Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Death of Raises

Y'know, I had this whole week off whether I wanted it or not. And I was going to finish up Chapter 4 and move on to revising the Disciplines so I'd have the basis for a playtesting Quickstart document...

But I kept stalling. And a little rule idea kept nagging at me. I realized Hachigoku needed to take another step away from its inspiration.

No more Raises. Now, instead of monkeying with the Target Number of rolls, you Focus your dice, voluntarily giving up dice for bonus Effects. There are still difficulty bonuses and penalties to dice and other dice modifiers...

But if you want to do the really cool stuff you have to risk your dice. Or your Honor. I like it.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Now with More Fortunes!

Since I didn't want to clutter up a post about Fortunes with a massive list of them, in the way I did with Skills and Outfit sections, I cut that last post short. However, I still want to give you a look at the full list and see what flavor they have! So, without descriptions, here is the full list of Fortunes I'm currently working with:

Ancient Battlefields
Another Time
Armed & Ready
Banzai!
Battle Fatigue
Bitter Betrothal
Blessing of the Seven: Benten
Blessing of the Seven: Bishamon
Blessing of the Seven: Daikoku
Blessing of the Seven: Ebisu
Blessing of the Seven: Fukurokuju
Blessing of the Seven: Hotei
Blessing of the Seven: Jurojin
Blissful Betrothal
Brutality
Buke
Cloistered Youth
Dark Foretelling
Dealing with Shadows
Dependents
Dumplings Over Flowers
Elemental Attunement
Fall Dwon Seven
Favored of the Kami
First You Take a Drink
From Nowhere
Gambatte!
Glimpse Beyond
Honored Guest
If My Dog Knew My Plans
Interesting Times
Iron Zen
Kuge
Lean Times
Lonely Battlefield
Lost Love
Loyal Retainer: Artist
Loyal Retainer: Ashigaru
Loyal Retainer: Burakumin
Loyal Retainer: Geisha
Loyal Retainer: Groom
Loyal Retainer: Household Attendant
Loyal Retainer: Scribe
Loyal Reteainer: Spy
Mosenshi
Musha Shugyo
My Ancestors' Strength
Playing with Madness
Politics by Other Means
Sacred Item: Ancestral Armor
Sacred Item: Ancestral Blade
Sacred Item: Ancestral Classic
Sacred Item: Ikeda Barding
Sacred Item: Kuroda Daikyu
Sacred Item: Makino Charm
Sacred Item: Morikawa Katana
Sacred Item: Onie Slayer
Sacred Item: Owari Armor
Sacred Item: Serpent Yari
Sacred Item: Spirit Slayer
Sacred Item: Todo Reaver
Sacred Item: Winter's Breath
Scarred
Shadow PResence
Small Favors
Soul of JAde
Storm Heart
Ten Men, Ten Colors
Touch of the Moon
Touch of the Sun
Towering Presence
Wealthy
Wrath of the Kami
Yokai Blood: Kitsune
Yokai Blood: Oni
Yokai Blood: Tanuki
Yokai Blood: Tengu
77! That's 77 Fortunes! Is it too many, or should there be more? I pan on there being an introductory, slimmed down, free starter version of Hachigoku which will contain far less Fortunes to start (no Blessings, Loyal Retainers, or Yokai Blood, may be not even Sacred Items), but is it already overload? what do y'all think?

I want to be a rebel like everybody else! Fortunes as Advantages & Disadvantages

Been a bit, ne? Chalk it up to work, political horror, standard burnout, etc. Mostly work balanced with adjusting to living in the Upside Down.

Don't worry; this isn't about to become a political blog. If anything, it's more important than ever you sit down and throw dice with folks who think differently than you, look different than you, work differently than you do...

I'll always enjoy sitting around a table with folks I know the best, but we live a wired world, and now it's a great time to connect and game with people around the country, around the world. It's like voting: it is both critically important and potentially disastrous.

