The King is Dead

Friday, March 17, 2017

Untitled Celtic Super Powered Setting


from Heroes of the Dawn (1914)

As I’ve shared before, one of the projects Robin and I would like to do is publish a series of Savage Worlds “mini-settings” – 40- to 60-page books that present an abbreviated setting guide, a relatively small number of new Hindrances and Edges and stuff like that, and maybe one full-sized adventure. These mini-settings would rely on published companion books like the Horror Companion and Super Powers Companion to do the heavy lifting on the rules, giving us more space to devote to world-building. To save money, we’d probably use public domain art.
(This will work very well with Last Days of the Law, the Heian Japan horror setting, because no new art we pay for is going to look any better than anything Utagawa Kuniyoshi created.)  
One of the settings I’d like to do doesn’t have a title yet. I imagine it as a Gaelic equivalent to Marvel’s version of Asgard: high fantasy meets superheroics. Inhumanly-powerful protagonists, monstrous villains, a light touch of science fantasy… There’d be a little bit of Sláine, a trace of Patricia Kennealy-Morrison’s Keltiad, and a smattering of Kenneth C. Flint. One thing I would want to figure out rules-wise is a way to impart super powers to weapons and artifacts so that other people can wield them instead of just the “owner” (like the way Marvel’s Thor’s Mjolnir can be used by those who prove themselves worthy).
I bring this up because today is St. Patrick’s Day and I used to think of myself as very, very Irish. I’m not; I’m 3/8th Irish, 1/8th German, and 1/2 some kind of mix of Swiss, Polish, and possibly Cherokee. I was just raised in a vociferously Irish-American household that was estranged from my late father’s non-Irish side of the family. U2 was my favorite band and I loved Clannad, Enya, and the Pogues, too. Half the books sitting on my shelves were Celtic fantasies by Morgan Llewellyn or Diana L. Paxson. I wrote a treatment for a graphic novel retelling of the Táin Bó Cúalnge as a tale of the Troubles. I even dabbled in druidism. At this time of year, we’d eat soda bread and watch The Quiet Man.
A few years ago, I became estranged from my Irish-American relatives (leaving me to make a found family of friends, like some kind of Joss Whedon character) and distanced myself from my Celt-crazy youth (which, in many ways, I had already left behind for anime and RPG fandom). Recently though, the passage of the years and the mending of wounds has led me to start warming up to my Gaelic roots a little bit more, and today I’m feeling downright nostalgic.
*sigh*
I don't have much in the way of details worked out for this Celtic super-fantasy setting yet; it's a long, long way off from being written. As I understand it, there's already a few Savage Worlds Celts books  – Mystical Throne Entertainment's Ultimate Celts Guide and some Sláine-inspired fan works – while Chimera Press has staked a claim on Mabinogion-inspired Welsh fantasy with Mythic. Whatever I wind up calling this thing would lean hard into the super powers in order to chart its own course, going for deliberate Kirby-style madness.
I'm thinking giant monsters would help. 

1 comment:

  1. will it include Fionn mac Cumhaill? I first encountered the character in a novel written by one Morgan Llywelyn. At the time, I thought the name couldn't be real because the author used the more phonetic spelling Finn MacCool, which sounds like he should be a Celt-rap star.

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