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  #46  
Old Nov 12th, 2021, 06:08 PM
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Lighting Lad Lighting Lad is offline
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As a current player, I can say the game has been pretty fun for me so far. We’re not very far in yet though.
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  #47  
Old Nov 13th, 2021, 10:21 AM
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Thanks for the kind words LL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotshot lasgun View Post
can i have a quick run through on dice mechanics?
It uses six-sided dice and one main method of rolling them.

A character has any number of dice in an ability (i.e. marksmanship, stealth, awareness etc) - the average being two. On top of that, they might have one or more bonus dice for a speciality within one of these abilities (marksmanship: bows, stealth: blending in, awareness: empathy etc).

When it is time to roll, you roll (ability dice + bonus dice) x d6s. You keep the highest individual dice results up to your number of ability dice, dropping the excess, then you add them up and compare to a target number. When you meet or exceed the target number, you succeed. When you exceed a target number by a multiple of five, you succeed especially well - the degree of success will influence the effect or damage.

That's how the sausage is made. An attack roll for a character that has 4D fighting with 2B in long blade (2 bonus dice) would use this dice code:

Dice Roll:
6d6kh4 6, 2, 1, 1, 6, 4 (keeping 2,4,6,6) Total = 18


Roll six dice, keep four, add up and see if you made it.

Last edited by Phettberg; Nov 13th, 2021 at 10:21 AM.
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  #48  
Old Nov 13th, 2021, 01:24 PM
Hotshot lasgun Hotshot lasgun is offline
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here is momiji
3 destiny points

Agility: 3 (quickness 1B)
Animal Handling: 2 (Charm, Drive, Ride, Train)
Athletics: 2 (Climb, Jump, Run - every 2 points adds a yard to base move but can also be tested to sprint or endure a long distance run, Strength - adds to damage with powerful weapons, Swim, Throw)
Awareness: 3 (Empathy, Notice)
Cunning: 3 (Decipher, Logic, Memory)
Deception: 3 (Act, Bluff, Cheat, Disguise)
Endurance: 3 (Recovery from Wounds/Injuries 1B)
Fighting: 4 (short blades 1B, long blades 1B)
Healing: 2 (Diagnose, Treat Ailment, Treat Injury)
Language: 2
Knowledge: 3(Education, Research, Streetwise)
Marksmanship: 4 (Bows 2B)
Persuasion: 2
Status: 2 (reputation 2B)
Stealth: 4 (Sneak 1B)
Survival: 2 (Forage, Hunt, Orientation, Track)
Thievery: 2
Warfare: 2 (Command, Strategy - initiative in large scale battles, Tactics - help others with their initiative in small scale battle)
Will : 2

qualities
Blood of the wood
Short blade fighter I
Lucky:
heirloom

Drawbacks
Mute
Flaw: animal handling

Last edited by Hotshot lasgun; Nov 13th, 2021 at 02:17 PM.
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  #49  
Old Nov 13th, 2021, 02:21 PM
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momiji spoke until the day after her eight birthday. then she wandered out of the woods, battered and bloody, clutching a short sword that was thought lost for the ages. she never spoke after finding the short sword, and some whisper she's been possessed by the blade itself, judging by the ferocity in which she fights. she's affectionately dubbed "our whirling dervish" by the clan head

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/805229608363519228/

Last edited by Hotshot lasgun; Nov 13th, 2021 at 02:37 PM.
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  #50  
Old Nov 13th, 2021, 06:54 PM
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Posting Interest.
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Last edited by Saratek; Nov 14th, 2021 at 02:04 AM.
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  #51  
Old Nov 14th, 2021, 02:47 AM
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Here is my application Phettberg. Is it more or less what you expected or do you need more details?

Keishi
Name: Keishi

Species: Human / Mononoke

Core Concept: Sorcerer / Scholar

Mini-Bio / Description: I heard he was born like that. If you trusted old Hanami, it is because a monkey no Kami* touched his leg while he was in the womb of his mother. Some people even pretend they have seen the print of a primate hand burned into the skin of the twisted member but that’s horseshit if you ask me.

At the time, the old witch decided that a child touched by a god could not be left to his own devices and she took him as an apprentice. He was young at the time but his parents where happy to have her find a use for him. Because of the limp you see, he was useless in the fields. He used to follow the old seer everywhere, limping like a crippled dog behind his mistress.

After the rebellion, so many people where dead, Lord Ren had trouble finding proper advisors. He asked Hanami. Because of her sight you see. It was a good choice; she was well-loved and respected by the people. The kid, well, he was sent with all the other scholars. You know, reading their books and so on. When Hanami died, the kid replaced her. So, he does his advising, and Lord Ren does his listening. People say he has the sight as well but it doesn’t work the same way as the old witch. Don’t ask me what they mean by that!

Now, you see that monkey perched on his shoulder. He let none touch it. He thinks it’s possessed by the Kami that touched him all those years ago. It’s not obvious from here but the creature is missing a hand and he says that if the stump touches you, the Kami can touch your soul. If you wait a bit, you will see, sometimes he talks to it. People says the Kami whispers words of power in his ear and he can curse you with it.

If you ask me, the man went completely mad a long time ago and I am convinced he invented the whole story about the monkey after finding it.


Place in the Clan: Adviser of lord Ren

How your character will be influencing power: Keishi makes it his duty to know everything that can be beneficial to the growth of the clan so that its leader can take informed decisions as often as possible.

Personal goals: Acquire more magical power


* Spirit

Last edited by Lunarc; Nov 19th, 2021 at 11:07 AM.
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  #52  
Old Nov 14th, 2021, 09:15 AM
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Welcome, Saratek and Lunarc!

First, a few general thoughts for everybody: I'm quite happy to see five people interested in this already, though this now means that I will not be able to accept everybody. That's always the worst part of recruiting, but since we've got this level of interest I've decided to simply recruit more than originally planned - up to three to be precise. Note though, I'm just raising the ceiling here, I'll still only allow characters/players in that I ultimately think are a good fit and will have fun and add something to the game, even if it ends up being only one. I'm not sure I could go as high as four given that we are adding to three PCs already, but I'll keep thinking about it as we go along.

Anyhow, picking up a maximum of three should already take a little bit of the pressure off at least, because it's all about fun and not some hyper-competitive and frustrating space.

When it comes to my method of selection - I think I said somewhere above that it's not all about the abilities and general role, i.e. the mechanical bits, so a little or a lot of overlap there can be totally made up by a very distinct personality or background. Having said that, nobody is going to hurt their own chances by being mechanically mindful of present characters and other applicants in addition to supplying a very specific narrative. Quite the opposite, that's just applying "smart, not hard".

Relating to this, I've updated the applicants' table in the second post.

Now to look at individuals (if you want these conversations to be secreted please indicate this to me in some way):

Touketsu & Sirius - You have my initial comments, looking forward to hearing more about your characters

Hotshot lasgun - You have a start here, but you will need something more in-depth and detailed. Format-wise you would do better to pick up all the topics mentioned in the first post including the cornerstones, then work through those one by one.

Basically, there are a lot of gaps in the biography, and while we don't need to know about every year or day of the character's life, we need a bit more. I take it you might be going for a bit of mystery here, but in that case, you can secret some parts of your bio to me (pm me if you don't know how that works). Secrets from the other characters can be effective, but it's hard to run a story if there are secrets from me, the person running the game.

To give you a few pointers as to what you might want to work on in terms of biography: Who are their parents? What was their family like? Where were they born? Who did they learn to wield a sword from? What sort of ancestral sword is it (who did it belong to, what makes it special)? How did they enter the service of the Tokunaga?

And that's in addition to answering the cornerstone questions of "where does she slot into the hierarchy of the Clan, given that she's a lowborn (as usually indicated by a status 2)?", "how do they influence those leading the Clan (beyond just following their orders)?" and "what are their goals in life?".

Oh and a final note - a Kitsune in this world looks like a bipedal fox, not a human with fox features. Some half yokai have very very minor animal-like features, but nothing that you couldn't find in the real world today (i.e. being a bit more hairy, having a slightly longer nose - whatever). Humans with fox ears do not exist.

@Saratek

@Lunarc This is hitting all the categories actually, but there are some points that I'd like to talk about.

You don't specific where the father was a horse breeder at - do you mean they were in the Tsu protectorate, or even the Tokunaga lands specifically? In terms of the story they could even be from an adjacent protectorate - one that is predominantly human - but either way it's not clearly specified. Fukuma is definitely defined as abroad, though that leaves a lot of places that could have at one point been home.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I am reading parts of the background in the following way: The father was a non-noble, associated with the trading caste actually, so the son was the same by birth, but the father invested significantly in the son (starting with equipment) so that he could have a military career that ultimately enabled him to be considered Samurai.

That's fair enough, actually, as changing caste was not impossible even in historic Japan, even though it didn't happen often. It was only codified in 15something that one could only become a Samurai by birth, actually, at the same time as non-Samurai were forbidden from carrying weapons. Heike is considered before any such rule.

It's just interesting for the dynamic here, as this character might still have a bit of the commoner about him, even though his status is now settled.

It also tells us about his surname - his father likely doesn't have the same one. Commoners, in general, didn't always have one at all. Some just go by one name, others just differentiate by the place they live in/near to, or by their profession. We can pick up the name of a village when we know where the father lives or lived.

In any case, the character picked up a surname to his own liking when he turned samurai. It may still be the name of a place, actually, like the site of a battle that he distinguished himself at. I can help you pick something suitable should you find that appropriate.

However, many samurai also change their name when entering the service of a Clan or lord, so it'd be perfectly fine to call yourself Tokunaga.

Anyway, there is one detail that still stuck out to me - there hasn't been an active war with the Gamatte for around a decade, but your bio says that the character was recalled from the west. I think I phrased this ambiguously in the history bit. 265 AU to 302 AU is the time with frequent border wars in the west and peace everywhere. 302 AU to 318 AU has no all-out wars.

So in those time it's unlikely for Tokunaga to send a large number of troops to aid Akiba or Hozai, especially because at around 300 AU the Tokunaga had their civil war that totally wiped out their military capabilities anyway.

That's something to think about. I suppose how it could be framed is that the character served the Akiba for a time but then left (for honourable reasons or because of something drastic), and he has found a new Clan in the Tokunaga. Alternatively he could have been with the Tokunaga for a long time, aiding with border wars almost two decades previously (which would make them a somewhat older character) - then they simply weren't recalled from the west, they were already home.
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  #53  
Old Nov 14th, 2021, 10:16 AM
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I've decided towards an Heir with some military experience (warfare).
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  #54  
Old Nov 14th, 2021, 10:18 AM
Hotshot lasgun Hotshot lasgun is offline
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name: momiji

species: kitsune

parents: she only knew her father Koshikawa Toshinobu, as she is a bastard child, she has vague memories of her mother, mainly singing and a few blurry images of her face, but they grow blurrier every year

upbringing: as soon as possible, she turned to swordplay as an outlet for her feelings. it just felt good to be able to channel her rage into a dummy



Place in the Clan: she was in a loveless marriage to Zakai Yoritoki, but he died a year ago, in a riding accident. now she is a sworn house retainer


how she influences power: with a mix of loyal service and spying. she's not afraid to poke through places she shouldn't go

goals: never remarry, become better with both blade and bow

motivation: if i become great, no one will question me

virtue: chaste growing up a bastard made momiji look at the world differently.
vice : prejudice being stuck in a loveless marriage with a lecherous old man, made her more than a little distrustful of men in general

updated picture
pinterest.com/pin/148829962664583222/

Last edited by Hotshot lasgun; Nov 14th, 2021 at 11:31 AM.
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  #55  
Old Nov 14th, 2021, 01:26 PM
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@Saratek

@HL That's more comprehensive, but I don't think it touches on all the questions I put to you above. Have another look.

Also, when you introduce characters it would be good if you gave us a bit of info immediately. Who were the father and the mother? Why did she only know the father, when for many bastards it's exactly the other way around?

Who actually was Zakai Yoritoki (especially to the clan) and why was she married to him? Who forced her?

In general, you should try to build a concise but well-rounded picture of your character and their life because that will give you the best chance of being accepted into the game. I've no issue with asking questions here and there, but at some point, I'll stop.

I also realise I forgot to talk about something earlier - how is this character going to influence anybody while being mute? There are going to be whole threads where there is nothing but talking, as intrigue is a huge part of it all.
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  #56  
Old Nov 14th, 2021, 04:28 PM
Hotshot lasgun Hotshot lasgun is offline
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i will bow out
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  #57  
Old Nov 14th, 2021, 05:31 PM
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Alright, have fun in other games!
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  #58  
Old Nov 14th, 2021, 07:22 PM
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Let me answer a few of your questions first.

I confirm I meant Keishi's family was part of the Tokunaga clan and lived on its land from the get go. Hence, Keishi is as well. I'll make that clear when I review my application.

Considering the purchase of the military commission thingy, I realized after a bit of Google search that I went full anachronism and in the wrong part of the world at that. I guess I can't hide that I don't know much about feudal Japan can I? I won't go into the details about it right now since a number of your observations makes me think I am going to change slightly the concept of my character. Suffice to say that your interpretation of my blunder was absolutely right.

Concerning the lack of conflict between 302 and 318, I was confused and I made the wrong assumption. In my defense, the description of a period in history is generally associated with its starting date rather than its end.
That actually answers one of the questions I was still pondering. I kept the age of my character intentionally vague because I was wondering if I wanted to play the dashing young captain or the grizzled general. I do want Keishi to have some sort of experience in actual warfare, so that settles it.

About that civil war in ~300, I actually read about it in the NPC description but I couldn't figure out when it happened. And the weak military power of the Tokunaga, I definitely read about it at the beginning but I simply forgot. Now, that's a big problem for Keishi's personal ambitions and the direction he tries to steer the clan in. You can't realistically start a war without warriors and this kind of things doesn't exactly grow on trees.

At this point, Keishi looks so full of holes that I am wondering if the rational decision wouldn't be just to rinse and repeat. I'll stick with it a bit longer and see If I can put something back together.


Ok let's scratch the commoner that becomes samurai idea. The new plan I have would make it too much of a meteoric rise through society. I still like this idea of the self-made man, so Keishi could be the son a of a minor noble of the clan Tokunaga. (A landless samurai, some sort of official I am not sure what the rule is here but someone that has the potential to become rich through trade would be nice for the next part of the story.)

Keishi is sent to the army and climb the ranks. (Question here: How long do the the Monji Wars last?) He participates to the Gammate independence war. Meet his wife from Fukuma there and have a bunch of children. His military life culminates with the rebellion of the youngest Tokunaga. He backs Ren during the civil war and is rewarded with some lands that belonged to a dead guy from the losing side. He is now a ranking officer with way too much time on his hand and a wife with high expectations who comes from a nation that produces shroud courtiers (Yes that’s the main reason I want her to be from there)

During the 15 years of peace, he builds a major business empire that nets him a ton of money and keeps contacts with the officials / generals that he met during the Gammate war (I assume most protectorates sent troops and officials over to help with the war effort). With the coaching of his wife, he engages in politics and increase his status and his influence.

And here we are, I have a middle age high ranking officer with connections in most of the Empire. The Tokugana still has a weak military power but now I have the means to buy a god damn army and go to war.



So… if you went through all my ramblings, did I go all badshit crazy or can I work with that?

Edit: I'll answer that question. I did go badshit crazy. I am reading the rules about the noble houses and it gives me a completely different perspective. The Tokugana clan is not half as powerful as I thought. Ignore what I wrote, I'll come up with something more appropriate to the current situation of the clan.

Last edited by Lunarc; Nov 14th, 2021 at 11:09 PM.
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  #59  
Old Nov 15th, 2021, 05:41 AM
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@lunarc It wasn't actually my intention to criticise your idea if that's how it came across. I ask questions because I want to know more and clarify the odd unclear bit, but that's to build up on the idea that the players present, not to undermine it.

I'll clarify that section in the history a bit because it truly is confusing. It was more to say that the last two decades are actually reasonably uneventful on a global scale.

Either way - We don't need to get tangled and tied up in the details here too much - the general idea is perfectly fine. You have the child of a wealthy commoner (status rank 1) who goes out to become an Ashigaru (a common house retainer) with a Clan (which makes him status rank 2). He then distinguishes himself in a battle or somewhere else, and with the wealth of his father is able to buy the necessary equipment to properly swear fealty to the Clan as a Samurai (status rank 3), something that they are granted as a reward for their service.

That's not an outrageous story, and it's not something that never happened in actual Japan either. As I said, there it was only fixed that one could only become a Samurai by birth in the mid 16th century. Not to say that social mobility was super high, but it could happen.

If he's too young for a certain war or it was going on in a different place, then we'll just make up an opportunity for him to distinguish himself. It could have been bandit hunting, a martial tournament, saving a noble from an assassination attempt or something similar.

Basically - whatever character idea you have will work fine even if they haven't participated in every war on the map, or in any at all. It might just be too onerous to square all of that away in one bio, and I don't see it as being super necessary.

About the newer idea that you then scratched out - I think there is a potential issue of scale there, as in that all characters start with the same amount of experience and destiny points to create their characters, so when you describe somebody as being successful in a lot of different things it might be hard to actually make good on all promises in mechanical terms.

Just bringing this up because it sounds like the character participated in a war, so is strategically or martially competent, and then later on becomes highly connected and rich to boot, so also has other social skills at a high level. I realise that some of this is supposed to come via the wife, but we can't actually account for NPCs doing something for the character "free of charge" before the start of the game. That'd be a balancing issue, as it's not hard to come up with relatives that shower a player with wealth or other things. It can be the justification for a quality, sure, but it can't give you more qualities than you could otherwise have.

There is one other thing I wanted to talk about in relation to this: The main way for Samurai to expand their wealth is by getting more land, as they generally view trading as beneath them in the same way they would not till their own fields. They are a warrior caste, so they measure their economic success by the taxes they demand from those working on the lands that they own. Traders, even those that amass a huge amount of wealth, are on the same rung of the social ladder as farmers, the bottom one. Most Samurai don't entirely ignore trade, but commonly they would employ common traders so as not to get their hands dirty with things that are not fit for a warrior.

Now again - I'm not saying this here to go "grr, don't do this" - quite the opposite, I just want to point out an interesting conflict that this would introduce. If you were samurai but traded your own goods you'd be quite unconventional, but if it actually made you rich it would be hard to deny the success of it. Some peers would look at you with a strange mix of envy and contempt, saying things like "he might be rich, but his lands are still tiny", as they are stuck in their own ways of looking at the world - being held back by it, in fact.

Sure, this sort of thing can be a hindrance also, but conflict is what makes stories tick. Bringing a character with a different outlook (and with a different way he is being looked upon) is never going to be to your detriment, as it makes you stand out. And both characters you are toying with are in fact interesting takes on the stereotype - Commoner to Samurai and Samurai Trader - as they both defy conventions in their own way.

Bottomline here, I think you are bringing forth great ideas and there is no need to tear them down again instantly. Little bit of polishing them up and expanding on one of them and we would have a winner or two. You'd just have to pick a lane (possibly after looking left and right at the other applicants) and then I'll help you follow through to the end.

Last edited by Phettberg; Nov 15th, 2021 at 05:44 AM.
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  #60  
Old Nov 15th, 2021, 01:42 PM
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Heir AppName: Tokunaga Taichi
Species: Yokai (Frog)
Core Concept: Heir/Militaristic Leader
Mini-Bio/Description
Taichi took his father's marriage to that wretch harder than his own mother. His demeanor changed, causing him to lose some of the expected respect, as well as become more defiant in his dealings with his Father and other Clan members. A decision was made, most likely in response to his father's own annoyance with his son at that time, to send Taichi to serve in the Imperial Army. The goal was to instill a rejuvenated sense of honor and discipline into the older boy. His father's decision was not a foolish one.

While his nobility may have afforded Taichi a complimentary commission within the Army, it was his mind, his vision for battle and strategy that set him apart from his peers. While he never presented himself as anything more than a sufficient warrior, albeit one that would probably be slain quickly should he serve on the frontlines of a battle, the Tokunaga heir could look upon an area and see what strategies and tactics were necessary for victory. Taichi's success in such things lead to several defeats of rebel groups, as well as granting the young man several ranks that left him in a position where he commanded battalions of warriors.

With the late Emperor's passing, and the subsequent turmoil in the capital, Taichi's father decided to recall him back to the family holdings. After spending so much time in the largest city in the country as well as having a full understanding of the sheer numbers and strength of the Imperial Army, the man wasn't enthused by the idea of commanding such a small and ill-prepared force. It had been quite some time since he'd commanded such a small group of soldiers. Without the overwhelming numbers and skill that he had become accustomed to, he knew the path ahead would not be an easy one, but knew that, if anyone, he would find a way to strengthen his Clan, their warriors, and make sure Clan Tokunaga would be respected across the continent.

Cornerstones
Place in the Clan: Taichi is the First Born son and assumed Heir to the Tokunaga Clan. While he was away, he learned a great deal about military strategy and tactics, and upon his return, looks to command the Clan's forces and prepare for the eventuality of his ascension to head of the Clan.

How your character will be influencing power: While Taichi knows his position in the family grants him more clout with his father, he won't rely solely on such influence. HIs time working under old generals has taught him the importance of presenting what information or opinions he has in a simple, convincing manner that looks to both cause doubt in another's way of thinking and draw them to the same conclusions Taichi has already come to.

Personal goals: With his new placement within his Clan, Taichi looks to bolster their forces, focusing on raising an even stronger fighting force, so that the strength presented can increase the influence the Clan has. He hopes this strength will be recognized and thus grant the Tokunaga Clan more wealth in the former of bordering lands not able to be controlled by their current holders, as well as more influence in Court.
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Current Status: Slowed - Closing Attempt #2

Last edited by Saratek; Nov 15th, 2021 at 03:05 PM.
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