Saturday, April 22, 2017

Legend of the Five Rings Theoretical - Blind Beauty from the Wall

Yes, I know that's not Crab colors.
You have no idea how hard finding a good picture was.
The concept for this character is pretty simple and isn't a very uncommon concept. I'm sure it has a more well-known name for it, but I'm thinking of it as the "not as helpless as they look" concept. In this case I am thinking a blind woman of great beauty that many potential suitors are interested in due
to said beauty. In addition to this, I really like going against stereotype, so I'm thinking this will be a Crab Clan character.

Now there's a couple different variations of this that I can do and since doing a theoretical progression for a point buy system like L5R is problematic in the extreme, I think I'll do a couple of these variations. 

There will be four variations based on the intersection of two considerations: 

Courtier or Bushi?

Raised at Home or Hostage?


In either case, I'm expecting she came upon her techniques surreptitiously so that only a very small number of people are aware she has talent as one of the two types. Given a long enough period of time, she could theoretically get the Multiple Schools advantage and take up the other path as well, but I've rarely seen L5R games last that long (granted, I've only been in a handful of L5R games myself).  

So as this regards, there will be four variations here:

Courtier Raised in the Crab Lands

Bushi Raised in the Crab Lands

Courtier Raised in the Crane Lands

Bushi Raised in the Crane Lands

Why Crane? Because they're the Crab's most consistent rivals in the courts, which makes them the most logical group to exchange hostages..err, guests, with the Crab. And also because the idea of a blind Crab woman mastering Crane skills is amusing as all get out.

As to why Shugenja is not included? I thought about it, but wasn't really interested. Mostly when I fantasize about playing L5R I think in the direction of Courtiers and intrigue rather than magic. Granted I could still do that, but it also has the other thing that it would be much harder to see someone as helpless who can do magic, even if they are blind, and being a shugenja isn't a skill set you can pick up without anybody paying attention really.

Crab Clan Bushi 


Family: Hida
School: Hiruma School

Reasoning: I went with the Hida family just to continue with playing against expectations to some degree, though being a Hida raised among Hida, I expect she'd have quite a lot of their behavior methods. Since I wanted someone who surreptitiously acquired their skills, Hiruma school is a much better fit than Hida school. If I had reasoned that her blindness was later in life after she started learning how to fight, Hida could have fit, but that doesn't fit as well into the idea that most people around her are unaware of her prowess. Hiruma school involves a bit more being aware of other senses and is a bit more on the side of finesse than brute force.

Air: 2 
Reflexes: 3 Awareness: 2

Earth: 2 
Stamina: 2 Willpower: 3

Fire: 2 
Agility: 2 Intelligence: 2

Water: 3
Strength: 3 Perception: 3

Void: 2

Insight Rank: 1
Insight: 128

Armor TN: 8
Wounds Healthy Rank: 10
Wounds Other Ranks: 4

Honor: 4.5
Glory: 1
Status: 1

Skills
Athletics(Climbing) 1
Hunting (Survival) 1
Kenjutsu (Katana, Wakizashi) 3 (Damage rolls +1k0)
Kyujutsu (Yumi) 1
Lore: Shadowlands 1
Stealth(Sneaking) 1
Sincerity(Deceit) 2
Etiquette(Courtesy) 2
Defense 3 (Maintain previous roll)
Courtier(Manipulation) 1
Investigation(Notice) 2

School Rank 1
Technique: Torch's Flame Flickers

Advantages
Dangerous Beauty 
Voice

Disadvantages
Bad Fortune: Too Many Suitors
Blind

Experience Total: 49 (40 + Blind 6 + Bad Fortune 3)
Dangerous Beauty - 3pts
Voice - 3pts
Perception 3 - 12pts
Reflexes 3 - 12pts
Kenjutsu 2-3 - 5pts
Defense 2-3 - 5pts
Sincerity 2 - 2pts
Etiquette 1-2 - 3pts
Investigation 1-2 - 3pts
Courtier 1 - 1pt
Total Spent: 49

