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View Full Version : Anyone play Sengoku? Formerly known as Bushido.



RPMiller
01-09-2009, 11:58 AM
This thread is for anyone that wants to discuss Sengoku more in depth.

Gamerprinter
01-09-2009, 12:38 PM
I downloaded Sengoku awhile back, and I'd have to say it is a very historically accurate version of a Japanese historical based RPG. Sengoku is of course, the Time of War. Prior to the Shogunate when this generalismo provided an iron handed central rule of Japan there was century of constant war between various noble houses, clans, and struggles to place different emperors on the throne.

Unfortunately, my players are fantasy based gamers - they like magic and monsters, more than historical gameplay. So I never could find a group to play Sengoku.

As far as fantasy based Japanese-esque RPGs go, Legend of the Five Rings is popular, though I hate the map, or at least the concept of a land-locked (more like China) Japanese empire. Much of Japan's unique history and culture is derived from the fact that Japan is an island nation. Separated from outside influences by at least the Sea of Japan.

On the same hand, I've never cared for Oriental Adventures, especially since WotC licensed the L5R Rokugan world map - eck!

As an aside, parsing out the name Rokugan (roku is Japanese for the number six.) What does six or Roku have to do with five rings?? "Go" is number five in Japanese, not that they should call it "Gogan", but steer away from vocabular usage to suggest the number six has anything to do with anything.

I agree, though if you want to play an historical Japanese setting, Sengoku is probably the most accurate available. Although the game mechanics rules in Sengoku allow for the katana fights against large odds, like you'd find in Japanese adventure movies - so there's a bit of fantasy element in the game play as well.

GP

Steel General
01-09-2009, 12:46 PM
Haven't done any roleplaying in ages, I just enjoy creating stuff for it. I think an RPG like Sengoku would be interesting to try and I would think easy enough to add monsters and other such things.

Gamerprinter
01-09-2009, 01:27 PM
As an aside, I am usually not the guy who enjoys watching foreign movies, especially those where I have to read "subtext" at the bottom of the screen since the movie hasn't been dubbed in English, and spoken in the original language.

If you want to learn more about Japanese culture, check out the movie "RAN" I am not a movie buff, but I know that this movie was directed by one of the most famouse (recent) directors of Japan (though he is dead now and I don't know his name.)

"Ran" is basically the retelling of Shakespeare's King Lear, but told through a Japanese samurai family, rather than an English one. Japanese adventure movies are bloody, bloody, gory. When a katana wielding samurai splays open an opponent, blood sprays all over the attacker and the wall behind him, and running all over the floor like a spilled 55 gallon barrel of blood - seriously.

There's a scene of a Japanese castle sitting in a valley, with thousands of flintlock bearing ashigaru (samurai henchmen) on a hill, which you can't see clearly due to volumes of black powder smoke filling the air, except for the flashes of gun fire, onto the castle that is splintering from bullet hits, dead Japanese defenders and rivers of blood flowing out - all the while some classical European musical score for sound - its an awe inspiring scene.

The final battle scene involves three armies each distinctly wearing the colors of their noble house (so you can easily tell who is fighting for whom) with thousands of blades and guns blazing, awesome filiming I tell you!

Like I said, I'm not into subtext movies, but this has got to be one of the best foreign films I have ever seen - and I haven't watched it in almost 20 years. If you want to get the feel for Japanese medieval war - watch this movie (don't know where you can find it, but do it. You won't regret it.)

GP

RPMiller
01-09-2009, 02:34 PM
Haven't done any roleplaying in ages, I just enjoy creating stuff for it. I think an RPG like Sengoku would be interesting to try and I would think easy enough to add monsters and other such things.

There actually are "monsters" and spells in Sengoku, but they are "traditional Japanese" monsters and spells.

