D&D 5E Oriental Adventures 5e: How would you do it?

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Guest 6801328

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I probably wouldn't actually call it Gurkha, but a subclass based on them would entail some kind of loyalty. So maybe at the end of a long rest you get to choose a companion who you are 'protecting', and when that companion is attacked you get a reaction. It might be that you get to choose from three different reactions, which you would base on whether it was a weapon attack, direct spell attack, or aoe spell attack.

Or something like that.
 

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Yaztromo

Explorer
My biggest takeaway from Oriental Adventures is the Sight Duel, that can be converted to 5e quite easily (and that could be all!), while you can manage and customize weapons, artifacts, classes and races taken from oriental mythology as you like, with no huge issue. I just wouldn't mix up too much myths coming from different coountries and traditions.
 

QuietBrowser

First Post
So, if we can kindly shut up about the damn name and focus on what actually matters - namely, what kind of content could actually fit in an Asiatic Fantasy themed expansion book?

Because, whilst too many people have been talking about the political correctness angle, I haven't seen a lot of actual crunch talk, and that's what I started this thread for. In particular, I'm interested in races; I have plans for my own setting, and I don't really want to be stuck with a fantastical "not India" continent where my only native races are vanaras, mongoose hengeyokai, reskinned aasimars, and humanoid white elephants.
 

So, if we can kindly shut up about the damn name and focus on what actually matters - namely, what kind of content could actually fit in an Asiatic Fantasy themed expansion book?

Because, whilst too many people have been talking about the political correctness angle, I haven't seen a lot of actual crunch talk, and that's what I started this thread for. In particular, I'm interested in races; I have plans for my own setting, and I don't really want to be stuck with a fantastical "not India" continent where my only native races are vanaras, mongoose hengeyokai, reskinned aasimars, and humanoid white elephants.
OK. Can you give a bit more detail about your own setting then, and what sort of races you do want to be 'stuck with' then?

Are you trying to evoke a different place? A "not japan" or a "not China"? Or is it more original?
What sort of races will be common enough to it to be regular PC options, and how do they fit in and interact with each other?

Any classes that you think would be necessary that aren't already around? Or adjustments to current classes?
 

So, if we can kindly shut up about the damn name and focus on what actually matters - namely, what kind of content could actually fit in an Asiatic Fantasy themed expansion book?
Monsters, mostly. Most character tropes from East Asian folklore and media are adequately covered by the core classes: although you could write a new "ninja" and "wu jen" and so on, it's not really necessary and may just be pointless exoticism. But the monsters are very distinctive, and the existing monster products only have a handful (almost all Japanese).

In particular, I'm interested in races; I have plans for my own setting, and I don't really want to be stuck with a fantastical "not India" continent where my only native races are vanaras, mongoose hengeyokai, reskinned aasimars, and humanoid white elephants.
Wikipedia apparently has a list of non-human races in Hindu mythology. That seems like a good place to start. If I were you I'd pay particular attention to the guhyakas, the yakshas, the kumbhandas, the kinnaras, and maybe the pretas.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
I am biased towards Rokugan, for which I have made a 5e conversion, but it's a very specific oriental settings and I think that instead if WotC does an "Oriental Adventures" sourcebook it should be as broad as possible (apart from the fact that WotC doesn't own the Rokugan IPR, so it just won't do an official 5e version of it unless it partners with AEG).

I don't really know much about asian folklore, but just like D&D core is always a hodgepodge of western mythologies (greek, european medieval, celtic, egyptian, nordic, modern gothic etc...), so I think an Oriental Adventures probably better be, full of diverse stuff which a gaming group could eventually narrow down if they want to.

I think WotC did actually a pretty good job in 3e, so I would expect the same kind of variety. However 5e books are notoriously slimmer than 3e books. For this reason, I fear they would sacrifice monsters in favor of more PC material than may be really necessary (but still probably sells better). I may speak from my own echo chamber, but personally when playing oriental adventures I very rarely saw non-human PCs. In fact I think those non-human oriental races tend to have a stronger "alien" feel compared to Elves and Dwarves, and so I wouldn't really want 50 pages on oriental races only to see players pick up humans most of the times.

About classes, honestly I would try to do a minimal work, by adapting the PHB classes rather than designing entirely new base classes from scratch. In my Rokugan conversion, I use the Monk as-is and then I have a Samurai which is a small adaptation of the Fighter, a Shugenja which is similar to a Wizard with a different spell list, and only the Courtier is a class designed from the ground up. A more generic oriental adventure setting obviously needs more than just 4 classes, but it probably can still feature Barbarians, Rogues, Sorcerers and Clerics with their own modifications.

As for new rules systems... not sure what we really "need". Martial arts are notoriously difficult to represent with their intricacies, there's a risk to job bog the game down in rules minutia for minimal benefits, but presumably at least something is needed. In Rokugan we have small rules systems for measuring Honor and Taint, and I love them, while rules for deadly duels always work awkwardly in conjunction with the HP-based framework of D&D.

Ultimately, the monsters are really the most important thing. I don't think that the mechanics are nearly as important as the narrative, in order to deliver an oriental feel to the game. So lots of monsters lore is what actually makes it work in the end.
 


Shasarak

Banned
Banned
In D&D's history, twice now, a sourcebook called Oriental Adventures has been published - the first for AD&D 1st edition, written by none other than Gary Gygax himself, and the second for 3.0.

I probably would not get too excited about seeing Garys name on the cover. In essence Zeb Cook did most of the work on this one with Gary adding his name to boost sales.
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
Supporter
One thing I would definitely include is a batch of new Backgrounds, even ones that have substantial overlap with existing Backgrounds.

I'm also going to float the idea that, instead of having a setting with a Japan-analogue, a China-analogue, a Thai-analogue, etc. all side-by-side, you could just lump all of it together into one single setting: Shaolin monks and Taoist priests interacting daily with ninja and samurai. I suggest this because standard D&D has druids (Celtic origin), paladins (French origin), monks (some sort of Asian origin), bards (British/Gaelic origin), barbarians (ancient Greek origin, but popularized by Rome, and often applied to Germanic peoples), berserkers (Norse origin), etc. The races and monsters have similarly diverse origins -- it's basically a giant melting pot of European history and mythology, with the occasional element pulled in from more distant cultures (especially the monsters; certain really iconic creatures, like gold dragons and ogre magi and nagas, were Asian in origin). So I think you could do the same thing for an Asian-inspired setting: pull together all the common popular elements and just go hog-wild. It's not like China didn't have assassins who resembled ninjas, or that Japan didn't have martial arts monks.

The most important thing here would be to have an author who is well-versed in Asian cultures, preferably someone who actually grew up there. An outsider's perspective is always going to produce something slightly skewed and artificial-feeling.
 

I'm also going to float the idea that, instead of having a setting with a Japan-analogue, a China-analogue, a Thai-analogue, etc. all side-by-side, you could just lump all of it together into one single setting: Shaolin monks and Taoist priests interacting daily with ninja and samurai. I suggest this because standard D&D has druids (Celtic origin), paladins (French origin), monks (some sort of Asian origin), bards (British/Gaelic origin), barbarians (ancient Greek origin, but popularized by Rome, and often applied to Germanic peoples), berserkers (Norse origin), etc. The races and monsters have similarly diverse origins -- it's basically a giant melting pot of European history and mythology, with the occasional element pulled in from more distant cultures (especially the monsters; certain really iconic creatures, like gold dragons and ogre magi and nagas, were Asian in origin). So I think you could do the same thing for an Asian-inspired setting: pull together all the common popular elements and just go hog-wild. It's not like China didn't have assassins who resembled ninjas, or that Japan didn't have martial arts monks.
Your reasoning seems fine on its own, and I don't mean to resurrect the PC discussion, but "Asian fusion" settings are something of a hot-button topic, and in the current climate are... frowned upon. Always something you have to be aware of.
 

