1. What clan does your character belong to?

This is probably the most important question a player must answer. Each of the clans have differing opinions on everything from tradition to honor to philosophy. While the stereotypes may not always be true, they do exist for a reason. The clans are entities in and of themselves, and they will shape the character as well as how the rest of Rokugan perceives the character. See the Clans of the Emerald Empire for more information.

Crane Clan, Kakita Family.

2. How would you describe your character?

First impressions are important and nothing is determines that more than appearance. This includes physical appearance (build, eyes, hair, face, etc...), but also covers clothing, demeanor, and the indescribable essence that people feel upon meeting someone.

Build: Lightly muscled.

Eyes: Ice Blue (unusual).

Hair: Long full hair tied at top, but left to fall down in a full, billowing mass around his shoulders.

Face: Smooth, slim, no scars.

Skin: Light complexion.

Mon: Left shoulder.

Narrative physical description is here.

3. What is the character's profession?

Samurai attend professional schools from a very early age (6-8). They are shaped and molded by their sensei to serve the clan and family in a specific role. A character's profession includes both the school they are trained in as well as how they apply those techniques and skills to the outside world. There are many courtiers walking the halls of castles that were trained as bushi, but have either chosen to serve in a more political role or have been forced into such a role.


4. What is your character's family like?

A character's family is another defining quality that will determine how the rest of Rokugan perceives them. Each of the clans has a handful of noble families, each with their own personality. In addition to the larger family, it is important to think about the character's immediate family. Does she have any brothers or sisters? How old are they? Are the character's parents still alive? If so how do they serve the clan?

Father: Kakita Togori, alive, Kakita Bushi, Crane magistrate

Mother: Kakita (formerly Doji) Mishone, alive, Doji Courtier.

First child (son): Kakita Kuruno

Second child (son): Kakita Setsuka (my PC)

Third child (daughter): Isawa Oruni

Fourth child (daughter): Bayushi Uriki

More detailed info will manifest on the People and Places page.

5. What is your character's main motivation?

All great heroes have a motivation that can be summed up in one word. Love? Revenge? Ambition? Justice? When everything has turned hopeless and everyone has given up hope, what will keep the character going?

Spiritual perfection.

6. Who is the one person your character trusts most?

This could be you sensei, a parent or sibling, maybe the character's daily. It could also be someone outside of the family or clan, someone the character respects greatly. Then ask yourself why.

His katana. There is truth in steel.

7. What is your character's greatest strength? Greatest weakness?

Almost anything can be a strength or weakness. Don't rely on game mechanics, instead ask yourself what the character thinks is their greatest strength and weakness. These things can be templates for noteworthy development or improvement.

His strength is his spirit. His weakness is his relentless pursuit of skill at swordsmanship.

8. What does your character think of bushido?

Bushido is the way of the samurai. It is a code of living summed up in its seven virtues: Honesty & Justice, Heroic Courage, Compassion, Polite Courtesy, Honor, Complete Sincerity, and Duty & Loyalty. Does the character view bushido as a guide to live by, annoying rules, strict law of life, flexible?

It is an adequate code that helps guide those that need guidance. Honor and Duty are most important to him, in that order.

9. What is your character's own opinion of her clan?

Is the character complete devoted to the clan? Does he acknowledge the clan's weakness, or does he ignore them? What about his faith in the clan's leadership? The clan's history?

He is somewhat aloof of the clan politics, but he shares some of the clan's prejudices. His pursuit of the spiritual path requires some distance. He would answer a call to arms and fight for his clan in time of war. He does not dismiss the role of any other clan as part of a healthy empire.

10. Does the character have any prejudices?

How does she view the other clans? Does she believe the clan's opinions (good and bad) about the other clans? What about opinions on courtiers, shugenja, and bushi? How about prejudices against the minor clans?

See the Haiku on the Background page. He generally agrees with the Crane's prejudices about Dragon as a relatively non-productive clan that consumes Crane rice. He has a better opinion about Scorpion than the rest of his clan.

11. Is your character married?

Marriage is an arranged affair in Rokugan, used to solidify political power on both the family level and the clan level. It is common for a person to be betrothed even before they pass their gempukku. If the character is married (or betrothed), who is the partner? What clan, family? What is the motivation for the arranged marriage? How does he feel about the spouse? How well does he know her?

He is neither betrothed or married.

12. To whom does your character owe the most loyalty?

This is an important and difficult question. Samurai are expected to be unswerving in their loyalty to their daimyo, but the truth can be very different. Would the character choose her sensei over her lord? What about her lord over the clan's main daimyo? The answer to this question could be anything from a sibling to a sensei to a lord to a parent to the Emperor.

Loyalty to Father, Academy, Emperor.

13. What are your character's favorite (and least favorite) things?

These aren't passions or hatreds, but more personal quirks like: what is the character's favorite food? Thinking about these details will go a long way towards making the character a unique individual.

Setsuka is a connosieur of swords, tea, and sushi. His favorite food is saba (mackerel) sushi nagiri and his favorite alcohol is cold sake, as it reminds him of the peaceful cold winter nights of his homeland.

14. Does your character have any recurring mannerisms?

Everyone has small habits. Does the character do something when they get nervous? anxious? angry? Does she bite her lip, use lots of hand motions when talking? What is her favorite way of saying "Hello" and "Goodbye"?

He always smiles softly when somewhat insults him or confronts him, moves steadily and smoothly, and talks softly.

15. What about your character's psychology?

Which emotions is the character best able to handle? Which one gets the better of him almost every time? What about his level of cautiousness or trust when meeting new people?

He is pretty level headed and spiritual, which is why I bought the Balance advantage for him.

16. How would your character handle an insubordinate servant?

This question tells a lot about the character's views towards the lower classes. Rokugan is a caste society and interaction with people of lower and higher station happens on a daily basis.

He would probably talk to them to identify the problem.

17. How would your character's parents describe him?

A person's relationship with his parents is a very important one. How they would describe him tells a lot about that relationship. Are they proud and boast of the character's accomplishments? Answer this for the character's father and mother separately.

Father: He is a fine swordsman, worthy of his name, and destined for great things.

Mother: A good and kind soul, he will bring honor to us all. He will not accept betrothal, but when he does, the maidens will flock like cranes to our garden.

18. What are your character's highest ambitions?

Is it to be a teacher in the character's home school? The best iaijutsu duelist of her clan? Is the character perhaps interested in leaving a legacy? Maybe the character is just serving her lord dutifully and is looking forward to retirement? Maybe a glorious death?

He wants to strive for spiritual perfection and he believes this can be achieved by mastery of the sword. Death is not as appealing to him as other Samurai as he is concerned with forging a spiritual path that other swordmasters might follow.

19. How religious is your character?

Even with the obvious influences of the Fortunes, many samurai ignore them. "Put faith in your own abilities not the stars," is a common samurai saying. Does the character believe this? Does he worship the Fortunes more than the Tao of Shinsei? How much value does the samurai place in the Celestial Pattern? See Rokugan History, Mythology, and Religion for more information.

Setsuka believes more in the determinism of the human spirit. He is proud to be a Child of the Earth, like the first Kakita and he believes spirit rises above all else. His religion is thus more vague and he feels that in pursuing spiritual perfection, he will unconsciously exercise the necessary religion. He does believe in the Fates, but he does not seem them as deities that will grant him success. Rather, he sees them as possible companions on his path. He must do for himself.

20. If you could, what advice would you give your character?

Imagine your character sitting before you, what would you tell them about their future, or about life in general?

I would feel silly answering this. I'll pass. :-P