B Medieval Mount & Blade II: Shokuhō - The New Gekokujo for Bannerlord

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glue

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Mount & Blade II: Shokuhō - 織豊

Introduction
The year is 1568. In the far aftermath of the disastrous Onin War and the in-fighting of feuding clans across Japan, turmoil is rife and has turned the lands into bountiful prey for all rungs of society from the likes of Uesugi Kenshin right down to the masses. Common mobs have flocked to the banners of the Ikko-Ikki, a rebellious movement opposing the rule of daimyo. Yet in Owari, Oda Nobunaga marches on Kyoto, threatening the Shogunate and bringing the Ashikaga to its knees. From abroad the distant seas, the Portuguese nanban, barbarians from the west, have brought the spread of Christianity and new technologies from afar.

You have been thrown into the Sengoku Jidai, the Warring States era of Japan. In your hands lies the power to craft your own destiny. Whether you take up a sword or brush in hand, it is up to you to carve your own path in Japan's history and make a name for yourself, be that through cunning foxery or brute force.

The age of the Country at War beckons to you; will you answer her call?


Who are we?
We're a volunteer team numbering 105 developers as of this January 2021, all spread across different departments and teams to ensure efficiency and ease of communication. Our aim is to bring you a historically accurate and complete overhaul of Sengoku Jidai Japan as it was in 1568. Without further ado, we'll show you what we've got so far!

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Planned Factions
Factions mentioned here are not official, but they have been researched and discussed enough to have made it onto the list.
Nanbu
“The Nanbu land is until the crescent moon becomes full." - a popular saying on the vastness of Nanbu lands

Located in the extreme and cold north of Honshu, the Nanbu clan was famous for its fortified stables built throughout their territories. The Nanbu horse was probably one of the best Japanese horse breeds at that time and highly desired due to their beauty, aptitude and obedience. After expelling the Anto, the clan began pursuing trade by sea and became well known for their aggressive expansions into northern Honshu during the era of Harumasa.

Uesugi
Originally the Yamauchi-Uesugi family, this clan held the title of Kanto Kanrei, a prestigious position that controlled the Shogun's lands in the Kanto region. As the years passed, the family became threatened and fled to Echigo under the protection of their vassal Nagao Kagetora, who was then adopted to succeed the Uesugi and their titles. The latter would soon become known as the iconic Uesugi Kenshin.

Although various theories surround the figure of Kenshin, it is certain that he had the reputation of an impressive warmonger, waging wars here and there, including the Kanto region of the Hojo; he was known as the God of War. Aside from wars, he was also known to have promoted both commerce and production in his lands. Yet Kenshin was known for his piety, often forgiving betrayals and rebellions from vassals. He enjoyed poetry and was never known to never have married or kept concubines; hence his sons were always adopted.

Takeda
Furinkazan: “As swift as wind, as gentle as the forest, as fierce as fire, as immovable as the mountain.” - a battle phrase used by the Takeda, adopted from Sun Tzu's Art of War

Based in the mountainous and infertile region of Kai, the clan had been engaged in constant wars since the times of Nobutora. Takeda Shingen is perhaps the best well known figure of the faction - after expelling his father, he took control of the clan and went on to be one of the greatest military geniuses of his time. Moreover, he was known for his economic reforms at home. The Takeda were renowned for their military prowess, and were one of the best armies, if not the most powerful in Japan at the time. Some of their warriors served in the Akazonae or “Red Arms” as they all wore red armour; they were often the first to charge into enemy ranks with the objective of breaking the formation and causing disorder.

Tokugawa
The Tokugawa would ascend to the Shogunate after the civil wars had ended; yet now, they were insignificant and petty. Tokugawa Ieyasu himself was known as a stoic man who rejected life based on human desires, preferring to be practical and opportunistic. At the battle of Okehazama, the Imagawa army suffered greatly, and soon afterwards the Tokugawa betrayed them by conquering Totomi. They then allied with the Oda. The Tokugawa were said to be proficient in the use of spy networks and preferred to recruit defeated enemy generals rather than executing them.

