So, time for another blog update, since my main computer’s PSU died and I gotta wait until Wednesday to get a new one. My Ubuntu shitbox allows me to browse the net but I can’t actually write anything on this since for some reason OpenOffice will eat anything you write in it.
The setting material is done. Some bits and pieces might get filled in during the first round of editing, but that’s done. The core rules are done too. Some minor subsystems need to get filled out. Some dry-run playtesting has been going on.
Actually I wanted to talk about the non-humans in the setting, because by now you might have heard about the Change.org petition against Monte Cook Games and their game The Strange. Read the petition yourself because the issue about representing an actual minority in a game is pretty well presented there.
One of the most awkward and shitty things is using the traditional nonhuman races (dwarves, orcs, elves) as a stand-in for actual minorities. Swords of the Eastsea is not doing that. The dwarves, the elves and the orcs are a completely different thing and represent nothing or no one that has existed in the real world. Furthermore, since there’s a few real-life minorities which will be touched upon in the game setting, such as the Saami and the Roma, I’ll be talking with people from those groups to figure things out. I don’t want to write another WoD: Gypsies.
Which is a good segue to another point. Historically, the Early Modern period was a period that was in many ways far more international than the early 20th century. Remember, nationalism as we knew it didn’t exist, so other things counted more than someone’s ethnicity. For instance, in Stockholm, over half the city council was for a long time German. Going from this, the baseline in Swords of the Eastsea is roughly as follows: wherever you go, there’s always going to be a majority group but existing alongside them, there’s significant numbers of people from other places and other ethnicities. One state which the base game will touch on briefly is the Empire of the Maghreb, an important state in North Africa that has wide-reaching commercial interests elsewhere. So people from Maghreb can be found almost anywhere. One of the important commercial products of North Africa is salt, and anyone who wishes to fish and sell their catch needs it, so every major port in the north has some traders from the Maghreb.
Likewise, Somali people have made their way into the north through the river trade routes that run from the Black Sea and are an accepted part of the Karelian communities. Likewise, soldiers from the Ottoman Republic frequently seek service in Novgorod and the Polish-Livlandian Commonwealth.
I like it, and hope you like it too.
Edit: Oh yeah someone totally gave me the idea that the setting should have cat people, like Skyrim. If I have Sumerians in the Baltic, I probably can do cat people too.