Jump to content

Recommended Posts

8 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

1) There is also the point that Status is not something in the control of the players, where all the others are.

In the books (3-4th ed) Status is a rank awarded to character based on his title. You don't earn status it is given to you by your lord or his lord.

Also the book goes on to say status is use like a rank in the military to give orders, not about how well people think of you, this would be glory.

Add to this that it only works within the command structure that you hold status in.

While their are stations that one can be born into like the emperor or a house lord these option are normally not available to the PCs.

I do know if you are using it differently, but status is assigned by NPC to a character when then are given a job and outside of the noble/imperial houses which no players should be a member of they all start with the same status.

You keep throwing around high status like it the norm, when in fact outside of one advantage that only adds one its not.

 

2) First I would have to question why courtier #1 is raising his reflexes. 

Second insight is not insight rank. In my years of gaming L5R I have never seen a player make IR by one point or miss it by the same.

This is more about a bad build vs a good build for just one insight point. 

as you can see when compared to a TN20 check.

Courtier 1: etiquette: 82%, sincerity:82%, courtier: 89%

Courtier 2: etiquette: 97%, sincerity:97%, courtier: 97%

About the school techniques.

That was changed at least 4th don't remember if it was changed in 3rd.

Now most school ranks are useful, most of the time.

1) first, who controls it is besides the point. The point is that status equals power and glory does not. Second, glory is not really controlled by the player either: you need recognition from your superiors to gain glory. It is given to a character, just like a rank and the status that goes with it is. I assume you’ve played magistrate campaigns? That’s status 4+ for a clan magistrate, 4.5+ for an emerald or jade magistrate (4th ed numbers). Status 4 is not that rare for PCs. And status does not just work in your own chain of command. It is recognized throughout the empire. That doesn’t mean you get to boss samurai from other clans around, but you do get to literally outrank them.

2) does it matter why? Maybe he likes archery. Maybe he’s training to be a duelist. Maybe his player just wants to min/max his insight rank. The point is, insight and skill (for a particular task) aren’t equivalent.

The difference is not 1 insight, btw. It’s 11 (Air 3 vs Air 2). And the chances of making a TN 20 roll aren’t really what we should be looking at. Courtier 2 gets to make an extra Raise if he wants to while still being as likely to succeed as Courtier 1. Courtier 2 is also more likely to win contested rolls, which are quite common for those skills. Good build or bad build is besides the point: the point is that the build with the higher insight is less good than the build with the lower insight.

As for school techniques, just look at the Yasuki Courtier school in 4th: the first rank technique is pretty much useless outside trade negotiations and the second stops doing anything for the rest of the session after a couple of uses (which is imo a terrible type of mechanic in the first place, but that’s another issue).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

1) first, who controls it is besides the point. The point is that status equals power and glory does not. Second, glory is not really controlled by the player either: you need recognition from your superiors to gain glory. It is given to a character, just like a rank and the status that goes with it is. I assume you’ve played magistrate campaigns? That’s status 4+ for a clan magistrate, 4.5+ for an emerald or jade magistrate (4th ed numbers). Status 4 is not that rare for PCs. And status does not just work in your own chain of command. It is recognized throughout the empire. That doesn’t mean you get to boss samurai from other clans around, but you do get to literally outrank them.

You have never served in any type of command structure have you. Being a captain military or a Sargent in the police force does not equal power. It mean responsibility. And you don't get to go bossing people around out side that command structure just because. As for not working outside the structure you have status in, it say such right in the book. A Lion Chui (status 5) has no power over a Scorpion Gunso (status 3) no matter what you may think. and yeas this is completely within the status rules on page .95. Also, yes a full Clan magistrate has status 4+ but in most if not all early campaigns the player even in a magistrate campaign are not full magistrates. They tend to be lieutenants (deputies) to the fall magistrate. which can be in most games status rank 2-3. An no you don't outrank samurai from other clans, No matter how you justify it if I am a captain in the U.S. air force and you are a lieutenants in the german army I don't out rank you since we are in totally different command structures. A better example would be if I was a major in the army and you where a lieutenants in the police force I would still have to fallow your orders if you told me to leave and area under police control. It doesn't matter that I hold a higher rank in the military its not my jurisdiction so my rank means nothing.

Quote

2) does it matter why? Maybe he likes archery. Maybe he’s training to be a duelist. Maybe his player just wants to min/max his insight rank. The point is, insight and skill (for a particular task) aren’t equivalent.

See below.

Quote

The difference is not 1 insight, btw. It’s 11 (Air 3 vs Air 2). And the chances of making a TN 20 roll aren’t really what we should be looking at. Courtier 2 gets to make an extra Raise if he wants to while still being as likely to succeed as Courtier 1. Courtier 2 is also more likely to win contested rolls, which are quite common for those skills. Good build or bad build is besides the point: the point is that the build with the higher insight is less good than the build with the lower insight.

Ok assuming the Courtier are not doji they would for the most part get a +1 trait bonus in awareness. 

so Courtier 1 would have spend

12 on on reflexes, 0 on awareness, total:12

etiquette: 5, sincerity:5, courtier: 9, total: 19+12=31 xp.

Insight is traits: (3)10= 30, skills: 3+3+4=10  10+30=40

insight from stats provided 40

Courtier 2 would have spend

0 on on reflexes, 16 on awareness, total:16

etiquette: 5, sincerity:5, courtier: 5, total: 15+16=31 xp.

Insight is traits: (2)10= 20, skills: 3+3+3=9  9+20=29

insight from stats provided 29

also with out the rest of the character I would be hard pressed to figure-out either Courtier insight rank as they could both would be Insight rank 1 or 2 from these numbers.

Actually no he doesn't, raises in 4th are limited by your void not your skill.

Quote

As for school techniques, just look at the Yasuki Courtier school in 4th: the first rank technique is pretty much useless outside trade negotiations and the second stops doing anything for the rest of the session after a couple of uses (which is imo a terrible type of mechanic in the first place, but that’s another issue).

That's their trade-off for not losing honor for using commerce, which is a huge advantage to the players if they need supplies and want to keep a low profile.

Edited by tenchi2a

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

You have never served in any type of command structure have you. Being a captain military or a Sargent in the police force does not equal power. It mean responsibility. And you don't get to go bossing people around out side that command structure just because. As for not working outside the structure you have status in, it say such right in the book. A Lion Chui (status 5) has no power over a Scorpion Gunso (status 3) no matter what you may think. and yeas this is completely within the status rules on page .95. Also, yes a full Clan magistrate has status 4+ but in most if not all early campaigns the player even in a magistrate campaign are not full magistrates. They tend to be lieutenants (deputies) to the fall magistrate. which can be in most games status rank 2-3. An no you don't outrank samurai from other clans, No matter how you justify it if I am a captain in the U.S. air force and you are a lieutenants in the german army I don't out rank you since we are in totally different command structures. A better example would be if I was a major in the army and you where a lieutenants in the police force I would still have to fallow your orders if you told me to leave and area under police control. It doesn't matter that I hold a higher rank in the military its not my jurisdiction so my rank means nothing.

See below.

Ok assuming the Courtier are not doji they would for the most part get a +1 trait bonus in awareness. 

so Courtier 1 would have spend

12 on on reflexes, 0 on awareness, total:12

etiquette: 5, sincerity:5, courtier: 9, total: 19+12=31 xp.

Insight is traits: (3+3)10= 60, skills: 3+3+4=10  10+60=70

insight from stats provided 70

Courtier 2 would have spend

0 on on reflexes, 16 on awareness, total:16

etiquette: 5, sincerity:5, courtier: 5, total: 15+16=31 xp.

Insight is traits: (4+3)10= 70, skills: 3+3+4=10  10+60=80

insight from stats provided 80

so its 10 not 11. 

also with out the rest of the character I would be hard pressed to figure-out either Courtier insight rank as they could both be Insight rank 1 or 2 from these numbers.

Actually no he doesn't, raises in 4th are limited by your void not your skill.

That's their trade-off for not losing honor for using commerce, which is a huge advantage to the players if they need supplies and want to keep a low profile.

