D&D 5E [Radiant Citadel] A chart of parallel Earth cultures and motifs across the D&D Multiverse

True. Egypt is to Africa as Greece is to Europe. Yet the original chart I made was focused on filling out the parallels of cultures seen in the Radiant Citadel book. There’s no Egyptian or Mesopotamian adventure in the book.

I didn’t want to make a long post even longer. It’s true that ancient Egypt is the heritage of modern day Egyptian Arabs and Copts (and the African continental civilization as a whole); and ancient Mesopotamia is the heritage of modern Iraqi Arabs and Assyrians/Syriacs. But there are no Egyptian or Iraqi authors in the Radiant Citadel book. And the Arab cultural section already provided some coverage for those regions.

I wasn’t perfectly consistent, since I also cut-and-pasted my Aboriginal Australian research (even tho there’s no Australian author in the book). But I had to stop somewhere.

I had already done the Egyptian section and Mesopotamian section on my website years ago (back during the D&D Next playtest!) I just need to cut and paste them here, and add the latest examples.

The newly revised chart is gearing up to cover those two ancient cultures, and also the European and Anglo-North American cultures.

Both the Greeks and Egyptians were very much transcontinental cultures, ruling parts of multiple continents and living in cities all over the place. I think the Greeks transend the term European and Egyptians Africans because of their deep transcontinental history.

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Could you post a source on this? I can't find anything online.
The Kuong Kingdom is apparently part of Malatra according to the FR Wiki.

"The Kuong Kingdom, or simply the Kuong, was the southernmost nation in Malatra, lying amidst the dense jungles of southern Kara-Tur. It was home to the Kuong people.[1][3] With its priest-kings wielding absolute power in civil and religious matters, it was a theocratic empire dedicated to the Lords of Creation that dominated the Jungle Lands with expansion efforts and campaigns of conquest."

The Lords of Creation in turn are the 2e Vedic Pantheon.

"The Lords of Creation, also known as the Vedic pantheon, were deities worshiped by the Kuong people of the Kuong Kingdom and by the Purang people, in the Malatra region of southern Kara-Tur.[1][2]"

The Kuong Wiki has a behind the scenes note at its end that says:

"The Kuong Kingdom appears to be loosely inspired by the Khmer Empire (later Cambodia) and the Ayutthaya Kingdom (later Thailand), in which the Hindu gods were venerated and the monarchs were treated as god-kings."
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the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
That's not too surprising, while I don't know what it looked like in 1e, in 2e at least the gold dragon artwork in the MM was definitely of a Chinese style dragon. I wouldn't be surprised if the artwork for 1e was similar.
You are correct. here is the illustration from the first edition AD&D Monster Manual:


Still aiming to incorporate all the suggestions from others.
But first, I clarified and expanded the sections on the ~Central Asian and ~Indigenous American motifs in the World of Toril. New entries:

~Central Asian and ~Indigenous Siberian: (I merged those two sections of the chart)
  • The Oigur tribe (~Uighur Turkic / Oirat Mongolian)
  • The Maraloi / The Ancient Lords (~the Iranic-speaking Ancient Scythians who preceded the medieval Turkic settlement of Central Asia)
  • The Ama Basin and Koryaz Mountains (based on the Amur Basin northeast of China and the Koryak Mountains of northeastern Russia)
    • Issacortae tribe (~the ancient Issedones Scythians / Thyssagetae Scythians)
    • Pazuki (the wordshape, but not the location, most closely fits the Emirate of Pazuki, which was a Kurdish state in eastern Turkey. The name is slightly evocative of the Tajiki / Wakhi / Pamiri peoples of the Pamir Mountains. Both the Kurds and the Tajiks are Iranic-speaking peoples)
    • Tayanulchi / Tayanuchi tribe (~ Ulchi nationality, a Tungusic people)
    • Wu-haltai tribe (~Altai nationality, a Turkic people; "wu" is Chinese for "five." The name may mean approx. the "Five Altai")
    • Palace of Balinaikal the Ogre Mage (the name is evocative of Lake Baikal, which is in Buryatia, a Mongolic nationality)
I also expanded the details on the Uigan people of Krynn:
  • On the continent of Taladas: the Uigan nation and language (note the parallel with the "Tuigan" people and language from Forgotten Realms) and the various Uigan tribes and clans: Purgi, Pureshk, Kazar (~Khazar & Kazakh Turkic), and Alan-Atu (~Buryat Mongolian; "Ulan-Ude" is the real-world capital of Buryatia). Also the Tamire Elves (~Mongolian elves)
~Indigenous North American:
  • Itzcali (~Aztec sahuagin)
  • Desert Dwarves (~Aztec dwarves)
  • The peoples of the Pasocada Basin in southwestern Anchorome (~the peoples of the Colorado River Basin)
    • Azuposi (~Pueblo/Anasazi peoples)
    • Metahel (~a Pacific Northwest nation). Said to have arrived in the Pasocada Basin recently from the northwest. Described as whalers who trade in whale oil. The name is slightly evocative of the Makah and Chehalis nations of the Pacific Northwest)
    • Nahopaca (~Lakota/Dakota/Nakoda Siouan people; the name is evocative of "Nakoda" (the autonym of the northern Siouan Assiniboine nation) and "Hunkpapa", one of the seven Lakota clans)
    • Pasocada Elves (~nomadic Apachean peoples of the Colorado Basin. The meter of the name is slightly evocative of the Chiricahua nation, an Apachean people. The Apachean peoples surrounded the Pueblo peoples in a similar way as the Pasocada Elves vis-a-vis the Azuposi peoples)
Also, in the ~African American and [new!] ~Black British section:
  • In the unplaced Kingdom of Ghyr (the homeland of the LJN action figures): In the BECMI reality, Molliver the Thief is ~Caucasian cis woman, yet in the 5e reality, Molliver is a ~Black trans woman. In the absence of further cultural origins, given her ~English name "Molliver = Molly + Oliver", she might represent an ~African American or ~Black British (cf. Oliver Twist) motif.
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Added two ~African American characters:

