Sunday, May 15, 2011
One of my commentators to the previous post is certainly correct about the Spanish needing help from native allies. Unfortunately I think that worked out better for the Spanish. The book on pre-Columbian agriculture, I picked up highlights the precipitous collapse of the native population and a shift in farming from using all the varied habitats to just those suitable for planting with a plow or raising cattle. The collapse can be attributed to old world diseases (Guns, Germs, and Steel is a great book on this subject), but the lack of recovery may be more due to the shift in farming. It also interesting that New world seems to have several cultural collapses including the Maya in the 10th century, the Anasazi in the 13th century, and Teotihuacan, about 25 miles to the north of Tenochtitlan (and probably a bigger city as well) abandoned in the 5th century. The Spanish spend some time hiding out in
Teotihuacan after being thrown out of , before hooking up with the Tlaxcalans for the final defeat of the Aztecs. Tenochtitlan Central America is certainly a more populous and complex place than the new world campaigns I have run in the past. However, when I try to add complex and interesting large civilizations to my campaign, I am roundly booed by the players for interfering with their exploration and looting of ancient ruins. Perhaps the loudest complainer is She-Who-Must-be-Obeyed who does not see the same drawbacks in her urban based Medieval European campaigns. More on this in another post.