Well, the information is in the tile :-)
The Bavarian State Library has a huge collection of 'Sinica' (i.e., China-themed) books, and apparently they have finished scanning them and making them available on-line. My German is rusty but apparently the collection contains 230,000 printed books and 3,000 manuscripts. At the moment they have digitised more than 1,000,000 pages... quite impressive!
Here is the link: Digitale Sammlungen Ostasien
There is a nifty search tool that accepts Asian characters, and I have already started looking for cool editions of the Water Margin [水滸傳]. Have fun!
|Judge and Retainers|
In a highly civilised society such as China, with little personal freedom, little motivation to transgress the boundaries of what one is restricted to, and especially in a society that frowns upon the use of violence, the only possibility for the kind of anti-social behaviour that RPGers enjoy is law enforcement.
Well, a judge in China was assigned a city where he would work as a magistrate, carrying out sentences and settling disputes, but also collecting tax, repairing broken bridges, repressing banditry, and suppressing unorthodox cults.
So the first thing to draw up for your judge PC and his fellow PCs is the prefectural seat he's going to spend the next three years in! For that purpose, I have developed a hack of Éric Nieudan's own more generic classic fantasy random wilderness generator.
What you need:
- A standard 52-card deck with French suits (♠♥♦♣); remove the jokers and the 2's.
1. Draw cards to make a 7×7 grid; leave centre of grid empty. The centre is your city:
2. Terrain the remaining 48 areas according to card suit; face cards mean there is a steading. See tables below:
|♦ plains or steppe|
|♣ woods or swamp|
|♥ hills or desert|
|♠ mountains or canyons|
|Jack: village, hamlet or camp|
|Queen: temple, shrine, other holy place|
|King: manor or mansion|
|Ace: town or harbour|
Choose or draw another card for subtypes, e.g.:
|Second Card Drawn||Village Sub-Type||Temple Sub-Type||Manor Sub-Type|
|♦||Hàn Chinese||Confucian||Retired Mandarin|
|♥||Hàn Chinese||Daoist||Head of Local Lineage|
|♠||Ethnic Minority||Folk Religion||Wealthy Landowner|
|Third Card Drawn||Buddhist Sub-Type||Daoist Sub-Type|
|♦||Pure Land||Complete Orthodoxy (Zhèngyi)|
3. Encounters and events. Now, whenever the judge and his companions are travelling throughout the prefecture, random encounters may happen! For each card, roll d20 and compare to card value (Jack = 11, Queen = 12, King = 13, Ace = 14). If the die roll is ≤ card value, look at the encounter on the table below.
Variant: Use a d10 in the light grey area.
|Die|| Civilised Encounters
Die roll < card value
Die roll = card value
|1||Farmers ♦travelling ♣foraging ♥poaching ♠fleeing|
|2||Fishermen ♦working ♣mending nets ♥famished ♠building a dam|
|3||Merchants ♦caravan ♣lost ♥being robbed ♠loaded with silver||Ambush or trap|
|4||Monks ♦preaching ♣looking for help ♥begging ♠on a pilgrimage||Impromptu market|
|5||Soldiers ♦labourers ♣conscripts ♥militia ♠press-gang||Freak weather|
|6||Ethnic minority ♦mercenaries ♣traders ♥confidence artists ♠clan||Blocked roads|
|7||Nomads ♦Steppe ♣Forest ♥Desert ♠Mountain||Fire|
|8||Adventurers ♦bruised & beaten ♣hostile ♥friendly ♠richly equipped||Flood|
|9||Indigenous people ♦warband ♣migrating ♥raiding ♠hiding||Battle|
|10||Koreans ♦merchants ♣ambassadors ♥prisoners ♠seamen||Ghosts|
|11||Bandits ♦river raiders ♣on the run ♥hiding ♠carrying plunder||Country fair|
|12||Thieves ♦street thugs ♣running from the law ♥spies ♠burglars||Bandit Lair|
|13||Vietnamese ♦merchants ♣ambassadors ♥prisoners ♠pilgrims||Siege|
Feedback and suggestions welcome.