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  1. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Scorpion bushi (or lack there of)

    I have to admit that the lack of scorpion bushi in the core book has given me a little bit of fun as a storyteller. I have a pair of scorpion in my campaign.. an actor and his bushi yojimbo. When the courtier gets attacked the "bushi" goes in for her backstab. Unfortunately I'm a horrible human being who can't help but laugh about my scorpion bushi infont of my players, so I'm pretty sure the jig is up.
  2. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Last night's honorable f--- up

    btw, I think this is one of those things that can be messed with. My belief is that seppuku is really only "demanded" if the intended outcome of the duel was to the death, but it's expected when a champion dies, as a sign of courtesy and compassion for that samurai and their family, so failing to commit seppuku when one's champion dies in a duel that was not intended to be to the death, could be seen as a failure of bushido. On the other hand, It's very possible that a "non-combatant" was championed in the duel because their lord doesn't want them to die, in which case the non-combatant might choose not to commit seppuku for the good of their lord, or their lord might actually forbid them from committing seppuku. In essence, I think this is something that could reasonably lead to intrigue.
  3. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    How big is a wolf?

    ..practically meaningless. As I was researching the answer to your question, I actually found out that Japan had two types of wolves during the feudal era. One type only got up to about 25 lbs., meaning that it should probably have a silhouette 1. The other type seems to have gotten to 100lbs or maybe slightly over, which would make it silhouette 2. Rokugan isn't japan, but it could be possible for both answers to be true in Rokugan as it would have been in japan. I would also say that the average rokugani would probably consider a dog of 25 lbs. to be "large", even though it's still silhouette 1. I strongly suspect that the Rokugani barely consider wolves to be dogs.. and Moto war-dogs are probably hated by other clans as well, which may lead to a general rokugani belief that the bigger (silhouette 2) breeds of dogs are not actually dogs, but are instead beasts. In this way, the difference in the silhouettes listed might be a matter of perspective.
  4. Black_Rabbit_Inle


    sorry this post is a little late, but I've been on vacation and I find this topic both important and interesting. These wouldn't be half-hearted attempts to save them, and any full-hearted attempt likely involves some pretty significant bushi, so I actually don't see this as comparing apples and oranges. I have to admit that I believe if Utaku Kamoko or Bayushi Aramoro were taken hostage, it's very likely that Ide Tadaji or Bayushi Kachiko (and their agents) would be relied upon to get those high ranking bushi back. I'm not sure about comparative numbers of bushi to courtiers.. certainly the scorpion have more courtiers than bushi.. and even so I think Shoju would value Kachiko above any particular bushi, including himself though he would probably take careful stock of what his actual duties are. I think we're using different definitions of "expendable" though. I don't mean to imply that a bushi's death would be seen as less significant (which would be one definition of the word.), but that the bushi is more likely to be used a limited number of times. "The way of the samurai is found in death" as Yamamoto Tsunetomo says in "Hagakure" (I strongly suggest that L5R fans read this book). As applied to Rokugan, this idea is true no matter whether that samurai is a bushi, a shugenja, or a courtier.. or rather whether that samurai is performing any of those roles at the time.. every samurai should be ready to die if it becomes necessary in the service to their lord. (Even an unnecessary death is better than an unnecessary life) However, the role of the bushi is probably the quickest path to that finality. In a way, the true value of a bushi (or any samurai) can only be known when they are "spent", so it isn't a bad thing for a bushi to be "more expendable". Now with all of that said, I also argued that courtiers can possibly garner so much influence that their clan would only be losing a great resource by losing those courtiers. While this makes those courtiers "indispensable", this fact should almost be considered a betrayal of bushido. The only defense that most courtiers have against that accusation is that they garner that influence on behalf of their clan, rather than acquiring it for their own benefit. If it could be proven that Tadaji garnered influence in order to avoid death, that would be cowardice (or doing so to live a better lifestyle would be greed). Another aspect of being a courtier though, is that you exist to sway people's opinions, so if you need some military support, you're likely to be able to convince someone to give it. Also, you can probably convince people not to make wild accusations against you just for "doing your job too well." In closing for now, the bushi are more expendable, which makes them the better samurai. Indispensable courtiers betray bushido, but can convince people not to point it out.
  5. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Your School of Choice?

