SFRPG

The forum for Science Fiction Role Playing Game inspiration and information! So Say We All!
It is currently Mon May 20, 2019 4:33 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: CoC: Mesoamerica 1920 ?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:01 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:08 am
Posts: 3107
Location: Sonthofen / Germany
I am currently writing a little mesoamerican setting for Call of Cthulhu, a fictional
state named San Ignacio that replaces our real world's El Salvador (but has twice
the area and fewer inhabitants).

Most of the background (geography, population, politics, economy, etc., plus the
first sketch of a map) is there, but I am still looking for some additional ideas, pre-
ferably ones I myself would not think of.

I have ordered Pagan Publishing's "Mysteries of Mesoamerica" and use almost all of
the usual Call of Cthulhu supplements, but in my experience the best inspiration
comes from the regulars of SFRPG.

So, would you please let me know what comes to your mind when you think of Meso-
america in the years around 1920 ?

Thank you very much. :D


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:08 am 
Offline
Administrator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:22 am
Posts: 5349
I think a few of the Great Old Ones were associated with Mesoamerica weren't they? (or they could be in your game, anyway ;))

Tsathoggua, Atlach-Nacha, Cxaxukluth, Hziulquoigmnzhah (those last two sound kinda like mesoamerican names?), and Quachil Uttaus might be engineered to be active in that area perhaps. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Old_One for more info on them).

Or you could say that some of the mesoamerican gods were actually Great Old Ones or Elder Gods (like Nodens)?

_________________
SFRPG Owner/Admin
This post (or any other post I made here) may not be quoted or copied beyond the SF RPG boards without my explicit permission.
evildrganymede.net - visit the The Worldbuilding Hub
Check out my Youtube channel for all my streamed gaming videos!


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:11 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:08 am
Posts: 3107
Location: Sonthofen / Germany
Thank you for some interesting ideas. :D


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:36 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:41 pm
Posts: 409
Location: Northern California
* Plantations, run by Mestizo overseers representing European and American interests employing hundreds of native peoples who were essentially serfs. In particular, right up to like 1950s or so (I think) there was great demand for natural rubber. So a plantation of rubber trees might be quite interesting, though banana or other "tropical" fruits might work as well. In particular, the faded grandeur of the Spanish Empire, dead for many centuries now, but still somehow lingering on at some level in the form of fine houses, imported (black) automobiles, snazzy suits, and perhaps fashionable sons and daughters going to Cuba or Argentina for tango and so on. If it's a fictional country that's been around a long time, perhaps there's actually a dwindling colony of American expatriates from the Civil War South who left the South after their defeat who still live out there. Perhaps the Yuggoth have infiltrated some plantation and the rubber trees produce a sickly, glowing rubber sap which strange properties...

* Mesoamerica in particular has a long history of human sacrifice (though it was pretty widespread throughout much of Central and South America). In CoC, this human sacrifice should be tied in some way to the Mythos. The Lovecraft-canon view would be the "degenerate dark-skinned people" cavorting with various Mythos creatures. If such typical 1920s racism bugs you (as it does me) you could make things more complex.

* There's a rather dark, fatalistic streak to central and south American Catholicism as a fusion of the fatalism already present in a lot of "old world" Catholicism and the fatalistic pre-Columbian traditions. These are the people who brought us the Day of the Dead after all. The DotD should figure in some way in your story or censers made from the skulls of local saints and so on.

* Sort of hand-in-hand with fatalism comes corruption, I think. Bribery, run-down urban infrastructure, and so on are just some of the signs. I mean, the terrible reputations of "Mexican Jails" is legendary in the US. There's nothing like the corrupt hell-hole prison converted from an old Spanish colonial fort, guarded by low-paid soldiers in frumpy uniforms who entertain themselves with the prisoners.

* Bandits. People like Pancho Villa. While called bandits, they had a certain mystique and reputation amongst the people - not all "bandits" are hated by everyone. In particular, they might have a kind of "Robin Hood" reputation.

* Ancient ruins - perhaps one the "Mayan" temples that archeologists are digging up is actually a flying-temple-spaceship thing of the Insects of Shaggai.

* Columbus' initial forays into the Americas occurred during the time of the Inquisition. It doesn't take much fudging to imagine that there might be cults of people who are neither Jewish or Muslim who arrived in the New World under the guise of being a Morisco with some name like "del la Cruz" (typical of such "converted" Spanish) who brought over some eltrich and profoundly unwholesome cult being rightfully persecuted by the Church, which has quietly thrived in the jungles, fusing with native beliefs. Of course, African slaves were brought over the work the plantations as well, so perhaps they brought over beliefs.

