"At the present moment in world history nearly every nation must choose between alternative ways of life. The choice is too often not a free one.
One way of life is based upon the will of the majority, and is distinguished by free institutions, representative government, free elections, guarantees of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from political oppression.
The second way of life is based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed upon the majority. It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio; fixed elections, and the suppression of personal freedoms.
I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.
I believe that we must assist free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way."
-- President Harry S Truman, Speech to a Joint Session of the United States Congress (12 March 1947)
The Second World War has ended and a war for the world has begun, a war fought not with armies and fleets but in the shadows and whose battle lines are not clearly drawn. Two years ago, Germany and Japan were the enemies and the USSR an ally, but times change and the West now turns to former Nazis and their expertise in a bid to stop the red tide of Communism from washing across the world.
Written and designed by Richard Iorio II (Colonial Gothic & Shadow, Sword & Spell) and James Maliszewski (Thousand Suns), Containment harkens back not just to an earlier time in world history but also to an earlier time in the roleplaying hobby, when games came complete and ready-to-play in a single box. Containment therefore includes the following:
- Rulebook: All the rules needed for play.
- Gamemaster’s Book: Everything the GM needs for play: world background, campaign advice, character advancement rules, adventure creation guidelines, and sample threats.
- 2 Adventures (one a straight up espionage adventure, and the other set in the occult conspiracy)
If this Kickstarter project succeeds, Rogue Games will not only publish this boxed set, but keep it in print for others to enjoy. Further support for the game, in the form of sourcebooks and adventures, may appear in the future, if there is sufficient interest. If successful, Containment will be released in the following formats:
- Boxed Set (includes everything mentioned above)
- PDF version (includes everything but the dice)
- eBook version of the game (includes everything but the dice)
Here is a breakdown of the proposed budget for the project:
- Printing is the estimated cost of printing approximately 500 copies of the boxed set.
- Shipping and Handling is the expected total cost of packing, shipping, and handling to send the boxed set to supporters, based on past sales and fundraisers.
- Writing & Graphic Design goes to Richard & James (the writers) and Richard (Graphic Designer), to pay them for work they have done, and continue to do, in creating the games Rogue Games publishes.
Rogue Games believes that a complete, boxed roleplaying game is neither a thing of the past nor an expensive pipe dream and asks your help in making Containment possible.
To help us make this possible, visit here to see the reward levels.
In the days to come, James and I will have more information and be vocal during the design process. This is something that we have always wanted to do, a box set, so this is our chance to make this happen.
To back the project visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ri2/containment-the-rpg.
The sourcebook portion of The Philadelphia Affair is large. I could have easily written a full book dealing just with source information on the city. Graeme had to work overtime in forcing me to trim out a lot of “stuff” because the book was getting to large. Why did I write so much? A couple of reasons.
The first reason is a simple one, I have been playing in Philadelphia since 1996. Huh? Colonial Gothic, in one for or another, has been a game I have played since 1996. All my campaigns take place in either one of two places: New England or Philadelphia. Philadelphia is such a great city to use for adventures, that the amount of detail I have, has only grown throughout the years.
The second reason is that Philadelphia is without a doubt the most important city in the Revolutionary and Post Revolution period. It is such an important intellectual location, and became the center of the government, that to not cover this city in Colonial Gothic would be a crime. If you are going to set campaigns in this city you need to have as much information as you can get to make it come alive.
Finally the other reason this material got so large is that I love Philadelphia. I love this city, and it is one of the few cities I could see myself happily living in for the rest of my life.
Anyway, what follows is a section from the sourcebook portion of The Philadelphia Affair. This is just one example of the items waiting to be discovered in this book.
Quaker Power Lost
It is ironic that, in a colony founded by Quakers upon Quaker principles, it is these very principles that should lead to the loss of Quaker political power. Although undoubtedly high-minded and worthy, many of these beliefs could not survive contact with the realities of a growing (and increasingly diverse) colony and a time of frequent conflict.
Pacifism was the key driving force for many. No Quaker believed in causing harm to others, and no Quaker, regardless of personal risk, would take up arms even defend themselves or their people. Pacifism was the most difficult tenet to keep, and would shape the debate leading to the eventual abdication of Quaker power in the colonies.
