Imperial Family Schools

Basic Schools

Hantei Bushi (Owl) [Bushi]

(This School derives from an alternate timeline where Togashi defeated Hantei and became the first emperor, with Hantei creating the Owl Clan, specialized with dealing with nonhuman creatures. As a result, it does not exist in the main timeline, although GMs can, as usual, adapt it if needed)

Hantei’s Celestial fighting style was unmatched among the Kami. However, in the canonical history of Rokugan, Hantei never shared the secrets of his fighting skills with any of his mortal followers, and they died with him after the First War. In the timeline of the Togashi Dynasty, Hantei adapts his Techniques to his clan’s new duty of fighting against nonhuman threats to the Empire, and it is in this form that an echo of his original peerless talent is passed down through the ages.

  • Benefit: +1 Agility
  • Starting Honor: 6.5
  • Skills: Athletics, Defense, Etiquette, Kenjutsu, Kyujutsu, Lore: Nonhumans, any one High or Bugei Skill
  • Outfit: Average clothing, light armor, daisho, bow, any one weapon, traveling pack, 4 koku


Rank 1: the Blessings of Heaven
The basic lesson of Hantei is to call on the favor of the Celestial Realms to oppose those who stand against Heaven. When facing a “nonhuman” opponent, you may add either your Earth or your Honor (whichever is higher) to your Armor TN. You gain a +1k0 bonus to all your attack rolls with Samurai weapons.

Rank 2: Wrath of the Earth Dragon
The power of Celestial Favor can overcome any who presume to trouble Ningen-do or the Empire of Togashi. At the start of your Turn, as a Free Action you may spend a Void Point to let your attacks this Round ignore all the Reduction of “nonhuman” opponents.

Rank 3: Speed of the Air Dragon
The Celestial Dragons strike with speed beyond thought, and you seek to emulate them as well as a mortal may do so. You may attack as a Simple Action when you are wielding Samurai weapons or when attacking a “nonhuman” opponent.

Rank 4: Courage of the Thunder Dragon
Those who serve the Celestial Heavens care not who their opponent may be, for the strength of Heaven’s favor cannot be withstood. After striking an opponent, you may spend a Void Point as a Free Action to ignore any one of that opponent’s Techniques, armor effects, spells, special qualities, or creature abilities (except for Invulnerability) which reduce/mitigate damage.

Rank 5: Judgment of the Celestial Dragon
The final lesson of the Hantei School is that the divine strike of Celestial Favor may defeat any foe, even one so powerful as Lord Moon himself. Once per skirmish, after hitting your opponent, you may spend four Void Points to automatically inflict enough damage to reduce that opponent to Down/Out/Dead (whichever applies first). If your opponent is “nonhuman” you may activate this Technique for three Void Points instead.
It is GM’s discretion whether this Technique can defeat exceptionally powerful or transcendent entities such as Fortunes or similar. As an option, the GM may allow the Technique to work on such foes if you voluntarily choose to die in order to activate it.

Miya Herald [Courtier] [CR]

The Miya are Imperial messengers, charged with spreading the words of the Emperor and the Imperial Court to even the most remote regions of Rokugan. While they are protected in most areas by the Imperial status, the Miya must often travel to places of great conflict and danger. Occasionally bandits and criminals become unreasonable or desperate and attack the herald. Thankfully, the Miya is well trained for that eventuality.

The Miya Herald School focuses on building trust and cordiality with everyone in the Miya’s path. He speaks with confidence and composure to ease tensions and smooth altercations. The Miya learns ways to boost his defenses and spread peace to achieve the dream of a strong, united empire.

  • Benefit: +1 Awareness
  • Skills: Courtier (Rhetoric), Defense, Etiquette (Courtesy), Horsemanship, Lore: Heraldry, Sincerity, any 1 High or Bugei skill
  • Honor: 6.5
  • Outfit: Sensible Clothing, Wakizashi, Calligraphy Set, Horse (Rokugani pony), 10 koku


Rank 1: Voice of the Emperor
The Miya learn the ways of the Empire, so they can spread the word of the Emperor far and wide, and the art of non-aggression, so their words will be heard by all who respect the Emperor. While inside the borders of the Empire, you may spend a Void Point to gain the Way of the Land Advantage for the province you currently occupy – this effect lasts until you next sleep. Also, any Rokugani who reveres the Emperor and who knowingly and deliberately attacks you will automatically lose a number of points of Honor equal to twice your School Rank.

Rank 2: Eyes of the Emperor
The Miya serve as peacekeepers as well as messengers, brokering treaties between warring factions in the Empire, and learn to remain impartial under the most intense pressure. You may add your Honor Rank to all Etiquette (Courtesy) skill rolls made to resist others’ attempts to influence you.

Rank 3: Hand of the Emperor
The Miya’s aura of peacefulness and non-aggression has now reached the point where it becomes difficult for honorable foes to attack him at all. At the start of a skirmish, or during the Reactions Step of any later round in a skirmish, you may spend a Void Point as a Free Action to prevent any Rokugani who reveres the Emperor from being able to harm you before the next Reactions step. (They can still attempt to capture or restrain you in a non-damaging way.) This Technique only takes effect as long as the Miya is not participating in the skirmish or in a duel.

Rank 4: Blessing of the Emperor
At this rank, the Miya have developed a personality strong enough to impose their demand for peace on the more violent individuals around them, in what is essentially a specialized form of the Otomo technique of obiesaseru. This may be done a number of times per session equal to your School Rank, but you may only use this Technique against honorable samurai (Honor Rank 1.0 or better) who revere the Emperor – criminals, bandits, the Lost, and nonhumans are immune to its effects. To use this Technique, you take a Complex Action to step forward and forcefully demand an end to violence. (“This brawling will cease, in the name of the Emperor!”) You make a Contested Roll of your Courtier (Rhetoric) / Awareness against the Etiquette (Courtesy) / Willpower of all affected person within hearing. All individuals who lose the roll must immediately cease all aggressive action, and cannot attack or cast offensive spells until they take damage or you give them permission to fight. (They can still use defensive abilities and the Defense and Full Defense stances.) The effect lasts for one minute, and the Technique can be used on the same targets again if it is resisted or expires. This Techniques affects both enemies and allies.

Rank 5: Glory of the Emperor
The Herald is now a true master of non-aggression and diplomacy. When rolling with the Courtier or Etiquette skills against a target with at least Honor 1.0, you may add a +5k0 bonus to the roll.

Otomo Courtier [CR]

Like the Seppun, the Otomo are dedicated to the safety of the Emperor. The Otomo simply choose more underhanded methods to prove that devotion. The power of the Emperor must remain strong and unchallenged. This can only happen if no one can gather enough strength to topple the pillars of the Emperor’s authority. The Otomo sow suspicion and distrust amongst the Great Clans to prevent any malicious schemes from taking root among them.

The Otomo Courtiers, also known as Seiyaju, focus on fully utilizing the tools at their disposal. As an Imperial family, the Otomo automatically garner respect and power from every honorable samurai. The Otomo learns to push this advantage as far as he can to make others cower under the weight of Imperial decree. He uses every underhanded trick in the book, knowing that his blood protects him from the repercussions.

  • Benefit: +1 Awareness
  • Skills: Courtier (Manipulation), Defense, Etiquette, Intimidation (Control), Investigation, Sincerity, any 1 High Skill
  • Honor: 5.5
  • Outfit Traditional Clothing, Wakizashi, Knife, Calligraphy Set, 10 Koku


Rank 1: The Voice of Heaven
The Otomo believe that nothing done in the name of the Emperor and Imperial authority can ever be truly dishonorable. Their appointed role within the Empire is to spread conflict between the clans so they cannot unite against Imperial power, and the Otomo do this without hesitation. You do not lose Honor for using the Intimidation (Control) Skill. Any time you are in conversation with someone from one of the clans (Great or Minor), you may make a Contested Roll of your Courtier (Manipulation) / Awareness against their Etiquette (Courtesy) / Awareness to provoke a disagreement or argument between them and someone from another clan or faction of your choice.

Rank 2: Destiny Has No Secrets
The Otomo have information networks that rival those of the Scorpion, and can call on them in almost any part of the Empire. If you have the opportunity to seek out your contacts, you may spend a Void Point to roll Courtier / Awareness at TN 25 to learn one piece of critically useful information (chosen by the GM).

Rank 3: My Master’s Voice
The Otomo speak with the direct authority of the Emperor, and the more experienced among them have mastered the art of “obiesaseru”, using the authority of the Son of Heaven to stun their foes. You may only use this Technique against honorable samurai (Honor Rank 1.0 or better) who revere the Emperor – criminals, bandits, the Lost, and nonhumans are immune to its effects. To use obiesaseru, you must take a Complex Action to pause, gather your willpower, and shout an appropriate command (typically something like, “Stop in the name of the Emperor!”). You make a Contested Social Skill roll of Intimidation (Control) / Willpower against the target’s Etiquette (Courtesy) / Willpower. (If the target sincerely believes he is acting honorably, he gains a Free Raise to his roll.) If you win the roll, on his next Turn the target may not move, attack, cast spells, or perform any other action that would directly obstruct or threaten you or your immediate friends/allies (GM’s discretion as to who is considered your ally). He may, however, attack others who are not your allies, and regardless he can always use the Defense and full Defense Postures.

Rank 4: The Emperor’s Protection
As a favored servant of Imperial power, the Otomo is under special protection , and can easily crush those foolish enough to disagree with him in public. Any time you are in an argument or debate with another person, you may spend a Void Point to make a Contested Roll of your Courtier (Manipulation) / Awareness against their Etiquette (Courtesy) / Awareness. If you win the roll, they must either agree with your position or immediately lose 5 points of Honor.

Rank 5: The Virtues of Command
The Otomo is now able to bring the full power of Imperial authority to bear on those who displease him. When making an Contested Social Roll against someone who reveres Imperial authority, you may gain a +5k0 bonus on your roll.

Otomo Diplomat (Owl) [Courtier]

(This School derives from an alternate timeline where Togashi defeated Hantei and became the first emperor, with Hantei creating the Owl Clan, specialized with dealing with nonhuman creatures. As a result, it does not exist in the main timeline, although GMs can, as usual, adapt it if needed)

  • Benefit: +1 Awareness
  • Starting Honor: 6.5
  • Skills: Calligraphy, Courtier, Etiquette (Courtesy), Intimidation, Lore: Nonhumans, Sincerity, any one High Skill
  • Outfit: Court robes, fan, traveling pack, 5 koku


Rank 1: Wisdom of the Owl
The basic technique of the Otomo Diplomat is to find ways to relate successfully to all parties, human and nonhuman alike, smoothing over misunderstandings and conflicts. You gain a +1k0 bonus to your Etiquette rolls. During any social interaction with “nonhumans”, you may as a Free Action roll Lore: Nonhumans / Intelligence at TN 20 to remember an important aspect of social interaction with those nonhumans (the GM chooses the specific thing you remember, but it will always be something useful to the situation).

Rank 2: Unity of the Realms
Because the Otomo specialize in negotiating with the “nonhuman” races, they have many friends, allies, and contacts among them. Any time you encounter a “nonhuman” in a non-hostile environment, you may roll Courtier / Awareness at TN 25. With a success, the “nonhuman” will treat you as an Ally with Devotion 2 for the remainder of the encounter (unless you actively do something to threaten or harm it).

Rank 3: the Voice of Heaven
When understanding does not work, the Otomo have another method: cowing others by invoking the awesome authority of the Celestial Heavens. When you spend a Void Point on an Intimidation roll, you gain +2k2 instead of the normal +1k1. If the roll is made against a “nonhuman” opponent, the bonus is +3k2 instead. Either way, you do not lose Honor for using Intimidation in this manner.

Rank 4: Uphold the Peace
At this rank, the Otomo Diplomat is able to call on the awesome repute of the clan founder, Hantei himself, to impose peace on all manner of confrontations. At the start of a skirmish, or during your Turn on any later Round in such a skirmish, you may take a Complex Action to spend a Void Point and demand an immediate cessation of hostilities. You make a Contested Intimidation / Willpower roll against all those within hearing, gaining a +3k0 bonus against any of those targets who are “nonhumans”. Any combatants who lose the roll must cease all offensive action until they are attacked or until three Rounds have passed.
This Technique cannot work against Shadowlands creatures or denizens of Jigoku or Tengoku. Using Intimidation in this manner does not cost you Honor.

Rank 5: Hantei’s Mandate
The Otomo may now bring the full weight of Hantei’s Celestial favor to bear against those who trouble Ningen-do. You gain an additional +3k0 bonus to your Intimidation rolls with your Rank Four Technique (this stacks with the +3k0 bonus against “nonhumans” in that Technique).

Seppun Guardsman [Bushi] [CR]

A Seppun knows from birth that he is born to protect the Emperor from anything that may threaten him. A safe Emperor means a united Rokugan, and Seppun ensure the bright future of the Empire by fulfilling their duty. When chosen for this prestigious service, the Seppun Guardsman, also known as a Miharu, sacrifices everything in his life for the job. After all, nothing else is significant when set against the task of protecting the Imperial House.

The Seppun Guardsman School holds defense as its highest priority. The Guardsman learns to put the life of his charge above everything else, including his own survival. The Guardsman becomes stalwart against any sources of corruption that may interfere with his job, and learns to be always aware of his surroundings, ready to identify any threat before it may approach his change.

  • Benefit: +1 Perception
  • Skills: Battle, Defense, Etiquette, Iaijutsu, Kenjutsu (Katana), Kyujutsu, any 1 High Skill
  • Honor: 6.5
  • Outfit: Light Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, any 1 Weapon, Traveling Pack, 10 koku


Rank 1: Never in Darkness
The Seppun are taught to be unswerving in their Honor, and nothing can draw them away from their duty. Any time you are rolling to resist a Social Skill roll which could tempt or lead you away from your duty – such as Temptation, Intimidation, or even Courtier – you roll additional unkept dice equal to your School Rank. You gain a +1k1 bonus any time you are making an Investigation roll to detect an ambush or surprise attack.

Rank 2: The Clouds Part
The Seppun’s blows are infused with his dedication to the Emperor’s cause. At the start of your Turn, you may spend a Void Point to add your Honor Rank to the total of your attack and damage rolls until your Next Turn.

Rank 3: Sun’s Light Reveals
The Seppun’s dedication now allows him to see through all manner of deceptions, even magical ones. At any time you may choose to spend a Void point as a Free Action to roll Investigation (Notice) / Perception at TN 25. With a success, you immediately see through all disguises and illusions around you, whether normal or magical in nature. If you are in the presence of the Emperor, his immediate family, or a major Imperial Official (Chancellor, Shogun, etc) you do not need to spend a Void Point to activate this Technique. Once you have pierced a specific disguise/illusion, it no longer has any effect on you (although a new disguise or illusion you encounter later will function normally).

Rank 4: Speed of Heaven
The power of Heaven infuses the Seppun’s arm, allowing him to strike with greater speed. You may now attack as a Simple Action when using weapons with the Samurai keyword.

Rank 5: Heaven Never Falls
The true Seppun bodyguard is never caught off-guard, and can protect his charge even when surprised or disabled. Any time you are within 20′ of a person you are guarding, you may spend a Void Point to leap in front of a blow or spell which is targeting your charge. The damage is automatically applied to you instead of your charge. If you are still standing (not Down or Out) after this damage, you may immediately take an extra Simple Action, which may be used for any purpose including an attack. This Technique can be used even if your character is Blinded, Prone, Stunned, Dazed, Entangled, or at the Down Wound Rank (but not Grappled or at the Out Wound Rank).

Seppun Shugenja [CR]

The best bushi of Rokugan are granted the privilege of guarding the Emperor. There are threats steel cannot answer, however, and against these the Seppun Shugenja stand ready. As members of the Hidden Guard, the Seppun Shugenja wait and stand vigil at all times of the day for signs of an attack. Their wards are among the best in Rokugan, and the Seppun constantly practice their prayers to the kami in preparation for an assault on their territory. They are the last line of defense for the Emperor and they will not be broken.

The Seppun Shugenja School focuses on defense of the Emperor and his retinue. When danger approaches, the Seppun calls upon the kami with his entire soul, amplifying spell effects and performing magical feats he would not be able to do normally. The Technique is versatile and works with a large variety of offensive and defensive spells, as long as the shugenja is trying to save the life of the Son of Heaven.

  • Benefit: +1 Intelligence
  • Skills: Calligraphy, Defense, Etiquette, Investigation (Notice), Meditation, Lore: Theology, any 1 High or Bugei Skill
  • Honor: 6.5
  • Outfit: Robes, Wakizashi, Bo, Scroll Satchel, Traveling Pack, 10 koku
  • Affinity / Deficiency: Fire / Water
  • Spells: Sense, Commune, Summon, 3 Fire, 2 Water, and 1 Air
  • Technique: In Defense of the Throne – The Hidden Guard exist only to defend their Emperor, and are terrible opponents for any who might pose a danger to the sanctity of the Son of Heaven. You gain a Free Raise on any spell cast to protect the life, personal belongings, family, or reputation of the Emperor, as long as the action taken would not cause you to lose Honor. This includes members of the Imperial families (though not yourself). You also gain a Free Raise on any spells known only to the Imperial families.

Seppun Shugenja (Owl) [Shugenja]

(This School derives from an alternate timeline where Togashi defeated Hantei and became the first emperor, with Hantei creating the Owl Clan, specialized with dealing with nonhuman creatures. As a result, it does not exist in the main timeline, although GMs can, as usual, adapt it if needed)

  • Benefit: +1 Intelligence
  • Starting Honor: 6.5
  • Skills: Calligraphy, Defense, Investigation, Lore: Nonhumans, Lore: Theology, Meditation, any one High skill
  • Outfit: Robes, wakizashi, bo staff, scroll satchel, traveling pack, 4 koku
  • Affinity/Deficiency: Fire / Water
  • Technique: In Defense of Ningen-Do – The Seppun shugenja exist both to communicate with nonhumans and spirits and to protect the Empire from their depredations when they act improperly. You gain a Free Raise on any spell which targets a “nonhuman”. When casting a spell which inflicts damage on others, you may expend an additional spell slot (of the same Element or of Void) to have the spell ignore Reduction on the target(s) equal to twice your Void Rank. If the target is “nonhuman”, this Technique also ignores all damage mitigation effects from creature abilities (other than Invulnerability).
  • Spells: Sense, Commune, Summon, 3 Fire, 2 Air, 1 Earth

Advanced Schools

Imperial Scion [Courtier] [EE]

The Imperial families are not generally given a great deal of consideration by the average citizen of Rokugan. Even most members of the samurai caste go their entire lives while glimpsing only one or two true Imperials, and many of the more remote family branches never encounter one for generations at a time. The Imperial families are simply smaller than most of those who serve the clans, and their spheres of influence are relatively limited in comparison to their clan counterparts. Even the well-traveled Imperial heralds of the Miya family tend to stick to clearly defined travel routes, avoiding the Empire’s more remote districts for decades or even centuries at a time. In some cases this can lead to a misperception of the Imperials as dangerous or hostile individuals who desire only the obedience and submission of other samurai. While this is untrue in the main, there are a few individuals who prove it correct.

Scions of the Imperial families are utterly ruthless individuals who have mastered the manipulation of their own social standing to decimate their enemies. Standing against a scion in court is tantamount to ruination for all but the most skilled or highest-ranking samurai. These scions most often come from the Otomo family, which teaches their secret techniques in its most prestigious and elite dojo. Much more rarely, members of the Miya or Seppun families are permitted to train there as well. The scions are rarely liked, frequently sought as allies, and almost always feared for the power they can and will bring to bear on any who arouse their ire.


  • Rings/Traits: Awareness 5, Perception 4
  • Skills: Courtier 6, Etiquette 4
  • Other: Only members of the Imperial families may take ranks in this Advanced School; Status 4 or higher


Rank One: The Awe of the Throne
A true scion of the Imperial families knows how to use his social position to his advantage in nearly any situation. Any time you are called upon to make a Skill Roll, or to use your Glory or Honor rank, you may spend a Void Point to instead substitute your Status Rank.

Rank Two: The Strength of the Throne
As a champion of the Imperial line, you can ensure that those who oppose you suffer mightily for their temerity. After conversing with an opponent of lower Status Rank for a few minutes, you may force that opponent to make an opposed Courtier / Etiquette roll against you. If you defeat your opponent at the roll, you may reduce his Status by a number of points up to a maximum of twice your Insight Rank.

Rank Three: The Terror of the Throne
There is virtually no one who is immune to the power of an Imperial scion. While conversing with an opponent of equal or lower Status Rank, you may force a Contested Void Roll. If you are successful, you can permanently give the opponent any one Social Disadvantage. Alternatively, you can force the opponent to become ronin, but the technique can only be used in this manner once every six months. Forcing a samurai to become ronin in this way costs you 5 points each of Glory, Honor, and Status.

Tsudao’s Legion

Under the reign of the Emperor Toturi II, known to many by her youthful nickname of the Sword, the greatest force for enforcing the laws of the Empire is the Imperial Legions which serve the Throne directly. Reorganized by the Empress during the early years of her reign, these Legions operate under the direct command of the Emerald Champion, the Shogun, the Jade Champion, and most notably the Empress herself.
The Empress oversees the reorganization of these military forces personally, continuing her father’s tradition of military innovation throughout her reign. In particular, she institutes a rigid set of requirements that restricts membership in the Legions, with the most stringent requirements for the Legion she personally commands. She also devises a set of new Techniques which she teaches to the best warriors of that Legion, making it one of the most formidable military forces in the Empire’s history.


  • Rings/Traits: Agility 5, Strength 4
  • Skills: Battle 5, any one Weapon Skill at 5
  • Other: Honor Rank 6+, Status Rank 2+, any one Paragon Advantage


Rank 1: All Things Through Honor
The members of Tsudao’s Legion are taught there is nothing that cannot be accomplished if one’s Honor is true. When making a Skill Roll with a High or Bugei Skill in which you have at least 1 Rank, you may spend a Void Point to make that roll as though your Skill Rank is equal to your Honor Rank.

Rank 2: Wisdom of the Sensei
The dojo of Tsudao’s Legion teaches both tactical versatility and the joy of battle in the name of one’s lord. When rolling on the Mass Battle Table, you may add or subtract your Void Ring from the total of your roll, as desired. Additionally, you may select one Maneuver. Whenever you attempt that Maneuver, you gain one Free Raise toward success.

Rank Three: Empowered By Her Name
Those who devote themselves utterly to the cause of the Empress are nigh unstoppable in their fervor. If your Honor Rank exceeds your opponent’s Honor Rank, you may make a single additional melee attack (as a Free Action) once per Round against that opponent.

Alternate Paths

Imperial Influencer [Courtier]

The Imperial families exert control over the Empire in many ways both obvious and subtle. Although the Otomo family is best known for its ability to overawe and crush rivals through the sheer weight of Imperial favor, some of the family’s greatest masters follow a subtler path, shaping entire courts through things as deceptively simple as hosting dinner parties. The Influencer Technique is sometimes credited to Otomo Madoka, the author of The Subtlety of the Court, but whether it was devised by her or by some more ancient Otomo master courtier, its subtle but relentless power cannot be denied.

  • Technique Rank: 3
  • Replaces: Otomo Courtier 3
  • Requires: Awareness 4, Etiquette 5, Sincerity 5
  • Special Requirement: You must have at least Status 4.0 to be admitted to this elite dojo.
  • Technique: Follow My Lead – At any courtly event you are hosting (such as a moonviewing party, a musical performance, or a dinner party), you may roll Courtier (Manipulation) / Awareness at TN 30 to set the dominant tone of the event. This tone may be broadly positive or negative and can also have a specific flavor such as friendly, hostile, hedonistic, suspicious, conciliatory, competitive, or anything else which suits your needs. Anyone who makes a Social Skill Roll during this event while acting against the tone of the event must call two Raises to no effect – if they fail the roll due to those Raises, they are considered to have committed a Minor Breach of Etiquette. Conversely, anyone who makes a Social Skill Roll while acting in concert with the flavor of the event (including yourself) gains a +2k0 bonus to their rolls. These effects last until the end of the event.

If you are not the host of the event, you may still attempt to set the tone, but your Courtier (Manipulation) rolls is now a Contested Roll against the host. Also, whether you are the host or not, other guests at the event may opt to oppose your setting of tone by making Contested Rolls of Courtier (Manipulation) against you. For all such Contested Rolls, the character with the higher Status Rank gains a +1k0 bonus for every such Rank of Status. If you lose the Contested Roll, you are unable to set the tone for this event. However, if lower Status characters fail such a Contested Roll against you, they have committed a Minor Breach of Etiquette. Likewise, if you fail to overcome the host with this Technique, you have committed a Minor Breach of Etiquette.

Imperial Observer [Courtier]

Observers are assigned by the Imperial Bureaucracy to oversee the honorable conduct of war. It is an Observer’s duty to monitor the strategies of each side, reporting both honorable and shameful activity back to the Imperial Court. (The Great Clans assign their own battlefield observers, of course, but only those with Imperial authority are empowered to deliver unquestioned reports to the Throne.) The Technique of the Observers is an Imperial secret and is taught in the Ruby Dojo (best known for training the Emerald Magistrates).

  • Technique Rank: 4
  • Replaces: Otomo Courtier 4, Miya Courtier 4. Optionally, any Courtier 4 (see Special Note below)
  • Requirements: Battle 4 or Lore: War 4, Sincerity 4, Status Rank 3.0 or higher.
  • Technique: Pierce the Fog of War – The Imperial Observer is trusted to deliver news of the battlefield to the Imperial Court. When reporting on the events or conduct of a war, you are considered to have the Sacrosanct Advantage. In your report you may choose to praise or damn a commander on either side. This is a Sincerity / Awareness Roll at a TN of 5 x the Glory Rank of the commander. With a success, you may increase or decrease that commander’s Glory by 1 Rank. By calling Raises on this roll, you may instead inflict or remove Infamy on the commander, at the rate of a half-Rank plus an additional half-Rank per Raise. No individual may be affected by this Technique more than once for each battle you report.

Special Note: At the GM’s option, this Path may be made available to courtiers from the clans, provided they gain the sponsorship of the Imperial families.

Otomo Bureaucrat

The methods of the Imperial bureaucracy began in the time of Hantei Genji, but came to full flower in the years after the Reign of the Gozuku, when the Otomo family was tasked with obstructing and dividing the Great Clans, ensuring they would never again be able to subordinate the Emperor. Otomo bureaucrats specialize in delay, obfuscation, and subtle but persistent obstruction, using such indirect and seemingly passive methods to block and foil the goals of the Great Clans.

  • Replaces: Otomo Courtier 3
  • Requirements: Etiquette (Bureaucracy) 5
  • Technique: Imperial Scrutiny – Where a normal Otomo relies on the awesome power of Imperial authority to overawe his rivals, a Bureaucrat relies on the intricate and obscure complexities of the Imperial government to stymie and obstruct his opponents. Any time another samurai is trying to accomplish something in the courts (building an alliance, negotiating a treaty, making a trade deal, requesting a favor from the Throne, etc), you may employ the intricacies of the Imperial bureaucracy to delay him. This may take up to several hours to carry out, and is represented mechanically by a Contested Roll of Etiquette (Bureaucracy) / Willpower; if you spend a Void Point on this roll, you gain +2k2 instead of the usual +1k1. If you win the Contested Roll, the samurai cannot make any progress toward his goal for the next two weeks, no matter what he does.

The Rising Sun [Bushi]

After the Unicorn Clan’s return, the Seppun family began aggressively training cavalry forces of its own. Only the most elite members of the already legendary Imperial military are allowed to seek admission to the unit known as the Rising Sun. These men and women receive endless training from the finest mounted combatants to be found in the rest of the Empire – making them masters of tactics the Great Clans do not share with one another. While the Unicorn are the undisputed masters of cavalry warfare, even they hold the Rising Sun legion in extremely high regard.

  • Technique Rank: 5
  • Replaces: Seppun Guardsman 5 (with the GM’s permission, any bushi Basic School 5 if the character is enrolled in the Imperial Legions)
  • Requirements: Strength 4, Horsemanship 5, Spears 5
  • Note: Joining this Path adds a steed (Rokugani pony or Unicorn riding horse, GM’s choice) to your outfit if you do not already possess one.
  • Technique: The Storm of Heaven’s Wrath – The bushi of the Rising Sun are trained in the true mastery of cavalry tactics and call on their devotion to their Imperial duty to make them a terrifying force on the battlefield. While you are mounted and in the Attack Stance, you may add your Honor Rank to your Armor TN and may spend a Void Point to add half your Honor Rank (rounded up) in kept dice to your attack roll.

Satoshi’s Legacy [Bushi] [SE]

Miya Satoshi died in disgrace, but his effort to militarize the Miya family left a legacy of trained warriors who wished to continue serving their family and to cleanse the dishonor which Satoshi had brought on himself. Their warrior tradition is carried on by the Satoshi vassal family. Of course, GM’s may also use this Technique to represent the legacy of any Miya leader who tried to militarize his family.

  • Replaces: Miya Herald 4
  • Requirements: Kenjutsu 5
  • Technique: Fire and Ice – The Satoshi vassal family teaches an aggressive fighting style derived from their founder’s training with the Matsu family. You may make attacks as Simple Actions when you are in the Full Attack stance.

Seppun Astrologers [Shugenja]

Astrology is very important to all of the Imperial families, with the Otomo employing it in court while the Seppun study it for its spiritual and divinatory purposes. The Seppun Astrologers watch the night skies constantly, seeking portents to better protect the Emperor and the Empire. Like the Kawaru Sages, the Seppun supplement their astrological knowledge whenever possible with divination magic (although they would be greatly insulted to be compared to the practitioners of kawaru).

  • Technique Rank: 4
  • Replaces: Seppun Shugenja 4
  • Requirements: Divination (Astrology) 4, Lore : Omens 5
  • Technique: Wisdom of the Heavens – The sage-priests of the Seppun Astrologers are capable of finding great wisdom in the alignments of the Celestial Heavens, and their recognition of previously unnoticed patterns can bring joy – or doom – to the mortal world. Once per month, you may clarify a person’s place in the great tapestry of fate and thereby confer one Spiritual Advantage or Spiritual Disadvantage on that person. (This is a ritual effect and cannot be performed during a skirmish.) This effect lasts for one month or until you use this Technique on a different person, whichever comes first. If you are attempting to confer a Disadvantage, you must also succeed at a Contested Void Roll against the target.

Seppun Hidden Guard [Shugenja] [SE]

Although all Seppun shugenja are tasked to help protect the Emperor and the Imperial City against magical and supernatural threats, but the elite order of the Hidden Guard receives special training for this purpose. The Hidden Guard are in charge of the direct magical and spiritual protection of the Emperor, his family, and the Imperial Palace. Many of them spend their entire lives doing nothing but endlessly watching, reinforcing, and maintaining the wards and other magical protections over their charges.

  • Replaces: Seppun Shugenja 3
  • Requirements: Must be chosen for service in the Hidden Guard
  • Technique: Harmony in All – The Hidden Guard are tasked with warding and protecting the Emperor, the Imperial family, and their possessions and holdings. You gain a Free Raise with all spells that have the Wards or Defense properties.