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Tonbo Karasu

DIY Vassal Families

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So, one of the slight changes to the setting is that there are in fact 'countless' minor clans dotted about the Empire, with the named ones on the map being just the most prominent.  To me this also implies that there actually a bunch of vassal families within the Great Clans, we just don't normally hear about them, because they go by the name of their major Family: Kakita Naritoki no Ashidaka is normally called Kakita Naritoki, except by members of the Kakita and close friends.

With the way families work in the new system, creating vassals would be quite easy:

  • 2a:  If you are a member of a vassal family, replace one of the two skills specified in the family with an appropriate skill to represent your family's particular interests and specialities.  Then, reduce Glory be 5, and Stearting Wealth by 1 koku.

Here are some examples, based on the families that have been mentioned so far in this timeline:

  • Takumi no Hida:  +1 Earth or +1 Fire; +1 Command, +1 Labour; 39 Glory; 3 koku
  • Hiramichi no Daidoji: +1 Earth or +1 Water; +1 Commerce, +1 Fitness; 35 Glory; 6 koku
  • Tsume no Doji: +1 Air or +1 Water; +1 Design, +1 Martial Arts [Melee]; 39 Glory; 7 koku
  • Ashidaka no Kakita: +1 Air or +1 Fire; +1 Aesthetics, +1 Smithing; 39 Glory; 6 koku
  • Kobori no Mirunoto: +1 Earth or +1 Water; +1 Government, +1 Tactics; 39 Glory; 4 koku
  • Hosokawa no Ikoma: +1 Air or +1 Water; +1 Composition, +1 Survival; 35 Glory; 5 koku
  • Sesai no Shiba: +1 Earth or +1 Water; +1 Skulduggery, +1 Tactics; 35 Glory; 4 koku

And a couple for the two clans with none mentioned so far

  • Ugawa no Bayushi: +1 Air or +1 Fire; +1 Design, +1 Smithing; 39 Glory; 7 koku
  • Horiuchi no Iuchi: +1 Air or +1 Void; +1 Culture, +1 Theology; 35 Glory; 4 koku

Any thoughts on the idea, the examples or families of your own?

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I would suggest a Status hit rather than a Glory hit. Alternatively, if you want to have vassal families be very prominent, go with it that a "Hida" samurai (as compared to a Takumi no Hida) is a samurai who bears some familial relationship to the ruling family, and give them a slight status bump.

I don't have my book in front of me, but I did create the Tagyo no Hiruma vassal family. The nominal founder (posthumously awarded vassal family status) was an Akodo-trained Matsu male who was married off to the Crab.

Tagyo no Hiruma: +1 Air or +1 Water; +1 Survival, +1 Command; 34 Glory; 2 koku.

#Vassal #VassalFamily #VassalFamilies

Edited by Hida Jitenno
putting all info in one post

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It was Glory rather than Status because Glory is what is determined by your family.

For your Tagyo, the Hiruma start with Skulduggery and Survival, so I'd suggest keeping one of those skills.  Akodo and Matsu both give Command.  I'd guess it comes out as:

Tagyo no Hiruma: +1 Air or +1 Water; +1 Command, +1 Survival; 34 Glory; 2 koku

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23 minutes ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

It was Glory rather than Status because Glory is what is determined by your family.

For your Tagyo, the Hiruma start with Skulduggery and Survival, so I'd suggest keeping one of those skills.  Akodo and Matsu both give Command.  I'd guess it comes out as:

Tagyo no Hiruma: +1 Air or +1 Water; +1 Command, +1 Survival; 34 Glory; 2 koku

Ahh, I missed your 'change 1 skill' suggestion; read it as two options, pick 1 from the vassal and 1 from the regular. And thank you for filling in the rest. Glory makes a lot more sense that way.

Edited the original post so it's all together with the tags.

Edited by Hida Jitenno

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On 11/19/2018 at 2:51 PM, Tonbo Karasu said:

Any thoughts on the idea, the examples or families of your own?

From prior campaigns, my players created the Tonburi (屯武吏) no Doji 

They are sometimes called the "humorless of the Doji" - they are, as a group, ji-samurai who served the Daidoji by setting and guarding camp rather than specific people, and supplying fine wargear. As of the enthronement of Hantei XXXVIII, their Courtier Sensei is only Rank 5; and their Shugenja Sensei has just become Rank 6.  
Their mon is a crane encircling a tent.  While not part of the schools, most Tonbŭri do practice arts like any crane, but their art tends towards decoration of useful objects. Most of their bushi are trained in the Daidoji yojimbo school, but are assigned to be guarding camps.

