Thursday, August 4, 2011

Great Clans Preview: Shosuro Actor


The Shosuro Actor was one of my favorite 1st Edition schools. But it always had one large baffling problem that made the school unfun for me. You couldn't disguise yourself in a new persona till IR 3. This made no sense. After all they're actors right? Undercover agents. They should be able to assume that new persona when they are done training.

Luckily for 4th Edition this logical inconsistency I faced was removed. Starting out a Shosuro Actor gains a persona at IR 1. Oh happy day :)

Now for those who are new to 4th Edition the Shosuro Actor is part of the ninja team. Working as deep cover agents they go in and assume the identity of another clan member and collect information for the Scorpion. They also make fine assassins. Some even rise to prominent positions within their infiltrated clans, such as Ide Tang the daimyo of the Ide family.

I would like to note that the Shosoru Actor is a somewhat difficult thing to play. Not too many non Scorpion's are going to be understanding of you wandering off to “be someone else” ;). It's one of those schools that will require a fair amount of work from the GM and player. But one that I think is worth it.

The Shosuro Actor (Ninja)
The Shosuro Butei (Acting) Academy is a famous acting school, rivaling the actors of the Kakita Artisan Academy, but its students are also taught methods of infiltration and impersonation. The most promising students receive instruction in poison, stealth, and assassination, and are
given contacts within the Scorpion spy network to help them to build up the false personas which they use in their later espionage careers. For the vast majority of its students, of course, the Butei Academy is simply a school of the arts—the Scorpion students are aware the school is more than it seems, but are content to ignore such unpleasantness and focus on pursuing their craft.

The skilled infiltrators who emerge from the Butei Academy are a matter of rumor and supposition to the rest of the Empire. There are fanciful tales of Scorpion infiltrators so skilled they could convince a doting mother to place an entire family’s welfare into their hands. These are exaggerations, but the Shosuro Actors are certainly quite skilled and they take their clan’s sacred duty to protect the Empire extremely seriously. In their view, whatever deceptions they must perpetrate are more than justified, and they are as ready to die for the clan as any other Scorpion.

Rank Five: The Third Face
The Shosuro Actor is now a true master of deception, infiltration, and murder. You gain a third persona. In addition, if you attack a foe who is unaware or does not expect danger from you, your Raises are not limited by your Void.

Sample NPC

Shosuro Sakuya – Scorpion Playwright

Shosuro Sakuya is one of the empires best playwrights. His troupe, the Laughing Frogs, has performed in various courts throughout Rokugan; including the Emperor's court. Sakuya has a standing invitation to attend the Imperial winter court. It is an honor that Sakuya enjoys taking as often as he can, when clan duties permit him to attend.

Sakuya's plays are well known for their political satire. The Crane often serve as the antangonist for his plays and many delight in watching Sakuya's hero's (often Lion, Scorpion or Phoenix) getting the upper hand against them. Sakuya's critics speculate that the rivalry between Sakuya and Kakita Naomi is the cause for his depictions against the Crane. Whatever the reason though, Sakuya is not always welcome in Crane lands.

The Shinning Blossom is Sakuya's playhouse in Ryoko Owari and serves as his training grounds for many agents with in the Scorpion. The Laughing Frogs are composed mostly of other bueti and infiltrators. While the bueti entertain a cities nobles the infiltrators sneak in and find information useful to the clan, plant incriminating evidence and other nefarious activities. It is rare that Sakuya undertakes assassination missions. While many in his employ are more than capable of taking out a target, the attention it would draw would undermine future performances.

Shosuro Sakuya
Air: 4
Awareness: 5
Earth 3
Fire 4
Water 3
Void: 4
Glory 5
Honor: 2.5
Status: 4

Skills: Acting (Crane, Phoenix, Lion) 6, Calligraphy (Scorpion Cipher) 3, Etiquette 4, Lore: Crane 3, Lore: Lion 3, Lore Phoenix 3, Lore: Heraldry 3, Knives 5, Meditation 4, Sincerity (Deceit) 6, Stealth 6

Advantages: Fame (3) Great Potential Acting (5), Kharmic Tie: Kakita Naomi (3)
Disadvantages: Dependant (Niece 4), Sworn Enemy Kakita Naomi (5), True Love Kakita Naomi (3)

Techniques: The First Face, The Subtle Sting, The Second Face, The Vipers Kiss, The Third Face

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