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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Mors Rattus posted:

In part this is because the Crane were Soesbee's special babies.

It sounds like multiple clans being major line staff's special babies was a serious problem for L5R.

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sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

Endorsed by:
Pentecoastal Elites!
fart_man_69!
Terminal autist!
Ruzihm!
Judakel!
Dixon Chisholm!
Nix Panicus!
Neurolimal!

Alien Rope Burn posted:

This is probably the one you're thinking of, her Experienced 2 version in the CCG. I don't think it was used in the RPG, though.



Usually she was depicted fully armored, though.

I'm the random sleeve of armor that was made before I guess the smith got bored and wandered away

Prism
Dec 22, 2007

yospos


Tatum Girlparts posted:

I'm the random sleeve of armor that was made before I guess the smith got bored and wandered away

Gotta show off the tats.

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005
The Biden administration is actively fighting to withhold COVID vaccinations from our child concentration camps and pointing out that somebody used the word "democrat" as an adjective will not make that fact go away

Alien Rope Burn posted:

This is probably the one you're thinking of, her Experienced 2 version in the CCG. I don't think it was used in the RPG, though.



Usually she was depicted fully armored, though.
Definitely remember it worse than that, I think after a quick GIS it was this pic*:

with the sort of cringey misogynerd attract text you'd expect from an ad in InQuest or Dragon or wherever I kept seeing it.

*maybe an extended version? I definitely remember an implication she was only wearing a breastplate, although maybe that was in-text

Night10194 posted:

It sounds like multiple clans being major line staff's special babies was a serious problem for L5R.
I remember hearing this as the explanation for why PHOENIX DID NOTHING WRONG was the metaplot through 3e/4e.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.





CHAPTER TWO: EQUIPMENT

Before we get into weapon charts and such, we have to talk about a mechanic that frankly isn't very fun: Equipment Conditions. I would just cut this all out and not use any of it when playing. Basically when you buy your average gun or tool or vehicle, it's in new quality (condition 10). A Condition 10 item only critically fails on a double 10 roll. The GM can also decide that a critical failure will drop the condition another level, meaning it critically fails on a double 10 or double 9. The worst state an item can be in is Condition 1, meaning it can't critically pass and it critically fails on all doubles and falls to pieces. Normally a company won't sell people items that are in substandard condition unless someone insists or haggles. If you buy something of a lower condition, the price is reduced. Alternately, you can buy superior items that crit hit on higher doubles or have other benefits for an altered price (like making the weapon compact, increasing the clip size, etc.).




There are two ways to improve equipment. First is to bring it to someone and pay 10% of the item's new cost to increase the condition by 1 point. Essentially you can buy a condition 5 item for half off but if you want it to be new you have to pay the other 50% in repair costs. Second, you can use downtime to tinker in your workshop and gain one point a week for 5% of the price. The repair rules are the main reasons that the deterioration rules aren't very good or worth including because downtime is better spent doing something else and no matter what you're paying the full price eventually or more than that in repairs. I'm skipping a little bit of these other rules but that's because I don't really like this system.



WEAPONS

These guns are common and available for sale from your corporation. You can also get rare or specialty weapons by buying direct from the manufacturer or by trawling the black market. Firearms come in Light (handguns, require 3 Strength to use one-handed but you're automatically STR 5, so), Tactical (sub machine weapons, rifles, two handed with 4 STR, one handed with 7 STR) and Heavy (biggest that can be carried, STR 6 to use two-handed, STR 10 to be used one-handed). Close Combat weapons come in Light (knives, brass knuckles, STR 3 to use and are really just one-handed), Tactical (swords and longer weapons, STR 4 to use one-handed, mostly one-handed unless specified) and Heavy (chainsaws, two-handed weapons, STR 6 to be two-handed and 10 to be one-handed). Rounding out the weapons are Support (grenades, explosives, mounted guns) and Thrown (you throw it but it doesn't explode).



Weapons in Detail
  • Close combat weapons ignore energy shields but not armor and you add a bonus of Strength as damage dealt. Holding a melee weapon two-handed doubles your bonus Strength damage. If you can hold a two-handed weapon in one hand, you only add the normal Strength bonus.
  • EMP weapons only target active equipment (held weapons, energy shields, cybernetics). Anything not in use detects the EMP and automatically switches to a safe mode to automatically resist the pulse. EMP weapons only roll EMP damage and EMP damage is rolled separate for each item caught in the crossfire. If the damage exceeds the shielding on an item, the item shuts down and can't be used until it's repaired. All cybernetics have a shielding rating of 25.
  • Thrown explosives have damage dealt depending on success or failure. A success means that you hit the target with full damage. XS of failure cuts the damage down.
  • Weapons with an attack rate of 2+ can be fired at a slower rate to increase accuracy at the cost of less attacks. Forfeiting one attack gives you +2 to hit with all remaining shots with every sacrificed attack giving the others +2 to hit.
  • Ion weapons are only available to Shi Yukiro Agents. Ion weapons are immensely dangerous, bypassing 10 points of armor value to attack but they're melee only. Their internal energy supplies mean it'll be centuries before they run out of juice and you need Powered Melee training to use it properly (otherwise all doubles are crit-fails). If you deal maximum damage with an attack, it severs whatever limb it hits.
  • Kinetic weapons are guns. Most kinetic weapons use SMART rounds (Self Modeling Auto-loading Round Technology) in clips meaning that if you have one clip of SMART ammo it's compatible with any kinetic weapon that uses them. The big benefit of kinetic weapons is that a lot of them are immune to EMPs.
  • Laser weapons can bypass energy shields if a round is spent to calibrate the laser before attacking. Laser weapons use energy cells.
  • Machine weapons fire in full auto. You can pick as many targets as there are damage dice as long as the targets are close together, splitting up damage dice per target. Alternately, just shoot one target and get +4 to hit. You can't aim machine weapons.
  • Plasma firearms bypass all armor but always crit miss on 8s, 9s and 10s. Crit misses deal half of the damage to the user in a backfire and the weapon stops working. Plasma close combat weapons don't have the same restrictions as their ranged counterparts, built sturdier. The only real restriction is that you need Powered Melee training to use them properly and they only bypass 4 armor.



WEAPON LISTS














ARMOR

Armor has some simple rules. First, it reduces damage received in the area it's worn by a certain amount. Second, the armor values only stack if they're in different areas and not overlapped. A helmet, flak jacket and shield is 3 AV for the whole body. The except to this is cybernetic armor; cybernetic armor always stacks no matter where it's implanted. You can't have an AV higher than your Strength and some sets have a maximum Agility you can have while wearing the armor.



HARD ION SHIELDS

Hard Ion Shields are what I've been calling Energy Shields. A shield is maintained by a generator worn on your person that projects a visible field around you and stops high velocity objects. Inert objects or slow moving objects will pass through the field, so the shield stops lasers and bullets but a sword, a fist or a vehicle are not fast enough to make the shield react with stopping power. Also if you're a meter away from someone, the shield just plain won't react in time to deflect high velocity attacks. An Agent can only have one shield on at a time.



Shields have their own HP and will automatically deduct max damage that the attack can deal if the user is hit. For example: a Black Cougar handgun deals d8 damage, so the shield eats 8 damage. When the shield's HP reaches 0 or less, the field discharges and is depleted until it's recharged. A 20 HP shield is shot three times by the Black Cougar, so it takes 21 damage and shuts off. An active shield can take a total of double its HP to protect the owner; if the damage falls short of double but is more than the regular HP the shield simply turns off, if it's double or more the shield generator is destroyed and the owner takes the remaining damage. To recharge a shield, simply put it in a plug and let it charge 1`HP per minute.



TOXINS AND DRUGS

A dose affects one target. A canister fills a 10x10x10 meter area and can be piped into ventilation. Potency indicates what kind level of filter will keep the substances from affecting the person in contact with them. Class D drugs are unrestricted, Class C are illegal in some territories, Class B are usable by select individuals and Class A substances are highly illegal and carry hefty punishment for possession. Certain licenses remove the legal risks of C and B but Class A substances are always super illegal.




EQUIPMENT



A lot of these items are self-explanatory. I'll be going over the ones that aren't.


