I was replying to a topic when this thought hit me. Why is it that writers always feel the need to add magic and dragons when writing a story set in the Dark Ages? The Dark Ages were dangerous enough, and they didn’t have dragons or witches, they just had other people and that was enough to make their lives uncertain.
Let’s look at what we know about Medieval Times:
- There are bandits. Lots of bandits. If you weren’t protected then you couldn’t travel anywhere. This could lead to a bandit simulator where you play as someone in a bandit gang trying to steal to survive. You could decide to be a Robin Hood type, or just try to protect you and yours. Or maybe on the opposite side, you could be a merchant or guard trying to survive while dealing with bandits.
- The Black Death. There could be a story all around this bit here. Everyone was either dying or afraid of dying, people were rioting and hiding, murdering and stealing, doing whatever they had to to stay alive. Life was uncertain and tensions were high. If the plague doesn’t kill you, other survivors might. 1 goal: Stay alive
- Corrupt despot. Everyone with any amount of power was willing to abuse it. This could turn into a game about politics kinda like how Choice of Romance/Intrigues did it, which is one of my favorite choice games to date. Lots of Game of Thrones-type political intrigues and any whisper in the wrong ear could spell your death.
- Knights were a-holes. Yes, I made this an entire number because that’s how horrible knights were. Corrupt, greedy, most were rapists or murderers, they were unpleasant people to be around. The most I could see in this is if you were to become a knight and be exposed to how horrible your fellow knights were and choose if you want to follow in step or stick to the ideals of what a knight should be.
- Wars. Cause war, war never changes. In that it will always suck and nobody likes it. War is the really angry kid in lunch that everyone tries to sit away from but he keeps coming around and picking fights with everyone but for some reason he never gets expelled. I could see this kind of game mixing with a knights game, but they could be done separately. Basically, just fight a war and try not to die or lose yourself to the bloodlust.
- Witch Hunters. In a day when owning a cat was enough to be charged of witchcraft. Tasked with hunting down witches and exterminating them, the Witch Hunters operated with ruthlessness and extreme prejudice when fighting against the evil spawns of Satan…except, well, witches didn’t exist. So pretty much everyone they tortured and burned alive were completely innocent of any devil worshiping. Oops. For this I’m thinking a man of the Witch Hunters who hunts and exterminates “witches” but then begins to question his faith he is forced to do unspeakable acts to people who seem like just ordinary citizens, or perhaps playing as a woman who was a healer in a remote village before being accused of witchcraft on some groundless evidence that really wouldn’t hold up in any court of law, like your favorite color was red or you climbed a tree really fast that one time. You are then forced to go on the run to avoid capture, imprisonment, torture, and burning.
See? 6 potential stories that took place in medieval times but didn’t have anything to do with fantasy? It only took me about 10 minuets to think of those. Now I like fantasy, some of my favorite games were fantasy, see Choice of Romance/Intrigues, Lost Heir, and Life of a Wizard. But you don’t need fantasy to make a medieval story interesting and I don’t see why nobody has done a straight medieval game before.