INTEREST CHECK KNAVES! - A Picaresque Fantasy RP

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Welcome to the Stolen Lands. A vast peninsula of city states and grand battles, of powerful lords and ambitious knights. All of them fighting their great wars, delving dangerous depths, their names being sung to the rafters of every taverna and inn the length of the kingdom.

It is a land in dire need of heroes.

Unfortunately, what it has instead is you.


A raucous mob of lazy swindlers, low-life scoundrels, listless dabblers, and greedy Knaves. Gathered together under the banner of a Free Company, you are the dregs of the adventuring world. The cannon fodder of all battles, the dirty dozen pulled out of prison for desperate missions, you take the jobs no-one else wants. The ugly, necessary work that keeps the world turning and keeps you living from day to day… assuming it does not get you killed. What you lack in status, fame and power you make up for with cunning, luck and outright duplicity.

The Stolen Lands are a dangerous, tantalising place. Built atop the remains of a receding empire, it is the crucible of new ideas and the perpetual battleground between the great and good. A realm of powerful, squabbling lords and old rivalries. Of bold new technologies that may change the very nature of warfare, or just get a lot of people killed. Of lingering magics from ancient times, left behind by a receding Empire. And amidst it all, opportunity.


Storm a city's walls, or find a way to sneak through them. Defend a guild caravan moving through dangerous wilderness, or engage in a spot of banditry yourself. Choose which jobs to take and which lines you will not cross. Decide whether loyalty to your patron is worth more than the bribe you have been offered to betray him. There is work to be done, Knaves. Ugly, dishonest work.

But hells, someone has to do it.

  • 'KNAVES!' is a Picaresque Fantasy RP about scrappy mercenaries and puckish rogues getting in there, getting the job done and getting paid in a fantastical realm inspired by the Italian City-States of the 15th and 16th Centuries. Players will take on the role of sellswords bound together in a Free Company as they navigate the battles, intrigues and rivalries of a land as ripe with opportunities as it is rife with danger.
  • This will be a game about finding cunning solutions to difficult challenges and overcoming adversity through wit/underhanded tactics (delete as applicable), and navigating the many factions that may wish to help you, hire you or hurt you.
  • In addition to their characters, players will also have the opportunity to design City States, rival mercenary companies and other elements of the setting. I want this to be a highly collaborative story that players will have a great deal of influence over.
  • 'Picaresque' stems from the Spanish word "picaro", meaning "rogue" or "rascal". Think of stories about roguish heroes who don't fall within the bounds of the law but still do the right thing (should the mood take them). I'm going for a comedic, satirical tone: The Princess Bride rather than Game Of Thrones.
  • Whilst the world of the Stolen Lands has a decidedly Low Fantasy flavour (at least initially), this has not always been the case. More fantastical elements do lurk on the periphery, and though magic is rare it is a factor that must be considered.
    • Let me stress that 'Low Fantasy' does not mean 'Dark Fantasy'. The aim is for a whimsical, comedic vibe.
  • Key sources of inspiration include The Black Company stories by Glen Cook, Ash: A Secret History by Mary Gentle, The Princess Bride (book and film, they're both glorious), Flesh + Blood, and the absolutely wonderful Brancalonia RPG setting made by Acheron Games. Mount & Blade: Warband probably makes a showing in there somewhere, too.
Ayyy, me lmao.
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Very very interested! You have great taste in books.
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An opportunity to be a perfidious rapscallion? I'll take it!
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Looks very interesting!
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Me reading "picaresque" as "picturesque:"
This definitely didn't have me reading back through the post to make sure I didn't spell "picaresque" as "picturesque".

Glad to see there's some folks down to clown on the devilish mercenaries front. Going to get the OOC drafted this week, which with any luck won't take too long. Keeping things nice and broad so that players have room to fill in the gaps means that I've got way less stuff to hammer out.

Yes that is probably an excuse for my laziness.
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I think I might be a little late, but this sounds like a lot of fun and I would love to join if I still can!!!
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I think I might be a little late, but this sounds like a lot of fun and I would love to join if I still can!!!
Not late at all chum, I've still not finished the Signup Thread yet so you're most welcome to get involved when it's done.
well im definitely interested in this
This definitely looks like something I would be interested in