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Posts Tagged ‘Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay’

One reason I loved the original Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay was its use of Renaissance Europe as a model for its setting, rather than the standard faux-medievalism of so many game settings. It was a time when guns and knights mingled on the battlefield, scientists could also be sorcerers, and the clothes were both outrageous and  gorgeous. The medieval world hadn’t quite vanished, yet the modern world hadn’t quite won. An age of exploration and intellectual and social ferment, the Renaissance is a great setting for roleplaying games.

Besides, how can you not like a story that combines, murder, infidelity, royal revenge, rage over rival theories of the solar system, mutilation, and psychic dwarf jesters all in one?

It’s “Amadeus” meets “Da Vinci Code” meets “Hamlet,” featuring a deadly struggle for the secret of the universe between Tycho, the swashbuckling Danish nobleman with a gold-and-silver prosthetic nose, and the not-yet-famous Johannes Kepler, his frail, jealous German assistant. The story also includes an international hit man, hired after a Danish prince becomes king and suspects Brahe of sleeping with his mother (and maybe being his father!).

For comic relief, there’s a beer-drinking pet elk wandering around Tycho’s castle, as well as a jester named Jepp, a dwarf who sits under Tycho’s table and is believed to be clairvoyant.

(…)

Tycho wins renown by identifying new stars, including a supernova, but after his royal patron dies, Tycho finds himself out of favor with the son and successor, Christian IV. Tycho goes to Prague and a new patron, Rudolf II, the Holy Roman Emperor. As he prepares to publish his decades of celestial observations, Tycho hopes to prove that all the planets except Earth revolve around the Sun, which in turn revolves around the Earth.

To help with the calculations, he brings in Kepler, a 28-year-old with his own weird model of the universe. Kepler, a devout Lutheran as well as a Copernican, believes that God created cosmic “harmony” by arranging the planets’ orbits around the Sun so that they’re spaced at distances corresponding to certain geometrical figures (the five “Platonic solids”). Tycho introduces Kepler to the emperor and lobbies for his appointment as imperial mathematician. But before Kepler’s appointment is formalized, Tycho suddenly becomes terribly ill after a banquet and dies 11 days later, at the age of 54.

What killed him?

And in that one question lies the seed of a fantastic WFRP adventure.

Do read the whole thing. It’s wonderful

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The Telegraph has a neat series of black-and-white photos of Londoners from the early 20th century through the 1970s on its site. Fans of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay will especially like this one.

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