Brancalonia is the new project Spaghetti Fantasy RPG (I appropriate a wording from Roberto Recchioni), born from the enlightened minds of Acheron BooksIn partnership with Ludiblood, Heroic ignorance et alii.

In the past we have already dealt with the subject of the Zappa and the Sword, on our pages, and we were happy to have read both collections published by Acheron Books (here you can find a our article in this regard) and the vilupera of Heroic Ignorance. The topic of Spaghetti Fantasi is very much felt so I went to disturb Mauro Longo, already a guest of these pages, as often happens in these situations.

Mauro is in fact one of the creators, authors and general managers, and in addition he is the creative director, as well as being the founder of Mechanical Caponata. So, as always, we have prepared a few questions about Brancalonia to which only he can, at the moment, answer!

So let's start asking our questions!

Hi Mauro, how's it going?
It is a pleasure to hear from you about this project after two years. Many things have changed, but your desire to bring Italian spaghetti into fantasy has not changed and I can only be happy with it.
Would you like to answer some questions?

Welcome back! I answer you with real pleasure!

1) I saw that the collaboration stems from the minds of Acheron Books, Evil Company, IgNoraNza Eroica, Ludiblood and many others. How did this collaboration start? Any funny anecdotes? Botta among the writers on what was the best settings? Or was the partnership born after the first book of Zappa e Spada?

The history of this project, of this idea of ​​creating a playful version of Hoe and Sword, was born with the same first anthology of the series (which today also has a second collection and two game books). We are talking about the end of 2017, when many future projects that we take for granted today, many Italian campaign settings of D&D 5a and my other great occupation, Lex Arcana, they were far to come. For various impediments, but above all for the fact that at the time Acheron Books she was not yet ready to take this leap, the idea has been postponed by exactly two years.

In Lucca 2019 we decided to start again, this time with a project that is almost all ours and very big. Friends of Evil Company - Ludiblood were chosen as partners for their communication and event organization skills, but above all to support us in the "crunch" of the game, while the cheerful friends of Heroic ignorance they are on board because their settings and their ideas are practically consistent with ours and, well, unity is strength!

Just think that one of the two founders, Luca Mazza, made his bones on the first anthology of the series, with a story set in Penumbria, and continued with a short story by Last Forsan, winner of a small prize. Having said that, every time I use the terms "friends" and "partner" I am hiding from you long arguments and threatening email exchanges that recall more duels to the death, ambushes in the alleys and dynastic feuds, rather than quiet working relationships ... BUT THIS IS HOW ALL THE BEST STORIES BEGIN, RIGHT?

2) I saw that you have opted for the fifth edition, so the question is due: will you adopt special mechanics to make the best of the MeNare philosophy?

Great question. The answer is: "Of course!".
We want to insert mechanics and dynamics that are very well embedded in our game, but which can eventually be exported to other 5th Edition environment settings. The first two things that come to mind are the rules for slapping fights, punches to the head and mugs smashed in the back of the neck, and the "Band management", which will be a central element in the game. That they are "Armed" stomping in the journey for the crusades, masnade of brigands in the bush, caravans of wandering gypsies, or real companies of fortune, the "Bands" some characters act and move throughout the scenario and are an element of group aggregation, easy choice of mission and even easier replacement of dead or out of play characters ...

3) Is the settings you are going to create very, too Italian (Boris cit.), With specific references, or can it also be usable by a foreign public or who, perhaps, has not yet had the opportunity to read the books in question? So the Kickstarter of Brancalonia will also be in the albionic language, right?

The kickstarter will be Italian and English together, and the challenge is to be able to do something simultaneously beautiful and fun for the Italians, but also recognizable and communicable to the Americans and the rest of the international public. Replicate the triumphal formula of Lex Arcana is impossible, but we can try to create a new case and a new paradigm. At least that's our goal. It must also be said that Brancalonia IS NOT THE RPG OF THE ZAPPA AND SWORD ANTHOLOGIES, but of the Spaghetti Fantasy in general: fishing from vintage and pop references of all kinds, from Orlando Furioso to the Brancaleone Army, from Pinocchio to Calvino, from Tale of Tales to American TV series set in our Renaissance, and so on. Role-playing is like a pig: nothing is thrown away!

4) As I think you will imagine I have practically read everything from which you draw inspiration for Brancalonia. In many respects the world you present is, at least in some parts, very grim-dark. How do you plan to differentiate yourself from other dark fantasy settings?

Warning: the Spaghetti Fantasy by its definition It is NOT grimdark. The world around the characters can also be decadent, miserable, ragged and wild, but there is always a basic irony, the Italian sarcasm, never taking oneself seriously, the art of getting by and in the end even the "loved ones" , and always all against the guards and bigots! Cialtroneria, arrabattamento, subterfuge as a model of life, as per extensive literature. Having said that, we decided to dose the many ingredients of Italian fantasy in a different way according to the regions of the Kingdom: in Penumbria we live situations, encounters and adventures grimdark and horror fantasy, in other regions we will instead have more fairy-tale and folkloristic tones, in still others chivalry and war themes will be dealt with more, and so on ...

Beautiful image of Marcello Crescenzi
5) Fifth and final question, for now. We all know it as King Bohemond said: "Right five perfect number". Any sneak preview? Do you already have in mind to extend the lands from the Other Boot to the Other Europe? When would we have a chance to feel something? 

As I told you, we decided to start over and start from Lucca, practically three months ago. We will start the campaign in March, we will make sure that already for that period we can try a demo through a classic Quickstart Set, we are also involving friends, demonstrators, shops and associations. In fact, all those who ask us will have the Quickstart prerelease from February. Implicit objective: to finish everything for after the summer and to deliver the paper to the Italians in Lucca, while letting something play in the meantime. As for the possible future of the line, we will certainly stay in our Brancalonia for a long time. We want to play and let the Kingdom of Size play far and wide, and carry the sinister boot around.

Conclusions on Brancalonia

A long time ago, when we were shipwrecked on other shores, I had the good fortune to speak with Mauro about their desire to create the Other Boot. I was sorry not to be able to collaborate, but today, in my own way, I will do my part. I can't wait for this wonder to go to Kickstarter and for a shared campain to be born that covers the Other Italy.

In the meantime we leave you this small preview that was granted to us by Bracalonia same! The world map made by Master Porphyry!

Map of Brancalonia
We deliberately leave it small so go and enjoy it on a better scale on the FB page from Brancalonia

The Kickstart campaign of Brancalonia

We update the article to today, April 20, 2020 to tell you that the Brancalonia Kickstart campaign has officially started and you can find it at this address!