Sunday, February 7, 2010

Wife: I'll Play D&D, But Only in the South of France

My wife announced yesterday that she would be willing to play D&D if the setting was in the Dordogne. She said that part of her reluctance in playing has been in visualizing the setting, and since she’s seen numerous castles and villages there and has a feel for the area, she can see playing there. Of course this was quite a pleasant surprise since she’s hasn't played for a long time after her one short experience last year. “Given that it’s an actual location, would you want it to be a more realistic setting with only humans? You know, no dwarfs, elves, that sort of thing?” No, she wanted the “full” D&D experience, just played in that locale. Far out!

I have to wonder if the map from the region I’d recently scanned and left out on my desk might have provoked some nostalgia for the place, so hopefully the game can be more than just that for her. I definitely have my work cut out for me if I’m to sculpt a whole new campaign setting. Fortunately there’s a ton of inspiration - the Dordogne is steeped in history and architecture well suited to the game. We're both most familiar with the Périgord Noir so I see it as being the primary focus.

Years ago, the first time I went there, I did a lot of hitchhiking and walking around the the area by myself...I managed to find a little work helping repair some of the stone houses (hundreds of years old). I was 27 and really overwhelmed with the beauty of the area and the unbelievable food and wine. There are plenty of caves there too, which had always been an interest of mine. Years later, after marrying, I was able to show my wife the place - and she was entranced. It’s great that we might be able to go there again, in a sense, via the game... who knows, maybe we’ll visit one day. It'd be interesting to sort of read our own game history in the place names. I'm trying to keep my enthusiasm in check though, as she can always change her mind!

8 comments:

Fenway5 said...

Brilliant!! I think using a grounded setting and your shared experiences there will help make that "fantasy" easier to imagine. The creator of the Zelda video game based it on his love of exploring caves near his home as a child. Seems like a good recipe, making the mundane fantastic! Best of luck and I look forward to hearing more about your progress.

Leopardi said...

I'd be sorely tempted to run Castle Amber. But yeah, great idea take a regions real-life folklore and blend it with the full-on gamut of D&Disms.

Daddy Grognard said...

Result! Getting your wife to play by setting the campaign in the Dordogne seems a damn sight easier than what it would take to get my wife to play - recruiting David Tennant as one of the other players.

Timeshadows said...

Very nice.
--Please keep us posted. :)

Christian said...

My wife and I vacationed there this past summer. I damn near wept when we had to come home.

Dungeonmum said...

brilliant idea. i think when newcomers to dnd struggle with it, it's the imagination that can be the hardest engine to get started. you have books, pieces of paper, dice, minis and pencils - how do you turn that into something real in your head? I guess if you're into sci-fi/fantasy films/lit it's easier, but even then what grows in your head needs to have its roots in reality.

Old4Eyes said...

Great stuff - good luck with that - I'd be too tempted by Castle Amber as well!
I remember reading Guy Gavriel Kay's "Song for Arbonne" years ago and thought it might make a good D&D setting

ze bulette said...

thanks for the responses and encouragement all. I don't think I have Castle Amber anymore, although I vaguely remember playing it. I'll have to see about acquiring it again, maybe there's something in there I can use in this new setting.

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