I love L5R. The setting is in depth and has just the right mix of different Asian cultures. I'm gearing up to play 4th edition and I'm excited to see what changes are in effect. The only problem with it is how they treat unarmed skills. First of all, Jiujitsu does not mean "The Way of Hands and Feet" (Tae Kwon Do does). It means "the gentle art" or "the art of gentleness". And it is only one of myriad Japanese styles. So, it's a problem for me when they call all unarmed martial arts variants of Jiujitsu.
Now, I know. I know. It's Rokugan, not Japan. But Jiujitsu is a real word with a real meaning. They didn't make this mistake with Yarijutsu for example. And I have no problem with made up martial arts like Kaze-do or Mizu-do. So here are my proposed rule changes that I'd like feedback on. Most of them amount to color, but there are some mechanical considerations.
1 - Jiujitsu resembles its real world counterpart.
It is designed to answer the question "I don't have my katana, what do I do now?" As such, it emphasizes locks, throws, and chokes. Punching and kicking are in the curriculum but not emphasized.
2 - Jiujitsu itself is the only martial art that is Jiujitsu.
All others, for example, Mizu-do, are separate skills.
3 - All Bushi with a starting skill of Jiujitsu begin with Jiujitsu as described above.
4 - All Monks with a starting skill of Jiujitsu instead begin with the unarmed martial art that their temple is known for. For example, Dragon Clan Tattooed Monks begin with Kaze-do.
5 - All Ninja-style characters (shinobi for example), begin with Ninjutsu.
6 - Any other careers that begin with Jiujitsu are treated on a case by case basis, though most will begin with Jiujitsu as described above unless a good argument can be made for another style.
7 - Any career can learn any style after character creation provided they find someone to teach them, though only Monks can learn Kiho. I have not worked out all the mechanical advantages of each style. The Way of the Open Hand is a good resource, but the wording is sometimes confusing and some of the rules only apply to d20 (I am playing 4th edition).
A) Has anyone else been so disturbed by this oversight that they had to change the rules?
B) What solutions did you come up with?
C) Are there any problems with my proposed rule changes?