So, let's talk about Fortunes.




Fortunes


Fortunes are character traits that make your samurai stand out from the others, something personalizing them beyond just Elements, Skills, and even Okuden. Fortunes contain a benefit adding to your natural abilities or flavor (a Boon), and a flaw that makes life uncomfortably interesting (a Curse). In Hachigoku, the reverse side always has a reverse side. Whether beneficial or detrimental, Fortunes vary in magnitude: Minor or Major. Minor Fortunes offer small mechanical or social benefits, often possible to lose, or reflect a more common quality among certain populations. Major Fortunes offer significant mechanical or social benefits, often ones inherent in your samurai or supernatural in nature.

Every character at creation gains Minor Fortunes for free equal to their Void; a Major Fortune is worth 2 Minor ones. Optionally, you may renounce a single Bushido Virtue to gain another Major Fortune (see Virtue, Glory, & Honor further on in this chapter), but must accept the consequences.
 

Some Fortunes can be bought after character creation, or taken away during play. Each Fortune has a descriptor indicating whether it can be purchased or lost during play.

  • Innate: Cannot be purchased or removed normally during play. The Boons and Curses are equal parts circumstance and fate, material and spiritual, worldly and celestial; they cannot be removed with Renkinjutsu, unless by direct intervention involving the Fortunes or higher celestial spirits.
  • Trained: Can be purchased, but will usually cost time and effort. Minor Fortunes cost 2 Season Actions to develop; Major Fortunes cost 4 Season Actions.
  • Granted: Can be purchased or removed, but only if the opportunity presents itself during play, often as a great boon or doom.

There are also four special classes of Fortunes: Blessings of the Seven, Loyal Retainers, Sacred Items, and Yokai Blood. These are purchased and treated just like any other Fortune, but each has its own special considerations.

Blessings of the Seven
The Seven Fortunes of Luck are revered beings in Hachigoku's cosmology, even among the lower castes. Their influence can be seen in the lives of those favored by their close patronage in the form of a Blessing. Blessings, like their progenitors and all other Fortunes, have Boons and Curses. Members of the Seven each have ancestral ties to certain kingdoms; samurai from these regions can treat their patron Fortune's Blessing as a Minor Fortune.

All Blessings are innate, but should the samurai have the temerity to displease the patron Fortune personally, they are capable of stripping their Blessing. Or just stripping the offender of the Boon and leaving the Curse, depending on their anger.

Loyal Retainer
Assuming you serve a daimyo, you have access to a number of servants in their employee for daily tasks, and even more depending on your Obligations. You yourself are a loyal retainer, after all. However, there are those servants who stand above others in loyalty and expertise. Perhaps they've served your family for years, and been passed onto you as an individual. Perhaps you saved them from calamity, and in return they swear themselves to your service. Perhaps you were awed by some creation or other display of expertise, and promised them patronage in return for unswerving loyalty.

Whatever the circumstances, such a loyal retainer is always of the lower caste and their expenses are at your cost. You don't need to worry much about paperwork over their service; their daily needs are considered part of your usual stipend. Each servant is a Kaonashi character with Rank 1; you can increase their Rank one step by spending 2 Season Actions, or buying this Fortune multiple times at character creation. Each purchase increases the retainer's Rank by one step, or purchases another loyal retainer. They can be promoted to Namae status just like any other Kaonashi, but you lose any Boons or Curses they grant you.

Different types of loyal retainer have their own Skills, and bring their own set of Boons and Curses to your service. Of course, any retainer might be slain, as well; such a valuable servant is not easily replaced.

Sacred Items
Samurai relish the tools of their trade: weapons, armor, and other less obviously deadly items. While not as clearly dangerous as a blade, in Hachigoku the rustle of a silk kimono or sly eyes behind a courtly fan kill just as surely. Their makers all have little idiosyncrasies in their work passed down from generation to generation; they are no less tradition-bound than their samurai counterparts. Some traditions are more famous, more powerful than others. Sacred Items reflect these superior weapons, armor, and other accoutrements as they are re-gifted down through generations.

