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SilverLeaf167
2010-06-30, 09:49 AM
So, I'm currently DMing a campaign, and planning to ship the players off to another continent/island, closely resembling a combination of Japan and China. It would have the Asian classes (samurai, ninja) available, some new weapons (such as the hook sword I posted earlier) and, perhaps the most time-taking part, a whole new set of monsters.

The continent (which I named Hairiku) would have very few of the monsters depicted in the Monster Manual and usually meet. Instead, it would be full of different monsters and spirits taken directly from Japanese (and maybe Chinese) mythology. I'm currently just collecting the names of different creatures, choosing ones that actually could make good monsters; most Japanese monsters are just spooky or weird (like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akaname)

Anyhow, I'm looking for ideas for what I could add, or recommendations of specific monsters. NOTE: I'm not accepting Japanese gods as monsters. Instead, the people will be worshipping, for example, Amaterasu instead of Pelor.

EENick
2010-06-30, 11:07 AM
I'd suggest starting here for some suggestions:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_mythology#Mythical_creatures

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_legendary_creatures_from_Japan

Edit:

If you are looking for a more specific suggestion I think the Kamaitachi would make a great foe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamaitachi

The Kamaitachi were three weasles that would hide in the wind or cause a wind and would strikes together so the victem would never even know they were there. The first would slash the victem, the second would steal some of its blood and the third would heal it so the victem was unaware of the attack until later.

I'd suggest in game terms making them a trio of speedy weasles with razor sharp claws capable of both damage and stat damage with access to some powers from the wind and healing domains and maybe the ability to hide in plain sight whenever the wind is blowing.

Admiral Squish
2010-06-30, 11:15 AM
Have you seen oriental adventures lately? I mean, the stuff's a little wonky, but it's a pretty good base to work off.

sciencepanda
2010-06-30, 11:22 AM
This is also a good article to start with, I would say: http://www.bogleech.com/blather-youkai.html

The-Mage-King
2010-06-30, 11:31 AM
Have you seen oriental adventures lately? I mean, the stuff's a little wonky, but it's a pretty good base to work off.

Drat. You beat me to it.

SilverLeaf167
2010-06-30, 12:04 PM
EENick: I already have the Kamaitachi on my list, but thanks for the suggestions about their specific abilities. I have pretty much gone through the whole list in Wikipedia. Maybe I should include the toilet-licker afterall?

Admiral Squish: No, I'm quite new to DnD.

sciencepanda: Interesting, but I think the only one I might include is the digger thing.

I'm also currently working on a new humanoid class for a desert. I might post it, too.

EENick
2010-06-30, 12:12 PM
Then what are you looking for exactly if you already have a good list of monsters you could use? Are you after a suggestion for some possible monster stats or encounter suggestions perhaps?

Admiral Squish
2010-06-30, 12:16 PM
Oriental Adventures. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriental_Adventures) It's easy enough to find it.

SilverLeaf167
2010-06-30, 12:21 PM
The main thing I am looking for are special classes outside the ninja and the samurai. I am however also willing to take suggestions for special political etc. systems, or some special traditions fitting into the Far East environment.

As a side note, some monsters will be changed only by the name which the people use for them, as many Japanese creatures are pretty much identical to Western ones.

Prime32
2010-06-30, 06:22 PM
The main thing I am looking for are special classes outside the ninja and the samurai.The samurai classes are terrible (the CW one is basically a fighter with fewer feats, which are preselected), and the ninja (while not as bad) is inferior to the rogue in many ways.

If you want a samurai, use fighter or warblade (the Iaijutsu Focus skill could prove interesting to you, if you want something unique). For a ninja use rogue, swordsage or facotum.

Complete Arcane has the wu jen class, which is like a wizard but with a shorter list of unique spells. Complete Divine has the shugenja, which has odd spell selection rules and I don't have much experience with.

Shpadoinkle
2010-06-30, 09:27 PM
OA, as was mentioned above, is a nice resource. It includes a lot of monsters as well.

And on the subject of "weird monsters," look up some of the monsters from European folklore (the Bishop-fish, Orphan birds, and pretty much anything from old fairy tales). Hell, look at the monsters from modern American folklore (Jackalopes, skunk apes, the Jersey Devil). Every continent had its really bizarre fantastic creatures.

Chrystrom
2010-06-30, 09:36 PM
For a recent OA like game I created a ninja-like character using a few levels of rogue and then going Swordsage. I think it owrked really well especially using the Shadowhand maneuvers.

Yeah I'd say stay away from the OA classes and just use the TOB stuff with new names.

