Is Plane Shift: Ixalan Useful in a Maztica Game?

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Is Plane Shift: Ixalan Useful in a Maztica Game?

Post by Tim Baker » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:23 am

I recently came across a free supplement from Wizards of the Coast, providing enough information to play D&D in the Ixalan setting. Ixalan is a Mezoamerican-themed setting for Magic: The Gathering. The art and statistics reminded me of Maztica. For those of you interested in a 5e Maztica game, is anything in the supplement helpful?

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Re: Is Plane Shift: Ixalan Useful in a Maztica Game?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:11 am

There is already a compatible product for Plane Shift: Ixalan. X MARKS THE SPOT A Plane Shift: Ixalan Adventure was written for a convention and put up on DMs Guild, before Plane Shift: Ixalan itself was made available.

I think the two would have things that Maztica fans can take ideas from.

There is also an Ixalan area on the Magic: The Gathering website, where you can find non-D&D information about Ixalan.

Off the top of my head, I would say that the story of Ixalan is going to be wrong, but a lot of the art is going to be raidable. If there are any large-scale maps that show small areas of Ixalan (such as villages, towns or cities) a GM could lift those entire maps from Ixalan and use them to stand in for a Maztican location that does not have local maps.

People could probably also raid some of the character pictures to represent their PCs.

So it's definitely going to be useful. But I think that everything would need to be passed through a filter.
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Re: Is Plane Shift: Ixalan Useful in a Maztica Game?

Post by Dragonhelm » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:05 pm

I hate to say it, but Ixalan looks a lot more interesting to me than Maztica.

Part of it may be the difference in art and production values. However, I think a lot of it boils down to Maztica reflecting the real world a little too much and Ixalan going full-fledged fantasy. For example, I see feathered dinosaurs and I'm hooked.
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Re: Is Plane Shift: Ixalan Useful in a Maztica Game?

Post by Zeromaru X » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:57 pm

Cannot argue against that. Ixalan its is own stuff, while Maztica is Not-Mesoamerica.

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Re: Is Plane Shift: Ixalan Useful in a Maztica Game?

Post by Seethyr » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:54 pm

With the ease of planar travel in D&D, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be possible to simply connect the two for individual campaigns.

Beyond the feathered dinosaurs, the elder ones are a brilliant concept.
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Re: Is Plane Shift: Ixalan Useful in a Maztica Game?

Post by Markustay » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:54 am

The lore revolving around the vampires doesn't gel well with FR, but if I mirror the map, the terrain fits pretty good between the two 'arms' of Lopango. I'd have preferred to move this down to the region I'm working on - Katashaka, but it would work better in Lopango, which is sparse, lore-wise, so its an easy adaption. I've only skimmed the material thus-far.

I'd make the Sirens Raptorans. I like the goblins with prehensile tails - thats kinda neat. They'll definitely be going into my version of 'The New World'.
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Re: Is Plane Shift: Ixalan Useful in a Maztica Game?

Post by Seethyr » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:42 pm

Markustay wrote:The lore revolving around the vampires doesn't gel well with FR, but if I mirror the map, the terrain fits pretty good between the two 'arms' of Lopango. I'd have preferred to move this down to the region I'm working on - Katashaka, but it would work better in Lopango, which is sparse, lore-wise, so its an easy adaption. I've only skimmed the material thus-far.

I'd make the Sirens Raptorans. I like the goblins with prehensile tails - thats kinda neat. They'll definitely be going into my version of 'The New World'.

I’m not getting the impression that these vampires are very much at all like the vampires in the Monster Manual. I’m not saying they sparkle in the sun or anything so silly as that (I mean, wouldn’t that be a ridicuos idea we’re it done?), but they seem almost close to human.

I plan to use Ixalan whole cloth because I honestly love just about every part of it. I have never played Magic and yet this product blew me away. Really I just want my own PCs to be able to visit it as is.
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Re: Is Plane Shift: Ixalan Useful in a Maztica Game?

Post by Zeromaru X » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:33 pm

Seethyr wrote:With the ease of planar travel in D&D, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be possible to simply connect the two for individual campaigns.

Beyond the feathered dinosaurs, the elder ones are a brilliant concept.
Oh, I'm not against that. In fact, adding Ixalan stuff to Maztica will enhance the experience, I'm sure. Even more to people like me.

Its just my problem with many of the 2e additions to the Realms, that were "Not-Earth" counterparts to the point that they event copy-pasted events (ie. Not-Cortés conquering the Mazticans, who are "primitive" compared with the Not-Europeans, I mean, the Faerunians). While Ixalan, being also a derivative idea of the same concept (a pre-Columbian culture), is its own stuff. Its not a blatant rip-off of an historial period of our world.

Maztica its not the only 2e setting that rubs me wrong because of that. In Realms lore, I also have problems accepting stuff like Not-Egypt (Mulhorand), Not-Babylonia (Unther), and Not-Asia (Kara-tur). Its just that Maztica is more "offensive", at least from the point of view that the Mazticans were depicted as inferiors to the Faerunians (the developers took painstaking efforts to made that sure in the original products), and well... I'm latinamerican. I feel like they are mocking the culture of my ancestors.

That's why I like better your version or Jurgen's version of Maztica. The Mazticans there are not inferiors. Feels more realistic that way.

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Re: Is Plane Shift: Ixalan Useful in a Maztica Game?

