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When Fantasy Meets Africa

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The roaring success of the recent Black Panther film is another sign that fantasy worlds are changing. The fictional African country of Wakanda as portrayed in Marvel comic books has been isolated and stagnant, a common problem with "Othering" of non-white cultures. The plot of the film addresses its isolationist past and in doing so, blazes a trail for other fantasy universes in how they portray African-like nations.

[h=3]Marvel Deals With its "Other"[/h]Othering is a process in which other cultures are viewed through a biased lens of exoticism and isolationism. These cultures are not integrated into the world but are rather static, often amalgamating a region's various cultures into one homogeneous mass. The culture may be portrayed as never having advanced beyond what defines it as exotic.

Any world creation will likely be influence by the beliefs of the time, and many fantasy worlds -- Marvel's superhero universe included -- paint different cultures with broad strokes for white audiences as a form of shorthand. This is how we got Wakanda as a technologically-advanced culture that never fully engaged with the horrors of war that have rocked the world at large. As Nate Jones puts it:

It refuses to trade with other nations, though as one line in the movie makes clear, Wakandans are still able to consume American memes. As we see in a Western television broadcast in the movie, Wakanda is able to get away with this by masquerading as an impoverished third-world country, and since the country’s leadership refuses to take international aid, the rest of the world doesn’t ask too many questions.


The plot of Black Panther addresses this isolationism -- a byproduct of "othering" Wakanda as a a fictional nation in Africa -- head on, and makes it clear that the Marvel Cinematic Universe plans to integrate Wakanda into its narrative like any other nation. It's a bold choice that will likely change the static nature of Wakanda forever. Role-playing games face a similar dilemma.
[h=3]RPGs and Africa[/h]There hasn't been a great track record in nuanced representation of African nations in tabletop role-playing games. G.A. Barber uses Rifts Africa by Palladium as an example:

...with a decided lack of POC in the art, and the entire continent serves as a place for non-Africans to adventure in. There are 67 interior pictures in Rifts Africa, of which 54 depict non-Africans or landscape, and 13 depict Africans. The first picture with Africans in it has them acting as porters for a white game hunter. Four of the pictures (just under 25% of the pictures depicting Africans) depict Africans as monsters. None of the pictures show Africans using modern or futuristic technology or weapons, none of them are of Africans fighting monsters or “looking cool”. In a single book, ostensibly about Africa, only 19% of the pictures show Africans (omission), and the few depictions of them make it clear they are there as set dressing and nothing more (stereotypes and limited roles).


Dungeons & Dragons
has slowly, steadily, been addressing this issue. Fifth Edition has made efforts to be more inclusive, and that reflects in the diversity of character art. The lead image for the human race in the Player's Handbook is of a black woman. And yet, D&D still struggles with its broad strokes representation of African nations, as the controversy over the depiction of Chult demonstrates in Tomb of Annihilation:

Its point of inspiration is a campaign setting that, for years, has been written off as tone-deaf. The new adventure draws on D&D co-creator Gary Gygax’s adventure Tomb of Horrors and combines that with source material detailing Chult, a jungle peninsula first conceived of in a 1992 novel called The Ring of Winter, in which an adventurer travels to Chult’s dinosaur-filled wilderness seeking the eponymous artifact...The canonical Chultan peninsula finally congealed in a 1993 campaign setting as a dinosaur-infested jungle where heat wiped out even the strongest adventurers and insects carried fatal diseases. Reptilian races and undead skeletons dominate the land and humans live in tribal clusters and clans. Its major city, Mezro, “rivals some of the most ‘civilized’ population centers in Faerun,” the setting reads. Slavery is mentioned about 40 times. In D&D’s 3rd edition, it’s written that Chultan priest-kings worship “strange deities” in the city of Mezro. In D&D’s 4th edition, Chult is located on what’s called the “Savage Coast.” It’s said there that the city of Port Nyanzaru is controlled by foreign traders who often must defend against pirates. Mezro has collapsed. It just sank into the abyss. What remains is this: “Human civilization is virtually nonexistent here, though an Amnian colony and a port sponsored by Baldur’s Gate cling to the northern coasts, and a few tribes—some noble savages, others depraved cannibals—roam the interior.”


