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I would love to see a Native American monograph

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I would love to see a BRP monograph that dealt with Native Americans. Is there one in the works? Has anyone ever played a straight Native American scenario/campaign?

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"Native American" covers a lot of territory. What sort of adventures did you have in mind? Something set in the Aztec Empire could be very cosmopolitan, with lots of political intrigue and espionage. On the other hand, an adventure set in the Deep Woods in the Northeast could have political ramifications, but it'd be much more rural and outdoorsy. Also, those Caribbean headhunters and cannibals are technically Native Americans, too. What sort of flavor are you looking for? :)

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I would love to see a BRP monograph that dealt with Native Americans. Is there one in the works? Has anyone ever played a straight Native American scenario/campaign?

That would be an interesting setting. Like seneschal said, it covers a lot of ground (and time). We've got two continents and a fair number of islands to cover, plus at least a thousand year time period of history to cover to be comprehensive.

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That would be an interesting setting. Like seneschal said, it covers a lot of ground (and time). We've got two continents and a fair number of islands to cover, plus at least a thousand year time period of history to cover to be comprehensive.

That is not an acceptable excuse for not doing it :)

-STS

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"Native American" covers a lot of territory. What sort of adventures did you have in mind? Something set in the Aztec Empire could be very cosmopolitan, with lots of political intrigue and espionage. On the other hand, an adventure set in the Deep Woods in the Northeast could have political ramifications, but it'd be much more rural and outdoorsy. Also, those Caribbean headhunters and cannibals are technically Native Americans, too. What sort of flavor are you looking for? :)

Honestly, I was merely thinking the North American Native tribes during the pre-Columbian era.

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That's fine. A setting like that could be fun. But again, which culture(s) and time period(s) are you specifically interested in? You've got relatively high tech empires in Mexico and Central and South America, competing confederations of Stone Age hunter-gatherers in the Northeastern forests of North America. The Hopi and Navajo are building cliff cities in the Southwest, mysterious Mound Builders have an empire in the Southeast, Inuit and others are hunting caribou and sea mammals in the far North. And you still have those jungle-dwelling Caribbean and South American cannibals and headhunters ready to take on all comers. It's a broad setting ... like Conan's Hyperboria or Imaro's Nyumbani. Player-characters could have drastically different adventures and encounters depending on which region and culture they wandered into. :)

No horse-riding buffalo hunters, though. The Spanish explorers of the 1500s reintroduced equines into the Americas (after prehistoric tribesmen literally ate the native horses up). So the Lakota and other Plains Dwellers, in fact everybody, is still on foot. The wheel hasn't been invented, so dog-drawn sleds are the primary means of transport (South Americans use lamas as pack animals but don't ride them). PCs had better be prepared with several pairs of stout shoes.

Edited by seneschal

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Well, narrowing it down to one I would probably go with the Lakota and Dakota people groups. Of course, the Navajo people group would be interesting as well.

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I've been developing a south american pre-independence setting for my own system, but can be easily converted to BRP. It focuses on the "Virreinato del Río de la Plata" which covers actual Perú, Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and some parts of southern Brazil. The "Virreinato" starts in 1776 and is a very interesting period with a lot of different cultures (conquered/integrated natives, free natives, african-americans, european and all kinds of mixes), political intrigue (a fading spanish colony, independence plots, smuggling), misteries (mostrly related to native, christian-native and pagan traditions), and option for realistic or magical play. The most important native people groups are playable: Tehuelches, Mapuches, Aimaras, Guaraníes, Comechingón and Inka. It would be possible to play in earlier times when it was the "Virreinato del Perú". Pre Columbus times are more difficult because many native cultures were destroyed by christian-spanish conquest and warring/absorption between natives, there is not enough information for a deep and rich native setting except about the Inkas.

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My understanding is that the modern city of Phoenix was founded at least in the vicinity of a native city that was found abandoned by explorers. Not having training or interest in archaeology, they didn't think to ask why it had been abandoned, so they built a new city on the site that would be utterly uninhabitable without a modern infrastructure for, among other things, keeping the population fed and watered.

Not many details are known about the original inhabitants of Phoenix. But you could run a very interesting campaign set in a city that is becoming rapidly less and less able to support its population. Perhaps changes in the climate are causing the surrounding agricultural regions to fail and drying up the rivers. PCs could be charged with the task of finding another home for at least some of the dying city's inhabitants as their situation deteriorates more and more quickly. to complicate matters, the magics that in the past would have been helpful in dealing with weather and crops are having no effect on the current calamity. "Have the Gods abandoned us? What have we done to offend them?"

Edited by Michael Hopcroft

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My two Aces High monographs devote a lot of space to the Natives. The AH mono itself deals with them in a fairly generic way but does draw attention to things like language, religious powers, and a supernatural difference between the tribes.

The AH:New Mexico book is almost half filled with Hopi religion, with a little bit on Apache too. Both my AH monos are written from the point of a 'pale face' but I have tried to offer depth for the Native tribes with the intention that someone could use the information to run a game with Indians.

That said, there are literally hundreds of tribes and while Sioux, Apache and Cheyenne are (possibly) the most popular ones there are others out there that almost scream for attention. Its why I focused on the Hopi for the New Mexico Book, I felt they deserved it... Although I do plan on elaborating on Apache for an Arizona book in the future...

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In the back of "Secrets of Los Angeles" there is a small piece on Native Californian Magic. AH: New Mexico as mentioned is quite good. There's native american character option in Worlds of Cthulhu 2, and Mythic Iceland has North American Natives they call them Skraling. That's what i own, between those one could pull together something.

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I'm kind of surprised there's not a big GURPS book that surveys this subject. There is a GURPS Aztecs book but that's all I know of.

