|Mongolian man in traditional wrestling gear.|
I suspect that one reason why Central Asia has been so little used in RPGs is that most people simply have no idea what it's supposed to look like. This is not a trivial issue. Most communication in RPGs is verbal, and efficiency within it is at a premium, because if the GM has to drone on and on to describe something then all the players are going to tune out: so it's really, really handy if GM and players share a common stock of visual shorthand images. If your GM says: 'Suddenly, a barbarian warrior leaps out and attacks the knight!', then you know what to imagine: some dude who looks like Conan just jumped out and tried to whack some dude who looks like Sir Lancelot. 'The wizard hurls a lightning bolt at the ninjas!' translates as 'Some guy who looks like Gandalf just zapped a bunch of other guys in masks and black pyjamas'. Everyone knows what to visualise. Everyone is on the same page.
Central Asia, though... what does that look like? I guess most people probably have some kind of mental image for 'Mongol warrior': a kinda Asian-looking guy with a black beard on a horse. (But what kind of armour is he wearing? Is his hair long or short?) Beyond that, though, familiarity peters out. Saying 'you see a bunch of guys dressed like Tajik horsemen' just isn't going to have the same communicative efficiency as saying 'You see a samurai warrior' or 'you see a dwarf with an axe'.
So: here are some images of people from Central Asia, wearing more-or-less traditional dress. So that you can pick one, and point at it, and say: 'My character (or 'the woman you just met', or 'the men who are currently attacking you', or whatever) looks like that!'
|Kyrgyz horseman in riding gear.|
|Turkic man in traditional dress.|
|Cuman archer in wargear.|
|Yakut shaman in ritual regalia.|
|Turkmen man in traditional dress, with traditional dog on traditional horse.|
|Buryat woman in traditional dress.|
|High-status Mongolian woman in traditional dress.|
|Kyrgyz woman in traditional dress.|
|Azerbaijani woman in traditional dress|
|Kazakh woman in traditional dress.|
|Tajik woman in traditional dress|
|Uzbek woman in traditional dress.|
|Tartar man and women in traditional dress.|
|Kyrgyz couple in historical dress.|