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Shadowdark: Samurai and Vengeance

A peasant woman in late-medieval Japan having executed her vengeance against the samurai!
Art by Craig Brasco. Used with permission.

I've been stupid for Sengoku Japanese media since I first picked up the old TSR Oriental Adventures book. If it was samurai-related, I was down. The more I read (and frankly the older I got), the more I realized that samurai were dicks. They were the "tech bros" of their age, except they could kill you directly rather than just sapping your life indirectly through pointless iterations of data mining (but I digress). They drove the country of Japan to multiple, destructive wars over generations. And during all of it, they exploited the labor, patience, and blood of the peasant classes to pay for their very existence.

If you watched any chanbara movies from the 50's to the 80s -- and even Thirteen Assassins in 2010, there was a growing anti-ruling class sentiment to the stories. Media like Lady Snowblood, the Lone Wolf and Cub movie series, and the Zatoichi TV show brought these ideas to a head: Everyone was done with the samurai and their triflin' ways!

All of them had some element of Vengeance against the Samurai ruling class. And that's the basis for the Princess Death Face! campaign.

Anyway -- That's where I came down on a semi-historical Japanese setting for Shadowdark, B/X D&D, and maybe general OSR/Labyrinth Lord. The classes are simple and the campaign mode is VENGEANCE! I wanted the characters to be more diverse than a bunch of samurai dudes with funny hairstyles.

I'm planning on running it at North Texas RPG Con, so come to the Mesquite Conference Room and execute your bloody vengeance! Or rather...jump in a game where you can pretend to.

The Princess Blade -- a vengeance - based class for the Shadowdark RPG. Go kill some samurai.

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