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The Voyages of Marco Polo» Forums » General

Subject: character histories? rss

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'Bernard Wingrave'
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I was wondering if there is already a document or page that has descriptions of the characters in the game -- maybe one to three paragraphs for each, describing what the character did in history. I checked a few different places but was unable to find anything that is already put together.
 
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Matt Smith
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(tongue firmly in cheek)

The characters started as a seed in the ground that grew into a tree. Then the tree was cut down and processed into cardboard. After a quick trip through a printing machine, the characters were born! Now they live out their existence traveling around Asia, turning goods into money/VP/other goods.

(/end tongue in cheek)

Seriously, there might be some info in the supplement that comes with the game, but I don't remember.
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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I looked at the files on the Z-Man webpage for the game but did not see any information about the characters' lives.
 
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Phil Hendrickson
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See item 3 on this geeklist.
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Steve G.
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I always wondered how well the character abilities represented the personality in question.

Kublai Khan is pretty cut-and-dried. The Polo Bros as well. Rudimentary knowledge of Latin suggests that Mercatur is a merchant, thus he gets some kind of kickback when other players use the market.

But did Caprini really some special shortcuts through the deserts? Does Berke's free stacking represent something specific about the character?
 
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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I started doing a bit of research on the characters. Here is what I have for a few that you mentioned:

Mercator ex Tabriz: This is Latin for "Merchant of Tabriz". I believe this is a generic merchant from Tabriz rather than a specific person. Marco Polo writes that Tabriz is "a great city surrounded by beautiful and pleasant gardens. It is excellently situated so the goods brought to here come from many regions. Latin merchants specially Genevis go there to buy the goods that come from foreign lands."

Berke Khan: Ruler of the western part of the Mongol Empire

Johannes Carpini: a medieval Italian diplomat, archbishop and explorer and one of the first Europeans to enter the court of the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire

The one I found most interesting in terms of theme is Raschid ad-Din Sinan. This is "Old Man of the Mountain" -- Marco Polo included a story about him in his book. In the story, the Old Man of the Mountain had a beautiful valley garden paradise. The story goes that the Old Man would drug young men with hashish (marijuana) and only permit them to enter his garden if they completed his tasks, which included assassinations. Since Raschid ad-Din Sinan died before Marco Polo was born, scholars have doubts about whether this is a true story. Is picking the values on your dice thematic? It is certainly powerful, which seems to match the person in the story.
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