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I’m going to break grammar rules even more than I usually do so replies can be easier. You may thank me through mind-hugs.

-How “anime/wuxia” (yes, I know they’re not perfect fits, so hush!) can characters be? Can they dance atop the spear tips of an army as the soldiers look up in awe at their general fighting Ebon Tiger?

-Are such names even appropriate and/or are people ever named this way? If not, how detrimental is it to your social standing to use a name like “Ebon Tiger” or “Laughing Mountain”?

-Can you be bad-*** without armor and do things like block a sword with your sleeve or bare skin, spin through a hail of arrows, throw a storm of shuriken or any other number of pimptacular moves?

-Can a game of two PCs be based around wandering monster hunters (Rokugani “witchers”?) and if so, is there that lovely stigma against monster hunters that certainly sucks for the PCs but creates such beautiful drama? 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Alderaan Crumbs said:

I’m going to break grammar rules even more than I usually do so replies can be easier. You may thank me through mind-hugs.

-How “anime/wuxia” (yes, I know they’re not perfect fits, so hush!) can characters be? Can they dance atop the spear tips of an army as the soldiers look up in awe at their general fighting Ebon Tiger?

-Are such names even appropriate and/or are people ever named this way? If not, how detrimental is it to your social standing to use a name like “Ebon Tiger” or “Laughing Mountain”?

-Can you be bad-*** without armor and do things like block a sword with your sleeve or bare skin, spin through a hail of arrows, throw a storm of shuriken or any other number of pimptacular moves?

-Can a game of two PCs be based around wandering monster hunters (Rokugani “witchers”?) and if so, is there that lovely stigma against monster hunters that certainly sucks for the PCs but creates such beautiful drama? 

 

 

1. As anime/wuxia as your GM allows them to be! While most of these moves "feel" more Air stance than anything else, as long as all the players and GM agree, why not figure out epic ways to represent these stances?

2. Perhaps as earned titles these would be great! On the other hand, just look up the Japanese words for the title, and make that your character name. Ebon Tiger? How about "Kuroitora"? (Torakuroi? Someone who knows which order those should go in help me out here.)

3. Again, if GM and players agree, sure. Though armor exists for those specific reasons, if someone has a "Blessed Kimono" that counts as Heavy Armor, then sleeve-catch away! Your Rokugan may have more prevalence of these things to explain this. Perhaps a "Skin of Earth" netsuke could allow for your skin to have the damage reduction like armor (but then stacking armor on top of that doesn't give double bonus - again, unless y'all want it to).

4. Any guesses what I'll say?

That's right: be a Crab!

*whispers aside* what's that? oh, okay. *returns*

I mean: If your Rokugan does that, then great! I've been super addicted to Witcher III lately and been thinking a lot about Kuni Witch Hunters plus Agasha Alchemists... But if that's the campaign tyle your GM and players want, nothing stops you from doing it.

Edit to add: Though, if you're going for the Rokugan thus far presented in its history, the name thing would probably be the closest to "correct" (insomuch as that term means "official material"). "Catching it on a sleeve" might better be "tangled by well-placed loose cloth." Rokugani "Witchers" would probably best be either Kuni Witch Hunters or Asako Inquisitors, save for the mutagen/mutations.

Edited by Hida Jitenno

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Very cool ideas on the naming! I digs it, Bagginses.

In regards to the bouncing around and other anime tomfoolery, are those ideas I would need to adjudicate or possibilities in the RAW we know of so far? I don’t think such things should be possible by everyone, or even common among heroes, I’m simply curious if they’re possible at all, without house rules. That applies to “speartip dancing” as well as “sleeve shields”. 

As far as the “Witchering” goes, I’m hoping such things could be cross-Clan so not everyone has to be Crabby. See what just happened? 

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I should mention that all of what you are asking for goes very much against the general consensus of what L5R and Rokugan is.

HOWEVER

If you and your friends want to play it that way, then knock yourselves out! The only time you may catch some sideways glances or hear criticisms is if you try to play with folks outside your group who identify with Rokugan as written.

