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Alisair Longreach

Worldly Ronin as Clan Samurai

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Some thoughts on Worldly Ronin as Clan Samurai. The implication of this school is that some Samurai start their training in an official dojo and then decide to go on the Warrior’s Pilgrimage, see some of Rokugan and return and serve as loyal Samurai.

My thoughts on how the Clans see the Worldly Ronin/Samurai.

Crab Clan:

The Crab train few Worldly Samurai.Usually only Hida runts and Kaiu and Yasuki for whom math is too hard do this.Hiruma all train as Scouts and succeed or die trying.Kuni who don’t qualify for Purifier or Warden find another niche in the clan.

Crane Clan:

Asahina non-Shugenja who are not trained as Courtiers with the Doji are trained as Worldly Samurai and due to their pacifism specialize in archery. The Daidoji train a large number as Worldly Samurai to serve as light infantry in their armies. The Doji are renowned for their Courtiers but the majority are trained as Worldly Samurai and serve in their army and as guards. Only the best and brightest of the Doji get training as courtiers or train with the Kakita. Only the best and most talented of the Kakita are trained as Duelists or Artists, the rest get trained as Worldly Samurai and serve in their army. Many young Cranes choose to go the Warrior’s Pilgrimage.

Dragon Clan:

The Dragon Samurai who don’t have the coordination for the Niten style or the intelligence to train as Kitsuki Investigators, train as Worldly Samurai and serve in the Dragon’s military. A few go on the Warrior’s Pilgrimage.

Lion Clan:

Only the best and brightest of the Akodo are allowed to study at the Akodo War College, everyone else are trained as Worldly Samurai to serve in the armies. Only the fiercest of the Matsu are trained as Berserkers. Some Ikoma are trained as Worldly Samurai and serve in the armies. Kitsu non-Shugenja are all trained as Medics. Many Worldly Lion Samurai go on the Warrior’s Pilgrimage.

Phoenix Clan.

Very few among the Phoenix are trained as Worldly Samurai.

Scorpion Clan:

Many Bayushi and Shosuro are trained as Worldly Samurai to serve in the Scorpion army. Usually those who are bad at acting and lying, it brings confusion to the Scorpion’s enemies.

Unicorn Clan:

Very few are trained as Worldly Samurai, usually the poor souls with the Hunted by Chikusho-Do adversity.

Some among the Minor Clans but none among the Imperial Families are trained as Worldly Samurai.

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I can buy into that logic. 

I would say though that the students of the Shiba school who do NOT take to the yojimbo training very well may become worldly ronin and serve as part of the clans few standing infantry units.  This would also work well for the Kaito with a martial bent, but that are not very proficient with the bow, much less the rigorous fidelity to faith that is required of the Shrine Keepers.  There may only be the Shiba school, but that does not mean that those who start the training in said school take a different path to finish their education.  I am taken with the Phoenix clan so it is easy for me to work novel concepts into the existing structure of the clan.

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Back in the 3rd edition the Ronin schools also doubled as Generic XYZ schools, where "the schools simply represent a more intuitive path that a samurai has chosen to follow rather than an established style" (quote directly from the 3e rulebook) so there's precedent for treating the Worldly Ronin as such.

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I like the general thrust of this idea. I think you can easily use this to represent anyone from a Great Clan (or an imperial family) who has learned more from trial and error than any formal curriculum. They would socially enjoy the benefits of being part of a Great Clan...but not have their signature moves for better or worse.

I don’t know that all Clans would have a similar school that churns out lots of “light infantry.” That part I might disagree with. Honestly I think the WR is the most flexible platform for a PC currently available. Your WR PC might or might not look like light infantry (a courtier, heavy infantry, an archer etc etc) based on the skills, katas and feats you take at creation. They might or might not excel at things a clan and family value... They might officially be part of another formal Clan school...but obviously don’t fit in. This can be from a student who  challenges conventional wisdom at every possible turn, or someone whose mechanics are just derived from "seeing the world” on “a gap year” where everything starts clicking..

i would be at least a little careful of equating WR as anyone who isn’t good enough to get into the families “elite schools.” Certainly that could be your backstory. But it probably isn’t the backstory of thousands of similar NPCs. Worldly Ronin represent the best of the wanders, who have the potential to achieve 6 ranks in a skill (enlightenment!) and perhaps revolutionize a field. Most Samurai much less Ronin are not that worldly... 

Edited by Void Crane

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5 hours ago, Void Crane said:

I would be at least a little careful of equating WR as anyone who isn’t good enough to get into the families “elite schools.” Certainly that could be your backstory. But it probably isn’t the backstory of thousands of similar NPCs. Worldly Ronin represent the best of the wanders, who have the potential to achieve 6 ranks in a skill (enlightenment!) and perhaps revolutionize a field. Most Samurai much less Ronin are not that worldly... 

If that was how my explanation came across, it was not my intention.  There are some folks that while they can complete a training course, just do not have the drive or affinity for it.  It is not to say they are not good enough, but rather that they may not apply themselves completely because it does not play to their strengths/personality/style etc.

And I do agree with you that a clan WR could just as easily be a self-trained warrior who learns via experience and intuition rather than a rigorous training regime.

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Yeah, a lot of your dojo training will be because your family picked it, or political agreements before you were born. If you do have a certain natural talent, you might get moved, and I think the Kakita Academy is noted as being open to basically any student who has the talent to apply, but there will be plenty of cases where you get into a school because that was your dad's dojo, and his dad's dojo before him, etc. If you don't excell or take to the training, you might not pick up a lot of your school's hidden or deep techniques, but you did still pass gempukku (which are traditionally Family based, IIRC, not necessarily school-based) so obviously you were competent enough to become an adult, just maybe y'know the whole "way of the x" eluded you. 

We'll probably get some more interesting concepts in Path of Waves, even if those are also completely applicable to regular Ronin. 

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On 9/2/2019 at 4:44 AM, narukagami said:

Back in the 3rd edition the Ronin schools also doubled as Generic XYZ schools, where "the schools simply represent a more intuitive path that a samurai has chosen to follow rather than an established style" (quote directly from the 3e rulebook) so there's precedent for treating the Worldly Ronin as such.

This is how o view the WR. In fact I sort of assumed that was RAI..

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