Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

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Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby Arnden Quartzspar » Sun Dec 25, 2016 2:03 am

I am a long time D&D player/DM whose has run a Mystara based campaign off and on (mostly off due to life) for close to 35 years. As a result i have developed areas off the beaten path including a japanesse/oriental area. I am wondering if my decisions fall within what is considered canon. And would like feed back.
My thoughts developed from some canon areas and events and grew from there.
My area is Oceania with people from Ochalea, the Hinterlands and the Steam Isles, as well as some inventive gnomes.
Within the canon history this would be possible if they people involved stayed quiet and behind the scenes. (Much like most Dm's lol)
I will be posting my thoughts soon, and would like those with more experience to review and comment. Thank you
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby Robin » Sun Dec 25, 2016 3:53 am

first welcome on the Piazza. ;)

second interesting. Ochalea is a bit underdeveloped in Gazeteer Thyatis/Alphatia, but together with the fan support a lot can be made from it.
Do not forget that the Heldan Knights have a settlement region on Oceania, and the N'Djatwa (Ogre/Elf mix) life within the same region.

curious what you'll come up with
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby Arnden Quartzspar » Sun Dec 25, 2016 8:07 am

From what i have read at the Vaults... The Heldannic Knights have their settlement at Vanya's Rest on Davania southwest of Oceania... leaving the island to the shadow dragons.. something i do cover within my setting notes (eventually)... I haven't eliminated the shadow dragons or dealt with the VoPA story arc yet, but am trying to decide what to do...

Here is a preview of what I've been thinking...
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B27G6 ... jY2X1loNlU
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby agathokles » Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:46 pm

The main Japanese inspired area in Mystara is the moon which houses the Rakasta Empire of Myoshima.

G
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby Big Mac » Sun Dec 25, 2016 1:13 pm

Hi Arnden! Welcome to The Piazza (and Happy Christmas)! :D

You might want to pop over to the Introduce yourself here topic, say "hi" to everyone and let them know a bit about yourself and the things you like (including Mystara).

Thorf (who is Mystara's ambassador to Japan ;) ) wrote about a Japanese version of the D&D Rules Cyclopedia on his website. Perhaps you can get some inspiration from the art shown there.

You might also want to look at the 1e Oriental Adventures or 3e Oriental Adventures to see if they have content that could easily be remixed into Ochalea fanon.
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby JTrithen » Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:26 pm

agathokles wrote:The main Japanese inspired area in Mystara is the moon which houses the Rakasta Empire of Myoshima.

G


Yes -- most of the canon material on that empire is in the Dragon Magazine#160 article "The Voyage of the Princess Ark|Part 7: The Princess Ark aims
for the stars." It's a very broad (and short) overview.

Otherwise, fanon material on Myoshima can be found on pandius.com.

As far as RW-Japanese-influenced culture in Mystaran canon material, I think it is only found in about 2 primary places (and pretty minor ones).

One would be Thunder Rift. THis is a setting that is usually lumped under Mystara, because of it's similar introductory concepts and a couple of other reasons. Within Thunder Rift, there is one module called 9435: Rage of the Rakasta. It depicts the rakasta with a Japanese culture (attire, weapons, etc.) and a location depicting a "daimyo's palace."

Secondly, Japanese weapons are presented in the TSR2504: RED STEEL boxed set, introducing the Red Steel setting in AD&D 2nd Ed. terms. These include the nonaka, sa, matera, and mishiya. Depictions in this product's Campaign Book often show them with a "Samurai-esque" armor and garb. There is one line about rakasta (in the character races introduction/creation section) that refers to "ancient traditions" and also that "rakasta culture is unique, somewhat mystical, and concerned primarily with battle and honor...." Interestingly (and in contrast) the rakasta kingdom of Bellayne in the RED STEEL setting is depicted as RW-England (this is how Bellayne was described when it was introduced in the Dragon Magazine Voyage of the Princess Ark series.

There isn't much else regarding RW-Japanese culture that is depicted, besides that, in the Mystara canon materials.
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby Arnden Quartzspar » Sun Dec 25, 2016 10:59 pm

Happy Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!


Big Mac wrote:You might also want to look at the 1e Oriental Adventures or 3e Oriental Adventures to see if they have content that could easily be remixed into Ochalea fanon.


I actually have seen and used these for inspiration and information on Oriental areas... Although i wasn't going for strictly Ochalean fanon... i can see where those thoughts come from... My intention was developing a separate Oriental area, more Japanesse influence compared to Ochalea's Chinese? feel...
Does the "history" feel possible?
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby micky » Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:16 pm

Arnden Quartzspar wrote:Happy Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!