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Hmmm, that honestly disappoints me. It might be a no-sell, depending on how “against the grain” it is. Not because I care if those with a PhD in Rokugan get ruffled kimonos, just that the rules and options won’t support such fantastic elements. I’m not looking for every combatant or fight to utilize such things, only to have them be options for characters. 

Edited by Alderaan Crumbs

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My games are more rooted in myth than pop culture, but my players tell me the other games they read about online are incredibly anime compared to mine. So I assume a lot of tables are out there with high fantasy sword dancing and running across water and what not.

My game basically is "witchers of Rokugan" though. My players are: An Ikoma bard, Horiuchi shugenja, and Matsu bushi. Later a new player started showing up to play a Togashi bushi, but we didn't have her in the beginning. The outset of the campaign began with the Scorpion and Lion clan on the brink of all out war. Conflicts were resurfacing around Kenson Gakka, and all signs were pointing toward an eminent Scorpion attempt to retake it, so the characters are sent to figure out if tensions could be settled without having to turn the area into a blood bath. That arch ended with some Mahou influence, and the group uncovered a hidden conspiracy to bolster the Nothing's influence on Rokugan while Lord Moon was still too angry at mortals to care for them. As a result, the two Lion characters swore an oath of Siblinghood to devote themselves to driving the conspiracy out of Rokugan. Two years later, they've fought hopping vampires, zombies, the hungry dead, a massive orochi, and oni. They've done a season on the wall, and saved a ghost town doomed to repeat the day of their failed spiritual ceremony without being sucked into Yomi themselves. Basically witcher junk.

I had them working for a secret society that roots out shadow tainted influence inside Rokugan. They leveraged friendly npcs and used the society's fluxuating influence to earn travel papers wherever they needed to go next. It worked out pretty well.

Edited by ExplodingJoe

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14 minutes ago, ExplodingJoe said:

My games are more rooted in myth than pop culture, but my players tell me the other games they read about online are incredibly anime compared to mine. So I assume a lot of tables are out there with high fantasy sword dancing and running across water and what not.

My game basically is "witchers of Rokugan" though. My players are: An Ikoma bard, Horiuchi shugenja, and Matsu bushi. Later a new player started showing up to play a Togashi bushi, but we didn't have her in the beginning. The outset of the campaign began with the Scorpion and Lion clan on the brink of all out war. Conflicts were resurfacing around Kenson Gakka, and all signs were pointing toward an eminent Scorpion attempt to retake it, so the characters are sent to figure out if tensions could be settled without having to turn the area into a blood bath. That arch ended with some Mahou influence, and the group uncovered a hidden conspiracy to bolster the Nothing's influence on Rokugan while Lord Moon was still too angry at mortals to care for them. As a result, the two Lion characters swore an oath of Siblinghood to devote themselves to driving the conspiracy out of Rokugan. Two years later, they've fought hopping vampires, zombies, the hungry dead, a massive orochi, and oni. They've done a season on the wall, and saved a ghost town doomed to repeat the day of their failed spiritual ceremony without being sucked into Yomi themselves. Basically witcher junk.

I had them working for a secret society that roots out shadow tainted influence inside Rokugan. They leveraged friendly npcs and used the society's fluxuating influence to earn travel papers wherever they needed to go next. It worked out pretty well.

That’s the kind of awesome I would love to see as far as monster hunting goes.

As far as the anime stuff, is it at all possible RAW? Can characters earn nifty techniques or gear to do such things RAW, or will it all be hand-waving?  

Edited by Alderaan Crumbs

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In 4th, they gave monk characters access to elemental martial arts, called Kiho, that were very Avatar: The Last Airbender or Crouching Tiger in style. The GM guide for that era suggested making them universally available for a more supernatural martial arts themed game. Kiho stuck around for the new edition, so I assume the same suggestion will apply, and you aren't bending a lot of rules if, narratively, your Rokugan needs to feel more mystical. 

L5R has always been a "break our lore if you hate it" sort of system. 4th Ed's GM section almost flat told you not to follow the meta.

Edited by ExplodingJoe

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13 minutes ago, Alderaan Crumbs said:

That’s the kind of awesome I would love to see as far as monster hunting goes.

As far as the anime stuff, is it at all possible RAW? Can characters earn nifty techniques or gear to do such things RAW, or will it all be hand-waving?  

