New Ronin Schools
Ronin Basic Schools
Ronin are unlike clan samurai in many ways, not the least of which is their lack of a dojo or formal fighting style. A ronin’s techniques are not particularly advanced, but are honed to a razor’s edge by a lifetime of never-ending hardship. A Kakita duelist practices his technique in a pristine, silent dojo with nothing to disturb him; a ronin duelist practices in the rain on an open field, learning to focus his mind despite the distractions that surround him.
The following ronin schools contain broad, basic Techniques that are not a result of formal training, but a combination of picking up bits and pieces from other warriors, learning from (and occasionally getting lucky after) mistakes, and spending time in deep meditation and thought on his own experiences. These schools may be taken by any samurai, even those affiliated with a clan, without use of the Different School advantage. In such cases, the schools simply represent a more intuitive path that a samurai has chosen to follow rather than an established style. Ronin may move freely between these different schools, taking the Techniques which suit them. A character may never take a Technique without having the previous Techniques in that school. For instance, a ronin who is a Rank 2 Duelist may, upon reaching Insight Rank 3, take Rank 1 in Yojimbo or Bushi, or Rank 3 in Duelist.
At character creation, a ronin character still chooses whether to be a True Ronin or a Clan Ronin. Clan Ronin are created as normal, but may choose to advance in a Ronin Basic School if they so choose, starting with the Rank 1 Technique. True Ronin characters choose between option 1 (no School) and option 2 (Ronin Path) as normal.
If the player selects option 1, the ronin character begins with no School or Techniques. When the character advances to Insight Rank 2, he may select a Rank 1 or 2 Ronin Path. He may never take a Ronin School, though he may take Ronin Paths as he gains higher Insight Ranks and can find willing teachers.
If option 2 is selected, the character may begin with a Rank 1 Ronin Path Technique as normal (belonging to an otokodate, or ronin brotherhood), but must also select which Ronin Basic School his Ronin Path is replacing.
The final (new) option is to select a Ronin Basic School from the list below, gaining the starting Benefit, Skills, Honor, Outfit, and Technique, as indicated. This option is treated as a sub-category of Option 2, and comes with the standard 10 bonus Experience Points that Option 2 provides.
All existing Ronin Techniques are now treated as Alternate Paths. Ronin characters are still required to abide by the rules regarding the learning of Alternate Paths, if they choose to learn a Ronin Path in lieu of their School Technique.
Ronin warriors are what most people in the Empire think of when someone mentions the word “ronin”. They are wandering fighters with little respect for finesse or subtlety, preferring to act with brutal and simplistic attacks. While many ronin warriors are forced to turn to banditry to survive, not all choose this life. Many sign on to serve the Great Clans in their skirmishes in the hopes of making a name for themselves and being offered a chance at swearing fealty.
Ronin Warrior [Bushi]
Benefit: +1 Strength
Skills: Defense, Hunting, Kenjutsu, Kyujutsu, any 3 Skills.
Outfit: Worn Clothing, Light or Ashigaru Armor, Daisho, any one weapon, Traveling Pack, 5 zeni
Rank 1: The Wolf’s Technique
The Wolf is merciless in his retaliation when attacked. You gain a +1k0 bonus on all attack and damage rolls against opponents who have declared you the target of an attack since the beginning of your last Turn.
Rank 2: Desperate Speed
A ronin knows he will only survive if he is quick to react to what happens around him. If you are outnumbered at the beginning of a skirmish or during the reactions phase of a round, you gain a bonus to your initiative equal to the number of your enemies.
Rank 3: The Wolf’s Fangs
The ronin’s desperate struggle for survival gives him strength and speed in times of stress. You may make attack rolls with Samurai keyword weapons as simple actions.
Rank 4: The Killing Blow
Every second of combat threatens the ronin’s life, so he strives to kill his enemies the moment he draws his blade. You may spend Void points on damage with any weapon.
Rank 5: None Shall Overcome
The ronin’s fighting style is fluid, as he finds ways to overcome the defenses of even the most powerful opponents. Before making an attack roll, you may choose to roll two less unkept dice to gain one extra kept die.
