Lion Clan Schools

Basic Schools

Akodo Bushi [CR]

Over the centuries, the primary bushi Schools of many Clans have developed specialties that have narrowed their focus. The Akodo consider such things a mistake, and have carefully avoided it. The Akodo School focus on precision in the art of kenjutsu, the basic swordsmanship style of the Empire. The Akodo believe that if you strike your target exactly as you intend every time, there is no need for anything more complicated as part of your studies. Some regard this as simplistic, but no one argues with Akodo capabilities in battle. The study of battle itself is also a strong component of every Akodo’s training, and there are virtually no Akodo-trained samurai who do not possess a rudimentary knowledge of tactics and strategy.

The Akodo Techniques focus on precision and success, transforming marginal successes into greater ones and, at higher levels, changing failure to success. To some extent the School also negates bonuses an opponent might possess, but generally speaking the Techniques exist only to ensure success on the part of the Akodo-trained samurai.

  • Benefit: +1 Perception
  • Skills: Battle (Mass Combat), Defense, Kenjutsu, Kyujutsu, Lore: History, Sincerity, any one Bugei or High Skill
  • Honor: 6.5
  • Outfit: Light Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, any 1 weapon, Traveling Pack, 5 koku


Rank 1: The Way of the Lion
Bushi of the Akodo School hone their fury until it is as precise as a blade. You may either ignore the portion of an opponent’s Armor TN derived from Armor, or gain a Free Raise when attacking. (You do not ignore Reduction from the Armor when choosing the first option.) Also, you gain a bonus of +1k0 to the total of all attack rolls on your first melee attack against an opponent in a skirmish, or against any opponent who has declared a Raise on an attack against you since your last turn. You add only a total of 1k0 for an enemy who Raises against you, no matter how many times they actually Raised.

Rank 2: Strength of Purity
Akodo-trained warriors are known for their dedication to bushido, and take a fierce satisfaction in defeating dishonorable foes. During a skirmish you may add your Honor Rank to the total of any single roll during your Turn. You may not increase damage rolls in this fashion, nor can you do this while assuming the Center Stance.

Rank 3: Strength of My Ancestors
The Akodo bushi attacks twice, once for himself and once for his ancestor. You may make attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action while using weapons with the Samurai keyword.

Rank 4: Triumph Before Battle
No foe is beyond the reach of the devoted Lion warrior. Once per skirmish, you may designate an opponent during the Reactions Stage. You may ignore any Armor TN bonuses your target receives from his Stance during the next Round.

Rank 5: Akodo’s Final Lesson
Mastery of the Akodo Bushi School imparts an unshakable faith in victory. When you make Raises on any Bugei Skill Roll, if you meet or exceed the original TN (before Raises) but fail to meet the Raised TN, you still succeed without the benefits of Raises.

Ikoma Bard [Courtier] [CR]

If one examines the greatest storytellers of every generation across the history of Rokugan, the pattern that emerges will indicate clearly that the Ikoma dominate this aspect of the Empire’s Social circles. Unlike most courtiers who focus on manipulation and shades of deception, the Ikoma bards or omoidasu strive to live by example, citing historical precedents and mythical tales of heroes in order to demonstrate the desired outcome of whatever discussion they are involved in. While this might seem a curious tactic, there are many courtiers in other Clans who have difficulty conducting themselves against the Ikoma when the Ikoma can demonstratively prove that the individual’s ancestors might well have disapproved of a course of action. In a society so steeped in history and tradition, argument via parable is a surprisingly effective technique.

The Ikoma Techniques allow a courtier to inspire others as well as to resist manipulation by his opponents. Furthermore, by comparing others to historical figures, the Ikoma can gain Glory not only for himself but by others far easier than most.

  • Benefit: +1 Intelligence
  • Skills: Courtier, Etiquette, Lore: History (Lion Clan), Perform: Storytelling, Sincerity (Honesty), any one High Skills, any one Bugei Skill.
  • Honor: 6.5
  • Outfit: Traditional Clothing, Wakizashi, Knife, Calligraphy Set, Traveling Pack, 5 koku


Rank 1: The Herald of Glory
The Ikoma are historians and storytellers, tasked with recording the glorious deeds of others for posterity, ensuring that courageous and honorable accomplishments are never forgotten. You gain the Precise Memory Advantage for no cost in Experience Points (if you already have Precise Memory, you are refunded that many Experience Points). You may use the Perform: Storytelling skill to engage in public bragging on behalf of another person. If you can cite heroic or noble actions by that person and successfully roll Perform: Storytelling / Awareness at TN 20, that person will gain a number of points of Glory equal to your School Rank. This may be done a number of times per person per month equal to your School Rank.

Rank 2: The Heart of the Lion
The Ikoma are tasked with conveying the emotions which the rest of the Clan keeps bottled away in stoic rectitude. You do not lose Honor or Glory for displaying emotion in public, so long as you do so on behalf of another Lion or for an honorable cause greater than yourself (such as your clan, the Empire, or the Code of Bushido). At the same time, your understanding of both honor and emotion strengthens your own soul against temptation. Anyone attempting to sway your emotions through the use of the Intimidation or Temptation skills must add +5 to their TN for each of your School Ranks.

Rank 3: The Voice of the Ancestors
The Ikoma act as Battle-Criers for the Lion, inspiring their soldiers on the battlefield with tales of the heroic deeds of their ancestors. Prior to a battle or skirmish, you may inspire your allies by speaking for a few minutes and rolling Perform: Oratory / Awareness at a TN equal to 15 + 5 per person you are inspiring. Targets who are not members of the Lion Clan increase the TN by 5 for each such person. With a successful roll, each person you inspired may add their Honor Rank to the total of any one Skill Roll during that battle or skirmish. (If this benefit is not used by the end of the battle, it is lost.)

Rank 4: The Strength of Tradition
The Ikoma’s steadfast encouragement call on the examples of noble ancestors to infuse their allies with a strength they did not know they had. A number of times per session equal to your School Rank, as a Simple Action, you may verbally encourage an ally with a tale of great deeds from the past, rolling Perform: Storytelling / Awareness at TN 25. With a success, the next time during the same day that the chosen ally fails a roll, he may re-roll it, adding your Honor Rank in unkept dice to his roll. However, if he fails this second roll, you lose 2 points of Honor.

Rank 5: Every Lion is Your Brother
The Ikoma’s understanding of Bushido, history, emotion, and human nature empowers them in court, filling their arguments with the ringing power of generations of noble Lion, and calling on the precedents of a thousand years and more to support their cause. Five times per session, when you are making a Contested Social Roll against an opponent, you may cite historical precedent to support your views and roll additional unkept dice equal to your Rank in Perform: Storytelling. (In situations where citing history seems inappropriate or strange, the GM has the final say on whether this Technique may be used.)

Ikoma Lion’s Shadow [Bushi] [EE]

Although many modern Ikoma no longer recall it, or have chosen to forget, the first Ikoma was not a particularly honorable man. He served his lord Akodo with great distinction and loyalty, but the means by which he executed his duties are frequently omitted from any historical record. Most Ikoma do not consider this an issue, but there are some among them who understand this omission is a means of protecting the family’s honor, as the first Ikoma was a ruthless, pragmatic individual who would gleefully embrace dishonorable tactics as a necessary means of completing his duties.

The Ikoma Lion’s Shadow are a small and extremely secretive group within the Ikoma family who remember exactly who and what Ikoma was, and they celebrate his memory. They consider themselves extremely practical individuals who exist as a sort of foil to the dire machinations exercised by the Scorpion and other unsavory individuals. Although they frequently are called upon to sacrifice their honor for the sake of their clan, they do so willingly and without regret, and almost always with the greater Lion Clan remaining completely ignorant of their activities.

  • Benefit: +1 Awareness
  • Skills: Courtier, Etiquette, Kenjutsu, Investigation (Notice), Sincerity, Stealth, any 1 High or Low Skill
  • Honor: 3.5
  • Outfit: Traditional Clothing, Daisho, any 1 weapon, Calligraphy Set, Traveling Pack, 5 Koku


Rank 1: No Boundaries
Those who walk the path of Ikoma choose a life of self-sacrifice and questionable actions in order to serve the clan as their founder did. You do not lose Honor for using Low Skills if they are used directly for the goals or glory of the Lion Clan (subject to GM judgement). As a Free Action you may target a number of opponents equal to your School Rank; you gain a bonus of +1k0 to the total of all attack rolls and Contested Rolls made against these opponents. This bonus may be activated a number of times per day equal to your School Rank, and lasts until the end of the day.

Rank 2: The Lion Cannot Fail
The first true lesson of the great Ikoma is that surrender is never an option, and failure can be overcome regardless of circumstances. You gain a bonus of +1k0 to all Skill Rolls using School Skills.

Rank 3: The Spirit of Ikoma
Although many among the Lion remember him differently, the followers of the Lion’s Shadow know that Ikoma was a warrior who cared for victory first, and the means of attaining that victory second. Once per Round, you may lose three points of Honor as a Free Action to add +2k1 to your attack, damage, and Contested Social Skill Rolls until the end of the Round.

Rank 4: The Quiet Lion’s Claws
Although their principle battleground is that of the court, those who bear the name Lion’s Shadow are sons of Ikoma first and foremost, and carry the ferocity of their ancestor within their veins. You may make melee weapon attacks as Simple Action instead of a Complex Action.

Rank 5: Ferocious Determination
The wrath of a disciple of Ikoma is terrible to behold. You may spend a Void Point to take a Free Action to make a Contested Roll of your Courtier / Awareness versus against an opponent’s Etiquette (Courtesy) / Awareness. If you win the roll, you have shaken his resolve by reminding him of his past failings. The opponent subtracts a penalty equal to your Awareness plus the opponent’s own Honor Rank from the total of his attack and Contested Social Skill Rolls against you for a number of hours equal to your School Rank. This technique does not work against those who possess no Honor Rank (animals, oni, etc).

Kitsu Shugenja [CR]

The ancient rituals of the Kitsu School have remained virtually unchanged since the family’s creation, and the notion of putting aside the relics of the past has never even occurred to the family. Because of the Kitsu family’s unique origins, they have always possessed insights into the relationship between the mortal world and the realms beyond. Their ability to perceive the bonds that tie the living to their ancestors have gradually expanded to the point that they area also able to sense and even manipulate the bonds that an individual might possess to other realms.

The Kitsu possess a unique ability to interfere with the link another has to other realms, represented by their Technique that allows the disruption of certain kids of Advantages. Their secondary focus is on large-scale magic that can be employed in battle, which is the lifeblood of every Lion samurai, and can allow them to influence the outcome of skirmishes through use of powerful spells.

  • Benefit: +1 Perception
  • Skills: Battle, Calligraphy (Cipher), Etiquette, Lore: History, Lore: Theology, Spellcraft, any one High or Bugei Skill
  • Honor: 6.5
  • Outfit: Robes, Wakizashi, Knife, Scroll Satchel, Traveling Pack, 5 koku
  • Affinity / Deficiency: Water / Fire
  • Spells: Sense, Commune, Summon, 3 Water, 2 Air, and 1 Earth
  • Technique: Eyes of the Ancestors – The Kitsu are descended from mystical creatures, and as such are able to reach across the veil between worlds and speak with their ancestors. You may make a Spell Casting Roll (as though casting a Water Spell) against a target’s Willpower x 5. If successful, you learn all Spiritual Advantages or Disadvantages that individual possesses. By spending a Void Point, you may negate any one Spiritual Advantage an opponent possesses for a number of minutes equal to your School Rank. You also gain a Free Raise on any spell with the Battle keyword.