All Sacred Items share the following Boons and Curses:

  • Boon: The item replaces a normal item in your outfit. If your outfit does not contain one, you cannot have this Fortune at character creation. It is Fine Quality, granting a +1k0 to Skill rolls involving it; any other bonus provided takes this into account. You gain +1 Glory when you receive the item, at creation or during play.
  • Curse: If the item should ever be lost, destroyed, or stolen, you immediately lose 1 Virtue and 1 Glory. If possible, restoring the item to your possession regains 1 Virtue. Some items have only this Curse, and no more.

Yokai Blood
Somewhere within the branches of your part of the family tree is a twisting, alien vine merging in your blood and bone. A samurai fell in love with a yokai, or a yokai tricked the samurai into laying with them. There may even have been a darker pact with local spirits. Whatever the case, their descendents manifest peculiar yokai traits once or twice in a generation, and become the focus of mystic trouble. All the various strains of yokai-human progeny have the following Boons and Curses:

  • Boon: You already have one foot in the spirit world; any Renkinjutsu and Shingaku rolls you make (skilled or unskilled) have Simple difficulty. All social rolls made involving nonhumans also gain Simple difficulty.
  • Curse: Others feel uncomfortable around you, even if they do not actually know your ancestry; all social rolls you make with normal people (both samurai and commoners) have Moderate difficulty.

While the list of yokai who might interbreed with humanity is quite extensive, they are usually restricted to those who can wear a humanoid guise. Choose from the four below; they are not the only possibilities, but they are the most common. Each may have their own additional Boons and Curses, and might have a reduction in cost. Yokai blood is also jealous; whatever your ancestry, you may only have one Yokai Blood Fortune.

Fortunes: A Selection
The actual rules have dozens of Fortunes, but I didn't want to make this another chopped up listing. So instead, I'm only going to list a few Fortunes as examples: a standard one, a Blessing, a Loyal Retainer, a Sacred Item, and a Yokai Blood.

Sidebar: Fortune Format

Fortune Name (Cost) (Type)

Description.

  • Boon
  • Curse

Fortune Name: The name of the Fortune. This may be prefaced by a descriptor if it is a Blessing of the Seven, Loyal Retainer, or Sacred Item.
 

Cost: Lists whether the Fortune is Minor or Major. The Fortune may also be limited to a certain kind of samurai (Bushi only, Ronin only, etc.), or may be a different cost for certain samurai (Minor for Ii samurai). If it has a discounted cost, any samurai with the right qualification (they may be a member of the Ii family, Ii uji, or Ii Discipline, for instance) applies the discount.

Type: Whether a Fortune is innate, trained, or granted.

Description: The flavor text and broad outlines of the Fortune.

Boon: The mechanical benefits.
 

Curse: The mechanical drawbacks.

Ancient Battlefields (Minor) (Innate)

  • Your family has an ancient tradition of valor on the battlefield; almost any notable battle in Hachigoku's history counts one of your ancestors among the warriors, and you can name them all. The insight of your battle-hardened ancestors still aids you today.
  • Boon: You gain a Free Raise on all attack or defense rolls in a Skirmish or Battle, and can spend an Honor to change any Battle Action targeting you in a Battle from one kind of “Ground” (Contentious Ground, Deadly Ground, etc.) into another.
  • Curse: You have a Moderate difficulty applied to all Jutsugaku or Chonin Skill rolls outside of a Skirmish or Battle.