In Rokugan, status is power. If status 2 Lion samurai A says something is like this but status 4 Scorpion samurai B says it’s not, samurai B’s opinion is the one that matters. The only one that matters, between the two. I said you don’t get to boss samurai from other clans around. That is not the same as your status not counting. If that was the case, the Celestial Hierarchy would be meaningless. A higher ranking samurai in court and elsewhere gets to ignore and even overrule those of lesser rank in matters not pertaining to the other’s clan or family specifically.

You assume a starting rank of 3 in Awa, I assume nothing - either way, the difference is not 1 point of insight. The Void cap on Raises doesn’t affect the odds of the roll. And whether the one with the higher insight also has a higher IR isn’t all that important to the argument: the point remains that higher insight doesn’t have to mean higher skill as well. Even if the higher insight does happen to result in a higher IR, giving an extra school technique, that still doesn’t have to mean higher or even equal relevant skill.

As for the Yasuki, your if clause is sufficient proof of the tech being situational.

Edited by nameless ronin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

In Rokugan, status is power. If status 2 Lion samurai A says something is like this but status 4 Scorpion samurai B says it’s not, samurai B’s opinion is the one that matters. The only one that matters, between the two. I said you don’t get to boss samurai from other clans around. That is not the same as your status not counting. If that was the case, the Celestial Hierarchy would be meaningless. A higher ranking samurai in court and elsewhere gets to ignore and even overrule those of lesser rank in matters not pertaining to the other’s clan or family specifically.

If that is how you play it then more power to you.

I'm not going to argue how you read the rules vs how I read them.

I was merely resighting from the book what its said about status if you don't play it that way that's fine. 

As for you example it is all situational, and there are a lot more venerable then who's status is higher.

And the Celestial Hierarchy is spiritual not political. 

First higher ranking samurai in court get to do so such thing, as the head of said court determines what will happen in the court.

you seem to be under this idea that player characters at even rank 4 have power, where they are subordinate to people in their command structure just they same as everyone else. They only have power over the people place under then by the people that gave them that position.

Remember the status ranks go to 10, so rank four is not even half way.

That said in Rokugan an Emerald magistrate of status 4.5 will still have more power then a Clan magistrate of status 5, why because the Emerald magistrate is acting for the Emperor through the Emerald Champion with a command structure the extends across the entire empire, where a Clan magistrate is only acting for his Clan champion with a command structure that only includes his Clans territories. Now if the investigation is happening in the Clan magistrate territories there is a chance that he may be about to have some input but by tradition the Emerald magistrate power come from a higher source so he would take the lead.

So this power you speak of is very situational. 

As I stated above you are free to play it anyway you like.

9 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

You assume a starting rank of 3 in Awa, I assume nothing - either way, the difference is not 1 point of insight. The Void cap on Raises doesn’t affect the odds of the roll. And whether the one with the higher insight also has a higher IR isn’t all that important to the argument: the point remains that higher insight doesn’t have to mean higher skill as well. Even if the higher insight does happen to result in a higher IR, giving an extra school technique, that still doesn’t have to mean higher or even equal relevant skill.

First you coped a miss entry, but that's fine 

you seem to be missing that in this example the first samurai has a higher ring total, which depending on the ring can be a big deal. 

While I will admit that for some schools this is a minor thing for other it is very impotent.

Yes for a courtier is can mean nothing, but to an Air shugenja it is very impotent.

As this game is not just a Courtier the rule are made to handle all the schools.

Sometimes this can leave way for the gaps for the characters to exploit. 

As for the insight ranks not meaning anything, I would have to disagree.

In the case above both characters are around IR 1 (135/123) if they are you spend up 40xp and fill them out with out any extra xp.

and there will be variation within the rank. but this far from show that insight ranks mean nothing.

9 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

As for the Yasuki, your if clause is sufficient proof of the tech being situational.

That is one example out of many schools, and a very specialized school at that.

One example does not a statistic make.

The odds are for every specialized school you name that has that problem I could name 10 that don't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two samurai bump into each other in the street. Who is expected to apologize - the one who wasn’t paying attention, the one who didn’t fall into the mud, the one with the lower Glory/Honor/Insight? Nope, the one with the lower status. 

A dozen highly honorable, well-known samurai with high insight testify to the guilt of an accused samurai. A single samurai of higher status testifies to the accused’s innocence. The expected verdict is not guilty, and numbers, honor, glory nor insight play a part in that.

Two samurai of unequal status get into a heated argument and a few harsh insults get exchanged. Who has final say whether a duel ensues between the both of them (actual final say goes to their lords)? Always the one with the higher status, regardless of glory, honor or insight. The samurai with the higher status can ignore insults or refuse a challenge without losing face, since the other is beneath his notice.

That’s what status allows, by the book. As for your example with the different magistrates, a) that doesn’t apply outside magistrates’ business and b) even if it is magistrates’ business, what you end up comparing is the status of the superiors. Not their honor, not their glory, not their insight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

Two samurai bump into each other in the street. Who is expected to apologize - the one who wasn’t paying attention, the one who didn’t fall into the mud, the one with the lower Glory/Honor/Insight? Nope, the one with the lower status. 

Both, by the tenets of Bushido. 

One may bow slightly lower then the other if he is recognized or wearing indicator of position that the other cares about, but neither gets to walk away ignoring the other.

Status doesn't exist in a vacuum is the point I am trying to make here.

Quote

A dozen highly honorable, well-known samurai with high insight testify to the guilt of an accused samurai. A single samurai of higher status testifies to the accused’s innocence. The expected verdict is not guilty, and numbers, honor, glory nor insight play a part in that.

Actually, since this is not how the Rokugan justice system work it would never happen like this.

If you have at least two Samurai who honor is above question(high glory, and know for honorable actions) then the  verdict would be guilty. 

Many a samurai of both high and low positions have fallen to this.

Status is about position, and respect. 

Its not a get out of Jail free card.

Quote

Two samurai of unequal status get into a heated argument and a few harsh insults get exchanged. Who has final say whether a duel ensues between the both of them (actual final say goes to their lords)? Always the one with the higher status, regardless of glory, honor or insight. The samurai with the higher status can ignore insults or refuse a challenge without losing face, since the other is beneath his notice.

And No, now you are ignoring how honor works.

Unlike glory and status, honor is an internal thing and does not require any outside force to recognize its loss.

As a GM, for you to stick your nose up at a duel I would hit you with an honor lose.

So yes there is a punishment for this.

As for the player, by acting in the way you have prescribed the Samurai (in Rokugan thinking) has shown that his argument has no merit and he doesn't feel that the spirits would be with him in a duel.  

Quote

That’s what status allows, by the book. As for your example with the different magistrates, a) that doesn’t apply outside magistrates’ business and b) even if it is magistrates’ business, what you end up comparing is the status of the superiors. Not their honor, not their glory, not their insight.

The military/magistrates/Clan courts/ monasteries, this applies to almost every position on the Status chart. Only Imperial court positions and the Emperor himself transcend this restriction. 

The point is that status is not the ultimate power as you seem to think.

It is about position, and respect.

While this does give the player limited power over those position bellow him(not everyone) he is expected to use this influence in the service of his lord and the Emperor.

To do otherwise is the quickest way to end up having to commit seppuku with a wooden sword.

overall every example you have given is showing a power hunger villain of this setting, or a corrupt city guard from a fantasy setting and not an honorable samurai.

While that is fine if that is the kind of game you are running.

There are multiple tenets of Bushido at work here to keep what you are saying from happening.

L5R: Compassion, Courtesy, Honesty and Justice, Sincerity, Honor.

Really world: Righteousness,  Benevolence and Compassion, Integrity, Respect, Honor.

So in a sense the samurai you are describing is ignoring five of the seven tenets of Bushido.

 

Edited by tenchi2a

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

overall every example you have given is showing a power hunger villain of this setting, or a corrupt city guard from a fantasy setting and not an honorable samurai.

While that is fine if that is the kind of game you are running.

There are multiple tenets of Bushido at work here to keep what you are saying from happening.

L5R: Compassion, Courtesy, Honesty and Justice, Sincerity, Honor.

