Clan and School: Campaign Design

As continuation from the previous article (“Starting Anew”), the new campaign further develops. The next steps for me are to create the unique minor Clan, provide a location and backstory, and create the Clan Bushi School and Technique. I settle on a small family, the Kagami, who have recently (in historical terms) gained their status as a Clan. An offshoot of the Crane Clan, the Kagami have a small province in an area of Rokugan where many minor Clans vie for control in the shadow of the Greater Clans. Without further discussion, let’s take a closer look at what I’ve drafted up…

The Kagami clan

The Kagami clan was founded several generations ago, as a direct result of the actions of Doji Kagami, a ji-samurai retainer of the Doji Clan. Kagami was the son of Hotsu, a waveman who had come into the employ of a Doji family Daimyo. Hotsu was a fervent defender for the Doji, and it is said that he lived and fought with twice the passion and dedication of a landed samurai. His son, Kagami, was said to have demonstrated twice the mettle of his father. Both accomplished much for their Daimyo in their time, and were trusted with responsibilities.

During the Battle of the Sevenfold Spears, Kagami-sama was ordered to bring his men around in reserve. As he did so, his unit crested a bluff and saw that the positioning of the Lion would result in a decisive strike against the vanguard of the Crane forces. Kagami – a strategic minded and thoughtful leader – saw what he had to do. He set aside his orders and led his men directly into the flank of the Matsu regiment minutes in proper time to delay them, allowing the Doji to reposition, and counter-strike. Doji Kagami’s actions saved the day for the Crane on the battlefield.

For disobeying his orders, Doji Kagami petitioned his lord for permission to commit seppuku. Impressed with the man’s loyalty and actions, the Daimyo granted him the request. To honor the loyal ronin, the Daimyo arranged for the family to be granted status as a minor clan. The young son, Nisei, was granted the name Kagami Nisei on his gempukku, and thus began the small, single family of the Kagami Clan.

The current Daimyo of the Kagami is Kagami Yoburi, the grandson of Kagami Nisei. The family has several villages under it’s control along interior of the southern coast of Rokugan, among the (contested) lands of many minor clans, and borders by the Crane, Scorpion and Crab.

The Kagami have kept good ties with the Crane, especially the Doji. Bushi may learn the Kakita Bushi style without paying any points for “Different School”. They would not, in general, be sent to the prestigious Kakita Dueling Academy however. Shugenja may be trained at the Asahina Shugenja school.

Family: Kagami
Bonus: +1 Awareness

Kagami Bushi School

Benefit: +1 Perception
Beginning Honor: 2 plus 5 boxes.

Battle, Defense, Iaijutsu, Kenjutsu, Kyujutsu, Yarijutsu, Any One High Skilll


Rank 1: The Way of Kagami

The original Kagami knew that where and how a battle was fought was almost as important as the men who fought it. Doji Kagami learned this lesson – his last, but his family’s first – at the Battle of the Sevenfold Spears. Through studying Sun Tao’s strategy and by understanding how the conditions of the terrain, the weather, the direction of the sun, the wind, and more influence a skirmish, Kagami bushi give themselves an edge in combat.

Kagami bushi may add their Battle skill to any Attack roll (but not to Damage). Kagami bushi may also gain one free raise on all attack and Battle skill rolls made in combat on terrain he is intimately familiar with (home province or other known through the Way of the Land advantage).

Rank 2: The Obedient Bushi is Decisive

Learning from their lesson, the Kagami bushi teach that a proper samurai is decisive, and hesitation may result in loss of victory. Kagami analyse the situation, then commit with bold action.

A Kagami bushi may roll add their Battle skill to the results of an Initiative check, and may spend more than one Void point on an Initiative check. The bushi using this technique may not take Full Defense in the same round, however.

Rank 3: The Decisive Bushi is Swift

Being trained at the Kakita dojo’s the kagami have taken the teachings of the Crane to heart. While learning from the Crane the Kagami have also learned that a moving target is harder to hit.

A Kagami bushi may add his Agility trait to his Defense while in combat. The bushi also learns to make two attacks per round.

Bushi Outfit
(All considered to be Average Quality): Katana, Wakizashi, Bow, 20 arrows of any type, Light Armor, Helm, Traveling Pack, Kimono, 2 weapons, 3 koku.

And there we have the first draft of the Kagami. I’m still thinking on the Techniques – I don’t think them overly generous, perhaps a bit strong for a minor Clan. Players don’t like to play second fiddle, however; the background and nature of being a minor Clan will provide plenty of opportunity for exploring “second class” samurai as it were. The bushi might as well have decent techniques. Several of my players helped out with ideas and development of the techniques.

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