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  1. #41
    Benevolent Dictator CaptainSarathai's Avatar
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    1480 (x8)

    I think I have a suitably tragic way to end the whole thing, in Japanese fashion. It might also serve to show the strength of the obligation to duty within Nipponsei society.
    Firstly, I'm going to change it so that it is all of the Minamoto warriors plus volunteers who ride off, because I want a Taira to be one of the 7 survivors. The Taira Samurai has gone along to repay the honor-debt to Minamoto (for siding with the Elves) and becomes a close friend and trusted ally. Minamoto's second-cousin is also along for the trip.

    Minamoto rides off and rescues the "Izanami shard" yokai. He admires her strength and beauty, and after they "share a tent", he orders a guard to escort her back to a shrine of the Scholars in the south. In the shrine, she delivers a baby (presumably Minamoto's) and they discover that she is a yokai, and the child a half-yokai. The boy is raised in the temple and trained in courtly ways and used to solidify the link between Nipponsei and Yokai. They keep his existence a secret, because there are still many warriors who resent the Yokai, as well as other threats to his life etc.
    Years later, Minamoto and the Samurai return just in time to find that the Scholars have named the child (now of age) the new supreme ruler of Nippon/Emperor. The Warrior Houses won't stand for it - Nippon was won by the swordarms of warriors, and besides, nobody has even heard of the boy. They have the Scholar's capital city under siege. Minamoto and his 7 Samurai (see why I picked 7?) ride in to assess the situation. They go between the camps, starting with the Warrior Houses and then going into the city to see this new "Emperor". While he's in the city (so that he doesn't take sides, and the Warrior Houses don't side against their greatest hero) the Warrior Houses launch their assault.
    It's in this battle that the supremacy of the Samurai is revealed, as the 7 of them (plus Minamoto) hold the entire enemy army at bay. They are victorious, but Minamoto is mortally wounded during the fighting. He "creates" the position of Shogun - master of all Samurai, king of all warriors, and defender of the Emperor - and leaves it to his second cousin. As their master is dying, the Samurai retreat from the walls to be at his side - the other Warriors storm into the castle but stop short when they see Minamoto dying, surrounded by the Samurai. Out of respect, they halt the attack, and later acknowledge his dying wishes by swearing loyalty to the Shogun.

    Since there are typically no personal quotes in the "history" section of GW fluff, I'm going to put all the dialogue from this scene into a call-out box. In it, Minamoto is dying in the arms of either another Samurai, or the girl from the north, in typical Kurosawa fashion (chopped up and shot full of arrows). Barely able to whisper to the assembled Seven, he names his cousin as Shogun and makes him swear to defend the Emperor at any cost, and makes the Samurai swear to loyalty to the Shogun. Then he dismisses them.
    His most loyal warrior and friend, the Taira Samurai, is distraught that Minamoto is dying before the he can repay his honor debt to him and clear the name of his clan, and stays behind. One of the following conversations then passes between them, forming Minamoto's last words:

    Taira: why would you die for a mere child?
    Minamoto: because he is my son (remember that this has been a big secret until now)
    or
    Taira: why would you die for a mere child?
    Minamoto:because he is my master
    or
    Taira: why would you die for a mere child?
    Minamoto: because he is my master... and my son (or reversed, "he is my son. And my master")
    or finally
    Taira: why would you die for a child - he may not even be your son?
    Minamoto: Do you think me so weak? I did not lay down my life because he is my son. I laid down my life because he is my master."

    It would be tough to manage, but to add to the tragedy of the situation, I could work into the fluff that Minamoto trusted the Taira Samurai to return the lady to the South, and that it could be the Taira's son who the Shogun just died for. The descendants of the Taira will be present as a playable clan within the book, and they are still very reckless in their attempt to regain their honor. They will be either the Takeda proxy, for their recklessness, or the Oda proxy (Oda Nobunaga was one of the very few who openly claimed descent from the Taira) and I could use it to cast him as being slightly evil - "we the Taira/Oda have spent too many years apologizing, and nobody will accept it - fine, no more Mr. Nice Sam'r'Guy". The fact that the Emperor is their son and not Minamoto's could be the deep, dark, family secret.

    Thoughts? Which final words do you like better?

    Pts Values for AoS here!

