Lion Clan Politics

   Per request, here’s some information on the current leaders of the Lion Clan for the Legend of the Five Rings campaign.

   The Current Clan Champion is Ikoma Keisei. Keisei was something of a compromise. After his predecessor was killed in battle, there were numerous candidates – but a series of lethal duels, political intrigues, and family objections removed several possible champions and left the Lion Clan Council unable to agree on any of the obvious possibilities. Eventually somebody proposed Keisei – who was adequately skilled, popular with his troops, notable for getting along with everyone, and had no serious enemies.

   By that time being unobjectionable was probably the most important qualification that anyone could have. Of course, for the suspicious-minded, the height of manipulation strategies is to make everyone else believe that doing what you want is entirely their own idea – or at least the most profitable thing they could possibly be doing.

   Keisei is only 33, has been in office for fourteen months, and has notably seized a chance to slap a bandage over the perpetually-bleeding wound of Toshi Ranbo, settled a series of border disputes with the Dragon, and authorized a fair number of other settlements and agreements. Most of the more militaristic Lion clansmen are a bit disgruntled – especially over his conceding Toshi Ranbo to a Ronin and a Crane Child (Imperial directive or not) – but no such grumbling has yet survived one of his audiences.

   The Akodo Daimyo, Ogami, is 84, and has been in power since he was 48. Not unexpectedly, he’s notable for his considerable tactical skills, which extend to a considerable variety of games and activities. Unusually for a man of his age, he continues to practice with his sword and weapons on a daily basis, and is said to have lost little – if any – of his youthful skills. He is recently notable for having personally slain several demon-assassins and having survived the opening of one of the first of Fu Lengs little love-letters – although there were a number of other casualties in the radius of effect.

   The Ikoma Daimyo, Takaii, has been in office for almost five years at this point. He’s notable for his use of obscure minor techniques – of which he seems to know a considerable number – and his sponsorship of both an assortment of small schools and of the recovery of “lost” schools and techniques through historical research. He apparently that the contribution of versatility to strength is too often overlooked.

   The Kitsu Daimyo, So, is a rather extreme ascetic, and has mastered a variety of Monkish disciplines. He’s effective, extremely hard-working, keeps track of innumerable details in his head, has never been touched by even the slightest rumor of scandal, and isn’t especially popular, since he tends to insist that everyone within reach follow a similar regime of self-denial, obscure dietary rules, and exercise. Some years ago he revamped the chain of command among the Kitsu forces to emphasize small unit tactics rather than broad military actions – or the usual individual heroics. While he – admittedly – has few troops at his command, he personally trains a small core of them. No one is quite sure whether or not they appreciate it.

   The Matsu Daimyo, Gidayo, is notable for her straightforward destruction of whatever is put in front of her. While it may, in part, be due to stereotype, she’s still known as one of the empire’s major proponents of crushing military force. She provides most of the active opposition to the more conciliatory policies of Keisei. Since the fall of Toshi Ranbo – which had been under Matsu administration at the time – she has been making every effort to ensure that the Matsu forces are at a peak of readiness and has been expanding the Beastmaster school.

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Kimai !

The glorious benevolent super-dictator appears! Nyaha~!

(Champions character sheet. I did a good portion of this, but it’s Paul that made it fit within the alloted point total. Yay him, once again.)

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The Bane Mummies

   For today, we have some of the new opponents in the Champions game – the Bane Mummies, ancient death cultists, from a group responsible for the extermination of human life in North America thousands of years ago. Now simultaneously incarnations of fear from the race-mind, sorcerers drawing on the pain and terror of thousands of imprisoned souls, corpses indirectly animated by long-dead spirits from their otherworldly stronghold, and enchanted golems, the Bane Mummies – now that they’ve been disturbed, re-awakened, and have learned that humanity survived their initial purge, are a serious menace to all humanity.

Local Villagers

   For today, its a few of the local villagers from a small fishing village that’s about to play a notable role’ in the Champions campaign…

 

Whan Hoo: This elderly fisherman no longer has the endurance for long fishing trips, but still uses a small boat for local fishing and teaching the smaller children, of whom he is quite protective. He often spins fanciful tales about his encounters with sea-dragons, giant turtles with islands on their backs, and similar traditional creatures. Dex 14, Speed 3, Fishing, Sailing, Teaching, and Storytelling at 14-, and two levels with ranged attacks. Whan possesses a Greater Pearl of the Seas (+2′ Swimming, Breathe Underwater, Immunity to Pressure Variations), a Lucky Charm (+2d6 Luck), a selection of Nets (3d6 Entangle), Harpoons (1d6+1 Killing Attack with Stretching), Gutting Knives (1d6 HKA total), and knows a few charms – Detect Fish, Combat Ward (6 PD, 4 ED Force Field) and Mighty Labors (+10 Strength), all with the usual restrictions for basic human magic.

