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Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Dragonchess Player wrote:
Mike McArtor wrote:
Incidentally, Tian Xia was named by Nick Logue, who is fluent in Mandarin. He knows what it means, but I don't. ;)
"All under heaven?" Nice. I wonder if he enjoyed Hero, too.

Interesting tidbit: this is written "tenka" in Japanese. The similarity between the languages is visible, isn't it, especially when on-yomi (Chinese readings) are used in Japanese. But isn't it "tien" in Mandarin Chinese? Or is that just a different way to Romanise the same word?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Azzy wrote:
So how much of an analogue will Minkai be for Japan? You should at least mix it up a bit rather than go for a straight clone.

About the same as Varisia is an analogue for Germany or England.


James Jacobs wrote:
Azzy wrote:
So how much of an analogue will Minkai be for Japan? You should at least mix it up a bit rather than go for a straight clone.
About the same as Varisia is an analogue for Germany or England.

Do you have a particular time period you're looking at (loosely)?

The earlier Heian Period or Heian Jidai, a peaceful period in which a stable government reigned?

The Kamakura Period, in which a figurehead emperor held great authority but little power, and the warrior class ran the country but relied on the blessing of the emperor? (This is eerily similar to the Pope and the English kings...)

The Warring States period or Sengoku Jidai, in which hundreds of small fiefdoms wrestled for dominance across the country?

I'm curious now as to what sort of land Minkai might be...war-torn, or centrally ruled with an iron fist, or a hundred small kingdoms in an uneasy peace...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

It's still way too early to say. We want to focus on developing one part of the world first before we branch out too extensively into Minkai or Arcadia (the North American analog) or anywhere else. Especially with 4th edition looming... it may well be years before we get any substantial development work done on these distant regions.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Takamori wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Mike McArtor wrote:
Incidentally, Tian Xia was named by Nick Logue, who is fluent in Mandarin. He knows what it means, but I don't. ;)
"All under heaven?" Nice. I wonder if he enjoyed Hero, too.
Interesting tidbit: this is written "tenka" in Japanese. The similarity between the languages is visible, isn't it, especially when on-yomi (Chinese readings) are used in Japanese. But isn't it "tien" in Mandarin Chinese? Or is that just a different way to Romanise the same word?

I don't pretend to be a linguist, I'm just good at Internet searches. ;-) I also tend to read a lot on various subjects.

Considering the various ways that phonemes are carried over from one alphabet/character set to another, "tian" and "tien" are probably both used. After all, there's the great example of "Edogawa Rampo."


Takamori, I appreciate your explanation. It's interesting to me that the Paizo team plans a "Japan fantasy" area, and also an "Asia fantasy" area since I don't see something similar in the "European fantasy" - there's no strictly Celtic fantasy area, German fantasy country, etc. as far as I can tell - but perhaps they do have something along those lines planned. (This isn't a criticism, it's really an inquiry as to why they made the decision to separate out Japanese culture).

My only hope is that this idea of using real world cultures doesn't restrict creativity. For instance I love kung fu movies and I hope there is an element of fantasy kung fu in Golarion. But I think to stay strictly within the styles of kung fu would be pointless. I'd love to see some fantasy animal styles, perhaps even some fantastical beast styles, heretofore unheard of.

As far as Japanese fantasy names, I guess it's a matter of concern as to whether these names, which may sound Japanese to English ears, sound Japanese to Japanese-speaking people. To my gaming group of English speakers it probably doesn't matter. But as I assume Paizo has a wide reaching audience, it probably does, to some extent (although I don't think one can please all people).

Takamori, your point is well taken. It's actually exciting that they will be pursuing authentic sounding names across various real world inspired cultures, and I hope we eventually see many an AP focused on those cultures. I just don't want to see names like "Hiroshi" or "Osama" in fantasy, which come across to me as the equivalent of "Bob" in their respective languages.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Whimsy Chris wrote:
It's interesting to me that the Paizo team plans a "Japan fantasy" area, and also an "Asia fantasy" area since I don't see something similar in the "European fantasy" - there's no strictly Celtic fantasy area, German fantasy country, etc. as far as I can tell - but perhaps they do have something along those lines planned.

We sort of kind of do. There's not an analog for every real-world nation, but there's certainly one for Egypt, one for Norway, one for America, one for Jerusalem, one for the Aztecs/Mayans, and one for India. There's also a lot of regions that DON'T have real-world analogs, like Cheliax and Nex and Geb.