Really world: Righteousness,  Benevolence and Compassion, Integrity, Respect, Honor.

So in a sense the samurai you are describing is ignoring five of the seven tenets of Bushido.

Besides the point. The point is what status allows you to do without social repercussions. Whether it results in honor loss or not doesn’t change that.

But since you keep telling me I’m not getting it right, let’s have some quotes from the 4th ed books:

Core p. 26: “In general, a samurai is not permitted to question or oppose someone of a higher social rank without the strongest possible justification. Conversely, a samurai can easily lord it over those of inferior social rank, and it is expected that such abuse will be endured honorably.”

Core p. 48: “Personal testimony is always the most important evidence of all, and the higher the social rank of the witnesses, the more weight their testimony carries. Thus the testimony of a single samurai will outweigh any number of heimin or hinin, and a daimyo’s word outweighs that of a low-ranking samurai.”

Core p. 93: “Rokugan is a feudal society, and Status is the measure of an individual’s role and influence within that society. Those with higher Status command more resources, authority, and wealth, while those with low Status have little authority over anything, perhaps even their own lives.”

Sword and Fan p. 151: “At this point, the players are doubtless asking: when can my samurai get away with breaking from social norms? The short and simple answer is this: when you outrank everyone else present. In a feudal society it is the highest-ranking people who decide policy and set custom. Sufficient power and status can make nearly anything permissible...”

Book of Air p. 23: “There are a few situations where challenges can be dismissed or ignored. If the challenger is of significantly lower station (two or more ranks of Status), he is acting beyond his rank, and the challenged can opt to simply shrug him off and dismiss his accusations.”

Now, does any of this always have to go this way? Obviously not. And will there never be repercussions? Of course there will be. Characters can use their social skills to manipulate the situation, and unless you’ve made it to the lofty heights of clan champion status or the like you should probably keep in mind that your actions (or a subtle nudge from someone you sleighted) might attract the attention of someone who outranks you - in which case you could find yourself being lorded over in turn, with an extra squeeze just to drive home the point that karma exists. But the fact remains: if you want to use your status as such, it very much is a get out of jail free card when dealing with those of lower social rank.

Edited by nameless ronin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

Besides the point. The point is what status allows you to do without social repercussions. Whether it results in honor loss or not doesn’t change that.

I think is is a major point, but that is a game play issues within the game you want to play so its a matter of opinion.

Quote

But since you keep telling me I’m not getting it right, let’s have some quotes from the 4th ed books:

Core p. 26: “In general, a samurai is not permitted to question or oppose someone of a higher social rank without the strongest possible justification. Conversely, a samurai can easily lord it over those of inferior social rank, and it is expected that such abuse will be endured honorably.”

Edit:sorry missed this one

Again social rank vs status

see below.

Quote

Core p. 48: “Personal testimony is always the most important evidence of all, and the higher the social rank of the witnesses, the more weight their testimony carries. Thus the testimony of a single samurai will outweigh any number of heimin or hinin, and a daimyo’s word outweighs that of a low-ranking samurai.”

This as I read it is making a point about social rank not status. 

Social Rank in your position in the caste order. Kuge/Buke/Ronin/Budoka/Bonge/Hinin

Where Status rank is your position in the military/government of Rokugan.

In the first example you have Samurai vs hinin/heimin (Bonge)

and in the second you they are talking about Kuge vs Buke

Quote

Core p. 93: “Rokugan is a feudal society, and Status is the measure of an individual’s role and influence within that society. Those with higher Status command more resources, authority, and wealth, while those with low Status have little authority over anything, perhaps even their own lives.”

And I don't see where this is different then anything I have said so far.

At no point did I say Status brings no power, I just pointed out that it doesn't bring the absolute power they you where implying. 

And most if not all these example are pointing to from my readings status levels that the players will for the most part not have accesses to.

Quote

Sword and Fan p. 151: “At this point, the players are doubtless asking: when can my samurai get away with breaking from social norms? The short and simple answer is this: when you outrank everyone else present. In a feudal society it is the highest-ranking people who decide policy and set custom. Sufficient power and status can make nearly anything permissible...”

So this states that unless you are the Emperor "when you outrank everyone else present" you have to follow the rules.

The key part of this statement is "In a feudal society it is the highest-ranking people who decide policy and set custom."

This passage is not giving middle of the road status samurai like status 4 the ability to brake the rules it is saying that higher level samurai like the Champions and the Emperor make the rule. 

So they can change them so they aren't braking any rules.

Quote

Book of Air p. 23: “There are a few situations where challenges can be dismissed or ignored. If the challenger is of significantly lower station (two or more ranks of Status), he is acting beyond his rank, and the challenged can opt to simply shrug him off and dismiss his accusations.”

On this one I have always played it as 3-4 more ranks as two ranks never hit the significantly lower range for me. 

But to the point, while he can dismissed or ignore the challenger, it is not stated that he gets off scott free.

Quote

Now, does any of this always have to go this way? Obviously not. And will there never be repercussions? Of course there will be. Characters can use their social skills to manipulate the situation, and unless you’ve made it to the lofty heights of clan champion status or the like you should probably keep in mind that your actions (or a subtle nudge from someone you sleighted) might attract the attention of someone who outranks you - in which case you could find yourself being lorded over in turn, with an extra squeeze just to drive home the point that karma exists. But the fact remains: if you want to use your status as such, it very much is a get out of jail free card when dealing with those of lower social rank.

I would be more worried about losing this position then being dumped on. 

That's the major thing to remember about Status, its a position not yours by right.

If you piss-off the higher-ups you could lose it or worse be booted out of your Clan.

I play a little stricter than you obviously, but the point stands.

From the examples all I see is a player trying to game the system to act like a tyrant.

If you allow that in your games that is fine, I don't.

So since this seems to be a different in gaming styles I don't see the point in continuing.

And just to be clear I am not attacking your game style, each to there own. 

 

Edited by tenchi2a

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

I think is is a major point, but that is a game play issues within the game you want to play so its a matter of opinion.

Edit:sorry missed this one

Again social rank vs status

see below.

This as I read it is making a point about social rank not status. 

Social Rank in your position in the caste order. Kuge/Buke/Ronin/Budoka/Bonge/Hinin

Where Status rank is your position in the military/government of Rokugan.

In the first example you have Samurai vs hinin/heimin (Bonge)

and in the second you they are talking about Kuge vs Buke

And I don't see where this is different then anything I have said so far.

At no point did I say Status brings no power, I just pointed out that it doesn't bring the absolute power they you where implying. 

And most if not all these example are pointing to from my readings status levels that the players will for the most part not have accesses to.

So this states that unless you are the Emperor "when you outrank everyone else present" you have to follow the rules.

The key part of this statement is "In a feudal society it is the highest-ranking people who decide policy and set custom."

This passage is not giving middle of the road status samurai like status 4 the ability to brake the rules it is saying that higher level samurai like the Champions and the Emperor make the rule. 

So they can change them so they aren't braking any rules.

On this one I have always played it as 3-4 more ranks as two ranks never hit the significantly lower range for me. 

But to the point, while he can dismissed or ignore the challenger, it is not stated that he gets off scott free.

I would be more worried about losing this position then being dumped on. 

That's the major thing to remember about Status, its a position not yours by right.

If you piss-off the higher-ups you could lose it or worse be booted out of your Clan.

I play a little stricter than you obviously, but the point stands.

From the examples all I see is a player trying to game the system to act like a tyrant.

If you allow that in your games that is fine, I don't.

So since this seems to be a different in gaming styles I don't see the point in continuing.

And just to be clear I am not attacking your game style, each to there own. 

 

Social rank and status are equivalent. You’re confusing social class with rank. The quote from p. 26 of the core book refers to the social striation within the Buke.

Assuming the Emperor can’t be everywhere at once, he obviously can’t be the highest-ranking person present everywhere either. If you are the person with the highest status in the room, or participating in the conversation, or involved in a specific function, that makes you the big cheese present.

Status 4 is not middle of the road, just like IR 3 or even 2 is not middle of the road. Status 4+ is probably the top 10% (edit: actually, more likely the top 3% or even less; re-edit: definitely less. If you give your players a position as Emerald magistrate, they outrank 99% of the samurai in Rokugan) of the Buke. I’m thinking this is where our disconnect stems from. If you visit a local daimyo, status 4 probably outranks all but a handful of people on his entire domain.

And again, whether characters abuse their status is not the point. Whether they might face repercussions is not the point. Whether I allow anything in my games you don’t is certainly not the point. The whole point is what status allows and what it entitles a character to. You keep deflecting to tangential or even completely irrelevant arguments. The books are quite clear about what the benefits of high status are. You are entitled to your personal opinions and the nuances you want to impose in your games, but I’m not sitting at your table. I’m sitting at mine. What we do doesn’t affect you and what you do doesn’t affect us. What I’m arguing here isn’t based on my table, and what you’re arguing shouldn’t be based on yours. 

Edited by nameless ronin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

Social rank and status are equivalent. You’re confusing social class with rank. The quote from p. 26 of the core book refers to the social striation within the Buke.

Assuming the Emperor can’t be everywhere at once, he obviously can’t be the highest-ranking person present everywhere either. If you are the person with the highest status in the room, or participating in the conversation, or involved in a specific function, that makes you the big cheese present.

Status 4 is not middle of the road, just like IR 3 or even 2 is not middle of the road. Status 4+ is probably the top 10% (edit: actually, more likely the top 3% or even less) of the Buke. I’m thinking this is where our disconnect stems from. If you visit a local daimyo, status 4 probably outranks all but a handful of people on his entire domain.

And again, whether characters abuse their status is not the point. Whether they might face repercussions is not the point. Whether I allow anything in my games you don’t is certainly not the point. The whole point is what status allows and what it entitles a character to. You keep deflecting to tangential or even completely irrelevant arguments. The books are quite clear about what the benefits of high status are. You are entitled to your personal opinions and the nuances you want to impose in your games, but I’m not sitting at your table. I’m sitting at mine. What we do doesn’t affect you and what you do doesn’t affect us. What I’m arguing here isn’t based on my table, and what you’re arguing shouldn’t be based on yours. 

No I have made the same point multiple times in multiple points and you keep refusing to respond to that part of the posts.

And no status is not social rank. and I am not confusing them, status is your position within the structure that you hold position in its right on pg. 93 of the core book.  

If you are a magistrate you hold power where it is appropriate for a magistrate.

If you are a military commander you hold power where it is appropriate for a commander.

If you are a  political character you hold power where it is appropriate for a political character. 

Status is power only within that area

but there is respect that comes with that and that can be used outside said structure. And respect can be used to ones advantage.

But it does not give you power outside that power structure.

While social rank is your position within society. 

In descending order.

Emperor

Kuge

a. Imperial court

b. Clan Champions

C. Great Clan Daiymo

D. Minor Clan Daiymo

Buke

a. Clan Court

b. Military Officers

C. Magistrates

d. Shugenja

e. Ji-Samurai- almost all player characters.

f. Ronin-Player characters in a Ronin campaign

g. Budoka/Ashigaru

Clergy

a. Monks

Bonge

a. Farmers

b. Artisans

c. Merchants

Eta

Everyone else.

common positions for Buke higher then status rank 4 

Karo

Chui

City governor

so I wouldn't put rank 4 in the 10%

Now you keep coming back to this 4+ number when this would be largely out of reach of players for most of the game anyway.

And no, before you say it unless you or your GM is being very generous the chances of you even getting to rank 4  in most games before you are deep into IR 2 or even starting rank 3 are very low.

Even with the Topaz championship only the winner got the reward to join the magistrates, and I doubt it was as a full magistrate. So probably Rank 2 or at the max rank 3 if they had the advantage for +1.

At this point I am done with this conversation as you seem to be set on this ultimate power kick.

And if it works for you then fine.

But you are not in anyway changing my view and I'm not changing yours, so this is pointless.

As for your last comment I am arguing from the game and from knowledge of Japanese social structure. Not just my table.

And your interpretation of the rule vs mine.

So if you play it at your table one way and I play it differently then is does matter since you and I are not the writers of these book and have no idea what they meant outside of our interpretation.

To say otherwise is to say that you have some Sixth Sense or a direct line to the writer. Which I doubt either of us have.

Edited by tenchi2a

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Core p. 93: “Rokugan is a feudal society, and Status is the measure of an individual’s role and influence within that society. Those with higher Status command more resources, authority, and wealth, while those with low Status have little authority over anything, perhaps even their own lives.”

This is a straight quote from the book (though the emphasis is mine). Status is the measure of your influence in Rokugan as a feudal society. Not among your peers, not just with respect to the organisation you are part of, but the whole of Rokugani society.

As for “common” positions over rank 4, exactly how many city governors or kairo do you think there are, compared to the millions of samurai in the empire? A Chui commands - and thus outranks - 150-200 samurai in his company alone. I’d say that’s indicative of being in the top 1% right there.

Edited by nameless ronin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, nameless ronin said:

Core p. 93: “Rokugan is a feudal society, and Status is the measure of an individual’s role and influence within that society. Those with higher Status command more resources, authority, and wealth, while those with low Status have little authority over anything, perhaps even their own lives.”

This is a straight quote from the book (though the emphasis is mine). Status is the measure of your influence in Rokugan as a feudal society. Not among your peers, not just with respect to the organisation you are part of, but the whole of Rokugani society.

And the sidebar on page 95 contradicts this so there you have it even the writers can't agree on this.

The sidebar word for word.

"Effects of Status"

"Status grants a samurai authority over other samurai of lower status, But only if those samurai exist within the  same hierarchy. A lion samurai with status 3, for instance, still cannot issues commands to a Mantis samurai with status 2 unless the two of them are members of the same military organization or a comparable social order of some sort; Otherwise the Lion has no authority over the Mantis. On the other hand, a Lion of status 3 can usually issue orders to another Lion of status 2. Samurai must always be careful in doing so, however, and make sure they do not interrupt or countermand the orders of a different samurai of even greater status then their own. Countermanding a superior results in lost of honor and possibly a loss of status."

So everything I have said is right there in writing in the core book.

So no it is not just my table it is from the creators of the game.

1 hour ago, nameless ronin said:

As for “common” positions over rank 4, exactly how many city governors or kairo do you think there are, compared to the millions of samurai in the empire? A Chui commands - and thus outranks - 150-200 samurai in his company alone. I’d say that’s indicative of being in the top 1% right there.

Actually, the number of active samurai in the empire is around 600,000-650,000.

Their are not a million status holding samurai. It only gets to around that number when you include wives and children and retired samurais who hold no positions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

1) And the sidebar on page 95 contradicts this so there you have it even the writers can't agree on this.

The sidebar word for word.

"Effects of Status"

"Status grants a samurai authority over other samurai of lower status, But only if those samurai exist within the  same hierarchy. A lion samurai with status 3, for instance, still cannot issues commands to a Mantis samurai with status 2 unless the two of them are members of the same military organization or a comparable social order of some sort; Otherwise the Lion has no authority over the Mantis. On the other hand, a Lion of status 3 can usually issue orders to another Lion of status 2. Samurai must always be careful in doing so, however, and make sure they do not interrupt or countermand the orders of a different samurai of even greater status then their own. Countermanding a superior results in lost of honor and possibly a loss of status."

So everything I have said is right there in writing in the core book.

So no it is not just my table it is from the creators of the game.

2) Actually, the number of active samurai in the empire is around 600,000-650,000.

Their are not a million status holding samurai. It only gets to around that number when you include wives and children and retired samurais who hold no positions. 

1) Except I already agreed to that I don’t know how many posts ago (edit: it was the very first post on this page). Just because you can’t order a samurai from another clan around doesn’t mean you can’t outrank them socially. That only applies to giving commands, not to who gets the better seat at dinner during Winter Court, or who gets to overrule others in legal proceedings, or will get an appointment with the local governor more easily (or at all), or who gets to disregard an insult or even a challenge from a socially inferior samurai, or whose opinion holds more weight in an argument, or generally how important you are considered to be.

