Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

RPG Superstar 2015

Vudra and "Indian Flavored" RPGs


Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion

201 to 250 of 345 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>

Jeff de luna wrote:

I'm finally compiling/polishing my Mythic India for Pathfinder (no official name yet - any recommendations?) and hope to have a draft done by PaizoCon. I'll bring my notes if anyone wants to chat with me about it there.

Eventually I'll probably publish it as a pdf.

I'll definitely buy it whenever you do [ublish it; your work here is fantastic.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Jeff de luna wrote:

I'm finally compiling/polishing my Mythic India for Pathfinder (no official name yet - any recommendations?) and hope to have a draft done by PaizoCon. I'll bring my notes if anyone wants to chat with me about it there.

Eventually I'll probably publish it as a pdf.

I would suggest something evocative of the Ramayana or Mahabharata, but sadly I'm not sure how "marketable" those names would be with Western audiences that don't have the same level of exposure and familiarity with Indian culture as they do with Japanese and Chinese culture(pop-culture filtered as it is).

Still, I know it'd catch my eye! Just not sure about others.


Mikaze wrote:
Jeff de luna wrote:

I'm finally compiling/polishing my Mythic India for Pathfinder (no official name yet - any recommendations?) and hope to have a draft done by PaizoCon. I'll bring my notes if anyone wants to chat with me about it there.

Eventually I'll probably publish it as a pdf.

I would suggest something evocative of the Ramayana or Mahabharata, but sadly I'm not sure how "marketable" those names would be with Western audiences that don't have the same level of exposure and familiarity with Indian culture as they do with Japanese and Chinese culture(pop-culture filtered as it is).

Still, I know it'd catch my eye! Just not sure about others.

I am wrestling with that issue myself-- I could name it something meaningful in Sanskrit, but doesn't necessarily evoke anything for English-speakers. I'm thinking something along the lines of lotuses, tigers, rivers, but haven't formed an evocative phrase yet in my head.

Also I'm having incredibly irritating issues with my computer refusing to setup/system restore, just as I was about to back up my drafts onto google docs. Grumble, Gnash.


Coltaine wrote:
Jeff de luna wrote:

I'm finally compiling/polishing my Mythic India for Pathfinder (no official name yet - any recommendations?) and hope to have a draft done by PaizoCon. I'll bring my notes if anyone wants to chat with me about it there.

Eventually I'll probably publish it as a pdf.
I'll definitely buy it whenever you do [ublish it; your work here is fantastic.

You support is very much appreciated. This would be a labor of love; but I hope it will find an audience with gamers such as yourself.

Scarab Sages

Jeff de luna wrote:
I'm thinking something along the lines of lotuses, tigers, rivers, but haven't formed an evocative phrase yet in my head.

Something perhaps appealing to our CSI/Law&Order/Bones/Criminal Minds obsessed population?

Spoiler:
Tantic Sex Slaves of the Thuggee Murder Cult!

Scarab Sages

Jeff de luna wrote:

I'm finally compiling/polishing my Mythic India for Pathfinder (no official name yet - any recommendations?) and hope to have a draft done by PaizoCon. I'll bring my notes if anyone wants to chat with me about it there.

You'll be attending PaizoCon?

Awesome.

I've loved following your posts here and look forward to meeting you there.

By the way, since two of my other favorite board-dwellers (Mikaze & Set) are posting in this thread, are either of you heading to PaizoCon and, if so, would you like to meet up at some point? I'd love to chat Golarion with my fellow obsessives.

[/theadjack]

Also, count me in as a sale. Your zeal for research and contributing to the community has already earned my dollars, sight unseen.

Scarab Sages

weirmonken wrote:

By the way, since two of my other favorite board-dwellers (Mikaze & Set) are posting in this thread, are either of you heading to PaizoCon and, if so, would you like to meet up at some point? I'd love to chat Golarion with my fellow obsessives.

[/theadjack]

Sadly, no (for me, anyway). This years finances are already spent until November. :)


Set wrote:
Jeff de luna wrote:
I'm thinking something along the lines of lotuses, tigers, rivers, but haven't formed an evocative phrase yet in my head.

I'd name it something simple and easily identifiable as "Mythic India," or have that somewhere on the title page. Here is an idea-

The Rakshasa Chronicles: Adventuring in Mythic India

A thought; you can give it a Marco Poloesque name, with a similar, "western" narrator.


Coltaine wrote:
Set wrote:
Jeff de luna wrote:
I'm thinking something along the lines of lotuses, tigers, rivers, but haven't formed an evocative phrase yet in my head.

I'd name it something simple and easily identifiable as "Mythic India," or have that somewhere on the title page. Here is an idea-

The Rakshasa Chronicles: Adventuring in Mythic India

A thought; you can give it a Marco Poloesque name, with a similar, "western" narrator.

Well, his book was called Il Milione in Italy (a million, as in a million lies).

Maybe "A Thousand Gods: Roleplaying in Mythic India"?

"A million gods" (my first resulting thought) kind of gets the Austin Powers intonation in my head, so I stuck with a lower number. If you count real local Devas and Bhuts, you end up with closer to a million, I'd estimate.

Scarab Sages

Set wrote:
weirmonken wrote:

By the way, since two of my other favorite board-dwellers (Mikaze & Set) are posting in this thread, are either of you heading to PaizoCon and, if so, would you like to meet up at some point? I'd love to chat Golarion with my fellow obsessives.

[/theadjack]

Sadly, no (for me, anyway). This years finances are already spent until November. :)

Tragic!

Well, thanks for all the thought-provoking posts.

Hopefully we'll meet next year!


Interesting

Holy rats of India

I'm working on a Vudran Harrow variant. Will post soon.


As promised, my Vudra Harrow variant.

India in the RW relies more on astrology for fortune-telling, but they do have a myriad of card games (Ganjifa). There is no mechanical change to the cards and their effects aside from renaming. If I get a chance, I will make up some sample art.

Strength (Varisian = Hammers; in Vudra = Gadas [Maces])
The Paladin = The Kshatriya
The Keep = The Elephant
The Big Sky = Enlightenment
The Forge = The Sacrifice
The Bear = The Tiger
The Uprising = The Horde
The Fiend = The Daitya (giant Asura)
The Beating = The Nivatakirata (invulnerable Asura)
The Cyclone = The Baital (the "vampire")

Dexterity (Varisian = Keys; in Vudra = (Peacock) Feathers)
The Dance = Same
The Cricket = The Gazelle
The Juggler = The Faqir
The Locksmith = The Porter
The Peacock = Same
The Rabbit Prince = The Vanara
The Avalanche = The Monsoon
The Crows = The Vultures
The Demon's Lantern = The Pisacha-flame

Constitution (Varisian = Shields; in Vudra = Chakras)
The Trumpet = The Diamond
The Survivor = The Yogi
The Desert = Same
The Brass Dwarf = The Yaksha
The Teamster = The Gaur (buffalo)
The Mountain Man = The Shikari (hunter)
The Tangled Briar = The Jungle
The Sickness = The Grahi (the Disease spirit)
The Waxworks = The Charnel Ground

Intelligence (Varisian = Books; in Vudra = Vajra (lightning))
The Hidden = Transcendance
The Wanderer = The Out-caste
The Joke = Hasya (sacred humor)
The Inquisitor = Prithvi (the Material World, Earth)
The Foreign Trader = The Stranger
The Vision = Soma
The Rakshasa = Same
The Idiot = The Gambler
The Snakebite = The Cobra

Wisdom (Varisian = Stars; in Vudra = Lotuses)
The Winged Serpent = The Nagini
The Midwife = The Cow
The Publican = The Gandharva
The Queen Mother = The Rani
The Owl = The Mongoose
The Carnival = The Panapatra (Drinking Vessel)
The Eclipse = Rahu
The Mute Hag = The Dayyan (Witch)
The Lost = Same

Charisma (Varisian = Crowns; in Vudra = Banners (Dhvaja))
The Empty Throne = The Bikkhu
The Theater = The Astrologer
The Unicorn = The Garuda
The Marriage = Same
The Twin = The Avatara
The Courtesan = The First Wife
The Tyrant = The Judge
The Betrayal = The Other Son (i.e., the rival to the heir)
The Liar = The Wazir

I'm going to start my epic (small e) Vudra game next week with a bunch of old gamer friends reuniting after a few years. Will post ideas/highlights.

Cheers - Jeff


I am starting up a Vudra campaign and these are my notes for my players to help with character concepts -- I'll flesh out the ones they pick as Archetypes.

Pathfinder Classes and Vudra

Alchemist: Alchemy has an ancient pedigree in India/Vudra and the Sanskrit term for an alchemist was a Rasayana. They specialized in medicine, metallurgy, and elixirs of health. Alchemy is sometimes associated with the ‘internal alchemy’ or self-transformation of the yogis and siddhis, as well, though since this is accomplished with magical interactions with tutelary spirits and ascetic practices, the Alchemist class is not ideal for these characters. Some claim that India had gunpowder, batteries, and explosives before the West or possibly China.

Barbarian: Barbarians cast a long shadow across Indian legend and thus they would in any PF campaign as well. They are generally of two types: the crude and impure outsider or a ‘wild’ person from the wilds of India. The various nonhuman races would naturally fall into the Barbarian category as well.
Dasyu (Dasa): An ‘impious man, a savage, a barbarian’: this is a particularly fearful profession to the Indians, implying demonic or sacrilegious impulses. In Vedic literature, suggests a non-Arya, a pagan or outsider.
Mleccha: a barbarian; a non-Sanskrit [Vudran] speaker (corresponding to the Greek meaning of Barbarian), an out-caste. An evil person. The etymology may derived from Meluhha, which may have been the name of the Indus Valley Civilization, and may itself be cognate with Mel-akam, ‘highland country’ in Dravidian. If this is the original sense of Mleccha, there is a certain tragedy in the advanced urban peoples of the Indus becoming a standard (with their decline and fall) for primitive or savage outsiders.
Shabara: a mountaineer, a barbarian. This term carried implications of madness and savagery.
As the above suggests, Barbarians are not a normative part of a pseudo-Indian setting.

Bard: There are two types of Bards in Mythic India: street and low-caste entertainers, and artists, dramatists, and poets of the higher castes.
Bards are either learned, priestly figures who write poetry and dramas, or wandering musicians and entertainers; these are widely separated by caste and status. Bhat[a] are poets, but the word can also mean a warrior, a hero, or an outcast. Manu’s description of the ‘ten vices’ listed in the section on caste strongly implicates Bards and their audiences with vice and bad behavior, so the occupation is obviously important and in conflict with order, being so highlighted by religious laws (one doesn’t ban or restrict things people don’t do).
The avatara Krishna is an example of a warrior-musician.
A Bard can thus be of almost any caste (Brahmin to Dalit) but most would be Shudras. Entertainment is not a high-born occupation. Individual nobles and priests might be poets and artists, but they are not full-time Bards.
The invading outsiders of India were often more comfortable integrating Bardic activities with higher status. The poet-shamans of the steppe nomads no doubt saw India with the Turks, Scythians, and Huns, though in later periods with an Islamic, Sufi veneer.
Dholi: These are tribal genealogists, drummers, and magicians.
Faqir: Faqirs are wandering entertainers and holy people, or pretended holy people. They are famous for their endurance, magical powers, and cleverness.
Kuhaka: ‘magician, puppeteer, or jester’
Rajbhata (Royal bard/chronicler)
Suta (Charioteer): Said to be descendants of Warriors uniting with Priests; they handled the reigns on chariots and served as servants, companions, and epic poets in the entourage of their superiors. Suta are protected as Brahmins by law and custom because their vast stores of epic knowledge make them exceptionally learned, even though they are lower-ranking by birth.

Cavalier: As noted under the Paladin, India is not a country with a horse-friendly climate or vegetation. Therefore horses (specifically stallions; mares are distrusted), while highly important in Vedic culture, gradually became a mark of special status because of the cost of upkeep and breeding. The horse was part of the self-identity of the Kshatriya. The Asvins, or Horse-twins, were formerly important Vedic gods, though they were seen as lower-caste (possibly as Vaishyas) because they were in close contact with animals.
An important exception to the Indian inexpertness with horseflesh was the Rajput horse breeders of Rajasthan.
The epics depict the warrior heroes as chariot riders, holding a bow and arrows, and/or a whip and mace, while their charioteers hold the reins.
The Maratha people were light cavalry at first organized by the Mughals, who later practically overthrew the Sultan and controlled much of India. They were raiders and skirmishers, and outclassed in pitched battle by the Mughal heavy cavalry, who perhaps resembled the European knight more closely.

Cleric: The Cloistered Cleric Archetype for this class presented in Ultimate Magic is the most appropriate interpretation of the Brahmins, or Dvija, ‘twice-born.’ Non-Vedic cultures had their own priests. Traditionally, Brahmins practice ahimsa, or non-violence, and thus would be much less martial than the PF Cleric. However, militant Brahmins (Brahmakshatriya) are known in legend, including Parashurama, an avatara of Vishnu, whose mother was a Kshatriya. In Vudra, we might expect Clerics to be exceptionally learned (bonus skill points or Knowledge ranks per level). Most priests in India/Vudra, however, would be Adepts, not Clerics.
Ritual cleanliness is an important part of traditional Brahmin priesthood. A Brahmin must purify himself to properly conduct rituals and sacrifices. Because even brief contact with the lower castes can make a Brahmin unclean, effective PC Brahmin-Clerics would have to have a liberal view of ritual purity. In a world where ritual purity is important, adventuring parties at least partly composed of orthodox Vudrans would need a Cleric to frequently cleanse themselves of their violence, greed, wandering, consorting with lower caste followers, hunting, and other sins. Whether this is the right direction for Vudra requires some thought.
Women do practice and lead religious ceremonies, but these are universally private, household affairs. The Veda requires a husband-wife set of responses for some of its rites. Modern India now has female Gurus, or religious teachers, notably Sarada Devi. Female Yogis, or Yoginis (the word also has a Tantric, esoteric meaning, however, as a goddess stand-in in ritual) also existed. Most female religious figures are best approached as Oracles in PF.
Bhopa are tribal non-Brahmin village exorcist-priests. They act as physicians and witchfinders. Bhopa perform Puja, and look after the temple grounds, but often have other trades. They commune with the deities by entering trances. They are thought of as otherworldly and strange.
Jani (Priest)
Pujari (orthodox Village priest): Usually Brahmins, but the Rajput Pujaris (who are Kshatriyas) are an important example of a non-Brahmin group. Pujari are strict, non-egg vegetarians. Pujaris are expert in Mantras dedicated to their local gods.
Raval: tribal priests specializing in funerals.
Valluvar: Pariah Priest
Vipra (Sage, literally ‘inspired’): a highly respected Brahmin.

Druid: Shapeshifting (the raison d’etre, in terms of the class mechanics of the Druid) is a feature of the gods and asuras, as well as many other supernatural creatures. It is not easily mastered by mortals, however. Association with animals tends to invite impurity, which might stigmatize Druids. The early Tantric sects are linked to the worship of Shiva as Lord of Beasts, and undertook to engage in antinomian practices such as living the cremation grounds, meat-eating, and erotic rites. A Vudran Druid might be a wild, passionate person, linked both to the natural world and to the world of the dead.
The Celtic druid should not be considered a model for this character; in fact they strongly resemble Vedic Brahmins.
Muni ‘possessed by the gods’ are from the Rig Veda and are often equated with the later ascetics groups of post-Vedic India. They are described as insane, unkempt, and very wise. They imbibe intoxicants like soma and fly through the air.
Ahimsa as practiced by orthodox hermit-Druids (Sannyasins) (outside of their disregard for other rules, such as ritual purity) means they must be vegetarians, outside of religious sacrifices, though even here, plant matter may be substituted. Tribal and Tantric Druids would not be bound by this stricture.

Fighter: The warriors (by caste) of India were the Kshatriyas, ‘those who hold dominion,’ who were also nobles, kings, and hunters. However, any person who was not attempting to adhere to ahimsa could acquire some military skills. Historians have suggested that the primacy (in dharma) of the Brahmins in Indian culture was not always the case and the Kshatriyas, who amassed a great deal of artha (worldly power) competed for the top social/religious position.
The violence, excess, and cruelty viewed as critical to the Kshatriya dharma meant they required the intercession of many sacrifices and the assistance of the Brahmins to remain pure.
Bhishma is a notable warrior in legend (the Mahabharata), a demi-god (son of Ganga), he is a master both of single combat and tactics. He is the worthy opponent of Arjuna, who slays him with the aid of Krishna; both Arjuna and his charioteer, Krishna are also Kshatriyas.
A native Fighter archetype was presented in Dragon #225 as the Singh (Sanskrit = Simha), or ‘lion.’ This represented the martial traditions of the Rajputs and the Sikhs.

Inquisitor: Badwa, Badva: Witch-exorcist. Also ‘Bhagat’ (or Bhuva): these are tribal magician-hunters. ‘village witch finder’ (worshippers of Shiva) = ‘devotee’ – the etymology is related to Bakhti. Badvas lead sacrifices and attempt to avert or end calamities.

Magus: The mixture of arcane magic with combat prowess is an unusual one in Indian myth and history; most powerful warriors gained magical power through religious devotion, not the study of mantras as an intellectual exercise.

