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Category: Kannagara

Aso Jinja and “Migawari”

Aso Jinja and “Migawari”

Aso Jinja is a large and old jinja in Kumamoto Prefecture, in central Kyushu. It is the Ichi-no-Miya of Higo, one of the old provinces of Japan, and its chief priesthood is hereditary in the Aso family, who used to rule the area as well as lead the religious rituals. It is located in the caldera of an active volcano, which is less exciting than it sounds, as the caldera is enormous, and the volcano is much less active now…

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Shinto Concerns

Shinto Concerns

Development of Kannagara is on hiatus at the moment, while I try to clear up some projects with deadlines (or, in one case, finish a project that has been underway for more than seven years). To fill in the space, I want to introduce some of the topics that Shinto priests and practitioners are actively concerned with. To do that, I’m going to provide extremely short summaries of all the articles in one issue of Jinja Shinpo. Jinja Shinpo is…

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Playtest Scenario Finished

Playtest Scenario Finished

Today, I finished the first draft of the first playtest scenario. The next step is to try playing it, to see whether it works. This very first playtest will be very limited in numbers, because the game might well not work at all, and I will use the feedback from it to revise and improve the rules of the game. The scenario itself will probably also need some revision, but at this point I’m more concerned about getting the rules…

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Good Progress

Good Progress

Today, I’ve made good progress on Kannagara. The first playtest scenario is nearly finished in first draft. I think I need another day to get it done, which augurs well for it being completed within the year. Then I will try to recruit some people to actually try it, to find out whether it is at all playable. One thing that I’m a bit concerned about is that the freedom of the players to decide what their environment is like…

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(No) Progress Report

(No) Progress Report

There have been no updates to the blog for the last couple of weeks because I’ve not made any progress on the game. My family all came to Japan for my daughter’s Shichigosan ceremony, so I haven’t had any time to work on this project. Shichigosan is a Shinto ceremony, so it is, at least, a thematically appropriate distraction. Today, I’ve looked over the files again, reminded myself of where I was up to, and, I think, got myself into…

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Work Continues

Work Continues

I’m continuing to work on the introductory scenario. One of the features of Kannagara is that the players can define the details of the world that their personae live in through their choices as they explore it. The players decide what the personae discover, and those discoveries define the world. There are two versions of this. In the first, the background is defined by the game material, and the personae discover it. This is going to be an important part…

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A Sample

A Sample

Here is a sample of text from the first scenario. This section concerns the creation of the norito for a harae to purify the personae. Norito The rules for creating each part of the harae are the same, and we will create the norito first. First, one of the personae must come up with a concept for the norito. To do this, roll a number of dice equal to norito knowledge, and keep a number equal to norito skill, following…

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Revising Revision

Revising Revision

And as the process of creation gets underway, things change. In writing the initial scenario, I found a significant problem with the proposed revision mechanics. They were as follows. Roll the assessment dice and double the result. Subtract the current progress from this result to get an assessment total. Subtract the assessment total from the current progress to get the difficulty for the revision roll. Make the revision roll, and add the amount by which it exceeds the difficulty to…

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Development Continues

Development Continues

The frequency of posts to this blog is likely to drop off a bit for a while. I’m working on the playtest scenario, and while it’s coming along nicely it doesn’t lend itself to posting on the blog quite as easily as the initial, more abstract, development. In addition, things are changing as I make them concrete. This doesn’t surprise me; RPG development always works like this. Things will change again once the scenario is finished and I’ve had the…

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Performing Harae

Performing Harae

As I mentioned earlier, simple harae and misogi rituals are an essential part of any visit to a jinja, and all matsuri. I don’t think I need special rules for them; they are something to be mentioned as colour. Shinto believes that people acquire kegare through their normal activities, and the standard harae rituals can be considered to remove that impurity. That suggests that a penalty should apply to matsuri if personae perform them without performing the standard harae rituals,…

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