We started work on a second edition of Sengoku, but we wanted to use an updated version of the Action! System since that is GRG's RPG system and we felt it would allow us to do a lot more with the second edition of Sengoku including adding in more fantasy elements for those that wanted them. Unfortunately through a chain of events Mark, the owner of GRG, had to put the development on hiatus and my work on the 2ed of of A!S came to a halt as well because of that. We tried outsourcing it, but it was just too expensive and RPG sales have been on a down turn for several years now so you can imagine the minimal amount of sales that would come in from such a niche product line.

Korash
01-09-2009, 02:52 PM
I actually own the boxed set of Bushido, and even played it for about a year. WAAAAAAAAY back when. The game was run by someone who studied Japanese History for about 5 (I think) years in Japan even. It was fun until he moved. :(

I liked the system a lot, and the info/background is quite interesting.

RPMiller
01-09-2009, 03:26 PM
Sengoku actually came about completely because of Bushido, and its enjoyment by its fans. Essentially Sengoku "is" Bushido (updated/upgraded a bit). There are a lot of politics and whatnot behind the story that I can't really share here.

One of the contributing factors to the success of Sengoku is that one of the authors is a degreed Japanese historian if memory serves and therefore it allowed the setting to really be ramped up a lot and the depth and feel were dramatically enhanced by his input.

Needless to say I loved Bushido as well, and still hold out hope that one day we'll be able to resurrect Sengoku and bring it back into the lime light.

Turgenev
01-09-2009, 07:07 PM
As an aside, parsing out the name Rokugan (roku is Japanese for the number six.) What does six or Roku have to do with five rings?? "Go" is number five in Japanese, not that they should call it "Gogan", but steer away from vocabular usage to suggest the number six has anything to do with anything.

LOL! Gogan sounds like a Kaiju monster to me. I can see it now... Godzilla vs Gogan. :lol:

I checked my Japanese dictionary and 'gan' means 'cancer' - so rokugan could mean 'six cancers'. I also checked the name rokugan on Jim Breen's WWWJDIC (an online Japanese-English dictionary) and the closest match was rokudan which is the name of a koto composition.

Turgenev
01-09-2009, 07:19 PM
If you want to learn more about Japanese culture, check out the movie "RAN" I am not a movie buff, but I know that this movie was directed by one of the most famouse (recent) directors of Japan (though he is dead now and I don't know his name.)

"Ran" is basically the retelling of Shakespeare's King Lear, but told through a Japanese samurai family, rather than an English one. Japanese adventure movies are bloody, bloody, gory. When a katana wielding samurai splays open an opponent, blood sprays all over the attacker and the wall behind him, and running all over the floor like a spilled 55 gallon barrel of blood - seriously.


That would be Akira Kurosawa (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000041/). He is also famous for such movies as The Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Sanjuro, and many, many more. He is considered as one of the best directors worldwide of all time. His samurai films are fantastic! I have to admit I haven't seen much of his other work... well, not yet at least. ;)

Steel General
01-09-2009, 07:29 PM
*Minor threadjack* Cool new avatar Turgenev *End minor threadjack*

Turgenev
01-09-2009, 07:42 PM
Oh ya, While I never played Bushido (or Sengoku) I have always been interested in the game but then again I have always been interested in Japanese history/culture/language.

If anyone needs monsters for a Japanese themed game, then the Obakemono Project (http://www.obakemono.com/index.php) is a good place to start for inspiration.

Turgenev
01-09-2009, 07:48 PM
*Minor threadjack* Cool new avatar Turgenev *End minor threadjack*

Thanks SG. I was going through some of my back-up discs and I found that pic and thought it would make a nice avatar. Making avatars is one of my other obsessions... I mean hobbies. ;)

mogul76
01-09-2009, 09:00 PM
I really enjoy games with a historical setting, especially those RPG's that are based in Asia. I really would like to buy Sengoku. The reviews seem to confirm that it is an excellent read and a fine game. Then again, I already own too many RPG's and don't have a lot of time to play. Currently, I'm trying to prepare a campaign for Qin: The Warring States which is set in ancient China around 240 BC. But as mentioned, having a full-time job and a family, time is the main issue... It'd be great to see more Asian maps on these forums, though... I really do need more inspiration to help me create more stuff of my own. Is anyone of you planning to draw oriental battle or city maps in the foreseeable future?

PS Ran is a fantastic movie indeed, Gameprinter!

Gamerprinter
01-09-2009, 09:44 PM
[QUOTE=mogul76;43794]Is anyone of you planning to draw oriental battle or city maps in the foreseeable future?QUOTE]

I just started a thread in the Map Elements Forum, actually restarting a halted project from last year, as a new thread... http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?p=43785#post43785

I wanted for a while now to create a set of oriental/Japanese styled map objects so anyone could import them into a graphics app and create a Japanese flavored map. Once I create all or most of my planned objects I will create a fictional map using them. I haven't really seen a map object line that targetted that kind of map. With my Japanese background, I thought I should do this.

Ravs, has been egging on since I stopped in many threads over the course of the year, even recently as well. With my Brief on Japanese Fortifications in the General Discussion Forum - I got back in the mood to trying it again.

I also want to create (separately) a complete 5 floor Shiro (Japanese castle) and grounds set of maps, at encounter scale, ready for use in any Japan based RPG adventure, as there seems to be a lack of that kind of gaming map as well.

GP

Nomadic
01-09-2009, 11:11 PM
As an aside, parsing out the name Rokugan (roku is Japanese for the number six.) What does six or Roku have to do with five rings?? "Go" is number five in Japanese, not that they should call it "Gogan", but steer away from vocabular usage to suggest the number six has anything to do with anything.


At least they didn't call it Shigan.

Nah I have never been big into oriental style adventures. That's not to say I wouldn't play one. It's more that I have yet to find one that I enjoyed (but again I haven't played many so there might be a few I just haven't heard of).

Ascension
01-10-2009, 12:55 AM
All I ever played were the old Sega Genesis games "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" (Risk-like game set in China) and "Nobunaga's Ambition" (same but in Japan). I enjoyed the heck out of those games and still do once in a while (hook up the old Genesis and send my ninjas out).

Gamerprinter
01-10-2009, 01:22 AM
Not that I play much oriental RPGs myself, but there is a large fan base for them, and a lacking of content - as in the case of maps and map objects. So why not do a few, since I have the references to them correctly.

GP

RPMiller
01-10-2009, 02:02 AM
At one time GRG was planning on releasing a Castles book, but never got around to find someone to put it all together. There were a lot of Sengoku fans demanding that book. Perhaps I should post a message to the fans and let them know about this project... :)

Gamerprinter
01-10-2009, 02:23 AM
At one time GRG was planning on releasing a Castles book, but never got around to find someone to put it all together. There were a lot of Sengoku fans demanding that book. Perhaps I should post a message to the fans and let them know about this project... :)

My mother is getting older, she suffered a stroke a few years ago and doesn't get around so well. As a tribute to her, I feel I need to do this. She probably wouldn't understand, though still appeciate it, not being a into castles and maps like I am. Still its an important project to me. So it will get done.

RP, if you want to pass on the existence of this project, by all means!

GP

ravells
01-11-2009, 05:10 AM
I played Bushido about 20 years ago, when I was in university. I GMed it and we had a lot of fun.

nilcypher
01-12-2009, 12:33 PM
I'm playing in a Bushido campaign at the moment. Our whole clan has just been made ronin by the Shogun.

RPMiller
01-12-2009, 12:54 PM
I'm playing in a Bushido campaign at the moment. Our whole clan has just been made ronin by the Shogun.

"Made ronin" Oh no... what happened? :o

nilcypher
01-12-2009, 12:58 PM
"Made ronin" Oh no... what happened? :o

We were a little too successful and far too ambitious. Our local daimyo rose up against the Shogun, and the head of our clan (one of the players) played both sides and wound up replacing the daimyo after his death in battle.

The shogun thanked him for his efforts and announced that we were all ronin. We'll be back though, once we've risen an army in China.