Zilong

First Post
Your reasoning seems fine on its own, and I don't mean to resurrect the PC discussion, but "Asian fusion" settings are something of a hot-button topic, and in the current climate are... frowned upon. Always something you have to be aware of.

I mentioned it earlier in the thread, but Asian fusion is not necessarily the problem. As has been pointed out D&D in general is a huge mishmash of tropes from a myriad of real world cultures. In this case an Asian fusion setting makes as much sense as everything else. The main problem, for myself, is the overwhelming dominance Japanese cultural influence has whenever someone not from an Asian background writes this kind of setting. Hell, even things that are explicitly not Japanese somehow get mistaken as Japanese.

Basically, if other cultures like Thai or Vietnam, possibly even India if you're feeling adventurous, had more influence on the setting it would not be a problem. Granted some people would still scream about inappropriate portrayals and all that jazz, but I'd say those people can usually be safely ignored as they will scream regardless of what's written.
 

Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
Late to the party but I'd include a defeated post-colonial element (because I am inevitably viewing it through the white dude cultural lens) and incorporate steampunk with heretical treatment (because Oriental Adventures isn't OGL, so you make the setting have an extra bend that can be removed by the GM for a more traditional world).

More information on how that all worked out here.
 

stylewager

Explorer
Here's just a few thoughts...

Races
The standard races in 1st ed OA were humans, korobokoro (oriental dwarves), spirit folk (half-kami), and hengeyokai (animal shape-changers). 3rd ed. adds the varana (monkey-folk) but they are found to the far south in Malatra and are rarely encountered in Kozakura (and likely to be mistaken for a monkey hengeyokai).

Data mining the sources and other games I suggest the following additions to the races roster (though these would be rare PCs): Halflings (known as Shojo), Hai Nu (Oriental locathah), and Goblins.

I know, traditionally the goblins of OA, bakemono, are spirit-monsters resembling the demon-swarms of Inyu Yasha and not the traditional D&D goblin but on the other hand if you dressed up a D&D goblin in scavenged samurai gear he might look like a weird mutant from an old Japanese print. The Bushido RPG actually identifies three major ranks of goblins in their Fanatasy Japan which rather neatly corresponds to goblin-lore. The bakemono-sho corresponds with the typical D&D goblin, Dai-bakemono to hobgoblins, and o-bakemono could be either bugbears or ogres. Consider that some depictions of hobgoblins in the 1st ed. of the Monster Manual showed them in samurai armor, having the three races take over the slot of the bakemono of 1st ed. OA is fine in my opinion.

Korobokuru dwarves use standard dwarf base but gain +1 Wisdom and Sure-footing (they have full movement in rough and heavily forested terrain).

Shojo (known as Shan Sao in Shou Lung) are distant oriental Halflings. They typically shun humans and live in hidden valleys, bamboo and forest glens, or hidden coves. They are noted for their wild red hair. They otherwise resemble Ghostwise Halflings (Sword Coast book).

Spirit Folk are born of the union of humans and local spirits (kami). While the kami blood usually thins after the first generation, the blood can occasionally resurge in later generations, particularly if it comes from another parent that carries kami-blood. Spirit-folk appear outwardly as an Oriental Half-elf in features (sometimes even with slightly pointed ears) and have the unearthly beauty and aura of half-elves as well as similar attitudes and upbringing (either among humans or spirits). Most spirit folk are raised among humans and often belong to human families and clans though they also have allegiances to the Kami Lords (the Lord of the Forest, the Lord of the Seas, etc.) and are required to act on their behalf. Failing to do so doesn’t bring a loss of honor but does invite natural disasters to befall their clan and province as punishment.​
The most common Spirit Folk are those born from unions with bamboo spirits, river spirits, and sea kami. All Spirit Folk gain a +2 Charisma. They are treated as Fey as well as Humanoids in terms of spell discriptors and gain a +1 to save against Charm.
Bamboo Spirit Folk have +1 Dexterity and have Nature proficiency. They gain Pass without Trace as a power that they can use once per Short or Long Rest. Bamboo spirit-folk have their life-force tied to a sacred bamboo grove where the spirit of their parent/ancestor resides. Desecration of the grove causes illness to the individual while destruction of the grove causes a loss of Constitution and its complete loss (digging up the roots and salting the ground) is death.
River Spirit Folk have +1 Dexterity and have Athletics proficiency. They are immune to drowning and while swimming their clothing and all items they carry remain dry. River spirit folk can run across water up to their sprinting speed for one round. Their life-force is also tied the river or stream of their parent/ancestor and bathing in the river instantly heals all wounds, disease, and poison. If the river floods, the spirit folk becomes wild and agitated and if it runs low, the spirit folk becomes lethargic; completely damming or filling in the river dooms the individual to a slow death.
Ocean Spirit Folk have +1 Dexterity and Athletics proficiency. As with the River Spirit Folk, they are immune to drowning and while swimming their clothing remains dry. They have no other abilities but neither do they have the weaknesses of other spirit-folk. Once per year they may call upon a boon from the Lord of the Sea, but only if they are in good standing with their lord and have gained honor.
Mountain Spirit Folk are unusually tall and broad in comparison to other spirit folk, possessing +1 Strength and Intimidation proficiency. They can cast Stone Skin on themselves once per long rest. Their life-force is tied to the hill or mountain of their parent/ancestor; mining of the hill or mountain causes them great discomfort and quarrying it causes a loss of Constitution. Complete removal of the hill or mountain would kill the spirit folk.
Ginsing Spirit Folk are born of the ginsing spirits of sacred glades deep within the forests of Kara-Tur. They gain +1 Intelligence and have proficiency in Medicine. They can cast Healing Word once per short or long rest. As with Bamboo folk, the life-force of the Ginishing Spirit Folk is tied to the glade; its desecration causes pain and its destruction means death.


Hengeyokai PCs get the following traits​
Ability Score Increase: the increase in scores varies on the type (see below).
Age: Hengeyokai mature about the same age as humans but live for centuries much like elves. Hengeyokai go through several names during their lifespan, sometimes changing them on a whim and many adopt a variety of identities if they choose to live among mortals.
Size: In human and humanoid form a hengeyokai is medium size, ranging between 5 to 6 feet in height though the size of their animal form varies according to their animal type. Inu (wolf) are the size of normal wolves (Medium) for example while Nezumi (rat) are the size of giant rats (2-3 feet long; Small). Kitsune, while larger than normal foxes, are still Small creatures in animal form while Kumo transform into giant spiders in animal form. Sami-Bito transform in reef sharks (Medium to Large, depending on the age of the spirit).
Speed: In human form walking speed is 30 feet while in animal form it is speed of their true animal form. Their humanoid form varies, depending on the type of hengeyokai.
Alignment: Hengeyokai generally tend to be Chaotic Neutral, enjoying mischief in all its forms on others. Individuals may tend towards either good or evil, depending on their personality or history.
Darkvision: Hengeyokai gain their animal senses including increased smelling, hearing, and darkvision in humanoid form but have only human senses in their human form.
By tooth and nail: Most hegeyokai in their humanoid form gain claws, teeth, or talons, doing a d6 slashing unarmed combat bonus. They can make an unarmed attack once every other round as a bonus action.
Keen Senses: All Hengeyokai have proficiency in Perception.
Fey Touched: All Hengeyokai gain Misty Step and Faerie Fire, usable once per Long or Short Rest. They also have advantage on Saving Throws against being charmed. They are also considered Fey/Spirit creatures and can be targeted by spells and magic items that target such spirits.

There most commonly encountered and most powerful hengeyoki nations are as follows:

Kitsune (Fox) Fox Hengeyoki consider themselves the buke of the Feywild. They dress in the same manner as nobles and officials of the human world, often taking the guise of noblemen and ladies when traveling in the mortal realm. Like humans, kitsune are divided up into several clans that are allied or at war with one another. Most conflicts within their clans are resolved through political maneuvering at court. Many conflicts between kitsune clans are resolved through contests and duels. Many contests often involve tricking and manipulating mortals; either to get them to fight one another or complete some sort of quest for one side.​
Most kitsune are of the free-born rank, allied with one clan or another. Higher rank kitsune are either samurai (if male) or sorcerers (female) and are easily identified in fox or humanoid form by their multiple tails. The more powerful the kitsuni, the greater the number of tails it possesses. Such kitsuni gain their tails (and their rank) by defeating or destroying an opponent of equal power in a ritualized duel, up to a maximum of nine tails (clan head). Only the empress of foxes and her ministers possess more than nine tails (the Divine Empress of Foxes possess twelve tails herself). The powers gained from each rank of tail includes increasing charm powers (Charm Person, once per Short or Long Rest at 2-3 tails), Bestow Curse (rank 4) Animate Objects (rank 5), to Hallucinatory Terrain (at 6 tails). Powers gain at seven or more tails vary from individual but often include Magic Jar and Ancient Curse. Kitsune who suffer embarrassment may be forced to surrender one of their extra tails, losing rank as well as face. On rare occasions a kitsune may be stripped of all its tails and be forced to live a short mortal life as a human. Most prefer to commit seppuku rather than be condemned to such a fate. Normally only powerful NPCs should have multiple tails; a PC kitsune must complete a major quest to vanquish a powerful spirit in order to claim a tail and if ever defeated in a duel by another spirit, could be forced to relinquish the tail (and power).
Kitsune Hengeyoki PCs get the following traits
Ability Score Increase: Your Dexterity score increases by 2, Charisma increases by 1.
Nose for Intrigue: You are proficient in either Deception or Insight.

Tanuki (Raccoon Dog) Tanuki are the common folk of the Feywild, living in much the same way as peasant farmers and craftsmen. Like kitsune, they are tricksters by nature, but are often more protective of the common folk that inhabit their home province, provided that the folk continue to honor the tanuki with offerings and do not despoil the forests and thickets that guard the gates to Faerie. Tanuki often appear as farmers, Buddhist monks, old grandmothers, or yamabushi. Tanuki do not gain extra tails like some other hengeyokai but do sometimes possess extra abilities through experience and defeating other spirits. The most common power tanuki acquire is Mask, followed by Enlarge, Invisibility, and Animate Object.
Tanuki Hengeyoki PCs get the following traits
Ability Score Increase: Your Constitution score increases by 2, Dexterity increases by 1.
Sturdy but Sneaky: You are proficient in either Athletics or Stealth.

Bakeneko (Cat) Unlike other hengeyoki, bakeneko have no clan associations and prefer to travel alone in the Fey and Mortal realms wherever their whims take them. Bakeneko are the entertainers and geisha of the fey realm, entertaining kitsune and tanuki in return for food, trinkets, and adoration. In the mortal realm they frequently take on a similar guise as a katari-be, geisha, or omoidasu. Like kitsune, they are clever and vain creatures. Male bakeneko are notorious for being irreligious and making fun of devoted priests and monks. They are also infamous for being fickle lovers, frequently abandoning their mortal lovers for another. Female bakeneko are much more devoted to their lovers but are often jealous or envious of mortal women who might compete for the attentions of their mate. Several stories are told of bakeneko ladies who posed as human courtesans or wives by duplicating the appearance of a particular mortal woman (the original having already been stalked and killed by the creature). They are sometimes found as guardians to a village, temple, or family having spent years in guise of a simple house-cat and become attached to the local and its members. Powerful bakeneko can have multiple tails and gain such powers as Vicious Mockery, Fear, Enlarge, and Invisibility as they grow in power.​
Bakeneko Hengeyoki PCs get the following traits
Ability Score Increase: Your Dexterity score increases by 2, Wisdom increases by 1.
Sneaky and Agile: You are proficient in either Acrobatics or Stealth.

Inu (Wolf/Dog) Originally the Inu clans were wolves (okami) and fierce warriors but as human settlement carved up the isles over the millennia, the inu dwindled and were debased by the blood of domesticated dogs until the point that very few inu are left with the wild wolf blood line and most resemble feral dogs. Inu are the most tolerant of the hengeyoki in respects to humans and their services may be easily bought for with gifts of food and shelter. If dwelling among humans, Inu will pass themselves as low-class bodyguards and town watchmen. Female inu often take the form of young girls or little old ladies, offering to serve a family for nothing more than some food and a place by the fire. Inu are found the Feywild of the Hengeyoki as retainers and servants, often as mercenaries, bodyguards, and thief-catchers in the employ of kitsune. Some inu however live in the high mountains and wild places of the Isles as bandits and brigands. These clans retain the wild wolf blood, detesting kitsune and humans alike, preferring to dwell among korbokoro (dwarves).
Inu Hengeyoki PCs get the following traits
Ability Score Increase: Your Constitution score increases by 2, Strength increases by 1.
Sniff out Trouble: You are proficient in either Insight or Intimidation.

Tengu (Crow) Tengu dwell on the outskirts of both Fey and mortal society, remaining aloof and apart from the politics of the hengeyoki court. Tengu are protectors of wilderness since pine and bamboo forests are their homes. They will first attempt to use pranks to defend their homes but will not hesitate to use deadly means to protect their lands including traps and luring monsters to the camps of loggers and trappers. They are also scavengers and will occasionally raid burials and cemeteries looking for fresh bodies not properly warded by a priest. Tengu are also notorious thieves, easily attracted by shiny baubles and glittering treasure. The more colorful and shiny, the more irresistible it is to the creature. They are also drawn to sites of battles between mortals where they strip the dead of anything valuable and devour the flesh of corpses.​
Tengu Hengeyoki PCs get the following traits
Ability Score Increase: Your Dexterity score increases by 2, Intelligence increases by 1.
Into Everything: You are proficient in either Slight of Hand or Investigation.
Flight: Tengu Hengeyokai can fly short distances while in humanoid form, flying up to 40 feet per round, though they cannot stay aloft for more than five rounds at a time before being forced to land for a round. While in flight their hands cannot wield weapons though they may strike with the talons on their feet. In animal form their large raven form flies as a normal bird.

Mujina (Badger) Bagers have an evil reputation among the hengeyokai though this is somewhat undeserved though their reputation as loners who dislike trespassers in their territories is generally correct. If they choose to take human form, it is in the form of a hermit, lone woodcutter, or an exiled ronin. Those who develop magical talents often learn illusion in order to appear as more fearsome creatures to scare off intruders. Common illusions include appearing as a rokuro-kubi (long neck; a type doppelganger) or a noppera-bō (faceless apparition); the latter guise is so often associated with badger hengeyokai on Wa that noppera-bō are often called mujina.
Mujina Hengeyoki PCs get the following traits
Ability Score Increase: Your Constitution score increases by 2, Strength increases by 1.
Whatever it Takes: You are proficient in either Survival or Deception.

Nezumi (Rat) Rats are the merchants and eta of the hengeyoki realm, dwelling primarily in the unearthly spirit counterparts of the large towns and cities of Kara Tur. Nezumi are looked down upon with contempt by all other hengeyoki (the only creature usually lower than a nezumi is a human) and a nezumi who insults his betters is usually killed immediately (often eaten on the spot). In the mortal realm nezumi are notorious thieves, stealing anything they can carry off to sell in the markets and bazaars of the hengeyoki realm. This includes babies and children which they will sell as slaves or sometimes devour themselves. Like tengu, they will steal and devour corpses. Some nezumi are sympathetic or friendly to humans but must hide their true nature due to the poor reputation that they possess. Some areas nezumi honored and several shrines are dedicated to rat spirits in the hopes of warding off disease and there it is considered ill luck for killing a rat. High ranking nezumi can gain powers like Cause Disease,
Nezumi Hengeyoki PCs get the following traits
Ability Score Increase: Your Dexterity score increases by 2, Constitution increases by 1.
Steal to Survive: You are proficient in either Slight of Hand or Survival.

Kawauso (Otter) Like tenuki, kawauso tend to be commoners in the Fey Realm, often boatmen and fishermen. In the mortal realm they haunt isolated stretches of coastline, rivers, or live in isolated hamlets in swamps and hidden lakes. They are playful but sometimes malicious; they enjoy challenging mortals to contests of fishing, swimming, and wrestling and are not above using their magic to cheat. Powerful kawauso are said to gain spell-like abilities such as Darkness and Enlarge.
Kawauso Hengeyoki PCs get the following traits
Ability Score Increase: Your Dexterity score increases by 2, Wisdom increases by 1.
Double jointed: You are proficient in Acrobatics and can use it to slip out of bonds.

Izuna (Weasel) Like otters, hengeyoki weasels have a reputation as mischievous tricksters. In addition to stealing things, izuna will sometimes play malicious pranks on travelers and even set small booby-traps around the farms and homes of people who live nearby. Powerful izuna who study magic specialize in illusions and conjuration magic; if they become strong enough, they have the ability to cast magic jar and possess people. Some izuma are infamous as wind-sorcerers who haunt the mountains of Kara-Tur. More benevolent izuna will sometime act as protectors, posing as potion-sellers, itako (blind seer or wise-woman), shrine-priests, and healers. A few enjoy living among humans, finding adventure and employment as yakuza and thieves.
Izuna Hengeyoki PCs get the following traits
Ability Score Increase: Your Dexterity score increases by 2, Intelligence increases by 1.
Tricksy: Double jointed: You are proficient in Acrobatics or Slight of Hand.

Onikuma Bear hengeyokai are feared and respected among the hengeyokai for their size and power. Even in human form an onikuma is massive in size, standing nearly seven feet tall and often built just as massively. Onikuma often take the form of mountain hunter, barbarian, or yamabushi (mountain-monk) though they sometimes travel among humans as yojimba (bodyguards) or even as a sumo-wrestler. Onikuma have a good reputation among korobokuru and the Ama people who consider them almost sacred as messengers for the Bear spirit.​
Onikuma Hengeyoki PCs get the following traits
Ability Score Increase: Your Strength score increases by 2, Wisdom increases by 1.
Power Personified: You are proficient in Survival and Intimidation. You also have advantage on grappling attacks.

Usagi (Rabbit) Hares are among the nobles clans of the hengeyokai, often appearing as young bushi, gallant courtiers, and ladies of noble birth. In human form they are typically quite handsome (or beautiful) though marred with oversized front teeth that they usually blacken to hide their otherworldly origins. Though good natured and brave enough when they get into a fight, hare hengeyokai are noted for being flighty at times and notorious flirts.
Usagi Hengeyoki PCs get the following traits
Ability Score Increase: Your Charisma score increases by 2, Dexterity increases by 1.
Gallantry Defined: You are proficient in Persuasion.
Speed of the Hare: You gain +10 feet movement to your sprinting speed while in humanoid form.

Satori (Monkey) Monkey hengyoki are welcomed in most Faey realms as wandering doctors, exorcists, scholars, and budoka. Monkeys always travel either solitary or as small family groups in the Faerie realms of Harido. Some are relatively recent arrivals from the mainland realms while others are natives of the southern parts of the kingdom. Satori travel frequently in the guise of hunched over old men or gangly youths; the begging monk is a common disguise. If treated well when entering a village, a satori typically offers his services to heal the sick and wounded but if treated poorly, he will return to play mischief on those who offended him. Saru are sympathetic to humans and will aid them whenever possible, especially against bakemono, oni, and kumo who natural enemies to satori. Kumo and Oni likewise hate satori and will ambush one if given a chance while bakemono often fear monkey-folk and will run away if confronted by a satori sorcerer or warrior. On the mainland of Kara-Tuar satori sometimes use their humanoid form to pass themselves off as Vanara from the Southlands though they lack the prehensile tail of the true monkey-folk.​
Satori Hengyoki PCs get the following traits
Ability Score Increase: Your Dexterity score increases by 2, Wisdom increases by 1.
Good for What Ails You: You are proficient in either Performance or Medicine.
Climb: Monkey hengyokai lack claws in their humanoid form but instead gain a 35 foot climbing speed. They may use their feet to grip surfaces or, if using their hands to climb, wield a simple one-handed weapon (but at disadvantage).

Lo-Chang (Tiger) Tiger hengeyokai are not native to Kozakura and are very rare on Wa; they are always outsiders from the mainland, either from Shou Lung or Koryo. They are often mistaken for weretigers, possessing nearly impressive strength and ferocity in combat as well as equally suspicious and hostile disposition towards strangers. Tiger hengeyokai have good reason to feel that way on the isles since are likely to hunted as dangerous monsters in their animal form and illegal barbarians and spies in their human form by the native humans and are equally shunned as outsiders and interlopers by local spirits.​
Loc-Chang Hengyoki PCs get the following traits:
Ability Score Increase: Your Strength score increases by 2, Dexterity increases by 1.
Hunter in the Dark: You are proficient in Perception and Survival.
Tiger Claws: in humanoid form your claws and bite do d4 slashing damage.
 

stylewager

Explorer
Some thoughts... (continued)

Classes
In the 1st ed. of Oriental Adventures, the original classes were: Barbarian (or rather an Oriental variant of the Unearthed Arcana Barbarian), Bushi (Fighter sub-class), Kensai (Fighter sub-class), Samurai (Cavalier sub-class), Monk (revised 1st ed.), Ninja (Duel-Class), Shukenja (Cleric sub-class), Sohei (cleric sub-class), Wu Jen (Magic-User sub-class), and Yakuza (Thief sub-class). Dragon magazine articles added the Geisha (Bard sub-class…sort of), the Genin (single class Ninja), and the Pioh Shih (ranger…sort of). Fourth edition Dragon issues added the Shan Zhi (paladin… sort of).

So let’s break down the old classes and see how they fit into 5th edition.

Barbarian: the OA barbarian is mostly a rehash of 1st ed Barbarian with notes on the three major terrains they would appear in on Kara-Taur: Steppe, Forest, and Jungle. Just about any Barbarian sub-class is feasible in OA but for the barbarians of the Isles the Totem Barbarian is the most commonly available.


Bushi: Historically, any member of the warrior class is considered a bushi. While the classical samurai are at the top, below them are lesser members of the warrior class such as ji-zamurai (land-working ‘samurai’ that were the Japanese equivalent of yeomen), ashigaru (soldiers), and yojimbo (bodyguards). Fighters that are going to be Samurai or Ronin type, should use the Samurai sub-class as outlined in Xandar’s Guide. Most other “bushi” are either Champion or Battle Master Fighters. The Edritch Knight is generally not suited to Kozakura but fits somewhat to Shou Lung and can be played as such. The Bushido RPG introduces as fighter known as a Budoka who is a fighter specialized in martial arts. As an optional Fighting Style, add Unarmed (see Tasha's CoE). While not a powerful in the long run as a monk, a fighter skilled in Unarmed combat has a place in fighter ranks.

Geisha: Bard, College of Love (see belowl). Other bards that find their way into Kara-Tur would be the College of Lore (scholarly musician), College of Blades (low-born), and College of Whispers (disguised ninja/shinobi).

Genin: the rank-and-file ninja would be best described as Rogue Assassin. Shinobi (ninja with magical powers) are Monks of the Way of Shadow.

Kensai: Already covered in Xandar’s Guide.

Monk: Most true monks of the two religions are members of the Way of the Open Hand or the Way of the Drunken Master. Kensai are also common but they are recluses or associated with martial arts schools rather than true monasteries. Other monastic paths are possible if the DM allows.

Pioh Shih: See Below. While the class is more associated with Shou Lung and surrounding regions, Kozakura has similar outriders that patrol the Imperial Post Road and other major byways across the island. The Pioh Shih Ranger Archetype and the Rogue Scout fit best.

Shan Zhi: Paladins are not typically a characteristic of the Orient; the Shan Zhi archetype I made (see below) does fit in as either a foreigner from Shou Lung or a local spiritually inspired. The Green Knight paladin is the only other core paladin archetype that might be found here.

Shukenja: Eight Million Gods faith would be a Cleric of the Spirit Domain (see my past journal). The Path of Enlightenment would be either Law or Healing Domain. Barbarian Shaman would be best as Druids, likely Circle of Shepherds (Xandar’s Guide).

Sohei: A fighter with access to clerical magic upon taking this sub-type. See Below.

Wu Jen: the Mystic Archetype for the Wu Jen given on the WOC/DM’s Guild site is, in my opinion, unplayable as is. I recommend making the Wu Jen a sorcerer; the Unearthed Arcana and Xandar’s gives sorcerers tied to each of the four elements. Oriental Adventures has a fifth (Wood) and Wood Element Wu Jen would get access to a few Druid or Ranger spells like Entanglement or Wall of Thorns. All Wu Jen, as part of their growth of power, required to take taboos every time they gain a rank of spells (examples: Sleep facing South; abstain from eating red meat; never cut your hair until the first full moon of autumn, etc). Breaking a taboo results in losing the highest spell tier available until restitution is made by undergoing a lengthy (2+ day) ritual of meditation and spiritual cleansing.

Yakuza: Yakuza are street gangsters in Kozakura and best used as a background. PCs who want to be part of the Yakuza are Rogues, typically members of the Mastermind, Thief, or Swashbuckler Archetypes. Swashbucklers and Scouts might instead be bodyguards known as yojimba or bounty-hunters.​

Fifth Edition Classes to Oriental Adventures:
Artificer:
Only the Alchemist archetype would be native to Kozakura. It is possible that Koryo might have tinkerer artificers present (re: the Korean turtle ship)

Warlock: there is no reason that warlocks wouldn’t be present. The Five Lords of the OA Feywild (The Dragon King, The Pheonix Princess, the Great Turtle, and the White Tiger of the West) would be Fey patrons while the Oni Lords of Hades be Fiendish Patrons. There are any number of beings that would be Great Old One Patrons. Shinigami, death spirits that haunt the Shadowfey (re: the anime Death Note) are the patrons of Undead path Warlocks (Sword Coast).

Wizard:
most true wizards in Kozakura are outsiders. The exception are magicians known as onmyoji; they are typically either Abjuration or Divination school. Koryo and Shou have War Wizards while some kumo (hengyokai spiders) and other evil hengeyokai practice Illusion or Necromancy.

New Subclasses

Barbarian: Beast Rider
Barbarians whose tribe is frequently on the move across huge tracts of wilderness may choose to take the Path of the Beast Rider. Such barbarians bond with an animal mount and are most at home within that terrain the beast is suited for. Most often this type of barbarian are the Horse Tribes of Fearun and distant Kara-Taur or the Desert Riders of Zakhara and the Great Desert of Aurauch, but could include jungle tribesmen of Chult atop of an elephant, dwarven herdsmen of the northern mountains astride their war rams, gurgach elves atop Dire Stags in deep forests, goblin wolf-riders on the lonely moors, dire boars bearing orc and half-orc tribesmen, Drow mounted atop of a giant spider in the Underdark, or even wild Halflings in the Shining South atop giant eagles defending their hill ranges. The mounts available to the character should be determined by the DM at the beginning of the campaign. Rider and mount are bonded in a special way that the two act as a single fighting unit, giving the Beast Rider great advantage in combat. The downside for the Rider is that most mounts are unsuitable in dungeons.
Bound Beast
Starting at third level when you choose this path you are given a mount to bond with. The creature, if animal intelligence, is smarter than the average beast of that type and quickly becomes bonded with you and can understand simple commands. Moreover, it will defend you if you are attacked, gaining the Rage ability (once per long rest only). If you mount is slain however, you must wait 2d4 weeks to find and bond to a new mount (2d6 weeks for uncommon mounts such as dire boars). If the beast possesses less hit points than its rider, it gains a hit point bonus equal to its master’s Constitution bonus and gains an equal amount every level that the Barbarian advances. If the mount is exceptional (such as an elephant) it may take some time for its rider to advance before it gains additional hit points. While mounted, small creatures are at a Disadvantage to attack you and you gain your mount’s Strength Bonus to damage with spears, lances, and javelins when charging.
Mounted Warrior
At 6th level, because of your special mounted training, you do not suffer a penalty for firing a missile weapon from horseback. You also gain an advantage to Strength Checks to avoid being dismounted. Additionally, your mount gains an attack bonus equal to your Charisma bonus to defend you in combat and only needs a short rest before it can Frenzy again. Finally you can urge your mount to run faster, gaining +5 plus your Barbarian level in feet/movement per round but it must make an exhaustion check for every turn.
You are acutely aware of the strengths and weaknesses of animals akin to your mount and can diagnose and treat disease and injuries to the species by making a Healing check (gaining a +2 bonus on top of any Wisdom bonuses). You can also accurately assess the value of any mount and spot attempts to hide ailments or doctor the quality of the mount.
Exceptional Training
At 14th level, your mount can now make multiple attacks or take a Multiattack action (if it has that ability). It also gains additional AC equal to your Strength Bonus.

Cleric: Shukenja
Shukenja are clerics dedicated to serving the gods and spirits of the Celestial Bureaucracy. They are found in Kara-Tur, from the Dragon Wall to the Isles of Kozakura and the jungle lands of the south. They not only have a bond with holy sites but also to the natural world; their connection to it is not as developed as clerics of natural deities or druids but instead they have a higher awareness of the spirit world, including the Fey Wild and the Shadowfell. Additionally, a novice shukenja is taught the skill Perform as he is taught the secret spirit dances and songs used to communicate with the spirit world. They have the power to communicate with spirits and can also heal, rebuke (turn) and even command or banish spirits. Rebuking and controlling spirits works much like the Turn Undead ability of clerics except that it extends only to spirits (including Fey, Elementals, Celestials, Infernals, and Undead such as ghosts). The rebuking power of shukenja does not work on elves (because of their strong ties to the mortal realm).
Spirit Domain
Unlike clerics of Faerun, most clerics in Kara-Tur serve a multitude of deities and spirits that serve under the Divine Emperor and his edicts. Instead they follow different philosophies in how they interpret the divine will of the gods and how they interact with the faithful. In Shou, the main two philosophies are known as the Path and the Way. The Path of Enlightenment is generally strict and methodical with strict hierarchies and protocols (Lawful) while the Way is often more mystical and self-reflective (Neutral to Chaotic). Sects of the two philosophies often clash with one another politically (and occasionally physically in the streets), on the whole they agree on principles of knowledge, harmony, fidelity to Heaven and one’s ancestors, and balance between body and spirit, yin and yang.
Spirit Domain Spells
Cleric Level Spells

1st Bless, Detect Harmony
3nd Augury, Messenger
5th Glyph of Warding, Invisibility to Spirits
7th Detect Shapechanger, Elemental Bane
9th Dream, Far Step

Meditation

At first level a shukenja gains the ability to meditate during a Long or Short Rest. While meditating as he rests, he does not require the need to eat, drink, or sleep and can go without food, drink, sleep without adverse effects up to three days if meditation is used. Additionally he gains resistance to the effects of heat and cold in terms of discomfort and exhaustion while in a meditative stance.
Heal/Rebuke Spirit
At 3rd level a shukenja gains the ability to use his spirit to heal or rebuke spirits once per Short or Long Rest.
Healing spirits requires the shaman to physically touch the spirit, restoring 2d4 + level x 2. This ability works to a lesser extent with normal people except it doesn’t heal hit points but gives the target on the shaman’s turn an addition chance to save against the effects of fear, blindness, or confusion.
Rebuking spirits is made much like the Turn Undead ability of clerics. The shaman performs a chant of rebuke or similar ceremony to drive back the spirit. The spirit, if it can see the shaman or hear him within 30 feet must make a Wisdom saving throw. If it fails, the spirit is turned for one minute or until it takes any damage. A rebuked spirit spends its turns moving away from the shaman as per the Turn Undead Rule. Celestials and Infernal beings of CR rating 2 or more get a +2 bonus to resist and beings of CR rating of 15 or more are immune to rebuking.
Commune with Spirit
Starting at 5th level a shukenja can perform a ritual commune with a nature or ancestral spirit once per Short or Long Rest. Communing takes ten minutes and, depending on the spirit communicated with, is either identical to the cleric spell Augury (if communicating to a nature spirit) or Speak with Dead (if an ancestral spirit or the spirit of a deceased person encountered, as per the cleric spell).
Control/ Banish Spirit
Starting at 7th level a shukenja can attempt to command or banish a spirit. If a shaman attempts to rebuke a spirit and it fails and its CR rating is at or below a certain threshold, it must either perform an action for the shaman in atonement (as per the Command spell) or it can be banished back to its plane of existence (as per the Banish spell). Ghosts and other incorporeal undead are banished back to the spirit world (the Shadowfell) but since they aren’t destroyed (as is the case of a cleric’s divine channeling) may return to haunt once more at a later date.
Command/Banish Spirits
Shaman Level Commands/Banish Spirits of Cr…

7th ½ or lower
9th 1 or lower
12th 2 or lower
15th 3 or lower
18th 4 or lower

Commune with Greater Spirit
At 10th level you can ask questions of a greater spirit (nature, elemental, or ancestral) to advise you. This is the same as a Commune spell, but is cast as a ritual and requires a shrine or site that contains an aura favorable to the spirit (such as a lava lake for a fire primordial).

Fighter: Sohei
Temple warriors of Kara-Tur, Sohei are fighters devoted to a temple or sect and defend it and its followers. Though primarily fighters, they receive some religious training and a number become are sometimes invested not only with religious fervor but divine power, gaining the ability to cast some clerical spells. While not as versatile as the monk nor the divine weapon that a paladin is, the sohei is still important to the martial prowess and defense that religious sects in Eastern Lands over their domains.
Divine Spellcasting
At 3rd level a Sohei gains the ability to cast Clerical spells in addition to her martial prowess.
Spells chosen are from the Clerical spell list but are likely selected in preference to the domain of the sect the Sohei serves or the Domain of War (as a default).
Cantrips. A Sohei starts off with two cantrips of her choice from the Clerical list and gains a third at 10th level.
Spell Slots. Sohei gain Clerical spells at the same rate as Eldrich Knights gain Wizard spells. You use the same table to calculate the number of spell slots you have to cast spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.
Preparing Spells of 1st-Level and Higher. Like clerics, you prepare a list of spells that are available for you to cast that day. When you do the number of spells you can prepare is Fighter level halved + your Wisdom modifier (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. Casting a spell doesn’t remove it from your list of prepared spells. As with clerics, you can change your prepared list after you complete a long rest.
Spellcasting Ability. Wisdom is the spellcasting ability for your spells.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Spell Attack Modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Ritual Casting. You can cast a spell as a ritual if it has a ritual tag.
Weapon Saint
At 3rd level you impart some of your divine power into a chosen weapon. The ritual take one hour to perform, which can be done over a short rest. The weapon must be within your reach during the course of the ritual for it to work. While it is bonded with the sohei, it gains a radiant damage bonus equal to your Proficiency bonus + Wisdom Modifier. If you attempt to bond with another weapon you lose the bond with the first.
Righteous Fury
At 7th level a Sohei can tap into his fighting spirit (ki) and unleash a reckless flurry of blows during a battle. For a number of rounds equal to his Proficiency Bonus he gains an extra combat action and advantage to hit but at the cost of giving her opponents advantage to strike back. Once this feature is used it cannot be done again until the sohei has taken a short or long rest.
Fight to the Finish
At 10th level your religious fervor can drive you continuing to fight when others have fallen. Unless killed outright by an attack (as per the ‘Dropping to 0 Hit Point’ rules), when you reach 0 hit points you can voluntarily keep fighting rather than falling unconscious. When you do so, you now keep track of “negative hit points” and must make a Death Saving roll at the end of every round you keep fighting on. If you fail three Death Save rolls or accumulate negative hit points equal to your normal hit points (including any reduction due to Necrotic damage) you automatically die.
Divine Mastery
Starting at 15th level, when you use your action to cast a spell, you can make one weapon attack as a bonus.
Channel Fervor
At 18th level, when you make a successful weapon strike you can channel a spell slot into inflicting an extra 2d6 radiant damage into the hit. You may expend more spell slots for an additional 2d6 radiant damage per slot.

Paladin: Shan Zi (Rune priest/ Rune warrior)
At first glance the paladin seems out of place in the Orient but within Shou there is a unique class of divine warrior who embodies the devotion of Paladin but who channels their divinity through magical glyphs and is devoted to the belief that the written word itself is divine. Those devoted to the Oath of the Divine Word are called Shan Zi, loosely translated into the common tongue of Faerun as Rune Priest or Rune Warrior. A devote of this Oath sees the written word as a divine gift, an embodiment of the Path of Enlightenment and font for the divine power of the Celestial Ones.
A paladin who takes the Oath of the Divine Word studies the art of calligraphy as an expression of both art and a focus of divine power. Often seen wandering about the lands of the Empire and neighboring nations these rune priests seek out knowledge of the written word and teach literacy to any that would desire enlightenment. Their common goal is to protect knowledge and defend those who seek to preserve and produce works of truth and beauty while punishing anyone wanting to destroy knowledge, promotes ignorance and subverts truth with fabrications. Shan Zi can be Good, Evil, or Neutral but are almost always Lawful.

Tenants of the Divine Word
Honesty.
Truth is divine even if it isn’t always beautiful. Understanding the truth frees one to make moral choices.
Knowledge. Learning how to understand the truth is the key to enlightenment. Writing is the true gift of the Celestials to mortal kind and through it the truth passes down from teacher to student over the generations. It is through the written word that one may gain true immortality.
Harmony. It is through knowledge and meditation that a mortal can understand the will of the Celestials and see the consequences of his actions on earth. It is through contemplation and careful direction of his efforts that he can achieve harmony and peace.
Fidelity. Loyalty to one’s friends and companions; loyalty to one’s ancestors. These are the embodiments of the Path of Enlightenment as it is through working together that mountains are moved and ignorance is banished.

Channel Divinity
When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two abilities:

Word of Bravery: you can bond with a blade (either a one or two-handed sword) through a ritual that takes one hour (a short rest) to complete in which you meditate with the blade in your grasp. At the end of the ritual magical glyphs appear on the sword. As an action you can use your channel divinity power write a glowing magical rune in the air to give an effect to you and any allies within 10 feet resistance to one of the following damage effects (your choice): Lightning, Cold, Fire, Force, Necrotic.
Word of Vengeance: As an action, you activate the runes on your blade by make sweeping motions to make a glowing rune of vengeance. As long as you concentrate on the runes, any creature that attacks you or an ally you are defending is struck by 2d4 + your proficiency bonus in either radiant, necrotic, or lightning damage (depending on your alignment).
Aura of Harmony
At 7th level an aura of harmony and devotion surrounds you, giving all creatures around you a clear purpose and unity. You add your proficiency bonus to your initiative and to all allies within 10 feet. At 18th level this range increases to 30 feet.
Words of Fiery Fidelity
At 15th level, as an action, you may use your blade to make sweeping strokes in the air to create glyphs of a blue flame that strikes a target, dealing it d10 + your proficiency bonus + Charisma modifier (no save) of radiant damage; enemies adjacent to the target (up to 10 feet) take half that amount. Additionally the blue flame heals any adjacent allies of yours next to the target an equal amount to half the damage done to the target. You may do this action a number of times equal to your proficiency level; the number of times you may use this power is reset after taking a long or short rest.
Serene Master
At 20th level, as an action, you take on the appearance of a wise, ancient sage surrounded by glowing glyphs and divine light that illuminates the area.
Using your action, your transformation allows you for 1 minute to do the following benefits:
● Grant all allies within 30 feet the effect of a Bless spell
● Rebuke all opponents within 30 feet for their dishonorable actions. They must make a Will save or be at a disadvantage to combat checks for d4 rounds. Enemies who critically fail this must make a second Will Check. If they save, they will flee away from you but those who fail are under the effect of a Command spell (undead creatures are immune to the Command effect though may still flee).

Ranger: Piao Shih
Piao Shih
(“Dart Master”) are protectors of roads, travelers, and caravans within the Empire of Shou Lung and of the trade routes that link to neighboring countries, including the Silk Road to Faerun. Within the empire they are recognizable for their heavy war darts that they throw from horseback in addition to their skill in other missile weapons (treat as a javelin). Piao shih are protectors for hire or loyal servants to the empire, negotiating with bandits and other adversaries where they can, hunting them when necessary to ensure the roads remain relatively safe and their clients arrive where they need to be. Piao Shih freely mix with scouts, barbarians, and even the occasional honorable bandit and monster that haunt the highways and byways of Kara-Tur.

Piao Shih Magic
Starting at 3rd level you gain an additional spell when you reach certain levels in this class.

Level Spell
3rd Snare
5th Enhance Ability
9th Tongues
13th Hallucinatory Terrain
17th Mislead

Road Trip. The preferred terrain of the piao shih can be best said to be the open road rather than any one wilderness region but they usually become most familiar with the particular terrain of a regular route that they travel through. Like regular rangers, the piao shih chooses a favored terrain but, at 3rd level, in addition to the usual terrain benefits you:
● Gain knowledge of all major roads and trails through the region, major stop points, and knowledge and reputation of bandits and important monsters.
● Extensive knowledge of settlements, caravansi, inns, and watering holes along those routes, with contacts and possible warnings involving those places.
● Groups traveling with you while traveling on roads and train gained +25% increased overland movement per day.
● You gain advantage at anticipating and spotting ambushes along roads and trails within your favored region.

Negotiator. As a one who has to regularly make broker deals with merchants, guards, and the occasional bandit, at 3rd level you gain a free proficiency in both Insight and Persuasion.
Defensive Command. Your training in defending others gives you a natural ability to command the defense of your comrades in combat. You gain Command Points equal to your Proficiency bonus. If you choose to spend one, a targeted ally gains an AC bonus equal to your Dexterity modifier (minimal +1 AC) until your next round of action. You regain Command Points after a short or long rest. At 10th level you may choose to instead spend a Command Point to give all allies within 10 feet of you an AC bonus equal to your Dexterity Modifier until your next turn.
Horse Mastery. At 7th level you gain the ability to leap aboard your mount as a bonus action, costing you no movement other than to move adjacent to it. If you take at least three days to spend time with your mount, you can command it to Dash, Disengage, and Charge as a Free Action. Your Mount also gains advantage for saving throws against Fear and you can make missile attacks with spear, dart, javelin, or horse bow from atop your mount at no penalty.
Crowd Control. At 11th level you can use your action to fire a volley of missiles that pin down a group of enemies within 10 feet of a spot you can see within your weapon’s range. All enemies within that area gain disadvantage on the following initiative. You must have one dart or arrow for every two enemies within the area effect.
Hidden Path. At 15th level you gain advantage with stealth in your preferred terrain and this extends to your mounts. You are also skilled in covering the tracks of others and laying down false paths. Any group you lead through the wilderness can travel stealthily at their normal speed and groups tracking them do so at disadvantage. Your knowledge of pathways through a region now extends to secret pathways that pass through the Underdark, Fey Wild, or the Shadowfell though navigating along them is still not easy for you.
 

stylewager

Explorer
Bard: College of Love
While some Bards are inspired by knowledge and others by acts of bravery and valor, there are others who find inspiration and purpose in their devotion and pursuit of love. While lore-masters and battle-poets are easy to find in the halls of noble lords, the romantic gallant bard plays his songs beneath the windows of ladies, in taverns where lovers meet, and to gatherings of common folk celebrating under the stars. Those who follow the teachings of this college are in the cause of beauty and true love, believing that it might be found in all things and that, if nurtured, can be allowed to blossom and grow. As a whole, Romantics (as members of the college sometimes call themselves) are generally good (though a few are, in truth, incorrigible cads) but are generally chaotic, believing in personal freedom and choice. Wherever they go, they generally upturn the social applecart and encourage people to be aware of their feelings for one another, especially where love is concerned.

