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Legend of the Five Rings Play by Post

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Posted (edited)

Daidoji Shingen's eyes light up slightly at the sweets, and he thanks Hekasu for the offer.

Daidoji Korishu bends down slightly, and whispers in his Nikutai's ear. The Daidoji squad leader nods slightly.

"You are planning to compete at the Festival's tournaments? It will be an interesting challenge to reach Uimi Mura in time; I doubt the rains will hold off much longer. It is good you have a sponsor; I gather the festival and its tournaments are being held on a larger scale than normal this year; several clan samurai have passed the border over the past few weeks with the intent to compete, and if as many potential competitors are coming from west and south, or by river, it is possible Yasuki Onodera's retainers could get...selective."

He turns to the guard.

"Korishu-san, please request that food is brought out, and ask that the attendants bring some writing paper for Kenshin-san at the same time."

Daidoji Korishu bows and heads inside.

"I am sorry to say that I cannot fully complete your passage across the border here today. The Crane Clan's official chop is at your disposal and I can mark your papers as soon as we have eaten. The Crab Clan maintains a representative here to counter-mark your passage, but I am afraid she is absent at this moment. As part of the preparations for the festival, she has been meeting other officials at Peaceful Mooring Inn - a travellers' inn just inside the border - to arrange accommodation, travel and so forth for visiting dignitaries.  However, Yasuki Niko will be travelling back here today via the Merchant Road, you cannot fail to meet her if you travel the opposite way along it. Ito no Asahina Sora-sama's travel papers are more than adequate, so I know she will not hesitate to stamp them when you encounter her. If you wait here for her to return, you may jeopardise your chances of arriving in time to register for the festival tournaments. My orders are only to control who passes into or out of Crane lands - I can let you pass the border post; it is the Crab's place to object if they wish to and I can see no reason that they would, especially if you have your papers in order before you reach their settlements."

A trio of heimin servants in drab tunics materialise from inside the building, carrying deep glazed bowls of ramen, chopsticks, and some lacquered trays to protect the table. Shingen's copy of Lies is whisked away to somewhere inside, and a blank scroll, ink-stone, sand-pot and a simple brush left in a box next to kenshin in its place.

"Exacting obedience to orders is one of the paramount duties of any samurai." Shingen continues, thanking the attendants. "For example; Ito no Asahina Sora-sama may be the administrator of a single village, but he is the closest samurai of rank, and it is my understanding his letters instruct that you be given passage without tariff or inspection, so obviously it is not my place to ask you to open the bundles stowed on your horses. Nevertheless, I would like to observe that I am pleased to know that Hiuchiishi Ganpeki Mura is recovering so well from the depredations of the last wet season. That it has in the last year produced such valuable goods to send to the Festival Markets that justify sending a trio of samurai to guard it is impressive."

"It is strange how memory plays tricks on the mind." He says. "For example, I do not recall a stables or saddler amongst the buildings of Hiuchiishi Ganpeki Mura, but one clearly exists to provide four such fine and well-tacked horses. Furthermore, that closest one with the grey socks on its forehooves bears a striking resemblance to one I recall encountering on a dark and rain-sodden night a year ago. That seems unlikely, for I would have thought that anything seized in that battle would have been offered to the Chui, Daidoji Reiha-sama, as thanks for providing the Guntai of soldiers who drove out the bandits. Perhaps I am mistaken - not impossible, for that horse was panicked in the battle, and delivered me quite a kick, as I remember, which may have unsettled my memory of the time."

 

 
Quote

Yoshi is just so smooth scanning documents as he talks a little about appreciating noodles!

Most hungry ronin can be distracted by the promise of noodles, I suspect. :ph34r:

I've never seen 'nikutai' get used as an honorific like -sama or -dono, but there's no reason in theory it couldn't; -sensei certainly does. I'd probably expect to see it used instead of a name; the whole 'respect to position, not the person' means that using 'Nikutai-san/-sama' would be an appropriate alternative to needing to know someone's name.

