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MonkeySage
2016-08-22, 01:26 PM
Your setting takes place in the real world, but with fantasy elements. You don't want your players to know that the setting is Earth. What do you do? What would you call the Scandinavian settlers? The anglo saxons, franks, etc?

OldTrees1
2016-08-22, 01:35 PM
What do you mean "what would you call them?"? Humans are over reliant on using names to recognize things. Using almost any other name would conserve the secret.

Cealocanth
2016-08-22, 01:39 PM
This one has been tried and doesn't turn out very well. One of the most fundamental rules of creating an RPG setting is "don't keep what's cool about your world from your players". In this case, I would explain to the players exactly what you just told us - that it's the real world with fantasy elements. Just clarify to them that the characters don't know this, and trust them to RP it well.

I know I didn't really answer your question, but that's my two cents.

Winter_Wolf
2016-08-22, 02:17 PM
Your setting takes place in the real world, but with fantasy elements. You don't want your players to know that the setting is Earth. What do you do? What would you call the Scandinavian settlers? The anglo saxons, franks, etc?

"I'm using the real world as a framework for this campaign. Some (many) things are going to be different. I think it would be cool if we could all just try to roll with it and accept differences as 'artistic license'. Sound like a plan? Good? Okay, off we go."

Also, based off the real world in what ways? Modern, or some of the fantastical things that would have been widely accepted as truth at some point in the past: Midgard is real, and so are Jotunheim, Helheim, the Well of Knowledge, Bifrosti, and so on.

SethoMarkus
2016-08-22, 02:20 PM
I would have them adventure as normal. They would never directly come across anything to tip them off before the big reveal. They would hear rumors of a cult that follows The Master, an all-seeing, all-knowing deity of some sort. The adventuring party would eventually come to investigate this cult. They would come to the final chamber holding the cultists after entering a portal and traversing a foreign and very alien complex. They would hear the cultists chanting behind the door. The cultists are unaware of the adventurers' presence, but begin to speak their names. In an attempt to prevent some dark spell being completed, the adventurers burst through the door and slay the cultists, who seem confused and put up no resistance. After the deed is done the adventures find strange parchments with mathematical equations and information about the specific party members. It lists their name, age, race, profession, etc. And then we would all eat Cheetos and drink Mountain Dew



More seriously, I probably wouldn't. Or, if I did, have it take place in a setting like Shannara Chronicles. It is in the "real world" but so different than where society is at now that it really only provides a backdrop. Or, I'd just play World of Dorkness RisingDarkness.

┬mesang
2016-08-22, 03:16 PM
Honestly my first thought was to just update the 1st Ed. D&D GREYHAWK« adventure, "City Beyond the Gate."

veti
2016-08-22, 04:42 PM
As others have said, I wouldn't.

But if I were going to, I'd call the Vikings "pirates", and the others - pick something distinctive about their armour or weapons. For instance, the Anglo-Saxons could be called "Ironfaces", because of their fetish for full-face helmets, the Franks could be "kites" for the shape of their shields, or "horse's backsides" for their habit of pluming their helmets with horse tails, or...

Then you'd have to do something about place names. I'd suggest picking a language and translating them into it, that'll work for most small places, but beware some will blow the gaffe because either the place or the language (e.g. Latin) is too well known.

Segev
2016-08-22, 04:52 PM
Call the Vikings "orcs."


The way they were viewed by those they raided, it won't be too inaccurate.

Beleriphon
2016-08-22, 04:53 PM
Your setting takes place in the real world, but with fantasy elements. You don't want your players to know that the setting is Earth. What do you do? What would you call the Scandinavian settlers? The anglo saxons, franks, etc?

Use the local names for them in Old English or Old Norse.

ZanettonBR
2016-08-22, 08:33 PM
I would introduce past conflicts that are actually real, or maybe give clues that they existed, ut never say what they were straight-up.
After a while, your players may start catching up to this, then you can start showing the reaction of people and cities to the wars and historical events.
If you are worried about names, try giving the names of the places from the pointn of view of a outsider, maybe? Like "Frozenreach" (or something less generic) for Russia, and so on.
Hope that helped :)

mikeejimbo
2016-08-23, 09:18 AM
It depends - is the fact that it's the real world a big reveal or just for easy worldbuilding/exploring a what-if scenario?

Usually when our group steals stuff we're blatant about it, but we run a loose beer-and-pretzels game where immersion isn't super important.

Jay R
2016-08-23, 03:16 PM
I routinely set important situations in areas I know much better than the players. Usually it's Philmont Scout Ranch. I was a Ranger there for 2 summers, and went on many additional treks, so I know those mountains pretty well.

Don't worrying about using names of places. No matter what you call it, the players will refer to it as, "that village back there with that guy in it, you know, where we bought the horses".

SethoMarkus
2016-08-23, 04:03 PM
I routinely set important situations in areas I know much better than the players. Usually it's Philmont Scout Ranch. I was a Ranger there for 2 summers, and went on many additional treks, so I know those mountains pretty well.


Huh, I hadn't thought about it like that. I looked at it as "this is Earth, but with magic and elves!" instead of the more subtle way the OP probably intended.

Come to think of it, we do this fairly often, then, with many sites and settings drawing elements from the college and town we all met and began playing together at. I suppose you can bring the real world in to a game without it being recognisable as such.