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5E How should be the future Oriental Adventures.

Panda-s1

Scruffy and Determined
Sadly, someone did make that claim. I don't know why they thought it was so, but the two things were so entertwined for them that that was the case. Can't remember who it was though
good for... them, we just had a discussion of how applying an honor system to any Asian setting is an example of Orientalism. if you were trying to emulate a specific culture that had a system like that, then okay, but not every Asian culture has this.
 

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GreenTengu

Adventurer
yeah, no, imposing rigid social hierarchies on your setting "because Asia" would be an example of Orientalism. to be fair the shogunate did make a whole to-do about social classes in an effort to legitimize their rule, but you're right in calling out how imposing this on all Asian settings is weird.


yeah I'm also constantly disappointed in official samurai options. personally I think we should have two different samurai sub-classes, one for the Sengoku era armor clad samurai who mostly fought on horses (also not exactly exclusive to Japan, so labeling it as "samurai" is weird), and another for the Edo period samurai who wanders and uses his sword to help useless villagers. yeah that last one is tropey and not realistic, but it is fun and worth exploring imo.

also while we're on tropes: ninja. I brought this up in a different thread, but I'm disappointed how they're almost entirely based on the Western interpretation of ninja that was created like 30-40 years ago and hasn't aged at all. I'd totally play a character who's sneaky and uses cool magical abilities to fight enemies. it's not like the west is ignorant of these ninja tropes either, they make their way here via Japanese pop culture, but we don't even use the tropes made up by the country where ninja come from lmao.

I feel like that has already been done with the standard Fighter class.
If you go with a Strength-based Fighter, then you are going to want heavy armor and a polearm/heavy weapon.
If you go with a Dexterity-based Fighter then you are going to want minimal armor and use only a rapier or a rapier and short sword. Just retheme the rapier into a katana.

You can make both Tadakatsu Honda and Miyamoto Musashi using the Fighter class without having to have a separate "samurai" class.

good for... them, we just had a discussion of how applying an honor system to any Asian setting is an example of Orientalism. if you were trying to emulate a specific culture that had a system like that, then okay, but not every Asian culture has this.

Samurai having an "honor system" at all is very much an invention of Meiji Era Japan when it was psyching soldiers up for World War II. In truth, they were far quicker to switch sides in a war-- either during or immediately after the battle-- than happened with anyone but mercenaries in Europe. There was so much "I defeated you in battle, now you work for me" that it may as well have been considered the norm. And some of the biggest names lost battle after battle before finally getting cornered and either dying or becoming a retainer of their enemy-- meaning that running away when the battle turned against them was very much in their character.

Sure, there are instances in those who stood against impossible odds bravely to protect their master or who committed suicide after carrying out an order they disagreed with or when their side lost-- but those more famous for doing so were mostly not even technically samurai. And the last one was mostly done because they were so afraid of what would happen to them if they were caught.

And then one could get into the instances where samurai killed the children of their former enemies lest they grow up into enemies that slaughter their entire families (because the whole "samurai" thing started with a pair of brothers who did exactly that-- got spared/adopted by their father's enemy then, once adults, used their position to slaughter their father's enemies whole family and took over the country) or when they forced their own relatives to commit suicide in order to avoid a potential dispute over succession.

In fact, the main guy who started the samurai tradition, Minamoto Yoshitsune, won a ton of his battles through entirely dishonorable tactics. For example-- in a battle on boats, instead of fighting the enemy soldiers, he had his men shoot the peasants who were rowing the boats.

So it makes absolutely no sense to impose an honor system on them any more so than it does for knights-- because they were no different.

The whole idea of a "bushido code" was made up by Miyamoto Musashi-- a guy, by the way, who was in a couple key battles, isn't recorded as having done anything of note in them, and was on the losing side yet survived-- meaning he ran his ass away every time he was in a real fight. He also claims to have won countless duels-- but any recordings of him doing so always involve him using the dirtiest, most underhanded, most dishonorable tricks possible. And this is the guy who people are going to pick up the idea that samurai are honorable from?

It was adopted in Meiji era Japan in order to serve as propaganda for the war effort-- it is how they got pilots to be kamikaze pilots-- but, by now? Pretty much everyone in Japan is so over believing any of that. The truth is pretty well recorded and depicted in countless games that depict that era. (It is one of the most popular subjects to make games out of.)

Granted-- one is making a fantastical version-- but its not like Europe "Knights" in D&D are expected to strictly adhere to the Code of Chivalry lest one be struck with mechanical penalties. The precise Code of Chivalry isn't even spelled out explicitly anywhere in the books.

