Time Marches On

It’s probably the historian in me, but one issue I’ve had with running a long-term Victorious chronicle is that of time moving onward. I suppose it’s a problem to any historical RPG, be it Godlike’s World War II, Call of Cthulhu’s 1920s, or Colonial Gothic’s Colonial America. It’s more pressing with modern games I think, since 5 years can see many changes in the Victorian, Edwardian, or 20th Century eras while 5 years in Medieval England would see little changed but the name of the monarch; and not always that.

My first Victorious campaign was set in 1889, but due to events it got ret-conned back to 1884 so that after 5 years we were now at 1889 again. From then onward, I’ve tried to keep things moving more or less historically. I say “more or less” because in my home game I allow the activities of SuperMankind to influence events. Perhaps the most significant was that of the Dreyfuss affair in France leading to a Bonapartist revolt that proclaimed the end of the Third Republic and the emergence of the Third French Empire. This event was unintentionally influenced by the heroine Angel and the French Electress. So, now Britain is very concerned about a renewed French threat and the Queen’s Knights of London having soured relations with the Guarde Impériale of Paris. This might have major influence on Britain’s future, as it was the relaxing of tensions with the French Republic that allowed Britain to decide the German Empire was the greater threat. Will it happen again? Or will there be an Anglo-German understanding against France?

Now, the easiest way around something like this is to do what most publishers do and ignore any influence of superheroes on culture and society. This is a valid path to go on, and certainly has a long pedigree in both comics and RPGs. But I find the idea of thinking through what influences people of super powers and super science would have on the world to be endlessly fascinating.

How do you handle such events? Feel free to comment on the Facebook group or here if you like!

Genteel Magistrate

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