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Bushido - Feudal Japanese Roleplaying

Bushido -- Tyr Gamemakers / Phoenix Games | Bushido -- Fantasy Games Unlimited (FGU)
See Also: GURPS Japan | Land of the Rising Sun | Oriental Adventures / Kara-Tur


"Tokasi Benkai leapt high into the air to avoid the slashing No-dachi of the Dai-oni. Twisting as he landed, the brave Samurai brought his flashing katana down on the monster's neck only to see the sword shatter on the demon's enchanted hide. Undaunted, the warrior dropped into atemi-waza stance, coolly regarding his foe. The oni smiled a toothy grin and made a mystic pass with his hand. Benkai groaned inwardly as he felt the very Earth turn traitor beneath his feet. With a wicked laugh, the oni advanced. Attempting to close with the monster, the Samurai slipped on the magically slick ground. The oni's great sword swept up and..."
- from the intro card, Bushido 1978 Tyr edition

Bushido (Tyr Gamemakers / Phoenix Games)

Bushido: Role Playing Adventure in Feudal Japan
Books 1 & 2: Heroes of Nippon & Land of Nippon.

The 1978 1st edition by Tyr is sometimes missing pages 13-14 & 47-48 in Book II (I've seen them both ways). They also come with an extensive errata sheet. The later Phoenix Games set is identical, but the errata has been incorporated into the text. In both, the map of Japan is in the centerfold of both books.

"In Bushido, the Players take roles as members of various Professions and wander through Nippon. The overall campaign is organized by a Games Master whose imagination is only the starting point for many hours of intriguing and entertaining enjoyment. The Heroes of Nippon is the player's guide and contains the rules for creating characters, combat, and magic. It features an Attribute system which allows a character to be tailored to a player's specifications. The Land of Nippon is the referee's guide and contains rules of Encounters, Battles, and other things necessary lo the campaign. Bushido uses pencil and paper, six and twenty-sided dice, a Game Master, and as many players as will brave the perils of Nippon."

1978 ... Paul Hume & Bob Charrette ... 72 + 60 pages ... Tyr Gamemakers

1980 ... Phoenix Games

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Noble Knight | Amazon

Bushido Gamesmaster's Screen
Until now (Jan 2013), I had neither seen nor heard of this screen. It was apparently part of the 2nd edition Bushido bundle by Phoenix Games. The later, much more common FGU (3rd edition) box set has a different screen. -W

"The Bushido Gamesmaster's screen is a compendium of charts and tables commonly used by the Gamesmaster. It also contains a Player's reference panel containing the tables for character generation. When unfolded and set up on a table the Screen will shield the Gamesmaster's notes and maps from the Players' view."

1980 ... Robert N. Charrette & Paul R. Hume ... Phoenix Games

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Bushido (Fantasy Games Unlimited)

Written by Paul Hume and Bob Charette, Bushido is perhaps FGU's finest offering to the gaming community. The Box Set contains 2 books, 3-panel screen of tables, map of Japan/Nippon, and a character sheet.

THE HEROES OF NIPPON: This is the players' book and contains the information needed to run a character. It includes sections on character generation and improvement, skills, combat, magic, and the Professions. It also covers the means of fitting the character into the culture of Nippon. (80 pages)

THE LAND OF NIPPON: This is the Gamemaster's book. It contains all the information needed to get him started in developing his own version of Nippon. Sections cover men to be encountered, beasts, legendary beings, battles, treasure, and campaign building. It also includes an introductory scenario. (60 pages)

The game was later released as a combined paperback.

"Flashing bladework, brave warriors, martial mastery, wise priests, honor, stealthy assassins, demons, magicians, spirits, war -- the stuff of Legends, the Legends of Japan. BUSHIDO is a role playing game that allows you to adventure on the Misty Isles of Nippon.

Players in BUSHIDO design their characters to suit the profession they choose. A skill system is used to determine the character's success in both martial and peaceful endeavors.

Take a break from the Western European and sample the mysterious world of the Far East. Try adventuring in a world where a man's honor and fame are as important as the number of foemen he has slain..."

1981 ... FGU 6801

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Valley of the Mists
"Come visit Hida Province in the land of Nippon. Be wary though, for all is not well. The ruling clan is not as secure as they would wish. Enemies surround them on all sides and, perhaps, even lurk within their domain. Mystery, magic, and menace await the bold adventurers who shall eventually descend into the Valley of the Mists.

VALLEY OF THE MISTS is the first adventure pack for use with BUSHIDO. This is not a complete game. Fantasy Games Unlimited's BUSHIDO is necessary for play. It contains three inter-related adventures which take place in and around Hida Province. Background material concerning the province is presented as well. Special bonuses include several new Legendary Beings and a new form of magical skill: Tea Magic."

1982 ... Bob Charrette ... 32 pages ... FGU 6802

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Takishido's Debt
According to FGU notes [I had a link, but it broke a while back], Takishido's Debt "was submitted to White Dwarf magazine (Before it became a one-company publication), but at the time they were not looking for Bushido scenarios. Games of Liverpool agreed to publish TD as a 'mini-adventure'. Not long after that White Dwarf decided that they were interested in TD after all, but they had missed their chance."


"In the players travels they have come to the city of Nara in the province of Kawachi. If they have a usual place of meeting (a tea-house for example) the one among them with apparent status closest to a high ranking Ronin will be approached there. If the players are not in the habit of meeting in such a public place they will be approached individually.
They will be approached by an old Ronin in Average Samurai garb who wears the Dai-sho (symbolic of the Buke) and deports himself in a distinguished way. He holds his right arm awkwardly, as it was once injured in an Iaijutsu duel. He will mysteriously, and without introducing himself, inform the players that to learn of an interesting proposition they should meet him at the House of the Crescent Moon, in the Flower district of the city, at the hour of the lesser dog that evening.
A passer-by, or servant at the tea house, will point out to the party that the old man bore a remarkable resemblance to a famed retainer of the local Daimyo (Suzushi Neko) called Rashomon Kagemusha..."

1983 ... 12 pages ... Author: Steve Bell ... Games of Liverpool 6804(?)

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Adventure Campaigns 1
This book contains 2 campaigns: Valley of the Mists and Honor Lost.

2019 ... 66 pages ... Robert N. Charette & Jeffrey A. O'Hare ... FGU 6803

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Adventure Campaigns 2
Includes Honor Bound and Path of Honor.

2019 ... 78 pages ... Stephen Dedman ... FGU 6804

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