Quote

 

The ancestor, Yasuki  Sugi, was a daidoji-trained bushi. When the Yasuki were cast out, he immediately forsook the name, and went to the champion Doji Mizobu. Mizobu said he could not return to crane land until the war was over, but could fight alongside "real crane" until that day.  But the Crane did not trust him on the field... so they made him stay behind to guard the camp.

And so, year after year, he guarded the camps, trained ashigaru, and fought off Hiruma scouts with his bow and ashigaru. Eventually, he brought two ronin to help him; none of them were paid, save for food and drink, but their looting of the camp-raiders provided them a modest amount of coin.

When the emperor intervened in the conflict in 400, the Crane champion sent for him.  As he arrived at Doji palace, he had 3 wagons and 20 ashigaru, plus two ronin. The guards were immediately suspicious, and expecting theft or treachery, stopped him outside, and opened the coverings to see what he held. They were shocked - the old man and the two ronin had amongst them 200 heads, all preserved, along with their names and whatever mon they wore. Each neatly smoked. Each recognizable. The Champion was shocked, as well, and came out to ask him what treachery this was...

"My liege, these are the 100 heads I took defending the camps, and those two are the 50 each of the Ronin who helped me!"

"You have earned a place, Sugi. You are indeed a great barracks officer. But the third cart?"

"Those are the heads taken by fallen Doji."

"What reward do you want, Sugi-chan?"

"A place for me and my assistants here. And a name for myself, not tainted by my former kin"

"You have been a barracks officer (Tonburi), let that be your name, and the name by which your men shall be called by my own."

"I have always been loyal to you, Doji-Sama. Always."

Looking for a way out of the embarrasment, Doji's respons was "You shall take a village we still hold. You and your progeny shall live there." The village was far from the center of the crane, and far from the crab. It was small. A peasant woman who was widowed caught his eye, and she begged to give him children; when he asked Doji-Sama for permission, "Marry who you will, you are not truly a Doji, and barely a Crane!"

So he married her. She bore him several children, all of whom fought from camps - denied glory, but gaining honor, for a duty that few would cherish - protecting the army's spoils. There are few Tonburi - never more than a hundred, but each leads peasants happily, and they take no offense at being the rear guard, protecting the spoils, and improving camp life. Now, he comes to his progeny's aid, helping them help the rest of the clan.

 

Few outside the Doji know who or what they are; only since the 10th century has their shugenja school become distinct from the Asahina's - any Tonburi after that who attended never mastered the Asahina School Technique, but instead were able to invoke ancestor kami  to guide blows.  Eventually, Asahina-Sama took the ancestral hint.

Tonburi Family: Air +1 or Water +1; Courtesy, Survival +1; Glory 30. Status 25. 

Tonburi Shugenja School: As Asahina, but rings Air and Water, rank 1 skill group is Trade, and Rank 1 Culture is replaced with Government.

School Ability: Ancestral Duty: As a Downtime activity (taking an hour or so) with a TN (number of extant blessings) Meditation (Void), May place blessings into a weapon at range 0-3. Each such blessing acts as a temporary distinction for fighting current foes of the Crane, or an adversity  when attacking any Crane (ignoring social class!).  These blessings last for School rank weeks, or until the weapon has the destroyed quality, or the wielder takes a dying condition. (This is often done while the owner is eating, and without the owner's knowledge). A given shugenja may have no more than Void + School rank blessings active, and will always know if the blessing has been canceled by any means.

Mastery Ability: Ancestor's Strike: The shugenja may call forth an ancestor to aid in defense of a camp, village, or temple. This ancestor will be a veteran bushi's ghost, equipped with a Katana of Air (as Yari of Air with the scene and alternate form spends), but with only 8 physical Resistance. The bushi will stay through the end of scene, unless the shugenja would take a dying condition; in that case, the ancestor will intercept the blow and vanish. Being semisolid, the ancestor cannot pass through obstructions, but can interact with physical objects and beings. 

Tonburi Courtier School As Yasuki school, except replace R1 Design with Government, Command with Courtesy, All in Jest  with Lady Doji's Decree (Shuji),  R3 Seafaring with Courtesy and Lord Hida's Grip (kata) with A Samurai's Fate (shūji), R5 Lady Doji's Decree with  Path to Inner Peace (R1 Water invocation).
Rank 6 Mastery Ability: when leading a defense of a camp or village, all Tonburi samurai may reroll 2 blank dice and all other crane 1 blank die.

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2 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

From prior campaigns, my players created the Tonburi (屯武吏) no Doji 

That's a very nice bit of background. I like the idea.