2) Inactive samurai still have a social standing. They’re not irrelevant. And even if we were to take 600,000 10% of that is 60k samurai. Do you really think there are 60k samurai who outrank Status 4?

Edited by nameless ronin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

1) Except I already agreed to that I don’t know how many posts ago. Just because you can’t order a samurai from another clan around doesn’t mean you can’t outrank them socially. That only applies to giving commands, not to who gets the better seat at dinner during Winter Court, or who gets to overrule others in legal proceedings, or will get an appointment with the local governor more easily (or at all), or who gets to disregard an insult or even a challenge from a socially inferior samurai, or whose opinion holds more weight in an argument, or generally how important you are considered to be.

Well if we are going back then the original statements about players of low level getting assigned to certain tasks and as they would not have the power, status, or glory to get such assignment then you have no point as it said right in the book that status is gain from a lord as a reward for your glorious service. Hey look there that word glory again.

And there is a big different between status and how important you are depending on where and when you are.

By your example a you would sit a Imperial family samurai (3) in a worst seat then a Clan magistrate (4)

Or a Vassal family daimyo (5) in a worst seat then a Taisa (5.5)

The point is that the magistrates and Taisa status is linked to there jobs.

Where the daimyo and Imperial family samurais status is linked to their social status.

So no status rank is not the end all be all of everything in Rokugan, many other factors play into it.

And you missed the part in the duels section where it explained that disregard an insult or even a challenge from a socially inferior samurai" who is under your command." is acceptable.

It also goes on to say if the offence is great enough the lower ranking samurai can commit seppuku in protest which is a great shame to the commander.

also no where in the books does it say that a samurai of rank 3 is word carries any more power then a rank 2 samurai. 

most if not all of the example use extreme differences in status not just one or two points which is about all a player is normal going to see.

From the way I have read this the game doesn't even consider to be of inferior social status until you are 2+ level below the person. 

So at least status 3 maybe even needing that Status 4 to come into effect.

So if you we are taking your numbers only about 1% of all the samurai in Rokugan that you will meet in a game will have this and so its a moot point.

 

4 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

2) Inactive samurai still have a social standing. They’re not irrelevant. And even if we were to take 600,000 10% of that is 60k samurai. Do you really think there are 60k samurai who outrank Status 4?

. As per Emerald Empire 

There are 5,712 Chui (status 5) in just the armies of the great clans.

This is not including the Mantis clan as they use a different system where a chui commands a ship, and the number of ships in the mantis fleet is unknown.

And the numbers for a an  company is 153 or less

and this average holds even in the dragon clan as in their structure only the infantry is around 200 so it averages out to about 116.

and that's not counting all the other military commanders 

or the hundreds of paper legions in the emerald legions. 

there are over 85+ cities In Rokugan

there are all the magistrates of higher status

The imperial advisers and staff 

Clan and imperial diplomats,

and the list goes on

so yes there are quite a few people of higher station then rank 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

1) Well if we are going back then the original statements about players of low level getting assigned to certain tasks and as they would not have the power, status, or glory to get such assignment then you have no point as it said right in the book that status is gain from a lord as a reward for your glorious service. Hey look there that word glory again.

And there is a big different between status and how important you are depending on where and when you are.

By your example a you would sit a Imperial family samurai (3) in a worst seat then a Clan magistrate (4)

Or a Vassal family daimyo (5) in a worst seat then a Taisa (5.5)

The point is that the magistrates and Taisa status is linked to there jobs.

Where the daimyo and Imperial family samurais status is linked to their social status.

So no status rank is not the end all be all of everything in Rokugan, many other factors play into it.

And you missed the part in the duels section where it explained that disregard an insult or even a challenge from a socially inferior samurai" who is under your command." is acceptable.

It also goes on to say if the offence is great enough the lower ranking samurai can commit seppuku in protest which is a great shame to the commander.

also no where in the books does it say that a samurai of rank 3 is word carries any more power then a rank 2 samurai. 

most if not all of the example use extreme differences in status not just one or two points which is about all a player is normal going to see.

From the way I have read this the game doesn't even consider to be of inferior social status until you are 2+ level below the person. 

So at least status 3 maybe even needing that Status 4 to come into effect.

So if you we are taking your numbers only about 1% of all the samurai in Rokugan that you will meet in a game will have this and so its a moot point.

 

2). As per Emerald Empire 

There are 5,712 Chui (status 5) in just the armies of the great clans.

This is not including the Mantis clan as they use a different system where a chui commands a ship, and the number of ships in the mantis fleet is unknown.

And the numbers for a an  company is 153 or less

and this average holds even in the dragon clan as in their structure only the infantry is around 200 so it averages out to about 116.

and that's not counting all the other military commanders 

or the hundreds of paper legions in the emerald legions. 

there are over 85+ cities In Rokugan

there are all the magistrates of higher status

The imperial advisers and staff 

Clan and imperial diplomats,

and the list goes on

so yes there are quite a few people of higher station then rank 4

1) I’m sorry, is there supposed to be a point in there? Yes, you get a higher status by being promoted. Yes, that is usually (but as the book points out not always) for performing your duties well. So? That doesn’t mean you get the big job first and the promotion after. You do well with the small jobs, get promoted, and that puts you in line for the big jobs.

The rest of that part, no offense, means nothing to me. You’re reading things that aren’t there.

2) Give me some numbers that add up to 60k, please. That was your claim.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, nameless ronin said:

1) I’m sorry, is there supposed to be a point in there? Yes, you get a higher status by being promoted. Yes, that is usually (but as the book points out not always) for performing your duties well. So? That doesn’t mean you get the big job first and the promotion after. You do well with the small jobs, get promoted, and that puts you in line for the big jobs.

The rest of that part, no offense, means nothing to me. You’re reading things that aren’t there.

You stated and I qoute "not to who gets the better seat at dinner during Winter Court" and As I showed that is not always the case.

Lets look at it this way  

From that example above the Vassal family daimyo (5)is the daimyo of the Taisa (5.5) from above.

The Taisa commits an act that the daimyo damands that he commit seppuku for.

In your version of thing he can tell him to piss-off

In truth he will commit seppuku  since it is his daimyo and outside the army he is still subordinate to his daimyo.

That shatters this whole he has more power since he is higher status idea right there.

Nuff said good bye.

1 minute ago, nameless ronin said:

2) Give me some numbers that add up to 60k, please. That was your claim.

For the full numbers you would have to ask AEG. As there is no totals for any of the higher ranking position.

But just the numbers I have given are already over you 1%.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

1) You stated and I qoute "not to who gets the better seat at dinner during Winter Court" and As I showed that is not always the case.

Lets look at it this way  

From that example above the Vassal family daimyo (5)is the daimyo of the Taisa (5.5) from above.

The Taisa commits an act that the daimyo damands that he commit seppuku for.

In your version of thing he can tell him to piss-off

In truth he will commit seppuku  since it is his daimyo and outside the army he is still subordinate to his daimyo.

That shatters this whole he has more power since he is higher status idea right there.

Nuff said good bye.

2) For the full numbers you would have to ask AEG. As there is no totals for any of the higher ranking position.

But just the numbers I have given are already over you 1%.

1) the taisa has sworn fealty to his daimyo. Obviously he can’t lord it over the daimyo, he couldn’t do that in a military capacity either (though if such strange circumstances would occur, they’d use accepted etiquette to ensure there would be no sense of impropriety anyway). An exception to a rule doesn’t invalidate it. How to handle the seating in order to comply with societal norms is up to whichever retainer is in charge of the organisation, and nobody said that is an easy task. There are other exceptions too: if the local daimyo chooses to give someone of low status a place of honor, that is well within his right - but there might be some who will take exception and consider it a slight. All conventions can be set aside, as long as one is willing to accept the consequences.

