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Nitenman

School for everyone?

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In your games, do you consider that each and every single member of a Clan attend a school? What about the guards or Ji samurai of a remote castle in a valley. May be no Dojo there, if the lord can't afford to maintain one. So probably can't afford either to send all his retainers to be trained. Maybe his sons will be, as he was. 

I consider than less than 60% of a Clan are actually schooled. The proportion of schooled individuals is higher in Cities, large castles and wealthy holdings. 

Those not schooled would still have skills, maybe were taught a few Kata by an older sempai. But school secrets are for gifted or privileged individuals. 

Edited by Nitenman

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We assume that being schooled is the requirement of being a samurai. One born as a samurai is strictly obliged to become a student in a dojo, even if the nearest dojo is on the other side of the continent or something - it is an absolute must, no exceptions. One born as a commoner can ascend and become a ji-samurai by attending a dojo (half-samurai as: not born but made thus having only one "half" of the station). Yes, kids, this is where ji-samurai are coming from. 

Every self-respecting daimyo will keep an eye on having a dojo nearby, even if it is a dojo teaching "lesser" (generic) techniques. Having a Family Dojo around is nice, but only a few regions can maintain such an expensive establishment. Family Dojos also have higher standards for who they will train, so their pickiness can defeat the whole purpose of having them around if they fail to train enough samurai (even worse, they can decline local natural-born samurai and train samurai from other regions while still feeding on local resources). Matters regarding the local dojo system have their place in every proper Winter Court, though they rarely become hot topic because the needs and demands are tough to play with (especially since the involvement of a powerful sensei can shift the political landscape quite drastically). 

So the real question in our Rokugan would be the rate of Family Dodo trained samurai and Generic Dojo trained samurai. Most samurai with a family name are Family Dojo trained - having a family name and still using a "lesser" technique speaks volumes about one's character. It is extremely rare that a commoner can appease a Family Dojo sensei and receive education there, so the overwhelming majority of ji-samurai are Generic Dojo trained. There are roughly 7 ji-samurai for 3 "true" samurai, and this ratio should stand for training too: 7 Generic Dojo trained samurai for 3 Family Dojo trained samurai. 

The odd case are True Ronin because they generally do not receive formal training, but given their special status, their training is usually handwaved away provided that they display the minimum skills expected from a proper samurai. 

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A school is one of the differences between the clanless and the clan-member. 

Rōnin-born have access to no school. They have access to no formal education but what their parents provide and the monks give. And what their employers gift them with.

Based upon 2E and 3E sources, many families have several dōjo per "school", and many families have two different schools; Some have a third.

I see no reason why almost all the clan samurai would not be school trained. After all, service is compulsory. And it's far better to have your NCOs trained. (And based upon 2E and 3E sources, the NCOs are a mix of experienced heimin bushi and inexperienced samurai bushi.)

 

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Maybe I forgot to clarify that indeed I was talking about being trained in Clan Schools teaching Clan secrets. Otherwise every retainers have to be trained but yes, it will be a generic Dojo. That is actually made easier to handle now with Kata. 

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1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:

I see no reason why almost all the clan samurai would not be school trained. After all, service is compulsory. And it's far better to have your NCOs trained. (And based upon 2E and 3E sources, the NCOs are a mix of experienced heimin bushi and inexperienced samurai bushi.)

It’s also a samurai’s duty. Bushido ftw!

I don’t think realism/pseudo-Japan analogies are really the best way to go. In L5R minor clans have schools - that’s only double-digit numbers of samurai in some cases. Clans and families seem to result in much more closely organized regions in the game. Rokugan is also a lot larger and more populated than medieval Japan, resulting in more resources per clan (which, again, seem like fairly close-knit organizations). Don’t underestimate the resources available to daimyo in Rokugan.

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Were do you see ?

1 an underestimation of anything. Poor Samurai are a reality, so are poorer Daimyo. Not dirt poor, but not able to dedicate enough resources to train any single retainer. 

