- 1 Basic Schools
- 2 Advanced Schools
- 3 Alternate Paths
- 3.1 Crab Berserker [Bushi] [CR]
- 3.2 Crab Defender [Bushi] [BoA]
- 3.3 Crab Knife-Fighter [Bushi] [BoF]
- 3.4 Crab Sumai Wrestler [Bushi] [BoE]
- 3.5 Falcon’s Strike [Bushi] [BoA]
- 3.6 Hiruma Slayer [Bushi] [BoE]
- 3.7 Hiruma Sniper [Bushi] [BoA]
- 3.8 Hiruma Yojimbo [Bushi] [StE]
- 3.9 Kaiu Shipmasters [Artisan/Bushi]
- 3.10 Kaiu Siegemaster [Bushi] [BoE]
- 3.11 Kuni Crystal Master [Shugenja] [BoE]
- 3.12 Oni Slayer [Shugenja] [CR]
- 3.13 Rajya ke Varisa [Bushi]
- 3.14 Severed Hand [Courtier] [BoE]
- 3.15 Toritaka Exorcist [Shugenja] [GC]
- 3.16 Tsuru’s Legion [Bushi] [S&F]
- 3.17 Yasuki Enforcer [Bushi] [StE]
- 3.18 Yasuki Extortionist [Courtier] [BoE]
- 3.19 Yasuki Taskmaster [Bushi] [S&F]
Hida Bushi [CR]
The Hida fighting style is one of the oldest and most respected bushi schools in the Empire, and one with a very basic premise: endure the enemy’s attacks until you have the opportunity to crush him with sheer brute force. The style was shaped by the Clan’s early years combating oni and other Shadowlands enemies, when only the strongest and most resilient among Hida’s followers survived. The Hida Bushi School encompasses two broad themes: damage mitigation and heavy weapon use. Hida bushi may not be the most accurate samurai in the Empire, but when they do connect, they inflict tremendous damage. And fortunately for them, they are able to withstand incredible amounts of punishment while they wait to cripple their enemies.
- Benefit: +1 Stamina
- Skills: Athletics, Defense, Heavy Weapons (Tetsubo), Intimidation, Kenjutsu, Lore: Shadowlands, any one Bugei Skill
- Honor: 3.5
- Outfit: Light or Heavy Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, Heavy Weapon or Polearm, Traveling Pack, 3 koku
Rank 1: The Way of the Crab
The Hida bushi is the epitome of ‘heavy infantry,’ able to endure harsh blows and deliver crushing attacks in return. You may ignore TN penalties for wearing heavy armor for all skills except Stealth. When using a Heavy Weapon, you gain a bonus of +1k0 to the total of all damage rolls.
Rank 2: The Mountain Does Not Move
The Hida bushi is famous for extraordinary tenacity, weathering wounds that would kill normal men. You gain Reduction equal to your Earth Ring.
Rank 3: Two Pincers, One Mind
A Hida bushi is relentless. You may make attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action while using Heavy Weapons or weapons with the Samurai keyword.
Rank 4: Devastating Blow
A Hida stops at nothing to destroy his enemies once his anger is roused. Once per encounter, when wielding a Heavy Weapon you may make a calculated strike against the enemy. Lower the enemy’s Reduction by 4 for this attack. If this attack succeeds, you Daze the target. The target may recover from this Conditional Effect by making a successful Earth Ring Roll versus a TN equal to your damage roll during the Reaction Stage of each Round. The TN decreases by 5 each time the target fails the roll.
Rank 5: The Mountain Does Not Fall
Nothing can stop a Hida warrior from fulfilling his duty, not even the threat of death. You may spend a Void Point during the Reaction Stage. During your next Turn, you may take actions as if you were in the Healthy Wound Rank. You ignore the Dazed, Fatigued, and Stunned Conditional Effects. The benefits of this Technique last until the next Reactions Stage.
Hida Pragmatist [Bushi] [EE]
The practitioners of Kobo Ichi-Kai, whose primary dojo is located in Clear Water Village, focus on unarmed combat above all other forms of martial conflict. Although sometimes considered a touch bizarre by other Crab warriors, they are nonetheless respected because of their sheer physical power and ability to devastate virtually any opponent in hand-to-hand combat. Pragmatists make fine yojimbo, since they can leave their weapons at the door and suffer only minimal loss of effectiveness when doing so. Even creatures of the Shadowlands can be overcome by a skilled Pragmatist, and indeed the school was originally developed out of the need to adapt jiujitsu to fighting inhuman opponents.
- Benefit: +1 Agility
- Skills: Athletics, Defense, Jiujutsu (Improvised Weapons) 2, Kenjutsu, Lore: Shadowlands, any one Bugei Skill
- Honor: 2.5
- Outfit: Light or Heavy Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, Heavy Weapon or Polearm, Traveling Pack, 3 koku
Rank 1: The Eternal Stone Unleashed
The Pragmatist is taught to endure terror and humiliation while killing his enemies with anything he can find. You gain a bonus of +1k0 to any roll made to resist Intimidation or Fear effects. You also gain a bonus of +1k0 to the total of your attack and damage rolls when fighting unarmed or with improvised weapons. However, you must always keep high dice with any attack rolls or damage rolls that benefit from this Technique.
Rank 2: Wearing Down the Mountain
At this rank the Pragmatist learns to strike repeatedly at the same point, wounding even powerful opponents. When fighting unarmed or with an improvised weapon, you may make the Extra Attack Maneuver for only 3 Raises instead of 5.
Rank 3: Fury of the Avalanche
At this rank the Pragmatist learns to fight just as well with his bare hands or whatever is available to him as with the traditional weapons of the samurai. You may make attacks as a Simple Action when fighting unarmed or with an improvised weapon, or when wielding a Samurai keyword weapon.
Rank 4: Stone Turns Steel Aside
The Pragmatist is taught he does not need a weapon when he can turn an enemy’s weapon back on him. Regardless of your Stance, a number of times per skirmish equal to your Void, immediately after you are attacked with a melee weapon (after damage is rolled, if the attack hit) you may take a Free Action to make a Contested Roll using Jiujutsu / Agility against your enemy’s (Weapon Skill) / Agility. If you win the roll, you immediately strike the enemy with his own weapon (thus, you use your own Strength when determining damage rolled with this Technique). You may Raise on this Contested Roll to perform the Increased Damage Maneuver.
This technique cannot be used during an iaijutsu duel.
Rank 5: Fight to the End
The final less of the Pragmatist teaches him to prevail no matter what the odds, killing his enemies no matter how severe his own injuries. At the start of your Turn you may spend a Void Point to allow you to make an attack as a Complex Action that ignores your Wound penalties (including Down and Out) and any restrictions or penalties from Status effects or physical Disadvantages you are currently suffering. You gain a +3k1 bonus to your damage roll with this attack.
Hiruma Bushi [CR]
Where the Hida Bushi School teaches endurance and strength, their Hiruma cousins teach avoidance and targeting weak points in an enemy’s defenses with lightning fast strikes. The lessons taught by their sensei are essential to fulfilling their duties as warriors inside the Shadowlands. Those who do not heed their teachers well do not survive to perpetuate their mistakes. Those who excel at their lessons become a scourge upon the Shadowlands, moving through that dark realm with speed and grace, leaving death in their wake.
The Hiruma Bushi School emphasizes movement and survival, not just to endure a strike as the Hida do, but to live through an entire skirmish. In one-on-one combat the Hiruma excels at evading his opponents, while in larger skirmishes his ability to avoid damage makes him adept at reaching troublesome foes and eliminating them while his allies tie up other rank-and-file opponents.
- Benefit: +1 Willpower
- Skills: Athletics, Hunting, Kenjutsu (Katana), Kyujutsu, Lore: Shadowlands, Stealth, any one Skill
- Honor: 4.5
- Outfit: Ashigaru or Light Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, Bow with 20 Arrows or Knife, Traveling Pack, 3 koku
Rank 1: Torch’s Flame Flickers
The Hiruma learns to focus his strikes even while protecting himself, perfecting the penetrating quality of his blow without sacrificing his defense. While you assume the Attack Stance, you gain a bonus of +1k0 to the total of all attack rolls. You are skilled at survival and can make all food, water, and jade rations last twice as long for a number of people equal to your Hunting Skill Rank.
Rank 2: Wolf’s Little Lesson
Hiruma learn to dash in and out in a single motion. While you assume the Attack Stance, you add 5 to your Armor TN every time you hit with a melee weapon. This bonus may stack a number of times equal to your School Rank and lasts until the end of the current skirmish.
Rank 3: Hummingbird Wings
The Hiruma know how the hummingbird can move in any direction and apply this truism to battle. Once per Round you may activate this Technique when an opponent targets you with an attack. You gain a bonus of double your School Rank to your Armor TN for that attack. This stacks with any other Armor TN bonuses you gain from other means (Such as spending a Void Point).
Rank 4: Shark Smells Blood
Against a weakened opponent, a Hiruma is a terrible foe indeed. You may make attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action when using a weapon with the Samurai keyword.
Rank 5: Daylight Wastes No Movement
The Hiruma learns to use no more energy than is precisely needed to kill his opponent. If you deliver more Wounds than necessary to kill your target, you may apply the excess Wounds to the next target you hit. This Technique does not activate two attacks in a row. The carry-over effect does not last beyond the end of the current skirmish.
Hiruma Scout [Bushi] [IH]
After the fall of Hiruma Castle, the Hiruma family had no sensei and was unable to preserve the knowledge of its ancient bushi school (the school listed in the L5R 4th Edition Core rulebook as “Hiruma Bushi”). Most of the samurai who actually knew its advanced techniques had perished in battle with the Maw, and those who knew its more basic methods were too focused on fighting and surviving to pass on their wisdom. By the time the family realized their school was in danger of perishing, it was too late.
It was the Unicorn Clan which offered a solution, opening its scout dojo to the Hiruma. Training in the Shinjo methods and adapting them for their own use, the Hiruma developed a new school which placed a far stronger focus on stealth and scouting than their ancestral one. The Hiruma relied on this school for over 300 years, until ancient scrolls of the lost Hiruma Bushi School were finally recovered from the Shadowlands. Even after the Hiruma Bushi techniques were recovered, however, the Hiruma refused to abandon their well-tested Scout school, and thereafter their dojo taught both.
- Benefit: +1 Reflexes
- Skills: Athletics, Hunting, Kenjutsu, Kyujutsu, Lore: Shadowlands, Stealth (Sneaking), any one Bugei Skill
- Honor: 4.5
- Outfit: Ashigaru or Light Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, Bow with 20 Arrows or Knife, Traveling Pack, 3 koku
Rank 1: Dance the Razor’s Edge
The Hiruma scouts learn the ways of the Shadowlands intimately, and are taught to rely on speed and stealth to survive, function, and escape in that most inhospitable of environments. You may add your Stealth Skill rank to the total of your Initiative rolls (unless caught by surprise or otherwise unaware). You can make all food, water, and jade rations last twice as long as normal for a number of people equal to your Hunting Skill Rank. While in the Shadowlands, you gain +1k0 to Stealth rolls and always know the direction of the Empire and roughly how far away it is.
Rank 2: Run Like the Wind
The Hiruma practice speed, evasion, and endurance in order to evade their enemies and deliver their scouting reports. You may make Free and Simple Move actions while in the Full Defense stance. You can run at high speed for a number of hours equal to your Stamina + School Rank, after which you are Exhausted until you have one hour’s rest.
Rank 3: Veil of the Spirits
At this Rank, the Hiruma has perfected his skills with stealth to the point where they become almost supernatural. As long as you do not move and have some form of cover, concealment, or camouflage available (GM’s discretion), you may spend a Void Point to make yourself all but invisible—in mechanical terms, this adds a number of kept dice to your Stealth roll equal to your School Rank. This effect lasts until you move or make a noise.
Rank 4: Harness the Wind
The Hiruma has now learned to strike as swiftly as he runs. You may make attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action when using any samurai weapons, knife, or bow. You may also attack as a Simple Action regardless of weapon when fighting any Shadowlands creature or other known Tainted nonhuman (such as zombies or gaki).
Rank 5: Strike of the Stalker
The Hiruma Scouts strike their opponents from hiding, delivering vicious blows that get past all defenses. If you are striking a surprised or unaware foe, your Raises are not limited by your Void, and you can ignore 10 points of Reduction (from any source).
Kaiu Engineer [Artisan/Bushi] [GC]
The Kaiu Engineers are the most formidable crafters in the Empire, and their skills are turned almost entirely to the Crab Clan’s duty of defending Rokugan against the Shadowlands. Masters of construction and siegecraft, they are also formidably talented at the manufacture of arms and armor. Many Kaiu also serve as battlefield commanders, turning their talents at siege to the service of war.
- Benefit: +1 Intelligence
- Skills: Battle, Craft: Armorsmithing, Craft: Weaponsmithing, Defense, Engineering (pick one Emphasis), Lore: Architecture, War Fans
- Honor: 4.5
- Outfit: Light or Heavy Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, Heavy Weapon or War Fan, Traveling Pack, 3 koku
Rank 1: The Kaiu Method
A student of the Kaiu Method is taught the many basic essential disciplines the family uses to serve the Crab. You gain a bonus of +1k0 when making any School Skill Roll. When spending a Void Point to augment a School Skill Roll, you gain a bonus of +2k2 instead of +1k1. These effects are not cumulative.
Rank 2: The Path of Stone
The Kaiu are feared on the battlefield for good reason – they are masters of both construction and destruction. When constructing any large structure (temple-sized or larger), you may make an Engineering Skill Roll at TN 25 to add an additional number of Wounds to the structure equal to your School Rank x 100. Also, when commanding a siege engine, you may re-roll once any of the siege engine’s damage dice that roll below your School Rank.
Rank 3: The Path of the Shell
The security and protection of Crab samurai is a somber duty all Kaiu take very seriously indeed. When crafting any set of armor, you may double the crafting time and cost in order to add your School Rank to the armor’s Reduction value. You may also add half your School Rank (rounding up) to the armor’s Armor TN bonus.
Rank 4: The Path of War
Every Kaiu is a student of battle, as are all Crab. When you roll on the Mass Battle Chart, you may modify your result (up or down) by an additional amount equal to half your School Rank. Additionally, when fighting with a katana, dai tsuchi, or war fan, you may make melee attacks as a Simple Action rather than a Complex Action.
Rank 5: The Path of Steel
The greatest and most sacred duty of the Kaiu is crafting the sacred weapons of the Crab Clan. When crafting any weapon, you may choose to confer either a +1k0 bonus to all attack rolls made with that weapon, or a +0k1 bonus to all damage rolls made with that weapon. If the weapon is a katana, you may expend all your Void Points (a minimum of one point must be spent) to make the blade unbreakable (as per the Sacred Weapon: Kaiu Blade Advantage). Doing so renders you unable to recover Void Points for one week.
Kuni Shugenja [CR]
Once misunderstood, the Kuni Shugenja School has frequently been painted as a collection of obsessive madmen who delve too deeply into secrets no one should explore. Most Kuni would object to the label of madman, but beyond that they would admit the stereotype fits fairly closely with reality. The Kuni understand they must sacrifice certain inhibitions and reservations in order to serve their Clan and Empire to the best of their ability, and they do so without protest.
The Kuni Shugenja School emphasizes the Crab Clan’s specialization in fighting creatures of the Shadowlands. The Crab’s alliance with the Nezumi tribes that dwell within the region also has granted them great insight into other non-human creatures, and their Technique allows them to benefit or destroy such creatures as desired.
- Benefit: +1 Willpower
- Skills: Calligraphy (Cipher), Defense, Lore: Shadowlands 2, Lore: Theology, Spellcraft, any one Weapon Skill
- Honor: 2.5
- Outfit: Robes, Wakizashi, Knife, Scroll Satchel, Traveling Pack, 3 koku
- Affinity / Deficiency: Earth / Air
- Spells: Sense, Commune, Summon, 3 Earth, 2 Fire, and 1 Water
- Technique: Gaze Into Shadow – The Kuni have carefully studied many of the most sinister opponents imaginable, and have learned how to combat them. You gain a bonus of +1k0 to the total of all Spell Casting Rolls when the target is any non-human creature, and any spell that inflicts damage inflicts an additional +1k1 damage when used against a target who possesses the Shadowlands Taint. You also gain a Free Raise on any spell with the Jade keyword.
Kuni Witch-Hunter [Monk] [GC]
The Kuni Witch-Hunters are a small but highly skilled group of mystical warriors who serve the Crab Clan by hunting for maho-tsukai and Shadowlands infiltration within the Empire. They travel freely through Rokugan, often disregarding clan borders and jurisdictions… much to the displeasure of local authorities. Samurai from other clans tend to regard Witch-Hunters as superstitious and ill-mannered louts, but common folk throughout the Empire respect them and seek their aid whenever supernatural threats arise. Within the Crab Clan they are treated with respect and not a little fear, since their appearance often betokens the presence of the Taint.
Wiki Editor’s Note: the Rank 1 technique adds +1k0 to the roll for each Taint Rank the target possesses. This seems to indicate that a player character using this class is told how many additional unkept dice they must roll, which would hint at whether the target is Tainted or not. While a player is not supposed to use out-of-game knowledge to assist their character’s reasoning, such a choice seems quite easily abusable. As a result, it could be advised to allow a free raise per Taint Rank instead, in order to keep the target’s impurity a secret.
- Benefit: +1 Willpower
- Skills: Investigation, Jiujutsu, Kenjutsu, Lore: Shadowlands, Lore: Maho, Mediation, any one Skill
- Honor: 5.5
- Outfit: Rugged Clothing, Daisho, Knife, Jade Pendant, Traveling Pack, 3 koku
Rank 1: To See the Darkness
Witch-hunters are taught both to sense the power of Jigoku and to crush those who carry its dreadful mark. You may attempt to detect the Taint in another person by holding your jade pendant (or another piece of jade) and staring intently at them. This is a Complex Action and requires your to make a Contested Roll of your Investigation (Interrogation) / Awareness against the target’s Sincerity (Deceit) / Willpower. You gain a +1k0 bonus to this roll for every full Rank of Taint the target possesses. If you succeed in the roll and the target is Tainted (has at least 1 Rank of Taint), you are able to sense the presence of the Taint and its approximate strength. If you fail this roll or the target is not Tainted, you gain no information. In addition, you gain +1k1 to your rolls to resist the Shadowlands Taint and to your attack rolls when attacking a foe who is a Shadowlands creature or who you know to be Tainted.
