From the back of the book:
Role-Playing in the Mythic New World During the Age of Exploration
The year is 1665 and the Americas are a land of mystery and adventure. Using their ancient powers of sorcery, the Aztecs have been fighting off Spanish conquistadors for almost 150 years. Although getting incredibly wealthy from their New World mines, the frustrated Spanish nonetheless continue their crusade against these native warriors and their heathen spellcasters. Pirates and privateers from other European nations like the English, French, and Dutch prowl the Caribbean preying on fat Spanish galleons laden with treasure. American Indian tribes struggle against their traditional rivals as well as invaders from the East. Combining African magic with secret knowledge gained from both the Europeans and the New World cultures, escaped slaves form secret colonies and wreak havoc on their former masters. In the midst of all of this a comet streaks through the sky allowing a secret cult to open a gate to the Realm of Fear. Welcome to the Lost World.
Heirs to the Lost World is a complete role-playing game including:
- a core mechanic in which players decide how their characters are expending effort.
- a cinematic combat system simple enough to run large battles yet interesting enough for climatic duels. Players make tactical decisions in a system that rewards creative and heroic stunts, thus keeping the game exciting on both the narrative level (in the fiction) and mechanical level (in the rules).
- a flexible point-buy character creation system with optional Paths. For faster play, use one of the sample characters representing the most typical character types.
- a character advancement system in which characters gain skills and abilities by using their skills in dramatic ways, satisfying their motivations, and portraying their complications.
- a complete sample adventure set in Xicalango, the Nexus of Worlds.
- a free-form magic system representing alchemy, voodoo, sun magic, blood magic, and shamanism. Players can use sample spells or make their own during play.
- a detailed description of Middle America in an alternate 1665 in which the conquistadors were defeated by magic-wielding Aztecs.
- thorough descriptions of the geography and power groups of Middle America, along with creatures based on American Indian myths.