01-10 Blood-related Clan—You are taught your martial arts skills by a clan of related martial artists. All members of the clan share some common tie of blood (i.e., they were born in the same village, descended from the original members of some secret organization, etc.).
11 -20 Family—You are taught your martial arts skills by members of your family. Your family may have a secret martial arts or weapon style that you have been taught as well.
21 -40 School—You are taught your martial arts skills by a loose organization of martial arts students, headed by a chief instructor. The school usually accepts monetary payment for training, but you may have worked out a special deal with the instructors (GM's choice).
41 -65 Religious Order—You are taught your martial arts skills by a religious organization. You were also taught the precepts and beliefs of the religious order. You have been taught to support the order and your brothers in the order at all costs.
66-80 Secret Society—You are taught your martial arts skill by a secret society. You have been taught the beliefs and goals of the secret society. You know several other secret society members within your region and you know you can turn to them for aid.
81-100 Clan—You are taught your martial arts skills by a clan of martial artists. All members of this group share a common bond of love for the martial arts, coupled with respect for the organization's goals. Loyalty and respect are expected among clan members.
A few other decisions flesh out an organization that teaches martial arts skills. Among other things, the Game-master must decide how large the organization is, what are its goals, its structure, and any other interests the organization may have.
Popularity—Is the organization popular? Has it recently won a famous challenge from a rival school, or been granted some favor by a powerful figure"? Is the organization losing popularity, has it lost an important challenge, or has it been involved in a scandal? Is the organization relatively unknown, is it a secret organization or newly founded?
Example: Melissa and the Gamemaster talk some more about the background of her character, Ming Te.
Goals—What are goals of the organization? Is the organization serving as a front for another secret organization or clan? Does the organization have political motives? Does the organization serve a religious movement? Is the organization out to simple gain money and political power? Does the organization strive to uphold a rigid moral or religious code of ethics?
Structure—What is the structure of the organization? Is it based on a religious order? Is the organization composed of only masters and students? Does a council of masters preside over the organization? Is there a single master of the organization, and if so how is he elected? Is the organization split into several independent branches? Wealth—How wealthy is the organization? Is it impoverished? Is it moderately wealthy with several training halls and many members? Is it wealthy with branches in many cities and access to ready cash? How does the organization raise its money? Does the organization have funding from another source, does it have membership dues, or does it have other revenue generating means?
Advancement—How do you advance within the organization? Is advancement through seniority of the student or of the master of the student? Is advancement handled through popular acclaim or vote, and if so who is allowed to vote? Is advancement handled through formal challenges, and if so what are the regulations regarding challenges?
Other interests—Does the organization have any other interests besides promoting martial arts? For example the organization could be involved in banking, challenges, providing instructors, providing bodyguards, providing mercenaries, producing duelists, acting as the enforcement arm of another organization, training assassins, training doctors, or providing arbitrators. Recent Events—What recent events have occurred to the organization since characters have become involved with it? Has there been a scandal (political, religious, law, or moral)? Has a split or schism occurred in the , ranks of the organization recently? Has the organization had a sudden loss or gain of popular favor, and if so what occurred? Are there upcoming martial arts competitions that will involve the organization?
Gamemasters may use the following chart to create a background for NPC martial artists or teachers with whom the characters interact during the campaign. This can make the Gamemaster's job a little easier by removing some of the burden of creation.
MASTER'S BACKGROUND CHART
01 -02 Fake Credentials—Your master is a fake with very little real knowledge of the martial arts. You soon discover this, but you are not yet sure why he is posing as a martial arts instructor.
03-06 Secret Society Member—Your master is a member of a secret society that has been outlawed by the current government. He will try to recruit you into the secret society as a new member.
07-10 Drunkard—Your master is a drunkard. He will go on drunken binges, getting into fights and creating a nuisance of himself, every time he is under a great deal of stress. On any given night, there is a 15% chance that he is drinking, whether alone or in a tavern or pub.
11-13 Chi Knowledge—Your master has knowledge of Chi Powers skills. He may teach you the Chi Master training package if you so desire.
14-17 Challenger—Your master strives constantly to challenge others to prove his martial arts skills are superior. He often requires you to challenge other master's students. You do not have many friends in the martial arts world.
18-20 Secretive—Your master carries secrecy to an extreme. You must practice in a closed room with him and he is constantly checking for spies looking to steal his secrets. Progress with this master is 50% slower than normal due to his excessive precautions and reluctance to part with his secret knowledge of the martial arts.
21-24 Hermit—Your master is a hermit. To learn martial arts skills from him, you must travel to a remote rural location where he lives to learn his skills.
25-28 Partial Knowledge—Your master only taught you the initial forms of your martial arts skill. You cannot learn any Restricted martial arts skills from this teacher. In addition, your teacher does not know any martial arts skills beyond 10 ranks.
29-31 Paranoid—Your master is a skilled practitioner of the martial arts, but he is extremely paranoid that others are out to steal his secrets or do him harm. You must constantly reassure your master that you are not plotting against him. Your master has strictly forbidden you from talking with other martial artists.
32-35 Poor Teacher—Your master is a very poor teacher. He is impatient and does not explain himself. Progress under this master takes twice as long as normal due to his poor teaching techniques.
36-38 Rival School—Your master has a rival school that challenges his teachings. If you are learning a martial arts style or a weapon style, this rival school also teaches an opposing martial arts style or weapon style.
39-42 Disgraced—Your master has committed some action in his past that has permanently disgraced his reputation. Some of his dishonor carries to you since you are his student. Your master hopes you can repair the wrong that he did.
43-45 Hidden Knowledge—Your master possesses hidden knowledge of a martial arts skill. Your master can teach you martial arts skills thought lost (i.e., an ancient martial arts or weapon style or a martial arts skill not normally allowed in this culture).
46-49 Retired Soldier—Your master has had a long career in the military. You may make use of some of his military contacts if necessary.
50-53 Former Bodyguard—Your master used to be a highly respected (in specialized circles) bodyguard. You may make use of some of his contacts in bodyguard guilds and the underworld.
54-57 Highly Respected—Your master is universally respected for his wisdom and strength. Being his student, you are accorded some of the same respect.
58-60 Excellent Teacher—Your master is an excellent teacher. You may learn your martial arts skills at half the normal rate.
61-63 Full Knowledge—Your master has complete knowledge of his chosen martial arts and weapon styles. He knows all the secret maneuvers and special attacks associated with them as well.
64-66 Enemies—Your master has made some very powerful enemies in the course of his life. As his student, you have inherited their enmity. They may seek to strike at your master through you - be warned!
67-70 Vengeful—Your master is vengeful. If anyone does him wrong, he will attempt to exact revenge no matter the cost.
71-72 Blood-Guilt—Your master suffers from guilt due to all the enemies he killed in his youth. Your master will not take another life, even if it costs him his own. Unfortunately, yourmaster's enemies are not so restricted.
73-75 Cursed—Your master is cursed. The exact nature of the curse is up to the Gamemaster.
76-78 Impoverished—Your master is very poor. Your training facilities are substandard.
79-81 Debtor—Your master owes a large debt to another organization or person. He has trained you in secret to prevent you from incurring any of his debt. You want to help your master in any way possible.
82-84 Outlaw—Your master is an outlaw. As his student, you are branded an outlaw by the government as well.
85-86 Wandering Monk—Your master is a wandering monk. He teaches you your martial arts skills on the road.
87-90 Wealthy Patron—Your master has a wealthy patron that keeps him well supplied. You are indebted to this wealthy patron as well.
91 -95 Rival Students—Your master has several more advanced students who consider you a dangerous rival. They make life hard for you and try to have you dismissed.
96-100 Many Students—Your master has many students (twice the normal number for this culture/ organization) and you must constantly compete for his attention.
Finding a Teacher
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