    Nippon Armybook: Isuu, Scribd, and free at Google Docs

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  3. #42
    Senior Member Ipshank's Avatar
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    514 (x7)

    Sweet baby Jezus with a shotgun,
    You've been busy =p.
    It looks quite solid and fits the theme and adds 4d6 of drama.

    I'm stuck on the final words though

    Taira: why would you die for a mere child?
    Minamoto: because he is my son
    Is more dramatic, and really drops a bombshell into the whole thing.
    but
    Taira: why would you die for a mere child?
    Minamoto: because he is my master... and my son
    Really shows Minamoto's sense of duty and loyalty, and still has a sense of drama.

    I personally feel you should stick with this one, If I understand it all correctly (I'm not really familiar with ancient Japan/Samurai) you want the Nipponese to be duty bound with a strong sense of loyalty and honour and Minamoto seems to have taught the Nipponese that in a way, showed the the path (sort of) and the last conversation seems to emphasize this.

    ~Idomisei
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  4. #43
    Benevolent Dictator CaptainSarathai's Avatar
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    1480 (x8)

    Cool. I was thinking the same. There spot where I'm stuck now - Oda clan. In history, Oda Nobunaga was a pretty despicable guy, despite taking control of all of Japan for a short time (really just set it up for Toyotomi and then Tokugawa). His personal motto was "Spread militarism across the land". After a lengthy siege against the Ikko-Ikki monks, he responded to his brothers' deaths by burning down their entire monastery, men, women, and children. He was probably the first major supporter of gunpowder in Japan, and at the battle of Nagashimo he gunned down Takeda Shingen's (considered the greatest general of Japan at the time) famous cavalry in what amounts to basically the Japanese version of 'the charge of the Light Brigade'.

    I want to figure out how to portray him as being wicked and unjust, but still an ally. I want to have 4 playable clans, each with their own rules and a special-character leader. For Oda, the special character is Nobunaga himself, and his specialty is going to be "recycling" regiments of Ashigaru by killing them off and respawning them as reserves on the flanks. It fits with his strategy of feigned deployment and careful maneuvering, as well as backing his cruel disposition.
    I think that having him as a character who is looking beyond the horizon at what a unified Nippon would be capable of, and being the first to make a real play on the Shogun (and possibly Emperor) might be a way forward. A breakdown of the playable clans, for anyone interested (remember, all names are proxies) :

    Uesugi - descended from Minamoto. Playable character is Uesugi Kenshin. Of the four, this clan has closest ties to the Uzatto. Their specialty regiment is the Hatamoto, the most elite of all Samurai and personal guards of the Shogun, and the Kensai - "special" infantry samurai. This hearkens back to their position of being descended from the "first" samurai. Uesugi-dominated armies will start with free Ki (or whatever I decide to call the dice generated by Samurai units) and Kenshin himself will grant nearby units a free die at the start of each turn. For players who want to field a pure Samurai list, this will be the clan to play.

    Date - Descended from Tachibana. Playable character, Date Masamune. This clan favors the O'Dachi (greatsword) above the other weapons. Rather than having a favored regiment, any unit who chooses to wield O'Dachi will become a Date regiment. Characters in a Date army will strike at Initiative with their GWs rather than striking last. I still need to do some work on the rules for this particular clan.

    Takeda - Descended from Taira (?). Playable character, Takeda Shingen. This clan favors cavalry of all kinds, specifically the Naginata Riders and mounted Hatamoto. A Takeda army will gain rules that help to defeat the cavalry nerf, giving them the ability to count as having more ranks or denying Steadfast. There will might also be options for Frenzy among their units. Having Takeda present will give them additional abilities for their cavalry, and probably make them Fearless. The idea is that they are repentent for the Taira's shortcomings, and are trying to repay Nippon for their crimes during Monoke's reign.

    Oda - descended from Fujiwara? Playable Character, Oda Nobunaga. See above for rules etc. If they come from Fujiwara the idea would be that the house was largely decimated and forgotten after Monoke tried to ship them away. The Taira turned their backs on them, and they feel that the rest of Nippon did nothing to help them, so they have grown bitter. They had few warriors to offer to join the Samurai, so they are disillusioned with Bushido and the idea that there should be any honor in combat - preferring to do whatever it takes to achieve victory regardless of the cost. They were expendable to Monoke, they were expendable to Nippon, and now anyone is expendable to Oda.
    Pts Values for AoS here!

