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Black_Rabbit_Inle

Agasha Sumiko's honorifics

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  Just a quick question on what honorific(s) Agasha Sumiko would expect my PC's to apply to her, given that they have just completed the starter adventure and "in the palace of the emerald champion", but I am having them continue their training for a little while. It seems like this technically makes her the head sensei for her Dojo.. so sensei or maybe O-sensei?

  On the other hand, she's technically the empire's leading mind in legal matters, so would -hakase be more appropriate? As "The Ruby Champion" does she rise to the level of -kakka (which would apparently be useful for heads of state, cabinet ministers and commanding generals.)

 

  So I'm looking both for titles that would be appropriate, and also what titles do you think she would want to hear from some students that she has taken a personal interest in training and occasionally uses for minor/personal investigations.

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If they've completed the adventure, they're Emerald Magistrates, and she's the Ruby Champion and possibly (depending on whether Akodo Toturi has won the title yet) Acting Emerald Champion, hence, their 'lord' until or unless Akodo Toturi comes into the frame.

 

When Agasha Sumiko meets Akodo Toturi, she refers to him as "Champion Toturi", as do the Daidoji he meets at Toshi Ranbo. I would expect the same to apply to her - she is a Jeweled Champion, albeit one inferior to the Emerald Champion (and yes, I guess that does mean the Topaz Champion - if in the party - could insist on the same but if you do you're really going to put people's noses out of joint....).

No-one actually talks to Sumiko or refers to her in the third person in In the palace of the Emerald Champion.

In Wildcats and Dragon's Teeth, the Dragon Clan ambassador also greets her at court as "Champion". So clearly that's the easy, formal title; "Champion Sumiko". Head of state and commanding general might be overdoing it; she is a champion but not a clan champion.

Hantei Sotorii does refer to Doji Satsume as Satsume-Sensei, and - if Sumiko has taken a personal interest in their training, that's a more 'personal' respectful title; one they should use in the Dojo and can probably get away with outside it if wanting to remind her of their close relationship (compared to other magistrates).

Given that their investigation at her behest was 'off the books', by comparison, any form of address which hints at it would be indiscrete and inappropriate.

 

 

TL:DR - "Champion Sumiko" for formal moments, "Sumiko-Sensei" for training or more personal conversations, "Sumiko-Sama" or "Agasha-Sama" for general everyday use.

Omitting the 'Agasha' is perfectly viable since all conversations with her are either in her persona as Ruby Champion (hence a representative of the Empire and not the Dragon Clan) or personal (and hence not using her family name is not unreasonable).

 

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 Thank you.

  Yeah, I realize the adventure says their training would be complete but, assuming the campaign actually is intended to make the players emerald magistrates, that seems unnecessary and foolish to me.  I could maybe see if Sumiko wanted to whisk the PC's out of sight of people who might be asking questions about the investigation, or if she were trying to keep them safe, but even in those cases it seems like Sumiko would want the PC's to have more training. Anyway, my campaign is going to call for the PC's (and other npc's) to interact with Sumiko in her capacity as the Ruby Champion (which makes her the top instructor of the emerald magistrate Dojo and top legal advisor to the E.M. and Emperor) and acting Emerald Champion, with the PC's either being Emerald Magistrates in training or at least Emerald Magistrates whom Sumiko realizes probably still need some training.

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2 hours ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

Yeah, I realize the adventure says their training would be complete but, assuming the campaign actually is intended to make the players emerald magistrates, that seems unnecessary and foolish to me. 

They are officially full Emerald Magistrates as of the Graduation Ceremony scene.

It feels a bit silly, but bear in mind, Akodo Toturi becomes supreme judicial authority and military commander after the Emperor himself by winning an Iaijutsu competition.

Actually having any legal knowledge is clearly optional to the post (which I guess is why the Ruby Champion exists).

2 hours ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

I could maybe see if Sumiko wanted to whisk the PC's out of sight of people who might be asking questions about the investigation, or if she were trying to keep them safe, but even in those cases it seems like Sumiko would want the PC's to have more training.

Probably, but 'learning by doing' is a quite feasible approach and just as sensible if she wants them out of sight and out of mind; either send them out to an (apparently) non-sensitive investigation or attach them to someone more experienced (the beta adventure A Ronin's Path had the PCs working for the magistrate Seppun Hirohide who - given that whilst the party is dealing with the main story, he apparently hunts down, takes on and kills a massively powerful Maho-Tsukai 'off-camera' with a wakizashi and a few pithy comments, is apparently slightly badass)

2 hours ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

Anyway, my campaign is going to call for the PC's (and other npc's) to interact with Sumiko in her capacity as the Ruby Champion (which makes her the top instructor of the emerald magistrate Dojo and top legal advisor to the E.M. and Emperor) and acting Emerald Champion, with the PC's either being Emerald Magistrates in training or at least Emerald Magistrates whom Sumiko realizes probably still need some training.

Indeed. Which is appropriate. Whatever it may have been before, now they're sworn Emerald Magistrates, their Giri is basically "do what the Woman with the fancy red armour says".

 

 

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I also don't really like that the PC's become full Emerald Magistrates so quickly.  It sort of deflates of the office a bit.  That said Magnus Grendel is correct in that it's not inconsistent with the setting presented so far.   If I was going to run these as a continuous campaign I might assign them to a magistrate to oversee them until at least after their adventure in Slow Tide Harbor.  Just give the magistrate something else to do, which keeps him away from the PCs for most of the adventure.  The mission in Slow Tide Harbor seems pretty insignificant on the surface anyway so it makes sense that a magistrate would delegate that while they took care of something more important.  Then maybe give them a graduation ceremony on returning from that mission since they've proven themselves in the field.  That might help the PC's feel like they earned it a bit more. 

Edited by phillos

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Personally, I think making them yoriki to an Emerald Magistrate makes much more sense. Given the politics around Emerald Magistrates and their appointments, I find it surprising Sumiko would just go ahead and make these new samurai (so new, they still have that new-samurai smell) EMs. Still, for the purposes of a beginner's adventure with which you're trying to hook new players...eh, go for it, make them EM's. But for more experienced players, I'd go with yoriki for sure. Again, this is my take on it...

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I'm going to start my campaign with "In the Palace..." and saying that the characters have been training as Magistrates for a little while after getting their position - either by individual recommendation, politics or competitive exam. (with the greater Chinese influence on Rokugan, I am pretty sure that there's probably something like a Test of the Emerald Magistrate that's like the civil service exams.

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Add me to the list of those that would make them Yoriki rather than full magistrates. Maybe, and just maybe, make the Topaz Champion a full magistrate (a little bit of nepotism and elitism is IMHO in keeping with te setting)

And honestly there is no reason why you can't have multiple "levels" of magistrate. The "full" magistrate would be the Machi-Bugyo equivalents, then we have the Yoriki and under them the Doshin, who historically were also samurai, albeit low ranking ones, and their many commoner assistants.

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2 hours ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

May I ask those who are making their PCs yoriki, how are you presenting the Magistrate that they are working for?  And why doesn't this senior NPC overshadow the PCs?

Treat the Magistrate the same way you would treat any other samurai in heir chain of command. A magistrate sueprior is no different from a daimyo or other superior to the PCs in that regard. At the very least Status is not necessarily a measure of competence.

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I'd be treating this magistrate exactly the same way Sumiko is treated in "In The Palace".  The PC's go off to do a job, but they have someone to report to when they are done.  That magistrate has more important things to do than watch them work the whole time.  He or she's got a team of Yoriki to delegate these tasks.  You could even foreshadow future adventure seeds with what the magistrate is doing while the PC's are on their adventure.  When the PC's get promoted the magistrate could have a completely different assignment from them.  Rokugan is a big place.  Also you have the option of making the magistrate incompetent if for some reason you thought the NPC would overshadow the PCs after all that. 

Another option is you could always kill the magistrate off while they are working off camera on their more important and more dangerous mission.  Completing the PC's mission and then in addition bringing the magistrates murderer to justice I think would go a long way toward making it seem like the PC's earned their status even if they are so young and inexperienced.  If none of that sounds great to you I also liked the suggestion of modifying the "In The Palace" adventure to make more time happen before the graduation.   I like better tacking on time at the end with some sort of narrative training montage before they graduate to make it seem like it was more than a couple days after their gempuku that they became magistrates.  That helps keep the adventure itself relatively unchanged.  Though the one argument against this is that leaving the PC's relatively untrained and inexperienced for as long as possible is more new player friendly.  The more training and experience you give the PCs the more if feels like you need to explain to them things they should already know, which is fine but I think it's always better if the PCs are asking the same questions in character.

Edited by phillos

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An Emerald Magistrate can also assign their yoriki to investigate things on their own, and report back. They wouldn't be investigating major crimes, of course (although they could certainly stumble upon them), and would have pretty limited investigative powers. And, yes, brand new yoriki are likely to be kept on a pretty short leash...but if an Emerald Magistrate is "stretched" by their duties, they could extend their reach and "multi-task" by assigning lesser and specific tasks to their deputies.

So the EM becomes an off-screen presence to whom the yoriki occasionally report. This could be role-played out, and/or done as a downtime activity.

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To be completely honest, part of my decision to keep the PC's around Sumiko for a while is to let the PC's take advantage of Sumiko's ability which lets her teach (not looking at her right now, but I think it was Martial arts skills) for a reduced xp cost.  I also recall getting the impression that Sumiko might be a little paranoid about the trustworthy-ness of the next Emerald Champion and her own assistants, which I'm taking to mean she might try to create a group within the E.M. that is more loyal to her.

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On ‎12‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 7:47 PM, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

I also recall getting the impression that Sumiko might be a little paranoid about the trustworthy-ness of the next Emerald Champion and her own assistants, which I'm taking to mean she might try to create a group within the E.M. that is more loyal to her.

Specters of War - she doesn't distrust Akodo Toturi so much as considers him an unknown quantity (although she's a bit irked his wife has got him to do something she's been bugging him to do for a while - go look at Toshi Ranbo).

She definitely has suspicions about Kagi, though - which might be part of why she wants them to be Magistrates not Yoriki; Kagi is the chief Yoriki and hence they'd be reporting to her via him; not an ideal situation if she suspect him of being Kolat!

On ‎12‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 7:47 PM, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

not looking at her right now, but I think it was Martial arts skills

Expert in the Dojo is limited to Martial skills. Not just Martial Arts - so you can buy Fitness, Meditation & Tactics as well. However, you can only claim a discount on the first rank of any skill you buy since it has to be "a skill in which they have 0 ranks".

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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On 12/13/2018 at 10:45 PM, Suzume Chikahisa said:

Add me to the list of those that would make them Yoriki rather than full magistrates. Maybe, and just maybe, make the Topaz Champion a full magistrate (a little bit of nepotism and elitism is IMHO in keeping with te setting)

And honestly there is no reason why you can't have multiple "levels" of magistrate. The "full" magistrate would be the Machi-Bugyo equivalents, then we have the Yoriki and under them the Doshin, who historically were also samurai, albeit low ranking ones, and their many commoner assistants.

It used to be traditional that the Topaz Champion would be invited to become an Emerald Magistrate (along with a half-dozen other job offers, many from their clan champion). For plot advancement, making it the only 'offer' (read: command) makes sense. It's hardly elitism to give a better job to a literal champion who proved themselves better than the others after all (with all the spiritual implication that the winner of the duel, even if not as talented, or knowledgeable, or whatever, compared to the other candidates, was chosen by the Heavens).

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9 hours ago, Isawa Miyu said:

It used to be traditional that the Topaz Champion would be invited to become an Emerald Magistrate (along with a half-dozen other job offers, many from their clan champion). For plot advancement, making it the only 'offer' (read: command) makes sense. It's hardly elitism to give a better job to a literal champion who proved themselves better than the others after all (with all the spiritual implication that the winner of the duel, even if not as talented, or knowledgeable, or whatever, compared to the other candidates, was chosen by the Heavens).

Once Emerald Empire comes out, and we have a choice of titles, making them a magistrate and the other characters assigned Yoriki makes sense - provided your table will function well in terms of player dynamic if someone is distinctly 'in charge' from a legal perspective. I've played Rogue Trader several times with different player groups - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't; it depends on the players (and the GM)

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My group played a Rogue Trader campaign that went on for a year.  Was alot of fun.  The captain was played comically which deflated his authority.  Most of the time my Seneschal was really in-charge.  My Seneschal also withheld information from the crew and spread disinformation on a regular basis.  Something else that probably wouldn't have worked if we didn't have the right group for it.

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