2 a parallel with real life Japan.

If it's about Ji samurai, it's been in L5R lore since beginning. 

Regarding Minor clans, true they have schools, but for the most they took centuries to build up their techniques. Not sure where ffg will go, but in 4e, they were a bit "lesser" to represent lack of resources. And in 1st ed, Minors had only 3 Techniques. And the same way, not all minor clan samurai can be trained if the clan resources are dwindling. 

And no clan is safe from bad fortune. See the situation of the Crane after the Tsunami. 

 

Edited by Nitenman

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1 hour ago, Nitenman said:

Were do you see ?

1 an underestimation of anything. Poor Samurai are a reality, so are poorer Daimyo. Not dirt poor, but not able to dedicate enough resources to train any single retainer. 

2 a parallel with real life Japan.

If it's about Ji samurai, it's been in L5R lore since beginning. 

Regarding Minor clans, true they have schools, but for the most they took centuries to build up their techniques. Not sure where ffg will go, but in 4e, they were a bit "lesser" to represent lack of resources. And in 1st ed, Minors had only 3 Techniques. And the same way, not all minor clan samurai can be trained if the clan resources are dwindling. 

And no clan is safe from bad fortune. See the situation of the Crane after the Tsunami. 

Being poor happens, sure. In Rokugan though every samurai is part of a family, which is part of a Family, which is part of a Clan. Essentially every samurai (and I’m only talking “full” samurai, not ji-samurai) is a retainer of a clan daimyo. There may be a few extra levels in the hierarchy, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Even with the Mantis back to minor clan status, far and away most samurai belong to a Great Clan, and Great Clans have tremendous resources. Even taking into account bad fortune, which is a bit of a spurious argument. Are you going to justify what I assume you mean is the normal situation by using exceptional circumstances?

And how long it takes minor clans to develop schools isn’t that important. The fact that they can do so at all is what matters. If they have the resources to do that, it seems reasonable to expect they can afford dojos to teach what that school has to offer. Not in the least because dojos should normally be the places where these techniques are developed in the first place.

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Ok so in that case, because you ain't really talking about much other than:  clans aren't poor and can afford Dojos, any data?

what are the proportion of clan samurai compared to Ji samurai?

Can the lord of 1000+ samurai ensure all his retainers are trained? 

And fed and equipped? 

What is the cost of training a Samurai?

Also, you'll see if reading my first post that question I asked started by : in your games...? So I'm actually trying to discuss with GM on how they abord that in their setting. And my view is how I like to address it in my games. 

So no need to try to explain me Rokugani economy like it's a fact, if you are a GM or have insight how it's handled by your GM, feel free to develop. If you want to give generalities on Rokugan economy, please pass, else I have to answer as well with generalities and that not the focus I hoped for this thread.

My argument isn't spurious either. A bad harvest happens way more often than a Tsunami, but may wreck a clans economy the same. No rice, no money. 

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I don’t have a problem with how pervasive (or not) you want school training to be. You do you. I do think it’s incongruous with the way Rokugan’s society appears to work to have such a large fraction of the elite not benefit from the teachings the clans so painstakingly developed. Particularly with samurai taking their duty so very seriously. But to each their own.

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9 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

It’s also a samurai’s duty. Bushido ftw!

I don’t think realism/pseudo-Japan analogies are really the best way to go. In L5R minor clans have schools - that’s only double-digit numbers of samurai in some cases. Clans and families seem to result in much more closely organized regions in the game. Rokugan is also a lot larger and more populated than medieval Japan, resulting in more resources per clan (which, again, seem like fairly close-knit organizations). Don’t underestimate the resources available to daimyo in Rokugan.

The NCOs are mentioned in 3E masters of war, and on the status tables in 2E and 3E. Nikutai and Gunso.

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4 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

I don’t have a problem with how pervasive (or not) you want school training to be. You do you. I do think it’s incongruous with the way Rokugan’s society appears to work to have such a large fraction of the elite not benefit from the teachings the clans so painstakingly developed. Particularly with samurai taking their duty so very seriously. But to each their own.

Wow, you are a thick headed one aren't you? 

And claiming you have no problem but I do have a problem with my own vision is borderline passive aggressive and downright condescending. So I'll play at your level. 

I have no problems with anything. Been GMing 5 rings for 15 years, I know and understand enough on Rokugan inner workings to not need to be schooled by random folks on the Internet. You aren't a white knight saving me from my own thread. 

SoI'll repeat: If you are a GM, I'm interested in how does economics impact schooling in your world? If you aren't a GM or have playing insight your personal view of Rokugan doesn't interest me. These forums are full of folks constantly saying to folks they don't know "no, your Rokugan is wrong..." And then saying to each his own.. hypocrite isn't it? 

When I was a 20ish young GM student, didn't really care about money in Rokugan in my games. Everyone was schooled, Clans were rich, and receptions  were lavish. Now I'm close to 40, got a family to raise, cloth and feed. Worked in people management and training resources allocation and logistics and all that has an impact on how I GM my games. 

I said I handle things a certain way, a result of my play (and life) experience, and asked how other GMs do, simply to discuss people's take (not view, take, actual gaming insight) on this subject when they GM. @AtoMaki for example did an interesting contribution based on how he or his GM handles it in their Rokugan. 

You focus on the elite in your "contribution".  My opinion when GMing is that so called elite is less than we think. So it needs to be reflected on my Dojo training availability. And a Lord who can't afford to have everyone schooled isn't incompatible with Samurai Duty. It actually can create Drama (Can you stay loyal to a Daimyo that can't provide enough for your family? How do you handle jealousy when a neighboring holding is richer and it's samurai better fed? Is the Daimyo ashamed of his poor station? What if a richer Daimyo offers you a better position?)  

I know folks sometimes think in Rokugan money doesn't matter. I think its at the heart of everything and oftenly use economics in my games. Particularly because it's such a dirty matter that Samurai are expected not to address. 

Koku drives IMO everything in Rokugan's background. For example Lion and Crane aren't fighting for the sake of it. They fight for lands that can produce food and thus produce money. And in lands not rich, does a Daimyo focus first on training retainers or feeding them and equipping them? 

 

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11 hours ago, Nitenman said:

Poor Samurai are a reality, so are poorer Daimyo. Not dirt poor, but not able to dedicate enough resources to train any single retainer. 

Curiously, this can be never the case in our setting. If a damiyo is lacking resources then they are either lazy and/or incompetent, but never actually poor in the sense that the needed resources are out of reach. Money and wealth works in strange ways over here :D.

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That can also be interesting drama. Your Daimyo is incompetent or too spendy in commodities to the detriment of his retainers and threatens the resources of his holding? How does a samurai handles it? Redouble his efforts to cover it? Brings the matter to clan hierarchy? 

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2 hours ago, Nitenman said:

Wow, you are a thick headed one aren't you? 

And claiming you have no problem but I do have a problem with my own vision is borderline passive aggressive and downright condescending. So I'll play at your level. 

I have no problems with anything. Been GMing 5 rings for 15 years, I know and understand enough on Rokugan inner workings to not need to be schooled by random folks on the Internet. You aren't a white knight saving me from my own thread. 

SoI'll repeat: If you are a GM, I'm interested in how does economics impact schooling in your world? If you aren't a GM or have playing insight your personal view of Rokugan doesn't interest me. These forums are full of folks constantly saying to folks they don't know "no, your Rokugan is wrong..." And then saying to each his own.. hypocrite isn't it? 

When I was a 20ish young GM student, didn't really care about money in Rokugan in my games. Everyone was schooled, Clans were rich, and receptions  were lavish. Now I'm close to 40, got a family to raise, cloth and feed. Worked in people management and training resources allocation and logistics and all that has an impact on how I GM my games. 

I said I handle things a certain way, a result of my play (and life) experience, and asked how other GMs do, simply to discuss people's take (not view, take, actual gaming insight) on this subject when they GM. @AtoMaki for example did an interesting contribution based on how he or his GM handles it in their Rokugan. 

You focus on the elite in your "contribution".  My opinion when GMing is that so called elite is less than we think. So it needs to be reflected on my Dojo training availability. And a Lord who can't afford to have everyone schooled isn't incompatible with Samurai Duty. It actually can create Drama (Can you stay loyal to a Daimyo that can't provide enough for your family? How do you handle jealousy when a neighboring holding is richer and it's samurai better fed? Is the Daimyo ashamed of his poor station? What if a richer Daimyo offers you a better position?)  

I know folks sometimes think in Rokugan money doesn't matter. I think its at the heart of everything and oftenly use economics in my games. Particularly because it's such a dirty matter that Samurai are expected not to address. 

Koku drives IMO everything in Rokugan's background. For example Lion and Crane aren't fighting for the sake of it. They fight for lands that can produce food and thus produce money. And in lands not rich, does a Daimyo focus first on training retainers or feeding them and equipping them? 

 

I said “you do you”. Meaning, you should do what you want to do. Not “I don’t have a problem with what you are saying, but you should”. I was neither condescending nor saying you are wrong. What I’m saying is you are making a choice with regards to schools which implies an economy and clan structure that departs IMO quite heavily from how I see the published setting. Which is, again, a choice. You can do that. It just feels strange to have a topic about “how do you handle schooling” when that seems to be a relatively small part of how you handle the setting in general.

And yes, money certainly matters. It’s a recurring theme for the Crab, for instance. Those same Crab, according to the books, still have the most samurai of all the clans and have those drill and train on a daily basis.

I made the comparison to medieval Japan for a reason. In real life, a poor lord was indeed a poor lord. The difference with Rokugan is that he’s not only poor, but also on his own. He likely owes loyalty to a shogun in the capital, or whoever is in power, and may ask for help. That will not be a structural option though. In Rokugan (my Rokugan, if that matters to you), that same lord is part of a family, which in turn is part of a clan. That doesn’t mean he has access to the clan’s finances, he can still be poor, but the clan has a vested interest in making sure entire swathes of their samurai don’t remain unable to fulfil their potential. Support should be meaningful and expected, especially when it comes to education. That doesn’t fix everything, intra-clan politics still apply and lords certainly will have their own ambitions, but for me access to training in a family’s school should be almost universal - at a basic level, at least, not everyone will have easy access to more advanced techniques.

For me, it’s not koku that drive everything. It’s the clans. Finances are a subtheme within that frame, no more.

Edited by nameless ronin

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18 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

The odd case are True Ronin because they generally do not receive formal training, but given their special status, their training is usually handwaved away provided that they display the minimum skills expected from a proper samurai. 

Presumably hence that "The School Of The Wolf" title for one of the NPC Ronin's abilities.

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Ok, got confused by the you do you. Understood it as "you do, you". So no offense meant. (Didn't often came across this figure of speech before except used by few Irish teens and also I'm not native speaker) 

Now I like you way much more when you take the time to nuance and develop :)

I started this topic as an aftermath of discussions coming from another thread on Rokugan feeling generic. 

Can't edit the title else it would become "relationship between schooling and  economy in your game" . Schooling is not a small part, it's actually an important part of how I handle the setting, because it implies a big shift in paradigm.  Training is important, but all samurai trained with the exact same techs (different schools apart) always gave me a cookie cutter feel, and felt unrealistic in terms of resources allotment (even though it's a fantasy game, I feel making it grounded helps a bit with suspension of disbelief). It also helped some of my players feels special about their characters (I don't bar training access from my PCs, except if they ask for it. I had a player that wanted to earn the right to be schooled when I pitched Rokugan to him) that they are from the happy few receiving prestigious clan secrets. 

I also down play a bit the aspect great united clan and use a lot vassal families to stress out the differences between clan provinces. It's not medieval Japan but it takes inspiration from it it's true,  yet without being constricted by trying to make it Japan.

Else I'd GM Bushido and ease my life. 

Edited by Nitenman

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That just raises so many more questions (not being critical, merely curious). What do all these samurai do? I assume shugenja have a near-100% schooling rate. I’d expect the greater majority of courtiers to receive advanced education as well (grey areas like trade-oriented courtiers notwithstanding). That would mean the ones without access to proper schools default to bushi, with positions of varying responsibility in helping run the lord’s holdings - such as they are, given that this lord is relatively poor. But Rokugan is supposed to have many, many more samurai than Japan ever had: there are no actual numbers, but ballpark figures could put the total across all the clans around one million. If 40% of those (or at least their lords) are too poor to be able to send them to a proper clan dojo, that would potentially  mean a lot of idle hands (and miscontents). How large and populated is your Rokugan?

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Classic figures. Roughly 30 millions soul for 1ish millions of retainers, 40% Ji samurai.  Low proportion of trained in rural areas, higher in large estates and cities. You are right on shugenja and courtiers, they school training rate is higher, but their number is rather low compared to bushi. 

But those 40% still train. They practice weapons and tactics in "generic" Dojos, without a dedicated clan Sensei. They might be supervised by a schooled bushi drill instructor but he won't teach them clan secrets. 

Those 40% aren't idle, they do guard duties, patrol, army grunts. For them what matters most is having food in their bellies, so this is where most of a holding's resources go, and a Daimyo's principal concern. A trained hungry samurai can become a liability. A fed untrained samurai is happy to do his job. 

Let'stake a 100 samurai in a small rural but not overly poor holding. There's probably 50 Ji samurai, 10 courtier (trained as an investment)  2 shugenja and 40 school trained bushi, being 20 veterans, 1-2 lord's family sensei, lord's scions (2-5), 10 "Honor Guard" and 5-10 military advisors and officers. 

Let's take a small poor holding with 25 retainers. There's probably the lord, his scions (2-5), his Karo, a family Sensei, 3 courtiers, 3 honor guards, and those are Clan schooled. The rest are 15 generic Dojo Ji samurai performing patrols and guard duty, for whom the lord still have to provide for lodgings, food and equipment. 

Let's take a large rich holding with a 1000 retainers. Maybe 300-400 will be grunts patrollers Ji samurai. 

For the Daimyo's entourage, courtiers may be 2-4 dozens, might be 5-10 shugenja, there's a clan Dojo with 5-10 sensei and 20 sempai. Add a cadre of maybe 10-20 advisors, 50 honor guard. All trained in basic or advanced Clan schools. 

The rest , so 500 ish are school trained bushi that can be mobilised for war, and their officers. 

Also, the large holding may encompass smaller villages in its fief so retainers are dispatched throughout the territory. 

When the clan musters, the small rural holding will maybe send 30 Ji and 25 trained, led by 2-5 advisor/officer, the poor holding may send 10 Ji, led by an honor guard or one of his scions as Nikutai, and the large holding will send 200 Ji and 400 schooled and led by a Chui. 

If all 3 holdings are in the same province, under the rule of large holding Daimyo, they would provide 700 ish soldiers, 250 of them being Ji Samurai.

 

Best way to handle it, for me, is to not get bound by the "maths and numbers" but convey the general feeling and wealth of an area by stressing the differences in quality of clothing and equipment and in quantity and quality of food. Can still remember the "shock" of one of my poor Dragon player used to cereals and "mountain tuna" when he attended his first Crane banquet with fine food and rare fish. It became an incentive to raise his status, find a crane bride and provide for his family. 