  • Compound H: Compound H reattaches severed limbs. It's a spray can with enough of a dose to coat the stump and the base of the severed parts (one of the two should still be alive otherwise it won't work). Simply place the two parts together and the compound will foster rapid regeneration and help realign the nerves and veins and such. All it takes is fifteen minutes to get a limb back with no scarring. It also has a 60% success chance to attach a part from a different person.
  • EMPS Booster: a small chip is slotted into an item susceptible to EMPs and will raise the EMPS of the item by 2 points by generating a field that helps resist EMPs. Most items can slot up to 5 of these chips before they stop adding benefits. Booster chips can also be slotted in cybernetics.
  • Eye Screen: a computer screen that covers one eye, giving -1 Perception to wirelessly use a computer.
  • Hologram Generator: it basically makes illusions of whatever you need and will last for three minutes before burning out.
  • Inaugurate: An incredibly volatile acid that deals 20 damage per dose. Hard to use as a weapon due to its volatility and the fact that one container only carries 3 doses. Great for melting locks though.
  • IV Pack: an empty pack you can load anything you need into. If you're running around with the needle in, you can have the pack empty into your bloodstream whenever you want and the drugs will kick in immediately. One use only.
  • Invisibility Field: watch-sized, only lasts for a scene before it burns out.
  • Ion Wall Generator: 500 HP ion wall that has a max area of 10x10 meters. The generator itself is 10 cm cubed and floats to project. Lasts for 10 hours before it burns out.
  • Liquid Alloy: superglue in the form of liquid metal. Roughly the size of a soda can, the contents can be used to anchor things as strong as a weld and can be sculpted before the metal hardens in 10 seconds. 500kg of force is necessary to break the bond.
  • Medpacks: the IV medpack has to be placed over the heart and only one can be worn at a time due to size. It's a free action to use the medpack and it also has a bio sensor that will automatically inject when the owner hits 0 points. Heals 20 points. A regular medpack has enough goodies to heal 20 HP plus the user's Medicine skill and takes one round to use. Both items only have a single use.
  • Metapsitrophin: gives 30 Telepathic Energy points to the user. Needs to have the needle injected at the base of the spine and due to the placement only one can be used at once. If it's not in a pack, it takes an action to administer.
  • Night Sight: night vision goggles, basically. The Sam Fisher kind.
  • Night Vision Glasses: in glasses form but only lets you see in black and red.
  • SatBlanket: a computer the size of a car battery that disguises everything in 30 square meters from satellite view, intelligently editing what the satellite sees instead of making a blank spot. Best used with a license.
  • Shield Breaker: an energy grenade that deals 60 damage in an explosion. Despite its name, it can't break shields, only discharge them.
  • Suppressant Gel: a better silencer, a gel that eats the sound of a light or tactical firearm and makes it truly silent.
  • Telepathic Converger: it's a weird hat that gives you +2 to using telepathic skills.
  • Torch (Long Cell): a flashlight with a thousand year battery life.
  • Viral Modifier: a specially-designed retrovirus injected into the face that takes a week to change your face for a month. The face is designed on a computer and the instructions are given to the virus by a doctor/engineer. Said doctor/engineer is obliged to inform the UIG of people they sell these viruses to unless you bribe them.


PROCESS CHIPS



Let's talk about the hole in the back of your head. That hole, the process socket, is capable of slotting chips that provide you with a certain level of a skill depending on the chip. The basic process socket holds only one chip, can only take up to a level 5 chip and lets the info be fully accessible in a hour. The advanced process socket takes one chip, can take up to level 10 and readies the info in 5 minutes. The dual process socket has two advanced sockets. Process Chips are skills only and range from 1 to 10 with a variety of price. There are also Task Chips, which focus on one specific, narrow thing (interpretive dance, bar trivia, industrial lathe operation, 19th century culture, maps of Australia). All Task Chips are 2k each and give a flat 10 at the cost of being about that one specific thing.



VEHICLES

I got more pictures, yo. Basically the thing I love about the rules for vehicle modifications is that you can pretty easily turn the party's vehicle into a truck covered in heavy armored plating capable of flying at 260 MPH thanks to its antigravity generators. This is of course assuming you have the money to create a flying brick of a truck.





CYBERLINS



Cyberlin stands for Cybernetic Elimination Unit. They're bipedal robots that range in size from 20 to 200 meters in height and have a pilot that controls them. Originally Cyberlins were designed as "clean" weapons of mass destruction in the Corporate Wars. Now Cyberlins are used for heavy industry, defensive purposes and more. A Cyberlin is basically a headless body with tools or weapons where the arms would be, the pilot residing in the chest. Common variations of Cyberlin involve replacing the legs with treads or multiple legs or augmenting the torso into segmented platforms to carry workers or supplies. Most Cyberlins are produced by Ai-Jinn.



The rules for Cyberlins are pretty incomplete and intentionally so; they're found in the Ai-Jinn sourcebook. In a basic mechanical sense, the pilot controls them and can unload as many of their weapons as they want at a single target; the more advanced a Cyberlin's AI, the more targets it can attack in one turn. Not coincidentally, advanced AIs are more likely to become self aware and turn the giant robots into sentient machines. The basic frames of Cyberlins are Battle, Slave, Watchdog and Ranger with Hunter, Predator, Ruin, Ocean, Raider and Scout Cyberlins being models created from modifying the base form. What do those names mean? Not a drat thing right now.



That's it for the equipment chapter. I like the variety of guns quite a bit. NEXT TIME is Chapter Three, Cybernetics. Cybernetics are quite neat and fun. I might also squeeze in Chapter Four, Telepathics. That is a very short chapter.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

Endorsed by:
Pentecoastal Elites!
fart_man_69!
Terminal autist!
Ruzihm!
Judakel!
Dixon Chisholm!
Nix Panicus!
Neurolimal!

AmiYumi posted:

Definitely remember it worse than that, I think after a quick GIS it was this pic*:

with the sort of cringey misogynerd attract text you'd expect from an ad in InQuest or Dragon or wherever I kept seeing it.

*maybe an extended version? I definitely remember an implication she was only wearing a breastplate, although maybe that was in-text

I remember hearing this as the explanation for why PHOENIX DID NOTHING WRONG was the metaplot through 3e/4e.

that loving sleeve bugs me so much. At first I thought it was part of the chest, like an underhsirt thing that was meant to recreate the whole 'one arm free so you can get your sword easy' style and was like 'that's dumb but ok' but only now, looking at it fully, I see it's just a rando sleeve.

Why would one of the empire's best warriors want this, Wick, why would she tell her smith 'yea I need armor...no no, for my upper body I just want to protect my tits and ONE arm. No trust me on this I got it'.

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

Tatum Girlparts posted:

that loving sleeve bugs me so much. At first I thought it was part of the chest, like an underhsirt thing that was meant to recreate the whole 'one arm free so you can get your sword easy' style and was like 'that's dumb but ok' but only now, looking at it fully, I see it's just a rando sleeve.

Why would one of the empire's best warriors want this, Wick, why would she tell her smith 'yea I need armor...no no, for my upper body I just want to protect my tits and ONE arm. No trust me on this I got it'.

She has to show off her sweet arm piece.

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Tatum Girlparts posted:

that loving sleeve bugs me so much. At first I thought it was part of the chest, like an underhsirt thing that was meant to recreate the whole 'one arm free so you can get your sword easy' style and was like 'that's dumb but ok' but only now, looking at it fully, I see it's just a rando sleeve.

Why would one of the empire's best warriors want this, Wick, why would she tell her smith 'yea I need armor...no no, for my upper body I just want to protect my tits and ONE arm. No trust me on this I got it'.

To be fair, I don't think Wick had anything to do with this, aside from rumors of him pressganging Cris Dornaus into making pictures of Bayushi Kachiko for him. Keep in mind that way after he left AEG you had official art like this or this, or the infamous Genzoman NO, THIS IS HOW YOU FINGER A WOMAN piece. (all NSFW, incidentally.)

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Tatum Girlparts posted:

that loving sleeve bugs me so much. At first I thought it was part of the chest, like an underhsirt thing that was meant to recreate the whole 'one arm free so you can get your sword easy' style and was like 'that's dumb but ok' but only now, looking at it fully, I see it's just a rando sleeve.

