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4 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

Historical traditions pre-tokugawa do not agree with you. Even during the Tokugawa Era, it was the Wakizashi that was the honor blade; the Katana, or the uichigatana, or the any of a half-dozen other named styles of long sword was always the bushi's work weapon - honored, but not carried everywhere. The Wakizashi would be racked by his bed, or even kept under his pillow, and worn almost everywhere... a Lord might rack his behind himself in court, along with his katana (and possibly his no-dachi or ōdachi). A samurai in town would, per some of the literature, bag the katana in town simply to protect it from accidental touch, so he didn't have to defend its honor everywhere, and others, those with secure townhouses (stone ground floors) and ashigaru in residence (goekonin and/or daimyō) might not even carry it in town at all

Some current literature on this seems to show that neither sword was given as much reverence as was once thought. 

Most of what we current think of when talking about the swords is modern traditions, due to the delicate nature of these antique weapons.

such as not touching another's sword has more practical reasons, due to the fact that human body oils have an almost acid effect on metal and lacquer.

others like always passing on the right of a sword carrying samurai was to avoid damage from the swords hitting each other 

The Katana was seen as a badge of office and a sidearm that could only be worn by the samurai cast.

The Wakizashi on the other hand was only imported for its size. due to is shorter length it was ideal for close-quarters fighting indoors. 

Also contrary to most peoples belief the Wakizashi could be worn by the Chōnin class (merchant/craftsmen) not just the samurai.

And its funny you would bring up pre-Tokugawa as most of the culture of L5R seems to be based on the Tokugawa period and after such as.

Bushido was not formalized in the Japanese feudal system till Tokugawa Ieyasu in the Tokugawa period.


4 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

Further, prior editions do not agree with you about racking. 3E, p.178: "A samurai who does not carry his katana typically displays it in a place of honor."

3E, p. 179: "The wakizashi carries an additional role that the katana does not in Rokugani society - it symbolically preserves the honor of its bearer. A samurai's last refuge for protest is seppuku, performed with the wakizashi. Although the katana is held in greater regard by the noble classes, the wakizashi is a constant reminder of a samurai's duties."

1E p. 37, and 2E PG, p. 36 notes that a samurai always racks his sword when entering a friend's home. He carries it into a stranger's or enemy's home.

as stated above the swords in most periods were seen more as tools then anything else.

and most current historians believe the wakizashi hold less reverence then once though.

4 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

Note that traditional has 3 positions for the sword, while L5R has 2.

  • to the left is ready to use - the samurai doesn't trust the host, and/or is warning the host not to trust them.
  • to the right is hard to use, and indicates a lack of current hostility. (note that there is a 
  • to the front is subservience - and while it's mentioned somewhere in 1E or 2E, it's not in the core. It's also mentioned in at least two period instruction manuals from the Edo period. It is literally placing the blade for inspection. There are also subtle nuances best ignored in play for hilt and edge direction in this case.

Yeah I remembers I missed the third one after I posted.

4 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

you do not carry your sword into your lord's house unless summoned - you rack it at the door, so the guards don't have to. (note that the guards are usually armed.) You also rack it at the door if the guards instruct you to, or if the summons specifies to do so. Or if you are not a bushi. A shugenja summoned might have, wear, and be proficient in Katana - but he'd better not carry it when summoned, and had better have his scroll case. If you are not safe enough in your lord's house to rack your katana, you're about to be either rōnin or dead soon anyway.

I believe I stated when reporting to or summoned by ones lord.

4 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

Bagging before racking is historically not uncommon when about - as bags are often easier to distinguish, and it prevents others from accidentally touching the sword; touching it was an offense which could result in a duel between samurai, and execution for any lesser folk. Touching the bag was still offensive, but not immediate-death type. Also note: it's not hard to draw a bagged katana - pop the knot (usually a single bow), revealing the handle, grab the handle, and pull. The saya will remain in the bag, thanks to the knot on the saya. 

as stated above their is some debate about this among historians.

4 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

Also note: wet silk stretches; the lacing, and the shark skin under it, and the wood of the saya, they are all very very unhappy when wet. The tightly woven bag keeps water, dust, snow, and mud out. The lacquer protects the wood only so much. The bag makes it MUCH easier to keep the weapon from environmental damage, in a land noted for lots of seasonal weather.

Ray skin was preferred to shark skin and most high quality swords would use ray.

also the only imported part of the sword was the blade. A typical blade would go through multiple saya and tsuka over its lifespan. the parts that where normal reused would be the tsuba, menuki, and kashira as they normal had significant to the samurais house.

I not sure where you get that the bag is that great? I own a high quality katana Bukuro and can tell you if it gets wet its not keeping the sword dry. The katana Bukuro will protect the sword from dust light impact, and low humility that's about it.

4 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

Note also - 5E is set in a relatively peaceful point. Only the crab and unicorn have active hostiles on the border.  15 years later, and all Rokugan's in a massive nasty civil war, but at this point, it's technically still officially peacetime (even if the occasional border village is changing hands after a fight...).


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A good hand-made cotton or silk bag, tightly woven, and stitched tightly, becomes relatively water-tight when wet; in rain, it's adequate to prevent the wood soaking up a lot. In dust or mud, it's more than plenty. In the woods, it will prevent scratches.  It's not good enough if you fall into water, but it will give you a few seconds to get it out, and even help float it for a few minutes. 


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Anyway on the main topic.

I'm not fond of the narrative ammo Idea.

While I can see its use in games like star wars were weapons can carry 500 to 1000 rounds.

When a traditional Japaneses quiver carries 5 to 36 arrows (the one I use) depending on type and a Rokugan quiver carries 60 (To large in my opinion). I think its better to just keep tracked.

The idea of unlimited ammo removes the major flaw of range weapons, limited ammo.

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