Any good RPGs set to Latin America?

edited August 2008 in Story Games
Hi!

I was traveling around in South America for the better part of last year, and am pretty fascinated by the continent. I'm trying to read up a little on the (relatively recent) history of the place, and was wondering what games there are, in Spanish or English, set to Latin-America (Mexico & the Carribean on downwards)? When I interviewed "The RPGpundit" in Uruguay, he mentioned that he was working on an RPG in Spanish, but if I recall correctly, that was fantasy-type fare. I'm especially interested in 19th century-stuff. I think the whole caudillo-era seems rife with opportunity for cool (and fresh) gaming experiences, but anything goes.

Thanks in advance.

Oh yeah; I'm generally fond of rules-light, Story-game, indie-type stuff.

Comments

  • Hmmm, I don't know of any games expressly set in South America. There are games that have *settings* in South America, the ones that come to the top of my head are RIFTS and the Maztica boxed set for AD&D 1e/2e (an Aztec-themed setting).

    Nothing of the 18th century to my knoweldge, mostly either "Aztec/Inca/Maya" or "South America in modern/post modern times" (Shadowrun sourcebooks, etc).

    What was happening in the 18th century that was really interesting, BTW? I have no historic knowledge of that region.
  • Some important political events during that period in Mexico

    Mexican Independence: 1810-1821

    Wars with France: 1838-1839, 1862-1867 (Second Mexican Empire)

    War with USA: 1846-1848

    Porfiriato: 1876-1910

    Mexican Revolution: 1910-1920

    All these periods are rich in events, socio-cultural effects and lifestyles. Each of them shaped our history, customs and way of thinking. And many of them could make a very interesting environment to set a game in (specially the Independence, Porfiriato and Revolution periods).
  • Witch Hunter: The Invisible World is set in an alt-history 17th century Earth and details in its gazetteer the still thriving Aztec Empire in Mexico (as well as New Spain and some of South America). There will be more in-depth coverage of the area in future supplements.
  • I've been reading Brasyl by Ian McDonald, and it's got me itching to make a game set in Brazil. With a jeito mechanic of some sort. And capoeira.

    But I don't know if I'd ever be able to get the necessary research done. Anybody else want to do it?
  • edited August 2008
    As for Argentina, there´s always the feverish dreams of local gamers of creating games centered in our history and current reality; but no, nothing "serious"... yet.

    Posible timelines and alt-settings suggested were a fantasy-ish setting using most folk countryside tales and legends, complete with gauchos and the like; something set in the civil war ( between "federalists" and "unitarians", for the shape of the state to come and the role of Buenos Aires, the always biggest city, in it; what you have called "the caudillo era" ); and my personal favourite, anything in the period from 1880s to the 1930s, complete with mobs, unions, anarchists, thousands of inmigrants...
    Other might include a rather crude but drama-ripe version of the "war against the indians" of the patagonia ( strictly speaking, a genocide ), or the very interesting times of the independence war itself; and that only speaking of the 19th century.

    If you´re interested we could talk about developing something, at least in the other-game-hack or "just setting material" form; i could use the history lesson refreshment myself...

    For Andy, in the most succint ( also, the less faithful ) way of condensing a century of history, more or less this is what happened in Argentina:
    - 1806 and 1809: British invasions of Buenos Aires, both repelled.
    - 1810: the "May Revolution" ( ending May 25th ) in which the Viceroy is thrown.
    - 1816: Declaration of Independence
    - 1810-1820: different forms of government tested, war of independence succesfully fought ( José de San Martín´s - with O´Higgins and Bolívar - campaign across the Andes and north, "liberating" Chile and Perú ), beginning of the dissidence between the province´s "caudillos" and the central power.
    - 1820 - 1850( fifty-something... can´t recall ) Civil War between "federalists" and "unitarians", unity dismembering in provinces ruled by "caudillos" and their alliances; later, the Rosas ( succesful in unifying the others under his command ) regime.
    - 1850-1880s ( again, more or less ). End of Rosas regime, beginning of the forming of a modern state, dispute over federalism over ( we´re a Federal Republic in theory, still very "unitarian" in practice until this day ).
    - 1880-1916: "Generation of the 80s": "progress" ideology, agroexporting, railroads multiplying, native´s genocide, immigration in massive amounts, colossal buildings, aristocrats swimming in money from their fields, electoral fraud,...
  • Don´t forget the War of Triple Alliance, or Great Paraguayan War in 1864 between Argentina/Brazil/Uruguay against Paraguay. More than half the population of Paraguay perished, and 90% of the entire male population. After that, the UK (aided by Brazil) made of the country what it is today basically pillaging the remnants of the country.

