A note about historical settings
Yesterday we released Wretched Interbellum, the latest game in our Wretched series set in the tumultuous Interwar period. As developers of historical games, we want to provide some background on our pseudo-historical settings. While not professional historians, we aim to present the basic historical facts and events, adding some fictional elements and pulpish flair to make things more interesting.
Our games take place in stylized versions of the past, such as Wretched Époque’s supernatural version of the Belle Époque era and Wretched Country’s weird Americana setting. Wretched Interbellum follows suit with a fictional take on the unstable Interwar period, incorporating speculative and Lovecraftian elements into the historical backdrop. We blend history and imagination, so while these games are inspired by actual events and times, they are heavily fictionalized worlds with their own lore and factions.
Our goal is an immersive historical-flavoured experience, not textbook accuracy. So expect the spirit of the age, but seen through a pulpy, wretched lens. Definitely not historical, but heavily fictionalized. Nevertheless, what you will NOT find is a bastardisation of real world themes to make it palatable to “modern audiences”.
Sexism, racism, classism and other “isms” were really a thing in the 19th and early 20th century and so you will find they do exist in the Wretchedverse. Now, can you play a woman, an homossexual, or a non-white character in Country, or a Jewish character in Paris of the Belle Époque? Sure you can, that will give you added complications and that is – we believe – a good think in a role-playing game. Now, if we are admitting we did fictionalise history, why are we so worried about correctly portraying social and traditional norms of the time? Have you read Conan Doyle, Poe, Stoker, Mary Shelley, Lovecraft, Agatha Christie? Well, that’s why… It’s fictional, but it still takes place in the past. No weird pronouns and no current day inserts; no bulshit. No, it’s not accurate, but when we fail is out of lack of knowledge or to insert otherworldly elements into an historical setting, not because there’s an absurd agenda being shoved down everyone’s throats.