log in or register to remove this ad

 

African Adventures

Celebrim

Legend
[MENTION=10869]In fact our massive campaign was picked up 800 years later after the initial heroes were turned to stone. Heroes from another time found them and converted them back to flesh. It was great b/c I got to show how the culture had changed.
The impressive thing about Egypt is that the end of the last native dynasty when Ptolemy took over the country following the conquest of Alexander the Great is still closer to the present day than it was to the founding of the monarchy. And during that whole time, it had a written history. So, 800 years could go by in Egypt, and things would have changed, but they wouldn't have. Egypt was around long enough that it had three dark ages and three golden ages while the rest of the world was just getting warmed up and learning to write.

But just to show how mixed up this can get when dealing with a fantasy world my 'Egypt' isn't even in my 'Africa', but in my 'South America', and my 'Carthage' isn't really in either one, but located north of my 'Byzantine' which is in my 'Africa' (which is south of 'Asia' and not 'Europe').
 

log in or register to remove this ad


Connorsrpg

Adventurer
[MENTION=4937]Celebrim[/MENTION]. You sound like you love your history. Me too, but trying to keep it out of this discussion. I am after statements like the one you provided on you own campaign. That sounds good and 'mixed-up', like what I am getting at.

As stated, my Kodo mini-setting smashes cultures together that never came into contact in the 'real world'. On our Kage campaign world, our 'Africa' hangs off the bottom of a continent that is 'America' in the west and 'Arabia' in the east. It is also connected you our 'Europe' by an archipelago. ;)

Wondering if others have included African-influenced material in different ways or small parts of their games. All of these sources and history bits people are posting - I want to know if and how you have USED them in games. :)
 

Voadam

Hero
Finally ran an adventure in the deepest Nyambe portion of my world. I used the Crucible of Chaos module from Paizo which for the adaptation to my world had ancient African super magic elves, flying ape warriors, cannibal dinosaur riding lizardfolk, hippos and a magical giant river crocodile. For the other side of the screen we had amazon PCs, great white hunter and colonial priest PCs, and a witch doctor PC. It was a great pulp Africa atmosphere that everybody embraced and ran with and had fun with.
 


pemerton

Legend
Has anyone used some African-influenced ideas in their games?
Yes. As someone mentioned upthread, Hepmonaland in Greyhawk is easily treated as (pseudo-)Africa, and some of the action in the game included Hepmonaland, and people from Hepmonaland but living in other parts of the world. The tropes were pretty standard: black people; town names like "Mbaku"; etc. The themes (some of which were injected by the players, some of which are present in the TSR materials) were relatively modern: colonisation, slavery etc.

What are you hoping to get out of African-influenced ideas in your game?
 

Starfox

Adventurer
I've been using Sergava (from Golarion) as an area in Hepmonaland (Greyhawk), and in my Skull & Shackles game, that was a part of the backdrop. I also played the River into Darkness adventure, which is a brew-up of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

Hepmonaland is also the original home of the "Aztec" Olman of Greyhawk, and some of that entered into the Savage Tide adventure path.

But I've not really added any "African" elements of my own.
 

David Howery

Adventurer
Yes. As someone mentioned upthread, Hepmonaland in Greyhawk is easily treated as (pseudo-)Africa, and some of the action in the game included Hepmonaland, and people from Hepmonaland but living in other parts of the world. The tropes were pretty standard: black people; town names like "Mbaku"; etc. The themes (some of which were injected by the players, some of which are present in the TSR materials) were relatively modern: colonisation, slavery etc.
I did this way way back in 1E days... drew up an extended map of Hepmonaland and made it a pulp fantasy version of Africa. I did some research and added some kingdoms based on real African ones (some of which were richer than anything up in the Flanaess), and a couple of 'trading ports' on the north coast for adventurers from the north to base for operations. Not incredibly accurate, I suppose, but nothing insulting either...
 

