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Heroes of the Orient: Player's and DM's Companion
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Heroes of the Orient: Player's and DM's Companion

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This 75-page handbook contains lore, flavor, and rules for creating adventures in the Orient.

Included are also:

  • 6 new races, a new dwarf subrace and an oriental human variant
    • Nezumi - humanoid rats with 3 subraces
    • Hengeyokai - shapeshifting animals with 10 subraces
    • Spirit Folk - descendants of humans and spirits with 3 subraces
    • Vanara - monkey-like humanoids with prehensile tails
    • Hakuma - humans with oni heritage and 3 subraces
    • Serafu - small lizard-like folk with 4 subraces
  • 2 new classes
    • Kensai - a ki-using warrior with a strong bond to a single weapon (includes 5 archetypes)
      • Blademaster - focuses solely on the blade, capable of moving into battle quickly and taking on many enemies at once
      • Master of the Unseen Hand - bolsters melee prowess with telekinetic powers
      • Samurai - an honorable warrior that focuses on versatile stances
      • Shinobi - specializes in infiltration, misdirection, and utilizes the most maneuvers
      • Villainous Class Option: Ravager - a kensai that has been warped by Taint
    • Shogun - a commander who enables new strategies for his allies (includes 7 archetypes)
      • Crawdad - focuses on martial defense
      • Heron - focuses on mobility
      • Pegasus - focuses on mounted combat
      • Phoenix - focuses on magical defense
      • Spider - focuses on trickery
      • Tiger - focuses martial prowess
      • Wyvern - improves the abilities of the base class without focusing on any one area
  • 27 new archetypes for existing classes
    • Barbarian 
      • Path of Brawn - focuses on rage damage and mobility
    • Bard 
      • College of the Geisha - more expertise and good with enchantment and illusion spells
    • Cleric 
      • Shamanism Domain - gains powers depending on a spirit patron (either ancestral, animal, demonic, or primordial)
      • Shugenja Domain - gains elemental powers, focusing on either air, earth, fire, or water
    • Druid 
      • Circle of Chaos - utilizes the Wild Magic Surge table
      • Circle of Elementalism - casts elemental spells efficiently and summons mephits
      • Circle of the Fey Touched - has several fey powers
    • Fighter
      • Bushi - a warrior of the common people, skilled at combat and versatile through stances
      • Hogo-sha - a protector both in and out of battle
      • Satsugai - a swift and ferocious warrior, foregoing heavy armor to better navigate the field of battle
      • Witch Hunter - specializes in fighting aberrations, fiends, and undead
    • Monk
      • Way of Ancient Symbols - gains magical tattoos, offers a ton of customization
      • Way of Purity - a pacifist monk with shapeshifting and utility
      • Way of Righteous Fury - can enter a Ki Frenzy, much like the barbarian's rage and the bladesinger's bladesong
    • Paladin
      • Oath of the Stalwart Defender - focuses on defending himself and his allies
    • Ranger
      • Ishi - inspires his allies on the battlefield
      • Niten Master - focuses on dual wielding
    • Rogue
      • Shadow Spy - a master infiltrator and gatherer of intelligence
      • Skirmisher - emphasizes mobility and ranged attacks
    • Sorcerer
      • Void Disciple - manipulates reality and time
    • Warlock
      • The Great Phoenix - grants the warlock powers from the Fires of Life
      • The Great Sylvan - grants the warlock sylvan powers, becoming one with nature
      • The Great Turtle - grants the warlock protective powers and the ability to transform into water
      • The Great Wyrm - grants the warlock power over lightning and thunder, smiting foes in the patron's name
      • Seishin Mystic - possessed by a spirit, the seishin mystic has an internal patron, rather than an external one
    • Wizard
      • Wu Jen - focuses on the old elements, choosing between earth, fire, metal, water, or wood
      • Villainous Class Option: Maho-Tsukai - a blood mage with three distinct paths: mage, magus, and necromancer
  • 6 new backgrounds
  • 11 new feats
  • 52 new spells.