(This one I noticed since I'm prepping Icespire Peak to play this evening!)
  • In Toril:
    • Don-Jon Raskin is a Black man who is a mine supervisor in the Icespire Peak Essentials Kit. Cultural motifs: given his Anglo surname "Raskin" and Anglicized Spanish given name "Don-Jon" (<Don Juan), this character is evocative of an ~African American in the ~U.S. West.

  • In the Realm of the D&D Cartoon Show: Diana the Acrobat is an African American from Earth.


  • In Oerth: The Touv of Hepmonaland
Yeah, loosely, although I don't think they're (as portrayed in The Scarlet Brotherhood accessory) meant to parallel any specific African culture closely.

However, David Howery's "The Dark Continent" in Dragon #189 was Hepmonaland in his original campaign, and it does include cultures that are meant to closely parallel specific African peoples.

  • ~Central Asian and ~Indigneous Siberian (~Mongolian, ~Central Asian Turkic, and ~Scythian):
  • In Oerth: Tiger Nomads and Wolf Nomads
As Scott McMillan pointed out in this thread, it's likely the Wegwuir (the Wolf Nomads) were named after the Uyghurs and the Chakyik (the Tiger Nomads) were named after the Kipchaks.
  • In Oerth:
You could interpret them that way, but Gygax said he based the Flan on Africans. See his ENWorld Q&A:

I can say that the Flan were not meant to be anything like the American Indians. they were of Hamatic-like racial origin, Negroes if you will. Little is known of them because they were generally absorbed into the waves of other peoples immigrating eastwards through the continent, so their culture was generally lost.

It's true that the Rovers of the Barrens are closely associated with Plains Indians in David Howery's adventure "Ghost Dance" in Dungeon #32, which coined the name Arapahi for them. The illustrations in particular make this very blatant. But the "Flan in general" are not based on indigenous North Americans (and Gygax gave their leader a title, ataman, associated with the Cossacks in real life).
  • In Oerth: Nippon Dominion [sic!] (not to be confused with "Nippon" as such, which is Oerth's analogue of Japan. Nippon's "Dominion" is presumably a painful Korean analogue.)
We know so little about this region that I don't think we can safely presume anything, including how painful it might be. I understand the logic behind your inference here, but we're talking about an area with a total of one sentence describing it (From the 1996 Dragon Annual: "A protectorate only recently conquered by the warriors of Nippon." Which gives us no cultural detail at all.). The Japanese Empire at its peak in 1942 also included, among many other places, Taiwan, Thailand, Manchuria, and the South Seas Mandate, the latter of which much more closely resembles this "Dominion" geographically than it resembles Korea.

The name "Nippon" sounds like an obvious Japanese analogue, given that it's literally Japan's name, but here we only have a total of two sentences describing it, and the second sentence is "Unsure of the place's real name," so I'm inclined to dismiss the name and consider that geographically the islands are much more similar to Indonesia in their equatorial latitude and proximity to Oerth's India equivalent. Given that the "Celestial Imperium" lacks a western coast, there isn't a good place on Oerth to put an equivalent of Japan or Korea, and I think attempts to give it any are misguided.

  • In Ravenloft: Souragne (~French Louisiana)
Note that according to Dragon #349, the domain of Souragne was (apparently) originally part of Oerth's Amedio Jungle.

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