East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Brancalonia at the University of Edimburgh

Brancalonia, the “spaghetti fantasy” roleplaying game has been a runaway success on Kickstarter – which means the writers and illustrators are hard at work on these hot summer days to get everything ready.
But meanwhile, back when the Kickstarter was still running full tilt, the History & Game Lab at Edinburgh University took an interest in us.

As a result, you can listen to an interview on the subject of games, history, the interplay of the real world and fantasy, and a lot of other things, on this podcast.

Brancalonia art by Lorenzo Nuti

My voice is horrible, I am quite obviously clueless, but hey, you might find something interesting in my ramblings.


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.

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Today I’ve been interviewed for a podcast – a panel about history and roleplaying games, in which I spent part of the time pushing Brancalonia, the low (and I mean low) medieval fantasy RPG that will get its kickstarter in a few days, and of which I am one of the masterminds.

It was quite a pleasant experience, chatting with other game designers and history buffs about what we do when we use history as the basis of our games – what we keep, what we leave out, and why.
There is only one question that keeps nagging me: how come that when I sit facing a microphone my voice becomes a croak, my already limited intelligence sinks, and in the end I can’t even spell?
Oh, embarrassing, very embarrassing.

But there, I did it.
And it would be really fun to do more spoken words stuff online, taking advantage of the quarantine and all that.
But then my voice dies, and my brain follows suit…

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Introducing the Bigàt

Among the too many projects I am currently juggling, there is a side gig as the only person with a iota of sense and some manners in Brancalonia, a project for a D&D 5th Edition sourcebook and resource that will allow brave players to explore the world of Italian folklore, Medieval and Renaissance literature, and spaghetti fantasy.
The sort of game in which Bud Spencer and Terence Hill team up with a non-Disney Pinocchio-style living puppet to go treasure-hunting in the plague-ridden, ghost-haunted, brigand-infested countryside straight out of Verhoeven’s Flesh + Blood.

Cover art by Lorenzo Nuti
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