The image of the wandering duelist of uncommon and unexpected skill is a popular one in the empire, often appearing in plays and pillow books. They have the potential to cut quite the dramatic figure as they use their swords to carve out an existence. They are known to set up open challenges to any and all comers in the hopes of winning not only glory, but money and perhaps even employment from showing off their skill. A select few have even been known to offer their services as a champion in duels when the challenged party has no yojimbo to duel in his stead.
Ronin Duelist [Bushi]
Benefit: +1 Awareness
Skills: Defense, Hunting, Iaijutsu, Kenjutsu, any 3 Skills.
Outfit: Worn Clothing, Light or Ashigaru Armor, Daisho, any one weapon, Traveling Pack, 5 zeni
Rank 1: The Wind Technique
Speed is necessary for a ronin duelist to survive. You add twice your Awareness to the total of all Initiative rolls.
Rank 2: Taking the Measure
An opponent who is understood is an opponent who is already defeated. You gain a +2k1 bonus to your Assessment rolls in an iaijutsu duel.
Rank 3: Strike Like Wind
The incredible speed a ronin develops in training for a duel becomes evident in his every move. For two Rounds following any Round in which you assumed the Center Stance, you may make melee attacks with Samurai keyword weapons as a Simple Action instead of as a Complex action.
Rank 4: Testing the Measure
As a ronin learns to understand his foes, he gains a greater appreciation of how to exploit their weaknesses. When you are in an iaijutsu duel, each Raise you call on your Assessment Roll increases the TN of your roll by +3 instead of +5. You gain a +1k0 bonus to your Strike roll in an Iaijutsu duel for each piece of information you learn about your opponent during the Assessment phase.
Rank 5: The Final Measure
The trained eye can find any weakness. When you are in an iaijutsu duel, for every additional margin of 10 points by which you exceed your opponents Assessment roll, you gain an additional +1k1 bonus to your subsequent Focus roll.
The ronin who follows the path of the yojimbo is rare indeed. While it is one of the surest methods of finding employment, it can also be one of the quickest ways into a grave. Those who truly follow the way of the yojimbo are often individuals with a deep respect for all life, or who feel that their own life can be better spent by ensuring the long life of another.
Ronin Yojimbo [Bushi]
Benefit: +1 Reflexes
Skills: Defense, Hunting, Kenjutsu, Kyujutsu, any 3 Skills.
Outfit: Worn Clothing, Light or Ashigaru Armor, Daisho, any one weapon, Traveling Pack, 1 koku
Rank 1: The Way of Sacrifice
Even a lowly wandering ronin can value life and seek to to protect it. When in the Defense or Full Defense Stances, you may perform the Guard Maneuver as a Free action. If you choose to do so, the Armor TN bonus you provide from the Guard Maneuver is reduced by 5 points.
Rank 2: Will, Not Flesh
Focus permits a ronin to set aside pain and push beyond normal physical limitations. When acting to protect another individual (i.e.; performing the Guard Maneuver, or dueling on their behalf) or when acting in self-defense (i.e.; you did not provoke or initiate combat), you reduce your Wound Penalties by three times your Insight Rank.
Rank 3: Strength of Conviction
A yojimbo never fights so fiercely as when defending his charge. On the Round following any Round in which you have performed the Guard Maneuver, you may make melee attacks as a Simple action instead of as a Complex action.
Rank 4: Hasten The Blade
A yojimbo defends first, and retaliates second. On the Round following any Round in which you were in the Defense or Full Defense Stances, you gain a bonus to your Initiative equal to the Armor TN bonus you received from your Stance on the previous Round. This bonus lasts until the Reactions Stage of the Round in which it was gained.
Rank 5: Dashed Upon The Stones
Fighting defensively is no hindrance to a true yojimbo. At the beginning of your Turn, if you are in the Defense or Full Defense Stances, you may spend a Void Point to make a single attack as a Free action.
