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BayushiKojiro

Question for the Writers: Scorpion Bushi

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There has been a fair amount of electronic ink spent on the issue of Scorpion Bushi ... or official lack there of.

I am not as much of an expert as some of the other people on the forum, but I think a few general points have been agreed upon...

(1) The Scorpion do have Bushi schools (and duelist). But we do not have hard rules for them. Yet. The answer for why seems to be that each family only got one school in the core book and the manipulator and infiltrator schools took priority in expressing the Scorpion Clan.

(2) there are a number of people who are at least grumbling about this.

(3) Some common suggestions for making a more martial Scorpion include (A) the Infiltrator School plus Laquered Armor from the step in 20 Qs where you get an item (and/or iajutsu techniques). Or (B) use the mechanics of the Worldly Ronin while RPing that as Scorpion in good standing. (C)If the Seppun family won’t be a big part of your game, you could repurpose the Seppun Palace Guard for the Scorpion Bushi/Duelist. Or (D) home brew something. 

Hope something above helps. I do believe (eventually) we will see an official school for the Scorpion “fighters.”

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I greatly appreciate the well meaning advice, seeing as an official Scorpion bushi school is unlikely to see the print until about spring 2022, and I look forward to responding to other's grumblings about their own school problems with such sage council given here especially when they feel their bushi schools aren't up to snuff.  However, your comments do not answer my question, nor could they.  Perhaps, if a source that I have requested reads this thread, I shall rephrase my question. What was the writer's intent in not giving the Scorpion Clan access to a native bushi school?

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3 hours ago, BayushiKojiro said:

I greatly appreciate the well meaning advice, seeing as an official Scorpion bushi school is unlikely to see the print until about spring 2022, and I look forward to responding to other's grumblings about their own school problems with such sage council given here especially when they feel their bushi schools aren't up to snuff.  However, your comments do not answer my question, nor could they.  Perhaps, if a source that I have requested reads this thread, I shall rephrase my question. What was the writer's intent in not giving the Scorpion Clan access to a native bushi school?

they made choices ? and thought that bushi was not a priority for the scorpion clan?
same as artisan is not a priority for the lion clan?
 

there you go, an answer for you.

Edited by Avatar111

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5 hours ago, BayushiKojiro said:

What was the writer's intent in not giving the Scorpion Clan access to a native bushi school?

I might be wrong, but I doubt the writers that roam this Lore sub-forum and occasionally reply have much to do with the choices of design and content that were made for the core rulebook. The lore writers have displayed Scorpion Clan bushi in multiple stories, not least of which is a certain finalist to the Emerald Champion Tournament, so it's obvious there is some way for them to learn. It has only not been showcased in the rules yet.

The rules have been out 4 months so far, we can't expect every single option or bit of information to be covered yet! Just like for every other RPG, not all of the specific character concepts are covered by the rules, especially when a game is this new. But the GM and players have always been able to combine their imagination with what is known so far, to create new options for themselves. This is why people have proposed multiple viable temporary solutions above.

Also, you are not alone in your feeling of neglect. This specific case his being discussed at length here:

 

Edited by Agasha Kanetake

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3 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

they made choices ? and thought that bushi was not a priority for the scorpion clan?
same as artisan is not a priority for the lion clan?
 

there you go, an answer for you.

 All the same, thank you for the answer.  You will understand that I will wait, for a more official answer.  

 

PS: Ikoma Courtier (sshhh…. John Wick doesn't want you to know the Lion could be artsy-fartsy. Don't mention it to anyone ;))

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I cannot speak, nor will attempt to speak, about why things were or weren't included in the RPG stuff published so far. I don't work for FFG; I'm just a freelancer who writes for them. That said, I'm confident saying that, from a general lore perspective, there ARE one or more Scorpion schools that train bushi because, yes, Scorpion bushi clearly exist in the new setting and they must train somewhere. But, if or when the mechanics for such a school get published for the RPG isn't for me to say!

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Just have them train in some other bushi school. They are sneaky Scorpions after all. 

They needed to pick a subset of the schools to feature in the core book.  There's no way they'd cover them all in there.  So some favorites are gonna be missed.  I'm sure we'll get a Bayushi bushi school eventually when they get around to doing a Scorpion themed supplement.  I guess they really wanted to emphasis the Scorpion's influence in the court in the core book.

It is interesting that they didn't choose to give everyone a Bushi, Shugenja and Courtier school in the core book.  To compare the L5R 1st edition core book gave everyone exactly 1 bushi school and 1 shugenja school.  Courtiers and other specialized schools didn't come around until the individual clan got their "Way Of" book.

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The focus definitely seems to have been hitting major family archetypes than necessarily hitting some kind of "competitive balance" of schools. Families who have multiple schools associated with them have thus suffered a little, as FFG had to wrestle with what they thought would make good mechanics and representation for each family group. 