So it would be fine if "bushido" were part of the setting as some sort of ideal that no one really reaches and most of the successful people don't even aspire to-- but once in a while you might get a young, green fighter who has "drunk the kool-aid" and totally buys into it. And that can be a fun particular character concept.

But striking characters mechanically for not adhering to a dumb code that even the guy who wrote it never actually emulated? That's just hamstringing players for no reason.
 
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Aldarc

Legend
I'm not sure what you are referring to with the word this.

I was asking whether Eberron - which I was told picked up on post-WWII Cold War themes - considers the profound impact of the Cold War outside of Europe. I think that is taught and written about, but I'm not sure if Eberron touches on it.

The idea that history is written from perspectives is also something that is taught, and written about. Uphtread I mentioned Hobson's The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation That's a book that writes about perspectives in history. And it's a book that gets taught (eg I teach it).
Eberron is less post-WW2 and more post-WW1. Arguably post-Franco-Prussian War. There is a certain Cold War aspect to it though no one knows how Cyre was “nuked” or what/who caused it.
 

pemerton

Legend
Eberron is less post-WW2 and more post-WW1. Arguably post-Franco-Prussian War. There is a certain Cold War aspect to it though no one knows how Cyre was “nuked” or what/who caused it.
WW1 also had profound effects outside Europe - eg the transformation of Turkey, the creation of the modern political structures of the "Middle East", changes to colonial structures in East and South-West Africa and in the western Pacific.

Not to mention implications for non-European coponents of European empires.

I'm not sure if Eberron deals with these things.
 

Aldarc

Legend
WW1 also had profound effects outside Europe - eg the transformation of Turkey, the creation of the modern political structures of the "Middle East", changes to colonial structures in East and South-West Africa and in the western Pacific.

Not to mention implications for non-European coponents of European empires.

I'm not sure if Eberron deals with these things.
The Kingdom of Galifar was also referred to as the Five Nations, but about 12 plus nation-states emerged after the war in Korvaire because of colonial fragmentation and a push for autonomy by components of the respective nations. Also, unlike Europe, neither Galifar nor the Five Nations really have any colonial holdings outside of Khorvaire, with Stormreach possibly being the lone exception.
 


GreenTengu

Adventurer
Minor correction - World War II was the Showa period (1926-1989).

Right, the change in era happens when the emperor changes. Although Japan between the period when the American ships forced open the ports to the end of World War II is better treated as a distinctly different period of time than Japan after World War II. There wasn't much about Japanese culture that connects 1926 to 1989 very well. I just don't have any better term for "End of Edo period and reconstruction of the government to introduction of post-WWII constitution and reconstruction of the government." Maybe there is one and I just can't remember it.
 

Count_Zero

Adventurer
I just don't have any better term for "End of Edo period and reconstruction of the government to introduction of post-WWII constitution and reconstruction of the government." Maybe there is one and I just can't remember it.

We're drifting off-topic but you're covering a period with three emperors - Meiji (1868-1912), Taisho (1912-1926), and Showa. There are some significant shifts between periods (like Taisho being more progressive and reformist with some fascist rumblings in the background, before taking a hard turn into Fascist with the start of the Showa period.
 

Musashi didn't start the bushido code. His book is a pretty good manual for how to sword fight (I used it for that) and the whole book is "win however you can and if you cannot, live to fight another day when you can win". If there is anything else in his story it is keep learning and practicing and don't be so narrow.

I would note that Sword World, the leading Japanese TTRPG does not have Japanese-themed classes. I don't see Samurai and Ninjas called out. When I was working in Japan, the guys at the local game store told me they just play fighters who are either just Japanese fighters or they play a European themed fighter because it is a fantasy roleplaying game, so why not?
 

WW1 also had profound effects outside Europe - eg the transformation of Turkey, the creation of the modern political structures of the "Middle East", changes to colonial structures in East and South-West Africa and in the western Pacific.

Not to mention implications for non-European coponents of European empires.

I'm not sure if Eberron deals with these things.

I'm not sure if Eberron needs to deal with these things to be honest.

Yes, the World Wars affected the world. But Eberron isn't being unfair to anyone by narrowing it's scope to only explore how they affected this group of nations.

I mean, I wouldn't consider it unfair to Spain to not mention them much while running a game set in Steampunk London. Now, if I want to do Steampunk Europe, and I ignore Spain and Portugal, that is something else, but just narrowing your scope to be manageable isn't a big deal to me.
 