Tomb of Annihilation
works hard to create a more comprehensive African culture in Chult, but it may suffer from not enough nuance:

While many players I talked to enjoyed how the history and political structures of Chult were expanded in Tomb of Annihilation (and enjoyed the adventure’s plot generally), they were still unimpressed by its execution. Its setting is an amalgamation of African cultures, a trope frequent in 20th century media that flattens the dimensionality of human experiences on the continent, which contains hundreds of ethnic groups. There are nods to West African voodoo, Southern African click-based Khoisan languages, East African attire (like Kenyan kofia hats) and the jungle climate of Central Africa. Its fantasy setting dissolves “Africa” into an all-in-one cultural stew that comes off as a little detached, sources I interviewed said.


Is it possible to depict a more nuanced fantasy Africa? Nyambe: African Adventures for 3.5 D&D, by Christopher Dolunt, offers some hope:

My motivation for creating Nyambe was simple. Africa was a major part of the Earth that has little or no representation in fantasy literature, let alone RPGs. When it does appear, it usually follows the pulp fiction model: steaming jungles, bloodthirsty cannibals, and dark gods long forgotten by the civilized races. Of course, historical Africa was nothing like that, so my goal for Nyambe was to create a fantasy version of Africa based on the actual history and mythology of Africa, rather than previous fantasy depictions. So, I went about taking snippets of history or myth, and twisting them, adding fantasy elements or changing specifics to make them fit into an OGL world.

[h=3]Now What?[/h]Wizards of the Coast made considerable strides in increasing D&D's diverse representation and transitioning Chult from conquered land to fantasy nation, but there's still work to do. As more people of color play D&D, the game will need to change to accommodate its players' diverse views. With Black Panther leading the way, here's hoping future game designers will take note.

Mike "Talien" Tresca is a freelance game columnist, author, communicator, and a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to http://amazon.com. You can follow him at Patreon.
 

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Michael Tresca

Michael Tresca

Erechel

Explorer
In Argentina, we have several comics exploring fantasy in different cultural settings. Mazziteli and Alcatena have created several stories and worlds without the "medievalish fantasy" setting in mind, purposefully. Panteras is a series of comics in Timbuba, the Lost World, with a strong african fantasy theme; and La luna del toro (The Bull's Moon), with a strong Goya's Spain theme. Saracino and Olivetti's Ich explores fantasy in a south american conquest environment, in mostly the same way that Olivetti and Lucas Cazador did. I'm leaving behind a lot of other explorations, not to mention my own dabblings with Bronze Age themes for D&D in Fralia.
It is good to see other, mainstream worlds, though. The american pop culture is catching up, after all.
 


talien

Community Supporter
One of the conclusions I've come to is that a key way to ensure one culture isn't a mishmash of stereotypes is just to have more than one. I.e., more than one "Asian" culture and more than one "African" culture goes a long way to ensuring more nuance. Most fantasy worlds that started out Eurocentric suffer from this (my own world included!) because that's what the authors were familiar with. But fantasy RPG universes are now played by people all over the world, so the discrepancy is more noticeable than it might have been in the past.
 

Othering is totally a problem. A valid issue in the presentation of other cultures, and something to be very aware of when creating fantasy worlds and fantastic analogies to real world places and cultures.

But...

But Wakanda's isolation is an odd example of that. Really, that feels like it has more to do with not having history changed. Despite super heroes and mutants being around for generations, the Marvel (and DC) worlds really try hard to present themselves as being identical to our Earth, save with superheroes. History is identical.
Wakanda is isolationist because it can't have gotten involved in WW2 or other modern events, because the world has to be familiar to our world, and no advanced African nation got involved in our world. Just like how nothing Wakanda does to aid the world in Black Panther 2 or Black Panther 3 will have lasting social consequences, as the Marvel America has to look like our America.

It's like Latveria in that regard.
Despite Doctor Doom wanting to take over the world and having advanced robots and technology, he never quite manages to invade the neighbouring European countries, seizing Serbia or Romania, as that would change the map.
Sure, there's no shortage of Eastern European stereotypes in portrayals of Latvaria, but it's not quite hit with "Othering".
 

One of the conclusions I've come to is that a key way to ensure one culture isn't a mishmash of stereotypes is just to have more than one. I.e., more than one "Asian" culture and more than one "African" culture goes a long way to ensuring more nuance. Most fantasy worlds that started out Eurocentric suffer from this (my own world included!) because that's what the authors were familiar with. But fantasy RPG universes are now played by people all over the world, so the discrepancy is more noticeable than it might have been in the past.
But doesn't that run the risk of cultural appropriation?

Should we be using other people's cultures to flavour our roleplaying games?
 

Matchstick

Explorer
I've always liked Sine Nomine's "Spears of the Dawn" as an African based RPG. It doesn't try to be actual Africa, it's D&D inspired by Africa.
 

thzero

First Post
But doesn't that run the risk of cultural appropriation?

Should we be using other people's cultures to flavour our roleplaying games?

Yes we should. Otherwise you pretty much have nothing to relate to. Vikings we're a culture to. So was the various mediaval cultures of Europe. And the wild west culture. Or Victorian age England.
 

MechaTarrasque

Adventurer
[HI][/HI]
But doesn't that run the risk of cultural appropriation?

Should we be using other people's cultures to flavour our roleplaying games?

Doesn't not doing that risk demeaning: there is nothing in those cultures worth appropriating? It seems like that is a much more insulting line of thought.
 

Celebrim

Legend
Othering is a problem, but Wakanda is the opposite of othering.

As a matter of pure history, African culture collapsed in the West's middle ages, in part owing to desertification as the Sahara entered into a expansion phase and swallowed the once fertile farmland that supported the African empires. The result was a hodge-podge of decaying petty kingdoms that never engaged in anything like the miracle of the Northern European renaissance and never produced a large body of literature and exactly zero science. The sub-Saharan African cultures had themselves never advanced much past early iron age culture, and so were locked in a cultural paradigm roughly 3000 years behind the cultures of Europe and the Middle and Far East. Besides which, isolated by distance and the Sahara desert, these cultures never truly interacted with any of the big three advanced cultural centers, and were largely known only through limited contact with coastal trading cultures (often through Arabic intermediaries). As such, the reality of the world was that Africa was largely unknown in Europe, Persia, India, and China and was equally exotic to all of them. No real African nation was interacting with any of them to any great degree, much less actually exchanging ideas with those cultures in literature, engineering and the sciences. The same could not be said of those cultures themselves, even when they in fact seemed exotic and strange to each other. Note for example how European culture serves much the same role in Japanese anime as Eastern culture serves in Western media. Rome and Han China could be said to be peers, but after the fall of the culturally Phoenician Carthage (itself originally a colonial power) on the extreme northern coast, that could never again be said of any African nation.

Wakanda isn't an attempt to highlight the exotic or unfamiliar nature of Africa. Wakanda is an attempt to make Africa more familiar and less exotic by making it more European in nature. Wakanda is an African nation made less problematic by giving it institutions that would be completely familiar to any European. Wakanda is creating a fictional African peer of the traditional Western nations with technological, scientific, social, and artistic achievements equivalent too or greater than European achievements. Wakanda is in many ways the Africa that Europeans wish existed and exist within European fantasies about Africa. It's not othering at all. It's the yearning for an African peer that would make relating to Africa less uncomfortable. It's isolationist precisely because only isolation could explain the complete lack of historical impact such a nation would otherwise have on history. The reality is, no such nation exists.

All the complaints about portrayals of Africa made in the original essay reflect the discomfort of relating to Africa as it actually is and has been, and the general preference people have for a fictional Africa with European governmental norms, European technology, and European prosperity. It would be much easier if the reality of Africa was Eddie Murphy's 'Zamunda' in 'Coming to America', or Maldonia as portrayed in 'The Princess and the Frog' and African nations were basically wealthy European style monarchies differing only by the skin color of the aristocracy and the fact the king had some animal skin draped over his shoulder.

And we've had threads before where people condemned Nyambe as racist. I don't think there is a way to win this game.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
But doesn't that run the risk of cultural appropriation?

Should we be using other people's cultures to flavour our roleplaying games?

Roleplaying games are explicitly about taking on another role then yourself. The hobby literally could not survive if you were only allowed to play a character the same race/gender/orientation/etc. as yourself in areas that are familiar.

Should I tell my Polish friend that he's not allowed to play a Viking? That my Japanese friend he can't run any of the euro-centric settings out there?

The tag "cultural appropriation" gets thrown around a lot, so much that it gets weakened by being applied so broadly.
 

Celebrim

Legend
The tag "cultural appropriation" gets thrown around a lot, so much that it gets weakened by being applied so broadly.

When I first heard the term, it was the term for a particularly vicious sort of plagiarism, where an artist plagiarized the work of another artist and because that artist was a minority the artist doing the copying felt neither the need to site the original artist or to pay him for his work.

