Greetings to you, Knights of the Realm!
Matthew Dawkins here. I’m posting an update to talk a little about the plans for King Arthur’s Britannia, which as an era, falls within the nebulous so-called “Dark Ages” of the British Isles and Europe. We’re choosing to set this era between 400 and 500 C.E., with a focus on the weakening of the Romano-British and subsequent Saxon dominance of Britain, and where the Arthurian mythos falls within that period.
The team we have on board for his chapter includes veteran Ethan Skemp handling the Changeling: The Lost section, covering the True Fae and the Lost in a time and place where magic and mystery experienced a resurgence and walking off into the woods alone was really a bad idea, Summer turning to Autumn in a realm increasingly reduced to squalor; new hand Alan Gowing handling Vampire: The Requiem, as the Kindred infest the last of the Roman courts and brace for the plunge into misrule, and a revisit and 2nd Edition overhaul of the Bron bloodline from Bloodlines: The Legendary; and David Cartwright, author of Camelot 2050, handling Hunter: The Vigil for us. While expectations might put the Knights of the Round Table as classical hunters, and there may well be some among the ruling nobles in Britain, our hunters will predominantly arise among the Saxons, Angles, Jutes, and other invading Germanic tribes of Europe.
For our chapter, we’re pulling more on the threads of history than Chrétien de Troyes’ Lancelot saga. Leaning more into Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain, we want a vibe of authenticity in this chapter, though with the fantastical elements of Arthur’s war with Mordred, the present threat of Morgana, and maybe, just maybe, a little bit of a Holy Grail to tie into the Bron’s presence here.
The authors are referencing and have referenced Worlds of Arthur by Guy Halsall, which provides an incredibly detailed exposure of this historical era. A Brief History of King Arthur by Mike Ashley also makes for a wonderful biography piece I suggest anyone interested in the figure checks out, and of course, Bernard Cornwell’s The Warlord Chronicles Trilogy is great fun. Not to do other RPGs a disservice, and as much as I love Pendragon, we also look to Paul Mitchener and Graham Spearing’s Age of Arthur as a high benchmark. It’s an excellent game I can’t recommend enough.
To wrap up, I think I’ll give a tease of the prevalent themes and mood we want coming across in this era.
The themes in this era are:
Change: For all three creature types present in this era, the times, they are a-changin’. Vampires do not desire this change, the Lost are split between change and former glories, while the hunters proudly instigate this change. Can the three work together to make something acceptable for all involved, or are all destined for their own brand of ruin?
Darkness: In what will later become known as the Dark Ages, Britain is about to enter the era of warring kings and barons, persecution of scholars, and end to freedom of trade. While Britain was not sleeping at this time, life under the Saxons was wholly different to life under the Romans (for better and worse). For the established nobility, this was a time of encroaching darkness.
The mood for this era is:
Gloom: The world is growing smaller, the nights are drawing in, the invaders are coming, and blood flows readily. The glory that was Rome has faded. Gloom has overtaken King Arthur’s Britannia.
7 responses to “King Arthur’s Britannia [Dark Eras 2]”
Sounds infinitely awesome. I’m glad I got in on the backerkit for this.
Sounds pretty awesome Matt. Looking forward to the Hunter compacts that will be put together for it.
I am really excited about this! Will we see King Arthur and Mordred as changelings? We you explore how Arthur was a Britonic divinity, as well as a king? Will you explore all the legends surrounding Mordred? Including the one where he is a rival king, rather than Arthur’s treacherous son?
I will be very interested in seeing what type of changeling Merlin is and to which court he belongs
I really hope Merlin isn’t presented as a Changeling since he’s canonically a Mage in Mage 2e, and there’ll be a Mage centric view of the era in Tome of the Pentacle, since it’s important to the history of the Mage setting.
Sounds very cool. I’m still a bit saddened that Mage didn’t get to be one of the “splats” for the era, but it still sounds like it’ll be a very interesting and fun era.
This looks great. I’ve been most excited about this era since the kickstarter. Also, super hoping that that the Lambton Worm from “Savage and Macabre” makes an appearance!!