Mariam Ahmad is creating Sarzameen - a decolonized fantasy South Asian campaign setting
15
patrons
$42
per month

Sarzameen

This is my current big project. My artistic baby, my Robindroshongeet, my epic. It's been the bulk of my focus since summer 2017, the twinkle in my eye for much longer.

Ok, but what is it?


It's my attempt at writing a TTRPG fantasy campaign setting that sets desi/South Asians at its centre, without the voyeuristic Eurocentric POV lens that regards it as an exotic curiosity. What if we were never colonized, never forced to conform to Eurocentric standards, never pillaged of all our resources and natural wealth? What if magic and fantastical beings existed in it, but from folktales that came from the same continent?

Those are the questions I hope I can answer while writing this setting. But the TL;DR version is: It's a fantastical, fictional, alternate reality based roughly in the medieval period of South Asia. Mechanically, I am writing it for 5E, but my hope is that the lore is engaging enough to be played for any system of choice (or in the later, hopeful case of having the resources to do so myself).

I don't want to fall in to the 'perfect minority' trap while doing so - while I am trying to pull from my own culture and cultural experiences, I cannot speak for all desis/South Asians, and a lot of my work on this setting involves A LOT of research that looks past colonizer history (especially for cultures that I'm not as familiar with). That being said, I am human, and I will make mistakes. I hope I can do my best to minimize harm to those vulnerable, and try to move forward in a way that does so. 

I am also not trying to be 'historically accurate' in a way that punches down. While I want to touch upon intolerance and bigotry, that is not the default attitude in this world. Ultimately, we are playing make-believe, and it is nice to sit down at a table and not have to go with cis-het-Eurocentric-default. There's literature out there that shows attitudes in South Asia that were fluid and diverse before Victorian morals were enforced. So this setting will be queer AF. 

You've tagged your page as having adult content.


I'd rather be cautious then have this page taken down because I offended someone. There will be a faction in this world that are courtesans, and because I don't want to go into another novel fleshing them out right here, who engage in sex work. 

Who are you?


I'm Mariam Ahmad, and I'm figuring that out. So far, I know I'm:
  • non-binary, bi, and in a very happy marriage with my spouse.
  • a lover of all things cats (and the proud mama of two kitties)
  • webmxter for ConTessa
  • GM for The Musafirs podcast (coming soon!), Controlled Chaos (a local monthly event for KW Gamers), and several other personal in-person and online games. Yup, I'm that person who now GMs more than plays.
  • a freelance content editor.
  • an artist. I draw and paint sometimes. 
  • sometimes helping people out with website and/or graphic designing for money.
  • having mental health issues. I have anxiety/depression, C-PTSD (I am not going to name my trauma for you), and during the colder months, SAD *shaking fists at my warmer weather genes* 

Why should I be your patron?


  • If you're interested in a decolonized, non-Eurocentric campaign setting, that's why.
  • If you want to help out a queer PoC artist.

That said, I know what its like to be 'just enough' broke (I'm in that awkward phase of not worrying about basic needs like a roof or food, but no money for much else), and in a single-income household, I want to feel like a contributing member, which is tricky as a freelancer with mental health issues that has no hustle.

So here's my deal: If you are able, you can give me money so that I can continue my projects. It will be a big mental boost, and I might be able to be self-sufficient for my own work instead of dipping into our shared household income (which will be a BIG BOOST to my mental health/stress reduction). Further down the road, I may even be able to afford collabs/commissions and pay them - that would be awesome sauce.

In return, I'll share what I've been up to, and you'll have first access to anything I publish. This will also be a great way for me to get into the habit of regular deadlines and milestones to help combat the perfectionist cycle of creation depression and analysis paralysis. Getting feedback from those passionate about this project will also help with the isolation feelings I get from hyper-focusing in my creative bubble. 

Thank you for whatever you decide to pledge to. Every little bit helps and I'm eternally grateful for every warm wish I receive. If you are unable to pledge but want to help, please share this page. Even if you don't pledge or help, thank you for reading until the end.
Tiers
Chanda
$1 or more per month

Thank you - every bit counts!  You'll still get, as with any other tier:

  • Access to project notes and updates posts, and polls
  • Special thanks in the credits of any books I do
Aaiye Meherbaan...
$3 or more per month

Same as the Tip Jar, but bigger.

Baithiye Jaanejaa...
$5 or more per month

You'll get:

  • Access to project notes and updates posts, and polls
  • Special thanks in the credits of any books I do
  • Added to a pool of potential playtesters (via Discord) for one shots adventures in this world.
  • Free PDF of said adventures when finished.
Goals
$42 of $80 per month
At $80 per month, I will be able to afford our entire internet package upgrade! Thank you!
3 of 5

Sarzameen

This is my current big project. My artistic baby, my Robindroshongeet, my epic. It's been the bulk of my focus since summer 2017, the twinkle in my eye for much longer.

