Player Guide Project

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Re: Player Guide Project

Postby C.C. » 14 Feb 2010, 22:37

Statless NPCs, from a role-playing perspective, are also "drafted and trained" soldiers. They should be as skilled as anyone else in the army, probably a bit more so given that they are bodyguards.

And see, herein lies the difference between lore and game mechanic. Understandably, because of the fictitious setting, assassinations are supposed to be more commonplace. Thus, whereas normally the 5-100-3k troops are part of the general's household (which is considered to be a part of a particular general's pay), in here it's probably be going to be a smaller number, as our numerical scaling are only in the thousands, rather then the tens/hundreds of thousands that were more commonplace in ancient China.
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Re: Player Guide Project

Postby Xeniphon » 14 Feb 2010, 23:08

Its a situation that must be maintained, too many people took advantage of staff leniancy with statless NPCs and gave themselves hundreds of bodyguards that they didnt have to pay, feed, house, maintain, train, arm, or anything else. They were just suddenly there *POOF* like magic. As for the number system, its actualy larger than it seems since 1 population/troop is equal to 100 people/solders. So 2800 population for instance would be 280,000 people while an army 680 troops strong would be 68,000 solders strong.
Oh well, back to the drawing board...

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Re: Player Guide Project

Postby C.C. » 14 Feb 2010, 23:56

68,000 is still a pretty small number - especially if you look at the city states who are easily capable of raising professional armies in the hundreds of thousands in the spring and autumn/warring states period. The population has only grown and not shrunk.

Like I said, you go for realism or you let people dynasty warrior their way through and assassinate people. I understand that there is a paradigm difference.

I would argue that it's not staff leniency, but abuse of ranks on some player's part. I am NOT sure why the sim has it designed so that the ranks suddenly went up exponentially, but as a, say, General Who Pacifies the West (镇西大将军) in a moderately large state, it wouldn't be unusual for you to have ~100 men in your dwelling as a private guard, and having that sized entourage as you wandered around the city in uniform (20 is more of a realistic size, but you CAN. It's just not a good thing to do because people starts to call you showoff). More, and you might get some funny looks, especially from others who are quick to accuse you of harboring treasonous thoughts, but less would certainly be unusual, and would probably earn you high praises from the people as someone who is humble.

Having hundreds of bodyguards are appropriate so long as you have the rank for it.

Even the "wen," or civil officials had access to Jia Shi and Si Shi as I mentioned above, so having large amounts of troops are again, not unusual. Though, I suppose I'm not understanding the difference between the term bodyguard and soldier. A bodyguard bodyguard might be a specific character (especially in fictional settings where Wuxia is common, or like Dian Wei to Cao Cao), whereas a soldier bodyguard would simply be troops, normal or elite, that are present in large numbers. I might have been using the two concepts interchangeably, so...

The payment comes from the fact that it's a high honor to be with the general, their food and clothing and etc are paid for in additional to their regular pay, and all of this should be coming out of the state's coffers as part of the general's salary.

The point is that in the Latter Han period, ranks quickly became just that - ranks. The various Fu are the things that give you actual commanding power.

EDIT to respond to Xeniphon: Who run these plots? The GMs, I would assume. And therein lies the problem. You only understand one aspect of the plotting - the entourage, and you see it as unfairness because anyone "is capable of pulling in a thousand troops and go kill someone." What you do not see, however, is the whole picture. Exaggeration is hardly a convincing argument. If you are going to RP, then you RP with all the details, and not just a selective bit. If you want to act as a general of the latter Han, you must understand all the other nooks and ropes that bind you in place.

First of all, to clarify. If you didn't have the corresponding rank (game mechanic determines the rank, here), and you tried to gather followers, that is called treason. You can (and probably would) be executed shortly if people found out, and they will.


Secondly, from a historical perspective, assassinations were carried out. They were rare, but they did happen. I think that speaks for itself, then. A player has a lot of guards. He really can't be killed now. Really? Is that the case, or are people thinking from only one perspective?

There are laws. Han city ordinance, for example, forbids open travel after sundown, and all individuals must either have a specialized pass to walk the city, a "message arrow" from the Emperor or something similar, else be arrested/shot in the spot. City patrols are linked to the barracks, and when one of the poets mentioned that "there are no dark valleys in Changan," he wasn't speaking entirely figuratively. The Han left us some fairly extensive records of simple civil affairs, which gave us a good idea of how they ran things. I fail to see how putting such information out there would harm anyone - especially when everyone can read it, and the knowledge isn't limited to any one person or faction.

To actually launch an assault with private troops, one is either stupid, or have a ton of guts/ s brilliant - which includes expertise in city patrols, law enforcement, or the justice system work during the time, all of which would be necessary to understand IF the player is to design such a plot.

When I started to write details regarding how ancient China worked, I planned to include all aspects of it. I would not fret so much if I were you - and I would be amazed if the GMs would allow a plotter to run around the city with that many troops, even without any details or knowledge about how the time period worked. if the city have any sense of order. I would also be surprised if the plotter expects that he could get away with such a stunt. If you had troops during the time, people KNEW you had troops. And how hard is it to put 1 and 1 together? And too often people forget about the penalties of in-fighting. I would post in detail, but I don't think an explanation of ancient Chinese crime and punishment methods is necessary for SimRTK.

It's amusing, too, because many people include in their counterplots what should be common-sense practices in the time period. The people who can think of such things benefit, while others who either haven't had the opportunity to be exposed to it or don't have enough time to ponder about it lose out.

My purpose, as mentioned above, in bringing up these details. It balances the playing field by giving people examples, and it is also so that people can choose to go beyond the skeletal framework when the culture and historicity of the time covers a good deal of what makes the good RPers good. You've been writing counterplots for a lot longer than I have. That is true. However, would you step away from the plotting for a second and think about it from a roleplayer's perspective? More guards = more pomp and more circumstance. More guards = more random things to do, including drunken parties that end in trashing of restaurants (and damaged reputations and dents in wallets). It's more fun for those people who like to pretend that they're their characters, and this fun doesn't always involve killing other people.

Unless, of course, I've misread the community, and everyone here is out to gain something other than the experience. If so, then I take what I've said back.
Last edited by C.C. on 15 Feb 2010, 02:36, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Player Guide Project

Postby Xeniphon » 15 Feb 2010, 00:40

Your missing the point, it isnt that its unrealistic or unreasonable to assume people would have troops. And the ranks have nothing to do with how many guards you can have here on the sim. Its a matter of fairness. If you can just suddenly decide you have 1000 of the best trained troops and they suddenly apear with no reasonable explination what does that do to gaim balance? If this were possible a plotter could decide that he has a rank and so has solders, then sends those troops to kill someone. Is that fair to the other player? Or the other way around, someone tries to kill this player but cant because he suddenly has 1000 guards hanging around wherever he goes.

Ive seen other games like this one where people could just have whatever and it got SO abused... I wouldnt even join the sites because unless you had more than 200 guards with you at all times you were dead in 3 seconds. Its jus tnot fun to play in a world like that. Remember that those officers you speak of were also held in check by consiquences while the players here are not. There is a differece between what is realistic and what is fair. We cant and shouldnt always be fair since it isnt realistic, but you can't always be realistic at the cost of fairness or else you find yourself with no players. Anyway, this isnt the place for this, this thread is for putting things for the guide.
Oh well, back to the drawing board...

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Re: Player Guide Project

Postby Dong Zhou » 15 Feb 2010, 06:44

Wasn't there a huge loss of population and quite a few early assassinations (He Jin, Zhang Yang, Qiao Mao, Dong, Guo Si) before things settled down?

I love plots, in fact I would love to see more of them, I think the rest of the staff generally like plots, I was hoping the "rulers can't just auto search anymore" would encourage further plots. A successful plot, I imagine, isn't easy at it is, you need cunning and a bit of luck to go your way, why would we make it near impossible by giving everyone a massive amount of bodyguards? Or it could swing the other way as Xeniphon mentioned and as much as I love plots, that would be unfairly easy
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Re: Player Guide Project

Postby JG Chan » 15 Feb 2010, 20:36

Geography guide! 8-) It's long and rambling, unfortunately, and it only really summarizes each area, but I've tried to include references that would be easy to look up for those who want to use them for RP. It's likely that some ruler players have better details on their home cities than I do, so suggestions would be great, and I might edit it later if I come across anything interesting.

Otherwise, here goes...

A Guide to the Lands of the Han

Welcome, fellow travelers, to this exposition of the lands that comprise the great Han empire. Four hundred years ago, defeating his rivals with the aid of stalwart generals and receiving the Heavenly Mandate, Gaozu established the Han as the pinnacle of civilization. The land was unified under one rule, and the people flourished. Yet a land long united inevitably divides, and such trying times seem to be upon us.

However, though dynasties change and powers fall, the land of the Middle Kingdom remains a place of wonders, where nature and culture both contribute to a unique image. As a traveler, I have seen the many faces of these lands, each with its own beauty, from the harsh mountains to the fertile deltas, the humid jungles to the wintry plains. Herein I record my observations for the benefit of others who would travel, that they might better appreciate the treasures of our homeland.

Bingzhou 并州

Let us begin with the cradle of our civilization; the Yellow River, which passes through the great Huangtu Plateau in the north and carries its yellow soil to our lands. Flowing south from this Plateau, it marks the western border of Bingzhou, where our journey begins.

Bingzhou is the northern gate to Sili Province; Hu Guan, so named by Han Gaozu for its vase-like shape, connects its southern reaches to the Capital Region. North of the pass lie the commanderies of Shangdang, whose invasion by Qin led to the bloody Battle of Changping, and Jinyang, also called Taiyuan. Further north still is Jiuyuan in Wuyuan commandery, a frontier territory lying between the dominion of the Han and the Xianbei tribes, and the birthplace of a peerless warrior wielding a great heaven-square halberd. Bingzhou borders the provinces of Ji and You to the east, the Huangtu Plateau to the west, and the steppes of the Xianbei and Qiang to the north.

In ancient times, this land belonged to the state of Jin, made powerful by the hegemon Duke Wen, whose partition into Zhao, Wei, and Han following the Battle of Jinyang marks the beginning of the age of Warring States. It is a warm, arid plateau of long, dry winters, frequent spring duststorms, and short, humid summers, nestled between the Luliang mountains to the west and the Taihang range to the east. The Fen river, so pivotal in the Battle of Jinyang, runs through this province before draining into the Huanghe as it turns eastward, passing in sight of a majestic mountain of five peaks near its headwaters.


Youzhou 幽州

Moving northeast out of Bingzhou, one comes to sacred Mount Heng, the northern pillar of the Five Great Mountains. During the Han, the Shrine of the Northern Peak was built upon its slopes, though the mountain's northern location has limited the number of visiting pilgrims. East of Hengshan is the city of Ji, capital of the northern State of Yan during ancient times. The tales of the great general Yue Yi and the assassin Jing Ke shall forever remain in the annals of history, while in more recent times, the area has served as the base of one known as the White Horse General.

Further east, one finds Beiping and the nearby Bailang mountain, an area where the Wuhuan people have gathered power as the empire declined. East across the Liao river is Liaodong, with its governmental seat in Xiangping, a territory first conquered by Qin Kai of Yan and a source of precious jade. Finally, Lelang commandery, established by Han Wudi after his defeat of Chaoxian, marks the border of Han influence to the northeast.

Like Bingzhou, the lands of Youzhou are quite dry outside of short, rainy summers. It is mountainous in both the east and the west, with lowlands around the Liao river in the center. The Great Wall and its passes mark its northern borders, Jizhou lies to the south, and its eastern peninsula is bordered by the Bohai Sea. Due to its history and its distance from the center of the empire, Youzhou's culture shows distinct influences from the northern tribes, and Han travelers are advised to keep an open mind to the many things that might be learned from them.


Jizhou 冀州

South of Youzhou is the province of Ji, a territory belonging to the former state of Zhao after its annexation of neighbouring Zhongshan. At the border of the two provinces lies the site of Yijing, a city of towers built and quickly destroyed in the power struggles of recent times. Nanpi lies to the south, while Ye, not far from the former Zhao capital of Handan, is to the southwest. Apart from Youzhou, Jizhou's neighbours are Qingzhou to the east, Yanzhou to the south, Sili Province to the southwest, and Bingzhou through Julu commandery to the west, the site of an important victory by Xiang Yu over the forces of Qin. The climate is similar to that of Bing and You, and wheat is grown in the area.

Jizhou remains a strong and rich province with an illustrious past. During the Warring States, Zhao rose to prominence after King Wuling's military reforms, and was the last kingdom capable of withstanding the Qin as the era neared its end. The Central Plains of the region, which rise into the Taihang and Yan mountains in the north and west, remain ideal for its Wuhuan-inspired cavalry to this day. In more recent times, Jizhou has also been the starting point of a great rebellion led by a man from Julu, the home of a long-eared descendant of the Imperial line, and the power base of an eminently noble warlord.


Qingzhou 青州

To the east of Jizhou lies Qingzhou, on the coast of the Bohai and Yellow Seas. Crossing the bridge of Jieqiao on the Qing river east of Ye, one arrives in Pingyuan commandery, home of Han Wudi's advisor Dongfang Shuo. Moving south, one crosses the Yellow River where it empties into the sea and passes Mount Tai of the east, foremost among the Five Sacred Mountains, where Shi Huangdi of Qin proclaimed the unity of the empire. Further east are Linzi, the former capital of the state of Qi, and Beihai commandery, beyond which the land juts out towards the seas in a hilly peninsula.

The land of Qing province is flat in the west, much like the plains of Jizhou, then rises in the mountainous area around Taishan. It borders Yanzhou to the southwest and Xuzhou to the south. Its climate is temperate and fairly mild, seafood is common due to its coastal location, and sorghum is grown in the region. In ancient times this land was given to Jiang Shang, the most prominent official during the founding of Zhou. It bore witness to the great strategies of Sun Bin, and was the last to fall before the might of Qin.


Xuzhou 徐州

South of Qingzhou lies Xuzhou, once the home of Yi tribesmen in ancient times, and later part of the states of Wu and then Chu. The Xu family that shares the province's name also traces its Zhou dynasty origins to this area. Its current cities are Xiapi in the east and Xiaopei, the hometown of Han Gaozu, to the west. Surrounding Xiapi are the commanderies of Langxie, birthplace of the rumoured Sleeping Dragon of Longzhong; Pengcheng, capital of Xiang Yu's Kingdom of Chu; and Guangling to the south, built by the state of Wu as a defense against Qi. The latter lay beyond the Huai river and Huaiyin area, the fief of the famous general Han Xin. South of Xuzhou is Yangzhou, while to its west lie the provinces of Yan and Huainan.

Being far removed from the center of the empire, Xuzhou had remained fairly unimportant in its affairs despite the significance of some of its settlements. It is a region of flat lowlands, whose coastal areas see heavy rainfall throughout the year. Rice, silk, and salt are among its major products. The Huai river is an important route through the province, and some consider it to mark the separation between the northern and southern parts of the empire.


Yanzhou 兖州

Yanzhou is situated to the west of Xuzhou, and borders Qingzhou to the northeast, Jizhou to the north, the Capital Regions to the west, and Yuzhou to the south. Yanzhou connects to Xiaopei through Dingtao, a county so-named in reference to the famed advisor Fan Li of the Spring and Autumn period, later a very successful businessman. West of Dingtao is the city Chenliu where the Wei capital Daliang once stood, while Puyang lies to the north. Further north, past the Yellow River crossing at Baima, one reaches Jizhou once more.

The province of Yan is part of the Central Plains, a flat region lying to the southeast of the Taihang mountain range. Temperatures and precipitation are moderate, and large quantities of grain are grown in the area. The province is the site of the former state of Lu, the subject of the Spring and Autumn Annals and home of Kongzi, and a temple to the great teacher still stands in his hometown of Qufu. Well-known scholars have come from this region as well, including one who belongs to the Kong lineage.


Yuzhou 豫州

Traveling south from Yan, one encounters Yuzhou, the most central province of the empire and a land reputed for producing many talented men. In ancient times, this territory was held by the state of Han, home of the Legalist philosopher Han Fei. Its neighbours are Sili Province to the northwest, Northern Jing across its southern reaches, and Huainan to the east. Like Yanzhou, it is fairly flat and possesses a temperate climate, though the eastern tip of the Qinling mountains touch the province's western edge at Mount Song, the Central Peak of the Five Sacred Mountains. The Huai river also flows through this province from its source in Tongbai Mountain.

East of Songshan is Xuchang, a prosperous city named after an ancient state of the Spring and Autumn period, and further east lie the commanderies of Chen and Qiao, the latter of which is the home of the well-known Cao and Xiahou clans. South of Chen commandery, the city of Runan is also the source of numerous government officials while being the ancestral home of the noble, prestigious Yuan clan. Yuzhou is also known for its crafts, especially in works of porcelain and jade.