Ü

jiriku
2010-06-30, 09:52 PM
The Oriental Adventures Rokugan sourcebook is calling to you. You know you want to read it.


I'd recommend you look at gaki, hungry ghosts that drain the essence of living beings. Only they drain odd things, like color, or sadness, or saliva.
Bog hags are delightful choices, hideous hags who kill beautiful young maidens and then wear their skin to impersonate them.
Also consider the pennagolan, a vampire creature that appears as a human by night, then detaches from its body to become a hideous flying head trailing its internal organs behind it as it goes in search of victims.

AslanCross
2010-06-30, 10:08 PM
The Ogre Mage in the core monster manual is actually based off the Japanese Oni. It kind of sucks, though, but WOTC put up a makeover (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dd/20060721a)for it.

You'll have to understand why monsters in Japanese folklore tend to fill very weird niches in the mythos--it ties closely to their religion, but I don't think I can explain that here.

Anyway, off the top of my head there are a handful that I think can become formidable D&D monsters:
-Yuki-Onna (the Snow Lady--a powerful nature spirit that leads people to a frozen death)
-Nue (Japanese "Chimera" with power over nightmares, misfortune and disease)
-Tengu (bird-people; could be great stand-ins for goblins)
-Oni (for obvious reasons)

SilverLeaf167
2010-07-01, 12:35 AM
I already have Nue, Tengu, and Oni, but thanks for the Yuki-Onna. I think I'll make Oni somewhat equivalent to the orc, and the namahage would be the hobgoblin. I'll probably make a new monster type called Yookai; most of the creatures aren't quite undead, but not quite demons, either.

Does anyone know if there's some program etc. for easy creation of custom monsters?

BTW: I think the pennagolan already exists in the Monster Manual, kind of. See "Vargouille".

Prime32
2010-07-01, 04:41 AM
BTW: I think the pennagolan already exists in the Monster Manual, kind of. See "Vargouille".There are stats for pennagolans in some book, probably OA.

For oni being equivalent to orcs, I'd suggest treating bugbears, ogres, etc. as being oni as well. Heck, you could probably use most giants as rare or unique breeds. (rename the Giant type to Oni and treat the smaller varieties as having that type)

Try to give your enemies unusual feats, especially ones which modify their body or grant SLAs.

SilverLeaf167
2010-07-01, 05:06 AM
"Oni" could practically be just one big type that covers goblinoids and giants, right?

I'm currently working on the Bakeneko (spirit cat). In the meantime, what do you think about this creepy creeper?

Akateko
Tiny Yookai
Hit Dice: 1d12 (6 HP)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 15 (+2 Dex, +2 size, +1 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/(+5)
Attack: Claws +3 melee (1d4)
Full Attack: Claws +3 melee (1d4)
Special Attacks: Strangle (1d6)
Special Qualities: Blindsight, sneak grapple, strangle
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +1
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 15, Con 11, Int 4, Wis 10, Cha 3
Skills: Hide +8, Move Silently +8, Jump +4, Climb +4
Feats: Dodge
Environment: Temperate forests
Organization: Solitary, pair
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Advancement: 3-4 HD (Tiny)
Level Adjustment: -

You manage to shake the fiend off your neck and it falls on the ground. It looks like a detached human hand, running around on its fingers. It scitters towards the trees for cover.

The Akateko is a normal-sized human hand that appears to have been detached at the wrist. It has slightly reddish skin and long, black fingernails. It uses itís fingers as legs, running on all five.
Akateko are cowardly, fiendish yookai. They lurk in treetops, ambushing unsuspecting travelers. As they do not need to eat, they seem to do so only because of ill will or hatred of life.

Combat
An Akateko usually sits on thick, leafy branches that reach over a path or road in the forest. When the victim passes under it, the Akateko jumps down and immediately starts to strangle the victim. When the victim is dead, it just leaves it there and goes somewhere else to wait for the next one. If it fails, it doesnít stay to fight, but runs away.
Blindsight: Akateko can ďseeĒ by feeling disruptions in the air around it, made by anything moving in a 70 ft. range around it. Lacking eyes, ears and a nose, this is the only way for an Akateko to sense the presence of others. This allows it to feel the location of a being about as well as a humanís sight.
Sneak grapple: If the Akateko manages to sneak on the opponent without being noticed, it gets an automatically successful grapple. It can be removed with a DC 20 Strength check either by the victim or a friend. Failing to hit it with a weapon results in dealing damage to the one being grappled. When grappling, it may use itís strangle attack.
Strangle: When the Akateko has successfully grappled an opponent, it may choose to deal 1d6 damage per round to the opponent, without an Attack Check. This will continue until the Akateko is removed.

