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Maztica (2e)


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We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

Based on the Maztica Trilogy by Doug Niles, a new world of adventures far beyond the Shining Sea opens to players.

A land of Aztec and Mayan-like high culture with brutal, bloodthirsty gods, new creatures and lavish treasures.

Maztica is a brand new frontier for the Forgotten Realms adventure setting.

Product History

Maztica Campaign Set (1991), by Douglas Niles, is a boxed campaign expansion for the Forgotten Realms. It was published in June 1991.

About the Title. Maztica is a portmanteau of two Mesoamerican peoples: the Maya and the Aztec.

Origins (I): The Realms Boxes. In the early '90s, TSR was rolling out a couple of boxed sets for the Forgotten Realms every year. Maztica Campaign Set (1991) followed most directly in the footsteps of Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (1988) and The Horde Barbarian Campaign Setting (1990), each of which offered a large-scale expansion to the world of the Forgotten Realms.

Origins (II): The Blank Continents of Toril. Together the Horde and Kara-Tur supplements detailed the eastern portions of the continent of Faerûn. So what do you do as an encore?

The Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (1987) mentioned "other large landmasses" scattered across the world of Abeir-Toril, but that was the extent of the published information. In fact, Greenwood had never drawn out any of the world's other continents; one of his players, Victory Selby, had talked about detailing one, but never did. So, the rest of the world of the Forgotten Realms was a blank slate — which gave TSR plenty of room to expand when they decided to detail another continent as part of their newest boxed set.

Origins (III): The Niles Connection. Douglas Niles has been working to get a Mesoamerican Realms supplement on the TSR schedule for a while. It was entirely in line with his previous development work for the Realms, when he'd created the Celtic-themed Moonshae Islands as one of the first additions the Realms.

It took him two years, but he finally got the OK. First up he wrote a new trilogy of novels detailing the discovery of the new world: Ironhelm (1990), Viperhand (1990), and Feathered Dragon (1991). The Maztica Campaign Set then followed three months after the conclusion of the Maztica Trilogy.

Origins (IV): An Unwanted Addition. Greenwood has gone on record with his dislike of additions to the Realms like Kara-Tur and the Hordelands, saying that they cleaved too close to real-world cultures. He felt much the same way about Maztica. One of his players reports that "Ed never wanted a Mayan-Aztec-'New World' continent or flavour anywhere in the Realms, viewing it (I believe correctly) as a huge stylistic as well as commerical (sic) mistake even before he saw the published result, just as he never wanted the Hordelands to so closely resemble real-world Mongols, or see 'the Dalai Lama' inserted into the Realms, and so on."

Origins (V): A Mesoamerican Land. For better or for worse, Maztica is heavily based on Mesoamerican cultures — just like the Known World supplement, HWR1: "Sons of Azca" (1991), which was published just a month later. Niles bases different cultures of Maztica on the Aztecs and Mayan, and even has crusaders from Faerûn acting as the conquistadors — repeating not just the cultures of Mesoamerica, but its history too!

The conquistadors were a particular interest for Niles, who says, "I'd always thought the conquistadors were the closest-thing to a real-life D&D story. I just wanted to give the story a better ending." However, he also spent extensive time and effort getting the Mesoamerican cultures "right". While preparing to write Maztica, he toured numerous archeological sites such as the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon, Tchitchin Itza, and Uxmal, as well as lesser-known ones locations Tulum. He even made multiple trips to Mexico's National Museum of Archaeology.

Niles says the published result is "thoroughly researched and historically accurate" — which may indeed be what players were interested in, but was exactly what Greenwood wanted to avoid in creating new settings for the Realms.

The Battlesystem Connection. One of the books in the Maztica box, "Gods & Battles", includes support for the Battlesystem Miniatures Rules (1989), including some rules variants, troop listings, and scenarios. It sorts of makes sense given the martial nature of the conquest of Maztica, and it also continued a yearly tradition, after the battles of the Horde in 1990.

