[The Atruaghin Clans] Atruaghin plateau: A nod to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

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Angel Tarragon
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[The Atruaghin Clans] Atruaghin plateau: A nod to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

Post by Angel Tarragon »

I've begun thumbing through this book and reading choice sections. One thing that I can't help noticing is that the clans are situated on a plateau that has a connection to the Hollow World. Is this a blatant nod Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World or sheer coincidence?

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Re: [The Atruaghin Clans] Atruaghin plateau: A nod to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

Post by agathokles »

Mystara has an older connection with The Lost World: X1 Isle of Dread.

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Re: [The Atruaghin Clans] Atruaghin plateau: A nod to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

Post by Khedrac »

I think it could be, but the plateau isn't that inaccessible - I suspect the author was just stuck for something to put there to make it more than just "native Americans in Mystara". The Atrughin plateau has to be the least developed place in the Known World prior to that Gazatteer.
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Re: [The Atruaghin Clans] Atruaghin plateau: A nod to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

Post by happylarry »

From memory (so may be faulty...) Atruaghin clans was developed around the time that the Hollow World was developed - or soon afterwards - so the connections to the Hollow World probably developed from that - and the 'native american' links probably came in then. Before that, not so much 'the land that time forgot' as 'the land that everyone ignored'

This may be linked to the fact that Darokin was one of the later Gazetteers (GAZ11) - and therefore relations between the clans and everybody else weren't developed, because they didn't need to be. Plus, none of the earlier X modules which helped define the Known World and beyond - paid much attention to it.

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Re: [The Atruaghin Clans] Atruaghin plateau: A nod to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

Post by Cthulhudrew »

The clans were located on a plateau as far back as the original maps and their first mention in David "Zeb" Cook's module X1: The Isle of Dread in 1981, which far preceded the concept of the Hollow World (or even the name "Mystara"; it was just the Known World back in those days). The description of the Clans in that product were not nearly as directly connected to Native American cultures as they became with the advent of Gaz14.

The Hollow World was first published in 1990. Both the Shadow Elves and Atruaghin gazetteers came out around the same time (1990 and 1991, respectively) and so were likely being developed at the same time. While the early gazetteers seemed to be developed somewhat independent of what other writers were doing, by 1990 the Mystara line was well under the creative guidance of Bruce Heard, and so there was more direct synergy between products. I suspect that the Hollow World ties in both the Shadow Elf and Atruaghin gazetteers stemmed more from an internal cross-promotional effort than an influence from Arthur Conan Doyle.

That said, I suspect that Aaron Allston and the Hollow World were influenced by similar works of fiction, such as your aforementioned Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as well as other luminaries (notably Edgar Rice Burroughs and his creation, Pellucidar).
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Re: [The Atruaghin Clans] Atruaghin plateau: A nod to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

Post by Mike »

Aaron Allston was certainly influenced by the literature. He also wrote Lands of Mystery for the Hero System, back in the 1980s -- an excellent lost worlds supplement. In that work he discussed the literature, provided an extensive bibliography and filmography, discussed the various types of lost worlds including the Hollow World concept. Given that previous labor of love, I suspect this was a special interest of Aaron's and would not be surprised if he was the one that pitched it to TSR.

The Hollow World was basically taking the same ideas and applying them to D&D, and afforded him the opportunity to expand out with a full-fledged setting. No doubt working for TSR was also more lucrative than working with Hero Games. Honestly I think Lands of Mystery is a stronger work because it focuses on the Lost Worlds Romance as a genre, and has very good advice for Game Masters trying to capture the flavor and tropes of pulp novels and movies. The Hollow World strikes me more as a setting without much genre advice.

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