Why would one of the empire's best warriors want this, Wick, why would she tell her smith 'yea I need armor...no no, for my upper body I just want to protect my tits and ONE arm. No trust me on this I got it'.

Some historic armor had a protected right arm but left the left arm unprotected because it was going to be behind a shield. Not that O-Ushi uses a shield.

No, what really bugs me about this pic is armour with nothing beneath it but bare skin. Padding! It's not optional!

Daeren
Aug 17, 2009

YER MUSTACHE IS CROOKED


The Lone Badger posted:

Some historic armor had a protected right arm but left the left arm unprotected because it was going to be behind a shield. Not that O-Ushi uses a shield.

No, what really bugs me about this pic is armour with nothing beneath it but bare skin. Padding! It's not optional!

I'm fairly sure the artist considered breasts padding, from the looks of things.

jadarx
May 25, 2012


Traveller posted:

To be fair, I don't think Wick had anything to do with this, aside from rumors of him pressganging Cris Dornaus into making pictures of Bayushi Kachiko for him. Keep in mind that way after he left AEG you had official art like this or this, or the infamous Genzoman NO, THIS IS HOW YOU FINGER A WOMAN piece. (all NSFW, incidentally.)

If 7th Sea 2nd ed's art is any indication, Wick seems to at least have gotten better. AEG (L5R and Doomtown) has consistently had that kind of art up to the day the games were canceled.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



7th Sea always had at least decent art. The country spreads in the first edition core were just absolutely beautiful.

golden bubble
Jun 3, 2011

yospos



Tatum Girlparts posted:

that loving sleeve bugs me so much. At first I thought it was part of the chest, like an underhsirt thing that was meant to recreate the whole 'one arm free so you can get your sword easy' style and was like 'that's dumb but ok' but only now, looking at it fully, I see it's just a rando sleeve.

Why would one of the empire's best warriors want this, Wick, why would she tell her smith 'yea I need armor...no no, for my upper body I just want to protect my tits and ONE arm. No trust me on this I got it'.


To be fair, there are a lot of stories where an author commissions art of an armored amazon, only to discover just what the artist considers to be armor.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012



Actually the sleeve is accurate. Samurai arm armor actually were individual sleeves called Kote that were either tied around the body or attacked to the chest armor.



So that's accurate. Her chest armor is not though, and would quickly chafe her nips right off like a cheese grater.

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Hostile V posted:

[*]Kinetic weapons are guns. Most kinetic weapons use SMART rounds (Self Modeling Auto-loading Round Technology) in clips meaning that if you have one clip of SMART ammo it's compatible with any kinetic weapon that uses them. The big benefit of kinetic weapons is that a lot of them are immune to EMPs.

Noooo! Universal ammo ruined Invisible War.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



A lot of things ruined Invisible War.

I do like the universal ammo aspect and how it scales depending on what kind of weapon you're using. I also enjoy that you basically can have a Rock-It Launcher and load the Frag Cannon with pointy crap.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Wapole Languray posted:

Actually the sleeve is accurate. Samurai arm armor actually were individual sleeves called Kote that were either tied around the body or attacked to the chest armor.

So that's accurate. Her chest armor is not though, and would quickly chafe her nips right off like a cheese grater.

For reference, the original piece with her looked like this:



Nearly all the O-Ushi art is done by by Brian Snoddy, who absolutely knows his samurai armor (which is why he did the original Ancestral Armors of the clans). His reference for her was just a card called "Crab Clan Bully", and I have an ancient interview from the dawn of Legend of the Five Rings with him, so I'll just let it speak for itself.

Brian Snoddy posted:

I had the idea of doing this really cute bad-rear end chick in big armor... I told Matt (the Kachiko artist and Privateer Press founder - ARB) about it, and he told me he was thinking the same thing. I wanted her to be Crab, because Crab is my favorite clan. The crab is a very important symbol to the samurai. I used older armor a a reference because it's bigger... the shoulder pieces look like Norman kite shields.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


Night10194 posted:

It sounds like multiple clans being major line staff's special babies was a serious problem for L5R.
You can fairly accurately determine who was in charge of the line when a book was made by checking to see which clan got the most broken new mechanics, or got the most fawning write up.

taichara
May 9, 2013

c:\>erase c:\reality.sys copy a:\gigacity\*.* c:


You all think those iterations of O-Ushi are bad? Check out this "lovely" piece, just from a few years ago (Coils of Madness set) and the last artwork featuring her:



Yup, that's a fearsome type who laughs at innards alright.

jadarx
May 25, 2012


taichara posted:

You all think those iterations of O-Ushi are bad? Check out this "lovely" piece, just from a few years ago (Coils of Madness set) and the last artwork featuring her:



Yup, that's a fearsome type who laughs at innards alright.

SteveArgyle.txt

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*


I detect the hand of the Shadow, in that she seems to be aging backwards.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


There were clones or something.
It was a stupid arc.

taichara
May 9, 2013

c:\>erase c:\reality.sys copy a:\gigacity\*.* c:


MollyMetroid posted:

There were clones or something.
It was a stupid arc.

O-Ushi isn't one of the Egg clones. She (like Doji Hoturi and Bayushi Kachiko, there may have been one or two others) were given Inexperienced cards in the set to reflect the fictions that came with the set -- they were all vignettes from the preset-at-the-time metaplot, or else bits from the past, all of which were supposed to show the Mad Dragon at work.

The one with O-Ushi involves her dealing with Hoturi and almost accepting a half-joking offer of marriage courtesy of P'an Ku.

But yeah, that card's not a clone, it's just bad art.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me! :swoon:


Tatum Girlparts posted:

Yea as much as I unironically like L5R the fact that both Crab and Lion constantly get shafted with stories that end in 'we were winning/doing well until the Crane/Scorpion pulled strings and forced us to retreat' is boring as hell.

Like I get that the point is that's how those clans fight their own wars, but nearly every conflict where they're on opposite sides involves that while very few end in 'and we just fuckin murdered some Cranes on the battlefield, suck it you bird faced nerds'.

I guess the militant clan's counter to this strategy would be "we killed hundreds of your Samurai while our loses can be counted with our fingers. Emperor says to give the holding back? Well here you go, see you next summer when we do it again!"

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



The other problem is that those unsatisfying endings are necessary because of the CCG's needs. You can't easily wipe out a faction because you have a lot of players that are invested emotionally and financially, and the vast majority of players (non-metaplot tournament goers) aren't going to appreciate getting left on the lurch because decks like theirs didn't win enough at the appropriate venues.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


taichara posted:

You all think those iterations of O-Ushi are bad? Check out this "lovely" piece, just from a few years ago (Coils of Madness set) and the last artwork featuring her:



Yup, that's a fearsome type who laughs at innards alright.

Is her chest armor bunching and stretching like a shirt? That's... not how lamellar works.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Kurieg posted:

Is her chest armor bunching and stretching like a shirt? That's... not how lamellar works.

Does L5R have magic mythril lamellar?

taichara posted:

You all think those iterations of O-Ushi are bad? Check out this "lovely" piece, just from a few years ago (Coils of Madness set) and the last artwork featuring her:



Yup, that's a fearsome type who laughs at innards alright.

You see, she fools her opponent into a false sense of security by wearing stupid armor. But little does he know that her skills of a warrior have far surpassed the need for silly things like proper protection.

And I guess asymmetric samurai armor made sense in earlier times when they were mainly archers on horseback? You don't really need full protection if your opponent is ideally only ever going to see your side.

Traveller posted:

The other problem is that those unsatisfying endings are necessary because of the CCG's needs. You can't easily wipe out a faction because you have a lot of players that are invested emotionally and financially, and the vast majority of players (non-metaplot tournament goers) aren't going to appreciate getting left on the lurch because decks like theirs didn't win enough at the appropriate venues.

This is like in Warhammer 40k, where at least 3 factions - Chaos, Necrons, Tyranids - are pretty much guaranteed to FUBAR everything for everyone in the whole galaxy if given enough time. Not to mention that the only one that makes mankind's survival even remotely possible is a barely-alive corpse whose life support can also fail at any time. Said time will therefore never happen, and the meta-plot seems to be mostly concerned with retcons and walking in place.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 20:40 on Aug 26, 2016

PantsOptional
Dec 27, 2012

All I wanna do is make you bounce

Doresh posted:

This is like in Warhammer 40k, where at least 3 factions - Chaos, Necrons, Tyranids - are pretty much guaranteed to FUBAR everything for everyone in the whole galaxy if given enough time. Not to mention that the only one that makes mankind's survival even remotely possible is a barely-alive corpse whose life support can also fail at any time. Said time will therefore never happen, and the meta-plot seems to be mostly concerned with retcons and walking in place.