Edited by Nitenman

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 I don't remember where, but one of the books explains that only a handful of people actually go tot he Kakita Dueling academy. The rest are instructed by previous members who've either become some lord's retainer, opened their own dojos or were just willing to teach the student for money or a favor. Sending your child off to school is an important part of their life, not something a self-respecting family would skimp on. Many go into debt trying to get their kid into the best school they can afford. Favors and money get traded around this frequently, especially by the Crane.

 I've read more than a few sample PC's through various sourcebooks who use this concept in their backstories, and it can be really good. Like there's a Crane in the Topaz championship who comes from a poor family but got some prestigious training and it gives him a chip on his shoulder complex.

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18 minutes ago, llamaman88 said:

Many go into debt trying to get their kid into the best school they can afford.

That's also interesting drama. Getting the resources to provide for your children. Maybe get them schooled while you were not. As I said, in my view of the setting, many a Daimyo can't afford to school everyone, priority is their direct family and closest retainers. But that doesn't mean they are happy about it. Because honestly it shames them. 

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@Nitenman again, not a criticism, but those numbers - other than 1M-ish retainers total, and arguably the fraction made up by courtiers - aren’t classic in my experience. Maybe that explains in part why I have some difficulty wrapping my head around your version of Rokugan. 60/40 samurai vs ji-samurai, 2 shugenja in a middling hold of 100 retainers total (only half of which “full” samurai), a large and rich holding having about 1000 retainers when the average great clan has somewhere in the neigbourhood of 100k retainers total, 5-10 sensei and 20 sempai for 600 or so samurai to receive training from (but not the 300-400 ji-samurai also posted at the castle)... Really not the kind of numbers I’d expect or am accustomed to.

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My own take on this issue is based on Edo period demographics for the Shogunate.

 

Roughly speaking you had around 300 Daimyo familes. Those guys are filthy rich and they have the very best education both martialy and Scholarly. In Rokugan I equate these with the head branches of the Families, all the families including Minor clans and Vassal families, So Akodo, Hiruma, Suzume, Moshi, Anou, Yotsu, Kaeru, you name it.

After that you had the Hatamoto rank. For the Tokugawa they varied between 5000 to 6000 samurai and their immediate families. Now these guys had quite a lot of variance between them, their income varying between roughly 100 and 9500 Koku, with the higher ranking member actually holding land and having their own retainers, and the lower ranking ones (about 1/4 of them) actually becoming more impoverished as time went by and having a rice stipend proved itself to be a really bad source of income. Roughly speaking I consider the upper ranks to be quite capable of getting the best education at some sacrifice. Some of the smaller, poorer families I mentioned above like the Suzume and the Yotsu might be equivalent to the upper ranks of the Hatamoto, but for me that would be the rank I would expect City Governor families to fall.

The lower ranks are however not that lucky. They get some basic training, and since they are probably living in a urban cosmopolitan (as such things go in Rokugan) they get a measure of on the job training that we could equate to some form of apprenticeship, but can just as easily no be able to have some sort of formal schooling. In Rokugain terms tey might know some basic techniques but don't have much opportunity for advancement.

 

For me PCs would tend to be from these families.

 

Finally we had the Gokenin rank. These guys were mostly the post Edict of Separation Ashigaru and their stipends tened to vary between 100 and 200 Koku a few of them not even making that much. There were around 17000-20000 of them and the only training they get would be martial drills at the communal barracks and training grounds or, if they were assigned clerical roles whatever wisdom their superiors decided to impart on them. If they were really lucky they might be able to pay for tutoring from a Confucian teacher on the Classics which could land them better bureaucratic posts.

 

So, for me roughly speaking some 25-30% of Samurai do have a a school, the remaining 70% not really.

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@Suzume Chikahisa  Glad to see folks are even more "hardcore" than me with proportion in their setting. 

@nameless ronin you wondered about numbers I gave you a rough example, but that's not a template. 

And regarding the amount of Sensei, only children are living and fully training on a day to day basis in the Dojo (as in educational clan Dojo). Other schooled samurai perform their duties and come back to the Clan school Dojo once in a while, and they are of course considered sempai while there. But are not resident sempai. 

AsI said, don't feel bound by the math. Still I wonder now about your proportions then. 

Could you take my examples and tell us the "numbers" roughly according to you? 

Also in my examples, those I refer to as Ji Samurai are closer to Ashigaru/budoka. It's not Ji samurai as in " lower rank buke". In game terms, their status may be 0,5, when the average starting clan schooled samurai are between 1-1,5. 

According to emerald empire 4thd ed Sourcebook, Ji samurai (as low ranking buke, so not fully like mine ) are closer to 85%. 

See one of the issue with L5R is that it tries to be not Japan and different eras of Japan at the same time. We have very courtly clans like the Heike and very military clans like the Genji, similar to pre sengoku era, yet the setting has many elements and influence from Edo era (formalized Bushido, focus on the sword culture). And 20 years ish of editions and retconning stuff blurred all even more. 

Also, another question, just curiosity, not a provocation. Are you actually GMing L5R? Do you make it your own sauce or stick to the books? 

Edited by Nitenman

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@NitenmanI do GM, yes. Have done so in all editions so far (though 2E and d20 were largely skipped).

Setting-wise I largely stick to how I understand things to be from the books (which may be incorrect here and there, particularly since AEG likes obfuscating data) as have those I played with, with the exception of history. I don’t mind deviating from that if that works better for the campaign.

Numbers (ballpark, of course): 1M samurai, roughly 2/3 of which ji-samurai; of the remaining 1/3, about half are members of a vassal family. About 1k shugenja, 90%+ across shugenja families. Shugenja typically stay at shrines or temples and are spread out geographically (unless there’s a reason, such as studying at a school, family gatherings or holding a special position, it’s rare to find more than one in any given place. Cities will have several, but usually from different families and staying at different temples). Smaller holdings may have a shugenja, particularly if part of the lands of a shugenja family or near it, but most don’t - for campaign purposes, I just decide if I want one wherever the PCs go or not. Maybe 1/5 of the other samurai are courtiers, but the percentages obviously differ a lot from clan to clan. Any middling or larger hold will have several trained courtiers to represent them, small ones as often as not don’t. Clan ties are strong: nobody likes admitting they need/want help, but that’s what sincerity is for and helping out or witholding help will affect a holding’s glory and standing within the clan significantly (even if that is tactfully not explicitly mentioned). Since holdings within a single clan (or at least family) normally don’t need to compete with each other economically, having weak neighbours is not in a lord’s interest: cooperation is to be expected and a lot of court politics are handled at the clan or at least family level, rather than that every lord has to fend for himself (which doesn’t mean they don’t have their own interests at heart first and foremost).

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@nameless ronin  Maybe one of the reasons we differ: for me Clan ties are important indeed but each Great Family is relatively independent, and there are internal strife and competition inside a family. Daimyo and Gokenin have support from their hierarchy, but no hand holding. If a lord can't school his folks, it's their problem. As long as they bring the expected taxes, they stay in position. If they fail they are removed either politically or Militarily by hierarchy (As in allowing a neighboring landholder to conquer them). It's a harsher take on Rokugan than in the books. And there's a bit of Gekokujo happening sometimes. 

Regarding Shugenja, that's a rather low number. Means roughly 0,1% of the population. I guess you have lots of monks to maintain the thousands if temples and shrines dotting the Land. I tend towards 1-3% (depending on eras). I know old books referred them as 1500 ish, but I never found that compatible with 15 ish families of Shugenja in Rokugan. Of this 1%, 30-40% are phenix only. Rest is spread between clans. But like you there isn't a guaranteed shugenja in each settlement, there'll be one if I need one. 

Your 2/3 Ji samurai are they the school trained? So what makes the last third? Vassal families as in the Great Families internal vassal families? 

For clearer comparison, what would be for you the large holding numbers? (Large holding being an average castle and its town) 

Ps: we started odd, but now I'm really enjoying this discussion ?

Edited by Nitenman

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