Blessing of the Seven: Benten (Major, Minor for Nigoku samurai) (Innate)

Benten is the patron goddess of the arts and elegance, and snakes serve as her messengers. Those she favors find themselves gifted with their hands and voices, but her jealous streak haunts their lives.
  • Boon: All Artisan and Performance rolls made by you have Simple difficulty, and so do all social rolls involving artists and entertainers. Also, you are immune to snake venom and can talk to all natural, normal snakes as if you were an onmyoji talking to kami.
  • Curse: What's yours is yours. Your daimyo? Your family? Your otokodate even? Yours. And not truly worthy of anybody else; it's not like anyone could do your calling justice except you, after all. All social rolls involving members of your own faction and Discipline have a Moderate difficulty; this may cancel bonuses from your Boon. It is difficult to let go of a dueling challenge; you can only resist by making a simple TN Virtue roll. In a Romance, you can never be the one to end it, and when it does end you can only gain the Heartbroken Fortune, not work towards the Lost Love Fortune.

Loyal Retainer: Artist (Minor) (Granted)
You have a skilled artist for whom you are their primary patron. They produce paintings, sculptures, theater performances, or any other form of art covered by Aspects of Artisan or Performance. The artist excels at a single Aspect, the free one granted by their chosen Skill.

  • Skills: Artisan or Performance, Commerce, Etiquette
  • Boon: Their fame becomes yours. You gain Honor equal to their Rank at the beginning of each Story, and all social rolls involving one of their productions have Simple difficulty.
  • Curse: An artist is a fickle creature. Each Season you must roll for Trouble with the artist as if they were an Obligation. If they are Troubled, you gain no benefits from their Boon. You may spend a Season Action to Quell Trouble as normal, or request a Story to resolve the matter.

Sacred Item: Ancestral Armor (Minor) (Granted)
Your family hands down a suit of revered armor down through the generations, and judges you worthy to carry on the tradition. Don't let them down.

  • Boon: This is either light or heavy armor, and replaces the respective armor in your Outfit. It is considered a tsukugami. All active Defense rolls made in the armor gain additional unkept dice equal to your Virtue.

Yokai Blood: Kitsune (Major, Minor for Kinoshita samurai) (Innate)
Women dominate the descendents of kitsune; even men tend to be have delicate features and a willowy slenderness.

  • Boon: You gain the Touch of the Moon Fortune for free, and any who break an oath to you lose all Virtue and Honor.
  • Curse: There are always telltale signs of your magical ancestry, choose one: you have a coat of fine hair on your body, only discernible up close; your shadow is in the shape of a fox; your reflection is that of a fox; dogs and cats avoid you and growl in your presence, and approaching them leaves them cowering. Any who can use the Eyes of the Kami ability immediately sense your kitsune nature. The difficulty of any social rolls you make against those who detect your magical gifts increase 1 step.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

What does the well-dressed samurai wear? Outfit & Equipment Part 3 (Clothes make the samurai)

Finally, the last bit of Outfit & Equipment. Way too much research into clothes. I know, I know... this may be cut down later. No, it needs to be cut down.



Clothing
Clothing in Hachigoku varies by season and social caste, with most clothing made of hemp, cotton, or silk. Leather and fur are rarely used, except in the northern mountains or among the Ikeda uji and their associates.

Sidebar: “Kimono” & Outfit



At its most basic definition, kimono just means “a thing to wear.” Everything else is flourish. In your character's outfit, there will be listed a kimono. There might even be 2 kimono. Simply assemble an outfit from the provided clothing appropriate to your character.


A male samurai bushi, for instance, probably wears komon, obi, nagajubin, umanoribakama, tabi, and zori.


A female samurai teishin likely wears homongi, obi, nagajubin, geta, and kanzashi.


An onmyoji mght wear elaborate kimono, or a simple sumue, kiahan, and waragi.


And so on.


Assume that a fundoshi and shitagi are part of your armor, if you have any. Additional clothing items can be chosen as part of your traveling pack, yes, even the Rare items, or provided by your daimyo at appropriate times.

