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TheWanderingJewels

Scorpion bushi (or lack there of)

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I have to admit, worldly ronin is a highly adaptable school. Just using core, I could use it to make a cynical Bayushi bushi stuck guarding a diplomat( though once we get a real Bayushi bushi school, that won't change) or someone that didn't make the cut for the other core schools and got send to 2nd rate dojo for those that didn't make the cut. The next book should handle the situation for us.

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Posted (edited)
On 10/12/2018 at 5:03 PM, Tonbo Karasu said:

Well, the Crab are 'missing' the Kuni Witch hunters, the Crane lack the Kakita Artisan, the male Utaku have nothing to do...

Personally, I think that the Witch Hunter is covered by Kata in the Purifiers and the Bayushi Bushi can be covered by Kata in the Manipulators.

The Kakita Artisan and the Utaku Infantry strike me as larger holes.

I suppose, and I see where you're coming from. My $0.02...

Scorpion bushi number at least in the tens of thousands where Kakita Artisans are likely at best to number into the hundreds, and the Witch Hunters perhaps a few dozen. Now, numbers are not always the best measure, but even if measured by impact, Artisans can be handwaved just as easily as so many are saying Scorpion Bushi can be. Easier, in my estimation. Witch Hunters...only ever had one in my games, but conceptually, they are up there with Scorpion Bushi with regard to what I like, but given that Scorpion Bushi get played almost an order of magnitude more often (again, IME), I can happily live with the Witch Hunter coming after the Scorpion Bushi.

Utaku Infantry...well...the Unicorn already have a surfeit of bushi schools.

They cannot give us all schools all at once, and while yes, we can use Manipulators, Infiltrators, and Worldly Ronin schools...it still tells us something about the lore as intended by the designers via the absence of a Scorpion Bushi school. I find it hard to believe that space is what led to 2 Scorpion Shugenja and no bushi. I think it is more likely a deliberate statement on the culture and capability of the Scorpion's warrior class.

Edited by Wyrmdog
too many perhapses

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6 hours ago, Wyrmdog said:

They cannot give us all schools all at once, and while yes, we can use Manipulators, Infiltrators, and Worldly Ronin schools...it still tells us something about the lore as intended by the designers via the absence of a Scorpion Bushi school. I find it hard to believe that space is what led to 2 Scorpion Shugenja and no bushi. I think it is more likely a deliberate statement on the culture and capability of the Scorpion's warrior class.

The only thing I think it indicates is that the book used only 1 school per a family. And because of decisions made way, way back when the setting was first made, the Scorpion weren't really given totally distinct bushi and courtier families-- but instead the Bayushi have always been forced to fill both roles.

So ultimately the decision had to be made as to whether they felt the Bayushi were a more courtier family or more a bushi family. And they either flipped a coin or just figured that they are writing way more about the Bayushi being in courts than they are the Bayushi being on the battlefield, so they went with courtiers.

Maybe they should have split the difference and made it a Courtier/Bushi school?

They put some bushi elements into it anyway after all.

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I have to admit that the lack of scorpion bushi in the core book has given me a little bit of fun as a storyteller.  I have a pair of scorpion in my campaign.. an actor and his bushi yojimbo.  When the courtier gets attacked the "bushi" goes in for her backstab.  Unfortunately I'm a horrible human being who can't help but laugh about my scorpion bushi infont of my players, so I'm pretty sure the jig is up.

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Y'know, if they'd just double-tagged the school like they did for the Kuni, the Kaiu, the Hiruma, the Asahina, the Kakita, the Kitsuki, the Shiba, the Shosuro, the Soshi (TRIPLE-tagged), Iuchi, or Shinjo, nobody would bat an eye... One wonders why they didn't.

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2 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Y'know, if they'd just double-tagged the school like they did for the Kuni, the Kaiu, the Hiruma, the Asahina, the Kakita, the Kitsuki, the Shiba, the Shosuro, the Soshi (TRIPLE-tagged), Iuchi, or Shinjo, nobody would bat an eye... One wonders why they didn't.

Nah. The tag wouldn't make sense. Looking at the school ability and curriculum it's fairly obvious that having access to kata is the only bushi-like aspect of the school - kata are never in the curriculum as a tech group (pnly Veiled Menace shows up), martial skills never shows up as a skill group and other than each of the martial arts once there are no individual bushi skills there either. The Shoshuro make much better bushi and could definitely justify getting that tag. The Ide and Ikoma make better bushi too, but arguably shouldn't (and don't) get the tag nonetheless. If they'd double-tagged the Bayushi Manipulators courtier and bushi with the school as is, I'd certainly have commented on that. Comparing the Kakita to the Mirumoto, the former getting the artisan tag while the latter are only bushi is clearly just a flavour thing: the Kakita have an Aesthetics focus and the Mirumoto a Composition focus, but they both give equal weight to artisan skill in the curriculum. A tag by itself doesn't mean anything, the school should back it up by having relevant entries in the curriculum too.

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Posted (edited)

The tags are honestly more storytelling/guidance tools for the player and GM. Shugenja and Monks deal with supernatural and spiritual things, courtiers and artisans work with courts and intrigue stuff, bushi deal with military/fighting stuff, shinobi deal with sneaky-pants stuff. They let you know what flavor your strengths lie in and what campaigns you fit in and also what duties you should not have. Nobody without the Shinobi tag should be expected to go skulking around stealing letters and shanking people disguised as gardeners. And a pure courtier should not be assigned as a yojimbo (unless you add the titles but that seems very much like a bandaid the GM can choose to apply). 

