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Oriental Adventures in Greyhawk

 
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Soft-Paws
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:41 pm    Post subject: Oriental Adventures in Greyhawk Reply with quote

I have a quick question for you guys. I trust your input as much as I do value it here with these forums.

I hope to run a 1st edition AD&D campaign, and wish to get the best usage of all the hardcovers, except for Dragonlance Adventures which would make for a good alternate prime material plane at a moment's notice.

Also Deities and Demigods has Japanese, Chinese and other asian mythos which are helpful if new deities are to be utilized as well as other stuff to incorporate in other lands off the map possibly.

Question being:

How would you guys incorporate Oriental Adventures into Greyhawk circa 576 CY box set ala E. Gary Gygax?

Considering Gary wrote the book, I am not sure it would be such a chore to do. However there is really no mention of using it in his created setting. There is a small section mentioning OA in Greyhawk Adventures hardcover from 1988, but nothing substantial.

Would Bakluni be candidates for OA classes other than Monk?

I know Kara-Tur is "officially" in the realms and was maybe going to be added to GH in the west? I don't know much about it. All I know is OA doesn't have an official map or a reference to it being used in our beloved setting of the Flanaess.

I am sure this has been discussed before but was more concerned about the occidental/oriental integration rather than to have this as two separate campaign settings. Any input regardless of opinions or criticism is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Oriental Adventures in Greyhawk Reply with quote

Soft-Paws wrote:
How would you guys incorporate Oriental Adventures into Greyhawk circa 576 CY box set ala E. Gary Gygax?


The Oriental Adventures hardcover was originally intended to be set on Oerth, according to Dragon #102. There's a portal to Kara-Tur in the Greyhawk adventure Fate of Istus. In his short story collection, Night Arrant, Gary Gygax called Oerth's "oriental" region Suhfang (there's a short story there in which Gord the Rogue meets an Suhfangese wizard). Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk called it Shaofeng instead.

Robilar, Terik, and Tenser traveled to China in Gary Gygax's home campaign, finding a slide that led through the center of the world to that land beneath Castle Greyhawk. So yes, he used "Oriental" lands in his home campaign (though note that his original home campaign wasn't very much like the published World of Greyhawk, having a completely different map and basically being a fantasy version of Earth). The original Monster Manual mentions both Japan and India. Chinese giants were mentioned in the original version of Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth.

"Asia" in Gygax's original home campaign was "a trifle smaller" than the Asia of our world, according to Dragon #1.

Quote:
Considering Gary wrote the book


Actually, David "Zeb" Cook wrote it. Gary Gygax is credited with co-creating the basic idea of the book. Gary's name is on the cover, but it really shouldn't be. There are more accurate credits on the title page.

Quote:
Would Bakluni be candidates for OA classes other than Monk?


Sure, I think so. And I think Scarlet Brotherhood members would make great ninjas.

Quote:
I know Kara-Tur is "officially" in the realms and was maybe going to be added to GH in the west?


Yes, beyond the Baklunish lands. Here is the official TSR map of Oerth, supposedly created with Gygax's involvement, showing the Suhfang/Shaofeng area as the "Celestial Imperium."
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Soft-Paws
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rasgon. I will do some research on Fate of Istus particularly. I find that interesting. Thanks again for the input!
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Mystic-Scholar
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I never before noticed that the Celestial Imperium has its own version of The Great Wall. Laughing

Thanks for the link Rasgon. Cool
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Icarus
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:23 am    Post subject: Re: Oriental Adventures in Greyhawk Reply with quote

Soft-Paws wrote:
I know Kara-Tur is "officially" in the realms and was maybe going to be added to GH in the west? I don't know much about it.


As Rasgon noted, Soft-Paws, in Dragon #102, OA was billed to include "...an expansion of the WORLD OF GREYHAWK™ Fantasy Game Setting covering the Oriental lands of Oerth!"