Rank 2: To Ride the Darkness
Witch-hunters do not confine themselves to rooting out Tainted men and women – they also learn how to fight the creatures of the Shadowlands, and spend considerable time studying their strengths and weaknesses. Any time you are confronted by a Shadowlands creature, you may take a Free Action to roll Lore: Shadowlands / Intelligence at TN 20 to recall either one specific strength (such as Invulnerability) or one specific weakness (such as jade) for that creature. You choose whether you recall a strength or a weakness, but the GM chooses the exact information. You may Raise on this roll to learn additional pieces of information – one strength or weakness per Raise.
Rank 3: To Strike the Darkness
At this rank the Witch-hunter learns to call on the power of purity to guide and strengthen his blows. You may make melee attacks as a Simple Action when your opponent is a Shadowlands creature or when you know your opponent to be Tainted.
Rank 4: To Repel the Darkness
The Witch-hunter’s intense study and spiritual training now gives him access to esoteric powers and makes it almost impossible for the forces of darkness to deceive him. You gain a +3k0 bonus to all rolls for your Rank One ability to detect the Taint and to the roll for your Rank Two ability. In addition, you may learn one Kiho. (If the optional rule allowing Kiho for non-Brotherhood monks is in effect, this Kiho does not count against the maximum number of Kiho you can learn, although it is subject to their other mechanical limitations such as Mastery Level.)
Rank 5: To Shatter the Darkness
The Witch-hunter is now the true nemesis of Jigoku’s forces, able to strike down his enemies with unmatched power. You gain +4k1 bonus to your attack and damage rolls against Shadowlands creatures and against foes you know to be Tainted. This stacks with the attack bonus from your Rank One Technique.
Toritaka Bushi [CR]
The Toritaka Bushi School excels at destruction of creatures that come from the other Spirit Realms. Their style is fluid in order to adapt to any surprises that new monsters might spring upon them. Unfortunately this focus on otherworldly foes makes the Toritaka bushi a very specialized warrior, with few techniques that work against human opponents.
The Toritaka Bushi School focuses on striking monsters and bypassing their defenses. They use the daisho or the spear to find the monster’s weaknesses and relentlessly attack them until they fall. Over a lifetime of training, the Toritaka learns to see past the tricks a monster may utilize and to efficiently dismantle such enemies.
- Benefit: +1 Strength
- Skills: Animal Handling (Falcons), Hunting 2, Kenjutsu, Etiquette, Lore: Spirit Realms, Spears, any one Skill
- Honor: 5.5
- Outfit: Light Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, any 1 weapon, Traveling Pack, 3 koku
Rank 1: The Falcon’s Eyes
A Toritaka must be aware of his surroundings at all times, for his enemies can appear anywhere. You add +1k0 to all Skill and raw Trait rolls involving the Perception Trait. Additionally, when striking a creature from another Spirit Realm (including oni from Jigoku and hungry dead from Gaki-do), you add +1k0 to all damage rolls.
Rank 2: The Falcon Takes FlightThrough his training, the Toritaka can sense the emanations of nearby spirits as they cross over into the mortal realm. You may attempt to detect the presence of any creatures from
other Spirit Realms by making a Perception Trait Roll against a TN equal to the creature’s Air Ring x 5.
Rank 3: The Falcon’s Wings
The Toritaka strikes with precision, constantly keeping his enemies at bay. You may make attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action while wielding a spear or a weapon with the Samurai keyword.
Rank 4: Vigilant and Strong
Monsters may have tricks to confuse their enemies, but the Toritaka learns to see the truth through the fog. You may spend a Void Point to negate any darkness or blinding penalties. This
effect lasts until the Reactions Phase two Rounds later.
Rank 5: Claws of the Falcon
Nothing will stop the Toritaka’s attack from hitting its target. Your attacks ignore up to 5 points of your opponent’s Reduction (if he has any). Against creatures from other Spirit Realms, you may spend a Void Point as a Free Action to reduce the creature’s Reduction by 10 for one Round.
Yasuki Courtier [CR]
Once a Crane family, the Yasuki defected to join the Crab after their Doji masters refused to accept the questionable manner in which the Yasuki performed essential tasks necessary for the Crane to function. The Crab were far more practical masters, and under their leadership the Yasuki have become the most prosperous merchant patrons in the Empire. Their sensei emphasize the ability to find that thing one’s opponents in court must have, and provide it for them at a low cost, ensuring both profit and gratitude.
The Yasuki specialize in using commerce as a means of gaining the favor of others. They are as much salesman as courtiers and can use any number of sales tactics, including both pressure and false sincerity, to gain that which they desire from others. No one in the Empire can take a simple resource and transform it into a hot commodity with the same style and deftness as a Yasuki courtier.
- Benefit: +1 Perception
- Skills: Commerce (Appraisal), Courtier, Defense, Etiquette, Intimidation, Sincerity (Deceit), any one Merchant Skill
- Honor: 2.5
- Outfit: Traditional Clothing, Wakizashi, Knife, Calligraphy Set, Traveling Pack, 5 koku
Rank 1: The Way of the Carp
The Yasuki are masters of commerce and practice it far more openly than other samurai families; they do not consider it to be a breach of etiquette to engage in open commerce. You gain a Free Raise when using the Commerce Skill, and you do not lose Honor or Glory for using the Commerce Skill even in public. Also, Yasuki are taught from youth to be adept at sizing up their potential customers. When speaking with someone you may make a Contested Roll of your Commerce/Perception against their Etiquette/Awareness to discern some material object or service they want or desire.
