Origins of the words "Wu Jen"

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Does anybody know about the Chinese writing and meaning of Wu Jen? The best suggestions I can find so far are:

巫简
wū jiǎn   (witch + bamboo parchment)

巫诊 
wū zhěn  (witch + diagnosis = witch doctor?)

Neither of which show up in dictionaries. The nearest dictionary word I can find is:

巫婆
wū pó   (witch) 

Anybody know better?
It's probably a case of a D&D designer just ad-libbing whatever sounded good. Your first one (can't get the squiggly bits on my words...) sounds closest in theme, but I doubt there was that much actual research put into the naming of things from oa. Real-world shugenja, for example, were more akin to animists* than elementalists.

(*Essentially; everything has a sentient spirit. Yes, even that rock over there.)
I was afraid it might be that, but hoped there would be some reasonably close-sounding word - even if we retcon it.

For those who can't read my original message properly, they said:
wu jian (1, 3; high tone, low tone)
wu zhen (1, 3; high tone, low tone)
wu po (1, 2; high tone, rising tone)
First, I'm going to assume it was intended to be Chinese, and that it is a real romanisationn scheme.

The basic problem is that it is almost impossible to know what romanisation scheme they intended. It isn't pinyin, because that has no "jen" at all.

If we assume OA used Wade-Giles, "jen" would become "ren" in pinyin.

hanzi: 巫人
pinyin: wú rén
korean: mu in
Japanese: fu nin
literal translation: sorcerer-person

This seems like a good match for the original intended hanzi.

wū rén (wu1 ren2) is a possibility. The alternative romanisation didn't occur to me, but apparently the original (1st edition) Oriental Adventures was published in 1985, when Wade-Giles was still a popular romanisation, so it seems likely to be the source.

Shame it's not as pretty as the alternatives  

For reference, the wu symbol is used in Japanese for 'miko', (priestess, shrine maiden).

Your first one (can't get the squiggly bits on my words...) sounds closest in theme, but I doubt there was that much actual research put into the naming of things from oa. Real-world shugenja, for example, were more akin to animists* than elementalists.

If I recall correctly, about half of it was based on Legend of the Five Rings material.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.

It was pretty much a full d20 version of L5R, if I remember right. Set in Rokugan, used all the clans and everything. They just added D&D style races for those who couldn't stomach playing a game without 27 different types of humanoid, and magic items because the system was so dependent on them.


It was pretty much a full d20 version of L5R, if I remember right. Set in Rokugan, used all the clans and everything. They just added D&D style races for those who couldn't stomach playing a game without 27 different types of humanoid, and magic items because the system was so dependent on them.




Doubt it very much - I think you have your chronology wrong.

Oriental Adventures (1e) was published in 1985, and included the wu jen class.

The L5R setting was created in 1995, according to wikipedia - 10 years after OA came out.

Oriental Adventures (3e) was published in 2001, and included the wu jen class. It was written to include material sufficient to allow both L5R campaigns to be played, and for conversions of 1e OA material to be made.

L5R does not have a wu jen class, and 3e OA specifically notes that the wu jen should not be used in L5R campaigns.

Oh, okay. I didn't start gaming until 3e was out, so I don't really know much about earlier editions. I hadn't realized there was an earlier OA with the same stuff, I just saw a lot of the same things in OA that I had already seen in L5R.
Your first one (can't get the squiggly bits on my words...) sounds closest in theme, but I doubt there was that much actual research put into the naming of things from oa. Real-world shugenja, for example, were more akin to animists* than elementalists.

If I recall correctly, about half of it was based on Legend of the Five Rings material.



"Wujen" existed in 2E, predating Five Rings.

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Your first one (can't get the squiggly bits on my words...) sounds closest in theme, but I doubt there was that much actual research put into the naming of things from oa. Real-world shugenja, for example, were more akin to animists* than elementalists.

If I recall correctly, about half of it was based on Legend of the Five Rings material.



"Wujen" existed in 2E, predating Five Rings.

I was only talking about the 3rd Edition version of Oriental Adventures.  I actually forgot to consider earlier versions, silly me.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
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