2) I couldn’t find a reference for your number of 5712 Great Clan chui, but I’ll take your word for it. However, 5712 chui times an average of 116 in a company would mean over 660,000 soldiers in the Great Clans’ armies alone, which is more than the number of active samurai in all of Rokugan (600k-650k according to you). That leaves no room for the Minor Clans, the Mantis who have a different military structure, the Imperial families and the Imperial legions, the Great Clan samurai who serve their clans outside their armies, and ronin. I’m not convinced.

edit: another question - if the status ranks from table 2.7 are only supposed to apply within the organisation or hierarchy the individual is part of, how does that work with the negative ranks of the hinin? And especially the -10 ninja: which hierarchy do they fall under?

Edited by nameless ronin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

1) the taisa has sworn fealty to his daimyo. Obviously he can’t lord it over the daimyo, he couldn’t do that in a military capacity either (though if such strange circumstances would occur, they’d use accepted etiquette to ensure there would be no sense of impropriety anyway). An exception to a rule doesn’t invalidate it. How to handle the seating in order to comply with societal norms is up to whichever retainer is in charge of the organisation, and nobody said that is an easy task. There are other exceptions too: if the local daimyo chooses to give someone of low status a place of honor, that is well within his right - but there might be some who will take exception and consider it a slight. All conventions can be set aside, as long as one is willing to accept the consequences.

The point here is are these rules or a suggestions. 

I read them as suggestion as they never come out and give a hard fast rule on any of it and tend to keep even their examples vague. 

for a great read on Rokugan's population Thoth did a great write-up

 

Quote

2) I couldn’t find a reference for your number of 5712 Great Clan chui, but I’ll take your word for it. However, 5712 chui times an average of 116 in a company would mean over 660,000 soldiers in the Great Clans’ armies alone, which is more than the number of active samurai in all of Rokugan (600k-650k according to you). That leaves no room for the Minor Clans, the Mantis who have a different military structure, the Imperial families and the Imperial legions, the Great Clan samurai who serve their clans outside their armies, and ronin. I’m not convinced.

Emerald Empire: War

The total for the Great Clan Chui comes from the number of company in the armies of the great clans.

As these companies very is size greatly 

Example: Mantis consider each ship to be a company  with an average crew of around 24. 

some of the dragons companies are as small as 50 men.

Total size of the Great Clans armies including the Mantis is actually:  672,760 men

As for the Imperial Legions, first that most of the legions through history where paper legions.

These paper legions  normally had 1-50 men total in them. with 7 being about average all over rank 4. so about 2,800 more to add to the higher then 4 total.

Now the true legions where not much better off.

Total size of the Imperial Legions estimated to be around: 177,800 men 

While this woulds seem to bring up the size of the active samurai population in truth most of these samurai are already counted in the Great Clan armies.

As only the First ten legions (The Emerald Legions) where in full time service to the Imperial families none with man power over 5,000.

All other samurai where what you would call a reserve, and stayed in service in there lords army until called.

Total size of the standing armies of the Imperial Legions estimated to be around: 50,000 men

As for the Minor clans, outside the Mantis most if not all the minor clans would be lucky if they could bring 100 samurai to the field with most fielding less then 50.

Add to this that the numbers above include all the clans absorbed when the mantis became a major clan so for most eras the mantis number cover the minor clans.

So total active samurai around 722,762

so yes if you add in all the shugenja and courtiers you could get close to a million, but I doubt you would exceed it.

This is actually one of my sticking points with Rokugan as portrayed in the game.

as the population is around 26 million in an area of around 560,000 square miles (not including the Shadowlands).

The total army is about twice the size of the Sengoku era army from the Sengoku era population of 22 million people, but has to cover four times the area.

and the population size was limited by the amount of arable land in Japan

With Rokugan having 4x the land mass, it is hard to believe they can only support a population that is 4 million larger.

Safe estimate of total samurai including retired samurai, wives and children around 1,300,000 samurai 

but this a besides the point rant sorry.

as for the total number of samurai above status rank 4

in just the Great clan armies (not including the mantis)

5712 chui

at least 816 Taisa

between 64 - 192 (so an average of 128) Shirikan

And about 7-18 (so an average of 13) Rikugunshokan

So that's about 6,669 people above rank 4 just in the Great clan armies.

That is not including command staffs or attache.

And then there is the courtiers, the Mantis clan military command, shugenja, city governor, province governor, Emerald and Jade magistrates, higher ranking Clan magistrates, Imperial Legions command staff, Daimyo's and their families. 

The list goes on.

If each of these categories just added 10% (667 people) of the above total you are looking at around 12,672 people higher then rank 4

and this is just with set titles, not just the one that have higher status.

Now this is if you take Emerald Empire's  information at face value.

 

 

Another great source is the write-up done by Thoth (https://ruscumag.wordpress.com/2009/08/15/legend-of-the-five-rings-demographics-of-rokugan/)

Which tells a different story.

According to his work-up

there are 

24,600,000 Peasants in Rokugan

1,466,000 Samurai including (wives, husbands, children, elderly) about 5.6% of the population

26,066,000 total population for Rokugan

 

Active Duty Samurai

Bushi: 311,000

Shugenja: 1,537

Courtier: 37,000

Mystics: 20,274 

Total: 369,784 so only about 25% of the Samurai population.

 

Total Samurai armies of Rokugan: 193,000 men

"The standing armies are unlikely to include more than half the theoretically-available bushi. They’re needed as guards, magistrates, local garrisons, law enforcers, teachers, tax collectors, yojimbo, and in many other roles as well. The Crab, Lion, and Unicorn are exceptions, at 75%." ( Thoth)

Total with ashigaru: 772,000

Funny how this comes out to almost the same size as above and makes more sense to the Japanese/Oriental/Rokugani way of fighting.

 

Rank Breakdown

Rank          Precentage

    1                    20%

    2                    35%

    3                    25%

    4                    15%

    5                     4%

    6+                   1%

He has a long write-up on why this is the case, so if you want read it since I'm not going to transcribe it here.

Now if we assume that anyone IR 4 or higher is going to have status rank higher then 4, then that 20% of the Active Duty Samurai population.

Or About 74,000, Which I don't see as that far off.

Even If we go as far as saying only IR 5+ Active Duty Samurai are going to have a status rank higher then 4, that's still 5%.

Or about 18,400 people.

And seeing that by his accounting most samurai retire before or at IR 4 that not to hard to believe.

Edited by tenchi2a

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

1) The point here is are these rules or a suggestions. 

I read them as suggestion as they never come out and give a hard fast rule on any of it and tend to keep even their examples vague. 

2) for a great read on Rokugan's population Thoth did a great write-uP

Emerald Empire: War

The total for the Great Clan Chui comes from the number of company in the armies of the great clans.

As these companies very is size greatly 

Example: Mantis consider each ship to be a company  with an average crew of around 24. 

some of the dragons companies are as small as 50 men.

Total size of the Great Clans armies including the Mantis is actually:  672,760 men

As for the Imperial Legions, first that most of the legions through history where paper legions.

These paper legions  normally had 1-50 men total in them. with 7 being about average all over rank 4. so about 2,800 more to add to the higher then 4 total.

Now the true legions where not much better off.

Total size of the Imperial Legions estimated to be around: 177,800 men 

While this woulds seem to bring up the size of the active samurai population in truth most of these samurai are already counted in the Great Clan armies.

As only the First ten legions (The Emerald Legions) where in full time service to the Imperial families none with man power over 5,000.

All other samurai where what you would call a reserve, and stayed in service in there lords army until called.

Total size of the standing armies of the Imperial Legions estimated to be around: 50,000 men

As for the Minor clans, outside the Mantis most if not all the minor clans would be lucky if they could bring 100 samurai to the field with most fielding less then 50.

Add to this that the numbers above include all the clans absorbed when the mantis became a major clan so for most eras the mantis number cover the minor clans.

So total active samurai around 722,762

so yes if you add in all the shugenja and courtiers you could get close to a million, but I doubt you would exceed it.

This is actually one of my sticking points with Rokugan as portrayed in the game.

as the population is around 26 million in an area of around 560,000 square miles (not including the Shadowlands).

The total army is about twice the size of the Sengoku era army from the Sengoku era population of 22 million people, but has to cover four times the area.

and the population size was limited by the amount of arable land in Japan

With Rokugan having 4x the land mass, it is hard to believe they can only support a population that is 4 million larger.

