One of the many difficult tasks Charles and I have had is in selecting the Buntai we shall include in the Daisho Core Rules book. Like with In Her Majesty’s Name we shall be releasing further Buntai through the Daisho Blog and possibly in supplements, but the first set of Buntai must represent a wide range of choices for players.
Samurai illustration by Tony Yates
There are the obvious ones such as the Samurai Clan and the Sōhei Warrior Monks. These are a must have, and we shall also be including the Ikko-Ikki, Ronin and Ninja as you might expect.
Then it becomes more difficult. For example the Yakuza. In the period we are looking at, and despite it being mythical Nippon, the Yakuza as we know them now simply did not exist. However, research into this has thrown up an interesting bunch of dandies and psychopaths who terrorised neighbourhoods in several cities – the Kabukimono. I really like these guys and think that they would present an interesting Buntai to play.
In the towns the other ancestor of the Yakuza was organising things to suit their own commercial interests. Not quite full-on criminals yet, but getting close. These were the Machi-yakko, and we’ll be trying some ideas out to see if we can get these to work.
Obviously we want some bandits, an ever present threat in the mountain and forest of the Japanese interior. Also some dedicated martial artists so a Ryu dojo is a good one to try.
Then we come to the supernatural. Japan has no shortage of supernatural nasties, but which of these would make an interesting and challenging Buntai? Well the first shall be the Oni, they are a definite in our minds. Looking at others we could have Tengu, Bakemono, Vampires, Kappa and Kami.
Working through this selection which ones would act in a group and prey upon mortals. Bakemono probably, Tengu possibly. Kappa are water creatures and might not fare so well away from it. Vampires are generally loners. The Kami we have other ideas for as they are closely tied to the landscape they inhabit and protect.