Expanding D&D. Maztica contains numerous expansions for bringing the D&D game to the continent of Maztica, including discussions of Maztica classes, races, and cultures, new character kits, new magic systems, and those aforementioned updated Battlesystem rules.

Exploring the Realms. "Maztica Alive!", another of the Maztica books, details the continent of Maztica, making it one of the biggest ever expansions for the world of the Realms. It describes several regions: Far Payit, Payit, Pezelac, Kultaka, the Valley of Nexal, Huacli, Kolan, and Tukan. There's even a big map in the style of the Forgotten Realms maps.

Future History. The land of Maztica got some immediate support in the next few years, with the "FMA" adventures (1991), the "FMQ" adventure (1992), and FR15: "Gold & Glory" (1992). After that it quickly fell out of favor and was consigned to minor mentions. By the '00s, some players wondered if it had dropped out of canon entirely.

Dragon #315 (January 2004) offered one of the few modern looks at Maztica as part of its walk through several "Campaign Classics" but then Wizards of the Coast nuked Maztica during the D&D 4e era (2008-2012), saying "The greatest portion of the returning world, however, replaced Maztica, the continent west of Faerûn."

Maztica gets an off-handed mention in the Dungeon Masters Guide for D&D 5e (2014), letting players know it's back. Wizards' DM's Guild has since allowed those players to take advantage of that return: Jon Hild has written a series of "True World" Maztican supplements, adventures, and novels, beginning with TWC1: "The Maztica Campaign Guide" (2016), while other members of the "Maztica Alive!" group has also contributed with products in the "TWA", "TWC", and "TWN" series.

About the Creators. Niles was one of TSR's most prolific and important creators in the late '80s and early '90s. He'd previously authored Battlesystem (1985), FR2: "Moonshaoe" (1987), and much more.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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Discussions (8)
Customer avatar
W. A August 16, 2023 12:28 am UTC
I'll buy this when you provide a POD option.
Customer avatar
Bill R March 13, 2022 1:09 am UTC
Yes... Please POD!
Customer avatar
Bill R March 16, 2022 8:54 pm UTC
I sent an email to WoTC customer service (on the advice of drivethru) asking for a POD... no response at all... :( not even a patronizing "we'll look in to it..." Oh well
Customer avatar
Kenneth Ian V May 02, 2022 7:02 am UTC
In February of last year I sent an email to WotC asking if they had any plans for a POD version of this book and got a reply telling me 'Thank you for showing interest in our products but it is our policy to never reply to emails'. reply is probably better than the less than useless reply I received. ;-)
That one is a real slow clap for their (lack of) customer service.
As an aside, the people at Chaosium have always been exceptionally friendly and helpful so if you have any Call of Cthulhu or Runequest purchases you are putting off you might want to pick them before WotC. Money talks. :-)
Customer avatar
ronny A October 24, 2022 12:40 am UTC
you have options. If you want a printed copy, there are plenty of ways to do so.

Purchase the file and print it out at your local shop.
Customer avatar
Drew Z January 11, 2022 5:09 pm UTC
Classic source document. If you know how to adapt old systems to new systems this is the source to build from.
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Spyros N October 27, 2021 12:55 pm UTC
POD please
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Christopher K August 10, 2021 3:26 am UTC
Pod please
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Nicholas P July 26, 2021 6:11 pm UTC
POD please
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Christopher C April 03, 2021 8:25 pm UTC
Hardcover POD please!
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Nathan F November 30, 2020 10:09 pm UTC
Please make this Print on Demand. The recent boxed sets that have been made in a hardback option are wonderful. Would love to see the rest of them that way!
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Alec S January 27, 2021 2:36 pm UTC
I'm a little out of the loop--can you point me toward some of the boxed-sets-turned-hardback-POD that you mentioned? Thanks!
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Nathan F February 01, 2021 6:53 pm UTC
Dark Sun:

Ruins of Zhentil Keep:

Council of Wyrms:

Dawn of the Emperors:

Glantri - Kingdom of Magic:

Planescape Campaign Setting:

Planescape - Guide to Sigil:
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