Creating an Earthdawn Campaign set in an Eastern setting.

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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diluzionalmind
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Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:47 am

Creating an Earthdawn Campaign set in an Eastern setting.

Post by diluzionalmind » Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:19 am

I am currently working on modifying existing disciplines to accommodate for a more oriental theme. I would like to eventually post the first drafts of them here for review and critiques from fellow gamers, because the feedback is a wonderful way to keep moving foward in a project. A list of current disciplines and what they are going to be based off of are as follows:

Onmyoji- Elementalist based
Samurai- Cavalryman/ Swordmaster based
Sohei- Warrior/ Archer based
Shugenja- Wizard/ Illusionist based
Wujen- Nethermancer/ Elementalist based
Shinobi- Thief based
Kensei- Swordmaster based
Chochinmochi- (roughly translated to lantern bearer, kind of my idea of one who would illuminate the way) Archer/ Scout based
Yokai Sutoka- Beastmaster based
Yojimbo- Warrior based
Muramasa- Weaponsmith based
Hanashishu- Troubadour based
Kuchu Senshi- (roughly translated to air warrior, because I am adding airships somewhere) Air Sailor based

I am interested in getting feedback even on this rough outline, as I have only got to the point of having the Shinobi somewhat mapped out to 8th circle at this point. Thank you to all who take the time to respond.

Boneguard
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Re: Creating an Earthdawn Campaign set in an Eastern setting.

Post by Boneguard » Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:04 pm

Do you have the PDF/Hardcopy of the Player's Guide and the Game Master's Guide to Cathay, the Oriental setting of Earthdawn?

They are 3rd edition, but conversion is quite easy. If you do not have them, I would strongly recommend getting the PDFs.

diluzionalmind
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Re: Creating an Earthdawn Campaign set in an Eastern setting.

Post by diluzionalmind » Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:26 pm

Boneguard wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:04 pm
Do you have the PDF/Hardcopy of the Player's Guide and the Game Master's Guide to Cathay, the Oriental setting of Earthdawn?

They are 3rd edition, but conversion is quite easy. If you do not have them, I would strongly recommend getting the PDFs.
This is very unlikely that will be able to get my hands on them anytime soon. Nor does it look like I can find any type of preview for a list of disciplines or anything of that nature actually.

ragbasti
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Re: Creating an Earthdawn Campaign set in an Eastern setting.

Post by ragbasti » Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:41 pm

I mean, the PDFs are in the shop 😅
And you can scroll down here until you find the 3rd edition Cathay overview:
http://pandagaminggrove.blogspot.com/20 ... t.html?m=1

Geekabilly
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Re: Creating an Earthdawn Campaign set in an Eastern setting.

Post by Geekabilly » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:05 pm

I would say these are all Japanese terms rather than 'oriental' with the odd one out being Wu Jen which sounds Chinese to me. If you're keeping with a Japanese theme then you may want to consider changing this to something like 魔術師 (Majutsushi) or 魔法使い (Mahōtsukai) both of which mean something along the lines of 'Magician' or 'Wizard'. Another possibility would be 幻術家 (Genjutsuka) which would mean something like 'Illusionist'.

Personally I don't find it necessary to ascribe Japanese specific names to ED Disciplines, most of those in Cathay don't have Chinese specific names. Terms like Shugenja for example don't really fit, as a Shugenja is more like a mountain ascetic than a magic user in Japanese Shinto/Buddhist beliefs.

I'd be interested to see where you got your other Discipline names from just to check that they are correct (for that I'd need the Kanji). Beastmaster for me should be 魔獣使い (Majūtsukai) for example.

There is a Samurai Discipline in Cathay along with some bare bones information on Ji'Poh which is ED's version of Japan. It's essentially an extremely generic Edō /Sengoku Jidai setting with terms like Daimyo, katana, wakizashi, Ronin and daisho sprinkled around to really hammer it home. For me personally, it really feels out of place in Earthdawn.

Geekabilly
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Re: Creating an Earthdawn Campaign set in an Eastern setting.

Post by Geekabilly » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:24 pm

Also, having a look Chōchinmochi 提灯持ち simply means having a lantern or bringing a lantern. I feel like another word needs adding there possibly Chōchinmochisha 提灯持ち者 but even that seems clumsy and literally translates as a 'person with a lantern'. A big part of translation is context as well as content, a lot of words do not make sense when directly translated from Japanese to English or vice versa. Just something to consider.

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etherial
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Re: Creating an Earthdawn Campaign set in an Eastern setting.

Post by etherial » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:24 pm

Hengeyokai: Beast Changers of the East simply uses the term "lantern".

bronzemountain
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Re: Creating an Earthdawn Campaign set in an Eastern setting.

Post by bronzemountain » Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:24 pm

Nothing good starts with generalized colonial words like 'oriental'. So, to start, I would encourage specificity. If you want to use Japanese inspiration, then do that specifically. Also, I'd recommend translating the words you want to use so it's not just 'exotic names for things we know'. A Sohei is a Buddhist warrior monk, so monk is just fine. A warrior in a Japanese setting is still called a warrior, as is an archer, etc. Creative word salad isn't an unfamiliar thing in fantasy already, so if there isn't a clear translation then badass portmanteaus are fine. This helps avoid issues of interpretation and history, as well.

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