Oda
In the past, the Oda were merely a small and fragmented clan under the shugo (governor) of Owari. The famous figure of Oda Nobunaga, was described as an unconventional and harsh figure which earned him the nickname of “The Fool of Owari”. However he was later regarded as a capable and feared warlord. Furthermore, Nobunaga had an innovative mind and laid out many military and economic reforms that would set an example for later Japan. In 1560, the Oda launched a surprise attack with an outnumbered force against the Imagawa army in the battle of Okehazama; here they managed to kill Imagawa Yoshimoto and route the entire army. From then on, Oda was on their path to supremacy.

Oda Nobunaga's personal seal was Tenka Fubu. While the most common translation is “Rule the world by military force”, it actually means “Rule the world under the empire”. Thus its connotation was more political than militaristic. Oda Nobunaga’s goal was to establish Japan under a central government.

Mori
The clan rose to power under Mori Motonari, who was a minor lord between the great Amako and Ouchi clans. Motonari personally was known as a diligent, quick-minded person and would be recognised as a capable tactician. The Mori gradually came to power after having allied with the Ouchi - they would go on to fight against the Amako and other minor clans. Yet when the Ouchi faced domestic issues, the clan decided to rebel against the Ouchi, and they went on to oblierate both the Ouchi and Amako. The Mori were also known for their naval expertise, especially Kobayakawa, who was one of their vassals. He later succeeded in recruiting the Noshima-Murakami pirates to fight for the Mori cause.

Otomo
Known for their close relationship with the Portuguese, this clan soon established a deeper alliance with the foreigners under the rule of Otomo Sorin. They were one of the most powerful Christian clans in the Sengoku period - during their conquests, they spared not neither shrine nor temple of the traditional Shinto-Buddhist faith. Aside from fostering trade and cultural exchanges with the Portuguese, they also received military aid in battles such as the siege of Moji in 1561. Later on, they would war against the Ouchi, the Mori and eventually the Shimazu.

Shimazu
Based in the province of Satsuma, they were well-known for their aggressive expansions, misleading tactics and devout courage among their warriors. One tactic commonly used was “Tsurinobuse” or “Fishing Field" - a small detachment would lure the enemy to a larger hidden army, leading to surprised foes, if not a quickly defeated one. They also were one of the first clans to adopt firearms since the Portuguese introduction in 1543, although they later rejected Portuguese missionaries.

Ikko-Ikki
The Ikko-Ikki were rebellious groups of followers loyal to the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism; they opposed the samurai rule and posed a threat to the daimyo of the time. Hongan-ji Temple would become one of their primary settlements, and here the head of Hongan-ji was more or less the central figure of the sect. Such automonous groups consisted of people from all walks of society: peasants, commoners, wandering sellswords, masterless samurai (ronin) and of course warrior monks. Even the occasional local lord or two could be found amongst their ranks.

Other Factions
While not mentioned, minor factions have been discussed and are planned. Such factions include bandits, wandering warriors, wako pirates, the Ainu factions and more.

Renders
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Campaign map

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Japan vs. Calradia: the green circle is the size of Calradia

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Storyline & Quests
The approach we have decided to take in regards to the storyline is a relaxed one - while there will be overarching major quests concerning clans, the player will have the freedom to do what they like. There will be big and small quests throughout the campaign, whenever in a village, a town or on the road. Similarly, you will find many companions and characters in inns and special places. Some may be from the area, and some may be from abroad; foreign merchants stranded in Japan, wandering ronin, merchants mixed up in feuds, travelling warrior monks and more.

Showcase

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When will the mod be released?
Ideally, we’d like to release a basic playable version within a year, and then go from there. Keep in mind we’re still working with the beta modding tools, and development is dependent on many factors. Regardless, we’re still working on it everyday!

How many people are working on Shokuhō?
We currently have a team of around 105 voluntary developers working in their free time. Our developers are spread across different departments and teams, and we continually recruit on a rolling basis as we see fit.

How’s progress going?
Progress is smooth-sailing; every week there’s always work done, whenever it’s in programming, 3D modelling or art and design. Keep an eye peeled for sneak peeks on our Discord!

Is there going to be a pre-alpha or beta I can join?
We’ll be recruiting testers down the line when a testable version is released. Joining the Discord will give you the best chance at securing a slot.

Is there a development roadmap or list of priorities that the community could have access to?
Our team’s working on a general roadmap which will be released sometime for the public. Otherwise, we’ll be providing regular updates in the Discord.

