Kara-Tur vs Rokugan

Which setting do you prefer for your Oriental Adventures

  • Kara-Tur

    Votes: 56 58.3%
  • Rokugan

    Votes: 20 20.8%
  • Uh... why not Dragon Empires?

    Votes: 1 1.0%
  • Lemoncurry

    Votes: 19 19.8%

  • Total voters
    96

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
I have got the OA 3rd Ed (Spanish translation).

I like the background of the shen or spirit-folk but their racial traits aren't very useful for me.

OA is perfect for wuxia heroes, like in the movie "Tiger and Dragon", and for a remake of the warblade, crusader and swordsage from "Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords".

Ninja, Samurai and Sohei are too cool to be only subclasses. And if they aren't classes by WotC, then they be created by some third party publisher, like the warlord.

OA is perfect as hook for otakus and fans of manhwa and (Taiwanese) manhua. (China has too hard rules about censure and a true limit for the creativity in the speculative fiction. A mistake in the cultural war).

* Is there any creature from Asian folklore for a little furry humanoid race? Like the nekojin (catfolk), kitsune, hengeyokai or tanuki (racoons shipeshapters). Rat-goblin should be a PC race.
 

Desdichado

Adventurer
Since Kara-Tur is in the Forgotten Realms, and therefore allowed on the DM's Guild, there's a decent amount of third-party 5E resources for it.
Oh, yeah? Available online, or in print? I'm genuinely curious where I can find it. I can get the old OA on pds easily enough, but clearly that won't give me anything at all like modern rules*. Not that I need them, but I'm curious to look over them.

*For certain crotchety old fart definitions of "modern" that may actually have been current years ago.
 

Desdichado

Adventurer
The greater the expansion of furries (and... featheries? Scalies?) in a given OA setting, the less attractive it is to normal people. It's wise to minimize them, and even offer a cultural apologia for them if you include them at all.
 

jgsugden

Explorer
To do such a setting justice, you need to really build it out. That requires a lot of time. If it isn't my primary setting, I don't want to disrespect it by doing it half-%@ed.

Accordingly, I prefer to keep Asia inspired areas as 'lands of mystery' and not flesh them out, but have them in my world as an option for players to utilize and flesh out in their character origins. I've had PCs that came from these areas, that traveled there in their youth, etc... but I have not had any adventures take place in Asia inspired areas since the 80s.
 
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Kobold Avenger

Adventurer
The greater the expansion of furries (and... featheries? Scalies?) in a given OA setting, the less attractive it is to normal people. It's wise to minimize them, and even offer a cultural apologia for them if you include them at all.
I think the greater expansion of furries seems to be a mostly a particular niche. Generally stronger among Japanese sources as there's a lot of animal spirits sort of things like Tengu/Kenku, Nezumi or Tanuki. Kenku are already covered in D&D, and the Hengeyokai that's been in OA since the start could cover a large variety of those, and because they're shapeshifters they can be as furry or non-furry as a DM wants (one could simply remove or de-emphasize the hybrid form).

For other sources there's the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West (the inspiration for the anime Dragon Ball and the TV series Into the Badlands and many other things) might be one of the few expansion of furries for Chinese sources as it's main character the Monkey King/Sun Wu Kim could be depicted as a Monkey, but more often than not he's just been depicted as a Human too.

There's Chinese stories where there are animal spirits which assume Human form and live lives among Humans. They could be the Spirit Folk PC race, though that race seems to cover more case of spirits of plants or natural features.

Indian mythology has the Vanara, monkey like beings which are probably the inspiration for the Monkey King. Naga are another thing in Indian and Southeast Asian myths, but there's already Naga in D&D, even though they don't match most peoples expectation of a Human with a snake lower body.

But I don't think it's furrier overall among most Asian sources than it is for European or other sources, which have tales like Three Little Pigs or Red Riding Hood.
 

jayoungr

Adventurer
Oh, yeah? Available online, or in print? I'm genuinely curious where I can find it. I can get the old OA on pds easily enough, but clearly that won't give me anything at all like modern rules*. Not that I need them, but I'm curious to look over them.
Mostly in PDF format. Here are some that I found on a quick trip through the DM's Guild (disclaimer: I haven't actually read any of them).

Wrath of the Iron Dragon
Adventurers of Kara-Tur
Gargantuas of Kara-Tur
Samurai and Steel

Then there are also these very popular non-setting-specific books:

Heroes of the Orient
Heroes of the Orient: Unearthed Kensai (supplement)
Monsters of the Orient (available as Print on Demand)
 

SkidAce

Adventurer
To do such a setting justice, you need to really build it out. That requires a lot of time. If it isn't my primary setting, I don't want to disrespect it by doing it half-%@ed.

