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Mesoamerica by Setting

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:46 am
by Seethyr
All I know of is Maztica in Forgotten Realms, the Azcans and Oltecs in the Hollow World of Mystara, and the region around the Isle of Dread in Mystara/Greyhawk (forgot which, but I think it depends on edition - 3e Dungeon Mag path was Greyhawk I believe). There’s also the new Ixalan plane for Magic.

What about other settings? Does Dragonlance have an equivalent? Ebberon? Is there a Ravenloft Domain? How about in your home brew settings?

I’m asking for a number of reasons. I’d like to raid whatever ideas I can for Maztica, and I’d also like to connect all of these types of settings through an artifact I’ve developed that will allow my players to travel from world to world. As of right now, they don’t have a ton of choices.

Re: Mesoamerica by Setting

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:33 am
by Havard
This thread should have some ideas.

I like your idea for a multi-world type adventure/artifact. Would love to hear more about that.

-Havard

Re: Mesoamerica by Setting

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:00 am
by agathokles
Dark Sun has one mesoamerican city state, Draj.
There's one fan-made book for it, http://athas.org/products/csod

Re: Mesoamerica by Setting

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:02 am
by agathokles
The Isle of Dread takes mesoamerican overtones only in the 3e version, which is located in Greyhawk. The Mystaran version looks more Polynesian, IMO.

GP

Re: Mesoamerica by Setting

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:35 pm
by ripvanwormer
The Mesoamerican people on Oerth are the Olman, first mentioned in C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan and detailed further in The Scarlet Brotherhood sourcebook. 3rd edition retconned the native humans of the Isle of Dread to be Olman, but the Olman are well established as living in the Amedio Jungle and northern Hepmonaland, and presumably the Olman Isles.

Re: Mesoamerica by Setting

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:25 pm
by Seethyr
Havard wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:33 am
This thread should have some ideas.

I like your idea for a multi-world type adventure/artifact. Would love to hear more about that.

-Havard
My goodness, I even responded multiple times on that thread. Perhaps I need to get more than 4 hours of sleep each night. Really what triggered this question is specifically Dragonlance and Eberron or I might have remembered lol.

The artifact is something called the Door of Stars. I envisioned it as a Meso equivalent of a Stargate. Canonically in Maztica, a mountain people known as the Otomi have always “mysteriously disappeared into the mountains” every time they might have been overwhelmed by invaders. There was also a civilization known as the Zateca that disappeared in a past age in the same region. Non canonically, I wrote up (and am fully planning to use) the artifact to explain both and lead to other adventures. The Stargate like object has a set of 16 control crystals whose order opens the gate for specific sequences. That’s a lot of permutations so experimentation often leads to nothing - but I have explained that the Zateca emigrated to another world* and the Otomi know the same sequence.

*the other world is none other than Mechica - found in Dragon Magazine 70, where the Zateca name has morphed into its current residents, the Sapotec.

Every world that has a Mesoamerican equivalent has one of these Doors. They are indestructible and immovable. The Otomi are forbidden from sharing its location or experimenting with its crystal controls because in their ancient history it once opened to a world with hostile vampires who proceeded to decimate their population. All this will be written up at some point, I’ve already started the adventure, but my current bestiary has my time locked.

The recent publishing of Ixalan has me thinking those vamps might be from that world.

Re: Mesoamerica by Setting

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:36 pm
by ripvanwormer
Perhaps the Door of Stars could be related to the "Place of Seven Caves" the Olman are said to have emerged from. See Glenn Dammerung's exegesis of Tamoachan here: http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php ... le&sid=712

Re: Mesoamerica by Setting

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:55 pm
by ripvanwormer
The closest equivalent to Mesoamerica on Krynn is Nordmaar, I think.

I don't think there's an official Ravenloft domain based on Mesoamaerican culture, but there's a fan-created one in the Book of Shadows netbook called Mictlan.

In Eberron, the giants of Xen'drik seem to have had Mesoamerican-style architecture, and the drow have taken over many of their ruins.

You might also consider tying in Tékumel, the Empire of the Petal Throne setting, which is somewhat based on Aztec culture (along with Moghul India and ancient Egypt).

Re: Mesoamerica by Setting

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:10 pm
by Dragonhelm
Dragonlance also has some pyramids on the continent of Taladas (in Neron, I think). They felt Aztec to me. However, the people the pyramids belonged to are gone and the place is run by the yaggol, a race of degenerative mind flayers.

Re: Mesoamerica by Setting

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:44 pm
by Seethyr
In these few short responses, I believe you’ve all given me years worth of gaming and at least a week worth of reading. Can’t thank you all enough for them.

It seems like there’s more interest in this Door of Stars than I had anticipated, but I get it considering it could link a dozen settings if well worked out. Right now it’s a part of an adventure that I am working out, but when I am finished I think I will expand on it in a post here on Piazza.

