Hi Volrath,

It's not a castle per se, but le Chateau d'Amberville of the TSR classic "Castle Amber" might suit you.  It's a sprawling manor with an vast central domed arboretum from which radiate the east and west wings, as well as the northern chapel complex.  I could be mistaken, but I think there's a subterranean complex as well.  You can purchase a harcopy from Noble Knight Games for around $20.00, but perhaps RpgNow has it in pdf form.


(6 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

Interpreting the dwarven presence in North America along the lines of the failed Norse colonies strikes me as a very natural (given the former are a folkloric element of the latter) yet innovative choice; that said, I suspect some of this forum's members might accuse you of cultural insensitivity towards the Norse by doing so.  Have you positioned them in Newfoundland or further south?  Have they followed the Viking mistake of antagonizing the Inuit, or are they content to farm, fish, and delve?  Consider Clint Krause's Roanoke and Don't Walk in Winter Wood for rpg inspiration along the lines of supernatural and psychological colonial horror.

Following up your concern over the rpg marginalization of native peoples by expressing a desire to set your fantasy campign during the genocidal horror of La Conquista put me in danger of laughing my mocha java out my nasal cavity.  Well done.  With regards to your idea, however, in addition to Totems of the Dead, have a look at the Aztec Empire supplement for Paradigm Concepts Witch Hunter: The Invisible World.  It details an alternate 17th century in which the Spanish are in imminent danger of being pushed into sea by an implacable, blood-magic-weilding Aztec nation.

Forgive me if this possibility has been mentioned in depth elsewhere, but I thought I might make note of it given recent posts on the reconciliation of traditional fantasy races with a quasi-historical campaign setting.

Fantasy versions of North and South America have been rendered before in rpgs, providing the GM with a narrow, but intriguing, range of possibilities to use as a springboard or toolkit for his or her LotFP campaign.  Atlas Games' Northern Crown setting is an out-and-out magical, alternate reality 17th century take on North America (the titular Northern Crown being the alternate name for the continent, whereas South America is called the Southern Cross: very evocative, I thought).  Even more outre, the Untamed Lands of Gunmetal Games' Totems of the Dead present a swords-and-sorcery North America featuring tribal confederacies bedeviled by Atlantean and Scadian raiders, Ruskan and Shenese settlers, and the human-sacrificing Maztlani empire of the interior.  Of only parenthetical importance to the game, and therefore of greater significance in relation to LotFP, the North and South America of the Warhammer rpg and miniatures game are dominated by dark elves and lizardmen, respectively, in sharp contrast to the human stronghold of the Old World (where the vast majority of both games take place).

While all three of the above examples are interesting in their own ways, only the latter one deals directly with the transplantation or re-peopling of an earth-analogue continent with fantasy races.  As seen below, the substitution of a fantasy race population for an extant, or prior, human one is decidedly toward the grosser end of the adaptation scale.  Here, then, are some possibilities ranging the most extreme to the subtlest.

Elves, dwarves and halflings inhabit the Americas with little or no changes to their respective cultures.  Graceful elven swan-barges ply the Mississippi, trailing the languid, decadent notes of thousand-year old composures in their wakes; dwarven deepholds core the Alleghenies for rich, dark, veins of coal and iron; and plump, self-satisfied halflings raise, toast, and send aloft tun after tun of sweet Virginia tobacco while debating the relative merits of the Staunton and Shenandoah rivers for smallmouth bass.  Humans never crossed the Bering land bridge.  Perhaps the elves, dwarves, and halflings are indigenous to the land, or perhaps fled before the baleful eye of the One God, who stayed His hand long enough for them to flee the glades and hills of Europa for a New World.

Less Extreme
Elves, dwarves, and halflings are still the sole inhabitants of North America, but they are placeholders for the Native American cultures of the post-Columbian aftermath.  Decimated by disease, the elven moundbuilders have cast down the wooden pylons and the copper skull-and-vulture effigies of the Old Gods, spitefully dooming their former patrons to blood-starve for failing to protect their charges.  The dwarves gather, howling rage from the door of the North Lodge, howling despair from the door of the East Lodge, howling envy from the door of the South Lodge, howling grief from the door of the West Lodge; they no longer recognize their world and war will stand in place of understanding.  One halfling flits from the trees in the gloaming to claim an iron tool from the Newcomers and is hung from a tree; one hundred Newcomers perish that winter, their cattle hamstrung, their well poisoned, their skiff holed.

Less Subtle
Elves, dwarves, and halflings share North America with the native peoples we know from history.  For various reasons, their presence has made little impact on native culture, which, in turn, has made little impact on theirs save for prematurely affording them access to certain New World novelties like tobacco, potatoes, and syphilis.  Perhaps they fled the Old World (as above) and subsisted in isolated enclaves until the advent of the Newcomers.  Perhaps, much like the Huron abortively attempted to do with French traders, they might jockey for the position of middle man, sending native allies to scour the interior for furs to trade for European luxuries, little aware of the impending covetous wrath of the nascent Iroquoian Empire.

Elves, dwarves, and halflings exist in such small numbers, and are so adept at hiding their presence, that native peoples consider them to be spirits or people of a bygone age.  Halflings in this variation are the legendary "little people" or Mikumwess of Passamaquoddy lore.  Elves might be the Bakok of the Chippewa; lithe, pale, deadly nightstalkers who nonetheless possess the chivalry to only kill warriors.  The squat and incredibly strong Jogah of the Mohawk, living in their caves and moving great masses of stone about the countryside, are perhaps misunderstood colonies of dwarves.  This possibility renders the prospect of contact with Newcomers less likely as the various races seem intent on leaving a light footprint; unless they greet European explorers with enthusiastic relief, their presence in North America being an unlooked for consequence of an ancient catastrophe, shipwrecking them on savage shores.

The above are only a few possibilities, each with a multitude of variations within themselves. In the end, a great deal will depend on the scope of a GM's campaign as it will render the significance of any of the above critical (if colonizing the Weird New World is in the offing) or merely of interest as player character backstory (to justify the exile of your disgraced and dissipated elven courtier, the Viscount of Susquehanna).