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Italian Low Fantasy – Kickstarting Brancalonia

The page for the Brancalonia Kickstarter is live, and the project was financed in about one hour. Color me impressed – and grateful to the fans.
There is still twenty days to go, and so the project might become huge.
But what’s this Brancalonia thing?

Brancalonia is a game setting for the 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons, a psaeudo-historical fantasy that taps the rich catalog of stories, folklore and ideas from the Italian middle ages.
Based on the same concept of the highly successful Italian fantasy anthologies Zappa & Spada (something we could translate as Spade & Sorcery), Brancalonia is a low fantasy setting, in which the players portray members of the Medieval lower classes, trying to eke a living in a world filled with dangers, both mundane and supernatural.

The building blocks of the Brancalonia setting are multifarious and diverse – we take inspiration from classics of Italian literature, such as Dante’s Divine Comedy and Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, but also movies like The Armata Brancaleone (we’ll talk about it) and Flesh + Blood, from masters of Italian imaginative fiction like Italo Calvino and the ragged company of shameless hacks that wrote the stories in the Zappa & Spada anthologies (including yours truly), with the attitude of “spaghetti westerns” thrown in for good measure.

Like all the best roleplaying settings, Brancalonia allows the game master and the players to live different adventures depending on their tastes and inclinations – a Brancalonia game can be a free-for-all romp filled with brawls, narrow escapes and weird monsters, or a dream-like fantasy adventure, it can feature satire, grimdark trappings or light-hearted comedy. What we are kickstarting is a deep, wide setting, that can be as serious or as silly as the players want.

Right now, there are still 20 days to go, and there’s a wealth of stretch goals to unlock and features to discover. In the meantime, I’ll post about some of the sources of our project, and keep you up to date about what we are doing, and you can go check out the Kickstarter page, and download the free Quickstart Rules.

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