A few weeks ago I mentioned the Kaidan Campaign Setting (for Pathfinder) in my Links of the Week.
This is a setting based on Japanese myth. Not the friendly happy kind that gave us Totoro, but the kind that would have people locking their doors and following ritual to stay alive.
A few excerpts from a recent project update:
More like Ravenloft than any other setting, Kaidan is a spiritual trap. You can arrive into the setting via ship at sea and no other means,but if you die in the setting, your spirit can never leave, but be forever bound to an endless, cursed reincarnation cycle.
In exploring the concept of Buddhism, there is the Great Wheel of Life, 6 Buddhist hells where those who’ve failed to achieve enlightenment are doomed to travel. In Kaidan, this is the cursed reincarnation cycle which houses the 4 social castes, the yokai caste and Jigoku(the true hell).
I’ve skipped some of the mechanical element described. This is where it gets more interesting:
The mundane part of Kaidan can best be defined as a military dictatorship and police state, under an undead Shogun, in the name of an eternal child emperor (also undead). Founded on a divine curse uttered centuries ago upon the suicide of entire imperial house, all the nobility, provincial daimyo, ministers of the imperial court and the senior members of the office of the Shogunate, including the Shogun himself, are undead. They are eternally bound to the “heaven”noble caste, and none may enter upon reincarnation. They exist to maintain the status quo, as required by the ancient curse, and not mad necromancers of the normal sort.
This does not bode well… and the haunts are unusually troublesome, compared to baseline D&D and Pathfinder:
Undead, ghosts and haunts are prevalent in Kaidan, perhaps more so than any other supernatural encounter. No matter the CR, each is an individual with a thorough background and agenda that become clues and plothooks, more than simple encounters. Haunts and ghosts are always connected, sometimes with an associated curse, and often no easy means of laying to rest. Laying a ghost or haunt to rest becomes typical in the setting, as the ramifications for not doing so can be dire.
Ghosts are not simply incorporeal undead that can age or wither you if you don’t smash them with magic, they require more specific means to deal with permanently.
The project plan calls for The Gamemaster’s Guide to Kaidan first ($4000 goal met), expanded to 200 pages ($7000, not yet). The third-tier goal is the Complete Player’s Guide to Kaidan (at $12,250). What I really want is the next one, the Kaidan Bestiary, which will be created at $14,050 and expanded as the project is backed further.
The project closes in three weeks, so there’s still lots of time to back it (I think Steve picked a crazy-long project time and it lost momentum), so I’ll try giving it a bit of a boost.
I want that bestiary.