It's not an especially earth-shaking rank, anyway. Anyone with a rank of tactics would consider the table of ranks pretty much TN0:

  • Hohei - "line infantryman"
  • Nikutai - "Corporal" - commanding a squad of up to a dozen samurai or a larger force of ashigaru, and might be samurai or ashigaru themselves. Militarily, if not socially, Doji Shingen and Fei are technically the same rank. It's highly unlikely in the socially-stratified Crane that one of Shingen's Iron Crane Samurai would ever be put in a situation where Fei was giving them orders, but it could theoretically happen, and in clans who maintain permanent, professional ashigaru formations like the Lion or Crab, it does occur.
  • Gunso - "Sergeant" - commanding a platoon-sized force, called a Guntai, of either 20-40 samurai or up to 200-odd ashigaru. The highest rank an ashigaru is ever likely to reach, and if they do it's usually because they are seriously grizzled veterans. It's not uncommon for a Ronin to be hired by a clan to act as gunso in ashigaru battalions to do "dull, dirty and dangerous" whilst formations of clan samurai get the glory.
  • Chui - "Captain" - commanding about 5,000 soldiers. A rank which only really exists within the Great Clans and Imperial Legions, as any minor clan which managed to field 5,000 soldiers would almost certainly have the clan champion or a direct representative in command and wouldn't need an intermediate rank for it.
  • Taisa - "Colonel" - commands a 'legion' - usually a noble-born (as in relative-of-Daimyo) samurai, of 5 Chui or 25,000 soldiers. The largest permenant, formally organised formation.
  • Shireikan - "General" - commands an army or military district. Size varies by the size of clan forces but generally in the order of 125,000 soldiers to justify the title. Command is often regional or political, such as "the northern border".
  • Rikugunshokan - "Marshal" - essentially the Daimyo's military proxy if not commanding forces themselves, so not every clan has one and not at all times. Commands the clan's entire military.
Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Posted (edited)

Kenshin smiles and thanks the male.

Thank you, Nikutai-san. Thank you for allowing me to pass through the border too.

He said, thanking the servants too before he started to write his letter. His food would wait for abit before he would turn his attention to it.

Edited by Von3679

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Posted (edited)

  “The compassion of Ito no Asahina Sora-sama is great indeed, that he has allowed us all to be of service on such a simple task.  As a ronin, it is sometimes difficult to find ways to serve the empire, but Ito no Asahina Sora-samba has been gracious to us.”  Aruzhan doesn’t seem too upset as she considers the first part of Shingen’s speech, while it may not be fair for ronin to be treated poorly, it certainly isn’t unexpected..  even as Shingen prods the ronin about what they might be carrying across the border, Aruzhan seems unsurprised.  After all, it’s the border guard’s duty to know who is taking what across the border..  but the comment about the horses, and the suggestion that they should have been gifted to the Chui seems to give Aruzhan pause..  this is the first time that she’s heard anyone say anything about Asahina Sora that could be seen as disrespectful.

  “I think it must be coincidence that this steed seems familiar to you Shingen-sama.  I suspect that even a seasoned Shinjo scout would have trouble identifying an unfamiliar steed spotted on the field of battle under such dark and wet conditions, when most steeds would have mud caked up to their knees.”

  P.s.: although Aruzhan is feeling a little defensive, she’s not trying to start any fights.. she’s trying to find a polite way to tell Shingen to mind his own business..  perhaps there should be some sort of courtesy roll?

Edited by Black_Rabbit_Inle

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Posted (edited)
 

Kenshin - You don't need to write the full letter - unless you want to, obviously - but just let me know any key bits of information or requests you want to include. You can assume Iwata will convey it pretty much directly back, but it'll still take some time for the courier to arrive.

Aruzhan - Whilst a courtesy check may be involved in the resolution, I'm afraid "wind your neck in", however politely phrased, isn't going to make this go away....

Everyone - Kenshin included - but Aruzhan primarily since you're the one speaking - Scrutinize (Air)/Sentiment at TN2 to try to get a sense of what Shingen's angle is. Hekasu can use Subtle Observer if needed.