From my general read of the Beta rules, the narrative is key.

"Official Rokugan": You face a unit of 5 minion spearmen and their adversary leader. The minions don't roll well enough to hit you. You casually parry, deflect, sidestep, whatnot, and then make your important rolls against their leader. Mechanic: Martial Arts Melee (Water).

Wuxia Rokugan: You face a unit of 5 minion spearmen and their adversary leader. The minions don't roll well enough to hit you. You flow around their strikes, their weak jabbing and thrusting thrown back by your sheer strength of chi. Leaving them in your wake, you leap into the sky, angling down to the leader behind them. Mechanic: Martial Arts Melee (Water).

Just tell the story the way you'd like. There's a 4e book, I think Imperial Histories 2, that talks about the "Togashi Dynasty" as a setting where the Dragon Kami won the Tournament, and discusses a Wuxia Rokugan.

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Sweet! It doesn’t have to be universally available, I just want some classic Eastern fantasy elements along those lines. I’m also curious as to if there are magic items. If so, I assume and hope they’re appropriately rare. And monsters! Are there lots of cool monsters?  

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1 hour ago, Alderaan Crumbs said:

I’m going to break grammar rules even more than I usually do so replies can be easier. You may thank me through mind-hugs.

-How “anime/wuxia” (yes, I know they’re not perfect fits, so hush!) can characters be? Can they dance atop the spear tips of an army as the soldiers look up in awe at their general fighting Ebon Tiger?

-Are such names even appropriate and/or are people ever named this way? If not, how detrimental is it to your social standing to use a name like “Ebon Tiger” or “Laughing Mountain”?

-Can you be bad-*** without armor and do things like block a sword with your sleeve or bare skin, spin through a hail of arrows, throw a storm of shuriken or any other number of pimptacular moves?

-Can a game of two PCs be based around wandering monster hunters (Rokugani “witchers”?) and if so, is there that lovely stigma against monster hunters that certainly sucks for the PCs but creates such beautiful drama? 

 

 

How anime/wuxia? Well, I hope not very. Now, I LOVE me some wuxia action, don't get me wrong. But part of the appeal of L5R for me has always been the sudden, brutal lethality of it. When swords are drawn, people die, sometimes PCs (or at least they can get really messed up, really fast). If this is specifically what you're after, you might be happier with Exalted, Feng Shui, or Tianxia, just to name a few. All three of those do exactly what you're after, and even fit all the rest of your bullet points handily. This is not to say you can't do this at all but it has traditionally been hard. I am still learning this new system though, so it's hard for me to say. It may end up being too cinematic for me but just right for you. That said, it has always gotten more and more ludicrously powered as Insight Ranks progress. The game generally breaks for me at IR4 in previous editions primarily because it begins to feel a bit too wuxia.

Naming. It can be argued that names could be rendered that way just fine. The Unicorn in particular go for non-traditional names in some family lines.

Badass without armor. Ise Zumi can do some of that stuff, but it's also worth mentioning that the lion's share of fights in L5R don't involve armor unless you're playing a game at war.

Rokugani Witchers. Absolutely. The Kuni Witch Hunters and some of the more obscure Scorpion and Dragon traditions are a perfect fit for that. Roll in Ikoma Spymasters and the like and you have a pretty broad base of options. Any Bushi will fit well into a group like that. But you'd want a shugenja or monk along in all likelihood, or at least be sure they are kitted properly and have appropriate skills for more than just busting heads.

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I will never, EVER touch Exalted again. Ugh and putooey! Feng Shui...hmm...it was OK. Tinxia looks neat but it’s Fate, so no. However! I do appreciate the advice and please don’t think otherwise. I think I need to be clearer in that I don’t want drawn out fights where opponents blather on about Flopping Cuticle Style, omnipresent, tree-hopping wuxia, Dragonball lasers, kicking ballista bolts back at an army...none of that. I only wanted some characters to do “Oooh! Aaaah!” stuff that was minorly “super heroic”, which it seems can be done through certain magics. Rare magics, it seems, which is exactly what I wanted. I guess I’m hoping for something in the center of a Ven Diagram that consists of wuxia action and themes, chanbara, “historical” Japanese fantasy, courtly intrigue, most-often-subtle horror and inner struggles. It would seem this will fit the bill nicely.