    Nippon Armybook: Isuu, Scribd, and free at Google Docs

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  6. #44
    Senior Member Ipshank's Avatar
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    514 (x7)

    For Nobunaga it might help to portray his "good guy, in a bad way" thing in his special rule: everytime he recycles a regiment he needs to take a Leadership test, if he fails it he suffers a wound, or is unable to do anything for the rest of the turn (or something like that) as he's consumed by guilt for all the lives he's ending.

    Looking good Captain! =).

    ~Idomisei
    Me after fixing the alarm: Praise the Omnissiah!
    Mom: You've been writing stuff again, haven't you?
    All hail Odinsgrandson and His divine cake toppers.

  7. #45
    Drill Sergeant Lord Borak's Avatar
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    2052 (x8)

    Hey dude, I'm not sure if you have all the Miniatures sorted for your army but I just came across these little beauties. Thought I'd share

    LINKY

  8. #46
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    If I may interject a little bit of history on the evolution of the samurai caste. The original "ideal" samurai was supposed to excel in the ways of; the bow, the horse, the duel and the ambush. (The native japanese horses were a lot closer to ponies though so in warhammer terms they would probably be M7).
    Perhaps with the explanation of long years of isolation from the warhammer world after the High elf civil war, the samurai were left to evolve without interference and developed a very individualized combat approach (the Duel) and style of warfare (the Ambush). Then a mysterious fleet arrived from the west (Cathay) to invade. While the fighting style of the samurai was perfectly suited for internal conflicts they were highly unprepared for the invasion, only through the great works of their sorcerers (insert the famous story of the samurai who sunk a landing vessel with a single shot of his bow, perhaps a magic weapon?) were they able to turn the conflict to their advantage.
    After experiencing the style of Mass Combat again, the samurai evolved to focus on the arts of the sword, spear, polearm and unarmed combat, leaving the art of the bow sadly neglected by all but a few.

    It would be a pretty neat touch if you were able to also show the sort of evolution of bushido in the history fluff, and it would also be able to allow for the justification of a specialized samurai unit mounted with the long bows, swords and heavy armour. Possibly even have the vanguard or scouts rule.

    I don't want to impose my own ideas of what should be in the book on you but just thought that since this was a pretty important part of samurai history it might add a bit of something to the fluff of your book.

  9. #47
    Benevolent Dictator CaptainSarathai's Avatar
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    1480 (x8)

    Well, at the moment this project has left me a little frustrated - I just saw the latest update that Eliasson added to his armybook, and the most polite way to say this is that while I do not agree with his choice of fluff or some of the mistaken historical/realistic elements in his book, he has made use of a handful of my rules and units, as well as fixing other issues that I had with his book (lack of clans, particular units, etc) and created what is probably a superior book to my own.
    That's the polite version. It took me half an hour to write.

    As far as the models - Borak, I haven't seen those, but I don't think that I'll be using them as anything other than characters. I can get stuff from Wargames Foundry that is only of slightly lower quality but costs about a quarter of what they're charging on Zenit. Their characters do look phenomenal though. It seems that I might build this entire army without even touching the Perry Miniatures line.

    For the fluff - I did actually cover that evolution of Bushido in my book, although it wasn't a raiding fleet from Cathay, it was an invasion of Marauders during the Great War. The Marauders had traveled south until they reached the Great Bastion in Cathay. Thwarted, they followed rumors of a land to the East, and set sail to find it. They stumbled upon Nippon and invaded. Not only is this the catalyst for the change in fighting style for the Bushii, but it is also the birth of the Ashigaru standing army. The Emperor saw that more soldiers would be required to stave off the hordes of Northmen and their Beastmen allies, but the Bushii refused to give up their exclusive right to bear weapons in Nippon. In the only instance where the Emperor "pulled rank" over the Shogun, he decreed that a standing army of Ashigaru be raised from among the citizenry. The mere act drained the Emperor of much of his resources, so he pressed these new recruits onto the Bushii for training and equipping. Initially the Ashigaru were just meat-shields, barely trained and equipped with cast off wargear from the Bushii, but eventually the Daimyo began to see the value in these soldiers, and gave them better training and equipment. While they are still nominally under command of a Daimyo and can be used for feuds and battles within Nippon, the Ashigaru serve the Emperor foremost, and can be called away from their Daimyo to serve him at any time. Ashigaru take pride in this fact, and many owe their allegiance more to the Emperor than to the Shogun or any Daimyo.

