The proper way to live
Original SA post
The above links to the DrivethruRPG page, where the book is available as a watermarked PDF for $20.00
Part One - The proper way to live
Suggested Listening for part one,:
Murder by Death - Comin Home
Nathanael Phillip Cole, creator/designer of Motobushido posted:
One day on a long ride through the Columbia Gorge, the idea came to me: if
Sons of Anarchy
and taken place during
, it would be the most wonderful thing ever.
And thus was born Motobushido.
first backed in October 2012 with 222 backers, $11,000 raised for a mean donation of 50$ apiece
. The game is the second by alliterated games and the brain child of Nathaniel Phillips Cole, and focuses on a merging of similar ideas - The Motobushi.
These motorcycle driving samurai ride in gangs, with their loyalty first and foremost to their captain, or
, who is the final decision maker and leader of their particular gang. They try to live a life of honour, a life of movement, and ultimately, a life with a meaningful send off on the long, winding roads. Most people fear them, seeing them as an artifact of an era gone by and thugs in a civilized age. Others still seek to crush them, the disturbances to the local life unwelcome to their power and hold over their domain. Few still seek to live alongside them, leaving their family and loved ones behind in order to walk this path - a path of sacrifice.
All so, as their blade drops from their bloody hands and their valiant seed drives on to join masters final farewell, a Motobushi can die saying he lived with honor, dying for the brothers he rode with and the ideals they believed in.
But enough waiving prose around this game, let's get talking about the book!
he book is split into three parts, each of around 50 pages each - The first of these is
, which introduces the players to the game and goes over how to get the rider out of your head and onto paper.
The second of these is
Proper ways to die
, which focuses on the games mechanics, which are mostly resolved by comparing card sizes (fun fact -
Two beats an Ace which came before it
The final section of the book is
, and incidentally this game's name for the GM is as such. It's mostly designed for the GM, but doesn't contain anything the players shouldn't have access to, as most of the game elements are played face up after being bought into play. It looks over how to run the first and subsequent sessions, how to capitalize on interesting things which happen in game (such as a a SC[Sensei character[NPC]] blocking three times, or someone disrespecting the dead).
It also includes a playable scenario,
, in which the players attempt to hunt down a traitor (or something similar) in an old, broken down town.The look over doesn't really do the scenario justice, but I'll look over the premade scenario in a seperate update.
The book begins by establishing that your 'pack' was involved in the Great War, although their side ultimately lost - the specifics of this are left to be
determined/found/whatever at the player's leisure. Now the players ride as a group, trying to survive on the open road and, ultimately, get into quick and sometimes
bloody duels. The narrative justifying the duel and the impact of the duel afterwards are highlighted just as much as the actual murder.
And it chooses to highlight this by an example within which Motobiker A refuses to take shit from some random dude who is a tease of murder tools, and so he decides to run him down.
But the Final Counsel/Player agenda three points long. These points are:
Incorporate Mechanics Narratively
So there's no saying the example does a poor job of portraying the feel of the game
At its light end
So how do we start a sess-
Next Time: Sessions(in brief) and Creating Characters.
Riders Salute posted:
To perform the salute, stand and hold forth your left hand, arm angled down.
Extend your first two fingers toward the ground between you and another rider (or, if saluting as a Pack, toward the ground or table at the center of the group), and say the words
Rubber Side Down
You should open and close every session with the Salute, showing your fellow players the respect that you each deserve.
My riders salute couldn't possibly be followed up (which was why the first part was so short)
Original SA post
The above links to the DrivethruRPG page, where the book is available as a watermarked PDF for $20.00
MotoBushido - Rubberside down.
Part Two - My riders salute couldn't possibly be followed up (which was why the first part was so short)
Suggested Listening for part two:
The Last Samurai - Red Warrior
This section covers sessions and character creation. For ease of search, type "what you want!" with spaces to find the appropriate section.
After our Riders Salute, the structure depends on which session it is.
If it's the first session, you begin with what's called your "Founding Fathers" - you take control of the guys whom made your pack, for a brief moment, and have a say in the event that started it all. This occurs, usually, back during the great undefined war (The book references the Post-Tokugawa era frequently, so
The Boshin War
may be appropriate, although basically any major conflict could be approrpiate). The book suggests that the characters defied orders in order to save the life of others, or that the group were the remainders of a suicide charge, for example. For historical examples of each, your gang might be the
Soldiers of a disgruntled officer,
A member of a rebellion ordered by your once leader
, or even
A Splinter from
a] religious communist rebellion
. In the end, simply put a group in a position with a tough choice - they may go along with the more loyal choice, after which play out the fall of their forces around them.
