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D&D 3E
Americana Campaign 
26th-Aug-2008 07:14 pm
Ok, so I'm going to be running a game soon, and I've got a weird concept going. Really just looking for input, and this might take a bit, so...

It started when I found this map:

Now, regardless of the whole "How the Japanese view" thing, I think this map's pretty cool. So I'm going to try and run a fantasy Americana campaign, using this map as a general outline for the setting.

What I'm thinking is taking the general mythologies of different areas of the country and porting them into the game as flavor. So, Texas would have guns and a cowboy culture (I'm thinking something like Gilead in the Dark Tower series), the midwest would be an industrial culture (I'm thinking dwarves and men living together and battling elven plains druids or something). New York is going to basically be a Sharn clone. I could use suggestions and input on what you might think for some of this stuff.

There will be no central government for the entire continent. Instead, I'm going to break it up along the lines of the Nine Nations of North America.

Racially, I'm thinking that elves are going to fill in for Native Americans, dwarves for anywhere really industrious, halflings wherever they can fit, and possibly gnomes and other races wherever they might seem appropriate. I'm going to use the elves from Dark Sun (athas.org), but other than that, I have no idea.

I definitely want the classes, monsters, and equipment available to reflect the areas in the game. Perhaps a Texan gunmage (ala Iron Kingdoms), or Detroit artificers, etc. I know I'm definitely putting the Carnival from Scarred Lands (with all its evil-Mardi-Gras-voodoo wtf fluff) near or in New Orleans, and definitely putting some Oriental Adventures stuff along the West Coast. Any ideas?

Help would be massively appreciated, and if I put in enough work, I might just make a campaign setting out of this. The idea fascinates me.

So, what do you guys think?
(Deleted comment)
27th-Aug-2008 03:23 am (UTC)
That would be awesomely helpful. I have a lot of ideas, and I also posted this on the /tg/ boards of a couple of the chans, but I need all the help I can get.
(Deleted comment)
27th-Aug-2008 04:31 am (UTC)
You, sir, rock my world. This is awesome.
27th-Aug-2008 04:35 am (UTC)
Reading through your concept on the setting, I have a book recommendation for you: A Canticle for Leibowitz. Great post-post-apocalyptic stuff.
(Deleted comment)
27th-Aug-2008 04:55 am (UTC)
Alright, read through all of it. I dig the adaptation of Daggerspell Mage. That was cool. I'm going to use the gunmage base class from Iron Kingdoms, but I'm totally stealing your prestige and tweaking it a bit more to fit the class. As far as tech goes, I'm basically going all the way up to the Colt .45--which leaves open a lot of steampunk possibilities, too, because I'm a horrible, horrible steampunk nerd.

I like the fluff for the setting. Very spiffy. The more I think about it, the cooler I think it would be to have orcish trucker/raiders (like 40k choppa boyz with trucker hats). Also, maybe I will have trains, just in a limited amount. Too many trains would link things up a bit too much, I think. But, I could easily connect the major tech cities via a rail of some sort without getting rid of random encounters on journeys.

Our fluff is very different, but that was extremely useful, dude. I've got some new ideas already. Rock on, sir.
27th-Aug-2008 02:10 am (UTC)
Great map.

Loong time ago I had a similar idea. The "indians" in this world would be Orcish tribes.

Since I'm from Pittsburgh, the Indian place names would be slightly changed to be more orcish, the Frensch names more elvish, and the German names more Dwarvish.

Lots of great places to adventure in the New World.
27th-Aug-2008 03:25 am (UTC)
That sounds wickedly awesome.

You know, I haven't figured out what to do with orcs yet. I had elves as the Indians, but that would make a lot of sense with orcs, too. Maybe both are native cultures?
27th-Aug-2008 01:50 pm (UTC)

You could put the Orcs in the plains, Elves in the woods, dwarves in the mountains ?
27th-Aug-2008 02:23 am (UTC)
1. Somehow I think this'd be cool as a 1900s-1930s thing. Because there's just so much stuff you could tap for this. For instance, you could have the Battle of Blair Mountain be fought between vicious, murderous mine owners and their stooges and brave unionized dwarves.

2. I'd be inclined to make the southeast this pit of religious fanaticism, sort of like Menoth in the Iron Kingdoms. Thus New Orleans would always be this wild town perched just on the edge of the neighbors invading and declaring their own martial law.
27th-Aug-2008 03:31 am (UTC)
Well, I'm really drawing from no one specific time period as much as from general American mythology/folklore/etc. I'm limiting the tech to Renaissance, plus some magical bits like airships (They're too cool to leave out. I mean, really, they're airships.). For instance, somewhere else someone suggested gangsters in Chicago. I'm thinking of tying that in with organized crime in Vegas, New York, etc., and forming an organization somewhere between Eberron's Aurum and the Mafia.

Ah, see, I was going more with the Old South. Agrarian/chivalric culture, fancy parties, etc. I hadn't thought of religious fanaticism, though. That could be cool--the oppressed classes are fighting back led by members of a new apocalyptic religion, something like that.
27th-Aug-2008 01:51 pm (UTC)

Gotta have airships....

(Roll 150d6 for fall damage)
27th-Aug-2008 08:22 pm (UTC)
I like this whole idea and I wanted to throw something out there. As far as Southern culture, I can totally see where you are going. Likewise, I would suggest the west coast be kind of rugged. Having grown up in California, it has always struck me that people on the west coast are more purpose oriented. They don't get caught up in unimportant details of society, and I really think it's because of our origins. When the east coast was having tea parties or quibbling over the fate of the african americans, most of the west coast was fighting an epic battle of survival. They had to put aside a lot of the prejudices and such and break it down to what it takes to work together and make a living.

Anyway, sorry for the babbling, but I wanted to point that out. You'll have the "old west" in Texas, yes, but think "gold rush" when you think of the west coast. In other words, it wasn't always all fun and games there, either.
27th-Aug-2008 04:21 am (UTC)
As to the orc/elf as native american debate, I'd say differentiate. There were some right peaceful native americans, lending well to the idea of elven druids and such. There were also some marauding suns of guns who we can base things like "last of the mohecans" off. Sounds more Orc-like. Wood elves fall somewhere in the middle. I just see pueblo construction as more elf-like and scalping more orc-like. Yes, wild stereotyping, but you get the point.
27th-Aug-2008 05:04 am (UTC)
Much appreciated. Yeah, it is kind of stereotyped, but that's the point of this game: it's a fantasy world made up of the legends and stereotypes of America.

That's not even the worst racist suggestion I've gotten. Someone on 4chan's /tg/ told me I should make gnomes Jewish.
27th-Aug-2008 05:14 am (UTC)
Why not, Don Bluth did it to mice
27th-Aug-2008 05:21 am (UTC)
You know, you've got a point. Jewish gnomes it is, then!
27th-Aug-2008 05:27 am (UTC)
Remember, there are no Kobolds in America, and the streets are filled with . . . sausages? strudel? whatever gnomes typically eat.
27th-Aug-2008 06:08 am (UTC)
Bagels. Gnomes are notorious lovers of the bagel.
27th-Aug-2008 08:26 pm (UTC)
My only issue with that idea (and you'll laugh) is that it makes it too easy to differentiate between the peaceful and the violent. I mean, in our history, how much of the trouble was fed by the fact that colonists couldn't tell the difference between the scalping native americans and the ones that just wanted to leave peacefully. By making them two difference races, you are taking away the chance for that epic battle of prejudice and stereotypes. In other words, you are making it too easy for the PCs to act morally. ;)
27th-Aug-2008 02:27 pm (UTC)
Cowboys versus Centaurs on the great plains.
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