Anachronistic medieval Eastern European settings?
July 13, 2015 1:57 AM   Subscribe

I am sick and tired of roleplaying games using horrible, historically-inaccurate mishmashes of medieval Western Europe as a setting. Give me ideas for the Eastern Europe version instead.

I am putting together a setting for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

Instead of going with your standard "anachronistic late-medieval Western European world but with magic and elves" setting, I am interested in the setting having a more Eastern European setting - specifically Finnic/Slavic/Baltic.

What are some simple things I can do to the setting to help achieve an Eastern European flavour?

e.g. Piotr, Yannis and Grigori instead of Peter, John and Gregory.

Alternatively, what are some good sources to read/watch for ideas?
posted by kithrater to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The Witcher.

Witch, witcher, witchest.

Witcher 1, Witcher 2 and Witcher 3 have the juice you need.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:02 AM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

For things that aren't the Witcher, Leigh Bardugo has written a lot of Russian-themed fantasy.
posted by sukeban at 2:40 AM on July 13, 2015

Night Witches is an amazing game but doesn't resemble D&D in any shape or form.
posted by Laura_J at 3:41 AM on July 13, 2015

Best answer: The old D&D supplement The Grand Duchy of Karameikos has a deliberately Eastern European feel to it, more Kievan Rus than England or France. It's a pretty thorough sourcebook and has some ideas.

Generally if you want to run an RPG in pre-modern Russia, GURPS Russia is a strong go-to book.
posted by graymouser at 3:51 AM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

You could also check out the descriptions of the common folks in Bram Stoker's Dracula for local flavor. While it's more Victorian, the superstition and FEEL is distinctly Eastern Europe.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 5:41 AM on July 13, 2015

Ars Magica's The Dragon and The Bear, for a Russocentric source.

Not an RPG supplement, but the book Traditional Balkan Witchcraft is very interesting.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:02 AM on July 13, 2015

In the same vein as Dracula, the Ravenloft setting has as one of its central locations Barovia, a feudal land very much in the vein of Stoker's depiction of Transylvania.
posted by graymouser at 6:08 AM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Medieval Names Archive is an incredible resource if you want authentic names.
posted by languagehat at 6:29 AM on July 13, 2015 [3 favorites]

Definitely grab some AD&D-era Ravenloft books.
posted by griphus at 7:04 AM on July 13, 2015

There's also the rpg Mythic Russia using the Heroquest system. That would probably be right up your alley.
posted by happyroach at 7:41 AM on July 13, 2015

You need to read Slumbering Ursine Dunes, which is a sort of gonzo Slavic sandbox campaign setting.
posted by snarkout at 8:29 AM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Have a look at the Kievan Rus Database, particularly the Culture section (which covers names, clothes, trades, armor & weapons, etc.). Not all 100% accurate, but probably fine for your purposes.

Toss in some Mongol flavor. Constant Mongol attacks and/or subjugation meant that aspects of their culture, tactics, and technologies were adopted by Slavs. Even names.

Orchestrate a battle on a frozen lake.
posted by Kabanos at 9:22 AM on July 13, 2015 (Finnish) is a barebones sandboxy computer game that is cheap and has a small but dedicated group of players on the forums. It's a very low (but not no) magic world, and the two devs are currently working on increasing realism. Because the forums are so small, you can often get answers from Sami or Erkka themselves re most Iron Age Finland questions .
posted by cobaltnine at 9:40 AM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

GURPS Viking source book is a great reference for all things Norse.
posted by irisclara at 11:54 AM on July 13, 2015

Ars Magica's "The Dragon and the Bear" is a great resource for 13th century Russia and Poland and includes lots of mythical/magical aspects that you could work with.
posted by mkuhnell at 12:21 PM on July 13, 2015

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