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Author's Commentary

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.

Keith Haney

 
 
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