Historical Gaming Resources

Posted on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 by Games_and_Sports

As a game master/storyteller, one of the more difficult challenges that I face when I'm designing a game is setting the stage of a different time period. It is especially difficult to do this in a believable manner for my players when the game is set in a historical setting. I have found a collection of books that help with this challenge. Each series begins as "The Writers Guide to Everyday Life in....". While many of them are out of print, thankfully they can be found at the Santa Clara County Library District. Here are few samples of my favorites:

The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England, from 1811-1901

The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England, from 1811-1901

This is the first book in the collection and one of my favorites. It gives you detailed information in a simple easily accessible method. This allows you to add in those small elements that really create the fantasy of living in the Victorian and Regency Era for the players. For example, it details common foods and drinks so you can reference that when your players stop for a drink at a local tavern.  It also details cultural elements like the proper attire and time period for mourning in a Victorian household.  

 

The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in the Middle Ages

The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in the Middle Ages

Have you ever felt the desire to design a fantasy game that is closer to the historical Middle Ages than to the fantasy worlds that are often promoted in role playing games? Well, this is the book for you. Just like the Regency and Victorian England book, this book gives clear and concise information about life in the Middle Ages.

 

The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in the 1800s

The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in the 1800s

Say you are working on a game that takes place during the Napoleonic Wars and you decide to add details from that time period to really make the game come alive for your players. This book gives you all the right details needed to flesh out the world your players are experiencing.

 

The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Renaissance England

The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Renaissance England

So you're playing Mage the Awakening and one of your characters decides to cast a ritual that sends them back in time to the Renaissance period and they need to find an ancient text. How do you find the information you need quickly that will allow you to portray the time period accurately? Why, with this book of course.

 

The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Colonial America

The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Colonial America

Recently there have been several role playing games released that take place in the colonial Period, such as Colonial Gothic, Solomon Cain, and Witch Hunter : The Invisible World. Check out this book for historical information to add realistic details to your game.

 

The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life from Prohibition through World War II

The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life from Prohibition through World War II

Mobsters during prohibition, werewolf Nazis who cast occult rituals and film noir type detective stories are just a few of the many different stories that you can set up in this time period. this book gives a lot of information to flesh out your world.

 

These books offer a wealth of information. What book collections do you use for inspiration and material when you're planning a game?

- Heidi

 

 

Tagged: Gaming, historical fiction, Roleplaying, Sports and Games, Gaming, Historical Gaming, Historical Reference, Roleplaying

Comments

Wow! Thanks for this.

This was really interesting to me - I didn't know about this series. I had only seen "Everyday Life in ..." but not the Writers Guide to Everyday Life ... I don't know what it means to be a game master/storyteller (as I'm not a gamer), but it's useful to know that this series exists for game designers as well as writers.

Read!