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Everything posted by BitRunr

  1. You're conflating two things here, and Shoju was a trained bushi. Rank 5 in 1e. As well as that whole "Scorpion Clan Champion" thing. You basically pulled a list of excessively high insight and high status samurai - people who don't represent the average bushi, let alone the average courtier, stand beyond the average level of insight and experience, and aren't good role models for PC behaviour or training until they reach similar peaks. The presence or absence of yojimbo and the relevance of status, martial ability, etc of the (un)protected samurai in question can be examined in full context if you wish to provide it. Otherwise, while individuals as samurai will be expected to communicate effectively and know which end of the blade is pointy, a courtier school is not a bushi dojo. They don't hold the same focus, nor expect and test for the same results from their students. Both exist, and both produce students that identify themselves differently.
  2. It's the other way around. Not carrying a katana protects the courtier from being directly called out to duel, by way of allowing them a champion, and allowing everyone else to recognise that they will be able to call for a champion. Not wearing armour is part of expressing trust in your host's ability to ensure your safety within their lands, and a demonstrated expectation for peaceful circumstances. This would be a pretty significant departure for the setting, and if it were true, I would expect to see it outright stated, rather than insinuated while otherwise maintaining those labels.
  3. No matter how direct the Crab might be in pointedly reminding everyone else that the Shadowlands is dangerous, they need supplies to fight it, etc ... they're not putting a bunch of their own courtiers within spitting distance of The Wall for no better reason than that. Foreign courtiers are right out. Everyone who can't fight can all be somewhere nicely austere and distant from any bushi that can still do their job.
  4. I'd love to see the clans redone so that there are clear tiers, rather than a dog's breakfast of random entities; celestial creatures and mythological beings for imperial families, animals for great clans, something to differentiate between main families and vassal families (say, birds for the latter), and insects for minor clans. There's just the tiny issue of how much of an upheaval those changes would present. There may not be in Japanese, but in Rokugan they can differentiate between them.
  5. I wouldn't say anything against it happening, but depending on the timeline you may want to consider how the Asahina Battle School and Asahina Sohei came about. Originally it was created under the direction of Asahina Mataro. The seed of Mataro's ambition formed while trapped inside Shinden Asahina during the Battle of Bloodied Honour (1128), watching helplessly as it overrun by oni, zombies, and maho tsukai. The shugenja of the temple died without raising a hand in defence. He was 7 years old at the time, and wouldn't pass his gempukku for at least as long, let alone begin to gather other disgruntled Asahina to form the school. I'd choose something that reflects the school's origins, whatever you decide they are, but generally agree with The Great Silence or a Fist kiho.
  6. Really depends, imo. I think it's entirely reasonable to present the Shosuro Actor as a balance between Shūji, Rituals, and Kata, with minimal Ninjutsu techniques (does that sound familiar?), and superb ability to infiltrate anywhere with everything at their disposal - stealth, disguise, distraction, temptation, whatever. Which provides an open ended ninja option I don't believe the above quote truly applies to. And, as said, leaves the Infiltrator to really talk up their focus on Ninjutsu later on. When there is more Ninjutsu to talk up.
  7. I disagree, unless you solely want to talk about ninja in terms of their first year pre-gempukku gauntlet. From a setting perspective, there's only a handful of them for such a long time that placing them before the Bayushi bushi they derive from just doesn't make sense to me. I also don't agree they should be the iconic Bayushi bushi, and that if the Bayushi bushi wasn't particularly useful in understanding the Scorpion clan as a whole, then they should be developed further. I would suggest the Infiltrator is in more of a niche as a "combat ninja" archetype than the more generalised Actor.
  8. If you don't think Shosuro Actors do any sneaking or backstabbing (the ones who become ninja -there's plenty who are "just" skilled actors), I don't know what to tell you. No. In terms of numbers, the Bitter Lies are a minor footnote for almost their entire history, and likely are better served through literally anything other than being a full school.
  9. They could have started with the Bayushi Bushi and Shosuro Actor. That also would have neatly left the Shosuro Infiltrator for later on in the fifth edition cycle - where they could be given general access to a larger pool of Ninjutsu techniques. It still wouldn't have made everyone happy straight away.
  10. I'd imagine it similar to how Path To Inner Peace worked (see below), but less invoking and beseeching the kami, more grit, determination, punching chi points to stop bleeding, etc. (think Donnie Yen in Dragon/Wuxia or any of the bajillion other examples of ignoring your own wounds. Also how this is often reversed mid-fight as a distraction.) "Instead of stimulating the flesh to knit and repair itself, the spell merely sent a flood of rejuvenating chi through the target’s body, allowing him to ignore the pain and trauma of his injuries. Thus, while the spell healed Wounds in a mechanical sense (the Wounds were erased from the character sheet and thus the character no longer was under Wound Penalties to his actions), it did not actually physically repair the injuries themselves. (The L5R supplement Way of Shadow offered a vivid depiction of this effect – a gruesomely injured shugenja casts the spell on himself and is then able to move and fight normally, even though his left arm is still a shredded bloody ruin hanging uselessly at his side.)"
  11. I don't see the problem with World Of Shadows; am I missing something? The GM decides the TN based on the plausibility of what you're attempting, and has final say on what's acceptable. The MA does say "all along", but the actual sticking point of how long an illusion has been masquerading as reality can be as low as "at least a few moments". The GM has to sign off on how far back you go, and it's entirely plausible that they'll pull up your epic rewrite of Bayushi Bob never even existing, because he clearly was here to shiv Kakita Carl, has a backlog of nefarious actions that aren't illusory, and you only passed your gempukku this decade.
  12. It's rank 5 in 4e, and you must know the target. Legacy of Kaze-no-Kami is rank 1, and creates a bird to carry a spoken message of up to a minute's length at least 10 miles.
  13. I always thought of spell scrolls as containing all the known conditionals and localised requirements that form the correct prayer for the current situation - which is why spell scrolls are huge, and memorising them takes considerable effort for something that needs seconds to complete.
  14. https://www.imageupload.co.uk/images/2018/10/31/NobleBirth.jpg https://www.imageupload.co.uk/images/2018/10/31/TattooedTraditions.jpg For reference to editions past.
  15. Yup. Still, this one is available outside the Dragon. Really hammers in being quite selective in how you allow it, and comes to a total of its own devising at 22CP. (p23) ie; you should throw every requirement at the player, rather than making it an easy choice.
  16. There is actually a sidebar outlining the requirements for taking a tattoo when you're not a Togashi. This did not involve heritage rolls. It was prohibitively expensive, requiring allies, karmic ties, plus a story that would blow the GM's socks off - and if you could manage being the daimyo of the Agasha or Mirumoto, that would be cool, too, but even they didn't get a full pass. Then it cost 12CP. If the GM was not satisfied, the suggestion was still to say 'no'. 1) They kind of don't fit into society. If not outright revelling in that social friction, then at least they use it for their own learning. 2) From the time they were fully introduced in roleplaying mechanics, Togashi have had the potential to be samurai - to bear the blood of noble birth. I would say they have also always had the potential to be monks. However, Rokugani culture has long stated that asking a monk their previous life is a breach of etiquette - meaning unless they tell you they are not a monk, you don't know when to treat a Togashi as anything less than a samurai. 'Tattooed Wanderer' has been my favourite name for them since FFG coined the term. It avoids calling them anything outright, other than what they are and how those the empire notices behave. 3) Rarely. They're the smallest family of the smallest great clan, numbering in the hundreds, and most never leave the mountains. 4) Most often they are not given orders from outside the Togashi, but provided context and allowed to offer aid where they will.
  17. They're Agility/Void in Way of the Dragon, and Kaze-Do has always been Kaze-Do. Maybe it'll take a different path now, but Kakita Noritoshi's great duelling insight was founded on doing exactly what the Lion do with battlefield tactics - looking back a few hundred years and using something forgotten that counters the current dominant style. Rokugan is a very traditional place, no matter what animal marks your mon. Kakita's greatest technique is both the first and last technique taught to his students. Kaiu's knowledge was too advanced for his contemporaries, and when his diaries were discovered centuries later, they were still something to learn from. Agasha's ciphered notes likewise advanced knowledge of the world. Isawa's unrivalled mastery? City of Gold. Etc.
  18. Void magic was also balanced by the fact that you were directly connecting to the wellspring of everything and nothing. If you weren't cautious, that was enough reason for the GM to slowly introduce you to the kind of issues that could result. If you didn't wise up, then speech impediments, preternatural aging, wounds, disadvantages (ie; touch of the void), etc were all possible results when attempting to cast void spells, possibly through attempting to cast powerful spells, using a large numbers of raises, failing (or succeeding) by large margins, or just not respecting/understanding the power, responsibilities, and consequences of what you were meddling with. Going back earlier, there are stranger and more punitive results of overconfident meddling, from physical deformities, all the way to having your past fractured into something approaching a weird multiple choice quiz that no one (least of all you) can remember the true answer to. Come to think of it, Annihilation (Feb 2018) has a lot of visuals reminiscent of Void magic gone wrong. Or right.
  19. Earth/Fire Matsu is justifiable, if you squint for a bit and think about it. They are known for their intensity, but also for just straight up following orders as directed regardless of how much they seethe over them. Or maybe that's unmasking? I guess I'll know when I can buy the pdf.
  20. I've had disagreements with the moderation choices of RPOL staff, where they seem to offer a looser interpretation of the board rules to some people, or are willing to edit posts rather than delete them entirely. You're in no way required to talk or play with them, to the point where I wouldn't recognise one to comment on their actual personalities. I'd imagine they're involved in some of the more stable and long-lasting games on the site, but there are plenty of others.
  21. Not really how it works if they're using false courtesy, either for advantage or as they wait for the opportunity to gain advantage. At best, when your honour is already 0-2 ranks, you won't see further drops from this, but for anyone that actually follows the guidance of Bushido (ie; rank 3-6) it's a drop, and for anyone that seriously adheres to Bushido (rank 7-10) it's a full rank loss.
  22. Note the use of the word "need" back there. It's an important one, and doesn't brook with stupidity. The Scorpion are commonly careful to follow Bushido in the same way they follow etiquette - so other clans have nothing to use against them. I don't believe I said they were equivalent to anathema. There's no point at which the Scorpion in general will recoil from any required part of following Bushido. They simply do not appreciate its' guidance, and will break the code as necessary to succeed. If this were not the case, the Scorpion would not be sitting around 1.5 - 2.5 honour average over the span of four editions. None of your virtuous examples deny that a Scorpion would break them in a heartbeat should they further a cause or prove easier to manage. Merely outwardly upholding Bushido while you wait to break or undermine the code's tenets is unlike truly following the code, heart and soul. Only one of these can be called holding a tenet in esteem.
  23. If honour doesn't matter compared to the big picture, that's just another reason why any change should go through unmodified, and your honour value should be your actual honour as compared against an unforgiving Bushido code.
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