Jump to content
TheWanderingJewels

Scorpion bushi (or lack there of)

Recommended Posts

Just be patient guys, this is the first book hopefully in a prolific edition. Going with one School per Family in the Core doesn’t mean we would not see the Bayushi Bushi, it means means that it may be absent for a while...

Wordly Ronin, special builds for both the Shinobi and the Courtier are an option for now... and to be honest how much time do you expect to pass until we start seeing homebrew versions of the bushi...? I think it will appear sooner than expected.

Edited by Nheko

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I worked up a homebrew of the Bayushi Bushi school. This helped me learn more about how the schools are structured, plus a good number more of the techniques. Please critique and comment! My worry is that the school and mastery abilities are either too weak or too strong. Feel free to ask my reasoning behind any of the choices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/12/2018 at 2:01 PM, AtoMaki said:

Sorry to smart*ss this, but you are thinking about the Buke and not the Bushi. Ashigaru and Budoka are nominally members of the Buke (so the bulk of clan troops are non-samurai Buke) , but they are not Bushi.

The term does not a true synonym nor subset, and the western practice of the words is not true to Japanese history. Here, have a reference that mentions this: https://www.rekihaku.ac.jp/english/exhibitions/project/old/101026/index.html 

Certain budoka (usually the NCO equivalents, nikutai/corporal & gunso/sergeant) were considered bushi but not samurai - essentially, jisamurai in all but social rank. Able to wear the katana, but not the wakizashi if of Heimin birth, while samurai of even hohei (private rank) wore both, even when wielding a naginata as a footman... A heimin Gunso could, and historically did, give orders to samurai hohei. Politely, but still...

Also, the jizamurai are not technically samurai, not peasants, but fall between two of the heavenly mandated groups. And amongst them, we have Rōnin who are called bushi, no matter their original status at birth... and who, legally, aren't even consistently jizamurai historically, ranging from Jizamurai through bonge to eta... by local lord's temperment (and often, finances), and the pressing need for skilled soldiers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's sad to see Fantasy Flight Games made the same mistake Wizards of the Coast made with 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons. The lack of several classes that were considered core in previous editions (and those classes reappeared in fifth edition) really hurt my interest in fourth edition Dungeons and Dragons. I  did not really feel like spending more money to buy features I considered "Core" to an RPG system. So, I bought the PDF based on promises WoTC put out, rued myself when WOTC failed on said promises and bought the DMGuide and the Monster Manual for 4th edition when they were on sale in PDF form for really cheap years later. 

You can probably guess by the screen name what my favorite school was. You can probably guess how enthused I am to be told that in order to play a character that was once a core rulebook character that I may need to spend perhaps a hundred dollars (Player's handbook at 50 dollars plus shipping, handling, and tax. Dice at 13 dollars plus shipping, handling, and tax. Then this new supplement you are speculating about which since I've been around for a while I'd guess would be 20 dollars, plus shipping, handling, and taxes.) That's right. Potentially a hundred dollars on a promise that someone else has made....and not Fantasy Flight Games. Oh sure, I can muck about with unofficial solutions, but they are just that....and I'm getting the feeling that if I really want to run a Clan War campaign, I should just go back to 3.5 Edition.  I'm not invested in FFG's setting so much. I'm not that invested in the rules that much. 

Another thing is that while Fantasy Flight Games does not consider the Bayushi Bushi school iconic, it is the Scorpion's take on an iconic position. Who fights the Scorpion's battles? You know, the ones that can't exactly be handled by a shinobi stabbing someone in the back or a courtier finding out about those rare night time excursions to certain places of business? The Scorpion Armies have been better than just poor courtiers suddenly informed they are soldiers and thrust into battle. Bushi are iconic to the Legend of the Five Rings setting and it's baffling to see a Clan that completely lacks them.


I had high hopes and I feel let down. I guess I'll get the fifth edition when the PDF goes on sale for reduced rates or some such. I'm sorry that my first post here is a complaining one, but that's how it is. If FFG wants me to buy stuff, then they better make stuff I want to buy. You may think it's odd that I'm quibbling over one school, but it's my right as a consumer to put my foot down and go "No. This is what I want and you're not doing it. I'm not buying into it." Please forgive me and I hope what I've said makes sense. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don't buy into the rules, then it's hard to explain to you how the Bayushi school is perfectly capable in combat without labeling it a bushi school. I feel like this topic has been a knee-jerk reaction from the start. The Bayushi Manipulator technique should work on any check in which you can meaningfully exploit another character's known disadvantage, including combat, which is very fitting.

They have access to all the same kata everyone else does, and aside from feinting, which I believe the new technique replaces well enough, most the meta I've read paints Scorpion warriors as having incredibly varied styles rather than one distinctive styles. That in mind... why would they have a dojo specifically for it? Dojo usually implies that they have an iconic approach to combat, which I don't think they do. For the life of me, I can only see the necessity of the Bayushi Bushi school in older editions as being there because Scorpion needed a way to obtain 2 attacks in a round for balance reasons. Now we can just build a Bayushi that fights well, and their technique is useful at court and in combat, which is something only a handful of other courtier schools can say.

Edited by ExplodingJoe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, ExplodingJoe said:

The Bayushi Manipulator technique should work on any check in which you can meaningfully exploit another character's known disadvantage, including combat, which is very fitting.

They have access to all the same kata everyone else does, and aside from feinting, which I believe the new technique replaces well enough, most the meta I've read paints Scorpion warriors as having incredibly varied styles rather than one distinctive styles. That in mind... why would they have a dojo specifically for it? Dojo usually implies that they have an iconic approach to combat, which I don't think they do. For the life of me, I can only see the necessity of the Bayushi Bushi school in older editions as being there because Scorpion needed a way to obtain 2 attacks in a round for balance reasons. Now we can just build a Bayushi that fights well, and their technique is useful at court and in combat, which is something only a handful of other courtier schools can say.

But, are they insanely lucky? Because we all know that by "Bayushi Bushi" we are truly meaning "Dojo of Bitter Lies."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, ExplodingJoe said:

The Bayushi Manipulator technique should work on any check in which you can meaningfully exploit another character's known disadvantage, including combat, which is very fitting.

That limit on Scheme actions really cripples the idea tho. 

Share this post


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

That limit on Scheme actions really cripples the idea tho. 

You could say the same thing about the Ikoma school, but it still provides an edge.

19 minutes ago, Hida Jitenno said:

But, are they insanely lucky? Because we all know that by "Bayushi Bushi" we are truly meaning "Dojo of Bitter Lies."

I can never get enough of the Scorpion. Only they could get their kicks funding a dojo, saying it "rivals the Kakita", and then fill it with idiots willing to die for any reason.

Share this post


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

You could say the same thing about the Ikoma school, but it still provides an edge.

I can never get enough of the Scorpion. Only they could get their kicks funding a dojo, saying it "rivals the Kakita", and then fill it with idiots willing to die for any reason.

Who then don't die. And keep coming back. And get sent out to die, and still.

don't.

die.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/14/2018 at 7:55 PM, BayushiKojiro said:

It's sad to see Fantasy Flight Games made the same mistake Wizards of the Coast made with 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons. The lack of several classes that were considered core in previous editions (and those classes reappeared in fifth edition) really hurt my interest in fourth edition Dungeons and Dragons. I  did not really feel like spending more money to buy features I considered "Core" to an RPG system. So, I bought the PDF based on promises WoTC put out, rued myself when WOTC failed on said promises and bought the DMGuide and the Monster Manual for 4th edition when they were on sale in PDF form for really cheap years later. 

 

You consider the sorcerer core? or the Bard? Well, the sorcerer became redundant in 4E, as it would have looked almost exactly like a 4E wizard. And the Warlord is, powers-wise, a martial focused bard? The rest are there...

No, 4E's big lack was that the feel was different, the pacing of play was different (both in the turn, and in the campaigning, as well as the level-up), the fundamental way classes worked was different, the way magic worked was different, and the branding wasn't.

FFG has done this kind of transition before - twice - and done just fine. Unlike WotC.
WFRP 3 was both a critical and financial success... even tho' many hated the version as Warhammer, but liked the mechanics. Me amongst them.
FFG Star Wars had several key groups disliking it... WEG 1E ¨uber alles types - who still haunt a number of general forae and claim the later editions all suck; the WEG 2E die-hards, who have a huge backlog of materials, now totally non-canon; the SW d20 fans - noting that the mechanics are pretty stock, and don't force-emulate the setting, leaving that ti the GM; and the SWSE fanboys... And then, the "We wanted GURPS, D!&&*%!" crowd. And a chunk of "Why not mongoose?" who were quite hoping Matt would get the nod... (Matt tried. And failed.)

L5R 5 isn't as big a gap from 3e/4e L5R as D&D 4E was from both AD&D 2 and D&D 3.0.

They don't need the whole extant fanbase. They need only enough to spike new groups with new players who will then grow the fanbase.

Now, this edition, it's not hard to cross-use NPC's... the rings and skills are close enough to use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

You consider the sorcerer core? or the Bard? Well, the sorcerer became redundant in 4E, as it would have looked almost exactly like a 4E wizard.

Wizards are trash and preparing spells in advance is trash.

Sorcerers are absolutely core, as the only spontaneous caster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Hida Jitenno said:

Wizards are trash and preparing spells in advance is trash.

Sorcerers are absolutely core, as the only spontaneous caster.

Sorcerer was only core in 3E (and now in 5E) so I dunno where this is coming from. Bard WAS core starting in AD&D.

 

Wizards are the superior class, especially compared to sorcerers. If you can't pick a list of spells to adapt to what you expect to need that day and adjust that every day as new information/needs show up, you don't DESERVE to use magic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, JBento said:

Sorcerer was only core in 3E (and now in 5E) so I dunno where this is coming from. Bard WAS core starting in AD&D.

 

Wizards are the superior class, especially compared to sorcerers. If you can't pick a list of spells to adapt to what you expect to need that day and adjust that every day as new information/needs show up, you don't DESERVE to use magic.

On the contrary, if you can't use magic because it's literally in your blood and innate to your being, you're just a poser and don't deserve to use it.

But we're off-topic...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So my first shot at making a test Scorpion Bushi using the Manipulator shook out as follows. I would probably be okay with this for now but I would want to reserve the right to remake the character if/when a proper Scorpion bushi school is released.

Bayushi 'Test'uko
Bayushi Manipulator

Honor 35, Glory 44, Status 35

Air 3, Earth 1, Fire 3, Water 2, Void 1

Artisan: Design 1
Martial: MA (Melee) 1, MA (Unarmed) 1, Tactics 1
Scholar: Culture 1, Sentiment 2
Social: Command 1, Courtesy 1
Trade: Commerce 1, Skulduggery 1

Endurance 8, Composure 6, Focus 6, Vigilance 3

Techniques: All Shuji, didn't pay tons of attention.

It's serviceable, but it also fails to capture any stand-out feel for the speed and duplicitous fighting style of the earlier edition Bayushi bushi characters. At least at creation. It should be easy to raise Earth to help with Composure right off (thematically it feels wrong for Bayushi to natively lean away from high composure), but Void at 1 seems very in keeping. Air and Fire rings at 3 obviously means the character will be feinting or lashing out viciously with their sword when fighting, and with a little luck at the earlier stages, being in Air stance could help against superior foes. It's also feasible to use Fire a lot just to try to break an opponent's composure. The Heritage roll could net you a boost to Martial Arts (Melee) or Tactics, a rank in Fitness, or a starting Kata but it's a crapshoot and you could end up with something useless unless the GM lets you pick. If he/she does, you're in luck! In the end, you can do it, but it lacks any mechanical character of its own. It's all going to be in the narration.

It is now harder to make a Scorpion duelist than it used to be, and it was never as easy as with some other clans. Still, to me it feels more thematic for a Scorpion bushi to be an accomplished duelist than a brawler or soldier. At least the PC and major NPC flavors of them.

So those bushi that will attend court and actually talk to people are basically courtiers and diplomats who spend their extracurricular time learning the sword. I suppose Worldly Ronin used as a generic bushi dojo works too, as suggested earlier. Infiltrators could probably also stand in as bushi, maybe more spec-ops oriented but also able to walk around with their daisho and not embarrass themselves. I'll have to look into that later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you pick up Veiled Strike through the rank progression, and grab the Air Shuji that acts as a combat feint (the one that operates as a scheme action to reduce the combatants TN to be hit), you're in line with a dirty tricks style fighter. Duelists are probly always going to have to hard focus on things like the Iaido techniques, the Battle in the Mind, and Heart Piercing Strike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I'm noticing for the Bayushi Manipulator is the Challenge action. It requires a Social Skill check and it is a Scheme action, so the Manipulator can spam it for good effect, drop Strife on his opponents, and kill 'em in the clash with a Finishing Blow. If the enemy declines, then the Manipulator gets a Void Point, and that's not bad if he managed to Daze the enemy with the action using Fanning the Flames. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It occurred to me that there's no specific need for schools to be specific to a family.  I could imagine there being some generic-ish Clan schools to cover things which are uncommon or lacking -

  • Crab Berserker
  • Crane Artisan 
  • Dragon Mountaineer
  • Lion Warden
  • Phoenix Ishiken
  • Scorpion Bushi
  • Unicorn Infantry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

It occurred to me that there's no specific need for schools to be specific to a family.  I could imagine there being some generic-ish Clan schools to cover things which are uncommon or lacking -

  • Crab Berserker
  • Crane Artisan 
  • Dragon Mountaineer
  • Lion Warden
  • Phoenix Ishiken
  • Scorpion Bushi
  • Unicorn Infantry

Almost every school in the past has been linked to the hosting family; I can't think of any published ones in 1E, 2E, nor 3E.

Keep in mind that all clan land is divided into family lands - pretty much all of a clan's land is nominally owned by the family heads, and then divided amongst their various subordinates. (And some of those subdivided further.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

Almost every school in the past has been linked to the hosting family; I can't think of any published ones in 1E, 2E, nor 3E.

Keep in mind that all clan land is divided into family lands - pretty much all of a clan's land is nominally owned by the family heads, and then divided amongst their various subordinates. (And some of those subdivided further.)

Well, off the top of my head, the Berserker in its first incarnation was a Crab Clan school only, and I think there were others as well.  IIRC, it was because they had both Hida and Hiruma practitioners.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While the overwhelming majority of schools are tied to family in name, it's not beyond the pale to assume that Great Clans have schools that are not so specifically branded to an individual family. Granted, Great Clan families are akin to very large Minor Clans in a lot of ways, but the confederation that brings the status of Great Clan matters, and each Great Clan builds an identity greater than that of its constituent families. Therefore, it makes sense to me that schools should be open to an entire clan (and indeed by canon they are). Further, I don't think a clan member needs any special dispensation to attend the majority of dojos within their home clan.

That said, there are some that really do feel family specific like the Kuni Witch Hunter, the Matsu Beast-Master, the ninja schools of the Scorpion and their Wardmasters, the Isawa Elementalists, the Utaku Battle-Maidens...for schools that are indelibly tied to family, there should be strong in-game justification for even intra-clan cross-pollination. Finding a Hida Witch-Hunter should not be something that happens every generation. It should stand out in a big way when the Battle-Maidens take in even a Shinjo girl, let alone an Akodo one.

I think another reason they have traditionally been tied to family over clan is to impart a sense of style and specialization. A Bayushi school you know will be politely smarmy and terrifyingly astute, seductive, underhanded, a little unnerving, regardless of its focus. Yogo schools are insular in spite of being open to the clan, and still turn out mostly Yogo students. Even at home they are unwelcome. The Shosuro appear largely harmless to the Empire at large. Their schools focus almost exclusively on showmanship and deception and when you see a Shosuro school, you know that no matter what else it does, it will do so covertly or with a healthy dose of distraction. The Soshi are mystics, yes, but they have also served as the clan's wild-card family and its strongest connection to both organized crime as well as law-and-order. We will all have our perceptions to be sure, but in the end the point is that families have 'themes' and their schools have tended toward a way for the designers to show us a bit of their unique culture, traditions, and values within the clan they call home.

Schools branded to a clan rather than a family go a long way toward fostering a shared identity, something that transcends family and builds on the strength of the association.

I don't feel it's a problem for a generic Scorpion Bushi to be labeled a Bayushi Bushi though, outside the surprisingly adorable alliteration.

Edited by Wyrmdog
fixed spelling error

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It still strikes me as a glaring omission, to be honest. Can we do a scheming combatant with a Manipulator “chassis”? Sure.. but it’s not enough to fill the iconic role of the Clan’s primary Bushi. They’re not just warriors who can feint and debuff, they can do it better than anyone else. And boy they are FAST! (Distinctive sign of their Rank 1 technique since the RPG exists). It’s not just a mechanical hole, but a thematic one too. 

Anyway, hope they’ll come later but it really is a pity. These guys deserve a spot in the Core Rulebook. 

Share this post


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

Anyway, hope they’ll come later but it really is a pity. These guys deserve a spot in the Core Rulebook. 

I'm pretty sure they'll be in Emerald Empire alongside Shosuro Actors (hopefully). I mean, the published adventures already feature Bayushi Bushis.

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...