I actually have seen and used these for inspiration and information on Oriental areas... Although i wasn't going for strictly Ochalean fanon... i can see where those thoughts come from... My intention was developing a separate Oriental area, more Japanesse influence compared to Ochalea's Chinese? feel...
Does the "history" feel possible?


agreed... though Ochalea is somewhat underdeveloped.. what has been established it is is more Chinese than Japanese. I assume the jist of a Japanese setting would be the Samurai warrrior culture? That definitely wouldn't fit in Ochelea with what little has been established.

As far as your question... and a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to you Arnden. Welcome to the forum! The real kicker is obviously the Known World area has been fairly well detailed out with no room for inserting a Japense Culture into it, but in the years since fandom has really taken off and detailed many of the areas outside of it. Perhaps there might be some room way out in Skotkar BFE.. but even then you might still trip over fandom works. They have been busy beavers over the years. :lol:

In that case you might just have to wing it and say ignorance is bliss is write your own setting and ignore previously done works. It sucks, and personally I hate the notion of messing with fandom, even more to be honest than canon. Personally I think the fandom works are often better than the canon works, but in this case you might not have a choice if you want to put such a culture on Mystara.
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby Arnden Quartzspar » Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:59 pm

My thoughts on where is the little used island of Oceania... with the intention of the whole existence of the country being kept secret.
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby micky » Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:09 am

Arnden Quartzspar wrote:My thoughts on where is the little used island of Oceania... with the intention of the whole existence of the country being kept secret.


I think fandom beat you to the punch with Oceania http://www.pandius.com/Oceania.pdf

however putting 3 and 3 together here. Real world Japanese transliteration to Mystara. Why not create an island nation. A closed society aka Japan that has so remained closed, so secret that even map makers didn't know of its existence thus explaining its absence from canon and fandom works. Somewhere east of Oceania, south of Skothar where few ships are known to go and fewer return.

Gives you a blank slate to create upon without tripping on canon works, or fandom works. Something to consider at least? :D
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby Big Mac » Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:44 am

Arnden Quartzspar wrote:
Big Mac wrote:You might also want to look at the 1e Oriental Adventures or 3e Oriental Adventures to see if they have content that could easily be remixed into Ochalea fanon.


I actually have seen and used these for inspiration and information on Oriental areas... Although i wasn't going for strictly Ochalean fanon... i can see where those thoughts come from... My intention was developing a separate Oriental area, more Japanesse influence compared to Ochalea's Chinese? feel...
Does the "history" feel possible?


It sounds like you are already well ahead of me. :)

My Mystara-fu is weak, so that's about the extent of my ideas, but you have more experts around. I hope you can find what you need.

A (relatively) small isolated island sounds like it could give you a culture that is not "contaminated", but would you need to have some trade between an M-Japan and other places? Or would you want a totally isolated culture that had no options for expansion?

One possible option (and I don't know how good an option it would be) is the Hollow World. There are cultures "archived" there that have been destroyed on the outside of Mystara. If a tsunami hit a Japan-like island, that could be enough for it to be moved to the Hollow World by the Immortals (and then protected by the Spell of Preservation).

I'm not sure exactly how the Spell of Preservation would influence an island-culture, but you have an in-game feature that does something that might be what you need.

Hopefully someone with better Mystara-fu than me will know if this is a viable idea or a dead-end idea.

Good luck!
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby rendclaw » Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:15 am

I completely reworked the Pearl Islands to be Japanese in flavor, and I found a fan Gaz where there was an island further east which had more of a Pacific Islander/Vietnamese/Korean feel to it. I wish I knew where it was, because it was very intriguing and I could use it.

Ochalea is China, and I also did (in my head) Ierendi to where a lot of it was Pacific Islander/Maori in nature as well... in fact, Ierendi is a melting pot of Caribbean/Pacific Islander/Maori cultures, since I steadfastly refuse to use the Gazeteer as written. ;)
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby Arnden Quartzspar » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:23 pm

I recently saw that my ideas for Wa have been sited at the Vaults, and love the open ended feel of that version. I still have the notes for it if anyone wants to collaborate on it. As I am currently working on gathering information about Skothar. Hopefully I will have this project done prior to the Threshold magazine dealing with Skothar.
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby oleck » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:43 pm

I think it might be something of oriental culture at Jungle Coast at Davania. But im not quite shure.
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby Sturm » Sat Aug 05, 2017 4:45 pm

In north eastern Davania there are the Yasuko lands, possibly connected to Ochalea and/or (IMO) to a more ancient Mystaran oriental culture which spread from Skothar..
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby Arnden Quartzspar » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:50 am

