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The PCs are all members of Miya Ansho's court/retinue who accompany him to Naishou Province. Any clans, families, and schools are allowed. You need to come up with the background/reason that you serve Ansho and the players should probably coordinate to ensure no 2 of you are fulfilling the same role in Ansho's court (unless you want to roleplay that conflict/competitiveness, which is ok by me if you do).

No PC can be from Naishou Province or be connected to it in any way. No PC can know anything about Naishou Province except what is common knowledge (which is very, very little, because it’s extremely isolated.

Questions to Answer

  1. Please answer the Twenty Questions, found on pages 100-101 of the main rule book, and share the answers with me
  2. For 5 bonus XP, answer the Other Questions found on pages 101-102 of the main rule book and share the answers with me
  3. Document why you loyally serve Miya Ansho and how long you have served him
  4. Have you ever spent much time on the road, camping, or roughing it?
  5. Have you ever spent much time in a large city?
  6. Have you ever spent much time in a small village?
  7. Have you traveled much outside of your family’s or clan’s lands?
  8. What do you think about the task Ansho-sama has been assigned?
  9. Are you excited at the prospect, dreading it?


System Primer

Build a starting character first (which includes 40XP), then spend another 110 XP. I want to see where everyone comes out at that point and if I'm not satisfied, I might give everyone some additional XP.

House Rules

Alternate Paths

If you take an alternate path, normally that path technique replaces the same rank technique in your base school (Hida Berserker replaces the rank 2 Hida Bushi technique, for example). You can choose to have it work that way, or if you want, you can choose to pick up the ‘replaced’ technique when you reach the next insight rank. So in our previous example, at Insight Rank 3, the Crab who took the Hida Berserker alternate path at Insight Rank 2 could decide to take the Hida Bushi Rank 2 technique and then continue up the Hida Bushi school from there. It would cause you to defer your school’s higher ranked techniques until later, but it would mean you don’t have to lose out on a technique entirely.

Altered Skills

General Note: You won’t always roll the Trait with a Skill that the rulebook says you will. Kenjutsu, for instance, is normally rolled with Agility, to attack someone, but you might roll Perception + Kenjutsu to assess another swordsman’s ability, or the quality of a sword you’re examining. As another example, Athletics will be rolled with Strength only for athletic tasks where strength is the primary physical attribute (lifting things, climbing, etc.). Running an obstacle course or chasing someone through a crowded market place would be Agility + Athletics or Reflexes + Athletics.

Lore (Your Clan): Add your Insight rank to the total of your roll when rolling your Lore (Your Clan) skill

Altered Advantages

Wealth: Each point of wealth gets you 10 koku, not 2 koku, and also adds 10 koku/year to your stipend

Mechanical Changes

Normally, for Wound Ranks, you get your Earth * 5 at the Healthy level and Earth * 2 for all other ranks. I’m modifying that to give you your Earth * 5 at Healthy, your Earth * 2 for Nicked through Down, and then your Earth * 5 again for the Out rank.

Equipment and Money

1 koku = 12 bu = 336 zeni

On the first of every year, you receive a stipend from your lord. This stipend equals your Status Rank (drop the decimal) plus your Insight Rank times 10 koku.


Everyone gets a few free skills:

  • 1 rank in Lore (Your Clan)
  • 1 rank in a Lore of your choice
  • 1 rank in your choice of Artisan (Any), Games (Any), or Perform (Any)

Everyone also gets an ally that accompanies them to Naishou Province. It could be a spouse, a sibling, or just a trusted retainer. You get to pick the clan, family, school, and advantages/disadvantages of this ally and I’ll stat out the rest.

Here’s a master list of all of the schools that were released for the 4th edition: School List


The lands that make up Naishou Province were settled long before the Kami fell from the Heavens. The population of the region was composed primarily of three tribal groups, the Yamataru Tribe, the Morikawa Tribe, and the Takanobu Tribe. When the samurai of the Empire finally stumbled upon the area, the Takanobu dominated, leaving the Yamataru largely isolated in the mountains and the Morikawa in the southwestern forests. The War Against Fu Leng saw the strength of all 3 tribes depleted and the region heavily damaged. After Fu Leng’s defeat on the First Day of Thunder, Naishou Province was deemed not worth rebuilding. The samurai of the great clans left and the region became an unaligned territory within the Empire.

Centuries of benign neglect allowed the tribes of the province to replenish their strength and restore their lands. About 450 years ago, the province’s recovery and bountiful natural resources were rediscovered by the great clans. Over the next half a century, the great clans waged endless war with each other across Naishou province. Control of the region changed hands sometimes multiple times a year. By the time the Emperor settled all disputes, assigning control of the province to the Phoenix Clan, the region was almost as bad off as it was after Fu Leng’s first attempt to conquer the Empire.


Naishou Province is on the northern border of the empire, forgotten between the Unicorn Clan’s Senseki Province to its west and south and the Dragon Clan’s Mucha Province to its east.

A treacherous, yet navigable, pass through the Taru Mountains connects Naishou to Mucha Province, while the Itochu River passes south out of Naishou and into Senseki province. There may be routes through the Omikura Swamp into the gaijin lands north of the empire, but if there are, they are certainly not well known or documented.

Geographical Features

Kawa Forest

Omikura Swamp

Tsunegawa Lake

Itochu River

Taru Mountains


Toshi No Naishou

Koso Mura

Hitori Mura

Shizu Mura

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Who Shall Rule? pwtcowboy