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Starfinder Working on a new setting project - Kaidan 2.0


This is not an ad, rather just a project I'm starting to create, and just having discussion about it.

For those of you who know me, I published the Kaidan setting of Japanese Horror (PFRPG) as an imprint under Rite Publishing, in addition to being a pro freelance cartographer. However, I had a special deal with Steven Russell (rest in peace) of Rite Publishing for it. Rite Publishing was the publisher, though I own the IP, and share copyright with Rite Publishing, and was the creator, developer and project manager, but I had a team of freelance author/designer, illustrators, editors working on it. We released 15 book, with the GMs Setting Guide published in June 2017, and the Player's Guide December 2017, though there may be some follow up products - it's near it's end.

Since I'm a small publisher now, mostly doing Starfinder compatible stuff - got a free one-shot module I wrote called Rude Awakening, Dead in Space - a series of one-shot space horror mods by T. H. Gulliver, and just released a 174 page (80 pages of art and deck plans) Starships, Stations and Salvage Guide by Edward Moyer, as an optional rules supplement for Starfinder. I do have a couple smaller products on the way - a Vehicle Guide and a Mecha Guide, as well as a followup to Dead in Space by the same author, Chains of Purgatory...

My next big project, I'll be the author, with Ed as my primary designer. Since I own Kaidan IP, I'm going to publish the Kaidan Interstellar Empire of Japanese Horror for Starfinder, so feudal Japan crossed with dark space opera, (or Kaidan 2000 years later). Tentative release scheduled for Halloween 2018.

So while I'm doing a direct conversion of Kaidan the dark fantasy setting to Kaidan the space horror setting, there is going to be new content, aside from needing to tech things up pretty heavily. I want to include some aspects of cyberpunk, use MegaCorps owned by the great samurai houses of Kaidan, each with private military samurai, covert operative ninja (some as conversions of PF classes, some as themes and archetypes). Adding a few more player character races, than the Kaidan original, each getting their own planet or moon across several star systems governed by the Empire/Shogunate. Samurai carry both a traditional katana, and a powered monofilament katana for fighting in and against powered armor opponents. Formal dress, even in corporate situations is the traditional kimono, or "shirt and pants" kimono samurai wore. Every one in society generally wears traditional Japanese garb, so feels very much like feudal Japan. The capital city will be what you might imagine a futuristic Tokyo would be - a juxtaposition of traditional castles, temples, shrines, parks and oddly shaped skyscrapers, sky-elevators, starports. However, the countryside will look more tradition - though tech exists: buried underground, inside traditional buildings, or inside beams, floors, the structure of common buildings with full future accommodations. Imagining traditional folding fans as video cell phones/IPads as well as a way to cool yourself.

I've already started gathering art. Interestingly, I paid for a lot of the original Kaidan art, much of it was never published - we never did a Kaidan bestiary. I got other pieces that just didn't have a good place to go in the Kaidan products so were never used - that saves me from having to procure them, and most of it is pretty awesome work. I've got a several of my own vector illustrations, I did for Way of the Samurai (PFRPG), which I'll definitely use again - though all of it is traditional rather than space opera, so I'll need to create a few pieces, and maybe find a few additional pieces before I'm done. I did pay a low, but still kind of expensive price for an awesome piece I intend to use as cover art, though since it was from the artist's personal gallery of work, rather than a custom piece I could no way afford, the characters placed in his illustrations are self portraits, and he's Italian (Alessandro Botti), so the guy in the samurai outfit doesn't look Asian - but for the price I got it for, and for it's awesome quality and perfect fit, I'm glad I got it. Aside from more than dozen maps I'll include, my art is pretty much covered - a very expensive part of publishing requirements out of the way, with a now empty art budget.

Anyway, I'll a couple of posts below some specifics I have in mind for different aspects of this new project. I'll appreciate any feedback or suggestions you might have.


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So each race will live on their own unique planet - kappa (turtle people) on a small swampy moon around a gas giant, oni on a larger hellish planet of many active volcanoes and physics anomalies (named Jigoku after the Japanese hell), etc.

Three of the 4 new races we've got ideas for.

Same-bito (shark shapechanger) as you'll notice in illustration above have no fingers, so can't manipulate complex tools relegated to hunter/gatherer sea dweller tech, but once conquered by Kaidan some agree to serve as slave-samurai warrior hulks wearing power armor with fingers so they can use tools and weapons, those who disagree stay as hunter gatherers in their undersea city.

Jorogumo (spider women) race, have ant-like culture, Queen SW with male drones (like mechanic drones, in symbiotic relationship), and a few fertile princesses, with majority of population as sterile females. Robot spider slaves are laborers and builders. Spider Woman race (can't think of name) aren't starfarers, but they think in binary (machine language) so are supremely computer skilled.

