POLL: Regency + ?

If you were going to play in a Savage Setting based in Jane Austen-style Regency Romance, would you rather see it paired up with Gothic Horror or Arthurian legend?

Like most RPG bloggers, I fantasize about publishing professionally or semi-professionally.  Given that the majority of my gaming over the last decade has been romance-infused solo sessions with my wife, I'd like to take that experience and translate it into the written word.  The long-sought Savage Jane Austen setting seems like a perfect opportunity

Most Savage Settings, however, are a mash-up of unexpected genres: fantasy + alien invasion, military + horror, Pirates of the Caribbean + Pirates of Dark Water, etc.  The two genres that I think would best fit with the Regency are:

Gothic Horror - Jane Austen was a contemporary of Mary Shelley and Lord Byron; the heyday of the Gothic novel was during Austen's lifetime and her novel Northanger Abbey is a satire of the prevalence of the Gothic.  The classic Gothic is actually set in the Middle Ages and features spirited heroines caught up in the dastardly doings of mysterious men in haunted places, but a Regency mash-up would make the Gothic style contemporary with the writers who created it.

The Regency Gothic would be a setting where the Napoleonic Wars have ushered in terrible darkness across Europe.  Vampires stalk the parties of the high-born, while the revenant remnants of the soldiers of Waterloo feast on the living.  Handsome rakehells are indeed the tools of Satan, and that mysterious new landowner who just bought the big estate up the road?  He's Frankenstein's Monster.

Arthurian Legend - What if Camelot had never fallen?  What if every ruler of Britain from the Dark Ages on had sat on the throne as Arthur's regent,  holding the crown for the once and future king?

The Arthurian Regency is a realm of romance in both the modern and medieval definitions.  Society bucks compete with wit and blade for the affection of young heiresses, daring the dark and dangerous royal forests to hunt dragons and giants.  The ton is awash in magic as young ladies use love potions and faerie glamour to ensure their success in the marriage mart.  Meanwhile, enemies of the realm arise in Gaul, awakening the sleeping king...

Vote in the poll above, or leave your own suggestion for a mashup genre in the comments!

Comments

  1. I know you don't like the zombies but I immediately thought of this book:

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pride_and_Prejudice_and_Zombies#section_3

    I haven't read it so I can't comment upon it's quality but it came to mind when I read your post.

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    1. I own it but haven't read it yet. I'll be sure to get to it before I finish the Regency setting. I skimmed it once, saw Elizabeth was wielding a katana, and put it back down.

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  2. I believe you could easily tap into a remarkable niche in a Savage Jane Austin Setting with a Gothic Horror overlay. Similar to yourself, my wife has only gamed with me as GM using Savage Worlds (Space 1889). She loves Jane Austin's works and re-reads them often. We watch the 2005 Pride & Prejudice with Keira Knightly/Matthew Macfadyen at least twice a year. The movie itself has so many scenes that look like living paintings and capture the period beautifully. I would eagerly enjoy seeing a setting in this period where social "combat" was prevalent and more importantly, clever dialog had power! Just as it does in the novels and the above referenced movie, a well turned phrase could stop the elite in their tracks, albeit with consequences. Could you imagine Elizabeth Bennet's fearless and withering response to a Nosferatu about to attack one of her sisters. The creature is literally stunned for 2 rounds. Mr. Bennet arrives and dispatches the vile creature. I'm not sure how large the market but our wives would be happy!

    Derek

    PS: The Arthurian thing is in a whole different category and worth a separate effort.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement! It's good to know Robin and I are not alone in our tastes (though we're fans of the made-for-TV P&P with Colin Firth).

      The best shape for the project might just turn out to be a Regency sourcebook with multiple mini-settings. Perhaps there could be a setting for each of the genre Companions? Hmmm... I can see sci-fi and pulp really easily, but how do Regency superheroes work?

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  3. Oh, Regency Gothic, for sure! The sufficating social constraints that Austen's characters had to endure would form the perfect diversion for the sinister black evil lurking at the true heart of the era.

    (My wife, and Austen scholar and enthusiast, would cringe if she read that...)

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    1. You mean George IV? (Laughing at my own joke.)

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    2. Meaning that the sinister evil lurking at the heart of the Regency is George IV, not that he's your wife. I really should have written that better in the first place.

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  4. Ok, after discussing with my wife, I was set straight... I like the gothic horror. She, on the other hand, doesn't like horror. Her quick reply was she would like to see the Bennett sisters as Steampunk gadgeteers. So, Savage Jane Steampunk it is. I know, not one of the choices but it accurately represents the wife's views.

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    1. I shamefacedly admit to not being a steampunk enthusiast. That said, there's a Kickstarter project called "Wollstonecraft" that caught my eye. Byron's daughter Ada and a young Mary Shelley team up as steampunk girl detectives. (Unfortunately, I am writing this on my phone and cannot paste the link.)

      I'd also recommend for your wife Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer's _Sorcery and Cecelia_, _The Grand Tour_, and _The Mislaid Magician_. It's magic, not steampunk, but they're quite witty (and supposedly young adult fiction, buy they're the first young adult books I've read as an adult that haven't made me gag).

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  5. Or how about Cthulhu Mythos flavoured espionage - the Bennett sisters as a Delta Green cell. Darcy's demeanor is far too shifty and changeable to be solely on account of his sister: clearly, he's hiding something. Something eldritch...

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    1. Ha! That could be a challenge. I'm sure some Lovecraftian elements will sneak into the Gothic Regency setting.

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