15 July 2011


So as a means to playtest my SKELETON PUNCHER rules with my buddies who are coming up today (already?!? shit...), my brother noticed me looking at my Oriental Adventures rulebook the other day.

Our conversation went like this:

Him: "Oh man, I'd like to play something Oriental."
Me: "We can play Oriental Adventures if you want, I don't really care.
Him: "No, I mean like, something with samurai and stuff. I don't like OA because it uses the 3e rules."
Me: "Oh right, heh. Well, I can make up some rules real quick for it. Wanna see? It's easy!"
Him: "What?"
Me: "I'll just use the rules for that SKELETON PUNCHER game I was writing, I was gonna make it Nordic but we can do Samurai!" 
Him: "Alright, cool."

Now I'm gonna be totally honest- the things I know about Samurai and Oni and all of that come entirely from my girlfriend's anime collection and things like Tenchu, Onimusha, and Samurai Warrirors. I mean, that's not the point- the point is to take the parts that are awesome about Samurai and make it into a game where you're high-fiving people and going "Dude, nice oni murdering!" instead of worrying about bonuses and stuff.

Motherfuckin' dragons up in here, don't know who they're messing with

So the challenge for me is to make a game that takes the idea of badass cowboy samurai dudes, puts them in a situation where they're doing cool samurai stuff, and then going off with it. Again, we're going for the same level of historical accuracy as D&D does with medieval Europe- that is, uses it as a setting and then totally ignores what sorts of effects that all the monsters and magic would have on a world like that in favor of the important stuff, which is the players, and how cool it is to be a honorable warrior where people are banging on taiko and plucking koto and composing poetry about cherry blossoms and stuff while you're over across some haunted-ass forest slaying up some spirits and stomping on the scroti of those weird tanuki things

Seriously, what the fuck is this even supposed to be?

Anyways, that's what I'm doing today; making the rest of a half-done system that was originally designed to be used by nordic type guys who could either be sorcerers or warriors, now being adapted to a game that doesn't really have roleplaying-styled magic like that. I suppose there's got to be some sort of equivalent mystical tradition, probably in the form of shamans or some such. I dunno, I'm really more worried about making the battle system robust and fast enough that it's over in a couple of rounds but still has opportunities for players to do their thing.

I don't know anything about monsters or items or anything more than surface knowledge, but I think that'll be good enough to get these rules written and then I can totally ask about some serious stuff. After all, making it play like reality+ is the real goal here. I don't care if real Samurai were just regular noblemen, generally foppish and inept at combat and carrying their swords around because it was the right thing to do any more than I care that in real life, witches were fucking charlatans and couldn't actually control the weather. Or that King Arthur was just a regular king. Or that Hannibal Lecter isn't real. It doesn't matter.

Anyways. ONI PUNCHER. Look for it. Love it. Roll some dice. Do it.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds good.

    And for Japanese magic systems, check out a guy named Abe-no-Seimei (Taoist exorcist of note). Lots of TV/movies/manga have used him as the Japanese equivalent of Merlin. Might give you some ideas.

    Looking forward to this!