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AK_Aramis

A few bits missing.

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Not enough info on what actually happened.

When writing a murder mystery adventure, a synopsis of the actual murder is needed. As is, much of it is scattered across several paragraphs. I want to know the sequential elements of the murder to be able to visualize it.

Also - what clan was the Ronin in? For my players, I've made him a former seppun... just to make him even less likable to the Ise Zumi PC. (who has issues with the Seppun - and it's mutual).

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So the best information about the murder is what Keinosuke tells you in the debriefing (unless he's lying which I see no reason to suspect). He was guarding Michiru (the Maho-tsukai) when she met up with Hida Kayo. Michiru was (presumably) planning to kill Kayo to help unleash Kazanagan No Oni and she stabbed him after luring him to drink in his room but it wasn't immediately lethal and he started struggling. Keinosuke came in upon hearing one of them cry out, saw them arguing and slashed Kayo in the back, a combination of the wounds killed him and Keinosuke fled when he realized what Michiru was.

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On 10/15/2017 at 10:47 PM, AK_Aramis said:

Also - what clan was the Ronin in? For my players, I've made him a former seppun... just to make him even less likable to the Ise Zumi PC. (who has issues with the Seppun - and it's mutual).

Never mentioned. By the time you actually meet him,the answer is 'Crab', so I guess to some extent it doesn't matter...and he probably doesn't survive, so it's unlikely to matter down the road.

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1 hour ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Never mentioned. By the time you actually meet him,the answer is 'Crab', so I guess to some extent it doesn't matter...and he probably doesn't survive, so it's unlikely to matter down the road.

It matters a lot for purposes of PC reactions, and may affect what he should be wearing when they encounter him.

Remember, Rokugan largely color codes people's clothes. Clan ronin often will still have secondary color juban. 

His obi, juban, and armor should tell his origin - and that can affect both how PC's react to him, and what options they pursue in tackling him.

If he's,  for example, an ex-dragon, then the Ise Zumi is likely to treat him as a total failure, and waste little effort... but if he's an ex-phoenix, they might want to know how he failed, and investigate him further. And if he's born ronin... all bets are off.

Any Rōnin NPC that's a major element should say which kind of rōnin (Born clanless, peasant pretender, clan ejecta, or Musha Shugyo), and if clan or peasant, which clan. It's a huge RP hook, and quite literally the first question my players asked.

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9 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

Remember, Rokugan largely color codes people's clothes. Clan ronin often will still have secondary color juban. 

He clearly wasnt born ronin, but I equally doubt he'll be wearing any distinctive elements.

  1. When encountered, he'll be wearing crab colours and heraldry, because he's a Crab Samurai not a ronin any more.
  2. Whatever clan he was previously, he was a clan member, not a born ronin, because his whetstone box previously had a mon on it.
  3. Whyever he left the clan, and whether he rejected it or it rejected him, there was sufficient strong feeling about it for someone (probably Keinosuke, as if his old clan had done it you'd think they instead would just have confiscated the box instead) to take a chisel to the top of the box and rip the clan mon off it.
  4. This wasn't a pattern stitched into a heraldry coat that he would be in trouble for wearing openly when no longer entitled to it (a la ceremonial trait), this was a private possession that he actively defaced.
  5. If he did that to a box virtually no-one else would ever see, I expect anything openly visible would also be purged of any distinctive clan elements.
Edited by Magnus Grendel

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On 10/17/2017 at 5:16 PM, AK_Aramis said:

Remember, Rokugan largely color codes people's clothes.

This isn't remotely true. It's done in the card game for cohesive visual design, but basically all of the actual lore of the setting contradicts this idea. There are certain occasions when samurai are expected to wear their clan's colors, but it's not an every-day thing.

Edited by player2636234

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12 hours ago, player2636234 said:

This isn't remotely true. It's done in the card game for cohesive visual design, but basically all of the actual lore of the setting contradicts this idea. There are certain occasions when samurai are expected to wear their clan's colors, but it's not an every-day thing.

All the art in 1E, 2E, and 3E I've seen says, Yes, they do, at least for the Samurai. 

Also, historically, the kamon was worn on the kimono, kataginu, and the other coats, alongside the individual's personal mon, if one was held. 
Note also: Clan War gives 3 colors for every clan; the Way of the Clans books also give multiple colors per clan...

 

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The early art, while original, was mostly black and white so not much help there. The latter editions used card game art, which just backs up his point. And even then, there were cards with people wearing whatever the artist wanted them to on actions and the like, when they didn't have to be easily distinguishable as their clan. 

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1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:

All the art in 1E, 2E, and 3E I've seen says, Yes, they do, at least for the Samurai.

That's quite a feat, considering a significant portion of early L5R rpg art was black and white.

"A samurai usually incorporates his Clan colors into his formal clothing, while private clothing tends to be in drab grays and browns." - direct from Roleplaying In The Emerald Empire, 1e.

That 'usually' is important, too. If you're given a gift of a fine formal-wear kimono in another clan's colours, there's nothing that prevents you from wearing it to court. It's even rude to accept the gift and not wear it. (worse still if you refuse the gift three times) There's a particular fiction in which precisely this comes up with a Scorpion offering the gift.

Edited by BitRunr

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Clans colors aren't mandatory, the fact card art usually depicts them wearing them isn't a proof (unless it is changed in the FFG universe). Many NPCs without pictures actually are described wearing non-clan colored clothings (mostly courtiers wearing the latest trend and travellers wearing durable clothing). There is also this story in which Shinjo Yasamura, youngest son of the Unicorn clan champion, is tricked by the game of gift-giving to wear a Scorpion-colored kimono at the next big social event.

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On 10/22/2017 at 0:21 PM, llamaman88 said:

All kimono worn by samurai have kamon sewn into them, the color doesn't change that you still display your loyalties on it.

 

And, having pulled many patches off old uniforms (CAP cadet, JROTC cadet, Army Brat, and occasional volunteer work), they leave a distinct trace. Many old fatigue uniforms, you can see how tall the chevrons were because the color under them isn't faded.

If the kamon was an applique, you'll see the stitching and the fading under it, but not the mon. If it was embroidered, the stitching will leave a much  more permanent trace in damaged threads. If it was silk-screened, it will likely have been screeded over with paint, but in the light, you'll be able to make out the original...

But other factors also will be telling - such as what was commonly available fabric in the area. And what motifs are "correct" for the clan in that year. Plus, the use of a juban as a summer "close to home" kimono means it may also bear the colors and mon. 

The books don't give starting PC's more than a couple outfits. the rest are either purchased, gifted, or done by ignoring certain garments of full-court. 

Let's examine a typical "Kimono" outfit. 

From the inside out - historically typical for low-ranking samurai:

  • Fundoshi
  • Tabi
  • Juban (undershirt)
  • Nagajuban (Inner kimono)
  • Sometimes a second or third nagajuban
  • The Kimono
  • The Obi
  • the Hakama or Kobokama (by weather and fashion of the moment)
  • Geta or Waraji on the feet.
  • The kataginu (vest), hanten (overcoat), or haori (overkimono/jacket). (Typically, the illos in the game show the kataginu)

You reduce the thermal value by dropping the nagajuban count... possibly to 0, or by dropping the kimono and wearing a nagajuban as a kimono. And by switching from Hanten to Haori, or Haori to Kataginu, and by swaping the kobokama (shorts) in for the Hakama. Note that the kobokama live in your armor bag. 

For the very hottest weather, perhaps down to just fundoshi, juban, rolled down tabi, and the dressing-obi (the name for which I am too lazy to look up at the moment, and don't recall it)

Some might have a second or third proper kimono, as well. Many will have the shitagi (arming shirt) for wear under the armor in place of the nagajuban and kimono (or just the kimono, if it's cold). 

A Kimono is a kit...

I generally treat one "Kimono" as a full set, with fundoshi, juban, naganjuban, tabi, kimono, obi, geta, hakama, and choice of Haori or Kataginu.

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I don't know if you're agreeing or arguing but it's mentioned in one of the supplements. Emerald Empire iirc. School, Family, Clan and Personal mons are displayed on your outfit on each arm, the back and the front. Each samurai can pick which goes where, but it's a statement about the order you identify in.  

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Core book.

Quote

All samurai (except ronin) wear mon, unique circular symbols of their clan, family, and school. These are embroidered onto their garments in specific locations, according to long-standing social convention.

Typically, samurai will wear a large mon for their clan on the back of their kimono or kataginu. The family and school symbols will be worn on the front [...]

Of course, if you have all your mon on your kataginu, then they're not on your kimono.

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2 hours ago, BitRunr said:

Core book.

Of course, if you have all your mon on your kataginu, then they're not on your kimono.

The local fabric, however will tend towards clan & family colors and/or motifs, anyway.

If his nagajuban and kimono are tie-dye, pretty good odds of Phoenix. Scale like pattern-dyed? Dragon. insectile, arachnid, or web motifs? scorpion. Flowers? anyone, but tis fair bet that hand painted ones mean Crane. cotton duck material instead of silk? Typically crab but maybe dragon. Fur? those damned Unicorn. 

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I don't agree it's that segregated or simplistic at high ranks / courtly fashions. Low rank samurai are going to be wearing more pragmatic choices that don't involve more complicated clan-themed patterns.

Materials vary by season, too.

Quote

Rokugani clothing is a mixture of silk and cotton, varying by season – silks are worn during the heat of summer, heavier cotton garments during fall and winter.
 

Samurai often incorporate their clan colors into their clothing, but they are by no means restricted to wearing only those colors, and artistic or pretentious samurai will make very creative use of color, embroidery, and design to draw attention. However, all samurai take precautions not to solely wear another clan’s colors, since doing so can be construed as an insult.
 

 

Edited by BitRunr

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