Lion Elite Spearmen [Bushi] [NP]

At the Dawn of the Empire, the spear was the most common melee weapon among the tribes who lived in what became Rokugan. The tribal warriors who followed Akodo and his chief lieutenant Matsu were particularly skilled in the ways of the spear, both as a hand-to-hand weapon and a short-range missile, and these spearmen formed the backbone of the Lion armies during the First War. In the era of peace that followed under Hantei Genji, the Lion as a whole shifted more toward the way of the sword, which all of Rokugan’s leading figures (including Akodo and Matsu themselves) considered to be the first and most honorable weapon of the samurai. However, within the ranks of the Matsu family there were many traditionalists who continued to uphold the spear-fighting traditions of their ancestors. Matsu Shujo, one of Lady Matsu’s grandsons, took it upon himself to organize their training and founded their first dojo, where he eventually developed their first Techniques.

In modern times, the Lion Clan’s spearman units are relatively few in number and are considered by the other Great Clans to be something of a holdover from a simpler era (as discussed in the L5R 4th Edition supplement The Book of Air, page 35). Nonetheless, they maintain their dojo and continue to serve as useful components in the overall structure of the Lion armies. Although the school is still customarily referred to as the Lion Elite Spearmen, it is maintained by the Matsu family and they form the bulk of its students.

  • Benefit: +1 Reflexes
  • Honor: 5.5
  • Skills: Battle, Defense, Kenjutsu, Lore: History, Polearms, Spears (Magari-Yari), any one Bugei or High Skill
  • Outfit: Normal clothing, daisho, bundle of ten nage-yari, spear (magari-yari), any one other spear or polearm, light or ashigaru armor, traveling pack, 5 koku


Rank 1: The Way of Magari-Yaritjutsu
The basic lesson of the Elite Spearman School is to rely on one’s spears for both offense and defense, eschewing heavy armor in favor of the more flexible options provided by a longer weapon. You gain a +1k0 bonus to Skill rolls with Spears and Polearms. When wielding a spear or polearm in the Center, Defense, or Full Defense stance, your skillful deflection of blows awards you Reduction equal to half of your Rank in the Skill.

Rank 2: Strike Like The Lion
The trained Elite Spearman infuses his honor and self discipline into every blow he delivers. When wielding a spear or polearm (in melee or with ranged attacks), you may ignore an amount of enemy Reduction equal to half of your current Honor Rank (rounded up).

Rank 3: Strike Through the Eagle
The Elite Spearmen are trained to advance on the foe while hurling barrages of nage-yari to disrupt their defenses and open holes in their lines. You may ready/draw a nageyari as a Free Action any number of times per Round, and your ranged (hand-hurled) attacks with nage-yari are considered Simple Actions.

Rank 4: Strike Like the Wind
At this rank, the Elite Spearman learns to attack faster than a snake’s flickering tongue. You may make melee attacks as a Simple Action when wielding a spear or a polearm.

Rank 5: Strike With the Soul
The final lesson of the Elite Spearman School is to fight in complete harmony with one’s spear, striking more swiftly than thought, bringing down the foe with a relentless barrage of attacks. When fighting in melee with a spear or polearm, you may perform the Extra Attack Maneuver for only three Raises. When hurling spears as missile weapons, you may make one attack as a Free Action.

Matsu Beastmaster [Bushi]

The Beastmaster organization is completely unique in its approach to war and to animals. Many other clans train animals for combat, but the Matsu Beastmasters take a personal approach to each beast. The lion is a savage creature that fights as part of a group called a pride. The Beastmaster adopts lion warcats into his own pride, bonding emotionally and spiritually to each warcat that charges into battle beside him. The Beastmaster treats his warcats as equals, fostering a sense of family and belonging.

The communication between Beastmaster and warcat borders on the mystical. Once a warcat has trained with her Beastmaster, she can sense what he wants without any words or gestures. However, this intense empathy between human and predatory animal can sometimes hinder the Beastmaster’s social abilities among humans. Most Beastmasters tend to stay amongst their own kind rather than share the company of “normal” samurai. Some Lion generals have raised concerns the Beastmasters retort that they are still Matsu above all. Only the Matsu, they say, are strong and proud enough to maintain their hold on Bushido and human traditions under such pressures.

  • Benefit: +1 Agility
  • Skills: Animal Handling 2, Battle, Defense, Iaijutsu, Kenjutsu, any 1 Bugei Skill
  • Honor: 5.5
  • Outfit: Light Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, any 1 weapon, Traveling Pack, 4 koku


Rank 1: One with the Pride
You have trained in the highly secretive dojo of the Matsu Beastmasters and have forged a bond with one of the legendary Lion warcats. The lion will accompany you wherever you go and follow basic commands without question. No lion will ever attack you without being compelled to do so in some way. You may direct one of your warcats to Attack as a Complex Action. Any one warcat who is not attacking will use the Guard Action to protect you.

Rank 2: Heart of the Beast
Your training with the warcats has increased your physical abilities as well as your mental bond with your lions. An additional lion joins your pride. You and your companion lions gain the creature trait of Swift 2, and all of your lions gain an additional Wound Rank that changes the end of the progression from a normal lion’s to: 36: +15, 60: Dead.

Rank 3: The Ferocity Within
You strike as fiercely as the lions you have trained. When wielding a katana, wakizashi, magari-yari, nage-yari, or any knife, or when fighting unarmed, you may make melee attacks as a Simple Action. Additionally, you may direct one of your warcats to Attack as a Simple Action.