Monk: Monks are a major part of Vudra in Golarion, but the class is a little more difficult to find and describe in RW Indian legend.
Indian martial arts were at first focused on boxing, wrestling, and martial dance. Martial dance is a particularly Indian approach to unarmed (and armed) fighting, since performers mastered both practical skills in maneuvers, quickness, and acrobatics along with their specific artistic style.
Nara (dance) combined with mudras (hand gestures of ritual significance) appear to be the earliest forms of martial arts in India and perhaps in Asia.
The god Shiva is specifically a major martial dancer, since his dance of destruction is a part of his arsenal of weapons.
Zen (Chan) Buddhism was apparently founded in south India, and combines Buddhist beliefs with practices derived from Yoga. The chief martial artist in an Indian system would be known as a Guru (teacher).
Sacred Dancer
Skyclad Monk
Wrestler

Oracle: Oracles exemplify the heterodox beliefs of the Devotion movement, the Saints of Sarenrae, and Tantrika practices. Revered by the common folk of Vudra, they vie with the Brahmins for religious influence amongst the rulers of the many states of the subcontinent.
The Oracle epitomizes bakhti, ‘devotion’ as a religious ideal, as opposed to the learning and discipline of Clerics. South Asian ascetics and ecstatics cross religious lines in many cases, either in their personal beliefs or in the respect paid to them after death. Many eschew wealth, homes, and families; other live in ashrams as Gurus, or ‘teachers.’ They exist apart from the conventional priesthoods of Islamic judges and Imams, and Brahmin priests and scholars.
For PF, Oracles of Vudra would have access to an impoverished or ritually unclean Curse.
Kabir is a historical example of an Oracle-Bard, in Pathfinder terms.
“Mati” : diviner
Pir: A Pir is a Sufi Saint; veneration of Pirs is a strong aspect of South Asian Islam and often (as in the case of Kabir) extends to non-Muslims as well. Pirs cultivate close relationship with mystic searchers; like with the Indian Guru, a Pir receives an oath of fealty (more or less) from their followers, who financially support or assist the Pir.
Sadhu (Mendicant Mystic)
Vaidya (doctor)
Kavi (Seer)
Kapurala (priest deliberately possessed by Deva to exorcise demons and ghosts)

Paladin: Though the classic Paladin has no role in Indian legend itself, medieval romances such as Parzival and Titurel often connected India to fantastic notions of Prester John and the Grail.
As for India’s own traditions, the archetypical holy warrior in Indian legend is probably Rama, who is an avatara of Vishnu and a Kshatriya of the Solar Dynasty. He is not equipped like the typical PF Paladin; instead he wields a bow and sword and is usually depicted wearing ordinary dress, royal robes, or a simple wrap around his thighs and abdomen. Because of the heat, heavy armor is not a convenient garb even for warriors, though elaborate chain armors were made in India. Horses do not thrive in India and while they are a mark of special rank for the ruling classes, they must generally be imported. Rama himself is usually on foot in standard iconography.
Ghazi Miyan or Ghazi: The Ghazi is the Islamic Paladin amongst the Turkish invaders of India.
Khalsa: These are the Sikh holy warriors.
Rajpurohit: This term is used for a type of Brahmin who behave like the Brahmakshatriyas described under the Cleric.
Shahid (Arabic: Martyr, witness): a title given to those slain for professing Islam (though they need not be warriors or die in battle).
Dragon #225 described the Kshatriya as a Paladin kit.

Ranger: Ranger-like figures are often outsiders in Indian legend. The Nishada are a typical jungle tribe with Ranger-like abilities in the epics, though they tend to suffer at the hands of their Arya opponents. Bakhti tradition later celebrated the devotion of the Nishada to Shiva even as they failed to follow the basic strictures of medieval Hinduism (they were meat-eaters, did not adhere to purity rules, and consorted with wild beasts). They are linked to the Shabara of the mountains (see under Barbarian, above).
Shikari, or ‘hunter’ is detailed as a Ranger kit in Dragon #225.

Rogue: The early text called Arthashastra was an important investigation of statecraft in India; it suggested the wholesale use of spies, informers, and imposters, as well as assassins and worse, to achive artha, or worldly power (a perfectly acceptable goal for a devout Indian). Most of these machinations would require a Rogue. Synonyms for Rogue include ‘gambler,’ ‘taker, and ‘jackal.’

Sorcerer: Yatu, Yadu, Jadu, Jadugar, Jadugarni (fem.) (demonic sorcerer or witch). This Sorcerer is definitely a negative character in South Asian legends. They are associated with ghost and fiend-binding. Jadu is a Persian word, and is taken to be equivalent to the Arabic Sahir, a practitioner of Sihr, i.e., evil genie-binding and cursing; in Zoroasterianism, Jadu carries the sense of ‘devotee of Ahriman.’ In Hindu folklore, Yatu was closely linked to the Rakshasas and the Asuras.
Jadugars are always male, according to some sources. Jadoo, as Kipling calls it, seems to have become a less evil concept by the 19th century – there is white and black Jadoo, but one can practice it without associating with demons.
Apsara bloodlines (such as that of Shakuntula, ancestress of the Pandavas), Naga bloodlines, and Deva bloodlines are known in Indian legend and folklore. Most descendants, however, show only a few indications of their non-human ancestry, and are not magicians.

Summoner: The pre-eminent Summoners of India were the devotees of Shiva and his consort (under her darker identities). Pathfinder makes out Vudra as a hotbed of Genie-binding as well.
Though Dragon #225 describes the “Swami” as a Wizard kit, the class converts best as a Summoner. These casters would be better at divination than a standard Summoner or their Eidolon would have scrying and prophetic capabilities.
Likely Eidolons might be serpents, as Nagas are linked to shamanic sects.
Dawat or Daawat is ‘summoning, invocation, invitation’ in Arabic and Urdu/Persian. A person who invokes is a ‘Dai.’ It generally means the use of the names of Allah to bind and compel spirits, when describing magic. It is distinguished from Sihr, the science of the Sahir (or Shiar), which is pagan in nature. Dai would be Summoners with celestial eidolons and Sahir generally have genies.

