Minor Clan Schools

Basic Schools

Badger Clan - Ichiro Bushi [CR]

The founder of the Ichiro Bushi School was a Hida. It is no surprise, then, that the School remains similar to its Crab roots. The school's philosophy is simple: hit the enemy so hard that he has no time to engage in any fancy tactics.

The Ichiro Bushi School focuses on their love of wrestling and unarmed combat. It emphasizes the power of pure strength in defeating enemies. The Ichiro Bushi uses strength as the answer to almost any problems that may arise. Others may move faster or strike with more precision, but the Ichiro will answer with overwhelming damage.

  • Benefit: +1 Strength
  • Skills: Athletics, Commerce, Defense, Heavy Weapons, Jiujutsu, Kenjutsu (Katana), any High or Bugei skill
  • Honor: 3.5
  • Outfit: Light or Heavy Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, any Heavy or Polearm, Traveling Pack, 3 koku

Techniques

Rank 1: Transcend the Mountain
The bushi of the Badger Clan live and train in the rugged territory of the Great Wall of the North, and revere strength as the ultimate measure of any warrior's capabilities - the power of a warrior's fists can still be relied on when all else fails. You may re-roll any Skill roll or Trait roll which uses Strength, but you must keep the result of the second roll. You suffer no movement or combat penalties for Moderate terrain, and only half the normal penalty for Difficult terrain.

Rank 2: Strength of the Badger
With practice, the Badger learn to call upon their strength to crush their opponents. A number of times per session equal to your Strength Rank, you may re-roll a damage roll, keeping the better of the two results.

Rank 3: Crushing Blow
Experienced Badger learn to deliver blows of truly fearsome power, with weapons or even their bare hands, which can pulverize flesh even through the protection of armor. You may ignore the effects of armor on an opponent's Armor TN. Your unarmed attacks may ignore 1 Rank of your target's Reduction.

Rank 4: Crashing Stones
Ichiro samurai are taught to strike with the speed of the deadly avalanche. Your attacks with Samurai weapons or unarmed strikes are considered Simple Actions.

Rank 5: Return the Strike
The final lesson taught in Badger Clan dojo is that the most effective blows in combat are not the swiftest, but the hardest struck. At the start of a skirmish, before Iniative is rolled, you may choose to lower your Initiative total by 20 for the duration of the skirmish. In exchange, you add your Strength Rank in unkept dice to both your attack and your damage rolls for the first two rounds of that combat.

Bat Clan - Komori Shugenja [CR]

When Yoritomo Komori was granted the honor of forming his own Minor Clan, he quickly gathered the brightest shugenja to his side. He decided he would honor his bat spirit heritage of swift communication and bring that resource to the rest of the Empire. The Komori recognize that one must balance the practical with the theoretical, and strive to hone their messaging abilities for use on the field.

The Komori Shugenja School is unique in the Empire. The koumori are benevolent bat spirits, creatures hailing from Chikushudo who have helped mankind on several occasions. Their powerful magic has never been understood because of the spirits' reclusive nature. The Komori shugenja have tapped into that resource, giving them strange and wondrous spells that have never been seen before.

  • Benefit: +1 Awareness
  • Skills: Calligraphy (Cipher), Lore: Ancestors, Lore:Theology, Meditation, Spellcraft, Tea Ceremony, any one High Skill
  • Honor: 4.5
  • Outfit: Robes, Wakizashi, any 1 weapon, Scroll Satchel, Traveling Pack, 3 koku
  • Affinity / Deficiency: Air / Earth
  • Spells: Sense, Commune, Summon, 3 Air, 2 Water, and 1 Fire
  • Technique: The Kami's Whispers - The Komori practice the rituals of the koumori spirits from whom their founder is descended, and ferry messages from one to another via the kami. You may expend one spell slot to send a whispered message to another individual known to you. This message must be no longer in length than thirty seconds per School Rank, and may be delivered a maximum distance equal to your School Rank x 100 miles.

Boar Clan - Heichi Bushi [CR]

Shadowy dangers always threatened the Boar lands, and the Heichi Bushi School formed to face them. The Boar were ready to defend themselves and developed techniques that would help them match that fervor. They learned to take the worst attacks their enemies might hold in store and simply keep going. The trained Heichi Bushi maintains a strong defense, but his furious assaults are chilling to see.

The Heichi Bushi School emphasizes a weapon that is rarely seen in the rest of the Empire: the Mai Chong. The uniquely shaped spear has a curved head, and the weapon handles completely differently from other pole weapons. The Heichi Bushi can use the spear to devastate his enemies at range. The longer reach of his weapon perfectly suits his defensive style, where he waits for the perfect moment to break the enemy's momentum.