Rank 4: All as One
The fury of the beastmaster and his pride is whispered legend among your clan’s enemies, and for good reason. Members of your pride may make two claw attacks per Round instead of the normal one. You and all members of your pride gain a bonus of +2k1 on all damage rolls made when fighting alongside one another. Finally, when you direct a warcat to Attack (a Complex Action for lions), the warcat may also make a Simple Move Action during the same Round.

Rank 5: With the Soul of a Lion
United by your leadership and companionship, your pride has become fearsome indeed. An additional lion joins your pride. All of your warcats gain +10 Armor TN, +2 Reduction, and +2 Fear.

Matsu Berserker [Bushi] [CR]

The great majority of the vast legions of Matsu samurai study at the family’s home School, if for no other reason than that most Matsu believe other fighting styles are too conservative and reserved. A true Matsu has no fear of death, and as such the Techniques imparted by their sensei embrace absolute, unwavering commitment to battle. Although this leaves the Matsu vulnerable to an opponent’s attacks, the philosophy behind the Techniques is that an opponent who has been defeated has no opportunity to retaliate. It is for this reason that the legions of the Matsu family are so feared on the battlefield: how can one defeat an enemy who does not care if his lives or dies, so long as you are defeated first?

The Matsu Techniques focus heavily upon the Full Attack Stance, which makes them heavy-hitting opponents who have to to position themselves carefully in order to prevent an opponent from exploiting their lower Armor TN. As a secondary focus, the Matsu can generate Fear effects that can further destabilize opponents and make them easier targets for himself and allies.

  • Benefit: +1 Strength
  • Skills: Battle, Jiujustu, Kenjutsu (Katana), Kyujutsu, Lore: History, any two Bugei Skills
  • Honor: 6.5
  • Outfit: Light or Heavy Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, Heavy Weapon or Polearm, Traveling Pack, 5 koku


Rank 1: The Lion’s Roar
Warriors of the Matsu School respect their Akodo cousins’ leadership skills, but they know that a furious attack often simply overwhelms an enemy. You add your Honor Rank to all damage rolls. Whenever you assume the Full Attack Stance, you may move an additional 5 feet per Turn in addition to the bonus your receive from the Stance. (This does not allow you to move farther than your maximum move per Turn.)

Rank 2: Matsu’s Fury
The target of a Matsu’s fury has little hope of victory. When you assume the Full Attack Stance, choose an opponent within 30′. If you successfully hit him this Turn, the target is frozen with fear and cannot take Move Actions to move from his current position. During the Reactions Stage, an affected opponent may attempt a Willpower roll against a TN equal to the amount of damage dealt from your latest attack to negate the effects of this Technique (the opponent does not suffer penalties from his Wound Rank for this roll). If he fails, the effects of this Technique end during the next Reactions Stage (the second after he was struck).
Enemies who are immune to Fear cannot be affected by this Technique.

Rank 3: The Lion’s Charge
When a Lion strikes, he grants the gift of final rest to all who stand against him. You may make melee attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action.

Rank 4: Matsu’s Courage
Death means nothing in the face of the loss of honor, and no Matsu will yield while he yet draws breath. You ignore TN penalties from Wounded Levels equal to your Honor Rank, or twice your Honor Rank while in the Full Attack Stance.

Rank 5: The Lion’s Victory
The death of an opponent is the only measure of victory for a Matsu. Once per encounter after you roll damage for an attack, you may spend a Void Point as a Free Action to activate this Technique. You rend the opponent, ripping open his wounds and dealing grievous injury to him. All of the dice you choose to keep explode, re-rolling and adding the result to your damage total.

Advanced Schools

Akodo Tactical Master [Bushi]

“An army led by an Akodo general has never lost a battle.”

So it is often said in the courts across the Emerald Empire and even in the battle tents of the Lion’s fiercest enemies. While the statement is not completely factual, the sentiment behind it is undeniable. The Akodo Tactical Masters are the greatest strategists of Rokugan, second to no others. Only a truly unique commander with a powerful destiny can challenge the Tactical Master in his own realm and hope to compete.

The Akodo Tactical Master studies every notable battle in Rokugani history. He examines how the Lion have handled every situation – and just as importantly, how the enemy attempted to find weakness in the Lion Clan’s traditional plans. He learns to adapt, react, and change his battle plans to meet every eventuality. Even knowledge from outside Rokugan’s borders is not wholly anathema to him, since he can use such intelligence to plan against future incursions from the hateful foreigner.


  • Rings/Traits: Water 4, Intelligence 5
  • Skills: Battle (Mass Combat) 5, Games: Shogi 4 or Games: Go 4


Rank 1: The Eyes of the General
The Akodo Tactical Master spends his entire life studying the teachings of Lion generals from centuries past. He benefits from the wisdom of all of his ancestors and hones himself into the perfect general. You may reroll any one of your dice in each Battle Turn of Mass Combat. You may also reroll any one of your dice during an attack roll in which you called at least one Raise.

Rank 2: Malleable as the Sea
The Tactical master can navigate the sudden changes in the battlefield, adapting and reacting so his army can benefit. You may spend a Void Point to choose any one Heroic Opportunity from the corebook to perform during a Mass Battle Turn. (This choice is subject to GM approval, since not all options will be suitable for the situation and the characters involved.)

Rank 3: The Soul of the Army
The Tactical Master knows he is responsible for his army, and directs its strength where it may do the most damage. You may spend a Void Point to gain a +5k2 bonus on any Battle Skill Roll (rather than the usual +1k1), or to gain a +2k2 bonus to any Bugei Skill Roll (rather than the usual +1k1).

Kitsu Sodan-Senzo [Shugenja] [IH]

All members of the Lion Clan’s Kitsu family have some degree of ancestral connection to the original five kitsu who became human, although in most cases the link is only via marriage. Still, the connection is sufficient that the average practicing Kitsu shugenja has the ability to perceive and influence connections mortals possess to the ancestral realms. A small handful of the Kitsu, however, possess a true blood lineage to their inhuman kitsu founders, and in these individuals much more significant powers can manifest.

The true-blooded Kitsu are known as sodan-senzo, and the family’s sensei teach them secret techniques that evoke their hidden powers. They can not only sense ancestral connections but can actually project their souls into the spirit realms in order to interact with the souls of the dead. The Kitsu regard this as the most sacred of tasks and never undertake such a thing lightly. Some are also able to manifest a pale shadow of the original kitsu’s physical abilities as well, something that has proven a fatal surprise for many of the Lion’s enemies over the centuries.


  • Rings/Traits: Water 4, Awareness 3
  • Skills: Lore: Spirit Realms 4, Meditation 5
  • Other: Must be a true blooded Kitsu with the ability to caster Water spells of Mastery Level 4 or higher


Rank 1: Senses of the Kitsu
The first gift of a true son of the kitsu is the ability to detect portals between the realms. Any time a spirit portal exists within a radius equal to your School Rank x 10 miles, the GM may opt to secretly make a Spellcraft / Perception (TN 25) roll to determine if you detect it. If the portal is within a number of miles equal to your School Rank or less, you pass this test automatically. Your previous School Rank increases by one for the purposes of casting spells.

Rank 2: Hand of the Kitsu
Although peaceful, the kitsu were powerful warriors, and their descendants carry that potential within them. Your unarmed damage increases by an additional +0k1, representing the spiritual talons of the kitsu. You may make a Meditation Skill Roll (TN 30) to project your soul into the realms of Meido or Yomi, where you may interact with ancestral spirits (using Social Skill Rolls as normal if required).

Rank 3: Soul of the Kitsu
For the true kitsu there are no boundaries. When you project your soul into the spirit realms (as described above in the Rank 2 Technique) you may take another person with you if they also succeed at the Meditation Skill Roll. This passenger may see and hear everything you experience, but may not speak. Ancestral spirits with whom you interact can sense this passenger. Additionally, you gain one additional rank in the previous School for the purpose of casting spells.

The Lion’s Pride [Bushi] [CR]

The Lion’s Pride is one of the most respected military units in the empire, feared for its prowess on the battlefield and its long list of successes. Only female Matsu samurai-ko can join the Lion’s Pride to uphold their high standards. They live, train, and fight together as a unit at all times. On the battlefield, the Lion’s Pride tries to seek out the enemy generals and kill them, destroying the enemy’s battlefield efficiency.


  • Rings/Traits: Agility 5, Strength 5
  • Skills: Battle 5, 4 Weapon Skills at Rank 3
  • Other: Honor Rank 6, Additionally, you must be a female from the Matsu Family.


Rank 1: The Fury of Matsu
The Lion’s Pride bushi’s attacks leave no room for counterattack, serving as the perfect defense. You may add +10 to your Armor TN while in the Full Attack Stance.

Rank 2: Paragon of Honor
The Lion’s Pride warrior knows that her devotion to her personal honor is its own reward. Opponents with lower Honor Rank within 30′ may not reroll 10’s. Opponents may ignore this effect for the encounter by spending 2 Void Points during the Reactions Stage of any Combat Round.

Rank 3: Matsu’s Technique
Even in the middle of her attacks, the Lion’s Pride bushi is ready to counter any feeble attempts to strike her. When an opponent declares a melee attack against you, if you have not taken your Turn this Round, you may immediately spend a Void Point to take a Simple Action to make an attack against that Opponent. This attack resolves before your opponent’s attack. If you use this Technique, you may only perform one Simple Action during your Turn this Round. (You may take Free Actions as normal.) You may use this Technique while in the Full Attack Stance

Alternative Paths

Akodo Kensai [Bushi]

The samurai of the Lion Clan value tradition above all else, and many Lion warriors follow directly in the footsteps of their ancestors. While other weapons may be better suited for the battlefield, the katana remains the icon of samurai culture. The Akodo Kensai focuses exclusively on this weapon until he can overcome its deficiencies. He pours thousands of hours of practice into kata, kenjutsu, and iaijutsu until he has a profound connection with the weapon. When he is ready, the Kensai can move and attack as if the katana were a very part of his body. He strikes with almost supernatural ease, with a grace and beauty that enthralls any who watch him.

  • Replaces: Any Lion Bushi 4
  • Requirements: Iaijutsu 4, Kenjutsu 5, Prodigy Advantage
  • Other: You may ignore the Prodigy Advantage requirement, but if so you must increase all other requirements by 1.
  • Technique: The Heart of the Sword – The Akodo Kensai navigates the battlefield with his katana in his hands. He remains untouched by his enemies around him, for he can direct the flow of combat with his own attacks. While using a sword and in the Attack Stance, you may increase your Armor TN by your Honor Rank against the first melee attack of each Combat Round. Additionally, once per skirmish you may activate a Kata as a Free Action.

Akodo Siege Strategist [Bushi]

Founded by Akodo Keiichi, the Akodo Siege Strategists are trained in the art of defeating enemy castles as quickly and efficiently as possible. While they do not possess the sheer flexibility or depth of knowledge of the Kaiu Engineers, the Siege Strategist are nonetheless quite capable in their specific role. The Lion Clan’s rapid capture of many enemy castles over the centuries, such as Shiro no Yogin and Kenson Gakka, is largely due to the skillful tactics of the Siege Strategist.

