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boulet
01-30-2008, 08:13 PM
Don't know if anyone ever played, or even had their hands, on this old RPG (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushido_%28role-playing_game%29). Being an absolute fan of Kurosawa movies, I obviously enjoyed playing that game a lot. The game system was far from perfect, at least what I remember. But the focus on cultural details and especially honor made it a great game overall.

Any feudal Japan fantasy otaku ?

(PS : Never been convinced by Legends of the five rings, curiously... Maybe it was the GM... :))

GBVenkman
01-30-2008, 09:16 PM
I've never played it, but I love the setting. I've looked through the five rings and was quite insulted really..

hope you can find a system that suits you.

Drohem
01-30-2008, 09:34 PM
Yes, Bushido is a great game. It is a top notch historical fantasy setting. The second edition was picked up by Fantasy Games Unlimited. FGU was one of the prolific RPG companies of the 80's that never developed an unifying House System. The system has some minor issues, but overall it was playable.

Farcaster
01-31-2008, 12:43 AM
I've looked through the five rings and was quite insulted really..

Having never played or read the system your referencing, I am nonetheless curious what you found insulting?

Mulsiphix
01-31-2008, 02:20 AM
I am equally interested. I've only heard good things about the setting in all its gaming incarnations. Could you elaborate GBVenkman?

TAROT
01-31-2008, 02:31 AM
I don't know about insulting, but L5R is a mish mash of Japan, China, Korea, and the rest of Asia. It uses samurai, daimyo, katanas, geisha etc. but doesn't really have an authentic Japanese feel and comes across more as a generic asian blend. The history in the setting is based on the CCG metaplot.

I've never seen Bushido, but for decent 16th centuryish Japan setting info I'd suggest tracking down a copy of Sengoku (Gold Rush Games).

Mulsiphix
01-31-2008, 03:03 AM
I guess I just find it hard to believe such a heresy or generalized setting could please so many. Maybe the CCG was just that good?

boulet
01-31-2008, 08:48 AM
To me LOTFR seemed like a Hong Kong movie style, power gamer oriented, D&Dish hodge podge of a game. It's a bit like this other thread discussing Kotor and how the whole concept of force and morality of Jedi was corrupted for the sake of power gaming... I prefer games that stick to a least a few principles and try to preserve the coherency of their universe. Another example is the movie Brotherhood of the wolves : supposed to be set in XVIIIth century France but you end up with an American Indian doing Chinese kung-fu... yeah whatever...

Games that whore around, trying to attract players with shiny powers but remain shallow otherwise just don't rock my boat.

Mulsiphix
01-31-2008, 08:57 AM
Sounds like my cup of tea actually. I see nothing wrong with powering a setting up for the sake of making it more exciting. Then again I am a hard core sci-fi fan and most of sci-fi is based on the theme of advancing technology for the sake of coolness, not so much out of need. I've always seen Star Wars as the cool version of Star Trek. Star Trek concentrates on political issues, with the exception of Voyager of course, and Star Wars concentrates on the action aspect of space colonization. I love Star Trek but Voyager was my favorite series and it was because they went all out action and threw a lot of the Star Fleet ideology out the window.

TAROT
01-31-2008, 11:59 AM
I guess I just find it hard to believe such a . . . generalized setting could please so many.

The Forgotten Realms is popular, too.

For me, both settings are fine if you take a scalpel to them before the campaign starts and keep the game focussed and local. If the characters start travelling, I find my suspension of disbelief starts to waver.

bc99
01-31-2008, 12:02 PM
L5R was a great system, and had an immersive background/history. Sure it was made up, because it was a "fantasy" setting with an asian twist on things. Nothing wrong with that. I mean, it's like being pissed at Deadlands because the wild west has been corrupted to have undead people and an alternate history!

Also, L5R was much more than just a powergame type environment. You could roleplay games based on honor(which was very important), investigations, horror, magic, hack and slash, etc. Very good system. I speak from my experiences with the 1st editions however, and not the d20.

tesral
01-31-2008, 12:11 PM
Bushido, a name I have not heard in a while. I've seen it know people that have played it, but don't have a copy myself. If I ever encounter one I am fixing that.

