Introducing The Medieval Mind Series
When I first started playing Dungeons & Dragons as a kid, it sparked a lifelong interest in history. Mythology, folklore, and fantasy fiction were great, but I was amazed at the weapons, places, and events that had actually existed in the real world! I read everything that I could get my hands on. Of particular interest were any books about Europe during the Middle Ages, because that period was obviously one of the biggest influences on the game.
Understanding how people had lived informed the characters created, the worlds I built, and the adventures I ran. How things got done without technology is fascinating. The political, religious, and cultural institutions that controlled things remain both inspiring and terrifying. Even tiny details of the clothing people wore, and what they ate, continue to be interesting to me. Infusing what I learned from history into my campaigns gave them texture, brought them to life, and made them more immersive.
I understand that modern fantasy has been moving away from medievalism for a while now. There are good reasons for that. Escapism should, to some degree, reflect modern issues and concerns. That means that tabletop roleplaying has to change to keep up with shifts in our interests, beliefs, and aspirations. Leaving behind legacies of racism, sexism, and violence isn’t a bad thing. Building worlds, characters, and campaigns that are less Euro-centric invites more people into the community, and brings fresh perspectives and ideas that keep our precious hobby alive.
The Medieval Mind series isn’t meant to diminish any of that. We can learn from history, the good and the bad, the high points and the low, and then change it all in the worlds of our imagination. Grasping how and why institutions came about, what motivated people, and the way cultures developed, can provide insight that’s useful for worldbuilding.
Each volume covers a different topic about life in Middle Ages Europe. Mine them for ideas, remix them, and reuse them for whatever purpose you need. I hope you enjoy this series, and find the history within as intriguing and useful as I have.
Publisher, Dancing Lights Press
About Dancing Lights Press
Dancing Lights Press is a lo-fi publisher of tabletop roleplaying systems and system-agnostic creative aids, including the best selling Building series, the DoubleZero action thriller system, and Hippogryph, a fantasy story game system with traditional roots. Our products embrace a minimalist aesthetic in design and presentation because roleplaying is an activity, not a collection of expensive rulebooks.