  • Replaces: Akodo Bushi 4 or Akodo Tactical Master 2
  • Requirements: Battle (Mass Battle) 6, Engineering (Seige) 4
  • Technique: Broken by Tactics – The Akodo family’s mastery of warfare does extend to sieges, and while their expertise in that domain is not so great as the Kaiu, they have attack castles over the centuries to make it a specific topic of study at the Akodo War College. When you are on the attacking side in a siege, your expertise makes it easier for your side to overcome the castle’s defenses. When rolling on the Mass Battle Table under those circumstances, you always receive a Heroic Opportunity, regardless of the normal result. Any structures on the opposing side suffer a 50% penalty to their Reduction, due to your superior understanding of their weaknesses (This penalty is applied after any defending bonus to their Reduction).

Bishamon’s Chosen [Shugenja] [CR]

The Lion Clan is home to the greatest armies and generals of the Empire. The martial tradition is the center of every Lion samurai, be he a priest or a warrior. The Kitsu family largely favors the traditional paths of priesthood, but the Kitsu shugenja do not shirk their duties to the clan. Bishamon’s Chosen learn to wield weapons and march into battle beside their bushi brethren. Their fervor and dedication to the Celestial Order remains pure, however, whether in the sanctity of the temple or in the chaos of the battlefield.

  • Replaces: Kitsu Shugenja 3
  • Requirements: Battle 3
  • Technique: Scion of Strength – The Fortune of Strength shows obvious favor to those who follow his teachings without question or reservation. You may expend a spell slot as a Free Action to gain a bonus of +1k0 to any Strength-based roll, including the damage roll of a melee weapon. You may also expend a spell slot in this manner to gain a bonus of +1k0 to the Spell Casting roll made for any spell with the Battle descriptor.

Deathseeker [Bushi] [CR]

A Lion bushi holds bushido and his ancestors above all else. When he shames his ancestors by dishonoring his name, he has lost the center of his soul. He must cleanse the dishonor, typically by committing seppuku. However, the Lion also offer another choice: fighting with the Deathseekers, a unity of lightly armored warriors who seek death at the front lines of battle. They charge in without abandon and cut down their foes with no hesitation. Most Deathseekers do not survive even one year of duty.

  • Replaces: Any Lion Bushi School 1
  • Requirements: Honor Rank 5, Dishonored Disadvantage
  • Technique: Honor of the Lion – Deathseekers redeem their dishonored names by falling in the thick of battle. You gain the Benefit, Skills, Honor, and Outfit of a Rank 1 Lion bushi (any Lion bushi school). You may add your Honor Rank to the total of one damage roll during your Turn. If you do so, your Armor TN is reduced by 5 until the Reactions Stage of the following Combat Round. Additionally, you add +1k0 to attack rolls while in the Full attack Stance.

De Bellis Legionnaire [Bushi]

A generation ago the Lion Clan came into possession of a most curious gaijin artifact, one of those things called a “book.” But this was not simply any book, but rather a copy of De Bellis Yoditorum: an ancient treatise on the many tactics and strategies employed by the Yodotai, a vast and ruthless culture of warriors that lies far north and west of Rokugan. After significant difficulty, the Lion scholars were able to translate the text into the Rokugani language, and examination of its contents began in earnest.
Although the Lion have considerable appreciation for the information in the book, its existence has only enhanced their disgust toward cultures other than their own. Nevertheless, they have carefully studied everything within, training special units of their soldiers to employ and to counter the gaijin tactics on the field of battle. Some among the Lion believe their understanding of the book has placed them in a unique position to defeat the Yodotai, should those conquerors ever trouble the Empire. However, scholars who are more familiar with the text are deeply troubled by references that imply it is but one of a larger series of works.

  • Technique Rank: 4
  • Replaces: Akodo Bushi 4, Matsu Bushi 4
  • Requirements: Battle 3, Lore: Gaijin (Yodotai) 1
  • Technique: I Stand with My Brothers – Students of Yodotai tactics have honed their ability to fight as a unit to an even greater degree than normal for a Lion army, which is no mean feat. At the beginning of a skirmish, you may make a Battle / Awareness Skill Roll (TN 15) as a Free Action. If successful, you gain a number of bonus unkept dice equal to the number of allies in your group, plus one for each Raise made on the Battle roll. You may not gain more total bonus dice than twice your School Rank. You may use these bonus dice on any attack or damage rolls during the current skirmish, but cannot use more on any one roll than your School Rank. During Stance declaration, when assuming the Full Defense Stance, you may also spend these dice on your Defense Skill Roll. Unused bonus dice are lost at the end of the skirmish.

The Disciples of the River [Shugenja]

Founded by Kitsu Sonosuke, the Disciples recruit those in the Kitsu family who are talented shugenja but lack the pure bloodlines to become Sodan-Senzo or the militant spirit to join Bishamon’s Chosen. They devote themselves to venerating the spirits of the Empire’s rivers, great and small, and their power serves the Lion Clan in many ways, from irrigating local rice paddies to defending the clan’s northern border or moving troops and supplies safely along waterways. The Disciples are seen as eccentric but well-meaning and honorable by the rest of their clan. New Alternate Path:

  • Rank: 3
  • Replaces: Kitsu Shugenja 3
  • Requirements: Way of the Land Advantage for an area with a river.
  • Technique: Servant of the River – The Disciples of the River take the concept of Water magic much more literally than do most of the Kitsu family. Their approach is more like that of a Phoenix, although none would ever admit such (and they would be insulted by the comparison). When casting a Water spell while standing within one hundred feet of a naturally occurring river, you gain one Free Raise on that spell.

Ikoma Historians [Courtier]

The Ikoma Historians are a specialized sub-group within the Ikoma courtly schools, recruiting students from both the Omoidasu and the Lion’s Shadow. They are an elite group within the family, charged with supervising the Empire’s official histories, and regard their duties as a sacred trust. They frequently make use of their access to the secrets of the Empire’s history to protect both Imperial and Lion interests, and most of the members of the hidden Ikoma-Shosuro alliance are drawn from their ranks.