Well, yeah. 40K isn't designed to have a metaplot so much as a backdrop against which your plastic space barbies can do battle.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Well, L5R can't upset the boat too much, so it's often about presenting the illusion of change through its metaplot without substantially ever changing, eliminating, or villainizing any of the factions in play. When even groups like the Scorpion or Spider have to be treated like a viable group of protags that aren't going anywhere, there's a ossifying effect on the game and a limited range of stories you can tell.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


I think this setup would work better if L5R was based on saturday morning cartoon logic.

PantsOptional posted:

Well, yeah. 40K isn't designed to have a metaplot so much as a backdrop against which your plastic space barbies can do battle.

Metaplot really is somewhat of a strong word here. Stuff happens, but it doesn't really matter.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Is it me or are her arms broken in that picture? I tried to position my arms in the arm manner and that was not comfortable at all.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


Her left (our right) arm is definitely doable.

Her Right arm looks like she broke her collarbone and shoulderblade.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Forget it, Jake, it's (Steve Argyle).

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Robindaybird posted:

Is it me or are her arms broken in that picture? I tried to position my arms in the arm manner and that was not comfortable at all.

A true warrior knows no pain.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Forget it, Jake, it's (Steve Argyle).



After reading on Photoshop methods to fake tattoos in photos or in illustrations, those look completely godawful.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


They're completely flat and don't follow the curvature of their musculature except when they absolutely have to. Which would be fine except the tatoo artist guy appears to have two left shoulder blades and/or a tumor.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.





CHAPTER THREE: CYBERNETICS

There is absolutely no downside to your Agent's well-being or state of mind if they decide to get cybernetics in Corporation. The developers have admitted to disliking the idea of a Humanity stat because they believe it restricts the fun of making your characters more powerful. There are some limitations, sure, but you're no less human for getting augmented. Hell, there aren't even limits to how many of these things can get installed in one part of your body at once. Also, somewhat importantly: most of these cybernetics can't be wirelessly hacked or hacked at all. If they can be hacked, it generally requires someone to plug into the part in question to do it.



The big limitation is the price of augs and needing to get them installed and maintained. Basically you need to decide if you're going to have another player install them or if you're going to go to a doctor to get your installations. If you go to a professional, that's it, done deal. If you have them installed by an ally, you save 10% on the price that was already included as an installation fee. The downside to having another player install them is that you basically want them to have an idea of what they're doing and have the proper tools. If they don't, then rolling comes into the situation.



Of course, sometimes cybernetics break. Every 7-15 sessions (I would just outright say every 12 sessions), the Agent should get some maintenance done on their augs or else the installed items will drop one level of Condition. Maintenance costs 10% of your total value of upgrades (remember, your corporation maintains your starter package for free as part of your employment) or 5% if another player does the inspection (this doesn't go into their pockets, this is used to hand-wave purchase repair materials). It's honestly not the best system but I don't hate it; the fact that you get augs cheaper if another player installs them means someone will dip a little into the proper skills and those are enough sessions for them to not have to start play with a cybernetic surgery license but work towards it.

Condition 9 cybernetics are illegal to be fitted and would require some black market skullduggery and a friend to get them installed. Basically what happens when an implant has less than Condition 10 is that the GM rolls a d100 at the start of each session and each level of Condition has a chance of failure. A failure means that the implant is functioning at basic non-beneficial levels for the session until it's repaired; there's no real detriment besides it not working unless the GM rolls doubles on a failure and the implant is rejected by the body. Repairing and upgrading the condition of a cybernetic implant costs 20% of the new level's price (only 10% if a friend does the work) and can't really be done in the field. EMPs also lower the condition by 1 and negate the benefits of the implant until fixed.



So ultimately the real downsides to getting cybered up are the costs of the parts and the costs of maintenance and repairs, which can be substantially lessened if someone knows their way around a wrench. Less mechanically, the Agent might draw the attention of the Cult of Machina (discard flesh, wear metal loony types), your upgrades have to be listed and registered on your ID and it's just kind of obvious how much of you is machine now. Those are more roleplay oriented, however.

The mechanical stuff is out of the way. Now we can get into the actual cybernetics.


ANASCAN OPTICAL TECHNOLOGIES
  • Primary Sensory Enhancement (5k): The senses and the brain are modified to pick up more complex signals which are sent through a processor to your senses. +1 Perception, basis of most other Anascan augs.
  • "Eternity" Recorder (3k): Stores up to a week of high def audio visual footage recorded from the owner's eyes and ears. It can be played back wirelessly to visual displays or the owner can mentally rewatch recorded footage, parsing a day's footage in a hour. The recorder can be turned on or off mentally at will. Requires the PSE.
  • Midnight Vision System (1k): An image interpreter is attached to the PSE and allows the user to see in the dark as a free action.
  • Range Targeter (4k): Places a trajectory measurement system over the owner's vision to grant +2 to all rolls involving throwing. Requires the following implant.
  • Reticle Eye (7k): Replaces an eye with a synthetic eye with a targeting reticle. +2 to hit with a ranged weapon that has a 500c aiming sync attachment. The attachment lowers the gun's EMPS by 1 or makes the EMPS 15 if it was previously immune.
  • Telemetric Vision (4k): An artificial lens replaces the organic lens in one eye and allows that eye to see in microscopic or telescopic vision. This procedure can be taken twice, one for each eye. Also grants +1 to Perception.
  • Thermal Imaging (1k): adds a thermal imaging system to the PSE, allowing the user to see perfect thermal images.

DATANETICA RELIABLE FIELD PROCESSING
  • Advanced Process Chip Socket (10k): upgrades the basic process socket to allow the use of advanced process chips (6+ ratings).
  • Cerebral Link (15k): Crazy useful because it allows the user to survive being decapitated. The head is fitted with oxygenators and nourishment systems along with a wireless system that lets the severed head still control their body as long as they're within 30 meters of each other. The head can survive in this state for 48 hours and can be reattached with a simple application of Compound H. But what if the body is lost in the process? The head can be attached to a new body (either cloned or donated) which will reduce Strength, Agility, Reflexes and Endurance to 5 due to physiological shock. If you don't want to pay XP to raise your stats again, you can pay 1500c for recuperation drugs. If taken within a month of getting a new body, the stats will return to normal after a week and the R Drugs in the Agent's head will transform the new body into the Agent's old body. The downside of getting a new body is that all non-Corporate implants are lost (the company will give the new body all the basic implants again).
  • Internal Translator (5k): The sub vocal communicator has a chip attached that translates received language into the owner's language for them to understand it. Ownership of a Krieg Voice Synth means that the owner can also respond in another language; the two implants synergize in that regard.
  • Storage Drive (7k): a storage drive is implanted in the chest of the owner and it can hold an obscene amount of data (basically it's unlimited for gameplay purposes). The data can only be removed wirelessly with the owner's permission or via x-pin port (if it's hacked, it counts as a secure system). The storage drive can sync with the Eternity Recorder to record 50 weeks of footage.
  • Dual Process Sockets (14k): requires advanced sockets and Int 8, gives the owner the ability to use two chips at once.
  • Neural Jack (25k): An x-pin connecting cable is attached to the process socket and can be extended to allow the owner to interface with computers, vehicles and more with their mind. Alternately, pay an extra 1k to get the cable on a finger or in an arm so it's more convenient to connect. The neural jack gives +4 to Computer and AI rolls, cuts hacking times in half and allows for mental control of things. You cannot use a neural jack wirelessly because they're easy to intercept and hack and having your brain hacked is bad.