EDIT: I should also say this is on a meta-level. What people think your job is relies probably mostly on your starting kit. People might look at a Shosuro and thing they're a bushi because they bear the daisho, even though what they're ideal for on a storytelling level is all sorts of intrigue shenanigans and can sneak - but as an extension can hit people with a sword. But should do it sneakily. 

Edited by UnitOmega

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I think this is a result of a thematic problem that harkens to Old5R; The Bayushi Courtier school should have been the default, public, Shosuro school from the beggining.

 

The Shosuro actors were a bundle of problesm from the get go, sharing quite a bit of the school with the shinobi, being lackluster mechanically, and in my opinion, normalizing the convention that somehow samurai could professionally performe the role of a outcaste with full social acceptance. The Kakita Artisans shared some of the problems (Jesters in particular) but they never had as much cachet as the Kakita Bushi, and they were in competition with the Doji Courtiers.

So the Bayushi Courtiers should have been the Shosuro Courtiers and the Shinobi and Acors should have been Paths or Advanced schools. Unfortunately, since this had ossified in 1st Edition it probably wasn't even considered by FFG, which is a shame because they were perfectly willing to cut with the past in other places.

 

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5 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

Nah. The tag wouldn't make sense.

Considering that multiple people have said, "you can just fight as a courtier," it makes as much sense as anything we've got.

 

I mean... in 4th edition? I LOVE the Bayushi Bushi. It's a one-on-one specialist wrecking crew of a school. But the Bayushi have always been excpetionally courtly bushi- and exceptionally stabby courtiers.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Considering that multiple people have said, "you can just fight as a courtier," it makes as much sense as anything we've got.

Multiple people can be wrong ;)

Nameless Ronin sums up rather well why you need more than access to Kata to be an effective bushi. The curriculum does matter in a school. 

But well, the idea of multi tagging the Manipulator has been floated many times and disagreed with as many. Not much to add now, except wait and see what the future books have in store. 

Edit: to qualify that, it’s technically true that you *can*  fight as a courtier, but that won’t be your specialty - as is expected of a bushi. 

 

Edited by Franwax

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3 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Considering that multiple people have said, "you can just fight as a courtier," it makes as much sense as anything we've got.

The Matsu have access to shuji and even feature a fair number of them in their curriculum, and they can obviously talk just like anyone else. I don't think they should get he courtier tag, but they can be about as good in court as a Bayushi can be on the battlefield. ;) 

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4 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

The Matsu have access to shuji and even feature a fair number of them in their curriculum, and they can obviously talk just like anyone else. I don't think they should get he courtier tag, but they can be about as good in court as a Bayushi can be on the battlefield. ;) 

The Daidoji are even weirder, because their school curriculum alternates between Kata and Shuji every rank. I presume this is to let them be good at stuff when performing courtier bodyguard duties. You can USE them as great courtiers (you can start with 3 Earth, 3 Water, 2 Air for all the Composure and Vigilance in the world), though.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, JBento said:

The Daidoji are even weirder, because their school curriculum alternates between Kata and Shuji every rank. I presume this is to let them be good at stuff when performing courtier bodyguard duties. You can USE them as great courtiers (you can start with 3 Earth, 3 Water, 2 Air for all the Composure and Vigilance in the world), though.

We're likely to get more insight in the Daidoji roles in the Crane Clan in Courts of Stone, but the fluff blurb for the Iron Warrior school pretty much already spells out why this court savviness is required. They also get Courtesy in the first three ranks of their curriculum and social skills in the fourth, and a lot of the shuji they get in school are either supportive in nature (Earth) or let them deflect attention away (Air). Honestly, other than Way of the Phoenix they make for better court yojimbo than the Shiba Guardians - and Vigilance of the Mind is the standard yojimbo ability par excellence. I think FFG would have done better keeping the "Iron" moniker for a Daidoji school in a war-themed book, to be honest. The Iron Warrior school as it stands is pretty much the ultimate wing man school.

Edited by nameless ronin

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In my group we adapted the Worldly Ronin and Daodoji Iron Warriors into a good Scorpion Bushi. The guy also has the adavantage of Other SChools, so its possible he went to a dojo under the Iron Warriors and trained there too. So far its worked OK.

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53 minutes ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Meanwhile the friggin' Yogo get two schools before the Scorpion have an in-clan bushi? BAH.

More the result of how the publication order of the sourcebooks turned out than anything else, I suppose, but it does sting a bit.

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On ‎3‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 11:32 PM, nameless ronin said:

More the result of how the publication order of the sourcebooks turned out than anything else, I suppose, but it does sting a bit.

Meh..  maybe the scorpion will get a Bushi school in the crane/courtier book..  Honestly, I still think the scorps haven't gotten a Bushi school because all of their bushi will be dead after the coup, and are spending the pre-coup time period in preparation (though they don't know what they're preparing for).  That's what's happening in my story anyway.

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Yeah, I'm kind of doubtful to Actor right away as that seems basically like Infiltrator but with less kata and combat skills and a couple more artisan skills and some redundant shuji, maybe different ninjutsu (because the Infiltrator is already slam full of opportunities to take performance and most of the performance themed shuji), but the two Yogo schools are pretty functionally different despite sounding very similar.

On the other hand, Shadowlands has multiple schools which are either only tangentially related (Kakita Swordsmith) or only generally thematically related (Taoist Blade, Medic) so I wouldn't think to hard that like, the book will only contain Courtier/Shinobi hybrid schools. 

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