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Mythic Japan for the AGE System

In Support of Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Relief Efforts Written by

Josh Jarman Daniel M. Perez

http://Dragonageoracle.wordpress.com

Introduction
On March 11, 2011, at 2:46 PM local time, Japan was hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, the most powerful to ever hit that nation and among the five most powerful earthquakes in recorded history. Not 30 minutes later, a tsunami measuring 10 meters (30 feet) slammed against the northeast portion of the island nation. The rushing waters destroyed everything in their path; whole villages were wiped away by the wall of water and mud, leaving nothing but debris and memories in their wake. As of this writing, the confirmed death toll is close to 2000, with thousands more still unaccounted for. Even for a socalled first-world country, this level of devastation is staggering. It will take the help of the world to bring Japan out of this tragedy. This is where this document comes in. I wanted to do something to help drive donations toward relief efforts in Japan. To that end, I figured a small collection of new material for the AGE System centered on mythic Japan would be the most appropriate way, given the scarcity of material for this increasingly popular game system. That way, fans could get some new material for their games, and relief organizations providing help to Japan could get needed donations to fuel efforts in the days and weeks ahead. This was put together literally over a weekend; from initial idea and the email asking Josh Jarman for help, to completion of writing, editing and layout, there were roughly 70 hours. Such was our excitement in being able to provide something that would help the people of Japan and promote the game we both like. What that means, however, is that everything in here in untested in play. And thats where you come in. Use the material here and send us feedback on how it worked out to dragonageoracle@gmail.com. If we need to issue a revision, well gladly do so. A very special thank you goes out to the entire Green Ronin team, both for this fantastic game, and for supporting this last-minute charity project. You all have our most sincere and deepest thanks for supporting relief efforts for the people of Japan. Daniel M. Perez Editor Dragon Age Oracle

Table of Contents
Introduction.................................................................................................................................................................................. 1 Table of Contents............................................................................................................................................................ 2
A Note on Weapons and Armors .......................................................................................................................................... 2

backgrounds ................................................................................................................................................................................... 3
Buke ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 3 Tengu ......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 4

Bestiary ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 5
Kappa (River Child) ......................................................................................................................................................................... 5 Kirin (Dragon Deer) .......................................................................................................................................................................... 6 Kitsune....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 7 Oni ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 9 Tengu .......................................................................................................................................................................................................11 Yuki-Onna (Snow Woman) .............................................................................................................................................................12

A Note on Weapons and Armors


AGE of the Rising Sun is not meant to be a comprehensive campaign to playing in Mythic Japan, simply to present enough elements for both players and Game Masters to at least convey the feel should they wish to expand their own game worlds. For that reason, and in the spirit of simplicity that the AGE System is built on, instead of writing a whole section on the weapons and armors of Mythic Japan, we offer the following notes on adapting the existing rules to represent the equipment found in such a locale.

Weapons
Bo Quarterstaff Daikyu Longbow Kanabo Mace/Two-handed Maul Katana Bastard Sword Naginata Two-handed Spear Ninja-to Short Sword Odachi Two-handed Sword Tanto Dagger Wakizachi Short Sword Yari Spear 2

Armors
Gusoku, or armor, is made of various materials much like those presented in the rules. Use the game stats provided for any armor from light leather to light mail. Typical samurai armor uses the stats for heavy mail or light plate armor, based on the particular configuration used by a samurai. O-yoroi, or samurai great armor, uses the following game stats: Armor Rating: 10; Armor Penalty: -4; Cost: 500 sp

backgrounds
Buke
More commonly known as the samurai caste, buke is the proper gender-neutral term for the varying degrees of this privileged aristocratic social class. Buke men are properly called samurai, while women (be they legitimate wives, or natural-born or adopted daughters) are called buke no onna, or woman of the buke category. Buke members are well educated, highly literate and cultured. They enjoy privileged lives with time for education and ceremony, practicing the arts themselves as well as becoming patrons to others. Buke samurai also train in a variety of martial arts, as they are expected to act as soldiers to their lord, or daimyo, their general, or shogun, and to their emperor. Their primary weapon is the daish, the pairing of a katana and wakizashi. Buke warriors also are renowned for their skill with the daikyu or longbow. No bushi would go to battle without a bow at the ready, and their deadly accuracy with the weapon is a hallmark of the class. Women who receive training in the warrior arts are called onna bugeisha, and primarily fight using the naginata, a spear with a curved blade at the end.

Non-Human Buke
A Game Master may determine that non-human races may be a part of the buke class in their campaign world. If that is the case, social class trumps racial qualities and non-human buke use the same background. You can determine that a non-human race may have an ability bonus other than Willpower based on racial nimbleness or toughness, for example, but all other choices remain the same. There are also some races, such as the kitsune, that can take human form and may move undetected among people for years at a time. Members of these races that achieve the rank of buke may take the background presented and become samurai, onna bugeisha or majutsushi. Due to the inherent power of these races, however, it is suggested these buke remain as NPCs unless specially approved by the Game Master.

Buke can be courageous and brave, or treacherous and conniving, all in the service to their immediate lord. The life of a buke is one of honor and loyalty, to their master and to their code, whatever labyrinthine ways that may take. Most buke, male and female, become bushi, or warriors, though a small number may receive training in the magical arts and become majutsushi, or sorcerors.

Playing a Buke
If you choose to play a buke modify your character as follows:

Buke
2d6 Roll Benefit 2 3-4 5 6 7-8 9 10-11 12 +1 Cunning Focus: Communication (Etiquette) Focus: Dexterity (Calligraphy) Focus: Constitution (Drinking) +1 Dexterity Focus: Cunning (Musical Lore) Focus: Willpower (Courage) +1 Strength

Add 1 to your Willpower ability. Buke are determined and possessed of near endless resolve. Pick one of the following ability focuses: Cunning (Cultural Lore) or Willpower (Self-Discipline). You can speak Nihongo (or the Trade Tongue). You can read and write kanji. Choose a class. You can play either a mage (majutsushi) or warrior (bushi).

Roll twice on the accompanying table for additional benefits. Roll 2d6 and add the dice together. If you get the same result twice, re-roll until you get something different.

Tengu
Tengu are a race of avian humanoid protector spirits. They are seekers of knowledge and perfectionists in every endeavor they undertake, with a deep sense of honor and respect for skill mastery. Proud almost to a fault, tengu also suffer no fools and are known to play tricks on the haughty. There are two types of tengu: karasu and dai. Karasu tengu have crow- or raven-like facial features and are more commonly found in human lands, whether as wandering adventurers or as mentors to buke families. Dai tengu have reddish, more human-like faces with long noses; they prefer meditative isolation, though some do wander among humans in order to further their knowledge, whether mundane or magical.

Playing a Tengu
If you choose to play a tengu modify your character as follows:

Choose whether you are karasu tengu or dai tengu: o If karasu tengu, add 1 to your Dexterity ability. Karasu tengu are nimble and graceful. o If dai tengu, add 1 to your Cunning ability. Dai tengu are wise and knowledgeable. Pick one of the following ability focuses: Cunning (Arcane Lore) or Willpower (Courage). Your wings grant you a Flying speed of 2 (plus your Dexterity, if applicable). You may use the Circle and Fly minor actions only. You can speak Nihongo (or the Trade Tongue). You can read and write kanji. Choose a class. o Karasu tengu can play either a rogue (ninja) or warrior (bushi). o Dai tengu can play either a mage (majutsushi) or warrior (bushi).

Roll twice on the accompanying table for additional benefits. Roll 2d6 and add the dice together. If you get the same result twice, re-roll until you get something different.

Tengu
2d6 Roll Karasu Tengu Benefit 2 3-4 5 6 7-8 9 10-11 12 +1 Cunning Focus: Dexterity (Stealth) Focus: Cunning (Military Lore) Focus: Perception (Empathy) +1 Dexterity Focus: Dexterity (Initiative) Focus: Communication (Etiquette) +1 Strength Dai Tengu Benefit +1 Cunning Focus: Communication (Etiquette) Focus: Cunning (Religious Lore) Focus: Constitution (Stamina) +1 Magic Focus: Dexterity (Calligraphy) Focus: Willpower (Faith) +1 Willpower

Bestiary
KAPPA
Abilities (Focuses)
2 3 0 5 0 2 3 1 Speed 15 (Swimming 15) Weapon Claws Communication (Etiquette) Constitution (Swimming) Cunning Dexterity (Brawling) Magic Perception (Smelling) Strength (Claws, Jumping) Willpower

Kappa (River Child)


These small reptilian creatures inhabit the rivers and ponds of Japan, and are often used as a warning to children about the dangers of playing in water. Kappa possess webbed hands and feet and a rough scaly skin that helps them navigate their natural habitat. The creatures can breathe underwater, and can operate on land due to the bowl shaped depression on their heads in which they carry water from their home with them. Mischievous creatures, kappa are known for playing pranks and tricks on humans but also for more sinister acts such as drownings and the abductions of children. They are extremely agile, and their skill in wrestling is legendary. Few creatures can hope to overcome a kappa in unarmed combat in its natural habitat. Kappas are known to feed on human children and pack animals such as horses they drown, but their favorite food of all is cucumbers. They can be bribed with this food to leave an area or settlement alone or to return abducted children (their second favorite food.) Intelligent creatures, kappa can speak and read the trade tongue.

Combat Ratings
Health 25 Defense 15 Armor Rating 3

Attacks
Attack Roll +5 Damage 1d6+3

Powers
Favored Stunts: Knock Prone (1SP), Skirmish and Strangle. Politeness: Despite their sometimes sinister nature and food choices, kappa are exceedingly polite and honorbound to respond in kind to actions of etiquette. A character who bows to a kappa, and beats an opposed Communication (Etiquette) test against the creature, forces it to bow back causing the water bowl on top of the kappa's head to empty. Kappas are helpless on land without this water, and become immobilized until the bowl is refilled. Characters who refill the bowl can demand concessions from the kappa or even get the creature to serve them in a simple task before the kappa flees back to its watery home. Rough Hide: The scaly skin of a kappa grants it an AR of 3. Strangle: For 3 SP, the kappa can perform a special strangulation attack, inflicting 1d6+3 penetrating damage to a creature. The kappa continues to do this damage each round unless the victim can can beat an opposed Strength (Might) or Dexterity (Brawling) test against the kappa's Dexterity (Brawling) as a major action. Talents: Unarmed Style (Journeyman).

KIRIN
Abilities (Focuses)
-1 3 0 3 2 3 4 2 Speed 18 (Flying 18) Weapon Fiery Breath Kick Communication Constitution (Running, Stamina) Cunning Dexterity (Fiery Breath) Magic Perception (Hearing, Smelling) Strength (Jumping, Kick) Willpower

Kirin (Dragon Deer)


Commonly associated with the rule of beneficent sages and wise kings, kirin are mystical beasts with the head of a dragon and a deer-like body covered in hard metallic scales. The magical fire that covers a kirin's body makes it lighter than air, granting it the ability to fly, though it often prefers to hover just above the ground, giving the appearance of walking. A kirin's flames will not burn those they deem pure or honorable. Despite its fearsome appearance, the kirin is the gentlest of creatures when not punishing evil or righting wrongs. It is said that the creature even walks just above the ground to avoid trampling blades of grass or harming insects. Kirin are vegetarians that strive to harm no living thing. They exist to uphold the rule of law and serve as the messengers and heralds of righteous deities. When confronted by evil, however, kirin can be staunch opponents that use their hooves and flames to great effect.

Combat Ratings
Health 35 Defense 13 Armor Rating 3 Damage 2d6+3 1d6+4

Attacks
Attack Roll +5 +6

Powers
Favored Stunts: Fiery Breath, Lightning Attack and Trample. Fiery Breath: A kirin can exhale a blast of fire as a ranged attack with a short range of 6 yards and a long range of 12 yards. For 2 SP, a kirin can spread its flames to cover an area 8 yards across. Targets other than the primary target can make a Dexterity (Acrobatics) test against the kirin's Dexterity (Fiery Breath) to take only half damage. Scaly Hide: The dragon-like scales that cover the kirin's body grant it an AR of 3. Trample: Kirin can perform a special Trample stunt for 3 SP after a successful kick attack. The target is knocked prone and struck by the kirin's fiery hooves for an additional 1d6+4 damage.

Kitsune
Kitsune, or Japanese foxes, are highly intelligent and magical creatures that live alongside humans. Believed to be the messengers and children of Inari, the rice god, kitsune are in many ways honored and respected by humans. Their capacity for mischief, however, is legendary and their crafty nature can lead them to be at odds with their human neighbors. Known for their magical powers and the ability to take human form, kitsune delight in punishing the prideful, and especially in tricking boastful samurai and greedy merchants. Kybi no Kitsune (Nine-Tailed Fox) Long-lived, nine-tailed kitsune turn gold or white with age. These kitsune are believed to not only be the oldest and wisest of all foxes, but some of the wisest creatures alive. One famous legend of a Kybi no Kitsune tells how it took the shape of a beautiful and gifted courtesan in order to exert power over the emperor.

Age of a Kitsune
In Japanese myth, the age and wisdom of a fox can be determined by the number of tails it possesses; they can have up to nine. In game terms, Game Master's should modify the creatures' base stats using the guidelines found in the Set 1 Game Master's Guide. A simple rule to follow is to use the Elite template for a kitsune with five tails, the Heroic template for a kitsune with seven tails, and the Epic template (from the Set 2 playtest document) for a kitsune with nine tails, the rarest, wisest and most powerful kind. Every time a kitsune achieves one of these milestones, they add an extra spell to their repertoire.

KITSUNE
Abilities (Focuses)
3 2 1 3 1 2 2 2 Speed 15 Weapon Bite Health 25 Communication (Disguise) Constitution (Running) Cunning Dexterity (Bite) Magic Perception (Smelling, Tracking) Strength (Jumping) Willpower (Morale)

KYUBI NO KITSUNE
Abilities (Focuses)
5 2 3 6 3 3 3 3 Communication (Disguise, Persuasion, Seduction) Constitution (Running) Cunning (Historical Lore) Dexterity (Bite, Initiative) Magic Perception (Smelling, Tracking) Strength (Jumping) Willpower (Morale, Self-Discipline)

Combat Ratings
Defense 13 Armor Rating 0 Damage 1d6+4 Speed 18 Weapon Bite

Combat Ratings
Health 45 Defense 16 Armor Rating 3 Damage 1d6+5

Attacks
Attack Roll +5

Attacks
Attack Roll +8

Powers
Favored Stunts: Knock Prone, Lightning Attack and Skirmish. Kitsune-bi: Kitsune are able to summon a small floating ball of flame known as a kitsune-bi, or Fox Fire, at will. The fire hovers near a kitsune's mouth or tail until dismissed, illuminating a 10-yard radius around it with the brightness of a lantern. As a minor action, a kitsune can move its fox fire to any location within 30 yards, a trick sometimes used to lead travelers astray in the wilderness. Shape Change: Kitsune can take human form as a major action. They are able to take the shape of any type of human or humanoid creature with no restriction on age or gender. Kitsune can exactly replicate a living person, but associates who pass a Perception (Empathy) test opposed by the kitsunes Communication (Disguise) check can determine that the duplicate is not acting naturally, and in fact seems wiser or wilier than the copied person. A kitsune gains two weapon groups associated with the type of creature it shape changes into. Spells: Daze, Heal, Mind Blast plus any one spell of your choice.

Powers
As kitsune, plus the following. Spirit Fox: As its wisdom grows, a kitsune gains the ability to project its spirit outside of its body, which goes into a hibernation-like sleep while its spirit is away. In spirit form, the fox gains flying speed of 12 (Spirit Walk) and becomes insubstantial, granting it the ability to move through physical objects and rendering it immune to non-magical damage. Spirit Possession: As a major action, a kitsune in spirit form can perform an opposed Willpower (SelfDiscipline) test to possess another creature. Creatures can make another test to expel the kitsune at the start of each turn. Once possessed, the victims actions are completely controlled by the kitsune, which typically uses its host to cause mischief. Nobler kitsune might possess a creature in order to right a wrong or punish the prideful. While inhabiting its host, a kitsune takes no damage from physical attacks and only half damage from magical attacks, though the host takes full damage from both. The speech and actions of the victim might take on a sly tone or craftiness that is out of character for the host. Associates can determine that the host is under another creature's control with a successful TN 13 Perception (Empathy) or Cunning (Arcane Lore) test.

Oni
Oni is a general term meaning ogre or demon, and is used to name an entire range of creatures vaguely fitting that description. Oni are hideous, gigantic creatures with sharp claws, wild hair and at least two long horns growing from their heads. They are humanoid for the most part, though they may also possess extra features such as additional eyes or fingers. Their skin may be any number of colors, but red, blue, black, pink and green are particularly common. Though some people may remember old stories of oni as protector spirits, far more common and widespread is their role as torturers of sinners and forces of destruction. The most common type of oni encountered is known as oni ni kanabo, or oni with an iron club, a giant twice the size of a man in height and width, wielding a wicked iron-covered club. The oni ni kanabo has an aggressive nature and lives only to destroy. Though it normally keeps to the wilderness, it can sometimes wander into villages and town seeking food (humans) or simply to terrorize. Another type of oni sometimes encountered is the magic-using kind, simply referred to as oni ni mah, or oni with magic. Equally ferocious as its club-wielding kin, this oni also commands majinai, spells, making it a far more dangerous opponent. Oni ni mah are repositories of arcane and historical information, and clever petitioners may find ways to placate these demons long enough to learn forgotten pieces of lore.

ONI NI KANABO
Abilities (Focuses)
0 8 -1 1 0 2 8 2 Speed 12 Weapon Kanabo Fist Communication Constitution (Stamina) Cunning Dexterity Magic Perception (Smelling) Strength (Bludgeons, Intimidation) Willpower (Morale)

ONI NI MAH
Abilities (Focuses)
1 6 5 1 5 2 2 5 Speed 12 Weapon Fist Communication (Bargaining) Constitution Cunning (Arcane Lore, Historical Lore) Dexterity (Bite, Initiative) Magic (Entropy) Perception (Smelling) Strength (Jumping) Willpower (Morale)

Combat Ratings
Health 80 Defense 11 Armor Rating 6 Damage 3d6+8 2d6+8

Combat Ratings
Health 70 Defense 11 Armor Rating 4 Damage 2d6+2

Attacks
Attack Roll +10 +8

Attacks
Attack Roll +2

Powers
Favored Stunts: Fast Casting, Imposing Spell and Mighty Spell. Spells: Drain Life, Heal, Vulnerability Hex and Weakness. Talents: Entropy Magic (Journeyman). Tough Hide: The oni ni mahs tough, leathery hide gives it an AR of 4.

Powers
Favored Stunts: Knock Prone, Mighty Blow and Stomp. Stomp: For 2 SP, an oni ni kanabo can perform a Knock Prone stunt against all targets within 6 yards by stomping the ground with great force. Tough Hide: The oni ni kanabos tough, leathery hide gives it an AR of 6.

Equipment
Kanabo (massive iron mace).

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Tengu
The tengu are a race of avian humanoid guardian spirits found primarily in deep forests or high mountaintops. There are two types of tengu, the more common lesser karasu tengu, characterized by their crow- or raven-like features, and the rarer, greater dai tengu, characterized by its more human-like visage and long nose. Karasu tengu are masters of the martial arts and are said to have taught humans the secrets of the katana and wakizashi, as well as the stealthy ways of the ninja. Dai tengu evolve from karasu tengu after decades of solitary meditation and diligent training. They retreat to isolated mountaintops with a flock of servitor karasu where they mediate to accomplish greater level of personal mastery, which is rumored to include the ability to wield magic. Known as harmless tricksters, tengu delight in making fools of vainglorious priests and samurai, though they too are proud to a fault.