Kimono: Kimono are considered the default clothing of the samurai caste; few others in the Celestial Order can afford them. Merchants and artisans of wealth often can, and various sumptuary laws in different uji han often regulate style so that the lower castes remain visually separate from samurai. The T-shaped kimono is woven of silk, designed to be taken apart for cleaning and stitched back together. The kimono is worn folded over in the front, across the chest, and held closed by the obi, a silk or satin sash acting as a belt; the size of the obi depends on the style of kimono. Samurai tend to wear thick but thin obi, where their two swords are stashed. Purses and other items are often kept within the chest fold, resting against the top of the obi. The sleeves of the kimono fall to the wrist when the arms are down, and are usually wide and loose, depending on style. Those worn by militaristic samurai tend to be plain and reflect their uji's traditional colors and mon; those worn by women, teishin, and prosperous members of the lower caste are highly decorative, with natural vistas, flowers, birds, and butterflies being common. There is among kimono aficionados a complex system of aesthetics varying by season. The kimono have several different variations:
  • Sokutai (Rare): An extremely elaborate and layered formal kimono worn by men, and only during court functions and ceremonies overseen by the Roju, or among the Makino, Oda, or Shimazu uji.
  • Juunihitoe (Rare): An extremely elaborate and layered formal kimono worn by women (it's literal translation istwelve layer robe), and only during court functions and ceremonies overseen by the Roju, or among the Makino, Oda, or Shimazu uji.
  • Furisode (Rare): The furisode is a formal woman's kimono, traditionally worn by unmarried women. The sleeves are huge, hanging below the waist with arms raised level. The obi is wide, covering from the top of the hips to just beneath the armpits. The length reaches below the feet, folding the extra length up underneath the obi, but still being tight about the legs. They are usually reserved for formal ceremonies, and highly decorated.
  • Homongi (Uncommon): Another kimono traditional to women, the homongi is not as elaborate as the furisode, with slightly shorter sleeves. The length is slightly shorter, folded to just above the feet and tight about the legs. It is usually worn during official functions in a daimyo's court or social gatherings. Like the furisode it is highly decorated.
  • Tomesode (Common): This kimono is similar to the homongi, but has drastically smaller sleeves, and is worn by married women. Its decorative patterns occur below the obi, and are considered more conservative.
  • Iromuji (Common): A single-colored kimono with sleeves hanging just above waist, worn by both men and women. The iromuji's length is just above the ankle. Often worn in casual settings or during tea ceremonies.
  • Komon (Common): A single-colored kimono often using a repeating pattern for decoration, it has small sleeves and a length varying from the ankle to the thigh, depending on whether it is traditonal for women or men. Samurai-ko often wear the men's style for ease of movement. Komon are usually worn outside the home.
  • Mofuku ((Uncommon): A plain kimono of black; undergarments and tabi are usually white. This is a traditional kimono for mourning.
  • Uchikake (Rare): The uchikake is more like a coat than a kimono proper. It is highly formal, decorated, and worn over another kimono during an important ceremony (such as a marriage) or stage production. It is not bound by an obi, but instead hangs loose like an overcoat, trailing along the floor.
  • Susohiki (Rare): The susohiki is similar to the homongi, but with a much longer trail. It is traditionally worn by geisha and dancers.
  • Obi (Common): Although not actually a kimono, it is an essential accessory. The obi is sash is wound about the waist like a belt, and can vary in width and thickness, usually by gender and formality. Its folds can as pockets and are tight enough to secure moderate weapons, such as the daisho or jitte.
  • Haori (Uncommon): A hip or thigh-length kimono-like jacket worn on formal occasions, such as in the daimyo's court, by samurai men. It has wide, pointed shoulders.
  • Nagajuban (Common): A thin, silken underkimono robe, usually white, worn to keep the kimono itself clean.