Huainan 淮南

Heading back east from Yuzhou, one finds the region of Huainan between the Huaihe and the Changjiang. This area was once a kingdom bestowed by Han Gaozu upon his general Ying Bu, and later on governed by Liu An, the writer of the Daoist classic Huainanzi. Its main city of Shouchun was once a capital of Chu during its struggle with Qin. Passing south through Hefei, Shi Ting and the great freshwater lake Chaohu, one reaches Lujiang commandery and Xunyang on the shores of the Changjiang, said to be the birthplace of a handsome and brilliant leader of the south.

Nestled between two important waterways, Huainan is fairly warm in winter, and quite humid overall. The plains of the north extend through the region until the banks of the Great River, which are more uneven and mountainous. Wild game is plentiful, and rice is grown in the area. Xuzhou lies to the north, while the vast province of Yangzhou borders Huainan from the east to the southwest. The two rivers are natural routes through the region, and numerous smaller ones crisscross the area as well.


Yangzhou 扬州

Crossing the Great River from Huainan leads one to Yangzhou, also called Jiangdong, a land encompassing the southeast coast of the Middle Kingdom below the river. It is an area both defensible from northern incursions and rich in resources, with many beautiful mountains following the coast. Coupled with its subtropical climate beneficial to agriculture, Yangzhou has grown into a prosperous and well-settled region. Rice is produced, as well as silk, tea, and porcelain.

Up the Great River from Lujiang is Jiujiang commandery, which includes the city of Chaisang and the smaller Nanchang. Heading downriver, one reaches Ruxu Kou, Jianye, Jing Kou, and finally Wu on the shores of lake Taihu, where the Changjiang opens into the sea. South of there lies Fuchun, the home of the Sun clan which claims descent from Sunzi himself, and following the coast to the south and southwest, one passes Huiji, Linhai, and Jian'an. Yangzhou borders Xuzhou to the north, Huainan along the northwest, Jiaozhou to the southwest, and Jingzhou to the west through the scenic Xi Sai Shan.

In times past, this area was considered barbarous due to its distance from the Central Plains, and peoples of non-Han origins still inhabit it, lending it their own distinct culture. The kingdoms of Wu and Yue occupied it during the Spring and Autumn period, their struggles against each other well-known in the tale of Fuchai of Wu, Goujian of Yue, and the beauty Xi Shi. As the Warring States era came on, these states were absorbed by Chu, and finally conquered by Qin when the land became unified.


Northern Jingzhou 荆北

Traveling upriver from Chaisang past Xi Sai Shan, we reach the northern portions of Jingzhou above the Changjiang. The city of Jiangxia is seen first, and moving north, one passes Yiyang to reach the small settlement of Xinye and the city of Wan, an area also known as Nanyang and the birthplace of a general and archer undaunted by age. From Wan one could head east through Luyang to Yuzhou or west to Yong, and from Xinye, a road south through Fancheng leads to the large city of Xiangyang, home of a prominent Ma clan. This area is heavily populated and well-developed due to its central location within the empire.

South of Xiangyang lie the slopes of Changban, while to the west are Fangling and the small city of Shangyong within the Qinling mountains. Further west, Xicheng marks the boundary of Jingzhou and Hanzhong in Yizhou, and the end of our tour of this major region that formed the heart of the powerful state of Chu. The flat valley of the Jianghan plain with its many lakes occupies much of the province, with mountain ranges such as Qinling and Wudang to the west. The climate is quite warm, and as with many areas near the Changjiang, rice and fish are found in abundance. Dushan in Nanyang is also well known for its jade deposits, and the peaks of Shennongjia are rich in exotic plants and animals.


Southern Jingzhou 荆南

Traveling from the northern to the southern section of the large province of Jing is most direct through Jiangling, located near the former capital of Chu. To its west is Yiling which leads to the eastern Riverlands, while to its east are Wulin forest, Huarong trail, and the cliffs of Chibi on the Changjiang. To the south past Gong'an and Dongting Lake are the cities of Wuling and Lingling and the picturesque, mountainous home region of many non-Han tribes like the Miao. East of there are Changsha on the Xiang river, historically an outpost of Han culture linking to the southern regions, and the southern Mount Heng of the Five Sacred Mountains. To the south, one finds Linhe, Qujiang, and the city of Guiyang.

Southern Jingzhou is well-protected by mountainous terrain on all sides, and lies in the basins of four of the Great River's tributaries. It has limited access to Yizhou in the west and Jiaozhou to the south, and borders Yangzhou to the east and of course, Northern Jing. As befitting a land below the river, the climate is warm and wet, and rice and tea are produced here. The mixture of the original tribal peoples of the region and later Han settlers from the north is striking, and travelers here should strive to respect the local customs.


Jiaozhou 交州

South of Qujiang past the Nanling mountain range is Jiaozhou, a tropical coastal land of long, hot, and wet summers. Being so far removed from the Capital Regions, this province remains a fairly independent land of the Nanyue, Zhuang, and other peoples, unconcerned with the events of the empire. It comprises the commanderies of Nanhai, Cangwu, Hepu, and Jiaozhi, and borders Yangzhou to the east, Southern Jing, and Nanzhong to the west.

Jiaozhou is fairly mountainous, especially in the western regions, and is drained by many rivers which converge on the Zhujiang Delta. Apart from a few forays to pacify the region by Qin and later Han Wudi, this province did not occupy much of Han political attention due to its remoteness. The area is rich in resources and food, but is not especially developed at this time, with great swaths of unspoiled wilderness to tempt would-be explorers. One such area is Guilin, a landscape of uniquely shaped mountains and forests on the bank of the Li river, near the unsettled border with Southern Jing.


Nanzhong 南中

Nanzhong is the wild region of the extreme southwest of the empire, connecting with Jiaozhou to the east through Xinggu and Yizhou to the north. A Han commandery was established in Yunnan during the time of Han Wudi following the area's subjugation by General who Tames the Deeps Ma Yuan; nonetheless, it more or less remained the domain of the Nanman and other tribes of the area. Other cities in the region are Jianning to the northeast and Yongchang to the west past Xielong. The Lushui river passes through this land of jungles and mountains, and Yuejuan and Zhuti have roads leading to Yizhou. Finally, Ailao mountain west of Yongchang marks the furthest southwest point of the Han sphere.

Like Jiaozhou, Nanzhong is rich in resources but not very developed due to its great distance from the center of Han civilization. It boasts a great variety of plantlife including some unique tea varieties, exotic wild animals, and many mineral riches. Wondrous sights, including majestic snow-capped mountains, deep ravines, and the Shilin stalagmite forest near Yunnan, are also common. The climate varies greatly due to the changes in elevation and terrain in the mountainous region. In view of all this, it is easy to speculate that Nanzhong would make a greatly defensible and profitable home base to one who invests his efforts into it.


Yizhou 益州

North of Nanzhong is Yizhou, sometimes called the Riverlands, another eminently defensible province consisting of a river basin surrounded by great mountain ranges on all sides. The upper reaches of the Great River flow through it and connect it with the outside. Home of the ancient kingdoms of Ba and Shu, the province was conquered by the Qin during their expansion, and technology such as the Dujiangyan irrigation system brought in to improve the agriculture of the region. In this province also stands Mount Emei, a place of great mysticism where sages are said to study. The areas in the Sichuan basin itself are cloudy and warm, while up in the mountains it grows colder and clearer.

Coming from the southwest, one passes Hanjia to reach Chengdu, seat of the ancient Shu culture. East of the city, one may follow the Changjiang from Jiangyang to Jiangzhou of the former Ba kingdom, then to Linjiang, birthplace of a certain pirate with colourful sails. Further east, the city of Yong'an connects Yizhou to Northern Jing.

Moving north from Chengdu instead, one reaches Mianzhu Guan and Zitong, beyond which lie fortified passes and narrow plank roads that guard the approaches of Yizhou. The western path opens onto Qishan and Wudu, while the eastern one passes through the gates of Jiange and Yangping Guan to reach the land of Hanzhong, also called Nanzheng, where Han Gaozu launched his war against the Hegemon of Western Chu. Here Yizhou connects to the Yong region of the northwest.

Liangzhou 凉州

Let us move past Yong for a moment, though, and come upon the province of Liang, the northwesternmost point of the Middle Kingdom, also referred to as Xiliang or Longxi. Beyond Tianshui and Nan'an is the Tao river crossing called Didao, the home of a certain corpulent warlord of Xiliang and from whence the cities of Xiping and Wuwei can be reached. The garrison town of Jiuquan lies beyond Wuwei, so-named after the tale of Huo Qubing's celebration of victory over the Xiongnu, and marks the northwest endpoint of Han influence in the area.

Liangzhou is a highland area forming a corridor between great mountains in the west and the Huangtu Plateau to the east. The Silk Road to the far west passes through here, giving cultural and economic importance to the semi-arid land, and sections of the Great Wall defend it in the north. Xiongnu and Qiang tribes are also very common in the area, and those wishing to hold power here must necessarily gain their cooperation or allegiance.


