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I'm looking for a roleplaying game set in a Mesoamerican culture: Aztec, Mayan, Olmec, etc. Simply being a Stone Age game isn't enough -- it needs to be steeped in jaguars and feathered serpents and sacrifices.


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closed as off-topic by SevenSidedDie Mar 2 at 18:43

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

As part of Mystara / Hollow World D&D campaign setting, there is Sons of Azca, that is, basically, the kind of game set culture that you are looking for, but located inside Mystara planet, in a highly magical internal sphere illuminated by an internal globe of fire instead of the sun (that's the Hollow World general campaign set, and the Sons of Azca are one of the nations).

If you don't like the idea of being in the Hollow World, well... you can adapt the campaign to another location relatively easily.

It's an intriguing and well designed campaign set (with well crafted plots and connections with other, apparently unrelated nations and immortals), artwork is arguably the best of TSR history, but this setting is made for a D&D edition that is not officially supported anymore. However, that's not a major issue as the transposition to newer D&D editions is not too complicate and can be often done "on the spot" by a reasonably experienced DM.

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And the edition is alive and well in Dark Dungeons (if you want the Immortals rules) or any of the other Basic D&D simulacra described on that page and a few more that aren't mentioned. PDFs for most (Dark Dungeons definitely) can be had for free and there are print options for pay. – SevenSidedDie Jun 9 '12 at 17:34
Upvote for SevenSidedDie comment - Dark Dungeons (and its brothers Darker Dungeon and Darkest Dungeon) are a really nice reality for seasoned players like me...;-) – Yaztromo Jun 10 '12 at 8:51
I also just attached the cover image, that is a good sample of the artwork of this set (I think it's definitely one of the best, if not the best of TSR production). – Yaztromo Jun 10 '12 at 8:53

Real Meso-american cultures adapted to game:

  • GURPS - GURPS Aztecs

However... for fantasticized Meso-american, there are several.

  • Torg - Space Gods sourcebook
    Aztec Gods returned, having been spacefarers from an alternate dimension.
  • D&D - HWR1 Sons of Azca
    D&D aztecs in the Hollow World
  • AD&D2 - Maztica
    Fantasy D&D setting blending Aztec, Inca, and D&D...
  • D&D 3E/D20 - Lopango
    (same setting as Maztica)
  • D20 - Aztecs: Empire of the Dying Sun
    by Avalanche Press - they do pretty well for the shortness of their books.
  • Witch Hunter - Aztec Empire
    conquistador era alternate earth.

Incidental/Conquistador -

  • Crimson Cutlass
    focuses on the conquistadores.

The ones I would recommend from the lot -

  • GURPS - GURPS Aztecs
    SJG has high standards, and their historical lines are usually excellent, often less than 1/4 the book is rules material. I have no hesitation recommending this sight-unseen.
  • D20 - Aztecs: Empire of the Dying Sun
    AP makes excellent D20 adaptations. Yes, they're fantastic versions, but they're well done. I've not looked at this one in years, but as with GURPS, the whole line is excellent.
  • Torg - Space Gods sourcebook
    While Torg itself is an invading realities game, the setting books work just as well with Masterbook (Torg itself is MasterBook 0th edition), and can easily be used for whole settings, rather than just the invading reality shown.
  • Crimson Cutlass
    Not because it does them well, but because I simply love the game ;)
This answer does not meet our game-rec answer standards. Please focus on games you have used for Mesoamerican gaming. – mxyzplk Jun 9 '12 at 21:48

I almost ran a D&D Game set in Maztica. The whole thing was designed to be Mesoamerican in flavor, feel, and everything else. Unfortunately, I gave away the box set years ago, so I cannot reference anything, but I remember that there were Jaguar warriors, the dominant weapon was a "maca" (I think), which was a sharpened stone weapon that was about even mixtures of a sword, a cricket bat, and a warhammer. I'm not sure if they had any feathered serpents, but IIRC, D&D 2e had them in the Monster Manual (or whatever they called it).

I personally loved the setting, but my friends all voted "meh" on the campaign I was developing for it/the setting itself.


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