For much of my game mastering career
I have avoided a delicate subject in my fantasy RPG environments--slavery.
In the Ghosts of Kinestaya campaign setting I had just returned from
a research trip to the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana.
I had taken many notes on the environment and was in the early sages
of development when the issue of slavery came up. At first I thought
I would skirt the issue and exclude it from my campaign, but after
some careful consideration , and a gentile nudge from my wife, I
thought "who better than me to broach the subject.", My
players had no experience with slavery and we all live with the cultural
demons that underlie the social politically correct world we live
in. I preceded head-long into development, knowing full well one
of the players was going to inherit a slave plantation in the colony
city of Kinestaya. Wow! can you say electrically charged environment.
To contrast the colonial environment of Kinestaya I created the
old world environment with it slave free economy. Being of black
descent I have always been aware of racial prejudices, but took pains
to avoid uncomfortable situations and encounters. The Ghosts of Kinestaya
campaign setting was going to throw me directly into the path of
what I avoided most of my life.
With that said, Ghosts of Kinestaya is not about race, it is only
an element of the world. The real conflict comes from the introduction
of firearms to a swords and sorcery world. The long arms are based
on the colonial American long rifle, but the setting is more based
in the traditions of Gustavus Adolphus. This Swedish King revolutionized
calvary combat in the 17th century.
Trading plate armor for Buff coats, the warriors and adventurers
were caught up in an arms war. I knew that the beginning of a campaign
is the most difficult so I established that members of the empire
were conscripted for one years mandatory military service at the
age of 15. Using this excuse to put the characters together in an
environment where they would be forced to work together got things
off to a nice start.
As I modify this world for its public release I am challenged to
provide the proper information and background for the game master
to deliver the right tone for Ghosts of Kinestaya. If I do my job
correctly you can expect an experience worthy of your attention and
get an inkling of what it must have been like to live in a world
of free men and slaves.