Welcome Variants, to a new series I like to call “Enhance Ability Histories.” In this series, we will analyze a historical battle and see how it could have changed if there were TTRPG style magic users involved. Now, I know this may get complicated, so we are going to set some ground rules before diving in.
Related: D&D is NOT a War Game
Rule #1: This series will not discuss Modern History. While it would be interesting to see a mix of modern and magical, such as D20 Modern, we in the 21st Century are still dealing with the impact and ramifications of historical events from the 19th and 20th Centuries. There are people alive today who have been impacted in a variety of capacities by those historic events. I politely refuse to include historically recent events in this series out of respect for these individuals. The selected battles will be drawn from pre-modern conflicts, primarily focusing on those of Antiquity and the Middle Ages, since this is the time period that most TTRPGs take inspiration from anyways.
Rule #2: I am only going to focus on the battles themselves, not the ramifications of any changes caused by a drastically changed outcome. While this would be INCREDIBLY interesting to explore, it is outside of the scope of what I want to do in this series. If you all want to see a more in-depth analysis on a geopolitical scope, I am open to requests for Patreon-funded content due to the vast amount of research and time that would be involved to predict these types of scenarios. Basically, if you are interested in that type of content and you are willing to support or sponsor a branching series, let me know!
Rule #3: These are going to be hypothetical scenarios, based on impossible situations. There is no way for me to perfectly predict how the introduction of fantasy magic would change an otherwise historical event. As such, I will try to extrapolate these scenarios as best I can, but if you think the events would truly play out differently, please feel free to politely discuss why in the comments. This is strictly hypothetical, with millions of outcomes, and I want to discuss the most likely outcome. I will also add parameters and criteria for each battle to help keep the outcome as organic as possible.
Rule #4: This series is meant to be a fun mental exercise for anyone with a passion for history and a curious mind. I would enjoy hearing suggestions from the Variant Ventures community and will be happy to revisit previous engagements if valid points are made or new content from the TTRPG community would potentially change the outcome in a constructive manner.
Related: War Talk Wednesday: Shock Charges
I hope all of my history buff Variants are as excited for this series as I am! If you have a particular battle you think is a good fit for this series, let me know in the comments. I would love to cover content you are interested in.