Oni (a subspecie as a PC race, with many subspecies that aren't) taller and more heavily, physically built than most humans, perhaps 8 feet tall, though still medium, use a special kind of oni magic being developed just for them. While they are a starfaring race, they more heavily rely on spells and magi-tech than other races of Kaidan. We've only started development on oni. Though the Kaidanese humans dominate rule in their systems and races, the oni are smart brutes with access to more magic and magic-tech than other races and due to their warlike nature have gone to war once in the last century with the Kaidanese, so there is little trust between them, a state of constant animosity.

Kaidan is closed like Tokugawa Japan, their drift beacon (what starships use to home in on specific planets) is shut off minimizing encountering other starfaring races. Though they plan to turn it on at some point.
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Unlike the standard Pathfinder ghost, the Starfinder Kaidan setting will include templates, as standard CR monsters as ghosts, since Yurei (Japanese ghosts) come in such variety - currently building 13 ghosts. Unlike PF ghosts, ghost of Kaidan have special abilities based on who they were in life, how they died to become ghosts or other major mitigating factors that was imbued in their creation. Almost every ghost you'd encounter is unique compared to others, though they are all ghosts.

One already built is the Baku Nagaru Appu, these are the ghosts of women who were murdered by abusive spouses, lovers, companions or just males in general. Although they are incorporeal, they appear as a badly beaten woman with visible contusions, broken bones and bruises everywhere, however both of her legs are severely broken, so she crawls at a slow rate (20 ft movement). She has a "bone snap" special attack, and though she is corporeal she can beat her victim and cause blunt damage combined with magic cold damage. While some are anchored to where they were killed, some can hunt for prey for great distances, usually males whom she may watch for days to see if her possible chosin victim shows any evidence of abuse, ridicule or other trauma caused to women around him. If evidence reveals itself, she will stalk him choosing to prepare an ambush when the chosen male is away from his compansions and alone. Because misery loves company sometimes several gather in small packs to hunt male victims. Though she'll only attack males in an adventuring party, females that attack her get her retaliation in kind, however, she will never hurt children, backing off even if a child tries to attack her - even risking destruction to avoid harm to a child.

Another ghost will be the Strangling Hair Ghost (will have a Japanese name), I included in a one-shot I wrote for the original Kaidan. A bath house attendant was killed by her employer at a bath house, because the matron thought the attendant was committing an act of prostitution, something she didn't want her respectable business to be seen as a brothel, murdered her by coming up from behind, wrapping the attendants long hair into a back-scrubbing brush and forcing her under the water's surface of the bath the attendant was taking at the time, not letting her see the perpetrator of her murder. The attendant actually secretly married a young poor samurai, above her station, and just consummated her wedding, unknown to her murderous employer. So as a ghost, she is fully incorporeal, but her hair (already foot length in life grew to 12 feet in undeath) is semi-corporeal and can grapple or strangle opponents with animated hair. If she passes through her victim, she causes their lungs to fill with water, and be subject to the effects of the Suffocate spell.

So the ghosts of Kaidan are unique undead beings, often more powerful than their standard Pathfinder Bestiary counterparts, with unique abilities distinct to each ghost.
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Like the original Kaidan setting, the samurai will be represented up to 5 different types, but one of the Pathfinder samurai class main abiliites was Resolve, which Paio stole from the samurai and gave it to everybody, so instead of doing a class conversion to Starfinder, we're doing samurai as a Starfinder theme, archetypes, samurai orders, so PCs can choose to be soldiers, envoys, operatives, and possibly any other Starfinder class choice. We are directly converting our Yojimbo ranger into it's own class in Kaidan.

Although we didn't use the monk class in the original Kaidan, in Kaidan 2.0 we are fully converting the Monk class into a Starfinder conversion with Ki powers, martial arts skills and use of Monk/Ninja weapons which we're making new Operative weapons for Starfinder.

Also definitely converting the Kaidan Tattooist Wizard to Starfinder, with the option that the arcane tattoos could be alternatively done as magi-cybernetics instead of tattoos as a sci-fi upgrade for Starfinder.

There's a Kaidan samurai prestige class I want to include, and leaving it up to the designer on how to covert a prestige class into something appropriate for Starfinder, called the Bugyo, which is an aristocrat/bureaucrat with immense political power that really fits Kaidan's government positions.

