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Suzume Chikahisa

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About Suzume Chikahisa

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  • Birthday 06/07/1980

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  1. Suzume Chikahisa

    Creating family heirlooms

    You can use the the nemuranai creation guidelines on page 307 and take inspiration from there. The game won't be broken if a sword has slightly increased deadliness or if it can cast a level 1 invocation once per session.
  2. Suzume Chikahisa

    L5R Items

    No costs for mounts in the books. That and and a general lack of cost for services are a glaring absence in the book, altough I can see horse rearing being heavily restricted and as such lacking a market value.
  3. Suzume Chikahisa

    Children of the Empire Spoilers

    There seems to be some issue with the European distributors. I'm still waiting for my copy of EE for the RPG.
  4. Suzume Chikahisa

    How Do You Refer To a Monk?

    Unless Emerald Empire changed things in this continuity, anyone joining the Brotherhood orders renounce their names and allegiances.
  5. Suzume Chikahisa

    Coiled Snake

    I had failed to grasp it a at first, but Dairu, even if unwittingly, did make a **** of a political statement about future Scorpion policy right then and there.
  6. Suzume Chikahisa

    Children of Tradition

    Good analogy. It's sad to see a 15-16 year old so thoroughly broken, but, even if we accept that there is something going on at a spiritual level (and while I don't discount it, I don't think it is clear-cut), it's clear most of his problems are rooted on his narcisism and obvious lack of self-esteem. Also, I want a unyelding Seppun card now.
  7. Suzume Chikahisa

    Family Heads

    Eju, so far the only turnover has been Rujo for Tadaka. Mind you that Ujina has disappeared but so far now word of having been replaced.
  8. Suzume Chikahisa

    Children of Bushidō

    Actually the Spanish Inquisition will tell you it usually it doesn't work. They were notable compared to their contemporaies in the restraint and paucity in which they applied torture. They were perfectly aware of the failings of torture.
  9. Suzume Chikahisa

    GM and Player Resources

    Walking the Japanese Castle. A blog with pictures and descriptions of a few dozen Japanese Castles.
  10. Suzume Chikahisa

    Children of Bushidō

    I think at this point the way forward would be to show why someone would wish to stand against Shoju and Toturi. It can be done but, boy, will it be hard work considering Sotorii's utter lack of redeeming qualities. I think the Dragon and the Phoenix can be used as spanners in the works.
  11. Suzume Chikahisa

    I'm confused about vassal families.

    That's one of the Edo dashes I use, yes, and I think it ends up working well because L5R make a very clear distinction between the buke and the bonge, but doesn't make anywhere near such distinction in regards to the buke and the kuge which end up allowing to borrow both from Late Heian and from the Edo period. I disagre with you in regards to war periods leading to more segregation between heimin and samurai though. It's during peace time that such segregation arises and can be enforced. War times end up being more pragmatic, and often more meritocratic, if in a Russian Roulette kind of way. Being able to survive is more important than conforming to ceremonial expectations. I wish I knew more about the Nanboku-chō period, because I think it could be an interesting source of inspiration although it probably would take quite a bit of work to make it fit with baseline Rokugan.
  12. Suzume Chikahisa

    I'm confused about vassal families.

    This information, mostly, exists but ends up being spread through multiple different books published over the past 22 years. FFG is on the early stages of their own production cycle. Personally I was always confortable with making things up on the fly, and just do some research on the go and as needed, but I was always immersed in period and genre literature so I was never daunted with feeling I was starting from zero. Fo my own take on Rokugan I tend to seek inspiration in late Heian Japan with some dashes of Azuchi-Momoyama and early Edo, so I get a ruling Emperor and more egalitarian gender politics, but also get what is often seen as quintessencial to samurai culture. Depends on how you want to handle it. Using the Edo period for inspiration there would be no local samurai, but that's not necessarily true for other periods where there might be a samurai in residence and class distinctions are not much of a thing to begin with. More importantly though, one thing that is often forgotten is that villages are not isolated. The exist to support town and cities and are in relative close proximity to them or to other villages. Rarely will a village be more than a mile away from other villages, and between 5 to 10 miles away from a town or city. So worst case scenario we are talking about a day's walk to the nearest military outpost. And this is assuming the samurai don't perform any kind of patrol or checkpoint/border watch which would be odd. Sure, but it seems that often enough, and, in L5R, maybe more than usual, GMs are overthinking it and overburdening themselves with work that the players neither need or asked for. Well, Western Feudalism is largely a early modern fiction used to justify centralized Absolute Monarchies and with very little basis on the actual reality "on the ground" so to speak, and in many ways how Rokugan has been depicted to work is much closer to that idealized model of Western Feudalism. So it's not even that different. I had previously posted my take on it, so to summarize: The lowest level I'm interest would be large towns/cities. These would have, mostly, appointed governors, receiving a stipend, but some could be granted in heredity. Above that we have what the game, so far, as called provinces. I prefer to call them districts, after the usual translation for Kôri. most of these would be granted in heredity, but some could have appointed governors. Above this would be the main family lands which the game as always handled as hereditary fiefs. For me, what, in the game, are called vassal families, are the major, landed, vassals and it is not necessary to drill down further. Eh, you'd be surprised. Notice how, when I mentioned hatamoto and Gokenin, I wrote "... men and their families"? Samurai stipends were payed to the "household" so to speak, so basically a samurai in service had a job ,and their heir would take over that job. If the samurai in question has some clout he may be able to get any additional children their own postions, but if not they would have to rely on the goodwill of their siblings or basically become ronin and start hustling for a living. If you check the second podcast episode I linked above you can see one of the usual ways in which younger children got a position which was through adoption. This is a pattern that is repeated time and time again. The sons of Mori Motonari are also a good example (and unlike Ichimonj's children in Ran they did take their father's advice to heart). No, for example there are quite a few clans with Korean ascent and the samurai themselves were only created in the 9th Century. Most of them can, however, trace their ancestry to the Fujiwara, the Taira, the Tachibana and the Minamoto (and, again, emphasising that these are single families only by the most generous of definitions). And as these families intermarry with each other those distinctions become even more mudied. For example, as he was paving his way to the shogunate, Tokugawa Ieyasu commissioned three different genealogies. The official one "proved" the Tokugawa descended from the Seiwa-Genji through the Nitta clan, but the other genealogies showed Fujiwara descent. As for their size it varies. As time goes by you see branches, and entire families disappear to illness, war, catastrophe or by marrying into other families. Good examples are the Hosokawa the Oda and the Hatakayama which were huge families at some point but were later severly diminished. The Hosokawa and Oda survived to this day but the Hatakayama did not. The family line of the "first" Shogun, Minamoto Yoritomo, himself ended 14 years after his own death.
  13. Suzume Chikahisa

    I'm confused about vassal families.