Unfortunately, ronin assassins are more prevalent than many in the Empire would like to admit. As it stands, many ronin find that accepting assassination contracts is a surprisingly effective way to make a living. It seems that people, from the lowliest eta to the most honorable of samurai, are always making enemies willing to pay to have them killed.
Ronin Assassin [Ninja]
Benefit: +1 Agility
Skills: Defense, Hunting, Kenjutsu, Kyujutsu, Stealth, any 2 Skills.
Outfit: Worn Clothing, Ashigaru Armor, Daisho, any one weapon, Traveling Pack, 1 koku.
Rank 1: Face The Darkness
The ronin assassin embraces the darkness in his soul. You gain a +0k1 bonus on Stealth rolls. The katana and wakazashi have the “Ninja” keyword for you.
Rank 2: Speed Born of Darkness
A ronin assassin learns that his greatest advantage lies in attacking opponents when they are defenseless. When attacking a lone opponent or a target who is unaware of your presence, you gain a bonus to your Initiative rolls equal to twice your Ranks in the Stealth Skill.
Rank 3: No Escape
Taking advantage of an opponent who expects no attack allows the ronin to plan his attacks for maximum effect. You may make attacks with Ninjutsu weapons (including weapons with the Ninja keyword) as a Simple action instead of as a Complex action when attacking a lone opponent or an opponent who is unaware of your presence.
Rank 4: Shadows Only Fade
The ronin learns to use the shadows in which he lives as a weapon, striking at those who only see the light. When facing a lone opponent or a target who is unaware of your presence, you may inflict a debilitating injury. If you successfully hit with a raise, your opponent suffers a penalty of -1k0 on all rolls until the start of the Reactions phase. This penalty can not stack, instead, it increases the duration it lasts for an additional Reaction phase.
Rank 5: The Final Strike
At the pinnacle of his skill, the ronin assassin finds that his willingness to kill has no limits. When attacking a lone opponent or a target who is unaware of your presence, you may spend Void Points on your damage rolls with Ninjutsu weapons (including weapons with the Ninja keyword). This Technique allows you to bypass the normal restriction on spending Void Points on damage rolls.
The most prestigious and successful members of the Eyes of Nanashi, those who are secretly called the Voice of Nanashi by certain members of the organization, are colloquially known as the Masters of Games. These men and women are responsible for overseeing the social agenda that permeates Nanashi Mura (Anonymous Village) and retaining the city’s peaceful and prosperous atmosphere. They specialize in deception and redirection, and their duties include manipulating events in the village’s gambling houses so that the patrons remain content, yet lose a sufficient amount of money to fund the village’s ongoing activities.
This School is designated as a Ronin Courtier School. Although the following Technique is specifically designed to represent the courtiers that serve the village of Nanashi Mura, there is no reason that it cannot be used to represent other ronin who have learned to survive on their own or with small groups of others.
Ronin Courtier [Courtier]
Benefit: +1 Awareness
Skills: Courtier, Defense, Etiquette, Games (any one) 2, Kenjutsu, any one High or Low Skill.
Outfit: Extravagant Clothing, Daisho, Tanto, Traveling Pack, 1 koku.
Rank 1: To Master the Game
You have learned that odds and probability extends well beyond games of chance and into the realm of politics. By carefully observing and anticipating the actions of others, you can gain keen insight into your opponents’ intentions. Choose a single Games Skill in which you possess Ranks. You gain a bonus equal to your Ranks in that Skill on all Contested Social Skill rolls you make. You also gain a bonus to your Initiative rolls equal to half your Ranks in your chosen Games Skill.
Rank 2: Winds & Fortunes
Any true master of games knows how to assess the odds of success. A number of times per day equal to your School Rank, you may know the TN of any roll before you make it. When making Contested Rolls, you may first make a Contested Raw Awareness Roll; if successful, you may learn how many dice your opponent will be rolling and keeping before the roll takes place. You may not back out of the confrontation that occasioned the Contested roll based on this knowledge, but you may take further action to affect your roll or your opponent’s.
Rank 3: Forge Your Own Fate
The Voice of Nanashi believe that fortune is forged rather than found. You may spend a Void Point in order to immediately re-roll any failed Social Skill Roll. There is no limit to the number of times you may do this apart from the number of Void Points that you have remaining, however, each re-roll beyond the first increases the TN by +5.
Rank 4: Dueling The Fortunes
Opportunity comes to those who are willing to take it. You gain an additional action per round. This action may not be used to make an attack, but it may be used to take any other legal available action. It may be an action of any type: Complex, Simple or Free (allowing you to ignore the normal limitation of only performing each Free action once per round.)
Rank 5: Fortune Favors the Bold
Fortune smiles upon those who are bold enough to seize opportunity when it presents itself. Once per day, you may spend all of your remaining Void Points (minimum 1) after failing a roll by up to 25 points. This roll is immediately converted to a success, with a number of Free Raises equal to the number of Void Points you spent when activating this Technique.
Forgotten Sons [Shugenja]
Benefit: +1 Intelligence
Skills: Calligraphy, Lore: Fortunes, Meditation, Spellcasting, any 1 Lore skill, any 2 skills
Outfit: Wakizashi, calligraphy set, worn clothing, scroll satchel, traveling pack, 5 bu
Affinity/Deficiency: Choose a clan shugenja order. You gain that order’s affinities and deficiencies.
Technique: The Path of Memory
The Forgotten Sons are failed students cast out from other Shugenja Schools for one reason or another. Many were once minor vassals of Great Clan Families. What they all share is a determination to work together to learn more about magic. You gain a number of Free Raises per day equal to your Insight Rank. You may use these Raises, singly or together, on any aspect of casting of any spell, but not for any purpose that is not directly related to spellcasting.
Spells: Sense, Commune, Summon, 3 Spells of one element, 2 spells of a second element, 1 spell of a third element.
Disciples of Sun Tao [Bushi]
Rings/Traits: Air 5, Void 4
Skills: Iaijutsu 6, Kenjutsu 5
Other: Must be born into or recruited into the Disciples of Sun Tao ronin brotherhood.
Rank One: Terumoto’s Lesson
Sun Tao’s chief disciple was a skilled warrior who embraced his master’s doctrine of studying battle in all its forms and adapting to the changing battlefield. You may spend a Void Point as a free action at any time during a round to change your current Stance. You may only do this once per round.
Rank Two: Sun Tao’s Legacy
The Disciples have studied the Book of Sun Tao and have learned how to apply its wisdom to the art of the duel. You may now spend as many Void points as you want on any roll made during a duel.
Rank Three: Aikumo’s Perfection
The second leader of the Disciples perfected their teachings and his Technique is the pinnacle of the band’s training. If you are in the Center stance or one round after you have left the Center stance, you can spend a Void Point and make an Opposed Void Roll with an opponent. If you win, the next successful attack you make against that opponent automatically puts them in the Down, Out, or Dead Wound Rank, whichever would fill in first.
Lessons of Takenoko [Bushi]
Rank One: The Power to Spring Back
In winter the heavy snow bends the bamboo back and back until one day the snow becomes too heavy, begins to fall, and the bamboo snaps back up tall again, brushing aside all the snow. The bamboo endured the heavy burden of the snow, but in the end it had to power to spring back as if to say “I will not be defeated.” You may spend a Void Point to reduce Wound Penalties by 10. This lasts until you take additional damage, or the end of combat, whichever occurs first.
Rank Two: Bend but don’t Break
One of the most impressive things about the bamboo in the forest is how they sway with even the slightest breeze. This gentle swaying movement with the wind is a symbol of humility. Their bodies are hard and firm and yet sway gently in the breeze while their trunks stay rooted firmly in the ground below. Their foundation is solid even though they move and sway harmoniously with the wind, never fighting against it. In time, even the strongest wind tires itself out, but the bamboo remains standing tall and still. If you have not taken a move action this round you may add your Earth Ring to your Armor for the remainder of the round.
Rank Three: Find Wisdom in Emptiness
It is said that in order to learn, the first step is to empty ourselves of our preconceived notions. The hollow insides of the bamboo reminds us that if we empty our minds of our pride and fear, we become open to the possibilities. You may make attacks with a Samurai weapon as a Simple Action.
The Order of the Fifth Wind [Bushi]
Requirements: Battle 5, any 2 Weapon Skills at Rank 3
Rank One: Lesson of the Fifth Wind
The FIfth Wind fights not for honor or glory, but because they believe war is an art. You may increase or decrease your dice result when rolling on the Mass Combat Table by your Insight Rank. You gain this same bonus to any Skill rolls you make as part of a Heroic Opportunity or Duel during Mass Combat.
Rank Two: Will of the Fifth Wind
Rank Three: Strength of the Fifth Wind
You are an example of what it means to fight and spur your men to heights of excellence. You may make melee attacks as a Simple Action using weapons with the Samurai Keyword. You may spend a Void point to grant a number of other allies (your choice) equal to your Battle skill to use this Technique for a number of Rounds equal to your Insight Rank.
Rank One Ronin Paths
Ronin Scholar [Courtier]
Rare in the extreme, there are a few ronin in the Empire who manage to live a life of relative peace through scholarly pursuits, typically by offering their services (both martial and clerical) in exchange for education.
Technique Rank: 1
Benefit: +1 Intelligence
Class Skills: Calligraphy, Defense, Etiquette, Kenjutsu, Storytelling, Any two Lore Skills.
Outfit: Light or Ashigaru Armor, Daisho, Sturdy Clothing, Calligraphy Set, Traveling Pack, 3 koku.
Technique: A Man of Knowledge
A learned man knows how to use his knowledge in any situation to support himself. You gain a Free Raise on all Lore Skill rolls. You also gain a bonus equal to the number of Lore Skills you possess to all Etiquette and Storytelling Rolls you make. This bonus cannot exceed twice your Insight Rank.
Sakura Dancer [Artisan]
Like the cherry blossoms from which they take their name, the Sakura Dancers are elegant, beautiful, and fleeting. They roam the whole of the Empire, using their social connections to remain aware of the greatest celebrations and festivals, so that they can be sure to make an appearance. Their skill at dance is well known among all social ranks, from peasants to the Empress herself, and this reputation serves them well, for even as ronin, the Sakura Dancers are never without the funds to see them through a winter… or five.
Technique Rank 1
Benefit: +1 Awareness
Skills: Athletics, Courtier, Etiquette, Kenjutsu, Perform: Dancing, Temptation, Any one High Skill.
Outfit: Extravagant Clothing, Wakizashi, Traveling Pack, 3 Koku.
Technique: Dance of Cherry Blossoms – When you spend a Void Point to enhance a Social Skill, you gain a bonus to your Skill Roll equal to twice your Glory Rank.
The Stone Dogs [Bushi]
When Fu Leng died, the power of Jigoku bored a new hole into Ningen-do in the midst of the Empire. To prevent the spread of Oni and other Tainted creatures, the Crab Clan built a new wall, encircling the newly formed Festering Pit. With a new threat right at their back boors, the other Clans of Rokugan finally acknowledged the threat of the Shadowlands and the forces of Jigoku, and sent contingents of their own samurai to help guard this new wall. But they were not the only ones with a vested interest in seeing this wall defended. A ronin woman called Hiushi gathered her family and a small band of followers willing to give up their lives in defense of their homeland. Together, they petitioned the Crab Clan to allow them to take residence in one of the small villages that exist inside the wall itself. They were granted this opportunity, with no one thinking they would amount to much, but to the surprise of all who know of their sacrifices, they have not only survived, but thrived in their small community.
Benefit: +1 Strength
Skills: Athletics, Defense, Heavy Weapons, Kenjutsu, Lore (Oni), any one Bugei Skill, any one Skill.
Outfit: Tattered clothing, Light or Heavy Armor, Daisho, any one Heavy Weapon, traveling pack, 1 koku.
