Alternate and Advanced Schools
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The following are new Alternate Paths and Advanced Schools for the “Stolen Destiny” campaign. In some cases, these may be modified versions of currently existing Schools, Advanced Schools or Alternative Paths – If they replace the currently existing version, this will be stated in the description. Crab Clan, Crane Clan and Dragon Clan schools and paths can be found at their respective family pages.
The Lion Clan
Alternative Path: Lion Iodoka
The Crane Clan has a centuries-long tradition of iaijutsu descended from Kakita himself and they have refined it to the point of treating it as a form of art, whilst most Lion bushi Schools teach the style as protection from their rivals. This changed during the chaotic years before the Second Day of Thunder, where Matsu Seijuro spent his childhood studying at the Kakita Dueling Academy as part of an exchange program. He analyzed what he learned from the Crane and altered it to best benefit the Lion. Though the technique is relatively new, it has received substantial support from the leadership of the Lion Clan. The leaders watch to gauge the school’s effectiveness, ready to increase funding and assistance if it becomes a huge aid against the Crane.
• Technique Rank: 2
• Replaces: Any Lion Bushi 2
• Requirements: Iaijutsu 3
Technique: Seijuro’s Legacy
Lion Iaidoka study the life and deeds of Matsu Seijuro as well as his techniques. Seijuro’s contribution to the art of the duel give a Lion duelist technical skill that inform his head and limbs, while Seijuro’s courage and devotion to the Lion Clan inspire his heart and spirit. You add your Honor rank to your initiative roll, or any one roll in an Iaijutsu duel.
Alternative Path: Lion Magistrate
As one might imagine, many cities of the Empire have numerous establishments are always in need of someone to keep the peace. In the lands of the Lion, this is where the students of the Hundred Scars Dojo come in. The group trains themselves in the original Ikoma’s hand-to-hand fighting techniques in order to act as magistrates and peacekeepers within the city. Those so skilled in the ways of Ikoma are often an intimidating sight to a troublesome drunken ronin, to boisterous courtiers who get out of hand with a geisha, or to the occasional overzealous Matsu conversing with a Kakita at the sake bar. If a member of the Hundred Scars Dojo must be called in, the perpetrators are not soon likely to forget it, and will likely walk away with several scars of their own.
• Technique Rank: 2
• Replaces: Any Lion Bushi 2
• Requirements: Jiujutsu 3, Glory Rank 3 or higher
Technique: Cultivating the Personality
Lion Magistrates cultivate reputations as fierce fighters and protectors of the Lion Clan to foster respect among those who would endanger the clan. This gives them a clear psychological advantage in a fight. You gain a bonus equal to your Glory Rank to all unarmed or improvised weapon attack rolls, or any attack in which you are attempting the Disarm maneuver. You may also use your Strength when making any Storytelling (Bragging) skill rolls.
Advanced School: Akodo Kensai
The samurai of the Lion Clan value tradition above all else, and many Lion warriors follow directly in the footsteps of their ancestors. While other weapons may be better suited for the battlefield, the katana remains the icon of samurai culture. The Kensai focuses exclusively on this weapon until he can overcome its deficiencies. He pours thousands of hours of practice into kata, kenjutsu, and iaijutsu until he has a profound connection with the weapon. When he is ready, the Kensai can move and attack as if the katana were a very part of his body. He strikes with almost supernatural ease, with a grace and beauty that enthralls any who watch him.
Note that the Akodo Kensai Alternate Path has already been printed for 4th edition L5R in the Great Clans supplement. However, the Kensai are a select group that are feared and respected with the same level as the Dragon Swordmasters and the Crane Kenshinzen. This is not properly represented with a simple Alternate Path. To more accurately represent the training, and respect, that Kensai are supposed to receive, the Akodo Kensai Path has been rewritten as an Advanced School.
• Rings/Traits: Agility 5, Void 4
• Skills: Battle 5, Defense 4, Kenjutsu (Katana) 6, Lore: Bushido 4
• Special: Prodigy advantage. You may ignore this requirement by increasing all Skill requirements by 1. You must know at least one kata.
Rank One: The Heart of the Sword
he Kensai navigates the battlefield with his katana in his hands. He remains untouched by the enemies around him, for he can direct the flow of combat with his own attacks. While using a sword and in the Attack Stance, you may increase your Armor TN by your Honor Rank against the first melee attack each Combat Round. Additionally, once per skirmish or duel you may activate a Kata as a Free Action.
Rank Two: Wisdom of My Ancestors
The dojo of the Kensai teaches both tactical versatility and the joy to be found in battle. When making a Skill roll with a High or Bugei Skill in which you have at least 1 Rank, you may spend a Void Point to make that Skill roll as though your Skill rank is equal to your Honor Rank. Additionally, you may select one Maneuver. Whenever you attempt that Maneuver, you gain a Free Raise.
Rank Three: Empowered By Honor
Those who devote themselves to the sword are nigh unstoppable. If your Honor Rank exceeds your opponent’s Honor Rank, you may make a single additional melee attack as a Free Action once per Round against that opponent.
The Mantis Clan
Alternative Path: Champions of Thunder
The so called Champions of Thunder are a group of Mantis samurai who practice a theology that many on the mainland would find blasphemous. Instead of placing their reverence in the Tao of Shinsei or the Fortunes, they are zealously devoted to the Thunder Dragon, a force of nature that gave up his place in the heavens so that Yoritomo could become a true Kami, giving them the justification they need to truly establish an order with the Clan’s blessing. This is highly unconventional, and looked upon by many with distrust if not outright disdain.
