Onin no Ran Total Conversion Mod for Mount & Blade FAQ, v1.0
Onin no Ran Development Team:
Original Concept: Manji
Past Project Leaders: Aradhan, CuriousEpic
Current Project Leader, scripting/code, integration: Fujiwara
Models, Textures: Triglav, Ryuta, Stefano, and many others! (Thanks to all!)
Original Music: Omega
Realistic Combat Model: Ron Losey
Armagan and Ipek, creators of Mount & Blade
The modding community of M&B, but specifically Thorgrim, YoshiBoy, and Winter
All the players who have submitted ideas, bug reports, and much praise and encouragement. Without you, this mod would be nothing.
1. What is this anyway?
Onin no Ran is a historically-based Japanese mod set during the Onin War (1467-1477 AD) in the region around Kyoto. During this period, the Hosokawa and Yamana clans supported opposing heirs to the shogunate, and hence control of the country. Numerous smaller clans allied themselves with either of the two main clans, and other groups, such as the Ikko Ikki, made their initial appearance. It was the beginning of the Sengoku Jidai, or Age of Battles, that sent Japan into over a century of never-ending conflicts.
2. What is there to do?
Players in this mod can assume one of four main classes: a bushi, or military caste; a kuge, or aristocrat; a merchant; a ronin, or masterless samurai. During the course of the game, depending on the choices the player makes, a character can also assume one of the subclasses: a kengo, or highly skilled swordsman; a bandit; a monk; or a shinobi. Each main class will explore the various sides of the conflict during the Onin War through quests and dialog with various NPCs. Subclassing gives the player the opportunity to delve deeper into the story, and opens up various side quests which will impact the main story line.
3. Shinobi? You mean ninja? Awesome! Will I be able to fly around and kill people and stuff?
Onin no Ran is historically based. Given the lack of hard historical data regarding the practitioners of ninjitsu, and the dearth of myths, half-truths, and outright falsehoods regarding them, we are going to be very conservative with shinobi, relegating them to highly trained scouts, spies, and assassins.
Bushi begin the game with 'entry-level combat' equipment, meaning some armor, decent weapons, a horse, and some food. Bushi also begin already aligned with one of the game's two main factions. Ostensibly, a bushi would already be a retainer of some higher official, but players must engage in a 'proving' mission before assuming full retainer status. Once a retainer, players are commanded to complete a number of quests for their shugo, or lord. Players will increase in rank as their fame increase (more about fame later) and their personal armies grow. In fact, army size is a pre-requisite for rank advancement. Historical samurai were paid a stipend by the shogunate, but in return they were expected to provide a set number of armed retainers when they went to battle, and we have tried to emulate that here. Key storyline quests will advance the story and provide additional opportunities for fame and glory (and money!).
The kuge are the hereditary aristocratic class of Japan. As such, their role in the game is much more passive than a bushi's, tending more toward diplomacy than combat. However, because of their station, players start the game with a small retinue and the ability to command a large number of men. They also start out being the most financially stable, though whether that remains is up to the players. Kuge are not totally insulated from the fighting, and the opposing clans will call upon the players to use their armies to aid their respective causes.
Merchants in Japan are like merchants anywhere else in the world, in any time period: people looking to make money. We have expanded merchants from simple commodity traders to being able to sell on the open market, with varying levels of success. Player began with a modest inventory of trade goods. Simply speak to the town kokujin, or administrator, to set up your portable stall and start selling. There is (or will be) a full series of quests exploring the economic side of the Onin War, as the this is where the Japanese merchant class began its rise to economic power. Trading guilds, or za, each had a monopoly over a particular commodity. The salt, oil and silver za were particularly active in the region around Kyoto, and the game will focus on the activities and interactions of these three za. Through quests, players will be invited to join one of the za, but be careful, as dealing in za-specific commodities when not a member of the za will bring their wrath down on your head. To support all this, we have developed one of the more complicated economic systems seen in a game, given the limitations of the scripting engine (more on that later).
Ronin were, simply, masterless samurai. The player begins with only a sword, clothes, and a little money, but higher than average skills. Various groups, good and evil, always have need for skill with a blade, and players will be able to hire themselves out to make their way through the world, or they can swear alligience to one of the main factions and regain bushi status. Only ronin are given the choice to join the bandit faction, and have the opportunity to completely destabilize the region, or carve out their own little empire (coming soon).
Onin no Ran contains one of the more complicated economic systems seen in a game. Village farmers will sell their goods at market, bringing home cash to support the village garrison and an onerous tax burden, while travelling merchants go from city to city, turning the region's economic engine. Tax collectors will go from town to town, taking money and sowing discontent. Prices for goods rise and fall with the season, as demand shifts, or in response to social conditions. As with any real-life economy, the base resides in agricultural production, and in Japan this means rice. During the Onin War, rice was the main trade good, and taxes were assessed in actual rice product. The unit of measurement was the koku, or bushel, then defined as the amount of rice one man required to survive one year. Currency was derived in rice-equivalents, with one ryou of gold (a measure of weight, not a coin) equal to one koku of rice. The currency used in the game is the mon, a small copper coin with an exchange rate of 360 mon to one ryou of gold. Other currency, such as the silver momme and the gold koban, were in use, and these will appear as trade items to be converted by a series of moneyleaders (for a small fee, of course). The mechanism by which all this takes place are the travelling farmers and peddlers, so interfering with them can have a serious economic impact.
