Thursday, 26 August 2021

The Jacobin Calendar as inspiration for RPGs


I'm a big fan of the Jacobin Calendar/French Revolutionary Calendar ever since I discovered the Jacobin Calendar bot on Twitter. It's a decimal calendar with 12 months of 30 days each, split into 10-day weeks, plus an additional 5 festival days (6 in a leap year). Every day of the year has its own name, mostly associated with plants, animals, minerals, or tools, relevant to the time of year (this replaced the tradition of associating each day with a saint). I've given a version of the calendar at the end of this post.

I've started using this calendar as a basis for time in my games. I've made some small adjustments (the French year starts in mid-September; mine starts in mid-March, as the world re-awakens after winter). The day names are great for adding flavour, and for determining events or theming adventures at that time of year. There is no reason why you couldn't rename some of the days (or all of them, if you can be bothered) after something specific to your campaign. How about a calendar of monsters?

The ten days of the week are simply named according to their number - so first day (primidi), second day (duodi), third day (tridi), etc. Again, these could easily be renamed.

All of the festival days take place in late September - harvest time. Again there's no reason why you couldn't move these, perhaps spreading them throughout the year. And you'll no doubt want to rename "Celebration of Revolution" if playing in a feudal or monarchist setting!

Here's the calendar...

Germinal (seed month) 21 March – 19 April)
121 MarPrimevère (Primrose)
222 MarPlatane (Plane Tree)
323 MarAsperge (Asparagus)
424 MarTulipe (Tulip)
525 MarPoule (Hen)
626 MarBette (Chard)
727 MarBouleau (Birch)
828 MarJonquille (Daffodil)
929 MarAulne (Alder)
1030 MarCouvoir (Hatchery)
1131 MarPervenche (Periwinkle)
121 AprCharme (Hornbeam)
132 AprMorille (Morel)
143 AprHĂŞtre (Beech Tree)
154 AprAbeille (Bee)
165 AprLaitue (Lettuce)
176 AprMélèze (Larch)
187 AprCiguë (Hemlock)
198 AprRadis (Radish)
209 AprRuche (Hive)
2110 AprGainier (Judas tree)
2211 AprRomaine (Romaine lettuce)
2312 AprMarronnier (Horse chestnut)
2413 AprRoquette (Arugula or Rocket)
2514 AprPigeon (Pigeon)
2615 AprLilas (Lilac)
2716 AprAnémone (Anemone)
2817 AprPensée (Pansy)
2918 AprMyrtille (Bilberry)
3019 AprGreffoir (Grafting knife)
FlorĂ©al (blossom month) 20 April – 19 May
120 AprRose (Rose)
221 AprChĂŞne (Oak Tree)
322 AprFougère (Fern)
423 AprAubépine (Hawthorn)
524 AprRossignol (Nightingale)
625 AprAncolie (Common Columbine)
726 AprMuguet (Lily of the valley)
827 AprChampignon (Button mushroom)
928 AprHyacinthe (Hyacinth)
1029 AprRâteau (Rake)
1130 AprRhubarbe (Rhubarb)
121 MaySainfoin (Sainfoin)
132 MayBâton d'or (Wallflower)
143 MayChamerisier (Fan Palm tree)
154 MayVer Ă  soie (Silkworm)
165 MayConsoude (Comfrey)
176 MayPimprenelle (Salad burnet)
187 MayCorbeille d'or (Basket of Gold)
198 MayArroche (Orache)
209 MaySarcloir (Garden hoe)
2110 MayStatice (Thrift)