LoFR and Oriental Adventures are a mashup of various eastern cultures. Frankly any system can be used to play a Japanese style game. Class systems like d20 work well because of the nature of the culture. You simply need the right background material and players interesting in that setting.

Drohem
01-31-2008, 01:29 PM
I really like Kara-Tur from Forgotten Realms as a mash of eastern cultures. LoFR is cool as a mash as well. It has some cool unique features that I like. I dig the ratlings; I like anthropomorphic humanoids. ;)

GBVenkman
01-31-2008, 02:09 PM
I don't know about insulting, but L5R is a mish mash of Japan, China, Korea, and the rest of Asia. It uses samurai, daimyo, katanas, geisha etc. but doesn't really have an authentic Japanese feel and comes across more as a generic asian blend. The history in the setting is based on the CCG metaplot.

I've never seen Bushido, but for decent 16th centuryish Japan setting info I'd suggest tracking down a copy of Sengoku (Gold Rush Games).

That about sums it up. I guess I was expecting more of a gary gygax version that would have its roots in traditional japan vs europe.

Five Rings is based on a card game, so I'm sure those who like that type of system don't mind it too much.

But I'm an crabby history buff who expects any Asian setting game to be based off of the Hagakure.

I don't think the FR kara tur is bad, but I think the whole clan system is lame. A little too power rangers if you ask me. "Crab powers activate!"
IMO that doesn't do the complex clan system of Feudal Japan justice.

I don't like that the samurai class in Oriental Adventures, I think they really missed the mark. There are a few things I don't like about it, for example the class being an automatic dual wielder (which was rare in Japan, Miyamoto Musashi was pretty revolutionary when he came up with it, but it was by no means the norm.) I admit I haven't played another classes in that book, but I went into the game mainly for the Samurai aspects.

I don't see that system representing Yojimbo or any Kurowsawa/shogun assasin either, which I believe is the best type of Japanese fantasy.

I know the sky's the limit, but that system is far too high when it comes to the cheese factor.

So that's a generalization of my attitude and opinion :D.

Drohem
01-31-2008, 02:41 PM
"Crab powers activate!"


I almost snorted my coffee on that one! Good show old chap. :D

boulet
01-31-2008, 04:48 PM
"Crab powers activate!"


Thank you for the power rangers analogy, that's exactly what I was trying to point at :D

nijineko
02-01-2008, 10:32 AM
Sounds like my cup of tea actually. I see nothing wrong with powering a setting up for the sake of making it more exciting.

you want to play synnibarr then.

tell you what, i'll give you the bad news first: one review of synnibarr... you might want to read this with your eyes shut if you have any intention of actually playing synnibarr. (http://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/reviews/rev_4762.html)

although, on the plus side, my friend and i had a hoot playing this game. it was immense fun.

Mulsiphix
02-01-2008, 10:51 AM
This has to be the most hateful review I've ever read. It is almost scary enough that I might consider looking it over lol. Actually playing it? I think I'll reserve it for my death bed. You know something to kick me off the edge of life and into the abyssal void that is death :eek:

You know what? I can't even continue writing this review. There are so many elemental mistakes, the kind that come from editing your own work without turning your brain on first, that to list and correct them all is just masochistic. Just about every other person in the industry knows better than to make the mistakes represented here.

Treating Synnibarr as anything else but a doorstop is an exercise in futility; the more energy you put into it, the more you realize just how profoundly poor McCracken is at just about everything involving a role-playing game. He took the worst aspects of every game ever made, especially first and second edition AD&D, and threw them into this game and then turned up the suck meter until it broke off - and then has the nerve to defend it when somebody trashes it in print. In this game, you have to get the square root of some numbers in order to detemrine how far you've been thrown back. You can do a complex series of multiplications to determine how much heavier a giant-size sword is than a normal one. You can have a million life points worth of damage reduced to ten by armor, which in turn has life points of its own.

