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Chivalry & Sorcery Returns To Feudal Japan

Land of the Rising Sun, first published in 1980 as a Chivalry & Sorcery setting, is coming back to C&S 5th Edition as a full-colour 320-page hardback on January 11th as a Kickstarter in both standard and a white leatherette special edition.

Chivalry and Sorcery was originally published in 1977 and was designed as a more historical and realistic take on fantasy roleplaying.

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The setting covers the years from 850-1500 common era, and includes Samurai and Ninja character options, as long as a range of new Mage types. You can also play Shinto or Buddhist priests.

Land of the Rising Sun is written by Lee Gold (Land of the Rising Sun 1980, GURPS Japan, and more).

Brittania Game Studios sent me along a few previews to share.


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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey




Marandahir

Crown-Forester
What Gygax said the one time he spoke with Lee Gold:

"You're a woman!"

She's been fighting upstream against sexism in the industry since the beginning. I would have preferred a work by someone of Japanese descent or actually from Japan to write this, though.

 

Sunsword

Adventurer
What Gygax said the one time he spoke with Lee Gold:

"You're a woman!"

She's been fighting upstream against sexism in the industry since the beginning. I would have preferred a work by someone of Japanese descent or actually from Japan to write this, though.



I agree, but I also love Lee's work.
 


This is the way for a source book to work correctly. The real country with the fantasy elements added in, rather than some vague conglomeration of all of Asian history shoved into a fictional setting. This can show the real thing, while the other has to rely on stereotypes.
 

Ace

Adventurer
What Gygax said the one time he spoke with Lee Gold:

"You're a woman!"

She's been fighting upstream against sexism in the industry since the beginning. I would have preferred a work by someone of Japanese descent or actually from Japan to write this, though.

I think this was more product of the era than any sexism on Gary's part. Very few women wrote games back in the day and Lee is normally in the US a man's name.

FWIW Kim Mohan got the opposite opprobrium and a some nasty innuendo as well and he's male. As often said the past was a different country.

The thing to understand is that prior to the Internet , getting information about people was actually hard, there was no simple way to determine gender or anything else about someone without a lot of work. So people just guessed and occasionally got it wrong.

These day, there is a lot less excuse and stuff like the current Twitter furor over Cyberpunk's Mike Pondsmith require deliberate ignorance.

In that world while it seems packed with sterotypes, the old Oriental Adventures was well ahead of its day well researched, written by ethnically Asian scholars with expertise.

I also think the level of research she did plus updates in Land of the Rising Sun may surprise people. Lee put a lot of work into it and its going to be quality writing

Mechanically Chivalry and Sorcery is an old school high complexity game, not my cuppa but some here may like it. It's good though.

All that said some RPG manuals set in Asia or NotAsia for the English market by authors from Asia would be pretty welcome as would other books from other nations made on the same grounds.
 

tsc1970

Explorer
I think this was more product of the era than any sexism on Gary's part. Very few women wrote games back in the day and Lee is normally in the US a man's name.

FWIW Kim Mohan got the opposite opprobrium and a some nasty innuendo as well and he's male. As often said the past was a different country.

The thing to understand is that prior to the Internet , getting information about people was actually hard, there was no simple way to determine gender or anything else about someone without a lot of work. So people just guessed and occasionally got it wrong.

These day, there is a lot less excuse and stuff like the current Twitter furor over Cyberpunk's Mike Pondsmith require deliberate ignorance.

In that world while it seems packed with sterotypes, the old Oriental Adventures was well ahead of its day well researched, written by ethnically Asian scholars with expertise.

I also think the level of research she did plus updates in Land of the Rising Sun may surprise people. Lee put a lot of work into it and its going to be quality writing

Mechanically Chivalry and Sorcery is an old school high complexity game, not my cuppa but some here may like it. It's good though.

All that said some RPG manuals set in Asia or NotAsia for the English market by authors from Asia would be pretty welcome as would other books from other nations made on the same grounds.
If you look up the anecdote, it's less the fact that he said "You're a woman!", and more the fact that that's literally all he said to her. He just kept repeating that in astonishment as she tried to talk to him, until she finally gave up.

Being surprised someone with a stereotypically male name is female is one thing: not being able to get past that to actually talk to them is another.
 

Ace

Adventurer
If you look up the anecdote, it's less the fact that he said "You're a woman!", and more the fact that that's literally all he said to her. He just kept repeating that in astonishment as she tried to talk to him, until she finally gave up.

Being surprised someone with a stereotypically male name is female is one thing: not being able to get past that to actually talk to them is another.
Presuming the anecdote is accurate and given what you noted, I rather agree with you. Still times change and our ability to communicate and appreciate the accomplishments of other genders has gotten a bit better since then or when Alice Sheldon had to write SF as James Triptree to be published.
 


This is the way for a source book to work correctly. The real country with the fantasy elements added in, rather than some vague conglomeration of all of Asian history shoved into a fictional setting. This can show the real thing, while the other has to rely on stereotypes.

If it has ninjas in it, it's not based on much of Japan.

Interesting that it has RL religions as playable classes. You don't see much of that these days.
 

I preferred Bushido for my pseudo Japanese FRPG back in the day. Still interesting. I haven't looked at C&S since it's 3rd edition though. What's the current one like?

Bushido was very good. I like L5R, though I've never been able to use it. Enough Japanese culture for the katana fanboys, without encouraging debates about historical accuracy, and a setting that screams 'PC groups welcome'.
 


That depends on how historically accurate the ninja are portrayed.

I've yet to see an accurate portrayed. Normally you get the black-clad assassins armed with a mixture of weapons from several countries, cultures, and time periods. In reality, they were primarily scouts, spies, and saboteurs drawn from the lowest social classes, and unfit for association with members of the Samurai class.

Of course, the blurb in the OP could suggest that the splatbook will make the traditional blunder of confusing Samurai and Bushi.
 

Ace

Adventurer
I've yet to see an accurate portrayed. Normally you get the black-clad assassins armed with a mixture of weapons from several countries, cultures, and time periods. In reality, they were primarily scouts, spies, and saboteurs drawn from the lowest social classes, and unfit for association with members of the Samurai class.

Of course, the blurb in the OP could suggest that the splatbook will make the traditional blunder of confusing Samurai and Bushi.
True however the rule of fun outweighs perfect realism. Everyone is expecting Ninjas , given the amount in anime and manga probably even people in Japan. Going pure realism turns an RPG into a text book fast. I don't think there is a market for that.
 

I've yet to see an accurate portrayed. Normally you get the black-clad assassins armed with a mixture of weapons from several countries, cultures, and time periods. In reality, they were primarily scouts, spies, and saboteurs drawn from the lowest social classes, and unfit for association with members of the Samurai class.

Of course, the blurb in the OP could suggest that the splatbook will make the traditional blunder of confusing Samurai and Bushi.

The title for this thread is also a bit misleading, making it sound like the book only covers the Feudal years, which are about 1185-1600, while the blurb says it covers the years 850-1500.
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Of course, the blurb in the OP could suggest that the splatbook will make the traditional blunder of confusing Samurai and Bushi.
To be clear, I'm not writing the book, or involved with it in any way, nor have I seen it beyond the previews they shared with me above. But that's a very weird inference to choose to draw from the words "and includes Samurai and Ninja character options".
 

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