Please leave a review after purchase, so I know what you like and/or dislike. It'll help me with future iterations of Heroes of the Orient, as well as with the other products I have in the works.


v1.1 (July 8th 2016) - Fixed some spelling, wording, and slight rebalance. Added some ribbon features.

v1.2 (August 17th 2016) - Replaced some art, various balance adjustments, included detriments of childhood as variant rule, added several new armors, added a new weapon, added four new familiars, added two new fighter archetypes, added a new warlock archetype and one additional eldritch invocation.

v1.3 (November 28th 2016): Wording and balance, new weapons, new races, new magic items (talismans), details on how to run flavorful duels and how to reward characters

v2.0 (March 21st 2017): Wording and balance, expanded on several sections, added Shijin and Oni Lords, added Jigoku and Tengoku, added Oriental names, added a variant rule for ancestry, added special materials, added 17 new magic items, added an oriental calendar, added random events, added a new fighter archetype, added three new warlock archetypes, added three new pact boons, added 16 new eldritch invocations, expanded on the wu-jen taboo variant feature, added a villainous archetype to the wizard, added 15 new spells.

Upcoming releases

  • Epic Monsters

Other products

Monsters of the Orient: Complete Bestiary Epic Characters   Heroes of the Orient: Unearthed Kensai

 Customers who bought this title also purchased
Reviews (10)
Discussions (162)
Customer avatar
Antonio B January 21, 2018 10:18 pm UTC
I wonder if it cvould be possible to have a high res image of the map
Customer avatar
Marc A January 22, 2018 9:47 am UTC
Hi Antonio,

First time I've been asked that.
I'll see if I can get one made!
Customer avatar
Antonio B January 23, 2018 9:11 pm UTC
it'd be great if you can hook me up with one, the ione in the pdf is low res.
Customer avatar
Kaine O January 19, 2018 3:41 pm UTC
Hey Marc! Our Orient campaign is still going strong and my players are loving the content. I recently put together a provincial map for the Orient in my game to show political lines in a bit more detail, and I was wondering as I did so what the intended size of the original map was. In your map of the Orient, how many miles is each hex supposed to represent?
Customer avatar
Marc A January 19, 2018 4:37 pm UTC
Hi Kaine,

I'm so glad to hear it!

Regarding your question: I left it unclear, so a DM might make the world smaller or larger, depending on how they want to run their campaign.
In my games, one hex is 100 miles. For reference, the journey from Kōra to Kyūsokuna would take 37 days at a fast travel pace, 46 days at a normal travel pace, and 61 days at a slow travel pace.

To make it simple (and a little smaller), one hex could also be 24 miles. That would make travelling 1 hex take exactly 1 day at a normal travel pace.
Or to compare with the example journey above from Kōra to Kyūsokuna: 9 days at a fast travel pace, 12 days at a normal travel pace, and 15 days at a slow travel pace.
Customer avatar
Kaine O January 19, 2018 4:59 pm UTC
Thanks for the reply! I think i’ll err on the larger side of things, but I may dial it back to 60 miles just to make mapping easier on myself. One of my players is running a prefecture in spider lands, so I suspect they’ll be excited to learn that they control a space slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island!
Customer avatar
Mitchell M January 18, 2018 8:45 pm UTC
Which class(es) can cast kiss of the spider? You have the spell detailed, but it doesn't appear on any class spell list.
Customer avatar
Marc A January 19, 2018 9:50 am UTC
Hi Mitchell,

Thank you for your feedback!

In my notes it says wizard, but now I'm leaning more towards it being exclusively a druid spell.
It fits better there from a thematic standpoint and could mix well with shapechanging.
Customer avatar
Jacob S January 18, 2018 3:02 am UTC
I love this book. The world and class options are amazing and well thought out, and the races are interesting and balanced. My only questions are with the Tattooed feat. If I choose one that references a monk ability do I gain that ability as well. Like with the Heron tattoo, would I gain Step of the Wind? And what is the Ancestral Radiance for a Great Sylvan Serafu? It just shows a dash.
Customer avatar
Marc A January 18, 2018 11:35 am UTC
Hi Jacob,

Thank you for your kind words!

With the feat, you'd get the tattoo exactly as described. The heron tattoo would make your Step of the Wild free. If you don't have Step of the Wild, it will have no effect.
You can, of course, rule it any way you want at your table though.

A Serafu of Great Sylvan ancestry doesn't get Ancestral Radiance like the other subraces. Instead, it gets the Sylvan Shapechange feature. It was a thematically better fit.
If you'd rather have Ancestral Radiance anyways, I'd suggest home ruling it as poison damage with a Con save.
Customer avatar
jason M January 07, 2018 6:05 am UTC
One minor thing I noticed missing is the starting gold for the kensai/ shogun if buying own gear
Customer avatar
Marc A January 11, 2018 5:47 pm UTC
Hi again Jason.