 

Nurse Chan Zeman: An efficient middle-aged woman with two children (Jing, now sixteen and working at an inland factory, and Yusheng (see below)), Zeman was born in the village and – despite being qualified for a better post elsewhere – insisted on being stationed in the village to remain near her aging (and now deceased) father. She tends to place little confidence in any form of outside intervention: it’s never really helped anyone she cares much about. Zeman knows several of the basic medicinal charms – 2d6 Healing, Cure Disease, and Diagnosis, but has to refer patients to the city physicians for surgical or high-powered magical interventions. Since the floods a few years ago she, and several of the other villagers, have been practicing the 1 PD/1 ED Force Barrier spell.

 

Chan Yusheng: Now eight, Yusheng has precociously mastered a small illusion spell (one-hex audiovisual, 14-activation) and knows pretty much every hiding place, back route, and path through the local bamboo groves, woodlots, and bushes in the area (12- Roll). Yusheng likes cats, dislikes the mandatory history lessons (Whan Hoo’s stories are MUCH more interesting), and often gets up to mischief – especially swiping treats – with the other village children. Like most of the village children, Yusheng has been given a couple of protective charms (2 PD/2 ED Armor and 2d6 Luck only for keeping out of major trouble). Like most small children, Yusheng is quick and fast (Dex 15, Speed 3, Run 8″) rather than especially strong or enduring.

 

Ikun Weizhe: This young man is quite patriotic. He’s a member of the national military reserve, takes a good deal of pride in his ongoing martial arts training, and can usually be found wearing his uniform. He’s quite fond of Chan Jing, and – while he definitely sees the village as a backwater – is well aware that it’s home. For good or ill, he tends to try to take charge whenever something unexpected happens and would like to see less stress placed on age and tradition. Dex 14, Speed 3, Run 7″, 1 Combat Level, Martial Arts (5d6 Strike, Block, Dodge, Throw), Rifle (1d6+2 RKA),

 

Soong Huifen: Quiet and retiring, Huifen possesses poorly-controlled psychic abilities – and tries not to get too excited for fear of accidently upsetting people with accidental manifestations. She tends to use old-fashioned manners and formality to avoid letting anyone get close to her. Huifen has a 20-point Multipower (TK, Force Wall, Telepathy, Clairvoyance, Force Field) and a fair energy reserve to draw on, but has poor control: she can only get her abilities to do what she wants on an 11-.

 

Kitsune Shan: While most of the older villagers recognize Shan for what he is – a shapeshifting “demon fox” – his girl-chasing and the food-swiping is hardly worrisome enough for the village to risk a serious confrontation with a supernatural being – however minor – over. They have cautioned the children not to let him lure them off somewhere or to take presents from him without an adult around however. On his part, Shan likes hanging around with Humans. It’s a lot safer and more comfortable than being a wild animal. He’s even gotten personally fond of some of them. Shan has Dex 14, Ego 11, Com 18, and Speed 3, as well as a 20-point power pool (Darkness, Illusion, and Transformation / Shapeshifting Magic), but is notably weaker, more fragile, and more skittish than a normal human being. His forte’ is trickery, not battle.

 

 

Plumbing the Darkness

   For today its another portion of the old Dark Ages Campaign handouts – the Coinage Systems and Price Lists. Sadly, the surviving information on Medieval Prices is scattered and fragmentary at best, as well as being drawn from sources scattered across many centuries and the entire continent of Europe. Still, we made a stab at being realistic.

Update at the Virtual Crypt

   I finally got around to updating my character sheets section again.  It has links to almost every Champions session log with the exp earned at each session and a quick description of each of The White Necromancer’s multiforms.  I should add Jason, the were-human templates, and Bobby’s new main form tonight.  Character Sheets

Welcome to the Dark Ages

   Some time ago, we tried a semi-”realistic” medieval d20 campaign, with cultures based on actual medieval cultures, somewhat limited magic based on classical ideas about how magic operated, and a world built around classical myths and legends. Some of the material was later adapted for other settings – for example, some of the magical restrictions turned up again in the Atheria setting – but here some of the basic worldview handouts. The Celtic-Pagan version is the most detailed, since most of the characters came from that region, but the Nordic and Christian cultures were in the mix as well.