Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Oriental OSRIC: An Oriental Adventures Conversion Project

Over the next few months, it's my intention to go over as much of the old Oriental Adventures-related gaming material as possible and "convert" it (or rather, update it) to OSRIC. I'll be looking at old Dragon Magazine articles as well as OA rulebooks, adventures and even the Forgotten Realms Kara-Tur releases. An ambitious project, but one that I hope to handle in a number of bite-sized chunks. Once I have enough material prepped I'll probably start a new blog dedicated to Oriental OSRIC and move the whole project over there. But for the time being, this blog will be my usual work-space.

I'll be concentrating on adopting material concerning pseudo-Japanese (rather than pseudo-Chinese or Mongolian) settings first and other Oriental Materials later. What I won't be doing is re-working any of the second edition concepts such as class kits or any material published for 3rd ed -though I'll still be mining such things for ideas. I'll also be concentrating on mechanical info more than setting info. You won't for example, see me converting all the sand-box material in BA-1 Sword of the Daimyo to OSRIC. After all, what would be the point? There's nothing there that needs converting. Useful cultural information, on the other hand, might be worth while including.

My original plan over the new few days was to work out conversations for the OA classes to OSRIC rules. Or rather, tidy up the presentation a little given that they don't really need much in the way of conversion at all. Fabian over at Bladesharp has already down a great deal of the work in this regard by converting several classes to make them compatible with Labrynth Lord. I like his re-work of the ninja, turning them into a proper "single" class rather than the "multi-class" option they were originally designed to be. Though I'm sorely tempted to ask Fabian for permission to simply re-post and slightly modify his material, in the interests of both fairness and completeness, I'll probably just do my own write-ups of these classes as well.

Basically the classes I intend to make available to PC's in the campaign (and hence, convert to OSRIC) are the following:
  • Barbarian
  • Bushi
  • Kensai
  • Monk
  • Ninja
  • Samurai
  • Shukenja
  • Sohei
  • Wu Jen
  • Yukuza
All from Oriental Adventures itself. I also intend to look at the following classes from other sources:

  • Sumotori (Sumo Wrestler) From Dragon magazine 157 (two options)
  • Geisya From Dragon magazine 121
  • Genin (a ninja sub-class) from Dragon Magazine 121
The Sumotori were originally presented (in two versions) as an NPC class. I'd like to re-work them into a playable PC class, without so many of the class obligations that limit their utility as adventuring types. The Geisya is listed as an NPC class, mostly, I think, because it is somewhat lacking in abilities. I'll need to add a few new class abilities wholesale to make the class playable. Perhaps borrowing some from the Bard and Houri classes? Finally, the Genin were an attempt to make the Ninja a single-class character. It's worth looking at while I re-work the ninja, but it's not really worth using as written.

Finally, there is one class (from Dragon 164) the Paio Shih (dart wielding guards) which I may or may not convert depending on how I feel after re-reading the article.

Finally, here's a list of the articles and supplements I am (presently) aware of that might have material worth converting:

Dragon Magazine Articles:

Oriental setting: 
"Armor of the Far East"                                             31(23)  0D&D
"Arrows of the East"                                                146(80)  D&D1
"...And a Step Beyond That"                                    122(20)  D&D1
 "Step Beyond 'Shogun', A"                                      122(18)  D&D1
"Life and Death of a Castle, The"                             121(32)  D&D1
"Sun Dragon Castle"                                                 121(45)  D&D1
"Righteous Robbers of Liang Shan P'o"                     54(16)  D&D1
"Lords of the Warring States"                                   167(77)  D&D2
"Chinese Undead"                                                       26(20)  0D&D
 "Cham Fau and the White Tiger Monastery"           351(46)  D&D3
 "Cities of the Ages: Edo"                                         292(60)  D&D3
"Oriental Adventures Class Combinations"             289(80)  D&D3
"Chinese Dragons"                                                     24(8)  OD&D
"Dweomered Dragon Scales"                                   308(39)  D&D3
"Ancestor Feats and Martial Arts Styles"                315(64)  D&D3
 "Update: Oriental Adventures: Eastern Flavor"     318(39)  D&D3
"Geisya, The"                                                          121(38)  D&D1
"Genin, The"                                                           121(42)  D&D1
"Japanese Mythos, The"                                            13(11)  OD&D
"Earn Those Heirlooms!"                                        151(22)  D&D1
"Humanimals"                                                         266(40)  D&D2
"Lords & Legends"                                         123(42)  D&D1
"Soul-Swords & Spirit-Slayers"                     198(82)  D&D2
"Specialist Fighters"                                               310(36)  D&D3
"Other Orientals, The"                                           189(28)  D&D2
"Soldiers of the Law"                                             151(18)  D&D1
"Righteous Robbers of Liang Shan P'o"                 54(16)  D&D1
"Bazaar of the Bizarre"                                           40(44)  D&D1
"Bazaar of the Bizarre"                                         126(50)  D&D1
 "Bazaar of the Bizarre"                                        181(30)  D&D2
"Hand-to-Hand Against the Rules"                      139(58)  D&D1
"Art of Kuji-in, The"                                            342(84)  D&D3
"Flying Feet and Lightning Hands"                     161 Or 164(11) D&D1
"Playful Phoenix Fist V Four Scholars Boxing"  289(76)  D&D3
 "Flying Leaps, Deadly Silks"                              289(60)  D&D3
"Pressure Point Attacks"                                      336(103)    D&D3
"Warriors of the Animal Fist"                              319(68)  D&D3
"Marshalling the Martial Arts"                            122(46)  D&D1
 "Matter of Style, A"                                            326(99)  D&D1
"Menagerie of Martial Arts, A"                           127(48)  D&D1
 "New Kicks In Martial Arts"                              136(66)  D&D1
 "New Martial Arts Styles"                                  309(62)  D&D3
"Things Your Sensei Never Taught You"          164(14)  D&D2
"Iron Path, The"                                                  303(54)  D&D3
"Monk Styles"                                                    330(90)  D&D3
 "Variant Fist"                                                    310(40)  D&D3
"Wordly Styles"                                                 334(89)  D&D3
"Metered Style, The"                                         337(97)  D&D3
"Psychic Boxing: Psions of the Orient"            308(62)  D&D3   
"There Are No Generic Black Belts"                160(70)  Top Secret
"Mongols: History, Weaponry, Tactics, The"     36(31)  --
"Thunder and Fire: The World of the Kaiju"    289(66)  D&D3
 "Ecology of the Kappa, The"                           151(14)  D&D1
  "Dragon's Bestiary, The"                                151(28)  D&D1
"Ecology of the Yuan-Ti, The"                         151(32)  D&D1
"Voyage of the Princess Ark, The"                   160(41)  BD&D
"Whaddaya Mean, Jack the Samurai?"             121(16)  D&D1
"Ninja: Masters of the Silent Shadow, The"     318(24)  D&D3
"Black-Clad Assassins"                                    289(36)  D&D3
"Historical Ninjas"                                            351(86)  D&D3
"New Improved Ninja, The"                              30(13)  D&D1
"Ninja - the DM's Hit Man, The"                       16(7)  OD&D
"Art of Kuji-in, The"                                        342(84)  D&D3
"Shadow Way, The"                                         255(50)  D&D2
"Silent Warriors"                                              289(46)  D&D3
"Shadow Way, The"                                         255(50)  D&D2
"Other Orientals, The"                                     189(32)  D&D2
"Elements of Surprise"                                     354(86)  D&D3
"Oriental Opens New Vistas"                          104(20)  D&D1
"Born To Defend"                                            164(26)  D&D2
"Soldiers of the Law"                                       151(18)  D&D1
"PC Portraits"                                                   289(126)          --
"Samurai Vs. Knight: Who Would Win?        323(42)  D&D3
"Samurai"                                                             3(25)  OD&D
 "Samurai: An Honorable NPC, The"                49(18)  D&D1
"So, You Want To Be a Samurai?"                  195(10)  D&D2
"Samurai! Honorable Designer Speaks"            36(14)   Samurai
"Warriors of the Animal Fist"                           319(68)  D&D3
"Oriental Sea, The"                                           130(64)  D&D1
"Arcane Lore: Magic From East To West"      130(16)  D&D1
"Wards Against Evil"                                       133(40)  D&D1
"Where There Is One Sumotori..."                   157(32)  D&D1
"Art of D&D, The"                                   309(38)  D&D3
"Chinese Undead"                                              26(20)  OD&D
"Lords of the Warring States"                          167(77)  D&D2
"Weapons of the Far East"                                 32(6)     --
"Campaign Classics: Oriental Adventures"      229(54)  D&D2
Oriental Adventures/Kara-Tur:

10321e Forgotten Realms: Kara-Tur, the Eastern Realms
20181e Oriental Adventures
21152e Monstrous Compendium Kara-Tur appendix
91641e Swords of the Daimyo
91861e Night of the Seven Swords
91951e Ochimo- The Spirit Warrior
92031e Blood of the Yakuza
92421e Mad Monkey vs theDragon Claw
92572e Ronin Challenge
9258 2e Test of the Samurai
9307 2e Ninja Wars
9402 2e Kara Tur Trail Map

2nd ed Forgotten Realms Horde Box-Set
2nd ed Complete Ninja's handbook
Sengogku Roleplaying Game
3.5 Oriental Adventures
OSRIC Unearthed
Dungeon Magazine issues.
If anyone see's anything not on this list that you think might be useful, please don't hesitate to let me know.


Unknown said...

Good luck with barbarian - it's proving a pain in the rear for me at the moment. I'm planning in the future to release the LL stuff as a pdf (with monsters etc) but that's a way off yet.

Dangerous Brian said...

Thanks Fabian. I've been looking at the Barbarian class myself. Honestly, I don't see that big of a problem with it other than the restrictions on magic. In fact, I'm planning on doing away with those altogether. After all, surely barbarians have their own equivilent of Shukenja/Shamens?

Dennis Laffey said...

Cool. Good luck with this.

Theodric the Obscure said...


Dangerous Brian said...

Cheers Gwydion.

Hai, Theodric-san?

The Great Khan said...

I knew the time had come for an OSRIC version of OA. Some OA stuff sneaked into the Horde set too. I don't recall how much, and I don't have that boxed set anymore, but it might be worth looking into. There was also a "Complete Ninja Handbook" for 2nd edition, I bought that, but haven't read it yet because none of my players wanted to be a Ninja, so I couldn't tell you how useful it will be.

Ray Rousell said...

I never knew, these games could and do get so indepth and intricate. Keep up the excellent work, I'm enjoying reading your comings and goings!!

Unknown said...

Dungeon had some OA adventures, definitely for 1E and 3E. BECMI had the Mystic class (although people give it flack) as well as the land of Ochalea (mentioned in the Poor Wizard's Almanacs series). The rakasta were pseudo-Oriental as well.

Dennis Laffey said...

I've got the 2E Complete Ninja's Handbook. It's not bad. The ninja is just a variant Thief (different weapons and slightly different starting values for skills), but there's lots of good fluff, kits for all the basic classes to be 'shinobi X' classes, and some reworked martial arts.

Ian Coakley said...

You might want to check out OSRIC Unearthed - an unofficial addition, but it contains Ninja and Samurai classes, plus rules for different martial arts.

Also, Wu Jen, hell yeah! Never got the chance to play one in 3rd, but they looked really awesome (the elemental element was a nice touch).

Dangerous Brian said...

Thanks Guys. I hadn't considered those. Hope you continue to enjoy these posts Ray.

Brett Slocum said...

Just wanted to inquire if you did more development on this project, other than the two PC races. Do you have more hidden in your archives?