Oh, one of the military starships we're designing for Kaidan are Huge (2000 x 2000 ft) ships that resemble Japanese castle fortresses set atop a starship superstructure. Using one of the new starship options from Starships, Stations and Salvage Guide, plus a twist. These starship, normally serve as pocket battleship/flag ships for the Kaidanese navy, always accompanied by fleets of cruisers and destroyers, sometimes a carrier, protected by squadrons of fighter starships. According to Starfinder Core Rules, the largest ship that can enter an atmosphere, land on the surface, and takeoff and leave atmosphere are large ships (up to 800 feet long) - just an arbitrary ruling. So in our guide we created a huge ship that when landing on a planet becomes an oversized drop pod. It can enter atmosphere, even control a landing on the opposite side of a planet, landing with pinpoint accuracy, but once they're on the ground, they cannot leave the planet. In this state, these fortress starship/landers become the military/government center that Kaidan overlords control subject worlds of the empire. The starship parts are eventually built over with local labor as stone structures, with the ship's intact as sublevels beneath the fortress top. Walled areas, of multiple bailleys are constructed surround the fortress sturcture itself - like a traditional Japanese castle.
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In the updated history of Kaidan, it will begin with the original Kaidan setting, it's founding involving the suicide of an entire imperial house (taken from real Japanese history with the Genpei War, 1180 - 1185 AD), it's divine curse of the Tenmei (Buddhist) reincarnation cycle with the social castes, as an engine of evil where the souls that travel across the reincarnation cycle, to maintain it's dark power. And give an overview of Kaidan that was.

The next jump in history will be an analog of a slightly futuristic modern Japan, as a constitutional imperial monarchy, with the Shogun eliminated. This would be much like modern Japan with powerful corporations and a military bureaucracy greatly influenced by the "west" - men were suits, women in western styled dresses and more modern fashion, a rather cyberpunk influence in it's upgraded timeline. However, one powerful CEO, perhaps creating the first real MegaCorp of Kaidan has a dream (calling that subchapter - Matsudaira's Dream) where he sees a return to traditional values, re-establishment of the Shogun, a return to wearing traditional garments of the feudal period rather than the westernized fashions worn in his time. A more fascist and militaristic Kaidan, retaining all high technology, but hidden within a traditional skin of items found in feudal Kaidan. As an aside this CEO loses his hand in a samurai katana duel with a corporate competitor. Rather than choosing to regrow his hand, he chose an early form of cybernetics and thus cybernetics becomes a major component of Kaidan society, as well as the beginnings of a starfaring age.

Then 200 years before the current timeline of the setting, the Corporate Shogun of Kaidan makes a deal with a more powerful non-Kaidan MegaCorp, Anomaly Investments Ltd., one of the five largest MegaCorps in the alternate Milky Way Galaxy we chose as the base setting for Dead in Space and it's followup (next year) Chains of Purgatory by Trevor Gulliver. In that universe setting Earth is the human homeworld, but with humans over-mining, ecological abuse, disruption of the climate - the Earth becomes sentient and seeks the expulsion of humankind, to recover and protect itself from future threats. The nation states of the Earth are given a 10 year period to leave the planet and never return. After two great odyssies, a century apart, the nearest starsystems to the Earth become "Corporate Space", then a further expansion beyond Corporate space by those seeking indendence (and a war) from Corporate control as colonized space. The Shogun sought to find a new distant starsystem and habitable world to become the new homeworld of the potential empire of Kaidan. Anomaly Investments is as it's initials might imply, an AI owned MegaCorp, where it's CEO, board of directors and it's stock-holders are all artificial intelligences. Anomaly sent a million probes into deep space searching for investment opportunities, including the eventual homeworld of MegaCorps of Kaidan, the Shogunate and the Emperor. Through a very expensive down payment to Anomaly followed by a century of a percentage of it's gross national product, Kaidan was eventually free. Because Matsudaira's Dream is still a national treasured concept, though they name their homeworld in the system, Kaidan, the system itself is called Mirai (which is Japanese for "dream").

The rest of the history will be the next two centuries of war, planetary invasions that are conquered and governed by Corporate Naval Daimyo's ruling the local populations of the other PC races (kappa, kitsune, tengu, etc.) Current politics, rebellions stirring, potential civil war, and another possible oni war weighs in the balance of MegaCorporate exploitation, corporate espionage, and other intrigue, when the Drift Beacon will be turned on allowing non-Kaidanese starfarers to finally find the empire for trade and war opportunities into the future.
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The Yakuza are major players in the setting, a MegaCorp unto themselves, though they operate both legal and illegal companies, shell companies to hide the money trail. They are involved in the slave trade, illegal salvage operations, narcotics trafficking, arms trafficking, smuggling goods and people, patent and IP theft with cheap knockoff versions of better quality tech goods, and though not pirates themselves, they facilitate the pirate trade with places to hide, black markets to sell stolen goods and starship parts, and shadow banks. As more traditional Yakuza operations they are involved in loansharking, racketeering/protection, prostitution, gambling, and even control the entertainment industry in Kaidan from modern/futuristic entertainments, holosuites, to Kabuki theaters, street buskers, the porn industry and more. They operate both inside and outside the empire's domain of conquered worlds, with satellite offices in distant star systems. They have their own paramilitary brigades and naval fleets, often hiring mercenaries for black operations. Much of the cyberpunk activities are managed by the Yakuza.


