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As per DMG pg. 41 the standard weapons in the PHB exist and work just the same in Oriental Adventures.  They will have different names, however.  As the bent of this campaign is more towards Japan than China the Japanese name is the one in common usage.

Weapon Other Names (Culture)
Battleaxe fu (China); masakari (Japan)
Club bian (China); tonfa (Japan)
Dagger bishou, tamo (China); kozuka, tanto (Japan)
Dart shuriken (Japan)
Flail nunchaku (Japan)
Glaive guandao (China); bisento, naginata (Japan)
Greatclub tetsubo (Japan)
Greatsword changdao (China); nodachi (Japan)
Halberd ji (China); kamayari (Japan)
Handaxe ono (Japan)
Javelin mau (China); uchi-ne (Japan)
Lance umayari (Japan)
Longbow daikyu (Japan)
Longsword jian (China); katana (Japan)
Mace chui (China) ; kanabo (Japan)
Pike mao (China); nagaeyari (Japan)
Quarterstaff gun (China); bo (Japan)
Scimitar liuyedao (China), also known as a butterfly sword
Shortbow hankyu (Japan)
Shortsword shuangdao (China); wakizashi/ninja-to (Japan)
Sickle kama (Japan),  Kusari-gama (Japan, as kama but has reach)
Spear qiang (China); yari (Japan)
Trident cha (Ch ina) ; magariyari (Japan)
War Pick fang (China); kuwa (Japan)


Daikyu. This is the largest type of bow found in the Oriental Adventures rules.  In some ways, it is similar to the longbow. It is seven feet long and bent at the ends for greater power. Unlike most bows, the grip is not cen- tered, being closer to the bottom. This allows the bow to be fired from horseback and kneeling positions.  It has the same statistics as a longbow however it uses Strength instead of Dexterity for its to-hit and damage modifiers.

Fukimi-Bari (mouth darts). These slim, almost needlelike metal darts are concealed in the mouth and then spit at the target. Their effective range is extremely short, and they do little damage, but they are highly useful when taking an opponent by surprise. You can fire up to three mouth darts per attack (all at the same target).

Do not apply your Strength modifier to damage with mouth darts. They are too small to carry the extra force that a strong character usually imparts to a thrown weapon. The cost and weight are for a single mouth dart.

They share the same statistics as a blowgun dart but all variables are halved.  They each do 1 damage.

Nekode. A nekode is a strap or glove fitted with spikes in the palm, favored as both a weapon and a climbing tool by ninja.  It grants advantage on Climb checks.   An attack with a nekode is considered an unarmed attack and the damage type is slashing.  The bagh nakh (“tiger’s claws”) is a similar weapon to the nekode, wielded more like brass knuckles. Its statistics are the same, but it does not give a bonus on Climb checks.

Ninja-to. The ninja-to—a short, straight sword similar to a wakizashi—is the standard sword of the ninja. True to a ninja’s methods, the scabbard of the ninja-to is a multipurpose tool. It is open at both ends, allowing it to be used as a blowpipe for powders or poisons or as a breathing tube. It is also stiff and strong, allowing it to be used as the rung of a ladder or even as a weapon (use the statistics for a club).

Sai. A sai’s pronglike extrusions are designed to help catch and disarm opponents’ weapons.  It grants the Disarm action during combat (DMG pg. 271) it otherwise is identical to a shortsword but it does bludgeoning damage.

Sodegarami. The sodegarami, or sleeve-tangler, is a highly specialized weapon, used to catch and entangle an opponent without causing great harm. It is normally used to hook and catch the clothing of an opponent. When you use a sodegarami in this way, you gain the Grapple attack option during combat but you make the attack from reach.  It acts as a net when used in this way.  It can also be used as a normal weapon identical to a glaive.

Tonfa. This weapon is identical to the club with the added benefit of adding +1 to AC when taking the Dodge action.

War Fan. Favoured by certain Scorpions, this weapon appears to the untrained eye as nothing more than a beautifully crafted lady’s fan. In fact, the vanes of the fan are crafted from steel, and the tips are needle-sharp. When the fan is first brought into melee, the wielder may attempt a Deception check against an opponent’s Insight check. If the wielder wins the contest, he gains advantage  to the attack roll for his first round’s attack(s).  It otherwise is identical to a dagger.

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Though armour isn’t 100% as easily converted it works with a bit of imagination.  O-Yori isn’t exactly the same as Plate but with a different name but it is effectively the same category.