Unlike Exalted. Exalted is poopy. 

?

Edited by Alderaan Crumbs

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Despite most games having a more somber tone, the 4e (and I'm assuming 5e) books make it clear that this is YOUR Rokugan.  The default might be political drama mixed with conspiracy, but if you want spear-dancing fly your colors!  There is no wrong way to play this game if you and your group are having fun.

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2 minutes ago, Alderaan Crumbs said:

I will never, EVER touch Exalted again. Ugh and putooey! Feng Shui...hmm...it was OK. Tinxia looks neat but it’s Fate, so no. However! I do appreciate the advice and please don’t think otherwise. I think I need to be clearer in that I don’t want drawn out fights where opponents blather on about Flopping Cuticle Style, omnipresent, tree-hopping wuxia, Dragonball lasers, kicking ballista bolts back at an army...none of that. I only wanted some characters to do “Oooh! Aaaah!” stuff that was minorly “super heroic”,which it seems can be done through certain magics. Rare magics, it seems, which is exactly what I wanted. I guess I’m hoping for something in the center of a Ven Diagram that consists of wuxia action and themes, chanbara, “historical” Japanese fantasy, courtly intrigue, most-often-subtle horror and inner struggles. It would seem this will fit the bill nicely.

Unlike Exalted. Exalted is poopy. 

?

HAHA! Well, I feel ya brother. Exalted systems are awful. We only play it using Blood and Fire for Cortex, and it's brilliant.

So far, the little exposure I have had to L5R5 (2 sessions so far) has indicated that a bit of chanbara is not only possible, but likely. As pointed out above, there is a bit of supernatural woven throughout. The Ise Zumi are perfect for people that want that aesthetic in their characters.

Make no mistake, the Kakita (and in some editions, funny enough, the Shiba) are supernaturally gifted duelists, the Hida are walking tanks, and the Ise Zumi are over-the-top martial artists. Oh, and also, Insight Rank 1 has traditionally been exceedingly bloody. IR 2-3 are perfect for how I like things, and IR4+ edges into super-powered.

Though I base all this off previous editions, FWIW.

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The game certainly has chanbara and a bit of wuxia. I think maybe Netflix's Marco Polo is a good example of how cool L5R people can be. Only there's also actual magic and monsters to throw into the mix. As far as anime, you're probably not going to get Basilisk and Kenshin level super powers, but there's certainly elements of it that can work for anime fans. Especially with the minion rules and things like iaijutsu duels.

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1 hour ago, Alderaan Crumbs said:

Sweet! It doesn’t have to be universally available, I just want some classic Eastern fantasy elements along those lines. I’m also curious as to if there are magic items. If so, I assume and hope they’re appropriately rare. And monsters! Are there lots of cool monsters?  

Magic Items, called "nemuranai" in previous editions, have been unclear. To compare to D&D, probably more rare when it comes to power level, but maybe less rare when it comes to minor power?
 

Difficult to say, really. There is the idea that items can just spontaneously become magic. Basically, a kami spirit is pleased with you in some way, so it comes to live in your *insert appropriate item here*. Now I think in previous editions, this would do things like give you a bonus rolled, but not kept, die on something or other.

In the Rokugan d20 system, a Bushi could turn his katana and wakizashi into +10 magical items as s/he leveled up, essentially awakening the ancestral spirit within, or something like that.

As we don't know yet what the core rulebook for 5e will have to say about magic items, but to some extent, it's a GM's world there. Do you want to have clothes that can stop the katana? Then use the rules for Heavy Armor and say "Your clothes are imbued with an Earth kami such that they have the damage reduction of the heartiest armor!"

You may have some issue with balance when you're home-ruling it that way, though. But I don't know what their "official" rules will be on it.

