Honor Mechanics

What is honor? Honor is the measure of one’s ability to uphold Bushido, the tenets that will lead one to an honorable and ultimately, enlightened existence.

Honor is measured by Rank. Characters can range from Rank 0 to Rank 10, with an exact honor of 0.0 – 10.0. In short, they can be summarized as follows:

Honor Rank 0-1: “Honorless Dog” Honor Rank 2-3: “Untrustworthy” Honor Rank 4-5: “What Is Expected” Honor Rank 6-7: “Exceptional” Honor Rank 8-9: “A Soul Above Question” Honor Rank 10: “Strength Of A Thousand Ancestors” The higher one’s honor, the better perceived they will be by the samurai caste. However, trying to maintain such strict standards for your own conduct can prove trying. It is harder to gain honor and easier to lose honor with a higher rank, because you are already perceived positively and have little to gain with an untarnished reputation. Likewise, characters with low honor ranks find it difficult to lose honor, but their honor gains are substantial. Since they are already perceived so poorly, it’s not surprising when they act accordingly; however, it is impressive when such an individual rises above their nature and truly act honorably, and will always leave a positive impression upon others.

Reference Honor Gain and Loss on Table 2.3, p.91 in 4th Edition

Ultimately, honor is measured most accurately by how one carries themselves. No one can really convince another samurai how honorable you are – only YOU can do that!

Determining Honor

When you meet someone, first impressions are important. To get a good gauge of another’s honor, you can make an Awareness/Lore: Bushido vs TN 30 to determine their Honor Rank.

Uses of Honor

There are some abilities that key off of honor, and those will not be covered here. There are a few options that are available to everyone, though. The Honor Roll is an option available to high honor characters. Once per session, when you fail at any roll, you may use your Honor Roll to reroll the failed roll, using your Honor Rank in place of a Skill, Trait, or Ring of your choice. If you succeed on the roll, then everything is fine; if you fail, you lose 10 points/1 rank of Honor! The Tests of Honor is a type of special Honor Roll. When you have to make a roll that will result in Honor loss if you fail, you can call for a Test of Honor (which works functionally just like a regular Honor Roll). If you fail, you still lose 10 points of Honor as normal, plus any additional honor loss. However, if you succeed on a Test of Honor, you gain 2 points of honor! This is not limited to once per session. Honor Rolls and Tests of Honor can be rerolled through class features (such as Lucky) normally. When you are the target of a Deceit (Seduction) roll, you may add your Honor Rank to each die of your Awareness/Etiquette (Sincerity) roll when resisting seduction. Some beings often radiate an aura of Fear – the biggest example of this is the undead. When confronting something Fearful, a player is offered an option to flee (and suffer honor loss) or face their fear. If they choose the latter, they must make a Raw Willpower Roll vs TN 5 + 5xFear Rating (which ranges from 0-10). You add your Honor Rank to each die of this roll. Failure by 15 or more forces the character to flee as quickly as possible from the source. Characters that fail by less than this instead have each die he rolls reduced by the Fear rating, and they cannot spend Void until the source of Fear is removed or fled from. You only need to roll a single Willpower roll against Fear Effects in any one given situation, and only against the highest source.

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Honor Mechanics

Rokugan: Shadow Rising caeads