The Other 100 Points - Character Creation

The Other 100 Points – Character Creation

This is a working file on Character Creation for the Monday Night Game. Read it through and get to work!

Character Creation

  • Points: 45
  • Advantages: No max
  • Disadvantages: Max of 15 Points; you may take more, but gain no more benefit than 15 points; note that it is highly suggested that you do not even take -15 points without very, very good reason
  • Skills: None start higher than 3, except one that can be a 4
  • Emphases: No restrictions
  • Traits/Rings: None start higher than a 3, except one that can be a 4
  • Rank: You will not get the benefit of your Rank 2 technique even if you are Insight Rank 2, so I wouldn’t bother doing this on purpose. You will be treated as Rank 1 for the whole Topaz Tournament.
  • Post Tournament: You will get quite a few points to raise yourself at least to mid rank 2 if not rank 3
  • Clans/Schools/Other:
    - I do not suggest playing ronin, but if you want to do so, feel free. I will not give extra experience or otherwise for you doing so, but points aren’t everything.
    - Spider: They technically do not exist in the open, just yet. If you want to play a secret Spider, get with me on this.
    - Void Shugenja/Tattooed Man: None. Gets played too often in the game and I want to see some extra flavor.
    - Courtier: Highly encouraged; you will get an extra 4 experience for playing one.

Please try to play some of the Game of 20 Questions found on pp100-103 of the Core Rulebook for background on your character.

A note on the Topaz Championship: If you want to pass, or succeed, you may want to meta-game just a little to help you along. You do not need to build your character to blow everyone else out of the water. Even if you don’t win, as long as you show yourself well, you will gain glory and fame. Remember that most of the Topaz role-playing happens BETWEEN the contests. That being said, here are the skills involved if you do want to meta-game a little. If you don’t know how to make a character at all, I will help on you this matter.
- Sumai (Wrestling), Lore: Heraldry, Athletics, Horsemanship, Law/Etiquette/Bushido (one contest), Weapons (any), Poetry/Artisan (any), Courtier, Go (Battle can be used at a penalty), Archery, Hunting (Investigation), Iaijutsu (technically the most important because you can possibly do this challenge multiple times).

The Other 100 Points

The following is a tool I am borrowing from the game 7th Sea. In that game, you used 100 points to make your character. Then, you used “the other 100 points” to help the Storyteller determine what kind of game you wanted to be involved with.

The beginning of the game will be the Topaz Championship. But as the Championship progresses, I want to add our personal flavor to how we want the game to progress. To that end, I am asking each person to “spend” their other 100 points below. There are numerous sections that you can spend points on. The more points, the more you want that to be in the campaign. I will tally them all up for the overall theme of the game, but I will also keep your personal points to determine what to add in for your character. An example is listed under the sections:


[##] Horror/Corruption (Ex: A Shadowlands or Kaiu Wall campaign)
[##] Intrigue/Investigation (Ex: Magistrates, Murder, and Mystery)
[##] Military (Ex: Heavy emphasis on Mass Battle, strategy, and war)
[##] The Court (Ex: politics, courtiers, etc.)
[##] Mystical (Ex: Non-Corrupt Supernatural; like Spirits, the kami, etc)
[##] Tragedy (Ex: Doomed Romance, Duty over Honor, Dying for a cause)
[##] Exploration/Rescue (Ex: Venture into the dark Shinomen Forest)

Example – Akodo Bob’s Breakdown:

0 Horror/Corruption (Ex: A Shadowlands or Kaiu Wall campaign)
10 Intrigue/Investigation (Ex: Magistrates, Murder, and Mystery)
35 Military (Ex: Heavy emphasis on Mass Battle, strategy, and war)
25 The Court (Ex: politics, courtiers, etc.)
5 Mystical (Ex: Non-Corrupt Supernatural; like Spirits, the kami, etc)
20 Tragedy (Ex: Doomed Romance, Duty over Honor, Dying for a cause)
5 Exploration/Rescue (Ex: Venture into the dark Shinomen Forest)

Cooperative Storytelling and Karma Points

I want this game to include a great deal of support for the players in helping tell the story. I’ll be posting a lot of material on the Obsidian Portal site and I will be doing the majority of the legwork when it comes to creating the setting, story, and theme of the game. However, I would like support from the players. To encourage this, I am going to have you do something right at the start called Cooperative Storytelling and I am going to continue to use my Karma Point system.

Cooperative Storytelling

When you make your character ensure that you have, at minimum, a few sentences about your general personality, a few traits and quirks, some random detail about at least one item you carry and a personal motivation or goal. In addition, get with another player (we can do some of this on the first game) and pick one of your Advantages/Disadvantages, Skills, Emphases in a skill, or some quality about your character (like Clan, allegiance, or history). You will tie the chosen example in with another player.

Examples below:

Akodo Bob chooses his True Love disadvantage to tie in with Shosuro Jim’s Sworn Enemy. They decide that Shosuro Jim hates the Husband of Akodo Bob’s True Love. They also decide that Akodo Bob does not know this information, but Shosuro Jim does and is seeking to take advantage of it.

Tsuruchi Dudefella chooses his Kyujutsu (Archery) skill which he has very high and his friend, Isawa Fartface, an Air shugenja, chooses his Air Ring. They decide that the Isawa has a certain appeal for archery due to his close ties with the ring of air and is interested in the Tsuruchi’s powerful skill with the bow from the word go. They determine before the game starts that the two characters will want to get to know one another more using this as a springboard for the action.

If/When you complete this task, I will award you a Karma point at the first game session (see below). Please note that some Advantages/Disadvantages work perfectly for this: Obligation (to another player or their associate?), Heart of Vengeance (a Player’s clan – animosity right off!), Blackmail, Allies, and, my favorite, Karmic Tie!

Karma Points

The Karma Point system is something I have used in my most recent L5R games. They are not traditional for the game, so I will explain them briefly below. You earn Karma Points by helping me run the game. Creating NPCs, helping design encounters for the group or other players, writing fiction and posting it on Obsidian Portal, designing awesome events and helping me shape the story, and, above all, roleplaying awesomely and encouraging such in others are all Karma worthy. You will also start with 1 Karma Point after you finish your initial Background.

What do they do?

  • First, for each Karma Point you have at the end of a game, you get 1 extra experience. This will add up fast.
  • Second, you can spend a Karma Point (permanently lost) to reroll any roll or make an NPC do the same. Very handy on especially difficult tasks. You can also spend a Karma Point for another player, if you so choose!
  • Third, you can spend 3 or more Karma Points at once to “awaken” an item. Magic items in Rokugan “awaken” as nemuranai in different ways. This will help showcase items that you always use, or that you want to become powerful over time. You can keep doing this as the game progresses showing a greater enhancement to the item in question.

Game Modifications

The following are notes on aspects of the game that I am changing as we go along. This will be a work in progress:

In order to encourage player upkeep of their disadvantages, I am going to use the optional rule in the L5R Core Book regarding experience.

  • If one of your Disadvantages affects you or the story in a significant way during an evening’s story, you will gain +1 Experience point at the end of that session
  • This will encourage players to focus on Disadvantages that will actually see interaction in play and it will encourage you to try to find ways to bring it into the game. The story will be more interesting when your flaws, as well as awesomeness, affect game play.
  • Note that I retain the right to limit the gaining of bonus experience as game play continues and that if it seems that you are just trying to milk a Disadvantage for extra XP, I’ll simply remove this benefit in particular instances.





The Other 100 Points - Character Creation

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