 

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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"Though I come from Nanashi Mura, I have certainly heard of the prowess of Shinjo breeders!" Hekasu remarks in support of Aruzhan.

Sentiment 0, Air 3: 

1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c81518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f01521230551_ExplosiveSuccessSmall.png.2cc1518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0. Since I don't want to compromise towards the people allowing us through the border, I'm going to reroll the two strife dice: 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8, [blank]. I'll keep the opp and the success so I have less shortfall in case it matters.

Page 298 suggests that when a player fails a check, one opp can be used to provide assistance to the next character to attempt the check. Will that work? I'm untrained, so it'd be a ring die, and I'm willing to accept 1 strife from the roll.

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After Kenshin finishes the letter, he calmly watches the scenario play put in front of him, eating his bowl of ramen in the process. He had sealed the letter, and would pass it to the courier, or one of the guards later after the meal.

 

rolled a success, success+strife and blank. Rerolled the blank to get another success and strife. 

 

I have air 3, 0 in sentiment

 

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Posted (edited)

As he writes, Kenshin listens to the conversation, attention drawn back from his letter by Hekasu's comment, and senses that Daidoji Shingen is not merely making an idle observation, but that there is a note of eagerness, possibly greed, behind his words.

"Indeed. I have the greatest respect for the sons and daughters of the Kami Shinjo." says the Nikutai, finishing his ramen. "If you will excuse me for a moment, I shall fetch my chop. Kenshin-san, if you have finished writing your letter, I will use that inkstone, if I may, and we can complete the portion of eveyone's paperwork that falls within my jurisdiction." He stands, bows, and goes inside the blockhouse as servants begin tidying the empty bowls away.

 
7 hours ago, Hida Jitenno said:

Page 298 suggests that when a player fails a check, one opp can be used to provide assistance to the next character to attempt the check. Will that work? I'm untrained, so it'd be a ring die, and I'm willing to accept 1 strife from the roll.

That was an option in the generic 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 uses in the beta which seems to have been removed in the core rulebook (spending 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf413431211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 to assist is still there) - cross-ring opportunities have been moved to an optional use, and the mass battle specific 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 are just gone.

I'd probably allow it given that it's still called out in the 'using 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 in play' chapter, though. From now on, assume that's an option. I'm not sure narratively how it would work in this case, though. See suggestion above.

More importantly, it turned out not to be needed in this particular case; the next character is Kenshin, who passed - just - with his initial roll.

I'm not sure why Kenshin is rerolling dice since he doesn't have any applicable advantage I can see so the blank should stand.

Hekasu's assistance via 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 would allow him to roll and keep an extra ring die, though, thanks to him the net result would be the same - passing with one bonus 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8, at a cost of gaining 1518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f01518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0, one of which can be passed to Hekasu as noted above. You don't get to use Hekasu's subtle observer advantage because it doesn't really narratively 'transfer' and he's already used it in the scene immediately before.

 

So...

Yeah. What you're picking up on is that this is basically a (very courteous) shakedown. You can't see the edges of it clearly, but you are certain that the subtext behind Shingen's somewhat schitzophrenic mix of open helpfulness - almost "rushing everyone through" - and obscure criticism is some sort of trap for Aruzhan, Hekasu and Yoshi (and you, now you're travelling together) and that saying or doing the wrong thing could cause a real headache.

It's clear Shingen knows bloody well that they were kazama's horses and knows that the trio know, and that they know he knows too. He's not pushing the matter - yet - but essentially pointing out that he could do.

He's almost certainly - ultimately - angling for a bribe...sorry, 'gift'. What's not clear is how.

With shingen going inside you can - discretely - warn the others.

 

@Black_Rabbit_Inle and @Void Crane still might want to make the sentiment check as an air 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 might let you pick up on useful details (like advantages or disadvantages).

 

The follow-on checks are for Aruzhan, Yoshi and Hekasu only, since Kenshin hasn't really heard the details of what happened and hasn't met Ito Sora.

TN1 Government/Recall (earth) or  TN2 Government/Theorize (fire) to determine the likely status of the people involved

TN2 Government/Analyze (Air) to determine exactly what shingen's threatening you with.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Posted (edited)

So much for a peaceful lunch!

((Okay, I am Earth 3 & Government 0. To recall what we've gotten ourselves into I roll: 2 explosive success with strife and a blank. I don't really want the strife but I'll keep one. On the explosion I get a second success. So 2 success 1 strife recall))

Since we're alone I murmur over my noodles, "There are wagon ruts running just outside the guard post. Some people are passing through regularly off the books. Could be the bandits of the woods. Or smugglers, or just locals. i don't know."

I better finish eating. Yoshi slurps down the last of the ramen. "Good noodles eh?" he says more loudly. 

Edited by Void Crane

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Posted (edited)
 

Results from the Recall check:

Okay....there are four people involved (aside from the four of you):

  • Ito Sora (or his predecessor in the post), administrator of Flint Quay Village
  • the Chui Daidoji Reiha, their overall captain, who sent Sora soldiers to help.
  • the Nikutai Daidoji Shingen, who was part of the Iron Crane Guntai that drove off Kazama's ronin and is now in charge of the border post.
  • his as-yet-unnamed Gunso, who commanded the Daidoji detachment sent to Flint Quay Village

 

  • Sora is a vassal family samurai, who normally have a status in the high 20s. He's hardly an 'average' vassal family samurai, though, as administrator of Flint Quay Village and the surrounding lands. That's probably on a par with a low-ranking clan magistrate, making his status somewhere in the low 40s.
  • Daidoji Reiha is a captain commanding several thousand Iron Crane soldiers. That puts her close to the level of a local city governor or Sora's vassal family daimyo, Ito Hashimata, probably in the low 50s. There's no question she's the highest ranking person involved.
  • Daidoji Shingen is essentially an average great clan family samurai, with a status somewhere in the 30s. He's outranked by everyone else in this situation, but he does definitely socially outrank you and they're not here.
  • Shingen's Gunso, depending on the size and prestige of the Guntai, could be seen as anywhere from essentially another average great clan family samurai up to one of Reiha's senior lieutenants and a 'revered sensei' to the soldiers in the Guntai , meaning anywhere between high 30s and high 40s in status and hence could be of higher, lower, or equal status to Sora. Given your impression of Korishu and the other soldiers as hardened veterans and the fact that Shingen's gunso was trusted to command an independent detachment suggests the higher end of possible status.

Some thoughts.

  1. Ito Sora is not an idiot, and wouldn't have sent you out with stuff to sell in Crab lands that he expected to see seized at the border.
    • He is also probably not going to be happy with official scrutiny from higher-ranking samurai being drawn to anything to do with "border crossings" in conjunction with "Flint Quay Village", for reasons that are pretty obvious.
  2. He might have guessed if asked that the Daidoji guards at the border were from the Guntai of Iron Crane Daidoji Reiha sent, but there's no reason for him to have known that for definite, and he certainly didn't know it was Shingen specifically or someone as polite as he seems to be would certainly have referred to them in person in his letter.
  3. If Reiha had demanded the loot from the battle, which wouldn't have been totally unfair given that her troops won it, that would have been that; she's the highest status person involved and frankly, she has an army and Sora has a dozen armed peasants you beat the crud out of with sticks.
    • There's no indication she was ever at Flint Quay Village or specifically consulted, though, so any agreement would be between Shingen's Gunso and Sora, who are probably of equal status. If anything Sora probably has a slight social advantage based on the fact that he's a village administrator ruling on matters on his own lands, but the order of precedence is fuzzy at best. 
  4. If there had been an official ruling either way; that the loot was Ito Sora's or that it was Daidoji Reiha's, Shingen probably wouldn't be pressing the matter. He would know what the ruling was - because he was there - and either would have been involved in seizing it then or know not to press the matter now.
  5. There may, however, not have been a formal decision made.
    • The village was a mess, half the ashigaru and the former administrator were dead, and Ito Sora had been severely wounded by Kazama, so it may well never have been 'officially' discussed before the Guntai was redeployed elsewhere
    • Even if it was, it may have been a personal agreement between Shingen's Gunso and Sora (or maybe even just Koharu if Sora was still incapacitated), that was never formally written down somewhere.
  6. If the matter hasn't been made 'official' before, then obviously the threat boils down to making the decision on what to do with the horses a matter of official record.
    • At absolute best this would mean going to Ito Sora for confirmation that there had been an agreement that just hadn't been written down.
    • If Daidoji Iwata were to ride for Flint Quay Village, though, that's still - based on your journey here - something like a day there and a day back.
    • Two days will probably not make you miss the festival markets in their entirety, but it probably would make you miss first couple of days - meaning the tournaments,  Yasuki Onodera's wedding celebrations, and the period attended by the higher-ranking samurai - most importantly Ide Arban, potentially making the journey pointless.