GEMINI BIOWARE
  • Bio-Lynx Modified Teeth (4k): get your teeth removed and replaced with a white-colored metal alloy. Comes in two further varieties. Cutters have a servo installed and allow the owner to bite through 3 cm thick items as long as the owner can fit it in their mouth and doesn't have anything higher than AV 10. Great for handcuffs and padlocks! Wolf Jaw dislocates the jaw slightly and replaces the teeth with sharp animal teeth, giving the owner +1 Attitude and a bite attack at the cost of looking weird and slightly impeding speech.
  • Fibroctin Nerve System (5k): the nervous system is coated with a substance called fibroctin which increases nerve transmission. +1 to Reflexes and this can be taken up to three times at 5k per treatment.
  • Myotic Restructuring (5k): muscles all over the body are repeatedly damaged lightly with a laser and force-healed with an accelerant to increase Strength by 1. Can be taken up to three times, can't be used to make Strength surpass 10 without an alloy skeleton.
  • Cardiomechanics (10k): the entire cardiovascular system is removed and replaced with ageless vat-grown tissue and cybernetic parts . +1 Endurance and contains a level 6 Toxin Filter, can be taken up to three times with the endurance increasing and the filter's rating going up by 1 each time.
  • Digital Injector (5k): a finger of choice has an internal syringe installed that can be used to deliver injections in melee. Refilling the syringe is easy.
  • Stealthskin (4k): polychromotophores are injected into the skin which can cause the skin to change color with focus and visualization. +4 to Stealth but the skin looks a bit synthetic and anemic.
  • Toughskin (5k): a dermal hardener is injected followed by an iridium suspension to keep the skin from getting dry and brittle. +1 AV and the skin looks a bit darker, can be taken twice.
  • Videoskin (15k): electronically-controlled chromotophores are injected into the skin so the owner can control what appears using their PDA. The skin also acts as a computer monitor in a pinch. +1 Presence and depending what's on the skin at the time, +2 Attitude, +2 Stealth or +2 Looking Good. Worth noting: none of these skins require independent use. You can totally have Tough, Stealth and Videoskin all at once.

KRIEG COSMETIC BIOMECHANICS
  • Mystique Electro-Cosmetics (1k): polychromatic dyes are injected into the face and hands that allow a special stylus to bring makeup onto their skin and hands without any products needed. +1 Looking Good.
  • Facial Reconstruction (4k): the face is removed and the muscles and bones are restructured before the changed face is reapplied. Just a cosmetic surgery.
  • Ocular Repigmentation (1k): Can recolor the eyes to add striking colors, phosphorescence or both if a second surgery is performed. Striking colors add +1 Looking Good, phosphorescence adds +1 Attitude.
  • Voice Synth (6k): a manipulator is added to the larynx that allows the owner to copy and perfectly replicate a voice they've heard (up to shouting levels) and chosen to store. The unit by itself can only store four vocal profiles but if attached to a Storage Drive it can hold practically unlimited profiles. Also, as previously mentioned, it syncs with the Internal Translator.

LIBERTY BLACK COVERT OPERATION SPECIALISTS
Unlike the other companies, Liberty Black can't be ordered through corporations or stores. You either have to contact them for delivery or visit their plant in Minsk for purchase and installation.

  • Body Space (3k): a hollow cavity is implanted in the chest. The cavity is big enough to hold a small item around the size of a handgun or explosive. Two cavities can be implanted with a -10 modifier to find them (or a flip of a coin).
  • Flat Hands (6k): the bones of the hands are fitted with electromagnetic hinges. On command one or both hands can essentially collapse and become floppy and useless until told to reactivate. The collapsed hands are easily pulled out of restraints or can fit into small places. +10 to escaping restraints.
  • Palm Thorns (4k): subdermal keratin thorns are implanted beneath the skin of the hands and are controlled by the owner. +4 to climbing rolls and +1 unarmed damage.
  • Switchprints (4k): This is an illegal operation so don't get caught. The patient's fingerprints are removed and discarded and replaced with synthetic prints that have three settings: two types of nondescript prints and blank.
  • AMS Wrist Pistol (3k+price of pistol): A light firearm of choice is broken down and installed in the wrist, allowing three shots with the pistol before it needs to be reloaded. There are no downsides to having the pistol installed, just a -10 for people to find the gun.

REAVER CYBERTECH COMBAT CYBERNETICS
  • AS2000 Alloy Skull (10k): the patient's skull is removed and replaced with an alloy skull that also contains cushions to reduce cranial trauma. +3 HP, +1 AV.
  • Arm Defenders (3k): A pair of alloy plates are mounted on each forearm, either a meat arm or a machine arm. +1 AV, you keep your defense when fighting unarmed because you can block with the plates.
  • Bodyplates (1k): Alloy plates are installed beneath the skin of the chest. You can install up to 4 plates, each plate granting +1 AV but every two plates reduces Agility by 1. There are lighter plates available in another book (nanium plates) but they cost more and they also take the same spaces as these plates.
  • AS3000 Alloy Skeleton (18k): the patient's entire skeleton is removed and replaced with an alloy skeleton (not counting the skull). The new skeleton is just like the old one but allows for more strength and strain to be placed on the body. An alloy skeleton is necessary to surpass Strength past 10. It also gives +10 HP and +1 AV.
  • Plasma Blades (15k): Blades are implanted into the hands and can be brought in or out as a free action. These plasma blades still ignore 4 AV but there's a +2 damage bonus for being a part of the user's hands. You might have trouble using your hands for other things when the blades are out though.
  • Dermal Aggressors (6k): retractable spikes and blades are embedded beneath the skin throughout the body. When activated, they emerge and deal 2 damage to unarmed enemies attacking the user. If the user is grappling someone, the spikes deal d6 damage automatically to the other person.
  • DX4 Cybernetic Arm (10k): an arm is enhanced with cybernetic parts. Both arms can be augmented if desires but requires two operations. Each arm adds +1 Strength but only the first arm adds +2 unarmed strike damage.
  • DX7 Cybernetic Leg (10k): Cybernetic legs either replace missing ones or you can have the old one removed. Two can be fitted at once. Each leg adds +1 Agility but only the first adds +2 unarmed damage. The unarmed damage bonuses from the cyber arms and legs stack.

That's it for cybernetics! I really like Gemini because they use crazy/weird means to enhance people and I just dig how blasť they are about "peel back your skin and shoot your muscles with a lasers a whole bunch". You might be thinking to yourself "huh, this is kind of thin". Well, it is. More cybernetics come in the upcoming books but I do feel like they put together a solid basis and got the most important stat-boosting pieces in. The other books do contain some fun options, like replacing your entire arm with an anti-vehicle artillery cannon, retractable knuckle chainsaws, x-ray vision, swiss-army fingers or having a video game console installed in your arm. Though I will honestly admit that one of the main drawbacks of cybernetics is that a starting character can't really afford them. I think it's sort of a D&D design choice where you get a few missions under your belt and then start boosting stats. I would honestly change that a little bit, maybe throw in one free implant, but I dunno. I don't know how I would change the system as it is besides changing the mechanics of maintenance and repair. But since we have space...

CHAPTER FOUR: TELEPATHICS

Telepathics are basically magic in Corporation but you can be augmented to hell and back and have no bearing on your Telepathic ability. You need Telepath training to use any powers and you should also have the licenses for the powers you know. Using telepathic powers is a simple task: roll beneath Intelligence+Endurance and spend the TE at the level you want to use the skill at. If you're not in combat/under pressure, just spend the TE points to make the power happen. You only require the roll under pressure and failure just expends the points. A double 0 is a crit fail, a crit hit means you don't spend TE for the roll. You can also guarantee the power will happen by spending double points, have the power activate as a free action at the beginning of your turn by spending double points or maximize possible effect automatically by spending double points.



The only way to increase TE is to spend a max of 1 XP at the end of each session to raise your pool. The only way to increase a skill or learn new telepathic skills are to pay the XP cost.

