New OOTS products from CafePress
New OOTS t-shirts, ornaments, mugs, bags, and more
Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Aug 2022

    Default Need help with building Tabaxi Japan

    It's all in the title. One of my players in my campaign has a tabaxi PC whose birthplace is from a distant land that is essentially Tabaxi Japan. What quirks, traditions, or cultural knowledge would be found in such a place?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
    NontheistCleric's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default Re: Need help with building Tabaxi Japan

    Are there any particular reasons it would be different from the real Japan?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2019

    Default Re: Need help with building Tabaxi Japan

    Lets assume you want to run with the usual fantasy standby for Japan - the Tokugawa Shogunate.

    Here you have a central Emperor - living a life of indolence and leisure, lazing around in the sun. A very fat cat, indeed. But the Emperor has very little military or political power.

    Instead, military (and thus, political) power has been taken by the most powerful daimyo, who is nominated as the Shogun (which is, of course, a completely voluntary act by the Emperor who absolutely has a choice in the matter). There are a number of daimyos across the land, holding vast territories, and they serve the Shogun. The daimyos in turn are served by samurai, who act as the military power of the daimyos, and thus the Shogun, and by extension, the Emperor.

    Beneath the samurai, in order, are peasants (who make food, and are thus valued); artisans (who make pretty things, and thats kind of respectable); and then merchants (pffft, they dont do anything, force them into a ghetto). Finally, you have the untouchables - those who work with death - butchers, abbatoir workers, undertakers, executioners, etc. Thats disgusting! They have to live off in villages by themselves. We dont want them around here!

    These classes are passed on via inheritance - you are born into them. A samurai is born a samurai. A peasant is born a peasant. It is possible to move between them (particularly if you are a skilled warrior or general, looking at you Hideyoshi).

    The player is clearly not the emperor, the shogun, or a daimyo. A samurai is extremely unlikely, because they serve their lord, and refusing (or worse, failing) to do so is a disgrace. A disgraced samurai, if they had any honor, would have killed themselves. Fleeing the country? Thats a double disgrace, cos now you have to live amongst smelly barbarians! So the player is either super-disgraced samurai, most likely under a sentence of death if they ever return; a magically displaced samurai, looking for a way home; a skilled artisan travelling to learn; or a merchant looking to establish new markets (or possibly the child of one of these)

    In terms of religion, Shinto is no doubt familiar from anime - its your shrine maidens, local gods (called kami) and such. How many gods are there? Nobody knows. An infinity. Many are local, even family based in some cases, and the gods in my neck of the woods have no power in your neighbourhood. Shinto believes that in general, your average human/tabaxi is a pretty good dude - and that evil deeds are caused by evil spirits. Consequently, the purpose of most Shinto rituals is to keep away evil spirits by purification, ritual cleaning, prayers and offerings to the kami. Ritual cleaning? Huh, that doesn't sound like cats at all...

    If you (or your player) want some deeper ideas, check Wiki articles on the Tokugawa Shogunate, Edo Society, and Shinto. That should give you a pretty solid basis to branch off from. And this isnt even getting into Bushido, Japanese systems of Honor (you think only Samurai have honor? Oh no!), Festivals, Sengoku, Tea Ceremonies or Go...

    Just be careful you dont decide to set a whole campaign in the land of the Rising Sun!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Re: Need help with building Tabaxi Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Regrets_Only View Post
    It's all in the title. One of my players in my campaign has a tabaxi PC whose birthplace is from a distant land that is essentially Tabaxi Japan. What quirks, traditions, or cultural knowledge would be found in such a place?
    Medieval Japan was feudal, so assuming your setting is a typical quasi-European medieval one, then there's a great deal of political commonality. There will be various cultural differences involving cuisine, building structures, farming techniques, and so forth. There are two big and obvious differences though. First is density: Japan was a very populous society in which large numbers of people were crammed into extremely small spaces conducting intensive wet rice agriculture in the country's handful of fertile alluvial plains, while medieval Europe was very low density with not that many people conducting cereal grain agriculture in small disconnected villages (especially in northern Europe, southern France and Italy were somewhat more dense, as were the Balkans but they were controlled by the Ottomans and that's complicated). Second is religion: Medieval Japan practiced a mix of Buddhism (in several varieties) and Shinto, and this had some rather unique results. Forum rules preclude much discussion of this, but many of the cultural practices and taboos associated with Japanese culture specifically as opposed to shared with other East Asian civilizations such as China and Korea draw from this.

    Of course, religious variation in D&D worlds with D&D's rather unique and troubled approach to polytheism is...messy. It's possible that, depending on how you interpret the rules a Japanese-style society might have different divine casting classes than that of a traditional European one (D&D has a long history of doing this in Oriental Adventures titles). Or everyone could have the same gods and worship them the same way because, well, actively interventionist deities who can make their will known directly have impacts on how religions develop.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts