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Oriental Adventures, named after the first edition sourcebook, was the official sourcebook for Dungeons & Dragons Third Edition adventures set in fantasy worlds inspired by Asian history and mythology, especially feudal Japan and China.
Unlike the original, the default setting for this Oriental Adventures was Rokugan, the setting for Legend of the Five Rings. As explained in the introduction, Rokugan began as a setting for a card game inspired by Oriental Adventures, which in turn inspired a role-playing game. With the adaptation of Rokugan to Dungeons & Dragons, the cycle completed. Rokugan is a land of samurai and monks, blending Japanese, Chinese, and fantasy elements into a unique whole. It has many concepts not part of mainstream Dungeons & Dragons, such as metaphysical taint, races such as the Nezumi and Naga, and the concept of the devil-haunted Shadowlands.
Many parts of the book, however, are more generic, embracing elements of Japanese and Chinese folklore not present in the Rokugan setting, and updating much of the original Oriental Adventures material to third edition D&D. As a result, many elements are tagged as being either peculier to Rokugan, or not appropriate for games set in Rokugan. For instance, spirit folk and wu jen, present in the original Oriental Adventures, are inspired by mythology but are not a part of Rokugan. On the other hand, the Naga, although they share a name with a serpentine creature of myth, are original to Rokugan.
Oriental Adventures presented several new character classes:
- Samurai: A strong fighter variant with an ancestral daisho. Each samurai is associated with a particular clan with a different focus, such as the Unicorn clan, who are expert mounted archers.
- Shaman: A spell-caster who communicates with spirits. Rare in Rokugan.
- Shugenja: Priests who are masters of elmental magic.
- Sohei: Warrior monks who combine skill at arms with divine magic. Not found in Rokugan.
- Wu Jen: Spellcasters who wield spells much like a wizard, bound by mysterious taboos. Not found in Rokugan.
The book also introduces a number of prestige classes:
- Battle Maiden: Female mounted samurai.
- Bear Warrior: Warriors whose fury allows them to actually transform into a powerful bear form. Not found in Rokugan.
- Blade Dancer: Mystical warriors who can imbue their blades with supernatural power. Not found in Rokugan.
- Eunuch Warlock: An imperial bureaucrat who uses arcane magic for power. Not found in Rokugan.
- Henshin Mystic: Monks who aspire to divinity.
- Iajutsu Master: Master of drawing and attacking in one motion.
- Kishi Charger: Expert cavalry.
- Ninja Spy: Masters of infiltration and mystical ki.
- Shadow Scout: Expert spies, trackers, and runners.
- Shapeshifter: Masters of many animal forms. Not found in Rokugan.
- Shintao Monk: Monks who battle the tained creatures of the Shadowlands.
- Signh Rager: Warriors who draw their inspiration from a lion's fury.
- Tattooed Monk: Monks empowered by magical tattoos.
- Void Disciple: Spellcasters who command the void that lies between and commands the elments.
- Weapon Master or Kensai: Warriors who seek to unite with a single melee weapon.
- Witch Hunter: Hunters of evil spirits, demons, and oni.
- Yakuza: Feudal gangster. Not found in Rokugan.