But my theory: using real-world cultures as inspiration never restricts creativity. It enhances creativity.

Andoran

Takamori wrote:
I'm sorry, I should have been more specific. I meant if you compare Japanese language to any one Western language, not to all of them at once, which is a bit unfair.

It's only unfair if Minkai is meant to be a clone of Japan and not have a similar cultural mix-up as afforded to fantasy European cultures.

Takamori wrote:
My point is that whatever phoneme you use, it's exactly that: a phoneme, a unit of sound, not a unit of meaning.

Granted. However, some European names did have names that were created from distinct units of meaning (even if their writing system wasn't a logogram). In fact dithematic names were as common to the Germanic people as they were to the Japanese.

For example, my name (Kynewulf), being Old English/Anglo-Saxon, is a prime display of this. It is composed of two units of meaning "kyne" (royal) and "wulf" (wolf). Similarly, the Old English name Alfred (which is far more common these days, than my name) is composed of "aelf" (elf) and "fraed" (counsel). So, this isn't a phenomena that is unique to the Japanese (nor the Chinese, from whom the Kanji own their origin).

Besides, but unless the Minkai culture in question uses a logogram that exactly mirrors that of Japan in its units of meaning, I don't see how it's terribly applicable.

Andoran

James Jacobs wrote:
Azzy wrote:
So how much of an analogue will Minkai be for Japan? You should at least mix it up a bit rather than go for a straight clone.
About the same as Varisia is an analogue for Germany or England.

Good. :)


James Jacobs wrote:
There's not an analog for every real-world nation, but there's certainly one for Egypt, one for Norway, one for America, one for Jerusalem, one for the Aztecs/Mayans, and one for India. There's also a lot of regions that DON'T have real-world analogs, like Cheliax and Nex and Geb.

Kewl.

James Jacobs wrote:
But my theory: using real-world cultures as inspiration never restricts creativity. It enhances creativity.

Yes I agree, but only as long as one doesn't feel too tied down to being "authentic". But as an inspiration, yes, world cultures are wonderfully rich.

Cheliax Contributor

Azzy wrote:
So how much of an analogue will Minkai be for Japan? You should at least mix it up a bit rather than go for a straight clone.

Enough for there to be ninja. And samurai. Nick really wants samurai. ;)

Kirth Gersen wrote:
But I do like it an awful lot that Takamori and the Paizo staff are able to comment on the linguistic elements without necessarily descending into a "Japan is better than Europe" situation, which (obviously) sends my blood pressure into the stratosphere.

Mine too. I love Asian cultures, but they aren't "better" than European cultures, which I also love. And no Eurasian culture is "better" than any African, American, or Oceanic culture, either. There is no "better" in cultures. There are only cool differences. :)

Dragonchess Player wrote:
"All under heaven?" Nice. I wonder if he enjoyed Hero, too.

I don't know. I hope he comes back to the thread. :)

Takamori wrote:
Do you have a particular time period you're looking at (loosely)?

No, because Minkai isn't Japan. :) There will be a healthy mix of all Japanese history, plus Ainu, mainland-Asia, Oceania, and purely fantasy elements, all rolled into Minkai.

Some day I hope to get to talk more about Minkai and all of Tian Xia. :)

Whimsy Chris wrote:
Takamori, I appreciate your explanation. It's interesting to me that the Paizo team plans a "Japan fantasy" area, and also an "Asia fantasy" area since I don't see something similar in the "European fantasy" - there's no strictly Celtic fantasy area, German fantasy country, etc. as far as I can tell - but perhaps they do have something along those lines planned.

Well, you haven't seen our map or read the Pathfinder Gazetteer yet, so no, you haven't seen anything like that yet.

Whimsy Chris wrote:
(This isn't a criticism, it's really an inquiry as to why they made the decision to separate out Japanese culture).

The answer to that should be obvious: ninjas!!!

Whimsy Chris wrote:
My only hope is that this idea of using real world cultures doesn't restrict creativity.

It hasn't yet. Fantasy as we understand it has been around almost a century now, and I suspect you'll find most of it very heavily influenced by real-world cultures.

Whimsy Chris wrote:
I'd love to see some fantasy animal styles, perhaps even some fantastical beast styles, heretofore unheard of.

Me too!!! :D

In fact, Nick has told me he specifically wants to do that. :)

Andoran

Mike McArtor wrote:
Enough for there to be ninja. And samurai. Nick really wants samurai. ;)

Fair enough. These are necessary things.

