DDC 2005: Test of Might

A huge thank you to all twenty-three of the players who took part in this year’s Dundracon event, as well as my co-GM, of course. I had a wonderful time running the game, and already look forward to running next February’s game.

For those who did not have the chance to attend the event, the extended program description (from the GM notes) was:

“As winter turns to spring, the time for campaigning draws near. Armor is cleaned, weapons polished, and stores counted. The Crab Daimyo has declared a Shiken no Isei (”Test of Might”) to decide which of his Bushi-Ryu will have his favor and which of the bushi-students show the greatest promise for battles ahead.”

The end of the story has both less and more to do with the fall of Hiruma Castle than it does the Test of Might.

The Event

Thanks to the nice folks at DDC, we had a seminar room for our event, which was slated for 14 players. The seminar room is a nice sized private suite, and can handle the size of the groups we wind up running. It also has it’s own bathroom and quasi-kitchenette, two doors, and they have about five or six long tables and plenty of chairs. Luckily – we needed all of them. We ran through 23 player this year, taking on everyone who showed up, ad I recall.

The premise of the story was that the PCs were all members of bushi-ryu, about to graduate. We split the group up into four teams, and sent each of them to go create their own Crab clan bushi-school. They were tasked with nominating a Head Student, naming their school, describing it’s teachings, and coming up with a rank 1 ability, a combat skill, a bugei skill, and one or two other skills as were needed. With some on the fly tweaking, the teams came back twenty or so minutes later. Each had each group and Head Student report out the result. Here are the summaries:

Fist of the Earth Dragon
Sensei: Kaiu Hintoshi

Special: +5 defense, +1 unkempt die/level in school (retributive)
Skills: Dai-tshuci, defense engineering, defense tactics

School of Flowing Water
Sensei: Kagemaru

Being that watrer cannot help but mirror that which contains it.

Benefit: +1 to one trait of your choice
“Water Fills the Vessel” (“Know you Enemy”)
Pick one school. Against bushi of that school, roll (not keep) dice equal to your school rank. For each rank in your school, add another school known.

Spines of the Crab
Sensei: Hida Togami
Motto: “Hold the line

Benefit: +1 Earth trait (Stamina or Willpower)
“Hold Your Ground”
+1 Earth when planted in combat.

Battle Tactics

Great Fortress (“Shrokabe
Sensei: Hyashi

Primary Weapon: Daitsuchi
Secondary: Daikyu

Primary Skill: Combat readiness
Secondary Skills: Athletics, Kaiyujitsu, Tsubojitsu

Rank 1: When defending a key objective, gain +1 roll die per rank in damage for the first round of combat

I salute the player for coming up with interesting, engaging stories and characters in the short time allowed, and fully embracing their roles. Domo arigato!!


  1. Moto Roshu said,

    March 10, 2005 at 2:12 pm

    I agree that the event was truly enjoyable. Of course, as your co-GM I am a biased source, but you do have the testimony of one samurai to back you up!

    Truly a fun, epic tale. Of course, we will never again be able to so surprise our players as when they first realized they were at the last stand of Hiruma Castle. I had never before appreciated the forlorn cries of doomed men!

    Thank you, master, for a truly engaging and memorable event.
    Moto Roshu

  2. The Monk said,

    March 13, 2005 at 12:49 am

    Indeed, it was a fun game.

    However, I will note that I’m quite sure we can surprise them again. Of this, I am confident. 🙂

%d bloggers like this: