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Orbis Mundi 2
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Orbis Mundi 2

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Rated as a 'Project We Like' on KickStarter and successfully backed by almost 500 people!

Most fantasy role playing games use elements if the Middle Ages in their background ... but they provide little or nothing in the way of real background ... and what they do provide is generally anachronistic, misleading or downright wrong.

Orbis Mundi2 is a massive expansion of the information presented in the first edition and is intended to provide Game Masters and Players with a better understanding of key aspects of Medieval life – with more accurate and more up-to-date information based on deeper research than most RPG designers carry out.

The material inside includes chapters on –

* City & Country, covering the organisation and likely contents of Towns and Villages, Medieval Agriculture, the nature and contents of the Medieval countryside outside of settled areas and more.

* Kingdoms & Crowns, which deals with the Feudal System … not just the usual pastiche of the Anglo-Norman version but also including a detailed look at it and the French variant as well as some idea of how it worked in other areas of (mainly Western) Europe. Law & Justice is also covered – again, not just the Anglo-French ‘norm’, but some information about the rest of Europe, as is the complex issue of Money … and its regional variations.

* De Civitate Dei (‘The City of God’) looks at the main Medieval religions (and heresies) – Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Judaism and Islam, how they were organised, what they believed, how they viewed each other and so forth.

* De Re Militari (‘On Military Matters’) covers military organisation, by region and ethnicity, the cost of warfare and logistical matters, Weapons and Armour, Castles and Sieges.

* Ars Mechanica (‘Mechanical Arts’) looks at the technological and business side of the medieval period (they didn’t really differentiate).

* Ars Scholastica (‘Scholastic Arts’) looks at the educational side of things – and what passed for the ‘scientific’ side as well, looking at everything from Reading & Writing through to University Education as well as Alchemy (Chemistry) and Medicine.

* Daily Life covers all those things that don’t fit elsewhere – how they thought and what they believed, Hygiene, Leisure activities, Names, Calendars and timekeeping, Weights and Measures and Heraldry

Note: The Original Orbis Mundi included a large section with an Annotated Price List ... OM2 doesn't, the Price List will be in a second volume, which will also be considerably expanded in page count, tentatively titled "Orbis Mundi2: The Marketplace"

If you think that your favourite FRPG has a background that is the most accurate representation of the Middle Ages since the Middle Ages, then Orbis Mundi is not for you.

If you don’t care about historical accuracy in even the slightest respect, then Orbis Mundi is not for you.

If you do care about historical accuracy and much, much, more ...

Then Orbis Mundi is for you!

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (4)
Discussions (6)
Customer avatar
Stacie W June 20, 2019 11:41 am UTC
The pdf example shows full color interior but the print options only list Black and White. Is the Pod version actually B/W and not color?
Customer avatar
June 20, 2019 3:32 pm UTC
Yep, that's why they're listed as B&W.

Colour for a close to 500 page book would be prohibitively expensive ... first, to proof (my experience is that colours invariably come out muddier than they appear on the Monitor), even if you do Premium Colour (which would be *extortionately* expensive for multiple go arounds, let along for the potential purchaser).
Customer avatar
Stacie W June 27, 2019 6:45 am UTC
That's disappointing. Check out the Exalted 3e product for a book close to 700 pages that's full color. Just as a comparison. I'd pay an extra $50 to get it full color over B/W for this book of yours. Plus, can it hurt to have it as an additional option to choose from???
Customer avatar
June 27, 2019 7:24 am UTC
It's a trade off. Only B&W was ever promised in the Kickstarter and, as I noted, the cost of proofing a book in premium colour, given that the illustrations are sourced from the internet and have no consistency at all as to colour values would almost certainly require several go-arounds (I use Serif PagePlus, which is, well, quirky, and doesn't play well with LSI's processes ... I've found work-arounds for the ones I've come across, but adding in premium colour processes, well, not easy and likely to make the whole process more expensive) ... that and the fact that shipping to Australia is not cheap, either, and I would be looking at probably A$120-150 per go-around in costs. Given the likely target market (tiny, I'd estimate), it just doesn't make economic sense. Sorry, but that's the way it stands.

If I ever do 'Orbis Mundi 3' I will probably try and do it using paid illustrations and industry standard software ... but that's several years off at the soonest.

Customer avatar
Joshua F January 23, 2019 10:18 am UTC
I forgot to ask this in my previous post, but does this book explore ways to make fantasy tropes work? for example, many elven societies are seen as not having traditional laborers, with most elves being soldiers, artisans or aristocrats. To make this work the elves as a nation would need to be wealthy enough to completely contract out their labor, or they'ed need to rely on slave labor. does your book explore how societies like this could potentially work? Like how wealthy would they need to be, what could lead them to be that wealthy, how many slaves would they need per elven citizen... ETC
Customer avatar
January 23, 2019 11:49 pm UTC
There's 15 pages at the end of OM2 that deals with some of the shortfalls of all existing Fantasy RPGs - including some idea as to how it would affect things economic.