And yes, vassal families having a duty specifically because a 'major family' wouldn't want to do it sort of makes sense - I mean, everyone has peasants or low ranking ji-samurai on guard duty, but if a bloodline, or individual, or group gets known for it - and more specifically for accepting the duty without kicking off over glory - then being rewarded with a family name is quite feasible if they distinguish themselves somehow.

"Become a vassal family" is essentially the family daimyo's equivalent of the emperor going "You're now a minor clan", and logically it must be much easier for a low ranking samurai to catch the eye of their family daimyo than the Hantei.

 

On ‎11‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 10:51 PM, Tonbo Karasu said:

So, one of the slight changes to the setting is that there are in fact 'countless' minor clans dotted about the Empire, with the named ones on the map being just the most prominent.  To me this also implies that there actually a bunch of vassal families within the Great Clans, we just don't normally hear about them, because they go by the name of their major Family: Kakita Naritoki no Ashidaka is normally called Kakita Naritoki, except by members of the Kakita and close friends.

With the way families work in the new system, creating vassals would be quite easy:

  • 2a:  If you are a member of a vassal family, replace one of the two skills specified in the family with an appropriate skill to represent your family's particular interests and specialities.  Then, reduce Glory be 5, and Stearting Wealth by 1 koku.

Agreed. I would concur with @Hida Jitenno that a (quite sizable) status hit would also be relevant; it's not derived from family, admittedly, but a vassal family samurai should not have the same status as a great clan samurai.

The suggested status value for a generic Great Clan Samurai is 30-39, whilst an average Vassal Family Samurai is listed as the same as a Minor Clan Samurai, at 25-29.

You could argue that there should be some 'payback' for this, but I'd suggest that what's essentially a free choice of a skill rank probably balances it out, especially on a new 0XP character. Besides which, it's an option you chose to exercise.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Mind you, the way that being an Emerald Magistrate (The most common game type with mixed groups) works is that it gives +15 Status...to a maximum of 40. Which means that a minor clan samurai/vassal family samurai is instantly on par with the other player characters as Great Clan samurai hit that cap.

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1 hour ago, Ikiry0 said:

Mind you, the way that being an Emerald Magistrate (The most common game type with mixed groups) works is that it gives +15 Status...to a maximum of 40. Which means that a minor clan samurai/vassal family samurai is instantly on par with the other player characters as Great Clan samurai hit that cap.

And I've no problem with that.

If the party are Emerald Magistrates, then in a real sense it doesn't matter what their family origin is, because they're there as representatives of the Emerald and Ruby Champions, not their 'home clan'.

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The background I wrote for the Tagyo:

In the year 716, the Hiruma family lands came under assault by the most devastating horde of Shadowlands beasts since the time of Fu Leng. The first signs of this coming assault were first reported while Hiruma Tagiyoshi commanded the garrison at Shiro Hiruma.

Tagiyoshi was born a Matsu, trained in the Akodo Tactician school, and married into the Hiruma as the result of a series of military assistance alliances. He served his new clan honorably, and his command training was an invaluable asset in the frontier. His friendship with one of the Imperial Legion commanders enabled him to bring in a young idealist Akodo nikutai as his second-in-command, Akodo Takihide. The Crab provided his other nikutai, Hida Harusato.

Having one nikutai from each clan was a blessing to Tagiyoshi. He knew that the Crab had a different definition of Duty: in a losing fight, someone had to flee to warn the others. Thus, he split his garrison into two main divisions. The one commanded by Takihide would stand with him until the end, and Harusato’s would ensure the rest of the clan received any news if the worst came to pass.

When the reports came that the massive army approached, Tagiyoshi deployed his units with that plan in mind. The samurai, professional ashigaru, and annual peasant levy fought ferociously under his direction. Through careful holding actions, calculated fallbacks, and inventive tactics, the Maw was stalled long enough for the majority of the Hiruma to make it away.

Interestingly, it was Takihide who fell back with the Hiruma, and Harusato who stood to the last alongside Tagiyoshi. The former Matsu entrusted his family’s safety to his right-hand, who in time would become his son-in-law. The delaying action which allowed the Hiruma to flee gave the Crab enough time to respond to the assault and led directly to the Battle of the Cresting Wave and construction of the Wall.

Once the Maw was defeated, and the horde scattered, the Crab Clan Champion posthumously elevated Tagiyoshi to a direct vassal of the main Hiruma line. His widow suggested using Tagyo, his nickname among the garrison, and the Champion and Daimyo approved. While the majority of the Hiruma completely discarded their mon, the Tagyo wear an empty circle; to them, the circle represents the line that Tagiyoshi held to protect others and the empty space accepts the new custom of the main family.

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