That being said, I still use the name "Kara-tur" in addition to the proper names of the nations like the Celestial Imperium of Shaofeng. I look at it as something it was called by the earlier explorers. Kind of like in our own world when mapmakers would put descriptors on maps that weren't precisely names. "Terra Orientalis", for example. Literally is just means "Eastern Lands". Once more exploration was done, proper names were found. Also, fantasy labels like "Here There Be Dragons" or "Land where Orcs Rule" end up in place names like Dragon's Island or Orcreich.

I actually use 3rd Ed. Oriental Adventures material, in addition to the "core" stuff for Kara-tur. There was a great conversion article in Dragon Magazine for making Kara-tur have the regional feats and stuff. And there's a great area/faction from the Chainmail miniatures game (which was set on Oerth) that makes a great "Shadowlands", it's called "Ahmut's Legion" and is full of evil, tainted undead.
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Crag
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, Celestial Imperium is one of the areas bubba and I are working on in the "beyond the flanaess" project. in fact, it is the one we have devoted the most effort and tine.

Speaking of which; icarus where is that promised art work?

The mob is beconing restless....
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Soft-Paws
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alrighty. Sounds interesting. I may end up making a new continent, but at least I now know the integration of OA into GH is not as difficult as I thought.

Thanks guys!
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Icarus
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:36 pm    Post subject: Artwork for the celestial Imperium Reply with quote

Crag wrote:
Speaking of which; icarus where is that promised art work... [for the Celestial Imperium]?
The mob is beconing restless....
Well, here it is an entire year later, and I was gone for some months, so I am not technically the Art Director for Canonfire! anymore, but I would still like to do some reading and research of what you've done. I would be iterested in finding out what kind of stuff would make it visually distinctive, and whatnot.

But, yes ... I would be happy to do some. And if you haven't seen my recent stuff, just wander over to this thread, and my gallery and see what I've been up to in the past year.
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blakeryan
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:33 pm    Post subject: Celestial Imperium - Oriental Adventures Reply with quote

I use the Celestial Imperium as the Orienal-Egyptian lands for Greyhawk.

Celestial Imperium –
Titles - Empress, Prophet, Shogun, Daimyo, Samurai.
Preferred weapons - Katana, Composite short bow. Most only have Scimitar and Bolas.

Sphinx act as rulers or advisors to rulers. The high priest for each region is always a Sphinx. Sphinxes are fond of horseflesh (including Centaurs & Pegusai). Sphinxes can mate with Griffons and Manticores. By Sphinx
decree Aberrations are to be destroyed.

Established warrior orders. Shapeshifters & Humanoids are called Bakemono. Well patrolled roads, Stone buildings. Agriculture-drainage & crop growing. Sculptures & statues of heroes & beasts. Good sanitation.
Contrasting colors in art. Clay braziers. Paved roads and structured town layout. Two meals – Breakfast and dinner. Public bathhouses & marketplaces. Figs & grapes are delicacies. Intricate jewellery-Animal & Plant designs. Bronze & Ceramic household items. Sake-alcoholic drink, fermented rice, 18% alcohol, sipped.

Chopsticks-eating utensils, wood or bamboo. Fans-Folded, many are elaborately decorated. Palm, Ivory or Sandalwood. Art - Body faces the front always, calm facial expressions. Nine Prophets (emperors officials/marshals).

Jade carving - Sculptures, Ceremonial objects & religious idols. Very detailed. Gift to nobility, often used as gifts for courting.

Bushido - Code for warriors. What to do in war time and peace time. Loyalty to ruler, Courage, Endurance, Integrity, Duty to the truth & Honour. Spies are tortured or sacrificed. Sorcerers are watched by Witches.

Martial Arts - Common in this region, Noble classes usually use Bokken (wooden swords) for Kendo, while lower classes use Bo staves.

Clothes - Rich : Toga/Gown, slippers or sandals. Bracelets, necklaces or hair pins. Military : Tunic, pants, boots. good belt. Clergy : Robes, tunic, sandals. Religious jewellery only. Everyone else : Tunic, Sandals/Boots. Ring, buckle of necklace with family crest. Rich and Clergy use perfume occasionally.

Stepped pyramids ‘Ziggurats’ are used for Forts, Temples and Crypts. Well known/Travelled scholars. Heaps of tales/songs. War for resources, Established guilds & libraries. People are buried with their treasured possessions. Men and women use powders and paints for makeup, and dyes for clothes for special occasions.

Most homes are mud-brick with wooden shutters over the exterior windows. Many had roofless courtyards and flat rooves. Citizens believe in truth, integrity and seeking knowledge – and these traits will lead to rewards in the afterlife. Well known/Travelled scholars. Mummification of dead-preparation for the afterlife. Body parts are stored in canopic jars and placed in the cardinal direction points. Pyramids have cartouches, oval signs containing symbols of those in power and those who are buried within.

Scarab beetle is sacred, bringer & guardian of twilight, keeps the balance. Hawks/Cats & Ibis are sacred, Eat or kill is punishable burying in a scorpion pit. Refer to Priest magic as Heka, power from gods/universe.
Merchants are regarded as suspicious until proven worthy. Social status : Sphinx, Priests/Nobles, Scribes/Mystics, Craftsmen, Soldiers/Farmers/Tomb Builders. Women have equal legal rights to men. Some marriages are arranged, some are between more than two people. Children look after the elderly and go to school (Literacy, Religion & Maths) from age 7 to 12.
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Soft-Paws
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blakeryan: Nice and interesting write up! I don't think I have come across anything quite like that. I actually found your post inspiring. Thanks!
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CruelSummerLord
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem I've found too often with oriental D&D products is that the game is being adapted to create a more authentic experience, while at the same time the medieval European culture that most gamers hail from is at best an extremely bastardized pseudo-medieval stereotype of what the European Middle Ages were really like.

Rather than adapting the game to the setting, I think it's better to adapt the setting to the game.

Since I don't consider something Greyhawk unless it has demihumans and humanoids in it, that means that dwarves, elves, orcs and all the other basic races are spread across the world just as much as humans, and their cultures are, like humans, shaped by their inherent racial traits. The inherent racial trait shared by all humans-and this applies equally to all humans, regardless of skin color, clime or appearance-is their ability to adapt, to be a jack of all trades but master of none. Hence humans have the greatest cultural variance of any race, even moreso in that they lack any kind of racial pantheon. Every other race has some sort of pantheon that encourages a certain amount of conformity and has imbued its creations with particular traits and talents.

Dwarves in the Orient would admire the strict codes of honor present in many Eastern cultures, and their preference for strict social order would be not unlike the hierarchical caste systems favored by the India of the Brahmins. The social power they command comes from their skills as miners and craftsmen, which they would either sell to the highest bidder or use to support other clans and races with which they join in sacred blood oaths.

The elven tendencies towards mysticism and their love for philosophy and mystical knowledge would likely lead to their forming rich philosophical traditions not unlike those of Confucius or Lao-Tzu. Elven societies would be ruled by these great philosophers, who would compete and debate with one another for power, seeking to convince their fellow elves of the rightness of their beliefs. The chaotic nature of the elves would preclude strictly hierarchical societies like the old Chinese empires, allowing for individual intiative and disputes to flourish, and for influences to cross freely between the elves and the other races.

Gnomes and their skills at both illusion magic and technology would be appreciated in societies such as China and Japan, where printing presses and seismographs were developed at different times, and different types of science were researched. While the nature of Oerth would preclude the development of fireworks, firearms, steam engines or electricity, gnomes would be trusted allies for many of the ruling classes and would likely enjoy prestigious places in many societies. However, they would also be viewed with suspicion and loathing by more superstitious types, who mistrust them for the same reasons they do wizards and other magic-users. In the classic tradition of gnomish contradictions, the gnomes' actively seeking to develop their technological knowledge would increase not only the prestige they enjoy but the loathing they suffer. Other gnomes might reject technology in response to this, thereby becoming rogues who associate more with the lower classes.