Yong 雍

Returning south to Nan'an and Tianshui, we find ourselves in the Yong region, birthplace of the Qin state that first unified the Middle Kingdom. From Tianshui one can head northeast to Anding through Jieting, or east past the fortified Chencang and Wuzhangyuan to Guanzhong. This is the land within the passes where the former capital of Chang'an stands, a well-defended location in many respects and the first territory occupied by Gaozu in his rise against Chu. Further east lie Mount Hua, the western peak of the Five Great Mountains, and Wuguan, which connects to Northern Jing.

Chang'an, apart from being the capital of the Western Han, is also the terminus of the Silk Road, and thus a very important city to the empire. The region lies within the Qinling mountains, whose highest peak of Taibaishan is not far west of Chang'an, and whose slopes and valleys are home to many rare plants and animals. Summers in the area are hot and winters quite cold. The Huangtu Plateau extends north of Yong, and the Yellow River's upper reaches flow past its western areas before heading into the Plateau. Liangzhou borders Yong to the northwest, Yizhou to the south, and the Capital Regions to the east.


Sili 司隶

And at last we reach the end of our journey, as we head east past Huashan towards Sili province, the site of the capital of Luoyang. Guarded on the west by Tong Guan and Hangu Guan, and on the east by Hulao Guan and Guandu, it is the heart of the Han empire, both geographically and culturally. North of the capital is the city of Henei, home of the Sima clan, and Hedong, birthplace of a certain tall warrior with a beautiful beard. The province borders Bingzhou to the north, Jizhou to the northeast, Yanzhou to the east, Yuzhou to the southeast, and Yong to the west.

The Capital Regions is obviously very well protected, with impressive fortified gates and mountains on every side. The Yellow River and the Luo, from which the city gains its name, flow near the capital, and many capitals of past dynasties lie in its vicinity. Nearby Hangu Guan is said to be the sacred Daoist site where Laozi wrote the Daodejing, while within the walls of Luoyang, one can find the White Horse Temple that is the first Buddhist temple in the Middle Kingdom.

Thus, having come full circle, this brief guide of our lands reaches its conclusion. May the information herein lead you to more discoveries, and perhaps one day we shall meet on the road as fellow travelers.
Last edited by JG Chan on 19 Feb 2010, 06:13, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Player Guide Project

Postby Xu Yuan » 15 Feb 2010, 23:08

Fantastic explanation! I learned quite a bit from it. Only thing I would suggest is also visual cues, but that seems a bit difficult in and of itself, though if I recall a fellow on Scholars of Shen Zhou is working on an RTKXI styled map which might suffice.
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Re: Player Guide Project

Postby C.C. » 15 Feb 2010, 23:33

Couldn't have done better myself. Excellent work.

(Note that Han Gu Guan is also considered to be a holy place to the Daoists as well, as that's where Laozi wrote the Dao De Jing. Yes, I know I'm biased towards anything owned by the Qin state, but that might be a pertinent bit of detail. I just find it ironic that you'd mention Baima Si and not its "counterpart.")
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Re: Player Guide Project

Postby JG Chan » 15 Feb 2010, 23:57

C.C. wrote:Couldn't have done better myself. Excellent work.

(Note that Han Gu Guan is also considered to be a holy place to the Daoists as well, as that's where Laozi wrote the Dao De Jing. Yes, I know I'm biased towards anything owned by the Qin state, but that might be a pertinent bit of detail. I just find it ironic that you'd mention Baima Si and not its "counterpart.")


...Maybe because I looked more at Luoyang itself than Hangu Guan? :oops: But point noted, I'll add it in later after I check a few more things.
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Re: Player Guide Project

Postby Patricoo » 19 Feb 2010, 05:57

WONDERFUL! I'm loving that geography one.
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Re: Player Guide Project

Postby JG Chan » 20 Feb 2010, 15:18

:)

So, looking over what's here so far, we've actually covered most of what was listed at the start, albeit in varying styles. The only main points missing would be...

-Crafting/player-run businesses
-Items and the market (maybe?)
-Ruling
-The various Roleplay subjects, though C.C.'s explanations and the geography guide would be part of this as historical background.

The items one is straightforward enough, but the other two would be better written by someone with experience in them. Anything else we should look at?
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