Mike McArtor wrote:
I love Asian cultures, but they aren't "better" than European cultures, which I also love. And no Eurasian culture is "better" than any African, American, or Oceanic culture, either. There is no "better" in cultures. There are only cool differences. :)

Quoted, for everliving truth!!! The more I learn about different cultures, the more they each fascinate me.

Mike McArtor wrote:
No, because Minkai isn't Japan. :) There will be a healthy mix of all Japanese history, plus Ainu, mainland-Asia, Oceania, and purely fantasy elements, all rolled into Minkai.

Sounds refreshing. I can't wait to see it. :)

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Whimsy Chris wrote:
Takamori, I appreciate your explanation. It's interesting to me that the Paizo team plans a "Japan fantasy" area, and also an "Asia fantasy" area since I don't see something similar in the "European fantasy" - there's no strictly Celtic fantasy area, German fantasy country, etc. as far as I can tell - but perhaps they do have something along those lines planned.

Varisians are clearly modeled off of gypsies, and the Falcon's Hollow area seems to be Slavic.

There's an area called Andor which just screams "French" to me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
It's still way too early to say. We want to focus on developing one part of the world first before we branch out too extensively into Minkai or Arcadia (the North American analog) or anywhere else. Especially with 4th edition looming... it may well be years before we get any substantial development work done on these distant regions.

Whoa! There's a North American analog? Sweet! Three words: Native Arcadian Centaurs. Proud warriors of the plains, a noble people with a respect for nature. That kind of thing.

I hope we get a vaguely Celtic analog somewhere. Celts are awesome.

And the talk above about Mandarin made me want to go back and watch Firefly all over again...


I look forward to the day when I'm playing 4e's "streamlined rules" (I hope to God they're good) and throwing ninjas at my players as they use ki energy to unleash their wrath. It's better than pirates...no, pirates are better...no, ninjas are better...do I have to decide right now?

Cheliax Contributor

Whimsy Chris wrote:
I look forward to the day when I'm playing 4e's "streamlined rules" (I hope to God they're good) and throwing ninjas at my players as they use ki energy to unleash their wrath. It's better than pirates...no, pirates are better...no, ninjas are better...do I have to decide right now?

lol!!! ^_^

You do not need to decide right now.


James Jacobs wrote:


But my theory: using real-world cultures as inspiration never restricts creativity. It enhances creativity.

And it really saves the time of creating something from scratch. The human imagination has its limits.

On the other hand, when you throw countries together on a globe without care it lacks a sense of evolution (as done in Oerik and mentioned on other threads here at Paizo); and as proven here, yet again, we will be looking for holes, because that's what we love to do.

I for one will be bending a craggy eye or two at Logue's use of Chinese as he plunders Chinese culture for ideas. Tian Xia is a pretty good ancient name for the land and has my personal and meaningless seal of approval, although it doesn't do too well as the name for a state. And by the way, Tian Xia translates as 'under the sky' but it means 'the world' as in Tian Xia Wu Zei (2004) or A World Without Thieves. Great movie. Sometimes it also denotes "the land" or "everywhere" -- translating it depends on the context in which it is used.

=)

Just kidding, I don't care if Logue slaughters Chinese names in Golarion's China. I've got my own homebrew-mutant-Greyhawk China that my Chinese players love (YES! real Chinese people playing D&D! and they helped me name the provinces) so I can either smile and smugly laugh when I see than mine is better than Logue's, or envy him for his talent.


Azzy wrote:
For example, my name (Kynewulf), being Old English/Anglo-Saxon, is a prime display of this. It is composed of two units of meaning "kyne" (royal) and "wulf" (wolf). Similarly, the Old English name Alfred (which is far more common these days, than my name) is composed of "aelf" (elf) and "fraed" (counsel). So, this isn't a phenomena that is unique to the Japanese (nor the Chinese, from whom the Kanji own their origin).

Is your name really Kynewulf? I've read Cynewulf in the original Anglo-Saxon, and very much appreciate him as an author.

My point is this: your name is composed of meaning, yes, and sometimes meaning taken from a compound word-name. A Japanese person's name also has meaning. Your name has a sound, yes. A Japanese person's name also has a sound. A Japanese person's name, though, ALSO has an ideogram or kanji which has to match the sound--this ALSO has to be woven into the meaning of the name.

