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Author Topic: [NO POLITICS] Incan Fantasy in D&D  (Read 1046 times)

jhkim

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[NO POLITICS] Incan Fantasy in D&D
« on: June 10, 2020, 07:07:39 pm »
So my son ran a one-shot adventure set in a fantasy version of the Incan Empire, and now he's thinking of expanding it out to a full-fledged campaign. I've been trying to think of resources to recommend for him, and/or ideas to suggest. I know about The Yaurcoan Empire for Totems of the Dead (Savage Worlds) -- which I just picked up.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/100928/The-Yaurcoan-Empire

But I don't know of much else. The game is very much D&D (5th edition), only lightly re-skinned to fit with Incan traditions. The standard races and classes are all roughly the same, though there are some twists. This was his intro for the one-shot game:

Quote
Our adventure takes place in the Northern Quarter of the Solar Empire, in the Land of New Horizons, during the early years of the reign of Emperor Huaman Capac. It is a prosperous time for many, as the war between the Empire and the Dragon Lords of the North has ended at last. A mere two and a half centuries ago, the Solar Empire was just one of many small, feuding, highland kingdoms; now, civilizations of diverse races and creeds, from the coastal hills of the West to the wild jungles of the East and the arid deserts of the South, have all been unified under the Imperial tassel. Of course, unified doesn't mean that everyone is happy - so, during this time of peace, the Emperor and the nine Ancestor-Kings have been sending out their Imperial Agents to various provinces all across the land in order to assess & find solutions to any problems that may have arisen since they joined the Empire.

You (the players) are all Imperial Agents, who through one means or another wound up in the service of Ancestor-King Pachakuti, the father of the current Emperor who, after his death, was turned into a special kind of Lich through ceremonies known only to the royal line. Though some you Agents are truly Incan by blood and were recruited from the ranks of the Capital itself, most of your kind are actually the champions of various fringe provinces, whose labor was originally sent in as tribute when they first joined the Empire. At this point, you are an established team which has been adventuring for some time, and should already know each other fairly well (though that doesn't mean you can't keep secrets from each other, if you so choose).


Notably, undead aren't inherently evil in this game - and there are wise mummies and lichs from the past who serve as resources for the present empire.

I'd be especially curious for resources to recommend, but general ideas and reactions would be cool too. (Just no politics.)

Slambo

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[NO POLITICS] Incan Fantasy in D&D
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2020, 07:12:32 pm »
I unfortuantely dont have any resources, but this is something ive wanted to do for a while too, but id wanna do it right and that would take a lot of research for me not to turn it into the Emperor's New Groove.

Ratman_tf

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[NO POLITICS] Incan Fantasy in D&D
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2020, 07:29:12 pm »
The notion of an exclusionary and hostile RPG community is a fever dream of zealots who view all social dynamics through a narrow keyhole of structural oppression.
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GeekyBugle

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[NO POLITICS] Incan Fantasy in D&D
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2020, 07:49:34 pm »
There's this : http://www.sjgames.com/pyramid/sample.html?id=2157

And also Nahui Ollin That's the free quick start, in Spanish, don't know how good is it.

I remember one other, it was free and also in Spanish but I can't remember the name nor can I find it.

Edited to add:

Found it, I'll never play it but it might have something to mine for 1492
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 08:09:26 pm by GeekyBugle »
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Shasarak

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[NO POLITICS] Incan Fantasy in D&D
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2020, 08:43:49 pm »
Do the old Maztica books count?
"There can be no middle ground with bigots. Bigots want to deny the rights and livelihood of people different from them. They want them to cease existing, either by going underground or by murdering them. There is no "let's meet in the middle" with that. To suggest there can be is ignorance" RPGNet

Thornhammer

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[NO POLITICS] Incan Fantasy in D&D
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2020, 09:05:48 pm »
No recommendations, but the elevator pitch there is pretty badass.

Maybe Empire of the Petal Throne for some inspiration?

jhkim

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[NO POLITICS] Incan Fantasy in D&D
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2020, 01:40:27 am »
Quote from: GeekyBugle;1133501
There's this : http://www.sjgames.com/pyramid/sample.html?id=2157

And also Nahui Ollin That's the free quick start, in Spanish, don't know how good is it.

Thanks, GeekyBugle! The GURPS Castle Falkenstein was interesting, but going in a different direction. I also have "Space Gods" for Torg, but that's similarly quite different as fantasy. I'm not fluent enough to read Nahui Ollin quickly - but my son's better, and I'll relay it on. While obviously I don't expect Castle Falkenstein to be historical, I was surprised at the bit about "The Inca clan has controlled their empire for thousands of years" -- when the historical Incan empire was very short-lived. It seems strange.

Castle Falkenstein and Torg went more with with pulp action and aliens as inspirations, while this is more of a high fantasy take -- more in the vein of Tolkien and classic D&D.


Quote from: Shasarak;1133509
Do the old Maztica books count?

