Moving in Shadows
Previewing Shinobi Characters in Courts of Stone
Rokugan is in an age of sudden change. The throne is under threat from malevolent forces both on the battlefield and in the courts, and those closest to the Emperor now have the rare opportunity to make sweeping changes to the course of the Emerald Empire’s future. If you can navigate the web of deadly intrigues that surround the Emperor, you can bring the desires of your Clan to the forefront and secure your power in the years to come.
In the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game, you take on the role of a citizen of the Emerald Empire working to leave your mark on history and help bring Rokugan into a new age, but how you pursue this end is entirely up to you. The world is wide, and the choices you make may lead you down infinite paths. In the Courts of Stone sourcebook, you find the comprehensive guide to Rokugan’s courts, castles, and keeps, where power is concentrated between a handful of players and where you have the best chance to bring your Clan’s goals to fruition. But will you build your new world with words, or will you turn to more dishonorable means to achieve your ends?
Today, we offer you a closer look at the new deadly schools introduced in the Courts of Stone sourcebook for the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game— now available for pre-order at your local retailer or online through our website with free shipping within the continental United States!
The Legacy of Bayushi
Courts of Stone offers you a variety of new schools and identities to take on, ranging from noble courtiers to secretive spies and mercenaries. While you may wish to keep to the light, shaping the future with well-placed words and courtesy, a specialist character who is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals may prove invaluable as you pursue power in the Emerald Empire. And there is no clan better equipped or more willing to take the necessary steps for the Emperor than the Scorpion.
The school of warriors founded by the kami Bayushi are known as the Bayushi Deathdealers. Much as the Deer Clan have a dual nature that they must balance, so too are members of this school considered to be both chivalrous bushi and secretive shinobi. These samurai are trained to believe that in combat and in all aspects of life, it is always better to be underestimated. Any aspiring warrior is welcome in this school if they can survive its rigors, but its secrets remain hidden to those who are not cunning and inventive enough to uncover them.
In addition to traditional swordplay, this school specializes in weaponry that embraces the subtle art of combat such as the bow. The school also teaches iaijutsu, offering players a variety of new useful techniques to add to their supply, such as a Deceitful Strike or Cunning Distraction. But students are always reminded that it is merely a tool of power like any other. Every tool has its proper place and uses, and the Bayushi Deathdealer school ensures that its students have the widest arsenal available to prepare them for any challenge they may face.
Dealers in Death
While members of the Bayushi Deathdealer school may rely on all forms of combat to achieve victory, you may also choose to go even further to embrace the shadows and embody one who lives without honor, family or remorse by undergoing Mercenary Ninja Training. These shinobi are masters of the shadows who use their lethal trade to make their fortune, learning techniques that allow them to move Like a Ghost or remove a target with Silent Elimination. Most often hailing from humble backgrounds as commoners, mercenaries act as easily deniable and disposable assets for members of the Great Clans, executing dangerous and dishonorable missions from the shadows without direct links to nobles who would rather have their schemes go undetected. Unlike shinobi who serve the Great Clans, Mercenary Ninjas serve only their own interests, and loyalty can always be bought if a noble can name the right price.
When not otherwise engaged, Mercenary Ninja generally live simple lives. After all, in this line of work, it is best to remained unnoticed in everyday life, and the more people who know about a mercenary’s work, the greater a target they become. As you grow your character’s backstory, you may have this need for secrecy prove a strain on relationships that fill a character’s background, or even with other players, and it is possible for the morality of the job to burden a character or harden their heart. No formal schools exist for such lawless individuals, but some Mercenary Ninja train under a mentor with whom they may forge a special bond, as discussed in our last preview, while others create their own cadres. But can honor still be held when among thieves and killers when loyalty goes to the highest bidder? What stories will you discover moving among those who shun the light?
A World Reborn
Whichever school you choose to embrace, the path of your story is yours alone. The world of Rokugan is opened before you—will you take to the courts, or to the shadows? Choose your path, embrace your destiny, and shape the future of the empire!
Pre-order your copy of Courts of Stone (L5R08) at your local retailer today or online through our website, with free shipping within the continental United States, here! This sourcebook will arrive at retailers in Q2 of 2019!