The Crab Clan
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Daimyo: Hida Kisada
Motto: “I will not fail"
The Hida family are the leaders of the Crab. No other family holds their duty in such high regard as the Hida. It is the largest family in the Crab, and dominate the political life of the clan. They plan military tactics, lead the armies and co-ordinate the defenses of the clan. They are descended from the Kami Hida, known for his sheer strength. Hida’s children often have that in common with the Kami, and they are known throughout the empire as some of the fiercest fighters in Rokugan, if not the most cultured. The Hida are well known for a very colorful language, with many threats, insults, curses and expressions. They are known to be impulsive, brutish, hot-headed and do not take insults lightly. They do not care what other people might think as their obligations to the emperor require a certain mindset, the rougher aspects of the Crab, and to deny these aspects would be to deny them of their greatest strength. Until someone steps up to shoulder their burden, the Hida will act as they see fit. Hida are known to thrive on the pressures of battle and whilst they take joy in combat as no others do, they also treat every battle with a responsibility that is not found anywhere else.
Daimyo: Hiruma Yoshi
Motto: “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing at all.”
The Hiruma family was the first to follow Hida to the Shadowlands, and their devotion to the Hida family often made them bodyguards of the Crab Clan Champion. Kyuden Hiruma, the ancestral home of the Hiruma family, was destroyed in 716 by The Maw in a vicious attack that facilitated the need of the Great Carpenter Wall. For centuries since the Hiruma have had no lands to call their own, and instead live in an existence of constant war as the struggle to take back their lands from the forces of darkness. A Hiruma warrior is grim, determined and joyless, knowing only battle and death. The Hiruma currently bear no mon, acknowledging that their land is lost and until it is taken back they have no home or family. They have taken this to every extreme, no longer refering to their old homes by their names but simply as outposts from which to wage their never ending war.
Daimyo: Kaiu Oshuda
Motto: “The strength of the mountain lies at its base”
The Kaiu family are without question the best engineers in Rokugan. They are the architects of the Carpenter Wall, as well as the catacombs and traps beneath it., and it is said that If anyone in the empire wants to build a structure that will rival all others and stand throughout time, they consult a Kaiu. They are reserved, calm, and act with a foresight that Shinsei himself would envy. They are builders, planners, engineers, and refined architects; calm, cool, and under control who produce the most potent weapons and ingenious defenses in the Empire. The Kaiu think of themselves as the rock anchoring the Hida and Hiruma families, and many would agree, at least to some extent. Their philosophy emphasizes the larger picture and the long term benefits of their actions, as the Crab Clan’s support and defenses would be paralyzed without them, so they have little time to search for glory for themselves. They love to plan and enjoy seeing intricacies of a well-laid scheme coming together, which has recently led them to performing admirably in a more tactical role on the battlefield, able to plan and lay out the best way to break the foundations of the enemy forces.
Daimyo: Kuni Utagu
Motto: “Seek that which is hidden"
The Kuni family are some of the most feared and enigmatic shugenja in all of Rokugan, having devoted themselves to discovering the secrets of the Shadowlands. Kuni are very often skilled in the arts of the physical form, understanding anatomy and the mixture of the five elements in the body. Their training generally is steeped in biology and construction of the living form, and their magic tends towards wards and bindings – either holding bodies in a location or preventing bodies from entering or leaving a place. The concept of a spirit possessing a body remains of great interest to the Kuni as the oni are spirits made flesh, and finding a way to gain an advantage from this remains the Kuni families primary goal. Each Kuni has a part of the family library in their care, ensuring that an unexpected attack cannot cost them too dearly or destroy their knowledge, but has made exchanging knowledge between two shugenja difficult, meaning few shugenja have an all-encompassing mastery of the school. Only once a year do the Kuni masters come together. holding an annual meeting in Kyuden Hida every winter behind closed doors to discuss their findings over the past year. The Kuni Witch Hunters are the latest line of their defense against the shadowlands, and came about after Iuchiban attacked Rokugan. Also known as Tsukai-sagasu, they study the martial arts of their fellow Crab as well as the magical arts of their family. After their training is complete they set out to destroy the Shadowlands in any form they find it. Most travel north into Rokugan to search for Shadowlands creatures that might have slipped through the wall.
Daimyo: Yasuki Taka
Motto: “May your cup always be full, and your hands never be empty.”
The Yasuki family are the public face of the Crab Clan, and where the other families all dealt daily with the horrors of the Shadowlands, the Yasuki are the Crab’s diplomatic and economic engine. Yasuki courtiers are seen in courts representing the Crab much more than any of their other families, and their merchants are by far the most crafty in all of Rokugan, which is not surprising seeing that the Yasuki family was originally a family of the Crane Clan, but broke from the Crane in the 4th century. The Yasuki were founded by the wisewoman Yasuki after she aided Kakita in solving his three quests to gain Lady Doji’s heart, and for their first three hundred years the Yasuki served the Crane, furthering their economic and political pursuits, making their mark on Rokugan by starting the tradition of trade through gifts rather than “dishonorable” merchanting. When the War Against Fu Leng started the Yasuki kept the troops supplied with food and weapons, and one of the first daimyo of the Yasuki was given the title of Imperial Trade Advisor. In the fourth century a conflict arose between the Crab and the Crane Clan, escalating to become the First Yasuki War. The Yasuki were not willing to attack the Crab due to their constant service defending against the Shadowlands, and the Crane Clan Champion Doji Mizobu was outraged at their disloyalty and banished them from the Crane. The Crab were more than happy to open their doors to those who wished to join, and the Yasuki have been a family of the Crab ever since.