2211 MayFritillaire (Fritillary)
2312 MayBourrache (Borage)
2413 MayValériane (Valerian)
2514 MayCarpe (Carp)
2615 MayFusain (Spindle (shrub))
2716 MayCivette (Chive)
2817 MayBuglosse (Bugloss)
2918 MaySénevé (Wild mustard)
3019 MayHoulette (Shepherd's crook)
Prairial (meadow month) 20 May – 18 June
120 MayLuzerne (Alfalfa)
221 MayHémérocalle (Daylily)
322 MayTrèfle (Clover)
423 MayAngélique (Angelica)
524 MayCanard (Duck)
625 MayMĂ©lisse (Lemon balm)
726 MayFromental (Oat grass)
827 MayMartagon (Martagon lily)
928 MaySerpolet (Wild Thyme)
1029 MayFaux (Scythe)
1130 MayFraise (Strawberry)
1231 MayBĂ©toine (Woundwort)
131 JunPois (Pea)
142 JunAcacia (Acacia)
153 JunCaille (Quail)
164 JunĹ’illet (Carnation)
175 JunSureau (Elderberry)
186 JunPavot (Poppy plant)
197 JunTilleul (Linden or Lime tree)
208 JunFourche (Pitchfork)
219 JunBarbeau (Cornflower)
2210 JunCamomille (Camomile)
2311 JunChèvrefeuille (Honeysuckle)
2412 JunCaille-lait (Bedstraw)
2513 JunTanche (Tench)
2614 JunJasmin (Jasmine)
2715 JunVerveine (Verbena)
2816 JunThym (Thyme)
2917 JunPivoine (Peony)
3018 JunChariot (Hand Cart)
Messidor (harvest month) 19 June – 18 July
119 JunSeigle (Rye)
220 JunAvoine (Oat)
321 JunOignon (Onion)
422 JunVĂ©ronique (Speedwell)
523 JunMulet (Mule)
624 JunRomarin (Rosemary)
725 JunConcombre (Cucumber)
826 JunÉchalote (Shallot)
927 JunAbsinthe (Wormwood)
1028 JunFaucille (Sickle)
1129 JunCoriandre (Coriander)
1230 JunArtichaut (Artichoke)
131 JulGirofle (Clove)
142 JulLavande (Lavender)
153 JulChamois (Chamois)
164 JulTabac (Tobacco)
175 JulGroseille (Redcurrant)
186 JulGesse (Hairy Vetchling)
197 JulCerise (Cherry)
208 JulParc (Park)
219 JulMenthe (Mint)
2210 JulCumin (Cumin)
2311 JulHaricot (Bean)
2412 JulOrcanète (Alkanet)
2513 JulPintade (Guinea fowl)
2614 JulSauge (Sage Plant)
2715 JulAil (Garlic)
2816 JulVesce (Tare)
2917 JulBlé (Wheat)
3018 JulChalémie (Shawm)
Thermidor (heat month) 19 July – 17 August
119 JulÉpeautre (Spelt)
220 JulBouillon blanc (Common mullein)
321 JulMelon (Melon)
422 JulIvraie (Ryegrass)
523 JulBĂ©lier (Ram)
624 JulPrĂŞle (Horsetail)
725 JulArmoise (Mugwort)
826 JulCarthame (Safflower)
927 JulMûre (Blackberry)
1028 JulArrosoir (Watering can)
1129 JulPanic (Switchgrass)
1230 JulSalicorne (Common Glasswort)
1331 JulAbricot (Apricot)
141 AugBasilic (Basil)
152 AugBrebis (Ewe)
163 AugGuimauve (Marshmallow)
174 AugLin (Flax)
185 AugAmande (Almond)
196 AugGentiane (Gentian)
207 AugÉcluse (Lock)
218 AugCarline (Carline thistle)
229 AugCâprier (Caper)
2310 AugLentille (Lentil)
2411 AugAunée (Inula)
2512 AugLoutre (Otter)
2613 AugMyrte (Myrtle)
2714 AugColza (Rapeseed)
2815 AugLupin (Lupin)
2916 AugCoton (Cotton)
3017 AugMoulin (Mill)
Fructidor (fruit month) 18 August – 16 September
118 AugPrune (Plum)
219 AugMillet (Millet)
320 AugLycoperdon (Puffball)
421 AugEscourgeon (Six-row Barley)
522 AugSaumon (Salmon)
623 AugTubéreuse (Tuberose)
724 AugSucrion (Winter Barley)
825 AugApocyn (Apocynum)
926 AugRĂ©glisse (Liquorice)
1027 AugÉchelle (Ladder)
1128 AugPastèque (Watermelon)
1229 AugFenouil (Fennel)
