I'm talking mainly here about D&D and D&D-style campaign settings - but feel free to contribute with any other fantasy settings.
(a) Why is it that fantasy settings typically have ethnically homogenous nation-states and not client states and colonies?
(b) Why is it that 'European' fantasy countries aren't clear analogues of real-world European countries but non-European fantasy countries typically are?
(c) Why do few fantasy settings have 'imperialism', 'immigration' or 'colonisation' as a theme?
(d) Why are there more crumbling or vanished empires than new polities?
It would be simple to say that people who are most familiar with Europe need to make 'European' fantasy countries different, while just being 'like China' is enough to make Kara-Tur different. Perhaps people who are most familiar with Europe create fantasy settings that reflect the idea of 'nations' as they arose in early modern Europe.
But Paizo and Wizards of the Coast are both based in the United States, and my impression is that most RPG companies are as well (or at least in North America). Isn't there a desire to use fantasy to tell stories of colonisation and immigration, to create US-like and Canada-like and Mexico-like fantasy countries that aren't obvious analogues like Maztica?
It's true that the pseudo-medieval period is a little before 1492, but:
(a) The age of colonisation has been done in fantasy settings, I'm thinking in particular of Maztica. There, however, an obvious analogue was used. It could have just as easily been (I would have thought) a Mesoamerican-style country in the same way the Dalelands are European-style.
(b) Themes of colonisation could easily be explored without the age of colonisation. The Anglo-Saxons are named after two waves of colonisers, and they were colonised in turn by the Normans!
Am I missing something? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
(To give you some context, I'm an Australian who's been thinking about how to write fantasy in vaguely Australasia-style countries/colonies. I'm also fiddling with the Awen
character creation rules to see if they can create more 'colonial' settings.)