 

The Air check (I might allow Skulduggery instead of government at a slightly higher TN of 3 if people prefer) might help people figure out exactly what his game is right now, and why he's otherwise being very helpful.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Hekasu bites the inside of his cheek, trying to not cast hooded glares at Kenshin. Interesting the Crane don't care he was still claiming to be one of them... I'd bet he he can't even use that katana. 'Kakita'? Ha. Smugglers, what?

He turns to Yoshi, then looks at his own hardly-touched bowl of noodles and begins eating. "Huh. It seems there are a few interesting things afoot here. Even if these are horses caught in the fighting over that town, it's Ito-sama's town to administrate. He's fed and stabled the horses, and his town took the brunt of the raids, so it would only make sense that he'd get the reward of selling them."

I'm not trained in Gov't, so I'll just not roll. It's practically impossible for me to hit that TN.

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((On the sentiment air roll I Would have gotten one opportunity and would have tried to find Shingen’s advantages. On a government / earth roll I got two successes and one opportunity. Can I activate the ancestry unearthed opportunity on Shingen, or is he not considered a target?  If not I guess i’d Use the opp to minimize the dangers of the action.. or something.  Finally a air/ skullduggery roll provides 1 opportunity and 1 success, but I only keep the opportunity, which i think I can use to learn shingen’s Demeanor and current strife.))

  “I don’t know what’s going on in this place, but I think the sooner we move  On, the better.” The shugenja seems disinterested in her food. She took a few bites early on, but seems to be getting more distracted by whatever is going on politically.. and especially about the fate of the ponies.

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3 hours ago, Hida Jitenno said:

I'm not trained in Gov't, so I'll just not roll. It's practically impossible for me to hit that TN.

1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 results could be used to assist someone else, and/or you could try the skulduggery check if you have that. Hoping for 1521230551_ExplosiveSuccessSmall.png.2cc then 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8 isn't great odds on an untrained check, but it does exist.

2 hours ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

On the sentiment air roll I Would have gotten one opportunity and would have tried to find Shingen’s advantages.

"Notice an interesting detail about a character in the scene, such as an advantage or disadvantage" is a 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf413431211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 option, I'm afraid. Doing it for 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 is when you're finding out about other party members during a long downtime scene or as an initiative check in a conflict.

Since you failed, you could spend 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 to assist someone; adding your observations on Shingen's character to assist someone's air government/skulduggery check to determine his 'plan', which Yoshi hasn't attempted yet.

2 hours ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

On a government / earth roll I got two successes and one opportunity. Can I activate the ancestry unearthed opportunity on Shingen, or is he not considered a target?  If not I guess i’d Use the opp to minimize the dangers of the action.. or something.

He's included within the group of targets, so I guess so. I can make something up if you want, but I can tell you for free Shingen's family history won't be anything relevant to the current situation; he is a full samurai but not one of dramatically impressive lineage (which is why he's a squad leader and not an officer).

You could use it on Daidoji Reiha instead, since you (currently) don't know much about her, but to be fair, ancestry unearthed still doesn't tell you anything about her, just an ancestor of hers.

