Wednesday, November 1, 2017
As society plunged into the new dark ages, one of the few means of recreation was tabletop game. Cheap and not requiring electricity, tabletop games also evoke a sort of anachronistic, recursive nostalgia. They remind people of "good old days"' while still being intelligible to current circumstances. However, in Medieval America, all but Chess have a pretty shady rep and are discouraged by the clergy, and even so!even of the most innocuous card and board games are the equivalent to our lurid video games or pornography. (Some cards and game pieces are in fact, pornographic) Soldiers will dispose of their playing cards before battle, so families or pries to won't find them on their person. "Losing their cards" has become a colloquialism for sanitizng a dead person's past.
Chess is ever popular, and is actually one of the more intellectual pursuits for Warlords, as it teaches strategy, patience, and respect for one's opponent. It also stereotypes a Chess player as more of a rich, landed bro as opposed to an egghead per se. The poorer will play Checkers, and Chess vs Checkers is sometimes used to distinguish the knight vs mercenary stratification.
While most of Europe has to back o their own varying, sometimes esoteric suits (like Three of Dogs), American card players stick to the standardized suit of hearts-clubs-diamonds-spades. However, card decks in the new Middle Ages tend to be smaller in size, as it's creates more work from the cardmaker, and people don't really feel like counting beyond 8. Cards tend to be byproducts of book making, so one is more likely to find them in Portland or Buffalo.
Of all the Parker Bros era books, Clue is the most popular. This is because the Christiesque atmosphere is both familiar yet exotic to Medieval Americans, and because it's a relatively simple game in both instructions and resources. The gun is replaced with a poisoned chalice, and because of the game, 20th century denizens have a reputation of being quite murderous.
Dungeons and Dragons is sometimes played, and mistakenly believed to date back to the original Middle Ages. It's actually much more simplified and even standardized, as people don't have he time or means to keep track of hundreds of monster stats. Monsters are placed throughout a maze (a dragon is always the center), and ranked on a scale of one to six. (Codifying this can be a source of much argument) No prestige classes, the lineup is usually confined to fighter, healer, magician, archer and thief. No more, no less.