Post by Dragonhelm » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:50 pm

Zeromaru X wrote: Its just my problem with many of the 2e additions to the Realms, that were "Not-Earth" counterparts to the point that they event copy-pasted events (ie. Not-Cortés conquering the Mazticans, who are "primitive" compared with the Not-Europeans, I mean, the Faerunians). While Ixalan, being also a derivative idea of the same concept (a pre-Columbian culture), is its own stuff. Its not a blatant rip-off of an historial period of our world.
I have to agree. I never could get fully into any of these "Not-Earth" counterparts. I thought Maztica, Kara-Tur, and Al-Qadim had potential. I really don't like the Cortes/Cordell thing.

Truthfully, where Oriental Adventures is concerned, I like Pathfinder's Dragon Empires better. Or Legend of the Five Rings, though that setting isn't really a D&D setting.

Personally, I like Ixalan because to me it feels like its own brand of fantasy. Likewise with Magic's Egypt-themed setting. I think I'd rather take Ixalan and add in some Eagle and Jaguar Knights, the Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, and just call that Maztica. Plus some blood sacrifice warlocks.
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Re: Is Plane Shift: Ixalan Useful in a Maztica Game?

Post by Dragonhelm » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:13 pm

BTW, I want to apologize if I've been a bit down on Maztica of late. I know many of you are passionate about it, and I don't want to take away from it.

So sorry about that.
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Re: Is Plane Shift: Ixalan Useful in a Maztica Game?

Post by Seethyr » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:33 pm

Dragonhelm wrote:BTW, I want to apologize if I've been a bit down on Maztica of late. I know many of you are passionate about it, and I don't want to take away from it.

So sorry about that.
As a teacher, I am the most down on students that I see have a ton of potential but don’t use it. That might be analogous to why Maztica is on a lot of people’s <censored> list. That’s exactly how I felt about it and it made me try to do something about it. Seven years later I’m still trying!
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Re: Is Plane Shift: Ixalan Useful in a Maztica Game?

Post by Dragonhelm » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:06 pm

Seethyr wrote:
Dragonhelm wrote:BTW, I want to apologize if I've been a bit down on Maztica of late. I know many of you are passionate about it, and I don't want to take away from it.

So sorry about that.
As a teacher, I am the most down on students that I see have a ton of potential but don’t use it. That might be analogous to why Maztica is on a lot of people’s <censored> list. That’s exactly how I felt about it and it made me try to do something about it. Seven years later I’m still trying!
Good for you!

Yeah, i see potential here. Just not sure what to do with it.

In Dragonlance, I've often looked at taking things "from drool to cool." I could see that happening here.
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Re: Is Plane Shift: Ixalan Useful in a Maztica Game?

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:34 am

Dragonhelm wrote:
Zeromaru X wrote: Its just my problem with many of the 2e additions to the Realms, that were "Not-Earth" counterparts to the point that they event copy-pasted events (ie. Not-Cortés conquering the Mazticans, who are "primitive" compared with the Not-Europeans, I mean, the Faerunians). While Ixalan, being also a derivative idea of the same concept (a pre-Columbian culture), is its own stuff. Its not a blatant rip-off of an historial period of our world.
I have to agree. I never could get fully into any of these "Not-Earth" counterparts. I thought Maztica, Kara-Tur, and Al-Qadim had potential. I really don't like the Cortes/Cordell thing.
Once they decided to come up with a recreation of Cortes' story, they needed reasons why the invaders succeeded to such a degree despite the odds. In the real world, Cortes had the advantage of a smallpox epidemic of apocalyptic proportions wrecking Aztec civilizations. I can understand why they didn't want to go with that angle for a fantasy game (even beyond the presence of magical healing), but the implications are... unfortunate:

- The natives had no arcane magic
- Their priests were much weaker than most priests from Faerun (seriously, check the limited number of Domains they have access to in the Boxed Set)
- The natives were manipulated from behind the scenes by outside forces (i.e. the drow)

All this paints the natives as passive, weak victims of outside forces with no agency of their own.

Which is one of the reasons for my "Returned Maztica" concept. Yes, the Mazticans suffered a long period of occupation (first by the Amnish, then by the dragons), but they finally defeated their occupiers on their own instead of waiting for a White Male Savior to show up and rescue them. This doesn't mean that they have solved all their problems - far from it. The current, post-colonial situation is still rife with conflict and potential for adventure (as any good RPG setting should). But while foreigners from Faerun might play a role (and indeed, I am preparing for a "Foreigners from Faerun" campaign set in Maztica right now), the natives will not simply wait for foreigners to make a difference but enthusiastically pursue their own agendas.
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Re: Is Plane Shift: Ixalan Useful in a Maztica Game?

Post by Big Mac » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:08 am

Seethyr wrote:With the ease of planar travel in D&D, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be possible to simply connect the two for individual campaigns.
Hmm. Could Ixalan stand in for the Maztican part of Abeir?
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Re: Is Plane Shift: Ixalan Useful in a Maztica Game?

Post by Big Mac » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:16 am

Markustay wrote:The lore revolving around the vampires doesn't gel well with FR, but if I mirror the map, the terrain fits pretty good between the two 'arms' of Lopango. I'd have preferred to move this down to the region I'm working on - Katashaka, but it would work better in Lopango, which is sparse, lore-wise, so its an easy adaption. I've only skimmed the material thus-far.
I wonder if vampires could work as an alternative take on the human sacrifice thing? Instead of taking hearts they could take blood.

Kara-Tur had it's own "Eastern Vampires" that were different from the standard vampires. If there was some sort of Mezoamerican reboot on a vampire, perhaps they could be made to be a bit more like a variant on an Eagle Knight or a Jaguar Knight.

Now I'm thinking of a Bat Knight, which is probably not what I should be thinking of! :P
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