural defenses, all survival depending on the fertile crescent (I’m a history major, btw^_^). There was little to no written history, mostly relying on oration. Constant struggles with the environment as crude tools slowly gave way to the discovery and forging of bronze and eventually iron weaponry.
Then it hit me, what a fun era to run a campaign!
Getting Rid of it All
One thing I have experienced as a DM and seen as a player is the complete saturation of a players mind with too many details. When running or playing in a campaign it is hard to keep track of histories, deities, guilds, kingdoms, prominent NPCs, political battles, real battles, machinations, motivations, and other such overloads of information.
This can especially happen when, like me, you’re players are very casual and honestly depend on you to be the information dump.
So I started thinking about what it would mean to start a campaign at the actual beginning of society. There is no history, there are kingdoms. Political machinations are just starting to take hold, ranging from the simplest; of the farmer who wants to covet a neighbor’s cattle and daughter because it will mean more land to him, to the more complicated; that of the first bronze tools, weapons, and crude armor (breastplate) and quality leather, being created and the most powerful citizens of the village vying for it.
A campaign could literally start with the first setting up of a village or town, still using stone weapons, and minimal leather, hatched, and cloth armor. The GM and the party would create the history of the town together, the oration, the desire of the spirits, and the future of the village with their actions.
If you wanted to go a little more detailed you could have the village be founded for 10-20 years, leading into the discover of bronze, thus more advanced weaponry, armor, items, and combat tactics.
A System, a System, I Must Choose a System
So I started mulling what system would work best for such a campaign setting and I think Savage Worlds would work best. I think that the rules lite system and its simplicity would enhance this kind of world, where the d20 system (I swear I love you!!) would bog it down. Also I think the magic system in Savage Worlds, being much more simple and intuitive than d20 would keep that feeling of a fledgling society intact.
I was think it would be fun to have other contribute to this, ideas for weapons, damage, a few deities, possible starting villages, whatever. You can post a comment here and as I accumulate them I will repost them on the blog and start an Obsidian Portal wiki for it.
Just an idea. I’m open to any suggestions or thoughts on the matter.