I was thinking after publishing my last post if shen/spirit-folk are beaitufl, loves to live in the nature and can speak with animals, then the are perfect to be characters like Disney princesses. And the koropokurus could had got some kawai(cute) touch to the something like those innocent kid-friendly cartoons about little people who lives in the nature. They could be used for stories about conflicts for the honor, because not all have got the same codes, or even the painful dilleme among to choose the prestige among the rest of the society or fidelity to your own conscience.

Hengeyokai maybe need a little nerfing with the shapesifter powers, maybe more staggered between levels, but they are perfect for jianghu ("rivers and lakes"), and I mean stories about underworld, tricksters and criminal groups. They could vigilantes or survivors who want revenge against some mafia capo. Hengeyokai can be example of the hypocrite honor, prestigious members of high society in the cover, but cynical rasctas inside. Something like the fantasy version with superpowers/ki technique of the serie "Warrior".

* The nezumi PC is from the Legend of Five Rings. Can be used by WotC anyway or are they copyright by Fantasy Flight Games/Asmodee?

* My theory is WotC isn't going to create new IPs directly first for D&D and later adapted into other lines (cartoons or videogames) but the opposite, new IPs for movies, teleseries, videogames, and later adapted into D&D. The root of the trouble is wuxia are practically superheroes and this doesn't help to be easily adapted into TTRPG but if they are videogames created with game mechanics based in the d20 system. The challenge is most of cheators want to have over controll over their own work, not to be gaven after the pay.

* Some tropes and stereotypes are easier to be tolerated if we don't abuse. And we shouldn't be reported if those tropes appear in the fiction created by the own Asians.

* We can agree it's advisable to hire consultats about the Asian society but these may contradict each other. Let's imagine for example a consultant with Spanish origins and proud about this telling about the naives of the new world were better when Spanish conquerors arrived and stopped the human sacrifices, but other consult with also Spanish roots can tell all the classic tropes of anti-Spanish black-legend. We know the relations between China, Japan and Korea aren't very good, and naive for a country will not tell good things about the neighbours, or this could happen with 3PPs or the own players publishing his homebred settins. Not only WotC but the rest of Western publishers should be very careful. My advice to fight racism and xenophobia is to defend the respect of the human dignity. Without this we only change a poison with other and we go to fall to the dark side of the force.

* I have also thought about the main superheroes comic publishers, Marvel and DC, creating jianghu version of their universes, where "ordinary" humans with special qi techniques could defeat superhumans, for example Batman vs the kryptonian general Zord or Bizarro, or Daredevil vsThor or Hulk.

* The don't need the name of samuri for the warrior who serves a noble house, nor shinobi for the spy for the stealth class with some special tricks linked with qi techniques. But if there is a new "Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords" I advice classes whose concepts were easy to be used in wuxia adventures.

*
 


GreenTengu

Adventurer
Is it absolutely necessary to stick with the races that were made up back in 2nd Edition?

Why not Kappa, Tengu, Oni, Snow-Spirits, Fox-Spirits, Tanuki, Nekomata, Dokkaebi, Mogwai, Vanara, Naga, Rakshasha...

There is quite a range of options with unique character and aspects beyond the very generic "hengeyokai". Many of which already exist in D&D in a form (kind of just need to make low-level versions of Naga and Rakshasha) or are very similar to races that already exist (Tengu/Hobgoblin, Dokkaebi/Goblin, Nekomata/Tabaxi, Oni/Ogre)
 

Kobold Avenger

Adventurer
Spirit Folk are both based on some very generalized concepts in a few different folklores in different places, and their also were an attempt for "let's have Elves in an Asian setting, but not actually have Elves".

In 3e I came to the conclusion that they are essentially the Planetouched of the Spirit Realm. They were also in that one FR book that sort of covered FR's Eastern Europe, so there's certainly can be things such as Slavic Spirit Folk in addition to Asian ones.

I think they should be included in whatever upcoming D&D product covers an Asian setting simply for legacy reasons. Though I think they should work a little already on giving Spirit Folk something to stand out on and make them more distinctive.

I also think any book on an Asian setting should just assume that Elves, Dwarves and the other core D&D races are native parts of that setting too, as not every group wants to throw out the core races.
 

GreenTengu

Adventurer
I also think any book on an Asian setting should just assume that Elves, Dwarves and the other core D&D races are native parts of that setting too, as not every group wants to throw out the core races.

