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D&D General Favorite Fantasy Africa stuff

Voadam

Legend
So RPGs now have a number of fantasy versions of Africa or Afro-Fantasy to draw on. Which ones do you like and why?

There is d20's Nyambe, a D&D fantasy Africa with multiple human cultures and dwarves and such (including monkey tailed elves I did not care for), I like the secret history detailing orcs and super serpent people stuff. I used the name Nyambe for the African southern continent in my homebrew fantasy mashup setting and it feels appropriately evocative.

Kingdoms of Kalamar has a big Svimohzia continent sourcebook for 3.5 D&D.

The Forgotten Realms has the Jungles of Chult from 2e D&D.

Paizo's Golarion (with versions for Pathfinder 2e, Pathfinder 1e, and D&D 3.5) has the second most focused on continent of Garund with a large number of interesting developed nations. They also have smaller sourcebooks focusing on some of the individual nations. I mostly use this for the content of my homebrew mashup setting.

Midgard has its big Southlands sourcebook for Pathfinder with some 5e separate support. A lot of Egypt flavored stuff, I have not dived into the other parts.

OSR provides Spears of the Dawn with a decent background of various Africanesque nations/cultures versus evil Egyptian Necromancer nation as the core conceit.

Mythic d6 Bastion is high powered Afro Fantasy for the d6 system. I picked this up but have not read it yet so I do not have a bunch to say on it.

Atlantis Geographica is for Atlantis Second Age detailing all the world's continents including their fantasy Africa. I really enjoyed the early 80s version of this.

QAGS has Sindbad in East Africa.

Ironclaw has Book of Horn and Ivory for animal people fantasy Africa.

Call of Cthulhu gives us Secrets of Kenya and imprints on things like Mysteries of Sudan and Secrets of the Congo.

Vampire the Masquerade has Kindred of the Ebony Kingdom which my understanding is it does the normal clans with a different culture/tradition.

There are a ton of Egypt specific things as well.

Any others that come to mind that you have enjoyed and want to share some details on?

Edit to add in stuff that has been brought up below.

5e has Wagadu, a 5e sourcebook and an online game being kickstarted.

7th Sea second edition has Lands of Gold and Fire a continent with five major not-African empires in sort of fantasy swashbuckling age of sail time.

Conan d20 had a Black Kingdoms specific sourcebook.

Conan the Adventurer is the current 2d20 RPG sourcebook on Conan's Africa.

Ankur: Land of the First People looks like a prehistory mythic Africa when epic sci-fi aliens are the "gods" who walk the earth.

Malatra was part of the RPGA system, their Living Jungle campaign for AD&D 2e. The link includes the Player's Info PDF, it is a jungle area in southern Kara Tur, so some similarities to Africa but more a not-south Asian jungle, and not a full continent. The people are a mix of dark brown skinned ancient spelljammers and the native human ethnicities of the region.

The Minotaur #10 for OSR Basic based Mazes & Minotaurs, details their Greek Fantasy Africa Charybdis.
 
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DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
7th Sea Second Edition has a complete game and book on the nation of Ifri, Theah's mirror to the continent of Africa.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter


aco175

Legend
I liked the feel of Kalamar, but have not seen or played most of the rest. Each region book of Kalamar seemed to give me enough flavor to get what I needed. Not sure how 'realistic' the flavor was, but I thought it was fine.

PS, hope this does not turn into a thread like a few months ago.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Kind of like the Midgard take in things.


Been watching some documentaries on Amazon and YouTube on things like Kilwa, Butua, and Great Zimbabwe as I'm not a massive fan of not Zulu tropes.

Mali and Songhai also interesting.

Last campaign was Nuria Natal in Midgard.
 






Voadam

Legend
Would you say that Stygia fits the mold for a black kingdom?

Egypt type stuff in general is its own niche, part of Africa but partly identified strongly as its own thing in a fantasy archetype sense. Part of this is Ancient Egypt as a superpower empire being known and important to the Greeks and Romans and so to Western civilization while most of the rest of Africa was mostly unknown, part of it is Egypt being predominately Arab and associated more with the Middle East.
 

I find most 'fantasy not Africa' contains a heck of a lot of Western stereotypes about the region, in much the same way as 'fantasy not Asia' does.

As an Australian, I also find RPG depictions of 'fantasy not Australia' to be rife with stereotypes about Down under, that are cringeworthy and simple at best.

It's often just lazy stereotypes.

I honestly prefer totally made up cultures, with no real world analogue to compare it to.
 


Voadam

Legend
I liked the feel of Kalamar, but have not seen or played most of the rest. Each region book of Kalamar seemed to give me enough flavor to get what I needed. Not sure how 'realistic' the flavor was, but I thought it was fine.
I've got the main Kalamar setting and a couple of the modules but not the Svimohzia specific sourcebook. Anything specific from it that particularly stood out?
 

Or, indeed, most fantasy settings.

Indeed.

Using real world cultures as a baseline for a fantasy culture invariably leads to stereotypes being applied.

For Aussies, its always some kind of 'Road Warrior meets giant marsupials, meets the Outback' vibe.

Africa gets 'noble savages'. Asia gets 'martial arts land'. And so forth.

Its why I like cultures like (say) the Suel empire in Greyhawk, and how they have evolved into the Scarlet Brotherhood - Arayan racist/ xenophobic Monk/ Assassins who now live in a jungle, wear Red, and are attempting to reclaim the lost empire.

You cant really pin a 'real world' culture onto them.
 

Indeed.

Using real world cultures as a baseline for a fantasy culture invariably leads to stereotypes being applied.
You're always using real world cultures and references, though. For some people, concepts like "kingdom", "knight", "guild", "religion", "common tongue" or even "gold pieces" could already be considered problematic.
 

You're always using real world cultures and references, though. For some people, concepts like "kingdom", "knight", "guild", "religion", "common tongue" or even "gold pieces" could already be considered problematic.

Yet we never see 'fantasy Africa' an advanced society with knights, guilds and so forth. They're invariably always 'noble savages' containing a pastiche of real world African stereotypes.

Have your 'not Europeans' be where martial arts originated, due to 'not Africa' being your 'not Rome' and a highly advanced civilisation of knights and so forth and banning weapon use by their conquered peoples.

Create actual different cultures that are not real world cultures replete with racial and cultural stereotypes.

For a clear example of what not to do: The Vistani from Ravenloft.
 

David Howery

Adventurer
Its why I like cultures like (say) the Suel empire in Greyhawk, and how they have evolved into the Scarlet Brotherhood - Arayan racist/ xenophobic Monk/ Assassins who now live in a jungle, wear Red, and are attempting to reclaim the lost empire.

You cant really pin a 'real world' culture onto them.
they always struck me as 'Nazis mixed with the Assassins of Alamut"..
 

Yet we never see 'fantasy Africa' an advanced society with knights, guilds and so forth. They're invariably always 'noble savages' containing a pastiche of real world African stereotypes.

Have your 'not Europeans' be where martial arts originated, due to 'not Africa' being your 'not Rome' and a highly advanced civilisation of knights and so forth and banning weapon use by their conquered peoples.

Create actual different cultures that are not real world cultures replete with racial and cultural stereotypes.

For a clear example of what not to do: The Vistani from Ravenloft.
I agree. It's great when you play often and when your players make the effort to engage with the material and all its weird and unusual idiosyncrasies. But for casual gamers, "not Rome" is not always the worst solution.
 

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