RPMiller
01-12-2009, 01:45 PM
Oh that sounds like fun. :D

Regarding the ronin thing, I'm surprised he didn't give you the choice of seppiku. That would be the proper option. It sounds similar to Chushingura - Hana no maki yuki no maki (47 Ronin), but that revolved more around court intrigue than battle.

nilcypher
01-12-2009, 01:59 PM
Oh that sounds like fun. :D

Regarding the ronin thing, I'm surprised he didn't give you the choice of seppiku. That would be the proper option. It sounds similar to Chushingura - Hana no maki yuki no maki (47 Ronin), but that revolved more around court intrigue than battle.

It was made 'clear' that he didn't expect us to commit seppuku, in that way that means 'you really should commit seppuku'.

There was plenty of intrigue surrounding the battle though, as our main rival was the Daimyo's sun.

RPMiller
01-12-2009, 02:06 PM
Wanted you to lose face did he? Those evil bureaucrats are all the same! LOL

Very cool about the intrigue. Any Bushido/Sengoku game worth calling itself true to the genre would should be oozing with it. Also, hard decisions are a must. Basically anything that causes conflict is inline with the genre. I often point new players to 47 Ronin for that reason. It is an epic story that perfectly captures what the GM should be shooting for.

nilcypher
01-12-2009, 02:18 PM
Wanted you to lose face did he? Those evil bureaucrats are all the same! LOL


So much so, he ambushed and crucified the entire party.

RPMiller
01-12-2009, 02:34 PM
Yow! Crucified... my condolences.

nilcypher
01-12-2009, 02:52 PM
It's ok, I rescued them.

MarkusTay
01-12-2009, 05:13 PM
I have a copy of Bushido around somewhere - I used to work for FGU (Fantasy Games Unlimited), and they paid me in merchandise. :lol:

The also produced Land of the Rising Sun - another excellent set of fantasy/medieval Japanese rules, based on their Chivalry & Sorcery system.

Damn... does that bring back memories... I was still in HS.

Turgenev
01-12-2009, 06:56 PM
If anyone is looking for inspiration for a historical ninja based game, I highly recommend the Sonny Chiba TV Series called Kage no Gundan (Shadow Warriors). A good review of the first season can be found here: Shadow Warriors Review (http://trickledown.wordpress.com/2007/08/02/best-ninjas-ever-shadow-warriorskage-no-gundan-feat-sonny-chiba/).

Korash
01-12-2009, 07:37 PM
I have a copy of Bushido around somewhere - I used to work for FGU (Fantasy Games Unlimited), and they paid me in merchandise. :P

The also produced Land of the Rising Sun - another excellent set of fantasy/medieval Japanese rules, based on their Chivalry & Sorcery system.

Damn... does that bring back memories... I was still in HS.

Damn, you lucky somenebich!!!!!!!

There were no gaming companies around where I lived. THAT would have been a dream job for me back in the day :)

MarkusTay
01-13-2009, 12:30 PM
I stuffed boxes with merchadise and styrofoam peanuts for mailing, and when things were really slow I got to sweep the floor. :lol:

But I got paid in miniatures and FGU gaming products, which I still have most of, and I usually was able to get in on playtest sessions, which was great fun back then.

I was the only 'kid' in a group of college-age and 30-year-olds, so I guess it was pretty cool.

They operated out of a storefront - Waterloo Hobbies - and it was precisely one train station from my house (both my home and the store were across from train stations!). I used to get on the train with no money, and the conductor would kick me off at the next stop... which was the stop I wanted.

Good times... GOOD times...

Turgenev
01-18-2009, 06:35 PM
I was going through some old pictures I took and I came across these pics of a model of Osaka (c.1550 AD) called, On the Banks of the Dotonbori Canal. I thought I would share. The figures in these pics are washiningyo style figures in a spring festival setting.

94109411
94129413

Who wants to take a stab at mapping the buildings? :P

Turgenev
01-18-2009, 06:38 PM
Here are the rest of the pics including the plaque for the model.

94159416
94179418

Ascension
01-18-2009, 08:15 PM
Serious time crunch on all of that painting but it looks like it was worth it.

Steel General
01-18-2009, 09:38 PM
Cool stuff!