  • Benefit: +1 Strength
  • Skills: Athletics, Defense, Hunting, Intimidation, Kenjutsu, Spears (Mail Chong), any one Bugei Skill
  • Honor: 3.0
  • Outfit: Light or Heavy Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, any Spear, Traveling Pack, 3 koku

Techniques

Rank 1: The Charge of the Boar
The attack of a boar can come from nowhere, with little warning. If you are in the Full Attack stance, you may ready a medium weapon or a spear as a Free Action. When wielding a spear in combat, you gain a damage bonus of +0k1.

Rank 2: The Strength of Opposition
The Boar school specializes in using spears, especially the Mai Chong, to snare an opponent's clothing and armor, rendering them helpless. You may call two Raises to Entangle an opponent with a Mai Chong, or three Raises to Entangle them with another spear-class weapon.

Rank 3: The Speed of the Boar
The Boar bushi learns to strike with the relentless speed of his namesake animal. You may attack as a Simple Action when wielding a spear.

Rank 4: The Anger of the Boar
Much like their namesake, Boar bushi keep fighting even when critically injured. You may spend a Void point during the Reactions segment to reduce your Wound TN penalty by one Wound Rank (the wounds still exist, you simply feel less pain from them). This effect lasts the remainder of the skirmish.

Rank Five: Beyond the Mountains
At this rank the Boar has learned to control his warrior's fury and unleash it at the most unexpected times, even when he appears to be completely defensive. If you are in the Full Defense Stance, you may make one normal attack with a spear or a Samurai-keyword weapon as a Free Action, ingoring the restriction of the Full Defense Stance. This attack gains a bonus of +2k0 to the attack roll.

Dragonfly Clan - Tonbo Shugenja [CR]

The Tonbo are a deeply spiritual people. They have forged a strong connection to the mountains and remain in their lands even though hardship after hardship has fallen upon them. Though the Tonbo Shugenja are no less priests than their counterparts in the other Clans, they are acutely aware of the political responsibilities that rest on their shoulders. As the intermediaries between the Dragon Clan and the rest of Rokugan, the Tonbo are well equipped to survive the perilous courts of the Empire.

The Tonbo Shugenja School uses all the resources at its disposal to prepare its students for the courts. A trained Tonbo can use his connection to the spiritual world to heighten his social graces. This boost is often a necessity with opponents such as the Lion Clan always watching for a social faux pas.

  • Benefit: +1 Perception
  • Skills: Calligraphy, Courtier, Etiquette, Meditation (Void Recovery), Sincerity, Spellcraft, any one High Skill
  • Honor: 4.5
  • Outfit: Robes, Wakizashi, Knife, Scroll Satchel, Traveling Pack, 3 koku
  • Affinity / Deficiency: Water / Fire
  • Spells: Sense, Commune, Summon, 3 Water, 2 Air, and 1 Earth
  • Technique: Guided by Fate - The Tonbo are adept at court as well as the ways of the shugenja, serving as they have as the Dragon Clan's intermediaries almost since their creation. The kami's whispers can be powerful tools in court. You may expend one spell slot to gain a bonus of +1k0 on one Social Skill Roll. You may never spend more spell slots than your School Rank to augment a single roll. You gain a Free Raise on any spell with the Divination keyword.

Falcon Clan - Toritaka Bushi [CR]

see Crab Clan Schools

Fox Clan - Kitsune Shugenja [CR]

see Mantis Clan Schools

Hare Clan - Usagi Bushi [CR]

The Hare Clan has seen a lot of combat for a Minor Clan. Their continued war against the enemies of the Empire has raged for centuries without an end in sight. Consequently, the Usagi Bushi School is one of the better-developed Minor Clan warrior schools. It has been perfected in battle and blood, as the Hare Clan has painstakingly learned what works and what simply fails.

The Usagi Bushi School takes the athleticism of the Hare Clan and channels it into combat advantage. The Hare learn to move faster than the average samurai, darting in to deliver a punishing blow then dashing out of range of any counterattack. An unprepared opponent is quickly overwhelmed as he is attacked from what seems like all sides.

  • Benefit: +1 Reflexes
  • Skills: Athletics (Running), Defenses, Hunting, Jiujutsu, Kenjutsu, Lore: Maho (may replace with Lore: Kolat after the Clan War era), any one High or Bugei skill
  • Honor: 4.0
  • Outfit: Ashigaru or Light Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, Bow (with 20 arrows) or Knife, Traveling Pack, 3 koku

Techniques

Rank 1: Speed of the Hare
The Hare are known for fighting with a speed and agility reminiscent of the animal for which their clan is named. In any situation where you have room to dodge, jump, and otherwise maneuver (GM's discretion), you may add your Athletics Skill Rank to your Armor TN except when in the Full Attack or Center stance. Your Water Ring is considered 1 higher for purposes of how far you can move with Move actions.

Rank 2: Leap of the Hare
The Hare bushi has learned to strike with a devastating springing attack that catches many opponents off guard. If you are in the Full Attack stance, you can leap forward and attack an opponent up to 15' away without taking a Move Action. All of your attacks on this turn must target that opponent.

Rank 3: Swift as Lightning
The speed and flexibility of the Hare allows him to strike with fearsome rapidity. Your attacks with unarmed strikes, knives, or Samurai-keyword weapons are considered Simple Actions.

Rank 4: Kick of the Hare
The Hare has learned not only how to strike with speed, but also how to dodge and avoid his foes at the same time. You may now perform your Rank Two Techniques while in the Attack stance instead of the Full Attack stance. If you perform the technique in the Full Attack stance, you may make your second attack of the Round against another opponent within 15' of the first opponent.

Rank 5: Reichin's Style
The final lesson of the Hare school is a whirling flurry of leaps, feints, and attacks that come at the opponent from all directions, confusing and disorienting him. You may perform the Feint Maneuver for only 1 Raise, and your damage bonus from a successful Feint is not limited to your Insight Rank x 5.

Monkey Clan

Toku Bushi [CR]

The Monkey Clan has the blessing of the Imperial line and access to skilled experts in the field of war. Hundreds of ronin teachers have stepped through the dojo doors, ready to impart knowledge on an eager audience. These diverse skills were distilled into a single, cohesive fighting style that contains the best aspects of each lesson given in the Monkey dojo.

The Toku Bushi School teaches techniques to help fight against multiple enemies. The Toku learns the keep his head in the face of overwhelming odds and to fight on without hesitation. He sharpens his concentration and resolve to supernatural heights, and his calm on the battlefield becomes one of his greatest weapons.

  • Benefit: +1 Willpower
  • Skills: Athletics, Defense, Hunting, Investigation (Search), Kenjutsu, Lore: History, any 1 High or Bugei Skill
  • Honor: 5.5
  • Outfit: Light Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, any 1 Weapon, Traveling Pack, 3 koku

Techniques

Rank 1: Toku's Lesson
A Monkey Bushi will prevail, even in the face of the most difficult odds. You add +1k0 to all Skill Rolls with a TN of 25 or higher. (This includes attack rolls.) Additionally, all your Wound Penalties are reduced by an amount equal to your Willpower plus double your School Rank.

Rank 2: The Strength of One Man
As a member of a very small Minor Clan, the Toku bushi is accustomed to fighting against the odds. While facing multiple opponents or an enemy with a higher Insight Rank, you add +1k1 to your attack and damage rolls.

Rank 3: Courage Above All
The Toku bushi calls on the courage of his Clan's founder to speed his own attacks. You may make melee attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action.

Rank 4: Forge Your Own Fate
The Toku Bushi learns to dodge the worst of any attack. You may spend a Void Point when suffering Wounds to force your opponent to drop his two highest dice from his damage roll, even if this would reduce the total amount of kept dice. This cannot reduce the damage roll to less than 1k1.

Rank 5: Fortune Favors the Mortal Man
The Toku bushi earns his good blessings with his own sheer tenacity. Once per Round, you may spend a Void Point to reroll any roll. You add +2k1 to the new roll. You may choose to keep the new roll or your original roll.

Fuzake Shugenja [SE]

The Fuzake originated as a small order of ronin shugenja within Toturi’s Army, led by a young man named Yasuki Garou (later Fuzake Garou) who was a close friend to Toku. When the Monkey Clan was formed he immediately swore fealty to it. The Fuzake dedicate themselves to healing and to an intense but rather eccentric veneration of the Fortunes.

  • Skills: Calligraphy, Defense, Etiquette, Lore: Theology, Medicine, Spellcraft, any one High or Merchant Skill
  • Honor: 5.5
  • Outfit: Robes, Wakizashi, Knife, Scroll Satchel, Traveling Pack, 2 Koku
  • Affinity / Deficiency: Earth / Fire
  • Spells: Sense, Commune, Summon, 3 Earth spells, 2 Water spells (one is automatically Path to Inner Peace), 1 Air spell
  • Technique: The Sideways Path - The shugenja who came to be known as Fuzake Garou was originally trained by the Kuni, but spent much of his life trying to protect and heal those around him. Over time he found ways to call on his Earth magic to support his efforts, and after his disappearance and apparent death at the Battle of Oblivion’s Gate, his followers pursued and eventually perfected the crude technique he devised. When casting a spell that heals Wounds or cures poison or illness (such as Path to Inner Peace or Peace of the Kami), you may opt to also expend one or more Earth spell slots; each such slot awards a Free Raise on your Spell Casting Roll.

