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

Desdichado

Adventurer
Whatever WotC does with an East Asian fantasy supplement, it needs to not be Japan-centric at the expense of all other East Asian cultures like the earlier Oriental Adventures books and Rokugan were. Stop trying to shoehorn samurai and ninja into everything.
Why does it need to do that?
 

gyor

Adventurer
I really do think they should add a fantasy India to F because the Kara Tur region of Malatra actually suggests their is one, something different Durpur.
 

Azzy

Cyclone Ranger
Why does it need to do that?
Because otherwise it's like going on a "tour of Europe", but you only actually go to Lichtenstein.

If you do an East Asian fantasy supplement, and only focus on one culture—you're not doing an East Asian fantasy supplement, you're just doing a supplement of that one culture. That's boring and disingenuous. Not to mention, it's falling short of the inherent potential of covering China and other East Asian cultures.
 

Desdichado

Adventurer
Or it's like doing a tour of Lichenstein and visiting Lichenstein. Most of "fantasy Europe" is actually "fantasy England" and that's fine. I mean, when's the last time your fantasy Europe included anything like Albania or Hungary? There's nothing wrong with basing your fantasy East mostly on Japan.
 
Or it's like doing a tour of Lichenstein and visiting Lichenstein. Most of "fantasy Europe" is actually "fantasy England" and that's fine. I mean, when's the last time your fantasy Europe included anything like Albania or Hungary? There's nothing wrong with basing your fantasy East mostly on Japan.
This is really accurate. Most medieval fantasy is based exclusively on medieval England and France. The Sword Coast, despite being mostly city-states, fits with that aesthetic too, mostly because it's hard to describe more than one medieval culture (in a satisfying way) within one adventure path.

If WotC does an East Asia supplement, they will probably focus on one culture, or at least a handful that are very related. You can do China, Korea and Japan in one because although all are distinct, they are all heavily influenced by one another (especially in their feudal eras).

Doing fantasy India and China in one book isn't going to work well though, those are pretty distinct.
 

Azzy

Cyclone Ranger
Or it's like doing a tour of Lichenstein and visiting Lichenstein.
No, it most assertively is not.

Most of "fantasy Europe" is actually "fantasy England" and that's fine. I mean, when's the last time your fantasy Europe included anything like Albania or Hungary?
More like Western Europe—from Itallian citystates like the City of Greyhawk and Waterdeep, to Hundred Years War England and France, the Holy Roman Empire, Vikings, etc. Plus, we even get non-European influences from the Middle East, plus civilisations from antiquity, like the Romans, Celts, Egypt, Mesopotamia, etc. Then there's a whole slew of non-historical/non-mythological things like tieflings, dragonborn.

There's nothing wrong with basing your fantasy East mostly on Japan.
Yeah? If you want it to be a hack. We've gotten that twice already (with both Oriental Adventures), it was boring and not well done. It's time to move on and a take a broader brush and give a smorgasboard to let DMs make the most of their East-Asian inspired campaigns rather than a narrow focus on a single culture that had only a limited impact on other cultures around them. I mean, if you had to go mono-cultural, you'd think that China would be your goto considering how much impact that it had on surrounding cultures and the wealth of history it brings.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
Rokugan was a great setting though it is unlikely to show up as a DnD setting again.

Personally, I think they could do separate setting books for the different regions. A Japanese inspired one might be a good starter then they could add another based on China. India could also be a separate book. There is more than enough in each culture to be able to create fantasy versions of each. Of course, the team might want to do setting books tied to previous settings so we might more likely gain books on Kara Tur and Al Qadim. I'd actually really like to see that latter given the 5e treatment.
 

Psyzhran2357

Villager
Doesn't FFG own the rights to Rokugan? I don't think WotC can do anything with it even if they wanted to. Far more likely we get Kara-Tur, whether as its own setting book or as part of a "Torilian Gazetteer". They could use the Spellplague and the Sundering to either streamline the setting or to introduce new nations and organizations.
 
Because otherwise it's like going on a "tour of Europe", but you only actually go to Lichtenstein.

If you do an East Asian fantasy supplement, and only focus on one culture—you're not doing an East Asian fantasy supplement, you're just doing a supplement of that one culture. That's boring and disingenuous. Not to mention, it's falling short of the inherent potential of covering China and other East Asian cultures.
Whether it is boring is subjective.