Weapon Other Names (Culture)
Light Armour Light Armour
Padded Ashigaru
Leather Leather
Studded Leather Leather Scale

Reinforced Shozoku (3,000 gp, 13 AC + Dex modifier, 2 lb)

Medium Armour Medium Armour
Hide Hide, Bone armour
Chain shirt Brigandine
Scale mail Lamellar
Half Plate Partial Armour

Heroic Kozane (5,000 gp, AC 16 + 2 DEX)

Heavy Armour Heavy Armour
Ring Mail Dehnuka
Chain Mail
Splint Great Armour (O-Yori)
Plate Tameshi-Gusoku (10,000 gp, STR 17)
Shield Shield
Shield Shield


Ashigaru Armour. Ashigaru armor is a light and inexpensive armour worn by farmers conscripted into a daimyo’s army. It consists of a light breastplate and thigh protectors made of laced metal plates (hara-ate), shin guards (sune-ate), and a light helmet resembling a round straw hat (jingasa).

Bone Armour. Bone armor is sometimes worn by nezumi or barbarian soldiers or sorcerers. The armor consists of a cloth or leather coat reinforced with strips of bone, and leaves the limbs free.

Brigandine. Brigandine armor consists of a coat of leather plates, each plate consisting of leather with a strip of steel inside it. It is essentially a light form of splint mail, and is common in many cultures in Oriental Adventures.

Chahar-Aina. This “four-mirror armor” can be worn over certain other types of armor to provide an additional armour bonus that stacks with both the foundation armor and any shield worn. A character can wear a chahar-aina effectively over light armour. A character needs to be proficient in medium armour and Chahar-Aina adds a +1 AC to the base armour. It costs 75 gp and adds an additional 10 lbs. of weight.

Cord Armour. Cord armour consists of rope-like fibres woven and knotted into a thick, tough fabric. It is typically found among more barbaric cultures or in places where leather is scarce.

Dragonfly Armour.  This is technically not an armour unto itself but a material used to make armour.  Any armour made from this exceedingly rare material has +1 bonus to AC, allows for a +1 Dexterity bonus increase and is half the weight.  Due to the nature of the carapace used in the creation of the armour – harvested from the dreaded Tenshi-Tombo – only medium and heavy armour of a plated nature can be created from this material.  The cost for the armour increases by 2,000 gp.

Dastana. These large metal bracers can be worn in addition to some other types of armor to provide an additional amor bonus that stacks with both the foundation armor and any shield worn. A character can wear dastana with medium armour but must be proficient in heavy armour to wear dastana without penalty.  It adds +1 to AC to the base armour, costs 25 gp. and adds 5 lbs. of weight.

Dhenuka. This heavy hide armor is made from the skin of a rhinoceros. It is more commonly enhanced by magic than regular hide armor and often carries magic related to the strength of the rhino.

Great Armour. Great armour, called o-yoroi, is a full suit of armour formed from small metal plates tied together with coloured leather lacings and lacquered to seal them from moisture. The full suit consists of a corselet (do-maru, covering the stomach, chest, shoulders, and back), large rectangular shoulder pieces (sode), an apron of large plates to cover the thighs and knees (haidate), a great helmet with a face mask (kabuto), and shin guards made of metal splints (cuneate).  Wearing great armor is a badge of honour for samurai of the noble caste, and they frown on anyone else wearing a suit—including shugenjas.

Heroic Kozane. A heroic kozane is a lamellar armor that has received exceptional treatment. Only the most renowned and honourable of samurai ever wear this armor, and only if gifted by their daimyo. A heroic kozane always includes a face mask (kabuto).

Lamellar. Similar to splint and brigandine armour, lamellar lies between the two in protective value. It consists of small, overlapping plates of metal sewn together or stitched to a backing of leather or cloth.

Leather Scale. Leather scale armour is just like the scale mail described in the Player’s Handbook, except that the scales are made of cured leather instead of metal.

Partial Armour. A light suit of armour for samurai who do not wish to be heavily burdened, partial armor consists of a breastplate protecting the chest, stomach, and back (haramaki-do), thigh covering (haidate), and shin guards (sune-ate).

Reinforced Shozoku. A reinforced shozoku is a full cloth suit including boots, gloves, hood, and mask, typically made of black fabric, with an underlay of absorbent (and
expensive) materials. A reinforced shozoku is typically produced with a particular wearer in mind, as the suit must be a perfect fit for the wearer, in order to ensure no restrictions on the wearer’s mobility.