So, because European mythology is "core", all Asian mythology should be thrown out and instead of drawing all the races who are companions to humans from Asian mythology, the European mythological races with all their Eurocentric assumptions should be imposed on the setting. Basically meaning your engagement begins and ends at "tourismy". It should be Europeans invading and exploring the "strange, mystical foreign land" rather than adventures that the denizens of those lands are having.
 

Kobold Avenger

Adventurer
So, because European mythology is "core", all Asian mythology should be thrown out and instead of drawing all the races who are companions to humans from Asian mythology, the European mythological races with all their Eurocentric assumptions should be imposed on the setting. Basically meaning your engagement begins and ends at "tourismy". It should be Europeans invading and exploring the "strange, mystical foreign land" rather than adventures that the denizens of those lands are having.
Some of it is back to concerns about having to "reinvent the wheel", when D20 had all these 3rd party materials they actually put the effort to rework existing D&D races into other settings. Like for example Nyambe, which had Elves in it but added a sub-race known as Wakyambi (which means "Sky-People"). There was some book on an Indian setting which had Gnomes in it, even if the art made them look like some cariacture stereotype of Sikhs.

I'm a strong advocate of Elves, Dwaves, Halflings and Gnomes can be of non-European backgrounds even if they come from European mythology. And I feel that since it's D&D an Asia should have Asian Elves, much like Africa should have African Elves and so on.
 

Some of it is back to concerns about having to "reinvent the wheel", when D20 had all these 3rd party materials they actually put the effort to rework existing D&D races into other settings. Like for example Nyambe, which had Elves in it but added a sub-race known as Wakyambi (which means "Sky-People"). There was some book on an Indian setting which had Gnomes in it, even if the art made them look like some cariacture stereotype of Sikhs.

I'm a strong advocate of Elves, Dwaves, Halflings and Gnomes can be of non-European backgrounds even if they come from European mythology. And I feel that since it's D&D an Asia should have Asian Elves, much like Africa should have African Elves and so on.

I think the issue is though that that may require such an extensive rewrite to make work, that you would wonder why they didn't just write a new race instead
 

GreenTengu

Adventurer
If one is trying to sell a new setting based on another mythology, how on earth does it make sense to take all the fairy people that they said lived in their forest and mountains, toss it all into the trash can and declare:

"We decided that Nordic is core. So now all mythologies MUST have short, beardy Nordic people who live in the mountains and are really good at smithery. They MUST have tall, slender, pointy-eared Nordic folk who are good at magic living in their forests. The MUST have short, plump Irish farmers with furry feet. Any mythology that does not have these things is unworthy!! Anything in their mythology that interferes with that MUST be stamped out, ground to dust and scattered to the winds!! All cultures and ideas shall fit our cookie-cutter demands and will be beaten into shape until they conform! Our superior Nordic mythology SHALL reign over all others!!"

But-- also-- you think you are being "perfectly reasonable" in that, so long as those other cultural elements are used as mere fringe decorations for your CORE Nordic mythology, that you are perfectly content with amusingly toying with the idea that you might allow those non-human races to have the skin colors of the other human phenotypes common in the area that you are using as fringe decoration on your core.
 

Kobold Avenger

Adventurer
But-- also-- you think you are being "perfectly reasonable" in that, so long as those other cultural elements are used as mere fringe decorations for your CORE Nordic mythology, that you are perfectly content with amusingly toying with the idea that you might allow those non-human races to have the skin colors of the other human phenotypes common in the area that you are using as fringe decoration on your core.
Some want a full rewrite, hence why we got classes like Bushi and Yakuza even though they really were just Fighters and Thieves, back in 1e.

But not everyone wants a full rewrite. Many I feel just want to drop-in things, yes even if it's just "Fringe decorations". What if someone wants Elven flying swordsmen or Dwarven Samurai in some extensive world-hopping campaign, to exist along side the Half-Orc Sha'ir and Gnomish Houngan?
 

GreenTengu

Adventurer
So I assume that the creatures from the stated mythology of the book would all just be "monsters", correct? All necessarily evil.

So to you-- the point of having a D&D game that takes place in a setting that is based on the mythology of other cultures....

Is to literally have the creatures from your European mythology, dubbed "heroes" for their activities of going out there and exterminating the creatures of that other cultures mythology. You literally want an Oriental Adventures for the express purpose of having European folklore go out and exterminate the folklore of Asia and be rewarded as heroes and praised for it-- that about sum it up?
 

Halloween Horror For 5E

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