KARASU TENGU
Abilities (Focuses)
0 2 2 3 0 2 2 2 Communication Constitution Cunning (Military Lore) Dexterity (Initiative, Light Blades, Stealth) Magic Perception (Seeing) Strength (Heavy Blades) Willpower (Morale)

DAI TENGU
Abilities (Focuses)
1 1 3 3 3 1 0 2 Communication (Etiquette) Constitution Cunning (Arcane Lore, Military Lore, Religious Lore) Dexterity Magic (Primal, Spirit) Perception Strength Willpower

Combat Ratings
Speed 15 (Flying 5) Weapon Beak Strike Katana Wakizachi Health 25 Defense 13 Armor Rating 0 Damage 1d6+2 2d6+3 1d6+4

Attacks
Attack Roll +3 +4 +5

Combat Ratings
Speed 15 (Flying 5) Weapon Quarterstaff Arcane Lance Health 22 Defense 13 Armor Rating 0 Damage 1d6+1 1d6+3

Attacks
Attack Roll +1 +3

Powers
Favored Stunts: Dual Strike, Lightning Attack (2 SP) and Pierce Armor. Beak Strike: A karasu tengu can follow up a successful attack with a Beak Strike as a special stunt costing 2 SP. This beak strike attack must be taken against the same target as the original attack. Doubles on the beak strike attack roll does not generate more stunt points. Flying: A karasu tengu has small wings that it can use to achieve limited flight. Karasu tengu may use the Circle and Fly minor actions only. Talents: Dual Weapon Style (Journeyman). Weapon Groups: Heavy Blades, Light Blades .

Powers
Favored Stunts: Skillful Casting and Mana Shield. Flying: A dai tengu has small wings that it can use to achieve limited flight. Dai tengu may use the Circle and Fly minor actions only. Spells: Mind Blast, Rock Armor, Shock, Spell Shield, Winters Grasp . Talents: Primal Magic (Journeyman), Spirit Magic (Journeyman). Weapon Groups: Staves.

Equipment
Katana, wakizashi, kimono. Quarterstaff, kimono.

Equipment 11

YUKI-ONNA
Abilities (Focuses)
2 0 0 5 4 1 -3 4 Speed 15 Weapon Icy Touch Communication (Seduction) Constitution Cunning Dexterity (Stealth) Magic Perception (Smelling) Strength Willpower

Yuki-Onna (Snow Woman)


The yuki-onna is a malevolent spirit that lives among the snowy mountain passes, at home in the freezing lash of a blizzard and the icy wind. Some believe the snow woman is the spirit of a person who perished in the snow, but others think she is the evil spirit of winter taken human form. She appears as a beautiful maiden with soft white, almost translucent skin, long dark hair and bright red lips. Yuki-onna often use their great beauty to draw unsuspecting humans to them so they can feed on their life energies. As a yukionna feeds on a victim's life force, a slow red blush colors her otherwise stark white form, radiating from her mouth and chest until her whole body glows with a rosy hue. Often clothed in a white kimono, the yuki-onna walks across the snow leaving no footprints and can transform into icy mist if threatened. Yuki-onna who enter dwellings often give themselves away because of the small, footprint-sized puddles of water left by their passage.

Combat Ratings
Health 30 Defense 15 Armor Rating 0

Attacks
Attack Roll +5 Damage 1d6+4 Penetrating

Powers
Favored Stunts: Icy Blast, Lightning Attack and Winters Kiss. Frost Form: Yuki-onna are incorporeal and ignore the effects of terrain. Only magical attacks can harm them; other attacks pass through their forms without effect. Icy Blast: A yuki-onna can perform a special Icy Blast stunt for 4 SP. All enemies within 6 yards are buffeted by a life draining cold, inflicting 1d6 penetrating damage to each. Icy Constitution: A yuki-onna is immune to cold-based effects, suffering no damage from spells such as Winter's Grasp or weapons imbued with the Frost Weapons spell. She suffers an extra 1d6 penetrating damage from spells such as Flame Blast and weapons imbued with the Flaming Weapons spell. Mundane fire causes 1d3 penetrating damage. Icy Mist: When reduced to 10 health or less, the yukionna transforms into a cloud of icy particles and escapes on the winter wind. The yuki-onna gains Flying 30 and a +2 to Dexterity (Stealth) tests in snowy landscapes. Winter's Kiss: For 2 SP, a yuki-onna may make an opposed Communication (Seduction) test against a victims Willpower (Self-Discipline). If successful, she kisses the victim and draws out their life force as a major action as per the spell Drain Life. The victim may make an opposed test of Constitution (Stamina) vs. the yukionnas Communication (Seduction) to reduce the damage to only 1d6 or to escape her hold on subsequent turns.

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