I'm here to tell you that yes, it is that bad, and no, it's not even good as a comedy. It is the Antichrist of role-playing games, and it wasn't until I gave serious attention to the rules that it began to slowly rape my mind of any idea of what a good RPG is like. Do not buy it as a joke. Do not buy it because of its camp value. Do not buy it because it's the worst role-playing game on the planet, because then you're just reinforcing the work of a profoundly talentless man.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to purify myself with cleansing, searing fire.

May God Have Mercy on My Soul
-Darren MacLennan

Drohem
02-01-2008, 11:00 AM
You know, after seeing so much discussion about Synnibarr I am now going to have to pick this up at some point just for the novelty factor, LOL. My LFGS has both the 1st and 2nd used on the shelf; I doubt anyone is going to beat me to the purchase, even if I wait several more months.

Mulsiphix
02-01-2008, 11:37 AM
I think your right about nobody beating you to the purchase lol. Given that your such a RPG game system guru I am dying to hear what you think about it. Please don't forget to share if you eventually pick it up ;)

tesral
02-01-2008, 12:41 PM
This has to be the most hateful review I've ever read.

Hateful yes, but is it to the point? I have written some scathing reviews in my day. I think I would have to seek a second opinion. Never trust only one opinion, especially one that biased.

"If one man calls you and ass, ignore him. If ten men call you an ass, buy yourself a saddle." -- Quaker Proverb.

Mulsiphix
02-01-2008, 11:35 PM
Cute proverb :p. I pretty much only go to RPG.net for my PnP reviews. Anybody have a link to another site with a review for Synnibarr?

GBVenkman
02-02-2008, 02:39 AM
I was thinking about downloading this (says it's only a nickle to download, sure it's a typo though).

http://www.rpgobjects.com/index.php?page=pro&product_id=60

I read about it a while ago, but never followed up on it.

here's a half ass review that tells about its contents:

http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/11/11418.phtml

nijineko
02-02-2008, 04:08 AM
You know, after seeing so much discussion about Synnibarr I am now going to have to pick this up at some point just for the novelty factor, LOL. My LFGS has both the 1st and 2nd used on the shelf; I doubt anyone is going to beat me to the purchase, even if I wait several more months.

well, if i can't find it cheap, i might get in touch with you about the other copy. we had an immense amount of fun with this game. (just goes to show, that it's all about whom one plays with, not what system of rules one plays.) we noted that the weapons damage seemed lifted off of the ad&d charts, and that there is a lot of potential to some of the ideas that were scattered throughout, and we pretty much ignored a fair amount of dross. we had fun, and that's what was really important.

tesral
02-02-2008, 11:42 AM
well, if i can't find it cheap, i might get in touch with you about the other copy. we had an immense amount of fun with this game. (just goes to show, that it's all about whom one plays with, not what system of rules one plays.) we noted that the weapons damage seemed lifted off of the ad&d charts, and that there is a lot of potential to some of the ideas that were scattered throughout, and we pretty much ignored a fair amount of dross. we had fun, and that's what was really important.

And that is what is important. It just shows that one man's meat is another man's poision. Or why the book store has so many books. Tastes vary.

My usual reaction to the "This is evil it will suck out your liver and make you wife leave you" review is to look further into the product in quection unless said review was by someone whose opinion I trusted to know of what they spoke. Such strong opinions are usualy driven by more than just the product in question. It pays to dig further.

nijineko
02-02-2008, 01:36 PM
at the very least, the dm learned to never use the psi-elf adhere ability on a character that can life drain by touch. ^^;

Mulsiphix
02-03-2008, 07:04 PM
And that is what is important. It just shows that one man's meat is another man's poision. Or why the book store has so many books. Tastes vary.

Such strong opinions are usualy driven by more than just the product in question. It pays to dig further.Straight from the horses mouth. It would be nice if you kept this in mind when posting in the future. Stating your opinion is one thing, running others on the forum off into the hills for stating they like something you don't, well that is quite another :cool:

nijineko
02-04-2008, 10:32 AM
i will have to check out bushido, i lived in japan for a couple of years, and have done various researches into it's history. might be of interest to me.

