8 Tabletop RPGs for Bridgerton and Our Flag Means Death fans

Historical novels enjoy a pop culture moment, whether fans cling to the intrigue beneath the Queen’s bon ton Bridgeton or clamoring for a second season of on social media Our flag means death. Our appetite for stories set in Regency England, the Golden Age of Piracy, or anywhere else in the dominant historical culture is as old as written fiction. The difference now is that we can approach these stories on the table as well as between the pages of a book.

Tabletop RPGs’ portrayal often ties them to swords and sorcery, ignoring a rich vein of titles whose scope spans the breadth of human history. These games use alternative rule sets, such as B. Vincent and Meguey Baker Mobile Frame Zero: Firebrands and Alex Roberts For the queenand channel through them passionate explorations of the buttoned-up cultures of yesteryear – especially so players can subvert those norms in interesting and “scandalous” ways.

Similar to the popular television shows mentioned above, historically themed tabletop role-playing games allow players to intentionally remake history. They don’t ignore the ugly bigotry that pervades our past, but instead create a space to tell stories with more racially inclusive and queer casts, using the aesthetic and stylistic cues of an era. This can be both liberating and entertaining, and below are some tabletop RPGs that fit just such an occasion.

Good Company: A Role Playing Game by Jane Austen

Secret Garden dates can provide the perfect opportunity to confess one's feelings as well as provide a sleazy bite for prying eyes.

Image: Raven Warner/Storybrewers RPG

Storybrewers’ game of romance, rivalry, and social intrigue has been the gold standard of Regency RPGs since its release in 2018. As the name suggests, it draws heavily on Austen’s novels. Like the Austen protagonists, players must navigate the thorny gardens of English nobility while seeking – or steadfastly avoiding – love.

player characters Good company exchanging both rumors with their social betters and wistful looks with their heart’s desires. Powerful Resolve and Monologue tokens allow players to take control of the narrative at crucial moments, skewer a rival’s reputation, or create the perfect hidden rendezvous. This collaborative RPG invigorates Austen’s storyline with enough confidence and panache to last multiple sessions.

Good Company: A Role Playing Game by Jane Austen is available on the Storybrewers website.

Virtues & Scandals

If you want to spend a short night alone in the circle of the bin, you can use this Virtues & Scandals, which brings together all the machinations of the Queen’s Welfare Court on a single page of rules. This is a hack by John Harper (ringing in the dark) Lasers & Feelings, which means characters only have two stats: Virtue and Scandal. Players roll with the former when they rely on their poise and upbringing, while the latter fuel seduction and deception. All the person running the game has to do is approve a scenario ad lib and then fill the bin with juicy gossip, courtesy of The Rag, before unleashing the group into a playground of high society and low morals.

Virtues & Scandals is available on Itch.io.

ocean tides

An illustration of a sailor pointing one sword at another. A mer creature holds a trident in the corner of the frame.

Image: Annie Johnston-Glick

The high seas are anathema to courts and kings, but they still hold plenty of potential for relationship drama. ocean tides lets three players explore the strained connections between naval officers, pirates, and mermaids through the role-playing mini-game structure of Mobile Frame Zero: Firebrands. Instead of a traditional narrative, these mini-games offer windows to important (and intimate) moments that, when strung together, create an emotional arc. Short but intense, this game is suitable for a group that wants to jump right in at the deep end.

ocean tides is explicitly romantic, but ends in tragedy. All three character types are remote from any social authority that could correct their impulses, leaving them vulnerable to desires that they may not even admit to themselves.

Dueling Fops of Vindamere

If you have spent the entire term of Bridgeton wishing someone would draw a dueling saber and throw a challenge at the foot of an upstart, Dueling Fops of Vindamere could be the perfect game. A decidedly tongue-in-cheek take on the Social Season, it gives fencing instructors a stage to woo their beloved and prepare for an end-of-year tournament consisting of a table of prompts and dice-based challenges. In the town of Vindamere, love is won and lost with the point of a blade.

Dueling Fops of Vindamere is available on Itch.io and DriveThruRPG.

Brother is it gay to dock?

A picturesque image of a tall ship in a storm and a smaller ship nearby.

Image: Willem van der Velde II/Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes a pirate RPG has to be loud, open and queer Brother is it gay to dock? dutifully fulfills this need. How else would you describe a group of Swabians lusting after the legendary privateer who saved them all from certain death? It’s this episode of Our flag means death where the crew of The Revenge rises above themselves to help Blackbeard and earn his favor, but your weekly group has to deal with the lust.

It’s the perfect example of how tabletop games can excel by simply providing a framework and rules for living out very specific fantasies. Fan reactions to David Jenkins’ nautical romcom – including a bevy of fan art by Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby’s characters – revealed an audience craving more salty, simmering romance.

Brother is it gay to dock? is available on Itch.io.

All hands on deck

A subgenre of tabletop role-playing games skips the 200-page book in favor of prompt-based games, where players reveal a nascent environment by answering questions together. All hands on deck follows this principle and uses a deck of cards to tell a tale about a ship, its crew and the bonds that bind them together.

All hands on deck Sessions can be steered in any direction, following the whims and interests of players. By the end, the group will have a web of connections between sailors and the history and purpose of the ship they crew. What results could become the basis for a whole campaign in a new environment, or it could remain a collection of possibilities and opportunities for another day.

All hands on deck is available on Itch.io.

lady blackbird

An airship in a vintage looking graphic. It is shown in comparison to the size of a large barge and a giant squid.

Image: Annie Johnston-Glick

Another joint from John Harper, this steampunk-flavoured adventure game is a bit of an outlier on this list. Wider and crispier where the rest rely on freeform RPGs and different settings, lady blackbird deserves to be included, if only to be a ramp for the curious but hesitant.

It wouldn’t be a list of indie tabletop roleplaying games without a call to step out of the systems that dominate the hobby, and the story of Lady Blackbird’s escape from an arranged marriage to her pirate king lover, Uriah Flint, deserves a chance to be seen to advertise your table with audacity and style.

Lady Blackbird is available for free on the official website.

Together we write private cathedrals

The strongest thread of Our flag means deathThe passionate fan base of is a celebration of the gay romance that blossomed between Edward Teach and Stede Bonnett over the course of season one. This queering of a real historical figure is the very subject of Together we write private cathedralsa letter game in which letters are written between two players in the roles of lovers whose affections are condemned by society.

Depending on the roll of a dice, the contents of a letter may be masked with euphemisms, or directly censored, destroyed, or hidden by the hands of your ancestors. Playing this game is a reminder that our history is written by hegemonic powers; and a vigil for the love stories erased beneath their pens.

Together we write private cathedrals is available on Itch.io

https://www.polygon.com/tabletop-games/23026742/tabletop-rpg-ttrpg-bridgerton-our-flag-means-death 8 Tabletop RPGs for Bridgerton and Our Flag Means Death fans

Charles Jones

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