    For the specialized Samurai unit - they're not really specialized, but the Naginata Riders (samurai cavalry) are able to take bows and do have the Vanguard and Fast Cavalry rules. Scouting Fast Cavalry is something that I'm not sure I want to add, only because that has the potential to become very broken in game terms.

    Thanks for displaying interest in my project though - I've been saying this for a while now, but I'm wrapping it up and just adding in the final touches and making sure that everything blends together the way that I want it to. Hopefully my attention to Warhammer fluff, and delivery of a more unique Fantasy army rather than just an amalgamation of copypasted rules from other armybooks, will make my book stand out as something different to the Eliasson treatment of Nippon.
    Pts Values for AoS here!

    Nippon Armybook: Isuu, Scribd, and free at Google Docs

  10. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainSarathai View Post
    Well, at the moment this project has left me a little frustrated - I just saw the latest update that Eliasson added to his armybook, and the most polite way to say this is that while I do not agree with his choice of fluff or some of the mistaken historical/realistic elements in his book, he has made use of a handful of my rules and units, as well as fixing other issues that I had with his book (lack of clans, particular units, etc) and created what is probably a superior book to my own.
    That's the polite version. It took me half an hour to write.

    As far as the models - Borak, I haven't seen those, but I don't think that I'll be using them as anything other than characters. I can get stuff from Wargames Foundry that is only of slightly lower quality but costs about a quarter of what they're charging on Zenit. Their characters do look phenomenal though. It seems that I might build this entire army without even touching the Perry Miniatures line.

    For the fluff - I did actually cover that evolution of Bushido in my book, although it wasn't a raiding fleet from Cathay, it was an invasion of Marauders during the Great War. The Marauders had traveled south until they reached the Great Bastion in Cathay. Thwarted, they followed rumors of a land to the East, and set sail to find it. They stumbled upon Nippon and invaded. Not only is this the catalyst for the change in fighting style for the Bushii, but it is also the birth of the Ashigaru standing army. The Emperor saw that more soldiers would be required to stave off the hordes of Northmen and their Beastmen allies, but the Bushii refused to give up their exclusive right to bear weapons in Nippon. In the only instance where the Emperor "pulled rank" over the Shogun, he decreed that a standing army of Ashigaru be raised from among the citizenry. The mere act drained the Emperor of much of his resources, so he pressed these new recruits onto the Bushii for training and equipping. Initially the Ashigaru were just meat-shields, barely trained and equipped with cast off wargear from the Bushii, but eventually the Daimyo began to see the value in these soldiers, and gave them better training and equipment. While they are still nominally under command of a Daimyo and can be used for feuds and battles within Nippon, the Ashigaru serve the Emperor foremost, and can be called away from their Daimyo to serve him at any time. Ashigaru take pride in this fact, and many owe their allegiance more to the Emperor than to the Shogun or any Daimyo.

    For the specialized Samurai unit - they're not really specialized, but the Naginata Riders (samurai cavalry) are able to take bows and do have the Vanguard and Fast Cavalry rules. Scouting Fast Cavalry is something that I'm not sure I want to add, only because that has the potential to become very broken in game terms.

    Thanks for displaying interest in my project though - I've been saying this for a while now, but I'm wrapping it up and just adding in the final touches and making sure that everything blends together the way that I want it to. Hopefully my attention to Warhammer fluff, and delivery of a more unique Fantasy army rather than just an amalgamation of copypasted rules from other armybooks, will make my book stand out as something different to the Eliasson treatment of Nippon.
    Well, what's the impolite version then? I'd gladly accept any criticism as long as it's constructive and can help me make the book even better in the future. As far as choice of fluff goes, I believe you said you used the L5R fluff yourself for your book? Though I could certainly agree about it not being original myself, which I why I intend to update my book again in a year or two with a more "unique" background for Nippon (as in, not entirely copy-pasted from another RPG system). Also, what historical/realistic elements have I been mistaken in, and what units/rules from your list have I used? I compared the two of them, and there are barely any similarities apart from the obvious ones such as both contains samurai from what I saw.

    But perhaps, most importantly: are you going to release your book soon? Still want to take a look at the finished product!

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