DnD Character Classes all have some observable sources and influences:

In the Oriental Adventures books there are a bunch of new classes, including Samurai and and Wu Jen.

But what are the inspirations for some of these classes? In particular, the Wu Jen has always made me wonder. Are they just (dare I say it...) based off Asian stereotypes an given funny nonsensical names or are they inspired by mythological and literary sources like their more Western counterparts?


1 Answer 1


The wu jen date back to the 1st edition Oriental Adventures sourcebook for AD&D. According to this post, it's the Wade-Giles romanization for what would probably now be rendered as wú rén (巫人) and translated as "sorcerer person." So it's a plausible name for the concept, but not one that predates D&D.

As for some of the other OA classes: the sohei were Buddhist warrior monks; samurai, ninja, and yakuza are likely well known to you.


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