"Set... focus... Strike!" A samurai of Rokugan who does not thrill to these words is no samurai at all, and would do well to abandon his swords by the side of the road. Dueling captures many important facets of a samurai's life: skill with a blade, moral and physical courage, personal honor and loyalty to family and clan. It is an experiance which compresses his existence to its essence... his entire being summed up in a single instant of perfect action.
But dueling is not limited to the warrior ranks alone. Shugenja have used the rites of taryu-jiai to settle matters of honor between them almost since the dawn of the Empire. Courtiers have a myriad of less violent (but no less dangerous) methods of dealing with rivals for personal and political ends.
The Art of the Duel covers the full range of Rokugani dueling practices: iaijutsu dueling. Phoenix naginata duels, Tsuruchi archery contests, Unicorn competitions of horsemanship, Crab and Badger sumai wrestling, Ikoma storytelling contests. Doji debates - even Crab Clan drinking games. The book features:
- A comprehensive survey of Rokugani traditions of dueling and personal competition, as practiced by each Great Clan, the Imperial Families, the Minor Clans and even the samurai of The Lost.
- New Schools, Advanced Schools, Paths and Kata related to dueling - including rules covering human swordsmen who study with kenku sword masters.
- Rules variants for simplifying and speeding up the resolution of iaijutsu duels.
- Rules for resolving taryu-jiai duels.
- Rules for resolving courtly forms of competition, such as go and shogi, ikebana (flower-arranging) challenges, oratory challenges, and the like.
- Appendices describing the legendary Test of the Emerald Champion tournament and the Test of the Minor Clans tournament, and how to incorporate them into your campaign.
Every Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game campaign includes moments when the material in these pages prove invaluable, because as we all know, there is a time in every samurai's life whena challenge becomes personal.
The Art of the Duel is a rules supplement and its use requires the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game Third Edition core rulebook.