Oriole Clan - Tsi Smith [Artisan] [CR]

Tsi was the name of an ancient gaijin blacksmith who impressed the second emperor, Hantei Genji, with his works. The Emperor declared the man was blessed by the Fortunes and made him a Rokugani on the spot. Centuries later a ronin apprentice took the forgotten name for himself and impressed Emperor Hantei XXX with his style.
Artisans trained in the Tsi Smith School are unique in that everything they learn is to increase their skills crafting weapons and armor. They learn martial styles to know how experts will treat the weapons they create. They have little use for social pleasantries or political maneuvering so their teachigns mostly bypass those aspects of a samurai's life.

  • Benefit: +1 Intelligence
  • Skills: Any one Artisan Skill, Commerce, two ranks in any one Craft Skill, Defense, any one Weapon Skill, any one High, Bugei, or Merchant Skill
  • Honor: 4.5
  • Outfit: Sensible Clothing, Wakizashi, Calligraphy Set, Traveling Pack, 3 koku

Techniques

Rank 1: Tools of the Fortunes
The Tsi Smith dedicates his life to reaching perfection in the heat of the furnace. All Craft Skills are considered School Skills for you for the purpose of effects that target School Skills. Whenever you make a Craft Skill Roll, you gain one point of Glory for succeeding, and one additional point for every increment of 5 by which you exceed the TN. This effect only applies to rolls made against a TN equal to 10 plus your School Rank x 5 or higher.

Rank 2: Tsi Xing Guo's Blessing
The Oriole smith seeks to emulate the works of the Fortune of Steel. When wielding or using one of your own creations (such as a weapon in battle or wearing an elaborate kimono in court), you gain a bonus of +2k1 for Void Points spent on relevant Skill Rolls, rather than the usual +1k1. Additionally, when an item you created is given as a gift among members of the samurai caste, both you and the gift-giver gain Glory equal to your School Rank.

Rank 3: A Crafter's Dedication
A Tsi Smith knows the worth of everything he creates, years after it has left his forge. When crafting, the price of the object you are creating is reduced by half for the purposes of determining how long it takes to create the object in question. When someone in your presence is using an item you created, you may take a Complex Action to grant them a bonus of +xk1, where X is your School Rank, on the relevant Skill Roll (for example, Kenjutsu for a katana, Defense for armor, or Etiquette for a kimono).

Rank 4: Exhaustive Knowledge
All members of the Tsi smiths are expected to test their own creations for weight, balance, and effectiveness. You may spend a Void Point as a Free Action to allow you to make any attacks with a weapon you created as Simple Actions rather than Complex Actions. This effect lasts for a number of Rounds equal to your School Rank.

Rank 5: Star-filled Steel
Oriole-made items are rivaled only by the masterful items of the Kaiu Forge. Once per day upon the completion of crafting a weapon, you may spend all your Void Points in order to create a Sacred Weapon (as per the Advantage). this weapon is known as a Tsi Weapon (e.g., a Tsi Blade, Tsi Tetsubo, etc.), and may possess one of the following qualities: Balanced (the wielder gains a bonus of +1k0 on attack rolls made with this weapon), Swift (The wielder gains a bonus of +5 to his Initiative Score while wielding the weapon, or Unbreakable (the weapon may not be broken). At the GM's option, a truly gifted Tsi smith may also be able to make a weapon Radiant (treat the weapon as jade for purposes of harming Invulnerable creatures).

Ox Clan - Morito Bushi [CR]

The Ox Clan earned its stripes in combat against a spirit army filled with the wisdom of centuries of ancestors. After its debut, the Morito Bushi School garnered respect and a healthy reputation from bushi across the Empire. The bulk of the Ox Clan's force is heavy cavalry intended to swiftly crush the core of an infantry army.

The Morito bushi is taught to maximize the benefit of mountain combat. He learns to trample the soldiers standing in front of him and maneuver quickly around the battlefield using his advantage of mounted speed. The Morito most often uses a polearm, though he is trained to adapt to the situation if it requires another style of combat.

  • Benefit: +1 Agility
  • Skills: Defense, Horsemanship, Hunting (Tracking), Kenjutsu, Lore: Kolat, Lore: Underworld, any one Skill
  • Honor: 3.5
  • Outfit: Light or Heavy Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, Heavy Weapon or Polearm, Horse (Rokugani Pony), Traveling Pack, 3 koku

Techniques

Rank 1: Legacy of the Four Winds
The Ox warrior fights as one with his horse. At the beginning of combat, you may add +1k0 to your Initiative if you are Mounted. Additionally, you may add +1k0 to attack rolls while mounted.