Reasoning: This problem that this character and the other bushi build will have is that they still have to have a believable ability to keep their capabilities secret, which means somewhat more court skills than a normal Crab bushi. This also means a rather diffuse build. Once you got into game play, this build would have to spend a lot of time addressing holes rather than building strengths for a bit. I increased Water to 3 for the simple fact that without doing so, in combat she has a move rate of 0 due to being treated as having 2 less Water for deciding her move rate. So even though Perception is something that she'd often be unable to actually use in game, I wanted her to have some ability to move in battle. Also note that this character has really rubbish Armor TN, a sighted character with the same Reflexes would have a TN of 20) The Bad Fortune of choice is on the idea that her great beauty has attracted a lot of interest, and most of it of the shallow and/or possessive variety given that this is a Disadvantage. I had thought about going with the Secret Love example from the book, but this is truer to what I was thinking of.

Crab Clan Courtier


Family: Hida
School: Yasuki School

Reasoning: This is pretty straightforward actually. Hida again goes with my desire to act against the standard stereotype of the Crab Clan here and Yasuki is the only Crab Clan Courtier school. As a side benefit, this means that she will start out with Water at 3. I hadn't originally been planning to raise Perception since a character whose power is based on interaction and social can more easily survive without a Move Rate in combat. Granted, that would have made her a real burden on other players, but if it became intolerable it could be addressed with experience points. But, with Hida family granting +1 Strength and Yasuki school granting +1 Perception, the issue is moot.

Air: 2 
Reflexes: 2 Awareness: 3

Earth: 2 
Stamina: 2 Willpower: 2

Fire: 2 
Agility: 2 Intelligence: 3

Water: 3
Strength: 3 Perception: 3

Void: 2

Insight Rank: 1
Insight: 129

Armor TN: 7
Honor: 2.5
Glory: 1
Status: 1

Skills
Commerce(Appraisal) 3
Courtier 2
Defense 1
Etiquette (Conversation, Courtesy) 3 (+3 Insight)
Intimidation (Control) 1
Sincerity (Deceit) 3
Crafting (Cooking) 1

Investigation (Interrogation) 2

School Rank 1
Technique: The Way of the Carp


Advantages
Dangerous Beauty 
Voice

Disadvantages
Bad Fortune: Too Many Suitors
Blind

Experience Total: 49 (40 + Blind 6 + Bad Fortune 3)
Dangerous Beauty - 3pts
Voice - 3pts 
Intelligence 3 - 12pts
Awareness 3 - 12pts
Courtier 2 - 2pts
Etiquette 2-3 - 5pts
Sincerity 2-3 - 5pts
Commerce 2-3 - 5pts
Investigation 1 -3pts
Total Spent: 49

Reasoning: This character is a bit more focused. She's rubbish in a fight, but she shouldn't really be looking to get into one and L5R isn't a game that revolves around fighting all the time. Ideally, there would be people in the group much better prepared for that sort of thing and all she would have to do is get out of the way while they handled such. Her social skills make her rather dangerous though. The Disadvantages and Advantages remain the same, however.

Crab Clan Bushi 


Family: Hida
School: Kakita School

Reasoning: If I am going to be having a blind Crab woman mastering a Crane fighting style, it absolutely has to be the Kakita School. There is no other option. That said, this isn't very logical. It might be that she was allowed to study after expressing an interest but nobody has taken her seriously save a sensei. Or it could be that she tricked someone into letting on more about how to fight than they realized.

Air: 3
Reflexes: 3 Awareness: 3

Earth: 2 
Stamina: 2 Willpower: 2

Fire: 2 
Agility: 2 Intelligence: 2

Water: 3
Strength: 3 Perception: 3

Void: 2

Insight Rank: 1
Insight: 134

Armor TN: 8
Wounds Healthy Rank: 10
Wounds Other Ranks: 4

Honor: 6.5
Glory: 1
Status: 1

Skills
Etiquette(Conversation) 1
Iaijutsu(Focus, Assessment) 3 (Readying a katana is a free action)
Kenjutsu(Katana,Wakizashi) 3 (Damage rolls +1k0)
Kyujutsu(Yumi) 1
Sincerity(Deceit) 1
Tea Ceremony 1
Courtier(Manipulation) 1
Defense 2  
Investigation(Notice) 1

School Rank 1
Technique: The Way of the Crane

Advantages
Dangerous Beauty 
Voice
Different School

Disadvantages
Hostage
Blind

Experience Total: 49 (40 + Blind 6 + Hostage 3)
Dangerous Beauty - 3pts
Voice - 3pts 
Different School - 5pts
Awareness 3 - 12pts
Perception 3 - 12pts
Kenjutsu 2-3 - 5pts
Iaijutsu 2-3 - 5pts
Defense 1-2 - 3pts
Investigation 1 - 1pt
Total Spent: 49

Reasoning: The character's armor TN is still rubbish. She still wouldn't be good to put into an actual battle, but she might be able to kill things fast enough that she makes for a surprising asset in a more skirmish sort of situation. Especially as she starts building up her skill ranks. Also I changed the Bad Fortune disadvantage to Hostage to represent the fact that this variation of the concept lives mostly under Crane control. The ability to get a Different School for training meant losing 5 pts which could have been used for some skills, but oh well. Note that this character might still have a number of potential suitors appealing to her family, but the fact that Bad Fortune: Too Many Suitors is not a Disadvantage means that her suitors in and of themselves are not a problem, narratively speaking at least. The Crane control of her life, however, is.

Crab Clan Courtier


Family: Hida
School:Doji Courtier School

Reasoning: This is actually a much more likely thing to happen than the Kakita bit. It is somewhat possible for a person to pick up skills in how to manipulate and talk to people simply from listening in to conversations, especially if she is often overlooked as a blind woman. Now one thing to note here is that the second rank of the Doji school is something she will never be able to use as it depends on reading body language which she absolutely cannot do. This is the sort of thing I would suggest taking an Alternate Path for but no such path exists. Alternately, I suppose she could work out a personal code with servants or allies based on tone of voice or slang terms.

Air: 2 
Reflexes: 2 Awareness:2

Earth: 2 
Stamina: 2 Willpower: 2

Fire: 2 
Agility: 2 Intelligence: 3

Water: 3
Strength: 3 Perception: 3

Void: 2

Insight Rank: 1
Insight: 124

Armor TN: 7
Honor: 2.5
Glory: 1
Status: 1

Skills
Calligraphy 1
Courtier (Manipulation) 3
Etiquette (Courtesy) 3
Perform: Storytelling 1
Sincerity (Honesty) 2
Tea Ceremony 1
Artisan: Origami 1
Investigation (Interrogation) 1
Defense 1

School Rank 1
Technique: The Soul of Honor

Advantages
Dangerous Beauty 
Voice
Different School

Disadvantages
Blind
Hostage

Experience Total: 49 (40 + Blind 6 + Hostage 3)
Dangerous Beauty - 3pts
Voice - 3pts 
Different School - 5pts 
Perception 3 - 12pts
Intelligence 3 - 12pts
Courtier 2-3 - 5pts
Etiquette 2-3 - 5pts
Sincerity 2 - 2pts
Investigation 1 - 1pt
Defense 1 - 1pt
Total Spent: 49

Reasoning: I chose Origami as her Other Artisan/Perform choice because it seemed to be another thing that could reasonably be used to convey hidden messages a la an altered version of the Cadence skill. She is still a hostage and still under the control of the Crane clan. Once again, this build is slightly more focused, but losing 5 pts to the Different School Advantage did cost a bit. Still, this produces a rather unusual Hida woman in any case. As with the other hostage variation, her potential suitors for being a smooth talking beauty aren't a problem for her so much.

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