Daisho Design Notes 05-07-2014 Heroes of Nippon


Many of the tales of legendary Japan focus on the heroism of a lone warrior. This was attractive to people in such a homogeneous society. The rebel, the outcaste, the individual hero who sweeps in to save the day and then rides off into the sunset.
When writing up the Buntai we could not leave this out, so we decided to create a dozen or so different lone heroes/villains than certain Buntai could choose to ‘hire’ on a single mission basis. Note though that none of these are leaders, nor do they replace leaders in the Buntai that hires them.
In the Options list for each Buntai you will find one or more Heroes listed. Obviously Buntai leaders will not choose heroes that they despise or that would not serve them, so the list is restricted.
The most obvious such Hero is Benkei, the half-oni warrior monk. In legend he fought alongside a Samurai Lord. In Daisho he will certainly be available to the Samurai and Sohei. We are considering what other lists he might also be available to. Maybe a Ryu or the Ikko-Ikki for example.
Other heroes we are designing include:

  • A superb Ninja infiltrator,
  • A Yamabushi hermit,
  • A Shugenja and summoner of demons,
  • A Sensei from a famed Dojo,
  • A Ronin Bandit,
  • A Sumo Champion,
  • A Shinto Priestess and friend to Kami,
  • An accomplished Noh Actor,
  • A Kitsune Geisha, and
  • A Royal Samurai in disguise.

None of these will be cheap, but they will give players the opportunity to add something special to sweeten their Buntai.
So, do you fine people have any ideas for such a hero? They need not be hugely powerful but they should bring something different to the Buntai’s they choose to help. If we pick one of your ideas you will be credited in the acknowledgements in the book.


A call to pencils!

We are seeking an artist capable of creating a memorable and dynamic cover for Daishō. This will be a paid commission and once we have shortlisted a few people we shall discuss terms etc.
At this stage we are looking for names and links to work you have already done. Perhaps you have a blog or are featured on deviant art or similar sites. We’d also be happy to receive examples by email. Email your interest to: craigcartmell@yahoo.com with your details.
After that what we would like to see in the short term (i.e. 2-3 weeks) is a simple pencil sketch showing how you would tackle the following brief. It should feature the following:

  • The legendary half-oni warrior monk Benkei and a noble Samurai, fighting back to back against a mob of … Bakemono, Oni, Tengu, Ninja or other villainous creatures.
  • The scene should be set either in a Buddhist temple or a Village.
  • The two heroes should be suitably and accurately armoured and armed. Benkei will have a naginata.

We are looking for an eye-catching, dynamic and exciting piece. Note that this sketch will remain your copyright and shall be returned whether it is used or not. A decent scan of the sketch is all we will need in the first place.
The finished, full cover version will have to eventually fit on a maximum of an A4 cover. It can be created in any medium that can be professionally scanned
Note that:

  • This is not an international bestseller but a small wargames publication so we will agree a reasonable price for the full colour version before you go ahead and put a lot of work into it.
  • If we do agree then the piece will need to be delivered by mid-October at the latest.
  • The original copyright for the work shall remain with the artist, what we shall be paying for is the right to use it for the book and in marketing materials supporting the book. The artist shall be fully credited in the book.

So break out your pencils and get sketching!

A very short Design Note 02/07/2014

A follow-up point to the Buntai Design post.

We know that quite a few of the people visiting this blog may not have read or played our last published game, In Her Majesty’s Name. So it is worth explaining a key feature of those rules.

In the core rules book of IHMN we wrote up the full points costs system so that people could create their own companies. This included how to cost figures. armour, weapons, powers and talents. On the IHMN blog we put an article explaining in detail how to create your own companies. It became a very popular feature of the game and the range of companies that people came up with and shared on the blog, the IHMN Facebook pages and the dedicated Lead Adventure sub-forum was astounding.

In Daishō we shall be doing the same thing. All points costs shall be open source and we will reprise the create your own company/Buntai article to help you create figures and Buntai that match your own vision of mythical Nippon.

In addition, like with IHMN, we shall release many free Buntai here as well as possibly work on supplements packed out with them, and share those produced by players.

So do not be dismayed if your favourite faction or horror does not appear in the core rules, it shall certainly be along by and by. After all how am I going to be able to play Totoru if we don’t?