Drohem
02-04-2008, 12:02 PM
i will have to check out bushido, i lived in japan for a couple of years, and have done various researches into it's history. might be of interest to me.

Yeah, it sounds like you'd dig it.

It was originally published by Tyr Games in 1979 as two digest-sized booklets. It was then published again in 1980 by Phoenix Games, again as two digest-sized booklets.

The most prevelant edition is by Fantasy Games Unlimited and was published in 1980 as a boxed set. Bushido was written by Paul Hume and Bob Charrette.

You might also want to check out Land of the Rising Sun written by Lee Gold. It was also published by Fantasy Games Unlimited in 1980 as a boxed set. It is set in feudal Japan as well. It is a class-and-level system based off Chivalry & Sorcery. It is very detailed on the legends and history of feudal Japan as well. As far as game play, it's a little more complicated than Bushido.

nijineko
02-04-2008, 01:20 PM
thanks, i'll have to take some notes.

Mulsiphix
02-04-2008, 02:04 PM
You might also want to check out Land of the Rising Sun written by Lee Gold. It was also published by Fantasy Games Unlimited in 1980 as a boxed set. It is set in feudal Japan as well. It is a class-and-level system based off Chivalry & Sorcery.Any chance it has anything to do with the novel by the same name? I loved that book :D

Drohem
02-04-2008, 02:21 PM
Any chance it has anything to do with the novel by the same name? I loved that book :D

Well, I am not familiar with this book. So, I had to go to the boxes and pull out my copy of Land of the Rising Sun. I read the introduction and suggested reading, and could not find this title referenced.

What is the book about? Who is the author?

Mulsiphix
02-04-2008, 02:47 PM
:eek: I was thinking of Rising Sun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rising_Sun_%28novel%29) by Michael Crichton. Nevermind :o

Drohem
02-04-2008, 03:43 PM
oops! Sorry I didn't get the joke. Was the movie with Connery and Snipes based off Crichton? I like the movie. :)

Mulsiphix
02-05-2008, 06:35 AM
Yes it was :D

malchya
05-28-2010, 03:36 PM
Another old thread that I, as a newbie, just have to jump into. I loved Bushido and Land of the Rising Sun. As the ultimate history nerd I prefer a certain level of grit to my games and both of these provided! I also very much enjoyed GURPS: Japan as a setting. Now, having said that, I will admit to a grave character flaw: I LOVED AD&D's 1st edition Oriental Adventures! I played the bloody thing to death! Yes, I tweaked the classes in several cases, especially the *ninja* (to which I will admit I have a somewhat less than favorable approach!) and the Yakuza. But I loved the Spirit Folk and the Hengeyoki.

I didn't like LOTFR. I agree with the "Power Rangers" parallel.

outrider
05-28-2010, 11:08 PM
I played it a couple of times many years ago and have one of at least two books that comprised the set. I remember it being fairly decent. Bob Charette (sp) was the author of the system.

Izen
07-08-2010, 12:00 AM
I've played Bushido pretty continuously since it was first published by TYR Games in 1979. The campaign under the current GM has been running monthly since 1985, and it is a continuation of a group playing under several other GMs since 1981. There are still 3 of the original members, and we have a second generation of players. Collectively the group has clarified, expanded, enhanced, and embellished the rules extensively with over 31,000 lines of text. All of which is available for free under the Creative Commons license. We have published a "diary/log" of the campaign events since 1995, covering the last 3 game years, primarily for the benefit of the players but possibly of interest to others.

See "Bushido: Gempeiji Campaign" under Campaign Invitations for an overview or visit our Wiki at "http://bushido-gempeiji.wikispaces.com/". We are open to anyone "just visiting" to see if they might be interested in joining. There are always NPCs you can run. The game location rotates among member's homes between the Lansing and Metro Detroit areas, so contact me for date and directions.

