Archive for May 19th, 2008

Black & Gaunt

2008 May 19

Over on SG, Brian Hollenbeck said:

Johnathan Walton: You write games with Asian themes. I challenge you to write a game about life under the 14th century manor system in France or England. Your choice!

So I said:

How about both?

Black & Gaunt: In the midst of the Hundred Years’ War, Edward of Woodstock (the Black Prince of Wales) and John of Gaunt arrive with their armies on the shores of France, seizing the manorial lands of the local French lords. Within a month, there is a virulent outbreak among the peasantry, what seems at first to be the remnants of the Black Death which just recently filled so many graves. However, it soon becomes clear that something else is afoot, perhaps dark magicks cast by the Antipope of Avignon, because the peasants, themselves rather blackened & gaunt, are rising up, hungry for the flesh of Englishmen.

I think I’m gonna write this up as a convention one-shot for Geiger Counter since I need one anyway. Ideas:

  • A pre-drawn map, with the manor house (several floors, celler), peasant lands, the old well (with Roman tunnels beneath), the church (with catacombs and graveyard), the ships of the invading English just off-shore, etc. Players will still draw in new features on the map, but there will be a bunch of things there ready to be played with. Some advantage dice will be pre-assigned to things.
  • A set of fixed characters, complete with stats, which the players choose from. They go by catchy one-word names: Black (the Black Prince), Gaunt (John of), Issy (Queen Consort Isabella, the She-Wolf of France), the peasant maid Joan (of Arc), a few other named soldiers, sailors, peasants, priests, etc.
  • Each players’ character is represented on the map by a black chess piece (up to 5, King, Queen, Knight, Rook, Bishop). NPCs are represented by white chess pieces. The menace is represented by black pawns. When the menace increases its number of Menace Dice, it also increases from one pawn to multiple pawns, representing the growing zombie horde. It maxes out at 8 pawns, the full contingent in a chess set.

Should be fun.