Friday, March 25, 2011

Great Clans

So several things going on all at once that I'm sure folks may find intresting and good for the RPG. :)

The cover for Great Clans has been previewed.

Todd has announced that shipping for Emerald Empire has begun.

And finally Shawn has confirmed that the title of the next book will be Book of Air. Stay tuned for future developments on that.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Emerald Empire Previews - Doji Magistrate

Now I know what you're thinking, Dace is on some kind of Law and Order marathon on USA. Or was it TNT. At any rate no, that's not the reason why the second school I'm previewing is a magistrate school.

This time I wanted to talk about some of the design changes that would occur with 4th Edition and the Doji Magistrate helps to illustrate this very well. Now in the beginning the Design Team stated that not everything would come back into 4th Edition the same way it was in previous editions. Everything would be broken down and reworked and re-looked at. The Doji Magistrate is one such school.

Martial arts and good ole hand to hand combat is a favorite of L5R. It's part of that great Asian theme. Most clans have their own unique form of martial arts and the Crane are no different. The Crane practice an art called Mizu-Do.

Mizu-Do or the Way of Water was created by Crane artisans. It focused mostly on throws and joint locks. Mizu-Do's flowing form was incorporated into the Doji Magistrate school. In my opinion I think we achieved the overall goal of representing Mizu-Do in a new and interesting way for 4th Edition that players should love.

Doji Magistrate [Bushi]
The Doji family is dedicated to protecting its lands and people from all threats, an expression of the Crane Clan’s devotion to the Virtue of Compassion. Consequently, they maintain this school to teach their bushi techniques of law enforcement and peace-keeping. Although generally less famous for their
deeds, the Doji family’s magistrate tradition actually predates their more sensational counterparts in other clans by centuries. The Kitsuki family, the Soshi Magistrates, and even the Emerald Magistrates were not created until well after the Doji tradition had been in place for a very long time. In fact, it is often against the Doji that other such schools are measured, although this is not a conscious comparison.

Despite the name of the school, in actuality only a minority of its students are actually appointed as clan magistrates―students are far more likely to serve as yoriki, assisting other magistrates, or simply as guards patrolling the borders and maintaining law and order in cities and towns. Still, those who are trained in this school are often among the first to receive an appointment when a magistrate position becomes available, and it is not uncommon for many Doji to serve in the ranks of the Emerald and Jade magistrates as well.

Rank Five: The Willow in the Storm
In their final lesson, Doji Magistrates are taught to maneuver around their opponents, redirecting their energy and defeating them with their own momentum. You may spend a Void point during the Reactions stage of a skirmish Round to force anyone who attacks you on the next Round to subtract
their Air Ring from each of their dice. (Dice which explode have their final total reduced.) This technique cannot be activated or used while you are in the Full Attack stance or the Center stance.

Sample NPC

Doji Kyoko – Emerald Magistrate

Doji Kyoko holds the title of Head Emerald Magistrate in Ryoko Owari. A position that she inititally thought was a great honor to have. Over the years however Kyoko has had her doubts about the honor of the position. She sometimes wonders who she offended to get this post. When Kyoko was first assigned to Ryoko Owari she saw it as her chance to clean up the city and extend a bit of Crane influence at the same time.

As the years have gone by however Kyoko has seen enforcing the law at times as an almost futile exercise. She still does her duty, but the enthusiasm she once held for the job has died out. Between Scorpion plots, Mantis smuggling and ronin activities Kyoko has started to wonder if there is any point to having a strong Emerald Magistrate presence in the city.

But worst of all Kyoko has noticed that the job has given her gray hairs. And that won't do at all.

Despite Kyoko's misgivings about her job she has meet with success. She has sussesfully rooted out corruption with in the Emerald Magistrates office. The Merchant's District and Tear Drop Island has also seen a sharp drop in overall crime as well.

Doji Kyoko
School/Rank: Doji Magistrate 4
Air: 3
Earth: 3
Fire: 4
Water: 3
Void: 4
Glory: 4
Status: 5 (Emerald Magistrate)
Honor: 5.7

Skills: Calligraphy 2, Courtier 4, Defense 4, Etiquette (Conversation) 4, Horsemanship 2, Iaijutsu 3, Investigation (Search, Notice) 5, Jiujutsu 5, Kenjutsu 4, Knives (Jitte) 4, Polearms 4 Sincerity (Honesty) 4

Techniques: Temper Steel with Honor, Flowing Like Water, Breath of the Law, Flowing Like Air

Advantages: Clear Thinker (3), Precise Memory (3) Social Position (24)
Disadvantages: Idealistic (2)