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Hi,

as I'm not that familiar with Rokugani culture (or it's inspirational sources in our world), I am wondering about the dress code for samurai, especially in "game terms":

Since samurai of most schools in L5R start with "traveling clothes", but no "common clothes", does that mean, traveling clothes are supposed to be their day-to-day clothes, even when not actually traveling?
Then we have the odd case of the Doji Diplomat, who only has "ceremonial clothes" -  are these, then, their every-day outfit? So, do samurai always wear ceremonial clothes when at a palace/residence or only on specific occasions? Are you allowed to be at court without wearing ceremonial clothes and if so, do you wear traveling clothes (because you are a bushi and don't own ceremonial and, strangely, neither common ones)?

I am a little confused by this, because if you couldn't wear traveling clothes at court etc, then it would (to me at least) look like most non-courtier characters would have to acquire ceremonial clothes pretty early in many campaigns, which seems a bit... strange(?), since it's such a basic item.
I understand that bushi get armor instead and that both (armor and ceremonial clothes) are "tools" for two different professions, but at least regarding PCs in an "average" campaign, who will probably be quite often in a high(er) ranking samurai's residence/at court, but not so often in an actual battlefield, it's a bit funny, if those campaigns would always start with the question: "Where do I get ceremonial clothes from?" 😀

Do you guys get where I come from or am I making a mountain out of a molehill here? 😀 Maybe this is a "problem" which mostly gets ignored in play or is actually no problem at all...?  

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2 hours ago, Stollentroll17 said:

Maybe this is a "problem" which mostly gets ignored in play or is actually no problem at all...?  

As with anything else you need to be a proper retainer and not shame your lord, clothing is provided for you by that lord. Traveling clothes are for on the road, when you go and introduce yourself to the local ranking samurai you first change into something that will give a better impression - whether you're a courtier, a bushi or a shugenja. Ceremonial clothes are only worn if the occasion merits it. Essentially, your presentable day-to-day wear is not mentioned at all in your starting outfit because it's clothing everyone has. The starting outfit really mentions equipment that is suited to your school, but probably not to everyone else.

The only real exception here would be monks (and not the tattooed kind), but without schools for them yet that's nothing to worry about for now.

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I would say that you can assume everyone has enough "Common Clothes" for their everyday life, which will cover most situations a samurai is expected to face.

Then most school's starting outfit will provide some clothes or armor that gives better resistance and/or has better qualities, but they might not be appropriate in every situation.

If you would like to learn more about specific pieces of samurai clothing and armor, while Wikipedia might not be the most historically accurate source, it will at least help you get some information and vocabulary to bring at your table if you so wish.

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14 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

As with anything else you need to be a proper retainer and not shame your lord, clothing is provided for you by that lord. Traveling clothes are for on the road, when you go and introduce yourself to the local ranking samurai you first change into something that will give a better impression - whether you're a courtier, a bushi or a shugenja. Ceremonial clothes are only worn if the occasion merits it. Essentially, your presentable day-to-day wear is not mentioned at all in your starting outfit because it's clothing everyone has. The starting outfit really mentions equipment that is suited to your school, but probably not to everyone else.

The only real exception here would be monks (and not the tattooed kind), but without schools for them yet that's nothing to worry about for now.

Please expand on your monk comment, because there are schools for non-tattooed monks (and I'm not counting the Kaito). They're in Emerald Empire.

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3 hours ago, Isawa Miyu said:

Please expand on your monk comment, because there are schools for non-tattooed monks (and I'm not counting the Kaito). They're in Emerald Empire.

That's great, but I can't get EE yet. That said, monks are not retainers and as such are not provided by a lord with everything they need to perform their service. Tattooed monks are somewhere in between, which puts them in a fuzzy situation with regards to outfits, but Shinseist and Fortunist monks will pretty much just get the essential necessities from the temple they stay at (unless they're an abbot perhaps) - everyday robes and meals from the kitchen. Anything else is not deemed needed while the monk seeks enlightenment.

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A note about 'Common Clothes'.  I believe that those listed in the Scorpion schools is actually clothing that a commoner would wear, for disguising oneself.

I'd also point out that you could get yourself a spare set of clothes as one of the 3  Rarity 4 or less items in your travelling pack, if you so desired.

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Your starting stipend should also easily cover if you need to pick up a spare outfit of clothes, though armor is a bit pricey (though your Lord should provide you with armor if you're going to war). 

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On 1/5/2019 at 11:22 PM, Stollentroll17 said:

Hi,

as I'm not that familiar with Rokugani culture (or it's inspirational sources in our world), I am wondering about the dress code for samurai, especially in "game terms":

Since samurai of most schools in L5R start with "traveling clothes", but no "common clothes", does that mean, traveling clothes are supposed to be their day-to-day clothes, even when not actually traveling?
Then we have the odd case of the Doji Diplomat, who only has "ceremonial clothes" -  are these, then, their every-day outfit? So, do samurai always wear ceremonial clothes when at a palace/residence or only on specific occasions? Are you allowed to be at court without wearing ceremonial clothes and if so, do you wear traveling clothes (because you are a bushi and don't own ceremonial and, strangely, neither common ones)?

