Shou Lung more advanced than other nations?

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Big Mac
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Shou Lung more advanced than other nations?

Post by Big Mac » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:14 pm

The AD&D Adventures in Space boxed set has Shou Lung down as a spacefaring race that has visited multiple crystal spheres.

How does this play out back in the homeland?

Does Shou Lung have higher levels of magic and technology than other Kara-Tur nations?

Is it's economy significantly stronger?

Is there anything else that makes it stand out from the crowd?
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Re: Shou Lung more advanced than other nations?

Post by night_druid » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:21 pm

From what I remember, Shou Lung isn't any "stronger" magically than standard-fare D&D (they don't have 10th level spells, for example). Certainly not in the say way that "Southern" magic is considered stronger and seeped in magic (although this is probably more due to the "exotic" nature of The South). Nor is it technologically superior. What makes Shou Lung unique is its size and population. It sprawls over a huge area, and is densely populated. It has more people and resources than many regions in FR, and has a relatively stable government. So thus they can afford to send many expeditions into wildspace over the eons, whereas other nations cannot.
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Re: Shou Lung more advanced than other nations?

Post by Big Mac » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:22 pm

night_druid wrote:What makes Shou Lung unique is its size and population. It sprawls over a huge area, and is densely populated. It has more people and resources than many regions in FR, and has a relatively stable government. So thus they can afford to send many expeditions into wildspace over the eons, whereas other nations cannot.
Do they explore more of the surface of Toril than other Kara-Tur nations?

The "more people and resources" thing must play out some way.

Or is Shou Lung's large size the result of it's government using it's population to expand to that size over time? Has it expanded on the land the way that it expanded across Wildspace?
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Re: Shou Lung more advanced than other nations?

Post by GMWestermeyer » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:57 pm

I covered it pretty decently in my OA pdf.

https://spelljammerblog.wordpress.com/2 ... r-a-guide/

The Shou do not expand, or explore really. Most Shou know about as much about spelljamming as the average American knows about space travel.

There are competing groups within the Shou government that sponsor SJ traffic.

Shou doesn't have a significant technological or magical advantage over western Faerun. It has numbers, but it isn't well organized and has a cultural aversion to expansion and exploration.

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Re: Shou Lung more advanced than other nations?

Post by night_druid » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:02 pm

Big Mac wrote:Do they explore more of the surface of Toril than other Kara-Tur nations?

The "more people and resources" thing must play out some way.

Or is Shou Lung's large size the result of it's government using it's population to expand to that size over time? Has it expanded on the land the way that it expanded across Wildspace?
Shou Lung covers most of Kara-Tur; for how long, I'm not sure. But IIRC about 300 years ago the southern provinces broke away and became Tu'Lung. Shou Lung is effectively China, while Tu'Lung is Warring States China. So its shrunk in size since its maximum extent. My impression is that overall, Shou Lung has a stable government, although local feuds and problems are just as common as in Faerun. Just instead of having say Zhents showing up to raid your village, it's agents of a rival lord. Instead of orcs and ogres, Shou have to worry about goblins and oni.

Given how big Kara-Tur is, and the cancellation of Oriental Adventures so early in FR's publication history, its hard to say how much of Toril Shou Lung has explored. Between various forms of magical travel as well as their Spelljammers, I have to believe that they were well aware of most if not all of the lands of Toril, save Maztica (isolated due to plot reasons). The Emperor likely has access to some of the most accurate maps of Toril possible, with extensive tomes on each of the lands. These tomes, of course, are various degrees of out-dated. Shou might know of Amn, but not that part of the kingdom has fallen to goblin-kin armies.

But I am by no means an expert on Kara-Tur. Just what I've picked up over the years.
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Re: Shou Lung more advanced than other nations?

Post by Tonnichiwa » Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:03 am

It depends on what edition of D&D your talking about. Everything here is for the most part correct in most editions. But if you are talking about 4th edition, the Shou expanded heavily into the main part of the Forgotten Realms. One of the places that got a lot of the traffic was the city of Westport, which had so many Shou come in that they were able to set up an extensive Yakuza organization. The reason for the expansion was the opening of the silk road after the death of the leader of the Horde.

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Re: Shou Lung more advanced than other nations?

Post by GMWestermeyer » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:56 am

Tonnichiwa wrote:It depends on what edition of D&D your talking about. Everything here is for the most part correct in most editions. But if you are talking about 4th edition, the Shou expanded heavily into the main part of the Forgotten Realms. One of the places that got a lot of the traffic was the city of Westport, which had so many Shou come in that they were able to set up an extensive Yakuza organization. The reason for the expansion was the opening of the silk road after the death of the leader of the Horde.
That was because of one moronic FR writing who just ignored the existance of the Inner Sea and all the other nations between the Silk Road and Westgate. That nonsense got started in 2e and never got shut down. Troy Dennings novel The Veiled Dragon was the start of the mistaken garbage - it does not surprise me they continued it in 4e. :P :evil:

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Re: Shou Lung more advanced than other nations?

Post by Solauren » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:54 pm

Shou Lung is between a rock and a hard place as far as surface exploration is concerned.

To the North + West, you have the Hordelands. In fact, the area on the otherside of the border is a vast desert roughly the size of the Sea of Fallen Stars, that runs the entire border.

If they go West, they hit a rather tall, wide, and inhospitable, mountain range. The only pass through it that is widely known is it's own nation.

To the East - All ocean, with the exception of Wa, and some small islands. Eventually, you hit the West Coast of Mazitica. However, we're talking an area the size of the Pacific ocean.
Shou Lung used to, as already noted, go further South. In addition to having controlled the territory that is Tu Lung (and to the South of that), they also controlled to the SOuth West into the Kao Te Shou mountains, all the way down to the Soutern ocean that separates Kara-tur from Zakhara (ref OA6 Ronin Challenge)

Shou Lung suffered a number of set-backs, and only recently really (within the last 50 years) really stabalized.

The Emperor ordered something called the 'Gathering of the Pearls' to recover lost knowledge, land and territory. The only problem is, the only way to go is South, and even if they tried to go around Tu'lung into the Kao te Shou Mountains, odds are, Tu lung would cut them off, and a new war break out.

So, it looks like they've decided to start exploring space, and possibly finding ways to bypass the Hordelands to trade with Faerun.
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Re: Shou Lung more advanced than other nations?

Post by Lord Sheriff Takari » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:00 am

the Shou Lung Empire is generally regarded as the Dominant power in the region due to its size/ population & governmental organization that permits a far larger territory to be controlled effectively from a central location unlike the Shogunate's of Kozakura & Wa.
hey are no better technologically or Magically than anywhere else on Toril
the splinter nation of Tu Lung, while it has a similar make-up to the Shou Lung lacks the resources or territorial base to challenge the Shou for dominance
considering they are too busy fighting off the Shou Armies and stay alive, they don't have the time or resources available to build and send ships into space

Both the Shou Lung and Wa have Spelljamming vessels in the Canon SJ system even though they are typically classified as minor players in the greater stellar affairs among the spheres
the Shou Emperor may or may not have interest in paying for further exploration of space so their presence is in part decided by the Emperor or the independent Wealthy merchant family who own's their own ships and trade routes off world
Wa has a modest fleet of spelljammers, but their budget is limited in scope even though they are avid explorers

ultimately = it is up to the DM to determine how much influence Kara tur has on their SJ game

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