I've never really got the assertion that just because the school isn't printed they don't exist though - NPCs don't use school rules, so in the backdrop there are untold hordes of spear-carrying Scorpion bushi. You just can't be a cool iconic PC scorpion bushi yet. 

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The reason can be seen if you look at the Unicorn and Crab schools. They chose to give each of the setting's 30 great families their signature schools. In the Crab and Unicorn's case this meant 5 schools. In the Scorpion's case it meant that the Bayushi didn't get to pull double duty as they did in previous editions, and instead we got Yogo in the Core and have to make do with either the shosuro or bayushi schools side specing into combat.

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Just a fun little game to play. Fill in the blank with the most absurd school you can think of.

 

Bayushi Shoju and one quarter of the Scorpion clan are of the (Insert School name) School.

 

For me, I waffle between Yogo Wardmaster and Kitsuki Investigator. For Yogo Wardmaster, it means that the Scorpion has more shugenja than the whole of Rokugan several hundred times over. With Kitsuki Investigator, imagine the level of mind games. "You see, we actually invented your techniques and guided you along the path to developing them. You never noticed...."

Edited by BayushiKojiro
added more

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16 hours ago, UnitOmega said:

The focus definitely seems to have been hitting major family archetypes than necessarily hitting some kind of "competitive balance" of schools. Families who have multiple schools associated with them have thus suffered a little, as FFG had to wrestle with what they thought would make good mechanics and representation for each family group. 

I've never really got the assertion that just because the school isn't printed they don't exist though - NPCs don't use school rules, so in the backdrop there are untold hordes of spear-carrying Scorpion bushi. You just can't be a cool iconic PC scorpion bushi yet. 

I wouldn't cal it a competitive balance.  Just a more flexible balance to fit as many character concepts as possible.  It fixes potential issues like the one the OP is wrestling with right now.  We all know the Scorpion clan has bushi (we clearly see Scorpion duelists and yojimbo in the FFG fiction), but with just the core book there is no good in-clan option to create that sort of character.  Therefore you need to get a bit more creative with it if that's your concept.  They opted for a more thematic approach by showing off the iconic schools for each family in the core book.  I don't think that's an incorrect choice.

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"I will be your villain, Hantei"- Bayushi

The theme of the Scorpion Clan is to be the heel. The best way they can do this is to stand in opposition to the hero or face's virtues. For example, Bayushi Shoju is/was a skilled commander, a consummate warrior, a talented duelist, a loving husband, a doting father and a loyal servant of the empire. You can see how he contrasts against the virtues that Doji Hotaru/Hoturi present.

 

Tell me, what would be a good Rokugani heel for the Crab? Would it be an infiltrator? Nope. The Shadowlands have pretty much inured the Crab to this tactic. I'm not saying it's impossible.....but it is hard and kind of old hat for the Crab to counter. What about a bushi that fights dirtier than the Shadowlands could ever consider and knows all the chinks in the Crab's armor? Someone who can say "While you are at your wall, I'm with your loved ones...."? 

 

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On ‎1‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 2:46 PM, BayushiKojiro said:

Tell me, what would be a good Rokugani heel for the Crab? Would it be an infiltrator? Nope. The Shadowlands have pretty much inured the Crab to this tactic. I'm not saying it's impossible.....but it is hard and kind of old hat for the Crab to counter. What about a bushi that fights dirtier than the Shadowlands could ever consider and knows all the chinks in the Crab's armor? Someone who can say "While you are at your wall, I'm with your loved ones...."? 

Frankly, the exact one they're trying to deal with at the moment; a smug, slick, influential, connected politician who can run rings around them at court and is able to undermine their ability to get the weapons and (especially) jade they need to hold the wall effectively, meaning the clan loses Bushi hand-over-fist to both excessive casualties and mercy killings of tainted survivors.

Kakita Yoshi being apparently the point man on this in the published fictions.

The fact that Emerald Empire has a rumour there's only one jade mine (West Mountain) in the Empire which isn't all but worked out goes to show why supplying the Crab's armies is such a big deal.

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On 1/17/2019 at 4:22 PM, BayushiKojiro said:

What school do Scorpion Bushi train at? Who serves in Scorpion legions?  Who acts as duelists should the need arise? How does the Scorpion Clan work without these things?

The answer to this is the same as all clans: The Minion Bushi School.  Obviously this ain't a great answer for PCs, but of the thousands of samurai serving in the armies of the Great Clans, the vast majority of them don't have a School Technique, nor do they need one.   Sure, they've studied "Pincers and Tail," but for the average bushi it's more of a warm-up kata (with a lower-case "k") they practice in the dojo.  The average bushi don't need to be sneaky, conniving, and underhanded.  They need guard the castle, the temple, and the caravan, and when necessary, take to the field with their spears and swords and get killed by Player Characters seeking Glory.

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