Sunday 28 November 2010

Can you recommend any historical RPGs?

I love me some fantasy slashy, hacky, looty fun along with a multitude of other roleplaying genres, but rarely have I come across anything to satiate the history nerd in me.

So I ask you, fair readers: can you recommend me a historical RPG? It doesn't matter the period, it only matters that it's historically accurate.


  1. Ars Magica, for all its focus on magic, is satisfyingly historically accurate when it comes to medieval life. Pendragon also nods more to historical fact than to Arthurian myth.

    For "harder" history, Iron Crown's Campaign Classics line (Robin Hood, Mythic Greece, Vikings, Pirates, Mythic Egypt) are wonderful, but annoyingly hard to get nowadays.

  2. Zenobia by Paul Elliott. Set in the late Roman period with fantasy elements.

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  4. Chronica Feudalis (

    Independently written and published, CF has a default setting of the 12th century, but honestly it can handle any historical time period. I hgihly recommend it.

  5. I second Zenobia. Dripping with historical flavour and free!

  6. How accurate are you going for? Because, quite frankly, I think there isn't a human in all of history that has lived as exciting a life as an RPG hero (ignoring the fact that something being real makes it inherently exciting).

    Just trying to make the point that accuracy isn't always fun.

  7. Hi

    You have quite a few choices.

    The following is a list of old historical modules for AD&D some of which were really good:
    HR1: Vikings
    HR2: Charlemagne's Paladins
    HR3: Celts
    HR4: A Mighty Fortress (15th /16th century Elizabethan England)
    HR5: The Glory of Rome
    HR6: Age of Heroes
    HR7: The Crusades

    GURPS has got quite a few historical setting books e.g.

    Feudal Japan
    Ancient China
    Age of Napoleon
    Imperial Rome

    All are probably still available and mostly very well researched.

    From newer publications I would recommend:

    Ars Magica and Pendragon as above.

    Sengoku - set in its namesake period (15th-17th c. Japan of on-and-off civil conflicts) - really well written – lots of cultural information and setting details.

    All for one - Régime Diabolique
    Which is a nice little game inspired by Alexander Dumas' adventuring musketeering novels. The game's twist is adding some dark supernatural themes. You could probably can be made more accurate with little effort. There are not that many games covering 16th - 17th century century so this can be interesting.

    There are a few non-English ones for sure – I know of one set in 17th century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This part of Europe had to handle Swedish, Tatar, Ottoman invasions in short succession plus its own unruly nobles. Sadly the game is out of print and no English translation.

  8. @Nicholas An accurate setting more than anything. Then again, I could really just meticulously research an era and run a generic system like Risus in that setting. I do agree with you though.

  9. Any game by Alephtar Games: