Older D&D/AD&D and Other SystemsThe forum for discussions specifically related to the rules and procedures of either any of the older editions of Dungeons & Dragons (1e, 2e, BECMI, OD&D) or any other non-D&D roleplaying rules (Vampire: The Requiem, Dread), including non-fantasy d20 systems (such as Mutants & Masterminds).
I'm playing a ronin who is out to craft a style (Bushi Path) of his own. I have yet to discuss this with my GM (we're out of touch right now), so I was wondering if there were any guidelines that I should use or that are printed in any of the handbooks. Specifically:
Is there an out-and-out guideline for designing a Path?
How easy is it to cherry-pick from other schools?
How many xp should a crafted Path level cost?
For a guideline, he's going to base his philosophy on an observation of the Five Elements, beginning with Water one Element per Path level). For inspiration, I'm looking at the Element-based Kata, as well as the paths of the Monkey and Hare clans. Others I like are the Mirumoto Bushi (two swords are logical if you have both and can manage them) and the Akodo Kensai alt. Path. Philosophically, it will emphasize self-reliance through self-realization, with the Five Elements as an illustration.
First, nice character idea, sounds like it would be a blast to play. As far as I know, though, there are no 4e guidelines for creating a path. However, I have seen similar questions on AEG's forum for l5r, so I bet taking a look or asking there would be worthwhile. http://www.alderac.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=250
As for my 2 cents, I'd say that travelling among the dojos of various clans and getting sensei to teach you various techniques would suffice. This would be really though, since most clans guard their techniques (at least the teaching aspect) quite a bit, and doubly so for ronin. I also believe that getting a level in a path is tied to your insight rank, just make sure that a path level is comparable to other paths of similar prerequisites. One thing you might want to look out for is that you get access to attacks as simple actions around rank 3 or 4. Also, because it just crossed my mind, you might want to make sure your thinking of a path, and not a school. I believe paths have around 1 or 2 techniques, something with 5 techniques in it is comparable to a full on school.
Thanks, Houlio. My first thought was your idea about traveling from dojo to dojo and earning the privelage of instruction, but I wasn't sure about how jealously these secrets are guarded. As the ronin has good ties to the Monkey and Hare clans from his first couple of adventures, I think he should start there. My idea as ti stands now is to have him observe nature and learn from different sword masters (and lots and lots of dueling) to develope his own style. To begin with:
Formless, selfless Ring,
River's erosion, sea's crash;
Be Water, my friend.
Mechanically, this step on the path to enlightenment is the same as Toku's Lesson (Toku Bushi School), though with anemphasis on adaptability rather than out-and-out audacity. The +1k0 bonus works tha same; the Wound Penalty reduction, though, is equal to (School Rank x 2) + Perception (rather than Willpower).
I will develope the other Levels as the character progresses, to reflect what [i]he[i]learns.
Any othe comments or suggestions?
P.S.: I think he should be spending xp on this to reflect his origional developement of this style. How many points is the question (?).
As for having jealously guarded dojo techniques, I think it depends on the school. A lot of samurai travel to the Kakita dueling academy to study because it is so famous. Trying to learn from a more secretive clan, like the Scorpion or Dragon, might be more difficult. Your position as Ronin will also make it tough to learn from certain clans (e.g. the Lion) more than others (the Crab). Of course, this kind of thing largely depends on your own GM's interpretation of the setting, so you will probably have to discover it through play.
Your technique seems good to me, as long as your GM also okays it.
As for spending points on this, if you go for the travelling swordsman approach to making your own school, you might want to look into buying up the allies advantage to represent you forging ties with different sensei around the Empire. Of course, I'd also force you to do it through roleplay, and if you happen to be successful, you can spend points on it. Again, this is something that your GM really has the say in. Come up with a few ideas and talk to him or her about it.
Canonically, such techniques are fairly well guarded, but more by tradition that anything else.
Assuming you have access to L5R 4e Core rulebook, reference the "Multiple Schools" advantage on page 151- this advantage is required to go to multiple schools.
Also reference page 105, "Insight rank 6 and beyond," where it explains precisely what happens after you get all five levels of your school- you can get Multiple Schools for free, in order to start learning at a new school... starting from the first technique.
In short, you cannot "cherry pick" school abilities at all. Especially as a Ronin- here is where the tradition bit comes in.
Each school has a focus, theme, and pattern. The Kakita Duelist school, for example, emphasizes first strikes and usage of the Center stance- as well as being the premier school for dedicated Iaijutsu masters. By contrast, the Matsu Berserker school teaches skills that focus on the Full Attack stance and beating the ever-living bejeezus out of whatever poor schmuck encountered you today.
Now imagine trying to cherry pick the Matsu berserker rank 3 ability after staying at the Kakita school for 2 ranks- how would the knowledge of the Kakita school have prepared you for the Matsu school? Answer- it didn't.
Moreover, note that each of those schools has a name associated with them- Kakita, Matsu, Daidoji, Yoritomo, what have you. This is because these schools are associated with Samurai families. Canonically, these families tend to be uptight. They will not allow some ronin fresh out of the forest to study with them. Their samurai students usually start school at the age of six to nine, and "graduate" with their rank 1 technique by the age of 14 to 16.
A ronin bandit/bounty-hunter/whatever with however great self-taught knowledge, by contrast, is rough, uncouth, and has no right to these traditional teachings, preserved for generations.
A good example of the "perfect ronin warrior" would be Ikoma- he was sworn to Akodo, the Lion kami. His most recent stats, provided in the 4e supplement "Great Clans," page 119, pegs him at Insight Rank 9- because he has so many skills.
But he has no school ranks, no ronin paths. He's just a BAMF.
Personally, if I were your GM, I wouldn't allow you to cherry pick abilities. I'd allow you to select Ronin paths, and then probably allow you to generate one or two balanced ronin paths that you could then teach others. But, canonically? That doesn't happen much.
Splendid! Between this and finally discussing it with my GM, I have a method to follow.
It will not cost me points to develope each level's technique. However, comma, I must play-out his observations and base my outline of each technique roughly on other school's to get a balance of power (unless I come up w/ something far-out; then we eye-ball it together). As for learning from other masters, my GM says the only [i]forseeable[i] possibility is finding a swordmaster who has gone ronin himself/herself and is willing to take on a deciple. We agree, Houlio, that buying (w/ xp) Allies will help in this endevour. Also, he says that practicing w/ other bushi in the group may help my character's insights in developing his own style, but it certainly wouldn't count as complete training. In fact, any bushi who notice him "copy catting" too much is likely to confront him about it... which would probably lead to the ronin's dueling practice!
We both agree with the cherry-picking observation, Krendekel. I'm going to try to get a copy of [i]Great Clans[i] and look-up this Ikoma cat. He sounds like a Bad-
Is there any way for a shugenja to mute or do away with an elemental deficiency?
Are there any rules/stats for gaijin barbarians? I know gaijin tend to be slaughtered on sight, but before that, I mean...
And the biggie: has anyone made a conversion guide to 4E for 7th Sea?
Aside from those things (which, if taken further than a lead, probably merit their own threads), thanks again guys. I'll probably post here again if my ronin lasts long enough to see Rank 2! Buy the whey, the character's name is... Suteinu! Couldn't help it Besides, this character is actually older than my membership here; I just haven't been able to play him outside of MechaCon.