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BlazingTornado

Worldbuilding, real-world myths and player races?

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So as my first full D&D campaign edges closer and closer to conclusion, rather than start the next campaign in the same weird hodgepodge world with a map I was never truly happy with, I decided to start from scratch....

 

I used a lot of cultural short-hand related to real-world cultures and myths in that campaign and want to keep that going with the next campaign... and also want to spread the "demihuman" player races around in cultures where similar beings existed in the culture's mythology.

 

Like, Celts would have firbolgs and wood elves, Norse would have mountain dwarves, high elves and drow, Greco-Romans would have stout halflings (the mythological pygmies) and centaurs, and Japan would have kenku (tengu) and tortles (kappa)....

 

So I'm just wondering if there's any handy guides for knowing about other cultures' mythical beings that I could use to source some info and ideas for where, say, hill dwarves could fit the bill for a certain culture's mythical humanoid creatures. Like, Aztec, Egyptian, Chinese, etc., so my players can better know just how to work their chosen 5th Edition races (unless I can convince em to switch over to the Rules Cyclopedia) better into their land of origin, and just how much of an outlier they would be in certain other parts of the world.

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How in depth are you looking for?  Something like the 3E Deities and Demigods that just hit the highlights on some historical pantheons, full-fledged books dedicated to a specific religion, or something in between? 

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I mean if there's an existing RPG guidebook that equivalates existing player races, even of older editions, with other mythical races (ie non-unique godly beings) that could help, but otherwise any handy reference I could be provided to see what kind of creatures (again, as in "races" and not "only one exists" like THE Minotaur) would be appreciated.

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There used to be an RPG titled Rus - built around the Slavic peoples.

 

Lots of info on the  various gods and creatures of the mythology. (I always liked Perun - god of the thunders, and ruler of the gods. His weapons included golden apples. Exploding golden apples - capable of killing six hundred between three thrown apples.)

 

The Auld Grump - by the sky of stone!

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There are also the old Historical campaign supplements for 2e AD&D. (Some of the best books for that edition.)

 

For Ars Magica there is also The Dragon and the Bear, which I think also covered a bit of pagan Russia, but PCs in Ars Magica are almost always human.

 

As a game... Rus was not all that good - it was better as a a supplement.

 

The Auld Grump

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2 hours ago, TheAuldGrump said:

There are also the old Historical campaign supplements for 2e AD&D. (Some of the best books for that edition.)

I'll try and look into those but from the name alone I'm going to guess they're more about all-human campaigns.

 

One of my players told me the Shadowrun game at some point had like "regional alternative" names for the player races but after cross-referencing whatever I didn't already have, we just came away with one smallfolk from Hawaiian myths, the Menehune, and looking into info on that folklore made me use one of the halfling subraces of 5E for it, should a player or the game end up sourcing from that region.

This is what I'm trying to get done here... less introducing new races and more using all these overly abundant 5E races and kind of geo-locating them according to cultural myths so I don't have to justify aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall being abundant all over the world.

So your lightfoot halflings'll be hobbits living in the Expected Western Fantasy Setting country, while stout halflings'll be the pygmies of Greek myths. The high elves will hang out in the norse lands, being closer to the elves portrayed in the myths, while the wood elves will have a celtic bend to them, being closer to the seelies and the feys and all that lovely woodland stuff.

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And the pech, wood woses, and other wee folk of Celtic/British myth would also likely be covered by halflings. (Though in the case of wood woses it is not so much hairy feet as hairy everything.)

 

The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump

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2 minutes ago, BlazingTornado said:

......Is that where the insult term for Nelwyns in Willow comes from???

Maybe?

 

I haven't seen Willow since being really disappointed with it in the theater, on opening night.... (I love Elora Danan! And that's why I am handing off to the first person I find hanging in a pillory! There is no better testament to character! <_< )

 

I... had such high hopes for the movie.

 

The Auld Grump

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