Will this mod be the same as Gekokujo?
As the spiritual successor to Gekokujo, this mod will use Gekokujo as a starting base, and expand into a more immersive experience of 16th century Japan. Something to note is that Marty (the original creator of Gekokujo) is working with us! Anyhow, our team will be working hard on many features to provide a single-player experience of feudal Japan like no other.

Can I become a shogun, daimyo or lord right from the beginning?
It has been considered, but it’s not a priority right now. That being said, it’s likely that we’ll incorporate different starting modes. It is however too early to say, given that Bannerlord is still in early days and rather buggy.

Is this mod single-player only?
Our current priority is to produce a single-player campaign - multiplayer has been considered and is a planned feature for the future.

Will this mod be compatible with other (QOL) mods?
It’s too early to say, considering that Shokuho is intended to be a complete overhaul. We may possibly incorporate other QOL mods, provided that they don’t interfere with Shokuho itself. We’re still early days in this aspect especially since the SDK isn’t in its final version yet. Ultimately though, we'd like Shokuho to be fully original while incorporating other small and popular/universal QOL mods.

Can I donate anywhere?
This is a voluntary project which means one of our policies is strictly no crowdfunding or donations. That being said, we have realised that some of our Technical teams do need funding - in due time, we will be working on this and releasing some sort of donation page for our patrons to fund our servers and databases for the mod.

When is the mod set?
The starting year is 1568AD, roughly in the later half of the Sengoku Jidai era of Japan, aka the age of the Country at War.

Why did you guys choose this time period for the mod? Why not earlier like Gekokujo did?
1568 is a pretty iconic time period for the Sengoku Jidai. It's the start of the Azuchi-Momoyama period and has many prominent events such as Oda Nobunaga seizing Kyoto and installing Ashikaga Yoshiaki as the new shogun, as well as Takeda Shingen's attack on the Oda-Tokugawa alliance. In addition, this is just before Oda's campaigns against the Ikko-Ikki in the Ishiyama Hongan-ji War, which makes it the perfect setting to deliver the popular image of a Japan torn between warring samurai everywhere.

Will the Ikkō-Ikki and Ainu play a prominent role in the mod?
The Ikko-Ikki led by Hongan-ji Kennyo will be present in the mod. As the mod takes place just before the start of the Ishiyama Hongan-ji War, they will be treated as a major faction and their territorial holdings will be prominent. However, the extent to which they will play a large role in any kind of actual plot or any mechanics greater than that of the Bannerlord sandbox is something that is yet to be solidified, given the current state of Bannerlord.

The Ainu have been discussed and our Historical Research team has been looking into it. Many of our developers have expressed an interest in including the Ainu but again, it’s too early to say and we’ll need to discuss it in depth to determine whenever or not it’s a viable option. That being said, the Ainu has become quite popular as a idea amongst our developers!

Is this mod historical or fictional?
Historical accuracy is a big driving point for the mod's development. Extensive research is conducted on almost every part of the mod’s assets, from weapons and armour to geography and architecture. Factions will have accurate vassal lords and territorial holdings, with a number of faction leaders having historically accurate unique gear. Historically accurate aspects that might worsen gameplay experience or would not work with Bannerlord's sandbox gameplay style are avoided. To sum up; big yes to historical accuracy, but not at the expense of Mount & Blade’s gameplay that we’re all so well-accustomed to.

How many factions will there be in the mod?
Historical Research is currently compiling a list of the factions present in Japan at this time, as well as their leaders, vassals and territories. The current list numbers ~40 factions, but due to likely engine constraints, workload and quality of gameplay - that number will likely be reduced to somewhere between 20-25. Major clans from the time will be prioritised, and if there is space, minor clans and outsider factions may be considered.

Will any famous historical characters from the Sengoku Jidai be featured in the mod?
There certainly will, and our research team has taken great liberties to make sure that all historical characters in the mod will be wearing their historical armours based off surviving examples and evidence. However, we’re also planning to include companions based off contemporary figures at the time. For example, aside from Oda Nobunaga and Uesugi Kenshin, we’re working on companions such as the African samurai Yasuke and foreign adventurers from Portugal and England. And as a sneak peek, we’ve got a monk-character in the works who is based off Benkei.

Do Europeans have a presence in the mod?
There is unlikely to be any significant European presence aside from missionaries, adventurers and traders. These figures will mostly be companions or special characters. That being said, the Historical Research team has been working hard on looking into other ways to include Europeans as befits the mod.

Will the Imjin War be a thing in the mod?
It is again too early to say, but it’s unlikely. The Imjin War takes place in 1592, quite a few decades after the mod’s starting year. If down the line we manage to make good progress and Bannerlord’s modding tools prove sufficient, an Imjin War event may be plausible. Again, this is all speculative and rather unlikely; there’s enough going on in 1568 as is!

Will there be muskets?
Indeed there will; gunpowder as weapon plays a big role in this period, and aside from tanegashima (muskets), we’re looking at artillery and other forms of hand-held firearms.

Will there be new combat animations and/or stances?
We still haven’t seen the full possibilities within Bannerlord modding, though there are two possibilities. Firstly, if all goes poorly, we’ll implement animations to better reflect the fighting styles at the time. Secondly, if things go well, we'll look into a comprehensive combat system to allow the player to switch between sets of animations (different fighting styles that reflect different martial schools). We have in fact worked considerably on the second possibility, though it’s a matter of seeing what Bannerlord’s engine can and can’t do.

Recruiting!
Currently we are in need in of developers for the Programming, Level Design, 2D and 3D teams; specifically, programmers, level designers, 2D digital concept artists and 3D generalists, artists or modellers. Please note that all applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and the "requirements" are strongly desired but not absolutely set in stone.

General requirements:
  • Commitment to the project and tasks assigned to them
  • Experience with Discord, Proboards forum, Trello, Google Drive, etc...
  • Communication is key; keep your fellow devs up to date with whatever is relevant
  • Motivation and enthusiasm for the project
2D requirements:
  • is knowledgeable in the field of art (which includes shapes, lighting, shading, proper composition, character posing, anatomy, depth, values, etc.) and is capable of applying them to their work.
  • character and/or environmental concepting
  • the ability to "adapt" and apply their skills into a different air style environment to the best of their ability
  • Mostly digital, has at least a tablet and a program to sketch and compose (Photoshop, Coral Painter and so on)
  • capable of working with historical references provided by the other departments
3D requirements:
  • a somewhat established workflow or pipeline, capability of problem solving during a phase within the workflow
  • has knowledge in limb topology and knows how to apply them (mostly for character related meshes)
  • retopology for character related meshes, items and props
  • capable of UV Unwrapping and texturing models.
  • has some knowledge within the field of arts as well (proper anatomy, shapes, lighting, composition, rendering. etc)

Requirements for Programmers and Level Designers will be posted soon - please bear with us as we finalise this.

If you are interested, you will need to join the Discord below and fill in the application form found in the #dev-applications channel. For non 2D and 3D artists, we will be opening up applications for the rest of the team over the next few weeks (subject to change).

Links
Shokuhō mod for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord - Mod DB
Shokuhō Official - YouTube

Discord Server Invite (click) - join our server to receive regular updates on the mod, ask us your questions, or apply for the team (applications are currently closed - please see Discord for latest updates on this). Alternatively, feel free to just hang around with the community.

Questions will also be answered here, so feel free to post them below. Otherwise, thanks for reading!
 
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Currently I'm thinking about Shogun II: Total War. I am on my way to be Shogun with Shimazu. I follow your mod very closely, both as a mod maker and as a follower of your mod. I wish all you good work.
 
Currently I'm thinking about Shogun II: Total War. I am on my way to be Shogun with Shimazu. I follow your mod very closely, both as a mod maker and as a follower of your mod. I wish all you good work.
Thank you so much for these wonderful words Lucon. Our team is also excited for Sword and Musket. Lets hope that our mods give the Bannerlord community an experience worth cherishing!
 

Ikea Knight

Sergeant Knight at Arms
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
The models look beautiful.

But some nitpicking.

But I am pretty sure that's not how you hold a katana.
The Hasso-no-Kamae looks fine (except for that both feet probably should point forward)
But the left hand should hold the tsuba/handle at the lowest possible point.
Also the left hands should twist more around the grip.

