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[13 Chapter in 13 Weeks] Chapter 7. The chapter you get a lot of background.

June 24, 2009

Two posts this week about Colonial Gothic Revised. Earlier this week I talked about the short stories written by Jennifer Brozek that are found in the book. Today I want to talk about the next chapter, Chapter 7.

Chapter 7 begins a major section of the game: background material. Though background — be it historical and setting — is found throughout  earlier chapters, starting with Chapter 7, background takes center stage. So what does this chapter cover? Well the title explains it all: “Player’s Guide to the Colonies.”

One of the things I wanted to do with Colonial Gothic Revised was address a lot of criticisms I received about the first edition. That criticism was that there was not a lot in the first book talking about the world of the colonists. Little things people wanted to see was discussions about religions, education and the like. For me, I wrongly assumed that gamers and GMs new as much as I did about the period. I also assumed that those who wanted to know about the period would do research. I assumed wrongly on this, and for that reason when I decided to tackle Colonial Gothic Revised, the first thing I wanted to do was make the period as accessible as I could. Chapter 7 is an example of how I did this. The goal with Chapter 7 was to give all the information a player and GM would need about the period. This is not indepth, and if you want to know more about the period reading a few of the books found in the Bibliography are good places to start. Still this chapters answers questions like:

  • What was the education like?
  • Can my hero go to a library?
  • What were the main religions?
  • How do you get from Point A to Point B?

I answer these questions, as well as others, and give you enough to use to create your hero, or as a GM, to throw in details. One of the larger sections in this chapter is the one dealing with Religion. I included this because it is an important topic and and important detail about the period.

Also found here is a long discussion about magic and alchemy. Unlike the sections found in the earlier parts of the chapter, this is where Colonial Gothic‘s background comes in. It is with the magic discussion that you start to see what I mean about the secret history of the game. There is a lot of historical truth in the section, but there are also touches to things that happened in the background.

And to answer the question I know many of you have. The 13 Colonies and Natives are covered in the next chapter, Chapter 8. There is a logic to the layout. 🙂

In all Chapter 7 is a tight chapter filled with the bits and pieces that aid both the player and GM in running and playing the game. I really like this chapter, and I hope others do as well.

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