Friday, July 6, 2018

Kara-Tur - Some Thoughts - Part 4 - the Level Gauge & Useful Links

Tier 1

Levels 1-4. 
Characters are effectively apprenticing adventurers and face minor threats to local farmsteads or villages.

  • This is low-level village protection,
  • Lafcadio Hearn's Oriental Ghost Stories - these are often dealing with ordinary people in extraordinary situations and if the pcs survive, it's because they are starting to be extraordinary.
  • This is also when you start a standard shounen, such as one of my favorites: Ushio and Tora.
  • if you doing revolutionaries, this would be the level to start a sort of "long march" type game.

Tier 2 

Levels 5-10. 
Spellcasters are more powerful, fighting classes get extra attacks. Characters face dangers that threaten cities and kingdoms.

  • If you want to switch between tier 1 and 2, this is a perfect time to try to do a 7th samurai story.
  • I'd say this is when you hit the big cities.
  • This also feels like the right power level for a yakuza/tong crime story.
  • This is movie Jackie Chan
  • This is also Goemon and Ebisumaru levels, a version of Japanese robin hood. you might remember it as the SNES game legend of the mystic ninja.
  • I'd also play at the level if you are in the employment of the legendary Korean admiral Yi Sun-sin and riding around in turtle ships (or if you prefer, dragon turtles )

Tier 3 

Levels 11-16. 
Characters are high above the ordinary populace. They have powers that create previously impossible effects, or the ability to do very impressive things with their attacks. They confront threats to whole regions and continents.

  • Ninja scroll is kinda the transitionary between tier 2 and 3.
  • This would be when you are wetting your toes in the celestial bureaucracy.
  • War hero level. - romance of the three kingdoms
  • This includes fighting the Tuigan en masse
  • This is the level of Rurouni Kenshin at his peak.
  • This is Jackie Chan adventures (because those talismans are artifacts)

Tier 4 

Levels 17-20. 
Characters achieve pinnacle of class features, becoming archetypes. They confront threats to the world or even the multiverse.

  • If you don't feel like one of the characters in the journey to the west at this point, you've done something wrong.
  • This is kaiju fighting level.
  • This is the level you'd need to be Wo Mai in his own court. He should be a Demogorgon /Orcus level opponent.
  • There is a mythic lost city known as Keo Melian. I would treat is like 2e myth drannor. aka the great city for overpowered adventurers.

Other Ideas of Kara-Tur

This is mainly a Grab Bag of ideas that don't really fit anywhere else

Dungeons in Kara-Tur

The following idea was brought to my attention.

just extrapolate this by being done by a previous emperor that was abandoned in northern Shou lung and you have an asian themed underdark. :)

Another idea is the idea of trial caves.  These are Caves that are considered "sacred" by those whom follow the Way and are setup as obstacles to test those that would enter.  I would put these in southern Shou Lung, T'u Lung, Petan, and Lathoan.

Tan Chin

This is an official NPC I wish I wrote.  He might be possessing the last Shou Lung Emporer or appearing elsewhere in Kara-Tur.  He's obviously an homage to David Lo Pan from Big Trouble in little china and a super useful plug and play villain if you need a big bad.


I'm including a set of media I've referred to in these blog posts, mainly to assist in accessing materials and fun watches


El-Hazard - The Magnificent World
Ninja Scroll
Read or Die
Rurouni Kenshin
Samurai Pizza Cats
Ushio and Tora


Journey to the West


Big Trouble in Little China

Video Games

King of Fighters
Street Fighter

Western Animation

Samurai Jack

Useful Links

The following are links and/or reviews of previous products as well as inspiration, mainly to keep track of them.


[Let's Read] Oriental Adventures (1e) - by Macbalence
[Let's Read] Oriental Adventures: The Supplements - by MacBalance
[Let's Read] Kara-Tur Box Set - by Macbalence
[Let's Read] FROA1: Ninja Wars by Macbalence

[Let's Read] AD&D 2e Kara-Tur Monstrous Compendium Appendix - by Leonaru
Oriental Adventures 5e: How would you do it? By Voidrifter

Monstrous Database - Kara-Tur

Kara Tur by [GM] Laylyn

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