Safe estimate of total samurai including retired samurai, wives and children around 1,300,000 samurai 

but this a besides the point rant sorry.

as for the total number of samurai above status rank 4

in just the Great clan armies (not including the mantis)

5712 chui

at least 816 Taisa

between 64 - 192 (so an average of 128) Shirikan

And about 7-18 (so an average of 13) Rikugunshokan

So that's about 6,669 people above rank 4 just in the Great clan armies.

That is not including command staffs or attache.

And then there is the courtiers, the Mantis clan military command, shugenja, city governor, province governor, Emerald and Jade magistrates, higher ranking Clan magistrates, Imperial Legions command staff, Daimyo's and their families. 

The list goes on.

If each of these categories just added 10% (667 people) of the above total you are looking at around 12,672 people higher then rank 4

and this is just with set titles, not just the one that have higher status.

Now this is if you take Emerald Empire's  information at face value.

 

 

Another great source is the write-up done by Thoth (https://ruscumag.wordpress.com/2009/08/15/legend-of-the-five-rings-demographics-of-rokugan/)

Which tells a different story.

According to his work-up

there are 

24,600,000 Peasants in Rokugan

1,466,000 Samurai including (wives, husbands, children, elderly) about 5.6% of the population

26,066,000 total population for Rokugan

 

Active Duty Samurai

Bushi: 311,000

Shugenja: 1,537

Courtier: 37,000

Mystics: 20,274 

Total: 369,784 so only about 25% of the Samurai population.

 

Total Samurai armies of Rokugan: 193,000 men

"The standing armies are unlikely to include more than half the theoretically-available bushi. They’re needed as guards, magistrates, local garrisons, law enforcers, teachers, tax collectors, yojimbo, and in many other roles as well. The Crab, Lion, and Unicorn are exceptions, at 75%." ( Thoth)

Total with ashigaru: 772,000

Funny how this comes out to almost the same size as above and makes more sense to the Japanese/Oriental/Rokugani way of fighting.

 

Rank Breakdown

Rank          Precentage

    1                    20%

    2                    35%

    3                    25%

    4                    15%

    5                     4%

    6+                   1%

He has a long write-up on why this is the case, so if you want read it since I'm not going to transcribe it here.

Now if we assume that anyone IR 4 or higher is going to have status rank higher then 4, then that 20% of the Active Duty Samurai population.

Or About 74,000, Which I don't see as that far off.

Even If we go as far as saying only IR 5+ Active Duty Samurai are going to have a status rank higher then 4, that's still 5%.

Or about 18,400 people.

And seeing that by his accounting most samurai retire before or at IR 4 that not to hard to believe.

1) everything is affected by circumstance. That doesn’t invalidate the list, nor how it’s set up. I’m sure that if you asked every governor in Rokugan to rank themselves by status, they could do so without having to give it much thought and that they’d all come up with close to identical rankings (people in power tend to be highly sensitive to hierarchy). That this entails variations in status around an average value is only normal, and that only the average values are listed is the only thing that makes sense - we’d need an addendum the size of a small phonebook otherwise. Regardless, status is still status. Glory is recognition. Honor is the personal assessment of the ability to adhere to the tenets of Bushido. Insight is a nebulous, holistic quality determined by your overall abilities. Status is your influence and authority in society.

2) I honestly can’t find any numbers that would allow me to determine the number of chui in Rokugan, or the actual number of companies in the Great Clans’ armies. It’s all ‘average this’ and ‘normally that’, with confirmations that every clan deviated from the norm in some way or other (the Dragon have smaller companies than normal but the Unicorn have larger ones, etc). Where you’d get a number as exact as 5712 is beyond me. As an aside, a Mantis crew captain is equivalent to a gunso, not a chui.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

1) everything is affected by circumstance. That doesn’t invalidate the list, nor how it’s set up. I’m sure that if you asked every governor in Rokugan to rank themselves by status, they could do so without having to give it much thought and that they’d all come up with close to identical rankings (people in power tend to be highly sensitive to hierarchy). 

2)That this entails variations in status around an average value is only normal, and that only the average values are listed is the only thing that makes sense - we’d need an addendum the size of a small phonebook otherwise. Regardless, status is still status. Glory is recognition. Honor is the personal assessment of the ability to adhere to the tenets of Bushido. Insight is a nebulous, holistic quality determined by your overall abilities. Status is your influence and authority in society.

1) I find this logic a little flawed, as in a true hierarchy people tend to overvalue or undervalue themselves more the former. And that Status is not some omnipresent thing that everyone automatically knows about you unless you are literally wearing it on you sleeve (chest) any one outside those that know you will even identify. No one radiates I'm a Taisa. They may wear a badge that states this. This is where recognition comes in. Position without The recognition (Glory) to back it up leave you always saying " Do you know who I am"

A good example of this is right in the new fiction. At Toturi's wedding, when he first sees Shiba Tsukune. At first he had no clue who she is as she did not carry herself as someone important and seemed lost. It was only when he saw Ofushikai  that he was able to put two and two together and recognize her as the Phoenix Clan Champion.

2) While I will not argue that to get a good sense of how Status works you would as you say "need an addendum the size of a small phone-book". I will also say that a lot of the problems with Status comes from lack of information and poor design with only a chart and a few small paragraphs on how it works. This is probably an artifact from the fact that Status and Glory where the same stat Glory in the beginning. The thing about the chart as presented is its lack of differentiating between birth and occupation. As with the Vassal Daimyo and the Taisa.  Coming from a Vassal family The Taisa would have started with a Status of 0.5 where other samurai would have had a status of 1-2 or 3 if they where from the Imperil families. So the chart has some major flaws. IMHO they should have divided the chart in two with a birth station chart and positions chart which should have been a modifier to the birth station chart. Then add a modifier to the chart based on Glory to take into account that recognition can artificially increase ones importance in Rokugan. 

13 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

I honestly can’t find any numbers that would allow me to determine the number of chui in Rokugan, or the actual number of companies in the Great Clans’ armies. It’s all ‘average this’ and ‘normally that’, with confirmations that every clan deviated from the norm in some way or other (the Dragon have smaller companies than normal but the Unicorn have larger ones, etc). Where you’d get a number as exact as 5712 is beyond me. As an aside, a Mantis crew captain is equivalent to a gunso, not a chui.

On the Chui numbers I will say I should have said about.

And to get the number took lots of math from what was presented in the book.

The math was number of armies and their make-ups, number of legions in each army, number of companies in a legion.

And while there are variation in the book It goes on to say that most clans follow the traditional structure on average. 

And with outliers like the Dragon it was actually easier as the breakdown of the army was better explained.

On Mantis crew captain, sorry I was wrong there but since they where not added to my total of Chui its not important.

But thank you for catching that mistake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) sure, but being recognized or not doesn’t change your status. It just means that if you’re not recognized and the other samurai can’t gauge your status, he will either have to err on the side if caution and show a minimmum of respect and politeness, or risk making a social faux pas. The game has a recognition mechanic to help though, and in many social situations you either are introduced or are expected to introduce yourself.

2) I’m not sure how that is supposed to work. Status is not incremental, like Honor or Glory. My status as a Gunso is 3ish. It’s not my birth status + whatever Glory I accumulated since gempukku or something. I agree that your clan and family are likely to affect your status slightly, but so will a lot of other things - whether you’re in your own lands or not, whether you’re part of a famous company or one with a bad reputation, and so on. But those effects should be small. Very small.

3) the book also says a chui leads 152 soldiers on average, not 116. Why change that, but assume everything follows the Akodo methodology to a T?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

1) sure, but being recognized or not doesn’t change your status. It just means that if you’re not recognized and the other samurai can’t gauge your status, he will either have to err on the side if caution and show a minimmum of respect and politeness, or risk making a social faux pas. The game has a recognition mechanic to help though, and in many social situations you either are introduced or are expected to introduce yourself.

I don't disagree here, my point was to your commit about samurai being able to rattle off their correct status as show on the chart off the top of there head.

