The Purple Maiden

the Purple Maiden
The Purple Maiden (Zǐgū 紫姑) is a minor deity of Chinese Folk Religion mostly worshipped by women via a very peculiar possession cult: instead of possessing a medium, the Purple Maiden takes possession of her effigy during the night of her festival (the 15th day of the 1st month).

The effigy is thus swayed in various directions by the weight of the possessing deity; the movements of the effigy are then interpreted by the Ritual Master / Shaman / Spirit-Medium to divine about the prospects of the coming year in terms of silk output, or any other women-related produce.

As with most Chinese Folk Religion deities, the Purple Maiden is an apotheosised mortal. She was a concubine killed by the jealous wife of her master, close to the pigsty or to the latrine of the household. This is why her cult takes place next to the pigsty or latrine. An alternate (and possibly truer) hypothesis is that the stinking parts of the household were deemed inhabited by malevolent spirits, and a tale was fabricated to create a benevolent spirit guarding said parts of the household.

Whatever the truth, the cult of the Purple Maiden has been popular since the Táng dynasty. Under the Sòng, Zǐgū can be called upon even outside of her festival night via a small doll made of chopsticks and wicker, and animated by children. The doll traces lines on the ground, which are then interpreted for divination. This is probably the first instance of fújī (spirit-writing, see p94 of The Celestial Empire), the divination technique that became so popular from the Sòng dynasty on.


Rise of the Yōkai Koku - Crowdfunding Campaign Has Started

The crowdfunding campaign for Rise of the Yōkai Koku, by Alephtar Games, has started on ulule. Rise of the Yōkai Koku (妖怪國) is an adventure/campaign setting for Revolution D100 set in 16th-century Japan, at the time of the feudal anarchy known as the Sengoku Jidai (戰國時代, "Age of Warring States").
Although the campaign is specifically tailored for Revolution D100, I believe you can easily adapt it to any D100-based role-playing game.

my character from the play tests

Here are three excerpts from the ulule blurb:

"After his defeat at the hand of Oda Nobunaga, the great Daimyō Azai Nagamasa commits seppuku. The only hope for what is left of his retinue is a secret alliance with the Takeda clan, the only one strong enough to oppose Nobunaga. However, Takeda Shingen demands a hostage to guarantee the loyalty of Nagamasa’s former retainers. The hostage must reach the Shinano province without Nobunaga being aware of his presence, but the road passes through Oda territory. A group of brave adventurers must accompany the hostage in his dangerous journey."

The first part of the booklet contains two different methods to generate Japanese characters suitable to the Sengoku Jidai era – including some unusual ones – and specific rules for roleplaying in the period, and in Japanese culture in general: Buddhist schools, the influence of Shintō practices, Japanese martial disciplines and so on. The second part is the adventure itself, in which the player characters take the role of protectors of the hostage at the court of the great Takeda Shingen. The campaign is divided into ten chapters between which the players will have plenty of opportunities to evolve their characters along their preferred path.

Other information about the product:
  • Expected size 64 to 80 pages, letter format.
  • Standard character generation option based on Background and Occupation.
  • Questionnaire-based character generation option which defines your character abilities and history according to the answers you choose.
  • Stunts for Japanese swordsmanship and other martial techniques.
  • Statistics for Japanese weapons and armour.
  • Simple magic powers based on Buddhist meditation techniques.
  • Different flavours of Buddhist schools, from highly orthodox Zen to the weird practices of Shugendō, with all shades of esoteric Buddhism in between. Each school provides slightly different magic.