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 Post subject: Mound Builders
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:45 pm

Palladium Books® Staff

Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 2:04 pm
Posts: 2053
One of my jobs here at Palladium is doing the research that lends an air of believability to our fictional worlds. I try to track down the best books I can find on whatever we need. This does two things, inspires the writer with new ideas because these books usually contain new information that can be expanded upon and adapted and they usually provide a sketch of people and time periods different from our own. It is our belief that what is sometimes called "fluff" or "flavor text" is essential in establishing in the reader's/player's mind a particular point of view. Setting a mood and a starting point is what movies do all the time, then the main characters are introduced. It makes the game book three-dimensional, not just a book of toys, stats and bad guys. And whether it's a fictional novel or movie, mood and a fleshed out environment help make the experience a bit more immersive for the reader/viewer. In fact, certain books and films resonate so much with a particular subculture that they take on "cult" status.

In Adventures in Dinosaur Swamp, the Ocmulgee Indian Mounds are mentioned. They actually exist, but they are not as portrayed in that book. The American Indians built numerous mounds in America. A few are well known like the Great Serpent Mound in Ohio, but there are many others. I managed to find a book from the late 1800s that goes into a lot of detail about them. It appears they were built of layers of dirt and rock. Archaeologists have discovered what appear to be sacrificial altars at the bottom of some mounds. Other mounds contain primitive implements, pottery and carved stones. Just like certain ancient sacred sites in England, the Indians felt a need to erect these mounds. They also had circles defined by stones. There is also evidence of interaction between American Indians and those fron Central America, and possibly, South America. Recently, it's been suggested that there once was a global mound and pyramid building culture. Fascinating stuff. Here's a link to give everyone an idea of what the artifacts looked like:

So. Where do we get our ideas? There are thousands of new books published every year, not to mention a lot of old books about strange and interesting subjects. It takes a while to develop your imagination and writing skills to the point of becoming a professional storyteller, but if you look beyond what you know a little, you can find some really interesting stuff.

This would also explain a percentage of our fans who buy our books just to read them.

Alex Marciniszyn

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