Black Monks is an adventure setting in medieval England.
The books describes Glastonbury Abbey, in the west of England, with lots of mythic Ars Magica detail. The adventure premise is that most of the monks of the Abbey have become devil worshippers; as the Abbey itself still contains one of the holiest places in England, the player characters should try to save it, rather than destroy it. Indeed, since Glastonbury was one of the most important Abbeys in England, in Ars Magica the player characters would get in a lot of trouble if they tried to destroy the place.
Part of the reasoning behind this book was that it’s a setting in which the classic “devil worshippers in hooded black robes” make perfect historical sense. Benedictine monks wore hooded black robes, and would continue to do so if they became secret devil worshippers. I also think this book strikes a much better balance between history and myth than Heirs to Merlin did.
Researching this book was fun; I actually went to Glastonbury, with one of my friends, to walk around the Abbey ruins, climb Glastonbury Tor, and take reference photographs for the artists. One of the downsides of living in Japan is that it will be rather difficult to do that for any future books on medieval Europe. I’ll just have to start writing about historical Japan.
This book is a dual-system supplement, for both Ars Magica and the third edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game.
The Black Monks of Glastonbury was nominated for an ENny Award for for Best Non-d20 Adventure in 2004.