First Crusade Setting

I am planning to run a game during the first Crusades. The first adventure took place in England and Wales.This adventure happened about two years ago in real life. It's sometimes hard to keep a game going with work and school schedules... However, Roll20 seems to be making gaming more frequently easier. :slight_smile:

When we pick up next, the players will receive a letter regarding Pope Urban II speech prompting the crusades. In an adventure or two I will place them in in the Byzantine Empire and then the Holy Land.

Currently the players are playing Companions that work for a secret society. Most player characters are fighters to some degree and one is a scholar woman and another a cook for a noble that leads the group. We are all somewhat new to the game and I didn't want to completely jump into magic right away. Maybe after two sessions I will have players play magi.

**Note:**Players can make up to two Companions and three Grogs. And eventually one magi. They all have made and played one Companion each.

I'm seeking advice: What books would you recommend to have for this campaign? Also do you have any advice and/or ideas for the campaign you would like to share? Thank you for any advice you have!

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The Cradle and the Crescent has the information on Sahir and Jinn, which are likely to be relevant forces opposing the crusade, as well as a reasonable amount of information about the Mythic Middle East in general. However, it doesn't cover the area which would later become the Crusader states, and there isn't anything in 5e that does so.

4e has "Blood and Sand", which covers the Levant Tribunal in 1220. It has a page or so on the First Crusade, but not huge amounts.

Other things that may be relevant for your saga include The Church, Realms of Power: The Divine and Lords of Men, which cover, respectively, the Western Church and the Divine Realm (along with chapters on Christianity, Islam and Judaism) and the Nobility and rules for mass combat.


The Church also has info on the Templars, which were founded 1119 in response to Urbain's letter, I think.


I think that the Sword and crescent is one of the best splat books that I have read. I heartily recommend it.

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How is your game going over the last month or so?

It may be worthwhile to see if you can find some historical fantasy novels about the Crusade Period. I haven't read any history books directly about the crusades myself.

The book on the Thebes and Levant Tribunals are probably helpful for you as well. Land of the Nile has some information about the 5th Crusade.

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how about:

These books are also about sweden, but the crusades feature prominently and especially the second book in the series takes place entirely in the holy land.


So far there has only been a couple game sessions. The players are travelling as pilgrims (during the First Crusade crusaders were referred to as pilgrims. Crusaders wasn't a term used yet) on the way to the Holy Land. The players have made their way from England/Wales to France. I threw in a few encounters and places such as, the Black Forrest and a witch haunting it, some brigands, and the Children's Crusade (Historically the Children's Crusade didn't exist during this time; but who's to say this element isn't rich and possible :slight_smile: ). Eventually I will have them meet up with several historical Lords and make their way over the Alps.

I'm trying to make the travel to the Holy Land a rich and exciting experience. Surviving the journey was a major part of the Crusade experience. I hope to return to this campaign soon. However, once a game is postponed several times, it is hard to say if there will be a return to that campaign. Right now, I am also running a Traveller campaign with another group of players via Roll20.

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I first misread "laughing" instead of haunting and got the idea of a grim forest laughing because of a witch doings, becoming odd and in a sense grimmer. Thanks for that :joy:

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I like this idea. Me thinks it may be fun to implement an Evil Dead style laughing for
est. Muwahahahaa! :scream:

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