Accordingly, I prefer to keep Asia inspired areas as 'lands of mystery' and not flesh them out, but have them in my world as an option for players to utilize and flesh out in their character origins. I've had PCs that came from these areas, that traveled their in their youth, etc... but I have not had any adventures take place in Asia inspired areas since the 80s.
I have mainly approached it this way also.
 

Sword of Spirit

Adventurer
The thing is, Rokugan is very narrowly focused on what it does. So if you like what it does, go for it. Kara-Tur is more like the Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk of fantasy Asia. It gives you all the stuff to work with. If you like having more stuff, go with Kara-Tur.

Since you have the 3e OA, just look through the list of monsters to see the large number of cool monsters they have that aren't in Rokugan. And that's just a subset of all the cool monsters they made for Kara-Tur. Same goes with the character races at the beginning. And then you've got the really cool "shaman" class, which is the 3e take on the old 1e shukenja (name changed for obvious reasons) that represents the cleric substitute (since all classes in 1e OA were substitutes for the PHB classes) and the wu-jen, and the sohei.

If someone is thinking, "I want to do a D&D fantasy Asia," and picks up that OA book, unless something about the Rokugan material really jumps out at them, they're likely to look at it and think, "Why would I give up so much to bother with this Rokugan stuff"? I really don't even think they should have put Rokugan in that book--which I'm sure they did just because they had the IP and could.
 

GreyLord

Adventurer
AS far as Kara-Tur goes, this has been around for several years now. It's a conversion of OA in the Forgotten Realms to 5e play.

It's mostly rules so not much fluff, but it's been there. Yes, it's a PDF, so yes...you'd have to print it out yourself in order to have a hardcopy. It is the second half of it, and it is actually rather cheap to print out and bind on one's own if they so desire to do so.

5e Old School and Oriental Adventures
 

MGibster

Adventurer
Not that there's a lot of votes yet, but I'm a little surprised that there aren't ANY votes for Rokugan. Really? Is Kara-Tur really THAT much better? Why? In what way?
I like Rokugan a lot more than I've ever liked Kara-Tur. But Rokugan was designed for Legend of the Five Rings which is radically different from D&D. If I'm playing D&D I'm going with Kara-Tur because they were designed to be paired together.
 

Azzy

Cyclone Ranger
I think we will get a Kara Tur book next year.
Any basis for this speculation, or is this just wishful thinking? Don't get me wrong, I would love such a thing to come out but I just don't see it as a reality anytime soon.
 

jayoungr

Adventurer
Those last three I purchased. They really evoke the flavor of Kara-Tur into 5e mechanics.
Okay, you pushed me over the edge--I'd been eyeing those books for ages, and I just picked up the bestiary during the May D&D sale. :)
 

gyor

Adventurer
"Shou Lung: Imperial China
T'u Lung: Historical dissident states based in South China during eras of political disunity (i.e. Nanzhao and Kingdom of Dali, formerly centred in present-day Yunnan province)
Wa: Feudal Japan (Edo period)
Kozakura: Japan[5]/Ryukyu Islands (Ashikaga period)
Northern Wastes: Historical non-Sinic tribal societies of Manchuria or Northeast China
Tabot: Tibet
Koryo: Korea
The Island Kingdoms: Pre-colonial Hindu-influenced civilizations of Indonesia and the Philippines.
The Plain of Horses: Historical Mongolia. This region is the Kara-Tur portion of the Hordelands, also known as the Endless Wastes.
The Jungle Lands of Malatra: Pre-colonial civilizations of Indochina (historical versions of the Khmer Empire and Vietnam) as well as the hill tribes inspired by their real-life Southeast Asian counterparts."

From Wikipedia.

Also Wa and Shou Lung have Spelljammers.

The main religions of Kara Tur are The Way, The Path of Enlightenment, 8 Million Gods, Lords of Creation (old Vedic Hinduism, but with a female Indra), Elemental Tribes (worship Elemental Deities and some Hindu Gods), am I forgetting any?

There are some worship of Faerun deities, but it's rare and in some places prosectuted.

Also Tu Lung and Mulhorand have diplomatic ties that go back at least a century, so make of that what you will.

There was supposed to be a fantasy version of Thighland and/or Sri Lanka, but they never got to it.

Oh and there is one secret Spelljammer port.
 
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I think we will get a Kara Tur book next year.
Considering how WotC is carefully handling culture/racial/gender/etc issues right now, I do not think we will ever see a full-blown book on the region unless and until they feel they can walk the line just right in the writing. And I am fine with that. I do not want to see a book full of negative stereotypes and biases.
 
Considering how WotC is carefully handling culture/racial/gender/etc issues right now, I do not think we will ever see a full-blown book on the region unless and until they feel they can walk the line just right in the writing. And I am fine with that. I do not want to see a book full of negative stereotypes and biases.
They already realised they made mistakes with Tomb of Annihilation, and there is plenty of completely fantastical material they can cover without going anywhere near any political minefields.
 

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