The unique bond halflings share with the land would make them absolutely essential allies for agricultural societies, and their knack for surviving through stealth and guile might lead them to form protected underclasses in human or dwarven societies as they do in other parts of the world, trading their agricultural prowess for martial protection. However, this would lead many halflings to remain on the lower rungs of the social ladder, or on the margins of society. More enterprising or restless halflings who chafe at their positions would likely migrate to become ninja, wandering ronin, yakuza or members of secret societies, just as many halflings in the "Western" parts of the world become thieves and rogues, surviving by their wits.

Other races could be extrapolated as well. Orcs might be loathed for their cruelty and sadism, but their strictly lawful nature would make them more apt to serve as valuable military allies, with their own perverted versions of human or dwarven warrior traditions. In turn, associating with such malicious curs as orcs or goblins would be seen as the height of dishonor in a war leader, although more pragmatic leaders, like their "black knight" equivalents in the West, may not necessarily care about such implications.

These are just some thoughts, mind you. However, it all remains of paramount importance that the demihuman and humanoid races are spread across the world as well...or it's simply not Oerth or Greyhawk, in my view.
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Mystic-Scholar
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said, CSL. Some very good ideas in there that I'll have to "steal." Wink
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GVDammerung
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CruelSummerLord wrote:
The problem I've found too often with oriental D&D products is that the game is being adapted to create a more authentic experience, while at the same time the medieval European culture that most gamers hail from is at best an extremely bastardized pseudo-medieval stereotype of what the European Middle Ages were really like.

Rather than adapting the game to the setting, I think it's better to adapt the setting to the game.

Since I don't consider something Greyhawk unless it has demihumans and humanoids in it, that means that dwarves, elves, orcs and all the other basic races are spread across the world just as much as humans, and their cultures are, like humans, shaped by their inherent racial traits.

. . . it all remains of paramount importance that the demihuman and humanoid races are spread across the world as well...or it's simply not Oerth or Greyhawk, in my view.


Well said and agreed. Attempts to add unique Oriental "demi-human" races are a start but just don't go far enough, IMO.
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Lukas
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crag wrote:
Yep, Celestial Imperium is one of the areas bubba and I are working on in the "beyond the flanaess" project. in fact, it is the one we have devoted the most effort and tine.

Speaking of which; icarus where is that promised art work?

The mob is beconing restless....


Can't wait ot see what you've come up with. Myself, I have trouble making my ideas something other than RL copypasta...

It's good to know the "Beyond the Flanaess" project is still active, since it seemed dead just a short while ago...
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Crag
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't speak about the other areas but the circles under the eyes of bubba and myself prove we are plugging away. Infact, so much so, bubba has had to take a break simply to save his health and sanity.

Personally, I am pulling together the endless reams of revisions, and then will seek interior art and the best cartographer possible.

Since neither bubba nor myself is artistically gifted, we completed a pair of rough maps via paint. For myself, I would really like to see an exceptional layered PDF "Master Map".

Anna are you out there? *begs on his knees*

Icarus, long ago, once promised to provide or at least consider original interior artwork - hope he is still available?
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Mystic-Scholar
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just about to pm you about this, Crag. Was hoping you were still plugging away, Bubba's been rather "closed-mouth." Wink Laughing
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Icarus
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:46 pm    Post subject: Another REsponse for artwork Reply with quote

Crag wrote:
Icarus, long ago, once promised to provide or at least consider original interior artwork - hope he is still available?


I am still in love with the idea of the project, Crag ... if you'll look upthread just a few entries, from just a couple weeks or so ago, you'll see that I responded to your previous post about it.

Can't wait to see what's in the works ... I started my own home project a couple or three years ago, and I love OA stuff for GH. I look forward to doing some sketches for the project, though technically not the Art Director anymore. I am still a fan who loves to contribute what I can when I have time.
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Wrayyth
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would love to see a good map that is not pulled back from a world focus like this map:

http://www.greyhawkonline.com/duicarthan/oerth.jpg

Something with some serious substance. When Oriental Adventures came out in the mid 80's, I fell in love. I incorporated then=m into Greyhawk immediately as a small group trying to escape from the region. A favorite character was my Ninja/Illusionist... Set me up nicely to like 2e when it released...
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