Allegiances.   Posted by Mikado.Group: 0
 GM, 21 posts
Thu 14 Jan 2016
at 13:28
If you're still not sure about allegiances for your character, here are a few things to consider.

1. You should have at least two. Competing allegiances (I hope) are what will give this game a distinctly "Japanese" feel, rather than just being D&D in funny hats.

2. You can always default to your feudal lord (in this case Lord Isenoumi of Enzan province) and family clan if you wish. A shinobi may also be part of a shinobi clan separate from their family clan. A mahotsukai may belong to a temple, shrine, monastery, etc.

3. Allegiances may shift over the course of the game. Don't feel like it's a straight jacket on your character. At the same time, there should be a good, in-game reason for any shifts.

4. I found an old document I was working on two years ago for the game with other organizations/options for allegiances. I just edited it a bit and will put it in the next post below.

Feel free to work out allegiances in this thread, if you haven't already through PMs with me. If you want to keep a third secret allegiance, obviously work that out through PMs with me.
 GM, 22 posts
Thu 14 Jan 2016
at 13:35
Military Organizations
In addition to or instead of allegiance to a feudal lord or family clan, martial characters may have one of these allegiances.

Samurai Schools: The schools that teach military arts to Samurai are not organizations, but students of a particular school often feel a bond to others that share their style. Any bushi character may be trained in one of these styles, and select the school (or their immediate master) as their liege. Each school can offer few monetary rewards, but members may be granted special training or students of their own to train and mentor.
     Traditional School: The Traditional School teaches general combat skills with a focus on mounted archery and katana sword-play.
     Fu: The Fu (Wind) School focuses on standard archery and gunnery.
     Rin: The Rin (Forest) school focuses on pole arms and spears.
     Ka: The Ka (Fire) School focuses on speed and iaijutsu strikes.
     San: The San (Mountain) School focuses on defense and heavy weapons.

Ikko-Ikki: This militant religious group is formed by peasant groups who seek to protect other peasants from the tyranny of the upper-classes. Members are expected to donate much time and wealth to the cause. In return, the organization is quick to promote members and provide them with both material and esoteric benefits.

Hikeshi-dan: These are groups of firefighters in larger towns and cities. While they are usually of the common classes and have rough manners, they are respected by the populace for the work they do to prevent fires from destroying entire communities. Members often also serve as neighborhood watchmen, preventing crime. Members are often rewarded with mystical body tattoos for their service.

Clandestine Organizations
In addition to or instead of allegiance to a family clan, roguish characters may have one of these allegiances. The organizations will all demand strict obedience from members.

Shadow Bakufu: This group of ronin samurai, shinobi, yakuza and rogue mahotsukai operate secretly throughout the Jade Islands. They are opposed to the shogunate, and plot to undermine its authority.  The motto of the society is the term “gekokujo,” or those below replacing those above. Members serve under various daimyo, and constantly seek ways to topple their masters and take their places. They are rumored to be led by the Shogun of the Dark, but if such an individual exists, his or her identity is one of the best kept secrets in the land.

Mayuzuki: The Mayuzuki (Crescent Moon) is a mercenary ninja clan. They are masters of assassination, infiltration, and sabotage.  Various leaders seek to employ their services, and the Mayuzuki always serves the highest bidder. They are, however, quite honorable, and once they agree to serve one party, do not betray them. They have been known to stretch out negotiations with a potential employer, however, in order to see if the opposition will pay more. Members are usually rewarded monetarily, with a large percentage of treasure they turn over to their superiors being given back to them.

Azuma Shinobi: This ninja clan is devoted to serving the greater good (as they see it), rather than the highest bidder.  No one can ask for their services, they offer it to those they judge to have the same goals as the clan.  They are masters of espionage, but do occasionally bring “Heaven’s Wrath” to criminals. Members in good standing have access to a nationwide network of agents and information, plus assistance in dealing with especially dangerous threats.

Sisters of the Cherry Blossom: This group of kunoichi often appear to be geisha, as they practice entertainment and magic. They are master spies, using their magical abilities to learn secrets. Members are all female, and are masters of some performing art. While the group’s existence is known to some (and rumored by many), anyone who learns the identity of a member is usually killed or enchanted before they can spread such knowledge far. Members are rewarded for their service by being taught special magical abilities that aid them in their missions.

Religious Organizations
In addition or instead of allegiance to a temple, monastery or shrine, a religious character may have one of these allegiances. Players begin as initiates or apprentices within the organization and can move up through services rendered and treasure donated.

Ministry of Divination: This branch of the government is charged with providing advice and warnings to the emperor before important decisions are made, to organize the calendar, and to chart the passage of the stars. It is also their duty to protect the Capital from supernatural threats. Not every Onmyoji belongs to this organization, but many do. Full members have a Seal of Office that allows them many privileges as bureaucrats.

The Simple Path: Followers of this religion believe that they should have no attachments to worldly things, and seek enlightenment through a rejection of the material world. They live as ascetic monks and nuns, hermits, or else wandering mendicants getting by on the charity of others. Members do not gain XP for donating treasure to temples or monasteries, but instead gain XP from giving it away to the poor and needy. In return, they develop holy abilities others do not possess.

Dragon Tigers: Members of this group have all proven themselves to be masters of magic in one form or another by passing a test. There are no formal requirements as to what constitutes a test, but no practitioner is allowed full membership until three Masters have vouched that the applicant has passed. Members, even apprentices, are usually rewarded with additional spells for their spell books, and with knowledge of how to create magical items.

Children of Shoki: These magicians and priests are all members of the upper castes (Kuge and Buke). They are champions of the social and cultural norms of society, and this often leads them to positions as monster hunters (yokai and other creatures are inherently antithetical to human social order). Full members are often gifted with magical items that can help them in their work, and sometimes with secret techniques for quelling demons.
 player, 1 post
Fri 15 Jan 2016
at 03:42
In reply to Mikado (msg # 1):

Dragon Tigers are a good fit for me, but I still need another allegiance...
Doji Suzuha
 player, 4 posts
Wed 20 Jan 2016
at 00:14
Suzu is a student of the Asanagi-ryuu, a prominent school of the ka style.
 GM, 27 posts
Mon 25 Jan 2016
at 02:10
So far we have:

Doji Suzuha - Asanagi-ryuu fencing school, Lord Isenoumi

Hamaza Hattatori - Hattatori Clan (Kuge), Rokudenashi Performers Troup

Isao Onodera - Onodera Family (Buke), Lord Isenoumi

Mako Miyasuzu - Akugiri Clan (Buke), Order of the Silver Bell (religious group)

Miyazaki Haruna - Kawabe Jinja, Lord Isenoumi

Shikimori Hikaru - Shikimori Ayumi (NPC), Kawabe Jinja

Taishiko - Dragon Tigers, Lord Isenoumi

For those of you without a second allegiance, allegiance to Lord Isenoumi. That will make it easier for me to get things going.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:04, Thu 28 Jan 2016.

Doji Suzuha
 player, 6 posts
Mon 25 Jan 2016
at 03:15
I'll go with that since it's easier for Suzu to establish herself apart from her family.
 GM, 28 posts
Tue 26 Jan 2016
at 07:36
Thanks, Suzu!

Haruna and Taishiko, is this also fine with you?

I need to come up with at least a few general ideas for each of your lieges -- personalities, goals and interests, rivals, and the like. Plus I need to come up with lists detailing what sorts of benefits you may get from each for certain amounts of treasure donated or services rendered.

For example, if you were a member of a local fishermen's union, I might have a secret table like this, for cumulative treasure donated (yes, I'll track this!):
100 mon - full membership in union
500 mon - ability to charter a vessel when one is available
2000 mon - ability to charter a vessel at need
10,000 mon - granted possession of a magical lure that summons any aquatic creature named
25,000 mon - captaincy of a small fishing vessel
Aiding in goal to stamp out pirates - granted undersea full light armor (water-breathing, free movement)
Aiding in goal to circumvent the Haori Merchant League - reward of 1,000 mon
Actively destroying the Haori Merchant League - selection as a High Council Member

This is just an example, and as you guys go up in levels, and the lieges' goals and rivals/enemies shift, I'll have to keep coming up with more. So it's a fair amount of work for me.

Now, I just spit-balled the above off the top of my head in about 5 minutes or so, so it's not an unbearable amount of work. I need to get that done before we start the game, though.

I'll give the two of you until the end of the week to post any objections, and suggestions for other allegiances. Sound fair?
Miyazaki Haruna
 player, 12 posts
Tue 26 Jan 2016
at 15:45
Sure! The only other real suggestion I have for allegiance would be to her family's shrine. Granted, the shrines often have a close relationship with the liege, so it's possible that those two are connected. As for personalities and such I can come up with something a bit later today. A bit busy with work I'm afraid.
 player, 2 posts
Tue 26 Jan 2016
at 17:06
In reply to Mikado (msg # 7):

Isenoumi-sama could work, as long as he wasn't involved in her exile.  (I doubt it would've travelled that far up the social ladder -- she was bratty, not a murderess or anything).
 GM, 30 posts
Wed 27 Jan 2016
at 13:42
Haruna and Taishiko, thanks both. Taishiko, the details of that are up to you, but as far as I'm concerned, Lord Isenoumi is/was not involved.

If you want an enemy, perhaps Lord Kasugano was involved. For that reason, you've decided to serve Lord Isenoumi. Or not, it's up to you.

I'm getting an impacted wisdom tooth removed tomorrow (the other next week) so I might be light posting over the next few days. I'll be working on fleshing out your lieges, though, don't worry!
 player, 3 posts
Wed 27 Jan 2016
at 18:30
In reply to Mikado (msg # 10):

Works for me!!  Hope the wisdom tooth removal isn't too bad.  In the meantime, take it easy, Mikado-sama!