Sasarindō Preview: Six Samurai


Six men and women, six virtues, six destinies, six downfalls. Picking back up on work for Sasarindō, a Blood & Honor adventure inspired by the Tale of the Heike, I finally got all the player characters completed and will convert them into my lovely writable sheets shortly. All that’s left afterwards is to gloss the rules for more additions/changes given the time period and then get into the story hooks, character connections, and hurdles of the scenario itself. I intend to get a draft ready for playtesting by the end of November, at which point I will likely call for volunteers. With any luck, I’ll be debuting the final product at WittCon IX in Springfield, OH, provided I can get my ass over there.

In the meantime, here is an overview of the cast, their strengths and their weaknesses. Given the nature of the game, I’ve dropped “None of Us is as Good as All of Us,” and added an individual Aspect for each. We are talking folk heroes here, not just any samurai. I’ve denoted where I’ve included new or variant Duties, etc., with an asterisk.

Minamoto no Yoritomo

  • Meaning: Enduring Dynasty
  • Concept: Returned Heir
  • Duty: Iemoto (Clan Head)*
  • Strength: Cunning
  • Weakness: Beauty
  • Unique Aspect: Laughter is the Fool’s Hiccup
  • Advantage: Blood Oath
  • Reputation: Single-minded Leader

Minamoto no Yoshitsune

  • Meaning: Edict of Justice
  • Concept: Rival and Beloved Warrior
  • Duty: Kaishyaku (Executioner)*
  • Strength: Courage
  • Weakness: Strength
  • Unique Aspect: Waiting for Luck is Waiting for Death
  • Advantage: Archer’s Eye
  • Reputation: Ingenious General

Hōjō Masako

  • Meaning: Proper Child
  • Concept: Clan Head’s Wife and Political Knife
  • Duty: Takumi (Courtier)
  • Strength: Beauty
  • Weakness: Prowess
  • Unique Aspect: One Word Can Warm the Winter
  • Advantage: Outsider
  • Reputation: Darling of the Court

Minamoto no Yoshinaka

  • Meaning: Bond of Righteousness
  • Concept: Uncouth, if Effective, General
  • Duty: Hatamoto (General)
  • Strength: Wisdom
  • Weakness: Courage
  • Unique Aspect: First the Man Takes a Drink
  • Advantage: Well-schooled
  • Reputation: Tactical Mastermind

Gozen Tomoe

  • Meaning: Friend and Blessing
  • Concept: Consort of Yoshinaka’s
  • Duty: Yojimbo (Bodyguard)*
  • Strength: Prowess
  • Weakness: Wisdom
  • Unique Aspect: The Best Sword Stays in the Scabbard
  • Advantage: Born to the Sword
  • Reputation: Onna Bugeisha (Woman Warrior)


  • Meaning: Celebrated Hat
  • Concept: Monk & Yoshitsune’s Companion
  • Duty: Onmyōji (Spiritual Advisor)
  • Strength: Strength
  • Weakness: Cunning
  • Unique Aspect: Ten Men, Ten Colors
  • Advantage: Large
  • Reputation: 999 Swords

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