I'm fairly comfortable in stating that there is little or no disagreement that that is wrong, and that such actions today would meet universal condemnation and denouncing them would create little controversy.

But I'm also fairly comfortable in stating that that original concept has been misunderstood or ironically appropriated for a concept that depends not on some absolute and easily agreeable notion of what constitutes theft, but on a very vague concept that depends basically on people's feelings. And the problem with that, is that in reality minorities actually aren't all identical and two people in the same minority group can have very different feelings about whether a treatment of their culture was appropriate and respectful. Aside from the fact that there is no such thing as collective ownership of culture and no such thing as a spokesperson for that culture that can authorize the release of ideas from the culture, this leaves you in a situation where no matter how accommodating to other viewpoints you try to be, there can always be someone who said you did it wrong.
 

Gorath99

Explorer
One of the conclusions I've come to is that a key way to ensure one culture isn't a mishmash of stereotypes is just to have more than one. I.e., more than one "Asian" culture and more than one "African" culture goes a long way to ensuring more nuance. Most fantasy worlds that started out Eurocentric suffer from this (my own world included!) because that's what the authors were familiar with. But fantasy RPG universes are now played by people all over the world, so the discrepancy is more noticeable than it might have been in the past.
Even Europe is not safe from this. How often do we get a decent medieval fantasy Greece, Switzerland, or Lithuania? If the Irish and Welsh are represented at all, they are generally lumped together into a single archetype. Ditto for the numerous and varied states in the Holy Roman Empire; the Italian states; the Iberian states; all of Eastern Europe; all of the Nordic people (as Vikings); etc.

Not to say that these regions have it as bad as places outside of Europe when it comes to representation. But it's a general tendency. The further a culture/people is removed from medieval England, the more likely that it gets lumped together with other cultures.

I think you're absolutely right about it being helpful to have more than one of each stereotypical culture, by the way.
 

Dungeonosophy

Adventurer
Nubian Adventures and Kemetic Adventures

Thanks for this article.

Existing Sub-Saharan African-inspired cultures in the D&D Multiverse:


  • The Touv in Oerth
  • Katashaka continent and Jungle of Chult in Forgotten Realms
  • The Wildlands in Ravenloft (The Crocodile King is an evil version of the Lion King)
  • In Mystara: Yavdlom (Swahilis), Ulimwengu (Twa "pygmies"), N'jatwaland elf-ogres and Simbasta lion-folk in Davania, Tangor in Skothar, Tanagoro (Proto-Bantu) in Hollow World
  • In Dark Sun: the Ivory Triangle
  • By Gary Gygax: the continent of Afrik in Ærth (an alternate Oerth, mentioned in a DRAGON magazine article)

Ancient Egyptian-inspired cultures:


  • Mulhorand in Forgotten Realms
  • Erypt of Oerth
  • Hutaakans and Thothia in Mystara; Nithia in the Hollow World (and the "Emirate of Nithia" in Ylaruam as Arabized Egypt)
  • Sebua and Har'Akir in Ravenloft--featured in the video game Ravenloft: Stone Prophet
  • By Gary Gygax: the land of Ægypt/Khemit in Ærth, featured in Necropolis d20 adventure by Necromancer Games.

In my Culture Books article:, I propose that WotC release an "Oriental Adventures" style book for each of the Real World cultures which has served as inspiration for D&D cultures...so a Nubian Adventures and Kemetic Adventures. The existing D&D parallels would be included as "campaign models" within each sourcebook.
 
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Celebrim

Legend
Even Europe is not safe from this.

Europe probably 'suffers' more from it than Africa. Relatively few authors try to make a 'realistic' Europe with a one to one correspondence between the nations on the fantasy maps and a real world culture or nation. Instead, the European quasi-medieval nations on the map are almost always a hodge-podge of ideas drawing from as diverse sources as Ancient Greece and Dickensonian England and are imagined not to the end of portraying any sort of realism, but serving whatever purpose they have in the story or setting - such as for example being the "bad guy nation" or "the wealthy nations" or "the scrappy wilderness nation". The fantasy European nations are rarely more than tropes, and while some of them might be deliberate anachronisms or pastiches - such as "the Vikings" - even then the author feels little need to make them absolutely like the real thing. For one thing, it's not like "the Vikings" were a single nation or culture. Quite the opposite, they were the one surviving part of Europe that most resembled the petty kingdoms and ethnic and linguistic diversity in Africa. We just don't remember all those geats, jutes, frisians and so forth because they were assimilated into larger people groups before our time.