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As for magic items, there certainly are.  They come in a number of varieties:

  • Consumable magic items: it is possible for shugenja to distill the power of their invocations into tinctures, or inscribe them as wards (of the red ink on yellow paper variety).  Once the power is released the item is consumed.  In the old lore, it was also possible for Crane shugenja to instill that sort of power into small works of art.
  • Bestowed magic items: the Unicorn clan wielders of Meishodo are able to use the true name of a spirit (either a native kami or a foreign djinn, apparently) to imprison it within an item in such a way that they are forced to repeatedly produce an invocation's effect.
  • Masterwork magic items: various exceptionally skilled smiths and suchlike can create weapons (normally) that are just better than ordinary ones, sometimes with unusual materials.  These could theoretically just be really well made, but some of the better ones are unreasonably good enough to be considered magic.
  • Nemuranai, ancestral or acquired magic items: all samurai are in some ways magical or able to wield supernatural effects, it is just that shugenja are more showy about it.  After a sword has been used by the Clan Champion for decades, it starts to absorb a little bit of their greatness.  After it has been used by generations of Clan Champions for centuries, it has become a named magic item.

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17 hours ago, Alderaan Crumbs said:

-How “anime/wuxia” (yes, I know they’re not perfect fits, so hush!) can characters be? Can they dance atop the spear tips of an army as the soldiers look up in awe at their general fighting Ebon Tiger?

Depends on the XP level of the campaign. By default, you're a samurai with a sword, but by the time you get to high school ranks, then yes, you're into Crouching Tiger level.

A good example - the Kakita Duellist school is basically an archetypical quick-draw-swordsman that you see in any number of samurai films and basically is the genre's equivalent to a cowboy high noon shoot-out.

 

At rank 1, the Kakita duellist gets the following technique:
 

Quote

 

Iaijutsu Cut: Rising Blade

Activation: As an Attack action using one sheathed Razor-edged weapon, you may make a TN 3 Martial Arts [Melee] check targeting one character at range 1*.

Effects: You draw and ready the sheathed weapon in a one-handed grip. If you succeed, you inflict damage equal to your weapon’s base damage. If the attack inflicts at least 1 damage this way after reductions, the target also suffer a critical strike with severity equal to your weapon’s deadliness.

 

 

At rank 6.....the Kakita duellist gets the following technique:
 

Quote

 

Strike with No Thought

Activation: Once per scene, as an Attack action, you may make a Martial Arts [Melee] (Void) check targeting one character at range 2–4** using a sheathed katana or wakizashi. The TN of this check is equal to your target’s vigilance.

Effect: You immediately move to range 1 of your target.

If you succeed, your target suffers a critical strike with a severity equal to the deadliness of your weapon plus your bonus successes.

 

 

* Standard 'sword's reach' - where 0 is fists and knives and 2 is spears and naginata

** Where 4 is 'bowshot' - up to maybe 100 metres or so.

 

Essentially, the same character can be anywhere from "I draw my sword and strike" to "I teleport across the battlefield to behind the man in full plate and his head falls off without you actually seeing my blade move"

 

 

17 hours ago, Alderaan Crumbs said:

-Can you be bad-*** without armor and do things like block a sword with your sleeve or bare skin, spin through a hail of arrows, throw a storm of shuriken or any other number of pimptacular moves?

Higher level Monk and Shujnga are your best bet for brushing off swords with bare skin; the more mystical side of things tends to reside in those archetypes.

Kiho are still a thing for monks, and even at rank 1 they can do stuff like 'Flame Fist' which does exactly what it sounds like.

But...yes. Even the more 'mundane' archetypes get brutal at higher levels, and can perform faintly ridiculous feats with void points, planning, and a bit of luck on their side.

The Shosuro Ninja Infiltrator (who is definitely not a ninja because they're illegal) has an equivalent of Strike With No Thought which - narratively - you can describe as awesomely as you like.
 

Quote

 

The Final Silence

As an Attack action, you may make a TN 4 Martial Arts [Unarmed] (Air) check targeting any number of minion NPCs at range 0–4. If you succeed during a narrative scene, you silently kill all targets over the course of a few minutes. If you succeed during a conflict scene, at the end of each of your turns, you may silently kill one of these targets at range 0–2 (in addition to your other actions).

 

During the beta playthrough, our players hadn't seen one another's mastery abilities because I wanted them to get a chance to show off. At one point in the mission to infiltrate a bandit's stronghold, our Scorpion broke off from the party towards one of the barracks towers protecting the main gate.

