Category: Appendix K

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Garoojigi: A Tale of Legendary Libido
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Garoojigi: A Tale of Legendary Libido

The character Byeon Gang-soe is often summarized as a kind of “Korean Casanova” because both figures are famous for the same thing—the “legendary libido” alluded to in the title of this film—but beyond that one trait, the two have very little in common: while Casanova was a priest, a man of letters, a spy, and a con man, Byeon was a worthless good-for-nothing bum.

Eerie Tales from Old Korea
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Eerie Tales from Old Korea

The tales are a mix of ghost tales, monster stories, and other weird tales, which fell broadly into the category of the yadam or what is called in modern literary circles in English: the “weird tale.” Ghosts turn up quite a bit, but so do figures like Jeon Woochi, the famed wizard mentioned in the first installment of this series, and occasional weird monsters and creatures of other kids.

The Story of Hong Gildong
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The Story of Hong Gildong

As the masterful translator Minsoo Kang explains, this novel has had a profound effect on Korean culture and its sensibilities regarding heroism. (In fact, the book is so celebrated that when a fake name is needed for a government form or fake credit card, people usually just use his name.) The introduction is quite thorough in assessing the (often questionable) scholarship surrounding the text, but also looks at the text in terms of the class system and politics of the Joseon Dynasty.

Along With The Gods Duology
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Along With The Gods Duology

The Along with the Gods duology is an adaptation of a popular webcomic by the same title. “Webtoons” are extremely popular in South Korea, and many of them include fantastical elements. While some of these webtoons really just rehash Western fantasy and science fiction tropes, others explore fantastical concepts, religious ideas, magic, and fantasy narratives of a more distinctly Northeast Asian kind. Attentive GMs will also find a wealth of compelling detail to weave into their games. Magical (or even mundane) shields, scrolls, or grimoires could easily be illustrated with a scene from the underworld.

Jeon Woochi
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Jeon Woochi

Jeon Woochi is a figure that shows up in several Korean folktales and older texts. He’s kind of the Korean equivalent to Merlin or Gandalf or Elminster, except that unlike these other figures, he’s also a thief, a trickster, a loudmouth, and prone to getting himself into trouble and then out of it by the skin of his teeth, and by dint of his magical gifts. Which is to say, Jeon is a lot more fun than Merlin or Gandalf or Elminster, and a great, interesting model for a Wizard PC or NPC in Jeosung.