The chart is for GMs and players, not how the Rokugani see it. They don't go around saying well I'm status 4.5 and hes status 4 I should be closer to the Daimyo at the table. No all that may come into their head is what does he have on the Daimyo that I could use.

59 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

2) I’m not sure how that is supposed to work. Status is not incremental, like Honor or Glory. My status as a Gunso is 3ish. It’s not my birth status + whatever Glory I accumulated since gempukku or something. I agree that your clan and family are likely to affect your status slightly, but so will a lot of other things - whether you’re in your own lands or not, whether you’re part of a famous company or one with a bad reputation, and so on. But those effects should be small. Very small.

You kind of missed my point here.

1. Status is incremental if you want it to be, it has the bubbles on the sheet already. The chart is as you say an example as even under the magistrates is list 4+/4.5+

2. Let me explain what I am saying better since you are not seeing it.

Birth chart example

Ji-samurai 0.5

Average Clan samurai: 1 

Major Clan Samurai: 2 (with the +1 Advantage)

Imperial Family samurai: 3

Etc

Positions chart example

Diplomat: +1

Gunso: +2 

Clan magistrate: +3

Emerald magistrate: +3.5

Chui: +4

Etc

Glory example

for every 2 ranks of glory above 1 gain 0.5 Status rank

So a samurai born into a vassal family that makes the rank of clan magistrate would be status rank 3.5

Where a Clan samurai who gained the same position would have status 4.

59 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

3) the book also says a chui leads 152 soldiers on average, not 116. Why change that, but assume everything follows the Akodo methodology to a T?

One I did not change anything.

116 was not used in my calculations.

it was the average number of soldiers under a Dragon Chui command in a Division, in response to one of your statements/questions. I did not use it in my calculations for the dragons either I just counted the companies in each dragon division.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, tenchi2a said:

1) I don't disagree here, my point was to your commit about samurai being able to rattle off their correct status as show on the chart off the top of there head.

The chart is for GMs and players, not how the Rokugani see it. They don't go around saying well I'm status 4.5 and hes status 4 I should be closer to the Daimyo at the table. No all that may come into their head is what does he have on the Daimyo that I could use.

2) You kind of missed my point here.

1. Status is incremental if you want it to be, it has the bubbles on the sheet already. The chart is as you say an example as even under the magistrates is list 4+/4.5+

2. Let me explain what I am saying better since you are not seeing it.

Birth chart example

Ji-samurai 0.5

Average Clan samurai: 1 

Major Clan Samurai: 2 (with the +1 Advantage)

Imperial Family samurai: 3

Etc

Positions chart example

Diplomat: +1

Gunso: +2 

Clan magistrate: +3

Emerald magistrate: +3.5

Chui: +4

Etc

Glory example

for every 2 ranks of glory above 1 gain 0.5 Status rank

So a samurai born into a vassal family that makes the rank of clan magistrate would be status rank 3.5

Where a Clan samurai who gained the same position would have status 4.

3) One I did not change anything.

116 was not used in my calculations.

it was the average number of soldiers under a Dragon Chui command in a Division, in response to one of your statements/questions. I did not use it in my calculations for the dragons either I just counted the companies in each dragon division.

1) Nobody’s saying or thinking “I’m status 4”. They’re thinking “I’m a magistrate” or “I’m a highly respected sensei” and they know that affords them a certain status. 

A city governor has status 5ish. They know that of themselves and of their peers. Not the number, but that they outrank say, an Emerald magistrate but obviously not a provincial governor. They also know which city is larger or more wealthy or otherwise more important, and that’s where the “ish” comes in. That can’t be translated to status points though, you’d need tenths of points or even smaller increments and that is not practical.

2) that’s both too granular and not enough. Too granular because once you attain a certain rank just coming from a Great Clan shouldn’t make that much of a difference, and not enough because there are many other things that should count beyond your birth.

3) I thought you said 116 was the adjusted average overall for a company. Apologies if that was a mistake, but it makes a ton of difference. 5712 chui times 116 men in their company on average means about 665k samurai in the Great Clan armies. 5712 chui times 153 men (the actual number from the book) means about 875k samurai in the Great Clan armies. Regardless of the actual number of chui, if we follow the company size average from the book we find that status rank 4 is top 1%.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

1) Nobody’s saying or thinking “I’m status 4”. They’re thinking “I’m a magistrate” or “I’m a highly respected sensei” and they know that affords them a certain status. 

A city governor has status 5ish. They know that of themselves and of their peers. Not the number, but that they outrank say, an Emerald magistrate but obviously not a provincial governor. They also know which city is larger or more wealthy or otherwise more important, and that’s where the “ish” comes in. That can’t be translated to status points though, you’d need tenths of points or even smaller increments and that is not practical.

Sorry for the late response had a research paper due.

"A city governor has status 5ish. They know that of themselves and of their peers. Not the number, but that they outrank say, an Emerald magistrate but obviously not a provincial governor."

and the “ish” is where the issues start. If the numbers on the chart are “ish” what is the point of Ranks. The same thing can be accomplished by just having the same chart without the numbers. with the GM and players working out the “ish” based on their game.

 I will be truthful and say that at my table I never have or will I ever use Status ranks.

As GM I have always just played Status by ear.

The system is poorly explained and has some gaping holes in its design. Most of its example are spread across multiple books and to vague to be of use.

If the core of a particularity system can't be explained in the corebook for a game and needs to be explained over multiple book (poorly) the system has issues.

"That can’t be translated to status points though, you’d need tenths of points or even smaller increments and that is not practical."

Or you need a a system that is more open to these differences. If the point system can't distinguish which city is larger or more wealthy or otherwise more important, then whats the point of the point scale. 

You can get the same general information from the chart without the Status rank.

18 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

2) that’s both too granular and not enough. Too granular because once you attain a certain rank just coming from a Great Clan shouldn’t make that much of a difference, and not enough because there are many other things that should count beyond your birth.

This was an example of a way it could be do. Not exactly what I thought they needed to implement in the game.

As I said aove the status system has never worked in my opinion.

The main point I was trying to make was that not all officers, magistrates, etc are the same. 

"Too granular because once you attain a certain rank just coming from a Great Clan shouldn’t make that much of a difference"

Here I have to totally disagree with you. A magistrate from an Imperial family is always going to have higher status then a magistrate from a Great clan, as will a magistrate from a Great clan over a magistrate from a Minor clan.

if 3 officers of the same military rank,  a Seppun, a Lion, and a Kitsune are working together to command an army, who do you think will be in-charge. Who do you think will in the eyes of Rokugan society have the higher Status.

Answer: the Seppun.

18 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

3) I thought you said 116 was the adjusted average overall for a company. Apologies if that was a mistake, but it makes a ton of difference. 5712 chui times 116 men in their company on average means about 665k samurai in the Great Clan armies. 5712 chui times 153 men (the actual number from the book) means about 875k samurai in the Great Clan armies. Regardless of the actual number of chui, if we follow the company size average from the book we find that status rank 4 is top 1%.

This entirely depends on your view of how much of a Rokugan's army is made-up of samurai.

As was stated in the second part of my earlier response, I tend to agree with Thoth that the armies of Rokugan are not these giant structures of samurai only.

And that most of these 153 men are ashigaru in the service to the clan in a fully formed army.

That said this number would not be entirely made up of lesser ranking samurai. 

So it would not be a valid way to determine the percentage of status 4 samurai in Rokugan.

If you take into account the vast amount of calculations that Thoth did there are only about 193,000 active duty samurai in the Clan armies in total.

With about 75% of the full standing armies being made up of ashigaru in varying states of readiness depending on the current situation.

 

From Thoth calculations

Active Duty Samurai

Bushi: 311,000

Shugenja: 1,537

Courtier: 37,000

Mystics: 20,274 

Total: 369,784 so only about 25% of the Samurai population.

"The standing armies are unlikely to include more than half the theoretically-available bushi. They’re needed as guards, magistrates, local garrisons, law enforcers, teachers, tax collectors, yojimbo, and in many other roles as well. The Crab, Lion, and Unicorn are exceptions, at 75%." ( Thoth)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...