is a supplement for the Dungeons and Dragons
game. However, there have been two incarnations of the book.
The original Oriental Adventures was released in 1985 for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons
(the first edition), and was written by Gary Gygax
. It was conceived as a supplement for players that wanted to run a campaign in an Oriental based culture instead of the European based campaign that most games are in. It also was used to flesh out Kara-Tur
, the Forgotten Realms
region that is based on Oriental culture.
The book introduced some new features, such as a new ability score, new races, new classes, families/clans/caste, a system for honor, new weapons and armor, new proficiencies, new spells, a new combat manuever, a system of martial arts, new magic itesm, and new monsters. The book was quite impressive for its time, but didn't really succeed at sales until it was no longer being printed. For awhile, this book was one of the most sought after in all of the Dungeons and Dragons
With the 3rd Edition
of Dungeons and Dragons, TSR
/Wizards of the Coast
have reworked many of the things that made the original Oriental Adventures interesting. However, in this reworking instead of using Kara-Tur
as an example they use Rokugan
, the world in which the Legend of the Five Rings
role-playing game and card game are based in.
The new Oriental Adventures, released September 2001, has been written by James Wyatt
, and reworks much of the old, as well as adding on new aspects from Third Edition and the Legend of the Five Rings system. To start off, the style of the cover and subsequent pages makes the book look quite nicer to the eyes, than the old edition did. As is to be expected with most gaming books, there is good artwork, great artwork, and bad artwork spread throughout the pages.
Here we have five new races for players to use, as well as the different benfits that Rokugan clans recieve. Also there are brief descriptions on how other races from the Player's Handbook fit into Oriental Adventures and Rokugan. The new races are:
- Hengeyokai - These are intelligent animals that can shapeshift into humans or a hybrid form between their natural state and human.
- Korobokuru - These are similar to dwarves of European fables(and those in the Player's Handbook), but are also part of the Oriental culture.
- Nezumi - Also known as ratlings, these are bipedal rat humanoids.
- Spirit Folk - There are three types of these descendents of humans and spirits: Bamboo, River, and Sea.
- Vanara - These are a race of humanoid monkeys.
This chapter introduces five new classes, as well as telling how previous classes fit within the Oriental and Rokugan worlds. The new classes are:
- Samurai - The fabled honourable soldier of their lord. This class is similar to fighters, except for their ancestral weapon that grants them special abilities.
- Shaman - Similar to a cleric, these followers of the gods believe that the gods exsist everywhere.
- Shugenja - Divine casters that draw their powers from the four elements: fire, earth, water, and air.
- Sohei - Warrior monks, they are similar to Shamans but get less training in religion.
- Wu-Jen - These are mystical spellcasters who seem to draw their powers from the spirits, elements, and the gods and normally live as hermits.
- Prestige Classes
This chapter introduces prestige classes that will add flavor to your Oiental campaign. It introduces 16 new prestige classes(and reprints the Weapon Master from Sword and Fist as a kensei), as well as introducing three special prestige classes mainly meant for monks. The new prestige classes are:
- Battle Maiden - These are female soldiers who awe by people for their ability with the sword and horsemanshop.
- Bear Warrior - These frenzied warriors draw their strength imitating the great bears.
- Blade Dancer - These swordsman believe in the spiritual abilities of the blade.
- Eunuch Warlock - Some men would give up anything for power.
- Henshin Mystic - These monks believe in the ability of humans to transform into divinity.
- Iaijitsu Master - These are specialists in the art of the quick combat.
- Kishi Charger - Similar to the European lancers, these soldiers specialize in the use of the horse in combat.
- Ninja Spy - Ninjas are many things to different people, and that is where they partially derive their power.
- Shadow Scout - These scouts learn to hide from danger, and to be aware of the enemies that surround them.
- Shapeshifter - There are many races and spellcasters that learn the art of shapeshifting, but few learn to use it to its greatest ability.
- Shintao Monk - These monks have learned from the teachings of Shinsei, the great Rokugani monk.
- Singh Rager - Unlike the Bear Warriors, these warriors have learned from the controlled bursts of rage that a lion uses.
- Tattoed Monk - A monastic order that inscribes magical tattoos upon themselves.
- Void Disciple - These spellcasters learn the mystic arts of the Void, the absence of the elements.
- Witch Hunter - These spellcasters specialize in the art to fight ghosts and other evil spirits.
- Yakuza - They are different things to different people. Sometimes the rulers of the criminal underworld and sometimes defenders of the public.
- Skills and Feats
This chapter only introduces one new skill, Iajitsu Focus, but it gives new uses for Tumble and Sense Motive, and adds new specialties to Craft, Knowledge, Perform, Profession, and Speak Language.
In the feats section of this book, it introduces many new martial arts based feats and two new item creation feats as well as a new type of feat, Ancestral. Ancestral feats are mainly for the use of a Rokugan campaign but can easily be modified for others. These new feats must be taken at first level, and grant the character special benefits due to his ancestry.
- Description and Equipment
This section describes the honor system, and its benefits. It also gives information on relgion in the Oriental world, as well as new stats for age, height and weight.
May new weapons, armor, and general equipment are introduced in this book. Most are rather exotic weapons. A table is given for equipment from the Player's Handbook that are availible with Rokugan and in an Oriental Adventures world.
A short chapter, it gives an introduction to learning a martial arts style, as well as giving a few examples of them. This chapter also talks about how an iaijitsu duel works out.
- Magic and Spells
This chapter introduces many new interesting spells for the new spellcasting classes.
- Magic Items
This chapter gives new types of magical armor, weapons, and wondrous items as well as introducing a new one-use magical item called a Talisman.
Seventy-five new monsters from Oriental legends and fables are introduced, and can easily be used in a non-Oriental campaign. The chapter also gives advice on what monsters from other sourcebooks should be allowed in Rokugan and Oriental Adventures.
- Campaign Design
This chapter gives a few tips on running a non-Rokugan Oriental Adventures campaign. It gives a few maps of buildings that one might want to use, as well as general information on making Oriental Adventures work for you.
- The Empire of Rokugan
- The Shadowlands
These last two chapters contain rules for running a full-fledged campaign based on the world of Legend of the Five Rings, Rokugan. Everything that one would need is in here, including special prestige classes for the clans. Also in this book is a nice large map of Rokugan.