Weekly Design Blog #40: Tendou -- The Twisted City (i.e. Jinteki-Oni City)

Hello All,

I had been planning on doing one of our other cities for today, continuing on our series of blogs about the cities of Rosuto-Shima from last weeks on Shangti -- The Imperial City (which relates to blogs about the physical landscape of The Lost Island here and also here), but one of the first images I saw this morning on Facebook was this:

And I instantly knew, today I had to talk about Tendou

Tendou -- The Twisted City

 Though no more hideous race has been seen in the entire world, the jinteki-oni look far fiercer than their true demeanor. Their small city in the mountains, known as Tendou, is a place of spiritual retreats, and many are able to find solace there. Tendou is very small, but in spite of its size, there are several places open and inviting to travelers, and those seeking out a place for beautiful views and kind neighbors will surely find it in Tendou.

from the travelogue of a gaijin to Rosuto-Shima

I've written about the jinteki-oni in the past, our oni-blooded playable race that is having to keep the Beast within themselves in constant check. This leads to a fairly isolated groups of deep thinkers that are seeking inner peace and reflection, high in the Ryu-Iki Yama (Dragon's Breath Mountains) which was once the homelands of the oni themselves, and just off the Akki-Kouzetu Mori (Devil-Tongue Forest). That confluence of geography lends itself to many incredible images from all over both Japan and China as "inspiration" like the image above and below seemingly from Kamishikimi Kumanoimasu Shrine in Kumamoto Prefecture.

There are numerous sites of interest in and around Japan that could be featured in a discussion of the smallest 'city' that makes up the dozen major cities of Rosuto-Shima. It is given a kind of sovereignty because it is the largest of what it is, and one of the only spaces that the many different clans of jinteki-oni all exist together. The city government is a council of judges known as a kritarchy and the entire city has a powerfully strong Lawful (in the gaming sense) bend as it is also a popular home to many monasteries full of jinkteki-oni seeking their own paths. 

I've not discussed this much else where, but we actually have plans in Steampunk Musha to specifically include BOTH the traditional monk class from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook AND the unchained monk variant from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Pathfinder Unchained. The traditional monk will represent those that follow specific monastic orders, and will likely align closely with specific philosophies or even have studied at particular places (for instance, in Tendou). The unchained monk, on the other hand, will represent the yamabushi of Japanese history. These "mountain warriors" are or could be as disciplined as traditional monks, but they're less likely to have formal training, though master-apprentice or even small bands of yamabushi following one are known to form. This will allow for a vast plethora of monk-options, mixed up likely with some of the other monk-like classes like the kineticist.

Now its not all shrines and monasteries, as the people do need to eat, so scenes like the following will be common enough as well.

This should allow for some fairly interesting diversity of "traditional" aspects of Rosuto-Shima to come out, though it will also lead to spaces for some pretty extreme practices for natives of Tendou -- many of which are based on real-life history. (Content Warning Image Can Be Found Here)

Lucus Palosaari, Editor & Project Manager at Fat Goblin Games (Like us on Facebook!)  

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