Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Mammoth Lords vs. Totems of the Dead

One of my setting germs is MAMMOTH LORDS, and it's one that I've actually been very excited about for a long time.  Not that I've talked about it much here, but it's still one of my favorite potential settings.

The idea of it was Howard's Hyborian Age but instead of using various Bronze Age, Iron Age and even Medieval peoples and nations of Europe and the Middle East, I applied the idea to the Viking settlement of America.  This allows me to use, as Howard did, alternate names for historical peoples, but because they're alternate, I don't have to worry about chronological exactness or correctness, or other details of actual historical fiction.  I whipped up a draft map that looks a little bit like North America, but not exactly, and put names and places down so I knew who was sitting around next to who.  Because it was specifically Hyborian style sword & sorcery, I also added some Atlantis in the moundbuilder area, and decided that the pre-Clovis peoples like Kennewick Man, etc. were from the sunken continent of Mu, and would be represented by New World Ainu or something like that.  Sounds like a great idea?

Well, apparently it was, because Gun Metal Games totally stole my thunder and did almost exactly the same thing when they published Totems of the Dead for the Savage World game.  I don't have this product still, but I do have the sample pdf that they released a while ago that had was a demo or teaser for the product, and which describes very briefly the concept, the geography and some of the peoples.


I also found their map.  It looks a lot like mine again.  Sigh.  Of course, I have the pluvial lakes, and I have a much bigger Chinese (Fusang) presence on the west coast, and I have my Vikings (Vendels) a bit more southerly as well; they're not just up there by L'Anse aux Meadows, they're also the builders of the Newport tower, and the Kensington runestone and the Spirit Pond runestone, etc.  In other words, it's not just a handful of villages far up on the Canadian east cost, it's a significant Eastern Seaboard presence.

Like every other setting using the Hyborian model of fantasy everywhere, it's fairly easy to tell who is supposed to represent who.  Where I was Vendels for Vikings, they use Skadians.  Yeah, that's easy.  Where I use Fusang for west coast Chinese settlement, they have the one settlement of Shen.  Where they have Anazi badlands and the Ahabi desert, I have the Azani and Kayenta cliff-dwillers.  Where they have the Maztlani Empire I have... well, actually I don't really get into Mexico or have an Aztec analog—the American southwest is as far south as I really go.

Anyway, I found this map of the setting, and thought I'd post it.  Again: Sigh.  I need to make my own draft into something presentable and post it too, but given that I haven't even done that for CULT OF UNDEATH or even DARK•HERITAGE yet, don't hold your breath.

1 comment:

Trey said...

Yeah, when your working with pulp tropes as we do, it's pretty likely somebody had mined a similar vein at some point.