Tameshi-Gusoku. The tameshi-gusoku’s design is based on the great armor but formed
from much smaller metal plates. Furthermore, each plate has been folded unto itself over a million times, and the metal has been infused with trace amounts of jade, protecting it’s wearer from Taint. A tameshi-gusoku is the rarest of armours. It is believed that no smith alive today can craft a true tameshi-gusoku, and there are only a few left in existence, all owned by noble families that treasure it as highly as the most pristine blade.


Eggshell Grenades.  Generally only used by ninja’s it is possible to get a hold of these with the right connections.  However, they are more likely to be ruined in the hands of an amateur as opposed to a trained practitioner.  They are fully described under their own entry – eggshell bombs.

White Sake.  Sacred white sake is said to have healing powers, being able to cure disease, heal grievous wounds and even neutralise poison.  Each draught of white sake comes in a sealed ochoko and has one of the following effects depending on what prayer is said over the sake before drinking it – it may heal 2d4+2 hit points or lesser restoration or remove curse (as the spell).  If no prayer is said over the sake it is mundane sake (of fine quality nonetheless).  100 gp.


New tools and related proficiencies exist in the world of Oriental Adventures.  A player may substitute a background proficiency for one of these instead.

Calligraphy. The written language of the Oriental Adventures world is much different from that commonly used in other D&D settings. Other lands normally make use of alphabets to compose words and words to compose sentences.  However, here the written language is composed of pictographs (or logograms). Each character (as a single written pictograph is commonly called) represents a single word or part of a word.  Originally, the character was like a small painting of the thing it represented, but time has simplified and stylized these characters so that they have only a slight resemblance to the thing anymore.  Instead, they have meanings that can be added to or changed when used with other characters.  Each word has a different character or combination of characters, and thousands of different characters are needed to write books. Great precision is needed to write clearly and correctly.

Thus a character’s style and artistic ability with the ink-brush is an important measure of his social worth in the Oriental Adventures world.  The first impression a stranger forms of a character may well be based on how graceful and beautiful his calligraphy style is. Indeed, how well one writes can often be more important than what the writing actually says.  Therefore, calligraphy is a vital skill for those aspiring to a high position in the Oriental Adventures lands.

The calligraphy tool proficiency has many uses.  It is needed to inscribe magical scrolls, prepare reports to one’s lord, impress officials, and curry favour from powerful NPCs. It shows the rank of the writer, and good writing can be used to add prestige to those of lower birth.  A poetry contest at a court can also be a contest in calligraphy. A brilliant poem written in a crude and unformed hand can be less appealing than a good poem with fine calligraphy.  Every time a character writes an important document, a die roll must be made to find the quality of the character’s calligraphy. The DM can modify the reaction of any NPC to the message based on the quality of the calligraphy. Good calligraphy gives a more favourable reaction; bad calligraphy has the opposite effect.  Untrained characters use Dexterity as the related ability score instead.

Calligraphy requires the use of a writing brush, an inkwell, and an inking stone. These are normally carried as a set, but characters can improvise these items when they must.

Calligrapher set cost is already outlined in the PHB on pg. 154.

Origami. Is the art of paper-folding, usually in intricate shapes and patterns representing flora and fauna.  The tool proficiency is origami and the cost and weight is the same as paper in the PHB.

Tea ceremony. The tea ceremony is a highly specialised art practised by nobles in some lands.  Although outwardly it appears to be a simple if not trivial procedure, it is actually a skill that requires painstaking concentration.  Every movement and step must be performed with an exact amount of grace and precision.  Furthermore, the purpose of the ceremony is to create an atmosphere of utter calm and serenity, free of all mental distractions.  Should this not be achieved, the ceremony has failed in its goal.  Stories are told of masters of this art who are so skilled they cannot be surprised or distracted in the slightest while in the midst of the ceremony.  When a character is engaged in a tea ceremony, the DM should secretly roll against the success number for the proficiency. If the die roll is greater than the number needed to succeed, the character has achieved that utter concentration.  During the course of the ceremony, which lasts one hour, the character cannot be surprised.  A tea set costs 10gp minimum and weighs 1 lb.  The tool proficiency is Tea Set.


Posted in Adventurer's Vault, Oriental Adventures

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