The dojo in Onin no Ran provide a system of training in the game, for both players and the companion NPCs. They are also the gateway to becoming a kengo, the famed swordsmen of Japan. Various quests will surround the dojo, and they are planned to become a major side-story to the game. They also provide access to the system of dueling, where unique weapons and armor can be obtained.
Fame is the means by which characters advance in Onin no Ran. Fame can be gained by defeating parties larger than yours in combat or performing tasks for various people. Fame can also be lost, by losing fights or actively harassing the innocent. Lose too much fame, and people will be on the hunt for your head.
6. Getting started
The player starts near South Kyoto. The Hosokawa/Yamana daimyo will not see you without an invitation, so the player must find one of the regional shugo, or lords, to get an invitation from. Once you get an audience with the daimyo, he will assign you a quest to prove yourself before giving you full retainer status. Once complete, he will assign you a shugo (pay attention to which one!), to whom you will report for orders, quests, and from whom you can recruit troops for your army.
The kuge starts out similarly to the bushi, but once in the employ of one of the shugo, is assigned different quests to fulfill. Since combat is still the best way to increase one's fame, players must seek out on their own battles to fight.
The merchant starts out near Kyoto with a modest inventory of trade goods and weapons suitable for taking prisoners. A few towns and cities will have individuals who deal specifically in prisoners, and the forced labor trade can be lucrative, if dangerous. Speak with all the merchants you meet, as some will have quests for you that will lead to an invitation to join one of the za.
Ronin begin the game with an uchi-gatana, some clothes, food, and a few mon. On the upside, the world is wide open. The best way to start is to pick up a few NPCs and then go talk to the Sanda village kokujin about his bandit problem.
There are (currently) five npcs that will join the player:
A. Haruko - a young village defender from Itami, Haruko starts out very inexperienced. Armed with a naginata, she is good against one or two unarmored opponents, but larger groups will take her down easily. She will join your party for free.
B. Tsuruhiro - a middle-aged ronin drinking himself into oblivion in the inn at Nara. When sober, he is an excellent archer and decent swordman. Plus, he's free, so he provides some sorely needed ranged ability early in the game.
C. Akikane - an arrogant samurai, but somewhat deserving of his boast; his skill with the bow is high. Unfortunately, that's all he's good at, and at close range, he will require back up. He will join your party for one quiver of plain ya.
D. Shinbo - a Zen Buddhist monk of the Tendai sect. A poor close range fighter, he has some skill with thrown weapons, and carries a supply of blunt tekko with him. His real skills lie in his healing abilities, which will keep you party fighting longer and heathier. He will join your party in exchange for a Tendai charm. Speak with the merchants in the towns near the temple about them.
E. Yamamatsu - one of the Kengo, a master swordsman. His price is high: the Sharp Wave, forged by the swordsmith in Aioi. However, once he has it, he is worth a hundred samurai on the battlefield.
Onin no Ran uses many Japanese terms unfamiliar to most players.
uchi-gatana - The forerunner of the katana. Essentially a side weapon, to be used when other weapons (yari, naginata) cease to be effective. Not quite three feet in length, with a curved, single-edged blade.
tachi - the standard cavalry sword. It's a longer version of the uchi-gatana (or rather, the uchi-gatana is a short tachi). 3 - 4 feet in length.
no-dachi - a longer, thicker version of the tachi, these were less common because of the difficulty in forging them.
o-dachi - The behemoth of Japanese swords, o-dachi occasionally reached 5 feet in length, and were equivalent in function to the European greatsword. Very difficult to produce, these were rare. Very effective as an anti-cavalry weapon.
yari - The spear. Equipped with a long, double-edged blade, these were frequently used to cut as well as thrust. This was the preferred weapon of the samurai because of its range and armor-piercing power. The spearheads came in a variety of shapes, the most distinctive of which was the jumonji-yari, which was cross-shaped and sharpened on all edges.
yumi - The bow. The samurai were originally horse archers, and so skill with the bow is highly prized.
The Japanese yumi is unique in its asymmetrical design, which allowed the short-statured Japanese to achieve a high-powered bow.
ya - arrows, equipped with a number of different types of heads
naginata - essentially an uchi-gatana blade on a pole. These weapons were highly effective against both cavalry and infanty, and were used with great effect by Japanese women to defend their homes against attackers. Do not let its designation as a "woman's weapon" fool you: teams of women armed with these an decimate hostile forces twice their size.
bo - a staff. Comes in a variety of lengths and materials.
jo - Ceremonial monk's staff
ono - general-purpose axe, used mainly for chopping wood.
masaraki - the Japanese battle-axe. A favorite of the yamabushi, the wandering warrior-monks.
tetsubo - a short wooden staff with one end sheathed in iron and covered with large iron studs. Devestating in combat, but very slow and heavy.
dou - lit. 'body', a dou is the body armor proper, consisting of the breast and back. Breast protection alone is called a hara-ate.
sode - lit 'sleeve', shoulder guards. The large, square guards found on the famous o-yoroi are called o-sode.
kote- arm protection
suneate - shin guards
kabuto - helmet
1. Why 'bushi'?
The word 'samurai' is derived from 'saberu', which means 'to serve'. Samurai were military servants. Thus, 'samurai' is a job-title, not a social class. The bushi, or more properly, 'buke', were the military class of feudal Japan that came to power following the Gempei Wars of the 12th C.