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Even the rare ronin groups that manage to endure for a long time or gain prestigious support, such as the Legion of Two Thousand, are hard-pressed to establish the sort of infrastructure and long-term continuity required to maintain a full-fledged bushi school. The game design reflects this with a system which forces most ronin to rely chiefly on their innate capacities represented by Skills with only one or two Techniques.

Although this approach is realistic for the setting, it does put ronin significantly behind clan characters even Minor Clan characters in terms of their game-mechanic capabilities. This can be frustrating for players who are running ronin characters. GMs can thus have the freedom to decide whether they wish to focus their campaigns more on setting authenticity at the expense of game-balance, or more on game-balance and maintaining fairness between players.

It could also represent Minor Clan samurai in clans like the Fox, Dragonfly, Oriole, or Bat who have bushi in their ranks but lack any bushi school of their own. Strength of My Father Ronin are known for their resilience in the face of adversity.

If the roll is successful, you may ignore the effects of your Wound penalties until the next Reactions Stage. Never Yield Ronin are accustomed to being the underdogs. When you are outnumbered in a skirmish, you gain a bonus to your Armor TN equal to the amount by which the number of enemies exceeds the number of your allies.

This bonus cannot exceed the total of your School Rank x2.

Imperial Registry – Index of all Schools in L5R 4e

Bite of the Wolf Veteran ronin are swift and deadly fighters. You may attack as a Simple Action when wielding eddition katana or a knife. Twice-Cutting Spirit As ronin become truly experienced, they become ever more deadly with many different weapons.

Choose one additional melee weapon: Once per skirmish, you l5rr spend a Void Point on a damage roll, regardless of what weapon you are using.

Valor of the Wolf Those ronin who survive long enough to perfect their skills become legends of the battlefield, able to endure all manner of hardship and prevail in spite of severe injuries. Choose another melee weapon: Additionally, you may spend a Void Point to activate your R1 Technique without requiring a Willpower Trait Roll; when you activate it in this way, it lasts a number of Rounds equal to your Fire Ring.

However, the Disciples also recruit other ronin who have learned different basic Techniques. You may make attacks with melee weapons as a Simple Action. As a result, it has 44th able to develop extensive martial techniques, an extremely rare accomplishment for wave-men.

Stand as Two Thousand The Legion earned fame in its early years for protecting remote corners of the Empire and for helping defend the Kaiu Wall. So long as you have an Honor of 5. This ability cannot be used in the Center Stance. You may make melee attacks with Samurai weapons as Simple Actions.

The ronin who call themselves the disciples of Sun Tao are a group that have taken the teachings of the legendary ronin tactician Sun Tao, who is said to have studied with each of the Great Clans in turn, and applied his wisdom to the art of the duel. Although they lack the skill and recognition of dueling traditions within the Great Clans, those who follow dueling have, over time, come to grudgingly acknowledge their strength. The Forest Killers are perhaps the most ruthless and fearsome bandit organization in the history of the Empire.

For centuries they exploited the superstitions surrounding the Shinomen Mori by hiding within its depths. They were eventually eradicated by the Emerald Champion, but their demise proved short-lived, and within a few years a new group of Forest Killers was plaguing the lands around the Shinomen once more. After the commoner Asahime began organizing her army of peasants, she worked with her monk adviser Rojin to develop a spear-fighting technique that would allow simple ashigaru soldiers to stand their ground against samurai opponents.

The technique was designed to capitalize on working together, using numbers and discipline to overcome the superior fighting skills of samurai opponents. Inspired by the young and charismatic ronin Tawagoto, this group of ronin and peasants rallied together to protect the innocent people of Rokugan from the rash of violent peasant revolutions inspired by the mad monk Kokujin while the Great Clans were engaged in another war of succession.

Their heretical name, however, gives additional reason to hate them, likely shortening their expected survival. They trust in the traditional inaction of the Dragon to make their apprehension less likely, but have drawn the unwavering attention of the magistrates of the Mantis Clan due to their actions.


