Robyn is an awesome photographer, and she's taken some great pictures over the years. So, what does this have to do with gaming, and how can pictures enhance our games?
We're glad you asked!
Back in 2008, we were stationed in Germany and got to see some incredible sights right out of the games we play. Now understand, for those of us living here in the States, the Middle Ages are a simple abstraction; something from the history books and/or movies and television. But for Europeans, there's an unbroken link to their past that's analogous to our own Civil War or perhaps the wild west, because, well, it's OUR past.
But the Middle Ages was THEIRS. Ever see a castle next to a McDonald's? This juxtaposition of old and new is everywhere to be found in parts of Germany. One such location was Burg Nanstein, notable for the (very) decisive use of artillery in a Medieval siege and ushering in a new era (goodbye Middle Ages)...
But it still has a story to tell, both the castle itself and the failed Knight's Revolt. But the castle was built much earlier, and has a Medieval pedigree that should serve as inspiration.
So, let's take a look at these:
Walls present a formidable obstacle, and now you have a lot more respect for those thieves, don't you?
Now let's step inside...
Courtyards are the site of many a pitched battle, whether with humanoid nasties or evil wizards. If miniatures and model terrain are used, this can easily become quite involved indeed!
Towers are equally treacherous, especially when ruined or occupied by evil sorcerers who resent your presence!
Most "real" dungeons were small, dark, and nasty. This is no place to get caught unprepared. But then, you already knew that!
While most games deal with the fantastic (except, maybe, our own Barons of Braunstein), there's a historical underpinning that matches anything our imaginations can conjure up. If you ever grab the chance, see these fine locales in person, otherwise, learn the real history of the places where our fantasies happen and remind yourself why we love this stuff in the first place. Game on, folks!