Since the Empire of the Rising Sun takes place in a Japan-like land, its only natural that there be new weapons and equipment. Unfortunately, this section was one of the parts that Oriental Adventures did right, introducing dozens of new weapons and several new armors. Most of the weapons don't suck, and neither do the armors. Of course, since the armors aren't Tome, that means I get to overhaul them but the weapons...not as much.
Because a lot of the weapons in Oriental Adventures are still good, it is recomended you use the ones in that book. But just because it's recommended doesn't mean I still can't link Japanese weapons that are in this wiki to this article. The weapons section will contain a lot of links to the other wiki, because there are more Japanese weapons there than here.
Because of this campaign setting's nature, most of the weapons found in the Player's Handbook are considered exotic because there are rarely used. Most of them are from the ancient eras, so would only magical weapons would have any chance of being encountered at all. The following are weapons taken from this wiki or the other wiki that appear in the Empire of the Rising Sun.
Bladed Fan: Bladed fans are favored weapons of ninjas, assassins, and spies since they are easily hidden and can be written off as normal fans.
Chigiriki: The chigiriki is a staff with a weight and chain on one end. It is used primarily by the ninja clans, but it is not unheard of for the islanders or peasants to use one sparingly.
Double Kusarigama: The double kusarigama is two kama connected to one another by a long chain. It is exclusively a peasant weapon, developed by them to fight against samurai.
Fukibari: Fukibari are small needles often thrown at the same time as shuriken. They are used exclusively by the ninja, who are known to hide them in their mouths.
Fukiya: The fukiya is a black blowgun, used by ninja as a breathing tube and a way to launch fukibari.
Jutte: Jutte are used by the police force to disarm unruly samurai and outlaws. They are occasionally used by samurai who no longer want to kill.
Kamayari: The kamayari is a spear with two sickles protruding from the base of the blade. They were invented by a monastic school of spear fighting, but their usefulness has made them somewhat popular among samurai.
Kanabo: The kanabo, also called a tetsubo, is a large, unwieldly weapon favored by extremely strong samurai. They are the favored weapon of many demons; as such, many demon samurai are proficient in its useage.
Katana: The katana is simply a masterwork bastard sword, if you didn't already know that. Just wanted to make sure people knew that.
Kusarigama: Another weapon designed by the peasants, it is now used by several samurai. Someone who is extremely skilled in its use is a fearsome warrior indeed.
Kyoketsu Shoge: The kyoketsu shoge is exclusively used by the ninja. Being the forerunner to the kusarigama, since the chain-sickle came to prominence it has been used less and less.
Mankiri: The mankiri consists of two weights bound together by a forearm-long chain. It is used by monastic orders, the police force, and anyone who doesn't want to kill.
Mankiri-gusari: The longer brother of the mankiri, the mankiri-gusari is two weights connected by a long chain. It resembles a spiked chain, but without the spikes.
Masakari: The masakari is a battleaxe used primarily by monks. Some of the more brutish samurai and barbarians use it as well.
Nagamaki: The nagamaki is an anti-cavalry sword used by the samurai. It is quickly losing popularity to the naginata.
Naginata: The naginata is a long pole with a curved blade on one end. It was developed by the sohei, but has become popular among the samurai as an anti-cavalry weapon. The naginata is also the favored weapon of female samurai.
Ninja-to: A lightweight, cheap sword used by the ninja on missions where they don't have to disguise their ninja-ness.
Nodachi: The nodachi is a large, unsharpened katana used to devastating effect against cavalry and armor. It's usage is on the wane, mostly because the nagamaki and naginata do the same job better and cost less.
Ono: The ono axe was developed by the peasantry from their cutting axes, but is now used among the sohei as well. Unlike the weapon description, the ono is not an improvised weapon.
Otsuchi: The otsuchi is a large hammer favored by extremely strong and cruel samurai. It was originally a seige weapon meant to pound through fortifications, but strong warriors can use it to devastating effect.
Sakabato: The 'reverse blade sword.' Despite the grammatical errors in the descrition and its confusing nature, the sakabato is still an interesting weapon, often used by ronin or old samurai. It is considered a katana for the purpose of feats.
Sasumata: The sasumata, or man-catcher, is used by the police forces to force samurai to the ground.
Sodegarami: The sodegarami, sleeve entangler, is the cousin of the sasumata and used for the same purpose. It is used primarily by the police.
Sword Cane: The sword cane is a wakizashi-sized blade hidden inside a cane.
Tachi: The tachi is a sword similar to the katana favored by mounted samurai. It is not quite as effective on the ground.