Prime32
2010-07-01, 07:39 AM
First, there's no such thing as an attack check. You mean a grapple check.

Second, a human hand should be Diminutive, not Tiny.

Third, "If the Akateko manages to sneak on the opponent without being noticed, it gets an automatically successful grapple" seems odd - I'd just give it a large racial bonus to grapple checks (and a smaller bonus to Hide checks). It's already easier to grapple someone who's flat-footed. Maybe you should just rewrite it to use standard Improved Grab and Constrict. Oh, and if failing to hit the hand results in hitting the victim, that makes the victim easier to hit by aiming for the hand with an inaccurate attack.

Finally, it's "yo-kai" or "you-kai", not "yo-o-kai".

Shpadoinkle
2010-07-01, 07:44 AM
"Oni" could practically be just one big type that covers goblinoids and giants, right?

I'm currently working on the Bakeneko (spirit cat). In the meantime, what do you think about this creepy creeper?

Akateko
Tiny Yookai
Hit Dice: 1d12 (6 HP)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 15 (+2 Dex, +2 size, +1 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/(+5)
Attack: Claws +3 melee (1d4)
Full Attack: Claws +3 melee (1d4)
Special Attacks: Strangle (1d6)
Special Qualities: Blindsight, sneak grapple, strangle
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +1
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 15, Con 11, Int 4, Wis 10, Cha 3
Skills: Hide +8, Move Silently +8, Jump +4, Climb +4
Feats: Dodge
Environment: Temperate forests
Organization: Solitary, pair
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Advancement: 3-4 HD (Tiny)
Level Adjustment: -

You manage to shake the fiend off your neck and it falls on the ground. It looks like a detached human hand, running around on its fingers. It scitters towards the trees for cover.

The Akateko is a normal-sized human hand that appears to have been detached at the wrist. It has slightly reddish skin and long, black fingernails. It uses itís fingers as legs, running on all five.
Akateko are cowardly, fiendish yookai. They lurk in treetops, ambushing unsuspecting travelers. As they do not need to eat, they seem to do so only because of ill will or hatred of life.

Combat
An Akateko usually sits on thick, leafy branches that reach over a path or road in the forest. When the victim passes under it, the Akateko jumps down and immediately starts to strangle the victim. When the victim is dead, it just leaves it there and goes somewhere else to wait for the next one. If it fails, it doesnít stay to fight, but runs away.
Blindsight: Akateko can ďseeĒ by feeling disruptions in the air around it, made by anything moving in a 70 ft. range around it. Lacking eyes, ears and a nose, this is the only way for an Akateko to sense the presence of others. This allows it to feel the location of a being about as well as a humanís sight.
Sneak grapple: If the Akateko manages to sneak on the opponent without being noticed, it gets an automatically successful grapple. It can be removed with a DC 20 Strength check either by the victim or a friend. Failing to hit it with a weapon results in dealing damage to the one being grappled. When grappling, it may use itís strangle attack.
Strangle: When the Akateko has successfully grappled an opponent, it may choose to deal 1d6 damage per round to the opponent, without an Attack Check. This will continue until the Akateko is removed.

There was something pretty much identical to this in the Monsters of Faerun splatbook called Crawling Claws, except they're diminutive nonintelligent constructs and tend to attack in swarms. They also do double damage to prone opponents.

These, though, seem okay for CR 1, maybe a little bit on the strong side with the Strangle ability.

Yora
2010-07-01, 09:02 AM
"Oni" could practically be just one big type that covers goblinoids and giants, right?
Depends.
Ogre Mages are based on the typical oni, but bugbears would be pretty close to the concept as well. With orcs and hobgoblins it gets debateable, but goblins and giants bigger than hill giants don't fit the idea at all.

Prime32
2010-07-01, 09:46 AM
Depends.
Ogre Mages are based on the typical oni, but bugbears would be pretty close to the concept as well. With orcs and hobgoblins it gets debateable, but goblins and giants bigger than hill giants don't fit the idea at all.I'd say that giants can fit, they'd just be very rare mutations. Goblins, on the other hand, would just be killed by the other oni within a few years of their birth and would never grow beyond a certain (low) CR.

Kyuu Himura
2010-07-03, 03:08 PM
there's the creatures of rokugan sourcebook for d20 if you need monsters.
There's the Rokugan campaign setting for d20 if you need polythical and social background.
There's the Secrets of Clan series if you need some pregenerated npc's and a few PrC's.
And of course, every oriental setting is better with tome of battle, call Warblades Samurai, call Swordsages Ninja, get Rokugan's Courtier, then you're good to go.