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posted Aug 26, 2012 02:41:28 by RoryHughes
There is mooted to be an upcoming sourcebook on the Byzantine Empire, I think. The empire lasted for quite a while, so my question is when precisely is it going to be set?

I have a mind to do something similar to Ars Magica, in effect, and create a conspiracy of Sorcerers for the characters to join in, and get into the whole Byzantine politics and high cultural epoch. My guess is that the 8th century is about the right time. Anybody else more in the know?
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11 replies
RoryHughes said Aug 29, 2012 23:40:04
Wow! Gee, it really looks like the Byzantium Empire has caught the imagination of people here.......
Atlatl_Jones said Aug 30, 2012 13:26:10
It's more that we don't know any more than you do about the book.

The 8th or early 9th century makes the most sense to me too. It has exposure to vikings, wars against Muslim armies, diplomatic ties with the Abbasid Caliphate's golden age, the Khazar Khaganate, the iconoclast controversy, and more internal politics than you can shake a stick at.

The era of Justinian would be another great era, with the reconquest of Italy, plague, the Blue and Green chariot race factions, massive riots, and other interesting story hooks.

The 4th crusade and its aftermath is also interesting, but there's already an Ars Magica book focusing on that period, The Sundered Eagle.
[Last edited Aug 30, 2012 13:33:16]
VaughanCockell said Aug 30, 2012 15:11:47
The Byzantium Empire is also one of the less well known/imagined eras in "popular history". It may be rife with cool possibilities for gaming but at least in the UK we are not familiar with it as we are Ancient Briton (King Arthur) or Ancient Greece (Greek Myths).

Byzantium is going to need a bit of a sell for people to get excited, I suspect.
Heimdallsgothi said Aug 30, 2012 21:09:23
Greek/Rome.. sweet mythology, classic heros.. a ton of supporting material and movies to draw from.

Viking era RQ, also sweet.. vikings/pirates are awesome, nice mythos to back it up, legendary warriors, lots of books and movies to draw from

Byzantium... known for bizzare laws.. yawn
lawrence.whitaker said Aug 31, 2012 23:45:21
Byzantium... known for bizzare laws.. yawn

I don't know yet what period the book will be set, and its a good 12 months away. But, its being written by Michael O'Brien who is a terrific writer - witty, erudite and decidedly not someone who makes you yawn. :-)
simonbray80 said Sep 01, 2012 07:50:29
I had really hoped MOB was doing this. He wrote Sun County, was an author editor for Tales of the Reaching Moon, was instrumental in pushing forward the runequest renaissance in the 90s and is the patron saint of maximum game fun.
JohnWhite said Sep 02, 2012 12:08:49
I recollect the comic strip Arak Son of Thunder which was set at the time of Charlamaign and included a lot of adventures in the Byzantium Empire of that era.
DavidCake said Sep 17, 2012 08:18:34
I was mildly interested in a Byzantine/Constantinople supplement. I've got an interest in the era, but never considered running an RQ game there.

Until I read it was being written by MOB. Now I'm very excited! Great writer, and I know he loves the terrific John Julius Norwhich History of Byzantium, because MOB originally put me on to these books and Byzantine history generally. I'll definitely be looking forward to this one, and picking it up when it comes out.
JayVerkuilen said Jan 05, 2013 17:28:35
Constantinople would be awesome. Given how long it lasted, you could have many different eras with quite different feels represented, and lots of possibilities.

If you want some inspiration of the RP possibilities (and good reads), take a look at The Sarantine Mosaic by Guy Gavriel Kay, set in a fictional version of Justinian's era, or numerous of Harry Turtledove's books on Videssos, set in a fictional Medieval period Byzantine empire.

You could even have dungeoneering, as there are lots of places even in modern Istanbul with buried catacombs dating back to Roman times:

Peter said Feb 21, 2013 19:16:38
I am very excited by this. Excited enough to break into song (Cherubikon):

The Byzantine Empire has a long and fascinating history. Would also be interested to know more about when. 6-7th or 10th C I suppose?
SteveLieb said Mar 06, 2013 18:58:27
I had a campaign running in Byzantium for a while, set in 1090 in a Middle Ages where a magical catastrophe had (the players never really figured it out) been 'set off' at the fall of Rome when Alaric came over the walls in 410. Much of Central/Eastern Europe, all of the Alps, and Scandinavia remained heavily forested and populated by monsters...the Huns were essentially organized Orcs and Ogres, and Islam and the Vikings were both much less successful civilizations as they were under constant pressure/attack from nonhumans beyond the fringes of civilization.
Iberia was reduced to some rump Kingdoms fighting for survival against some sort of dragon king that occupied Gibraltar from west Africa.
Had they managed to explore that far, the Mayans had actually been extremely successful, and had morphed into more of an evil-Aztec-blood-magic empire under pressure from aggressive nonhumans coming down from the Rockies and Mexico, and had just encountered the just-as-militant pre-Inca Tiahuanaco Sun Worshippers to the south....I was thinking that could turn interesting as a setting too.
Germany was largely a backward, patchwork collection of counties with a nominal Holy Roman Emperor. Koblenz, Fulda, and Leipzig were dangerous, fortified Marcher towns, south of them being dangerous wilderness. In Gaul/France, the Druids were strong, but not as strong as in Ireland & Wales. England was led by Mercia and Northumbria (the latter under pressure from the Picts), and a collection smaller Eorldoms (except Cornwall, which the other English kingdoms steered clear of because of overwhelming was a human kingdom in fact run by a council of vampires).

My main enemy around Byzantium for what ended up being the bulk of the campaign was a shadowy Yazidi organization the Cult of the Peacock Angel.

The campaign was going absolutely swimmingly then I graduated college and our group basically all went separate ways. I thought I had a bloody fascinating medieval world there... :(
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