Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Work In Progress - Flying Swordsmen Expansion/possible revision

I had an idea for a Japanese themed expansion to Flying Swordsmen.  There have been several attempts to produce updated versions of the original Oriental Adventures for various clone/simulacrum systems, but none besides Ruins and Ronin that made it to completion, as far as I know.

Well, this idea of mine would not be that either, but it would add Japanese themed classes to my Flying Swordsmen base.

In working up the concepts, I realized that I want to re-do the Stunt system.  And my idea to re-do it is leading me to revise both Thief skills and the entire magic system.

This Japanese expansion will not have every class learning martial arts.  That conceit still works for Flying Swordsmen, with its Wuxia feeling, but doesn't do Chanbara justice.  So here are a few ideas I've been working on for the past few days.

There will be four types of class: Warrior (Bushi), Thief (Dorobo? lumping them all under the Ninja name?  unsure yet), Spellcaster (Mahoutsukai will likely be the group name, although at the moment I'm using it as one of the class names), and Yokai (demi-humans).

The classes will be:
Warrior - 4 classes
Samurai (general all around combatant)
Kensei (weapon master)
Ronin (masterless samurai)
Sohei (warrior monk)

Thief - 4 classes [or maybe just three]
Ninja (spy) [rename to Shinobi if I use Ninja as the group name]
Ansatsusha (Assassin)
Gorotsuki (Mountebank)
Yakuza (gangster) [may get removed as they likely make better opposition than heroes]

Spellcaster - 4 classes [or again maybe only three]
Yamabushi (Shugenja)
Shinsen (Taoist Immortal)
Onmyoji (Exorcist)
Mahoutsukai (Magician) [again may be removed as it's sort of overlapping with Yamabushi at the moment and would make a good group name]

Yokai - 3 classes
Kappa (act as Warrior/Thief)
Kitsune (act as Thief/Spellcaster)
Tengu (act as Warrior/Spellcaster)

The reworking to the Stunt system will be that there will be three sets of stunt dice, Combat, Training, and Magic.  Different classes will get different combinations of the dice.

Also, there will be Maneuvers just like in Flying Swordsmen, but there will also be Tricks for Thieves and Spells will also be handled like Maneuvers for the spellcasting classes.  Tricks will be like Thief Skills, although I'm not sure yet if I want to keep the d20+Stunt Die system of Flying Swordsmen, or go to a 2dX type system where the die type is determined by the appropriate Stunt die.  Spells will likely handled with a system similar to Chainmail's casting rolls. 

And if this all comes together well, I'll rework Flying Swordsmen and make it more like this system, and less like Dragon Fist. 


  1. All sounds good to me. Looking forward to it.

  2. Couldn't most of those be divisions of school or level? 9-12 starting classes means 3 days of PC generation ;)

  3. Flying Swordsmen is already a bit on the heavy side for an OSR game when it comes to PC generation. This would basically just remove the Profiles from Flying Swordsmen and make them into separately defined classes instead. With all of the profiles and the option not to take a profile, Flying Swordsmen has effectively 17 character classes already.

    The Bushi classes would all share a single XP track and saving throws, for example. They'd just have slightly different focuses. I don't think it would be any worse than it already is.

  4. I should really try out Flying Swordsmen one of these days...

    1. Yes, you should. What's stopping you? ;)