Hakama: The hakama is a wide divided (umanoribakama) or undivided (andonbakama) skirt.
  • Umanoribakama (Common): The divided hakama; when tied, it resembles baggy trousers. Traditionally worn over the obi by men, it is often worn by women who work during the colder seasons, or samurai-ko.
  • Andonbakama (Common): The undivided hakama. Worn traditionally by women, especially those pursuing kyujutsu as the kyudo art or the miiko (shrine maidens).
  • Nagebakama (Uncommon): Extremely long umanoribkama, designed to hinder movement and prevent violence when attending an official function for the daimyo in their court. Trying to move quickly in nagebakama requires an Etiquette/Water roll (TN 15).

Footwear & legwear: There are various types of footwear in Hachigoku, made from materials as different as wood, cotton, grass, hemp, or, rarely, leather.
  • Kiahan (Common): Cotton leggings worn to protect against cold, insects, or as padding underneath the leg guards of armor.
  • Tabi (Common): Cotton socks that vary in length from ankle to knee. During cold seasons, the tabi may be insulated with extra layers of cotton. The toes of the tabi are split between the big toe and the rest, allowing them to be worn easily with sandals.
  • Zori (Common): Commonly woven of bamboo or grass, zori are sandals commonly worn by samurai and wealthier members of the lower castes.
  • Geta (Uncommon): Sandals made of wood, with either one or two slats raising the base. Usually worn during ceremonies or in cities. Their distinctive clacking noise makes them unsuitable for stealth.
  • Waragi (Common): Made from woven strands of hemp rope, the waragi are common to both the lower castes and gakusho.
  • Gutal (Rare): The gutal are thick leather boots with upturned toes, designed to help a rider remain in the stirrups. They are worn exclusively by Ikeda samurai.

Headgear: Aside from helmets, people of Hachigoku wear stuff on their heads, too.
  • Eboshi (Rare): A small, peaked black cap worn by teishin for official functions and ceremonies.
  • Hachimaki (Common): A bandana, usually red or white and often with writing, that symbolizes intense concentration and effort on the part of the wearer. Often worn by students, bushi, laborers, and festival performers to soak up sweat from the forehead.
  • Kanzashi (Uncommon): Hair ornaments worn by women. Many different styles exist, including silk flowers, wooden combs, and even jade hairpins.
  • Kasa (Common): The kasa is a low, conical hat worn throughout Hachigoku, usually made of straw or bamboo strips. It often has a chin stap.
  • Tsunokakushi (Rare): A simple rectangular piece of white cloth worn in an ornate fashion atop a bride's head during a wedding ceremony.

Yutaka (Common): The yutaka are similar to kimono, but lighter and made of cotton. Some yukata are even made of hemp, among the lowest castes. The designs can be plain or simple, depending on season and social caste. Most yutaka resemble komon or iromuji kimono, while more elaborate styles are reserved for festivals and formal occasions. They are especially popular during the summer, but non-samurai often wear them year-round.

Fundoshi (Common): Fundoshi is a loin cloth undergarment worn by men or by both sexes when wearing armor. It is often worn by laborers when the weather is particularly hot.

Shitagi (Common): A white undershirt, made of cotton, commonly worn by samurai underneath their armor.

Gi (Uncomon): Often padded, these cotton kimono-like clothes are worn in the dojo during training, usually in unarmed combat. While the most traditional color is white, certain dojo may prefer other colors as a way of standing out.

Kesa (Uncommon): The kesa is a flowing, cotton robe wrapped around the wearer over the shoulder, usually leaving one shoulder bare. Other clothes may be worn under it. The exact style varies by shinden, as it is the traditional robe of onmyoji who live in monasteries.

Samue (Uncommon): Made from cotton, the samue is a kimono-like garment worn by onmyoji for labor, such as temple maintanence or field work. It is usually brown or indigo to differentiate it from more formal clothing.

Happi (Common): A haori-like jacket of cotton, light and often worn by merchants and at festivals. It has wide sleeves but lacks the pointed shoulders of the haori. Thick, leather happi (considered Rare) are usually worn by urban firefighters, and count as ashigaru armor in a fight.

