Ronin, Daimyo, Shogun

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The Dark
Sinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55
Ronin, Daimyo, Shogun

This is simply a set of ideas on how to run a campaign based on East Asian concepts, primarily Japanese.

 

Classes

Fighter - this can be used for samurai (for higher status characters) or bushi or ashigaru for lower status characters.

Mage - the best match is an onmyouji, which in folklore would summon and control spirits

Cleric/Paladin - the sohei (warrior monk) would be a fair match for either class; the historical sohei was somewhat similar to a European Crusading order

Thief - the yakuza would be the best fit here, with involvement in stolen goods (tekiya) and gambling (bakuto)

Assassin - ninja

Witch - kitsune-tsukai, a person who had the services of a fox spirit as a trickster and illusionist

 

Weapons are fairly straightforward name changes:

Ono - a battle axe or great axe

Kama - a sickle (treat as hand axe)

Kanabo/Tetsubo - a two-handed, studded war club (treat as morning star)

Tanbo - a short staff, the length from wrist to elbow (treat as club)

Bo - a long staff (treat as staff)

Chigiriki - an iron staff connected to a chain and weight (treat as flail)

Bisento/Naginata - pole arm

Wakizashi - short sword

Katana - sword

Nagamaki - two-handed sword

Yari - spear

Tanto - dagger

Yumi - longbow (uses Ya arrows)

 

Armor

O-yoroi - heavy lamellar armor (AC 6)

Tanko - banded plate (AC 5)

Karuta - chain and plate armor (AC 4)

Gyorin Kozane - "fish scale" armor (AC 3)

GMJoe
Joined: 2013-01-04 12:56

So... Oriental Adventures for ACKS? Sounds good so far.

ZeroSum
Patreon SupporterLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2016-06-12 23:52

Color me interested. :)

The Dark
Sinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55

Because I was doing this when rather tired (and possibly less than 100% sober), I failed to mention that I'd like this to be more of an open thread - everyone toss out ideas. If you've got background in Cambodian history, great! (I know pretty much nothing about Cambodia). Got ideas on adapting Qelong or other adventures? Wonderful! Know folklore and want help translating it into game stats? Good. See how a class would fit into a particular myth? Let us know. I'm certainly no expert, just a halfway decent researcher who's interested in getting things as close to correct as possible without ruining playability.

SenorOcho
SenorOcho's picture
Joined: 2017-01-30 03:32
I find it a little strange to focus on weapon names when ACKS does a great job on keeping things generic on that front.. we don't have to worry about a scimitar vs a broadsword vs an arming sword vs a sabre, etc.. they're all just "Sword". One of the more interesting approaches I'd like to see is on the domain/morale front, as Eastern history tends to have more/bigger peasant revolts scattered throughout it (Yellow Turbans, Ikko-Ikki being the famous examples for anyone who plays KOEI games or is just interested in those historical periods). I had a history teacher who associated this with the difficulty of rice farming, meaning the average farmer couldn't just pack up and leave if the local lord was being too oppressive.. so conditions just tended to be worse until everything exploded at once. I'm really not sure how to model this effectively, though.
trevalyan
Joined: 2017-03-25 22:33

Bard - Geisha/ Taikomochi.

I definitely want to see how someone would change the rules for a more conformist culture that may not fall along the simple lines of Law vs Chaos. In a world where absolute obedience to a ruler is prized and expected, Order would always have a very strong grip. Would Honor vs Ruthlessness be a suitable axis of development?

Another possible question is economics. Clan samurai weren't typically supposed to make money or adventure: the lord provides for every need they have using stipends, and in return they obey every command. And then start making their own money once granted a fief or sub-fief. It might make for a very structured campaign- but that might be for the best, in the case of players who really don't focus on the stronghold mechanics of ACKS.

SenorOcho
SenorOcho's picture
Joined: 2017-01-30 03:32

Hmm, yeah.. Samurai weren't even landowners in the way we think of European knights and other feudal vassals in the Western world. As far as domain rules go that could theoretically just be handwaved as direct vassals acting as governors and administrators and still following the same ACKS rules, though.

Though unless you're specifically going for a Sengoku Jidai feel for your game, I think Law vs Chaos still works out. Even in the warring states, you'd still have the various peasant and monk rebellions, the Ainu, etc..

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

I would say that the magic system that you're about to see in Heroic Fantasy Campaign, along with several of the new mechanics such as Heroic Codes, will be of great appeal for such settings.

I ran a very successful ACKS Oriental Adventures game without too much issue. We managed to put a Gargantua on the D@W Battlefield ... Godzilla was charged by cavalry squadrons. It was awesome.

The biggest problem for my band of ronin was that touching corpses was considered unclean, so it was a big hassle to handle looting bodies and carrying dead friends...

The Dark
Sinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55

The biggest problem for my band of ronin was that touching corpses was considered unclean, so it was a big hassle to handle looting bodies and carrying dead friends...


-Alex
That's why you need burakumin (eta) henchmen. Of course, the taking of heads seems to have been an exception to the rule that contact with the dead caused kegare, so claiming heads for bounties should still be OK.

I find it a little strange to focus on weapon names when ACKS does a great job on keeping things generic on that front.. we don't have to worry about a scimitar vs a broadsword vs an arming sword vs a sabre, etc.. they're all just "Sword".

-SenorOcho
I was thinking the other way, that it would be helpful for people, when doing research, to know what categories various weapons fall into. After all, the core book has plenty of examples of what historical weapons fall into what category in ACKS, so this is just continuing that work with an emphasis on a specific culture.

One of the more interesting approaches I'd like to see is on the domain/morale front, as Eastern history tends to have more/bigger peasant revolts scattered throughout it (Yellow Turbans, Ikko-Ikki being the famous examples for anyone who plays KOEI games or is just interested in those historical periods). I had a history teacher who associated this with the difficulty of rice farming, meaning the average farmer couldn't just pack up and leave if the local lord was being too oppressive.. so conditions just tended to be worse until everything exploded at once. I'm really not sure how to model this effectively, though.

-
China's also massive. The census of 2 CE recorded a population of 57.67 million, about 12 million more people than the entire Roman Empire under Augustus (which had around 5 million citizens and 40 million non-citizens).

 

The Ikko-ikki rebellions were a blend of social and religious unrest. Most of them were Jodo Shinshu Buddhist, which was a politically active sect that had been essentially outlawed by the Enryaku-ji for not paying tithes to the temple at Mount Hiei. The uprisings generally included unhappy clans (the Kaga Rebellion included the Motoori and Yamagawa, and during the time of Oda Nobunaga they had the Mori, Azai, and Asakura clans as patrons). Many of the ikki were formed by ji-samurai, the rural part-time samurai who mostly lived as farmers; they were essentially the local militias of the time. You end up with a number of factors, religious, economic, and social, that led to the uprisings in various provinces.

 

I think the Honor Codes will be a big plus to any game, OA or not (Greeks and Romans had their own codes). I also think one thing that would be good (and that I haven't done research for) would be non-human races/classes that fit with the setting.