    Very sad, very brutal, and extremely fascinating.
  • edited August 2008
    I don't know of existing games situated in that particular milieu.

    AFAIK, the few RPG references to LatAm (in any era) are a little more than one-liners in most of those games. Supplements based on the region (as opposed to cultural look-alike) are rarer still. I just know of a couple: GURPS Aztecs and Deadlands' South o' the Border.

    The latter is pretty accurate as history goes - liberties taken in the name of the setting notwithstanding, of course.

    But that book inspired some folk, including me, to work in a Delta Green regional setting. For about a year we took regional/national history and seeded it and intertwined it with Mythos stuff. The brainstorming sessions were fun, fun, fun!

    Good times.
  • Once upon a time, I was working on Los Mangos Verdes y Desolados...

  • edited August 2008
    Nothing to see here, move along
  • Doña Barbara: The RPG - 'nuff said.
  • Never heard of it. Can't find it anywhere. Care to elaborate?
  • Daniel, I think, is talking about a novel authored by Rómulo Gallegos. I remembered it because of an old movie of the same title starring María Félix.
  • I'm just whipping Duty & Honour, my game ala Sharpe, into publishable format. It wouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility for me to whip up some stuff to represent the failed invasions of Buenos Aires prior to the Peninsular War. I'm absolutely sure I have some books about it somewhere in my reference mountain.

    Neil
  • I wrote a game a while ago called Argentine Wolf Boys, about seventh sons who were personally recruited by the president to serve as his personal black ops throughout the most tumultuous wars and political struggles.

    It was totally a game about power hungry pubescent boys who were cursed by their birth and alienated on the basis of superstition.
  • edited August 2008
    Posted By: TristanNever heard of it. Can't find it anywhere. Care to elaborate?
    Doña Barbara is a novel, as Torquemada points out, about a Venezuelan woman in charge of a plantation who has to content with a very macho-dominated world. It's a staple of Latin American schools. The novel features this slightly villanous main character who is nevertheless the heroine of the book. The setting would be a cool one for some stories exploring gender and social issues.
  • edited August 2008
    Posted By: Neil GowI'm just whippingDuty & Honour, my game ala Sharpe, into publishable format. It wouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility for me to whip up some stuff to represent the failed invasions of Buenos Aires prior to the Peninsular War. I'm absolutely sure I have some books about it somewhere in my reference mountain.

    Neil
    That would be great! I offer my help, both as argentinian and as persistent watcher of the "Hornblower" flics from Hallmark ;) ... And in a related note, do you know about this man or this other? Great stories to be told there...
  • Great stuff there Gorsh. I believe (ie. I could be wrong) that Bouchard was the inspiration for Sharpes Devil. When I get D&H up and running I'll rustle up whats necessary and slam some of it into a pdf or some such for the web. The more I look into this stuff, the more it unveils!

    Neil
  • Posted By: joepubI wrote a game a while ago called Argentine Wolf Boys, about seventh sons who were personally recruited by the president to serve as his personal black ops throughout the most tumultuous wars and political struggles.
    I want to play this.
    Séptimo hijo. Lobizón.
  • Damn, this thread, and looking up some things about Paraguayan history gave me a kicking idea.

    What if the isolation of Paraguay during the rule of José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia wasn't simply for economic benefits? What if he was conducting dangerous experiments in the occult, social design, and mass ritual, which required, for the safety of the world, complete isolation?

