View Full Version : DM Help Crusades-esque Campaign- I don't know where to start!!

2016-09-15, 09:57 AM
Hey, I'm new to these forums, though I've read and referenced things from here on occasion in the past. I made an account because my players want to try something new, and I have no idea how to start going about it. I was talking to my players about starting another game up and after discussing it, we all decided it would be really fun to try an episodic campaign based on the Crusades.

I agreed that it sounded fun, but the problem is this: I'm struggling where to figure out how to start creating it.

We've already discussed the possibility of using a tabletop system outside of D&D that might be better suited for this type of play, but I don't really know any off the top of my head, and google wasn't giving me the results I wanted. They also want to maintain the fantasy element- playing as elves, dwarves, etc, and being able to use magic. But I guess I'm just someone who doesn't deviate from their comfort zone too much because I'm completely lost on how to start writing this. I know one of the first things I wanna do is read up on the Crusades- I haven't learned anything about them since high school, but I was also hoping for some helpful ideas or sources that might inspire me.

2016-09-15, 10:13 AM
What type of play do you want? Tactical battles with realistic representations of period weapons and armor? Players plotting how to beseige and conquer cities in the holy land with their armies? Defending cities against crusading armies? A romantic tale of heroism set against the backdrop of a crusade? Narrative, tactics, survival/exploration?
If there will be fantasy creatures then you have some work ahead of you creating a fantasy version of the medieval world. decide where the different races fit in and how they feel about the religions and cultures involved in the fighting. Are they part of the crusader armies, or the defenders, or both? Are the real world religions involved replaced with fantasy religions? How much magic is there?

You need to decide all these things.

Go to wikipedia to start with. The history articles are usually good, reliable and annotated if not brief.

Mark Hall
2016-09-15, 10:40 AM
How close are you sticking to history? Is it "We are basing this off the Crusades, but setting it on Snarflat" or is it "This is the historical Crusades, but there's elves and wizards and ****?"

Once you answer that question, a lot more start getting asked, such as Thrudd's "What kind of game"? I can picture using 2nd edition's Birthright and running something based in the Crusader Kingdoms, mixed with some of the HC Crusades book. I can picture running this with Ars Magica, though they have fewer "extra races" and not so great combat.

2016-09-15, 10:45 AM
D&D-style magic does a pretty good job of thoroughly destroying the feel of a crusade setting - if you have instant communication (or, worse, instant travel), the ability to conjure food and water and to trivialize the heat and cold of hostile environments via a common 1st-level spell, the ability to reliably cure or prevent sickness and injuries, the ability to speak with your god, to prove the existence of your god, to prove the will of your god in an unambigious way... then I frankly don't see the use in doing any research regarding the era of the RL crusades, because the setting won't and can't be like them in any meaningful way. The only thing worse than that type of magic would be the use of D&D alignments or any other type of objective morality system.