What I've seen of Maztica has all been Central American -- which doesn't really fit for Incan. (Though maybe there's an Incan parallel on the fringes of Maztica lands?) This isn't historical, but Incas are on a different continent -- it would be like using Greek myths for a Vikings game. That said, Maztica lands might be a cool as the weird exotic foreign land that PCs might go on a quest to.

VisionStorm

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[NO POLITICS] Incan Fantasy in D&D
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2020, 02:25:51 am »
No resources, but I like the idea of the Ancestor-Kings and non-evil undead taking on a consulting role. "Lich-ifying" past rulers was a nice touch. I've considered the possibility of non-evil undead in the past, but it was never really relevant to my campaigns, so I never developed anything with it.

Spinachcat

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[NO POLITICS] Incan Fantasy in D&D
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2020, 03:49:02 am »
Here's a website devoted to the Incan Empire
https://ancientincanempire.weebly.com/

I found this article on Incan inventions very interesting. I would definitely highlight these in a campaign.
https://theculturetrip.com/south-america/bolivia/articles/8-things-you-didnt-know-the-incas-invented/

There's so much info available online. There's Incan educational videos on YT as well. Just wandering around sites for two hours will provide enough fodder for a years worth of sessions, plus loads of pictures to show the players too.

S'mon

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[NO POLITICS] Incan Fantasy in D&D
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2020, 06:36:49 am »
Rob's Points of Light II: Beyond the Sunrise Sea includes North American, Aztec & Incan campaign areas, as I recall. Plus an Outer Plane/Otherworld for high level adventuring - I think it was primarily Aztec (Camazotz maybe?) but unless you're really anal on historicism it should be very useful.
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Taggie

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[NO POLITICS] Incan Fantasy in D&D
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2020, 08:24:56 am »
Inca Mythology by Matt Clayton, I think it is a decent introduction, but I am not a subject expert by any means.

S'mon

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[NO POLITICS] Incan Fantasy in D&D
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2020, 08:32:50 am »
Quote from: jhkim;1133547
it would be like using Greek myths for a Vikings game.


Greeks & Norse were both Indo-European cultures with the same root, they only seem disparate from a Eurocentric perspective, bigot. :p
Seriously, if Incan & Aztec are that similar, you can probably get some usable material from Maztica.
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Taggie

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[NO POLITICS] Incan Fantasy in D&D
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2020, 09:19:19 am »
Quote from: S'mon;1133575
Greeks & Norse were both Indo-European cultures with the same root, they only seem disparate from a Eurocentric perspective, bigot. :p
Seriously, if Incan & Aztec are that similar, you can probably get some usable material from Maztica.

Problem is, it is really hard to tell because pretty much everything we have is recorded after the civilisations involved collapsed/got stamped out (and in this specific case, good riddance), we actually have a similar problem with Viking and pre-Christian Saxon myths, so what is 'real' what is mixed up or misremembered, and what was flat made up, can be hard to determine.

Zirunel

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[NO POLITICS] Incan Fantasy in D&D
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2020, 09:58:58 am »
Quote from: S'mon;1133575
Greeks & Norse were both Indo-European cultures with the same root, they only seem disparate from a Eurocentric perspective, bigot. :p
Seriously, if Incan & Aztec are that similar, you can probably get some usable material from Maztica.

They were pretty different. But you can plausibly bring them into contact if you like. At contact (first attested in 1526), large capacity cargo balsas were plying the Pacific coast from Lima to Ecuador, and possibly at various times in the precontact period, as far north as Costa Rica, Soconusco, and even western Mexico.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 10:03:24 am by Zirunel »

Opaopajr

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[NO POLITICS] Incan Fantasy in D&D
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2020, 10:09:48 am »
Without question this massive primer on the Central Andes Art (an often forgotten cradle of civilization). It is A LOT of information in surprisingly digestible format, with TONS of mysteries to port wholesale. It starts you off with the major recurring cosmological underpinnings which gird you from Chavín to Inca and paint a truly fascinating world.

The topics of hallucinogenics as ritual cultural adhesion is properly jargonized into entheogenics, and similarly a level of respect is shown throughout all the arts on discussion. It also shows how trade is absolutely essential in a space where three of the harshest climates (coastal desert, tropical jungle, and high altitude mountains) share such a narrow band along the continent. And then the scale of art, cities, and complexity is given the jaw-dropping explanation they deserve to drive home the achievements made.

Bar none, easiest crash course on history, religion, politics, trade, & material culture through a breezy stroll down millennia of art -- in a tiny, tiny book! It also seeds wonders and mysteries ready to port into any campaign from fantasy to mythos investigator. Read it from the library and am kicking myself that this should be in my collection by now. :)

Happy travels for your kid!


Art of the Andes: From Chavín to Inca (World of Art)
Series: World of Art
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Thames & Hudson; 3 edition (September 10, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0500204152
ISBN-13: 978-0500204153
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches

PS: This should help world building massively, but if you or your kid have any questions feel free to ask. The book does a better job, but if you wanna do something like use quipu (the accounting language of fabric knots) into a fully complex writing system that can have let's say: novels, I say go for it! (I'd assume "spellbooks" in quipu to be a given, personally.)
« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 10:21:03 am by Opaopajr »
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