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  1. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Minor Clan naming convention

    Kraken clan is a clan of pirates from an island off the coast they are even more barbaric than most gaijin and occasionally come to the shores of Rokugan to raid and pillage. Or am I confusing this with some other fantasy setting?
  2. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Kitsu Tsubasa from the Beginner game

    clearly the ancestors were keeping him from passing his gempukku in previous attempts, because they needed him to be at the this topaz championship now so that he could take part in events of which the importance will only become clear in the future.
  3. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Mass battles armies and cohorts

    In my next session I'm planning on running a mass battle involving (mostly) Crab v. (mostly) shadowlands. So those are the factions that I'm most concerned about right now, but if people want to throw in other armies/cohorts it may be nice to have a list available for use as a GM resource. I have 5 PC's, so I need 5 cohorts per side. On the "Crab" side is going to be a Kuni cohort, A Hida cohort, a crab ashigaru cohort, a Shinjo cohort, and a Daidoji cohort. I plan on using the "Samurai elite army" to represent the crab force, but I'd like to differentiate the Hida, Daidoji, and Ashigaru infantry somewhat. I also don't feel that the normal rules for "mystics" really applies to Kuni that will.. especially as the Kuni would probably be more focused on killing shadowlands in this instance. Finally, I feel like Shinjo cavalry should have some slight advantage over normal cavalry. I'd also kinda like to see ideas for a moto cohort, possibly using moto white guard and/or wardogs. So with 5 (or six) cohorts on the heroes side, there should also be 5 or 6 shadowlands cohorts. I've already established that the shadowlands forces consist of well-trained goblins and slightly rebellious (but more intelligent) Ogres. This shadowlands force also has the assistance of a bloodspeaker cult and a band of ronin. I'm considering throwing in a band of dark moto and/or some minor oni. While those are my main concerns at the moment, I'd love to see all the army/cohort ideas people can come up with. I'd like to see this thread become a go-to source for all your mass battle needs.
  4. Honestly though, I've been a little bothered by the lack of differentiation between sumai, Jiu-jitsu, mizu-do, and bariqu in this edition. really, there should at least be a difference between striking and grappling as, in the real world, proficiency in one doesn't translate to the other (though most fighters these days study both.) I would point out that certain techniques require certain weapons, and this is probably what was intended to make the difference between a weapon "specialist" and a generalist.. but at this point there aren't really enough techniques to make that big a difference.
  5. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Get your Path Right

    Ah, but it is consistent.. just not in the way we expect. As I've mentioned, each clan essentially has it's own preferred dialect and conventions. When the empire needs an "official ruling" on something, each clan will make their best arguments for why things should be their way and then the emperor will decide, pretty much based on the political situation at the moment. That process happens consistently, which leads to inconsistent rulings.. but since each clan gets a say, each clan is fairly happy with the situation. One of the reasons I love Hagakure so much is because Yamamoto occasionally mentions arguments that the samurai had about "The way of the samurai", making it clear that there was never really a consistent "way of the samurai" that applied to all samurai. he talks a little about differences in various provinces (one province insists they should seek perfection as warriors to the exclusion of all else, another province insists they must study everything, so they can assist their lord in all matters.) and also about how samurai beliefs change over time (for example, seppuku at the death of one's lord going from common practice to outlawed). He also famously argues that the 47 ronin lacked honor because they waited too long to avenge the death of their lord, and they were too concerned about whether their revenge was successful or not. The point being that consistency may be a virtue, but it's not something that ever existed in feudal japan.. let alone when you start mixing in other Asian cultures.
  6. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Palace of the Emerald Champion - Investigations

    this sort of thing is why gm's should always read through adventures a few times before actually running the adventure. read through it once to get familiar with it, and again as if you had a character going through the adventure so you can try to figure out what important details the PC's might miss and what unexpected actions they'll take that will just completely run the whole adventure off the tracks. Read the adventure a third time to fill in holes and decide what information should accentuated for the players and what stuff should probably be played down. Then read the adventure a 4th time because they're short anyway and you want to be certain.
  7. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Get your Path Right

    A decision had to be made, and Rokugani is not meant to follow the rules of any particular Asian language. You're probably right about "The Tao of Shinsei" resonating best with western players since "The Tao of Pooh" is one of the most popular introductions to Taoism for westerners. With that said, keep in mind that Rokugan has many different dialects and the "Official" dialect is something that clans would get into political fights in order to influence.
  8. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Dress Code?

    But samurai will also do whatever their lord requires of them. In the current lore, Shinjo Altansarnai sends Utaku Kamoko to the imperial court to inform the emperor that she won't be marrying the Lion even though Utaku Kamoko has trained at a pure "bushi" school and also Ide Tadaji, the clan's top courtier, is already there. Meanwhile, many Ikoma still consider themselves to be warriors even though theirs is marked as a courtier school. In this edition, roles are not meant to be cut and dry. The roles are meant to show what tasks a lord is most likely to assign a member of that school, but there are many reasons a lord might choose otherwise. As we've already discussed, starting kits don't make much sense if you look at them as "The character only owns these things".. they should probably be seen more as "The characters has this with them unless the situation demands otherwise".
  9. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    How Do You Refer To a Monk?

    The Hoshi became a family of the dragon clan, so I believe it's best to avoid "Hoshi" as an honorific. I really think honorifics should depend somewhat on the specific monk. It might be appropriate to call a monk "sensei" if that monk spends some of their time teaching, but if they spend all their time cleaning the shrine I don't think "sensei" would be appropriate. The head monk at a temple might be "master". Other monks might call each other "brother". The point here is that monks as a whole exist outside the order, and specific monks might find different paths toward enlightenment, which might earn them different honorifics.. many monks might even specifically forgo the use of honorifics.
  10. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Lore question about monks and Shugenja!!

    what happens in the sake house stays in the sake house. Furthermore, the Togashi order are specifically warrior monks. generally speaking, rokugani probably don't expect to see monks and shugenja (or courtiers for that matter) engaging in fisticuffs.. at the same time, all samurai are warriors to a degree.. if a shrine is attacked, the monks there will fight.. it's their duty to protect the shrine. Shugenja will do whatever they deem necessary to defend the spiritual purity of the samurai, and if that means mixing it up with someone whose trying to desecrate the ancestral armor of the mouse clan, then the shugenja should be ready to fight. To my knowledge, the only samurai who don't fight under any circumstances are the Ide family.
  11. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Dress Code?

    I consider that all samurai actually have a Daisho, (or at least most, as you say. their are exceptions to every rule) but most only carry the wakazashi. This goes along with the new edition's insistence that all samurai are samurai and "bushi", "courtier", and "shugenja" are just roles that the samurai typically fulfills. I also like the concept that a lord should be able to ask any samurai to perform any task that the lord requires and the samurai should be expected to perform that task to the best of their ability. Even with Shugenja being necessary exceptions due to their unique ability to use magic, the basic job of the shugenja, (to see to the spiritual needs of the samurai), is something that all samurai should be willing to do whenever they may be asked. With that said, even among bushi there are some who don't typically carry Katanas. Hida Yakamo, for example, might be forced to fight a duel using his Tetsubo, Hida O-Ushi generally prefers to use a Die-tsuchi. I'm not sure if Tsuruchi family exists in the current setting, but in the old lore they were given bows instead of daisho. To the greater point of the thread though, I think the starting kit should be thought of as "stuff the PC always has or can access, unless specifically denied by the GM." or in a narrative sense it's "what would the PC take with them if they woke up and the building was on fire?" P.S.: which makes it interesting to note that only the crane care about their servants.
  12. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Dress Code?

    I dunno. I prefer to think of starting outfits as the stuff that a PC is expected to have on them no matter what. (or the PC has those things unless the GM is specifically depriving them of it.) It can be assumed that the PC "owns" other things and will use those things if they expect to need them, but if the PC has to run out of the house in the middle of the night, the starting kit is what they take with them. If the PC's are kidnapped by goblins and escape to a nearby town, the courtiers will likely be the only ones with ceremonial clothes needed to make a good impression on the lord of that town.. meanwhile, the Bushi will have been the only ones who have weapons and armor unless a fight was expected to begin with. Essentially, I think it's up to the GM to tell their players when they have access to things that aren't in the starting kit. My own group seems to have trouble with the idea that ALL samurai own at least one katana because it's not listed in all of their kits, but the Katana is a sign of station for samurai. Most non-bushi don't actually carry the katana because carrying it implies that your ready to use it and sometimes that's just not what your role is, but not carrying it isn't the same as not owning it. Even poor samurai are wealthy, they own many things that aren't listed, but exactly what is owned is at the GM's discretion or as required by the adventure.
  13. Black_Rabbit_Inle


    The main thing to understand about Rokugani love/marriage/romance/adultery is that it's all very arcane and complex. In setting, Rokugani don't actually understand Rokugani romance. This can be very liberating for a storyteller as it means that really any romance story could work in Rokugan. as for imperial ancestry.. this also isn't really so cut and dry.. you could be the emperor's son and only get +10 status if the emperor refuses to acknowledge you and you go around acting like a little fiend all the time.. you could have imperial blood from 15 generations ago and still get +10 status if people generally feel that your ancestral line is still in good standing. essentially, don't worry so much about whether your story "fits in Rokugan". Rokugan is a land that's more concerned about a good story than it is about objective truth, so chances are the story you're thinking of shouldn't be considered to be completely factual anyway.
  14. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Imperial Office Responsible for Hunting Kolat?

    One way to answer the question is that "No agency or office officially hunts and destroys Kolat, because Kolat do not officially exist." Another way to answer it would be "no agency or office officially hunts the Kolat, because hunting and destroying people who think as the Kolat think is the responsibility of every samurai." Kolat are not like blood-seekers or perfect land cultists, both of those groups could still serve the Kami (they just don't do so in an imperially approved fashion), but Kolat work against the Kami and so they are diametrically opposed to samurai.. this isn't to say of course that "samurai" can't fool themselves into thinking that they can still be samurai while also being Kolat, but they would only be fooling themselves. Now most samurai aren't going to hear "kolat" and think "I must kill that".. the Hantei doesn't want the existence of the Kolat to be widely known among samurai, the Kolat conspiracy also doesn't wish to be widely known.. so most samurai.. even those samurai who would normally investigate such things, don't associate the term "kolat" with "enemy of the kami", but they would associate the thought process as being against the way of the samurai. Of course there are many ways the PC's might get privileged information about the Kolat conspiracy. It seems that the emerald magistrate's library does contain information on the Kolat conspiracy for those who know to look. The PC's might stumble upon a kolat plot, which would give them the information they need to spend the rest of their lives hunting and killing kolat whenever possible. The trick with the Kolat is figuring out how your PC's stumble across the conspiracy, but the reward is that, once your characters know of the Kolat, they don't all need to be working for one office or clan or lord in order to be obligated to actively pursue and eliminate the kolat threat.
  15. Black_Rabbit_Inle

    Most Balanced School?

    I know this may not be particularly helpful, but I honestly don't think there's any one school that could be called "most balanced". If I absolutely had to pick one school, I would go with the Shosuro Infiltrator. That's largely for role-play reasons though, as an infiltrator is supposed to train to pretend to be anything.