Mike McArtor wrote:
Enough for there to be ninja. And samurai. Nick really wants samurai. ;)

If there do turn out to be ninja and samurai, do you think it would be possible to call them something other than ninja or samurai, since those words are actually Japanese? (And you may be looking at my post like I'm crazy right now, since this seems to be the opposite of what I was saying before, but for words like ninja and samurai, which are so indelibly tied to real Japanese history, politics, and culture, I think it might be worthwhile to create new "Minkaian" words for them, as much to simply keep things fresh as to avoid any clashes with perceived unfaithfulness to what a "ninja" or "samurai" is.)


Takamori wrote:
...ninja and samurai, do you think it would be possible to call them something other than ninja or samurai, since those words are actually Japanese? (And you may be looking at my post like I'm crazy right now, since this seems to be the opposite of what I was saying before, but for words like ninja and samurai, which are so indelibly tied to real Japanese history, politics, and culture, I think it might be worthwhile to create new "Minkaian" words for them, as much to simply keep things fresh as to avoid any clashes with perceived unfaithfulness to what a "ninja" or "samurai" is.)

Which proves that you just can't please everyone.

Cheliax Contributor

Takamori wrote:
If there do turn out to be ninja and samurai, do you think it would be possible to call them something other than ninja or samurai, since those words are actually Japanese? (And you may be looking at my post like I'm crazy right now, since this seems to be the opposite of what I was saying before, but for words like ninja and samurai, which are so indelibly tied to real Japanese history, politics, and culture, I think it might be worthwhile to create new "Minkaian" words for them, as much to simply keep things fresh as to avoid any clashes with perceived unfaithfulness to what a "ninja" or "samurai" is.)

lol! I'm never gonna make you happy. ^_^

Well, you can have it one of two ways, Takamori-san: I can make all the "Japanese" names Japanese or I can make them all made-up. I don't think I can wrap my brain around doing both.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Tian Xia is pinyin Tamori. Tien is wade-gyles.

Two different Romanization systems for Chinese.

I would say pinyin is the more common/accepted today for Madarin.

Dan


Mike McArtor wrote:

lol! I'm never gonna make you happy. ^_^

Well, you can have it one of two ways, Takamori-san: I can make all the "Japanese" names Japanese or I can make them all made-up. I don't think I can wrap my brain around doing both.

Oh, but you've already made me quite happy!

Ideally, I'd like to have the names in Japanese and the terms made up (or English), but when it comes down to it, real Japanese onegai itashimasu.

Even just calling ninja something less iconic, like shinobi (it's the same kanji) makes it feel less cliche-jumping-around-throwing-daggers-and-using-elemental-powers. In reality, the Rogue class IS a ninja, the only difference is in the tools and cultural setting. But please. If it's choosing between having actual Japanese names & including ninja OR having all made-up names and everything, sign me up for the first. Please.

In fact, I retract my statement of a few posts back. I should quit while I'm ahead.


Dan Albee wrote:

Tian Xia is pinyin Tamori. Tien is wade-gyles.

Two different Romanization systems for Chinese.

I would say pinyin is the more common/accepted today for Madarin.

Dan

True, although I spell it Wade-Giles.

lol!

Also, just the fact that it is romanized detracts much (ed: all) of the beauty and simplicity of this word.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

LOL!

You got me..wade-gyles is what we could use IN Tian Xia.

A fantasy version... :)

Cheliax Contributor

Dan Albee wrote:

LOL!

You got me..wade-gyles is what we could use IN Tian Xia.

A fantasy version... :)

Exactly! The easiest way to make something look fantasy is to replace an i with a y. :)

Cheliax Contributor

Takamori wrote:
Even just calling ninja something less iconic, like shinobi (it's the same kanji) makes it feel less cliche-jumping-around-throwing-daggers-and-using-elemental-powers.

I've thought of calling them shinobi for the very reasons you said. On the other hand, I'm very much in the ninja-with-supernatural-powers camp. ;)


Mike McArtor wrote:
Exactly! The easiest way to make something look fantasy is to replace an i with a y. :)

Alice in Wonderland --> "The Looking-Glass Wars" --> "Alyss"

Mike McArtor wrote:
I've thought of calling them shinobi for the very reasons you said. On the other hand, I'm very much in the ninja-with-supernatural-powers camp. ;)

*blubbering-but-strangely-reassured*

Actually, with that, I'll leave it in your doubtlessly more-than-capable hands, turn incorporeal, and start lurking about in the walls again.

Thank you very much for all your consideration.

