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Old 2018-03-19, 19:35   Link #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2017
Intresting Easten Styled fantasy settings?

So, Iím doing a bit of story writing world and trying to build an interesting culture with a eastern feel to it from the ground up.

So, your reading a fantasy story with a well thought out setting. You know, vampire knight orders, complex merchant states, steam punk dwarfs and all sorts of fleshed out idea'sÖthen you get a samurai turn up from a place called Nippon, that sounds like a carbon cut-out version of Edo period JapanÖ and well I want to avoid that kind of trope.

So does anyone know any good example of well realised eastern style settings I can take apart and look at for ideaís?

Additionally my setting already has a decent selection of none human races, with dwarfs and elves both making a sizable minority of the population in the empire the story mostly take place in, and dragons -running- the empire next door, so none human characters from other nations would fit in quite smoothly with little complication, including quite powerful ones, as the dragons are basically in line with Smaug from LOTRs, if Smaug also had a extended family and enjoyed ruling places, rather than just killing everyone and sleeping in piles of gold for ages.

Iím already thinking Oni could work (Re: Zero Rem and Ram seemed to fit smoothly into a western styled fantasy), through I am interested in other examples of eastern mythical races that are easy to tweak into the orc/elf/dwarf slot, as well as anything that could realistically threaten a Smaug styled dragon enough to make it unkeen on the idea of direct conflict
DracoS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 12:59   Link #2
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Singapore
Age: 43
Dungeon & Dragons' original Oriental Adventures rule-set has since been adapted to a new campaign setting, from Kara-Tur (AD&D rules) to Rokugan (D&D 3e and beyond).

Magic the Gathering has the plane of Kamigawa, a heavy-fantasy realm of magic and eastern-inspired fantasy creatures.

Author Lian Hearn wrote the Tales of the Otori series, which was inspired by Sengoku-era Japan.

In the realm of Japanese fiction — and anime in particular — The Twelve Kingdoms was clearly inspired by Imperial China, and especially by Confucian ethics applied to political theory. Then there is Yona of the Dawn, which draws from feudal Korean history.

And, of course, there is Seirei no Moribito, which drew liberally from a range of East Asian influences — Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. More importantly, the novels from which the anime comes from have since been also adapted into live-action drama, and it seems to extend farther now into Mongolian settings as well.


Now, all these possible sources aside, I would suggest that if you truly want to build an "Eastern-style" world, please understand that East Asia is diverse. It has never been monolithic, except perhaps to outsiders from the West looking in. From Japan to Korea; from Mongolia to China to Tibet; from Okinawa (the former Ryuku Kingdom) to Southeast Asia; the cultural differences are huge.

From your brief description alone, I find it disapointing that you're still talking about "dwarfs and elves" and "dragons -running- the empire next door". It doesn't seem like you're taking enough care to build a world that's truly "East Asian", but rather just your standard Western fantasy, but with an East Asian facade. Beyond "dwarfs and elves", there are many other possibilities to mine for inspiration, so please don't limit yourself to just Western fantasy archetypes.
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Old Yesterday, 16:15   Link #3
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Stockport UK
Avatar: The Last Airbender nicely blended aspects of Eastern cultures to create the elemental nations, though most characters were humans.

The Legend Of Korra added a dieselpunk element being set on the same world 70 years later.
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