That's a perfectly valid point.
Thank you!
Customer avatar
jason M January 04, 2018 7:26 am UTC
Question about the.
You get maneuvers from the legacy list and by 15 level know 8 maneuvers....
There's only 3 legacy maneuvers...
Was there supposed to be another list to choose from?
Customer avatar
Marc A January 11, 2018 5:46 pm UTC
Hi Jason,

No, that's intentional. The reason is the Bushi Stance feature which says "Starting at 7th level, whenever you would learn a kensai maneuver, you can learn a bushi stance in its place."
The intention is for you to choose between eventually knowing all eight Bushi Stances, or only some of them while also knowing some basic kensai maneuvers.
Customer avatar
December 31, 2017 4:12 pm UTC
Question regarding adamantine. You wrote on page 23

When using an adamantine weapon, your crit range increases by 1. For example, if you would normally land a critical hit on a roll of 20, you would land a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20 using an adamantine weapon or adamantine ammunition.

Does this stack with the Fighter (Champion) in the PHB on page 72 ability which says.

IMPROVED CRITICAL. Beginning when you choose this archetype at 3rd level, your weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.

Does that make the fighter even have a wider critical hit range?
Customer avatar
Marc A January 11, 2018 5:44 pm UTC
Hi there.

That was the intention, yes.
However, it's likely to change with the next update, as WotC included adamantine weapons in Xanathar's Guide to Everything.
Their approach is a little different.
Customer avatar
Elad M December 23, 2017 11:42 pm UTC
Hello! First off, I would like to say that I liked this product very much. Just from a brief reading of most of it and closer reading of specific elements, this companion guide really brings the feeling of the setting in a major way.
Just two questions (on very specific things):

1. Why does the Kusari-gama have the Two-Handed trait? I can understand the thinking behind this but I would personally argue that it makes more sense to drop the Two-Handed trait and just write in its Special trait that it has to be dual wielded (Since you don't hold it with two hands like you do a greatsword or a halberd, but it's two one-handed weapons that you use together). The way I think about a Kusari-gama is that you fight with the sickle and weight interchangeably, but according to the way that it is written right now you have to choose to attack either with the sickle or the weight when you take an Attack action. Sure, once you have Extra Attack you can make one attack with the sickle and one with the weight...See more
Customer avatar
Marc A January 11, 2018 5:40 pm UTC
Hi Elad,

Thank you for your kind words. It means a lot!

Regarding your questions:

1. I completely understand where you're coming from. That's a very logical approach. The reason for the two-handed trait is mostly for mechanical reasons though.
If it were to be dual wielded it would either need the Light property or a user would need the Dual Wielder feat. No other weapon has both the Light and Reach properties.
There might be balance implications in dual wielding a light weapon as you could use your bonus action to make an attack with reach each turn.
Using the two-handed trait accomplishes the same thing, except that there's no bonus action attack.
It was originally a weapon used by like merchants, farmers, and the like, who weren't generally allowed to wield noble blades such as a katana.
Granted, later it was adopted by various types of warrior, but it would still seem odd if a (albeit advanced) peasant weapon dealt more damage than a katana...See more
Customer avatar
Dave G December 23, 2017 4:29 am UTC
Is this available for print?
Customer avatar
jason M December 23, 2017 6:04 am UTC
Not that I'm aware of but I printed it at home. Its great
Customer avatar
Marc A December 23, 2017 9:09 am UTC
Not yet, but I'm working on it.
Customer avatar
Nathan H December 31, 2017 8:02 am UTC
Can't wait to see this happen, waiting for it to happen and will definitely be buying all of your books.
Customer avatar
jason M December 22, 2017 6:30 pm UTC
A bit of clarification if ya wouldn't mind,
The serafu's great sylvan
Sylvan shape change ability...
Says its an action and use again till you finish a short/long rest.

