Aztec-Themed Campaign


Homebrew and House Rules


I am planning a campaign for a table and I decided to have it revolve around ancient Aztec culture. I think that it should be a world where all magic is divine and requires blood sacrifices to cast, so constitution might be the spellcasting ability. I also think that I need to design archetypes/alternate classes, monster lists, and other thing to do it right. Any suggestions?


Could look up some of the old Basic set D&D/Hollow world mods, might have been a lost empire mod with similar feel for forgotten realms in late 80's/early 90's.


Lazaryus wrote:
I am planning a campaign for a table and I decided to have it revolve around ancient Aztec culture. I think that it should be a world where all magic is divine and requires blood sacrifices to cast, so constitution might be the spellcasting ability. Any suggestions?

I would consider looking at something like the Black Company campaign book (it was a Green Ronin publication for 3.5) to get some mechanical ideas for spell-casting. In that one, it was all arcane (easily switched) and you spent your own hp to cast, and also to meta- your spells. Doing that with someone else's hp would be a good switch. :) The original 2nd Ed. version of Dark Sun might also be worth a look for magical inspiration, though there you're destroying vegetation and the world's a desert waste as a result.

You could go with regular rules for the fragile weapons. The old Forgotten Realms Maztica setting might give some ideas for a few archetypes or prestige classes, and it's got some simplified cultural bits.


https://dnd.rem.uz/Advanced%20D%26D%20(unsorted)/AD%26D%20Module-FR-MZ-Fire s%20of%20Zatal.pdf

I wonder if anyone ever converted "Fires of Zatal"? It was Aztecy.


GURPS is a great source for historical settings presented with a view to what gamers need. There will be some rules stuff you don't need, but lots of setting information.

http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/aztecs/


I've been working on a blowgun using 'gunslinger' for my Mayan Magical Girl campaign, I can PM you it if you'd like! Also in general the other things I'm using in that campaign, there's quite a lot of mythological overlap.


Awesome! I've been reading the GURPS Aztec book for the last few days. It's like 90% cultural documentary, 10% mechanics stuff, and I could use something a bit more mechanic-intensive. :)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Don't need to make a lot of archetypes about it.

Matzica campaign setting is still a pretty good one for Aztec/mayan stuffs.

You could simplify blood sacrifice and the likes...

As a reminder that the average person has 4 hp (commoner level 1), so probably just a simple mechanic involving cutting self with a knife or something for 1d4 damage is more than enough. But give like a minor bonus like +1 to spell DC or +1 CL to a spell.

Now if someone wants to go into intricate ritual with multiple sacrifices or killing some very powerful individual, you could come up with something for that, probably easier to have blood sacrifice replaces expensive components for spells.


Dragon magazine ran a 4 part series on the Aztec deities toward the end.

Scarab Sages

Quetzalcoatl was the MAJOR exception to the rule when it came to blood sacrifice; as I understand it, even during the bloodiest stages of Aztec history, only fruit and flowers were allowed on his altar (you could expand it to include sacrifices of precious metals and gems if you wanted).

As a god of learning and teaching, maybe He is the creator and patron of arcane magic in this setting, and perhaps, in what would be a lovely break from some other settings' cliches *coughcoughWARCRAFTcoughcough*, arcane magic is more benign than divine - but could still be proscribed/taboo/persecuted by the established clergies of the other gods, even precisely because of that.


If you've got time to burn, I'd recommend Two Serpents Rise and Last First Snow both by Max Gladstone. They both deal (as do the rest of the books in the sequence) with a clash between arcane and divine. The two mentioned are specifically about a city that's sort of Mayincatec in flavor, but they manage to avoid or at least subvert most of the obvious stuff.

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