So after some discussion on other boards, it looks like I'm going to need to create a one-shot or extended adventure to be released simultaneously with the release of the Kaidan Core Rulebook, so GMs have something to run right away with the new rules. So I'm doing an extended update of a one-shot module I wrote for the original Kaidan, called Haiku of Horror: Autumn Moon Bath House. Now a Japanese bath house is more than a public bath, it's the consummate fantasy tavern of a Japan analog. It features a public bath on the first floor, with a restaurant on the second, a tavern or nightclub/gambling casino on the next and a inn above that. So rather than creating a Kaidan bath house location. I've decided to make this a station-sized (colossal+1) luxury liner as kind of a red light district resort ship for nefarious entertainments... I'm using the new rules options from my recently released Starships, Stations and Salvage Guide for Starfinder, written by Edward Moyer.

Autumn Moon Tier 27
Floating World class station-sized entertainment luxury liner
Speed 4 (6); Maneuverability poor (-5 Piloting, turn 2); Drift 1
AC 20; TL 25
HP 600 (increment 30); DT 30; CT 120
Shields heavy 480 (forward 120, port 120, starboard 120, aft 120)
Attack (Forward) Gravity cannon (2d6 x10); hellfire torpedo launcher (2d20 x 10; limit 5)
Attack (Port) Plasma cannon (5d12); heavy plasma torpedo launcher (5d10) x2
Attack (Starboard) Plasma cannon (5d12); heavy plasma torpedo launcher (5d10) x2
Attack (Aft) Persistent particle beam (10d6) x2
Power Core Gateway Ultra x7 (3,500 PCU), Nova Heavy (200 PCU); Drift Engine Signal Basic; Systems mk 4 plastic armor; mk 5 trinode computer; mk 10 defenses; crew quarters (luxury); c4 thrusters; Expansion Bays Escape Deck Colossal Bay (2000 pods); Hotel Deck Colossal Bay (100 luxury suites, 250 standard); Mass Entertainment Block Colossal Bay (public baths, fine dining, restaurant/kabuki theater, nightclub/casino, garden shrine, shops, black market place, fast food stands); standard bays brig/police station, exterior docking ring x4, memorial hall Daoist temple, maneuvering veneer minor pods, power core housing, shield augmentation bay x2, shuttle bay, sick bay, science lab, tech bay
Modifiers +8 Piloting, +13 Gunnery, +5 x3 Computers; Complement 1000; Guest Complement 350


The way I design starship deck plans is to first work out it's game stats so I know what to include. Then I create a 3D model of the ship using Wings3D and render in Poser 11. Then I place surface textures on it. Next I'll render a topdown view of the same 3D model, and using Xara Designer Pro, I create the deck plans with the 3D model as hull structure behind it. At this point, I'm going done with the exterior view, next topdown render and deck plan design...

The town structures on top of the ship are slightly larger than reality, as there is armored hull on the exterior of these structures, and the actual deck is beneath the structures in the top separated burgandy section. Beneath it is the escape pods and ship support with hanger bay and exterior docking collars, as well as the weapon systems. The burgandy area on the lower part is crew area. Engines in aft and bridge to fore.

This is the Tsukimi - Autumn Moon, Floating World class Station-sized Entertainment Liner exterior hull view... enjoy!


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This is the first planet map of nine moons and planets I need to create for the gazetteer portion of my upcoming Kaidan Interstellar Empire of Japanese Horror setting for Starfinder RPG, which I hope to publish by Halloween 2018. It is feudal Japan and Japanese horror, crossed with starships, MegaCorps, cyberpunk as space opera. I'm not normally a fan of world maps, preferring regional and smaller down to encounter scale, but I create what needs creating for my projects. I'm using Xara Designer Pro, a vector drawing application similar to Illustrator or CorelDraw.

The next planet is the kappa homeworld, a tiny moon surrounding a gas giant (the oni homeworld of Jigoku).



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Next planets...

Wa - a water world inhabited by ningyo merfolk and same-bito shark shapechangers.

Jigoku - the oni planet, is the terrestrial core to a gas giant with magi-tech keeping the gravity at the surface level and atmosphere above at 1.5 Gs, while the rest of the planet is at 50 Gs. This is a planet of creation and destruction, with creation from the volcanoes and annihilation from the land maelstrom.

Obake - the forested lands of the shapechangers: hengeyokai and kitsune. The northern hemisphere under the effects of an ice age.

Hebi - is a jungle and desert world of snakes, and the hebi-onna.

Kumo - the world of spiders, governed by the jurogumo (spider women) race.

Kowareta (formerly called Karasu) was destroyed by oni weapons testing, though the humans and tengu that inhabit this world have worked to keep it viable...


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