Composed primarily of former Crane and Lion, the Tessen came together to attempt to protect the people of Toshi Ranbo, centuries before it became the new Imperial City. The constant changing of hands between the two clans left the city in a terrible state, often plagued by criminals who knew the clans were too busy with one another to bother hunting them. The Claws of the Wolf are a small group of rather vicious vigilantes who subscribe to the ideals of Toturi Sezaru, an Imperial heir who lived during the mid to late twelfth century and whose death helped usher in the Race for the Throne.

Sezaru was one of the most powerful shugenja of his age, and perhaps of all time, but struggled throughout his life with emotional detachment and borderline sociopathic tendencies.

He never surrendered his honor, but came close on more than one occasion, especially during his ruthless and relentless hunts for members of the Bloodspeaker Cult. Unfortunately, their judgment of what constitutes a threat can be highly suspect at times. The members wear ceramic masks similar to the one made famous by Sezaru himself. This Technique can be used by any group of vigilantes or devotees to a ruthless figure. Other notable historical fi gures might include Hantei XVI the Steel Chrysanthemumfor example, or a notably ruthless or pragmatic magistrate.

Even the Clan War-era berserker Hida Amoro might inspire such a group. The East Wind is a benevolent ronin brotherhood devoted to protecting the common people of East Hub Village, a city on the outskirts of Otosan Uchi.

The East Wind initially found gainful employment with such merchants and used their pay to purchase simple holdings of their own within the city. From that power base they extended their infl uence throughout the city in an attempt to curb crime and other excesses as much as possible. Although they preferred to keep a low profi le, the people of Eastern Hub recognized the value of what the ronin did and looked on them with fondness and gratitude.

After the destruction of Otosan Uchi in the mid-twelfth century, the fortunes of the Hub Cities declined, but the East Wind brotherhood endured, and eventually the Unicorn Clan began revitalizing the city and sponsoring the ronin.

L5R 4th Edition Spells – mistralCeleste

Imperial records indicate the village is a holding of the Dragon, and it is true they are responsible for l5 administration. The village is overseen by a council of ronin and their will is enforced by a lr5 of warriors and magistrates known as the Eyes of Nanashi. Within the village the Eyes are generally regarded as honorable law enforcement, and even visiting Great Clan samurai will treat them with some respect, albeit mostly out of deference to the Dragon Clan.

The Moonless Riders are an extremely small and specialized group of ronin who have carefully cultivated skills that allow them to not only survive but seek regular employment by the armies of the Great Clans.

The Riders, who are comprised primarily of former Unicorn, Lion, and Dragon samurai, specialize in cavalry tactics — but unlike most samurai, they train at night. As a result, they are among the preeminent nocturnal scouts and couriers in the Empire. The Unicorn find their practices distasteful due to the risk posed to horses in night operations, but the Moonless Riders consider this a necessity in order to maintain their livelihood.

Although they wander freely across the Empire, the Moonless Riders do tend to linger in areas where clans share borders, and often find employment by the Lion along the Unicorn border and, less frequently, the Crane border as well. Minor Clans also employ them when possible to protect themselves against hostile neighboring Great Clans. Although they pride themselves on their skill as hired killers and assassins, the Silent Blades are in truth little more than rank amateurs when it comes to the arts of infiltration and assassination.

Although they do have some skill, it is vastly less than they like to imagine, and as a result they are constantly struggling to overcome the impact of botched jobs and the occasional disastrous failure.

Fortunately for them, however, those who would hire ronin assassins rarely communicate with one another, and the group has managed to avoid cultivating a poor reputation despite their mediocrity. While they do not know it, the Blades are actually pawns of a more secretive and skilled order known as Shadowed Lr5, which is in turn a pawn of yet another unknown force. Thus the Silent Blades are essentially fodder for larger, more powerful, and more skilled groups, brought out when a scapegoat 4yh necessary or when a very unskilled target needs to be eliminated.

