Monday, May 30, 2011
This bad boy school is finally back by popular demand! Thus, we introduce the Shinjo Bushi as our first featured school for Emerald Empire. The Shinjo school specializes in mounted warfare like its cousin schools in the Unicorn Clan. However, this iconic school is also decidedly distinct in that a major portion of the school's techniques emulate combat skills learned by the Unicorn during their travels in the Burning Sands: parrying and riposting. This eccentric combat style can provide the Shinjo Bushi with some unique tactics to throw off their opponents. For example, perhaps one of the more subtle aspects of the Rank 4 technique is that a Shinjo Bushi can enter combat in the Defense Stance, but if attacked the Shinjo can riposte after an opponent's attack and then enter the Attack Stance. This tactic results in a Shinjo Bushi that can still utilize their first Turn to make attacks in the Attack Stance, despite already having benefited from the Defense Stance before the Shinjo's first Turn. This can be quite useful if the Shinjo Bushi is fighting faster opponents or if the Shinjo wants to wager that this tactics can result in a third attack on the first turn. The Rank 2 technique also has its perks, since the Shinjo's parry forces the Shinjo and his opponent into a Contested Agility roll. A Contested Agility roll is a fairly rare roll and it will typically strip an opponent of any combat advantages he might have garnered from his techniques or skill.
However, melee combat is not just this school's specialty. Instead, most Shinjo Bushi are skilled at horse-archery like their cousins in the Utaku Battle Maiden school. Combined with the Rank 1 technique, a Shinjo Bushi can make for an excellent marksman. And fortunately for you toxophilites out there, you also have the option of taking the Shinjo Scout path to replace the more melee-oriented Rank 2 technique. This path is also great for any Shinjo Bushi suffering from insatiable wanderlust!
Now the third major theme of the Shinjo Bushi is the Way of the Ki-Rin. Some outsiders have often mused that Shinjo Bushi tend to be very lucky in combat. But the Unicorn know better --- their cousins in the Shinjo Bushi school are "dancing with the Fortunes." You see the Unicorn Clan is quite right when they say that the Shinjo are not just being lucky. Instead, Shinjo Bushi are actually enhancing and prolonging their ability to spend Void Points, akin in many ways to a Shiba Bushi. For example, the Rank 1 Technique of the Shinjo Bushi can result in an extremely potent bonus, since the technique can potentially more-than-double the effectiveness of spending a Void Point for a +1k1 bonus. Thus, when playing a Shinjo Bushi, the optional School Skill should be chosen very carefully. Will it be the Battle Skill? Or perhaps the Stealth skill? And fortunately for the Shinjo Bushi, the Shinjo Bushi Rank 5 technique also makes it much easier to spend Void Points to fuel the Rank 1 technique.
Useful Advantages for the Shinjo Bushi are:
*Chosen By the Oracles (Void): This advantage helps improve the Shinjo's chances of making the Void Ring Roll to activate the Rank 5 technique, especially if the character is activating the technique when on foot.
*Friends of the Elements (Fire): As mentioned above, the Contested Agility Roll is pretty rare. Thus, a Shinjo Bushi can gain a notable advantage on this roll by buying this advantage.