  • Rank: 3
  • Replaces: Ikoma Bard 3, Ikoma Lion’s Shadow 3
  • Requires: Lore: History 5
  • Technique: The Past and the Present – The Ikoma Historians are tasked with comprehensively recording the official histories of the Empire – and also with concealing inconvenient aspects of that history. You are expected to always be ready to record the events around you, and as such you are trained to memorize and perfectly recall anything worthy of inclusion in the historical records. When you take this Path, you acquire the Advantage Forbidden Knowledge (Empire’s True History). You gain a Free Raise on all Calligraphy rolls and you may roll Lore: History / Intelligence at TN 25 to accurately recount any incident you have witnessed and any story you have heard, down to the smallest detail – including details you may have missed at the time.

Ikoma Orator [Courtier]

Although all traditional Ikoma are trained as battlecriers, inspiring their fellow Lion on the field by recounting the deeds of their ancestors, some in the clan have found ways to adapt such methods for the courts. The Lion historians credit the first Orator as Ikoma Tasuki, a skilled courtier from the time of the Gozoku, whose intense speeches on behalf of the Empress Yugozohime were instrumental in cementing her power and convincing many former Gozoku from the Crane and Phoenix to retire or commit seppuku. After his fortieth birthday, Tasuki was permitted to start a dojo and teach his speech-making methods to other Ikoma.

  • Replaces: Ikoma Bard 3
  • Requires: Sincerity 4, Lore: Bushido 3, Perform: Oratory 4
  • Technique: The Voice of Bushido – The Orators use their speechmaking powers to draw attention to the honor of their side and the dishonor of their foes. You must give a speech (suggested of at least five minutes’ length) before a court or similar audience to activate this Technique. If you are targeting an ally with the speech, you roll Perform: Oratory / Awareness at TN 30. If you are targeting an enemy, you either make the same roll (if the enemy does not respond), or make a Contested Social Roll of your Perform: Oratory / Awareness against his Sincerity / Awareness (if he does respond).

A successful speech for an ally grants that ally one of the Paragon of Bushido Advantages for one week, while a successful speech against an enemy inflicts one of the Failure of Bushido Disadvantages on that enemy for one week. (If the enemy character has the corresponding Paragon of Bushido Advantage, you instead deny the use of that Advantage for one week.) You cannot affect the same person with this Technique twice in the same month. GM’s Options: GMs who wish to add more depth to the Ikoma Orator’s abilities may choose to let the target’s honor, Glory, and Infamy affect the rolls required to use the Voice of Bushido technique. When targeting an ally, the TN to bestow the Advantage is reduced by the target’s Honor Rank and Glory Rank, but increased by his Infamy Rank (if any). When targeting an enemy, the reverse applies – Honor and Glory increase the TN, while Infamy reduces it.

Ikoma Scrapper [Bushi]

It is sometimes forgotten that Ikoma was not only a storyteller but also a rather vicious hand-to-hand fighter. In modern times, much of Ikoma’s less-reputable legacy is found in the obscure Lion’s Shadow school, but the Lion Clan also maintains a more public and honorable dojo which teaches a simple hand-to-hand technique inspired by Ikoma’s legacy.

  • Replaces: Akodo Bushi 4, Matsu Berserker 4, Ikoma Lion’s Shadow 4, Ikoma Bard 4
  • Requires: Strength 4, Jiujutsu 5
  • Technique: Every Scar Has a Name – The Scrapper learns that so long as he can call on the same courage and ruthlessness as Ikoma himself, he is never truly unarmed. You may attack as a Simple Action with unarmed strikes and improvised weapons (if you did not already have the ability to do so). Your vicious attacks can disorient and terrify your opponents. Once per skirmish, if you strike unarmed or with an improvised weapon, you may call two Raises to make your attack inflict a Fear effect on the target, with a Rank equal to your Insight Rank.

Ikoma Warden [Bushi]

Although it was not until the Unicorn Clan returned to the Empire that the armies of the Great Clans truly embraced the value of cavalry forces, the Lion had maintained a small cavalry force for centuries before that, dating back almost to the time of the Empire’s founding. While the Akodo and the Matsu have always prepared for war, the Ikoma have often been relegated to ensuring the security and lawfulness of the Lion provinces. For this reason, the Ikoma Wardens were created. The wardens exist to patrol the perimeter and interior of the Lion provinces, traditionally moving along well-traveled and carefully controlled routes throughout the land. They hold magistrate status within the clan, although if they attempt to use this authority outside the rather limited parameters of their normal activities they can be called upon to explain themselves by virtually anyone. The wardens are easily the most capable horsemen in the Lion Clan, and are frequently called upon to supply cavalry forces not only for the Ikoma army, but the Akodo and Matsu forces as well. For this reason, those families often send individuals to train with their Ikoma cousins, and the number of wardens serving the clan at any one time is much larger than one would expect from a group intended for patrol and law enforcement.

  • Replaces: Akodo Bushi 2 or Ikoma Lions Shadow 2
  • Requirements: Horsemanship 3
  • Technique: To Race the Wind – A true warden understands that mounted warfare is as natural as fighting among the glorious Lion infantry. When Mounted, you gain a bonus of +1k0 to all Bugei Skill Rolls. Additionally, when spending a Void Point to augment a Horsemanship or Investigation Skill Roll, you gain a bonus of +2k2 instead of +1k1.

Kitsu Spirit Legion [Shugenja]

Formed during the twelfth century, the Spirit Legion is comprised of a handful of Kitsu shugenja with the ability to reach across the boundaries of the Spirit Realms and summon the spirits of those realms to serve them. The ability cannot be taught – one must be born to it = and those with the gift are quite rare.