Lantern Lodge

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Sect wrote:
No offense, Kirth; just don't like LOUD NOISES.
None taken from you at all, Sect. Lex failed to consider the graves at Auschwitz and Buchenwald before he posted, is all. One culture is not inherently "better" and "more worthy" of respect than all others.

I never said such a thing. Nowhere did I say that western culture should not be respected or equally respected. So cut it out with the straw-man argument.

What I did say is that where it is acceptable in one (western) culture to bastardize other cultures, it is not in the Chinese culture and I would assume the Japanese. While no one is perfect and it does happen, the Chinese do go to great length not to disrespect other peoples cultures in such a way. Instead they find other ways to marginalize other people. So in no way did I place one over the other or disrespect the Jews or utter pro-Nazi propaganda, or condone any similar thought. That sir - is your own invention and a straw-man argument issued to distract from what I really said. Nice try though :)


*materialises*

Love and Peace.

*etherealises*

Andoran

Takamori wrote:
Is your name really Kynewulf? I've read Cynewulf in the original Anglo-Saxon, and very much appreciate him as an author.

Yup. :) (I've seen three spelling variations--Cynewulf--the most common, Cynwulf--missing a syllable and Kynewulf--like how I spell it.) Despite a passing familiarity with my literary namesake, I hate to admit that I've never read any of his work. :( Apparently, in addition to the poet, there was also a king of Wessex with that name.

Lantern Lodge

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Azzy wrote:
I'm not trying to be insensitive to any culture, I'm just trying to understand how this is insensitive to a specific culture when put into context with the same, existing treatment of other cultures?
Exactly my point, vis-a-vis Lex. In Takamori's defense, he was equally interested in, say, Northern European correctness, for which I give him great respect--he's consistently into "correctness" across the board, but commented on the Japanese names as an example because those are the ones he knew best (or at least that's how I came to interpret it). It was subsequent posters who brought up this idea that some cultures were inherently superior to others.

And where did I say that Western names have no meaning and that they only Asian names should be given accurate thought? Answer: Nowhere.

I only laid down the example of he Chinese names as that in my culture, and I understand it, where I do not speak Japanese. So Commenting on Japanese naming convention is not possible for me, Chinese IS. I also explained why Chinese find Westerners to be disrespectful.

You sir, have twisted words to suit your own agenda. I never addressed western naming, and if you care to know, I don't think that culturally inspired "Races" should have the contributing cultures bastardized.


James Jacobs wrote:

The short version: the Kaijitsus were kind of "on the run" from Minkai, and when they decided to settle in Magnimar/Sandpoint, they changed their names to a weird Varisian variant/version of their real names as part of the attempt to through pursuit off their trail. This was all several decades ago, and it sort of stuck regionally with them. Having names that can't be spelled in their native tongue is an interesting way of throwing off pursuit and all that.

That's really cool. Very believable. My girlfriend's grandparents came to Australia as poor Ukrainian immigrants and settled in far north Queensland, a very isolated area. Her grandfather decided that their name was too foreign and to fit in changed it to "Stangret", a version of the original name which I guess sounded like an English/Irish name to his Ukrainian ear.

Her grandparents are both gone now and her dad and his siblings were never told what the original name was, so it has been lost. Because Slavic naming conventions are different from western ones there's no real way of knowing if the original name was a surname, a patronymic or what. Kind of sad really. Funny thing is, she googled her name and found a couple of other Stangrets in the US, which means on the other side of the world another Ukrainian immigrant anglicized their name in exactly the same way. You can't escape your first language, it shapes the very way that you hear things.
/threadjack.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Stunty_the_Dwarf wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:


Excuse me while I laugh. The SCA is mostly composed of people who want to act "medieval-ish" (as you put it). There is only a small minority of (forgive me if this term offends anyone) "period nazis" who go to great lengths to ensure 100% historical authenticity in something. Heck, there is an entire SCA group based on the Gor novels...

shudder.... just for the record, I don't think the Tuchux (those Gor guys) really consider themselves part of the SCA, they play with us once a year, but we certainly don't claim them.
The SCA is a pretty broad umbrella organization. Actually, I'd prefer playing with the Tuchux than with some of the rhino-hiders that crop up elsewhere. The fact that the Tuchux play at the lower end of the SCA armor minimum helps keep them from calibrating on the Gothic plate end; if I have to dent stainless for someone to take a shot, it's not a good situation.

So...um...you don't think most folks in the SCA are interested in historical accuracy? Not even a bit moreso than your average D&D player? Or are you saying that's a good thing?