To some people, the "hodpodge" standard of vanilla D&D is more boring that a campaign setting with a narrow focus with a distinct flavor, so a large generic "asian" setting may not be better than a more specific "japanese" setting.

It also depends on the length of the game. Playing for 3 years across 20 levels always against orcs, stronger orcs and then even stronger orcs, requires better DM skills at making things interesting compared to always throwing a new monster every encounter (which however often has the downside of hiding the possible fact that if it wasn't for changing the monsters, all encounters would be the same). A narrow setting shouldn't be a problem for a short campaign.

You can think of it this way: a commercial "tour of Europe" that quickly takes you to a different country every day makes you "see" a lot of things, but learn almost nothing about what life in Europe really is; take a whole month vacation in Spain or France and now you do start learning something about what life in those country really is.

So there's really two different ways to approach the subject.
 

Desdichado

Adventurer
No, it most assertively is not.
Yes, quite assertively it is.
Azzy said:
More like Western Europe—from Itallian citystates like the City of Greyhawk and Waterdeep, to Hundred Years War England and France, the Holy Roman Empire, Vikings, etc. Plus, we even get non-European influences from the Middle East, plus civilisations from antiquity, like the Romans, Celts, Egypt, Mesopotamia, etc. Then there's a whole slew of non-historical/non-mythological things like tieflings, dragonborn.
Yeah, yeah... Hajnal Line High Medieval Europe with a handful of other things thrown in as afterthoughts here and there.
Azzy said:
Yeah? If you want it to be a hack. We've gotten that twice already (with both Oriental Adventures), it was boring and not well done. It's time to move on and a take a broader brush and give a smorgasboard to let DMs make the most of their East-Asian inspired campaigns rather than a narrow focus on a single culture that had only a limited impact on other cultures around them. I mean, if you had to go mono-cultural, you'd think that China would be your goto considering how much impact that it had on surrounding cultures and the wealth of history it brings.
Only if you're more interested in China than in Japan. What you call "being a hack" is exactly what you describe for regular European fantasy; but for some reason you demand more from Oriental Adventures.

Which is fine if that's your preference, but you should be a little more honest about your demands rather than making false equivalencies disguised as universal truths. Fantasy Oriental Adventures have largely focused on Japan with other cultures thrown in as grafted on afterthoughts (to a greater or lesser degree) because that's what the authors were most interested in, and that's what the customer base has been most interested in.

The good news is that if you think a pan-Asian cosmopolitan setting with culturally accurate reflections of China, Korea, Manchuria, southeast Asia, etc. if the way to go, it's easier than ever to put your money where your mouth is and make your own fantasy heartbreaker that fixes elements that you don't think were done to your satisfaction.
 

Mycroft

Explorer
I love Kara-Tur, and there is nothing offensive about it being called "Oriental" Adventures (that's an American silliness). Living in London, the UK, I have met many people that insist on being called Oriental, as opposed to Asian, as they don't want to be associated with Indians and Pakistani.
 

Kobold Avenger

Adventurer
I love Kara-Tur, and there is nothing offensive about it being called "Oriental" Adventures (that's an American silliness). Living in London, the UK, I have met many people that insist on being called Oriental, as opposed to Asian, as they don't want to be associated with Indians and Pakistani.
I have no problem being associated with Indians and Pakistanis or Filipinos (though most North Americans do not think of Indians or Pakistanis as being Asian), but the usage of "Oriental" in North America in my view, is the equivalent of "Negro" when referring to other people, it's not necessarily an offensive term but it's a dated one.
 
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Mycroft

Explorer
I have no problem being associated with Indians and Pakistanis or Filipinos (though most North Americans do not think of Indians or Pakistanis as being Asian), but the usage of "Oriental" in North America in my view, is the equivalent of "Negro" when referring to other people, it's not necessarily an offensive term but it's a dated one.
Neat; not where I come from.
 

gyor

Adventurer
Honestly I agree there is nothing wrong with the world, except that it was originally used to describe Byzantium not Asian peoples at all, but I really don't care.

I do hope they don't use that name again, but only because I don't want hear this sort of arguement over the next 10 years.
 

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