There were two causes of tension. First, non-Quakers who settled in the colony found themselves affected by Quaker beliefs. As it grew in importance Philadelphia, and the rest of Pennsylvania, were impacted by numerous events which made maintaining pacifism difficult or impossible. This is most clearly shown in the conflicts with Native Americans and French forces endured by backwoods Pennsylvania settlers located west of Philadelphia. As attacks raged up and down the Frontier during the conflicts between France and England, the settlers were left to fend for themselves.
Secondly, the Quakers realized quickly that they needed someone to allow them to remove themselves from daily governance, so they created the position of the Deputy Governor. The Deputy, by taking over all colonial administration, also found themselves in charge of all non-Quakers. The Quakers could then profit from the colony, but not govern, while non-Quakers had someone who represented them.
Though governors tired to keep both Quakers and non-Quakers happy, the growing needs of colonial defense became too much to ignore. In 1741 a serious attempt was made to form a militia, but the Quakers responded by withholding the Governor’s pay. In addition Quakers began trying to shift public opinion, especially among the numerous German immigrants, that a militia would lead to the colonists being nothing more than slaves – and after all didn’t everyone come to the colony for freedom? This argument managed to end the issue, for a while.
It was 1745 which marked a change and the beginning of the end of direct colonial rule by the Quakers. With conflict on the frontier at an all time high and England moving in troops to prepare to fight back against the French and their Native allies, the Quakers dug their heels in and refused to raise funds for defense. It was Benjamin Franklin who emerged as not only a critic, but the leader of a political party calling for a compromise. This party argued that it was not only necessary but a duty for the colonial government to protect its people.
For two years the debate raged between the Quakers and Franklin’s party, and a growing anti-Quaker party also arose. In 1747 Franklin published the pamphlet Plain Truth, in which he argued that not only was self-defense important, but that Pennsylvania was the only colony without any plan for it. Franklin argued they a government had a duty to protect all of its citizens, and that no religious belief allowed this duty to be ignored. The funds that the Quaker leadership amassed from the colony went to the betterment of the Quakers and afforded them the opportunity to safely practice their religion in peace, but robbed the colonists of their safety. The only solution, then, was for the Quakers to withdraw from government and allow others to rule, which included taking measures for the defense of the colony. Again, the debate raged on, and more and more innocent people fell victim to attacks.
Then the real challenge came in the form of large scale massacres by the Natives along the colony’s western border in 1755. With the French and Indian War in progress, and General Braddock defeated, the French used Fort Duquesne (later Pittsburgh) as a base to stage attacks on Pennsylvania, goading the Lenape to abandon their alliance with the settlers and join the attack.
The news of the natives’ actions caused confusion. The Quakers always strove to treat the Lenape fairly and honorably. It was the popular belief among the Quakers that any conflict was due to the English — and only the English — treating the natives badly. The Assembly investigated, and instead of providing for defense passed a bill regulating trade with the natives. This angered not only the colonists in the east, but the colonists suffering from attacks in the west.
It was this which intensified the now decade-long debate and brought both sides into conflict. On one side was the non-Quaker Deputy Governor Robert Hunter Morris who argued that the native grievances had nothing to do with the massacres and criticized the Quakers and their adherence to pacifism which left not only the frontier, but the entire colony defenseless. On the other side of the debate were the Quakers who argued that all problems stemmed from the colonists acting wrongly.
As the debate went on endlessly, the frontier colonists had to deal with the growing hostilities. In November 1755, 300 German immigrants living along the frontier arrived in Philadelphia demanding protection and arguing that the west needed to be defended. Though a small militia was raised, the larger issue of defense was left undecided. The situation grew worse in 1756 when the French commandant at Fort Duquesne reported that his forces had “…succeeded in ruining the three adjacent provinces, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, driving off the inhabitants and totally destroying the settlements over a tract of country thirty leagues wide.” In effect, the Quakers were blind to the problems that faced the rest of the colony, and were genuinely surprised by the continued Indian hostility. There were very few Quakers living along the frontier, and the few Quakers slain were thought of as martyrs rather than victims. The low number of Quaker deaths were viewed by many as a testimony to God’s approval of the Quakers and their policies, rather than the result of most Quakers living far from the frontier.