I've been reading through the canon material and have found that Zxyl and the ogre-magi that live there may be oriental in nature. With that in mind, I may be able to write in an oriental area after all. Again, if anyone has suggestions, or would like to collaborate, please let me know.
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby Sturm » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:23 am

It existed a project to develop the whole Skothar as oriental Mystara, see here: http://pandius.com/morient/morient.html
I am not in complete agreement with this as I would keep the canon Tangor area inhabited by black men, but still most of the above material could be used.
Niponeria by Estlor http://pandius.com/nipon.html was instead imagined in Western Brun.
The Land of a Thousand Pagodas by Patrick Sullivan http://pandius.com/mmyanmar.html is M-Myanmar imagined in Skothar.
Havard summarized the culturesof Skothar here: http://pandius.com/skothrov.html
The Empire of the Great Khan from the Master set map should have an oriental culture. I imagined this: http://pandius.com/dalngquo.html
A future issue of Threshold will deal with Skothar probably, and I plan to include oriental cultures in the east and south of the continent, while still maintaining Jennites and Tanagoros distinct as in canon.
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby agathokles » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:01 pm

The Dragon Magazine article on Rakasta highlight the presence of Oriental Sherkasta (Tiger-men) and Cloud Pardasta (Leopard-men) in the Bay of Tangor. They have an M-Indonesian or M-Malaysian culture. IIRC, also White Sherkasta are mentioned as present in the mountains north of the Tangor Bay. This, united with the presence of a Jennite culture in the area occupied by Alphatia, is the most likely opportunity for an Oriental culture or set of cultures in Skothar, IMO.

As to the Ogre-kin of Tangor, I don't see in canon any reference to an Oriental culture. It seems clear that "Tangor" is the homeland of the Tanagoro from the Hollow World, and the Ogre-kin of Suma'a and Gombar don't seem particularly Oriental -- this post summarizes what is known about them. You'll note in particular that several names are provided, and do not particularly remind any Oriental culture.
As Sturm mentioned, they are more likely as an M-African culture (the Mystaran Almanac has them as M-Ashanti).

As Havard reports in his overview (see the link in Sturm's post), we can divide Skothar in several major areas:
  • Thonia/Bay of Thorin: Blackmoor remnants.
  • Jen: Scythian-like nomadic cultures.
  • The Gulf of Tangor: primarily M-Indonesian Rakasta cultures.
  • Tangor Peninsula/Zyxl: M-African, Tanagoro and Ogre-kin cultures.

I'd start from here, and build something coherent in the blank spaces :-)

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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby Sturm » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:55 am

Note that Giulio Caroletti placed the current Tangor Empire near the Gulf, even west of it instead of east of it: http://pandius.com/swanamu.html
The only canon source on Tangor is the Master set Map and while the tag "Empire of Tangor" is on the eastern Tangor Chain, the bounduary seems to include also the Tangor Bay, but obviously anything can be.
I'm inclined to think that originally rakasta were the main inhabitants of the area in remote times, then Tanagoro humans conquered vast territories until, at the time of Blackmoor, the Tanagoro probably had one or more nations in the area. As several tribes were moved to the Hollow World in 3000 BC, maybe their lands were invaded by other people with a M-oriental culture. This is consistent with the multiple migrations of the Tanagoro in the HW migration map (2,500, 2,000, 1,600 and 1,500 BC) and the arrow indicating Jennite-related people arriving in the Tangor Bay after 1,900 BC.
This gives us the opportunity to create an unique blend of M-african and M-oriental cultures in the Tangor Bay and the Tangor Chain.
I will think more about this however we will reach the Threshold issue about Skothar :)
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby agathokles » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:04 pm

The Master Set labels must be considered as very general -- the entire Known World is marked as "Empire of Thyatis" there, even though the Empire is only one of the many nations in the area. So the Empire of Tangor may certainly exist, but will hardly occupy the entire peninsula.

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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby Sturm » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:30 am

Sure, I just try to use as much canon/fan material as possible.. I could place two empires each claiming the title and several M-oriental/rakasta nations. Both empires would be eventually contaminated by M-oriental cultures to leave the more "Africans" Tanagoro in the Hollow World and Davania...
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby Arnden Quartzspar » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:43 am

I'm trying to compile everything concerning Skothar from the Vaults, into a source book for DMs and players. My wish is to have it done properly prior to the Threshold magazine dealing with it.
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby Sturm » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:20 am

You have time as the Skothar issue will probably be published next year in July.. and your work will certainly be useful!
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Re: Oriental/Japanesse influenced area in Mystara

Postby Raymond » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:19 pm

You may want to consider using Iscandar:

Image

It appears to me to be an analogue of just Japan on a planet. So if you like that idea, it should be easy to have a map with placements for coastlines, mountains, and rivers.
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