Does that mean your stuck in the white cat form til you finish a rest?
Or do you stay in cat form for a time period like the druid.
Customer avatar
Marc A December 22, 2017 10:48 pm UTC
Hi Jason,

Apart from the specific rules mentioned, it works exactly like the druid's wildshape.
For example, if you would be reduced to 0 hit points or below, you would return to your regular form.
You can stay in the form for a number of hours equal to half your character level.
Customer avatar
jason M December 23, 2017 12:44 am UTC
Ah so its just like the druids wild shape.
Do you only have one use ?
Or the amount the druid gets?
The part at the bottom of the paragraph mentions acting like the druid but the wording makes it sound like its only talking about the stats changing the way the druids does.
In a future update a bit of clearer wording would help.
Thanks for timely repkys
Customer avatar
Marc A December 23, 2017 9:09 am UTC
One use. I'll try to clarify the wording.
Customer avatar
jason M December 19, 2017 9:38 am UTC
I noticed that the hengeyokai under its shspechanging says its an action to change,<br>
But doesn't say how long it lasts, or how many times you can shift
And on the subject of race, why no kitsune's as a player race?
Customer avatar
Marc A December 21, 2017 1:45 pm UTC
Hi Jason,

The hengeyokai aren't humanoids that change into animals, but rather animals that change into humanoids.
There is no limitation on the number of times you can change from one form into another, nor is there a limit on how long you can stay in one form.
The race is balanced around that fact. That's why you can't use class abilities while in animal form, for example.

As for kitsune: they're included as monsters in Monsters of the Orient (which does have multiple monstrous races, though not the kitsune).
From a balancing perspective they're also horrible to balance. At least if you want their power to increase with more tails. It also doesn't fit very well with the spirit of 5e.
Customer avatar
jason M December 21, 2017 9:14 pm UTC
And as a wildshapong druid how do you think it would work?
As a player and a gm.
Maybe your wild shape form has to be the same as your hengyokal form...
Customer avatar
Marc A December 22, 2017 10:42 pm UTC
Well, they're separate mechanics.
If you wildshape as a druid you go with those rules regardless of your race and other features.

You don't have to wildshape into your hengeyokai animal form.
Wildshape is druidic magic. Shapechanging as a hengeyokai is an innate racial ability.

Of course, you can roleplay it any way you want :)
Customer avatar
jason M December 17, 2017 2:04 am UTC
For the kensai- shinobi, I bit of clarification on its
Shinobi versatility. It says you can cast the 2 spells but not whether as an action or bonus or reaction
Customer avatar
Marc A December 21, 2017 1:41 pm UTC
Hi Jason,

As nothing else is mentioned, use the normal casting time of each spell as noted in the spell description.
Both spells are thus cast as an action.
Customer avatar
jason M December 13, 2017 7:46 pm UTC
Looking at the kensai-samurai, when it gets its strengthened stance, it says you can improve one stance and 2 at 15 lv.
Stance mastery says you can have to stances active,
But only one this intentional?
Or can you have two active strengthened stances?
Customer avatar
Marc A December 14, 2017 4:47 am UTC
Hi Jason,

That's intentional.
You'll end up with two improved stances, though you can't have both active simultaneously.

I have another title called Epic Characters which takes characters from 20th to 30th level.
There the samurai gets to improve an additional stance and is finally capable of having two improved stances active simultaneously.
It allows for some extremely potent combinations.
Customer avatar
dawn S December 08, 2017 6:28 pm UTC
quick question if I bought an older version is there a way to get the current version without rebuying
Customer avatar
Marc A December 09, 2017 11:38 pm UTC
Hi there,

Yes, all updates are included with your initial purchase.

Simply click the file you wish to download.
All files are displayed at the top of the product page once a title has been purchased.
Customer avatar
dawn S December 10, 2017 4:27 pm UTC
Thank You that really helps
Customer avatar
Kaine O November 16, 2017 5:55 pm UTC
I’m a huge fan of this work and my players have been having a lot of fun with it so far. I was curious about one thing. The Kensai clash damage was nerfed from 1d6 to 1d4, but the Samurai’s Improved Clash feature is still 1d8. Is this intentional, or was it meant to reduce to 1d6?
Customer avatar
Marc A December 07, 2017 2:32 am UTC
Hi Kaine,

First of all, thank you so much for your kind words. That means the world to me :)

As for your question, the samurai's clash is still intended to be 1d8. It is really a mechanic to allow the samurai to stay relevant in terms of damage output.
Customer avatar
Carson A November 08, 2017 2:57 am UTC
On page 5, the word vast is misspelled as wast. Just letting you know.
Customer avatar
Marc A December 07, 2017 2:27 am UTC
Hi Carson,

Thank you for letting me know :)
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