"You three go on, I'll catch up."

"What?"

"Nothing that matters."

They had to later fall back through that gate. When they gritted their teeth, hefted weapons and charged through the barracks' inner door, they found fifty dead ashigaru scattered around the room. Here and there.

They were a lot more...polite...to the Scorpion than normal for the rest of the session.

 

17 hours ago, Alderaan Crumbs said:

-Can a game of two PCs be based around wandering monster hunters (Rokugani “witchers”?) and if so, is there that lovely stigma against monster hunters that certainly sucks for the PCs but creates such beautiful drama? 

The people in charge of enforcing Imperial Law (think 'federal law' - the great clans are sometimes more like separate nations under a common high king than a single unified country) and also keeping an eye out for stuff like Maho ('black magic') and tainted monsters.

Their main job is murders, corruption (of the political/financial sort, not 'boiling black stuff coming out of my eye sockets') and the like, but any threat to the celestial order falls into their remit, like Maho-Tsukai (witches) or Oni (daemons), and as an imperial entity, they draw from every clan.

 

 

Equally, 'magic' items....everything is magic - sort of - because of the animist approach to Kami spirits of places, streams, trees, whatever. Equally, no small number of techniques have numerical values using your honour rank or school rank - so a given sword becomes proportionately more awesome as the wielder does.

There is no real 'boundary point' between "this isn't a magic sword' and 'this is a magic sword' so much as the smith is more and more proportionately awesome, but there's no clear-cut line at which it the blade's properties transcend mundane limitations.

That said, even in the beta we got an example Kakita sword ('Omeka') which is so far beyond a 'normal' katana it's ridiculous - quite realistically able to go through your opponent's sword and your opponent and out the other side without detectably slowing down.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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4 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

There is no real 'boundary point' between "this isn't a magic sword' and 'this is a magic sword' so much as the smith is more and more proportionately awesome, but there's no clear-cut line at which it the blade's properties transcend mundane limitations.

Asahina Yajinden sees your bluff and raises you an Anvil of Despair. :P 

But really though, for the most part, yes. The katana is the Soul of the Samurai - the stronger your soul, the stronger your blade.

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Note that no, monster hunting doesn't have a stigma per se (that's a monster, it's killing the villagers, let's go be Big D*mn Heroes), but there are two major considerations:

  • If it's a bear or a boar or whatever, that's one thing, but jigoku/maho/shadowlands monsters that have somehow been summoned to/created in/got loose into Rokugan proper are quite another. They are what they are because of 'the taint' - a part spiritual, part physical infection which you can contract by coming into contact with them. Jade can stop it, theoretically even counteract it, but if you fight the dark you can be slowly consumed by it. It's why (in the L5R fictions) the Crab tend to be always demanding more jade, because the bulk of their armies are sat on the Kaiu wall (think the recent Matt Damon film The Great Wall, alien monsters and all, and you're not a million miles away) and they probably lose almost as many soldiers to taint-driven mercy kills as to enemy blades.
  • The social rules of rokugan are iron-clad to the point that you can easily end up in a situation where self-destruction is the only honourable course of action open to you. Essentially, you are expected to respect, protect the dignity of, and obey (within reason) any social superior whilst simultaneously fulfilling your lord's orders, in a nation which - because of the way the various clans are rivals - is frankly closer to a whole cluster of geographically interwoven, mutually hostile lesser nations with a single high king than a single 'empire'. When a lot of 'monsters' might be driven by some connection to individuals, or the private shame of a noble family, or whatever, it's easy to end up with a load of mutually contradictory absolute requirements. This isn't helped by the fact that Imperial Magistrates (who are primarily enforces of mundane law but would also deal with black magic and monsters if they come across them) are drawn from all the clans, so whilst they might be acting under Imperial Authority, and are theoretically above clan politics, they're still members of a given clan....who have natural rivals and enemies that won't be pleased to see them, especially if their dirty secrets get aired in the process.

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1 hour ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Depends on the XP level of the campaign. By default, you're a samurai with a sword, but by the time you get to high school ranks, then yes, you're into Crouching Tiger level.

A good example - the Kakita Duellist school is basically an archetypical quick-draw-swordsman that you see in any number of samurai films and basically is the genre's equivalent to a cowboy high noon shoot-out.