New Schools & Paths of the Crab
Alternative Path: The Damned
As feared as the Shadowlands are, there is a sect of warriors among the Crab who are feared even more by the Empire. The Damned come almost exclusively from the Crab. Not only are Crab samurai the most likely to become Tainted, but few outside the clan have the fortitude to resist the Taint. Those who endure the Kuni’s screening process and are deemed suitable to serve are grouped into units and placed under the direct supervision of a shugenja. This shugenja aids them in coping with the Taint, but will destroy them if they find that they cannot control it. Units of the Damned are sent to one of a small number of barracks maintained specifically for them along the Great Wall. They do not mix with non-Tainted troops, nor do they participate in any sort of non-combat activities with their pure brethren. The Damned are a society unto themselves, and only interact with others when ordered into battle alongside them.
• Technique Rank: 3 or 4
• Replaces: Hida Bushi Rank 3, Hida Pragmatist Rank 3, Hiruma Bushi Rank 4, Hiruma Scout Rank 4
• Requirements: At least one full Rank of Taint
Technique: Shout at the Darkness
While the Shadowlands can never truly be understood, the horror of the Damned is all too obvious: men and women who have been consumed by the Taint and who measure their lives by the weeks, days, or hours that they have left. You may make attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action while using Heavy Weapon or weapons with the Samurai keyword. When attacking you may choose to keep an additional number of dice equal to your Taint Rank, but doing so immediately gives you an additional point of Taint.
Alternative Path: Kaiu Military Diplomat
The Kaiu family are among the best minds in the Empire, and show incredible analytical ability in a culture that universally prefers to act upon instinct. The ability to systematically break down the problem faced and develop the perfect counter has uses off the battlefield as well as on it, and many a general has been surprised by the skillful oratory ability of the military advisor on loan from the Crab. Over the years, the Crab have become adept at picking out the most verbally talented of their engineers and training them in further diplomatic techniques that are usually the purview of “softer” clans. However, the Crab are nothing if not pragmatic and if the abilities of the Kaiu can be brought to bear on more than one battlefield, the Crab are not one to squander such a resource.
• Technique Rank: 2
• Replaces: Kaiu Engineer 2
• Requirements: Battle 3
Technique: Battlefield of Both Worlds
Whether on the battlefield or in the courts, you see the true nature of both, realising they are fundamentally one and the same. You gain the mastery abilities for both Courtier and Battle as if your skill rank was equal to the higher of the two. Additionally, a number of times per day equal to your School Rank you may substitute a Courtier or Battle roll for one another. You also receive a +1k0 bonus to any one dice roll you make during a Mass Battle turn.
Alternative Path: Tokaji’s Might
• Technique Rank: 1
• Replaces: Kuni Shugenja 1
• Requirements: None
• Special: This Path counts as a Rank in the Kuni Shugenja School for the purpose of starting equipment, honour, spellcasting and starting spells.
Technique: Witch’s Bane
A properly trained tsukai-sagasu is capable of the swift elimination of maho-tsukai, punishing them with the wrath of the Crab for treason against the Celestial Order. Each time a maho spell is cast in your presence, you may spend a Void Point to gain a +1k1 bonus to all attack rolls against the caster until the end of the combat. Additionally, you add your Earth Ring to all melee and unarmed damage rolls against anyone with at least one Rank of Taint.
Advanced School: Yasuki Kenshin
The relatively small school of the Yasuki Kenshin see themselves as the complementary counterparts to the more traditional Hida bushi with their heavy weapons and even heavier armor. The Kenshin train more for speed and a very aggressive combat style, showing numerous throwbacks to their Crane heritage combined with the brutal force of the Crab, focusing on fast, devastating blows rather than the traditional Hida’s focus on brute force and sheer staying power. The primary weapon of the Kenshin is the No-Dachi, and many of the students of the school wear only light armor or sometimes even no armor at all, stating that the gained flexibility of their lighter burden outweighs the benefit of a heavy armor. The Kenshin also practice some dueling techniques, as their training focuses more on the sword than any other weapon. While the Crab typically view dueling as a waste of time, the Yasuki have much more use for traditionally educated yojimbo and duelists who could champion for an ambitious merchant patron. Thus, the few bushi of the Yasuki Family are preferably trained by this school instead of the more traditionalist schools.
• Rings/Traits: Air 4, Fire 4, Void 3
• Skills: Iaijutsu 4, Kenjutsu (no-dachi) 5
• Special: If you possess the “Great Potential: Kenjutsu” advantage, reduce the Skill requirements by one.
Rank One: Fire and Air
The Yasuki kenshin is trained to analyze and fight against the toughest of foes and take them down. You gain a free raise on melee attack rolls that can only apply to the Knockdown or Extra Damage maneuver. In an iaijutsu duel, you may instead apply this free raise to your Assessment roll.
Rank Two: The Crabs Claw
The Yasuki kenshin fight in a very aggressive style whilst using their speed to cut down foes before they have time to react. At the start of a skirmish or Iaijutsu duel, you may spend a Void Point force anyone wishing to attack you to declare one additional raise to be able to do so for a number of turns equal to your Fire Ring. If you are in an Iaijutsu duel, your opponent must beat your Focus roll by 10 in order to strike you; if not, the strike is considered a ‘kharmic strike’ as normal.
Rank Three: Ticket to Jingoku
The Masters of the Kenshin school strike with such a ferocity that usually a single powerful strike is sufficient to end most confrontations. When wielding a sword, you may spend a Void Point to add +Xk1 to the damage roll, where X is your Strength.