Witch: Dayan (Dakan, Dhakun, Dakini, Asrapa). The Rajput ‘Dakan’ is a wholly malevolent witch, though the word is more ambigious in certain contexts. Dakini are Tantric female initiates. In Tibetan Buddhism, the Dakini, also known as the Asrapa (‘blood-drinker’) is a naked, blue-skinned and ferocious nymph-muse of passionate enlightenment (as opposed to intellectual means of reaching Nirvana).
Indian witches are believed to have cats, big and small, as familiars. The cat is sometimes associated with Parvati or Kali, but in general are accused of ‘religious hypocrisy’ or a lack of piety.
Nazar is the Hindi term for the Evil Eye.
For a totally different take, the Rishi is a Lawful Witch. Rishi are descendants of Brahma and ancestor figures for the Brahmins. They are irascible and wise, and are famous for curses, their instruction of heroes, and their magical powers. The Rishi may be compared to the Muni, a Druid variant, above.

Wizard: Unlike the conventional Wizard, the South Asian analogue does not use a spellbook. Instead, they permanently memorize the spells (Mantras and Yantras), and the power their spells gain is based on the repetition of the Mantra or the elaborateness of the Yantra design. A Mantrika might quietly intone a mantra for hours at a time to increase its effectiveness; in this case the eight hours of preparation these Wizards do is ‘charging’ the spells by recitation of the appropriate Mantra or creating a meditative focus by drawing or crafting a Yantra.
Mantras and Yantras are ambigiously divine or arcane, since the source of magical power are the rules of the universe and the Overgods such as Brahma. There are many instances of mantras having evil effects or serving ulterior motives for impious users who mastered their knowledge, such as Asuras and Rakshasas.


Magus, Ninja and Samurai in Vudra/India
--Three classes I either spent too little time on (the Magus) or ignored...

Magus
Invincible swords and magic swords were associated with the Vidyadhara and Vidyadhari, magical/psionic nymphs and fey creatures, though one could become a Vudyadhara through esoteric training.
Khadga Siddhi = ‘Sword Magic’ in Tibetan and Tantric Buddhism. A khadga is a shorter sword similar to the Taoist demon-exorcising sword (and probably of a related origin). It is also a name for the Rhinoceros. The sword symbolizes discrimination and discernment, as well as martial invincibility – it is linked to the ability to separate truth from falsehood. It is associated with the Mala, a serious of esoteric mantras taught by Dakinis.

Ninja
Ninja have been associated with esoteric Buddhism, such as the Siddhis of swords, incorpeality, etc., by a few authors. Patanjali was an Indian yogi linked to Ninja-like techniques. Though the Siddhi techniques highly nonviolent when used in an orthodox manner, the word also means Hashish and hence may be linked to Assassin. Satthakaratha was a Pali word for assassin; and of course Kali is mistress (in Hinduism) of the yoginis and dakinis, fierce nymphs who teach the Siddhi magics.
A Thag (Thuggee) archetype might be interesting to explore with as a Ninja.

Samurai
Samurai are a Cavalier (Sanskrit: Asvina, ‘horseman’) alternate class and hence are similar to the Kshatriya (otherwise interpreted as a Paladin order by 2e).
Asvina or Ashvin is a term which also embraces the horse-twins, a primeval Indo-European concept which is known in many regions of Europe – Hengist and Horsa, the Asdingi, Castor and Pollux, etc. They are associated with visions and light. Originally a high-ranking concept, they were demoted because of their association with the lower-ranking animals, though horses and stallions are still prestigious in Kshatriya culture.
The most important weapons of the Kshatriya was the shortbow, wielded on horseback or in a chariot, and the pata, or longsword (the gada, or mace, was a specifically Brahminic weapons, like in old-school D&D). The Kshatriya ‘code’ was to serve as a defender of the population, to be generous in alms, to sacrifice to the gods and ancestors, to learn the sacred books, and avoid indulgence in sensuality. Their most important possessions were their mount (horse or elephant), house, and weapons. Their dharma was to die in battle.
Like the Samurai, Kshatriya relied on meditation and devotion (the Zen disciplines) to be close to the gods, since ritual purity and nonviolence were denied to them.
Interestingly, as the caste system evolved, the Kshatriya groups associated with music, crafts, and entertainment were demoted to Vaishya. Thus they shed some of the cultural aspects of the Knight and Samurai analogues to become more purely aristocratic and warlike.


Jeff de luna wrote:
*delicious analogue conversion/description porn

This must be bookified.

If not as Vudra, then as a stand-alone book a la Nyambé.

Shadow Lodge

I wanna play!!!

Also, dotted.


I just finished Nine Lives by William Dalrymple. Brilliant, good book. Excellent for building up ideas for Vudran clerics, oracles, and bards. Also a great intro to Jainism, Tantra, and Tibetan Buddhism, as they are practiced today.

Also recommended (may have mentioned this one already): Ramayana: Divine Loophole by Sanjay Patel. Very interesting retelling with vivid art by a Pixar artist.

My players will reach Vudra in a few weeks (after a stop in Iblydos). I may have some thoughts then...


A couple days ago I found a used copy of the India Eyewitness Travel Guide. It pretty much rocks as a source book. Crammed with pics, summaries of culture such as food (open the book up and show them the plate they're served...), dance, religion, and with pretty maps, it also has a whole bunch of those cool cutaways DK is known for. The reason this comes in handy is there is a serious lack of decent maps for adventuring sites in India/Vudra. The book has... castles, temples, villages, water tanks, wildernesses, mosques, tombs, historic quarters and miscellaneous ruins. I can basically run a campaign with a bunch of predesigned authentic maps just with the book...

I'm throwing together a bunch of PFS scenario proposals currently (not all related to Vudra). Personally, I'd like a chain of adventures taking the characters to some distant land (you know, actual pathfinding) though that's not the current solicitation. I'll sit on that for now.


