View Full Version : Rokugan/Oriental Adventures

2007-04-25, 05:46 PM
My group wants me to run an Oriental Adventures game. I have both the Oriental Adventures and Rokugan books, but both are 3.0. Now, that isn't too big a deal, the information is still good.

However, the feats and classes are not. They have reprinted the shugenja, wu-jen, samurai, and ninja. I was told that the shugenja and wu-jen were sub-par and we all know how crappy the samurai is. The ninja is ok-good. To compensate for this, I was considering just saying that shugenja=clerics with 1 elemental domain that they can drop spells for. They lose armor proficinency and add their wisdom modifier to ac. The arcane casters are just wizards or sorcerers.

I want to rule that Samurai are gone...just gone. The samurai is no longer a class, just a caste, and that there can be samurai of any class. I also was going to use the ToB. Swordsage and Warblade sound exactly like what I think of when I think: Samurai.

I want everyone elses opinion on this and maybe some advise on how to improve this idea.

Just Alex
2007-04-25, 06:00 PM
Scrap d20 and go purist d10. Pick up L5R 3rd ed or, if you're feeling ambitious, hit the used book store and dig up the 2nd ed stuff. Seriously, the rules change lends itself much better to the setting, especially the lethality of combat.

2007-04-25, 06:58 PM
Yeah, I do the samurai = caste thing too. Remember that the OA Samurai class does fill the important role of the cultured warrior-noble, so don't throw it out right away just because it's too similar to the fighter. Consider adding in warmages as possible samurai; I always thought that would make for an interesting but plausible (within the campaign, of course) character.
Also, consider allowing clerics to be sohei (warrior-monks) instead, with access to the War domain, with the naginata as the favored weapon (same stats as a glaive).
Swordsages with the right maneuvers could also make for interesting combat-based ninja.

2007-04-25, 07:29 PM
I think his point is that they've "reprinted" the Samurai class (in Complete Warrior) and therefore that version is more official than the 3.0 OA version. And it sucks.

But really, OA has a good number of extra rules and things (iaijutsu duels, for instance) that I don't see just using the OLD samurai as a big problem. YOU'RE the DM, right?

But of course just making it a caste works too.

2007-04-25, 07:42 PM
I've got a homebrewed campaign setting of my own based on Shinto mythology, and if you're doing a Japanese-flavored, I recommend that you look through materials on Shinto legends more than the rather sketchy fluff presented in OA. Some of the things I've adapted:


Tengu (renamed Raptorans)
Koropokkuru (renamed Halflings)
Kappa (renamed Aquatic Goblins from UA)
Tanuki (a homebrewed playable race, PM me for details if interested)
Henge (renamed Shifters from Eberron)

My players can choose any class they want, but in character they need to use the terms of choice in the game world. Arcanists, Psions and other non-divine casters are called onmyoji, while practitioners of divine magic are kanushi. Anyone who is sufficiently sneaky could be called a ninja. I don't see any reason to ban or prefer classes based on the flavor of the campaign; just re-flavor the classes. A class is just a set of statistics on a character sheet, after all.

Major kami are statted up with portfolios, domains and favored weapons, but there are far too many to post here. Again, I can PM you all of that information if you like. Kami work fairly well as highly interventionist "gods," and thus work pretty well in D&D. The only problem, really, is that a disproportionate number have domains like "water," "ocean," "luck," and "travel." Referring to devils and demons alike as Oni works fine, although in Shinto they don't live in "hell." The afterworld is called yomi and it's much closer to the Greco-Roman boring-place-of-darkness. The Chinese version of hell, Di Yu, is closer to the D&D plane of Baator.

Monsters in general are called obake, although the term usually means nasty shapeshifting spirits. I've copied a lot of monsters without any mechanical changes, just name changes and different visual descriptions:

Ghosts (yurei)
Imps (Amanojaku)
Spectres (Enenra)
Animated Objects (Tsukumogami)
Driders (Jorogumo)
Celestial Lion (Shishi)
Dryads (Kodama)
Varguilles (Nukekubi)
Hags (Shikomi)

Dragons (ryu) are fine if you remove the wing attacks.

