Saturday, September 19, 2015

Other Worlds

Yesterday, Alexis mentioned me in one of his posts (just in passing, mind you) and it touched off a nerve. Totally unintentional on his part, I'm just brought up a lot of negative feelings about living here in Paraguay. I wrote a loooooong post about why there's no role-playing in this country, why there will probably NEVER be role-playing in this country, and much of it was super-derogatory regarding the culture and people here. Very, very rant-y.

Fortunately, I didn't have time to post it. My afternoon was fairly busy as we had a birthday party to attend. By "we," I mean the boy and I. He played with his classmates for three hours while I sat around with the other moms, socializing as best I could in my limited Spanish. It was surprisingly fun...or, at least, not as nail-pullingly hellacious as I feared it might be. And it reminded me that I am often too hard on the people here, even in my own mind...negatively judgmental, that is. Maybe there could be a market for gaming here. The limitations of the Paraguayan people are caused in large part by geographic isolation (compared to most participants in our "global economy") and poverty which bleeds into the country's infrastructure. Yes, there's cultural inertia, but it's not an inherent, insurmountable obstacle.

Anyway, I deleted my original post.

West of India, Southeast of Europe
As I said, the point of Alexis's post really had nothing to do with me. His musing on taking D&D to places that don't ape some sort of mythic Europe is not a new idea (though his maps are more concrete follow-through than most folks get to), but it's still a good idea, and one that doesn't get enough play. Or, perhaps more accurately, enough action. My Five Ancient Kingdoms game did not start off as an Arabian Nights version of D&D, but in trying to create a coherent setting, I found myself having to draw in more and more of the Middle Eastern culture I was studying...once you incorporate one part, others need to follow if you want it to make sense, until you get sucked into adopting wholesale swaths of a region and its peoples. The research itself is valuable to the researcher's personal development and growth, but it can be a real shot-in-the-arm to one's game, too. And, hey, maybe alternate settings will have some appeal to folks outside the usual demographic target audience.

Now if only WotC would bother translating their books into non-English languages.

Okay, got to go. Saturday's not a day I usually have time to post.


  1. It's not your preferred edition of the rules, but Dungeon Crawl Classics is going to be coming out in Spanish translation. I'm not sure how their international shipping is going to be, or what download speeds are like in rural South America, but it's availability might spark some interest.

    I wanted to tell you that Labyrinth Lord was already available in Spanish, but when I double-checked, it turned out it was Italian.

  2. When I was scouring the web for a copy of Prince Valiant: The Storytelling Game, I found a Spanish PDF. Based on the info I've found online, it seems to be legitimate (i.e., an official release). I'd personally like to get a hold of the Japanese multi-volume release of the Rules Cyclopedia, as that has a ton of original art in it.

    Back on point: you're absolutely right about Wizards releasing non-English versions of their books. With their "premium" reprints of 1st through 3.5 editions being done digitally from the start, it wouldn't kill them to release at least a PDF and do some rudimentary marketing in Spanish- and French-speaking countries. (Even in Canada, where bilingual products are frequent; a bilingual edition of the new free Basic Rules would be a boon in this regard.)

  3. I love this title is five ancient kingdoms (west of India, s.e. Of Europe). The more I study languages I find that there was one 'kingdom' in this region. It was religion that broke it up. You might even say it was the first. Humans are at a moment where spiritualism is evolving. The Shaman spiritual leadership is beginning to divide. A patriarchy is emerging (clerics who worship the sun as a god symbol), nature worshipers (druids focused more on plants and animals) and the older spiritualism (bards).

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  5. I've sold copies of my how to book to Turkey, Netherlands, India, Russia, Spain, Australia, China, Chile, Sweden and many other places, so I know the game is international. But no, I haven't sold in Paraguay.