My internets for the past couple of days has consisted of men slogging through a whole bunch of wikipedia articles on medieval Japan. So if you've emailed me, I must apologize. I've got a crapload of unopened mail in the ol' inbox right now.
I've found a lot of neat stuff that could inform the Oriental Adventures campaign idea I've been kicking around. Here's one little juicy bit I dug up: the imperial Ministry of Ceremonies maintained a small cadre of officials dedicated to the inspection of tombs. What a great gig for an NPC! Assume the elaborate tomb of an ancient emperor has degenerated into a dungeon full of evil spirits and monsters. The local Tomb Inspector could serve as the patron of a good party devoted to clearing the monsters or as the foil of a more larcenous party intent on pillaging imperial grave goods. Maybe he sponsors his own party that serve as rivals to the PC group.
Think about it: who could the PCs hate more than a meddlesome bureaucrat intent on sucking all the fun out of dungeoneering? I wouldn't expect such a character to live very long, but unless the party is very careful in disposing of him they could be borrowing a lot more trouble than they want.
The Many Words of Jack Vance
2 hours ago