Rank 2: The Wind Blows Many ways
A Moriton bushi becomes adept in all facets of war. At the beginning of combat, you may declare a number of Bugei Skills equal to your School Rank. You add +1k0 to all rolls involving the chosen Skills.

Rank 3: Thunder and Fury
The Morito bushi strikes with the speed of his charging horse. You may make attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action while Mounted.

Rank 4: The Blade Upon the Wind
The Morito bushi can rush forward, moving faster than any of his foes can anticipate. Once per skirmish, you may spend a Void Point as a Free Action to set your Initative Score equal to that of another participant in the battle. This may be either an ally or opponent. However, after you use this Technique, your Initiative Score is reduced by 5 during the Reactions Stage of each Round until the end of the encounter.
You may only have one Turn per Round, even if your Initiative Score drops below your current Initiative Score.

Rank 5: Fast and Furious
The Morito bushi rides into battle, trampling those who cannot escape his path. while you are attacking an opponent with lower Initiative, you add +2k2 to all attacks and damage rolls.

Sparrow Clan - Suzume Bushi [CR]

The Sparrow Clan has never been a martial power, but Sparrow samurai will march into combat when the call comes. At the foundation of the clan the Suzume were Crane samurai, and their mastery with the katana remains a foundation of the school to this day. Their fighting style displays much about their philosophy on life, as they will take as much time as needed to make a perfect strike.

The Suzume Bushi's love of storytelling gives him an insight into battle. He uses that knowledge to see the ebb and flow of combat, allowing him to strike slower or faster to exploit his opponent's weaknesses. The Suzume Bushi has evolved far from the clan's roots in the Kakita Bushi School, creating abilities that center on Initiative in unique ways.

  • Benefit: +1 Willpower
  • Skills: Calligraphy, Kenjutsu (Katana), Lore: History, Lore: Theology, Perform: Storytelling, any one Lore Skill, any one Skill
  • Honor: 6.5
  • Outfit: Light Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, any 1 weapon, Traveling Pack, 3 koku

Techniques

Rank 1: All Things in Time
The Suzume watches the flow of combat to discern the perfect time for assault. At the beginning of the Combat Round, before the first character has taken his Turn, you may reduce your Initiative by 5 to add +1k0 to all your attack and damage rolls for the Round.

Rank 2: Purity of Chi
The Suzume's body is filled with disdain for those who indulge in temptations away from the tenets of Bushido. You add +5 to your Armor TN against creatures and against human opponents with lower Honor.

Rank 3: Wisdom is the Greatest Weapon
The Suzume is a masterful storyteller, captivating audiences with his words. You may spend a Void Point to add your Honor Rank to any Perform or Lore Skill Roll.

Rank 4: Quiet Spirit, Steady Blade
the serenity of a Sparrow is often mistaken for complacency, but that is far from the case. You may make melee attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action while in the Attack Stance.

Rank 5: Slow and Deadly
The Suzume strikes when his foes least expect it, even if he must weather the worst of the opponents' attacks. During the Round following your adoption of the Center Stance, you add +10 to your attack and damage rolls. You do not gain this benefit during iaijutsu duels.

Tiger Clan - Yotsu Bushi [IH]

The original Yotsu technique was based on the family's self-appointed role as protectors of the common people in Otosan Uchi. The later evolution of a full-scale bushi School happened as a result of the family's experiences fighting the Spider Clan in the ruins of Otosan Uchi. The Yotsu were forced to fight with stealth and ruthless aggression in an environment where the dominant terrain feature was ruined buildings. Although the resulting school was not one which more rigidly honorable samurai would admire, it suited the Yotsu well and they have maintained its techniques ever since.

  • Benefit: +1 Agility
  • Skills: Commerce, Hunting, Kenjutsu, Kyujustu, Lore (either Gaijin or Shadowlands), Stealth (Sneaking), one Low or Bugei Skill.
  • Honor: 5.5
  • Outfit: Ashigaru or Light Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, any 2 weapons, Traveling Pack, 4 koku

Techniques

Rank 1: The Tiger's Tread
The Yotsu are taught to stalk and attack their enemies with the same mixture of stealth and speed displayed by the tiger when it hunts its prey. You do not lose Honor for using the Ambush or Shadowing functions of the Stealth Skill so long as you are using them against enemies of the Empire (GM's discretion). When operating in an urban environment (including a ruin or other ancient relic of such an environment), you gain a +1k0 bonus to Stealth Skill rolls and add your Stealth skill rank to your Armor TN.

Rank 2: The Tiger's Pounce
The Yotsu are taught to strike with uncanny speed, catching their opponents by surprise. On the first Round of a skirmish, you may add your Stealth Skill rank to the total of your Initiative roll. (This bonus ends on the Reactions stage of the first Round.)