Technique: Stone Justice
The Stone Dogs are the very first line of defense between the Festering Pit and the Empire, and they figure that the best defense is a good offense. You may wield any two-handed Heavy Weapon in one hand without penalties. If you choose to dual wield heavy weapons, you only suffer a -5 to attacks made with either hand, rather than the normal penalties for dual wielding. Additionally, you may add your Insight Rank to your damage total when attacking with a Heavy Weapon.
Student of Niten
Benefit: +1 Agility
Skills: Athletics, Defense, Iaijutsu, Kenjutsu, Hunting, any one Bugei skill, any one High or Low skill
Outfit: Sturdy clothing, Light or Ashigaru armor, daisho, any one weapon, traveling pack, 1 koku
When wielding a katana in your main hand and a wakizashi in your off hand, you suffer no penalties of any kind for duel wielding. Additionally, you may add half your Insight Rank (minimum 1) to all attack rolls made with a katana or wakizashi.
Rank Two Ronin Paths
Requirements: Kenjutsu 3, Intimidation 3
The ronin Atsushi was known for using aggressive movements to offset his opponents. If you are in the Full Attack Stance and you successfully attack an opponent that is in a Stance other than Attack, you may spend a Void Point as a Free Action to negate any Stance bonus they would normally receive until their following turn.
Way of the Saya
Requirements: Agility 3, Kenjutsu 3
The Way of the Saya teaches the practitioner to not only use the saya for defense, but also to unbalance opponents. Duel-wielding penalties do not apply when using a saya. In addition, you may use your saya as an 0k2 Kenjutsu weapon. When striking with the saya, you may attempt the Knockdown Maneuver for one raise instead of two.
Rank Three Ronin Paths
Ghost Wind [Bushi]
The Ghost Wind is a small group of ronin dedicated to the memory of the feared ronin duelist Kagekaze, and often sell their swords to the highest bidders. Their strange interpretation of bushido finds them completely loyal to their lords… as long as their money holds out.
Shadow Over Heaven
Requirements: Air 3, Kenjutsu 4, Iaijutsu 4
You have learned to channel your attacks into an explosive burst of speed. You may make melee attacks with a katana as a Simple action. Once per round, you may use your Reflexes instead of your Agility on an attack roll.
Hawk’s Talons [Bushi]
Technique Rank 3 or 4 (replaces the ability to attack as a simple action).
You may attack as a Simple action when using weapons with the Samurai keyword, knives, or unarmed attacks. When striking an opponent with a higher Initiative than you, you must make two Raises in order to get the effects of one. However, when striking an opponent with a lower Initiative than you, you gain +2k0 on the attack roll.
Canopy of Knives [Ronin Ninja]
Requirements: Knives 3, Stealth 3
Many Forest Killers learn the art of assassination, preferring to strike swiftly and silently. They typically go on to master smaller blades. You may make attacks with Knives as a simple action. You also gain +1k0 to hit when using a weapon with the knife keyword against someone who has a lower initiative than you.
Spirit Swordsman [Ronin Shugenja]
Traditional shugenja magic is poorly understood outside of the Great Clans, mainly because of how fussy the spirits are regarding who they will speak to. With a little work, however, someone with inborn talent can coax the kami to awaken in new and terrifying ways. This style is traditionally taught one-on-one amidst the danger and isolation of the wilderness, rather than within a traditional school.
Rank Three Technique: Awakened Sword
Masters of the Awakened Shot learn to call upon the kami within their weapons, briefly transforming them into nemuranai. As a Complex Action, while wielding a normal weapon, you may spend a Spell Slot to infuse it with a kami until you successfully hit an opponent. Each type of spell slot used adds a different effect.
Air: Sweeping Strike: DR +1k0, gain a Free Raise to the Knockdown maneuver.
Fire: Hunting Strike: DR +1k1, gain a Free Raise towards the Called Shot maneuver.
Earth: Slowing Strike: DR +2k1, target can only make Simple Actions until the Reactions phase.