But that comes from someone that only practices Kendo and not Kenjutsu. I am pretty confident though that at least the grip on the weapon/ Katana is the same.
 
The models look beautiful.
But I am pretty sure that's not how you hold a katans.
The Hasso-no-Kamae looks fine (except for that both feet probably should point forward)
But the left hand should hold the tsuba/handle at the lowest possible point.
Also the left hands should twist more around the grip.
Noted. Thanks for the compliments and the advice!
 
I was already following it on Moddb, excellent. Gekokujo was one of my favourite mods for Warband and I have no doubt this can be the same for Bannerlord. Great work so far.
 

glue

Recruit
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Just a quick update from our 3D team! If you see a guy called GoldenKingSmurf around, feel free to ask him stuff - he's from our Public Relations team.
 
Noted. Thanks for the compliments and the advice!
Hey man, Thank you all for committing to the development of this mod, I cant describe how exciting this is, I will be keeping a close eye on this one!

If possible could you please confirm whether there's plans to incorporate elements of the M&B Warband Freelancer mod? i.e. become a soldier in a lords army with your own wage, opportunities for promotion, etc.

If the answer is no to this then, oh well. I get that you are very early in development and understand that you guys have your own creative vision so you may not be considering this and I totally respect that.

But if you are considering it, I kindly implore the team to contemplate expanding on the experience that the Warband Freelancer Mod offered. If you would like to understand what I mean in more depth I made a post about it here.

https://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php?threads/bannerlord-2-freelancer-overhaul.394951/

Overall it would be a very much appreciated feature and the Ideas I proposed got a good reception so I felt why not just share this with you, as it causes no harm anyhow.

Thank you for your time, and keep up the good work!
 

Veith

Veteran
M&BWB
Ah I remember the Akira Kurosawa movies, your mod wil fit fine to those. You see my Avatar shows more a late 15ct ''european'' armour but i am interested also in other here 'later' periods :wink:
 
Hey man, Thank you all for committing to the development of this mod, I cant describe how exciting this is, I will be keeping a close eye on this one!

If possible could you please confirm whether there's plans to incorporate elements of the M&B Warband Freelancer mod? i.e. become a soldier in a lords army with your own wage, opportunities for promotion, etc.

If the answer is no to this then, oh well. I get that you are very early in development and understand that you guys have your own creative vision so you may not be considering this and I totally respect that.

But if you are considering it, I kindly implore the team to contemplate expanding on the experience that the Warband Freelancer Mod offered. If you would like to understand what I mean in more depth I made a post about it here.

https://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php?threads/bannerlord-2-freelancer-overhaul.394951/

Overall it would be a very much appreciated feature and the Ideas I proposed got a good reception so I felt why not just share this with you, as it causes no harm anyhow.

Thank you for your time, and keep up the good work!
Hey mate, thank you for your wonderful words of support. Unfortunately the freelancer mod features will most likely not be making it into the mod. There are many other features and mechanics that our team is diligently working on.
I’ll make sure to take your post to the creative leads. Nothing is truly set in stone and if they feel that they would to see this in the mod, you will be the first to know. Regardless, we will definitely be making our mod compatible with any potential freelance mod.
 
Ah I remember the Akira Kurosawa movies, your mod wil fit fine to those. You see my Avatar shows more a late 15ct ''european'' armour but i am interested also in other here 'later' periods :wink:
Nice! Kurosawa is awesome. Some forms of armor may also appear in the mod used by the samurai that have been inspired by the Portuguese traders 🙂
 
We regularly update the community with the progress of the mod on our discord server. So if you folks want to see more stuff that we made or even apply for the team, don’t hesitate to join the server and hang out with us! (Note: Dev applications are currently closed due to reforms but applications for 3D/2D will be opened up in a bit)

Discord Server: https://discord.gg/VYa44wSvg4
 
Hey mate, thank you for your wonderful words of support. Unfortunately the freelancer mod features will most likely not be making it into the mod. There are many other features and mechanics that our team is diligently working on.
I’ll make sure to take your post to the creative leads. Nothing is truly set in stone and if they feel that they would to see this in the mod, you will be the first to know. Regardless, we will definitely be making our mod compatible with any potential freelance mod.
I appreciate it. :grin:
 
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