Saturday, 2 April 2011

B is for Bretonnia

Bretonnia has fast become my favorite region in Warhammer Fantasy Role Play--2nd Edition, unless otherwise stated. There has been much discussion of the new Bretonnia vs. the old as presented in WFRP 1st Edition (WFRP1e), and by stipulation early versions of Warhammer Fantasy Battles. I'll discuss some of these differences in short order, but most of any contention that exists among purists is the new Bretonnia's Arthurian setting.

Mind you, I'm still a massive fan of the Empire. My current, and on hiatus, campaign started in the Empire and stalled in Bretonnia. The party companion to a Knight Errant returning from the Storm of Chaos (more on this Knight Errant later).

Bretonnia, Contrasting Then and Now

If you have been around Warhammer Fantasy Role Play then you might know that Bretonnia underwent significant changes in WFRP getting a highly detailed makeover.

Bretonnia of old was more pre-revolutionary France and not Camelot meets Henry the V's feudal Brittany. The King was corrupt, the governors corrupt, the bureaucracy corrupt and some attention was paid to a wigged and powdered aristocracy ruling over a poorer class of agitators and rouges. The King of Bretonnia in 1e was a Charles de la Tete d'Or III.

By and large the geography of old Bretonnia is as we know it in WFRP, but with fewer provinces, or dukedoms. WFRP introduces Aquitaine, Artois, Bastone, Carcassonne, Lyonesse, and Montfort. Each the seat of Duke, all but a few of Grail Knights.

It is these Grail Knights that become central to the re-imagined Bretonnia in WFRP. Best described as Arthurian in nature, the 2e history of Bretonnia takes on a greater fantasy feel than the more classical and historically modeled 1e history. This new history cleverly borrows from historical Brittany and adds classical elements of the questing Knights of the Round table with a deftly crafted Lady of the Lake legend meets self-interested Wood Elves of Athel Loren.

On the whole these elements scratch the surface of the Bretonnian re-imagining. In all I love it, finding no criticisms of note to share. WFRP's new Bretonnia also got a massive sourcebook, Knight of the Grail--A Guide to Bretonnia, and an adventure supplement to Mousillon, Barony of the Damned. Both are highly recommended.

Looking anew, as I compose these posts, the new Bretonnia setting of WFRP is a massive sandbox to play in and explore. The raw number of possibilities of adventure and adversaries is nigh infinite. And the rich game, and non-game, fiction as well as historical Germanic and Brittany references assist the Gamemaster. My wiki describes element of my campaign in Bretonnia, and I welcome you to poke around at some of the characters that inhabit the realm, including the Knight Errant Joans Mendy.
Posted by caffeinated at 11:03 PM in d10