I have been enjoying a series of posts by Jonathan Becker on firearms and D&D a little too much as of late (when one begins arguing about whether or not the cylindrical shape of a smooth-bore musket ball has an effect on the gun's accuracy, you know you have a problem).
JB's mention of Polish hussars reminded me of one of my favorite early black-powder periods the Wild West-like time period that the sprawling Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth experienced in the early to mid 17th century. With an anarchic southern borderlands and a gallant sword-playing nobility, the period was ripe for adventure stories which the Nobel prize-winning author, Henryk Sienkiewicz , captured marvelously in his three novel adventure series that begins with With Fire and Sword. I'm throwing a clip below from the 1999 film version just to see if that doesn't inspire you to want to throw in a Cossack barbarian incursion into your own campaign (ok, maybe that's just Slavophile me talking).
Which gets me to my second tangent, I've been a fascinated with a number of foreign-language role-playing games such as the French rpg based in Jack Vance's Lyonesse and all the Euro D&D spin-offs. Needless to say, I was doubly stoked to find Dzikie Pola, a game based in the very same period, which is all the more frustrating because I have not figured out a way to get a copy of the damned thing. Any ideas out there from our globe-trotting brethren? (Word on the Lyonesse game by the apparently now defunct Belgian company, Men In Cheese, will get you extra credit.)