Hi Jeff. Any way to contact you privately? I have some takes on psionics I used for my OA campaign from years ago and want to share them with you.

For the life of me I can't find a way to send you an e-mail, and this thread is where I see your posts mostly.


the xiao wrote:

Hi Jeff. Any way to contact you privately? I have some takes on psionics I used for my OA campaign from years ago and want to share them with you.

For the life of me I can't find a way to send you an e-mail, and this thread is where I see your posts mostly.

If its good, we don't mind if you send in suggestions or contributions either - good enough and we will pay and publish you.

dreamscarredpress@gmail.com is where you will find us. Feel free! :D


the xiao wrote:

Hi Jeff. Any way to contact you privately? I have some takes on psionics I used for my OA campaign from years ago and want to share them with you.

For the life of me I can't find a way to send you an e-mail, and this thread is where I see your posts mostly.

Sure.

I'm pretty busy currently, but I'll take a look.

email:
jeffjerwin at gmail.com


Jeff de luna wrote:


Sure.

I'm pretty busy currently, but I'll take a look.

Done, hope you like it.


the xiao wrote:
Jeff de luna wrote:


Sure.

I'm pretty busy currently, but I'll take a look.

Done, hope you like it.

I'll email you when I get a chance. It got 'et' by my spam filter for some reason, otherwise I would have responded sooner.

Scarab Sages

Oh, my God! I loved this thread! I've got to get over to the Paizo boards more often!
I am glad though that not too much time has passed. I am playing around with the idea of an Indian/Hindi setting for the World of Greyhawk setting, in the area known a Zindia/Zahindi. I can't wait to see how this project is coming along!!
What news? Is it being published? I'd thought of using Mahasarpa, but, with this is in the offing, I would love to take a look... I'm sorry to say that I really don't know when PaizoCon is/was, so I don't really know if it's been put out.

Here's to a great campaign, and hopes of running a Hndi/Indian game!


W. Kristoph Nolen wrote:

Oh, my God! I loved this thread! I've got to get over to the Paizo boards more often!

I am glad though that not too much time has passed. I am playing around with the idea of an Indian/Hindi setting for the World of Greyhawk setting, in the area known a Zindia/Zahindi. I can't wait to see how this project is coming along!!
What news? Is it being published? I'd thought of using Mahasarpa, but, with this is in the offing, I would love to take a look... I'm sorry to say that I really don't know when PaizoCon is/was, so I don't really know if it's been put out.

Here's to a great campaign, and hopes of running a Hndi/Indian game!

Thanks!

Well, PaizoCon was back in June. I spent the summer trying to find time to work on my India book, so it's growing somewhat organically. However I am currently working on a book for pay, so it's taking a back seat. I have about 130 pages of unedited text. It may be early next year before I can do more with it again.

Currently, it has become a historical/mythical sourcebook using the PF rules. I would love to hurry it, but in the absence of it if you are hoping to start your campaign sooner, you may find Sahasra and Mindshadows better choices than Mahasarpa, which is kind of thin - it's only a few pages long. Jewel of the Empire for the Victoriana game is pretty good, but decidedly 19th century in its setting and doesn't use the OGL base rules.

My hope is to release it next year. I also have a Vudra-based AP that complements it, though if it sees 3PP publication it would have to either take place in a mythic India or a generic South Asian setting. I'm inclined to the former.

I'll update this thread if there's any news.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I can't get over how big this thread has become - I had forgotten all about it after it died down so long ago! Jeff, it looks as though you've done some amazing research that I'll have to catch-up on. You're the man!


Levis wrote:
I can't get over how big this thread has become - I had forgotten all about it after it died down so long ago! Jeff, it looks as though you've done some amazing research that I'll have to catch-up on. You're the man!

Thanks, Levis.


Jeff, you ever think of doing China or some other Oriental area of that nature?


Shizvestus wrote:
Jeff, you ever think of doing China or some other Oriental area of that nature?

I have thought of it but haven't gone much further with it. There is a lot of stuff already available. Qin is pretty good, though not PF, unfortunately.

The other things I've got in various stages of development/planning or in some case, running for a while, some of which I haven't touched in forever, though, are:

A Game using the PFRPG to simulate 5th century legendary Earth (Arthur, Siegfried, Beowulf, Vikramaditya) as it was imagined rather than realistically.

A Pulp/Horror Egypt game (though there is a great supplement out there, which I found very useful for the modern end of things).

An Arabian Nights PF book (a derivative of the first project).

A Venetian 17th c. Historical horror/swashbuckling setting.

A Victorian London Historical setting, with notes on Paris.

Averoigne for PF.

All of these are running around 100-200 pages of notes, but would need time to write up.


As a holiday gift to myself I picked up Nanditha Krishna's The Book of Demons - a bestiary of Indian demons and monsters.

It's quite awesome.

Some of you might be wondering about the origins of the Asuras and Rakshasas in Bestiary 3. The following are my best guesses:

Adhukait - Wesley actually explained to me at the last PaizoCon that Madhu and Kaitabha, twin demons mentioned in the Mahabharata, are the basis for this one.

Aghasura - Aghaa is a giant serpent, brother to Putana and Baka, and a follower of Kamsa's. He was killed by Krishna. (Bhagavata Purana)

Asurendra - Sanskit; "Lord of the Asuras" (generic title)

Tripurasura - Tripura is the name of an Asuran city (or three cities), sometimes described as floating in the sky.

Upasunda - Upashunda is a male Asura in the Mahabharata and the Vayu Purana; he conquered the Nagas. He was slain by Tilottama, an apsara (celestial nymph).

Dandasuka - "Danda" - stick, point, tusk. Asuka - difficult, hard. Dandasuka is a "hell infested by serpents" and the name of a Rakshasa.

Marai - Mara was a demon, a personification of desire and the material world, who tormented the Buddha on his final death by fasting.

Raktavarna - Raktavija was an Asura whose spilled blood spontaneously became lesser demons, so fighting him was impossible until Kali/Chamunda speared him and drank up the blood that ran out so it could not become an army of demons. Note the Raktavarna is partly made of blood.

Tataka - A female Rakshasa slain by Rama and Lakshmana in the Ramayana (before the main story begins).

The following other creatures are from Subcontinental legend: Bhuta, all the Nagas and Vanara. The various Divs, Peris, Ghuls, and the Penanggalen and Manananggal are found on the fringes of Indian-influenced areas (Iran, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and the Philippines).


Awesome stuff here.

I just stumbled into this thread by searching out any information on Vudra to help flesh out a character concept so all the compiled information here will help inspire greatly. Good work!

Shadow Lodge

Awesome thread!

Why didn't I find this earlier?

Also: I could swear someone said my name...


I thought I might share this - photos of Holi.

Incidentally, the Festival of Colors (Holi) is the setting for the beginning of Cult of the Ebon Destroyers, so it exists in Golarion as well...


One of the main cities for my India-analogue is based on Varanasi. I have a copy of Diana Eck's Banaras: City of Light (which I strongly recommend to anyone interested in a Vudra type setting). But this link here is almost as useful: A New Mirror of Kashi - a guide to the city (Kashi is another name for Varanasi) and to a 19th century pilgrim's map.

Also, this page: Indian Life and Landscapes has a couple of interesting pictures, as does the site in general.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This thread has been, and continues to be, a major source of inspiration for me to be as thorough as possible, though with a more setting-generic goal. I hate to spam, and I hope that this is not considered as much.

Right now, the material I have written for Hinduism and a Pantheon of India is approaching its completion, and I am looking for willing volunteers with an eye towards balance and mechanical correctness to review my material prior to publication. I have another thread here on the DB about it link

Thanks, best wishes, and great work, all. ;)
-will

Sovereign Court Contributor , Star Voter 2013

xidoraven wrote:

This thread has been, and continues to be, a major source of inspiration for me to be as thorough as possible, though with a more setting-generic goal. I hate to spam, and I hope that this is not considered as much.

Right now, the material I have written for Hinduism and a Pantheon of India is approaching its completion, and I am looking for willing volunteers with an eye towards balance and mechanical correctness to review my material prior to publication. I have another thread here on the DB about it link

Thanks, best wishes, and great work, all. ;)
-will

I've emailed you re that publication - Jeff (de Luna)


This may have been mentioned, but I'm far too lazy to read all the posts. Didn't Green Ronin publish a psionic setting for their Mythic Vistas line that was "Indian" flavored?

Sovereign Court Contributor , Star Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
This may have been mentioned, but I'm far too lazy to read all the posts. Didn't Green Ronin publish a psionic setting for their Mythic Vistas line that was "Indian" flavored?

Yes. It's the closest thing (outside of Dog Soul's Sahasra, which feels incomplete) to India in print for d20.

Unfortunately, the integration of psionics is a two-edged sword - it works great for explaining how a psionic analogue might exist in a fantasy work, but the psionics flavor obscures the Indian aspect a little. The Psionics stand in for the Jains and Buddhists, more or less, and the pantheon is a port of the one in Book of the Righteous instead of having a true feel for Hinduism.

a brief review:

It also takes the orthodox pulp fantasy/Indian pop-culture route of maligning Tantricism, left-handed religions, and the Kali analogue. That's unfortunate. Traditional Indian nonhuman races are also mainly ignored.

My opinion is that psionics is a part of Western fantasy and sci fi that has some nods to Yoga, Tapas, and Meditative practices but is mainly referencing the stereotype of the Indian Mesmerist, Psychic and Fakir over the very rich reality.

The historical equivalents to the "psionic" in India were either ascetic monks, mendicants, or outlandish "crazy" people, and would not have functioned as a ruling class, since the practice of mind-expansion takes up too much time to bother with governing or controlling other people, for the most part. Cleric-types and Paladin-types would be far more important culturally.

Yet, the book you're talking about - Mindshadows - does have a lot of crunch and some interesting setting ideas that are still quite useful for making up an Indian campaign.

Sovereign Court Contributor , Star Voter 2013

Found something online today while recuperating from a cold...

Bold Riley, a pseudo-Indian setting fantasy webcomic

(GLBTQ Content, btw)

Pretty cool.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jeff Erwin wrote:

Found something online today while recuperating from a cold...

Bold Riley, a pseudo-Indian setting fantasy webcomic

(GLBTQ Content, btw)

Pretty cool.

That looks interesting - will do a little more digging. I never looked at Mindshadows - is it worth looking over at this time for me, do you think?

Sovereign Court Contributor , Star Voter 2013

xidoraven wrote:
Jeff Erwin wrote:

Found something online today while recuperating from a cold...

Bold Riley, a pseudo-Indian setting fantasy webcomic

(GLBTQ Content, btw)

Pretty cool.

That looks interesting - will do a little more digging. I never looked at Mindshadows - is it worth looking over at this time for me, do you think?

Yes, it's worth looking at. It focuses strongly on psionics (the 3.5/Dreamscarred variety), and pulp-style villains, with a non-Tantric Buddhist slant on the depiction of religion. That's kinda a classic Western (non-native) take. But it has useful weapons stats, calendar, and some other cultural and crunchy OGL stuff that can be borrowed.


I'm running a setting that deals a lot with many of the cultures of Eastern Europe, the Middle East, India, and Nepal. As someone that is definitely emphasizing asuras and divs over devils and daemons, I'm interested in some of your notes and sources on them. Currently statting up a raktavija for my players to get introduced into the culture.

Sovereign Court Contributor , Star Voter 2013

Odraude wrote:
I'm running a setting that deals a lot with many of the cultures of Eastern Europe, the Middle East, India, and Nepal. As someone that is definitely emphasizing asuras and divs over devils and daemons, I'm interested in some of your notes and sources on them. Currently statting up a raktavija for my players to get introduced into the culture.

My notes are in a state of disarray these days; Some are so inextricably bound in with stuff I intend for publication that I can't share them at the moment;

However: at least for Asuras one of the best in print books I found was this one.

Divs are more complex. I'm not aware of a general treatment of the subject. However, the Shahnama and the Epic of Amir Hamza are a good start for their mythological treatment in the medieval Persian sources. They are thoroughly blended with the various Genie types in South Asian legend. The Book Legends of the Fire Spirits is a decent overview.

Scarab Sages

I was just rereading stuff here, and found your thoughts on 'India-fying' the Summoner to be quite interesting.

One of the best ways, IMO, to strictly control the Summoner is to impose setting specific limits on the Eidolon, and having the Summoners of India limited to Eidolons built along celestial, geniekind or naga templates, and selecting a group of evolutions only usable by one or the other types, could be one route to preventing the wild and whacky 'anything goes' sort of eidlon that has a quadruped form (for pounce) and ten weapon bearing limbs (for ridiculous attacks) or whatever.

Not that a humanoid Eidolon with four or more weapon bearing limbs wouldn't be more aesthetically appropriate in an Indian setting than it is in Golarion...


Jeff de luna wrote:

I am starting up a Vudra campaign and these are my notes for my players to help with character concepts -- I'll flesh out the ones they pick as Archetypes.

Pathfinder Classes and Vudra

Alchemist: Alchemy has an ancient pedigree in India/Vudra and the Sanskrit term for an alchemist was a Rasayana. They specialized in medicine, metallurgy, and elixirs of health. Alchemy is sometimes associated with the ‘internal alchemy’ or self-transformation of the yogis and siddhis, as well, though since this is accomplished with magical interactions with tutelary spirits and ascetic practices, the Alchemist class is not ideal for these characters. Some claim that India had gunpowder, batteries, and explosives before the West or possibly China.

Barbarian: Barbarians cast a long shadow across Indian legend and thus they would in any PF campaign as well. They are generally of two types: the crude and impure outsider or a ‘wild’ person from the wilds of India. The various nonhuman races would naturally fall into the Barbarian category as well.
Dasyu (Dasa): An ‘impious man, a savage, a barbarian’: this is a particularly fearful profession to the Indians, implying demonic or sacrilegious impulses. In Vedic literature, suggests a non-Arya, a pagan or outsider.
Mleccha: a barbarian; a non-Sanskrit [Vudran] speaker (corresponding to the Greek meaning of Barbarian), an out-caste. An evil person. The etymology may derived from Meluhha, which may have been the name of the Indus Valley Civilization, and may itself be cognate with Mel-akam, ‘highland country’ in Dravidian. If this is the original sense of Mleccha, there is a certain tragedy in the advanced urban peoples of the Indus becoming a standard (with their decline and fall) for primitive or savage outsiders.
Shabara: a mountaineer, a barbarian. This term carried implications of madness and savagery.
As the above suggests, Barbarians are not a normative part of a pseudo-Indian setting.

Bard: There are two types of Bards in Mythic India: street and low-caste...

All very good stuff.

I'll have to keep this in mind for future campaigns.


I'm awaiting Book of Demons in the mail now. In the meantime, I am statting up a CR 1 "mook" monster for the asuras. It's the raktavija. I felt that it'd make an interesting kind of cannon fodder in that it can make more of itself by getting hurt. Obviously had to put some limits on his "Bloodseed" ability (immediate action, not available on clones, limit to clones they have" but I gave them an ability that at least lets them work off each other using a psuedo-teamwork feat ability to make them a little more dangerous than your average mook. I'm at work and unable to get to my document for now.


So here is my rendition of the Asura, Raktavija. This was used in a recent game (on Monday) to great effect. The only thing I had to nerf was the fact that it originally had fast healing 2, which ended up being a little too much in the encounter I ran. It was a Hard Encounter for five players at level 4 (CR 6 with a total of six raktavijas).

Other than the fast healing, it was fairly balanced for the players, with AoE Spells and Melee guys shining a bit, while the two archers was in a little trouble, but nothing insurmountable. Even keeping track of the clones was easy, although remembering to set off the clones takes some reminding.

At the moment, only weapons sets off the Blood Seed ability. I am unsure if I want spells to be able to do it. We'll have to see. Anyways, what do you all think? I do plan on flavor text eventually, but I was pressed for time to make this.

Sovereign Court Contributor , Star Voter 2013

Odraude wrote:

So here is my rendition of the Asura, Raktavija. This was used in a recent game (on Monday) to great effect. The only thing I had to nerf was the fact that it originally had fast healing 2, which ended up being a little too much in the encounter I ran. It was a Hard Encounter for five players at level 4 (CR 6 with a total of six raktavijas).

Other than the fast healing, it was fairly balanced for the players, with AoE Spells and Melee guys shining a bit, while the two archers was in a little trouble, but nothing insurmountable. Even keeping track of the clones was easy, although remembering to set off the clones takes some reminding.

At the moment, only weapons sets off the Blood Seed ability. I am unsure if I want spells to be able to do it. We'll have to see. Anyways, what do you all think? I do plan on flavor text eventually, but I was pressed for time to make this.

Interesting & cool.

The original is known as Raktabija more often than Sanskrit form, though in the original legend, Kali is necessary because the demon is unconquerable by anyone else (1 drop of blood = a thousand clones). She stops the cloning by licking the blood up as it falls with her long tongue, while Durga dispatches the original. Perhaps a reference to the blood actually having to land on the earth to spawn a clone? Who knows; maybe someone will figure out an improvised solution that takes advantage of it.
Raktabija is usually depicted carrying a heavy sword or maul and a round shield. See here.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey Levis/Jeff Erwin: Fantastic work on this thread.

Of course I'm going to ask the annoyingly pertinent question. Is this stuff compiled somewhere? Ready for, or already published? Keep up the good work...


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

dot

201 to 250 of 345 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder Campaign Setting / General Discussion / Vudra and "Indian Flavored" RPGs All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.