And when you say they play with "us" once a year, I'm assuming you're in the SCA?

And when you say "once a year," I'm assuming you're talking about Pennsic?

And when I say Pennsic, I'm assuming you've tried the Cooper's chocolate milk?

Where was I? Oh, yeah. My original point being that the SCA is at least nominally supposed to be about historical reenactment/emulation, which in my mind distinguishes it greatly from D&D. I don't know why it matters to me, but for some reason I really like my names "made up." I'm happier when there is not a 1:1 real world analog. I feel like it gives the DM greater license to do whatever he or she wants.


Ooh! Ooh! I maybe have a solution to Takamori's thing with the names and terms! Why not, for Minkai terms like Samurai and Ninja, not use the Minkai word at all? Use a translation into Common (English). So instead of calling them Ninja or Shinobi you just call them Nightwalkers or something. Minkai Nightwalkers. But not Nightwalkers, something cooler than that.

Correct me if I'm wrong Tak but isn't "ninja" a Chinese loan word? Shinobi is the Japanese reading of the Chinese characters nin and ja. And Samurai comes from the verb "to serve" so a decent English translation of that would be maybe "vassal warrior?" "Servant" has connotations in English that don't fit with the social status of a Samurai.

I suppose that idea will only work if Ninja is not the official name of a class. It would be kind of wierd to say "Hitomi is a Minkai Nightwalker (Ninja 10)."

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


We sort of kind of do. There's not an analog for every real-world nation, but there's certainly one... for Norway...

Well you just caught my attention, could you elaborate on this? Norway... vikings right? Just for the love of Odin don't give the viking helmets horns...

And be sure to include trolls, draug (a form of scandinavian undead), lindworms and kraken (which is actually a Norwegian mythical creature, although it wasn't called a kraken in the beginning), I grew up hearing fairy tales filled with those creatures...


Lex Talinis wrote:
I have watch RPG pervert and bastardize the Chinese culture for years... Here in the west it is okay to bastardize things, but in the east it is not. Too many over-inflated gamer egos... So cut it out with the straw-man argument. You sir, have twisted words to suit your own agenda.

I was aware of no "straw men," nor "agenda." You were clear that you were all in favor of Chinese correctness; and yet you seemed to be dismissing the long list of existing Western incorrectness as appropriate--or at least said nothing against it--presumably because of our stated penchant for "bastardization" (hardly a complimentary term). I had no intention of "twisting" your words; I quoted them as I saw them, but evidently the subtle direction of your argument eluded me.

What you could call an "agenda" then emerged: I've seen what respect for only one culture produces, and I reacted accordingly. If you actually argue for a position of mutual respect all around, my "agenda" is thereby fulfilled and I have absolutely no further argument with you in any way. There are no "straw men" in sight, just a deep-seated (and justifiable, I think) disgust for cultural imperialism. Where that does not exist, you get no ire; notice I've had no beef with the original poster, even in areas where he and I may have disagreed. If your argument was meant to go in another direction, simply clarify that.


Lex Talinis wrote:

I also explained why Chinese find Westerners to be disrespectful.

Not only that, but the Chinese find the Chinese disrespectful, too. What do they complain about? Jumping lines, spitting, littering, talking loudly on phones, talking about other people's faults in loud voices in front of them.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

James Jacobs wrote:

Ameiko Kaijitsu is actually a semi-important character in another way... I've actually got an entire adventure path idea bubbling in my head around her and the reasons her family was exiled. And just now, I've actually come up with a cool in-game reason why her name's the way it is (and the names of her father and brother). The short version: the Kaijitsus were kind of "on the run" from Minkai, and when they decided to settle in Magnimar/Sandpoint, they changed their names to a weird Varisian variant/version of their real names as part of the attempt to through pursuit off their trail. This was all several decades ago, and it sort of stuck regionally with them. Having names that can't be spelled in their native tongue is an interesting way of throwing off pursuit and all that.

As for why they fled Minkai, and what the "Ameiko On The Run" adventure path's plot is... it's still WAY too early to say. But this thread has actually helped formulate the plot a little more, so it goes to show that no matter how crazy or heated conversations get here, as long as they stay relatively civil, they're important.

Woo! Gimme a "R"! Gimme a "E"! Gimme a "T"! Gimme a "C"! Gimme a "O"! Gimme a "N"! What's that spell!?

If not a full adventure path, then at least a mini series?

