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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Starting the ToEE-OA style

I am thinking that the new party of adventurers will be the retainers of a fairly impoverished lord who has been charged with investigating the rumors that the seals on the Black Temple* are breaking down and evil is rising again in Kozakura. Yep, I am going old school Oriental Adventures all the way on this one, so it's Kara-Tur rather than Rokugan**. This changes the set up of the "Village of Hommlet" portion of the module a bit, but it's not too hard to work with. Mostly it's refamiliarizing myself with EGG's opus here that's taking up so much time. I also need to think of new names for the village, it's inhabitants and the moathouse and Nulb. Any help renaming this stuff in Japanese would be awesome.

By the way, just as an aside, I remember distinctly NOT wanting or buying "T1:The Village of Hommlet", because how much fun can you have adventuring in a tiny village named after a word that means tiny village. EGG kind of dropped the ball on naming this one. I probably wouldn't have bought "B2:The Keep on the Borderlands" either if it hadn't come with my Holmes edition basic boxed set; that one should have been called "B2:The Caves of Chaos". T1 probably should have been called something like "Battle for the Ruined Moathouse" or "Ancient Evil rises in Hommlet" or something. Good module, bad name. TSR needed a chief of marketing that either had a degree in marketing and some experience selling stuff to the target audience or the balls to stand up to EGG and tell him when his module names were lame.

Just my opinion, sorry if I have slain any sacred cows here; it's not my intention to ruin anyone's childhood memories or impugn EGG's good name in any way, I just never played or even looked at T1 until it was released as T1-4 because of the name. "The Temple of Elemental Evil" is an AWESOME name, "The Village of Hommlet" not so much; and I got to miss out a great AD&D experience for years because of it.

So, in closing, since I've run so far off track, I would be eternally grateful if anyone could help me come up with Japanese names for the places and NPCs in the T1 portion of ToEE; so far the rest is coming together pretty easy, for the most part. I haven't heard back from all of my potential players yet, but so far I am looking at starting on Sunday, October 9th; I am pretty sure I can be done with the village and moathouse conversions by then anyway.

*I decided that the Temple of Elemental Evil was the Black Temple mentioned in "OA1-Swords of the Daimyo", it actually works pretty well.

**If 1st edition AD&D Oriental Adventures wins the vote, right now it's tied with 1st edition Legend of the Five Rings RPG in the poll of potential players. Maybe if it comes down to a tie vote I'll put up a poll here and let you readers decide what we play here in my home game, interested?


  1. Using Village of Hommlet in an Oriental setting is a really good idea, especially when there's a real sense of a rural and peasant community which should be prevalent in feudal-japan style setting. Nice one. I never managed to buy the follow-up modules to VoH (or T1-4) so I can't help you with the names - but Hommlet became an important village between a the capitol city of my campaign and most of the remote ruins which hid local dungeons.
    Bushi of the Flaming Eye?
    Btw, there's a Japanese option in this name generator
    , but I'd stick to abstracted nouns for actual places - Black Dragon Pass, Red Ghost Woods. Feathered Hills. Poetic oxymorons may work in oriental settings: The Gentle Fort, Butcher's Love, Cave of Hard Dreams, Blossom Blade Marsh ...
    Hmm, maybe I've just gone mad. Too many haikus before bedtime.
    I'm very taken by Ruins & Ronin at the moment. Red Goblins haunt me. I think if I ever ran an oriental campaign I would use those lovely and simple rules but import the honour system from OA.
    Thanks for the inspirations! :)

  2. Thanks for the heads up on the name generator, it keeps me from naming everyone in the village after characters in the book Shogun. I also really love Ruins & Ronin, so far it's my favorite OSR produced product that I have bought.