June 2, 2017

Reading Lists and Influences

A book in hand

Previous Callisto games that I've run have included a reading list or some influences that I drew from when I was putting the game together. They should be taken as inspiration, not as absolute guides: I deliberately don't do painfully detailed historical research because the game isn't about recreating history. So I've deliberately included some anachronistic sources here.

For this game, the reading list has consisted of, in rough order of influence:

  • The Revolutions podcast (for the history which I put in a blender and turned up to 'pulverize')
  • Les Miserables (wrong French uprising, but the sprawling cast of interconnected characters is totally right)
  • The Three Musketeers (even more wrong time period, but also has convoluted action plots. And swashbuckling!)
  • First Draft of the Revolution by Emily Short and Liza Daly
  • A Tale of Two Cities (Which takes a British perspective, of course)
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel (Which also takes a British perspective, and a particularly aristocratic one at that)
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (which is even more wrong, time-wise, but you get some great descriptions)
  • Steven Brust's The Phoenix Guards
  • China Miéville's Iron Council, which is the last novel I read and happens to include sufficient revolutions to be relevant.

Of course, none of these are at all required reading. And if you think of another novel or film that seems relevant, please do mention it.

I've also been doing a bunch of research into games that operate in a somewhat similar space, particularly The Quiet Year and the megagame Watch the Skies.

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