So here's a nice mid-week "what-if" question to mull over.
If you had to pick a rough time and place - before the start of the 20th century - to set a historical campaign you'd either want to play in, GM, or both, where would it be? No elements of the supernatural, but I would allow wiggle room for "somewhat poetic interpretations" of the time and place concerned.
This question comes from me contemplating historical campaign settings, but realizing that the most commonly considered time and place that finds its way into most bastardized pseudo-historical RPGs like D&D and Harn and the like is the European Middle Ages, which in my mind is actually one of the crappier time periods to consider running around as a band of freebooting adventurers beholden to no one but their own sense of entitlement.
I mean, unless you just ignore the complete stranglehold the Church and the Feudal System has on anything and everything you do, a PC party that isn't beholden to one or the other is going to find itself on the wrong end of the "law" or an "enemy of the Church" really, really fast, and at that point, it's all over. Just seems to be too little middle ground between Dirt-Grubbing Famished Peasant and Bowing/Scraping/Forelock-Tugging Feudal Toady/Church Toady. I'm sure there are places to get away with such shenanigans, but I get the feeling the situations would always have to be contrived so that every time your PCs open their mouths, the local lord doesn't have them pin-cushioned with arrows or the closest priest doesn't have them slaughtered for heresy and blasphemy.
So, after I contemplated that, I started thinking of other places and times where a mostly accurate, non-fantastical campaign would be a lot of fun, and I decided to put the question out there for my readers.
So, any takers?