Ostravia is the new official title for the ABACUS’s system upcoming Gothic fantasy game. It’s meant to be both an Orchestra-lite and an examination of how ABACUS can be tweaked to fulfill a variety of roles, and being a grim Gothic fantasy set in the times of the Fourth Crusade, it’s got a lot of interest to historians and scholars that a lot of fantasy games don’t have, namely that it is also an examination of the social and political structures of early 13th century Europe.
Ostravia takes place in a fantasy kingdom sandwiched between Poland, Moravia, and Hungary around the year 1202. It’s not entirely realistic, as both fantastical elements exist, but it is based off an analysis of the setting; none of the neighboring kingdoms were really powerful enough to boss it around, being busy with their own concerns, but it is still in a perilous state because by about 1210 Ostravia has plenty of reasons to cease existing, most notably territorial reconquest by Poland.
Ostravia’s a new kingdom-only on its second monarch-that has fought tooth and nail for recognition, but its recognition by the Catholic Church came at a heavy price, leaving it economically destitute, and when both its king and prince left to fight in the Fourth Crusade, they were left temporarily leaderless, and the death of the Prince upon his early return leaves it with a very uncertain future.
System wise, Ostravia serves as a great stepping stone for the a larger-scale project like Orchestra; it examines a smaller character progression set (+15 modifier/+20 limit versus +20 modifier/+30 limit), has less of a need for complex mechanics (Dominance, augmentations, and firearms), and essentially allows me to put something out that has a full feature set and worry about the core ABACUS features (speed, meaningful character development) and not about the individual systems that will be attached to it.
I plan for Ostravia to see a release much earlier than Orchestra would; I expect December, but that’s a common trend for me.