By 1756 three parties had emerged wanting to change the direction of government. One, led by Franklin, included broad-minded Quakers and others who were opposed not only to religious absolutes but also to the kind of oligarchic rule represented by the Quaker monopoly on power. This group wanted a militia in which every man would be required to take part and whose officers would be elected democratically by the soldiers. Quakers would be exempt from joining the militia due to their beliefs, but would be required to help pay for the colonial defense. The second party was led by Israel Pemberton and was a collation of Quakers unrelenting in their pacifism. This party refused to pay any taxes for military purposes. The third party was made up of the proprietors and their governor. This party believed in a militia, but did not agree to the democratic election of officers. In addition, this party was unwilling to bear the costs for all Quakers.
At the start of 1756 the Quakers were still in charge. Even though they comprised less than one-fourth of population, Quakers occupied 28 of the 36 Pennsylvania Assembly seats. Then word of the frontier massacres reached London and the movement to end Quaker rule intensified. The government moved to end all Quaker rule by proposing a ban on any Quakers from holding public office.
Seeing the tide turning against them, the Quakers realized that they needed to act. They had three main motives: a fear of Quakers being disqualified from office; a desire to shift some of the blame for the massacres onto others, especially if the government was in other hands; and a strong desire to be able to return to power.
Making matters even harder was the fact that the Quakers disagreed amongst themselves. Pennsylvania Quakers split from their London counterparts, who urged the total abdication of power. The London Quakers struck a bargain with Lord Granville, Lord President of the Privy Council, whereby their counterparts in Pennsylvania would leave the Provincial Assembly if the Quakers were guaranteed they would not be totally disqualified from holding office.
Messages were exchanged, but the Pennsylvania Quakers would only agree to not hold office during wartime. Everything changed in the late spring of 1756 when the Governor and his council declared war on both the Lenape and the Shawnee. This declaration was made without the Quakers’ approval, and six resigned from the Assembly in protest. A special election was held that saw six of Franklin’s men elected to replace them. In regular elections in October of the same year, sixteen more were elected.
At this same time, two emissaries arrived from London with shocking news: no longer were Quakers allowed to hold office. At a hastily called Quaker meeting all the elected Quakers were strongly urged to step down. Four did, and of the remaining twelve left in office, eight were full Quakers, while four were non-orthodox Quaker sympathizers. Though Quakers of varying devotion still sought and occasionally held office, the Society of Friends publicly stated that they were no longer represented by the government, nor were they responsible for whatever decisions these “back sliders” made. The Quakers renewed their dedication to their beliefs as well as working to stop Quakers from running, though they secretly hoped that once all the troubles ended they could return to power once peace was restored. However, the growing conflict with Britain makes this increasingly unlikely.
The Revolution has brought more conflict to the Quakers, who are determined to remain neutral. Though the American Friends have been urged to do nothing to obstruct the Revolution, many Quakers were scrupulous in their observance of all non-military requirements of the English government, but equally uncooperative toward both the British and American forces. They refused to pay taxes and fines levied by the American government, and were labeled as Tories. They refused to pay tithes to the Church of England, and were labeled as rebels.
Flames of Freedom: The Philadelphia Affair
Spring, 1776. Boston is free. The Second Continental Congress works to create a new nation. But as they debate, shadowy forces prepare to strike back.
Welcome to Philadelphia.
William Penn's model city is one of the richest in the Thirteen Colonies. It stands at the heart of the Revolution. Home to book shops, thinkers, and a growing intellectual class, the city hides those with knowledge of a more questionable nature. With the leadership of the Revolution here, the city is awash with plots, and dangers. It is here that many plots are about to meet - and it is far from certain who will stand the winner.
The Philadelphia Affair is the second volume in the epic Flames of Freedom campaign for Colonial Gothic. In this book you will find our guide to the great city and a ready-to-play adventure which takes up the Heroes' story after the events of Boston Besieged. As Congress works, the Heroes scour the City of Brotherly Love for a friend's missing son. Not all is as it appears, and soon their simple assignment turns into a race against time - to prevent a tragedy that could kill the American independence before it has even begun.
Written by Richard Iorio II and maps by Gabriel Brouillard (Colonial Gothic: New France and Under Pashuvanam's Lush), The Philadelphia Affair is your guide to the colonies most important city.
Pre-Orders will begin within the next two weeks.
Yes, this is Book 2 of the Flames of Freedom campaign. This is going to be worth the wait.
Preorders for this should be ready no later than next week, maybe sooner.
Enjoy the look, and James will be posting about the revision some more.
Thousand Suns Revised Preview
So, what do you think? Looks good huh?