But, is it really necessary or desirable that every culture get a pastiche? It's going to get really weird when you have a standard that lets you mix and match European cultures to create new fantasy nations, but every African fantasy nation has to be a pastiche of some real African culture.

Worse, the designers and artistic direction of the people who made the "Black Panther" movie was in every way intended to be respectful to African cultures. They mixed and matched different African cultures to create a unique fantasy nation in the same way a person in love with Northern European culture and respectful of it might mix and match cultural traditions within the scope of 'Western Civilization' and port them to different environments and historical settings to create a unique cultural tradition - like say Gondor or Rohan. Now those people are being criticized for not making simplistic pastiches. Is that really what we want to do?

I think you're absolutely right about it being helpful to have more than one of each stereotypical culture, by the way.

I like diversity because I'm a fan of 'kitchen sink' settings. If I was going to detail an 'Africa', I'd try to throw in every single idea I could brainstorm whether pastiche ("Egypt", "Ethiopia", the "East African Nation", "the Congo", the "Zulu") or stereotype ("the Dark Continent", "the Advanced Magical African Nation") or serving some fantasy purpose - "the bad guy nation", "the good guy nation", "the scrappy wilderness nation", "the rich nation", etc. I seriously doubt this would make me immune to criticism. Someone would certainly latch on to one thing they didn't like and make this pinhole view of the work suffice to condemn the whole.
 
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neobolts

Explorer
1) I found it very confusing to see articles where Black Panther was praised for mix-and-matching the whole of African culture, while Tomb of Annihilation was criticized for doing the same.

2) I'm not a fan of the way the term "cultural appropriation" is used. It is too often focused on *what* a person did rather than *why* they did it. Intent matters. You cannot promote diversity and inclusiveness in a work if you cannot use cultural references outside of your own culture.
 

Derren

Hero
Which fantasy nation is actually dynamic? FR just had a 100 year timejump, but nothing really changed. Cormyr is still Cormyr, etc.
And as Celebrim said, its not as if "white cultures" fare any better. Most fantasy nations are just the same mix of generic knights and castle stereotypes which at worst have no relation to history at all or at best were taken from a span of several centuries and mixed together.
Or they are just a exaggerated and cliché version of a existing country like "the merchant republic one" or "the viking one".
Some settings are not even subtle about it like 7th sea or warhammer fantasy.
So its not like non-white cultures are treated any different in fantasy gaming.
 

pming

Legend
Hiya!

Othering is a problem, but Wakanda is the opposite of othering.

As a matter of pure history, African culture collapsed in the West's middle ages, in part owing to desertification as the Sahara entered into a expansion phase and swallowed the once fertile farmland that supported the African empires. The result was a hodge-podge of decaying petty kingdoms that never engaged in anything like the miracle of the Northern European renaissance and never produced a large body of literature and exactly zero science. The sub-Saharan African cultures had themselves never advanced much past early iron age culture, and so were locked in a cultural paradigm roughly 3000 years behind the cultures of Europe and the Middle and Far East. Besides which, isolated by distance and the Sahara desert, these cultures never truly interacted with any of the big three advanced cultural centers, and were largely known only through limited contact with coastal trading cultures (often through Arabic intermediaries). As such, the reality of the world was that Africa was largely unknown in Europe, Persia, India, and China and was equally exotic to all of them. No real African nation was interacting with any of them to any great degree, much less actually exchanging ideas with those cultures in literature, engineering and the sciences. The same could not be said of those cultures themselves, even when they in fact seemed exotic and strange to each other. Note for example how European culture serves much the same role in Japanese anime as Eastern culture serves in Western media. Rome and Han China could be said to be peers, but after the fall of the culturally Phoenician Carthage (itself originally a colonial power) on the extreme northern coast, that could never again be said of any African nation.

Wakanda isn't an attempt to highlight the exotic or unfamiliar nature of Africa. Wakanda is an attempt to make Africa more familiar and less exotic by making it more European in nature. Wakanda is an African nation made less problematic by giving it institutions that would be completely familiar to any European. Wakanda is creating a fictional African peer of the traditional Western nations with technological, scientific, social, and artistic achievements equivalent too or greater than European achievements. Wakanda is in many ways the Africa that Europeans wish existed and exist within European fantasies about Africa. It's not othering at all. It's the yearning for an African peer that would make relating to Africa less uncomfortable. It's isolationist precisely because only isolation could explain the complete lack of historical impact such a nation would otherwise have on history. The reality is, no such nation exists.

All the complaints about portrayals of Africa made in the original essay reflect the discomfort of relating to Africa as it actually is and has been, and the general preference people have for a fictional Africa with European governmental norms, European technology, and European prosperity. It would be much easier if the reality of Africa was Eddie Murphy's 'Zamunda' in 'Coming to America', or Maldonia as portrayed in 'The Princess and the Frog' and African nations were basically wealthy European style monarchies differing only by the skin color of the aristocracy and the fact the king had some animal skin draped over his shoulder.

And we've had threads before where people condemned Nyambe as racist. I don't think there is a way to win this game.

First, an excellent essay on the matter! :)

Second, as to your very last sentence, you are incorrect that there isn't a way to win at this game. Because you just did. :)

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

Gradine

Final Form (they/them)
It's not so much about "winning" or "losing" at any sort of "game"; it's about doing right, both by your audience (whether that's people purchasing your product or just the handful of people at your gaming table) and by the cultures you're turning to as influence (both historically and the modern-day ancestors of such). Note that in this point intent is absolutely irrelevant; whether you mean to do harm or not, if you do harm, that harm is real and you really ought to acknowledge it, regardless of your intentions. The problem is... we live in a world where harm exists, at a fundamental and systemic level, in every facet of our society. Our society has made it basically impossible not to do harm in some form or another, if for no other reason than that's the only way we've ever known to be. I don't say that because I think that means we should all be moral relatavists; just that we should do what we can to minimize harm and own up to the harm we do cause when we cause it.

The way to "win", such as it is, then, is to take criticism seriously, listen with empathy, and promise to do better next time. Not perfect, just better. Look, the world is full of diversity; both in the identity/cultural sense, but also diversity of thought, diversity of opinion, diversity of experience. Nobody gets a claim on absolute, objective truth. So if you put out a product that involves any sort of non-European influence, you are going to get people who will enjoy being able to experience other cultures, people who won't enjoy it, people who will think you handled the subject well, and people who think what you did was racist/horrible/whatever. And those opinions are going to as varied as the overall opinions on your work; people are going to love it, people are going to think it sucks.

And those opinions are all valid for each individual; eye of the beholder and all that. It's up to you whether you decide to open yourself up to any criticism at all, and how you address each one you receive.

You don't "win" by not engaging, you "win" by being open to learning from others, growing, and doing better the next time.
 
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Lylandra

Adventurer
Thanks for this article.

Existing Sub-Saharan African-inspired cultures in the D&D Multiverse:


  • The Touv in Oerth
  • Katashaka continent and Jungle of Chult in Forgotten Realms
  • The Wildlands in Ravenloft (The Crocodile King is an evil version of the Lion King)
  • In Mystara: Yavdlom (Swahilis), Ulimwengu (Twa "pygmies"), N'jatwaland elf-ogres and Simbasta lion-folk in Davania, Tangor in Skothar, Tanagoro (Proto-Bantu) in Hollow World
  • In Dark Sun: the Ivory Triangle
  • By Gary Gygax: the continent of Afrik in Ærth (an alternate Oerth, mentioned in a DRAGON magazine article)

Ancient Egyptian-inspired cultures:


  • Mulhorand in Forgotten Realms
  • Erypt of Oerth
  • Hutaakans and Thothia in Mystara; Nithia in the Hollow World (and the "Emirate of Nithia" in Ylaruam as Arabized Egypt)
  • Sebua and Har'Akir in Ravenloft--featured in the video game Ravenloft: Stone Prophet
  • By Gary Gygax: the land of Ægypt/Khemit in Ærth, featured in Necropolis d20 adventure by Necromancer Games.

In my Culture Books article:, I propose that WotC release an "Oriental Adventures" style book for each of the Real World cultures which has served as inspiration for D&D cultures...so a Nubian Adventures and Kemetic Adventures. The existing D&D parallels would be included as "campaign models" within each sourcebook.

I also always thought that pre-spellplague Halruaa was also predominantly inhabited by black wizards and other powerful spallcasters. Might be mistaken though
 

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