View Full Version : Asian Nation in Iron Kingdoms?
03-07-2010, 08:07 PM
Hi IKRPG fans!
This is a question regarding IK fluff...
Is there a nation/area in the IKs that represent Asia or Asians itself? Like Oriental kind?
I did love to hear your thoughts! Thx!
03-07-2010, 08:24 PM
I do not believe there is at the present time. The Skorne and Elves have weapons reminiscent of Japanese weaponry. The Skorne also have a Bushido-esque code of honor, but that is where the similarity starts to peter out.
The Happy Anarchist
03-07-2010, 08:39 PM
The main port of Zu is similar to Japan & Hong Kong, in that foreigners are only allowed in that area and no where else.
Really though, if you want ninjary then Legion is your best bet. If you want samurai then Skorne is your best bet. If you want kung fu, then oddly enough churchies are your best bet, with both the Protectorate and the Morrowans having an order of kung fu monks.
03-07-2010, 10:35 PM
The Asians, you know, the Oriental kind?
Aside from minor elements of aesthetics and design, you won't find Asian anything at all in the Iron Kingdoms. Asians as a human race/ethnic group are absent, as are any Eastern-flavoured nations or regions.
If I recall correctly, some have commented that East Asian elements in RPGs (ninjas, samurai, kung fu, sexy dance numbers) are becoming clichéd, and are not appropriate for the Iron Kingdoms setting. The phrase from the old Unofficial FAQ was "Oriental culture has been done to death."
As with other touchy discussions of race/colour/ethnic diversity in the IK, people can feel quite strongly for or against the idea of bringing in a new 'race'. A critical view would be that Asian racial features (hair, skin tone, facial structure) can't be "clichéd", and posters whose comments bundle physical race with pop-culture stereotypes could be seen as prejudiced and discriminatory. One could argue that players of all genetic backgrounds should be able to imagine themselves represented within the campaign setting, and see members of their race portrayed in the miniatures and art.
On the other hand, Privateer writers have commented very strongly that the Iron Kingdoms represent only a small portion of the world, that they are plenty diverse already, and that enough is enough.
Harping on and on about how the IK is "under representing" certain real world ethnicities is frankly absurd, and insulting.
You do realize that western Immoren is simply one small part of a single continent on a larger world? It is not intended to have a hugely diverse representation of humanity. It is about as small and insular as Europe, even more so as there has never been a proper age of discovery or exploration. All the same, we do have, as they did in Europe, a bit of ethnic diversity among the majority. There are numerous examples of such individuals, particularly among cultural groups like the Idrians, the Sinari, the Radiz, and many smaller ethnicities. Those looking at pictures of the Orgoth can see they are also very distinctly different than the inhabitants of western Immoren, yet were humans. Our artists have yet to draw any of our people from Zu but they again are a distinctly different ethnicity having had little to no contact with western Immoren for most of their development.
Even within the "white" majority of western Immoren we've tried to have a similar diversity and spread of features and appearances as one finds in Europe and beyond, as groups like the Tordorans, Morridane, Kossites, Umbreans, and Scharde have their own distinct differences. One of our largest majorities in the Iron Kingdoms, the Midlunders, are considerably darker on average than most of western Europe.
I was hoping the publication of the map in HORDES: Primal would emphasize just how small of a region western Immoren is in the big scheme of things. Consider we still haven't shown the entire world, and there is every evidence that humans have cropped up on multiple continents. (Three that we know of so far...) Yes, the humans of western Immoren are a bit more homogonous than the entire spread of billions of humanity on Earth, but that's only to be expected in a region that has a total population of about ~20 million.
How many people of differing ethnicities would qualify us as properly enlightened? At what point would it instead become pandering to political correctness and go against the grain of a setting that we put considerable thought and effort into bringing to life with its own internal consistency and flavor? I'm sorry if it offends you that we created another fantasy setting that has some loose analogues to western Europe. But the background is established and It's not going to change radically in the near future, so there it is, for better or worse.
We're going to make characters that make sense in the setting as it was designed, and yes western Immoren is a small place. It is not intended to be a melting pot for the rest of the world, most of which hasn't even been explored or discovered.
03-08-2010, 02:10 AM
The phrase from the old Unofficial FAQ was "Oriental culture has been done to death."
To be specific, Matt Wilson was just tired of drawing samurai after years of illustrating "Legend of the Five Rings" so he made an executive decision as creative director and said there shouldn't be any Asian stuff in the IK.
03-08-2010, 09:36 AM
Hi Galwe! Good to see you're still on the forums these days. Thanks for the clarification. :)
03-10-2010, 10:17 AM
There are certain elements of asian culture around, clearly, by they are more oblique then anything else. No, you won't find Naruto flavored ninjas or anything even remotely like them anywhere in this settings. Which is no bad thing, if you ask me.
The Skorne have a weird mix of Japanese Samurai Culture and Thousand Cities Era Chinese culture going, with elements of Korean stuff thrown in for good measure, especially in how they deal with Spirits/the afterlife (or lack thereof), but I would say its more reminisicient of these places then actually based on them, per se. Its actually very hard to create a religious philosophy/society that has no analogues in the real world and still have the species be even remotely relatable to humans; you have to remember there has been 15000 years of cultural development all over the world, so odds are whatever you can think of has been tried in one way or another. This is a problem as a writer, and not easily surmountable.
The Nyss aren't really ninjas at all though, they are more like the silent ranger-warrior types then actual Ninjas. They don't really do anything like any of the asiatic cultures.
03-10-2010, 11:05 AM
Except carry katanas and nodachis, and wear dark pyjamas and face masks.
03-10-2010, 11:18 AM
Riiiight, but aside from stylistically, thats where it ends. With the exception of what, Rhyas, no Nyss actually fights like a ninja. They don't do stealth runs as melee types, they don't really assassinate people, they don't take mercenary missions to kill nobles, they don't really form into ninja-only tribes. The look is there, but the culture is absent.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.