I did most of the world-building stuff in about a week, and you can find tons of information about kami, obake and other stuff on wikipedia, if you like.

2007-04-25, 09:49 PM
If you run a game like that on pbp, count me in. And, personnaly, I like the rokugan core classes, courtier is a great 1rst level class for just about any social character, the ninja is actually realistic, at least for the first levels, and the samurai and shugenja are just fine. But yea, diamond mind and iron heart + a katana or no dashi weilding warblade just screams samurai.
I also picked up a few splat books, such as way of the ninja, and secrets of the scorpion (guess who my favourite clan is). You just need to change some skills, and the background is realy fun.

2007-04-25, 10:02 PM
Whoever said to use the Legend of the Five Rings rulesystem is absolutely right. It uses the same world, but its rules are poetry comapred to the mess of d20. It's also the most singly beautiful rulebook I've ever seen. All the classes are useful. The only thing I don't like is how hard the monk Schools (classes) are to find in the book. Seriously. Why aren't they with the others? They're great, when you do find them, though.

Phoenix Talion
2007-04-25, 10:22 PM
Tallah, you are a brave man to offer Tanuki as options for a PC character.

2007-04-26, 01:22 AM
I almost forgot: on the wizards.com boards, a poster who goes by heretic888 has made a simply incredible ninja base class, called the Shinobi no Bushi. Look it up.

Edit: Apparently, he's totally redone the class, and based it on the Tome of Battle stuff: http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=814550. It's not quite complete, but looks good.

2007-04-26, 08:05 AM
I would have to thrid the idea of just going with L5R. Why go with a nock off when you can go with the original.

2007-04-26, 08:15 AM
In a Dragon magazine issue 318 they updated the rules to 3.5 for the oriental adventures. You can DL it from Pazio or find other means of acquiring it.

2007-04-26, 10:48 AM
Tallah, you are a brave man to offer Tanuki as options for a PC character.

Why? The OA book had them under the miss-nomer of Badger Hengeyokai. Now that I think of it OA had Koropokkuru has well.

If you're scared of the Shugenja being subpar, don't be. Not being as powerful as a cleric will not make you useless.

2007-04-26, 11:02 AM
He's only brave if the Tanuki have their kindama

I agree, the Legend of the Five Rings book is much better than the Oriental Adventures and Rokugan books, but using the D&D books isn't a bad choice. Personally, I think Tellah had the right idea, using what you'd like and redoing the fluff.

2007-04-26, 11:09 AM
Tallah, you are a brave man to offer Tanuki as options for a PC character.

It's a homebrewed race, really a modified gnome. I replaced their SLAs with disguise self, changed the bonus vs. giants to apply to oni, favored class Druid, stuff like that. The player who plays a Tanuki is greatly amused by playing a character with large, impressive parts (http://fyama.2.pro.tok2.com/tanuki.jpg).

Just Alex
2007-04-26, 11:23 AM
There are two things that I feel compelled to point out
1) Regarding Tanuki: It's not the shapechanging or alcohol that would worry me about allowing Tanuki PC's, it's the gigantic testicles.
2) Even with my shaky grasp of Japanese, Shinobi no Bushi has got to be the weirdest title for a class ever.

Just Alex
2007-04-26, 11:25 AM
damn double posts

2007-04-26, 01:45 PM
Cough up the dough and buy a new book cheapskate

2007-04-26, 07:39 PM
In a Dragon magazine issue 318 they updated the rules to 3.5 for the oriental adventures. You can DL it from Pazio or find other means of acquiring it.

Speeking of which I just got my .pdf copy. Its nice now I don't have to go through all the trouble of updateing all the monsters and spells (the only real parts of the book that needed updating). So my OA game is one step closer to seeing the light of the gaming table.