Qadira RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Selk wrote:

Ok, my 'poll' consists of two people right now. Everyone's at lunch. I don't speak Japanese, but my pronounciation is good, which causes some of my coworkers to assume I can understand them. Anyway...

Response #1 to Ameiko as a fantasy name
"Sounds Mexican"

Response #2
"What?"
"What?"
"I think you're saying it wrong"
"Oh. That's stupid."

They don't help my case much, but there you go.

You know, it might make much more sense to them if you bring up the ENTIRE thing about fantasy naming conventions, with both the "European" and the Pathfinder ones.

Also, I really don't feel like quoting you, but that thing about the Twelve Kingdoms naming convention is pretty interesting.

Lantern Lodge

Takamori wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Mike McArtor wrote:
Incidentally, Tian Xia was named by Nick Logue, who is fluent in Mandarin. He knows what it means, but I don't. ;)
"All under heaven?" Nice. I wonder if he enjoyed Hero, too.
Interesting tidbit: this is written "tenka" in Japanese. The similarity between the languages is visible, isn't it, especially when on-yomi (Chinese readings) are used in Japanese. But isn't it "tien" in Mandarin Chinese? Or is that just a different way to Romanise the same word?

Actually it is tian, more correctly it is sang tian. But you are very close. Chinese can read when Japanese write with Kanji as it is the same as our Hanzi, we just use different sounds, but the charaters are the same. I believe the same is true for Japanese.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Kelvar Silvermace wrote:
Whoa! There's a North American analog? Sweet! Three words: Native Arcadian Centaurs. Proud warriors of the plains, a noble people with a respect for nature. That kind of thing.

Great minds think alike. In a homebrew campaign that I pretty much put on hold, that's pretty much what the centaurs are.

Contributor

kahoolin wrote:
And Samurai comes from the verb "to serve" so a decent English translation of that would be maybe "vassal warrior?" "Servant" has connotations in English that don't fit with the social tatus of a Samurai.

The word you're looking for is 'knight' which comes from an old German word meaning 'one who serves'.

(Which is why my words for 'ninja' and 'samurai' are 'rogue' and 'fighter'.)

Lantern Lodge

Kruelaid wrote:
Lex Talinis wrote:

I also explained why Chinese find Westerners to be disrespectful.

Not only that, but the Chinese find the Chinese disrespectful, too. What do they complain about? Jumping lines, spitting, littering, talking loudly on phones, talking about other people's faults in loud voices in front of them.

This is very true! We Chinese can be very "classist" :P!

Lantern Lodge

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Lex Talinis wrote:
I have watch RPG pervert and bastardize the Chinese culture for years... Here in the west it is okay to bastardize things, but in the east it is not. Too many over-inflated gamer egos... So cut it out with the straw-man argument. You sir, have twisted words to suit your own agenda.

I was aware of no "straw men," nor "agenda." You were clear that you were all in favor of Chinese correctness; and yet you seemed to be dismissing the long list of existing Western incorrectness as appropriate--or at least said nothing against it--presumably because of our stated penchant for "bastardization" (hardly a complimentary term). I had no intention of "twisting" your words; I quoted them as I saw them, but evidently the subtle direction of your argument eluded me.

What you could call an "agenda" then emerged: I've seen what respect for only one culture produces, and I reacted accordingly. If you actually argue for a position of mutual respect all around, my "agenda" is thereby fulfilled and I have absolutely no further argument with you in any way. There are no "straw men" in sight, just a deep-seated (and justifiable, I think) disgust for cultural imperialism. Where that does not exist, you get no ire; notice I've had no beef with the original poster, even in areas where he and I may have disagreed. If your argument was meant to go in another direction, simply clarify that.

Then perhaps we had a misunderstanding of eachothers intentions. My english is not perfect, so perhaps I misunderstand you and you misunderstand me.


Lex Talinis wrote:

Actually it is tian, more correctly it is sang tian. But you are very close. Chinese can read when Japanese write with Kanji as it is the same as our Hanzi, we just use different sounds, but the charaters are the same. I believe the same is true for Japanese.

My vocabulary is poor and my wrting is terrible, so can you explain what "sang tian" means? I've never heard it used.

Lantern Lodge

Kruelaid wrote:
Lex Talinis wrote:

Actually it is tian, more correctly it is sang tian. But you are very close. Chinese can read when Japanese write with Kanji as it is the same as our Hanzi, we just use different sounds, but the charaters are the same. I believe the same is true for Japanese.

My vocabulary is poor and my wrting is terrible, so can you explain what "sang tian" means? I've never heard it used.