If it's your second session, your group begins play with a joint flashback, after which your group is restored to session starting form. More on flashbacks will be covered in the mechanics session, but a flashback (beyond showing something else) restores your ki, which are used for making the game more High powered and less raw - using bike stunts, combat techniques and calling upon past deeds are all reliant on Ki. Ki is restored by spending group resources, flash backing, or staying true to your roots. Otherwise, you have to rely entirely on your draws.
From the frist session, you introduce the new cast (whom the players will be spending more time as),If it's your second session as this group, feel free to carry on where you left off.
After finding a good point to end the session, go around the group and ask if they have learned any
- I can't open narrative talk with anything more than what's on the tin.
, when you feel your character has learned something, they right it down. At the end of the session, everyone notes what they think they've learned and, depending on whether or not the group agrees, you can either do one of three things with it - Firstly, you can use it as experience, which is immediately put into one of your three alignment trees for advancement upon the appropriate tree, on a 1:1 basis. They may also right down this lesson as a deed, which they can then call upon if the experience is relevant for a boost. Finally, they can alter your position on the alignments scales, which we'll get into during the character creation session.
Once you've done all that (and played a session like you would most other games), Rubberside down and bounce. No seriously, it gets the blood flowing and it's an interesting way to lose calories if you don't feel like dancing your way home.
I'll hit this right off the bat because it will make some decisions become a lot clearer:
If you become too devoted to one ideal, you will be consumed by it and die/leave/piss off/retire
Chronologically, you would need a pack before you have characters, but since packbuilding is a group activity the order of things is First Founding>Character Gen>Pack detail>Gameplay.
You can feel free to use a template for this, as a bunch of sensible characters are included, ready to go, with all of the major fluff decisions in your hand. If you don't (we're not going to, but I'll include one of the template dudes after this section), here are the steps (with examples in italics:)
Step 1: Balance your alignment
Your alignment is made up of three mutually exclusive six-point scales, based on the three ideals of Motobushi(official term), and your adherence to them. Mechanically, the benefits can be summed up by the fact that you have an easier time doing things which coincide with your convictions. So whiel a loner guy might struggle when he has to act for his squad mates, the thinker will have an eaiser time doing thinky stuff. The base alignments are:
The Law of the Pack, which is loyalty to your brothers (brotherhood on the character sheet). "Be a bro, help us out and loyalty to your lord" About sums it up. You reject this by being a nomad and saying "Gotta look after myself." (Stuck up nails, anyone?)
The way of the Sword, which is how readily you embrace death and enact violence. To embrace this, make like thrown steel and "CHHAAARRGGGEE!", generally going in balls first. Reject this by making like water, going "no shut up let me think about this for a sec", using tactics and diplomacy (or, with your balls between your legs).
The code of the highway, which is how much you respect the road, your desire to keep moving and how much you believe in destiny. Feeling the call of the road and generally following
Good conduct to your fellow motobushis shows a general embrace of destiny, whereas a more inward forcus and believe in ones power to change things and trusting of ones self tends to reject the code of the highway (nails sticking up, hammers, you know the rest).
In quick character creation form:
Nomad o o o / o o o Brotherhood
Water o o o o o / o Steel
Will o o / o o o o Destiny
Put an slash when each attribute changes - in this example, we can see that Our guy is Nomad/Brotherhood 3, Water 5/Steel 1, and Will 2/Destiny 4. So a monk. In addition, you also (have to? can?) make a statement about how you feel on the subject.
In addition, the player on your left/you/right determines some Wrongdoing you can't avenge/Person you murdered for the pack/Person you left behind.
For our example, we will build
, the famous blind masseur and gambler dropped into our Motobushi template for scientific purposes. As to his alignments, I'd say they were like this:
Nomad 4/Brotherhood 2, as he spent most of his time as a drifter helping the innocent and escaping bounties. He's a talented musician and masseur, however, and most of his living relies on other people, which is why it's 4/2 rather than 5/1.