Netsuke (Common to Rare): Ornamental jewelry hung from the obi, usually by men.

Instruments
  • Biwa (Uncommon): A four-stringed, pear-shaped lute.
  • Fue (Common): A bamboo flute.
  • Horagai (Rare): A seashell horn.
  • Hyoushigi (Uncommon): Wooden or bamboo clappers, often used in noh theatre.
  • Ikko (Common): A small, hourglass-shaped hand drum.
  • Kagura-suzu (Rare): A hand-held bell tree with three tiers of pellet bells.
  • Kokyu (Rare): A three-stringed fiddle.
  • Koto (Uncommon): A thirteen-stringed harp, played resting upon the ground horizontally.
  • Mokugyo (Rare): Giant woodblock carved in the shape of a fish, struck with a wooden stick. Often used in Shintao chanting.
  • O-tsuzumi (Common): A hand drum.
  • Shakuhachi (Rare): A long bamboo flute used to aid meditation.
  • Shamisen (Uncommon): A three-stringed instrument similar to a guitar, but with a thin body and longer neck. Popular for use in kabuki.
  • Shime-daiko (Uncommon): A small drum played with sticks (bachi) on a short stand.
  • Shouko (Uncommon): A small bronze gong.
  • Tsuchibue (Common): A globular ceramic flute popular with the lower castes.
  • Tsuri-daiko (Uncommon): A large drum played with sticks (bachi) on an ornate stand.