I will also include the Hanzi I hope it shows.

??: sang tian: supreme heaven, upper heaven, ect. This is more spiritual, but most Chinese shorten it and just say tian.

?: xiao: also good for referring to the sky replacing "sang"

Edit: Obviously it does not show the hanzi... sorry for that.


No Hanzi even with my browser view set to Chinese.

But I know the Hanzi from the meanings you have given.

Thanks!

Lantern Lodge

Kruelaid wrote:

No Hanzi even with my browser view set to Chinese.

But I know the Hanzi from the meanings you have given.

Thanks!

Anytime, glad to help :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Modules Subscriber

Without following the rules of an official transliteration method the cultural names appearing in the English texts of a game publication are already less than "realistic" or "authentic." To take an example in this thread, the name Tian Xia doesn't have the tonal marks found in the pinyin Chinese transliteration method. Without those tonal marks the meaning of the term is already muddled, which "Tian" or which "Xia" does it mean? At least that's how it seems from my less than fluent understanding of Chinese. I doubt the term will appear with tonal marks each time it appears in print, so it will technically always be inaccurate. Then it will always be open to criticism (especially if the other Chinese-inspired names in that region aim to be as close to Chinese as possible) because it never will be unless the book was written in Chinese and likely then only if authored by actual Chinese. So it really is just simpler to disclaim any blatant attempt to model real world cultures. It is better to just pick and choose what the designers feel works to invoke the feel of a culture but still be free to tell their story.

That is why I stand firmly in the camp that advocates creating fantasy names for Golarion rather than adhere to realistic names found on Earth. You can't please everyone and to be honest many of the vocal experts or critics have their own special interests. While I'm not qualified or in any position of power to direct things, I can only hope that my interests are taken into account.

I feel that using real names often disrupts my suspension of disbelief. I'm not fluent in more than one language or intimately familiar with many different cultures, but I am able to recognize some common names and terms found in the more widespread non-Western cultures. So when I see some regular Japanese names appear in Rokugan, Kara-Tur or some other Asia-inspired setting it is almost as jarring as seeing Tom the warrior, Dick the rogue, or Harry the mage appear in a western setting. Though note that I am not fanatically against all real world names appearing in fantasy, I just don't like making a rigid habit of it.

It is also my observation that purposely aiming to use specific real world naming methodology tends to push the associated fantasy region or nation closer to the real world counterpart. Depending on what the setting design goal is this is neither good or bad. I get the impression that Pathfinder is trying less to recreate Earth as a fantasy setting and more just to produce a fun fantasy world to game in. Thus I feel the pseudo-Japanese names are appropriate.

I've also experienced the fun taken out of a game when cultural experts nitpick about real world cultural authenticity applied to a fantasy setting in the middle of a game. I once played in a Rokugan game where a few self-styled Japanophiles argued ceaselessly about how things were in feudal Japan so they should thus apply across the board for Rokugan. Seeing as my character went by an unusual name they nitpicked that for an entire session both in and out of character. It felt disparaging, especially when I knew I purposely created the name as a nickname the character almost jokingly refers to himself as. The character did have a traditional Japanese name, the fake name was just his cover. Of course to reveal that would have spoiled it so I just had to take being considered a dumb ox of a foreigner. Heck, the other players weren't even Japanese. While I understand that I might have stumbled upon a particularly annoying group of players I believe that the setting's strict adherence to real world naming methods and cultural idiosyncrasies greatly worsened the problem, encouraged it even. So please excuse me if I'm leery of people trying to enforce proper cultural anything in a fantasy setting.

When in Minkai, do as the Minkaians.

By the way, seeing hints of an Asia-inspired area in Golarion gives me hope of seeing a good fantasy setting based on eastern myths and cultures. I hope to see a Pathfinder Chronicles book on these areas some day. Keep them coming.

Lantern Lodge

Isuru wrote:
Without following the rules of an official transliteration method the cultural names appearing in the English texts of a game publication are already less than "realistic" or "authentic." To take an example in this thread, the name Tian Xia doesn't have the tonal marks found in the pinyin Chinese transliteration method. Without those tonal marks the meaning of the term is already muddled, which "Tian" or which "Xia" does it mean? At least that's how it seems from my less than fluent understanding of Chinese. I doubt the term will appear with tonal marks each time it appears in print, so it will technically always be inaccurate.

While this holds truth, it is still 90% accurate. And I would give top grades for effort, even if tonal marks are missing!

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