Well, here’s another bit for the current Legend of the Five Rings campaign. Since Peasants and Eta are perfectly acceptable character types, here’s a heritage table just for them.
Peasant and Eta Heritages: 1d10 twice.
1-3) Peasant Dishonorable Heritage:
1) Criminal: One of your recent ancestors was a notorious criminal, and probably came to a bad end – unless they’re still out there somewhere. Gain +2 Lore/Underworld, but any local magistrate will regard you with suspicion. Lose 2 Status points and 2 Honor points (this makes much more difference to other peasants than to samurai).
2) Vengeance: You and/or your immediate family were abused beyond endurance by your overlords. Even if you have relocated or run away, you would dearly love to avenge yourselves on your oppressor. Gain +2 levels of any combat skill, lose all normal social connections.
3) Tainted Family: A close relative was discovered to be severely Tainted, and was executed for it. If you selected Taint as a disadvantage earlier in character creation, you are a hunted fugitive. If not, you have been officially cleared but are unofficially shunned. -1K1 on all social skill rolls.
4) Cursed: You have angered some minor spirit. Once per week it will either cause you to fail an important die roll or do something annoying. Lose 3 points of Honor, but gain +1 Lore/Peasant Magic (Spirit-Repelling Charms).
5) Tainted: You have 1K1 points of Taint, but gain no points for it and – at your option may not even know it or may have escaped detection. You may take tainted abilities however and may, at you option, have relatives who have fallen. Lose one full rank of Honor.
6-7) Yakuza Connection: Your family has underworld ties. This counts as a 6-point dark secret, costs you five points of Honor, and will cause serious trouble if it’s revealed. On the other hand you gain +1 each to Deceit, Forgery, Stealth, and Lore/Underworld and may obtain a wide variety of items which are difficult to obtain through normal channels or of doubtful provenance.
8) Maho Wielder: You have learned (Void + 1) first-level maho spells. If you’ve actually used them you may have some Taint as well, although you will get the points for it. In either case, you may well wish that you had never acquired this dangerous knowledge. Lose one full rank of Honor.
9-0) Inept Ancestor: Your family was much better off a generation or so ago, but – thanks to an ancestors spectacular bungling – is now poor, even for peasants. You are determined to do better – which shouldn’t really be very difficult.
4-6) Peasant Distinguished Heritage:
1-2) Samurai Parentage: While you weren’t left a Dai-sho or any real proof, you or one of your parents was the bastard child of a Samurai, or a parent was even the acknowledged child of a Ronin. Gain +2 to any High or Bugei skill, +5 honor, +.1 status, and two average-quality weapons other than swords, war fans, or ninja ranged weapons.
3) Temple Connections: You have several relatives who have either been taken in and trained by monks and/or priests or who have retired to temples in their old age. Gain three appropriate 1-point allies and a +1 to Theology and Etiquette.
4) Blessed: Someone out there likes you. You gain a 4-point ally in the form of a spirit or local samurai.
5) Peasant Mage: You, and your relatives, are used to making minor charms to make your lives more pleasant and prosperous. Gain +2 Lore/ Peasant Magic (Prayer Strips), +1 Spellcraft, +.2 status, and 1K1 silver bu. You may well have the potential for actual spellcasting.
6) Prosperous Farmer: Your family are talented farmers, harvesters, and makers of basic goods. Your family “peasant skills” are counted as being of rank 4 if they should every somehow matter and you start off with 2K2 silver bu, +3 honor points, and +.1 status.
7) Expert Artificer: Your family is skilled in the production of high-quality goods, possibly even including weapons or armor. Gain +2 on any one Craft skill, one item of fine quality, 2K2 silver bu, +2 honor points and +.1 status.
8) Blessed by the Fortunes: You may choose an area of expertise, such as farming, building, forging metal, mining, or some similar labor. If you participate in such a project, it will progress or produce 10% more than usual. If you hold a position of authority in it the bonus increases to 20%. Gain a additional relevant 3-point advantage, +.1 Status, and 1K1 silver bu.
9-10) Ashigaru Family: Your family has trained and fought beside samurai for generations. Gain +2 Athletics, +2 Defense, +1 to any other Bugei skill, any weapon except a sword, +3 honor points, and +.1 status.
7-0) Peasant Mixed Blessings:
1) Geisha: Someone in the family is a skilled Geisha, and you have taken a few hints from her. Gain +1 each to Acting, Etiquette, and Games and a 1-point Geisha Ally – plus an obligation to help if she ever needs it.
2) Supernatural Bride or Relative: You have an Aunt, Uncle, Sister, or Brother-in-Law who is a shapeshifter or other spirit. You gain a 4-point appropriate ally, a tendency to attract bothersome supernatural beings, and an obligation to keep quiet about the entire mess. If you don’t have any magical training already you’re very likely to have the potential for it.
3-4) Wealth: Your family is well-off (for peasants), whether due to the favor of the local overlords, being prosperous merchants, to lots of practice at bargaining, to some gift, or to a supply of funds you don’t want to talk about. Gain 4K4 silver Bu and +2 Ranks in the Commerce skill. Of course, the tax collectors actually pay personal attention to you.
5-6) Servant: Your family has traditionally worked for Samurai. Gain +1 each in any two high skills, but you are also privy to some dangerous bits of information. You don’t know enough, or have any real evidence for blackmail, but it’s enough to get you executed if you open your mouth or to put you in danger if your master’s family becomes a target.
7) Traditional Business: Your family is respectably prosperous, and has access to a wide variety of supplies. Unfortunately, you must spend a lot of your spare time on family business. Gain +1 Commerce and +4 items in your Traveling Pack.
8) Infamous Ancestor: You have a samurai ancestor that you don’t want to talk about (or that no one in their right mind would want to claim). More importantly, said ancestor has chosen YOU to either redeem some small portion of his or her legacy – or to carry it on. Gain a 2-point ancestor spirit who is also an annoying haunt.
9) Secret Society: You are an agent of the Kolat, a Tong or Triad, a Ninja organization, or some secret cult. You may or may not be a willing participant, or may have been inducted while very young, but they will occasionally call upon you for various services – or to spy on your betters. Gain a 4-point Ally in the Society, a +2 to Deceit, and the ability to purchase Ninja gear. Unfortunately, you also suffer from a 5-point Dark Secret and a 2-point Obligation. -5 Honor, +1K1 gold Koku.
10) Local Hero: You successfully dealt with a dangerous local problem when no samurai were around to handle it and the tale has spread among the peasantry. You can obtain free food and basic supplies in all but the most poverty-stricken villages, but the locals will also look to you to solve their problems for them.
Yes, most of the Peasant Heritages, including the “Dishonorable” ones are actually useful. This is partially because Peasants and Eta already have enough problems and partially because Peasants and Eta with any extra difficulties rarely live long enough to become player characters.