Water 1/Steel 5 - if we take early Zatoichi, it's revealed that he was slain many men, and that violence was his first port of call. I choose a heavy steel choice because I feel it would be a fun experience playing out a story of redemption (even if it's damnnation in the eyes of his fellow brothers), as he comes to realize more and more what he feels is right. The first few times lessons based on using nonviolence appear, I would take the alignment shift option and move steel one closer to water, ending at 3/3.
Will 2 / Destiny 4 - I really struggled with this one, as second hand knowledge isn't much to emulate off of. But apparently he often stumbles into the events which guide his life, so there's that (also the whole 'connection to the road thing' can cover for 'why the fuck can a blind man ride').
Step 2:Choose your Birthsign
It's not literal (at least it doesn't have to be), but basically it's "What purpose does your life serve?" The best way of explaining this is to examine one from the book, the Gambler:
No jokes about Dangan Ronpa. I am absolutely 100% serious about this. Not even the Syoon smilie.
For every action, there is an equivalent reaction, as well as a set of odds on how that reaction plays out. You were born to bet
those odds. Whether or not you succeed at it is another question altogether
Ki Trigger : You make a wager in-game that
is accepted by another character.
Lesson Trigger: You lose a wager big time
and somehow survive.
The "Ki trigger" is "I've done something related to how I should live my life! I feel so much more
Ki'd in with who I am!
and you regain ki."
The lesson trigger is "I've fucked up massively, despite by norms. I'll use this oppurtunity to learn a lesson". These work
Apocalypse World style
, where the occurence in game triggers the mechanic, not the other way around.
The full list of birthsigns contains the Aesthete, Alpha, Beta(hah!), Comedian,
, Gambler, Heartbreaker, Lover, Orator,
(This raises our "references to Japan not liking things which are drastically different" count to 3), Prince, Sidekick, Spider, Tragic Hero and Wise Mentor.
I'm tempted to say "Outsider" for Zatoichi, seeing as he mostly drifted along from place to place, but at the same time Zatoichi is known for his wisdom and guidance, so I go
if someone in the group would be okay with that kind of bond. Otherwise, Outsider could work.
Step four: Know your role
What you do in the gang. Gets three abilities: A primary, secondary, and
ability, the latter of which only occurs when you off one of your own (for good or bad reasons). The only one you need to play is the
, or leader of the pack, and all other roles are optional with gaps fill-able by other guys in the pack who aren't the focus of the story. The list is
Taichou(leader), Bosozokou (standard full-fledged member), Hahaoya (Heart/adviser), Kusawake(scout), Migi Ude (Bodyguard come dirty worker), Shigikaaka (Historian/Standard bearer/nerd), Shinigari (Engineer and tech support) and Shinmai(rookie in tryouts). Each comes with a "If you choose this you're giving this message to the gm", some info on how to play them, and where they ride on the pack.
Zatoichi'll go Bosozoku for. I'll let the players know that, later on, he might go for Hahaoya or Shinigari, if the survives long enough and the slots open up.
Step five: Your fighting style
Your style is a)What weapon you use and b)What kind of ultimate technique you can get if you finish an evolution tree. Before reaching your ultimate technique, you pick up techniques as you please from groups sorted by function. A nice touch, I think - tells you on the tine what you're doing with these techniques and lets you decide the flavour.
Yes, you must learn techniques in order. Yes, you can use literally any technique with any other technique you know, unless that technique says otherwise.
The single sword style literally has Iaijutsu as its ultimate techinque. That is what Zatoichi will use.
Step six: Motor cycles
How in the Christ is
the only relevant image from "Sword Fights on MotorCycles?"
For something as integral to the lifestyle they live as it is, the info on it is kinda... eh. It's basically how well it handles in various conditions, how badass it looks, and how much damage (or disgrace) it can take before it needs repairing, as well as a basic power. It has some interactions with the duel mechanic which I'll discuss in the mechanics section, but still jeez. Seven types of bike are included, but like everything else (save alignments) in the book the game is okay with you adding more(will look to find the relevant quote).
,riding shotgun is the best choice. As sidecar isn't a viable option, I go with the
, a no-nonsense versatile and decent all-rounder.
And, one you've put all that in a sheet, you're good! Also
Have some Led Zepplin.
Next time: Zatoichi in a character sheet, Pack creation(this will be brief), and then we
get into the meat of the game!