    Meh. I hear shosuro are great friends to have. They cause problems to "melt away". I honestly get what you're saying. The infiltrator has several abilities they won't want to use infront of others, but I don't see this so much as "bad in a party", but instead it's "even better when they occasionally be off by themselves".
  6. I mean it kinda depends on whether you have to face off against actual courtiers or not. Consider that an Ikoma Bard is less likely to flip out (unmask) than whoever it is she's "negotiating" with (even better, she might be able to get her enemies to unmask and attack each other!). Meanwhile, a Bayushi Manipulator will be able to Blackmail (or entice) people easier, a Yasuki or Ide will be able to bribe people easier, a Kitsuki will discover things, a Soshi will easily hide things, a Soshuro will easily hide things for the Kitsuki to discover.. and that Shinjo is just super persuasive when he's on that impressive unicorn steed. I mean these are all unique abilities that, if used well, could pretty much move an intrigue to a whole other level, so does a bushi really stand a chance against them? If you're looking for characters that can be useful both in combat and in intrigues, I really suggest Ikoma bard, Shinjo outrider (though this kinda depends on how useful the GM thinks your steed would be), Shosuro Infiltrator, Soshi Illusionist, or Hiruma scout (like the infiltrator, the hiruma could plant evidence, spy on people etc.)
  7. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Scorpion bushi (or lack there of)

    You know.. guard scorpion buildings and people.. be scorpion magistrates (something which scorpions are actually renowned for).. basically, the same things as other Bushi, except for the scorpion clan. I want to be clear that my objection to not having a scorpion bushi school is the simple fact that the "bushi" tag has no mechanical effect.. it's a role-playing aid, so why not just slap it onto one of the existing schools? It's something that we could house-rule, but that's not going to help new players looking at the book/setting for the first time and trying to figure out which scorpion school would be most appropriate for their "scorpion warrior" character.. not to mention GM's trying to figure out what school would best approximate a scorpion guard. I consider this an oversite in the core book because it's something that is of great importance to new players/GM's, but of very little actual importance to everyone else. Also, I've run 5 L5R campaigns using different systems now, and no one has ever played a courtier school, even when I tell them that their will be a lot of social activity in my campaigns. I strongly believe that many players will not even look at courtier schools before a campaign starts unless they're already inclined to play social characters and aren't intimidated by exotic politics and intrigues of rokugan.. where words are just as likely to get you killed as an Oni is. Most players would rather face the familiar threat of a demon. For this reason, while it's pretty simple to see that some courtier schools have perfectly good combat abilities, new players aren't going to see that before they decide on what character to play.
  8. Black_Rabbit_Inle


    a good courtier is considered more valuable than a good bushi, but this doesn't mean the typical courtier is necessarily more valuable. For example, Bayushi Shoju would almost certainly rather lose 1,000 bushi instead of losing Kachiko because, through Kachiko, he has the ear of the emperor. By the same token, the Unicorn would almost certainly not let Tadaji die without sending several Bushi to die before him. Basically, a courtier can garner enough influence that they become almost indispensable, where a Bushi must always remain somewhat dispensable or they lose their value as a warrior. Lower level courtiers might be rescued from a duel or two in the hopes that they will learn the error of their ways and eventually gain meaningful influence, but if they prove to be more trouble than they're worth, the clan will probably cut them loose.. one way or another. Also keep in mind that the samurai's lord can assign them to whatever duty they like and outfit them appropriately.. let's say a Lord decides one of their courtiers isn't working out.. they are perfectly within their rights to give that courtier a Katana and some armor and tell them to go fight on the wall until they better understand how society works.
  9. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Agasha Sumiko's honorifics

    Every game I've played with this particular group has had PC's come to blows for one reason or another. Putting someone in charge doesn't change that one way or the other.
  10. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Which takes priority?

    I will say that the Kami (or at least one in particular) seem to consider Kolat to be the bigger threat.
  11. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Ikoma Tsunari

    Okay. Thanks.
  12. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Who marries into a family?

    If we assume all the old canon before 1120 is accurate, after the Crab-Crane war the emperor decreed that a couple of members of a royal family (I believe Seppun, but maybe Otomo) were temporarily the champions of the Crab and Crane clans.
  13. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Looking for a little help

    There's a water Shoji that let's your allies move, IIRC.
  14. Do we know for sure whether she exists or not in current lore? I haven't finished reading all the stories yet, but I notice she's not mentioned at all in the first few stories that have Toturi in them.
  15. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Who marries into a family?

    By the current lore, "Clan Champion" and "Daimyo of the Kami's family" are the same thing. I also thought there were some exceptions in the old lore, but this doesn't seem to carry over. This is why Toturi was forced out of being Akodo Daimyo so that his brother could take his place as clan champion. The Akodo themselves largely seem to support Toturi, but the clan as a whole wanted someone who was more decisive to be their champion.