Again, thank you so much!

Re: Mesoamerica by Setting

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:22 pm
by shesheyan
Very promising idea. Looking forward to reading more about the Door of Stars.

Re: Mesoamerica by Setting

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:16 am
by Seethyr
Here is what I really had in mind with the Door of Stars.

Re: Mesoamerica by Setting

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:26 pm
by Zeromaru X
I have to check my stuff, but Nentir Vale has the Cihuatlco culture. If you have the chance (and don't mind that is 4e stuff), you should check Dungeon 192.

Nentir Vale also shares the Olman with Oerth.

Re: Mesoamerica by Setting

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:53 pm
by Seethyr
Zeromaru X wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:26 pm
I have to check my stuff, but Nentir Vale has the Cihuatlco culture. If you have the chance (and don't mind that is 4e stuff), you should check Dungeon 192.

Nentir Vale also shares the Olman with Oerth.
I have finally come to accept and in some cases adore material from 4e. I’ll definitely check it out.

Could you guide me to the particular 4e product that mentions this culture?

Re: Mesoamerica by Setting

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:39 am
by Zeromaru X
Is an adveture named "Going Ape". It describes what remains of the ancient civilization of Cihuatlco (because, as with all Nentir Vale's powerful civilizations, none of them exists by the current age). Adventurers have to rescue the daughter of the chieftain of Jocotepec, one of the surviving settlements of Cihuatlco, while an evil warlock tries to uncover the ancient arcane secrets of the last king of that civilization.

Re: Mesoamerica by Setting

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:51 am
by Knightfall
Dragonhelm wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:10 pm
Dragonlance also has some pyramids on the continent of Taladas (in Neron, I think). They felt Aztec to me. However, the people the pyramids belonged to are gone and the place is run by the yaggol, a race of degenerative mind flayers.
I can't remember if there is anything in Otherlands. It's been a while since i looked though it.

Silesia, maybe?
Silesia is a jungle island with a spine of forbidding mountains running its length. Do the gods dwell among the lofty peaks, as the superstitious natives believe? Or do they just say that because no one who goes to the mountain ever comes back?

Re: Mesoamerica by Setting

Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:51 pm
by Big Mac
Seethyr wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:46 am
What about other settings? Does Dragonlance have an equivalent? Ebberon? Is there a Ravenloft Domain? How about in your home brew settings?
Dragonlance has nomadic people. You could try to give them Mesoamerican themes, although I think they feel a bit more like they used North American Native American themes. They certainly don't use giant pyramids or build big cities, so they would need to be like Mesoamerican villagers, rather than city dwellers.

And the idea of Mesoamerican deities is right out with Dragonlance. Everyone uses the same Dragonlance deities. You might be able to give them a Mesoamerican makeover, but there is only so much of a reboot you can do.

Eberron has a fractured civilisation on Khorvaire, that turned into the Five Nations. Those nations have strong themes that do not feel especially Mesoamerican to me, but Keith Baker wanted people to be able to evoke the feeling of movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark, with the world he created, so there could well be an area similar to Mesoamerica somewhere.

The west and east regions of Khorvaire are more wild and dangerous than the central regions (held by the Five Nations) so you might be able to stick something in there, but it would probably need to be a non-human Mesoamerican culture.

Xen'drik and Sarlona are two continents that explorers from Khorvaire sometimes travel to. These might work better. Xen'drik has a lost civilisation of giants on it (that used to keep elves as slaves) and Sarlona is the original land that the humans migrated to Khorvaire from. (There are now psionic creatures from another plane taking control of most of Sarlona. I'm not sure how Mesoamerican that could be made to feel. Perhaps that could be shoehorned in as an "end of the world" thing.)

Eberron has a theme where everything from D&D is there...but not in the same way. And another thing is that the deities are not contactable. So a Mesoamerican/Eberron game would involve giving the Eberron deities a Mesoamerican makeover.

IIRC Legends & Lore said that the Mezoamerican pantheon from that book lived in the Spelljammer universe (in wildspace).

Door of Stars: Stargate SG1

Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:22 pm
by Icarus
On the topic of a "Door of Stars" ...
There's a good writeup of this kind of thing from the Stargate SG-1 Core Rulebook" by AEG (Alderac Entertainment Group) who produced the D20 Modern Spycraft game. There's lots of stuff about Stargates, obviously, and how to incorporate them on different planets.
They cooperated with Atlas Games, in their Nyambe setting. While Nyambe is African adventures rather than MesoAmerican, it might give you thoughts on how to incorporate a Stargate-like artifact in your game.
I use the "NyangoDa" (which is what the natives call the Stargate) as a portal to the area mentioned above by ripvanwormer Hepmonland in the World of Greyhawk setting, since I use [Nyambe as filler material for that subsetting.