Ok, but what is it?


It's my attempt at writing a TTRPG fantasy campaign setting that sets desi/South Asians at its centre, without the voyeuristic Eurocentric POV lens that regards it as an exotic curiosity. What if we were never colonized, never forced to conform to Eurocentric standards, never pillaged of all our resources and natural wealth? What if magic and fantastical beings existed in it, but from folktales that came from the same continent?

Those are the questions I hope I can answer while writing this setting. But the TL;DR version is: It's a fantastical, fictional, alternate reality based roughly in the medieval period of South Asia. Mechanically, I am writing it for 5E, but my hope is that the lore is engaging enough to be played for any system of choice (or in the later, hopeful case of having the resources to do so myself).

I don't want to fall in to the 'perfect minority' trap while doing so - while I am trying to pull from my own culture and cultural experiences, I cannot speak for all desis/South Asians, and a lot of my work on this setting involves A LOT of research that looks past colonizer history (especially for cultures that I'm not as familiar with). That being said, I am human, and I will make mistakes. I hope I can do my best to minimize harm to those vulnerable, and try to move forward in a way that does so. 

I am also not trying to be 'historically accurate' in a way that punches down. While I want to touch upon intolerance and bigotry, that is not the default attitude in this world. Ultimately, we are playing make-believe, and it is nice to sit down at a table and not have to go with cis-het-Eurocentric-default. There's literature out there that shows attitudes in South Asia that were fluid and diverse before Victorian morals were enforced. So this setting will be queer AF. 

You've tagged your page as having adult content.


I'd rather be cautious then have this page taken down because I offended someone. There will be a faction in this world that are courtesans, and because I don't want to go into another novel fleshing them out right here, who engage in sex work. 

Who are you?


I'm Mariam Ahmad, and I'm figuring that out. So far, I know I'm:
  • non-binary, bi, and in a very happy marriage with my spouse.
  • a lover of all things cats (and the proud mama of two kitties)
  • webmxter for ConTessa
  • GM for The Musafirs podcast (coming soon!), Controlled Chaos (a local monthly event for KW Gamers), and several other personal in-person and online games. Yup, I'm that person who now GMs more than plays.
  • a freelance content editor.
  • an artist. I draw and paint sometimes. 
  • sometimes helping people out with website and/or graphic designing for money.
  • having mental health issues. I have anxiety/depression, C-PTSD (I am not going to name my trauma for you), and during the colder months, SAD *shaking fists at my warmer weather genes* 

Why should I be your patron?


  • If you're interested in a decolonized, non-Eurocentric campaign setting, that's why.
  • If you want to help out a queer PoC artist.

That said, I know what its like to be 'just enough' broke (I'm in that awkward phase of not worrying about basic needs like a roof or food, but no money for much else), and in a single-income household, I want to feel like a contributing member, which is tricky as a freelancer with mental health issues that has no hustle.

So here's my deal: If you are able, you can give me money so that I can continue my projects. It will be a big mental boost, and I might be able to be self-sufficient for my own work instead of dipping into our shared household income (which will be a BIG BOOST to my mental health/stress reduction). Further down the road, I may even be able to afford collabs/commissions and pay them - that would be awesome sauce.

In return, I'll share what I've been up to, and you'll have first access to anything I publish. This will also be a great way for me to get into the habit of regular deadlines and milestones to help combat the perfectionist cycle of creation depression and analysis paralysis. Getting feedback from those passionate about this project will also help with the isolation feelings I get from hyper-focusing in my creative bubble. 

Thank you for whatever you decide to pledge to. Every little bit helps and I'm eternally grateful for every warm wish I receive. If you are unable to pledge but want to help, please share this page. Even if you don't pledge or help, thank you for reading until the end.

Recent posts by Mariam Ahmad

Tiers
Chanda
$1 or more per month

Thank you - every bit counts!  You'll still get, as with any other tier:

  • Access to project notes and updates posts, and polls
  • Special thanks in the credits of any books I do
Aaiye Meherbaan...
$3 or more per month

Same as the Tip Jar, but bigger.

Baithiye Jaanejaa...
$5 or more per month

You'll get:

  • Access to project notes and updates posts, and polls
  • Special thanks in the credits of any books I do
  • Added to a pool of potential playtesters (via Discord) for one shots adventures in this world.
  • Free PDF of said adventures when finished.