No, it doesn't cover that in detail for a whole variety of reasons - I suppose the main one being that if magic *did* exist and was as limited as it has been increasingly made in D&D style games since the 1970's (and it has, increasingly, been limited in availability, increased in difficulty and cost etc.) then it would both make little difference in a lot of areas of the economy or a whole lot.

As for an entirely militarised Elven culture with no labourers etc ... well, you'be hit the nail right on the head by suggesting the actual historical solution, contracting it out. That's what the Feudal System actually was ... and Slavery was quickly ditched by the beginning of the period as it dawned on people that it was, economically speaking, far less effective that serfdom (and, no, serfdom is NOT the same as slavery ......See more
Customer avatar
Joshua F January 23, 2019 9:26 am UTC
Will the market place book that you're working on explore trade and the different things that affect it? How would you personally compare your book to "grain to gold" or "silk road" which are currently the gold standard for RPG economies? How much does your book address the Fantasy of an RPG? things like different races, magic, and wild animals that can basically level cities if turned the wrong way.
Customer avatar
January 23, 2019 11:38 pm UTC
I've already commented on 'Grain into Gold' re your post on 'The Marketplace' - suffice it to say that its *close* to worthless from a historical realism point of view, at least based on the evidence of the sample pages available online.

'Silk Road' - the sample pages are of no use in estimating its value and, in any case, it doesn't cover a topic that either of my books does in any detail (i.e. specifically the trade route between Asia and Europe). However, based on having purchased 'A Magical Medieval Society' by the same publishers when it first came out, what, a couple of decades ago, I would *guess* that, like the earlier book, it attempts to make a D&D style economy 'work' by force fitting elements and systems around it rather than making a real attempt to provide a *realistic* system.

AMMS wasn't *completely* useless, there was, from memory, *some* stuff in it that was OK - perhaps 15-20% of the overall material - but it couldn't (and still can't) be regarded as 'realistic.'...See more
Customer avatar
Bronto C May 13, 2018 1:44 am UTC
Worthwhile information, collected usefully for gamers.

It's a terrible shame that, despite the pdf costing more than most hardbound tomes, no money could be found for a proofreader, let alone a full-blown editor.
Customer avatar
Chad K April 22, 2018 7:16 pm UTC
Are there prices, costs for various things (equipment, food, mounts, lodging) ?
Customer avatar
April 23, 2018 12:07 am UTC
A limited amount.

The second book funded by the Kickstarter, 'The Marketplace' is 99.999% complete and will be released as a PDF to backers (and here on RPGNow) in early May (Print proofing will hopefully mean a Softbound version will be available by mid-May and a Hardcover by the end of May) ... it runs to 300 pages and includes extensive notes on Markets, Economics, Prices and price changes over time as well as extensive annotations as to what the items were, how they were used and some rules that make them 'usable' ... so, for example, actual historically available weapons and armour are rated for D&D3/Pathfinder/D20 OGL and RQ3/Mythras ... pricing will be ~2/3rds of the PDF pricing for this book (for print versions, all I do is add the actual print cost to the base price plus, usually, ~$5 for Print + PDF).
Customer avatar
Michael P December 29, 2017 6:36 pm UTC
Looks very promising and I like the content in the preview - but it's rather expensive for a PDF. Can anyone tell me (a) is there any benefit to buying this rather than a couple of medieval social history textbooks and (b) do the authors give references/footnotes for the information they're providing? Thanks.
Customer avatar
December 29, 2017 10:38 pm UTC
Sure, you *can* buy 'a couple of medieval social history texts' ... if you know the ones that *aren't* mostly outdated collections of mis- and dis-information ... but none of them have the breadth of detail that OM2 has. Decent (and recent) ones will cost, individually, a good percentage of the cost of OM2 *each* and for decent coverage and detail you'll need many more than 'a couple' ... I guess the point of the book is that it distills the scores of expensive books I have consulted over the last dozen years or so, many many hundreds of $$$ worth, cross checking facts and factoids and references in thousands of hours of research and writing.

As for footnotes, well, it's *not* a college or university textbook (most of which, as you will find if you consult and compare, aren't all that useful and are frequently not up to date and, indeed, full of known errors) and was never intended to be, so, no, there aren't any footnotes.

There's a quite extensive annotated reading list, however, to...See more
Customer avatar
December 30, 2017 12:28 am UTC
As a comparison, Cumberland Games & Diversions has two PDFs on 'Fief' and 'Town' for $19.95 (100 pages) and $24.95 (150 pages) ... OM2 is around twice as many pages and, for the PDF, about $5 cheaper. As far as I can tell from the samples, these other two products are perfectly OK, but off less information, obviously, than OM2.

If you want a better handle on the sort of things covered, have a look at the Kickstarter page and some of the earlier Updates, which cover a variety of things 'everyone knows' about the Middle Ages ... and which are completely wrong!
Customer avatar
Michael P December 30, 2017 1:47 pm UTC
Ok, many thanks for your replies. I wasn't trying to imply that the book wasn't full of great information - I'm sure it is. But I just wanted to make sure I would be getting something "extra" above the medieval history books I already own, and that any factual claims were backed up by references (sounds like the reading list covers this). I shall add to my wishlist and consider a purchase soon! Thanks again.
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