* Perhaps there's a well which villagers tell you the Mayan priests used to sacrifice young couples by throwing them in on a certain day (perhaps an equinox or some date only of importance to the Mayan calendar). Investigating this well shows it to be one of the typical deep limestone wells typical of some parts of mesoamerica. However, one thing that should be there that is missing are the bones of sacrifices. What happened to them? Visiting the well during the special dates reveals it's a way to directly access the Dreamlands. Of course, you have to get past the Gugs who still linger around in the well, remembering the days when hanging around allowed for "take out" from the surface world just being dropped in...

With a little bit of fudging, you could easily put ethnic Maya populations in your area. With a little more fudging, perhaps a displaced population of Aztec peoples (perhaps shipped down from Mexico proper for labor). For instance, you might have a desperate and aging group of Catholic priests in the area who are under scrutiny from the rest of the Church. What happened is that the Mayans had a large body of knowledge on perhaps 2-3 trapped and/or placated Mythos entities (perhaps one of the nameless Outer Gods) - perhaps this was the source of all the human sacrifice. However, when the Spanish priests who initially conquered central America killed the native priests and burned the Mayan codexes, they destroyed the great stores of knowledge on how to keep such horrors contained. As the bonds that trap such horrors weakened, the Catholic priests were forced to take increasingly desperate measures to contain the threat, perhaps in turn resorting to human sacrifice. The "cultists" the players put down and their "degenerate Catholic priests" leading them might really turn out to the be the only thing keeping some Mythos horror from being unleashed on the world.


Last edited by epicenter on Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:27 am 
Offline
Banned

Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:19 pm
Posts: 674
Location: North Central Kansas
Have some of the players come from other countries as

Treasure hunters
Visiting professors (History, Tourist, Biology, Medical)
Rich on a vacation (Playboy or entire family who own an estate)
Archologist
Missionary
Pirates or smugglers
Exotic animal catcher (that then sales the animals back home)
Honeymooners
Fishermen who are going for that big fish
Doctor that donates his time

This will give you many different backgrounds and yet help keep the island a mystery to the players since they will not be from there.

Dave Chase

_________________
Dave?

Dave is not here.

No, he is not here.

Honestly, he is not here. If he was the online light would be on.

This is just a simple text message.

Have nice day.


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:19 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:08 am
Posts: 3107
Location: Sonthofen / Germany
Thank you all very much for the many good ideas. :D :D :D


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 285
You might want to check GodChecker.com for their Aztec, Incan, and Mayan gods; I'm sure that in the Aztec section (at least), you'll find a few gods (Huitzilapochtli comes to mind immediately) that have sufficiently horrific worship requirements to fit right in with a Cthonic milieu.


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:01 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:08 am
Posts: 3107
Location: Sonthofen / Germany
Thank you for the link, indeed a nice array of nasty creatures ... ;)

By the way, I think I will write this setting "upside down", against most of the
usual cliches of Mesoamerica.

My San Ignacio will (seemingly) be a "little utopia" with wise politicians, reforms
working as planned and a comparatively satisfied majority of the population.
However, this success story will be balanced on a bayonet's point, with even
the slightest unexpected event (a volcano eruption, a militant indio sect, a cha-
rismatic political adventurer ...) able to trigger a desaster that could turn the
dream into a bloody nightmare.

And (almost) everyone is aware of this. The common people react with fatalism
("We have to accept what God will give us ...") and a certain dark streak of su-
perstition that is fascinated by death and destruction, and the decision makers
react with either paralysis ("Do nothing, so you cannot make any critical mista-
ke ...") or hectic reform programs ("We only have to solve these few problems ...").
All in all, a somewhat paranoid society that urgently needs more change to sur-
vive into the future, but fears any kind of change because it could destroy the
balance and ruin the entire "Experiment San Ignacio".

I think such an "utopia on the very edge of an abyss"-background could provide
the right "feeling" for Cthulhoid abventures, where the mythos is also just out of
sight most of the time, but could strike unexpected devastating blows at every
moment.


Top
   
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:01 am
Posts: 72
rust wrote:
So, would you please let me know what comes to your mind when you think of Meso-
america in the years around 1920 ?


United Fruit Company? :shock:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_fruit_company

... obviously a front for Shub Niggurath

Phil McGregor


Top
   
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:00 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:08 am
Posts: 3107
Location: Sonthofen / Germany
aspqrz wrote:
rust wrote:
United Fruit Company? :shock:

Yes, of course - thank you, I will note it for an adventure for this
setting. :D


Top
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited