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
2. How would you describe
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
Face: Smooth, slim,
Skin: Light complexion.
Mon: Left shoulder.
description is here.
3. What is the character's
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
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):
Second child (son):
Kakita Setsuka (my PC)
Third child (daughter):
Fourth child (daughter):
More detailed info
will manifest on the People and
5. What is your character's
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?
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
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
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
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
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,
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"
He always smiles softly
when somewhat insults him or confronts him, moves steadily and
smoothly, and talks softly.
15. What about your
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
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
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