Starfox

Adventurer
I wasn't the GM, but as a player I have some pretty bad memories of the Isle of the Ape scenario for 1E, being ambushed by seemingly rather civilized black people, but these people were absolutely unwilling to communicate in any non-violent way.

Isle of the Ape had a strong similarity to the Isle of Dread, but since I never actually read the scenario, I am not sure if they are identical. In Pazio's version of the Isle of Dread, from the Savage tide in Dungeon magazine, there were some natives that seemed more African-inspired (Tuov-like in Greyhawk terms), with others more Aztech-like (Olman), but it was never truly spelled out.
 

Tonguez

Legend
By 'Africa', I'm going to assume you mean 'sub-Saharan Africa', which is what most people think of when they think 'Africa'.'.

3) Unlike say the Celtic, Egypt, Norse, Greek, or Hindu cultures, the African cultures didn't produce an easily accessible body of heroic myth literature that can be used to draw inspiration. Rather, most of it is either Animistic or Animism in an transition to polytheism, probably equivalent to pre-Homeric Greek myth with equivalent disorganization and is really hard to use or find works in English on, even if you went to a good college library. Worse, you don't get a lot of resonance in the average American group as even the African Americans aren't actually part of African culture. I have first hand experience with Carribean culture, and that's a step closer, but any influence that might have on my stories (Anansi tales, for example) tends to get indistinguishable from Aesop, Brother's Grimm, or Jungle Book influences. To the extent that I want to bring Animistic pre-polytheistic influences into my world, North American culture and myth is just a lot more accessible in terms of what you can find in a library and in terms of resonance with the average American player.
Thats not true, the Epic of Sundiata Keita (first Mansa of Mali) has had western translations since the 1800s. From Rwanda comes the Epic of Ryangombe (whose mother was a were-lion). You have the Magician and the Sultans Son from Tanzania and there are copies of the Timbuktu Chronicles which give extensive material on Medieval Mali and the Sudan region.

There is a huge body of heroic myth coming from Africa, animism doesnt preclude extensive myth especially when the griots specifically had the role of recorded oral histories.

The issue of resonance is why I advocate for use of the Sudan/Sahel regions of Africa rather than further south. The medieval period and islamification of the region has made it a bit more familiar, especially when you consider the scholastic history of Timbukutu, with direct parallels to North African and even Andalusian cultural norms. Gaming in the Sahel acts as a bridge between the more familar tropes of Al-Qadim and the less familiar cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa
 
Last edited:

Celtavian

Dragon Lord
East Africa, specifically Ethiopia, might be a good place to investigate as well. That place is ancient. It's a been an area with a lot of cross cultural movement given it's location. That place was never truly colonized. Ethiopia is ancient and they still speak only the languages of their people with English used as a business and education language learned mostly for commerce. Their people look sort of like elves too. Dark-skinned, pretty, delicate features, tall, and often thin. You could make a very cool African kingdom of elves based on Ethiopia.
 

GreyLord

Hero
There was a Dragon Magazine article about Adventures on the African Continent many decades ago, I believe made for the 2e AD&D games system.

I have not gamed on an African Continent game, but that is actually a very broad reference to game in (it's like trying to group all of Europe, or The Americas, or Asia together...it's far too broad).

If I were to game, I might aim for one in Ancient Egypt around 4000-6000 years ago (still broad, but not as broad as all of Africa) with it's great empires and the things they faced.

Another one would be another Empire most don't actually even know if they are from European descent, which is one that was found around the areas of Ghana and Nigeria. At one time one of the most wealthy empires on Earth, there were controversial things as well as political struggles and wars with other nations beyond them.

If I was going for a smaller scale, the Zulu lands in the South have a tremendous potential for struggle and adventure in their stories and legends which probably would equal or match anything D&D has for it's campaign settings.
 

Tonguez

Legend
East Africa, specifically Ethiopia, might be a good place to investigate as well. That place is ancient. It's a been an area with a lot of cross cultural movement given it's location. That place was never truly colonized. Ethiopia is ancient and they still speak only the languages of their people with English used as a business and education language learned mostly for commerce. Their people look sort of like elves too. Dark-skinned, pretty, delicate features, tall, and often thin. You could make a very cool African kingdom of elves based on Ethiopia.
absolutely Persia recognised Aksum (home of the Queen of Sheba) as one of the four great empire’s with Rome, Persia and China.
Later Gondar rose as a Christian kingdom notable for its castles and trade with Mogul Indian, the Ottomans. It’s the likely source of stories of Prestor John
 

Derren

Hero
There's a new African fantasy video game out made by Africans, which imagines a history free of western colonialism, and which is created pretty much sans western fantasy tropes, but I can't remember what it's called right now.
How does that even work? Colonialization of Africa only happened in the 19th-20th century an pretty much all rpg setting use a time way before that.
Or does it mean without slavery? That sounds a lot like the romanticiation Celebrim was talking about as slavery was part of Africa way before the Europeans came.

African influences are a very broad category. What exactly are you looking for? You have Egypt which probably everyone used as influence at one point, you have the isalmic nations in north Africa going as far down as Mali. You have bigger kingdoms in Africa like Ethiopia and Kongo and you have a tribal culture like with the Zulu and many other smaller and less well known tribes. And probably several things I forgot.
What influences are you looking for?
 
Last edited:

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
How does that even work? Colonialization of Africa only happened in the 19th-20th century an pretty much all rpg setting use a time way before that.
Or does it mean without slavery? That sounds a lot like the romanticiation Celebrim was talking about as slavery was part of Africa way before the Europeans came.

African influences are a very broad category. What exactly are you looking for? You have Egypt which probably everyone used as influence at one point, you have the isalmic nations in north Africa going as far down as Mali. You have bigger kingdoms in Africa like Ethiopia and Kongo and you have a tribal culture like with the Zulu and many other smaller and less well known tribes.
What influences are you looking for?
Firstly, you’re replying to a post from 2015.

Secondly, why are you so fixated on denying any decolonization or movement against racism?

I’ve literally seen no other type of activity from you on these forums.
 

Derren

Hero
Firstly, you’re replying to a post from 2015.

Secondly, why are you so fixated on denying any decolonization or movement against racism?

I’ve literally seen no other type of activity from you on these forums.
Ah, didn't notice that this was a necro.

And I hate historical revisionism and correct it when I see it.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Ah, didn't notice that this was a necro.

And I hate historical revisionism and correct it when I see it.
LOL no. That certainly isn’t it, unless your understanding of history is so absurdly biased by garbage that you can’t recognize simple truth.

But you absolutely weren’t replying to any historical claim, so....your objection is clearly not about “revisionism”.
 

Tonguez

Legend
A
How does that even work? Colonialization of Africa only happened in the 19th-20th century an pretty much all rpg setting use a time way before that.
Or does it mean without slavery? That sounds a lot like the romanticiation Celebrim was talking about as slavery was part of Africa way before the Europeans came.
How often does slavery come up in your games?

African history doesn’t start with the 19th century slave trade,and as you rightly suggest it is much much broader and vibrant than that.

anyway Kugali a newish comic anthology coming out of Africa and Mzito is a platformer game that has the protagonist exploring Africa to awaken the sleeping Lions/Spirits
 

Derren

Hero
A

How often does slavery come up in your games?

African history doesn’t start with the 19th century slave trade,and as you rightly suggest it is much much broader and vibrant than that.

anyway Kugali a newish comic anthology coming out of Africa and Mzito is a platformer game that has the protagonist exploring Africa to awaken the sleeping Lions/Spirits
Depends on the game. When I run a Roman or Roman inspired game or the bad guys are slavers it comes up a lot of course.
 

pemerton

Legend
Firstly, you’re replying to a post from 2015.

Secondly, why are you so fixated on denying any decolonization or movement against racism?

I’ve literally seen no other type of activity from you on these forums.
Derren does post other stuff. In one of my Traveller threads he was arguing that the game would be better if it the players spent less time doing stuff and more time ferreting for information from the GM.
 

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top