Savage Coast as a separate setting?

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Angel Tarragon
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Savage Coast as a separate setting?

Post by Angel Tarragon » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:10 pm

How hard would it be to strip out anything that references Mystara in the Savage Coast boxed set and create a new setting distinctively unique and specifically separate from Mystara?

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Re: Savage Coast as a separate setting?

Post by Boneguard » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:03 pm

It'seems been a while since I read both the Savage Coast and Red Steel boxset, but IIRC, it would be fairly easy to run it as a stand -alone setting as it is already significantly separated from the Known World (just ignore the Voyage of the Princess Ark and voilà!).
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Re: Savage Coast as a separate setting?

Post by ripvanwormer » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:29 am

The biggest connection to Mystara is the references to the Mystaran ethnic groups that populated the Savage Coast—the Azcans, Oltecs, Nithians, Traldar, Ispans, and Ylari. If I were trying to make the Savage Coast its own distinct world, I'd replace these with different groups. I might change the nation of Hule to something else, too, if I wanted to retain Hule as a threat to the Known World.

You'd probably want to keep them something roughly equivalent: the Azcans and Oltecs are, roughly, pre-Columbian Central Americans, the Nithians are Egyptians, the Traldar are Greeks, the Ispans are Spanish, and the Ylari are Arabs. Hule is a wicked theocracy responsible for an invasion of desert nomads into the Known World. Robrenn and Eusdria were settled by barbarians fleeing Hule and are roughly based on Gaul and Germany, respectively. But there's a lot of flexibility to make these people different from their Mystaran equivalents because for the most part they're just historical detail. The Nithians could be almost anything, since no one remembers them: the only salient feature is that they were sorcerers who experimented with forbidden magic and were annihilated by the powers that be. They left mysterious ruins behind, but modern peoples don't know anything about the identity of their builders. Exactly what their culture was like, what the intended purpose of their experiments was, and who wiped them from history could vary in your campaign.

I don't think the Traldar left behind much culture identifiable as Grecian-style, so they could probably be replaced with any people fond of seamanship and colonization.

Dwarves and elves come from wherever dwarves and elves come from in your campaign. Orcs, gnolls, and goblinfolk have whatever origin you choose.

I'm assuming you'd keep Yavdlom as Yavdlom, but they could probably be replaced with another people with dark brown skin. In Mystara, Yavdlom is populated by ebony-skinned people with slight elven ancestry, their culture based around prophecy, but I don't think any of that is hugely important to the Savage Coast.

Lupins, rakastas, tortles, and chameleon men are less closely tied to the Known World. They come from wherever.

The Immortals largely have different names on the Savage Coast than they do in the Known World, and you could replace them with gods and/or change their names further, if you were so inclined. The main Immortals in the Savage Baronies are the Ambassador (Masauwu), the General (Thor), the Judge (Tarastia), Milan (Mealiden Starwatcher), and Valerias. Of those, you'd really only have to change Valerias's name to separate that list from Mystara. She's the goddess of love and girder-on of weapons.

As an example, I think you could fit the Savage Coast on Oerth, perhaps on the southwestern coast of Hepmonaland, by replacing the Azcans and Oltecs with Olmans, replacing Yavdlom with the Touv, replacing Nithia with the ancient Imperial-era Suel (or, conceivably, immigrants from the Ur-Flannae Kingdom of Sulm in what is now the Bright Desert; this would also be the source of the Savage Coast's manscorpions), replacing the Traldar with Migrations-era Oeridians and/or ancient Flan, replacing the Ispans with Aerdi colonists, replacing the barbarians who founded Rosbrenn and Eusdria with people from what is now Keoland and the Ulek states (perhaps fleeing the kingdom's original expansion), replace the Ylari with Baklunish settlers, and replacing Hule with the Scarlet Brotherhood. The Ambassador is Iuz (or some other wicked deity: Graz'zt, Asmodeus, even Kurell or Hextor might work), the General is Heironeous, the Judge is Rao (but consider using Wee Jas), Milan is Fharlanghn, and Valerias is Myrhiss (although Ehlonna is more prominent in Greyhawk and might be used instead).