I am a little confused by this, because if you couldn't wear traveling clothes at court etc, then it would (to me at least) look like most non-courtier characters would have to acquire ceremonial clothes pretty early in many campaigns, which seems a bit... strange(?), since it's such a basic item.
I understand that bushi get armor instead and that both (armor and ceremonial clothes) are "tools" for two different professions, but at least regarding PCs in an "average" campaign, who will probably be quite often in a high(er) ranking samurai's residence/at court, but not so often in an actual battlefield, it's a bit funny, if those campaigns would always start with the question: "Where do I get ceremonial clothes from?" 😀

Do you guys get where I come from or am I making a mountain out of a molehill here? 😀 Maybe this is a "problem" which mostly gets ignored in play or is actually no problem at all...?  

IMHO you are making a bit of a mountain out of a molehill.

 

How I see it:

There is no particular difference between "Common" and "Travel" clothes. Travel clothes are just more resilient and thus more expensive. If you want I suppose you could create wear and tear rules to represent this, but, honestly, the increased Resistance and the Durable trait on travelling clothes already take care of that. They are pretty much what your standard samurai would wear in most circunstances.

The Ceremonial clothes, those are your high status garments. I wouldn't treat them as necessary to present yourself at all courts, but you're probably not sitting with the Emperor at all if the only thing you have are common clothes and you might lose some Honor and/or Glory for presenting yourself as a country bumpkin in Court. If a samurai has risen enough in the world that they are regularly attending court than they can afford a nice set of blinged out apparel. This is what you wear to impress. If you can afford it you can use it as much as you want, even on your everyday life (unlike real life, Rokugani ceremonial robes don't seem to be as constricting and impratical as Japanese Nagabakama or the Roman Toga).

 

Now depending on wheter or not you are up for it you can go full hog and create sumptuary laws for your Rokugan and define what each status rank can and can't wear and maybe in more detail than what the game provides, but don't feel obliged about it. There is no need to sweat about it.

If you're into it I sugest taking a look here, particulalry the outfit sections. Multiple types of outfits from different time periods are described with link to specific pieces of garment and you can even get on how to describe what your NPCs (or the PCs) are wearing.
 

Also, notice how the Mirumoto Bushi gets both Travelling Clothes, Ceremonial Clothes and Armor. If it's bugging you and/or if it make sense for your campaign of for one of your characters just give them the additional set of clothes you think they need. It's not going to break the game.

 

 

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So I think the important distinction to remember here is Ceremonial clothes have the "Ceremonial" tag - which one of the benefits is that it is much easier to establish your bona fides in. This is a practical purpose they serve - they are probably what we see a lot of L5R art of, well-made clothes in clear Clan Colors with big honking mons all over them so anybody looking at you knows that you are a Mirumoto Samurai of the Dragon Clan, and you are going about on your official business, because your clothes very clearly declare this. Other types of clothes are better suited to various day to day tasks, where you shouldn't need to declare who you are and whose business you're on. 

But yes it also should be noted theoretically you have whatever you should need at home or with your lord or whatever. Every samurai "owns" a katana, but if you are not a bushi and don't wish to wear swords openly to declare so, because that means you're a legitimate combatant, you probably leave it enshrined at home. Your starting outfit is basically all the kit you should be carrying and received probably around gempukku, either from your dojo as part of training/graduation, or from your family or superiors as gifts or tools to use in your new duty. 

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Basic idea of the EE monks

Fortunist: Kata, Rituals, Shūji. Invocations only on specific ranks as privileged acces. Can importune safely. semi-shujenja

Shinseist: Kiho, Kata, Rituals. Basically an anime monk.

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Thanks for all the answers!

No one needs to bother about common clothes, cause everyone has enough of them additionally to what their school's starting outfit is - perfect! This makes a lot of sense, but it somehow didn't occur to me. I think, what confused me, was the Doji Diplomats lack of traveling clothes (and thus a supposed lack of anything to wear outside of formal situations)... and I wanted to be sure, my PCs would not need to be welcomed by the city governor wearing their dusty traveling clothes 😀 

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Note that even the Doji diplomat gets a traveling pack in their starting outfit.. in addition to the standard stuff in there, you can pick any three items of rarity 4 or less... so this can include traveling clothes ;) cf. Page 245

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20 hours ago, Stollentroll17 said:

and I wanted to be sure, my PCs would not need to be welcomed by the city governor wearing their dusty traveling clothes 😀 

I think you can also assume that either:

  • If you were sent on a specific mission by your lord to meet with someone of high status, they will have provided you with proper clothing that fits the goal of the mission and occasion during which the meeting will occur.
  • If the situation happened on the fly so there was no preparation possible, and given there is no absolute emergency that would bypass the need for propriety, any host of a certain level will have an army of servants taking charge of anyone that is granted an audience without having the proper attire. They'll be allowed to clean up and will be provided with proper clothes and accessories that fit the occasion.

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14 hours ago, Agasha Kanetake said:

I think you can also assume that either:

  • If you were sent on a specific mission by your lord to meet with someone of high status, they will have provided you with proper clothing that fits the goal of the mission and occasion during which the meeting will occur.
  • If the situation happened on the fly so there was no preparation possible, and given there is no absolute emergency that would bypass the need for propriety, any host of a certain level will have an army of servants taking charge of anyone that is granted an audience without having the proper attire. They'll be allowed to clean up and will be provided with proper clothes and accessories that fit the occasion.

Unless it's urgent enough, in which case, dust-and-all, one is lead in, takes off the geta, puts on guest waraji, and makes their report. Then, if not needing to run off themselves,  they go to the bath, and get loaners until their own have been washed and dried, and the local responds immediately...

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