One possible alternate use for the 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 is removing some of Hekasu's strife before he loses his temper.

Alternatively (which I might recommend), you could try and think of a source of help; "Remember a place where you can research or study the topic you were attempting to recall."

2 hours ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

Finally a air/ skullduggery roll provides 1 opportunity and 1 success, but I only keep the opportunity, which i think I can use to learn shingen’s Demeanor and current strife

Shingen currently has no strife, and has the demeanour Jobsworth (Increased TN for Earth, Reduced TN for Air).

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Kenshin bows to the Nikutai.

Of course Daidoji-san. 

The male replied.

I thank you very much for allowing me to use it.

 

The male then listened to the conversation without making a sound, observing the interactions between the two parties.

 

can i make a check to discern something from what is being talked about? Or should i just sit here and wait XD i can use... maybe water survey approach? I think something like that is under water or void. [\spoiler]

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Kenshin doesn’t feel as if he should ask directly, as he feels like he is intruding. He respects the group having their own secrets i guess. Plus he is worried hekasu will lash put if he does ask too [\spoiler]

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Maybe? You're not going to know any more of the history than's been said, but there's no reason you couldn't try an educated guess at Shingen's con. A Fire/Skulduggery check at TN3 - I know it's not easy but you're kind of looking at this problem from the outside.

It would qualify for your passion for Secrets, so you can recover 3 strife after the check

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Posted (edited)

Hekasu's eyes narrow as Kenshin blatantly eavesdrops on the conversation of the three. He tries to focus on what Shingen said, mulling that over. Those papers should have been fine. I bet it's just because this False Crane shows up at the same time. I bet... I bet his dishonor, whatever it was, is casting the aspersions on us.

No, stop. Figure it out. What does Shingen want?

 

Edited to add: I know OOC that Kenshin is not eavesdropping. Don't take it as I think you're doing something wrong. That is fully IC how Hekasu is his present state-of-mind is taking it.

Okay, I'll give it a go on  Skulduggery. You had said it was a higher than TN3, so I'm hoping that just means 4.

*rolls dice, grimmaces*

Skulduggery 2/Air 3: 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c81518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c81518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c81518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f01521230551_ExplosiveSuccessSmall.png.2cc1518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0(black), 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf413431518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0. Well, I have to keep minimum 1, so I'll compromise regardless. I need more successes than I can keep with a 3 ring, so I have to keep the explosion and two successes.

Resolve explosion: 1521230551_ExplosiveSuccessSmall.png.2cc1518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0. In for a penny, in for pound, I guess. 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8.

Resolve strife: 12/8.

Resolve success: 5 against TN4+.

Edited by Hida Jitenno

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Kenshin, despite listening, could not understand the situation. He decided to investigate next time, and maybe ask one of the crew when they were... closer.

 

dang. Rolled bbb2w, got 1 opportunity, rest r blanks[\spoiler]

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Posted (edited)

Daidoji Korishu leaves the blockhouse, returning to his guard position on the road with the other two iron crane on duty, whilst Daidoji Iwata leaves, having finished his meal, and is walking back round to the stable annex.

Inside the blockhouse, the sound of a sliding door heard over the muted hum of conversation signifies Daidoji Shingen is on his way back.

Hekasu, meanwhile, does his best to focus, trying to think about Daidoji Shingen's actions to date. There is something very inconsistent about his apparent motivation - and suddenly the ronin realises why...

 

Since you were compromised in the act of succeeding in a very hard check, it's probably your own anger which gave you the clue.

Some inner monologue about "that officious, rules-lawyering, self-righteous little....hang on..."

Your thoughts probably follow something of the following sequence.