What I love about the system is that it's combat is remarkably flexible "out of the box". The "number of actions" and "phased action sequence" mechanisms differentiate nicely the trade-offs in stat choices made for characters. We've tweaked a couple of the rules and find we can do anything reasonably realistic we can think of in a fight on the spur of the moment. I've played most systems published up until 1985 or so, and never found that degree of flexibility even in Charette and Hume's later works such as Aftermath. Most of our rule additions are just that: new stuff not covered in the published game that we need and research, optional ways of implementing something, and clarifications as to how we interpreted a rule.

It's not that I don't play other systems. I was just lucky enough to find others with my interest in role playing pre-unification Feudal Japan who remained physically located close enough and involved enough to keep a campaign going for more than 25 years. Once you find something that satisfies your itch, why keep looking?

Slipstream
07-15-2010, 11:41 AM
I may have to dig for Bushido at my FLGS next time I'm in. That looks cool.

This is semi-off topic, unless you want something else to find inspiration for a samurai-themed campaign set in one town, I may have something fresh to check out. I found a 12 episode anime called House of Five Leaves (http://www.hulu.com/house-of-five-leaves) (don't leave or roll your eyes just yet!). This show is actually a heavy drama built off deep characterization that breaks the usual stereotypes. The action is very light, but when it's there, it's realistic and fast. There's no drawn out sparring matches. It's over as soon as soon as the katana leave their sheathes. The story mainly focuses on a samurai for hire who joins a band of kidnappers for profit. The art style is also very different and not flashy at all, even off-putting at first. People have complained about the characters' mouths. You'll get over it quick as you're drawn into the story. Now granted, I would not want feel comfortable roleplaying a kidnapper, but if it was a group of faceless thieves ala Merry Men, that are both hated and praised within the village, it could be interesting roleplay.

And Izen, thank you for posting that. Sounds like an incredible setup!

tesral
07-15-2010, 01:39 PM
I may have to dig for Bushido at my FLGS next time I'm in. That looks cool.

Is it still in print? It's one of the game i regret not buying.

Slipstream
07-15-2010, 06:36 PM
Is it still in print? It's one of the game i regret not buying.
I'm not expecting to find it easily. My FLGS carries really old used stuff. You never know what you'll find in there.

Izen
07-16-2010, 06:21 PM
Is it still in print? It's one of the game i regret not buying.

FGU republished the 3rd edition a few years ago with both original books in a single "perfect bound" volume with the full color "horse archer" cover. My GM buys copies of both versions of it off e-bay from time to time so he has them for new players, so I recommend you start there.

http://www.waynesbooks.com/bushido.html indicates it can be purchased through Amazon.com, but I did not find any copies when I cursorily searched on keyword "bushido" just now.

Anyone interested in other background reference material specifically on the 277 Daimyo of the Tokugawa Shogunate period should look into "A Gamers Guide to Feudal Japan: Daimyo of 1867" by Tadashi Ehara. Published by Different Worlds in April 2010, it's available as a magazine sized "perfect bound" softcover of 336 pages at http://www.diffworlds.com/.

Just got my copy today and it's more than a list of the Daimyo and their han (fiefs/provinces), mon (crests), revenue, class of relationship to the Tokugawa clan, headquarters, descendants and illustrious ancestors. It also includes chapters on Geology, History, Chronology, Major Roads, Population, Religions, Monetary System, Daimyo History, Government, The Daimyo of 1867 by Han with pictures of many of the castles and some floorplans, and a "Gamers Guide" section with Campaign Scenarios, Gaming Notes, a Daimyo Name Generator, a listing of Samurai-themed games of all types, Glossary, Bibliography, and Indices. It's a nice piece of work, pulling together material from a lot of different respected sources and framing it for a gaming perspective. If the author's name seems familiar, he used to be a publisher at Chaosium, Inc, and editor of "Different Worlds" magazine.

Even though the material is from almost 500 years after the period of my campaign, material such as this prior to the Tokugawa Shogunate is very scarce and hard to find. (Much of the old official records outside of those kept by families were "recycled" during WWII.) We expect to adopt much of the information as our "upper limit baseline". The detailed information on the roads alone is worth a lot to us, while the clan affiliations of the different hans are worth the $60 price tag by themselves. Talk about fuel for political plots and maneuverings! And handed to you in one reference manual? GM paradise.