    I'm quickly going to link to the page on the Galton-Watson process, to provide a rationale for how you can get a society with few surnames. China is actually a good example of this process in action. So you can have many people with the same family name whose kinship is... about the same level to that of any random stranger they meet on the street. As for your actual questions most of them haven't actually been detailed on the lore, so this is how I view and just one of many options on how to handle it. There is little to no reason for a family to have "just" 3-5 vassal families. You can have more if you want. You should consider for example how common are collateral branches of the family. Does the family in question have the habit to establish a household for younger sons or do they just marry them off, get them adopted, or ship them to monasteries? Using the example of the Minamoto, one of the major buke clans of Japan; the clan actually consisted of 21 branches each descended from different Emperors. The most famous branch was the Seiwa-Genji which were descended from Emperor Seiwa. That's the branch that produced the Shogun. However the oldest Minamoto branch were the Saga-Genji descendants of Emperor Saga. Now Saga was the Great-Grandfather of of Seiwa so the orginal Minamoto were Great-Granduncles to the orignal Seiwa-Genji. To complicate matter each of those orignal branches could actually be made of different families. The orignal Saga-Genji I mentioned were actually eight different families, one for each of of Saga's sons who took the Minamoto name. The Seiwa-Genji IIRC were orignally nine households. The Shogun actually came from the Kawachi branch of the Seiwa-Genji branch of the Minamoto descended from Tsunemoto. Yeah, that's a branch, from a branch from a branch, and all these guys had the Minamoto name. If you drill far enough into the past, everyone is related. Oh, and it didn't stop there, as those branches of the Minamoto kept splitting (and to be far just as many were going extinct) to the point that many of those branches started taking the name of the places where they settled. For example, the Ashikaga were a Minamoto branch that took their name from the town of Ashikaga were they were established. The Nitta, descended from the older brother of the ancestor of the Ashikaga took their name from Nitta district. The Tokugawa are, supposedly descended from these guys. The five main branches of the Fujiwara Kuge family are named after the Kyoto streets where they had their manors. So as you can see a single "family" can be very large if you take it as a loosely connected kingroup instead of what we usually consider a family in common usage. Having said that in actual play, what you're calling your NPCs and their family tree is not very important unless you want it to be. You can invent a new name if you want to, but just because a random guard has the Akodo name that doesn't make him, necessarily, very important. You can play it that way if you want to, but please consider that, for a series reasons, it was actually rare to divide the land in small piece among all "nobles". While "lords of the village" existed, as it turns out villages are pretty good at managing themselves out without needing a local lord. The local lord tends to be a product of periods of instability, where the difference between the nobility and the commoners is thin, and they tend to gobbled up and/or destroyed by their neighbours once one of them gets the upper hand. It's in the interest of every lord to dilute their power as little of possible. Using Edo period as an example the Daimyo, with the single exception of the Shimazu, did not parcel out the land they ruled over. There was the occasional branch established, but they were created as independent Daimyo from the get go and almost every samurai was a city or town dweller to the point that most farmer could go their entire lives without meeting a samurai. Everywhere else the Kokujin or Ji-samurai either had to chose to become commoners and give up the sword or become full time warriors and move to a town. So you don't see more than 2-3 tiers of hereditary land-owning aristocracy. Incidentally this is a common pattern among most feudal societies. As it turns out warriors tend to be more convenient when concentrated in a few strategic locations from where they can be deployed as necessary. They might have retainers, but not necessarily as explained above. Using the Tokugawa shogunate as an example again, bellow the Shogun, whose land holdings totalled between 4 and 5 million Koku, and in direct service to him there were the following: The Daimyo; numbering at just under 300 families, with land holdings valued between 10000 and 1000000 koku. These guys did have retainers, but with the notable exception of the Shimazu, as explained above, they mostly didn't land them. The number of retainers varied, but IIRC the clans bordering Nagasaki were expected to provide 3000 men to garrison the city in rotating 4 month long tours of service, and looking at the SA Sankin-Kotai, despite regulations limiting the size of the traveling entourages, the Maeda (Kaga domain, worth 1 million Koku) regularly travelled with 2500 retainers instead of the 400 expected. This was a travelling retinue so consider that it is only a fraction of what the Maeda could muster. They had to mantain a permanent residence at Edo, and many also kept manors at Osaka and/or Kyoto. Fudai daimyo may have had their incomes increased by stipends if picked for some kind of bureaucratic service like Osaka-Jodai, Machi-Bugyo or Roju. The Hatamoto; numbering between 4 and 6 thousand men and their families, with incomes between 100 and 9500 koku. Some of them, the ones at the top end did own land and had a few retainers, but for the most part they just received yearly stipends. They comprised most of the administration. They usually earned enough to be house owners although at the lower income brackets they might live with relatives or in communal barracks depending on their job. The Gokenin; the lowest rank of samurai, some 17 to 20 thousand men and their families with yearly stipends between 100 and 200 koku and were the bulk of the guards and very lower end-clerks. If they are lucky they are living in a communal barrack or apartment provided as part of their job, but they are just as likely to be dirt poor and living in a rented townhouse You mean the day to day life? There is no single answer, depending on the job the samurai is performing and their status rank. The various Emerald Empire and Winter court books give such examples for many jobs. If you want to take a page out of real world history I suggest these episodes in the History of Japan Podcast: http://isaacmeyer.net/2013/06/episode-10-a-day-in-the-life-of-edo-japan/ http://isaacmeyer.net/2019/01/episode-272-i-am-the-law/ also, Episode 84 which I can't find on the websit, but is on iTunes... Any specific type of samurai you want to know?
  14. Unfortunately that seems to be the standard they are mostly using. Seeing Damasu no Akodo isolated on a page really grated on my ears. That is not Damasu of Akodo, it's Akodo of Damasu. I really wish that if they were going to use faux-Japonese at least they could respect the grammar or be consistent on the faux-grammar. If Damasu was a placename it would be less awkward, like a mention to a collateral branch established at that location, but Rokugan doesn't seem to derive family names from places. I like Robert Denton's convention better, but I think I'll use Head Family no Vassal Family Personal Name when necessary. This way the major names are more like Uji names and the vassal names are akin to Myoji. The Status rank of the Tsume samurai is also all over the place. Or rather it's not they are all status 39 despite their different standings. Nasu Shizuma is higher status than either his lord or the lord of Nikesake, Shiba Katsuda. Id' probably bump Takashi to Status 65 like Katsuda and drop Shizuma to 45-50... This makes Maeda's plan to marry Takashi a bit odd, but eh, she can just force Takashi to renounce his title.
  15. Suzume Chikahisa

    GM and Player Resources

    The Japanese History podcast. Covers every, and I mean every, period and topic in Japanese history, including literature and mythology. Good idea fodder.