Tuesday, April 16, 2013

S&W Appreciation Day a look at Ruins & Ronin Part One

EDIT (my formatting is screwy, please deal the best you can i dont know the majic to fix it and i was not one of the fortunate blogs to be given a code for a discount on S&W products, but if you look over at 2k coppers a bunch of the other blogs have discount codes for the 17th only )

For S&W Appreciation Day, I am not going to write about straight up Swords & Wizardry White Box  , but about one of the cool supplements for the game that i have found and use. The 7 of you who read my blog (you know who you are) will be aware that i like "different" things mostly so it should come as no surprise that today i will be so and suggest a supplement that is such.

How many of y'all grew up watching Samurai movies and playing D&D wanting to play a Samurai or a Ninja?  How many of y'all  where confused and befuddled with your copy of Oriental Adventures, before the spine fell of of it. Who here from time to time wants to eat fried rice and egg rolls instead of your Iron Rations.

Back in 2008 Mike D, over at SWORD+1 started talking about a supplement for S&W to simulate a oriental version of O D&D. (that link takes you to the original blog post, i think)  In 2009 this was published as a supplement for  Swords & Wizardry White Box 

                           Ruins & Ronin

 Pete Mullen cover 

Now, i didnt find this in 2009, i wish i had, i found it on a dark and stormy night looking for stuff to hack into my sci fi game and searching for compatible Asian flavor for a certain planet in sub-sector 567-84hj , but i liked what i read, enough to get a hardcopy to go along with the PDF.

soft cover at LULU

Just what is in these slim 79 page supplement for S&W, well i will let the introduction speak to that 

From the Introduction 
"Why should Western-style clerics, fighters, and magic-users have all the fun of dungeon adventuring and 
fighting strange monsters like stirges and purple worms? What about samurai and monks? Don’t they get 
a chance? Absolutely – in RUINS & RONIN. This isn’t a game of tea ceremonies, haiku, or accurate historical depictions of medieval Japan; it’s a game where the fictional world of the samurai movie becomes the 
basis for swords & sorcery adventure in a mythical, medieval culture that’s almost like Japan.
In RUINS & RONIN, the players take on the roles of bujin (fighting-men, including samurai), spell-casting 
shugenja, and wise sohei (warrior monks). Will they choose to explore strange ruins in the wilderness? 
Deep, forgotten dungeons under crumbling pagoda-fortresses built by ancient sorcerers? Perhaps if they 
achieve great status and power, they might even become daimyos, lords of castles with private armies and 
fearsome reputations. But the wild places of this world contain strange and fearsome monsters as well as 
vast riches and magical items. Spirit creatures roam the wilderness by night, and the rocky hills abound 
with goblins and their kin, always looking to the civilized lands below as a source of plunder and conquest. 
This is the legend-world of RUINS & RONIN. Samurai up.
RUINS & RONIN is compatible with the SWORDS & WIZARDRY WHITEBOX rules, allowing you to mix and 
match the elements of the two games to create a truly unusual fantasy setting"

Its not a mess of Historical setting info and hard to follow rules, rulings and charts, its just what you need to throw some asian flavor into your game and go with all those cool things you saw watching Samurai flicks or Kung foo theater for the western mind, its the getting to taste the Sake without having to work in the rice patty and all the cool names from SEVEN SAMURAI

                        what you get that's not in S&W whitebox

Bujin, Half-Ogre, Shugenja, and Sohei
(4 character classes, yes you read that right Half-Ogre)

Cool Oriental Equipment with just enough detail

 New Oriental Monsters

and some pretty experienced advise on things to do in the game and how to run it

Now this 79 pages is not a huge treatise on role playing, oriental culture, traditions, Honor systems and all that, its Oriental Flavoring for the game you want to play and isn't geared towards new gm's but to people that want to have some new and fun flavor in their game as reviewed back in 2009 by Grognardia

also if you go over to SWORD+1 (look right for downloads)

R&R Character Class: Headhunter
R&R Character Class: Hengeyokai
R&R Character Class: Kensei
R&R Character Class: Ninja
R&R Character Sheet
R&R: 100 Bujin (NPC)
R&R: Katsushiro Castle Level 1
R&R: Random Pits & Occupants

yep thats 4 new classes and a adventure to start you off
and if thats not enough i found on the Swords & Wizardry White Box page a  Random Adventure Table for R&R 

Part Two to Follow
"The Wreck of the Golden Koi"
for Ruins & Ronin Swords & Wizardry White Box 

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