Specialists / The Samurai

Prerequisites: Commander 4 required. You must have at least six skill points divided between Fighter and Rider. You must possess a wise related to the arts, such as poetry, calligraphy or music. You cannot remain unaffiliated—choose either Law or Chaos. A samurai who follows Chaos must choose Greed instead of Honor when they take their level 4 specialist benefit.

Level 1

Kenjutsu: You are trained to wield all weapons except for shields, which are for cowards and commoners. If you already possess a warrior’s knowledge of weapons, you gain “The Way of the Sword,” allowing you select any even-numbered duelist benefit instead of the normal samurai benefit.

Level 2

Armored: You’ve trained in heavy armor. Wearing armor does not count as a factor for recovery from exhausted if you choose this level benefit.

Level 3

Stubborn: You’re always last out of a fight. If your hit points are depleted to zero, instead reduce them to 1 and deduct the remainder of the damage from another player (or players) of your choice.

Level 4

Honor: If angry and having offended or suffered an offense, you may invoke Honor. Honor gives a free turn (or check) to the samurai to make amends, challenge, berate, clout or intimidate the offended/offender. You cannot be helped unless your companions have appropriate Instincts. If Honor is invoked and you get satisfaction, next time you hit camp or town, immediately test to recover angry. No check is required. Should you lose your Honor or select the Sword Expertise benefit instead, you become an unaffiliated, masterless rōnin. If aligned with Chaos, replace this benefit with Greed.

Level 5

Servant: Your servant grants +1D to your Armorer, Cook, Fighter, Hunter, Healer and Laborer tests. In a conflict, assign one of your hit points to your servant. If there are no extra points, your servant can’t help.

Level 6

Horse Archery: When using a bow on horseback, you may not be disarmed by one-handed weapons.  Your bow counts as longer range than all other missile weapons.

Level 7

War Captain: You always count as the “hero” weapon in a battle, regardless of whether you’re at the front or not. If leading from the front, you triple your hero bonus to +3s for Attacks.

Level 8

Mounted Combat: When fighting from horseback, double the benefits from using a lance or bow (choose one). Gain +1s when fighting with swords on foot.

Level 9

Heroic Ability: Rider Fighter tests while mounted now succeed on a roll of 3-6.

Level 10

Soul of the Samurai: You must possess Honor to choose this benefit. Your sword becomes imbued with your inner spirit. Name your weapon, and so long as you wield it, it grants +1 Might (in general) and +1s to one action type of your choice in kill, drive off and battle conflicts (choose now). While in possession of it, you are immune to all mind-altering spells and the afraid condition. If killed in battle and buried with your sword (and left for a suitable period), it retains its magic. It can be left with you until it’s needed in the future, or stolen by the less scrupulous. If you ever dishonor yourself or your sword (for example, by losing it or using it to commit evil deeds) you are required to commit ritual suicide (an ob 2 Ritualist test) or the sword loses its magic. Failing this test will result in injury or a dishonorable death. Success means you died honorably and your spirit lives on within your blade.