TELEPATHIC SKILLS
  • Assault: Assault deals 1d6 damage per point spent and can target up to Skillx10 meters away. It can be used in close combat but it doesn't count as a weapon for defense. Assault manifests into the world how the user imagines it to look: lightning, fire, brain daggers. This is just a simple visual appearance and the fire doesn't actually burn or whatever. A crit failure means you zap yourself instead of the target.
  • Biokinesis: Heal yourself for 2 HP per point of Biokinesis. Biokinesis can also be used to purge poisons or toxins equal to your BK. A critical failure means you hurt yourself for three HP per level of point spent.
  • Jump: You can leap your Jump rating in squared meters either vertically or horizontally. You also don't take any falling damage as long as you're within the range you were shooting for. A crit failure means you launch yourself at something solid by accident and take 1d6 damage per point attempted.
  • Prescience: You gain the benefits of one of the following when points are spent. Add Prescience to your TN to raise it to predict where the enemy will be and make shooting them easier. Gain points in your Reflexes equal to your Prescience for a scene. Gain sixth sense for incoming danger for a scene, gaining bonus dice to avoid danger. Crit failure wracks you with indecision, leaving you unable to act for 1d4 turns and getting -2 to all rolls for the rest of the scene.
  • Psi Blade: summon a longsword made of telepathic energy that deals 1d8+strength+Psi Blade points. It lasts for a scene before it needs to be reactivated. You can also summon two with proper training. Crit failure means you mess up forming the blade and burn your hand for 2d6 damage along with rendering that hand unusable for a scene.
  • Shield: summon a psychic shield that acts like a hard ion shield. The shield's HP is equal to your Shield points used squared and can't be bypassed with a laser. It lasts for a scene but costs a free action a round to maintain it. A crit failure accidentally creates a psychic dead zone around you that inhibits your powers for rounds equal to the shield level.
  • Telekinesis: TK lets you move a combined mass of your points squared in kilos for up to pointsx10 meters. Each round requires the points to be spent to maintain the moving. Items can be hurled or pulled from people's hands. People can also be thrown with a resisted roll. A critical failure means you accidentally summon a collection of things to hit you, dealing 1d6 per level of TK.


And that's it for psychic powers. They're pretty simple and yeah, they're not really the best thing in the world to use. If you want a dedicated telepath, you really have to build for one (Comoros Agent, the training that gives you +20 TE). The big upside is that they only cost XP to improve their powers as opposed to money and Assault can be a handy emergency weapon, but telepathic powers aren't vital in the slightest.

NEXT TIME: we'll skip 5 (already covered) and go to Chapter 6 to learn all about the corporations.

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 00:54 on Aug 27, 2016

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Legend of the Five Rings First Edition

Way of the Crane: The Beautiful People


"Dammit Emerald Champion don't bomb our action shot."

And on we go! Next in line should be the dreaded Way of the Scorpion, but our very own Alien Rope Burn already has that one covered (ilu bby) Instead we're going to the next one on the list, the pretty people of Rokugan: the Crane Clan! This one has Ree Soesbee at the helm, along with John Wick, Rob Vaux, Matt Richardson, Steve Rutledge, Bryan Settle and Andy Morris. Special thanks to John "Uikku" Wick and Marcelo "Otaku Masero" Figueroa! :allears:

Our RPG FICTION starts with a palanquin being born back to Crane lands. They have traveled through Crab and Scorpion lands for many months accompanied by a small honor guard. A wizened beggar is on the road to Doji Palace, and the palanquin stops next to him. A pretty young Crane lady descends from it (she limps, her foot is twisted since birth) and sits with the beggar, talking for about an hour. She leaves him with some coins and then moves on, disturbing one of her samurai guards - that man is a hinin! She simply replies that Lady Doji did the same in the old days, how could her descendant do anything less? And starts telling her guard a story about how, in the old days when Otosan Uchi was first being built, Doji (whose first thought when she fell and observed her new world was 'let's civilize it!') was the only one of the seven that stayed with Hantei. On the road outside the palace, she saw a beggar under the snow and frost, and sent her guards to bring him inside before he froze. The beggar refused, and also gently refused any aid or food she sent with her maids. Eventually Doji herself went to see him, ready to give him her own mantle, but he did not need it. Wasn't he afraid to die, she asked. Rather, he was not afraid to live, he replied, and made her pay attention to the snow falling around them - all of the snowflakes different, never the same, and Doji had never noticed it. He asks what she was doing in the morning - sewing a kimono, she says. Does she remember every last strand? Of course not. But she does remember every last mistake - and, the beggar says, if she had paid attention to every last strand maybe she would not have made any mistake. The passing of years can't be changed, but the passing of hours can. Obviously, the man was more than a beggar, and he asked of Doji - when she dies, will she be remembered? Or just one strand among many? The young Crane lady, Shizue, finishes her story and steps down from her litter. She asks her samurai the same - if he dies tomorrow, will his regrets outnumber his memories? She continues the rest of the road on her own feet, step by step.

Look, this is the :sparkles: book.


The least known of the Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō, now with more death-by-oni.

quote:

Since the beginning of the Empire, the Crane have shaped the civilization, arts and language of Rokugan. This book highlights their constant search for perfection and their quest to live life to the fullest, wasting nothing, and living with no regrets. The Crane way of life demands excellence. Perfection in all things is the heart of the Crane, and purity is the fire that guides them. Live life to its peak, because you have only one chance, one time to make the world hear your voice.

One life can make all the difference

As always, we get our customary in-setting letters. But, we also get a poem by Kakita Toshimoko, and

quote:

Deep the waters of the black pool, colored like the richest inks
They say a Holy Dragon rests by the lake at night
Beside the pool they have built a shrine, to slay the suckling-pig
A dragon by itself remains a dragon
Only men can make a god.
- Doji Shizue

Shizue is kind of a deal, see.

The first one is a narration from a Togashi, remembering how when he was young among the ise zumi he saw a samurai-ko making the climb towards the Togashi castle. It was a time when no women were allowed in the castle, in fact, and none had taken the ise zumi vows. She arrived at the castle's closed gates, and the monks would not open them to her. For three days and nights, she stood watching the gates. At last, the master tattoo artist Tsuneyo went to her despite the warnings of his fellow monks. The woman was a Crane from the far shores of the sea, and she made the journey because of a vision of a magnificent tattoo, but no artist in Rokugan had the skill to create or even conceive of it. The vision led her here, to the only people who could grant her this tattoo. Tsuneyo offered her water and gruel, but at the next day he said that the monks could not help her, that she had to seek another artist. She refused again, and said that if he would not create the tattoo she would stay and die. Tsuneyo had seen her vision through her words, but the price for the tattoo was death. A small price for perfection, she said. He brought his tools and, outside the castle, she bared her skin and let him work. It was a painful tattoo, much more painful than usual, but she would not budge or move for fear of ruining the master's work. He worked a full day, and as dawn came the narrator went to see them both. The woman was obviously dying from the pain, but the tattoo was wonderful. The Master put his hand over her shoulder, and soon she started to stand up again - just as the Master died. He had borne the price for her, the Crane explained. The narrator, overwhelmed by emotions, could not say anything, while the Crane bared the full tattoo of a ki-rin to the morning sun.

The second one is a report by a Lion. His army was marching towards the western Crane territories, marching on despite Crane attempts at stopping them in the courts. The invading force crossed the border ready to do battle with the Daidoji, but they found none. The cowards had fled, of course! With the spires of the Daidoji palace in the distance, they made camp, and the narrator was given a letter informing the Lion daimyo of the imminent victory. He raced towards his homeland, watching smoke rising from the east - the burning of the castle, he assumed. Soon he heard a gallop behind him - a Crane! Instead of riding him down, the Crane stopped at a prudent distance. The Lion taunted him with the destruction of his forces and castle, but instead the Crane asked if he was the messenger of the Lion general. He tossed a bag at his feet for the Lion daimyo, with the compliments of the Daidoji - it was the head of the Lion general. The camp was completely destroyed, the Lion forces killed in a massive ambush with underground tunnels, archers that hid for days on the trees of the nearby woods, the acrid smell of "gaijin pepper" and other tricks. The Crane had destroyed a force ten times their own, and the Lion narrator only returned to complete his report, then commit seppuku.

The third one comes from the letters of one Iuchi Xien, karo to Ide Tadaji. Crane acquaintances had put him in touch with Seppun Muyoku, a blind old Imperial courtier that was also the more or less official translator for gaijin in the Imperial Court. The old man taught the young Unicorn the ways of etiquette, which was just as well for an Iuchi without Ide diplomat training. Then, a woman in scarlet robes approached the court along with a man with a strange blue eye. The Imperial Guard tensed, which surprised the Unicorn as neither looked particularly dangerous. The woman, Muyoku said, was Shosuro Kachiko - reputedly the most beautiful woman in the Empire - and her father the Shosuro daimyo. Xien narrated the proceedings to the blind man: the Scorpions approach the dais, the Emperor greets them, and then a Crab man strides forward and launches into a rant against the Shosuro. Hiruma Maruku was to be married to Shosuro Kachiko, but the marriage was called off because she is to marry Bayushi Shoju, the Scorpion leader. All of this is entirely incomprehensible to the Unicorn - in the other lands, a man just bought a woman from her father or made a direct arrangement with her instead of all this arranged marriage stuff. The Hiruma used his tirade to put anyone that tried to defend Kachiko's honor on the spot, which again was bizarre for the Unicorn - why was no one beating the snot out of him right now for his insolence? But the Crab was a highly skilled duelist: he would probably kill any contender, dishonor Kachiko and force her into seppuku. :stare: The aged Scorpion daimyo seemed like he was going to accept the duel, but then a new challenger arrives - a Crane man, the son of the Emerald Champion himself, Doji Hoturi. He challenges the Crab, they go outside, and only Hoturi returns with a bloodied blade. Kachiko gives him her fan in appreciation; the Unicorn doesn't understand what makes the gift of a fan so valuable. But Muyoku notes that the Scorpion maiden's heart has been lost, and that his Unicorn ward has much to learn about ladies, Rokugan, beauty, and the Crane.

So, the Crane! The Clan has four families, each of which has an equal voice on the Clan's management. The Clan is ruled by a council of the heads of all families plus a fifth, the Crane Champion. As is often the case, the Champion is also the Doji daimyo, in which case their family is represented by another high-ranking member. This means that all families share in the Clan's wealth and lands, but in times of war and emergency the Champion makes all the calls and even in peace their voice carries the most weight. The Crane have an apparently weak military, but they are skilled in war - they have had to deal with Lion and Crab aggressors, after all. They live in ornate palaces and are renowned for their political acumen, and are said to have allies in all houses of Rokugan. It's said that a Phoenix samurai said in defense of the Crane to a Crab that they fought against the Shadowlands so that Rokugan could live, but the Crane give Rokugan something to live for. Receiving gifts from the Crane is highly prestigious, and even Clans that dislike the Crane like the craft of the Kakita artisans or Asahina shugenja. The Crane always seem to know just what others need, and this knowledge helps them secure alliances.


"Our Crane buddy has delivered unto us a jewel-like object of wonder! Now we owe them our entire family treasury."

First, history! Hantei asked Lady Doji to help him with his ruling efforts. Both created the stratified society of hinin, heimin and samurai. When Otosan Uchi was built (the palace, and the people that came to live around it) the Emperor held a great celebration and a contest to choose his personal champion. It was widely held that Matsu, follower of Akodo, would win - instead, victory was for a simple man with a swift sword that always bowed respectfully after each duel. He did not do so for Matsu at the final match, however. She was obviously angry, and the man simply replied that she was not worthy of respect, because she had not treated her rivals with the respect she demanded. He offered to commit seppuku, but instead the Emperor confirmed his naming as the new Champion. From that day on there would be enmity between Matsu and the little man, whose name was Kakita. The Emperor and him became fast friends and it was arranged that he would marry Doji, who really didn't want to marry him. As such, she send him on a quest to bring the dead back to life, figure out how many days it took to go around the world, and find something whose beauty cannot be challenged. Kakita left his sister as Doji's lady-in-waiting, and while she set to work on changing the Kami's heart he went off on his quest. He found a village where an old woman named Yasuki lived, who said she would help him if he arranged that her son joined the samurai class. Preposterous, about as preposterous as a mortal marrying a Kami. He agreed and returned to a Doji that by now actually wanted to see him back. From a piece of driftwood, he carved a biwa (a lute, basically) and played it to the court's amazement - the dead driftwood had come back to life. A journey's length depends on the companion, and a man that travels with Doji's mother, the Sun, takes one day to go around the world. And finally, he gave her a mirror that reflected her image - beauty that could not be challenged. Doji was head over heels for Kakita and they married! Yasuki's house, incidentally, became a shrine that was demolished when her family betrayed their vows to the Crane. :smith:


The Doji mon, a crane holding a snowflake. See, they are unique snowflakes. :haw:

The Doji are the better known of the Crane families. Their courtiers are always seen at the Imperial Court and the mother of an Emperor has always been a Doji. They have built the system of ceremonies and protocol that keeps the realm together. They are perfectionists and have to be - the Court is a deadly place to make a mistake in. They don't fear death because they live life to the fullest, with no regrets. Doji's second son, Nio, took her name and founded the house. He was a master of economics and commerce, and he organized the first Crane trade routes and set them on the way to wealth. It's said that he wrote a treatise on economics, but it has never been published: perhaps it was never written in the first place or the Crane don't wish to share his wisdom. His writings on court life and manipulation of the political system are better known and studied in Doji schools to this day. Doji's first children were twins, one boy and one girl, and she had five children in total. The eldest child, Yasurugi, was a great duelist and perhaps even better than Kakita, but his passion was crafting. He refused to wield a sword that he hadn't forged himself. One day after Fu Leng attacked, when in a ceremony to gift a blade to his newborn son, Yasurugi was approached by Shinsei, with Matsu and Mirumoto of the Dragon in tow. He was searching for heroes and Yasurugi had the soul of Thunder necessary. Before he could answer, an oni that had sneaked into the celebration stabbed Yasurugi dead, and while Kakita killed the beast Shinsei sadly declared that all was lost. But Yasurugi's twin sister, Konishiko, declared she would take up his spot - as twins, they shared one soul. Matsu roared angrily: what could a weak girl like her do? Even the greenest Lion soldier could kill her. Konishiko knocked Matsu's blade from her grasp and declared that she only needed to strike once. Shinsei laughed.


The Kakita mon, a crane with a sword. I like this one, it has moxie.

The Kakita family history starts with the man himself, of course. He was the first true iaijutsu master, remembered as one of the most honorable men that ever lived. His dislike of the Mirumoto two-sword school was well known and his treatise on honorable dueling, The Sword, is still studied by bushi across Rokugan. The third son of Kakita and Doji, Shimizu, became the founder of the Kakita family as well as the second Emerald Champion of Rokugan. Ever since the Crane iaijutsu school was founded, every Emperor has sent his sons to the Kakita for training. The family is also known for their artisans, and the founder of their art tradition was Kakita's sister, Kiyamori. She helped Lady Doji create the written language used today. Artisans of the Crane have earned admiration and respect across the Empire, and fine artists are welcome in high courts and lowly villages. They are often chosen as advisors. Since reading and writing are not common skills in Rokugan, lords use artists to educate the populace and instruct them in their duties. Because of this, Crane heimin are extremely well educated. Daimyo of other clans also ask of wandering Crane artists to tour their lands for the same reason, and at times artisan tutors remain at Clan palaces teaching the noble young. The most well-known artisans are, of course, the Iaijutsu Masters themselves - it is as much of an art as, say, ikebana. We also get some excerpts of The Sword, just like Niten in the Way of the Dragon book.


Guys in the back must be like "Man, being a mook in a chanbara flick sucks."

And speaking of Niten!

quote:

[...]the body is the greatest weapon one has. To disregard it in favor of a second sword is foolish. It dishonors you as certainly as if two men struck the same opponent, and it does not allow the use of the full body - only the arms. [...]If the opponent wields two swords, they appear strong, but they have forgotten the meaning of true strength. They hide their cowardice behind steel, and are no more than a rice paper cottage behind a stone wall. [...] Among other schools, there are some which are partial to using two swords. In my school, this is a sign of cowardice. Attempts to achieve victory by a few extra inches of steel is a sign of weakness of spirit. Although those who study such a school have rationalizations for such a path, such rationalizations have no ground when they are seen from the true path of bushido. I have no dislike for the technique of two swords; only for the spirit which leads to the preference for two swords.

So Mirumoto can suck it, basically. :v:


The Asahina mon, a crane holding a peach blossom. I guess they give peaches a chance.

The story of the Asahina family starts with a Phoenix, Isawa Asahina. A great Master of Air, he was also revered as an adept of Fire. He was a natural warrior, and taught to use his destructive powers against the Lion and the Scorpion. He spent little time in study and much in war. When a truce was struck between Lion and Phoenix, Asahina was furious, certain that the Phoenix would have crushed the Lion without Crane interference. He started a campaign of terror on Crane territories, disregarding his Phoenix brothers that tried to calm him down and setting whole villages on fire by himself. The Daidoji had few men to spare to deal with the mad shugenja and they were quickly obliterated. At last, one samurai-ko stood before him, but instead of attacking she put herself between the shugenja and his targets, over and over, regardless of the damage she took. Eventually even Asahina had to ask why, and the badly injured samurai replied she would not allow him to tarnish the memory of his kin. He came down from his madness, took the wounded maiden back to the Doji palace and surrendered. It took many months for Doji Kiriko to heal, and Asahina was there at her side. Love grew between them, and a marriage was arranged. He brought many of his brothers and sisters to the Crane, as well as knowledge of their libraries, and thus the Crane shugenja school was born. The Asahina are pacifistic and shun fighting: this is not to say that they won't assist their Clan in war and they are known for creating implements of war, but the items they create are never malicious or uncontrolled. The Asahina love to create things, and they have the secret knowledge to construct "fetishes," minor one-shot magic items. They are often geared for mundane needs such as harvests, building or protection. The Asahina believe that the Tao of Shinsei applies to all living things, forming a seamless web, and by changing one part of the world for the better they believe they are doing so for the whole world. Their talismans are usually impersonal but sometimes created for specific users, and created using a combination of elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water), auspicious astrological events and dates. Whether the small spirits they infuse their talismans with are aware is a matter for philosophers, but it is certain that the greater the kami of the item, the more human it becomes. They try to bring out an item's shen, its benevolent nature, rather than its kuei, the dark side. Asahina Yajinden, traitor and lieutenant to mad Iuchiban, created the infamous Bloodswords using corrupted Asahina knowledge. They also believe that a person's spirit can be controlled just like an item's spirit, but this knowledge (meisho) is dangerous, and only passed on in oral fashion without written records.


The Daidoji mon, a crane over a snake wrapped around a spear. Don't ask me, I don't know.

The Daidoji family starts with the youngest of Doji's children, Hayaku. Doji was inconsolable after losing her daughter to the Shadowlands, plagued by visions that Konishiko lived on still. Hayaku swore he would journey into the dark realm to retrieve his sister. Three years later, he returned a changed man - muscular, creased with age, and with his hair completely white because of the horrors he had faced. He also had the sword that belonged to Yasurugi and that Konishiko carried as the Crane Thunder - in a way, the twins had returned home. This sword, now the ancestral sword of the Crane, chooses its wielder by singing the same note of joy as when Doji held it once again, and Hayaku was named Daidoji, Defender of the Doji, for his deeds. Today many Crane dye their hair white as tribute to his memory. The Daidoji are some of the bravest fighters in Rokugan, leaving their Doji cousins to do the talking in courts while they focus on intelligence gathering and discovering the weaknesses of the Crane's enemies. They are the strong arm of the Crane, with tactics that allow their smaller numbers to counter greater forces. They are not above certain tactics to make victory certain, and aside from handling the Clan's mercantile matters they are also involved in contraband and smuggling with the tacit approval of the Clan. The stereotypical Daidoji is the honorable thief, risking himself and his honor to bring supplies to wartorn areas. Several of the Yasuki that refused to join the family in their exile to the Crab joined the Daidoji, and since then they have openly despised the Yasuki proper, though now there is a shaky truce because of the Daidoji's friendship with the Hida. Their family library has many rare texts on strategy and tactics, and they know more about the gaijin that stormed Rokugani shores than any other. The daimyo, Daidoji Uji, has even studied gaijin kata and has one of their strange two-handed swords mounted on a wall, and also instructs his students to study the foreign weapons of the Unicorn. Personally, he is fascinated with "gaijin pepper", gunpowder, but publicly he restrains himself to manufacturing fireworks for Crane festivals.


This is probably not the best way to handle your sword.

At the Battle of the Landbridge, oni spies figured out a weakness in Crab defenses on the eastern end of the Wall, and Oni no Kinjiro (their leader) put into action a plan to divert Crab defenders away from it so that he could attack it in force. The few Crab there did not try to retreat: they were Crab. Their commander, Hida Bokaro, sent up a magic flare for assistance, but Kinjiro used magical darkness to block it from the sight of would-be reinforcements. As it turned out, he didn't block it away from Crane lands, and the Crab were reinforced by the Daidoji daimyo, Masashigi, and his hunting party of twenty men. For the first time in history, Crab and Crane stood together against a common foe, and Masashigi protected Bokaru personally when the Crab commander was violently thrown to the ground by an oni. The remaining oni finally broke through the defenses and made for the landbridge to flee to the peninsula and let the ocean block pursuit, but Masashigi and his three remaining men charged the demons, keeping them busy until the sea came and swallowed them all. The Crab never forgot the sacrifice, and still call the Daidoji "the Iron Cranes." The Battle of Kyuden Kitsune is relatively recent, 30 years in the past. Two minor Clans, the Fox and the Hare, were engaged in a series of minor skirmishes across their borders until a Crane force brokered a ceasefire. Later in the night, however, a group of assassins seemingly hired by the Hare slaughtered many Fox dignitaries, and the Fox daimyo vowed to avenge his wife and the other dead. The Crane sided with the Fox and the battle was quickly over, but the Fox daimyo claimed it was Crane intervention that caused the death of his wife, and challenged the Crane commander (Kakita Toshimoko) to a duel where he perished. The Hare maintained that they never sent any assassins; whatever the case, the Emperor demanded that both Minor Clans accepted a Crane "advisor" to their courts as punishment. The Victory With No Strike is Doji Kiriko's successful containment of Isawa Asahina.


The Crab's shrine to Masashigi. NEVAR 4GET

The Battle of the Raging Seas is the naval counterpart to the Battle of White Stag, when Asahina shugenja brought clouds and fog over the Bay of the Golden Sun near Otosan Uchi, allowing the small but swift Crane merchant ships to harry and eventually sink the great gaijin galleons. Gaijin traders and merchants were forbidden from entering the Empire for a time, and are still viewed with suspicion today. At the Battle of the Sleeping River, the Crane captured Asahina Yajinden during Iuchiban's first uprising, and the Asahina would not kill him because of their beliefs - instead, they performed rituals so that Yajinden ended with the mind of a child, and he was set to work on the Asahina gardens as a warning to those who would betray the Crane. They also played an important role in Iuchiban's second appearance, and historians credit them with preventing a rout of the allied forces when the undead broke through their lines. Finally, in the Night of Falling Stars, the Crane lost Shiro no Yojin to the Akodo legions after the Daidoji held out for three weeks. Rather than bearing the shame of capture, the men, women and children of the castle threw themselves to the ocean, and the battle gained its name from their falling torches. The Crane tried to recapture the fortress several times without success. It is said that the river under the castle is haunted with the ghosts of the dead, and every year on the seventh day of the month of the Snake the ghosts rise and slaughter any Lion found outside the castle. :ghost:


The original Yasuki mon, with a crane instead of the carp. It still remains in some ancient objects and artifacts; these are considered to be of ill luck by the modern Yasuki.

The Yasuki family history begins with their service to the Crane. It's a little different from how it shows up in Way of the Crab for some reason. They were not originally of the samurai class, and never truly lost the stigma of being the "common born" family of the Crane. They created the policy of trade gifts, and when the first war with Fu Leng started they kept the people of the Empire fed and supplied. Their methods and economic foresight were not seen with good eyes by other Clans, who openly called them dirty and dishonorable, but the Crane still held them as family. Their illicit operations became more bold and overt in time, and when a young and inexperienced Emperor took over he claimed the Yasuki dealings were not only dishonorable, but dangerous, and ordered the Crane daimyo of the era to halt the Yasuki operations. The family was incensed and argued that their activity kept the Crane armies throughout the southern peninsula supplied. But the Crane Champion would not waver, and banned the Yasuki from his lands. That's when they went to the Crab, and the rest is history. And the war between the Yasuki and the Daidoji would in turn give birth to a new secret power... THE KOLAT! (Again, nothing else about them.)

Next: paper cuts.

Traveller fucked around with this message at 23:39 on Aug 26, 2016

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Brace yourself for some bizarre, busted mechanics.

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



It's a Crane tradition!

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