Thursday, May 29, 2014

Blowing the dust and cobwebs off of Chanbara

So there are about two weeks or so left in this semester - the third of my Ph.D. program.  And while I will need to do some reading over the summer break in preparation for finally deciding on my dissertation topic, I will also have some time got get back to work on Chanbara.  Oh, and getting back into a regular schedule for Mentzer Basic Cover to Cover posts, but that's a topic for another day.

To be honest, I haven't given much thought to Chanbara for the past couple of months, and I'm not sure how much work I still have left to do on it.  All of the current files are on my netbook, which has been stuck in a drawer in our bedroom since we moved to our new apartment back in February. 

This weekend, I plan to fire it up, copy all the files onto my desktop, and re-read everything.  I might not get it all read this weekend, since I do have some end of semester presentations and papers to write, but I will at least get started on Chanbara a little bit.

If I remember right, I still need to fill out the magical special abilities, or Secrets.  I also need to finish the character class write-ups, and maybe do some editing to the equipment and spells sections. 

And then there's the campaign setting info.  That's where I stalled out a year ago.  I think I was shooting too large.  With Flying Swordsmen, I gave a world overview, with some political elements, lots of organizations, and some adventure hooks nested within the above.  For Chanbara, I may condense the world overview info quite a bit, and maybe focus more on a "starting area" like Threshold in the Mentzer D&D Expert Set.  And I plan to play up the fantasy elements of the setting, rather than trying too hard to rehash history or emulate certain films/manga/TV shows.

So still a fair amount of work to do, but if I get everything but the setting worked out, I can start play testing again, and hopefully the "starting area" can get detailed through play.


  1. How about a town edging towards gang warfare like in Yojimbo. Nobody paying attention to the infested dungeons/ruins nearby, or what happens to unlucky ronin.

  2. I've already got a bit of a province figured out for the adventure I ran with my play test last year. Middle-league daimyo with ambitions of greatness, beset on all sides by the iniquity of the selfish, and the tyranny of evil men... Or, well, a strong rival daimyo in the next province, a militant temple that isn't fond of either daimyo, pirates, goblins and oni raids, a family curse, dispossessed vassal families, and a small allied ninja family (can't really be called a clan) that's recently suffered some serious setbacks in manpower.