Water: Power Strike: DR +2k2, no additional bonus.
Void: Choose one of the above, with a +1k0 bonus to damage
Rank Four Ronin Paths
Kanosei Duelist [Shugenja]
The Order of Kanosei Furudera relish the tradition of laryu-jlai as a means of demonstrating that simple is not weaker, and complexity is not an indicator of superiority. One man wielding the kami with determination and finesse can overcome virtually any foe, regardless of their advanced techniques and complicated ciphers.
Technique Rank: 4
Requirements: Spellcraft 5, any 3 Rings at Rank 4.
Technique: Kanosei’s Gift
The first Kanosei was a brilliant and gifted man who pioneered many basic elements of magic that are still in use by his order today. When you participate in a Taryu-Jiai duel and make a Strike roll, you may expend any number of spell slots of your Chosen Ring to gain an equal number of un-kept dice to that roll.
Rank Five Ronin Paths
Even Blade [Bushi]
The ronin of the Even Blade are somewhat of an aberration within the Empire in that they almost exclusively fight with two swords. To those familiar with the Niten style of the Mirumoto family might not think this strange, however ronin of the Even Blade prefer to fight with two katana, not a katana and wakizashi. Though their brotherhood is still small, the Even Blade is attracting many new ronin to its ranks.
Rank 5: Heaven Above, Hell Below
Requirements: Kenjutsu 5, must not possess the Missing Limb (Hand or Arm) Disadvantage.
Even Blade kensai fight with vicious efficiency, cutting through their opponents with uncommon skill. While wielding a sword in each hand, you may choose to add your double your Insight Rank to all of your attack or damage rolls with a sword, instead of adding your Insight Rank to your Armor TN as normal.
The Brides of Hachiman [Bushi]
No one knows precisely how the Brides of Hachiman came into existence, but they have been active within the Empire for generations. Even though they are a ronin band, they are extremely selective in who they will allow to join their ranks. The first, and most obvious, requirement is that a prospective member must be a female who has never been married (whether due to a failed engagement, bad luck, or simply refusing to marry). They also require a prospective member to show reverence to Hachiman, the Fortune of Battles. The Brides of Hachiman are devout worshipers of the Minor Fortune, and their level of devotion rivals that of many priests and monks.
Rank 5: A Woman’s Scorn
Requirements: Fire 4, Lore: Theology (Fortunes) 4, any 3 Weapon Skills at Rank 4 or higher.
Special: The Brides of Hachiman will only recruit women who have never been married. Former members of the Utaku, Matsu, and Moshi families may ignore 1 Skill Rank requirement.
The Brides of Hachiman consider themselves to be married to the Minor Fortune of Battles, and honor him with glorious combat. Whenever you spend a Void Point to add a bonus of +1k1 to an attack or damage roll, you may add your Ranks in Lore: Theology to your result.
The Pack of Thunder
The Pack of Thunder is the group of the most powerful of the Stone Dogs, and it is from this select group that the group’s leaders are chosen. The few in the Pack dominate the group’s technique of dual-wielding large, powerful weapons, and their technique is passed down only to those who prove themselves worthy through strength and ferocity. A candidate to learning this technique must fight a member of the Pack of Thunder to prove his worth. As with the test for entering the Stone Dogs, the aspirant does not necessarily have to best his opponent, but he must fight bravely and prove his power, mettle and persistence.
Requirements: Strength 4, Heavy Weapons 4, Stamina 3, the Stone Dogs path
Technique: Thundering Strength – This is the most advanced technique developed by the Stone Dogs, and is taught only to those who prove themselves particularly strong and skillful. If wielding one Heavy Weapon in each hand, you may use the Extra Attack maneuver declaring only 3 Raises. If you do so and succeed, the second attack must use the weapon in your off-hand (or in your main hand if your first attack used your off-hand). Alternatively, you may choose to make only one attack with both weapons as a complex action. If you do so, your attack will have a DR equal to one of the weapons you’re wielding (your choice) +2k2.