Legend of the Five Rings

The Thousand were formed during the First Yasuki War under the banner of a Crane ronin named Tamedaore who had a knack for both military organization and mercantile commerce. His ronin band peaked at over deition thousand men and fought for the Crane during the latter years of the Yasuki War. Afterward, the band remained together but its numbers gradually diminished over the centuries; their 4fh remnants were wiped out by the Unicorn Clan in the year In the aftermath of the infamous Scorpion Clan Coup at the beginning of the twelfth century, the Akodo family of the Lion Clan was dissolved by a wrathful Emperor.


The majority of the family joined other Lion families, and many 4rh took their own lives in shame. L5t, however, took up the life of the ronin rather than remain within the now hostile Lion Clan with its new Matsu leadership. Of those who became wave men, a small group banded together for mutual defense and survival.

These men, known as the Broken Guard, were led by a former officer named Saigorei, a man with a deep grudge against the Unicorn Clan. Saigorei gathered men with similar philosophies to his banner, honing their skills with an emphasis on anti-cavalry maneuvers.

The Broken Guard quickly gained a reputation as dangerously effective against mounted foes, and they saw regular employment throughout the Clan War era.

When the Akodo family finally reformed, many of the Broken Guard rejoined it. Independent of the timeline, this Path could be used to represent any anti-cavalry group, or a group with a grudge against the Unicorn Clan for whatever reason.

The ronin band known as the Hidden Sword is a large group that patrols the outskirts of the Shinomen Mori, trying to protect the people in the lands around it from the various enemies who threaten them. The Sword targets primarily bandits but also the various enigmatic creatures emerging periodically from the Shinomen.

This band of ronin are known by the name of their preferred weapon, a long iron smoking pipe. Perhaps fortunately, the machi-kanshisha pipe is not well known in many parts of the Empire, and as a result many associate the name with the ronin band itself rather than the pipe for which they are named.

Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game – Wikipedia

The Machi-kanshisha are the guardians of the City of the Rich Frog, a major trade hub that sits in the narrow divide between the holdings of the Lion and Unicorn clans. Because of the militant nature of the two clans in question, who closely observe any significant violence near their borders, the Machi-kanshisha prefer to use their namesake smoking pipes as non-lethal weapons, employing them to subdue their foes rather than kill them.

In the twelfth century, the City of the Rich Frog is annexed by the Lion Clan, and the Kaeru ronin family, administrators of the city and employers of the Machi-kanshisha, become vassals of the Ikoma family.

This ronin shugenja order was founded in the wake of the second war with Iuchiban. Its members travel across Rokugan, always going to the most war-torn and disasterplagued regions, healing the injured and treating the sick with no expectation of payment or reward. They are welcomed in Crab lands but tend to encounter suspicion and hostility in most other regions, since their actions can be perceived as shaming the local clan shugenja for callousness.

Over the centuries there has been no shortage of ronin who have turned to violence and brutality to make their way through the world. Some, such as the Forest Killers, have cultivated such a reputation that their name is used to frighten children throughout the Empire. There are very few, however, who have the sheer audacity and penchant for destruction as the Serpents of Sanada. The Serpents are a naval band and over the years they have accumulated a small fleet of vessels, using them to become one of the most successful and hated pirate groups in almost a thousand years.

In particular the Serpents are an offense to the Mantis Clan, who not only have many former members among their ranks but have actually been attacked on their home islands by the Serpents, something no pirate ever before dared to do.

The costs of waging war in the bitter cold and snow are simply too high, and every time it has been attempted the army responsible has ultimately been defeated. Few attempted to recreate the extent of that campaign, but most recognized it was possible to fight in the winter with adequate preparation and training. Generally speaking, the Riders make adequate profits during the winter months to support them through the summer, which is exactly their intention.

Doing so might make their services more difficult to market and sell, however.

The Tsume vassal family prided themselves on being masters of the spear, teaching their bushi to specialize in defensive tactics and rely on a wall of spear-points to break enemy charges. After the Tsume ruling bloodline is exterminated in the War of Bleeding Flowers, their samurai become ronin but do their best to preserve their traditional fighting methods, passing their Technique down from parent to child.

The process is further enhanced by their tradition of meeting annually to renew their sense of loyalty and identity.

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