  • Replaces: Kitsu Shugenja 4
  • Requirements: Must be born with the spiritual gifts required to serve in the Spirit Legion. This is essentially a character-development/role-play constraint which should be discussed between player and GM.
  • Technique: The Legions of the Dead – The handful of Spirit Legionnaires are able to pull aside the veil of the Spirit Realms and call forth the spirits themselves to defend their family. You may conduct a ritual that opens a portal and summons forth a spirit to fight in your place. This is a Complex Action that requires you to expend 2 spell slots associated with one Element of your choice and spend a Void Point. the spirit appears as an armored warrior with the Spirit trait and with all Rings at 2 except for the Ring whose slots you sacrificed; that Ring begins at 3. The spirit is considered to have Kenjutsu 3 and Defense 2, and is equipped with a spectral daisho and light armor. These spirits remain in the mortal realm for a number of hours equal to your Kitsu Shugenja School Rank, or until dismissed by you.

Lion Paragon [Bushi]

The samurai class lives by the Code of Bushido, but the stresses and temptations of everyday life makes strict adherence to Bushido nearly impossible. The Lion Paragons persevere through these obstacles, striving to be ideal samurai. The Paragons follow an ancient technique that benefits from their focus and strength of will, and pass it on to those who possess the same qualities. The Paragons are well known to all Lion and their technique continues to be passed down from one generation to the next.

  • Replaces: Any Lion Bushi 3
  • Requirements: Void Ring 4, Kenjutsu 5, Honor Rank 7
  • Technique: Pure and Dedicated – The Lion Paragon lives by the tenets of Bushido, and the strength of his devotion allows him to push himself beyond his physical limits. You may make melee attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action. However, if you choose to do so, you may only make one attack that Turn. (This prohibits you from making any additional attacks, even with the Extra Attack Maneuver.) Once per skirmish, you may spend a Void Point as a Free Action to activate this Technique. Your Honor Rank is considered to be double for the purposes of your other School Techniques. (For example, if you are a Matsu Bushi, you add double your Honor Rank to all damage rolls from your Rank 1 Technique.) This effect may increase your Honor Rank above 10, but does not stack with any other effects that modify Technique bonuses; in such a case, choose the highest modifier. The effects of this Technique end when the encounter ends.

Lion Scout [Bushi]

Akodo’s treatise on warfare emphasized the necessity of knowledge. He knew a skilled corps of scouts could determine the result of battle even before it began. Hiding is considered a dishonorable act, but the Lion Scouts are willing to swallow their pride and accomplish what must be done. The Akodo and Ikoma both train scouts to be adept at avoiding the enemy and surveying the terrain, working to garner even the slightest advantage against their enemies.

  • Replaces: Any Lion Bushi 2
  • Requirements: Battle 2, Hunting 3
  • Technique: Shadow Unseen – The Lion Scout cultivates all the skills required to fulfill his tasks, setting aside his own honor for his clan. You may move at a normal rate while using the Stealth Skill, and you gain a +1k0 bonus to Stealth Skill Rolls and all Agility-based Bugei Skills.

Lion Tactician (Ikoma Tactician) [Bushi]

The Lion Clan’s famous War College is best known for training the brilliant shireikan and generals known as the Akodo Tactical Masters. However, the school also offers specialized training to the most promising lower ranking officers, such as gunso and chui, to enhance the performance of smaller units in the Lion armies. Through most of the Empire’s history these men are known simply as Lion Tacticians, but in the twelfth century the generation-long disbandment of the Akodo family results in a large number of Ikoma samurai training in this technique, and many Lion take to calling them the Ikoma Tacticians.

  • Replaces: Any Lion Bushi 4, Ikoma Bard 4
  • Requirements: Battle 4, War Fan 4, must be at least a Gunso in rank.
  • Technique: The Commander’s Fan – Lion officers usually carry a war-fan in order to use it for conveying orders on the battlefield. Early on, they discovered the fan could also be used to protect themselves when they came under attack on the battlefield. You gain a +1k1 bonus to Battle (Mass Battle) rolls in any situation where your war-fan makes it easier for you to convey orders (GM’s discretion). While you are carrying a war-fan (regardless of which hand you are using), you may add half your Warfans Skill Rank (rounded up) to your Armor TN. If you are in the Defense or Full Defense Stance, or you are ONLY carrying a war-fan, you may add your full Skill Rank instead. (These do not stack, and carrying two war-fans does not double the bonus.)

Lioness Legion [Bushi]

Founded centuries ago by a legendary Matsu sensei, the Lioness Legion has since its inception been feared by the clan’s enemies for the sheer speed with which it can assault any enemy fortification, no matter how distant. Indeed, it is said by those who have had the grave misfortune of facing the Lioness Legion in battle that they combine the speed of cavalry with the unbridled ferocity of the Matsu, a combination that would give nightmares to any rational enemy commander. The Lioness Legion is typically composed of very young warriors, women in the prime of their physical condition, who are chosen for their natural athleticism and trained ruthlessly to exploit that advantage, as well as to combine it with advanced martial training. Although males are not permitted to join the unit, the techniques used in their training have been granted to lesser sensei among the family and a male equivalent unit, the Lion’s Mane, have begun to take the field of battle in certain engagements.

  • Replaces: Matsu Berserker 2, Akodo Bushi 2, or Matsu Beastmaster 2
  • Requirements: Athletics 3
  • Technique: Charge of the Pride – The Lioness Legion is feared for many reasons, but the greatest among them is their fleetness on the field of battle. When in the Full Attack Stance, any movement you make during the course of the Round gains an additional 5 feet (this benefit is only gained once per Round). Additionally, as a Complex Move Action, you may move your Water Ring x25 feet.