Everything Else
There are a wide variety of items for purchase or crafting within Hachigoku. While many are analogous to medieval Europe or even modern times, those particular to Hachigoku are listed below:
  • Backpack (Common): The standard backpack is made of wicker, and designed like a box, worn over the shoulders and held in place with hemp or silk ties.
  • Books (Uncommon): Among samurai books are highly prized, with many even keeping journals. The books are bound with cords, but open and read right to left, with writing in vertical strips. People in towns are often hungry for books and shinbun, pamphlets that are serialized and cheap. Lower castes in rural areas are often illiterate.
  • Chomchog (Rare): A huge tent used in the northern steppes. It can host a family of twelve comfortably. Its immense size requires a cart and oxen to transport.
  • Chopsticks (Common): Chopsticks are the most common utensil for eating, often made of wood but occasionally made of finer materials such as silver or ivory.
  • Daisho Stand (Uncommon): A special wooden stand crafted to hold a katana and wakizashi, sheathed, for display. Most have the swords held horizontally. However, special stands designed to hold the katana vertically, blade down, are often used by daimyo or military commanders during official audiences, allowing them to quickly draw and strike in case of emergency. Such a stand allows you to use the Iaijutsu Skill. Other stands may have a third set of hooks for holding a matched tanto.
  • Dice and Dice Cup (Common): Dicing in Hachigoku is a popular form of both recreation and gambling.
  • Folding Fan (Uncommon): Fans are a common accessory in Hachigoku, used by both men and women. Many are made of sandalwood ribs with paper designs, while exquisite ones are made of ivory with silk designs. More information on these as weapons can be found in the Tessenjutsu weapon descriptions.
  • Folding Stool (Common): A small folding stool is used often used when outside, so that samurai do not have to sit on the ground. Inside a building, people of Hachigoku tend to sit on the floor and do not use funriture such as chairs or couches.
  • Furoshiki Sack (Common): A bundle of fabric folded and thrown over the shoulder; used to carry small items.
  • Go Set (Uncommon): A square board for playing the game of go, and the white and black stones used. Elaborate Fine Quality sets include lacquered bowls to store each kind of stone, and boards made of expensive hardwood.
  • Hanko (Common): This is a personal seal (or chop) made from wood and unique to each samurai. First dipped in ink, the hanko is applied to letters and official documents as a signature. Each hanko is registered by the local daimyo, and usually incorporate the samurai's full name. Prominent artisans and merchants also use hanko. Your samurai, unless they are ronin, have one automatically.
  • Inro (Uncommon): A small, segmented box used to carry personal belongings.
  • Kemari Ball (Rare): A leather ball used in the teishin game kemari.
  • Kiseru (Common): A simple, straight smoking pipe.
  • Kube Bukuro (Uncommon): Ahead sack,used to transport the head of an enemy without forcing one to touch dead flesh. Also commonly used by Hida samurai to transport the heads of slain Shadowlands creatures for study.
  • Lantern (Common or Rare): Lanterns are a common sight in Hachigoku. Most are paper lanterns, carried on long staves or hung in the air; when not in use, the candles are removed and the lanterns easily fold up into round or square parcels. Metal lanterns are much rarer, and smuggled in by foreign trade.
  • Medicine Kit (Rare): This includes basics such as needles and thread, cloth bandages, and herbal disinfectant. It also includes longer needles needed for acupuncture. Each kit is good for up to fifty uses of the Medicine Skill.
  • Pet (Uncommon): Pets are small animals (separate from livestock) owned purely for personal companionship. Popular pets in Hachigoku include dogs, cats, birds, and even monkeys. Hachigoku boasts some curious caged pets as well, usually held in wooden cages. The most popular include insects (such as lucky crickets, large scorpions, preying mantises, and butterflies) and birds (especially songbirds such as canaries and nightingales). Often, these caged pets are bought just to be released for luck or spiritual gain.
  • Sake Set (Common): A crafted porcelain bottle and small cups (usually four in a set) for drinking sake.
  • Scrolls (Uncommon): While books are in common use, official documents and religious texts (including spells) remain written in flowing scrolls.
  • Shogi Set (Uncommon): A popular game similar to Western chess, it is a tactical square board game with several pieces with unique moves.
  • Sumi-e Box (Uncommon): A small box containing brushes, several ink stones, a water bowl, and sand to speed the drying process.
  • Tea Set (Uncommon): A ceramic bowl for mixing the tea, a kettle for boiling, and ceramic cups for drinking (usually four in a set).
  • Tissue (Common): Paper is so rife in Hachigoku that samurai often keep small squares of it tucked into their sleeves for use as a handkerchief, which is quickly tossed to the ground and forgotten.
  • Umbrella (Common): Made of bamboo and thick paper, the umbrella is a common sight in the cities of Hachigoku.
  • Yurt (Rare): A large tent limited to the northern steppes, it can house a family of four comfortably.

Sidebar: Traveling Pack Contents

Almost all characters are issued in their Discipline's Outfit a traveling pack. But what's in it? Basically, the traveling pack is a collection of miscellaneous items for traveling, but can also represent other items peculiar to your interests, hobbies, and specific needs.

You can have any 10 items in your traveling pack, chosen from the list below:
 
1 item or outfit of clothing, 1 instrument, basket, blacksmith's hammer, blanket, book, bottle of bleach or dye, bottle of plum wine, bottle of sake, bottle of shochu, bottle of water, bucket, candles (6), chomchog, chopsticks, coin purse, cooking pot, daisho stand, dice and dice cup, finger of jade, fishing net or pole, flint and tinder, folding fan, folding stool, go set, grappling hook, hand mirror, hanko, incense brazier, inro, jewelry or accessory (netsuke, earing, eyepatch, or bracelet), kiseru, kubi bakuro, lantern, makeup kit, mask, medicine kit, mortar and pestle, paper (10 sheets), parchment and charcoal (10 pieces of each), perfume vial, pet, rope (50'), sake set, scroll, shovel, sashimono, shogi set, small sculpture, small tent, spices, sumi-e writing box, sweets, tattoo kit, tea set, tissues (50) ukiyo-e painting, umbrella, walking stick, week's supply of rations (usually rice cakes, bean paste, and dried fish), whetstone, wig, yurt