• Technique Rank: 2
• Replaces: Yoritomo Bushi 2
• Requirements: Lore: Elemental Dragons 3, any two Bugei Skills 3
Technique: Favor of the Storm
The essence of Thunder permeates your every action, giving you a power most have never seen. When spending a Void point to augment any roll involving a physical trait (Agility, Reflexes, Strength, or Stamina), you gain a bonus to the roll equal to your Insight Rank. If the Void point is spent as part of a Contested Roll, the bonus is doubled.
Advanced School: Green Blade Duelist
The Green Blade Dojo, the Moshi Duelist school, was a small iaijutsu institution founded and run by the Moshi family, just northeast of Toshi no Inazuma just after the Mantis became a Great Clan. The Moshi developed a formal contest of achievement that allowed two dueling samurai to focus their energies not in a fight in which they need to face each other, but rather to harness those energies in an attempt to become even better individuals. The sensei there promoted these principles, and the importance, of such an unorthodox form of challenge, teaching their students how to act in ways that helped them accumulate glory.
• Rings/Traits: Void 3, Earth 4. Agility 4
• Skills: Iaijutsu 4, Lore: Theology 4, any Weapon Skill 4
• Special: Honor Rank 5 or higher
Rank One: Honour Your Opponent
Students of the Green Blade learn not only to fight honorably, but also to respect their opponents and honor the strengths and talents of their rivals, as underestimating your opponent is a remarkably common cause of defeat. Whenever you fight someone in a formal duel, you gain a bonus to your Iaijutsu rolls equal to either your own Insight Rank or your opponent’s Insight Rank, whichever is greater. Furthermore, whenever you defeat a foe in a legal duel, you gain 1 additional Glory Point, or 2 additional Glory Points if your opponent had an Insight Rank higher than your own.
Rank Two: Strength in Honour
Tapping into their inner reserves, students of The Green Blade are able to perform great feats of strength and endurance. A number of times per day equal to you School Rank, you gain a bonus to your Initiative Rolls equal to twice your Honor Rank.
Rank Three: Will of the Mantis
As they complete their training, students of the dojo find balance between body, mind, and spirit, and they begin to understand how to tap into their unexplored reserves in times of need. A number of times per day equal to your School Rank, after spending a Void Point you may make a TN30 Void Roll. If successful, you regain the spent Void Point. Additionally, you gain a bonus to your Armour TN equal to your Earth Ring.
The Scorpion Clan
Alternative Path: Yojiro’s Way
Bayushi Yojiro, known as the “Honest Scorpion” or junshin by fellow Scorpions, lived a difficult life as he was at heart an honorable man, who followed bushido as best he could. This frequently came into direct conflict with his life and duty as a Scorpion, and he was scorned by his clan for being too honest. Yojiro eventually found his way to a position as a magistrate, a job which suited him well, and over the years he learnt how to carefully omit and constructed conversations that avoided the lying and deceipt so famous with his clan.
• Technique Rank: 2
• Replaces: Bayushi Bushi 2
• Requirements: Must have Honour Rank 3 or more
Technique: The Path of Truth
Those Scorpions who embrace the path of honesty employ an unconventional approach to court politics, one which is seemingly at odds with the rest of their Clan’s strategies. Any time you attempt to deceive someone by omitting or avoiding the truth (rather than outright lying), you gain a bonus equal to twice your Honor Rank to the appropriate Social Skill Roll, whether it be Deceit, Courtier, or Etiquette.
Alternative Path: Ichiba’s Consortium
Ichiba’s Consortium was a Scorpion school of those merchants who followed the path walked by Yogo Ichiba, the premier merchant patron in the clan’s history. These merchants accrued the funds and materials that the Clan needed, and gathered information from ports of call across the Empire. Ichiba’s merchants knew a deal was based purely on presentation and style, and that the natural samurai inclination to avoid the discussion of money made it easy to make a bad deal look good, and a good deal look irresistable.
• Technique Rank: 3
• Replaces: Any Scorpion School 3
• Requirements: Commerce 5
Technique: Ichiba’s Technique
Yogo Ichiba was the greatest financial mastermind the Scorpion ever produced. He would have been known throughout the Empire had he not wished to remain unseen. His students share his ability and methods, ensuring that they are wealthy and successful in their dealings. Each month, you gain an amount of koku equal to your Insight Rank x10 so long as you remain within the Empire. You also may spend a Void Point to re-roll any failed Social Skill roll (without increasing the TN by 10), keeping the better of the two rolls. You may only use this ability once per roll.
Alternative Path: Shosuro Deluder
No one outside the Clan of Secrets has yet learned of the existence or the techniques that are taught by the sensei of the Strength of Secrets Dojo. That is exactly how the Shosuro like it, for no shinobi can survive in the public eye; stealth and surprise are his stock in trade, It thus is no great surprise that Shosuro Champions learn different counterattacking, disarming, and feinting maneuvers meant to catch their opponents unaware. They receive intensive training in both iaijutsu and kenjutsu, practicing the distinctively deceptive and unpredictable style that the Shosuro have refined and mastered. The shinobi of the Scorpion believe that the ultimate deception Is to face your opponent in a conventional, face-to-face battle and conceal your true strength, revealing it only when it Is too late for your opponent to do anything In response.
• Technique Rank: 3
• Replaces: Shosuro Infiltrator 3
• Requirements: Sincerity (Deception) 5, Stealth 3, Kenjutsu or Iaijutsu 4
Technique: The Strength of Secrets
Shosuro Deluders are shinobi above all, and as such training in the arts of deception is a basic part of their education. You gain a bonus to any Social Skill roll made to deceive or manipulate an opponent equal to your Intelligence. Typical example of this ability includes using the Acting (Disguise), Sincerity, Temptation, Sleight of Hand, or Stealth Skills, as well as during Feint or Disarm Maneuvers. You also add twice this bonus to your opponent’s TN to Assess you during the Assessment phase of Iaijutsu duels.