    What was he working on, how did it fail, and what did the Brazilians do with it once they claimed it?

    yrs--
    --Ben
  • With his strange ruling and prohibitions, like limiting marriage, theology studies (though he was a theologist) and taking all the church´s properties, add that the extreme isolation, and you have your own large scale Hellboy story.
  • Thanks a lot for the feedback!
  • edited August 2008
    If you´re interested we could talk about developing something, at least in the other-game-hack or "just setting material" form; i could use the history lesson refreshment myself...
    Thanks for the offer! I started my trip in Buenos Aires, and went all the way down to Patagonia, and even over to Las Malvinas. It's ripe with opportunity for sure, like a different kind of Wild West-setting than what we're accustomed to here in Europe.. And all kinds of romantic international connections, sailors, diplomats, gunfights... If one wanted some fantastical elements, it'd be great to utilize some of Borges' stuff. It'd be cool, but I feel I'd have to learn lots more about the history of the continent before undertaking a project like that. + I recently wrapped up my seven-year-RPG-project Itras by, so I'm not really ready to undertake anything big at the moment. But thanks again, you're very kind.
  • Posted By: TorquemadaBut that book inspired some folk, including me, to work in a Delta Green regional setting. For about a year we took regional/national history and seeded it and intertwined it with Mythos stuff. The brainstorming sessions were fun, fun, fun!
    Niceness! Do you have it online somewhere?
  • Posted By: joepubI wrote a game a while ago called Argentine Wolf Boys, about seventh sons who were personally recruited by the president to serve as his personal black ops throughout the most tumultuous wars and political struggles.

    It was totally a game about power hungry pubescent boys who were cursed by their birth and alienated on the basis of superstition.
    Kewl. Is it online?
  • Something I think would be cool is a game set in Latin America and taking full advantage of the Magical Realism school of literature. I want to see a game drawing on Borges, Garcia Marquez, Allende, Vargas Lloza, etc. Something that uses not only the Latin setting, but also the cultural and historical heritage/baggage to create a work that is from Latin Americans to Latin Americans yet enjoyable by others.

    That's a game I could get behind.
  • edited August 2008
    Posted By: olepederNiceness! Do you have it online somewhere?
    Nope, sorry. I *think* I have an early draft somewhere in a hard drive included in a backup of a backup of a backup in the form of a word document.

    The "development" was done in a Citadel-style BBS. The editor/compiler worked in the computer lab at a university where he set it up. I wanted an Eagle-style (threaded) BBS, but he wasn't a fan. :(

    We originally got together by means of universities-sponsored BBSs and, over time, some of those were taken offline. When the development BBS went down, I remained in contact with just another contributor (out of 6 or 7) and he was also at a loss about what had happened.

    So, I'm thinking we got too close to the truth. ;)

    Suddenly I'm feeling the urge to fire up the old Token client and look around the remaining boards of old. Maybe look for some gophers too. :P
  • edited August 2008
    Posted By: Daniel M. PerezSomething I think would be cool is a game set in Latin America and taking full advantage of the Magical Realism school of literature. I want to see a game drawing on Borges, Garcia Marquez, Allende, Vargas Lloza, etc. Something that uses not only the Latin setting, but also the cultural and historical heritage/baggage to create a work that is from Latin Americans to Latin Americans yet enjoyable by others.

    That's a game I could get behind.
    What he said. Meanwhile, I'll get some reading done.
  • There were at least RPGs situated in Brazil.

    Desafio dos Bandeirantes that was set during the colonial period and Hi-Brazil (I am not 100% sure if this one was ever published) which was an interesting mixture of historical facts and plain old Fantasy. In Portuguese.
  • Ronaldo, you´ve reminded me of those... Devir brazil has a line of mini-gurps suplements about brazilian history, "Entradas e Bandeiras", "O quilombo dos palmares" are the two i own; basically are small gurps-dependent supplements detailing a little of the history: the first is set in the times of the "entering" of the white man in the jungles; the second is about a fred/escaped-slaves´ kingdom that stood for a long time before it fell conquered. Ronaldo can correct me if i´m, as is likely, wrong about some of this.
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