On Toril, I think I'd put the Savage Coast north of Maztica and replace the Azcans and Oltecs with Mazticans, replace Yavdlom with colonists from Chult, replace Nithia with Imaskar, replace the Traldar with perhaps Jhaamdath, replace the Ispans with colonists from Amn, replace the barbarians who founded Rosbrenn and Eusdria with the Ffolk and the Northlanders from the Moonshae Isles, replace the Ylari with Zakharans or Calishites, and replace Hule with the Red Wizards of Thay. Araneas in the Realms were created by the drow, and I'd keep that connection. The Ambassador is Cyric (or Bane, Mask, Asmodeus, etc.), the General is Tempus, the Judge is Helm (Tyr is a closer match, but I'd use Helm because the Amnites who invaded Maztica worshiped him), Milan is Shaundakul, and Valerias is Sune. Manscorpions on Toril come from Maztica, but in this case they might have Untheric culture derived from the Mulan slaves of the Imaskari.

Those are just examples. You could of course do the same thing on an original world with all-new cultures. You just need Central Americans, mad sorcerers, Bronze Age colonists, Age of Exploration-era colonists, dark-skinned colonists, Celtic and Germanic colonists, Arabic-style colonists, and evil theocrats. The 7th Sea RPG would be good inspiration (and I think you could pretty easily make the Savage Coast part of its world of Théah if you wanted, placing it in the vicinity of its Midnight Archipelago).

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Re: Savage Coast as a separate setting?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:52 am

Rip's suggestions are all very good, and I'd concur that stripping out Mystara references would be fairly easy to do (even easier if you just use the original X9: Savage Coast module as inspiration and ignore the later Dragon Magazine articles, though you lose a lot of setting flavor that way).
ripvanwormer wrote:I don't think the Traldar left behind much culture identifiable as Grecian-style, so they could probably be replaced with any people fond of seamanship and colonization.
The only thing I'd add here is that the Traldar who came to the Savage Coast were from a much later era than the more Grecian Traldar of ancient times; by the time this group arrived, they'd already begun to resemble more Slavic Eastern European cultures (Romanians, etc.)
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Re: Savage Coast as a separate setting?

Post by Big Mac » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:53 am

Ripvanwormer has some great suggestions (as always) but as someone who has never played in Mystara, I wouldn't even have known that Savage Coast was part of Mystara if I had not joined The Piazza. We have Mountain Dwarves, Hill Dwarves, Rock Gnomes, Wood Elves and other non-human races on multiple AD&D-path campaign settings. Is it really any different if human subraces get recycled from one campaign setting to another?

There is also the fact that it is possible to run a Mystara campaign that stays entirely within one small region of the Known World (or Hollow World). So I wonder what tactical advantages there would be to moving Savage Coast onto a new planet.

Perhaps the Red Steel stuff is something that could be exported to other parts of a new world. Perhaps the rules could apply to an entire planet (or an entire crystal sphere). Perhaps people could travel from Mystara and Savage Coast via a Planescape campaign. If there was something along those lines, I could see an advantage to building a Savage Coast world (as opposed to just downplaying the Mystara link).
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Re: Savage Coast as a separate setting?

Post by ripvanwormer » Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:34 am

A simpler way to fit the Savage Coast into Oerth would be to set it immediately west of the Amedio Jungle and south of the Sea of Dust, where Zindia is on the world map (there's still room for Indian-style nations in the region, corresponding to Mystara's Sind). The Red Curse is a side effect of the Rain of Colorless Fire, which transformed the soil of the Suel Empire into vermeil, steel seed, and other substances unique to the Red Steel setting. The manscorpions are still descended from Sulmite colonists who transformed into manscorpions at the same time as their cousins in the Bright Desert, around 1000 years before the Rain of Colorless Fire. The modern inhabitants are a mix of Suel, Olman, Oeridian, Touv, and Baklunish, mainly. There are mountains, but the arid regions are an extension of the Sea of Dust rather than being separated by an unbroken wall of mountains, and expeditions into the Sea of Dust for mineral wealth and ancient artifacts are common. The quasi-deity Murlynd might have gotten his trademark guns from this region, or he might have introduced guns to the region. He could be commonly worshiped on the Savage Coast as a saint of Heironeous the General.

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Re: Savage Coast as a separate setting?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:21 pm

Also, as an alternative to having the Scarlet Brotherhood be Hule, you could always substitute the Scarlet Brotherhood for the Lawful Brotherhood (giving it a somewhat more sinister bent for an Oerth based setting).

I didn't see it mentioned (may have missed it), but the Great Kingdom would be a good stand-in for Heldannic interests in the Savage Coast (although I don't recall offhand how much- if at all- the Heldannic Knights get mentioned in the 2E Red Steel materials.)
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