 

At rank 1, the Kakita duellist gets the following technique:
 

 

At rank 6.....the Kakita duellist gets the following technique:
 

 

* Standard 'sword's reach' - where 0 is fists and knives and 2 is spears and naginata

** Where 4 is 'bowshot' - up to maybe 100 metres or so.

 

Essentially, the same character can be anywhere from "I draw my sword and strike" to "I teleport across the battlefield to behind the man in full plate and his head falls off without you actually seeing my blade move"

 

 

Higher level Monk and Shujnga are your best bet for brushing off swords with bare skin; the more mystical side of things tends to reside in those archetypes.

Kiho are still a thing for monks, and even at rank 1 they can do stuff like 'Flame Fist' which does exactly what it sounds like.

But...yes. Even the more 'mundane' archetypes get brutal at higher levels, and can perform faintly ridiculous feats with void points, planning, and a bit of luck on their side.

The Shosuro Ninja Infiltrator (who is definitely not a ninja because they're illegal) has an equivalent of Strike With No Thought which - narratively - you can describe as awesomely as you like.
 

During the beta playthrough, our players hadn't seen one another's mastery abilities because I wanted them to get a chance to show off. At one point in the mission to infiltrate a bandit's stronghold, our Scorpion broke off from the party towards one of the barracks towers protecting the main gate.

"You three go on, I'll catch up."

"What?"

"Nothing that matters."

They had to later fall back through that gate. When they gritted their teeth, hefted weapons and charged through the barracks' inner door, they found fifty dead ashigaru scattered around the room. Here and there.

They were a lot more...polite...to the Scorpion than normal for the rest of the session.

 

The people in charge of enforcing Imperial Law (think 'federal law' - the great clans are sometimes more like separate nations under a common high king than a single unified country) and also keeping an eye out for stuff like Maho ('black magic') and tainted monsters.

Their main job is murders, corruption (of the political/financial sort, not 'boiling black stuff coming out of my eye sockets') and the like, but any threat to the celestial order falls into their remit, like Maho-Tsukai (witches) or Oni (daemons), and as an imperial entity, they draw from every clan.

 

 

Equally, 'magic' items....everything is magic - sort of - because of the animist approach to Kami spirits of places, streams, trees, whatever. Equally, no small number of techniques have numerical values using your honour rank or school rank - so a given sword becomes proportionately more awesome as the wielder does.

There is no real 'boundary point' between "this isn't a magic sword' and 'this is a magic sword' so much as the smith is more and more proportionately awesome, but there's no clear-cut line at which it the blade's properties transcend mundane limitations.

That said, even in the beta we got an example Kakita sword ('Omeka') which is so far beyond a 'normal' katana it's ridiculous - quite realistically able to go through your opponent's sword and your opponent and out the other side without detectably slowing down.

F-ing sold! Thanks a megaton, my friend. That not-ninja part was freaking amazing! 

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3 minutes ago, Hida Jitenno said:

It's still "On the Boat" according to the "Upcoming" list.

Ah! The infamous boat. Well, I backed Far West, so I understand waiting. Of course, L5R5 will actually exist one day so...?

Oh, in case I forgot, I really appreciate everyone taking the time to answer questions and stuff. Thank you. 

Edited by Alderaan Crumbs

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10 minutes ago, Alderaan Crumbs said:

F-ing sold! Thanks a megaton, my friend. That not-ninja part was freaking amazing! 

The game does distinguish between 'minion' and 'adversary' opponents in a few ways (other than just raw stats)  - the ability of a Final Silence Infiltrator to just nonchalantly kill one per turn during a fight as an aside to whatever else he's doing is ridiculous.....but then so are a lot of the other abilities.

  • Kakita Duellists get 'strike with no thought' - see above.
  • Hida Defenders get 'the mountain does not fall' - which allows you to temporarily boost your toughness and ignore any negative conditions or ritical injury effects for the duration of the technique, up to and including death.
  • Shinjo Outriders get 'I will always return' - which summons your warhorse to you...instantly....regardless of where it is or even it's been previously killed.

Note that these are top-end abilities. though.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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