Rank 2: Do As We Say
The flip side of Yasuki commerce is Yasuki pushiness. The Yasuki are renowned for both their glib tongues and their high-pressure sales tactics, pressuring and deceiving their customers and allies into doing what they want. A number of times per session equal to your School Rank, you may re-roll a failed Sincerity or Intimidation Skill roll. You must keep the results of the second roll.
Rank 3: Treasures of the Carp
Your contracts in the merchant and commercial circles of Rokugan make it possible for you to acquire almost anything you might need to satisfy a customer. You may roll Commerce/Awareness at TN 20 to locate a rare or useful item, subject to GM discretion, for someone else. You may track down higher-quality or rarer items by calling Raises.
Rank 4: Wiles of the Carp
As ruthless merchants, the Yasuki are also skilled at seeing through the deceptions and blandishments of others. Anyone making a Social Skill Roll for the purpose of lying to you or deceiving you has their TN increased by an amount equal to 5 times your School Rank.
Rank 5: What is Yours is Mine
The ultimate skill of the Yasuki is to influence others by offering them what they want the most. If you known of a material item someone needs, and arrange for them to get it, you gain a bonus of +5k0 to any Contested Social Rolls you make against that person for the next 24 hours.
Defender of the Wall [Bushi] [CR]
The Crab Clan is the first line of defense against the ravenous creatures of the Shadowlands, so that protective nature has seeped into many of their martial styles. The Defender of the Wall stands firm against the enemies he may face and weathers all the assaults focused in his direction. The Defender of the Wall is the perfect guardian, as he will let the world end before he lets an attacker pass him.
- Ring/Traits: Earth 4, Strength 5
- Skills: Defense 4, Heavy Weapons 4, Lore: Shadowlands 5
Rank 1: The Flames of Purity
The Defender of the Wall is ready to repel any unnatural assaults with the conviction of a pure soul. Creatures with the Shadowlands Taint may not reroll 10’s on attack or damage rolls against you.
Rank 2: Hida’s Strength
The Defender of the Wall is an impregnable fortress, even without wearing his armor. You gain Reduction 8. This stacks with any other Techiques or armor which grant you Reduction.
Rank 3: The Crab are the Wall
The Defender of the Wall will let nothing stop him short of death. Once per round, you may immediately negate one Condition on yourself (other than Mounted or Grappled).
Crab Berserker [Bushi] [CR]
When faced with insurmountable odds, a warrior often retreats to fight again another day. To the Crab Berserker, this is not an option. The Berserker will fight wherever his lord directs him, and focuses his entire being into that fight. The Berserker fights with no limits and continues to ferociously attack until either he or his enemies is bloodied and dead on the ground. The Berserkers often fight against the ravaging Shadowlands Horde and are said to match those beasts in rage and viciousness.
- Replaces: Any Crab Bushi school Rank 2
- Requirements: Earth 4
- Technique: Berserker’s Rage – The Crab berserkers manifest their unique and dangerous gifts after spending some time – often months, sometimes even years – on the Kaiu Wall. Some berserkers call on maniacal fury to power their rages, while others enter the notorious “dead eye” trance, but the result is the same: superhuman strength and a near-immunity to pain. Once per skirmish, you may enter your rage during the Reactions Stage. Once begun, the rage lasts for a number of Combat Rounds equal to double your Earth Ring. (You may end it during an earlier round by spending a Void Point during the Reactions Stage.) While in your rage, you cannot take the Center, Defense, or Full Defense stances, and cannot use any non-Bugei skills. While in the raging state, you ignore all penalties and effects of Wound Ranks. You also gain a +2k1 bonus to all attack and damage rolls. If you are killed while raging, you remain alive and can continue to attack until the rage ends, but you cannot be healed (unless you are first targeted with the Force of Will spell) – you are dead, your body simply does not know it yet. The rage ends if you sustain Wounds equal to twice the amount that would normally kill you.
Crab Defender [Bushi] [BoA]
The limited Crab dueling tradition is maintained in the Unbreakable Blade Dojo. It emphasizes endurance rather than speed, teaching its students to endure their opponents’ first blow in order to survive to deliver their own. Due to the Crab Clan’s martial and pragmatic nature, the sensei of the Unbreakable Blade focus their training on lethal duels (both on the battlefield and in court) rather than on the duels to first blood that are more common in other clans.
- Replaces: Hida Bushi 2, Hiruma Bushi 2
- Requirements: Awareness 3, Agility 3, Iaijutsu 4
- Technique: Warrior of Earth – The Defenders are taught there is more than one way to win a duel. Rather than try to strike faster than their opponents, Defenders learn to call on their own Earth to endure the foe’s first strike, allowing them to defeat their enemy in a longer fight. During the Strike step of an iaijutsu duel, you are considered to have additional Reduction equal to your Earth x 3.
Crab Knife-Fighter [Bushi] [BoF]
A few Crab have specialized in knife-fighting over the years, enough for the clan to maintain a few sensei who teach advanced knife techniques. Many of these are sailors, especially Yasuki, who prefer a fighting style which uses small, cheap weapons in an environment where speed and mobility are more important than reach and power.
- Replaces: Hida Bushi 4, Hida Pragmatist 4, Hiruma Bushi 3, or Hiruma Scout 3
- Requirements: Knives 3
- Technique: One Blade, Both Hands – The Crab knife-fighting technique emphasizes using the empty hand to grasp, control, and distract the opponent, setting him up for the knife-hand to deliver the lethal blow. When fighting with one open hand and a tanto, you add +3k1 to your damage with tanto and may ignore all effects of your opponent’s armor. (If your opponent is a creature with inherent Reduction, you may ignore 5 points of that Reduction.)
Crab Sumai Wrestler [Bushi] [BoE]
The Crab have a long and storied tradition of excellence in sumai, whose social respectability can grant skilled Crab wrestlers access to courts where they might otherwise never be invited. Promising students are taught at the Grip of Earth Dojo, the principle home to the Crab Clan’s sumai fighting technique. When another samurai encounters a Crab bushi utilizing sumai techniques, it is almost always a graduate of the Grip of the Earth Dojo. Those students who show a knack for the ritual and pageantry of sumai as well as its more physical aspects are sent to Stone Tower Dojo in the Imperial Capital.
- Replaces: Hida Bushi 2 or Yasuki Courtier 2
- Requirements: Jiujutsu (Sumai) 4
- Special: Enrolling in this Path automatically allows your character to get rid of the Small Disadvantage at no point cost. If you are not Small, you automatically gain Large at no Point cost. If you are already Large, you are refunded the point cost of the Advantage.
- Technique: The Way of Sumai – While most Rokugani treat Sumai wrestling as a sport, the Crab have never forgotten that it originated as a combat art. When rolling to control a Grapple, you gain a +1k0 bonus (+2k0 if you are Large). If you choose to inflict damage in a Grapple (e.g. the “hit” option), you gain a +1k1 bonus to the Damage Roll.
Falcon’s Strike [Bushi] [BoA]
A tiny off-shoot of the Falcon Clan’s bushi traditions, the Falcon’s Strike Dojo becomes much larger and more influential after the Falcon are absorbed into the Crab Clan in the early twelfth century. The dojo selects its students for keen vision and sharp senses, and they learn to reply on focused senses rather than the mechanics of drawing and firing to hit their targets.
- Replaces: Toritaka Bushi 2, Hiruma Scout 2, or Hiruma Bushi 2
- Requirements: Kyujutsu (Yumi) 3
- Technique: Spotting the Prey – The Falcon’s Strike is taught to use the bushi’s deep awareness of their surroundings to strike the target regardless of concealment. When making a range attack with a bow, you may use your Perception in place of your Reflexes for attack rolls. When using a yumi, you may also use your Perception in place of the bow’s Strength for damage rolls.
Hiruma Slayer [Bushi] [BoE]
While most samurai despise the masakari as little more than a peasant axe, the Hiruma found value in its combination of relatively small size and the ability to deliver powerful cutting blows against Shadowlands beasts. The Slayers specialize in hunting down dangerous Shadowlands creatures, often operating deep within Fu Leng’s realm with little to no support. During wars with other clans, however, the Slayers’ skills can also come in handy for raiding behind enemy lines.
- Replaces: Hiruma Bushi 4 or Hiruma Scout 4
- Requirements: Heavy Weapons (Masakari) 5
- Technique: Deny the Horde – The Slayer technique utilizes the masakari to deliver a terrifying barrage of precise and lethal blows on the foe, using it equally well in either hand. You suffer no penalties for using a masakari in your off-hand (although you still suffer normal penalties for wielding two weapons). You may attack as a Simple Action with a masakari. When using a masakari in the Full Attack Stance against any foe, or in the Attack Stance against a Shadowlands creature or a foe you know to be tainted, you gain an additional +3k0 bonus to your damage rolls.
Hiruma Sniper [Bushi] [BoA]
The Snipers are an outgrowth of the fall of Hiruma lands in the eighth century, and the Path does not exist prior to that era. they are trained to stay calm and shoot accurately even when assailed by terrifying monsters, targeting their foes’ weak points.
- Replaces: Hiruma Scout 4, or Hiruma Bushi 4
- Requirements: Kyujutsu 5, Reflexes 4
- Technique: The Crab’s Eyes – The Hiruma Snipers are trained to strike at specific weak points in their targets, getting their arrows past both mortal armor and monstrous shells and carapaces. You may attack with a yumi as a simple action. When making a ranged attack with a yumi, you may ignore all of the target’s natural Reduction (e.g. Reduction from armor or natural protection) and half that much Reduction from magical effects.
Hiruma Yojimbo [Bushi] [StE]
Since the first days of the Crab Clan, the athletic and attentive Hiruma have often served as yojimbo for the Crab Champion and his most important vassals. This is not because the Hida lack for physical or martial power, of course, but rather because the Hiruma excel at perceiving threats that other Crab might easily miss. They are also considerably faster than the average member of most other Crab families, and speed is an essential component of any successful yojimbo’s repertoire of talents.
- Replaces: Hiruma Bushi 3 or Hiruma Scout 3
- Requirements: Defense 3
- Technique: The Crab’s Shell – Those Hiruma tasked with protecting the lives of important Crab personages understand that the best and most effective means of defending them is to destroy their enemies as quickly as possible. After making a successful melee attack, you may immediately perform the Guard Action as a Free Action (if your charge is close enough for you to Guard). If you do so, you may add the amount by which your attack roll exceeded your opponent’s Armor TN to the Armor TN of your charge until your next Turn.
Kaiu Shipmasters [Artisan/Bushi]
The Crab Clan has maintained a fleet of iron-armored “Turtle Ships” for centuries, but during the age of the Shattered Empire the threat of Mantis raids and the lack of any support from the rest of Rokugan forces them to expand the fleet and to arm and reinforce all of their wooden vessels as well. Hida O-Ushi commands that Earthquake Fish Bay be made impregnable against any naval attack, whether mundane or Shadowlands in origin. This task is given to Kaiu Utsu, the family daimyo and a famed Siegemaster. Utsu went to work with classic Crab practicality, adapting his methods to naval warfare. After he dies of heart failure in 1139, the task is taken up by his heir Kaiu Umasu, who regularized the Technique which Utsu had devised and made sure it was taught to later generations.
- Rank: 3
- Replaces: Kaiu Engineer 3 or Kaiu Siege Master 1
- Requirements: Battle 4, Sailing 5
- Technique: Umasu’s Steel – The Kaiu Shipmasters learn how to reinforce their clan’s ships against any sort of threat, whether it be from the Shadowlands or from the fleets of other clans, using a mixture of physical improvements and defensive tactics. At the beginning of any naval battle in which you are in command of a warship, you may make a Battle / Intelligence Skill Roll at TN 25 to grant your ship a bonus Reduction value equal to your Sailing Skill Rank x2. If the ship is a “Turtle Ship”, the bonus is equal to your Skill Rank x4 instead.