For gaming purposes I think I'd prefer to keep it in the realms of fantasy, borrow bits from various tribes. I'd feel less self-conscious running something that didn't make any claims to accuracy/history.

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Simlasa...

now that you mention it...it is odd that there isn't a GURPS book for it. I usually buy a lot of GURPS books as background data for my games (but never play it, ever...over a dozen GURPS books and no desire to ever play that system, but the source books are great!)

-STS

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Aren't there a bunch already? Anyone born in the Americas is by definition a native American.

We'd hope 500+ years of living and dying, building and striving here would make us natives. ;D At some point, common sense would dictate that the term "Indians" would be sufficiently descriptive since even members of the assorted "Native American/First Nations" tribes use it themselves. That's coming from an inhabitant of Indian Territory aka Native America aka Oklahoma. ;) Around here, "real" Indians prefer business suits to buckskins and probably have a master's degree in computer science, medicine, or law (paid for by all those tribal casinos).

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Aren't there a bunch already? Anyone born in the Americas is by definition a native American.

We'd hope 500+ years of living and dying, building and striving here would make us natives. ;D At some point, common sense would dictate that the term "Indians" would be sufficiently descriptive since even members of the assorted "Native American/First Nations" tribes use it themselves. That's coming from an inhabitant of Indian Territory aka Native America aka Oklahoma. ;) Around here, "real" Indians prefer business suits to buckskins and probably have a master's degree in computer science, medicine, or law (paid for by all those tribal casinos).

The term "Indian" owes its origin to the mind-blowing geographical mistake that led Columbus to the Americas in the first place. He believed the circumference of the Earth was about two thousand miles less than it actually is (probably due to misinterpreting the measurements). The Portuguese refused to back his project because they knew better, while the newly-unified kingdom of Spain was engaged in a massive religious purge that swept up many intellectuals.

When he found San Salvador, Columbus thought he had been vindicated. He thought he had really reached the Indes by sailing west, as opposed to the Easterly route the Portuguese took. So he naturally decided the people he found there were "Indians". Of course, he was nowhere near India, and was pretty darn lucky there was a continent in the way to prevent him and his crew from dying of starvation when the supplies ran out. But the name stuck throughout Europe even after it was proven conclusively that the Americas were not part of East Asia after all.

By the way, Columbus also bore a letter addressed to the "Great Khan". When Marco Polo had been in China two hundred years earlier the fabulous empire was ruled by one of the descendents of Genghis Khan, who was installed by the invasion of the Mongols. Since very little news of Asia ever reached Europe, Columbus and his backers probably assumed that there would still be a Great Khan to negotiate with in China. Turned out that by 1492 the Mongol conquerors were long gone and the current rulers of China were not all that interested in deals with the Europeans. But Columbus never found out and his letter was never delivered.

Of course, adding to the confusion is that there are also "Indians" from South Asia (the new head of Microsoft is an Indian immigrant), and that the term "West Indians" is used to describe people from the Caribbean who are for the most part of African descent (Jamaica, Bermuda, the Virgin Islands and Haiti have large proportions of their population who are descended from Africans imported to the islands as slaves much the way they were imported to the American South).

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So ... would you rather get an Indian, an East Indian, or a West Indian when you call tech support?

(Note: Option One is unlikely since most call center jobs have been outsourced these days.)

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So ... would you rather get an Indian, an East Indian, or a West Indian when you call tech support?

(Note: Option One is unlikely since most call center jobs have been outsourced these days.)

As long as they have a sound grasp of English and the knowledge to solve my problem (and the patience to deal with me), I don't care. The only related concern I have to that is when the person's accent is so thick that they're hard to comprehend. It makes me wonder if they can comprehend what I say.

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There are about 370+ American tribes that are officially recognised by the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. The list includes confederations, subsets, other divisions and some 'tribes' represent less than 30 people!

Wikipedia has a list of them all here with links to a bit of knowledge on each. I am willing to bet there are omissions. Certainly you would have to look at Canadian and South American tribes as well.

If you wrote it as an RPG book, included some general information, special abilities, magic, favourite method of warfare (or some thing) and at least one significant event in their history. That would require a minimum of 1 page per tribe (optimistic in some cases) giving you a 370+ page tome that is guaranteed to annoy someone and only be of limited use to any RPG group.

Yes, I would like that book too! But I think we might be in a bit of a minority niche :)

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Perhaps a better tack would be to select one tribe or groups of tribes, all in the same region, and one period of time. That would narrow things down to a manageable level, and specific historical tidbits could provide fodder for campaign and scenario ideas. If it sells, add tribes and regions on the periphery in a supplement.

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8 hours ago, Peter Aperlo said:

If you want to see it, propose it to Chaosium and write it yourself. That's what I did with Secrets of Los Angeles. The renumeration ain't great, but the work is satisfying!

I don't believe Chaosium is interested in the old "Monograph" model.  If you can come up with a standalone game based upon BRP or HQ rules, it might be something to pursue ....  Also note the forthcoming "SRD + GenrePack" model for (likely re-named) HQ3.

But Chaosium would be the folk to say for sure!

 

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A BRP/RQ treatment of native American background might work as an expansion or parallel game for Mythic Iceland, since part of that game is set in Vinland.

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5 hours ago, g33k said:

I don't believe Chaosium is interested in the old "Monograph" model.  If you can come up with a standalone game based upon BRP or HQ rules, it might be something to pursue ....  Also note the forthcoming "SRD + GenrePack" model for (likely re-named) HQ3.

But Chaosium would be the folk to say for sure!

 

Correct, we are no longer doing monographs.

Here are the Chaosium Submissions Guidelines: https://www.chaosium.com/submissions

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