Rank 3: Rending Claws
The Yotsu strike with the speed of the pouncing tiger. When fighting with a Samurai weapon you may make attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action.

Rank 4: Shelter the Blameless
The Sword of Yotsu draw strength from their duty to protect others. During any Round when you are actively defending or protecting (GM's discretion), you gain one bonus Void Point for use during that Round. Unspent Void Points gained from this Technique are lost at the end of the Round (after the Reactions stage).

Rank 5: The Tiger's Fangs
The final lesson of the Yotsu is to emulate the Tiger's pounce, striking the opponent so fiercely with one's first attack that he has no opportunity to fight back. On the first Round of a skirmish, you may declare Maneuvers for one less Raise.

Tortoise Clan - Kasuga Smuggler [Courtier] [CR]

The Kasuga are as true to the Imperial cause as any other clan, though one often wouldn't know this from watching their activities. They perform illegal acts with murderers and thieves and have established a strong connection to criminal cartels across the land. The Tortoise are in fact monitoring these conspiracies in the Emperor's name to make sure the safety of the Empire is not at stake. They also conduct extensive trade in foreign lands in order to ensure that gaijin cannot again threaten Rokugan as they did in the past.

The Kasuga Smugglers must mingle with the dirty criminal riffraff of the Empire, and their abilities reflect that need. They are knowledgeable of the underworld and are ruthless in all of their dealings. In their fight against the worst of Rokugan, the Kasuga Smuggler finds allies wherever he can - a virtuous peasant is a huge asset to a man who is often outnumbered and surrounded on all sides by cutthroats.

  • Benefit: +1 Awareness
  • Skills: Commerce, Etiquette, Investigation (Notice), Lore: Underworld, Sincerity (Deceit), Stealth, any one High, Merchant, or Low Skill
  • Honor: 2.0
  • Outfit: Extravagant Clothing, Wakizashi, any 1 weapon, Calligraphy Set, 5 koku

Techniques

Rank 1: Way of the Tortoise
The Tortoise routinely consort with the lowest elements of Rokugani society, often spend time in foreign ports, dealing with gaijin, and other villains, and otherwise do things most samurai would find repugnant. They are also skilled merchants, an unavoidable side effect of being smugglers. At character creation, you may learn an additional gaijin language for free with every purchase of the Languages Advantage. You do not lose Honor for using Low Skills, or Glory for using the Commerce skill in public, so long as you are doing so as part of your duty to your clan. When dealing with heimin or hinin, such as peasants, merchants, and eta, you gain a +2k0 bonus to all Social Skill rolls.

Rank 2: The Shell of the Tortoise
Most samurai in Rokugan revile the Tortoise for their unusual behavior and their association with commoners and gaijin, but all samurai know the Tortoise Clan has the special permission and sponsorship of the Emperor. Any clan or Imperial samurai who physically attacks or openly slanders you without provocation on your part (GM's discretion) will immediately lose a number of points of Honor equal to twice your School Rank.

Rank 3: The Eyes of the Emperor
The Tortoise function as spies and agents of the Emperor, and are adept at the lowest of tactics and methods. When acting on behalf of your clan, you may roll additional unkept dice equal to your School Rank on all Low Skills in which you have at least one Skill Rank. This includes any School Skills which only function as Low Skills when used in certain ways (such as Sincerity with the Deceit Emphasis). This does not work with Advantages and Techniques which simulate Skill Ranks (such as the Crafty Advantage.)

Rank 4: Hand in Hand
The Tortoise work in close cooperation with the common folk of Rokugan, people who other samurai ignore as much as possible. This gives them access to information networks no other samurai can reach. Once per session, if you have access to the local heimin or hinin, you can roll Lore: Underworld / Awareness at TN 25 to learn one useful piece of information (chosen by the GM) that cannot be learned any other way.

Rank 5: The Tortoise Smiles
With his training completed, the Tortoise smuggler can transcend his own limits in the pursuit of his Clan's devious goals, serving the Emperor without constraint. When making a Skill Roll with any of your six specified School Skills, your maximum Raises are not limited by your Void. A number of times per session equal to your Void Ring, you may gain a +5k0 bonus when making a roll with any of your School Skills. This bonus can stack with the bonus from your Rank Three technique.

Advanced Schools

Minor Clan Defender [Bushi] [EE]

The samurai of the Minor Clans begin their career in service to the Emperor at a significant disadvantage compared to their counterparts from the Great Clans. They have fewer resources, fewer allies, and vastly less prestige. Many simply accept this is their lot as servants of a lesser clan and never challenge it. There are a few, however, who refuse to accept such a fate, and commit themselves fully to championing the cause of their clans to the Empire at large. These men and women do not have any particular unifying qualities other than their passion and drive to better the lot of the Minor Clans. Such individuals occasionally come into contact with one another during the course of their activities, and over the years can form strong alliances in order to better serve their cause. Although no formal dojo exist in which students can follow the lessons of such heroes, there are secrets passed down through family lines and via apprenticeship for those who choose to follow such a path. In a show of devotion these individuals have to a greater cause, these secrets are shared among all those who share the same passion for their cause, regardless of what Minor Clan affiliations they possess.

Requirements:

  • Rings/Traits: Agility 5, Strength 4
  • Skills: Any 1 Weapon skill at Rank 5
  • Other: Only members of Minor Clans can take ranks in this Advanced School; must possess one Paragon Advantage.

Techniques

Rank 1: Know No Boundaries
Conviction and determination can elevate even the lowest samurai to greatness if he but follows his own sense of honor in moments of crisis. You may spend a Void Point to temporarily gain 2 Ranks in Status, forcing others to recognize your talents and abilities. This effect lasts for a period of 1 hour.

Rank 2: The Speed of Certainty
A true master of destiny is versatile and fleet of action. Once per Round you may spend a Void Point to make one melee attack as a Free Action. You may make no other attacks during this Round.

Rank 3: The Strength of Humility
A defender of the Minor Clans is a paragon of strength and certainty, skilled in the samurai arts and capable of virtually any deadly action. You may make melee attacks as a Simple Action when using weapons with the Samurai keyword. If you already possess the ability to make attacks as a Simple Action when wielding such weapons, you may choose any one other type of melee weapon (knives, heavy weapons, spears, etc.). You gain the ability to attack with these weapons as a Simple Action instead.

Alternate Paths

Dragonfly Advisor [Courtier/Shugenja] [SE]

One of the things generally agreed among the Tonbo to be a mark of Enlightenment is an understanding of something they call “dependent arising” – the nature of cause and effect; the realization that all things exist only as a result of other causes and conditions. Nothing spontaneously comes into being without a precedent giving birth to it, and an Enlightened person comprehends the consequences of every action and condition. The Tonbo Advisors use their studies on this aspect of existence to become effective diplomats and also to gain insights into the ways of divination.

  • Replaces: Tonbo Shugenja 3
  • Requirements: Intelligence 3, Meditation 5
  • Technique: Seeing the Pattern - The Dragonfly Advisors are trained to understand all the patterns of cause and effect around them, letting them perceive the potential consequences of their actions. You gain a +2k0 bonus to all Divination and Etiquette Skill Rolls.

Ichiro Pass Warden [SE]

The first duty of the Badger Clan is to protect the pass from invasion, and the clan has long trained a group of specialized warriors whose sole duty is to defend the pass with spears and hurled rocks. Their task is to inflict as much damage as possible on any invaders. The Pass Wardens spend most of their lives within the fortresses of the Badger lands, seldom visiting the rest of the Empire.

  • Replaces:* Ichiro Bushi 3
  • Requirements:** Strength 4, Spears 4, Athletics 4
  • Technique: Hold the Passes - Your range with hand-hurled missiles is doubled, and you add +1k0 to damage rolls with thrown weapons; if the weapon is a nage-yari or a rock, the bonus is +1k1 instead.

Minor Clan Alliance Diplomat [Courtier]

Minor clan samurai who deal with members of the Great Clans are in constant danger of angering them with a misplaced word, action, or even a look. Minor Clan samurai who have survived the minefield of the courts long enough are often sent to the Minor Clan Alliance’s court in Kudo Mura. There, they can learn from the best diplomats in the Alliance, studying how to sooth the ruffled feathers of Great Clan samurai and, more importantly, how to avoid ruffling those feathers in the first place.

  • Replaces: Any Minor Clan School 4
  • Requirements: Character must belong to a Minor Clan
  • Technique: The Courts of Kudo Mura - The diplomats of Kudo Mura are masters at dealing with the needs, desires, and whims of their superiors. When conversing with a samurai from one of the Great Clans or the Imperial Families, you gain +3k0 on all Contested Rolls using the skills of Etiquette or Sincerity.

Ox Clan Vigilant [SE]

After the Ox Clan is purged during the Scorpion Clan’s assault on the Kolat in the late twelfth century, the new Ox leadership seeks assistance from the Unicorn Clan’s Shinjo family in keeping itself pure of further Kolat influence. The small order known as the Vigilant is the result. Initially focused solely on hunting for Kolat, the organization soon expands into a more general role of rooting out criminals and conspirators of all types.