Kaiu Siegemaster [Bushi] [BoE]
“We sometimes play a game amongst each other. One Kaiu devises the strongest fortification possible, and the others must figure out its weakness.” – Kaiu Watsuki
The Kaiu are acknowledged throughout the Empire as the foremost practitioners of siege warfare, especially on the defensive. Within their ranks, the elite order known as the Siege Masters holds a position of particular fame ever since they emerged in the fourth century. Siege Masters are known for rendering castles nigh-impregnable and for constructing defenses that break the spirit of opposing armies, even Shadowlands forces.
- Replaces: Kaiu Engineer 5
- Requirements: Battle (Mass Battle) 5, Engineering (Siege) 5
- Technique: The Hammer of Kaiu – During a siege, you may add or subtract your entire School Rank to the total of your rolls on the Mass Battle Table (this replaces the Kaiu Engineering Rank 4 ability to add or subtract half your School Rank). If you are on the defending side in a siege, you gain +2k0 bonus to any Engineering (Siege) rolls you make to operate siege weaponry, and the Reduction of any structures on your side of the siege is increased by 50%.
Kuni Crystal Master [Shugenja] [BoE]
In the twelfth century, the Kuni begin focusing more intensely on the power and nature of crystal, partially influenced by the struggle against the Lying Darkness and partly by their interactions with other races who used crystal, such as the Naga and even the Nezumi. The Crystal Masters emerged from this research. They are the creators of the Sapphire Strike spell, and specialize in awakening the spiritual powers of crystal and using those powers to enhance their other magic.
- Replaces: Kuni Shugenja 4
- Requirements: Earth 5, Spellcraft 5, Lore: Elements (Crystal) 5
- Special: Must possess a piece of pure crystal. Player must have approval from GM to become a Crystal Master.
- Technique: Strike of Purity – The Crystal Masters learn how to awaken the spiritual power of crystal and use it to strengthen their spells. When you learn this technique, one piece of crystal which you possess becomes awakened and is then used to empower your spells with the essence of Crystal. (If this piece of crystal is lost or destroyed, you cannot use this Technique until you acquire another one – it is the GM’s discretion how much time and effort this will require.) When casting a Fire or Earth spell that inflicts damage (e.g. Jade Strike, Fury of Osano-Wo, etc) you may spend a Void Point to channel the spell through your awakened crystal and infuse it with the essence of crystal. This adds one additional Complex Action to the casting time of the spell. The spell does an additional +1k1 damage is is now considered to be Crystal for the purpose of what foes can be damaged by it, whether it can penetrate Invulnerability or Creature Reduction, and so forth.
Oni Slayer [Shugenja] [CR]
Kuni shugenja dedicate their lives to eradicating the Shadowlands threat from the world. The Oni Slayers are an elite sect of the Kuni family that focuses strictly on dealing with the monsters that are too strong to fight on an equal footing. Their rituals and wards are essential in sapping the strength of these unnatural beasts. Oni slayers see things no man ever should, yet their dedication to their duties remains unshaken.
- Replaces: Kuni Shugenja 3
- Requirements: Lore: Shadowlands 3
- Technique: Bound by the World – The Kuni study the poorly understood art of binding, of using ritual circles and symbols to trap demons so they can be destroyed forever. You may expend an Earth spell slot and make a Spell Casting Roll (without TN, see below) in order to ritually prepare a binding circle, a process which takes an hour. This circle may encompass a maximum area equal to your School Rank x 5 in square feet, although you may combine efforts with other Kuni to encompass larger areas by adding your School Ranks together (only one of you make the Spell Casting Roll). Once an oni enters the circle, it becomes active. The oni may not leave the circle without first succeeding at a Willpower Trait Roll against a TN equal to the total of your Spell Casting roll. While the circle is active, you gain one less Earth spell slot per day.
Rajya ke Varisa [Bushi]
The Rajya ke Varisa are a group of Crab, Unicorn, and Mantis samurai who study the fighting techniques of the Ivory Kingdoms kshatriya and find ways to use them in conjunction with Rokugani combat techniques. The gaijin turned-Mantis known as Yoritomo Singh also contributes to the organization’s training, seeking to preserve some aspects of his former culture. So far they have managed to devise only one technique, albeit one of significant value.
- Technique Rank: 4
- Replaces: Hida Bushi 4, Shinjo Bushi 4, Moto Bushi 4, Yoritomo Bushi 4
- Technique: Legacy of the Kshatriya – The Rajya ke Varisa have learned to emulate the kshatriya technique that calls on religious devotion to strengthen their force of their blows. However, instead of calling on blasphemous gaijin gods, they call on the power of their devotion to the Fortunes. Twice per skirmish, before making an attack you may take a Free Action to spend a Void Point; if the subsequent attack succeeds, you may add unkept dice to your damage roll equal to your rank in the Lore: Theology skill.
Severed Hand [Courtier] [BoE]
The Severed Hand is the term adopted by those Crab warriors who are forced into the courts due to injuries or other physical problems that render them incapable of further military service. Such men and women, usually grizzled veterans, tend to view the courts as a mixture of deadly traps, pointless and puerile ritual, and stultifying boredom; nonetheless, they do their best to represent their clan. Over centuries of trail and error they have developed a Technique to aid them in their duties, and share it with their fellows through personal instruction.
- Replaces: Any Crab bushi 4
- Special: Your character must be reassigned to the courts due to a physical inability to continue serving the clan in war, e.g. a debilitating injury (GM’s discretion, but obvious examples include Missing Limb and Lame).
- Technique: Strength of Bamboo – The former warriors of the Severed Hand have learned to rely on the indomitable strength of Earth to resist the tricks, temptations, and blandishments of enemy courtiers. When rolling to resist an opponent’s Social Skill or Courtier Technique, you may use Willpower as your Trait instead of the Trait normally used. In cases where this Technique clashes with another (such as the Bayushi Rank 4 Technique), the GM has discretion as to which Technique trumps the other.
Toritaka Exorcist [Shugenja] [GC]
From the days of their founding as the Falcon Clan, the Toritaka have studied the ways of the spirits, especially ghosts and gaki. Those of the Toritaka who had a gift of the kami undertook special studies in these topics, learning the ways of yorei and goryo, of gaki and kitsune-tsuki, and the ways to purge their influence from the natural world. The near-destruction of the Toritaka by a malevolent Shuten Doji spirit only furthered their determination to learn the ways of all such dangerous creatures. Toritaka Exorcists are skilled at both detecting dangerous spirits and purging their influence.
- Replaces: Kuni Shugenja 2
- Requirements: Willpower 3, Perception 3, Calligraphy 3
- Technique: Purge the Darkness – You can sense the presence of dangerous spirits (ghosts, gaki, yokai, creatures from the spirit realms, etc) by making an Investigation (Notice) / Perception roll. The base TN for this roll is 20, but may be increased by the GM for spirits who are exceptionally difficult to notice. You may make 2 Raises on the roll to learn the specific nature of the spirit you detect (e.g. a yorei, a gaki, etc). You may take a Complex Action to attempt an exorcism on someone who is possessed by a ghost, gaki, oni, kitsune-tsuki, or similar entity. You expend one spell slot and make a Contested Willpower roll against the spirit; if you first place an exorcism ward on the target, you gain +2k2 on the roll. With a success, you force the spirit to leave the body it is possessing; it cannot attempt to re-possess that same person for at least 24 hours.
Tsuru’s Legion [Bushi] [S&F]
Created a few years prior to the Clan War, this unit was founded by Hida Tsuru, younger brother of Clan Champion Hida Kisada. He created a legion of cavalry trained to combine speed and power, delivering overpowering strikes to enemy lines. Over time this force became known as Tsuru’s Legion, a name it retained after the death of its founder. In modern times the Legion is a semi-independent strike force used by the Clan Champion, and stands outside the normal structure of the Crab armies.
- Replaces: Hida Bushi 2, Hiruma Bushi 2
- Requirements: Horsemanship 3
- Special: Admission to Tsuru’s Legion adds a steed (Rokugani pony) to your outfit if you do not already possess one.
- Technique: Overrun – The cavalry of Tsuru’s Legion are trained to deliver decisive attacks at the critical moment of a battle. When you are mounted, you may perform the Knockdown maneuver for one less Raise and you may spend a Void Point to add +Xk0 to an attack roll with a weapon, where X is your mount’s Strength.
Yasuki Enforcer [Bushi] [StE]
The Yasuki merchants specialize in all manner of questionable forms of commerce and negotiation, and some few among them are discovered to have an exquisite talent for intimidation. Rather than see such gifts go to waste, the Yasuki lords at Clear Water Village prefer to teach them the methods they need to make their threats a reality. After all, a threat that cannot be followed through on is just poor business.
- Replaces: Yasuki Courtier 2 or Hida Pragmatist 2
- Requirements: Intimidation 3
- Technique: Gentle Encouragement – The enforcers of the Yasuki family know how to threaten in such a way that thoroughly cows any potential opponent. You may make a Contested Roll against any individual, using your Willpower / Intimidation against their Willpower / Etiquette. If you are successful, you gain a bonus of +1k0 on all attack rolls made against that individual during the first Round of combat against them during your next skirmish. Each successful Raise made on this Contested Roll increases your bonus by an additional +1k0. If this Technique is activated during a skirmish, the initial Contested Roll is a Complex Action.
Yasuki Extortionist [Courtier] [BoE]
Some among the Yasuki, mainly in the Crab but also sometimes in the Crane, eschew their family’s more conventional mercantile pursuits in favor of the practice of moneylending. Although this is considered especially disreputable activity for a samurai, it can also be hugely profitable – there are always both commoners and samurai who need additional funds, and the concept of paying interest is so strange to them that they usually do not realize how badly the Yasuki are taking advantage of them.
- Replaces: Yasuki Courtier 4
- Requirements: Willpower 4, Commerce 4, Intimidation 5
- Technique: Do Me a Favor – The Extortionists specialize in rooting out the financial weaknesses of potential customers and then pressuring them into calling on Yasuki assistance. If you have supplied something your target needs, whether money or material goods (this be achieved through role-play and/or by using the Yasuki Rank 1 and Rank 3 Techniques), you may make a Contested Social Roll of your Intimidation (Control) / Willpower against their Etiquette (Courtesy) / Willpower. With a success, they find the arrangement has left them deeply in debt to you. You may either inflict an Obligation on that person (if the GM judges they have the ability to pay you back) or a Blackmail on them (if the GM judges they cannot pay you back). The default point value of the Disadvantage in either case is 3, but the GM may modify this if circumstances make it appropriate.
Yasuki Taskmaster [Bushi] [S&F]
Although the Yasuki family as a whole is known for its mercantile and political role, many individual Yasuki serve in the Crab armies, with such members of the family often gravitating toward logistical and organization duties. As a result of this role, Yasuki bushi often found themselves in charge of organizing, training, and leading the Crab army’s limited ashigaru forces. Eventually, this led to the establishment of a specific organization dedicated to that role: the Taskmasters. The dojo of the Taskmasters, located in Sunda Mizu Mura, admits students from any family but still tends to attract a disproportionate number of Yasuki, and the sensei is usually a Yasuki as well.
It may be noted that while the Taskmasters were originally oriented towards the command of ashigaru, over time their training and role expanded into a more general aspect of supervising lower-ranking soldiers. During the Clan Wars, when the Crab Clan forms a misguided alliance with the Shadowlands, some Taskmasters also find themselves saddled with the unpleasant duty of commanding units of goblin troops.
- Replaces: Hida Bushi 4, Hida Pragmatist 4, Yasuki Courtier 3
- Requirements: Willpower 4, Intimidation 5, Battle 3
- Technique: Fear is a Gift – The Yasuki long ago concluded the best method to get peasant soldiers to face the horrors of the Shadowlands was to make the ashigaru more frightened of their officers than of the enemies. The Taskmasters embrace Intimidation as a skill with many more applications than others might expect. You treat Intimidation as a Bugei Skill rather than a Low Skill. You may use Willpower as your Trait on any Battle Skill roll, and may use your Intimidation Rank in place of your Battle Rank when rolling for Step 2: Determination on the Mass Battle Table. Finally, any soldiers (samurai, peasant, or otherwise) under your military command may add your Intimidation Skill Rank to the total of any rolls they make to resist Fear effects.