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Thread: What should be next in the Haiku of Horror series?

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    Publisher Gamerprinter's Avatar
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    Default What should be next in the Haiku of Horror series?

    So my first published release as primary author/designer, Haiku of Horror: Autumn Moon Bath House seems to be selling really well. Which as a series of iconic mapped locations of fantasy Japan, I definitely need to move forward with some more. What suggestions do you have?

    While I do plan to create one of a Japanese castle, it will be a popular one, but I intend to hold off doing that until the 4th or 5th release. I also plan to do the gate/baileys/fortresses as one release, then the shinden palace (residential quarters, noble's court and offices) as a separate release.

    I have ideas for: Buddhist type temple, Shinto type shrine, Bakuto (gambling) parlor, 3 typical shops of town, a traditional farmhouse and property, a cemetery and shrine, a mountain village, brothel, geisha house, small portage and junk ship plans...

    I feel there are plenty of European styled versions of these types of locations, but there is a dirth of available maps that focus on oriental settings, which I believe is among the reasons this product is selling so well.

    What else should I go for, and what should my next 3 releases be?

    Appreciate any suggestions...

    GP
    Last edited by Gamerprinter; 04-24-2013 at 04:32 PM.
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      Korash is offline
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    I would add a dojo and possibly a jail/guardhouse.

    In order of preference I like geisha house, Bakuto parlor and either shrine/temple
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    Thanks, Korash!

    I'm trying to space them apart in release - so a tea house (restaurant) and bakuto parlor are both somewhat similar to the bath house in purpose, so I don't want to bunch them up. Perhaps separate them by three other releases. Also big sites (lots of map detail/many floors) like castles, temple complex and kabuki theater should also be spaced 4 releases a part - to save me from doing more than one extreme map release. You see the pattern? I have projected up to 24 different locales that include: jail/guardhouse, dojo, and some less intriguing, but necessary sites.

    I imagined doing one a month, but just measuring interest on the first release to gauge the attempt for more - so that's 2 years worth of release schedule. And trying to figure out when to release which locale based on interest.
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    Yeah, I forgot about the theater...DOH!

    About schedualing, have you though of breaking some of the larger ones (castle and temple complexes) into a series of back to back issues of component parts? Something like the Main Building on the first month, Out Buildings the second and Fortifications on the third? I am not sure if they all can be broken up that way, but if they can be done as complete releases you should be able to avoid a "this is just a money grab" type of response. Then space the larger series out by 3 or 4 self contained releases which could be linked along some sort of theme....3-4 Yakussa related sites, 3-4 religious ones, 3-4 sites dealing with trade ect.
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    While I was hoping for more suggestions here, after posting a similar thread as this on my Facebook Page, 2 responders showed interest in me doing a kabuki theater as my next release, so that's my plan.

    The trick is coming up with an appropriate encounter to develop and include with the mapped site. While many kabuki plays are based on traditional sagas of the heroes and great tragedies of the realm (which are many), I thought I'd touch upon the fact that many kabuki plays were parodies of current local politics - as kind of a comedy with a little bit of slander thrown in. Because kabuki actors were the superstars of fandom, they could get away with poking fun at the authorities and mostly getting away with it. So I was planning to offer a political parody play, with supporters of the slandered party in the audience perhaps getting ready to accost the actor once the play begins - and either the PCs have been made aware that something is going down (hired by the theater owner) or they accidentally become witness to the start of the action while a member of the audience.

    Thoughts?

    GP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Korash View Post
    Yeah, I forgot about the theater...DOH!

    About schedualing, have you though of breaking some of the larger ones (castle and temple complexes) into a series of back to back issues of component parts? Something like the Main Building on the first month, Out Buildings the second and Fortifications on the third? I am not sure if they all can be broken up that way, but if they can be done as complete releases you should be able to avoid a "this is just a money grab" type of response. Then space the larger series out by 3 or 4 self contained releases which could be linked along some sort of theme....3-4 Yakussa related sites, 3-4 religious ones, 3-4 sites dealing with trade ect.
    My plan for the castle release is as 2 parts: one being the gates, walls, fortresses, stable, barracks and baileys, as well as moat, the second release being the shinden palace, interlinking buildings of one and two stories that hold the noble court room, offices and residence.

    The goals behind this series is multi-fold. Education is a big reason along with dispelling myths. Every Japanese castle design I've seen done for various RPGs, including the castle in Jade Regent, when looking at those multi-floored fortresses where each upper floor is smaller than the one below it. Castles done by other designers always seem to make those fortresses emulate a European keep - and that's just wrong. Japanese castles contain multiple, multi-storied towers. When under seige these towers are bristling with armed defenders. However, when not under seige those towers are used as storage barns only, each with a different purpose (some are rice stores, arrow stores, holding a warning bell, etc.) Nobody lived or worked out of those towers, except the top floor for a watch post. All offices, dungeons, guest rooms, chapels, residence and court are in the shinden palace.

    Shinden palaces sometimes exist without castles surrounding them, but because they are poor defenses, they usually reside in the second interior bailey of a castle.

    I don't think breaking them up into 2 releases like this should be a problem. Each release is intended to be limited product consisting of mapped sections, gazetteer and encounter. I have encounters planned as samurai guard of the execution block for one, and an aristocratic courtier social encounter for the other.
    Last edited by Gamerprinter; 04-25-2013 at 01:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamerprinter View Post
    Because kabuki actors were the superstars of fandom, they could get away with poking fun at the authorities and mostly getting away with it. So I was planning to offer a political parody play, with supporters of the slandered party in the audience perhaps getting ready to accost the actor once the play begins
    This does sound like a good idea, and reminds me of a book I read recently. It was a historical fiction about Shakespeare writing a political intrigue play and people wondering if it was real or not. Maybe throw in a few subtle hints that the person targeted might not be as loyal as he seems....true or not, THAT is the question. I wonder how a theater would work as a cover for something like an assassin...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Korash View Post
    I wonder how a theater would work as a cover for something like an assassin...
    Interesting that you mention assassin. Part of my goal in all my Kaidan releases is to enlighten readers by debunking myths in Japanese lore/media representation.

    You know those black stealth suits that ninja conspicuously wear in all the ninja movies? They never wore those in real life. Where the idea came from is that in a kabuki play the actors wear iconic makeup and garish outfits and are under the spot lights, however, also moving about the stages are stage handlers who wear those black suits so they mostly stay 'invisible' to the audience watching the live show. The audience can see the stage handler, but seeing the uniform recognize that this is a convention not to pay attention to the guys in the black suit. The very first kabuki play that featured an assassin as part of the storyline, had the assassin actor wearing the stage handler's black suit, approach the target actor, pulled his mask off to reveal the makeup of an actor, then unsheathed a stage sword and 'slayed' the victim - to the shock of the audience.

    So to the Japanese, those black suits are a kabuki stage convention only, and doesn't mean to suggest that real ninja ever wore such a costume. In real life ninja wore whatever costume they would not be noticed in for a given situation - dress like a monk when at a monastery, dress like a local resident when skulking the streets, dress like a samurai or household servant when infiltrating a castle. This factoid is one of the elements I reveal in gray box text of Japan facts in the release.

    So while an assassin could possibly operate in a theater, in trying to debunk the black suit ninja myth, including a ninja in the storyline would be counter-productive, I think.

    I'm probably going to work this as political intrigue among the samurai and aristocratic class, dealing with issues of honor, pursuit of justice, finding out if the slandered victim actually deserves the treatment - rather than looking at this as an assassination attempt. If the PCs rescue the accosted actor, now they might be under the negative attention of a powerful political figure, and have just inserted themselves into a complex web of samurai intrigue - a plot hook to lead to a larger unwritten adventure that could grow from the seeds of the publication release.
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    Why don't do the obvious interesting Thing? A shinto Temple with Lots of sakura trees. New one build in Kyoto, or a half forgotten one on snowy mountain, could Be a small set with different theme and feel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schwarzkreuz View Post
    Why don't do the obvious interesting Thing? A shinto Temple with Lots of sakura trees. New one build in Kyoto, or a half forgotten one on snowy mountain, could Be a small set with different theme and feel.
    I already intend to do both, eventually. Here's a preliminary list of the sites I intend for this series (including the 1st ones): bath house, kabuki theater, shinden palace, Japanese castle, Shinto Shrine, Buddhist (style) temple complex, an unkept or ruined shrine site, 3 typical shops in the merchant district, 3 typical shops in the red light district, a farmhouse and fields, a bakuto gambling parlor, a brothel, a sword smithy, a bell foundry, a silk dyers manufactory, a jail, a mountain village, a port village/town, a Japanese junk ship plans, a Red Seal ship plans (large warship), a sunken under water port/temple ruin, a bridge, and more as I think of them.

    What I'm really hoping for is a fan-based direction on which ones I should do first - in order of usefulness or value to users of oriental settings and game systems. While they are intended for use in Kaidan, they can easily fit into real-Japan settings like Sengoku or Bushido, or fantastical ones like Rokugan, Heroes of the Jade Oath, Kara-Tur, or Rokushima Taiyoo (Ravenloft Japan). Any oriental setting really.

    There are included references to the Kaidan setting of Japanese horror for PFRPG, because this is a series considered intrinsic to Kaidan published material. At no point will I suggest this belongs in Kyoto or any other real world location - even though they obviously do fit. However, first and foremost - these are Kaidan locations.

    I find that many publishers create a setting, and they might also include 1 or 2 adventures and maybe a supplement, that's it. If there are interested gaming groups for these, they tend to be very limited in supplemental material. I don't want that to be the case for Kaidan.

    Remember Kaidan is my home-brew, published into PFRPG through Rite Publishing. So far, I've created an intro trilogy of adventures featuring 'western' PCs visiting an exotic far east setting - the adventures aren't intended for Kaidanese locals. We've also released 3 one-shot modules (including a free one, called Frozen Wind). We've released 3 racial supplements: In the Company of Kappa, In the Company of Tengu, and In the Company of Henge - we will include ones eventually for In the Company of Korobokuru, and In the Company of Kitsune. We've released 2 class/faction supplements so far: Way of the Yakuza and Way of the Samurai, though we intend to eventually release: Way of the Shinobi (regarding ninja classes) and Way of the Spirit (focused on divine classes). Following a successful Kickstarter last summer, scheduled for Oct/Nov 2013, we'll be releasing the Kaidan GM's Guidebook, and the Kaidan Player's Guidebook. After their release we'll be looking to do a Kaidan Bestiary with 50 - 100 unique Japanese monsters and templates, with some specifically Kaidan creatures, perhaps not found in Japanese folklore (as most entries).

    I'm also finishing up a book of unique magic items called #30 Ancestral Relics, which feature 30 unique weapons, armor and wondrous items that level up with their bearer's class levels, also including variance of Honor score and require event triggers - actions that PCs must succeed at for the item to level in power.

    The Haiku of Horror series is a new line for maps and encounters. I want to eventually publish a 1st - 15th or 1st - 20th level full adventure path set in Kaidan. These are my goals - I'm looking for a fully supplemented 3PP setting (not a half-assed one like most published settings.)
    Last edited by Gamerprinter; 05-05-2013 at 02:38 PM.
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