The Bestiary

If there is one section that really typifies the different styles of play available in Daisho it is the Bestiary.

The first part. like in IHMN contains the some of the natural animals  that could be used in the game. Dogs, horses, wolves, bears for example.


The second covers a few of the many legendary creatures that inhabit mythical Japan. In Daishō the following are available:

  • Centipede, Giant (mukade)
  • Crocodile, Giant (wani)
  • Faceless One (mujina)
  • Fox-Man (kitsune), human form
  • Fox-Man (kitsune), fox form
  • Ghost, Warrior (shura)
  • Lion-Dog (shishi)
  • Lizard, Giant (yamatokage)
  • Octopus, Giant (tako),
  • Shark-Man (kojin), human form
  • Spectre (shoryo)
  • Spider, Earth (jikumo)
  • Spider, Giant (hirata-kumo)
  • Spider, Trapdoor (totate-kumo)
  • Spider, Water (mizu-kumo)
  • Spirit of Place (kami)
  • Vampire (shuten-doji)

How you use these is up to you. A few of them appear in the scenarios we have written in the book. But they don’t just have to be non-player characters, you could integrate them into your buntai, just as you would a Hero of Nippon.

Anything that you choose to do with them, that is not already covered by the rules though, falls under 1.6.3 The Power of Rules.


The Buntai

Already people are asking us what Buntai are available in Daishō. This can be answered simply by just giving you a list or more complicatedly by describing the Buntai creation process. So we thought we would do both.


  1. The Buntai in the Book

These are the dozen Buntai you get pre-costed and fully described in the book. Each has its own character and will appeal to different people. We tried to cover all the well-known themes and a few less well-known ones.

The Troubleshooters

When diplomacy fails and the Imperial Court is in danger, the Shogun sends for Mamatu Zaemon and his elite band of warriors. These men are famed for dealing with unpleasant matters with discretion and a certain finality.

Bakura’s Bandits

Bakura is typical of his kind, a ruthless hill bandit, with pretences of social sophistication. He gathers about him a gang of misfits, lost men and thieves. Every Daimyo has to deal with such men.

Sōhei Monks

Some look upon monks as being peaceful servants of the Buddha. However, in these turbulent times many monasteries meddle in local politics and can field fast and deadly warriors. They will fight just about anyone, even other monks.

Clan Patrol

Every samurai clan has a duty to protect its people. The men it sends to do this are steadfast and loyal and will fight to the death to keep their villages safe from bandits, ronin and worse predators.


What does a samurai bushi do when he loses his master or is cast out? He could commit seppuku to regain his honour or become a bandit. Some though stil cherish the dream they might one day return to the service of a grateful lord. These form bands of mercenaries that roam the land seeking employment suited to their martial skills.


In the shadows, death awaits those who offend the ninja clans. In these times of strife they are much called upon to serve masters for whom ambition trumps honour.


There comes a time when the heimin, the peasant and merchant classes, can no longer bear the daily humiliations laid upon them by the samurai. Then they rise up and throw off their yokes, turning villages and towns into fortresses, and attract the support of disaffected ashigaru, ronin and sōhei.



In every society there are narcissistic psychopaths who prey upon the weak. Such are the Kabuki-mono. Mostly of the samurai class these men have really gone over the edge between light and dark. Dressed like dandies, these are men you dare not oppose without good reason.


In every town and city there are ryu where men train for years to master the martial arts. Many samurai spend a season in such a ryu to improve their skills. However, there are times when the ryu will march to war, and Buddha help those they take up arms against.


From the pits of hell these demons pour forth to answer a foolish mortal’s call and make man pay for his hegemony of the surface world. They are huge, unspeakable beasts with ambitions best left unspoken.


Always in the shadow of their larger cousins the Oni, the bakemono have ambitions of their own. They will sally forth in often vain attempts to possess land and demand tribute in mockery of the samurai clans they abhor.


No-one can fathom the real motives of the mysterious Tengu. It is enough that they exist in the mist-shrouded forests of the interior and occasionally meddle in human affairs wielding their sorcerous arts and deadly blades.

  1. Creating your own Buntai

As in our previous works we believe that the players should have all the tools they require to build up their own, unique, buntai based upon history, story or myth. For this reason we have written the Buntai Dojo which is in the Bonus Material section of this blog.

Within this mini-supplement is also a full new buntai – the Iron Blossom Geisha.

And to assist you further there is also a points calculating spreadsheet. With Daishō you have no limit but your imagination.

All good things come to they who wait…

Good people.

To coincide with the release of Daishō we have added to new files to the Bonus materials section of the blog.


The first is the Buntai Dojo. These are a set of guidelines as to how you can modify or even create your own buntai in Daishō. As you may already be aware Daishō is an open system. All points costs and how to calculate them are included in the rules.

The second is the Daishō Points Calculator. This shall save you the chore of having to work out the points for each figure or whole buntai. Each option for a figure has a drop down list so all you have to to is select what you want and the points shall work themselves out for you.

Please feel free to give us feedback on these, especially if you find any possible errors. We want these to be perfect for you to use.

Daishō has landed!

Daimyo Nick Eyre, and his splendid buntai, are now taking pre-orders for Daishō. The books are expected to arrive at Castle North Star this weekend.

If you wish to get in early here is the link:

Just to wet your appetite here is a scene from the book.


You can also find the game’s Reference Sheet in the Bonus Material section of this blog.