Saturday, February 2, 2013

Satori! (Eureka!)

I just spent the last hour downloading public domain Ukiyo-e images by Kuniyoshi, Yoshitoshi, Hokusai, and a few other less well known artists.  I used quite a few of their images in Flying Swordsmen, even though they're Japanese rather than Chinese.

I blame Mao Zedong and his Cultural Revolution.  There's just more Japanese art from the 18th-19th centuries out there.

Anyway, while downloading lots of pictures of samurai, some of ninja and yamabushi and monks and what-not, there were plenty of pictures of fantastic stories of monster battles.  And since my chanbara rules will be based on D&D, I figured out where I want the rules to "go."  In other words, what will the game be about?

There are enough feudal/fantastic Japanese role-playing games with a historical or semi-historical background.  Mine will be more D&D (and I need to finally get around to checking out Ruins and Ronin, as from what I remember Mike D. posting when he was developing it, this is similar to the route he took).

Humans are at war with the bakemono/yokai.  A few (the demi-human classes) are on the side of humanity, but it will be heroes vs. monsters.  Sure, there can and should be rival daimyo, enemy ninja clans, rival duelist ronin, all that.  But the main action will be about protecting commoners from monsters.  Or more likely, as is the case in D&D, taking the fight to the monsters in their lairs, killing them, and taking their stuff.

So a much more mystical "pseudo-Japan" setting, but not the attempts at comic book horror that is the L5R Shadowlands. 

The updated Flying Swordsmen, when I finally get around to it, will also likely get a more "Wuxia Ghostbusters" tone to the rules.

Now, back to rules related thought.  How do I want to implement firearms?  Hmmm...


  1. The tech level in the "Princess Mononoke" movie, with its primitive guns (tanegashima?), would be my vote. Replacement for the heavy steel crossbow tier...

  2. Yeah, definitely musket/tanegashima level. Probably a muzzle loaded pistol and derringer (for the ninja) as well.

    I'm thinking they'll do normal damage compared to other weapons (1d6/1d8) and a bonus to hit, but have longer reload times for non-proficient users. The pointing and shooting part is easy, preparing it quickly for the next shot takes training.