Tanto: The tanto is the main dagger used in the Empire, especially popular among assassins and women for its ability to be easily concealed.
Tonfa: The tonfa is a weapon invented by peasants that originated from a tool used to thresh grain. It is now somewhat popular amongst monks, but samurai never use it.
Wakizashi: The wakizashi is best represented in DnD as a masterwork short sword. It is the only sword allowed to be carried by non-samurai, and is also the means through which the samurai commits ritual suicide.
War Fan: The war fan is favored by generals and strategists, even though it is an obvious weapon.
Yari: The yari is a spear commonly issued to the masses of ashigaru (conscripted peasants). The samurai are proficient in its use as well, but it is more of a battlefield weapon than an at home weapon.
Yumi, Daikyu: The daikyu is used in place of the longbow, and cannot be used from horseback. Unlike some civilizations, the Empire of the Rising Sun's archers are samurai.
Yumi, Hankyu: The hankyu is the shorter brother of the daikyu, and is used by mounted samurai archers.
There were a lot of new armors that were created in [[Races of War (3.5e Sourcebook)|Races of War. A ton. And really, when it comes to whether or not to include armors, it all comes down to the DM's discretion and common sense. If the DM really wants to give you a weird set of armor after killing a demon/necromancer/yobanjin (such as coral or elukian clay), then that's fine, but you really shouldn't expect to find hoplite armor lying around.
The one thing about the armor in tome, however, is that there are no real "Japanese-esque" armors. Sure, great armor is probably supposed to be o-yoroi, but having a weakness to slashing doesn't really make sense in a Japanese-based setting (ever heard of a katana?). In that vein, here are new, Japanese-inspired armors.
|Armor Type||AC||Max Dex||Armor Check Penalty||Armor Stealth Penalty||Cost|
|New Light Armors|
|Ninja Armor||+3||+5||-1||-0||50 gp|
|Peasant Armor||+2||+5||-1||-3||25 gp|
|New Medium Armors|
|Monk Armor (Medium)||+4||+6||-4||-5||140 gp|
|Partial Armor||+5||+3||-4||-3||200 gp|
|New Heavy Armors|
|Monk Armor (Heavy)||+6||+3||-5||-6||gp|
New Light Armors
Ninja armor is the armor favored by the members of the ninja clans. Duh. It's similar to tatami-do (see below), but has been customized to be stealthy.
- Hide Ranks: Benefit
Peasant armor is the cheap armor give to conscripted peasants. Anyone who is in the samurai caste or higher should ever have to wear this armor. Peasant armor consists of a light breastplate and thigh protectors made of laced metal plates, shin guards, and a light helmet resembling a round straw hat.
Tatami-do is just a step up from peasant armor, and is usually worn by ashigaru footsoldiers, though some poor samurai use it, too. Tatami-do consists of small, laquered plates connected by mail and sewn to a cloth backing. While it is similar to brigadine armor, it provides slightly less protection.
New Medium Armors
Do-maru is the light samurai armor, worn by the retainers of the daimyo and others who cannot afford partial armor or o-yoroi. It has no solid breastplate or sleeves, and is semi-form-fitting and flexible. It gives footsoldiers much more flexiblity and the ability to use a wider range of weapons.
Monk Armor (Medium)
Members of the militant clergy are not allowed to wear partial armor, do-maru, or o-yoroi, for those are seen as status symbols of the samurai. Consequently, the sohei had to make their own. This is the lighter version of monk armor, and consists of shin and wrist guards, a breastplate made out of wood and metal with a short "skirt" that protects the groin and the upper portions of the shins. Monk armor oftentimes comes with a hood that only lets the eyes show through, making a sohei look like a ninja dressed in white..
Partial armor is for samurai who cannot afford the entire o-yoroi; thus, it is technically an incomplete set of heavy armor. It consists of a breastplate, thigh guards, shin guards, and armored sleeves made of chainmail and metal. It is heavier then do-maru, but harder to move around in.
New Heavy Armors
Monk Armor (Heavy)
The heavier cousin of the medium monk armor, preferred by the sohei. It has all the elements of the medium monk armor, but also has shoulder armor, thigh armor, and better materials.
O-yoroi is the iconic samurai armor. Not only is it designed to be useful armor, it was also made to scare the crap out of your enemies. There are a lot of parts in the o-yoroi, and you should hopefully know what samurai armor looks like anyway.
- BAB: Benefit
- +1: You are incased in laquered leather, wood, and iron plates and negate the first 5 points of nonlethal damage from any physical attack.
- +5: You gain DR 5/Piercing.
- +10: You gain a +3 bonus on Intimidate checks.
- +15: You are immune to fear.