Colonial Vietnam Cthulhu KS

Only tangentially relevant to this blog but still... I have found it interesting.

There is a crowdfunding campaign going on to fund a set of Call of Cthulhu 7th edition adventures cum background set in colonial Vietnam, circa 1925-1955. Some content is specific to WWII-era adventures, but some ideas could easily be stolen for a TCE/CoC cross-over game set in Vietnam, in particular the Hòa Hảo Buddhist militias, the entities that offer the temptation of enlightenment, the Expédition Lemont to the mythical city of gold, and the possibility to tie in the Plateau of Leng with Southeast Asia.

See p128 of The Celestial Empire for further details on running cross-over adventures with the Call of Cthulhu game.


Encyclopaedia of Historiography

The Encyclopaedia of Historiography by French academic publisher INALCO is freely available on-line (but not off-line) here.

It features many articles about East Asia of interest to referees and players of The Celestial Empire, inter alia:
  • East Asian Monetary History
  • Biographies of Buddhist Monks and Nuns
  • Sources for the History of Taoism
  • Chinese Imperial Capitals (The)
  • Codes and Legal Works in China
  • Historical and Institutional Encyclopaedias (zhengshu)
  • Travel Books (The) (China)
  • Chinese Cartography
  • Matteo Ricci’s World Map (The) (1602)
  • “Accounts of the Eastern Barbarians” in Chinese Official Dynastic Histories
  • Koryŏsa 高麗史 고려사 : the Official History of the Koryŏ Kingdom
  • Yongjae Ch’onghwa 慵齋叢話 (Yongjae Narratives)
  • Chronicle of the Voyage of Nosongdang to Japan
  • Instructions of the Keian Era (The)
  • Japanese Documents from the Edo Period relating to the Imjin War
  • Cao Bằng: Sources for the History of a Borderland in Vietnam before the 20th Century


Tetsubō News

Tetsubō is one of those games that “almost happened”. Time and time again, it was on the brink of publication, and then for various reason it got cancelled. First in the 80s as a Japanese-flavoured Warhammer supplement, then putatively as a Dragon Warriors supplement, then two years ago it went back to its original scope and again almost got published as a Japanese-flavoured Zweihänder supplement (so much that it even got its cover that was circulated on Twitter; it’s the picture I am showing here), and now its authors are revealing that they may eventually publish it as a stand-alone role-playing game powered by the same engine as Paul Mason’s Outlaws of the Water Margin – which would be über cool since I really like the latter.

What can I say at the moment? Be patient as a Zen monk; wait and see!


Return of the Basic Role-Playing Ststem! New! Improved! With OGL!

My three or four faithful readers may remember that the reason my historical role-playing game set in Imperial China The Celestial Empire isn’t available any longer is because its original publisher, Alephtar Games, lost the licence to publish games using the Basic Role-Playing System, owned by the Chaosium, as their engine.

However, the Chaosium have just announced an Open Gaming Licence for the Basic Role-Playing System (all the details are on my other blog), meaning that The Celestial Empire might return, probably under another form, should I finally manage to finish the manuscript of my East Asian 16th century setting.

Watch this space!


Trade Routes Under the Sòng

Thanks to reddit user martinjanmansson, we have access – here – to a fantastically detailed map of the trade routes of Eurasia in the 11th/12th centuries AD, i.e., under the Sòng dynasty of China.

I have added below the maps of interest for an East Asian campaign:

Map centred on China

the North-East

the North-West

the South-East

the South-West