  • Replaces: Morito Bushi 4
  • Requirements: Investigation 5
  • Technique: Seek the Guilty - The Ox Vigilants are trained to root out lawbreakers and conspirators by seeing through their deceptions and tricks, finding their underlying moral weakness and using it against them. When investigating someone for possible lawbreaking or Kolat activity, you may make a Contested Roll of your Investigation (Interrogation) / Perception against the target’s Sincerity (Deceit) / Awareness. If you succeed (and the target is actually guilty – GM’s judgment), you gain a +1k1 bonus to all Intimidation rolls and attack rolls against that target for the next 24 hours.

Soldier of the Three Man Alliance [Bushi] [IH]

The formation of the Three Man Alliance is the first step in a process of twelfth-century consolidation among the Minor Clans, leading to (among other things) the combination of the Mantis, Wasp, and Centipede clans into the Great Clan of the Mantis and, later in the century, the creation of the Minor Clan Alliance. It is the creation of the Three Man Alliance and their military victory over the Scorpion Clan that first inspires the Minor Clans to band together for greater benefit and effect, and many successful officers from that first military alliance eventually go on to achieve military and political prestige within the Minor Clan Alliance.

The fighting technique of the Three Man Alliance is formed by the combined efforts of several experienced soldiers from the Sparrow and Wasp. The warriors pool their life experience and develop a unified technique to carry back to their respective clans. Although the Three Man Alliance is superseded during the later Clan War by Yoritomo's Alliance, the technique it developed survives, and decades later it is still occasionally taught in Suzume and Tsuruchi dojo.

  • Replaces: Tsuruchi Archer 2, Tsuruchi Bounty Hunter 2, or Suzume Bushi 2
  • Requirements: Battle 2
  • Technique: Stand Against Oppression - The scions of the Minor Clan are not intimidated by their more influential detractors among the Great Clans. Far from it, they are inspired to greatness by their hardships. When facing an opponent with a higher Glory Rank than you, you may spend a Void Point to gain bonus unkept dice on your attack roll equal to the difference in your respective Glory Ranks. You may not gain more dice than your School Rank from this Technique.

Suzume Storytellers [Courtier/Artisan] [SE]

The Storytellers are the closest thing to true artisans in that poverty-stricken clan. Their tradition originated with Doji Edakumi, a Crane artisan whose descendants form the Edakumi vassal family of the Sparrow. Edakumi was the founder of the Sparrow artistic tradition and became the most popular and welcomed samurai in the clan’s territory; the members of the Edakumi family are known as the best storytellers in the clan and perhaps in the Empire.

  • Replaces: Suzume Bushi 2
  • Requirements: Perform: Storytelling 3, Precise Memory
  • Technique: The Heart of the Story - The Suzume Storyteller can use a skillfully crafted story to make virtually any point he wishes. When making a Courtier Skill roll, you may spend a Void Point to add your Perform: Storytelling Skill Rank to the total.

Tortoise Guard [Bushi] [IH]

Although the Tortoise Clan is too small to have a true bushi school, the clan has always recognized the value of defense, especially given the frequency with which its members must enter foreign ports, smugglers' dens, and other such unsavory locations. The original membership of the Tortoise included a number of gaijin, and over the years they adapted their own strange fighting style to the weapons of their new home; with time it evolves into the technique which the Tortoise teach in modern times. The Tortoise Guards are tasked to protect their fellow smugglers from all manner of dangers, and typically fight without any particular limitation or scruple.

  • Replaces: Kasuga Smuggler Rank 4
  • Requirements: Strength 3, any 1 Weapon Skill 4
  • Technique: The Path of One - From their gaijin ancestors and their commoner allies, the Tortoise Guards have learned that samurai Honor can be a hindrance to victory; practicality is more useful. You may attack as a Simple Action with any non-Samurai melee weapon, and gain a +1k0 bonus to damage with any Peasant Weapon.

Tortoise Killers [Bushi] [SE]

The Tortoise Clan’s limited military capabilities consist primarily of those trained in the Tortoise Guard technique (published in the L5R 4th Edition supplement Imperial Histories). However, due to the unique nature and duties of the Tortoise Clan, the clan has long found it useful to train certain men and women in the arts of murder and assassination. Some of these killers go on to serve in the Guard, disguising their true nature beneath conventional martial duties, while others remain within the ranks of the Tortoise merchants and sailors.

  • Replaces: Tortoise Smuggler 3
  • Requirements: Agility 3, Stealth 4, any two Weapon Skills at 4
  • Technique: The Poisoned Frog - The Tortoise Killers are trained to dispose of their targets with whatever weapon comes to hand, while maintaining the outward appearance of an ordinary sailor or soldier. Once per opponent per skirmish, when making an attack roll you may spend a Void Point to cause your Raises for damage on that roll to award +1k1 rather than +1k0 to damage. You may never take more Raises than your Void Rank when using this Technique.
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