Korobokuru

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Big Mac
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Korobokuru

Post by Big Mac » Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:06 pm

The 1st Edition Oriental Adventures book has korobokuru as a racial option.

These dwarves live in places like vast jungles, snowy mountain forests and barren wilderness areas. But are there any specific examples of korobokuru villages in Kara-Tur canon?

The way korobokuru are described makes them sound a bit similar to human barbarians in some respects (and 1e Korobokuru can take the barbarian class). In other respects they sound like the sort of dwarves you would get in Faerûnian lands .

Has anyone looked at the dwarven stuff from core D&D to see how much of it would be appropriate for use with korobokuru and how much of it would not fit in naturally with korobokuru?

(For example, I'm thinking that magic items that only work for dwarves would work for korobokuru in any Kara-Tur game I run...or any Realmspace game I ran that included korobokuru. But it doesn't look like korobokuru have mining skills.)

I know that Sovereign Stone has dwarven horselords. I suppose those might fit in better with korobokuru than core D&D dwarves. Are there any other specific dwarven subraces that are closer to korobokuru than the average dwarves?
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DaveB
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Re: Korobokuru

Post by DaveB » Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:34 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:06 pm
The 1st Edition Oriental Adventures book has korobokuru as a racial option.

These dwarves live in places like vast jungles, snowy mountain forests and barren wilderness areas. But are there any specific examples of korobokuru villages in Kara-Tur canon?

The way korobokuru are described makes them sound a bit similar to human barbarians in some respects (and 1e Korobokuru can take the barbarian class). In other respects they sound like the sort of dwarves you would get in Faerûnian lands .

Has anyone looked at the dwarven stuff from core D&D to see how much of it would be appropriate for use with korobokuru and how much of it would not fit in naturally with korobokuru?

(For example, I'm thinking that magic items that only work for dwarves would work for korobokuru in any Kara-Tur game I run...or any Realmspace game I ran that included korobokuru. But it doesn't look like korobokuru have mining skills.)

I know that Sovereign Stone has dwarven horselords. I suppose those might fit in better with korobokuru than core D&D dwarves. Are there any other specific dwarven subraces that are closer to korobokuru than the average dwarves?
2e stats and descriptions.
http://www.lomion.de/cmm/koroboku.php

Description of their villages are in the habit/society section in the link above. Close to nature, crude huts, etc.

We have used them in 2e and in my own Classic/OSR version.
I imagined them in my game as similar to Montagnards in Vietnam but more primitive in technology.
Hardy, primitive, and perfect for a 'barbarian' society. Their description also mentions that most common class is barbarian, and samurai are rare. No korobokuru clans hold a position high enough to be samurai. As a result, korobokuru clans must be sponsored by a human clan.

I don't believe that standard dwarven cultures, racial spells, items, etc fit with them. Too oriental and alien to the western dwarven tropes IMHO. Horselords on the other hand, that's interesting.
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Re: Korobokuru

Post by Boneguard » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:17 am

For ne they always felt more dwarf-like than dwarf as they do not fit a lot of your usual dwarf tropes and niches as they are more of a rural or Forest village kind of creature.

The Wild Dwarves of Chult (in the Forgotten Realms), the Maztican Desert Dwarves or even the Dragonlance Gully Dwarves (by removing the low intellligence) could give a good starting point I think.
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Re: Korobokuru

Post by The Dark » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:49 pm

There's not a whole lot in the OA series. The Korobokuru are in the timeline in OA1. Prince Miki started a war against them in the 94th year of the Empire. They were defeated in 313, many fled to Tenmei in 385, and they were defined as non-citizens in 406. Miyama Province has a ruined castle (hex 1010) and a shrine (1019). Blood of the Yakuza has them living in mountains or eta villages. Other than that, it's pretty much just a handful of pregenerated characters and NPCs.

For cultural touchpoints, they seem to be based on the Ainu people of Japan and Russia. While I would be wary of drawing too many inferences at the risk of creating a caricature or being otherwise culturally insensitive, taking ideas from their housing and settlement patterns as well as clothing and body art could provide a way to readily differentiate the korobokuru from both other peoples in the setting and from other dwarves.
Last edited by The Dark on Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Korobokuru

Post by Ashtagon » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:11 am

fwiw, this is the inspiration for the name: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koro-pok-guru

As noted, they are based primarily on a fey-type people from Ainu legends. At least as presented in the 1e OA hardback book, their background (what little there is) doesn't appear to be related to the real-world name inspiration.
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