Members of this college are typically of two types: the troubadour and the gallant. Troubadour-bards are typically from noble background and often quite foppish. Gallants are more cut from a warrior’s cloth and are sometimes mistaken for fighters or paladins for their arms and chivalric ways. Both appear dashing, graceful, and seemingly touched with a little luck that turns the heads of potential patrons and suitors alike. Nothing gets the attention and the loyalty of a Romantic more than finding a worthy patron or ally who has unrequented love—the more seemingly impossible, the more worthy the quest to try to bring lovers together. A third type comes from Kara-Tur: the geisha or sing-song girl. While also followers of the College, they are almost exclusively female and while as graceful and alluring as the troubadour, they are typically of common background that makes them both adored and shunned in Kara-Tur society.

Good aligned Romantics sing of social justice and encouraging changes to social conventions to encourage the flourishing of True love while less…idealistic Romantics might preach that ‘conventions be damned’ and doing what feels good (or good right now). A few “Romantics” with a darker disposition preach rather a lifestyle of hedonism and momentary lust rather than True Love, much to the displeasure of the more chivalrous members of the College. The college is less organized than the two more familiar colleges and members sometimes find alliances among the other colleges. For example, a troubadour-styled Romantic would find himself drawn at times to gatherings of Lore-masters while a gallant might find himself right at home among bards of the College of Valor swapping battle-stories and songs. Geisha are typically found among inns, feast halls, and tea houses that cater to wealthy cliental but sometimes can be paid entertainers and servants in the homes and palaces of powerful samurai and noble lords.

Bonus Proficiencies
At 3rd level, you get to pick three of the following skills or proficiencies: Insight, Persuasion, Deception, History, Martial Arms, Medium Armor. Troubadours and Geisha generally tend towards the first three skills while Gallants are more drawn to the last two since they are more in keeping with their chivalric personas. Geisha also gain a Tea Ceremony Kit.

Poetic License
Also a 3rd level, you learn to inspire others to express themselves and find their passions. An ally that has a Bardic Inspiration die from you can roll that die and add the number to a Charisma or a social based Skill check; he may choose to use after he has rolled but before the Dungeon Master has ruled whether it succeeds or fails.


Silver Tongue
At 6th level, when you cast the spells charm, friends, or suggestion you can choose to have either give the target disadvantage when making a saving throw to resist or making the spell subtle so as to try to make the creature unaware that it has been charmed. If the later, so long as the commands or suggestions made upon the creature aren’t too outrageous or too far out of character, it must make Will saving throw in order for it to realize it has been charmed and become hostile as per the spell description. Otherwise it will consider its actions while under the bard’s influence an odd moment, perhaps brought on by strong drink or a momentary lapse of reason.


Love’s Arrow
At 14th level a Romantic and his allies, when fighting in the cause of Love and the virtues that he believes in, can expend a Bardic Inspiration to add to a Death Save to avoid dying (having received a vision of his beloved or another dear one asking him to remain). Alternatively, if the last Death save fails upon reaching zero hit points, he or an inspired ally can roll a Bardic Inspiration die to receive an equal number of temporary hit points to try to do one last heroic deed and say an inspirational final farewell before expiring. If magically healed or bandaged before this final death, the bard or his ally stabilizes but any temporary hit points gained from this Bardic Inspiration are gone.
 

I suggest dragonborn subraces based in the lungs, korokoburu as little humanoids with hats by leaves as traditional clothing (an cultural icon), tsukukogami as new PC race of living constructs about old objets whose "soul awakes up". Other new PC race will be the dokkaebi, as faes cousins of the tielflings. I imagine shens as elves' cousins, smart. I see new generations are "opened-mind" with the kemonomimi ("animal ears") as a new PC race for fandom who love "waifu".

koropokkuru_by_pilikka_d9yvu7q-fullview.jpg


I miss the martial adepts from "Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords", but in 5th Ed the game mechanic to reload martial maneuvers should be simple and fast, or DMs will not want to use martial adepts as nPCs but lone bosses. I guess the martial adepts should be so important in Kara-Tur as psionic in Dark Sun. Sorry, maybe the influence of donghua(Chinese animation) and anime is too hard to avoid it. But I don't like wuxia fighters too powerful jumping over trees easily.

---

Different Asian countries have got their own taboos, for example Taiwan flag is not wellcome in China. We have to ask advice to different sides.



 

The Glen

Hero
You need to Bare Bones it. People are going to get upset if you leave out chunks of their culture. The problem is you can make entire books devoted to just Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Filipino or Chinese lore and fantasy. So don't go too far in because then people will realize this is just an introductory book. People can add the large amounts of content that you could do in later supplements. Give them the framework and go back and fill in the blanks. You've got too much material and not enough space, so instead of doing something halfway make it clear that this is just an introduction
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
You need to Bare Bones it. People are going to get upset if you leave out chunks of their culture. The problem is you can make entire books devoted to just Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Filipino or Chinese lore and fantasy. So don't go too far in because then people will realize this is just an introductory book. People can add the large amounts of content that you could do in later supplements. Give them the framework and go back and fill in the blanks. You've got too much material and not enough space, so instead of doing something halfway make it clear that this is just an introduction
Totally agree with this. The concept of a big "Oriental Adventures" is simply not feasible without lumping together a whole bunch of largely distinct cultures, which will assuredly offend people and probably not be a very good product.

The far better path is to devote one of the big annual adventures to one specific region/culture, much like Tomb of Annihilation did for Chult. Add in some more player material and use a bunch of writers from the inspired culture, and you can create a pretty quality product. And of course update the region so it's more original, less cheesy and stereotypical, and remove problematic references.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Regular old D&D is a mash of everything Europe (and more), so no reason an OA couldn’t be a mash of multiple societies into a (near) unidentifiable blend. What’s more important is the overall feel, not exactly being true to one real-world culture.

Personally, I have been greatly influenced by L5R’s Rokugan* than D&D’s own Kara-Tur, as the latter seemed too much of a badly xeroxed version of the Far East. That’s something I want to avoid with an OA book - I don’t want it to be “D&D in Jaaaapan” (or China, for that matter), but for it to have an overall cultural feel different than “Western” D&D, even if that just means some name changes and alternate features to existing classes, as I think the existing classes are pretty broad (well, except maybe Druid). Races should be more fitting to oriental culture though, not just reskinned versions of elves and dwarves.

* As much as I like Rokugan, I prefer the L5R rules to using D&D rules; there’s something about D&D’s rules and “kitchen sink” approach that just don’t suit the mindset of that setting, IMHO.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
Regular old D&D is a mash of everything Europe (and more), so no reason an OA couldn’t be a mash of multiple societies into a (near) unidentifiable blend. What’s more important is the overall feel, not exactly being true to one real-world culture.

Did you know that all of Europe is about the same size as 94% of China? Lumping China, India, Japan, Korea, and other cultures in that continent is... just extremely reductionist.
 

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