I need some setting material for Africa and India

Bloodwolf

Dark Puppy of Doom
I run a campaign that exists across a massive archipelago in a primarily tropical zone. The majority of the islands are covered in rainforest/jungle and mountains (likewise covered). Culture across the archipelago is diverse. Currently the campaign is set on a large island heavily influenced by the myths of India (pretty much whatever I could pull out of some books of mythology I have and scattered stuff across the internets). There is a lot of Pacific Islander influence in the area as well.

Goblins make up a secondary, ruins inhabiting culture (they also trade with humans). Other races (not cultures) include several of the non-humans from Pathfinder's Advanced Races Guide (the monkey race and some others) as well as Spirit Folk from the Oriental Adventures 3rd edition book. Gnolls make up the bog standard "orc" race and I have presented them as primitive savage types. They are a scourge throughout the islands.

Technology varies highly from culture to culture.

My issue is this: I need good sources for India and Africa. I have Nyambe, but I was wondering if Arrows of Indra or Spears of the Dawn were worthy additions to a fantasy library. I would include Chinese and Japanese as sources needed, except I have a good grounding (and lots of material) for both cultures. I would also consider good South and Central American source material.

Note: I would also consider non-game material, with the caveat that I can't spend a lot of money and the material actually has to be available.
 

LibraryLass

Feminazgûl
Validated User
Arrows isn't. Can't speak for Spears or Nyambe.
Hm. To hear the way Pundit talks himself up I figured Arrows would be more interesting than that.

I found Nyambe a little dull. Haven't seen Spears yet but I'm told it's exquisite.
 

Flexi

The Solitary Knight
Validated User
I think Spears of the Dawn is a great fantasy Africa setting. I had been looking for something different from a euro or oriental inspired setting and this Africa inspired book provided what I was looking for.
For something Mayan/Incan/Aztec inspired I can definitely suggest the Epoch setting in Fantasy Craft's Adventure Companion and to a lesser degree SW's Totems of the Dead setting, which is a gloriously crazy blend of Viking & American legend plus other things.
Prof Barker's Tekumel may be of interest too. I have never played in the setting but the fiction I have read seems to be inspired by American & Indian cultures, with alien races as well!
 
Last edited:

Leonaru

Taxidermic Owlbear
Validated User
AD&D 2e has Maztika, a faux-Aztek/Maya/Inka setting. Pathfinder has its own version of Africa, though it's viewed as problematic by quite some people (discussion thread here).
 

Madcat

motorbikin'
Validated User
Hm. To hear the way Pundit talks himself up I figured Arrows would be more interesting than that.
Someone started to go over it for SA's Fatal & Friends thread and it was laughably bad, and frankly if you (generic you) think Golarion is problematic - you ain't seen nothing yet. For instance, he maps the default D&D races onto various Indian creatures and ethic groups. Halflings are Vanara (yes, because what I think of when I hear Hanuman is a little stay at home guy), Elves are Gandharvas - though he depowers them to nature spirits rather than minor dieties. That's not too bad, after all Vanara and Gandharvas are mythological. It gets seriously problematic when we get to Half-Orcs. These have been mapped on to the Bhil - one of India's largest tribal ethnic groupings. A group of real people.

He also shows simillar sensitivity with regards to the caste system, and the classes that were covered are again simply mapping Hindi-ish names onto the D&D classes.

You can find the start of the AoI write up here - I don't think it needs a SA account to read. http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3421366&pagenumber=416#post413827429
 
Last edited:

Bloodwolf

Dark Puppy of Doom
Arrows isn't.
That sucks. Well saved me ten bones.

I think Spears of the Dawn is a great fantasy Africa setting. I had been looking for something different from a euro or oriental inspired setting and this Africa inspired book provided what I was looking for.
...

Prof Barker's Tekumel may be of interest too. I have never played in the setting but the fiction I have read seems to be inspired by American & Indian cultures, with alien races as well!
Cool, cool. Yeah, I have several iterations of Empire of the Petal Throne. It's been a while, but it's solid stuff.

AD&D 2e has Maztika, a faux-Aztek/Maya/Inka setting.
I'll have to pull out my books. I'm pretty sure it was also pretty solid.

Anybody have any decent real world (cause, you know, those books are all not real world ;) ) sources?
 

junglefowl26

Registered User
Validated User
For Africa stuff, there is this thread:
http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?637663-african-dnd-d20-resources

Alas, it is strangely hard to find good material on India. Off the top of my head, the only thing I can think of is the Mahasarpa pdf that WOTC put out many years ago. It is short and obviously based on L5R, but it is interesting none the less, and it is free.


Pathfinder has its own version of Africa, though it's viewed as problematic by quite some people (discussion thread here).
By people who don't know much about the setting. Truth be told, I think it is more interesting in concept than the Nyambe stuff, but often times far less detailed.
 

LibraryLass

Feminazgûl
Validated User
Someone started to go over it for SA's Fatal & Friends thread and it was laughably bad, and frankly if you (generic you) think Golarion is problematic - you ain't seen nothing yet. For instance, he maps the default D&D races onto various Indian creatures and ethic groups. Halflings are Vanara (yes, because what I think of when I hear Hanuman is a little stay at home guy), Elves are Gandharvas - though he depowers them to nature spirits rather than minor dieties. That's not too bad, after all Vanara and Gandharvas are mythological. It gets seriously problematic when we get to Half-Orcs. These have been mapped on to the Bhil - one of India's largest tribal ethnic groupings. A group of real people.

He also shows simillar sensitivity with regards to the caste system, and the classes that were covered are again simply mapping Hindi-ish names onto the D&D classes.

You can find the start of the AoI write up here - I don't think it needs a SA account to read. http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3421366&pagenumber=416#post413827429
...Oh.
Oh my glory.
Geez. Thank god I'm not following any threads over on his board right now, I don't know how I'll ever take him seriously after this.
Jeez.

Edit: Mind you, FATAL and Friends has riffed on some products I thought were pretty cool (X-Crawl, Adeptus Evangelion, Apocalypse World), but yeah, this one seems to earn its reaming.
 
Last edited:

Madcat

motorbikin'
Validated User
...Oh.
Edit: Mind you, FATAL and Friends has riffed on some products I thought were pretty cool (X-Crawl, Adeptus Evangelion, Apocalypse World), but yeah, this one seems to earn its reaming.
Not every F&F read through is a savaging - people also write about games they like and think are cool.
 
Top Bottom