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kelpie

Rokugani mundane knowledges (not beta related)

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Hi all

I think could be nice and cool, in particular way for new player but also for a bit more experienced ones, to point out some "day by day" elements of the settings the players will surely ask (before or later) or it could be nice to know for scene/people description.

First few example it comes to my mind: clothing and food

Of course everyone can just go search "kimono" on wikipedia and learn a lot about the standard traditional japanese, in my opinion even way more than you need for standard campaign. However, Rokugan is not modern day Japan so it could be a little pointless to learn all the differencies between Furisode and Tsukesage ;) and also a bit deceiving.

I think in Rokugan day-to-day life both men and women from samurai chaste will use the same 5-piece kimono (simple "male" kimono, obi, hakama, haori and nagajuban) while more formal, long sleeves and "female" kimonos are used on rituals, special events (marriage, funerals, etc) and during courts events. Crab's kimono should be more resilient fabric and less ornate,'cause is mainly used under an armor, while Unicorn's favour divided hakama than undivided ones ('cause is way easier to ride an horse while in a pants-like skirt than on a full skirt :D ); Crane will surely favour a silk, ornate, kimono even during travel while Dragon will like more sturdier heavy clothing kimono to protect them from rigid cold. Mantis (and some Yasuki) will probably favour going without hakama (and probably without haour too) while traveling on ships for better mobility.What do you think?

As for food, rice occupy the biggest part of their diet, but i don't think they'll eat sushi and onigiri everyday in every part of the Empire; ramen and gyoza should be completely unknown of; fish and crabs should be a good complement on the Crane, Mantis and Phoenix coastlines while meat (probably chicken and hare) should be eaten on mainland. Pork and red meat should be very rare, if used at all, and only for special occasion (but i imagine something like kobe meat cows will be bred on Lion's lands)
Milk and cheese of course completely unheard of, but there could be tofu (lucky you!! ;) ). Red bean juice/marmelade should be the main (and almost only) ingredient for sweet cakes (again: lucky you!!)
Tea will be the normality for drinking purpose, but the adult can even drink sake in the evening, probably during festivals and matsuri or during special events.

So, in the end... what do you think?

Rokugani samurai will be formal dressed everytime save when they are traveling? or will favour practical, combat oriented (male) kimonos? Wich clan will produce a better silk? female samurai will wear regularly same kimono than male counterpart, or those will be exception for traveling/bushi-oriented ones?
and what about the boge and burakamin? probably they will wear just a sturdier clothing kimono (probably without hakama and with a simpler haori); and there will be gender differencies betweens commoners' clothings?

And what will be food differencies between different regions of the Empire? what will be the "standard" meal a player samurai will face whenever he stop on a village tavern? and what they should offer to a fellow kuge whenever he came visiting?
wich clan hold the better sake and wich one is famous for their finest quality tea?

Edited by kelpie

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Heimin and Burakumin men would wear very simple cheap garb that could be dirtied by their activities. Kimono would be only for festivals (not even sure Eta could afford a kimono)

Good idea is to showcase art from the previous and current card game.

For example an Heimin

https://goo.gl/images/bZTej4

Eta

https://goo.gl/images/eMH7CM

One striking thing with Eta and Heimin is the display of skin and tan. Traditional samurai culture shuns the display of skin and tan is the mark of laborers. 

Cultures that care differently about skin taboo are the Dragon, tattoos and their display being an important part of their culture, Mantis who favours practical clothing at sea and sometimes crab in some depictions. 

Dragon monk tattooing

https://goo.gl/images/32Tch9

Mantis samurai

https://goo.gl/images/hmpXYb

Crab ruling family displaying skin shamelessly

https://goo.gl/images/c8vRaf

Political clans may use display of skin as a courtly seduction tool, the Scorpion may range from subtle to provocative while the Crane being more traditional may use it to tease lightly 

Scorpion subtle

https://goo.gl/images/gaZFRR

Scorpion provocative

https://goo.gl/images/obQRPf

crane teasing

https://goo.gl/images/ndwopx

may be noted that some Matsu warriors may sometimes be depicted as showing skin while wearing armour. 

https://goo.gl/images/BrYwnt

but be careful, sometimes the art is a bit absurd

https://goo.gl/images/JKeomT

Shugenja of the phenix and monks closer to nature are also known for displaying skin sometimes

https://goo.gl/images/QeD3dY

Unicorn is probably the clan that should have the less taboo on skin display. They are naturally lightly tanned, they wear leather and fur, eat red meat, have dwelt in the burning sands... But curiously, art shows not much skin display beyond the arms naked with armor classic as they favor heavy clothing and riding gear. 

Display of skin and choose of an attire is interesting in Rokugan as it's one of the few area of personnal expression that a samurai has in an otherwise very uniform culture marked by ancestry and tradition. 

Food wise I'd say it would deserves its own thread. The 4th ed Great Clans sourcebook contains information on food customs. We learn for example an that scorpion are gourmets liking to prepare Fugu, and that Dragon sometimes bypass the meat taboo and consume Goat meat, that they call "Mountain Tuna"

Edited by Nitenman

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8 hours ago, Nitenman said:

Good idea is to showcase art from the previous and current card game.

Better idea is to cherry pick art from the CCG, rather than accepting all of it as legit. Even back then, it wasn't all good or all aligned with the setting as written.

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1 hour ago, BitRunr said:

Better idea is to cherry pick art from the CCG, rather than accepting all of it as legit. Even back then, it wasn't all good or all aligned with the setting as written.

It was self implied of course but good point. The lion chainmail bikini pic I gave as example speaks for itself...

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On 3/11/2017 at 2:48 PM, Nitenman said:

Heimin and Burakumin men would wear very simple cheap garb that could be dirtied by their activities. Kimono would be only for festivals (not even sure Eta could afford a kimono)

Tchnically, the ones in the picture is still a kimono; kimono mean "thing to wear" so even heimin clothing are kimono. We can easily translate "kimono" with "clothing" and i suppose is not really an error :)

Of course bogei's kimono is a rough cloth kimono, aimed to practical use and heavvy labour, while samurai use fine silk and embroidery kimono. Bogei's kimono sure will lack of hakama, haori, tabi and of course obi while probably will use a simple belt to hold the kimono tight enough; burakamin will use an even more simple kimono, probably even from a previous owner. Don't think they will use a sandal, probably a rope&leather shoe or boot.

Low class will have no more than one single "party day" kimono they will use for every single matsuri or special occasion, while in the day by day case will use he same kimono, with mends and patchs. The takuhatsugasa or sandogasa (monk curved hat or conical hat) are standard for low people (even because they can use it for rain protection). Yukata will be a very fancy clothing for special occasion, probably

Of course, is not really true for everyone: merchant could be very rich having a lot of different kimonos and probably even better made than samurai ones (all very simple and similar so it's not easy to discern they have money); ashigaru will have a rough but resistent kimono, probably with the mon of their lord, and also several garment to complement armor. Budoka, doshin, and higher class samurai servants will have a better quality clothing and also several different kimonos (because their wealth also shows their lord's wealth) while ronin will have a good quality traveling kimono, probably mended or sewn-off to because they where used to wear a lot of good quality kimono but at the moment they get no more access to this stuff

As for CCG pictures, most of them are good quality, but there are also several very bad pictures (as the armor-bikini you pointed at). I honestly don't think someone really gone with those legs exposed like Kachiko in those pictures (problably even her is not really going on with those legs exposed...)

 

Anyway, apart from samurai, i was thinking about: what's the differences between heimin from dragon lands and the ones on crane lands? they sure will be very similar on clothing but they made different works; what of their lords' differencies and inheritances will blend into their culture?

I read on the old Emerald Empire that almost every religious aspect for the people came from Monks, so probably bigger presence of the monk will made greater difference than different cultural ones.

Also, in the Crane and Mantis land probably there will be sailors and fisher while in Dragon and Crab ones will not; in the Lion lands animal handler (for big hunting cats) will be a viable work, ad in Unicorn the groom and animal trainers will have a better consideration than everywhere else.

Last but not least, in the crab lands will be higher mortality rate than in the imperial provinces close to Otosan Uchi. In the Ryoko Owari or Toshi Ranbo will be a better living condition than in Hiruma lost lands behind the Kaiu Kabe :)

Edited by kelpie

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On 11/3/2017 at 4:40 PM, Doji Meshou said:

My entire game plan re: basic setting information is to point new players at a selection of sections from Emerald Empire.

Pretty much. Between the primer in the core book, info in Emerald Empire and specifics of the clan they’ve chosen for their character there is more than enough for any player who wants to get immersive. If someone wants to do more research through other sources I’m all for that, but it is definitely not needed.

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