  1. Shingen is trying to pressure the three of you (and/or Kenshin - 'real' crane or not if he's getting letters from the Trading Council there's a chance he's better off financially) for money.
  2. He's probably not bothered who actually gets the horses.
    • If he was going to seize them he'd have done it
    • the three of you are outnumbered 2-1 and half your potential opponents have full armour and polearms, and that's ignoring Shingen himself - and Kenshin and Iwata, who for all you know would join in on the other side too if it came to a fight - so it's not like you could have stopped him.
  3. As per Aruzhan's deductions - and his little monologue earlier - he's fixated on 'the rules'.
    • He wants to put you in a situation where both your giri (get the horses and swords to Uimi Mura in time to turn them over to Ide Arban, who has the skills, contacts and status to do a good job selling them for Sora) and ninjo (get to Uimi Mura in time for the public celebrations and/or tournaments) are both pushing you to pay him off to make him go away.
    • Critically, he wants to do so in a way that doesn't involve him breaking the rules, so he's 'covered' in case there's any trouble later.
  4. If he's trying to set you up, then presumably everything he's doing is a step to that end.
    • Stamping your papers is therefore a step towards boxing you in that corner.
    • Currently, you've arrived in the area, prayed at the shrine, and eaten with him.
    • You haven't yet tried to cross the border post.
    • You suddenly realise you're not yet within his 'area of authority'. That's why he wants to stamp your papers - even if you would have to go wandering the Crab side of the border looking for his Yasuki counterpart - because until he does so, you've not officially started 'crossing the border' and he doesn't have the authority - yet - to impound the horses and start 'deliberating' with one hand pointedly holding an open coin purse...
  5. It sounds like he's found his chop and is on his way back, so if you can figure out a loophole - or talk to someone else and try and find one - you'd best do it fast.
  6. Either way, you'd best explain it to your allies before one of them does something you'll all regret.
  7. Figuring out exactly what Daidoji Shingen's exact orders and delegated authority is probably going to be important. Ideally without him personally finding out you're doing it.

One good bit of news;

On 7/7/2019 at 4:45 PM, Magnus Grendel said:

It would qualify for your passion for Secrets, so you can recover 3 strife after the check

I believe you have a passion for Secrets too? If so, realising what the Daidoji is up to is probably acting like a cold shower and letting you stop - for now - fixating on Kenshin; you can recover 3 strife, which would bring you - just - back to your composure and leave you no longer compromised.

Also, have a void point.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Holding his noodle cup (?) up over his mouth the big ronin murmurs,

"There are too many to fight and win. Anyone have a genius idea of what to do? I..." Yoshi pauses with embarrassment, "...have exactly 10 zeni in my purse. That's not much of a ... gift. Does anyone have something they can spare? Or should we try 'mentioning' the uh ... odd ... crossings implying that's tolerating the bandits in the woods?"

"Oh. Here he comes."

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Posted (edited)
 

@Void Crane - that's an interesting chain of thought to have in your head

Remember, the deviation off the road is....what....three to four metres? With wagons, it's not like you can do that without the border guards noticing....

...Koharu said something about the border. What was it, though?

TN1, Scrutinise (air)/Sentiment - to try to picture how a rules-obsessed jobsworth like Shingen would likely react to someone 'shortcutting' the rules of crossing the border post.

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Hekasu shoots to his feet, glaring at Kenshin. "You think this is hilarious, don't you? Loop in some ronin, try to get them in a corner, and then scoot on your way to the next group! You claimed to be a Kakita, but I would offer you a gift!" Hekasu gestures, palm up, before the hilt of his katana, though very specifically does not touch the weapon. "Out front of the border post, ten minutes, we'll settle this with first blood."

He looks to Yoshi and Aruzhan, "If you could bless the field, and you stand as a judge, I would be most honored." He throws a wink to the two, nodding out back the way they came - and thus not yet trying to cross through the gates.

Even recovering 3 from 

Secrets puts me at 9/8. Plus, this gets everyone outside before any papers are stamped and buys us more time. I know as the challenger, Hekasu doesn't exactly get to choose the terms of the duel, but he is attempting to get at least the two he's been traveling with for a couple days out of the immediate pickle, while opening himself up to a much larger and more dangerous pickle.

If you have a different read on how this should go down and want me to do something else, let me know. But I was at 12/8 strife before figuring out the secret.

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Kenshin blinked at the outburst, looking at Yoshi and Aruzhan.

I’m really sorry if I have done anything to offend you, but I am doing nothing of the sort. To be honest, I have no idea what is happening... 

The male replied, bowing in apology to the three. He then stood up.

However, if we are to travel together, I’d like to help you relieve yourself of your stress, to help the journey be more amicable. 

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Posted (edited)
 

If you're both okay with the idea, that's fine by me.

It's a valid way to unmask. And, to be fair, "there was a squabble, the ronin have gone round back to settle it" is an explanation a Clan Samurai would probably accept for why you've disappeared without a by-your-leave, and more importantly means Shingen and the Daidoji guards aren't going to intervene or go looking for you without being invited to. 

Theoretically, it also means, if you wanted to talk to Iwata or Korishu without alerting Shingen, you could ask them to 'second' Kenshin - Yoshi and Aruzhan arrived with Hekasu, so are not exactly neutral parties (or could at least be argued to not be if it's convenient for the four of you).

At the very least, the four of you should take the opportunity to compare notes (probably not directly between Kenshin and Hekasu, though....)

Hekasu; this counts as unmasking, 'Honour's Challenge'. you may reset your strife to zero.

Kenshin; you can gain 1 honour. "Accepting a challenge from an enemy of unknown skill." counts as a trifling sacrifice for Honour, which still rounds up to an increase of 1 Honour even though you nominally halve it for Clan background.

 

When we were first discussing this, I had suggested - for the sake of simplicity - using one-roll duels:

On ‎4‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 8:19 AM, Magnus Grendel said:

Part of me is tempted to recommend the slightly simpler mechanics of the beginner game - although to be fair, the main element of that is one-roll-duels, which I do find resolves things much faster (with appropriate bonuses to TN for narrative clever plans) but which is also in the 'proper' core book.

Play by post is slower, and a Duel is the one bit where the game tends to 'zoom in' on one player for an extended period of time, which is more of a problem for a slow-moving group. 

Plus, one-roll duels means a challenge action in an intrigue or skirmish is actually going to produce a result.

If you've not read the one-roll duel box-out:

  • Essentially this makes a duel a single Martial Arts (Melee) check using a ring of your choice.
  • It's not a 'scene' per se so not using stances, techniques etc.
  • By default it's TN1, though any particularly clever ideas or techniques may skew the difficulty (by increasing your opponent's TN), and I'd be pretty open-minded about applying advantages or disadvantages.
  • It does make duels to first blood very dangerous; the winner of a one-roll duel to first blood essentially lands a finishing blow:  
    • "In a duel using live weapons, such as a duel to the first blood or to the death, the victor inflicts a critical strike with severity equal to twice their weapon’s deadliness, plus their bonus successes upon their foe. The enemy can resist as usual"

  • For a katana or wakizashi, even one-handed, that means severity 10+; assuming you don't reduce the severity with your fitness check (admittedly you should hopefully get at least one success on that; you both have at least one rank 3 ring, and the option of parrying), you're looking at a Maiming Blow critical. That's.....probably rather worse than you two were planning, though.
  • On the other hand, Aruzhan does have the invocation Jurojin's Balm, which can remove Dying with 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c81211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf413431211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 - I'd potentially let her make a check to channel that invocation whilst you make the check for a one-roll duel and then perform it targeting the loser.

If you want to play the duel out 'long-hand', I've no objection. I wasn't expecting the first duel to be between two PCs! I'm assuming you'd rather aim for a Flesh Wound or Debilitating Gash level injury....which is more likely with a one-handed sword blow that's not a finishing blow.

If the two of you let me know which way you'd prefer to resolve it?

Also, the exact terms of the duel are still to be sorted; an iaijutsu duel is probably assumed, which would mean travelling clothes or ceremonial clothes (you're not going to be expected to change, but basically "not armour"), katana only, and sheathed weapons, but hasn't been specified.

It would nominally be Kenshin's choice as the challenged party, and it might be odd for the nominal 'crane', on crane lands, to be advocating anything else, though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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