1330 AugÉpine vinette (Barberry)
1431 AugNoix (Walnut)
151 SepTruite (Trout)
162 SepCitron (Lemon)
173 SepCardère (Teasel)
184 SepNerprun (Buckthorn)
195 SepTagette (Mexican Marigold)
206 SepHotte (Harvesting basket)
217 SepÉglantier (Wild Rose)
228 SepNoisette (Hazelnut)
239 SepHoublon (Hops)
2410 SepSorgho (Sorghum)
2511 SepÉcrevisse (Crayfish)
2612 SepBigarade (Bitter orange)
2713 SepVerge d'or (Goldenrod)
2814 SepMaĂŻs (Maize or Corn)
2915 SepMarron (Sweet Chestnut)
3016 SepPanier (Pack Basket)
1st complementary day: La FĂŞte de la Vertu, "Celebration of Virtue", on 17 September
2nd complementary day: La FĂŞte du GĂ©nie, "Celebration of Talent", on 18 September
3rd complementary day: La FĂŞte du Travail, "Celebration of Labour", on 19 September
4th complementary day: La FĂŞte de l'Opinion, "Celebration of Convictions", on 20 September
5th complementary day: La FĂŞte des RĂ©compenses, "Celebration of Honors (Awards)", on 21 September
6th complementary day: La FĂŞte de la RĂ©volution, "Celebration of the Revolution", on 22 September (on leap years only)
VendĂ©miaire (vintage month) 22 September – 21 October
122 SepRaisin (Grape)
223 SepSafran (Saffron)
324 SepChâtaigne (Chestnut)
425 SepColchique (Crocus)
526 SepCheval (Horse)
627 SepBalsamine (Impatiens)
728 SepCarotte (Carrot)
829 SepAmaranthe (Amaranth)
930 SepPanais (Parsnip)
101 OctCuve (Vat)
112 OctPomme de terre (Potato)
123 OctImmortelle (Strawflower)
134 OctPotiron (Winter squash)
145 OctRéséda (Mignonette)
156 OctÂne (Donkey)
167 OctBelle de nuit (Four o'clock flower)
178 OctCitrouille (Pumpkin)
189 OctSarrasin (Buckwheat)
1910 OctTournesol (Sunflower)
2011 OctPressoir (Wine-Press)
2112 OctChanvre (Hemp)
2213 OctPĂŞche (Peach)
2314 OctNavet (Turnip)
2415 OctAmaryllis (Amaryllis)
2516 OctBĹ“uf (Ox)
2617 OctAubergine (Eggplant)
2718 OctPiment (Chili pepper)
2819 OctTomate (Tomato)
2920 OctOrge (Barley)
3021 OctTonneau (Barrel)
Brumaire (mist month) 22 October – 20 November
122 OctPomme (Apple)
223 OctCĂ©leri (Celery)
324 OctPoire (Pear)
425 OctBetterave (Beetroot)
526 OctOie (Goose)
627 OctHĂ©liotrope (Heliotrope)
728 OctFigue (Common fig)
829 OctScorsonère (Black Salsify)
930 OctAlisier (Chequer Tree)
1031 OctCharrue (Plough)
111 NovSalsifis (Salsify)
122 NovMâcre (Water chestnut)
133 NovTopinambour (Jerusalem artichoke)
144 NovEndive (Endive)
155 NovDindon (Turkey)
166 NovChervis (Skirret)
177 NovCresson (Watercress)
188 NovDentelaire (Leadworts)
199 NovGrenade (Pomegranate)
2010 NovHerse (Harrow)
2111 NovBacchante (Baccharis)
2212 NovAzerole (Azarole)
2313 NovGarance (Madder)
2414 NovOrange (Orange)
2515 NovFaisan (Pheasant)
2616 NovPistache (Pistachio)
2717 NovMacjonc (Tuberous pea)
2818 NovCoing (Quince)
2919 NovCormier (Service tree)
3020 NovRouleau (Roller)
Frimaire (frost month) 21 November – 20 December
121 NovRaiponce (Rampion)
222 NovTurneps (Turnip)
323 NovChicorée (Chicory)
424 NovNèfle (Medlar)
525 NovCochon (Pig)
626 NovMâche (Lamb's lettuce)
727 NovChou-fleur (Cauliflower)
828 NovMiel (Honey)
929 NovGenièvre (Juniper)
1030 NovPioche (Pickaxe)
111 DecCire (Wax)
122 DecRaifort (Horseradish)
133 DecCèdre (Cedar tree)
144 DecSapin (Fir)
155 DecChevreuil (Roe deer)
166 DecAjonc (Gorse)
177 DecCyprès (Cypress Tree)
188 DecLierre (Ivy)
199 DecSabine (Savin Juniper)
2010 DecHoyau (Grub-hoe)
2111 DecÉrable à sucre (Sugar Maple)
2212 DecBruyère (Heather)
2313 DecRoseau (Reed plant)
2414 DecOseille (Sorrel)
2515 DecGrillon (Cricket)
2616 DecPignon (Pine nut)
2717 DecLiège (Cork)
2818 DecTruffe (Truffle)
2919 DecOlive (Olive)
3020 DecPelle (Shovel)
NivĂ´se (snow month) 21 December – 19 January
121 DecTourbe (Peat)
222 DecHouille (Coal)
323 DecBitume (Bitumen)
424 DecSoufre (Sulphur)
525 DecChien (Dog)
626 DecLave (Lava)
727 DecTerre végétale (Topsoil)
828 DecFumier (Manure)
929 DecSalpĂŞtre (Saltpeter)
1030 DecFléau (Flail)
1131 DecGranit (Granite)
121 JanArgile (Clay)
132 JanArdoise (Slate)
143 JanGrès (Sandstone)
154 JanLapin (Rabbit)
165 JanSilex (Flint)
176 JanMarne (Marl)
187 JanPierre Ă  chaux (Limestone)
198 JanMarbre (Marble)
209 JanVan (Winnowing basket)
2110 JanPierre à plâtre (Gypsum)
2211 JanSel (Salt)
2312 JanFer (Iron)
2413 JanCuivre (Copper)
2514 JanChat (Cat)
2615 JanÉtain (Tin)
2716 JanPlomb (Lead)
2817 JanZinc (Zinc)
2918 JanMercure (Mercury)
3019 JanCrible (Sieve)
PluviĂ´se (rain month) 20 January – 18 February
120 JanLauréole (Spurge-laurel)
221 JanMousse (Moss)
322 JanFragon (Butcher's Broom)
423 JanPerce-neige (Snowdrop)
524 JanTaureau (Bull)
625 JanLaurier-thym (Laurustinus)
726 JanAmadouvier (Tinder polypore)
827 JanMézéréon (Daphne mezereum)
928 JanPeuplier (Poplar)
1029 JanCoignée (Axe)
1130 JanEllébore (Hellebore)
1231 JanBrocoli (Broccoli)
131 FebLaurier (Bay laurel)
142 FebAvelinier (Filbert)
153 FebVache (Cow)
164 FebBuis (Box Tree)
175 FebLichen (Lichen)
186 FebIf (Yew tree)
197 FebPulmonaire (Lungwort)
208 FebSerpette (Billhook)
219 FebThlaspi (Pennycress)
2210 FebThimelé (Rose Daphne)
2311 FebChiendent (Couch grass)
2412 FebTrainasse (Common Knotgrass)
2513 FebLièvre (Hare)
2614 FebGuède (Woad)
2715 FebNoisetier (Hazel)
2816 FebCyclamen (Cyclamen)
2917 FebChélidoine (Celandine)
3018 FebTraîneau (Sleigh)
VentĂ´se (wind month) 19 February – 20 March
119 FebTussilage (Coltsfoot)
220 FebCornouiller (Dogwood)
321 FebViolier (Matthiola)
422 FebTroène (Privet)
523 FebBouc (Billygoat)
624 FebAsaret (Wild Ginger)
725 FebAlaterne (Italian Buckthorn)
826 FebViolette (Violet)
927 FebMarceau (Goat Willow)
1028 FebBĂŞche (Spade)
111 MarNarcisse (Narcissus)
122 MarOrme (Elm)
133 MarFumeterre (Common fumitory)
144 MarVĂ©lar (Hedge mustard)
155 MarChèvre (Goat)
166 MarÉpinard (Spinach)
177 MarDoronic (Doronicum)
188 MarMouron (Pimpernel)
199 MarCerfeuil (Chervil)
2010 MarCordeau (Twine)
2111 MarMandragore (Mandrake)
2212 MarPersil (Parsley)
2313 MarCochléaria (Scurvy-grass)
2414 MarPâquerette (Daisy)
2515 MarThon (Tuna)
2616 MarPissenlit (Dandelion)
2717 MarSylvie (Wood Anemone)
2818 MarCapillaire (Maidenhair fern)
2919 MarFrĂŞne (Ash tree)
3020 MarPlantoir (Dibber)

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