Last week I wrote about creating a fictional country set in the real world as campaign settings for cape-and-sword games. This would allow a referee to take advantage of the players' familiarity with the real world while not being bound to any particular historical country, giving the referee creative freedom and removing the fear of getting the history of a real place 'wrong.'
I then proceeded to make a rookie blogger mistake: I left one of the main ideas out of my post.
Rather than creating a new country from whole cloth or using an existing fictional setting, a referee could instead take advantage of a published fictional rpg setting and adapt that instead.
For example, the nations of Théah from 7th Sea are analogs to the real world countries of Restoration-era Europe. Vodacce, for example, is Théah's Italy. A referee could take one of the principalities of Vodacce and place it on the 16th or 17th century Italian peninsula as a setting for a swashbuckling game. Adapting one of the kingdoms of Eisen to the Holy Roman Empire, similar to Anthony Hope's Ruritania, is another option.
The nation guides for Théah provide details on locations, customs, politics, and so on, removing a creative burden from the referee. Campaign guides written for roleplaying games typically focus on information immediately relevant to the referee and the players, reducing the workload of adapting a fictional setting drawn from literature.
In fact, I like this idea enough to want to add a bit of 7th Sea to my Flashing Blades campaign. I've got a little reading to do.