Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Saikaido: Island Between the Winds

So remember that google map of Kyushu island I posted a while back? Rob Conley very kindly overlaid a couple of standard Judges Guild hexgrids onto it and emailed me the results. I then took that and divided the map up into 'subsectors':

The names for the subsectors are just working titles at the moment.

The subsector size was determined by Grim's Blank Hex Sheet. My plan is to map and key one subsector at a time instead of trying to lay out a whole JG regional map at one go. For those times when I want to zoom in further than the 1 hex = 5 miles scale I plan to use either the Judges Guild campaign hexagon system map if I need to zoom in on just one hex or one of Lord Kilgore's maps if I need multiple adjacent hexagons.

My plan is to start in the northeast corner with Choshu. Since that's part of Honshu, the biggest of the Japanese islands and home to the imperial court, I plan on making that into starting area for new PCs. Sort of an Basic D&D region for Oriental Adventures, targeted specifically at character levels 1 to 3. Once you leave that map all the normal non-scaled hazards of sandbox play would kick in.

I'm still musing over the rules. On the one hand, this campaign concept began as "what if I actually did something with Oriental Adventures?" So my first inclination is to run those rules straight. On the other hand, some of those rules are a big pain in the ass. I'm thinking particularly of the extra little fiddly bits of chargen, such as generating a family, selecting proficiencies and buying equipment when both the money and the pricelists are totally different. Mike D's Ruins & Ronin is an obvious alternative, but I actually like all the different crazy class and race options in OA, as well as the spells, the rules for honor and families, and the charming if broken martial arts system.

Maybe the correct solution is to hack the OA rules to make them more friendly for newbies who just want to sit down ad roll up a character. In particular:

  • Random charts for assigning proficienies to starting characters
  • Pregenerated starting equipment
  • One-throw birthrights chart
  • Pregenerated clans
  • Pregenerated starting spell lists for Wu Jen

The real issue as far as the rules probably comes down to figuring out which is easier: starting with Ruins & Ronin and adding OA-like elements or starting with OA and adjusting to taste.


  1. Anonymous8:35 PM

    All maps look better with hex grids.

  2. I prefer adding to a basic system to over deducting form a complex system, so I would probably use Mike's Ruins & Ronins as a basis, then modify it to include bits and pieces of Oriental Adventures.

    That said, I know people who find it easier to do exactly the opposite...

  3. Hello Jeff. I stumbled onto your blog while I was looking up some other items. I found you entry from 2008 about Miller Park and the Frontier Wars Gaming Cons that used to take place there. I was one of the people who organized that convention so I thought I would pass on some information for you.

    Frontier Wars was put on by the Fontier Gaming Association. We were orginally based as a gaming club at Illinois State University and once had the name the Dungon Masters Association. The con was first started by DMA as a way to raise money for a large end-of-the-school-year pasta party. After a few years, and several of the orginail members leaving to continue either school or careers, a few changes were made.

    It was decided (at my suggestion) that instead of scraping around each year to try and raise the money to have the con, why not take at least some of the money and save it over for the next year? As it turned out, all the money raised was redirected into the next convention. We changed the name of the club to Frontier Gaming Association because of two factors: 1) we had long before moved from playing strickly D&D and were now playing a wide variety of other games but people who had thought of joining didn't realize that, and 2) we had been recieving a lot of letters from people thinking we were some sort of 'offical DM listing' and had access to offical products they wanted us to send them once they were 'listed'. It was after a debate and several suggests that we became the Frontier Gaming Association (FGA) to reflect that we did more than play D&D.

    Frontier Wars was actually named after the club. We hadn't intended for there to be a tie-in with GDW, although since they were a local group we did have them as guests several times and they did provide prizes for our games. In time we joined forces with a gaming group in Washington, IL (called the Tri-County Gaming Association) to help them put on a convention at Illinois Central College called Spring Offensive

    TGA had plenty of members, but little money - FGA had money but it's membership was dropping due to real life situations. In the end, the FGA/TGA partnership allowed each convention (one in the early spring, the other in the late summer/early fall) to grow in attendance and varity of games played. After a few yeasrs the two groups seperated since the Adventureland Gaming Club (AGC) had started here in Bloomington and a few small gaming clubs had sprung up in the Peoria area as well. From that point on, TGA and the smaller clubs in Peoria sponsered Spring Offensive while FGA and AGC sponsered Frontier Wars. However, both FGA and TGA would still offer to run games at each others cons.

    Sadly, I got burned out on running Frontier Wars and left the organizing committee one year. It was also the last Frontier War convention. Seems that no one wanted to - or had the time to - organize the convention after I left. The funds of the convention went to the AGC in the hopes that they would start a cono of their own. It did not happen. There is a convention here now called Flat Con, but I don't know who runs it. I've been to it, and while I find the dealers to be a nice selection, I find their games a bit lacking. That is just my view, of course.

    I hope that clears up any questions you had about Frontier Wars.

  4. Anonymous2:58 AM


  5. Well that's just awesome that is.

    I say run OA straight and salt to taste while you're playing.

  6. Regardless of the rules you use, this is cool! I have some other classes that have been developed but not used in my "White Box" version of the game. These are more OA-like,:
    Shashu (archer)

    I even have a rough draft from edsan on Honor and Duels.

  7. Glad I could help.

    I may stating the obvious but remember with a hex grid pattern like Grim's Blank Hex Sheet you DON'T want the left and right column of hexes to overlap to the next map.

    Otherwise you get a staircase effect on the west, east axis.

    Since you are using traveller as one of your inspirations I don't think will be an issue as Traveller doesn't use overlapping sector or subsector maps.

  8. I'm pretty sure I understand what you are saying, but let me re-state it and you see if I got it:

    To make the subsector maps line up properly the hex-columns with the lines running down them (the border between the maps) shouldn't be numbered hexes on either map. Is that correct?

  9. I made a post about this here


    What you want to do with Grim's Hex sheet is shown by this picture


    Your rectangular grid is not lining up with the hexes so it probably confusing the issue.

    Your first column is perfect (Goryeo). The second column (Tsu NE) needs the line moved to the left a little to run along the edges of the hexes like the first column. That should straighten it out.

    If this is still confusing I can make a blog post showing what to do.